Forest Friends and Christmas Birds!

I posted these on Facebook a little while ago but I thought I had better update you on here too!  Introducing my latest design – Forest Friends!  These softie deer are unique creations designed and handmade by me especially for the Amegilla Gallery in Bruthen.  Sorry – I am not releasing these as a pattern – but you can buy these creations from the gallery.  They have hand painted and embroidered eyes, embroidered tummy’s, button joints for the arms and a crochet scarf to help keep them warm.  They also have a little tail too.  My inspiration for these forest friends was the local area around Bruthen – in particular the state forest where you find wild deer.



I was also lucky enough recently to be given a sample of Gail Pan’s new fabric line to play with.  This new fabric line is called ‘All Things Christmas’ by Red Rooster Fabrics and is due out in March next year.  I made up a couple of my Christmas Bird Decorations with it and I think they look great.  Lovely Fabric – thanks Gail!  You can find my pattern for these Christmas Birds here:


Happy Sewing!

Melly’s Messenger Bag


Well I finally made another bag for myself!  This one is a messenger bag from Melanie McNeice’s book ‘Sew Cute to Carry’.





























It’s a great size (being around 37 cm x 29cm) and so can comfortably hold everything I need in an everyday handbag.  It has a double pocket inside and the only design change I made to it was to leave out the internal divider.  I also couldn’t find any home décor weight fabric that I liked – so I used a quilting cotton for my printed fabric (Tula Pink Moon Shine Deer Me – strawberry) with a medium weight woven iron on interfacing.  I then used a duck cotton fabric in black (again with the interfacing) for the outside of the bag.

I’ve very happy with the way it turned out and once all the preparation was done – it came together very quickly.  I love the shape of the front flap and love the silver cummerbund buckle used to close it too.  I also love the use of the feature fabric for the bag base - I think it looks very effective.  So I’m very happy with my new bag and will definitely be making another one of these in the future too.

Happy Sewing!

Keeping busy!


Wow – it has been a busy month or two!  I thought I’d let you all know I am still here and still sewing and designing softies – but I have also been very busy with other things too.  As a family we made some big decisions at the start of this year – which include extending our house!  So we have been busy getting plans approved, organising builders and tradesman and sourcing materials.



I have also started my Softie Toy Making Classes with the grade 6′s at school this term.  So once a week (for the next 6 weeks) I spend the morning with them designing and sewing softie toys.  I’ll share some photos and a bit of an update about this class at the end of the term (you can read about what we do during these classes in my blog post from last year)



We also have our local Field Days next week – and the schools do all the catering for this event.  So we will be very busy next week setting up and then preparing and cooking food out at the field days.


I am also starting an online photography course next week (through Click, Love, Grow) to improve my photography skills and marketing shots and step by step photos for my patterns.

There are a few other things happening behind the scenes too (sorry I can’t share any more about that) – but it’s all good!

I have been working on some new designs and patterns – and as soon as they are ready I’ll let you know.  If you follow me on instagram you can see a little of what happens behind the scenes and some work in progress shots too.  You can also follow me on Facebook - where I share links I like and I also spend some time on Pinterest.  My patterns are all still available through Etsy & Craftsy too.

Happy Sewing!

A Mouse in Stitches!

Meet Maggie – my Mouse in Stitches!


I have designed and made this mouse over the last couple of weeks – and she did take a few prototypes to get her just right!

This design was inspired by my love of stitching retreats.  I’ve been to quite a few over the years with some wonderful friends of mine and we always have a lovely time.  It’s a great time to just have a bit of ‘time out’ for yourself and indulge in a day of stitching, good food and good company with lots of wonderful ladies who enjoy stitching and sewing too.  It’s also a chance to meet some very talented designers and learn their little tips and techniques.


A group of 6 of us are travelling to South Australia in May to go to Maggie Beer’s farm in the lovely Barossa Valley for a whole weekend of stitching and I can’t wait!


So Maggie the Mouse in Stitches is like our little Mascot for our Stitching Retreats.

She loves stitching retreats and goes to as many as possible!  She is working on a little Cinderberry Stitches design called Miss Needles – which she has nearly finished.  She also wears a linen dress with a lovely stitchery design by Leanne Beasley on it.  Her stitchery can also be put away into her little bag she carries made from Rosalie Quinlan’s fabric – Candy Bloom.

