Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Advent Calendar

I had all the right intentions of making an advent calendar of my own this year, but I've been swamped. Between caring for my sick little one and keeping up with my blog and shop there's been no time to sew for myself. I am happy to say my little monster is feeling much better! He's not 100% there yet he still has to take it slow, which is quite a feat for a mischievious little boy!

Anyway, no handmade advent calendar for us this year but a store bought Cars2 one, it has chocolate so it's all good ;-)
I have however contributed a little freebie to the French/German/Dutch Etsy advent calendar that will kick off tomorrow.

I know I'll be checking daily to see what fun freebies they have! {plus I don't know which day I've got so I'll have to check back often to find out lol!}

In other news, Sew Mama Sew is hosting another Give Away Day soon! I will be participating again this year. Not sure what I'll be giving away yet but there's still time to think about it. Meanwhile you can help me out by telling me what your favourite kind of give away prizes are. Mine is fabric for sure, can't go wrong with fabric!

x Leila

Monday, 28 November 2011

Front Page Material

How was your weekend?
For those of you that celebrated Thanksgiving I hope you had a wonderful time!

Something exciting happened today, I was featured on the Etsy front page whooohoo
Look see, second from the left in the second row...that's my clutch :-D

This is the last day of this weekend's sale. Somehow I messed up the time frame for the app I was using to discount everything in the shop. So for today only you can use CYBERMONDAY20 to receive 20% off everything in my shop.
x Leila

Thursday, 24 November 2011

save the date!

save the date!, originally uploaded by ImAGingerMonkey.

Have you seen this?! Woop I'm so excited, this should be very doable for me!
Head on over to Katy's blog for more info

So who's coming?

a bit of shameless self promotion

I'm having a Black Friday to Cyber Monday sale in my Etsy shop this weekend! I've been sewing up a storm getting new things listed there's new cushion covers.

Cute little clutches

New camera case wristlets

And a few more things I'll try and add to the shop today.
There is 20% off everything from Friday midnight (my time) till Monday midnight.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you that celebrate this holiday, and happy Thursday to the rest of you all!

x Leila

Monday, 21 November 2011


For the last month I have been pretty much homebound as my little monster's been quite seriously ill. Don't worry, he will be fine! I mean serious as in it is taking a really long time for him to recover and fully work this virus out of his system. Antibiotics have no effect, there is no quick fix so we're just going to have to sit this one out.

I'm looking at this time as a blessing, I believe that with the right attitude any ordeal can be a blessing in disguise. Despite the unpleasantness of the illness we're both making the most out of it. And although some days the walls are caving in on me I'm rather enjoying getting to spend all this exclusive time with the one person I love most in the world!

It is making me so grateful for blogging, and Flickr and all you lovely people! Knowing you all are out there just one email away makes me feel much less cut off from the real world than I know I'd otherwise would have felt.

Thank you so much!

x Leila

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Do you ever get these ideas that you have to put into action straight away?
Well I had one of those creative flashes yesterday and it lead me to a frantic sewing spree!

I have been pondering on a key chain design for quite some time but I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted. Most of my initial ideas were based on things I had seen many times before. And although practical, I wanted something a little more fun. 

Leaf Key Chains

The leaves are improvisational pieced from teeny tiny scraps of fabric, and layered with batting and backing. I cut each leaf shape by hand with my scissors so no two are exactly the same. The edges are finished with a tight V stitch, this makes them a little jagged and curl up a little just like real leaves.

I am loving these leaf key chains to bits and I'm sewing up a couple more to give as Christmas presents as soon as I have restocked on some essential supplies!
Meanwhile these are listed in the shop

x Leila

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Reversible Echo Totes

It's been buzzing around blogland for quite some time now you've probably not missed out on hearing about Lotta Jansdotter's latest fabric collection; Echo.
If you have not seen it in person yet, go buy some it is fantastic!! As soon as I opened my order I wanted to abandon all other projects and sew with it.

reversible echo tote

I think the prints are perfect for every day use, so a bag it had to be. But with most bag patterns I use a combination of prints and I could not make my mind up which print to feature and which to use for the lining and or pockets. So I decided not to choose at all and make reversible totes!

