I was absent for a long time, because I had a lot of homework in the college. I’m ready to pay someone to write my essay, which I need to send in two days. I cannot cope with the number of assignments at the course. Should I improve my time management? 🙂

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I love making cushions! They’re such an easy and affordable way to update a room. I recently made the spotty cushion, pictured below, for our living room and had a few scraps of the fabric left over. So I decided to make another cushion in a neutral linen, decorated with some circles from the left over scraps. I’ve done a few cushion tutorials here before, but zippers are often intimidating, so I thought I’d show you how do it again. 

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Let’s get started! You will need fabric, and an invisible zipper slightly shorter than the length of your cushion. Measure two squares of fabric 3 cm (1 1/4″) bigger than your cushion insert to allow for 1.5 cm (5/8″) seam allowance around all the edges. Use a ruler and pencil (or chalk) to draw your squares directly onto the wrong side of the fabric, then cut them out. Overlock the raw edges of each square straight away because it needs to be done before inserting the zipper. If you don’t have an overlocker, you can use a zig-zag stitch to overcast the raw edges. It’s important to overcast the raw edges so that you can launder the cover without it fraying and falling apart. Unless you are super clean and never have spills or messes on your cushions, in which case, good on you!

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I decided to decorate my cushion cover with some appliqué circles to match my other cushion. To do this, simply trace circles or other shapes onto the paper side of some fusible web, iron it onto the back of the contrast fabric (with the paper still attached to the other side of the fusible web). Cut out your shapes, peel off the paper backing, iron them onto the cushion square and stitch around the edges.

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Now let’s insert the zipper. Don’t panic, it’s not as hard as you think! Lay out one of your cushion squares with the right side of the fabric facing up. Lay the open zip next to it. Flip the zip over onto the fabric, with the back of the zipper facing up. Line up the edge of the zipper tape with the overlocking (about 6 mm (1/4″) away from the edge) and pin along the middle of the zipper tape, stopping about 2.5 cm (1″) from the base of the zipper. Using either an invisible zipper foot, or a normal zipper foot, sew down the middle of the zipper tape, as pinned, remembering to stop 2.5 cm (1″) from the base of the zipper. You will notice that at this stage we’re not worrying about sewing close to the zipper teeth yet. First we just want to get it securely in place, on both pieces of fabric, then we’ll worry about stitching nice and close to the teeth. This first step is essentially just tacking it in place and while it’s a little more effort, it’s easier than needing to unpick stitches from close to the teeth.

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Now for the other side. Lay the square with the zipper on it right side up (the zipper should still be open). Lay the other square right side down on top, flipping back the edge that will be attached to the zipper. Line up the zipper tape the same distance from the edges as for the other side and pin then stitch in place down the tape, like you did for the other side.

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Do up the zipper and check that your two cushion squares align. As you can see the invisible zipper is still very visible, but now it’s securely in place so it will be easier to stitch close to the teeth.

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Undo the zipper again and re-stitch along from the plastic stopper at the top to the place that you stopped 2.5 cm (1″) from the bottom as close to the teeth as you can get. Roll the zipper open with your fingers as you sew to get really close – you may also need to adjust the needle position on your machine. Work slowly to maintain control as your stitch.

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Close the zipper and check out how invisible it is! If it’s still really visible, stitch again, trying to get a little closer to the teeth (there’s no need to unpick the previous row of stitching –  it will just serve to strengthen your work).

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With the zipper still closed, pin together the cushion squares beyond the end of the zip, holding the end of the tape out of the way. You’ll need to use a narrow zipper foot to sew this portion of the seam to get as close as you can to the stitching of the zipper. Repeat at the top of the zipper, but this time you’ll need to open the zipper to do it.

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Open out the cushion cover, close the zipper and press the seams. The zipper is finished and the rest of the cushion is easy-peasy!

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To finish off the cushion, open the zipper about half way (don’t leave it closed or your cushion will get stuck inside out!) Put your normal sewing foot back on the machine. With the right sides of the cushion cover facing together, pin around the remaining three sides and sew with 1.5 cm (5/8″) seam allowance. Turn the cover through the opening in the zipper and iron it flat.

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Insert the cushion and it’s finished! Hooray!

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Here are a few things I’ve made recently. I made the bird and pincushion when we were visiting my family after Christmas (both projects are from the book Scandinavian Stitches, which I was given for Christmas – yay!). I had a lovely afternoon crafting with my Mum, like we used to back when I was younger and still lived with my parents. 

pin-cushion

The two floral prints in the right hand corners of the pincushion are scraps of vintage fabrics that my Mum has kept from my things my Gran made. The bottom one was from a dress of my Gran’s and the top one was from an apron that I think was actually made by my great grandmother. I’ll have to check with mum about that one. I used that same fabric for the back of the pincushion too. It’s beautiful and bright and I like that the tiny scraps of fabric have such history to them.

dress

The dress I made for our niece’s birthday. I used a commercial pattern, rather than drafting one myself, which is a rather refreshing experience for me as I usually design and draft all my patterns myself. I love making kids clothes because they’re small and cute, but I do get nervous about them fitting! It’s a simple, easy fitting design so hopefully it fits!


