Sunday, April 7, 2013

Good Bye for now

So much for blogging more. A lot has changed since before Christmas last year. Big things are happening in my life and will be for a long time to come. I wish that I could have done better at blogging, but as far as I know, no one ever read it. It's had to keep up with something like blogging, without ever getting feedback.

So for now, good bye. I hope one day I can return when I have the time and energy to give this a real go.

Take care!

Mother Dragon


Monday, November 19, 2012

A bit of a catch up

I haven't been sewing lately, the last thing I made was the iPad case. I've been feeling a bit run down, and also spending some more quality time with my youngest. There are so many things I should be sewing right now, but I just don't have the inclination to do so. I think my next job will be something to wear to my husbands work Christmas party at the track. I was thinking of wearing a beautiful Portmans lace dress I have and making a black clutch and 50's style Flappers fasinator to go with it. My hubby keeps talking about buying a safari suit to wear to it, I told him in that case we're not going together. However it has made me start to think geeky about it too. So now I'm thinking blue dress with subtle accents of Doctor who. However in Mother Dragon true fashion, this will make a ton of work for me in a short amount of time. I don't think I'll make the dress, because a) it's too much work and b) I haven't made one before. I'm thinking of scouring the charity shops and than altering one though. I'll keep you informed.
So youngest son and I are at the park again this morning. I mean to make this a weekly Monday ritual, as this part of the park, which is fenced in, is only accessible to the public on Mondays during the week. It's so nice to be able to sit in the morning sun, typing my thoughts down for you to read and watching my son have fun playing by himself or other children. We tend to arrive before anyone else, so we have a play together before anyone else shows up.
So this morning I thought I'd start to catch you up on what I have been sewing though the year. None of which will be in chronological order, just what ever takes my fancy as I scroll though the photos I have. I was so slack though the year that I was even bothered to take photos of some of my work, progress or completed.

To get to the main story, first off I'll show you what started it all.

I made one of my notebook covers to sell in my Etsy store. I also put photos on my Facebook page. One of my friends from school seen this and asked it I would make her a cover for her iPad. This was way back, when I thought I'd never have a use for an iPad. I quizzed her on what she wanted from the cover. She decided on a zipper pouch and told me she loved the colour purple and orange. Those where not two colours I would have ever thought to put together, I also knew I didn't work well with commissioned orders. However my school friend told me she loved creative, one of a kind things. I asked if she would like me to patchwork and quilt it, and she said yes and that I had free creative control. How could I say no to the perfect customer. It was great to be able to creative with it, and at the same time pushed to try new colours. As my husband said, I had to do it the hard way.

I think with this project, it was the first time I patch worked triangles. The design of the pouch was very simple, but the patch work was time consuming. However I love doing triangles now, even though they are difficult to get all the corners to meet. I like a challenge, if you haven't worked that out yet.

I set the triangles out to look like two starss (one frozen) in space. Although I don't expect anyone to be able to see that.

The front is of them far away and the back is the design close up, the triangles are bigger too.

I stippled quilted the back, using a template, I quilted it by hand. I changed the thread to match the colour of the fabric. With the front I used orange, purple (shiney) and blue to quilt organic swirls(by hand), to represent space. It was painful using the shiney purple thread, it kept knotting up and braking.

I told my friend, not to pay me until I was finished, this helped to push me along. I have done this again since, with a none sewing project, and it didn't work out so well, because she ended up pulling out. It was a shame, because I was enjoying it.

So back to the storey, my friend loved it and when she seen the iPad cover I made myself recently, she said she was jealous, but that she still loves the one I made her. Always good to hear, the bottom line for me when I sell something I make, is that the customer is happy with it.

P.S One of my sister in-laws bought the notebook cover for a present for someone.

Take care.

Mother Dragon


Monday, November 12, 2012

iPad Cover

I made my iPad cover last week and I've been using it for a little while now.


I used Tablet Case Tutorial | sew in harmony. I found it when I had the Transformer tablet, because this tutorial has sizes for many different tablets. I would have had to change quite a few things for the transformer as I wanted to include the keyboard. However I don't need to do that with the iPad as the keyboard I got for it has it's own cover and it can't be removed from it.

