Tag Archives: gifts

the world in miniature

8 Aug

My sister Amal is a genius doll-maker, and I don’t use the word ‘genius’ lightly. Her dolls are beautiful – at the moment her shop is unstocked (the creatures take a long time to make) but if you take a look at her past sales, you’ll see what I mean. They’re resin ball-jointed dolls, about 9″ tall – very different to what you might have in mind when you think of the word ‘doll’.

To celebrate her birthday, I’ve been having a go at making some mini cushions for these dolls. It’s good timing, since Amal’s just bought a range of chairs for her dolls, and no chair is complete without a cushion!

I hope she likes them! They’re stuffed with cotton wool, and machine-sewed, except for the top edge which I’ve sewn with the tiniest stitches I could manage. I would love to make more of these as they are really cute, but I’m going to wait to see whether the dolls are fans or not – or whether they’d like to see some changes made!


for you…

31 Jul

One of the best things about being a crafter, is that it’s possible to create personal and touching gifts for those you love at short notice. I made this cushion a little while ago, but added a few little finishing touches yesterday…

It’s for the boyf (his name’s Ali) and ever since he first received it, it’s had pride of place on his beloved chair. This is a bit of a given since he lives with me and I’d be rather peeved if it was flung into a corner and forgotten. But having said that, I know that if I received a personalised gift made lovingly by hand, I’d be pretty chuffed. So, with that in mind, I want to start working on a few more gifts for upcoming birthdays.


A new bag in less than an hour…

5 Jun

So I’m leaving Australia in about 48 hours and returning to a British summer (that apparently, rather untypically, is baking hot). This might mean that a beach bag is no longer an essential for me, but I’ve decided to leave my sister with a beach bag made from the fabric left over from the maxi dress I made a week ago.

This is such a simple design and can work with all different types of fabric, but my recommendation would be something with a little bit of give – nothing too heavy or stiff. Having said that, you want something a little durable if it’s going to achieve the first priority of any good bag – to not break and drop all your stuff out of the bottom! That’s happened to me and it was no fun!

1. Right, the first step is to cut two equally sized ovals from the fabric – the exact shape and design is up to you.

2. Then, using a saucepan lid as your template, cut out a circle from each side.

3. This bit is up to you, but I hemmed all of the loose edges, so that I wouldn’t be caught out by any fraying.

4. I sewed the two sides together along the outside of the ovals, and then within the top semi-circle of the inside circle.

5. Again up to you, but I reinforced the bottom of the bag (as the fabric is quite flimsy and I was handsewing my way around) by sewing loops in and out of the edge.

6. Finally, for a bit of detail, I wound a long piece of the fabric around the handle of the bag. This bundles the fabric together, making it look a little tigther. I then used a running stitch to keep this piece of fabric in place.

And there you have it. A bag to make you proud at the beach.  The beauty of this design is that a) it’s speedy, especially if you have a sewing machine and b) you can customise or change any part of it that you like. You’ll end up with something quite special… though maybe you’d have to ask my sister whether she agrees!