Sunday 28 December 2014

Secret Santa

Hi everyone,

My hexie block swap gals and I decided to do secret santa this year!
(It started out as a year long swap...and now we call each other friends) :)

We have all never met in real life - YET (hopefully we will be meeting some time in 2015 - YAY!)

My partner decided to wait to open her gift on christmas day, so I couldn't share it until now.
I made a few items and bought others...

Of the items shown above I made 3...

The "foxy" cushion :)
I will need to make myself one of these as I LOVE it and it was so hard to part with!

A tote bag 
Made from my own pattern that I am hoping to have 
available for sale in early 2015 - Exciting!!!

And a mason jar pincushion

I received a beautiful and fantastic sew together bag and other small sewing related items from my partner Kirsty...

She nailed my favourite colours :)

As you can see its full to the brim already ;D

This swap was so much fun, we have decided to do a swap for everyone's birthdays in 2015 too!
Yay :)

Sunday 14 December 2014

Introducing T to Chanukah

Hi everyone

This is the 1st year that T is old enough to understand and appreciate (and remember :P) the Jewish holiday we celebrate at this time of year, Chanukah.

We have never really celebrated it as a family.  But this year we want to, and so I set about finding ways to teach little mister 3 yrs old what this holiday is all about :)

I thought I would share what I found in case you (or someone you know) would like to start introducing Chanukah to your child too :)

I found this image on pinterest:

And set about making my own "advent calendar" style Chanukah count down for T.  But...I didn't want to spend any money ;)  So I made envelopes out of scrap book paper.

To make the envelopes, I found these easy image instructions to follow :)

I numbered each of the envelopes 1-8 and printed the Menorah Sequencing free printable from this great blog to stick onto the front of each envelope too.

Instead of giving gifts inside each envelope, I included an activity to help T learn about the holiday :)

Here is a list of what I have included in each envelope:

1 - The story of Chanukah

To teach T about Chanukah, he needed to hear the story! So, inside envelope 1 is a letter asking him to watch these videos with mummy or daddy's help so he could learn about Chanukah.

After watching we will discuss what he had seen and made sure he understood the story - this was a great way to involve the whole family :)

2 - We have plans to be at my sister in laws for dinner on the second night when this envelope will be opened, so I will take it with us for T to do while we are there.  In this envelope I included the puzzles from page 16 of "My Chanukah Activity Pack" free printable from here.

3 - In this envelope I included a colouring page 12 from "My Chanukah Activity Pack" free printable from here.

4 - In this envelope I included a matching game from page 13-14 of "My Chanukah Activity Pack" free printable from here.

5 - In this envelope I included the Chanukah size ordering activity from this great blog.

6 - In this envelope I included a maze activity from "My Chanukah Activity Pack" free printable from here.

7 - In this envelope I included a colouring page 11 from "My Chanukah Activity Pack" free printable from here.

8 - In this envelope I included a the Menorah Sequencing free printable from this great blog.

Where activities require pencils/crayons, I have included these within the envelope too.  I have also laminated the re-usable activities so that we can use them again next year :) AND some envelopes contain Chanukah Gelt (chocolate money) - YUM!

I'm sure some activities will be enjoyed more than others, but the aim is to complete these activities as a family in the early evening before/after we light the candle for each day.

I hope you find my research helpful, so you can create your own great learning experience about Chanukah for your little monster :)

Saturday 29 November 2014

Sew many books - The traffic light version (November 30)

Hi everyone,

It has been a LONG time since I did a Sew Many Books post...for those of you who don't know what my Sew Many Books initiative is, have a look over this post :)

A lot has happened and I have missed my Sew Many Books project and so I have decided to bring it back bi-monthy!

Here is a button and please feel free to share it if you would like too...

For My Little Monster

When I decided to make this project - picture below - (from "Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!"*) back in May, was going to make 2 traffic light applique squares to add into the T's quilt - which I had started in my head, but not in reality ;P  I was planning on creating small traffic lights, so, they weren't going to be as large as in the picture...
*affiliate links

And a few weeks ago, I had some time to start working on this project again...

And I have managed to finish them on time, well, on time if you mean by the 30th November not the June 15th (like I was originally planning :P)  I also decided not to make them square and to just leave them as they are here:

Once I had finished, I decided to get out all the bits and pieces I have been collecting to make T his quilt...and so far it is looking pretty good (if, I do say so myself :P), but it needs widening and lengthening so there is more work ahead of me before I get this quilt finished.

I have also had a birthday since my last Sew Many Books post and there have been a few new additions to my book shelf:
After having a flip though all my books, I have decided on this schedule for the next few months (incase you'd like to join in):

January 30
I will be revealing my version of the Penguin backpack from Oliver + s: Little things to sew*
T is due to start 3yr old Kinder in February, and he needs a cute backpack to take with him :)

March 30
I will be revealing my version of the shoulder bag from Sew!*
By March, I'll probably want another new handbag - right?! Actually lets face it, I always like and want new handbags ;) 

May 30
I will be revealing my version of Dinosaur from Stuffed Animals*
I might have to make 2 though as T and M will probably fight over it otherwise... 

