Thursday 29 November 2012

Santa Sack Party Favour Bags

We've been helping to arrange a regular BBQ dinner at our church as a social activity for those with young families, and last weekend was the last one for the year.  Even though it's still only November, hubby and I decided that perhaps we should make this one feel a bit Chrismassy.

My hubby came home one day and suggested that "we" go to Spotlight and get some "red material" so that "we" could make some Santa Sack lolly bags for the kids.  After I had a little chuckle, I responded that "I" would be happy to go and get the fabric and "I" would be happy to make the bags.  Still, it was his idea, and he organised the rest of the evening, so I s'pose he can have some credit too!  Love you babe!!

Anyway, I went and bought red felt by the metre (instead of the small craft felt squares).  I was surprised at how cost effective this was.  I also bought some ribbon, and some gold-coloured fine cord.
These are super quick to make, and I thought I would share how I did it, in case you're looking for a cute Christmas party favour this year.....
Here's what you need: (I needed 30 party favours)
- 1 metre red felt
- About 10 metres of white ribbon (about 1" wide)
- Thread
- Sewing Machine
- Scissors or cutting mat and rotary cutter

How to make them:
1.  Lay out the felt and cut 30 rectangles 5" x 10"

2. Grab the roll of ribbon.  Line the ribbon up along one of the short edges of the first felt rectangle.  I found that with the felt, there was really no need to pin, as the ribbon just stayed put nicely enough as I sewed.  Sew about 2-3 millimetres from the edge of the ribbon along the very edge of the rectangle .... like so ...
3.  To save a huge amount of time, and a huge amount of thread-cutting, when you have finished the row of stitching, grab your next felt rectangle and line it's short side up right next to the one you've just sewn, then keep sewing straight on to it.  Be careful not to overlap the rectangles.  Continue this process until you have sewn ribbon to one end of each rectangle.  You should now have a long line of felt rectangles, that are joined by the ribbon - kinda reminded me of some kind of felt bunting .... hmmmm Christmas decoration idea maybe??

4. Now, to help the ribbon sit better, I went back to the first rectangle, and sewed down the other side of the ribbon, about 2-3 millimetres from the edge, and continued this through all of the rectangles.

5.  Repeats steps 2-5 on the other short side of the rectangles.  You should now have 30 rectangles that have ribbon on each short end.

6. Now, with your scissors, cut each rectangle apart by snipping the ribbon in between.

7.  Fold a rectangle in half, right sides together, and line up the 2 ribbon sides evenly, then sew down one open side.

8.  When you get to the bottom, grab the next rectangle, and fold it right sides together, and butt it right up next to the side you just finished, and continue sewing into this next one.  Keep going until you've sewn one side of each rectangle, then trim them all apart (Just a little warning in case you're new to sewing ... Whilst joining them all together like this is a huge time-saver, you need to be careful not to let your machine do more than 1-2 stitches in between each rectangle.  A sewing machine is not like an overlocker (serger) and it's easy to get a "cotton-lock" tangle of nightmares if you sew through nothing for more than a stitch or 2).

9.  Repeat Step 8 for the other open side.

10.  Turn your bags out the right way, then fill with goodies, and tie a 12" length of the gold cord around it in a bow to keep everything inside and give it that "sack" look.
And there you go ... super quick and easy Santa-sack party favour bags!!

Monday 26 November 2012

Somewhere, over the rainbow ...

It's been a few weeks since my last post, and that's not because I haven't been crafting, it's just that we have had a break away to recharge the batteries, then returned to find that the world has suddenly become all Christmas-focussed, and I feel like I've been catching my breath ever since ... anyone else feel like that at this time of year?

Anyway, my beautiful niece had her 5th birthday party a couple of weekends ago, and what better way to celebrate than to have a rainbow party.  As she gave Bethany the invitation to her party, she made it very clear that Bethany was to come dressed in "rainbow clothes".  Well, when given a challenge like that this Mummy just can't help herself ... I just had to think of something to make.

I did a bit of an online search and found this gorgeous Lollipop dress.  I haven't sewn much with knit fabrics yet, and really want to give it a good hot go.  I also loved that it seemed like a really quick project.   So off I went in search of some "rainbow" knit fabric to make this little beauty.  I went to my local fabric store, but they had absolutely nothing in rainbow-y style in knit fabrics.  (PLEASE can anyone give me details of a good online shop or a local (Sydney, Australia) shop that sells good quality knit fabrics?)  Very disheartened and with absolutely no idea what I would do instead, I just started to wander aimlessly around the store.  I had a look at some cotton fabrics and some poly-cottons, which both had cute rainbow stripy or spotty designs, but I really wasn't feelin' the love.

Then I came across something I've not paid much attention to before, except for it's cute name ... Seersucker ... love that word!!  Where does that name come from anyway?  I've never sewn with it before, and always thought it was a little dorky actually, but I fell instantly in love with this rainbow stripe seersucker, and this rainbow shirt started to come to fruition.  I vaguely remembered a tutorial I had seen at one of my favourite kiddy clothes blogs.  It's called the Olivia Top, and I had wanted to try it sometime and had saved it on my desktop in my craft to-do file. So I bought the seersucker, and off home I went.
Now, does anyone else find it really difficult to leave some nice, new, untouched fabric alone after bringing it home, especially with a project in mind?  Well I do, and despite my particularly hectic week, I cut into the fabric and got started that very night.  In fact I got started AND finished that night, and definitely stayed up way past my bedtime, but it was so worth it.  I LOVE this top....and thankfully so does Bethany, especially when it was coupled with some rainbow nail-polish.  I learned a few new sewing techniques in this one too which was exciting ... I learned to make bias tape (for the neckline), I learned to make a bodice pattern by tracing a T-shirt, I learned to make gathered sleeves (actually these were my first EVER sleeves at all) and I learned to do a button-front.  Boy it was fun to make.
And I'm glad it was fun, 'cause my sister-in-law has politely suggested this rainbow top would make a great Christmas gift for my 2 nieces!!  Yay!

Oh, and I AM going to try the Lollipop dress out too sometime this summer ... just have to find the perfect knit fabric first!!