I drafted a simple pattern after browsing through lots of images of reversible totes on Google. I had never done a one piece bag before and it took me a while to figure out how to sew the handles closed, but after spending some quality time with Mr. Seam Ripper I managed to figure it out ;-)

I love this slouchy hobo style bag, it's a casual every day shopping, going to the beach, running an errand type of bag.  But all that is just an excuse to carry around a bit of Lotta with you every day ;-)

reversible echo tote

They are listed in the shop

x Leila

Monday, 14 November 2011

Ananas Pillow Pattern

I am so exited I can finally share this pillow with you all!!
I was tickled pink when Tacha asked me if I would like to contribute to Fat Quarterly Magazine.

This issue is all about colour, as usual you will find plenty of lovely patterns for all sorts of wonderful projects and more!
My entry is the Ananas Pillow, which means pineapple in Dutch. It's an easy- no paper piecing- way of creating a pineapple block using a rotary cutter and clear ruler.

Main Photo

I mixed scrappy with lots of text and numbers prints on white background to make it a little easier to bring more colours to the mix - I hope you will enjoy it!
The issue is out tomorrow and you will be able to purchase your own copy here

This is a big day for me :-)

x Leila

Friday, 11 November 2011

this week...

This week, I received the most perfect pillow from Jennifer as part of the Pillow talk Swap. I got so lucky this round!! I had been secretly hoping this cushion would come my way, it's just perfect don't you think?

PTS Received!!

Not only does it look stunning from the front it has an equally amazing back too.
As if that wasn't enough she also sent a ton of fabrics and some very cute fabric labels that made my heart skip a beat!

Thank you so much Jennifer, you need not have worried I really, really LOVE it!!

I finished this month's Cocorico Bee block for Krista.
Her theme was 'hit the slopes' and there are some truly amazing blocks produced already by my bee mates. Well worth to have a look at the group pool here or you can click the new button Megan made for us on my side bar.

I used Kerry's paper piecing pattern but decided to mix things up a little. I used the freezer paper method as I prefer it to traditional paper piecing and just made the individual segments. I improvised the suit case and then played around with my individual blocks until I was happy with the layout. Then I added strips to make everything fit. I finished up with some hand stitching to accentuate the fact that there's a mitten missing.
I know nothing about winter sports but I do happen to know about packing for a trip and somehow there's always a missing mitten!

Let's hit the slopes! November Cocorico Bee block for Krista

I wonder if the lost mittens just ran away from home to hang out with the lost socks. I bet they are smoking behind the bike shed hoping not to get caught and sent home again ;-)

x Leila

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Scrappy organizer ~ a tutorial

As promised; little tutorial for all you wonderful people out there looking for fun handmade gifts to sew for Christmas {or any other time of year }.


 I decided to make the tutorial for an organizer with interior pockets for a passport or something of similar size - card pocket - pencil pocket and key fob. But the interior is easily adapted to fit your own needs, make it bigger to fit a checkbook and some pens. Smaller with felt pages stitched in the center for a needlebook. Or make narrow slip pockets for the sides to fit in a day planner or calendar. There are plenty of options!

organizer inside

This organizer is fairly quick to whip up and will allow you to use quite a few of those scraps I know you're hoarding.
organizer back

and most importantly it will make a lovely gift!


About this tutorial 

As with all tutorials and patterns please read all the way through first before you begin.
Press your fabrics along the way.
All seam allowances are 1/4" unless it's stated otherwise.
You are welcome to make as many scrappy organizer as you wish for yourself and to give away as presents but please do not sell anything made from one of my tutorials - thank you!

What you will need:

For the exterior
  • Scraps of different fabrics and prints.
  • 6"x 9" piece of batting {I cut mine larger than this and trim back later}
  • 1 button
  • 44" baker's twine or ribbon
  • one piece of double sided fusible interfacing for applique optional

For the interior
  • 6" x 9" lining fabric + interfacing
  • 6" x 8 1/2" for the large pocket + interfacing
  • 6" x 6 1/2" for the smaller pocket + interfacing
  • 3" x 9" for the pen pocket + interfacing
  • 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" for the keyfob.
  • 1 split ring or lobster clasp

Step 1
This block is improvisational pieced there are no cutting instructions. If you have never made a liberated or wonky log cabin block before don't worry it is easy - I promise!
You just add strips of fabrics to a center square going round clock wise or anti clockwise - the choice is up to you. It really is as simple as that!

to make the scrappy log cabin block:
Place two scraps of fabric right sides together on top of the batting, just eyeball the position you don't have to start in the precise center. Sew straight on top of the batting, fold open and press.

