1 July 2015

Good Golly....it's Holly!

Marvel at the shiny, silk feel of holly made from vintage neck ties.  Hang them, large or small to deck your halls or tree!  Sneak a few into your stockings for little gifts.  You will never look at ties the same again, I promise!  Make a holly garland for some extra holiday merriment, purchase the PDF pattern here 

NB:  Ornaments are made from the smaller end of the tie.  Garland is made from the large end!

To Make Mini Holly Ornaments

You will need:  

Variety of mens neck ties (similar widths) 
Co-coordinating buttons (red/green)
Thin gold cord for hanging
Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies

How to Make them:

1.  The holly is made from the smaller end of the ties.  Have a play and pick two that contrast with each other, for example light and dark colors, print and stripes.  Refer to the photo above and place one tie end on top of the other approximately 4 to 4.5 cm (1 1/2-1 3/4") from the  point of the lower tie.

2.  Fold the upper tie behind the lower tie and pin, as shown below.  This will give you the "holly" shape.

3.  Cut the upper tie edge so it is neat with the longer side of the lower tie and cut the lower tie edge to be concealed inside the upper tie.  Refer to photo below.  Machine stitch in a square as shown.

3.  Your sweet little holly is nearly complete!  Stitch on your buttons.  Mine either have one larger button or three smaller buttons attached.


You will need:  

Ties as for mini ornaments - we are using the large end of the ties for the garland holly.
Large buttons
Length of pretty ribbon (mine was 180cm (70 1/2") long

How to make it:

1.  Follow the steps for the mini holly, but use the large end of the ties.  Add one larger button to the upper part of the holly.  

2.  Allowing a small length at the start and end of the ribbon for tying, space your holly evenly along the length of the ribbon and pin.  Hand stitch the holly firmly to the ribbon from the back of each one, not allowing your stitches to show at the front. (Mine are spaced 24.5cm (9 1/2") apart with 18cm (7") allowed at each end for tying).

Good golly...you have finished your holly!

6 May 2015

At The Moment......

I am sewing-

A lovely applique and pieced quilt with the theme of Love is... patient, loe is kind.  A well-known verse which I had in my wedding ceremony.  The quilt tells the story in pictures of being patient, kind, giving and how love is forever.  I must confess it has been a UFO (unfinished object) for about three years!  With the onset of cooler weather and no children in the house at the moment, lots of quilting time has been the order of the day!  I say to myself, I will not start another quilt until this one is finished!  

I an stitching a heartfelt verse on each of these oblong doilies, then making them into a sweet banner.  The tutorial will be on the blog shortly.  Lots more doiley projects to follow.  

 I am collecting -


Pretty tablecloths.  The blue beauty above has a favorite chicken scratch design.   Add to this a bundle of cute handmade dolls...mmm what will she do with these?  The little overalls and matching jumper would look great in a frame I think.  For some great ideas using vintage dolls clothes or to make your own, click the links below:

An adorable vintage Doll Suitcase by Hart and Sew
A dolls dress made from a vintage hankerchief by gracefaerie
A PDF pattern for a lovely peasant dolls dress by Bit of Whimsy Dolls on Etsy
Display your dolls clothes, ideas from Jenny B Allsorts
A great idea by Teresa Thompson


A bundle of beautiful brooches from days gone by.  I use these a lot in my craft work as feature "flowers" or to add a bit of sparkle to a design.  Some are just too gorgeous to use and I will keep them to wear.  See my tutorial "Flori-Art" canvas for a little piece of art that includes a vintage brooch.  I have a new collection of only two so far, vintage travel scarves.  I love the artwork on these and will use them in cushions. 

I am reading -



"Flow" magazine from the Netherlands.  Very inspiring, positive and full of gorgeous artwork that makes me smile.  I can sit and read it with a cuppa from front to back. 

On the bedside table is "Gang of Four" by Liz Byrski.  A wonderful chick lit read about four friends and how they travel the world at various stages of their lives, but manage to maintain the friendship and support each other through lots of ups and downs.  Our monthly book club read. 

and growing.  