The tutorial worked out much better than I thought it would, as I was worried it wouldn't be safe enough. The tutorial called for two fabric corners and two elastic corners (I don't trust elastic), were I would have preferred four fabric corners or a surround for the tablet. However the cover has removable boards, so it wasn't really practicable. The fabric corners turned out really tiny, but sufficed to say, I have not lost my iPad out of it yet.

I might have been able to sew four fabric corners, as long as the board was added after the iPad and sewn into the corners to the pocket. If anyone decides to try that, please let me know.

The reasons I decided on using this pattern, other than it being a free (for personal use only) tutorial, is it has the board inside it, so you can prop up your iPad and view it better. The boards are removable, so I can wash the cover when it gets dirty. I say when, because I used yellow, white and light coloured fabrics, of course it will get dirty!

Before I made this it felt like my iPad was naked, exposed and fragile. Now it feels like its is safe and protected. I love that it's like a book, it feels great to carry around and secretly it fulfils a childhood wish of mine. When I was kid, I used to pretend my old hard cover book of Little Woman was a book with a computer inside. Just like the one Penny had in the cartoon Inspector Gadget :-)

I discovered too, that just having the friction of fabric on fabric (my pants) means I can sit on the couch with my legs up and prop it up on my legs :-) It is so multifunctional.

I did make a change to the closer. The tutorial calls for a button and elastic to keep it closed, I decided on sewing a piece of elastic into the seam at the back of the case, that went from the top to the bottom. It closes so easily by wrapping the elastic around the front of the cover and to open I just wrap it around to the back.

As you can see, I went with a patchwork for the front cover. I used a lot of Joel Drewberry's Herringbone in Pond, Pat Bravo's Oval Elements in Papaya Orange, Lizzy House Outfoxed Foxglove in Pink, Amy Butler's Full Moon Polka Dot in Lime, my favourite Tula Pink's Parisville Cameo in Sky and lastly Dena Fishbein's Taza Tarika in Yellow.

It wouldn't matter too much if you used a pattern material that had no direction, but when it came time for me to sew the spacing for the board pockets, I realised that, the iPad really needed to go on the right side, so when I open and close it, I wouldn't be picking up the iPad up with the cover and plonking it down. I'm just so used to closing a book so it's cover is facing up, that I would be all messed up if I put the iPad on the left side. However I had the problem of the cameo print that I used in the front of the cover. With the two pockets being on the front cover, this meant I had to sew though the middle of the print! So I decided to camouflage the stitches, by stitching more! I faux quilted the front cover. I had been undecided whither or not to add some batting to the front. There is some batting inside the cover, and in the end I decided not to add more, as I had already cut my fabric and it probably would have thrown the calculations out.

So overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I might add something later, like a little pocket to put a cloth to wipe the screen with, or I could just put it behind the the tablet. I'll see how I go.

Till next time

Mother Dragon

P.S I'm still loving blogging on my iPad with Blogsy, I really can't recommend it enough.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Blogging made easy

I know I only just posted last night, but I just had to blog again about the iPad App I used to blog with. I was so happy with the app that I gave them a review on the App Store and emailed them a love letter! Lol. I was going insane trying to blog, trying everything I could. The apps either didn't work or the main issue was editing once it was uploaded to the site.

The app I bought has fulfilled all my blogging needs. You can drop photos in from your camera roll or albums, Flickr, Picasa, Instagram, Facebook, web browser, etc. You can link, block quote, formate, change photo size and orientation. You can post as a draft, publish online, and edit what is online (published or draft)!

What is it called? It's called Blogsy and I can't recommend it enough. It has made the process of blogging so easy and enjoyable, like it should have always been. I can blog now, even when I'm offline. So when I'm at McCafe having a Mocca and feel like looking like a Tech savvy snob, I can type my blog up and publish it when I get home, because we all know Macca's free wifi is useless and you can't do anything on it. Or I can be really tricky and use my iPhone's hotspot and upload it then and there. So as I said in my last post, I have no more excuses for not blogging. Well not at the moment anyway :-)