She is quite a robust little mouse as she loves to indulge in all the yummy food at the stitching retreats and deserts are her favourite!  She has also been known to stash a chocolate or two into her stitching bag to eat on the trip home!


In her design to give her that bit of shape – I used a head gusset plus her body is made up of four sections.

The arms and legs are attached using button joins too.  And she also has a little tail of course!  She wears glasses to help her see her stitching clearly and also has a little flower tucked behind her ear just because it makes her happy!

I am also entering her in the Sew Mama Sew Spectacular Softie Contest.  Make sure you pop over and check out the other entries too!

Happy Sewing!

Back to School! Tips to get back into that school routine

We have had a great Summer School holidays!  The kids have been on school holidays since Christmas and head back to school next week (6 weeks of school holidays!).  It’s been nice and relaxing for us.  We’ve been swimming, the kids had a go on some go-karts, we’ve been down the beach and taken the dog on lots of walks too.  It’s been great fun!


So now the holidays are nearly over so I thought I’d share a few tips I have about getting the kids back into that school routine.  My kids both love routine – and so initially it was hard for them to just relax and just chill out!  Now of course – with school starting back in one week – it’s time to get them ready for that school routine again.  With daylight savings here too – it means it doesn’t get dark until nearly 9pm!  So they have been staying up REALLY late and I’ve been lucky to get them into bed by 9:30pm lately!  So this is what I plan on doing for the next week:

  • Start the bedtime routine (brushing teeth, get ready for bed, time to read etc) 15mins earlier each night (until you get to that time that they SHOULD be going to bed (like my kids should really be in bed by 8:30!)
  • Start waking them up 15mins earlier each morning (again – until you get to the time you WANT them up to get ready for school)
  • Have morning tea or a snack around the time they would have recess at school (for my kids this is 11am)
  • Have lunch around the time they would be having it at school (for my kids this is 1pm)
  • Give them jobs and certain tasks to do – just a couple of small things to do each day (like today my daughter vacuumed the kitchen/dining room – my son feed the chooks and they both emptied the dishwasher).  They have pretty much been able to do whatever they like each day – so getting a few jobs to do will help get them ready to have the teacher tell them what to do when they get back to school.

This should gradually get them back into the school routine by the time school starts next week.  Wish me luck!  Do you have any tips for getting the kids back into school time routine?  Share them with us in the comments under this post – I’d love to hear your ideas!

HUGE Boxing Day PDF Pattern Sale!

One Thimble have organised a HUGE Boxing Day PDF Pattern Sale and I have joined in too!


Here’s where you can find all the participating businesses:

Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns –
Apple & Fig –
Bobkin –
BOO! Designs – (stand-alone patterns only)
Ellie Inspired –
Fabric –
Flosstyle –
Funky Friends Factory –
Golden Rippy –
Hey There Threads –
Jody’s Crafty Creations –
KC Creates –
Little Moo Designs –
Make it Perfect – (no code required)
Molly and Mama –
One Thimble – (includes e-zines but not subscriptions)

Pattern Emporium –
Rabbit Rabbit Creations –
Sew n Sow –
Tadah Patterns – (stand-alone patterns only)

Threading Rainbows – (no code required – price will be discounted for you!)

Use the Discount Code BOXINGDAY for 30% off your purchase from these stores 12.01am-11.59pm 26th December 2014 AEST.  Some exclusions may apply.

As I am already having a Christmas Sale on my PDF Patterns at 50% off – you will still get 50% off all my PDF Patterns using this code too!!!

So here’s your chance to pickup a pattern you may have had on your wish list!  I know I definitely will!

Happy Sewing!

Getting Ready for Market

We have our local Makers Market coming up on the 6th of December – and I am going to have a stall there!  My lovely friend Lisa & I are going and we will be selling lots of handmade softies & other handmade goodies too.   I am really looking forward to this and looking forward to talking to lots of people that enjoy handmade things.  If you are anywhere near Bairnsdale please come by and have a look.  There are some wonderful stalls there and I love seeing all this creative talent in one place.  It’s a great time to pickup a special handmade gift for someone for Christmas too.













