Make it Monday: Gone fishing!

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Over Christmas I bought the toddler some candy canes which we put in a cup and ‘fished’ for using a keyring hoop on some string. They were cheap canes and really not tasty (even the pup refused to munch them!) which is one of the reasons they have lasted so long but they finally all broke.

The toddler was rather disappointed as she loved her ‘fishing’ game so I was really thankful to find this tutorial from Handmade Gifts Made Easy! It’s a fairly simple pattern and I decided to reuse the fabric from one of my first ever sewing projects (a simple A-line dress I sewed for the toddler to wear to swim classes. Looking back, there’s wonky lines, unpressed and incorrectly sewn seams BUT she loved it and seemed happy I was going to use some of her favourite fabric). Given it’s covered in some of her favourite ocean life, it seemed fitting for a fishing game.

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One of the first items I ever sewed! Sadly the toddler has outgrown it so I’m reusing the fabric

The tutorial comes with a pattern for the fish but due to some printer issues, I decided to make my own. As you can see, it was very high-tech and properly measured.

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I used a coaster to create my fish

The toddler was already excited when I started cutting the fish out and was determined to help me sew them together. For this reason I didn’t pin them as they do in the tutorial. (Before anyone comments, when the toddler ‘helps’ me sew, she sits under the table and works the foot paddle with me, however, I don’t like to use pins if I know little fingers are around!). I also didn’t want to create a ‘worm’ on the hook because my magnet was very small and I was worried it might not have the strength to pick up the fish so used some of the fabric offcuts.

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With my helper at the paddle, the fish were quickly sewn and before I had a chance to stuff and close them the toddler had ‘caught’ a few and was off! She had a fun half an hour or so until bed time, catching them, showing us what fish she’d caught.

Once little fingers were safely in bed I got my sewing needles out and finished off the fish, putting a little stuffing in each before I sewed them up. My sewing is in no way as neat as the ‘Gifts Made Easy’ team but they do provide a helpful video if you want to do a neater job than I did.

The next morning the toddler headed straight for her fishing kit and all through breakfast kept ‘fishing’. It’s proven to be one of her favourite toys (as her homemade gifts often are) and as it’s so neat and small, it’s one I can pop in my bag to keep her entertained while we’re out and about. Hopefully it last longer than the candy canes!

Have you made any games for your youngsters? Feel free to share photos or links in the comments.

 

Make it Monday: the Bag Challenge

Not gonna lie, I’m a bag girl. Always have been. From quirky prints to unusual designs I love them all! Since starting to sew, I’ve made myself a few, mostly simple tote bags, which was a good way to cut my teeth (or cut my needle? I think we need a new phrase for learner sewists, but as always I digress…..) as they’re easy to make, lots of straight lines, gave me a feel for different fabrics and were pretty forgiving of the odd wonky seam while I was learning how sew.


However, there are only so many totes a girl can have (I mean, the toddler already has four! Yup, along with my cheekiness, she’s already got the bag bug! See my post from yesterday with her Easter bags) so I started designing my own! 


The first was the ‘Evie’ and evolved due to my need to be able to carry my essentials while either out walking the dog or out and about with the toddler. The catalyst was when she’d started walking (well, running. The toddler does EVERYTHING at a hundred miles an hour!) and we were having tea with friends in an outdoor cafe. I’d just put my tray with our treats, my purse and phone down on the table, turned around and saw the toddler belting off! Of course I went charging after her and as we got back to the table I realised I’d left my valuables on display (luckily under the watchful gaze of my friend!). However, it was a scene which was repeated frequently and so the ‘Evie’ was born. Influenced by medieval belt pouches it’s big enough to hold my purse, phone and lip balm (and of course spare dog poop bags on our walks with the pup). It’s become a must have on our outings and a few mums friends have asked me to make one too.


My next challenge was the ‘Japanese knot bag’. I’d seen them on Pintrest and thought they looked pretty cool and unique. With assorted birthdays coming up, I pulled out the tracing paper and pencil and got designing again. The ‘Anna’ was created! I made two as presents (though annoyingly forgot to take photos before gifting them!) and had plans to make one for myself, which went on the back burner due to assorted skirts, toys and other things I was sewing for the toddler, me and presents.

Which brings me to my current bag challenge. I’ve long admired this mandala fabric and a friend gave me just under half a metre. I knew immediately I wanted to make as many bags from it as I could! 


My plan was to make an ‘Evie’ and ‘Anna’ bag, with a more complex pattern I found on Pintrest. However, it quickly became apparent that I wouldn’t have enough fabric for the more complex pattern. Given that I’ve a friends wedding coming up, I decided to try and make a clutch bag, something I don’t have already in my collection. As you can see the fabric has different colours but the background is a pale beige, a perfect match for my calico which I decided to use as the liner and backing to my bags.


Using my patterns, it was fairly quick to sew all the pieces together. 


As always there was something new to learn, such as putting in a twist clasp, but I was happy with how it turned out.

And these are the finished bags! I was able to make an ‘Evie’ bag, an ‘Anna’ and the clutch that I’ve called the ‘Pippa’. There was a small piece of fabric left which I managed to turn into a small purse and there’s another small panel which I’ll use to make a drawstring bag. 


What do you think? Are you a bag fan too?

 If you’d like a bag made, please send me an email on bluebeaglebaby[at]gmail.com, comment below or on my Facebook page. 

Meet the Maker: Time to Relax

I had to chuckle when I saw this theme for today’s ‘Meet the Maker’ on Instagram. I was recently asked what I do for a living. ‘Writer and crafter,’ I replied. ‘And what are your hobbies? What do you do to relax?’ they asked. ‘Um, writing and crafting…..’ was my answer. Yup, I’m very blessed that for the most part what I do is also very relaxing for me. However, I suppose my knitting is my ‘hobby’ as I’m such a slow knitter, I don’t sell any of my creations and what I do to ‘relax’ (I have a beagle and a toddler, what’s ‘relax’ mean??). Also, a good brew is ESSENTIAL! IMG_0031.JPG

March Meet the Maker: Tools

Instagram is running a #MarchMeetTheMaker and today’s theme is ‘tools’. I use a variety of tools in my assorted crafts (from a sewing machine, felting needles and blocks to basics like scissors and glue for cards) but my main ‘tool’ is definitely my notebooks. Like so many people I’m a complete stationery addict and generally have a new notebook for different writing projects. I also have a notebook for my sewing projects & designs, knitting patterns and assorted recipes (including my new endeavour of making my own toiletries!). So while I may use knitting needles, moulds, patterns and more, I’d never do without my notebooks!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram (@bluebeaglebaby) to see more of my creations!

March Meet the Maker: Workspace

Today’s theme is ‘workspace’. I was tempted to show you my messy dining room which is where I do my sewing but decided to get out and about instead. As a writer, my workspace has included beaches, coaches, hotel rooms but more often it’s the sofa with my laptop. 

It’s also become a running joke that my daughter falls asleep every time we go out (she doesn’t like napping at home) so I always carry either my notebook, but more often my knitting or other craft project to get on with while she naps so in this instance my workspace is carparks, gardens, farms and even the zoo!