22 April 2014

Sewing with Kids: Party Bags

 photo Easter6_zpsc3824779.jpg

These are such easy little bags...literally two lines of sewing.

My littlest, who is 3, always pleads to sew on the machine when her sisters get a turn so this gave me the chance to let her!
Prior to this she has pressed the foot while I sew and got used to the increasing/decreasing speed.  She also is able to start and stop when asked.  I let her use my Singer rather than the kids sewing machine her sister got as I thought it was just as easy. Choice of machines is a whole other post when thinking of wee ones.

Obviously, she is always using it with me. I do always turn the machine off when threading the needle and lining the fabric up, just in case the urge would take her to press the foot.  She's pretty reliable but she is 3, so I do play it safe (for my own safety as well as hers!).

I pre-cut out the letters for each bag...we are going to use them as wee Easter egg bags at the end of a treasure hunt, so each child on the hunt will choose their initial from the treasure box.

These could also be used for birthday party favour bags. So easy!

 photo Easter1_zpsd0fb215c.jpg

** I used scraps of fabric I already had that were backed with Bondaweb.  You don't need to use this but it does prevent fraying and saves sewing over for little bags like these.
** I cut each letter out freehand but you can easily get stencils and fonts online or could even use these gorgeous transfers.

 photo EasterCollage_zps4826b9d6.jpg

** I used squares of fabric I had been given... a bit more of a lemony colour than they have turned out in the photos.
** Cut your fabric to whatever size you want your bags to be.
** Use pinking scissors to trim the top edge of your fabric.
** Fold the fabric in half, longways, and iron on each initial in the position you're happy with.
** Open flat, turn over and fold again (right sides together) and pin.
** Sew down the two open seams.
** Knot the thread and trim.
** I also trimmed the edge and cut the corner at an angle to give a sharp corner when turned right side round.

Now just to fill the bags with eggs, tie a ribbon around the top and they'll have to follow the clues to find the treasure.

 photo Easter3_zpsd9bb5fbf.jpg

Couldn't resist this photo..."Can I go yet?" on repeat.  She was so excited to do this and loved showing off her bag with the ribbon tied around the top!  Worth it, just for that.

This is such an easy wee project to enthuse little ones and I loved doing it with her. 
It is amazing to begin the process of instilling a love of making, sewing and creativity for wee ones, especially in an age of consumerism and cheap products.  They are not afraid to try and are so confident in their abilities.
Never too young!!

Check out here for some other ideas for sewing with wee ones.

 photo Easter5_zps80af72b3.jpg photo Easter4_zps75bf4163.jpg

17 April 2014

Inspired by...

 photo diyclutch6_zps77d365e3.jpg

This is the photo that really inspired me to make a leather clutch and is what I want to make when I finally get a hold of my mum's leather!!
The source led me to this blog **Lil Therese** and, although I couldn't find it, I loved flicking through the gorgeous interiors photos!

 photo diyclutch3_zpse2ba1f05.jpg photo diyclutch2_zps55bc7d21.jpg

Reliable for a good diy...these were from A Beautiful Mess. I realise when I was looking out for great dies that I had done the leather in a different order from these guys so I may try another with the leather at the base...I love the black and white contrast too.

 photo diyclutch4_zps0b8a43bd.jpg

And if I could buy...this would be the one! I can't find it's source so if anyone knows where to find it then please let me know!!!

15 April 2014

Giveaway...Tarnished Textile Cuff

 photo Zoe3_zps85ce1580.jpg photo Zoe6_zpsd45803ac.jpg photo Zoe2_zps45abae32.jpg photo 06090e35-3bab-4dbb-a240-343d903c30fb_zps331a3c2a.jpg

I have posted about this lovely friend of mine before but I am so excited to give away one of her completely unique and vintage cuffs today.  
I have loved wearing mine...I have worn it when out for the night but also as a day time accessory too.  Completely versatile...dressed up or down, a perfect vintage addition!!

