Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back into sewing - another new bag!



Today is the second day of my girls being back at school after a long nine and a half weeks of summer holiday.  I have hardly sewn anything over the holidays - despite lots of plans to sew with my girls - sunshine and swimming pools kind of took over!!

So - today I was determined to dust off my sewing machine and get back to it!

Last year, I made both my girls bags for school swimming lessons - from old umbrellas:

They loved them last year, but this year, they have outgrown them!
So my youngest found a bag from a swimming carnival that she wants to use - but my eldest wanted me to make her a new one!!Yippee!!

So that's what I did this morning!

I used my own pattern for duffel bags - and made the 'handbag size' one.

She already has a set of these personalised bags that she uses for other things, so I knew she liked the style.
For the swimming bag I used some rip-stop nylon that I had in my stash so that it's waterproof enough to keep the rest of her school books etc dry when this bag gets stuffed into her larger main school bag!
I lined it with the contrasting purple that I'd used for the handles and the monogram letter.

I also added a little clip - from an old backpack strap - and have the other connecting part kept safe so I can attach it to a smaller bag - perhaps a small purse or goggles case - another time!

I'm pleased with how it turned out and I'm sure my daughter will love it too when she gets home from school today!
It's just the right size for a towel, swimmers and goggles - with a little room to spare too!


It feels good to be sewing something again!  And nice to know I haven't forgotten how!


Monday, January 28, 2013

A Round Tuit 138

Hi everyone and welcome to another Round Tuit.
Over the last few weeks this party has started growing again, and it's now reaching the stage that it's getting a little too big for me to be able to get around every single link to read and comment.
Much as I love this part of my week - and I gain so much inspiration from it, I'm going to have to cut back and only visit some of the links so that I can still have time to use all of this fabulous inspiration and come up with my own projects to blog about.

I do hope you'll all continue to link up. I'll still spend time checking out the links, feature my favourites and pin endless ideas to try out!
I also see that several of you are hopping around to visit the other links and comments which is fabulous!

Thanks once again for supporting this weekly Round Tuit party! Let's keep it going and growing!!



Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
 
 
 
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
 
First of all, my kids love doughnuts but we don't often buy them - so when I saw this recipe I had to pin it to try for my girls sometime:
Apple Cinnamon Donut Muffins from I Heart Eating:
For lots more yummy recipes - head on over to:

Next, this fabulous 
Crochet Infinity Scarf tutorial from Carissa Miss:
It caught my eye since I'm currently learning to crochet. The wonderful thing is that I could actually read the tutorial and understand it as all you need is to be able to chain, slip stitch and double crochet (which is as far as I've got)!  So I've pinned this one and will definitely give it a go!
So thanks for that Carissa!! and everyone - do go and say hello and check out her lovely blog at:


Finally, a cute little 
Spring Fever Dress from Once Upon A Sewing Machine:
Donna and Rachel have such a beautiful sewing blog - it's well worth a look. So do go and say hi to them at:
http://onceuponasewingmachine.com/


For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my buttons page.
----------------------------------------------------------
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on facebook during the week, and also on this post next week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Learning to crochet - a little progress!


This year I've decided to learn to crochet - and also to teach my daughters along the way!
We're still at the very beginning - practising lots of chains!

I've now also learned slip stitch and double crochet - and am just playing around with them for now..


My attempts are slowly starting to look a little neater...



I'm excited to see I'm learning - and my youngest daughter has really taken to it and is practising lots playing around with this too!

Are you learning a new skill this year?  How are you going with it?

I'll be linking this post up with My Creative Spaces and visiting lots of other fabulous blogs to see what everyone else has been up to this week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Round Tuit 137

This is the last full week of my girls' school summer holidays.  It's been great having them with me - and we've done heaps over the past 8 weeks.  Last week they did a boot camp for 3 days which they thoroughly enjoyed - and I enjoyed having the house to myself for 3 days to catch up and find who I am and what I'm doing again!
I'm looking forward both to this last week of holiday, and to the return to school the following week!

Over the past few weeks I've enjoyed visiting all the party links, and have pinned so many great ideas that I want to try.  Another week then I'll have some time to start doing and not just pinning!!

Let's party!