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I had a few hakea branches left over from this project and decided to use them to create a simple Christmas display for my living room. I love the natural texture and organic form of the branches and wanted to make some quick, yet pretty decorations to complement the branches. I came up with these simple, textural stars. 

They are really easy to make! All you need is some scraps of a coarsely woven fabric in a neutral colour (I used scraps of a rayon blend home furnishing fabric, which has a similar look to hessian), a few pins, a needle and some metallic gold embroidery thread.

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Draw up a star shape to your desired size. Keep in mind that the fabric will fray a bit, so don’t make them too small or the point might fray away completely! I made mine a touch over 5 cm (2″). Cut the star out of two layers of fabric and sew the two layers together with a large running stitch, leaving a tail of thread at the start. When you get all the way around, leave another tail of thread and knot the ends of the tails, creating a hanging loop.

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Make as many stars as you want, hang them on the branches and add some fairy lights. You can never have to many fairy lights at Christmas!

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All you need to make these baubles is a packet of foam balls in your preferred size, fine glitter, Mod Podge, floristry wire, a small paint brush, pliers/wire cutters/strong scissors and a tray to make a glittery mess in (you can make one by folding up three sides of a piece of paper or card).

It’s as simple as putting the glitter in the tray, painting Mod Podge on the foam balls, rolling them in the glitter and then putting them aside to dry.

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Once dry, poke a piece of floristry wire through all the way through the bauble. I didn’t want the baubles falling off the hook, so bend over about 1 cm (1/2″) at the end of the wire to create a very narrow hook. Poke it back up into the bauble so it’s secure and the bauble can’t slip off the wire. Cut the other end to your required length and bend over another hook to hand your ornament. Repeat with all the baubles and with different colours of glitter!

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I used mine to decorate this selection of hakea branches that I collected from my parents’ property. I added some little clusters of faux cranberries I bought from a craft store because I thought they looked pretty. I like the mix of native Australian branches combined with more traditional Christmas elements such as the berries, glitter and red, green and gold colour scheme. I arranged the branches in a vase and put a few tea light candles around the base. And there you have it – a different sort of Christmas tree.

These photos of the tree are taken in our home before I added the baubles, but I actually created this arrangement to go in the foyer of my church, where I combined it with a festive and meaningful canvas. I’ll try to remember to take some photos of it soon!

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Hello! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I’m having a bit of a break. I’m super busy with my new job and a rather ambitious attempt to paint the entire interior of our home… So I’m having a creative hiatus. Well, it’s really just a break from my creative work. I’ve recently started a new crochet project, so I’m clearly not avoiding all creative activities. I want to make a giant ripple blanket for our living room. I finally decided on these gorgeous, warm earthy tones of wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I’ve got no idea how much wool I’ll need, but I’m confident I currently have nowhere near enough! I find there’s something really calming and almost meditative about the repetitive nature of this kind of crochet work. I’m really enjoying it, even though it’ll probably take me a couple of years to complete the blanket!

Anyway, back to taking breaks. Aside from my crochet project and painting our house, I’m not doing much that’s intentionally creatively at the moment. I think it’s okay to give yourself a break now and then. In fact, I think it’s not just okay, but is actually quite important. It gives me a chance to clear my head and get some space. Particularly when this work requires me to be creative and coming up with new ideas all the time and translating those ideas into projects that I think will be suitable for my readers. It can be quite demanding and tiring. That’s not to say I don’t love it, because I do. But having a break allows takes the pressure off for a bit and allows me to come back feeling refreshed, revitalised and hopefully brimming with new ideas.

How do you stay refreshed and inspired? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also does anyone have any idea or approximately how much 8 ply wool I might need to make a crochet blanket that’s going to be roughly queen bed sized? :)


Halloween intrigues me a bit, probably because I’ve never really celebrated it. Halloween is just not as big here in Australia as it is in the US. But when I made this ribcage top to wear to a medical themed birthday party I realised it could also work well for Halloween! Given that Google Analytics tells me that many of you lovely readers are from America, I thought I’d share this project with you!

To make this top you will need a cheap white, fairly thin top (it needs to be pale and thin so you can see through it to trace the design), some contrast fabric for the heart, needle and embroidery thread, a small scrap of fusible web (like interfacing that’s sticky on both sides to appliqué the heart), paper and pencil, cardboard or more paper, some images of a skeleton/ribcage (I just did a google image search and printed off a few that I liked), and the most important tool – a black sharpie, or other permanent felt tip pen.