Win the cuff below and be sure to check out Zoë's Facebook page...


 photo IMG_5744_zpsba4aee1b.jpeg

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 April 2014

11 years...

 photo 1397461258947284IMG_1629_zpsfb9cd554.jpg

It was 11 years ago today we got married...seems like yesterday but seems like forever.  How does that work?
We were saying just the other day about our lives before we met, how different they feel.

I've changed a lot over the past 11 years; marriage has changed me, children have changed me...rubbed off a lot of those sharp edges and made me a less selfish person.

 Given me a glimpse of how to truly put others before yourself.  
How to do love and not just feel it.

We've thought a lot about this over the last year, he and I. Doing love.
Choosing to love even when we don't feel like it.

Choosing to be patient, to be kind, to not to keep a record of wrongs.  This type of love is the harder choice. We fail, we hold grudges , get frustrated by each other but we keep going because we choose, above all else to love each other, in the midst of a world that tells us to give up when the first flush is gone, to serve ourselves and make sure we are happy...if not, to move on.  

We have the countercultural type of love and I like that.  

It's real, it's gritty, not pretty at times but it's based on the best foundation.
In it we have found a kind of freedom...allowing our own hearts to change before trying to change each other. A security that we will both fight to protect what we have chosen; our three strands.

We are at the beginning of the curve I hope...many more years to practise and do love. 
Modelling it for our girls.
Hopefully at the end, we'll see how far we came. How much we changed! 

Thankful that I'm on this journey with him.

13 April 2014

diy. clutch.

 photo 7fc71819-a62a-442d-a865-45e2d32ec261_zps8cc6749f.jpg

****Check out this fab giveaway for a gorgeous vintage cuff****

I have been wanting to make a clutch for ages.  My mum has some leather hidden in her attic somewhere so while I wait I thought I'd get a bit of practice in! I was heading out for a friend's 40th last night and thought I'd have a go at making a bag to take.

I visited our local haberdashery and picked out some of this gorgeous fabric...I loved the bold design and thought it would add a bit of pattern to my outfit!

I used the technique that I used for these little recycled purses and this iPad case...a tutorial from Skip to my Lou.

 photo IMG_2654_zpsd5ba712d.jpg ^^ I used 2 pieces of leatherette, 2 fabric strips to sew along the bottom of the leatherette, 2 pieces of lining fabric and a zip.

 photo IMG_2657_zps72881d65.jpg
^^ Sew the patterned fabric along the bottom edge of the leatherette. On the right side sew topstitch along the join.
^^ Then simply follow the same instructions as here.

 photo IMG_2659_zpsfd2d2a54.jpg
^^ I sewed a zigzag stitch around the edge of the patterned fabric to give it a little extra strength before turning right side round.

 photo IMG_2665_zps3e6ba429.jpg
^^ Fold over once as above or twice (as in the top picture) for a smaller sized clutch.
^^ It's really that easy.  I'm going to make some more in some different designs!!

To see who I'm linking up with go here!

7 April 2014

Letting them be free.

 photo IMG_8854_zpsedb3f69e.jpg

We had such a gorgeous day on Saturday.  We went to Castlewellan where we climbed, walked and explored the most gorgeous garden. 
The girls were free; no instructions, no agenda.  They walked, climbed trees, hid and chased. 

It was so good.

And we felt light...free ourselves from shouting instructions, directions or boundaries.
Their days are so structured that they need some time to be free.
Some time to make decisions, take risks and set a slower pace.

No one telling them to hurry up.
No one saying to stay out of the muck.
No one stopping them from climbing the tallest and trickiest tree.
No one directing their thoughts, ideas or telling them what they should be doing.

Time to be free.
Some time to be kids and just enjoy.

 photo CW8_zpsa6d6b227.jpg  photo CW3_zps7ee1fead.jpg photo Castlewellan_zps672940c9.jpg photo CW4_zpsd9c0d5ea.jpg photo CW5_zps0e0eb00f.jpg photo 64a926f4-3926-4e1d-b779-2999372542c9_zps45515368.jpg photo CW2_zps393e337c.jpg photo 8e52ed2b-66a0-4d58-9b82-b4545f8f743b_zpsfbee44d8.jpg photo CW6_zpsef0662a7.jpg