It has been quite a while since we have had a stall at the market – and so I have lots of samples to sell from my designs plus ones I have made up especially for market too.   You’ll find samples of my Don’t Worry Dolls, Easy Softie Designs, Pocket Penny Dolls, Christmas Birds, iPod & iPad Covers, Kitty Cat Heat Bags and a few other things too.


I’d love to see you if you can drop by.  It’s on Saturday the 6th of December 8am – 2pm at Boucher Hall, Bairnsdale Secondary Collage, Bairnsdale Vic.

Happy Sewing!


A week of celebrations


It has been a week of celebrations around here!  Both my husband and son are lucky enough to have their birthdays on the same day – and so it seems like be have been celebrating all week!  It was Melbourne Cup public holiday Tuesday and the kids also had an extra day off school Monday too – so we had a great long weekend together too.

We had a family birthday celebration all day Tuesday together, then my son had some friends over for a party after school Friday.  So we’ve had streamers and party decorations and party food around all week!  We also had 3 birthday cakes to eat too!

My daughter made this lego cake for her brother which as you can see he just loved!




I finished my Mike the Monster in time for my son’s birthday too – and he really loves it.  I enjoyed crocheting this and actually liked the challenge of the tricker parts like the fingers and toes.  It’s not perfect but my son was happy with it which was the main thing!  This is a free pattern by Stacey Trock from FreshStitches which you can find HERE.

Now I need to recover from all the birthday celebrations and over indulgence of party food!

Happy Sewing!


A Roundup of Cat Softie Patterns

Our new little puppy has been with us now for just over a week and is settling in really well.  Yesterday our cat Mittens finally decided to come out of hiding constantly and has seemed to accept that this little puppy is here to stay.  I wouldn’t say they are friends just yet – but at least they are tolerating each other for now!  I’m so pleased that the cat is back to her usual self and spending time with us again – so I thought I would share a Roundup of Cat Softie patterns that I have found with you.



Links to the patterns for these softies are below:

1. Jude & Eloise by Ric Rac

2. Kawaii Cuties – Easy Cat by Funky Friends Factory

3. Sitting Cat by BeeStitchin on Etsy (Note: this is an In the Hoop Pattern only)

4. Pip by Shiny Happy World

5. Three Little Kittens by May Blossom

6. Cat Option in Kids Creations: Easy Softie Projects by Jody’s Crafty Creations (available from One Thimble)

7. Tiny Kitty by While She Naps (FREE pattern)

8.  Catnip Kitties by The Red Boot Quilt Company

9. Miss Whiskers by Two Brown Birds

10. Kiki by Melly & Me

11. Katie Kitten by Bit of Whimsy Dolls

12. Katy Kitty by mmmcrafts

13. Kitty Kate by Funky Friends Factory

14. Tiger the Door Sausage Cat by Jody’s Crafty Creations

15. Franklin the fat cat by Shiny Happy World

16. Soft Kitty Plush by Nimblephish on Etsy

So now you can sew up your own little kitty cat softie!

Happy Sewing!


Your Creations from my designs!

I thought I’d share with you a few more of Your Creations made using my designs.  I have now got a Pinterest Board with all of these photos together but I thought it would be nice to share them here too!  I love seeing what you have made from my patterns – it makes the time and effort I put into these patterns so worthwhile!


Sherry made this iPad Cover using my ‘iPad Cover Easy Beginners Pattern’.  Love the fabrics she has used – they look great!








Rosemary also made an iPad Cover too.  I love the striped fabric used on the lining!











Jenelle made this doll from my ‘Don’t Worry Doll’ pattern for her daughter.  Just love her!










drafty Jenelle

Jenelle also made ‘Drafty the Door Sausage Dog’ too.  Love the colours and fabrics she used.






Lisa made these two ‘Drafty the Door Sausage Dogs’ too!  Don’t they look so different made up in different colour and fabric combinations.  They both look great!


Thanks to Sherry, Rosemary, Jenelle & Lisa for sharing these pictures with me!  It brings a big smile to my face to see these!  Love them!  If you have made something using one of my patterns I would love to see it!  Just send me an email at jbherb1(at)bigpond(dot)com

Happy Sewing!