Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

The 21st October was my birthday, I was 51 years young and it was the best birthday I have ever had. It started with hubby buying me chocolates which is a rarity becasue we don't normally give each other presents. His way of thinking is why wait once a year to buy what you want, better to buy it when you need it. Who am I  to argue, this way I can have several birthdays a year LOLL. The following day I was away with my son to visit my daughter for a few days so hubby gave me a generous budget for fabric shopping.

My daughter has just accepted a job with a well known magazine here. At the moment they only publish cookery recipes and are now branching out into crafts. My daughter will be doing tutorials for them so on the Thursday I arrived, we were there, where she was doing her first tutorial of fabric hearts.

Then on the Friday it was off to the craft fair. Here is mine and my daughters table. We were up at 5am and left the house at 5.45am to be there at 6am. Table set up we stayed till 4.30pm and it was a fabulous day for sales. More money for fabric LOLL
In the first photo below you can see her wallets.

In this photo you can also see the watches she makes. These are all the rage at the moment and she also makes up gift boxes of a wallet, matching watch, earrings and ring.

From the watches to the left is my work apart from the little fabric covered cups which are candle holders. Those are my daughters creations and a good seller too.

Saturday we were off to the main bazaar which is huge and if you spent the whole day from morning till evening you still would only see a fraction of it. Here we bought lots of craft items and becasue we share the same interest we bought in bulk and divided everything so most things came out practically half price.

We bought these beautiful paper roses. These were sold in packs of 100 roses so we split them in half. This is my share.

I also bought pins and things to use for crafting.

My daughter bought a box of 70 cups for her candles, I just took 10. I also bought bamboo sticks which you can just see to the right and some little pegs.

We bought loads of lace, 30 meters of the white one I think and a great find were the scissors which cut in a scallop shape. While I was at the craft fair on the Friday I came across this lovely blue little dish and two little birds. I loved the colours so couldn't resist.

I also couldn't resist the polka dot ribbon. My daughter was originally going to buy me fabric for my birhday but as hubby had given me money to buy fabric she bought me other things. She gave me a large bag of assorted beads and the pink and blue paper ribbon along with a blue gun and loads of glue sticks which you can see further down.

We came across a shop that sold felt by the meter. A great find so I got a little carried away and bought these. It doesn't hurt to stock up does it LOLL

I also stocked up on interfacing. These are two kinds, both very stiff but one is fusible and the other isn't. All those came to 14 meters at 1 1/2 meters wide.

This is the glue gun and stick my daughter bought me.

I also bought 100 popper metal buttons to use with my press I bought on my last visit. Having these saves me having to sew the poppers onto my mobile pouches by hand.

Sunday we were out again but this time fabric shopping and came across a shop that was something that you would all see where you live but rarely see where I am. All the fabrics folded up and colour coordinated for quilting. Loads of English quilting and patchwork magazines and all the bag hardware you could need, only problem is becasue it was all imported the prices for some bag handles were more expensive than I would charge to make a bag. I bought a couple of pieces of fabric from this shop becasue I knew I wouldn't find them anywhere else and it was really expensive so didn't buy much.
These are the two I chose. I adore them.

Here are the others I bought from another place where the prices were a bit cheaper.
All in all I think I came away with about 11 meters.

I also stocked up on brown zippers for bags and some rope. The blue suede strips are perfect for drawstring bags. They were low on different colours so I just got these blue ones until the next time I return.

Oh yes and something else I found which I hadn't been able to get until now was two rolls of double sided iron on tape, left hand side of the photo below. I think some people use these for holding zippers in place rather than pins or tacking.

After all this shopping I spent a day doing some cleaning around my daughters flat and then it was back home the following day. I really had a wonderful time but it was made even more special knowing I have all of you to share my goodies with. Thanks to all of you that sent birthday wishes on my FB page, those were more special than any amount of shopping.

At the moment I'm sewing up orders I took while I was away and I still have some unpublished patterns that I tested to show you.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this long post.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reversible Lunchtime Pouch Pattern Review

I was delighted to be able to do a pattern review for this cute Reversible Lunchtime Pouch by Jane at Projects by Jane. It's always fun making bags but I adore making quick easy projects and this is perfect to make in a spare hour.

This little pouch pattern is Jane's baby. It was her first pattern ever back in 2011 and has been very popular. After making it I can see why. This is the second pattern of Jane's I've used and it's excellent. For a first pattern it's very well written with loads of photos of all the steps and a diagram showing how to cut out your pattern pieces from the fabric.

I knew straight away which fabric to use. I chose one that I bought last time I visited my daughter and it's my favourite colour. This is an easy project and although I've made drawstring pouches in the past non of them were made using this method, very easy and even better is that the pouch is reversible.

The pattern uses a plain fabric for the bottom of the pouch but I love this fabric so wanted the whole of the outer side of the pouch in this floral fabric. It would have looked nice with the plain blue on the bottom side too.

The inside is a gorgeous blue which is the reversible side of the pouch. I just tied my ribbon ends in a knot because the beads I had didn't have a large enough hole, next time I'll make the band from fabric and make it narrow enough to fit the beads. I was hoping to keep this one to myself but a customer insisted on buying it. Never mind, I still have more of this fabric so it's a good excuse for making another one. This would be a great project to make for craft fairs.

This reversible pouch is so useful for so many things. I personally think it's too cute to use as a lunch bag though. Ideas that sprung to mind were for carrying your stitching projects or even a holder for carrying a ball of wool while knitting. It would also make a lovely little makeup/manicure pouch or even as a gift bag.  

What would you use it for?

If you'd like to make one you can buy the pattern HERE and from now till the end of December 2014 you can get 25% discount by using the etsy discount coupon code  MIASCREATION2014 (all caps).

