Monday, 31 December 2012


Creepy Cocktail Hour by kayajoy

I've had customers ask me recently about using Spoonflower fabric for their bag patterns.  If you haven't discovered Spoonflower yet, go have a look - it'll knock your sweet cotton socks off.  It's basically a website that will print off fabric in your own designs and sell it by the yard to the public.  More recently they have started printed your designs on wallpaper and wall decals too - it's just all kinds of awesome.

One thing though, when you are buying the fabric keep in mind that the width of a yard will vary depending on the type of fabric you choose in the drop-down menu.  For example, linen-cotton canvas is 54" wide but basic combed cotton is only 42" wide.  Cotton silk is 40" wide which might present a problem for some patterns - you might want to get a bit extra!  If you are buying Spoonflower fabric (or any fabric really) for a Teapot & Snail pattern, don't be afraid to email or convo me if you'd like help to calculate how much you need to buy.  There's nothing worse than finding you're just a bit short and having to re-buy.

Sunday, 30 December 2012


I've been putting together Friends Lego with my daughter recently.  I didn't get this range at first.  I thought it was another pathetic sexist marketing ploy - rather like the Bic for Women range of pens (thoroughly sad).  But now I see how they came up with it.  Because it taps into the kind of creative and role playing games that my daughter and her friends are so into.  They focus on relationships and interactions.  The characters they play with are representations of themselves and the social interactions they have with each other every day. For them, Lego is not about the wheels or the things you can make that will fly or do stuff (all the things that I see my husband enjoy).  It's about making things that the characters can use when they are hanging out together.  I guess our nature is there, no matter how we argue there is no difference between the sexes.  Women and girls building relationships, nurturing, communicating.  The lads focused on building, moving, tearing it up!  There aren't many toys in the "girl toys" aisle that don't make me cringe a little but I'm glad to say this is one I am happy to take home.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Hot hot hot

We've had 33 degrees Celcius today and are expecting a scorcher of 35 in a couple of days so I am currently "engaged in indoor pursuits".  Yes!  Sewing!  On with the air con and out with the machine.  I'm getting myself seriously stressed at the moment with all the pre-Christmas activity this year - for some reason a great deal more than in recent years.  So I'm having a nice little drinkie to chill out now.  Today we have a nice concoction of tequila, peach juice, and ginger ale.  The TV is on the kiddie channel and I am unparenting for a wee while.  Hope you are having a nice relaxing time too.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Starting over

Hmmm...if you've ever thought of crossing over to the Etsy side, if you are a crafty person who'd like to make something more careery of your hobby, here is some interesting advice from the Etsy Quit Your Day Job blog:
My ex-banker “start a business advice” for people is to start out part time while still employed. Once you’re making about 50% of the income you need to make the leap, then leap. You can almost surely double your income with another 40 hours.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Better to do

Can't believe I haven't seen this website before.  Where on earth have I been all this time?

Merry Xmas to me - tee hee!

I just bought this from Spiffing Jewellery on Etsy.  Bit of self-gifting - couldn't help it!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Oh my lordy, I could laugh until I cry.  This Etsy seller is a crackup!  Read her writeup on the bear you see above.  Very funny lady with a very scary imagination!  :)

Another one!

It was my aim to get one of the Sling Totes made per day but alas life with a preschooler is not always that easy to schedule.  So I'm a day late with my second bag, but I think I'm still doing OK.  I basically spend every second I can sewing, but at the moment my little one is fixated on dollies.  These guys live their lives out in pink bliss and at the moment Mum is an integral part of the process.  We're giving our little girl a Cinderella doll for Xmas so I expect that's going to be a pretty big moment!  Prince Charming will be played by Buzz Lightyear (with Dad at the helm - he refused to play Ken, and understandably so).

Anyway, there's the latest Sling in Prints Charming fabric, and off I go to get the next one cut and underway!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

New range!

So I decided to make a short run of Sling Tote bags for those of you who don't sew and I put the first one up today.

Here it is in all it's measurey glory - love this fabric.  I went a bit nuts and got a fair bit of it so if there's another pattern you'd like done in this one just convo me on the shop or email me at

I figure I can make one of these bags a day (in amongst activities with my three-year-old), so I look forward to being able to show you another one tomorrow!  I don't intend for these to hang around long though.  Anything that doesn't go on Etsy will be going to market so get in quick if you want one.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Finishing school

I've been combing the internet for the finer points of quilting lately.  I've always found that piecing the main pattern on the front of a quilt has been relatively easy.  For me the hardest part of quilting is putting these panels together somehow and then making the quilt up.  This tutorial from Craftsy is a gem.  Have a look:

Craftsy is such a brilliant place to go to learn a new crafting skill or brush up on areas that you're unfamiliar with.  Instead of quilts that look like I've thrown things together, I'm hoping this tip from Jan Krentz, one of Craftsy's instructors, will give a bit more polish to my finished products.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Things are changing round here

I turned 40 this year and it dawned on me that I really should be doing more of the things I really care about.  The things that are really me.  Start doing more things my way instead of worrying what everyone else thinks.  Crafting for Etsy has been a real experience and one where I feel I'm learning a lot about myself.  I think I'm beginning to see who I really am.

