Busy Bees Sewing

witsand-xmas-marketIt has been quiet over here at Practical Pages this past month because we have been busy sewing and I put our homeschooling on the back burner.  We were given a last-minute spot at the fabulous Witsand Christmas Market to sell our handmade items this December.  Not having much time to prepare, we plunged in full-time!

My product line is called Birdie Bags and I am trying to generate enough stock to last the full month of Dec into the New Year.  I am sewing bags, mostly quilted drawstring bags and pencil and other zip bags.  These bags fold open to become a basket-tray, making it an ideal travel bag.  birdie-bags1

 

 

birdie-bagsMy daughters created a pyjama range and my eldest sews the beautiful tops, while my middle daughter sews the shorts and pants.  They have a wonderful friendship and an amazing collaborative business.  They are setting up their Facebook page and Instagram pages and already have orders, but their Christmas market stock is a priority.  img-20161102-wa0007

So, as this school year draws to a close and South Africans plan for their long-awaited summer December break, I trust you are finding your end of year flow and rhythm.

Much grace, Nadene

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Bible Cover

Take an ‘ordinary’ store-bought Bible cover,

add some dividers,

a zipper pouch,

embroider and add beads

to make a lovely personalized Bible cover

that holds a notebook, pens and highlighter pencil and Hymn booklet.

Pop over to my Project Page for the full tutorial.

Blessings,

Frugal Dish Mat

I saw my first dish mat on Jimmie’s Collage last year and filed away the idea …

When my bath towels became so worn that I had to replace them, I thought of frugal ways to re-use them.

I remembered Jimmie’s dish mats and thought that this would be an easy-sewing project for my children.

Pop over here for the tutorial or to my Projects page for other sewing, crafts, and creative projects.

Blessings,

Celebrate Bunting

My youngest daughter celebrated her 10th birthday recently.

I created some bunting for her party.

These simple triangle flags gave a festive air as well as these lettered

Celebrate Bunting Flags

Pop over to my Projects page for my simple tutorials!

Blessings,

Toy Car Travel Mat

Here is my latest homemade gift for 2 little boys ~

A Toy Car Travel Mat!

This great car mat has pockets for the little cars and folds and rolls to neatly store and carry.

You can see the tutorial at my Making Gifts page.

I found other wonderful ideas here:

@homemadebyjill.blogspot.com has an excellent cozy-car-caddy-tutorial with numbered pockets and templates

@obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com has a lovely mini-travel-car-mat in a little draw-string bag

@edeenutcreates.blogspot.com shares a toy-car-travel-mat

@mygratitudeattitudes.blogspot.com has a step-by-step car-cozie-tutorial

@alittlegreat.com shares an amazing little-crafty-make-playmat with zipper pocket and it folds up in a tote bag.

Blessings,

Felt Food ~ Fun Project for Kids

We joined the felt food frenzy!

The kids and I made this “breakfast ” as a gift for a little pre-school  cousin~

We all cut out and sewed the food.  The girls used basic blanket stitch to close the edges and stem stitch for the embellishments.

Felt is a fantastic sewing medium!

    • Young beginners can quickly sew pieces together.
    • It stays in place and doesn’t shift when sewing.
    • It is forgiving – mistakes are often ‘hidden’ or undone without giving any evidence.
    • Colours are bright and clear.
    • It is really cheap.
    • A little goes a long way!
    • Little scraps can be used for many things.
    • It endures despite quite frequent playing.

There are some excellent websites for is more ideas, patterns and inspiration:

We’re off to make some more gifts!

Blessings,

Ribbon Notice Board

A “new” notice board

Recently I ‘upgraded’ my old notice board.

I needed a place to insert little cards and notes … perhaps a pin-board section … and somewhere to hang my reading glasses.

Pop over to my Practical Gifts To Make page for the tutorial!

Hope this inspires you to make something similar as a gift.

Blessings,

 

Pretty Apron Gift

This feastive season I hope to make many of our Christmas gifts.

I started with this simple apron ~

A really plain apron

It was store bought and fairly cheap,  much cheaper than buying the material and clasp at the fabric store, but the fabric and sewing was very strong, neat and durable.

With some scraps of co-ordinating fabric, some re-cycled lace and a piece of ribbon,  I added the decorative patchwork over the exsisting apron pocket and bib.

And this is the finished apron!

Viola!  A pretty, original apron for a sweet friend who spends most her life in her kitchen cooking, baking and preserving for her large family.

Pop over to my Project Pages and read the full tutorial and see the photos there.

I’m off to whip up some more bags, aprons, felt toys and home preserves and natural bath products for gifts!

Blessings,

Make a Bag for Nature Study

Just recently, I bought the girls some new quality paintbrushes and blank notebooks for nature journalling.

I only bought some new B and 2 B pencils, and 3 different quality paintbrushes each ~ a medium pointed brush no.7, a thinner no.3 and a fine pointed brush no.0.  The spiral notebook is new too, but the rest of these art supplies are our existing stock.

If you need to know what to buy for your children’s art supplies, check out Barb’s excellent Art Supplies for kids Squidoo lens.

I always recommend moms to buy a few quality things now and then.  Before long, your art supplies will be quite established and it should not cost too much.

What do we  take on our nature journal outings?

    • B or 2 B pencil and soft, good eraser
    • Notebook or journal or a clipboard with blank paper
    • A black fineliner pen
    • Watercolours, brushes and bottle of water
    • OR water-colour pencils
    • Some toilet paper to dab messes or clean brushes
    • Sun hat, sunscreen and smiles!
    • Mom sneaks in some small reference books – a bird book, flower or veld grass, insect reference books

As we carry our art stuff around the garden and farm, we needed dedicated bags for our outdoor studies.

I was inspired by  Suzanne of Just Another Hang Up‘s beautiful lined  Lil’ Girl Springtime Tote and the zipper pouch from Stephanie at The Crimson Owl and I adapted their tutorials to make each of us a nature study bag.

I lined each bag and made several customized pockets to hold water bottles, paint boxes and our nature journals.

I decided to add a fold-over-top so that we can store extra things we find on our nature study.

I even experimented and made pocket dividers, elasticized water bottle pockets.

For a pretty finishing touch I created several gorgeous fabric flowers to decorate the bags..

Click to my project pages or click here for the step-by-step tutorial.

Enjoy!

This post is part of the upcoming South African Carnival of Homeschooling.

Dress Up ~ How to make a “boned” girl’s corset

We all know how young girls love to dress up!

For many years my girls have dressed up for “Olden Days” games with long skirts, calico pinafores and bonnets.

This year I made them some “boned” corsets to wear over their blouses or dresses.

To read the sewing tutorial click pop over to my Projectspage~ Boned” Girl Corset

Blessings, Nadene