Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's that time again...

That's right people - four weeks until Christmas! And while my overlocker has been in the fix-it shop, I've been doing a type of crafting other than stitching - cardmaking.

I started by drawing some patterns on some thick paper, then painting them using good old acrylics. I just made up the designs - in fact I sketched them whilst on the phone to someone at work (very important business call, obviously).

I bought some blank cards from the craft shop, cut the painted patterns up (actually I gave them that rough edge look by ripping them along a ruler) and stuck them on.

And there you have completely unique, homemade Christmas cards. I need to post mine out soon because I have friends scattered around the globe, and I'd like them to receive their cards before Christmas eve.

Oh, and if you're having a slight panic attack about Christmas approaching and what you're going to make for people, there are LOADS and LOADS of ideas at the Crafty Christmas Club.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tea Cozies Galore

The Stitchybritt sale continues, but only for one more week! I have sold out of a couple of popular mug cozies, but there are still plenty to snap up so get in quickly!

Meanwhile, there is something I've been thinking of doing that many would consider crazy but I'm going to do it anyway... promote other tea cozy makers! The fact is that there are some awesome tea cozies on Etsy, and they're not all made by Stitchybritt ; ) I know this is probably a big marketing no no, but something I've always loved about the handmade community is the willingness to help each other, so why not promote other sellers? Afterall, our tea cozies are handmade and thus unique, so if you are looking for a tea cozy and none of the Stitchybritt ones suit, you should definitely check out these other cozy-makers.

The first tea cozy maker that I am going to promote is What's The Matter With Maryjane? These beautifully knitted tea cozies (like the one pictured above) come in a range of colours, complete with ribbons and rosettes and all things nice. Maryjane (based in Melbourne) says "knitting and afternoon tea are two of my favourite things" - hey, me too!

The second tea cozy star that I would like to mention is Tractor Girl. Tractor Girl (based in Wagga Wagga) uses upcycled fabrics and makes a range of homewares - but, of course, I particularly like her tea cozies (one shown above).

Now, we all know a tea fanatic, so shop Aussie Handmade style this Christmas. You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Signing up

This week I signed up for two stitchy challenges.

1. Remember the knitted cardigan/shrug that I started, oh... I don't know, a year ago? Well it's still going (above). Hey - it at least has sleeves now.

Anyway, the lovely Sofie from Fia Lotta Jansson is having a blog challenge to show your unfinished knit projects and finally find that motivation to get them finished.

My goal is now to finish the shrug by the end of this year.

2. I signed up for Wardrobe Refashion. If you haven't seen this site, it is A-MAZ-ING. Stitchers all over the world have pledged to refashion old clothes into new ones or make new ones from scratch, rather than buying them. I just signed up for a 2 month pledge.

Unfortunately, Nikki who runs Wardrobe Refashion has decided to discontinue the site and move onto other things. Nikki has done a brilliant job of running the site for a number of years, but many of us will be sad to see it go. It has been a source of inspiration and ideas for me for some time.

Regardless, I am going to stick to my pledge. So during November and December, there are a few home-made or refashioned items that I want to finish:

1. The shrug mentioned above
2. A dress I am making to wear on Christmas day
3. A purple top that I have the pattern and fabric for (fabric from Reverse Garbage)
4. A shirt-dress out of a men's business shirt that was given to me
5. Something out of some over-sized t-shirts
6. Some cute softie toys out of old jumpers

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lavender Lady Tutorial

Hi All! I put this tutorial over on the Crafty Christmas Club page, but as it's not something I'm actually planning to make for people this Christmas, I thought it was safe to post here.

These sweet little lavender ladies are a modern take on the old fashioned lavender bags that go into your underwear drawer or under your pillow. They make perfect gifts for friends, teachers, colleagues or ‘secret santa’ (Kris Kringle) gifts.

To make a lavender lady, you will need:
Fabric of your choice (approx 2 x 20cm square)
Felt to make the face
Embroidery thread
Needle for embroidery
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Dried lavender (you will find it in craft shops or health food shops)

To begin, fold your fabric over with the wrong side showing. You don’t need a pattern, just draw two overlapping circles straight onto the fabric (use chalk or pencil though, I used a marker so that you could see it in the photo). For my lavender lady the big circle’s diameter is 12cm and the smaller circle’s diameter is 8cm. It doesn’t need to be perfect though! Cut out your little lady and put aside.

Next, cut out a little round face from the felt. Again, just draw the circle straight onto the felt and cut it out. Mine is 4.5cm in diameter. Stitch on some little eyes and a mouth using embroidery thread. If you are making a few lavender ladies, try stitching different expressions on them.

Stitch the face straight onto the head of the body.

Now, lie the two body pieces right sides together and pin them securely. See those two pins at the bottom? They are very important! This is the gap you are going to leave so that you can stuff the body. Stitch the two body pieces together using a sewing machine or hand sewing. Don’t stitch across the gap.

Turn your lavender lady inside out. Looking cute, isn’t she? Start to stuff your lavender lady, alternating between stuffing and spoonfuls of lavender. All up, I put about 5 tablespoons of lavender in mine.

Once she is all stuffed, hand sew the opening at the bottom together.

And there you have it – a very sweet little lavender lady. I tied a little ribbon around her neck to make her look a bit more festive.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Good news! The Stitchybritt November sale is now on! 15% off everything in the store!

Do you always leave Christmas shopping to the last minute, running around, trying desperately to think of gifts that people will really love? Save yourself the panic, buy a Stitchybritt Tea cozy, Mug Cozy or Tea Party Set now, and save yourself some $$$ at the same time. If you are buying for people that love tea, coffee or just pretty things in general, I guarantee they will love it.

Buy Aussie Handmade this Christmas!

Sale runs until the end of November. After that you have to stress out AND pay full price. Hardly worth it, is it?