Etsy treasury finds

I love the Etsy Treasury feature. It is such a lovely way to explore beautiful things themed by people who have more time than me to trawl through Etsy! I get lors of inspiration for my next sewing and craft projects from etsy, I'm sure you do too!

Here are some links to some pretty and quirky things that have caught my eye recently. Click on the pic to go to the Etsy Page and enjoy!

ILoveYoYo crocheted flowers

MaidofYarn cat yarn bowl

Silvia66 Giant Crochet cowl

Gingermelon woodland stufflings pdf pattern

Atouchofstardust- Chandeliers & Sparrows wristlet

prettybabybowtique headband
I love the birdie clutch and the little headband. The woodland stufflings are super sweet too and would make a lovely handmade present for someone special.

Feel free to share your Etsy wants in the comment section because I'd love to take a look at what you like!


make a paper vinyl wallet

Everyone love Martha, right? Living in Australia, I haven't been lucky enough to grow up with Martha Stewart on tv everyday, but I was lucky enough to discover her website which has lots of clips from previous episodes. She's one clever and crafty lady! I have learned about all things handmade from the craft and sewing tutorials to diy and home projects. Such a great resource!

In one episode I discovered how to make a paper vinyl wallet  by Kristy from Dear Sukie. I fell in love with the idea but you need a non stick foot for your sewing machine to be able to complete the project successfully (which I didn't have....).
I did try to make it with a normal foot and lots of cursing and tantrums ensued so I didn't bother trying again!

Until recently when I read somewhere that you can place strips of painters or masking tape on the bottom of your foot to help it glide over the pvc plastic more easily. It worked!

I immediately downloaded the templates for the pockets and main body piece and followed the instructions in the tutorial linked above. There is also a clip from the episode you can watch which helps as the instructions can seem a little confusing.

Here are some pictures of the paper vinyl wallet I made as a gift for my friend Liz who loves owls. I hope she likes it.

owl paper vinyl wallet
paper vinyl wallet
paper vinyl wallet inside view

It was fun to make after a couple of false starts. I'd definitely try it again sometime.

What do you think?

Feedback always welcome!


Sharing the love of angry birds costume making....

This morning I received an email that truly made my day. It was from a lovely lady from Wisconsin who discovered my posts on Angry Birds costume making and with the help of her mum, created two costumes for her little boys.

I thought I'd share the email and the picture of her cute little boys as it made me smile:

"I looked all over the internet for angry bird costume patterns with no luck and then I ran across your website, elegantpaws. Your site helped my mom and I figure out how to make my 2 children costumes (well, roughly, I had no idea what I was doing and she has some sewing experinece). The end result is not as nice as yours but my boys just loved them and wear them all the time, they also have many envious friends :) With any luck they'll hold up until next October and they can wear them for Halloween.
Again, thanks for posting on your site, it helped us a lot in trying to create these costumes. Attached is a picture. I thought you'd get a kick out of seeing our version of your costumes."


Don't they look fantastic? I am so impressed and thrilled that I can help perpetuate the Angry Birds obsession that is gripping the world!

Feel free to add links to your Angry Birds creations in the comment section below or send me an email with your pictures and I'll add it to this post.


YOUR favourite craft or sewing tutorials

I have an ever growing list of tutorials for things I'd like to have a go at if only there were a few more hours in the day!

I get lots of inspiration from websites such as craft gossip, cut out and keep and one pretty thing where I have discovered not only a whole range of wonderful tutorials but the fantastic blogs they come from.

So today I am curious to hear from you - What sewing or craft tutorials have you been inspired by lately?

I'm pretty open to a range of areas- sewing, craft, papercraft, diy.... anything!

So it's.....

image found at free pretty things for you!

Share a link to your chosen tutorial in the comment section below with a brief description of why you like it so much. Feel free to promote your own tutorials too!

I love reading comments and sharing the blog love, don't you?