Yellow trumpet flowers that meander around our weathered birdhouse.  It just keeps on flowering and flowering.  It is a joy to look at on dull days outside.  Lovely lavender in a bright, sunny spot and daisies which love a "haircut" and keep on flowering also. 

I have rejuvenated - 

A wall plaque which had rusted and faded.  It was really looking tired and came to life with a new coat of bright heritage red.  


I am thinking about - 


This year is the 100th anniversary of ANZAC day.  The Australian and New Zealand men and women who sacrificed their lives to fight in Gallipoli and gave us the freedom we now enjoy. Read more about ANZAC Day and the 5000 poppies appeal here.  Alongside the armed forces worked the volunteers of Red Cross who selflessly cared for the injured and bereft in their times of adversity.  Red Cross still supports those who are victims of natural disaster, violence and disadvantaged communities worldwide.   

8 April 2015

Drops of Heaven Mobile


 Anything pretty scores big with me.  Right now, lots of lovely doilies are accumulating in my vintage hat box and it is a shame that they are not seen or admired!  Drops of Heaven can be made from any collected shape of prettiness from the past.  Add some delicate bling and you have a thing of genuine loveliness.  The finished product reminded of teardrops falling from above, hence the name "Drops of Heaven."  This is a very simple and easy project to make - enjoy! 

You Will Need:  

Assorted doileys or motifs in graduating sizes, for bases and centres
Fabric stiffener
Plastic Wrap 
Vintage Brooch
Diamante flower
Clear flower buttons
Flower braid and fabric roses 
Lengths white lace 
6" (15cm) length of pearl and chain for  hanger
6 x 3/8 " (10mm) silver jump rings
Glue Gun and glue sticks 
Fabric glue or Mod Podge fabric glue
Small pliers

How To Make It:

*  You will need to stiffen your doilies and lace first.  Lay some protective plastic on a flat surface.  Place the doilies on top.  Pour a good quantity of fabric stiffener into a palette then brush each doiley thoroughly covering all parts of the doiley surface.  You will need to keep brushing on the stiffener as the doiles do not absorb it easily.  They should look reasonably "wet" in all areas.  

* Turn over and repeat on the reverse side.  Let the doilies dry flat for at least 24 hours, turning over to allow thorough drying on both sides.  NB:  Some doilies may appear to "buckle" a little as they dry, particularly larger round ones, so place some plastic over them with a book on top for some of the drying time, removing it to allow some air to circulate.  The doilies and lace will stiffen as they dry.   

*  You may wish to layer a smaller doiley in the centre of a larger one.  You can use fabric glue or small amounts of hot glue to do this.  Refer to the pictures below.  

*  Add some bling and prettiness!  I have added individual fabric roses to the centre of the cream doiley with hot glue.  A pretty circle of trim is glued along the outer edge.   One diamente flower is all it takes to jazz up the pink doiley!   Tie the tassel to the base of the yellow doiley.  Remove the backing from the diamente brooch and hot glue to the centre of the larger doiley.  Glue a clear button to the lower edge of each of the  stiffened lace pieces. 

*  Refer to the first photograph and join the doilies from larger down to smaller using a jump ring through an opening in the bottom of one doiley and then the top of another.  Hang each piece of stiffened lace to either side of the larger doiley as shown in the first photograph, using this method. 

*  Make a loop of the pearls and chain with a jump ring as shown above.  This can be inserted through an opening at the upper edge of the large doiley to form a hanger.

Well done, you have made your own drops from heaven! 

Linking up with Vintage Inspiration Party!

1 April 2015

Free Easter Bunny Stitchery

I am re-publishing this post lovely readers.  How can we forget this cuter than cute bunny, a quick stitch before the coming festivities-enjoy!

I have adapted this design from a drawing of the big fluffy guy my son did at the age of 7.  Not a fan of filling in color with lots of stitches?  Then use crayons - I will show you how! Instructions included for the cute Easter egg frame.

