Posts Tagged ‘sewing

Today I am introducing my friend Mandie who goes by the name of TheMinersWife in the crafty world.


Mandie is a wonderful friend of mine who is very crafty. We like to get together to craft & chat when we have the chance.  If we’re not crafting, then we’ll be out to lunch,shopping  or  walking together.  We also love to do the odd market stall about the place together. My market buddy!

I thought it was about time I introduced her to the rest of you and so I asked Mandie a few questions.  She has also very kindly offered to giveaway one of her PDF patterns!  Details below on how to enter.

Embroidery PDF Pattern - Dance

Embroidery PDF Pattern – Dance

Tell me about TheMinersWife.

TheMinersWife shop is where you will find all of my PDF patterns to recreate many of my original projects – journal covers, dolls, softies and stitcheries.  I love to turn my original creations into patterns so that other crafters can personalise them by recreating them in fabrics and colour-ways that they prefer.  My patterns are easy to follow and have lots of photos, diagrams and hints throughout so that even if you have no sewing experience, you will still be able to confidently work your way through the project, and the end result will look just like it is supposed to.    Sometimes you will also find a few completed goodies available in my shop such as hair accessories, home decorating items and stationary items; I also like to play around with different ideas and create little bits and pieces that I don’t always turn into patterns.

Emmalani Seahorse Softie Pattern

Tell us what you do & what inspires you to create?

I sew!  I love to sew anything really, and then turn my creations into patterns.  Sometimes I am inspired by an occasion, such as birthdays, Christmas, Easter, births etc where I need to give a gift so I’ll come up with something suited to the particular recipient.  Other times I am inspired by my girls, who are also very crafty, and I often enlist them to draw certain objects for me as I love their interpretations – sometimes stripped back to bare basics, at other times taken to a new level with an added flourish, swirl or heart. I am lucky to live out of town and surrounded by bushland and forest, with the ocean only 10 minutes drive away, so there is always lots of inspiration from the natural environment too.

Fergus the Frog PDF Sewing Pattern

Fergus the Frog PDF Sewing Pattern

Have you always been a crafter?

Oh yes…for as long as I can remember.  I think it’s in my blood! I come from a long line of very talented and creative people!  Actually, I like to think that everyone has a creative bone in their body…it’s just a matter of finding it.

Maggie Doll PDF Pattern

Were you taught crafting skills by a close family member, or are you self taught?

My favourite aunt taught me to knit and crochet when I was 8.  She created beautiful pieces and was the most patient teacher.  She lost her battle with breast cancer when I was 20, and I still regret to this day not paying more attention when she was teaching me…I can not remember a thing that she taught me!  As for everything else, I am pretty much self-taught.  If I want to know how to do something, I usually Google it or hunt down a book at my local library or just play around experimenting.

Little Bird Journal Cover PDF Pattern

What other craft would you like to try?

Ooooh, it would have to be crochet.  I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet…although it is taking all of my inner strength to stop myself.  I have so many unfinished projects as it is and I fear that they will remain unfinished if I start to play around with crochet.  Hmm, we’ll see.  I’d also love to be able to paint…but unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with those skills.

Herb and Harriet Hedeghog PDF Sewing pattern

Do you have plans for any new designs?

I have lots of ideas floating around all the time!  My brain is buzzing with designs and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I wish I had more time to bring them all to life.  I have soooo many half- finished projects, and many more just waiting patiently for their turn at having my undivided attention!  I’ve had a couple of new additions join the extended family in the last couple of months, so there a few ‘baby’ inspired designs planned. I am also planning on adding a few stitchery designs into the mix.

Dear Friends Journal Cover PDF Sewing Pattern

What was the first thing you ever made?

Actually it was an ashtray for my dad!  I was nearly 5 years old and my kindergarten teacher (who was a pottery fanatic) decided to bring her pottery wheel in one day so all of us kids could have a go and make something for our dad’s for father’s day.  Mine was surprisingly perfect and I remember the teacher making quite a fuss over it at the time.  My dad gave up smoking not long after that, but I still have the bowl to this day…and even looking at it now with adult eyes, I must say I was a clever little 4 year old! The first thing I ever made out of textile though was a cute bookmark!  It was a hairclip (used by hairdressers I think) covered in felt and lace to resemble a mitten…I made quite a few before moving on to something else.  I went through an obsessive stage of making funky clothes for my sister’s cabbage patch doll too…Miss Raelyn was the best dressed girl in town!

Stella, Steve and Stanley Starfish PDF Sewing Pattern

Thanks so much Mandie for letting us into your crafty world.  I can recommend any of Mandie’s patterns.  They are so well written and have every detail you need to have a go – even if you are not all that confident a sewer.