Blog love: embroidery basics from Wild Olive

Last week I found an amazing bargain at my local op shop - the entire 6 folder collection of a subscription series called 'needlecraft magic'.

I ended up buying two folders, one that focuses on the techniques of cross stitch and embroidery and one packed full of stencils and projects incorporating fabric painting with embroidery detail. A true gem for only $5 per folder!!!

Then (as things usually happen in my life) I stumbled upon this blog by Mollie Johnson:

Here, she shares projects and patterns for embroidery and cross stitch and a great little series on embroidery basics. Each week she introduces new techniques for you to follow along, and everything is stepped out simply with great pictures and detail. I would recommend stopping by her blog and the embroidery basics series if you would like a good introduction to this handicraft. I believe it is coming back in vogue in a big way!
I have always admired embroidery but haven't tried it earlier as I figured I am probably too clumsy and impatient and I generally have a lack of attention to detail. However, since the universe led me to the awesomeness of 'needlecraft magic' I am willing to give it a go as I think you could make pieces unique and interesting with embroidered detail.

We'll see how it goes....

In the meantime, here are some links to some cute embroidery patterns I have found for you to enjoy.

Amy from Pimp Stitch shares a tutorial for Embroidered buttons. Too cute!

Catherine of Bumpkin has this gorgeous embroidery pattern on her etsy store, available for pdf download. So cute!

I found a detailed tutorial for making an embroidered Strawberry Shortcake apron from tada creations. Strawberry shortcake was one of my favourite characters as a child, I even had little dolls of her and her cat cheesecake and they both smelled like strawberry. mmmm. :)

There are also heaps of embroidery patterns and tips and tricks to be found on one pretty thing, feeling stitchy and craft gossip.

Feel free to share links to cute embroidery patterns in the comments section!


Cute elephant fabric pencil case

At the moment I'm in a phase where my sewing can't keep up with my fabric purchases. I regularly have to ban myself from buying more fabric so I can focus on creating with what I have.

This rule went out the window recently when I came across a gorgeous pink and white elephant fabric that I couldn't resist, but I decided if I was going to buy it I would have to sew something up immediately to make up for being naughty. :)

So here is a little flat bottom pencil case I made using the sweet elephant fabric. I love it and think it will be a good addition to my future market stall, whenever that happens!

flat bottom pencil case
 For this pencil case, I decided to create some fabric zipper ends using a technique I learned from Keyka Lou's patterns. They give the zipper ends a neat and professional look which I like. There is a make up purse tutorial from Flossie Teacakes which also explains how to use fabric zipper ends if you'd like to have a go too.

To make it stand up on its own I boxed the corners. This is a handy trick you can use to give your purses, pencil cases and totes some body and structure. It's worth the effort to use them, even though it's time consuming and a bit of a pain to get them even. You can have a look at this tutorial from craft apple on making proper boxed corners with a ruler. Oooh, preciseness.... :)

Here is a picture of my elephants in their 'natural' habitat.... a grassy patch at the side of our apartment block. hee hee. 

Who doesn't love elephants?


making gifts for a mum-to-be: travel wipes pouch tutorial

After sewing these cute bibs for a friend of mine who is a new mum-to-be I thought it would be nice to make a coordinating travel wipes and diaper pouch. Since I don't have a baby myself it's hard to work out what would be a practical present (that's also cute and gender neutral!), but I figured making a little pouch with enough room for a set of travel baby wipes, some powder or lotion and a few diapers would probably come in handy.

Here's a picture of the final result:

It matches this bib I made and I'm giving it to my friend as a little set as part of her gifts for her baby shower.

I don't have a detailed tutorial for this one, but here are some instructions and a few pics to help you on your way if you'd like to have a go too.

  • fabric for outside, flap and strap (focus fabric)
  • fabric for lining and flap
  • interfacing
  • hook and loop tape
Here is a picture of all the parts you will be cutting and sewing: outside body, lining, flap, strap and pocket.