It occurred to me that I've actually been looking for a change with my Etsy shop.  And sometimes a change forward is, in a way, a change backward.  One of the things I miss doing is sewing for other people. So first of all I am going to bring back some sewn bags.  Just the Sling tote for now as that's been so popular.  And whilst I sell lots of the pattern for the Sling, I also get a lot of requests from people who can't sew and want the bag made up for them.  I had a little shop around at one of my fave lil spots this morning and found a bunch of cute stuff.  What do you think?  Can you see my fetish for retro fabric showing through?! Hopefully some of you non-sewists out there will like the choices:

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Today's work

Today I used a bunch of coffee bean bags to make:

a big outdoor bean bag

four outdoor chair cushions

and a wall hanging

I've been checking out the coffee bean bags you can get on Etsy and some of them are gorgeous.  Maybe I'll pop up a tute on my Etsy shop showing how to make these things out of them...

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Uh-oh.  I saw this program on hoarding:

and noted some similarities between his house and my sewing room!  Time to get rid of some of the stash.  Maybe I should do a big spring clean and sell some of the metres and metres of extra fabric on the Etsy shop?  I have so much little girl's dress fabric it's not funny!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A little help

Aaaaw...just got this feedback from someone who bought the Supersize Me Bib:

I just wanted to say thank you for your pattern and send you a picture of the bibs I made using your pattern.  You had said something about needing a bigger big and not the cute small size bibs.  Well, my daughter is a direct care worker for a very petite 11 year old who has cerebral palsy.  They had some bibs that they have had for a very long time and of course they were getting pretty small for her.  The mother didn’t know where to turn.  My daughter finally said, “My mother could make some for you.”  That was true, but I couldn’t find a pattern to do this.  She had certain specifications she wanted and of course it needed to be a lot bigger than anything I could find.  Then I finally came across your pattern.  I thought it was perfect.  You said it was bigger, “Supersize”.   As you can see from the picture, it is quite a bit bigger and I made quite a few adjustments to it.  But with out the basic bones of your pattern I don’t know if I could have done it. 
So thank  you again for providing the pattern and making a little girl happy and her mother even happier.

Saturday, 30 June 2012


Photo: Just finished making 32 metres of this stuff.
This is what I've been off doing.  I just made 32 metres of beautiful bunting for a company doing kid's parties here in Canberra.  I have to say I quite enjoyed the experience.  And I can even say I would be up for some more if anyone happened to contact me about it.  It costs around $18 a metre for these mega size flags which are big enough to make an impact in an outdoor venue and colours can be arranged for occasions like weddings, birthdays, or anything really!  Totally reuseable and will last for years.  Convo me through my Etsy shop at or email me at

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Addicted to Fabric

That's the name of my favourite fabric store, here in Canberra.  I really like this cute new Aussie range they just got in:

They sell online for anyone interested:
Addicted to fabric

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Green and gorgeous!

Etsy seller CreationsbyAAJ has started making the Pony Bag for any of you folks who'd like the finished product.  Go and have a look!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tried to tutu?

This is my little sweetie who is three now (the one in the front with all the attitude!).  I'm wondering how hard it is to make a tutu - all that tulle is kind of intimidating.  Has anyone tried making their own?  I have some beautiful smokey grey satin and tulle I'd love to try.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Sling totes for sale!

I was so pleased today to see the beautiful work of Molly of mollyandollie.  She's started making Teapot and Snail Sling Totes in adult and child sizes in gorgeous one of a kind mother and child sets. The one you see here is my favourite - so adorable!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Stash hoarder!

More fabric, MORE!!! I can totally relate to this. And my hubby will relate to this man's exasperation too :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


I love Orla Kiely's designs so much. All of them. I wish, wish, WISH I could buy them on fabric! How happy I would be. Have a look and you'll see what I mean:

A little place for awesome

I just discovered Craft Cult. Such a great site - why I haven't I seen this before?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

My love affair with the bear

The Bear in the Woods fabric by Kokka that is. People keep asking me where I got the fabric for my Sling Tote. It's a bit tricky to get hold of this fabric lately but you can still get lucky on the internet and it's definitely worth a try. You'll need about a metre of it if you want to make the Sling Tote, plus a metre of something cheap for the lining. Oh and the pattern!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Your FOs

I just love it when you guys send me pictures of the bags you've made from my patterns and here's one I'm particularly drawn to. This is the Mim Bag in a great vintage fabric finished with a fabric yo-yo instead of a big button and I think it looks just awesome.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tiny couture!

Could this be my next pattern to hit Etsy? This morning, to meet my daughter's request, I made her Barbie my very first piece of dolly couture. What do you think?!

Sunday, 11 March 2012


I'm loving the vintage fabric from Etsy store Get Smitten. I also love that Lisa, the crafty lass behind the store, is finding her vintage lovelies in the Swiss Alps. I dream of such a life! Cosy nights by the fire knitting up a storm and watching the snowflakes flutter down. *sigh*

Which reminds me, it's not too long till another Canberra winter will be closing in. Autumn has struck us suddenly this year and it's leading back into the sewing room already. Enough summer fun - it's time to hunker down and create.

Let It Snow Cloud Mobile pdf Pattern

Saturday, 10 March 2012


Gotta go to this one!

I missed the opportunity to go to it today but there's still tomorrow. I am keen to check out the gorgeous upcycled furniture from these guys:


I love this interview with Cath of My Bearded Pigeon. She's so inspirational and has such a great way of looking at creativity. Plus her shop's just awesome!
VINTAGE WORLD MAP - giant organic cotton world map cushion, pillow 86cm/34inches x 61cm/ 24 inches .

Friday, 9 March 2012

Canberra Day celebrations

It's getting all celebratory on Etsy - It's Canberra Day weekend and Hannah from BananaOrangePeople has created a treasury list of some of her favourite Canberra items. Teapot and Snail's Supermarket Checkout bag pattern has been featured on the Hip Hip Hooray Canberra Day treasury list.  Thanks Hannah!  Check her Treasury list out here: