It was my birthday early last month and I completely forgot to share it with you all too!
I normally have a little sale on all my PDF patterns to celebrate – so let’s celebrate now (better late than never!).
Only my ETSY store will allow me to use sale coupons. So simply go to ETSY, choose a pattern from my store – and then enter the coupon code BIRTHDAY at checkout to receive a 20% discount! It’s as easy as that! This coupon code will be valid for 2 weeks (ending 14/8/15).
Last week was the last class of the Grade 6′s Softie Toy making classes that I have been teaching this term at school. Each week during their art session the Grade 6 kids have been designing and creating their own softie toys.
I love teaching this class and this is now the 5th year I have been doing this and it is always great fun! I look forward to this every week and the kids look forward to it too. It’s great to see what ideas they come up with, what fabrics and colours they choose and how quickly they pickup the skills of using a sewing machine and hand sewing and embroidery too. We use fleece and cotton fabrics and this year most of them chose fleece as the main fabric to make their toys nice and soft & cuddly too.
We spend the first two lessons designing their softies and creating the pattern pieces. They then choose fabrics, cut out the pieces and then start sewing them together on the sewing machines. They then stuff them, hand sew turning gaps closed and embroider details like the eyes and mouth. Some also use buttons to attach limbs and we also had some safety eyes used this year too.
It is all great fun and they are all so creative in what they come up with. This year we had a cricket bat, elephants, horse, monsters, a dog, penguin and owl just to name a few! I think they have done a fantastic job. Well done everyone!
For the last 8 weeks I have been doing this fantastic online photography course through Click, Love, Grow and so I thought I’d share a little bit about it with you.
I wanted to improve my marketing shots and my step by step shots of my sewing designs and wanted to do a photography course in the comfort of my own home too. This course has been fantastic! I have a Canon EOS 1100 DSLR Camera and have always used it in auto mode! I have tried a few times to change it to manual mode – but have always been unhappy with the results. This course has shown me how to feel confident about taking it out of Auto and has explained about my camera settings and photo compositions.
We have had weekly lessons which include a PDF workbook and an online videos plus tutorials too – and we submit a photo each week for a particular challenge and are assessed on this. The one thing I have really enjoyed too has been the support and encouragement you get from closed facebook group with all the students that are taking the course. So I thought I’d share a few of my favourite photos I’ve taken over the last 8 weeks.
I’ve really enjoyed this course and I definitely think it has helped me to improve my photography skills. Now I just need lots of practise – so expect to see a few more photos from me as I get the hang of using my camera in manual mode!
Country Hart Designs hosted a lovely stitching weekend over at Maggie Beers farm in the Barossa Valley in South Australia at the end of May. A group of six of us went from here – and met up with around another 100 ladies who attended the weekend too! The Designers for the weekend were Leanne Beasley, Rosalie Quinlan and Robyn Welsh. It was a wonderful weekend getaway! We got some lovely projects to work on from each of the designers and we had two lovely days of stitching away and relaxing with friends. Here are a few photos I took over the weekend.
And here are the designers samples of some of the lovely projects we were given to work on.
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.
This Giveaway is now Closed. Thankyou to everyone that entered!The lucky winner is Katelyn - Congratulations Katelyn I have sent you an email. Sew Mama Sew are having their Giveaway Day and I’m joining in too! Just leave a comment on this post letting me know which one of my patterns is your favourite for your chance to win Your Choice of one of my PDF Sewing Patterns. You have until this Sunday (10th of May) to enter and I will choose the winner at random on Monday. The winner will then have the pattern of their choice emailed to them. It’s as easy as that!
Here are my patterns that you can choose from:
Leave a comment letting my know your favourite pattern for your chance to win! Make sure you check our the other great giveaways over at Sew Mama Sew too. For more photos and details of these patterns you can visit my Etsy or Craftys shop.
Subscribe to my newsletter to get monthly updates on what I’ve been sewing, creating and designing. Just enter your email address below to subscribe.
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.
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!
With Easter just around the corner there is still time to make up a cute Easter softie or two! I have put together a few of my favourite Easter Softie sewing patterns from some wonderful designers for you. The links are listed underneath the photo.