Mother Dragon


Thursday, November 8, 2012

No more excuses

No more excuses now for not blogging, things will probably come up now and than, but it's a lot easier now. I got a NEW iPad last week, it's a early Wedding Anniversary/Christmas from my husband :-). I originally got a ASUS Transformer, but after five days, I discovered I couldn't blog with it. Which is why I wanted a tablet with a keyboard to begin with. So I exchanged it, I miss the Transformer, it was pretty, the live wall papers were fun and it had it's good points, but I think Google needs to do some more work on there OS.The iPad is great and works well with our Mac and my iphone. I have been having all kinds of hell trying to blog this post for about a week. I have found a App that I have purchased and am using at the moment. It looks wonderful and has great video tutorials on how to use it. Fingers crossed it works. I'll let you know how it goes.Enough about tech stuff. What have I been sewing lately? Well I started a cover for the Trasformer, lol. Then i followed a free tutorial online to make one for an iPad, but I wont go into that much now. I'll post about that next time.I've made a couple of presents lately for my friends daughters. Here is a picture of one of them.
This was for her one year old. So cute hey? It looked great on.

Before this I recovered a computer chair we bought from a garage sale for $5. Here is the before.

Ugly! I stripped it apart with the help of my wonderful husband.

I had to use Tula Pin k's Parisville Cameo for the back of the chair, because it is my all time favorite design! I know I used cotton fabric instead of upholstery fabric, but I figured as this chair is for my sewing and I don't usally sit back in it, it should be ok. It has a layer of thicker white fabric between the foam of the seat and the top layer of fabric.

It was SO painful stapling it to the back of the seat as it was plastic and not wood. I think I used every foul word I could think of, oops.

I was very happy with the results though.

I pulled a bunch of fabric that complemented the Cameo colour scheme. I used the middle one of the white and black text print and rejected the other two. I know there isn't any black in the Cameo, but I wanted someething a little more interesting than just white or white on white. I don't think it will show the dirt as bad either.

This is the work in progress on my design wall, just ignore the ironing board and my other project in the works at the top.

I decided to do a triangle patchwork on the bottom part of the chair (seat). Again it's just cotton fabric, but I thought if I quilted it with Batting and backing fabric, it might hold together ok.

I was a bit lazy not measuring it all out, so I just quilted as I went. Do you like my sewing machine? Isn't she beautiful!

I just quilted along each edge of each seam. It's not going anywhere!

So this is the end result. It was much easier to staple this one on, as the base was wood. I'm SO pleased with it.
I sould be back soon with another post, untill than, please fee

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One Year!

Oh wow! I knew it had been a very, very long time since I posted, but a Year!
We have been without the internet on our home computer for almost a year. It is only recently that we had broadband put on. With Telstra, I hate Telstra! Unfortunately there is no other option where we live, if we want broadband. It's also more expensive here and not as fast as it is in other places. I have thought many times about starting to blog again, but with internet only on my iPhone, it made it all a bit daunting.

A lot has happened in a year. A lot of wonderful things, such as our eldest starting school. He is doing really well. It still amazing me that he is reading little books!

Our youngest is coming out of his shell. He has started talking over the year. He is still very stubborn and will only try new words when he wants to.

Recently my husband ran for local council. It was amazing being on the other side of the electoral process. He was truthful and stood up for what he believed in, he didn't shy away from the hard questions and a lot of people, including other candidates, could see that and respected him for it. At this time it doesn't look like he will get into council this year. I am so proud that he wanted to serve his community and make this place, a better place, for them and our family. We have learnt so much from this time and next time we know we can do better in getting his message heard by the public.

In October last year, my good friend gave birth to her third child. A beautiful baby girl! She is such a gorgeous bright eyed little girl, with a fierce grip! lol.

Shortly after I became pregnant with our third child, which unfortunately was not meant to be, as I had a missed miscarriage not long after finding out I was pregnant. It was hard, but as the pregnancy was not very far along, there was no heart yet, which for me, made it easier.

We got pregnant again a month later. It's scary being pregnant after having a miscarriage, you question every little thing, but miscarriage like pregnancy is not the same every time, it is not until after it is over do you see the warning signs. After three months of being pregnant I had another missed miscarriage. This was, in short, devastating!

To help me with my grieving I got a tattoo on my forearm of a baby dragon in a egg, to represent our baby we lost. We don't know what sex of the child would have been, so we called the baby/tattoo Willow. Willow's due date would have been at the end of this month, in the year of the Dragon.

We also lost my Pop in between all this. He had cancer, as well as dementia for awhile. He had such a long full life, and to see him wasting away in a bed was heart breaking. Truth be told he probably should have died a number of time in his long life. Firstly he was not well as a baby and the doctor thought he wouldn't live, but he was a fighter and that stayed the same though his whole life. Sometimes that meant fighting with fists, being a small guy, he had to show people he couldn't be pushed around. When he was older he worked; in mines, around uranium, and got a little too close to chainsaws on a couple of occasions. One time he fell out of the tree......with a chainsaw, he ended up with stitches on his forehead, he looked liked Frankenstein's monster! Another time he got he chainsaw caught on the fence wire, his jeans got caught by the chainsaw and he sawed part of his leg. In the past couple of years he had a few car accidents, one involving a tree and another one he flipped. He spent a long time recouping at my Mother's house with a broken neck and leg. We made sure he didn't drive again after that, which was hard, he was a stubborn man that loved his independence. However we knew by then he had dementia and it was not safe for him to be on the road. He went on to heal from his accident and then was diagnosed with Cancer. In the end it was a blessing that he passed on, I know I personally wouldn't want to be lingering on like that. Wasting away (a nice, undescriptive way of how bad he was), always confused, unable to hold a conversation or even know who you were talking to from one minute to the next. He was a amazing man and is missed by all who knew him.  

My husband also lost his Uncle to cancer around the same time as my Pop. Looking back, there has been far to much death for us this year.

I wondered about sharing all this with you all. My thinking is this is my blog, ideally it's dedicated to my sewing, but sewing is a part of me and my life and therefore my life is apart of my sewing.
After reading what I have written above, it does look heavy on the bad side of things. Although we have been though a lot this past year, these have been the life changing events. We have also had a huge amount of fun, laughter, wonderful weekends, school events, children's one liners, birthdays, parties, and so much more. I'm thankful for those moments, and I'm thankful for my wonderful Family, who I love and cherish.

So, I'm still generally a positive thinking person. I have my moments, but such is life, you have to move on, because the world wont stop for you. Sometime I think you must stop and think about the past, talk about it and sometimes you have to put it away (so to speak). Although it's good to get this all out, it's also emotionally draining and leaves me with a painful lump in my throat.

My hope is I will now continue to blog, and the next one I plan to catch you up on some of my sewing over the year. It wont be all of it though, as I tend to only think of taking a photo after I gave it away, and the last year was largely gift orientated sewing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Beginners Guide to Thrifty Sewing

I love Free patterns, Tutorials and Tips. I love looking, reading, and then doing it my own way. When i first got the sewing bug in 2009, it was due to being pregnant with my second child. I wanted to do something special, because i knew there was no way I'd be taking as many photos of this child as much as I did with our first. So I thought I'd make a quilt, something special, made by me, that meant something and could, hopefully, be kept for a life time. I don't know if that is something a boy will treasure, but that is what I'm offering!
So I looked online for patterns and decided to do a charm patchwork quilt, but I'd do it MY way! I didn't want to follow a pattern (however I did get some great advise on how much fabric I'd need to get what I want, from a wonderful woman from Spotlight!). I went to some fabric shops, I asked for their advice as it was my first quilt. One speciality shop told me I needed to buy a rotary cutter, plastic templates, a cutting board and what ever else they where trying to flog off! I though, I don't need all that! If I have to fork out a huge amount of cash to make this quilt, it's not going to happen. There is no point buying a whole heap of speciality tools, if I find I don't like sewing and never want to do it again, then it would be a waste. I love spending money, but because I'm a Mother, I have to have a really good reason to spend it. So I usually look for the best deal, make do with what i have or repurpose something that I already have.
So my thinking was, I don't need a special ruler, I have a tape measure and a 30cm (12") ruler. That will do fine!
I don't need a rotary cutter and cutting board. I have scissors! 
Now many quilters and sewers are probably laughing their heads off at the moment, shaking their head and saying 'She has to be kidding!'. 
You may say that, or you might be wondering if it's possible, if you are just starting out or thinking you would like to get into sewing, but it seems too hard or too expensive. Well if your wondering if it's possible, read on.
I've been finding lately some very inspiring blogs. They inspire me by, colours, patterns, and blog ideas. Each of these blogs have something to give there readers, and I'm all for giving back to the sewing community and I'd love to be able to inspire others. So I thought what do I do that no one else does, what makes my sewing and creativeness special, that other people might benefit from knowing. It then came to me, I'm thrifty! I make do with what I have, I repurpose and use every little scrap of fabric.
So I want to share, if you want to read, my experience, ideas and thrifty tips.
Don't get me wrong, I don't skimp on quality! In fact I'm all about quality! Why bother making something at all if it's not going to last!  
Now I'm no expert! As I said I've only been sewing since 2009, but I do believe I have something to offer. So stay tuned for little bits and pieces. I don't know how much I have to give at the moment. I have found that reading other peoples blogs and their tips, I have felt compelled to comment with my own tip and have done so.