Kids Room Name Sign PDF Sewing Pattern

Kids Room Name Sign PDF Sewing Pattern

Would you like to win one of Mandie’s PDF Sewing patterns?  Well its easy to enter, just visit The Miners Wife etsy shop and have a poke around, then come back here and leave a comment with your favourite item.  Pure chance will decide the winner in a weeks time. I’ll announce the winner in next week’s post. Good luck!

And so on to next week. It will be my last post before the In a Spin Sampler Throw Crochet Along begins.  It will be full of crochety goodness to whet your appetite for the kick off on the 16th!  I’m so excited!


Its hard to beleive, but we are more than half way through another school term.  I know its a cliched thing to say, but its so true – Time flies! That means school holidays are closer to happening than being over!  Yipee!  I have wall painting plans, but I am already thinking of some fun things to do over the break.

Here are some great diy projects that I think we can do very easily over the next break inbetween painting walls

How’s this for fabulous? DIY Giftbags! Click on the pic & it will take you to the awesome Clare’s Craftroom blog tutorial so you to can make some.

DIY gift bag made from an old knitting book – geniius!

Staying with the paper theme for now, and considering my girls’ love of origami, I think this project will be on each of their list of things to do – what a great idea! Clicking the link will take you to the lovely How About Orange Blog tutorial.

Origami Wall Art I love the simplicity of this, but I can also see my girls taking it a step further. It will be interesting to see what they come up with

I love a simple idea that makes you think “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  This is one of those.  Clicking the pic will take you to this super cute I Heart Nap Time blog tutorial.

Cute as a button paperclip bookmarks

When I saw this tutorial, I thought – wow that looks ace!  Then I saw how it was done and I just had to share it with you.  Its fabulous and fast! Clicking the pic will take you to the trick shared on the Curbly Blog

Mini Vase – amazing fast tute!

Now this one is a bit more complicated, and to be honest, I don’t think its in my skill range.  Besides, my sewing machine is not paying nice at the moment.  Still, its so fabulous I had to share it anyway.  Its from the Craft Passion Blog – be careful – you could get lost in an endless loop of “Oh I can make that” & adding things to your to do list.

Zipper Card Pouch

So there you go.  Lots of things to keep you busy and creative.  Hope you are inspired 🙂

Not so long ago, I started to get into Pinterest.  What better way to keep track of awesomeness I thought?  Then I started to read about some issues with it from lots of different sources.  I am not going to go into it all now, but suffice to say, it was enough to stop me using it for a while.  There have been some policy changes and while I am not sure if the issues are resolved fully, I am warily pinning again.

(Although, preparing this blog post has made me think again. I think it is so important to make sure you are pinning the actual person who created the thing’s work.  Not re-pinning a pic someone put on their blog and did not link to the creator.  There were some other wonderful things I was going to share, but folks have not pinned in the honest way I believe they should.  I will not perpetuate it by linking to someone who has done the wrong thing and I will be removing those things I have inadvertently pinned.)

So, what can I show you that I have been pinning?  Here’s a small glimpse. Clicking the images will take you to the source of the pic, not Pinterest.  Credit due to the creators don’t you think?

I pinned this because of the border stitch. There is no pattern, the maker made it up as she went. Clever lady!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes! If I show this to my girls, they will WANT to make them. Very clever – from Diary of a Ladybird blog

From Martha Stewart – amazingly tiny crochet

Lovely embroidery and a lovely story of how it came to be made – very sweet blog post from The Smallest Forest

Textured crochet method – loads of possibilities for this – from a Russian blog

Great idea – wonderful tutorial too. I might just have to make some for xmas pressies 🙂 From Dog Under My Desk blog

The hot chocolate cupcakes is a case in point.  I first saw them in my Facebook feed, posted by a recipe website.  Ooh Yum I thought & went to look for the recipe to Pin it.  Hmm.  No link with the pic.  Not on their website.  Curious.  So I searched “Hot Chocolate Cupcakes” in good old google and found the true source of the pic – Diary of a Ladybird blog. So I pinned from there.

So there you have it.  I love how Pinterest can organise the wonderful things you can find on the internet, but I am still not 100% comfortable with it.  I will be more wary when re-pinning from now on.  I will make sure the pin is a direct link to the creator before re-pinning or just pin the from creators site myself.  How about you? Are you trustworthy with other people’s work?