Step One: Cut out your fabric pieces

Cut out two rectangles about 11 inches x 14 inches (27.5cm x 35cm) for the body of the pouch in the focus fabric, lining and interfacing.
Fuse the interfacing to the main fabric pieces to give it some body.

I made a little pocket for the lining piece by folding a rectangle about 8" x 5" (20cm x 12cm) in half wrong sides together. Stitch around all 3 sides leaving a gap to turn it the right way. Press and stitch onto the right side of the lining piece near the top.

make a pocket and stitch to lining piece

For the flap, I just used the same width (11 inches) and added the height based on what I thought would look ok (about 6inches/15cm) Next time, I'll make the width slightly narrower (maybe 10 inches) as the flap piece was a little wide in the end and bunched up a bit while sewing. (The trial and error nature in which I operate has its pitfalls sometimes!)

Cut a focus fabric piece, interfacing and lining piece of the flap. I curved one edge tracing around a jar and fused the interfacing to the focus fabric piece.

Step two: Stitch the flap and make a strap

On the right side of the lining piece of the flap, stitch a strip of hook and loop tape 1.5 inches from the curved bottom in the middle. (stitch the rough side of the hook and loop tape to this piece)

With right sides facing, stitch the focus fabric piece and lining piece together around the curved edge leaving the top open.
After turning it the right way and pressing, top stitch around the curved edge for some extra detail.

flap front

flap back

At this point I thought it would be a good idea to include a strap for easy carrying.
To make a strap, cut a piece of focus fabric 2.5 (about 6.5 cms) inches wide x 12 inches (30cm).
Fold the strip in half with the long edges together. Press.
Un-fold the strip and fold each long edge to meet in the middle (on the line you have just pressed) Press again.
Fold the strip in half long ways again and press. You can now top stitch along each long end to secure your strap. Done! (Use this technique on purses to turn them into wristlets)

make a strap

Step three: Sew your body and lining pieces together

Place one focus fabric piece right side up on the table in front of you. Fold your strap piece in half and pin to one side of your fabric about an inch and a half (3.5cm) from the top.

pin strap to focus fabric piece

Place the other focus fabric right side down on top of the first piece. Pin around two long edges and one short edge and sew, trapping the strap in between. (You can see it poking out of the left side on the picture below)

pin focus fabric pieces right sides together and sew around three edges

Turn right side out and press.

Put your lining pieces right sides together and pin around two long sides and one short side, leaving a gap in the middle of the short piece to turn the whole thing out the right way. Sew around all three sides leaving the gap you created. turn and press nicely. (no pic for this step)

Step four: Assemble and stitch together!

Work out which side of the focus fabric will be the front and back.
Take your flap piece and pin it to the top of the back of your focus fabric piece, right sides together. (keep your pins low so they don't get in the way of you sewing the top.
At this point you might like to stitch the flap in place, however you don't need to as it will be sewn in place when you attach the bag to the lining.

pin flap to back of focus piece, right sides together

Here is the interesting part.
Turn your lining piece inside out.
Place the focus fabric piece (right side out) inside the lining piece. make sure you match up the back of the focus fabric piece with the lining piece with the pocket on it, so the pocket ends up sitting at the back of the pouch.

put the focus piece inside the lining piece which is inside out

Line up the seams and the top edge. Pin around the top of the pouch. (but don't pin it together or you will seal the bag!)

Stitch around the top of the pouch carefully. You will trap the flap piece between the lining and outside piece in this step too. I sewed around the top twice to make it stronger.
Using the gap in the lining you created, pull the focus fabric piece through the gap until you have turned it the right side out.
Remove the pins, slip stitch the gap closed and give the whole thing a nice press.
fold your flap down and mark the place for the other piece of hook and loop tape. Stitch the tape into place to close.


finished, huzzah!