So let me tell you how and what I started out with.

Sewing Kit
I had a cheap little sewing kit, everybody seems to have. Even my Mum had a sewing kit, you know for repairs, but it seemed whenever something needed repairing it would go in the fifth dimension (linen cupboard) and we would never see it again. However I can't talk too much about that, I love sewing, but really don't like repairing things! Another reason I want to make great quality pieces.   
This sewing kit included a measuring tape, needles, cotton (I don't use this cotton for seam work), seam ripper, and thimble.
You may want to get a better kit then I have, or at least a better thimble. I don't use my thimble, because it's made of plastic! Now I would like to know, who thought it was a good idea to make something that is suppose to stop you forcing a thin metal needle though your finger, out of PLASTIC! However it's not necessary, as I don't use one, but it may save you a puncture, prick or the accessional piecing. I should get a good metal one, one day, as I have been using the back of the TV remote to push the needle though layers of fabric. That is me though, making do!
As I said before I have a 30cm ruler. As I write this I'm currently using it for a quilt I'm making. The strips I'm cutting are the length of selvage to selvage, this particular fabric is 43". The width is 2 1/2" and I'm doing this with my 30cm (12") ruler. I have thought about getting a ruler for quilting, but again it's not imperative!

When I started out, I used a pair of scissors from the kitchen draw. Now I'll tell you it wasn't the easiest to cut fabric with, but it did the trick. I have since bought a pack of three scissors from Spotlight for under $10 (I think it was about $8 or it may have been $18, still not expensive). I have a small pair for cutting thread, a medium size pair for cutting paper and a large pair for cutting fabric. I don't use them for anything other than their purpose, so they are good at cutting. Now I'm sure that if I spent a heap of money on a really good pair of scissors, it would feel like I was cutting butter with a hot knife, but I still don't think I'd enjoy cutting anymore. Honestly cutting is my least favourite bit, probably because I just want to skip straight to the sewing.
Now every sewer is going to need scissors, but I was told I'd need a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I do think that they would make life a little quicker and easier, especially if your a quilter or cut a lot of straight lines. Rotary cutters can range a lot in price, so I do think it would probably mean you get what you pay for. I did come across a pack at Spotlight for $20 that includes a rotary cutter and quilters ruler. I have been a bit dubious about buying it, because I just don't know how good the blade will be. I don't know if they are interchangeable with other brands. I will have to investigate, because I if i can change the blade with a better one later, then it might not be a waste of money. Again I don't know if I will like using a rotary cutter, so I don't want to pay a fortune for one. To buy a cutting mat you can easily pay $50 or $100 (for a fair size one that is)! I actually own a cutting mat, it is left over from my traditional scrapbooking days (it was a present). I don't know how much use it would be for cutting fabric though as it's not very big. So I think if you want to invest in one down the track, I'd save up and get the biggest one you can (probably a self healing one). These things are not high on my list of priorities.

A sewers measuring tape (from my cheap sewing kit) and a 30cm (12") ruler. It is possible! I will show you how in later posts. There are yard/meter rulers and large quilters rulers you can buy. Ideally I think a yard/meter ruler would be great, because you wont run out of ruler so much when your marking/cutting. It is however another expense and you can do without to start off with, I still have exactly what I started out with. I have been looking a some rulers lately and found one i think would be handy for $20. It comes with a rotary cutter, but the thing I really like is it has a little slit in the ruler so you can mark/cut at the 1/4''. I think that would come in handy. However it's not a overly long ruler.

