Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mattress to Floor Cushion

Ages ago we bought a new mattress to replace my old foam mattress - which I kept (you know, just in case) until I started to get sick of all that space it was wasting! But I still didn't want to throw perfectly good foam away...

So when Trixie was a puppy she got adult doggie sized mattress pieces as beds and the rest was cut into squares to eventually become floor cushions - and those squares have sat, wasting space for nearly two years! 

Until yesterday when the first experimental cushion was finally completed!

And of course, I didn't find a tutorial on making boxed cushions first - obviously I love to waste time unpicking fabric. After unpicking I just had to try and figure it out myself with some spare fabric, after more frustration I finally googled the solution! If you are interested in how to create the perfect corners just look at the pictures on this web page - you don't even need to read it since the picture explains it all.

Since I have furry pets everything has to be easily removed for washing so I added a nice big zip that extends  over the two corners.When I saw the price of the long zips at Spotlight I almost considered just using velcro, but luckily I noticed the rolls of zips underneath the racks. The zip I chose was only $3 for a whole metre!

Now I just have four more cushions to finish. I've been thinking I need to have a go at using piping for the first time...

Friday, 19 April 2013

No sew bird tent

My SIL just got a parrot and with winter coming up he needs a snuggly bird tent!

I know my SIL is worried about birds chewing fabric and rope and then getting it stuck in the crop, around their feet, etc. so I decided to make a no sew bird tent to avoid any sewing threads being chewed loose. As well as not sewing this bird tent I used polar fleece as it doesn't fray  - obviously this will still cause problems if the bird ingests bits of fabric so I'm hoping he doesn't enjoy chewing his new bed!

Since I was just figuring this out as I went along, all I can do is explain my process:
  1. Cut a base to 16cm x 11cm in order to support your bird - I used a takeaway container lid, just make sure it is plastic so your bird tent can be washable!
  2. Cut 2 rectangles from your polar fleece that are 22cm x 45cm. (this makes the sides 16cm x 14cm)
  3. Cut your notches 3cm into your fabric and space them 1cm apart. Do this for all four sides
  4. Next you need to secure your base between the inner and outer fleece layers directly in the middle. Snip some holes along each edge of your base and tie the layers together with your fleece strips. My strips were 1cm x 10cm and I used four of them for each side.
  5. Now the fun part begins - start tying the knots all around the outside edges...
  6. Lastly just poke some hanging holes through the tops with paper clips and your new bird tent is ready to hang!
I hope that makes sense for anyone who wants to make their own no sew bird tent!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Belly chain to bracelets

My mum brought over her belly chain the other day as it has started to tarnish and she can't get it clean.

Even though there are some badly tarnished sections, mum wanted me to make her some bracelets from the cleaner sections.

So far I have made two bracelets which look quite nice on - I just need to check if they are a good size for mum before I finish any more.

I found the belly chain to be made a lot differently to other jewellery I have pulled apart, which unfortunately means I can't nicely reconnect the different sections. Either way, it certainly has been interesting to pull it apart and see all the different techniques used!

And if you don't have any belly chains, you could easily try this with old necklaces!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Pinwheel Freebies from MyMemories

Remember that scrapbooking software I told you about? Well if you have bought your own copy I thought you might like these cute pinwheel designer packs that you can get for free until the 21st of April!

It just goes to show that scrapbooking software can be used for more than just scrapbook pages!

While you are there you might also enjoy looking at the Craftable Templates where you can find templates for gift boxes, envelopes and more.

If you haven't bought a copy of MyMemories yet, make sure you use my code: STMMMS13662 to get $10 off!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Little Orange "Madison" Dress

In December I shared with you the little peasant dresses that I made for two of our cousins daughters. Since they turned out well it gave me a little bit more sewing confidence and I decided to buy my first PDF pattern. After lots of internet browsing I finally bought the Madison dress pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.

The reason I went with Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop was that Amy is happy to allow her customers to sell the items they make using her patterns! I think it is great as now I can practice sewing and if I don't have a little baby to gift a dress too, I can put them aside to sell at my 'future' market stall.

Yesterday I finally finished making my first Madison dress using a cute floral fabric I was given for Christmas.

I decided to make the 12 month size in the hopes that it would be a little easier to maneuver than the smaller sizes. I haven't sewn with bias binding very much, so that was a little awkward but happily it turned out well. Other than that I chose this dress so I could try out buttons and buttonholes for the first time. I practiced the buttonholes a few times on scrap fabric and then I just hoped I wouldn't make a mistake or cut through the stitching. Luckily my buttonholes turned out perfectly and I didn't slip with my seam ripper!

Hopefully the next dress I make turns out this well!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Origami Cyclamen Flowers

For March I chose to try out the Cyclamen origami flowers from my book "Origami Flowers: Popular Blossoms and Creative Bouquets".

The cyclamen is a cute little flower, and I did once have a live plant - but I didn't do so well at keeping it alive. Besides that, indoor plants don't tend to live very long with indoor cats!

This flower was a little difficult to shape at the end, but they still turned out pretty cute! I do wonder if a thinner paper might work better for this flower - either way I quite like this particular origami flower.

Origami flowers I have made from this book:
January: Balloon Flower
February: Blue Star

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Denim Cat Cushion

Last month I posted about Trixie's new denim jeans dog bed, which she loves. I had lots of scraps left over so I decided to make a cushion for our cat Dash as well.

Being a small cat he only needs a small cushion so I created patchwork pieces like I did for the bottom and sides of Trixie's bed. For Dash I decided to do a square cushion so it would fit nicely in his favourite spot on the desk without wasting too much space.

If you saw the photos of Trixie's bed you might have noticed that I used a pair of Ray's jeans which had red accents on them. I brought the red into Dash's cushion as well by playing with red thread and the decorative stitches on my sewing machine on every seam. I also used red zips on both cushions, not that they are really seen.

Luckily, after all the effort, they both love their new jeans bean bag cushions. Now I just need some more old jeans to cut up and create with!
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