* Tip: I use a pressing cloth as the batting does not agree with my iron, you could also just finger press since these pieces are very small*
Place your next piece of fabric right sides together and sew -again straight through the batting - and press.

You get the idea right, it's just like any other liberated log cabin you would make the only difference is you're sewing directly onto the batting. This is exactly the same way I make my log cabin cushions and coasters - for those of you who have been asking ;-)

Since we're making a rectangular log cabin I try to add wider strips on the top and bottom and narrower ones for the sides. This way I can add more rounds to the log cabin which will make it nice and scrappy. I do not measure my strips beforehand, just pull my fabrics straight from my scrap bins, and trim them back a bit of necessary.

be careful not to cut straight through the batting!
Just keep adding rounds to your log cabin...

.. until your batting is completely covered.

Trim back to 6" x 9" and zig zag the edges.

Step 2
 I am going to add a bit of applique for fun!
Roughly cut out the piece of fabric you would like to use and apply double sided fusible interfacing. Trim back, peel off the backing paper and fuse to the top.

If you have a fancy stitch on your machine you never use this may be a good time to use it, or else just zig zag around the outer edge of the applique.

Secure the bakers twine in the center of the back with a couple of stitches.

I use a safety pin to keep the twine safely out of the way for when I'm ready to sew the organizer closed.

Step 3
Fuse interfacing to the lining and pocket fabrics.

to make the pockets:
Fold both fabrics in half and top stitch each one.

Place the smaller pocket on top of the larger pocket and sew to the right side of the lining fabric with a 1/8" seam allowance.

To make the keyfob:
 Fold in half lengthwise, press both edges towards the center and fold in half again.

Top stitch along both sides. Fold in half with the split ring or lobster clasp in the center and stitch closed. If you want to stitch right close up to the split ring you will need to use a zipperfoot, I'm lazy so I just switched the needle position way up to the left.

To make the pen pocket.
Fold in half right sides facing and sew right side closed. Clip corner and turn right side out.

Top stitch and pin onto the left side of the lining fabric.

Sew right side of the pen pocket, and top edge of the key fob to the lining fabric with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Measure 1 1/4" from the side of the pen pocket and mark for sewing, I run the back of my seam ripper along my ruler to create a line but you can use any type of non permanent fabric marker you like.

Sew to create the pen pocket.

Step 4
Pin lining and exterior together right sides facing and stitch all the way round leaving a 2"-3"opening for turning. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.

My keyfob is refusing to lay flat so I'm going to stitch it down, if you have read all the way through before starting you may want to stitch down the key fob before sewing the lining to the exterior.

We're just a few hand stitches away from being done now!
First slip stitch the opening closed.

Then attach a button to the front.

Wrap the twine around the organizer twice and twist around button and...
voila all done!


I hope that everything was clear, if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them. 
Should you happen to make one of these scrappy organizers or anything else from one of my tutorials I'd love it if you added them to me brand spanking new Flickr group here
It's just me alone out there at the moment so please take pity and come join me ;-)

x Leila

Sunday, 6 November 2011

I am busy working on a little tutorial for all you lovely people thinking about gifting handmade this Christmas. But I'm just so distracted by Marcus drumming on a folding chair {swoon!} I can not possibly concentrate - enjoy!

Here's a little preview of the new tute...
scrappy log cabin organizer

.. it will be up in a day or two, stay tuned.

x Leila

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Fresh Sewing Day October

It's the first of November and we all know what that means...Fresh Sewing Day!

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves it will be quite obvious what I've been up to this month ;-)

October 2011

We're a bit poorly here so I'm going to keep this post short and sweet.
Head on over to Lynne's to see what everyone else has been up to and sign up for the small blog meet!

Fresh Sewing Day

x Leila