Please note:  You will need Adobe Reader -this pattern is a PDF file.  Double click on image below.  Taa! 

25 March 2015

"Sew in Love" Hoop Art Tutorial

Make this little piece of wonderful to declare your love of sewing and all things to do with sewing! This is a great way to use up bits and bobs from your stash.  Make it in your own "style" using fabrics and embellishments of your choice.

24 February 2015

Little Bits of Wonderful!

Recent vintage finds from a group of vintage and thrift shops in a coastal Victorian holiday spot.  Hence my lack of posts on the blog and a marked increase in the amount of vintage goodies I have at home! 

My favorite way of justifying a vintage buy is to say "I can make something with that" or " that would look good in the sewing room, bedroom..." or "I have been looking for one of those for ages!"  "Those" can take on a variety of forms and is usually something I have had in my collectors mind for the past few months/weeks to acquire.  For me vintage is not an need, it is an absolute want, a luxury.  Yes, I have been on a "little shop" which has turned into a big haul of goodies to take home and have suffered the associated guilt of exceeding the said budget!  Anyway, these little bits of wonderful were my latest finds and are lovingly displayed or awaiting a crafty project to share with you, lovely readers. 

9 February 2015

The Secret Sewing Stash

I am a fossicker of all things vintage and love to sew my little heart out especially when I can use some golden oldies to embellish my projects.  I was in an opportunity shop recently and not looking for anything in particular.  It should be known that this store is quite large but I find very few bits of vintage-y goodness here.  I usually go home with one or two books to add to my reading list, an occasional doily or plate.  A bit ho-hum for the collector in me.

I have decided that fate had come into play this day, when I stumbled upon an upside down biscuit tin, thrown on top of a pile of unexciting crafty bits.  Turning it over, I had a smile of delight when on the front was a sweet little pic of a dog and cat apptly named "Ruff and Fluff."  Mmmm..lovely enough to take home to store goodies.  It felt rather full, not heavy but worth a shake and a look.  Opening the lid, you could imagine my surprise when (with no amount of expectation) I found it full of little bits of sewing wonderfullness of the nostalgic kind.  Oh my...thank you Mr Fate!

Delightful tapestry bag and Semco pattern with instructions, half finished, possibly from the 50's.  Would make a lovely accessory on a special night out. Why was it not finished?  Had the mystery sewing lady become too busy, lost interest, became ill?

Pretty bundle of embroidery thread, pinks, greens, yellow.....an organized sewer has meticulously created their own little thread cards, wound on the thread and then written on the number of each color?

Semco Novelty Set thread guide on the back of gorgeous crinoline lady picture, worthy of framing for my sewing room.  Is the novelty set finished and in use in mystery sewing ladies home!

Bundle of bobbins of the metal and plastic kind. Will be used for embellishment and maybe some sewing themed jewellery.  Did mystery sewing lady upgrade from a metal loving Singer to a fancy new Pfaff?

Semco design No.49 ? large doiley instruction sheet, ? also now finished and also in use protecting a grand oak tabletop.

Underneath the said lovely tin, I found a bundle of silky braids wrapped in plastic, in colors of pinks, crimson, green.  I could see enormous possibilities for this little bundle and I was ready to go with my stash.

Now here is where Mr Fate also helped out on the day.  Underneath the pile of unexciting craft bits were cubicles of assorted fabric.  Lots of dark colors, plain prints and others I could  think of no use for.  Ready to escape I was, with my lovely tin of goodies, when a glimpse of bright yellow caught my eye.  It was a large length of pure wool in perfect condition, never been cut, never been used!  In addition and to my delight,  I found an even larger length of pink wool.  Ecstatic, I was!  Mystery lady had obviously kept her fabric in good condition with moth balls!  Gorgeous for covering furniture, making of warm quilts for winter. There was a lot of fabric.  I gathered it all under my armpit and practically raced to the counter!

Mystery sewing lady can rest assured her goodies have found a good home and will be admired and used with love!

Have you ever found an unexpected bundle of sewing goodies in a unexpected place that made your heart sing?