A4 Paper
I use A4 paper for drawing or tracing patterns. I don't even know how much it would cost for the plastic to make them out of. I just don't see the need. As a designer of soft toys and other wares, I find using A4 paper to make my patterns perfect. You can buy a ream of it pretty cheaply and most people have it for their home printer. Granted a lot of the time I have to stick a few pieces together with sticky tape to get the size I want, and you have to be careful when you are cutting out your fabric that you do not cut your pattern/template. However it folds up for easy storage, there is plenty of it if you make a mistake and it does the job well.

Something to sew with
Now the big question is what are you going to sew with? When I started I didn't own a sewing machine! I didn't until i was given one this year. I still haven't used that one though, as i discovered it only has 2 stitches. I'm currently borrowing one from my Father In-Law!
So the first quilt I made and a lot of other things since are all done by hand! Now you might not want to go as far to save money, you might be thinking if I had to sew by hand, it will never happen. That's ok. Most people I find already own a sewing machine (even if they don't use it), it's a good thing to have to do repairs, I suppose. I have always done any repairs by hand, sewn my Hubby's biscuits and name badges on by hand. I also hated doing all of that and I'm surprised I got into sewing.
I do love making things by hand, sitting on the couch in front of the TV and sewing buy hand. Once the kids go to bed, I'll sit there and sew till the early hours of the morning. True it takes a hell of a lot longer to do and when you stuff something up it takes a long time to correct. Case in point, the quilt I'm working on at the moment has white boards around coloured blocks. I noticed that some of the blocks were not lining up, so last I had to go back and unpicked a long row and resew it. After doing that (at about 2am) I noticed the last block I sewed is off (by a few millimetres), so I will have to unpick that and redo it, because on this quilt it stands out a mile! Hey I'm still learning as I go! When I do finish something by hand though, it means something. You see I'm a Virgo in every sense! I'm a perfectionist! So when I make something I want it to be, well, perfect. So being Artistic and a Perfectionist is hard! Being able to sew my creations by hand in a controlled manner is the best way for me to be both (within reason). There are lots of reasons (some complicated) to why I sew by hand, but the short answer is it feels great to have a finished product that is all by me and being able to show people that.
I will post later a few tips and trick to help with hand sewing later, but simply though, if you don't want to sew by hand, then you will need a sewing machine. You could try and borrow one, rent one, try one and if all else fails buy one. I really can't tell you if it matters how much you spend buying a sewing machine. I do know usually the more you pay the more gadgets it has. If your just starting out though, I'd suggest doing a little research, talking to sewers and buying a cheaper one for now. I think my Father In-Law paid under $200 for the machine I'm using and it's fine. I personally don't see the point of forking out a heap of cash for a top notch sewing machine, if you don't even know what half of the things on it do and what you would use them for. If you buy a cheap one and decide down the track that you love sewing and need a bigger, better one that does more things, then you can always use the first one as a back up, loaner or hand me down.

What did I buy?
There where a few things I had to invest in to start out with.

I bought masking tape especially designed for sewing. This was invaluable for me as a hand sewer! It would have been pretty difficult to quilt straight lines on the back of my quilt without it. I can eyeball a 1/4" and sew pretty straight, but when I stitched the ditch of my first quilt, I found that the needle doesn't always go though the layers straight. It differently would not have been able to quilt dragonflies without it. I ended up using a paper template on one side and a masking tape template on the other to make sure both sides had a dragonfly and not a complete mess of stitches.

Thats pretty much a given. You can't make anything without fabric, but depending on what you want to make, you have some choices.

Second hand or vintage sheets (if they are in good nick). You could have a look in your linen closet or charity shop. There is a great blog that I follow called In Color Order by Jeni who uses vintage sheets in some of her quilting and she also sells them in her Etsy shop Ironsea. I tried looking for some vintage sheets myself, but I haven't had much luck yet (I need to try harder). I am thinking though that America might just has a better range due to it's long history and love of all things fabric. So I would recommed looking at Jeni's shop and her blog especially if you love colour. She always has a beautiful colourful array of vintage fabric to sell and her blog is full of inspiration and information on quilting, colour and fabric. I learnt a lot of helpful things from her Art of Choosing and she also has some tutorials on a heap of different things.