Last week I shared with you my plan for the school holidays.  Well, one week in and its working well. 🙂

We have been crossing things off our lists left right & centre.  Here’s just some of what we’ve been up to

Ripple crochet cushion cover progress

Lemon tart by oldest

Netbook bag sewing by middlest – who has also created the pattern herself

Beanie made for the 100 Beanie Drive (click the pic  just over on the right for more info)

Taught smallest how to sew buttons

Block 20 of my block a week crochet throw

Prepped ladybirds for pincushions

Listed some stuff

Lime & white chocolate fingers by middlest

Quiche for lunch by youngest

Ladybirds pincushion made

Looked for whales – didn’t see any

Got some exercise

Pondered where to go

Finished my ripple cushion

Made a new ladybird pincushion for my shop (available soon)

Played Cluedo

I haven’t been able to start my ambitious crochet throw because I ordered the wool online and it hasn’t arrived yet.  I’ve been a bit like an excited  puppy, racing to the collect the mail each day and been disappointed.  Maybe today?  Hope so 🙂

Plus we went to the movies,  sorted a lot of cupboards and drawers about the house & did a bit of a spring clean in winter .  I am one happy camper 🙂  Next week will be a lot different as we’ll be having a social week – lots of friends, lunches, sleep overs and fun.  Hopefully, I’ll still be crossing off things from my lists.

Before I leave you this week, if you have  a spare minute, pop on over to the  100 beanie drive.  Its being organised by my online friend Jess of epheriell designs.  Jess is asking for beanies, scarves and gloves to be donated to patients battling cancer.  I am sure we all know someone who has been through this.  The beanie drive is a small way to help someone feel a moment of being warm in their heart as well as bodily, and know that someone out there is thinking of them.

How have your holidays been?

Today, I thought you may like to see what goes on to make my pincushions.

Every now & then, I sit down to my big kitchen table with my pile of felt and go nuts preparing pincushions for sewing.

felt pile

I have my popular designs that I make reglarly, but I also always have ideas kicking around I need to try too.  Today was a day for both types of preparation.  I am out of peacocks (my biggest seller), I have a creative challenge to meet for an etsy team I belong to, and I want to upsize a couple of mini pincushions I’ve made recently.  This is the extent of my written plans for this session.  Not much eh? LOL  A slack prep day today!

And so on to cutting!

I cut my felt a few different ways.  I do die cut a couple of things – like my big circles, and use the rotary cutter for the sides, but most other things are cut with good old scissors freehand, making it up as I go.

If a design turns out to be popular, I will sometimes make a pattern to make it a little less fiddly and time consuming when it comes to preparation.

Once all the cutting is done, its on to embroidery thread selection and then the prep is all done.  8 pincushions ready to be made!

Now its on to the fun part – the sewing!  I’ll show you once they are all done. 🙂

Hello poor neglected blog.  Its been a long time since I shared my creating with you.  Life kinda got in the way a little bit.  But, now its school holidays and I have found some time and inspiration to make something. Hooray!

I while ago I let you know about my sewing machine fear and the online sewing course  by the The Haby Goddess I was going to do.  Well, I had a few problems with my very old sewing machine which took a while to be fixed which means I have only just finished the course.  I am now so much more knowledgeable about my machine and what I can do with it. While I still struggle with some tricky things, I am not scared to have a go now.

I’ve long been an admirer of Amy Butler – both her fabric designs and her wonderful patterns.  This week I decided was the right time for me to finally have a go at one of her patterns.  I borrowed the fabulous In Stitches  book from my local library and decided on the square pot holder.

And here it is.  While I am totally aware this aint perfect, I am pretty impressed with myself.  Considering I have never done patchwork, quilted or even made and attached bias binding before today.  Some of the corners are even properly mitred LOL.  A lot more practice needed I know, but I am happy I had the confidence to have a go.  Might even make some for xmas pressies I think.

Pot holder front

Front side - the patches are meant to be squew-if - honest 🙂


Back with hand pockets

Hand pockets so I don't burn the backs of my hands on the oven racks anymore

Look! A mitred corner!

Somehow, I managed some good mitred corners - just ignore the stitching off the edge of the bias LOL

I can quilt!

The first time I have ever quilted anything


Not bad for a first real go at sewing something tricky I think.


Have you stretched your skills lately?  Tell me about it 🙂

Yes, it’s true.  I will tackle anything requiring a needle and thread.  Mega complex cross-stitch? No problem.  Need a hem taken up? Sure.  Make me a pincushion by hand?  Hey – its what I do.  BUT make something from a pattern on a sewing machine?  Yikes!

I have dabbled.  I have made clothes for my kids when they were tiny.  I made hats, dresses, dolls & their clothes, but to be honest they all looked very, well…..homemade.  I am completely self taught which is probably explains why I am not so good at this crafty skill. More recently, I have made bags as I’ve shown here and they have turned out quite well, which has given me the little confidence boost I needed to take the next step in overcoming my sewing machine fear.

I have today signed up forThe Haby Goddess‘s online sewing course.  The details can be found here.  Its a six week course that shows you step by step lots of awesome sewing basics.  Its starts 1 August and I can’t wait.  It will be great having all the info I need in small bits at my fingertips without waiting forever for perhaps not so good youtube things to load.  Heck there are things to be covered that I have never even heard of before too.

So here’s to a productive six weeks of learning!

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