Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sewn gifts

I am very slowly increasing my sewing confidence and skills, through a lot of unpicking, swearing, re-cutting and going without patterns.

This past week I have started working my way through my gift sewing list.

First up was a simple pincushion - a gift for myself

I used the throw blanket I picked up from my op shopping adventures the week prior and used my new rotary cutter and mat to create this simple but cute pincushion. The stuffing was even recycled! From Reverse Garbage for $2 a bag for cleaned raw sheeps wool, bargain! I didn't use a pattern just a few pictures I found online for the design.

I'm pretty happy with it. But I do still need to work on the stitches I used for closing the pin cushion. I think they stand out too much (right corner in picture above). What method do you use to close seams after stuffing?

My next gift was for a dear friend who's birthday is this weekend. Since I will be visiting my grandparents 4 hours away I won't see her on her birthday, so we are having lunch together tomorrow and I will be giving her this garden apron. She is a keen gardener and we always share our gardening stories with each other. I think she'll love it!

I used the tutorial from Make-it-do for this apron, and yep you guessed it, the same material as the pin cushion, from the thrifted blanket.

This was my first try at using bias binding. I have since decided I will never use any bias binding less than 25mm! Ha ha. You can see the bias on the top of the pocket is qute a bit thinner than the tape around the bottom of the apron, I vowed I needed a bigger width after using the 12mm tape and had so much trouble keeping the fiddly stuff in place!I raced out to get some from Spotlight straught away so I could finish off the apron.

I have since bought 3 different sized bias tape makers from eBay for $15 so I can make it myself from whatever material I like.

My next project was a patchwork-type pillow for my Nana. When my sisters and I were younger we used to spend Christmas holidays with my Nan and Pop on their hobby farm in Wagga Wagga NSW. One christmas I remember quite vividly was my Nana teaching the three of us (aged 5, 7 and 10) to make our own patchwork pillow cover. So I thought it would be nice to give one as a gift all these years later.

A simple project made even easier with my rotary cutter and mat, I love those things!

This was my first project inserting a zipper. I found it surprisingly easy by just winging it and working it out for myself, rather than using instructions in one of my sewing books. I certainly learn better by doing than reading I have discovered!

I am yet to make the little pillow to go inside this cover, well that's a lie I did make one and it was too small and looks silly in the cover so I am going to make another one that will be bigger to fill it out more. I will keep the first one and make a cover for it and maybe give it as a gift to someone else.

Ah trial and error, it'll all works out in the end.

And how satisfying is it to create a gift for someone from scratch, to know I am increasing my homesteading skills and to not spend much money in the process! How very frugal!



  1. Great work Kim. For a beginner you're doing really well. I love the gardening apron. For sewing up openings on things like cushions etc. I use 'slip stitch', it almost makes an invisible seam. You should be able to find instructions online or in a sewing book.

    Thanks for the reminder about Reverse Garbage. I've been wanting to visit there for years but never got around to.

  2. Awesome awesome awesome!!! OMG I love the gardening apron I am sooooooooo making one today!!! Your sewing is beautiful, you should be heaps happy with yourself :-) Have you started your classes yet? Sam xox


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