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

OMG!!!!!! It's two weeks since I last posted. Where has the time gone. Well I've been busy preparing for another craft fair.
In between making all of these I've also tested a pattern which will be released soon and also did a pattern review which was so much fun because I used one of those fabrics I bought when I went to see my daughter last.

These are my things for the market. I've also got some bags that I tested previously so will be taking those along too and see if they sell.

 These are miniature hearts and were so quick to make.

My friend Liz loves red and white polka dots and I think it's starting to rub off on me now.

The first time I made these strawberries I hand stitched all around the green stalk which took ages so these were fun to make because apart from the actual strawberry all the other parts are stuck with glue.

These heart book marks were another project that was easy and quick.

 Some mobile cases. Which I will do a tutorial for when I get some spare time.


 I absolutely adore these little gift pouches. You can find the tutorial HERE

 I put a ring in the one on the bottom left hand side so you can see the size.

These painted bottles were also a fun project. These were jars of honey, lemon juice bottles and bottles of soya sauce. I gave them a couple of coats of blackboard paint but only decorated two with ribbon and a pearl until I decide how to do the rest.

I love these scrappy roses. Very easy to make and although I didn't use a particular tutorial for them I've seen them made also on the internet.

 The plan is to attach a piece of chalk with each bottle so the whoever buys it can write their own message on it.

Again another quick and easy project is this fabric basket. Instead of sewing the corners together I decided to add grommets and tie with ribbon.

Hope you're having as much fun as I am. I'm off to visit my daughter for about 6 days so it will be all fun shopping, we have everyday planned out so far.

Happy Sewing.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jane's Little Boxy Bag Review

I've been following Jane's blog Projects by Jane for ages and have always loved her bags. Then back in March when she was holding a giveaway for her cute little drawstring bag I won the giveaway, you can see my post on that HERE, I was over the moon.

A short while ago I thought I'd try my luck and get in touch with her about testing. I was too late for this little boxy bag but she said I could do a review if I wanted. Even better, I get to make a bag without having to check the pattern over.

Here's my boxy bag.

The pattern arrived in my inbox and I took a look expecting it to be pretty ordinary but was I in for a surprise. I test for a lot of independent bag designers who are all brilliant at what they do, they'd have to be to get me to understand a pattern LOLL but this pattern was just amazing. All the questions I used to have when I first started pattern testing were answered in this one pattern. She explains about stitches, curved edges, how to determine the seam allowance, how to use the pattern pieces and how to place them on the fabric, all with illustrations and photos. It's extremely detailed and very well written. It even shows you how to measure your zipper, something I had always wondered. Do you measure from the ends of the zipper or the metal tabs? It's all in this pattern.

Jane's pattern has beautiful large photos of each step with digital illustrations as well just to make sure you know what your doing and it made me smile to see she does something that I just recently started doing and thought I was going mad. We mark our seam allowance with a marker to make sure it's nice and straight and even LOLLL. Is that the perfectionist in us or are we nuts? LOLLL

I stuck to the pattern but only made one change and that was I used fusible fleece which I quilted onto the fabric with wavy lines but it's hard to see in the photos because the thread is so similar to the fabric. There is a lot of thickness at the folded ends so I would suggest sticking to Jane's recommendations for interfacing unless you have a good industrial machine.

 I love how the ends fold and I love that it has handles too.

If you notice inside there are no bound seam allowances. The inside seams are all hidden between the lining and the outer bag.
I'm going to keep this bag for myself as a toiletry/makeup bag. It's just the perfect size measuring approx 8.75" (22cm) across the bottom, 4.5" (11.5cm) depth and 4.5" (11.5cm) from top to bottom.
I didn't interface my lining becasue I had used fusible fleece on the outer bag and it was fine that way.

There are tabs at both ends to make opening and closing the zipper easy.

I've made this type of bag before from free tutorials but they had bound seam allowances which can be a bit of a pain. This method is much easier and tidier. I definitely recommend this pattern and because it's so detailed I'm sure someone new to bag making could tackle it without any problems.

If you'd like to make one then you can find the pattern HERE at Jane's etsy store and up until the end of December there is a coupon, MIASCREATION2014 (all caps) for 25% discount.

Now I'm back to making more things for the Olive shop and even tried to take photos to do a tutorial for the mobile pouches I showed you HERE but the lighting is so bad that I'm going to have to put it off for when the sun comes out. We've had nothing but constant rain lately.

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For The Olive Shop

Nearly one week of sewing like a mad woman produced this little lot. These are now in the Olive shop that I showed you in this post HERE.

Eight gift bags, twenty fabric baskets, ten sets of six coasters and four mobile pouches and two hearts.

I can't believe I actually sat and made sixty coasters. I was getting a bit bored after less than half and my daughter suggested that I listen to music. So I got out my mobile phone, plugged in the headset and played some fast music, amazing how quickly they got done although I did get a bit carried away listening to the music and sewed over stitching that had already been completed several times.

Don't think I could do all these again in a hurry.

These mobile pouches are really easy and I'll be doing a tutorial for these and the coasters after I had some interest on a FB group I'm on.

The gift bags were super easy too so I'll be showing you how I made these too.

After all that sewing I took a day off and then made this one. Much easier and quicker to make than the other ones I made so will be making more of these in the floral fabric.

Somewhere on Pinterest they were showing how to make these pretty bows with a fork. So cute and easy and they come out perfect every time.

Today I finished making a Boxy Bag. I did it as a review for someone who's patterns I've never seen before but I won't give any more away until tomorrow. Hope you come back then.

I'll be off to visit my daughter again soon so looks like I'm in for another crazy week of sewing before I go.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~