Category Archives: sewing

Making a toy sushi set

Sushi toy play setMy 3 year old son loved playing in his toy kitchen and has recently become obsessed by sushi. So what better way to be an enabler by making him his own set!

I tried crocheting a sushi roll, and it kind of worked, but still managed to look misshapen (probably the kindest description I can think of).

So I had vague notions of cutting up a length of dowel and painting it, and so was on the lookout for this. Around the same time I found myself in the stationery section in Kmart and discovered you could buy washi tape there! Kmart goes fancy! Anyway, they had this little plastic container of coloured paperclips for $1, so into my trolley it went.

Then a few days ago, on that wonderful day I like to call daycare day, I dragged my youngest to Reverse Garbage in Woolloongabba and discovered little felt discs – like these discs, only smaller. From memory they were 20c or 25c, something like that.

Felt discs

The first time, I glued the discs together and then thought it would be pretty easy to just sew on the coloured pieces of felt by sewing through all 3 discs. Bah-baum. No. That didn’t work, and left me with a broken needle that required some nifty tweezering out by my husband. (using nail clippers, because he couldn’t find any pliers!)

Sushi with a broken needle

I came to the realisation that it wasn’t going to work, so prised them apart and sewed the felt pieces to the single discs and then glued them back together. With my pinking shears I cut some strips of black and glued them around the sides and held them all together with pins.

Play sushi

Then into the box, with a few soy fish filled with black wool – lovely!

Play sushi in a box

It was an instant hit, and here’s Miffy waiting patiently for her sushi with soy sauce!

Miffy waiting for her sushi

Taggie toy

For the past few weeks I have been watching my son fondle all the tags on the various toys and jumpers he has… which eventually led to the lightbulb above my head going “Ping!”. There’s a reason I’ve saved all the ribbons off all the presents that I’ve ever been given.

First, collect all the ribbons together.

Then, grab 2 pieces of fabric in any shape you like. I did a triangle, and each side is about 15cm long. Some of the ones I’ve seen on made it are up to 35cm, but I thought I’d start small.

I actually put a plastic layer inbetween the 2 fabrics, to give it that crackly noise when it moves. All I did to get this was find an especially crackly shopping bag and cut it the same size as the fabric pieces.

Pin all your ribbon bits to one of the fabric pieces, making sure the pieces all point inwards.

Often people forget this and end up with the ribbons on the inside of their finished toy. You might like to add a little ribbon loop that you could slide a plastic loop through, so that you can clip it onto something so the thing doesn’t always fall on the ground, with you endlessly having to pick it up.

Sew it all up, leaving a gap to turn the toy right side out.

Top stitch all the way around, and sew through the middle, just to keep it flatish.

bandana bibs

I suffer greatly from a syndrome called “I Could Make That”. It’s like curtains – I don’t see any need to pay vast sums of money for something that is a few pieces of material sewn together and hemmed, with a bit of that curtain tap stuff sewn on the back. It’s all straight lines, for goodness sake! And yet, I don’t actually ever make the curtains myself, but feel guilty for buying them.

Which brings us to the bandana bib. Bibs in general are super easy, and I think the bandana bib is even easier as it’s just a triangle. Absolutely nothing tricky about that, unless you’re adding snaps, and even those are fairly easy to work out how to do.

So here are a few tutorials and patterns I’m considering:

Or I could just buy one from Byron Bibs, which is a pretty good price when you consider you’d have to spend about that buying the fabric to make one yourself!

baby shower bunting

My friend’s baby shower is this weekend, and I’ve volunteered to make bunting – for some reason I have a bit of a fascination with it! Anyway I trawled around the web looking for a template – I know, it’s only a triangle! But I was more interested in seeing what sizes people were using. This is what I found:

Quite a few either just cut with pinking shears or sewed wrong side facing – but I took my cue from the bunting for sale on etsy and sewed them right side facing to turn them inside out and iron. A bit of extra work, but I feel it’s worth it in the end!

For 5m of bunting, here’s what I did:

I drew my template (pdf), which I patiently laid out and traced around to cut up like crazy.

I used 9 different fabric patterns 25 cm wide – we had a mixture of colours and dots, stripes and plain

Traced and cut like a demon, then lined them all up, right side facing.

I then spent a quality 1.5 hours sewing Vs on the diagonals of the flags.

After this, you just turn them inside out (right side out) and iron them flat – I’ve got to say that this is the most tedious part of the whole process. Mainly because I truly hate ironing.

I then worked out a semi order to the colours so that I didn’t end up with doubles or an odd concentration of colour.

Sewing onto the biastape

Be careful when you’re sewing the triangles to the bias tape – those sneaky little corners like to pop out when you least expect it, which is a pain to have to go back and sew them in.

I left a length of about 12-14cm at each end, so that my friend could tie the bunting to curtain rods, trees or whatever if she ever needed to.

pushing the a-line skirt boundaries

This skirt has taken way longer than it really should – what with working out bias cutting of the fabric, to lengthening the, well, the length, and figuring out how to put in a zip!

I am trying to make the Sidonie skirt from Burdastyle – my first real attempt at making clothing from a pattern. I’ve made the diana bag a few times, but this is a much bigger project!

I figuring out the bias of the fabric (the arrow on the pattern goes parallel with the selvedge) and then pinned it all into the carpet so that I could cut around the pieces – I thought about drawing them out with chalk, but just couldn’t be bothered. Which is pretty standard I think with the boring bits of sewing  – I remember being about 17 and crouching on the breakfast bar at my mum’s to trace around a skirt as a pattern!

Obviously my enthusiasm waned when I came to the zip so early on – all I had was a chunky zip that made it a bit hard to sew across the bottom of it, so I had to do that bit by hand. I found this tutorial on sew mama, sew to be really helpful, but I didn’t have any glue so just pinned it.

Not an outstanding job, but ok for a first attempt I think!

Then obviously I had my measurements all mixed up so I had to trial and error sew in the side seams until it fitted properly – I have the classic hourglass shape with the small waist and wide hips, so skirts generally fit around the hips and thighs, but balloon at the waist. But not this skirt!

I almost gave up here, thinking I have a skirt that zips up and fits – who needs a waistband and a hem across the bottom?

Gave into the whole theory of doing a job properly.

The waistband is a bit confusing, have attached one side, but not sure how to attach the other but finally figured it out – essentially fold over like bias tape.

So here’s the finished skirt, only in the meantime have gotten enthused by thread sketching, as shown on this awesome tutorial by clutterpunk. It’s not really noticeable though, so may have to go over it a few more times.

Birds on a wire

bird mobile by spool sewing

bird mobile by spool sewing

OK, so not strictly a knitting post, well to be honest, it’s nothing to do with knitting at all. But! I have seen these and am determined that I will make it!

Find it on Spool sewing

Dragoknit has also done one

How cool are they? I think I’m really starting to notice all these cool things for babies and small children because all my friends are having them!