Feel free to sew along with me on these projects or any project of your choice, oh and you don't have to make your item exactly as it is in the book to join in you could make an "inspired by" project too :)

I'll be sharing my next finished project on January 30 and I'd love to share some of your projects on my blog too so please join in!

To JOIN IN share your progress and projects:

Please use the tag #SewManyBooks on Instagram or Facebook

Or join the flickr group :)

If you decide to share your progress and projects via your blog please post a link to my Facebook page, email me at or leave a comment, as I would love to share your work here on my blog in its own special post :)

I look forward to seeing all your projects!

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Thursday 27 November 2014

How to make your own see through pencil case...

Hi everyone

Am I the only one who has a 3yr old that seems to drop crayons (like rabbit poop) all over the house?
I ask him to leave them on his table so that they are available to draw with, but they end up lost all over the house and I always seem to find them when I'm doing my most hated chore - vacuuming :P

Now I have tried to get him to keep them in containers on his table, in zip lock bags and even in pencil cases...but some seem to work better that others at containing the crayons, but none are full proof.

So, I put on my thinking cap and decided to make my own containment device in the hope that it would work, because "mummy made it" ;)

Here is what I came up with...

I made a see-through patchwork pencil case!

After I got quite a few compliments on both IG and Facebook, and seeing as I needed to make a few more too, I thought I would write you all a tutorial to make your own!

So, would you like to make your own? Yes?!
Well keep reading, as I am about to tell you so you can do just that :)

Here is what you will need:
(2) 11.5" x 9.5" pieces of fabric (I have chosen to make patchwork panels as I have an over flowing scrap bin, you can choose to do this or to just cut some fabric to size :D).
(4) 12" x 3" strips of fabric
(1) 6" x 9.25" piece of see though vinyl (or you could recycle, and use a bag from a sheet set from Target, like I have {see pic below}, yes I have a problem, I KEEP EVERYTHING :D )
(1) 10" zip
A fabric marker (with removable ink)
A walking foot - not essential, but very helpful ;)
Your sewing machine and other sewing room essentials :)


Okay, now you have everything ready lets get started :)

Part 1 - Create your see-through panel 

**PLEASE NOTE: I found a walking foot particularly helpful for this part of the project.**

* Also, If you find the vinyl sticking to the base of the throat of your sewing machine, just lift it up slightly to reduce the contact between the two while sewing*

1. Take 1 of your 12" x 3" strips and place your piece of vinyl on top.  Stitch to join along the edge.

2. Using a zigzag/overlocking stitch, sew in your seam allowance to help reduce fraying over time.

3. Trim excess fabric.
4. Fold your fabric back and finger press the join.

5. Topstitch along the same edge you have just sewn - ensuring to catch your seam allowance so it is sewn flat on the reverse side, and can not be seen from the front.


6. Repeat 1-5 for the remaining sides. Then measure a 11.5" x 9.5" rectangle, ensuring that the vinyl is centred and trim to size.

*I sometimes find it easier to lay one of my 11.5" x 9.5" fabric rectangles on top of the vinyl panel so I can easily see the size it needs to be trimmed to :) *

Part 2 - Inserting your zip

You will need to attach your zipper foot to your sewing machine for this part of the project.

7. Place your vinyl panel face down on your zip - as shown in picture below.


8. Sew along the zipper tape to join your zip to the vinyl panel.

9. Using a zigzag/overlocking stitch, sew in your seam allowance to help reduce fraying over time.

10. Press and topstitch along the same edge you have just sewn - ensuring to catch your seam allowance so it is sewn flat on the reverse side.

11. Place one of your 11.5" x 9.5" pieces of fabric face up in front of you, then place the zip along the top edge.  Then place the other 11.5" x 9.5" pieces of fabric face down on top. (You might find it helpful to pin all your layers of fabric here - but ensure NOT to pin through the vinyl!)


12. Sew along the zipper tape to join your zip to the fabric panels.
13. Press and topstitch along the same edge you have just sewn.

Part 3 - Finishing the pencil case off

14. Open your zip.
15. Fold your panels so that the zip pull is on the inside.

16. Sew all 3 layers together with a straight stitch, on all 3 sides. Then using a zigzag/overlocking stitch, sew in your seam allowance to help reduce fraying over time.


17. To create your boxed corners, to do this you need to measure and mark a 1” square in one corner with an erasable marker.  It is helpful to use the seam stitching line as 2 sides of your square (as shown in the photo below).

18. Repeat step 17 for the remaining 3 corners.
19. Fold your corners out so that the lines of the squares match up, and sew along the line. Then using a zigzag/overlocking stitch, sew along your stitching line to help reduce fraying over time.

20. Trim your seam allowance to ½”

21. Turn right side out and press CAREFULLY - do not press the vinyl! It might melt!

And your finished :)

You can adjust the size of your fabric to make your pencil case smaller or larger if you like too! I might make some different sized ones as gifts sometime soon :)

I'd love to see any pencil cases you make using this tutorial, so leave a link, tag me on IG (@formylittlemonster) or send me an email:
Have fun :)