Thursday 29 May 2014

Thrifty Thursday - Upcycled Boot Cuffs

With Winter well and truly here, it's got me thinking of Winter Warmers and ways to 'cuteify'  the Winter Wardrobe.   Even though it's a bit cold and dreary some days, it's still nice to bring a little colour or something cute to accessorise the Winter Wardrobe with. This week on  Tutes Cute Tuesday I shared a 30 Min Finger Knit tutorial - DIY Finger Knit Boot Cuffs.

If you aren't much of a Knitter and/or don't have the time then today on Thrifty Thursday I am sharing some different ways to use upcycled sweaters (or as we Kiwi's like to call them, jerseys) to make Boot Cuffs.  They are pretty easy to make, with little or no sewing and they are such a cute way to dress up a pair of boots and keep warm at the same time.  And let's face it, there's bound to be an old jersey (last seasons anyone?) just waiting to be upcycled into a pair of Boot Cuffs.  If you don't have one just casually lying around at home, head to the Op Shop and find one for a bargain.

Thrift Shop Fashion – Recycle Sweaters Into Boot Toppers

DIY Boot Socks

How to make Leg Warmers from on old Sweater

What Can You Do With a Goodwill Sweater?

How to make Boot Cuffs from a Ribbed Sweater

For more Upcycled Clothing ideas check out my Upcycled Clothing Pinterest Board
Happy Upcycling xx

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tutes Cute Tuesday - DIY Finger Knit Boot Cuffs Tutorial

It's getting colder by the day, (it even came close to snow here today!) so I've pulled out last season's boots in preparation for the next 4 months of winter. They are looking a little sad so I'm thinking a fun pair of these boot cuffs will help jazz them up a little. They are also known as boot toppers, or boot warmers, whatever they are - they're pretty cute and practical too so it's a double win. 

I thought I might have a go at this DIY Finger Knit Boot Cuff Tutorial from Audra over at The Kurtz Corner. You might remember the Arm Knit an Infinity Scarf in 30 minutes post.  Well Audra was the inspiration behind that one too!

There are a number of other ways you can make them too -  you can knit or crochet them.  Or you can upcycle (my favourite word!) them from old sweaters.  That's what this week's Thrifty Thursday is all about.

Happy Finger Knitting xx

Tutorial used with the kind permission of Audra Kurtz

Monday 26 May 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Genevieve Robinson Designs

How did your business come about?

I have always been interested in colour - right from the moment I was allowed to buy a large orange A4 lined notebook from our local magazine and stationery store when I was 9.  In 2006, I started sewing some designer hankies from my home back in Dunedin. The fabrics I bought wholesale and in bulk, so I could justify getting some pretty amazing threads! 

Since moving to Christchurch, I have branched out into making wooden bunting necklaces that are covered in gorgeous papers, and also, painting large wood and geo-shaped beads in a multitude of bright colours. These are all hand-painted in my own garden studio.

Where did the name come from?

I did call myself Genevieve Robinson - Stylish Handkerchiefs and Accessories for a few years, but that became more of a mouthful really. I now just design under my own name.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Mostly from the era in which I grew up. (Ahem - the 70s).  Films like Swiss Family Robinson and the Wilderness Family really inspired me. Wooden A-frame houses and wood in general, the smell of pine trees, embroidered Swedish patterns in wild colours, folklore and woodland creatures. 

So many things inspire me - but I guess that's how we evolve really. This is my one-off "Fitzroy" collected which is inspired by the character and wardrobe worn by Nina in Offspring.

What do you love about what you do?

I have an excuse to say "I think I will buy that", or "I am a writer, so I need stationery." But I can only say that for so long I guess. I have boxes of unused stationery and gorgeous pads and pens. 

Where do you find time to craft/write? Mostly at weekends. I promise myself a day a week to sit down and craft listening to my old Beastie Boys tracks and Digital Trance music. I guess it's quite therapeutic, which is very important for me, as my day job is as a feature writer for a busy community newspaper.

How long have you been writing for?

Since I was given the orange journal back when I was a child I guess. I used to write all sorts of nonsense in there. Actually, not that I come to think of it, I used to create some rather hilarious fashion magazines made from an old roll of paper I found as the tip when I was about 11. My friend and I would spent hours cutting out images from books and magazines then sticking them in our own little home-made versions, and sketching in them too.

In 2010, I decided to attend a Creative Writing course one day a week. This was an incredible eye-opener for me and really made me think hard about what I wanted to do. My tutor, Diane Brown, who is also a novelist and poet, suggested I should think about studying journalism. I took her advice and went to study it full-time the following year. I have never looked back.

What’s next for you?

I am not quite sure - but I would love to do a stationery range as some stage.  Aside from that, on a personal and emotional level, I still gravitate towards giving something back to the environment - this could be planting a small native plant forest, or helping at an animal sanctuary somewhere. I always said to myself: If I win lotto, I will start my own animal ambulance service for the community, and dedicate at least a year or two of my life to wildlife conservation.

You can find more of Genevieve Robinson's designs here...