To illustrate its usefulness, you could fill the pouch with a set of travel wipes, diapers and some powder or lotion and give it to your special mum-to-be as a gift at a baby shower. 
I hope you found these instructions ok for making your own travel wipes and diaper pouch.

Suggestions always welcome!

Linking at these fabulous parties.

Linking up here at today's creative blog link party, get your craft on!

Keyka-Lou anniversary pattern sale!

I love love love Keyka Lou patterns for purses and bags. They are so easy to follow and you can learn a whole variety of tricks to help improve your general sewing. All the patterns are available via pdf for instant access!

Here are pictures of two bags I made using the small satchel pattern:

At the moment she is having an Anniversary sale where all patterns are just $5!

She also has a new pattern this month-Ditty Bags. The pattern includes 3 sizes to make zip top pouches with a flat back & hanging loop.

Click here to go to the sale!

making gifts for a mum-to-be: bibs

I have sooooo many friends expecting their first baby at the moment. It's so exciting! In preparation for the arrival of all these new babies the baby showers have begun, and I have decided to handmake something for all of these new mums. I'm glad I can use my hobby to make something different and a little special for my beautiful friends!

Since most of my friends don't know the gender of their baby I thought it would be a good idea to stick to gender-neutral colours like greens and yellows and to make things both boys and girls can wear. Naturally, bibs seemed like a practical gift that can be fun and decorative too!

Here are my first three bibs:

I bought the fabrics from my favourite quilting shop in Sydney, The Remnant Warehouse. They have a huge range of beautiful fabrics for any kind of project along with patterns and haberdashery. Check them out if you're in the neighbourhood!

I think these fabrics would be ok for both a little boy or a girl. I love the apples and the patchwork one with pigs in tractors or on a ferris wheel. Hee hee, so cute.

Here's a closer look at each bib:

To make the bibs I first made myself a pattern. There are quite a lot of different bib patterns online, but in the end I made my own based on two different styles.

I used the pattern to cut out the focus fabric, interfacing to give it some body and some brushed cotton for the reverse side. You also need some hook and loop tape to hold it together.

Making bibs is pretty straight forward, you just sew around the perimeter leaving a gap for turning which you can slip stitch closed later. I would recommend using a walking foot to keep the layers moving evenly if you have one. I would have used mine but it is lost in the house somewhere. :( Instead, I just used lots of pins to avoid little ripples.

Next, I think I'll make a travel wipes case to match one of the bibs and maybe make some appliqued onesies. Cute! 

Send me links to your cute baby stuff, I'd love some more inspiration!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Pretty things for ballerinas: Part 1

My friend Kylie has a little dance and ballet school called KRS dance in Southern Sydney. Recently she asked me to make her some presents to give to the little girls in her class who were trying especially hard. I have decided to make her some drawstring bags for ballet shoes and some little purses for hair ties and bobby pins using cute ballerina fabric I bought online.

To make it a bit of a challenge (and a good learning experience) I have decided to try and sew 10 different pieces. I will sew either a drawstring bag or a small purse of some kind but I'm going to try and experiment with fabric, style and embellishments. I'll throw in some tutorials too to keep it interesting for you too!

The first thing I made was a drawstring bag for carrying ballet, tap or jazz shoes. The casing for the ribbon is attached to the outside which makes it easier to put together I think. I'll do a tutorial for this one soon so you can have a go!

drawstring ballet shoe bag
 Next, I made a zippered purse  using one of my favourite Kokka patchwork fabrics. It's a nice blend of cotton and linen so it feels gorgeous. I'd like to make one of these for me too!

ballerina fabric coin purse- front

ballerina fabric coin purse- back

Next up I made two cute little snap closure wallets for housing hair accessories. Inside, there is a little pocket for the girls to put their bobby pins in neatly. 
This was also my first attempt at using ric rac as a trim. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and will definitely use it again.

snap closure purses

So i'm off to a decent start, 4 pieces down, 6 to go! I need to get creative and think of some different ideas for the next ones.

Suggestions welcome!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...