Some time ago I was lucky enough to purchase a mega stash of fabric sample books.   Some of them are quite heavy furnishing fabric and not quite right to use for the usual sewing projects.    But the colours are wonderful and I am really loathe to pass them on.   So I thought a rustic rug might be just the thing.  I sewed the pieces onto a backing of a recycled wool batting from a vintage obi and then onto a thickish cotton.  Once all sewn I then embroidered over the seams with red wool and sewed a red twill tape around the edges.    It’s  a bit rough and ready,  as it was a quick experiment,  but I am happy with the result and may just do another (there’s definitely plenty of fabric).     For now it will sit on the floor of the guest bedroom, although I think Belle, our dog,  would like to lay claim to it.


Oops,  where did all that time go!    Not too much out of the studio in the last few months,  with the last 2 things being a birthday present.



First up is a little zipper bag.A little bling Sue asked me what it was for,  well,  whatever you want it to be.   Maybe some jewellery,  maybe some special silk knickers,  perhaps a bit of makeup.  Yikes,  the possibilities are endless.  The centre of the bow and the pocket inside are a beautiful rich red silk.  The little bling out of my (evergrowing) stash of beads and baubles.  The body of the bag is a heavy damask type fabric.






For the past 6 weeks or so I have been working on a shoulder bag, experimenting with leather (which you can’t really see in the photos),  and using up small scraps of fabric that aren’t quite big enough to do anything else with.   The leather is on the side of the bag and the bottom.   One I had all the sides finished and the lining completed,  it was a pretty tough ask on the sewing machine to sew through all the layers.   Certainly has given me ideas of how to make the next bag a bit simpler.   I also experimented with a zip top on the bag,  not quite so easy as it looks,  but ok if you take it one step at a time.    I debated whether to give it away or not,  as it isn’t perfect and I’m not sure on the longevity of the sewing on the leather areas.   However, Sue is a seasoned receiver of my ‘experiments’ – so thank you darling for loving it.

Red Leather Bag1



This is the front of the bag.  The panels were sewn onto an interfacing background, using a fine satin stitch.  A couple of small doily pieces added, along with a few beads,  and a line of bright red pompoms to lighten it up.


The strap is red leather with a little of the backing fabric on the ends (easier to sew).    The lining is a deep red taffeta, with a small inside pocket.









The back of the bag is from one piece of fabric.  Difficult to see in this photo,  but I have embroidered some parts of it in gold thread and outlined the large flower in red thread.  You can just glimpse the red leather sides.

This promises to be a busy year.  I am promising myself it will be more focussed than last.  hah.  By the way that wasn’t a New Year’s resolution,  because I never make them;  I know I generally have forgotten them by about January 5th.    Not a lot of art dolls lately,  and still one lonely half finished Audrey.   Was very lucky last year to buy some fabric samples,  some of which are totally wonderful designer pieces.   Decided to sew some for birthday and Christmas presents,  they are a great size for zip pouches.  Plus not just for the women,  but some man bags too.  Surely men like to store little treasures somewhere?  Maybe I should say “some men” as I have been told by the beloved that he doesn’t want one.   Lovely son liked his though,  so as a survey of 2 50% can’t be all bad.   Have enjoyed making them so much that I decided to create an online shopping experience – and thanks Barb for being the first customer (got to just love your friends!).    The website is fabricofmadness.co.nz –  take a look – new items will be added as they roll off the production line of one.  Below are some sample pics.         Hope you are having a great start to 2014!Image


Here she is,  taken many months to get finished,  as I just haven’t had the time (or is it inclination?) to put hand to needle.   After a fabulous month away in Paris and UK the crafty adrenalin is beginning to flow again.   Will now have to decide what to make next, a doll,  a box,  a bag,  a doily sculpture????  Maybe finish one of the many projects sitting in my studio only half or a third finished (“that would be good” says Jesse).     Will try not to take so many months between posts……

2nd movie star doll, Liz Taylor

2nd movie star doll, Liz Taylor

Just about to update the blog, months late of course, and found this sitting in Drafts.   Oops.  Goodness knows how long it has been there, waiting for the day to burst upon the world.   And do you know what,  I STILL haven’t decided what is going to go inside it!!  How bad am I.

This fabric box was inspired by lots of fabric leftovers that I have had sitting around for too long.   it was made a few months ago,   but sat there on my desk waiting for a closure.   Until today.    Made the “dangle” from some of the red silk fabric used on the box.  The top is a d-ring covered with embroidery thread with beading hanging from the bottom.  The beads are a selection from my collection, including a swavorski pearl and crystal.   Lining is purple felt with a padded insert at the bottom of the box.   Now,  what shall i put in it???



Couldn’t decide whether I would make or buy for a friend’s birthday present.  Yes yes I know it should be make, but then how much time did I have…..    it turned out I didn’t quite have enough time, but Fi was totally understanding about getting it a little late.    I love this fabric,  it is a furnishing fabric that has been stashed away for ages.   And of course it was just asking for glitz!


Loved the idea of making some wood blocks with vintage Father Christmas pictures.   It was a good idea,  but buying wooden blocks was impossible – so off to the builders depot I went.  It wasn’t their biggest sale of the day!   Then they had to be cut – not so easy as we don’t really have the right tools.  Still,  Jess is very patient with all my odd ideas,   and cut plus sanded the blocks.    I think they turned out pretty well.  I tied them with ribbon and put a little chocolate santa on the top.  (There is a different Santa on all four sides of each block).    Didn’t get to photograph all of them as I had posted off a few before I remembered that I hadn’t taken any shots.  And then had to wait for them to arrive before I could put anything up here.     The smaller blocks were just for us at home,  but I was quite happy with the glitter/glue effect.      Have a Happy Christmas!