Shop Online:
Facebook - Genevieve RobinsonDesigns


Giveaway Details 

Genevieve has a bunting necklace from her one-of-a-kind Fitzroy Collection for one reader to win. Inspired by the character and wardrobe worn by Nina in Offspring, this bunting necklace is a great accessory for brightening up any outfit.

To go into the draw head to Genevieve Robinson Designs Facebook Page.  Please like her page (or if you are already a liker - done!) and leave a comment below the Giveaway post on her Facebook page telling Genevieve why you think you'd like to wear one of her bunting necklaces. Easy Peasy!
- one comment per person
- you must live in New Zealand
- giveaway closes on Sunday 1st June

Images used with the kind permission of Genevieve Robinson

Friday 16 May 2014

Friday Finds - Fabric Storage Ideas

If you feel like your 'fabric stash' could be on an episode of Hoarders then these Fabric Storage Ideas are for you.  I have a thing about organising my mess craft supplies at the moment, as I'm in the process of organising space to create (this will be a post later on, no doubt) so while I was searching for inspiration I came across these great ideas to store fabric. And seeing as it's Fabric Week around here (see My Inspiration Monday - Fabric Fixation, Tutes Cute Tuesday - 18 Fun with Fabric Tutorials and Thrifty Thursday - 24 Upcycled Fabric Scrap Projects) it was only appropriate to show you how to store  fabric using some upcycling ideas to make it look pretty at the same time.

Custom Cabinet Fabric Storage

Happy Organising xx

Thursday 15 May 2014

Thrifty Thursday - 24 Upcycled Fabric Scrap Projects

Scraps, scraps, more scraps!  They are no doubt, abundant in every craft, sewing or creative space everywhere. Cast aside for a rainy day, they tend to pile up quite quickly and are most often admired for their cuteness but not for their usefulness.  Here are some cute scrap fabric projects to get you inspired to start using and upcycling some of those scraps (rainy day not required) to make them useful.

Fabric Stamps Tutorial
Fabric Scrap Gift Tags
Scrap Hearts Card
Bunting Card
Fabric Envelope Tutorial
Paper Clip Fabric Bookmarks
Bunting Gift Wrap Decoration

Pippa Cuff Tutorial
Scrap Fabric Bunting Necklace Tutorial
Happy Scrappy Headband Tutorial
Fabric Button Bobby Pin Tutorial
Recycled Scrap Necklace Tutorial

How to make a Dress Up Girl game
Matching Scraps Memory Game
Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Body Outline Fabric Collage

Fabric House Tutorial
Scrappy Bunting
Fabric Scrap Spool Bunting
Ticker Tape Canvas
Scrap Fabric Canvas Art
Scrappy Bunting Tea Towel
Vintage Sheet wrapped Frame Tutorial

For more scrappy ideas check out my Fun with Fabric Pinterest Board to get inspired.

Happy Sewing xx

Kidspot Mums Say Review - Sofia the First - A Royal Family Tour of Christchurch

Hot on the heels of William, Kate and George's Royal Tour, the Royal  Family from Enchancia pictured here in a formal family portrait recently visited Christchurch.

Sofia, the darling of the Royal Family was a crowd favourite with royal watchers  sure to look out for her wherever  the Royal Family were visiting.

The Royals visited a local wildlife park on a NZ Kiwi Tour.  They talked to staff about the kiwi breeding programme and the results of this work that have been achieved.

They took a tour of Christchurch's Earthquake Recovery effort, Prince James and King Roland taking a particular interest in the diggers.

They stayed a night at the exclusive Jellie Castle, rumoured to be $1000 night.  They posed for photographers and waved to well wishers on the castle balconies.

Well wishers who got quite close while giving them flowers said the Royals were 'lovely' and happy to chat, commenting that the weather 'had been different to what they had at home'.  They hadn't had much rain in Enchancia so were happy to experience the cooler weather.

Sophia particularly liked the garden, commenting to staff on  the spring flowers.  And the friendliness of the creatures in the garden.

While Sophia was admiring the garden, there was a security breach, with King Roland and Queen Miranda being manhandled by a well wisher. The overexcited well wisher was detained however no charges will be laid.  The Royal Family were quite happy to be man handled, King Roland commented that 'they were made of pretty strong stuff'.

The Royal Family also visited a local theme park with the royal children enjoying a number of the rides. 

Afterwards the family enjoyed some popcorn and rumour has it, the family are taking some of the snack food home with them to Enchancia.

In Christchurch they also visited the local swimming pool, watching swimming lessons in progress.  King Roland and Queen Miranda were impressed with SwimsmartChristchurch City Council’s Learn to Swim Programme.   Recently, the Christchurch City Council was awarded the 2014 Quality Swim School of the Year Award

They also took time out of their busy schedule to picnic in the park and admire the autumn leaves.

The last night of the tour they attended the Government House Ball.  James delighted fellow guests by dancing with his sisters while King Roland and Queen Miranda looked on.

Earlier in the day, the Royals from Enchancia visited the Government House kitchen to meet with the Chef who prepared the evening banquet.  Queen Miranda was said to be excited about the banquet meal and was looking forward to trying the 'Chicken Pie a la Enchancia'.