Start by drawing your design in pencil. You can draw freehand, trace your design from another image, or base it on another design, tweaking it to get it the size and style that you like. Or you can use my drawing, above, and re-size it and print it off. You can see that I re-did several sections of mine until I was happy with it. Go over your design with the black marker so it’s clear and dark.

Slip your design inside the top, line it up so it’s centred and pin through the top layer of the singlet and through the paper (but not through the back of the top). Place a piece of cardboard, or several sheets of paper inside the top, underneath the image, to protect the back of the top from any marker that might soak through. Then you can start tracing the design onto the top using your marker.

Once you’ve finished tracing the design, you can leave it as is, or you can add an appliqué heart to add some colour and texture. To make the heart, cut a small square of fusible web and iron the shiny side to the contrast fabric, with the paper side facing up. Draw a heart on the paper, cut it out and then peel the paper off.

Place the heart shiny side down on your top and iron in place. Be aware that ironing over the marker might smell a little bit. Use the embroidery thread to do a few decorative stitches around the heart.

Your top is now finished! Hooray!


I have got so many projects on the go at the moment. Do you ever get like that? I’m sure I’m not the only one who tries to do too many things at once! Right now I’m trying to find the time to make a dress out of this gorgeous sequinned silk, I’m choosing colors for a new crochet project and I’m repainting this wardrobe. I’m going to paint the outside white and the inside blue to give it some personality. Cupboards can have personality, right? 

What projects do you have on the go at the moment?


Sometimes it can be hard to stay inspired. Other times my brain is overflowing with so many ideas it’s hard to keep track of them all! I have several notebooks that I use to sketch ideas and designs, but I’ve also created this little ideas box to fill with project ideas. I simply covered a small cardboard box with pretty paper and mod podge. I keep a stack of pieces of card on my desk that fit perfectly in the box. So if inspiration strikes I can quickly sketch my idea, add a swatch if necessary and pop in my ideas box. 

I also have a pin up board that I like to cover with images and other things that are inspiring me. It’s constantly changing and is usually a pretty eclectic mix of colours, fabrics and pictures. Keeping an inspiration board stimulates my creativity as well as making my work space a bit prettier! Here are a few snap shots of my inspiration board at the moment.


Check out these pretty bracelets I made! They’ve been on my list of things I want to make for a while. I followed this tutorial from Honestly…WTF. She recommends using waxed linen thread to make the bracelets, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any at my local craft supplies store so I used embroidery thread instead. The thread worked okay, but it was a bit thick to pass through the tiny beads. I’d like to try this project again once I’ve hunted down some waxed linen thread. This was a fun project and a great way to use up old buttons, of which I have a rather large collection!

Have you made anything fun recently? Have you blogged about it or created a tutorial? I’d love to hear about it, so tell me about it in the comments, below. Feel free to include a link to your project, too!


This is a really simple way to make baby wraps and with the wide variety of pretty cotton muslin fabrics available, a few wraps made from coordinating fabrics make a sweet gift for an expectant mother. I made these three for my gorgeous friend, Anna, who is having a baby soon! The most important thing when making baby wraps is to choose the right sort of fabric. For this light-weight style of wrap, I used baby muslin (I’m not sure if it’s called something different in other countries?) It’s 100% cotton so it’s breathable and very soft, making it perfect for babies. Many fabric stores will have a section of baby related fabrics, but if you are having trouble finding something suitable, ask the staff at your local fabric store as they are generally very knowledgable and helpful. Make sure you wash your fabrics before you start sewing. This pre-shrinks them and removes any chemical residue that may be present. 

The advantage of making your own baby wraps is that you can make them bigger than store bought wraps. This is particularly helpful for parents of big babies who wriggle out of smaller wraps. I usually make the wraps as big as the width of the fabric will allow. So trim of the selvedges, measure the width of the fabric and cut a square to that size. The wraps I am making started from squares measuring about 116 cm (46″).

Once you’ve cut your squares, fold over approximately 5-6 mm (1/4″) along each edge of the square and iron flat.

Fold over a further 5-6 mm (1/4″) all the way around so the raw edges are completely enclosed. Iron flat and pin the hem in place.

Sew all the way around the wrap. Sometimes it can be difficult to get started when sewing with fine fabrics as they can get sucked down into the feed-dogs of the sewing machine. To prevent this from happening, when you start sewing, hold the tails of thread (from the bobbin and needle) taught behind the presser foot with one hand while you get started. In a similar way, going around corners can be tricky. Once you’ve pivoted at the corner and are about to start sewing down the next side, lift the foot and insert a pin in the corner of the fabric (behind the needle, sitting under the foot). Lower the foot and using the pin, gently pull the fabric to get stated (in the same way as you’d pull the tails of thread to get started at the beginning of a seam).

Once you’ve sewn all the way around, you’re finished! Wasn’t that quick and easy? Iron your wrap so the hems sits flat and to get rid of any creases. Make a couple more in coordinating fabrics, fold and roll them up and tie them together with a pretty ribbon.