----------------------------------

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
 
 
 
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
 
First of all, a great jeans upcycle - this cute 
needle case from Passion et Couture:
Marisa has lots of great ideas and tutorials on her blog - so do go and say hello:


Next, 
(I just had to feature these as Polar Bears are my favourite animal!)
these cute Cubcakes from The Seven Year Cottage:
Hollie's blog is full of super cute ideas! Go and take a look for yourself:
http://thesevenyearcottage.com/

Finally, this great Library Bag Tutorial from Threading my Way:
Pam has heaps of great tutorials on her blog - and lots of themed ongoing linky parties you can link up your projects to too!
Go say hello and take a look around at:
http://threadingmyway.blogspot.com.au/


For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my buttons page.
----------------------------------------------------------
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on facebook during the week, and also on this post next week.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tablet Bean Bag Tutorial





Just before Christmas I saw a link on someone's blog for an 'iCrib bean bag'.  I'd never heard of this before so went to have a look.  Well  - what a great idea! My girls saved up for months and with help from some extra Christmas money from us, just before Christmas bought themselves Samsung Galaxy Tablets.
So I was then looking for something small for them to open on Christmas day, since they already had their main presents!  These bean bags seemed perfect - so I decided to make them one each!
I couldn't post this tutorial before Christmas as my girls do look at this blog sometimes - but it's all clear now so here's how to make a Tablet Bean Bag of your very own!

You will need:

Fabric for the inner bag and outer bag 
(1 yard or 1 metre of each is plenty)
A zip - 30cm (12") or larger
Bean bag filler balls

1. Cut pieces for the inner bag.
Cut a circle, 30cm (12") in diameter, and then you need 4 triangles.  For these first cut a rectangle, 24 x 30cm (9.5 x 12")
Then fold the rectangle in half along the long side and cut from the top fold to the bottom open end like this:

Open this out and you can use this triangle as your template to cut 3 more the same:

Here's what you should then have:

2. Stitch inner bag together
Take each triangle and stitch right sides together one by one along matching long sides:

IMPORTANT! In one side leave a gap of about 10cm (4") to use to fill the bag with beans through!

Once you have joined all 4 together, join the outer edges of the outer triangles together so the triangles make an open bottomed pyramid.

Now take your circle of fabric and fold into quarters. Use a pin to mark each quarter fold on the outer edge of the circle.

Then pin your open pyramid piece right sides together to this circle - matching the seams to the pins:

Stitch around the whole circle.

3. Fill with beans!
Now turn out your bean bag through the gap you left in one of the triangle sides:


Now fill your bag around three-quarters full with beans. 
(I used a funnel and jug to do this, and did it all inside a big plastic bag to try to avoid getting small while balls all over my house!!)

Hand stitch the opening closed

And your inner bean bag is finished!

4. Make outer bag cover.
Essentially you now just make another bean bag the same that you put this bean bag inside. The outer bag is removable and washable.

Cut the same pieces as for the inner bag, plus a strip 
20 x 10cm (8 x 4") for the handle.
Here is also when you need your zip.

First take your strap rectangle and fold the long edges to the centre, then the whole thing in half to hide the raw edges. Then stitch down both sides:


Then place your handle folded in half near the top of one of your triangle pieces and stitch into place like this:

Now join your 4 triangles as you did for the inner bag, but this time there is no need to leave a gap in any side.

Next take your circle and fold then cut in half:

Place the zip face down on the right side of the fabric along one of the cuts you just made.

Using the zipper foot on your machine, stitch the zip into place.

Now turn the zip over and top-stitch to prevent the fabric catching in the zip when you open and close it.

Repeat this with the other side of the zip and the other half of your circle.

Then make sure your zip is open and pin the circle to your triangle pyramid as you did for the inner bag and stitch it all together.
Turn right sides out through the zip opening!

Now slip your bean bag inside it's cover and zip it up!


And you're all ready to go - sit comfortable with the bean bag on your lap and your tablet on your bean bag:

My girls love using their new bean bags...
Which double as small head pillows when they aren't using their tablets!

Now I need to make one for myself!!



For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

Do you have a tablet?  Do you have a nice little cushion for it to sit on when you're using it?
Why not try making one for yourself or a friend - I borrowed one of these to read my first e-book over the holidays, and found it just perfect to read comfortably!

And if you enjoyed this tutorial, then why not take a look at 
There are over 100 tutorials for all levels of sewing ability.