The Royal Family also posed for well known Kiwi photographer for a more casual family portrait to mark the end of a successful Royal tour.  One lucky well wisher who thoroughly enjoyed the Royal visit is looking forward to following them on their next tour which is rumoured to be a visit to Sofia's distant cousin Jake in Neverland.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Tutes Cute Tuesday - 18 Fun with Fabric Tutorials

Seeing as it's a fabric inspired week around here, I thought I would round up some cute fabric tutorials for Tutes Cute Tuesday. I've tried to share tutorials of all difficulty levels.  I'm a bit of a novice sewer, and I found a few that I might even try!
There are so many tutorials out there (like in an overwhelming type of way) to get you inspired, however if you have a few favourites that you have found in your travels, please share the link below in the comments.

Floor Cushion Tutorial
One Seater Floor Cushion Tutorial
Sit Upons Tutorial
Jelly Roll Floor Pillow Tutorial

DIY Tablet Case Tutorial
Reusable Lunch Bags Tutorial
Keep your Cool Smartphone Case
Sunnies Case
Wallet-to-Tote-on-go Tutorial

Zippered Book Clutch Tutorial
Simple Clutch Tutorial
Macaron Coin Purse Tutorial
Chevron Clutch Tutorial
Snappy Coin Purse Tutorial

Bandana Bib Tutorial
Monster Bib Pattern & Tutorial

For more inspiration you can check out my Fun with Fabric Pinterest Board.
Happy Sewing xx

Monday 12 May 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Fabric Fixation

How did your business come about?
When Lilly was a year old a friend of mine (who was a fantastic sewer) showed me (Amanda) the most adorable dress she made, and fabrics which she had recently purchased. With a nudge towards the sewing machine, she taught me how to make it. I couldn't believe how simple it was, and how pretty it turned out. I was hooked, and started spending quite a bit of my time browsing Fabric & Pattern shops online and started making babies clothes and accessories. Towards the end of 2011 (after a year of spending far too much money on fabrics) I saw that Fabric Fixation was for sale.

 I needed a bit of a challenge so I made Kelly an offer and on Christmas Day 2011 she sent me an email saying it was mine. Panic then set in as what did I know about running a business? Before having Lilly I was a Primary School Teacher, so the two were complete worlds apart. So with help via email from Kelly and help from my mum (who is an accountant) I hit the ground running and haven't looked back since.

Where did the name come from?
I bought the business with the name, but those who love fabric will understand that fabric is a fixation, it is an addiction, and we all have mountains of fabric stashed away somewhere for that project we will do some day. 

Where does my inspiration come from?
The joy I get from this business is seeing the beautiful creations that my fabric gets turned in to. I love it when customers come back to me and tell me what they have made, or email pictures. I have had quite a few customers who have never sewn before. I get these lovely emails asking for all sorts of advice and guidance, then a month or two later the photos are sitting in my inbox showing off their first projects (which are usually very ambitious). I love seeing other people's success and joy at completing a project, and that is why I do what I do.

What do you love about what you do?
Choosing fabric!! Well actually, it is extremely stressful sometimes as when Reps arrive they come armed with suit cases full of everything you can imagine. I'm quite lucky because they come and visit me at home, so I sit with a cuppa (and usually Lilly too, who I have turned into a fabric addict at the age of 4) and we spend an hour or so looking at fabric collections, deciding on which ones we like, which ones customers would like, and which ones we can actually afford. I usually make a yes and maybe pile which I then go through at least three times until I can bring it all in on budget. But it's loads of fun and the Reps are just lovely.

Where do you find time to run your business?
I do most of my work at night when the girls are in bed. I make up the days orders at night and if there is any time left then I will do a little admin work, otherwise my admin work gets done during the days that Lilly is at pre-school and Bella is having a nap. Having the Fabric Reps come to my house is a key factor in making this business work as they come when I'm home and the kids aren't a problem at all. As for my sewing, well that is pretty non existent. I do it when I can which is not often enough so I settle for loving the creations that my customers make and share with me.

What's next for you?
I'm enjoying what I do, and I am enjoying the size of my business. It's doesn't take me away from being a mum which is important for me. It's a business which my family can all be part of. I have been tossing around quite a few future plans. I think if I don't go back to teaching once the girls are both at school then I will open a fabric shop, but whether that is in Christchurch or somewhere in North Canterbury where we live, who knows? 

So watch this space because you may just see some advertising for weekend craft workshops in the country side, or country Crafternoon Teas. One thing I think for certain is that the fabric will win out over teaching as who doesn't love being surrounded by beautiful fabrics every day?

Special Offer
For the month of May, Amanda is giving readers of justalittlebitcute a gift with each purchase. All you have to do is put in Just a Little Bit Cute in the comments box when purchasing from Fabric Fixation online when checking out. Easy!

You can find Fabric Fixation here...
Shop Online:

These are some of my fabric faves I will be purchasing this
week from Fabric Fixation...

Happy Sewing xx

Images used with the kind permission of Amanda van Rooy