Old clothes. Point in case, my husbands pants had a hole in the crutch, but the rest was in good nick. I found a tutorial on the net to make skinny leg pants for kids out of adult pants, so I turned Daddy's old office pants into pants for my eldest son. He loves them, because they look cool, soft and Mummy made them!
You could also use clothes that the children have grown out of to make a memory quilt. I'm going to be making a quilt for my Father for Christmas. I'm making it out of his old t-shirts, so they are all cars, bikes  and bands.
So you can alter old clothes to make new clothes or cut them up and make something new altogether!

Samples, remnants, off cuts and scraps. I love them, I love them, I love them! I actually buy scraps! I buy them from the USA! There are so many things i can do with scraps and by buying them from overseas, I don't have to spend much on them and I can get a great array of designer fabric. Such as Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Joel Dewberry and more. I love these designers, but you can't tell from the computer what they truly look like. So the great thing with scraps and such is you get to see the true colour and also feel it.
Not only that but you can make so many things out of scraps. I make softies and because they are for children and babies they are small. There is one thing I'm still working on (so I can't say too much), but it uses my scraps up so well, to the point where I only have a cm or so left. Then I can use those left over scraps to stuff bits of my softies that need a little structure. Such as my Baby Dragon. I stuff it's wings with scraps, to give it shape and it wont hurt the children or babies like wire could.
If you want to quilt and patchwork samples, remnants, off cuts and scraps can be great. I have some Amy Butler and Heather Bailey scraps that I purchased, that I'm making place mats and a table runner.
I also love going thought the remnants bin at Spotlight, you never know what you will find! It really helps to build up a stash. There really is an endless array of things you can make and your only limited by your imagination and execution.

Buying Fabric. As an Australian I know we should buy Australian, but sometimes that means paying a premium. I buy designer fabric from overseas. Buying straight from the US means I pay a lot less. Most fabric designers are in the US and the fabric is made in the US (or shipped straight to the US before going anywhere else) , so buyers in the US don't have to pay anywhere near as much as what we have to. Example: To buy a meter of Amy Butler's fabric in Australia is $20 or more. Now I recently bought 2 yards of Amy Butler's Lotus Wall Flower in Cherry from the US (i shopped around for the best price including postage) for $24.20AU. So 2 yards was $16.50 and $7.70 for postage. There is only one place where I live that stocks Amy Butler and they don't have that one, if I was to buy it on the net from Australia I would still be paying more, trust me I've looked. The only draw back I've found is that it takes weeks to get to me, but it's like Christmas when it does!
The great thing is a lot of suppliers sell there fabric in fat quarters, half yards and any other yard you want. I buy a lot of my fabric on Etsy, there are so many suppliers and they all seem as wonderful as the next, I can't choose just one. I also buy from Hawthorne Threads which have one of the best websites I have seen.

Not overly expensive. I personal buy Hand Quilters 100% Cotton Thread. I use it in the machine, softies, quilts, pretty much everything. You can start out with one reel, you may want a few in different colours or you might like just one or two (maybe black and white). I currently have 2 different greens, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 white 1 black and 1 grey in my quilting thread. Plus a heap of black basic thread for repairs to clothes, and whatever is in my cheap little sewing kit. However this is such a cheap expense as they tend to last me a long time, so I would put it down as a justifiable luxury!

A given if you want to quilt. Although I have heard of people using flannel instead of store bought batting. I do believe there are a few other alternatives if you are willing to search. The reason I haven't gone down that path of thriftyness is because of allergies. I just feel better knowing there is a new 100% cotton batting in my quilts and I'm willing to pay for that, but I'll still get the cheapest one I can from Spotlight. You see I don't want to pay shipping on batting (just to much) and there isn't anywhere else in town for me to buy it.

Hobby fill (stuffing)
I'm currently buying my stuffing from Spotlight, although there is a eco version I've been thinking of trying, but as their smallest pack is 5kg, it's a lot to fork out. When I really get into sewing and selling my softies I'll give it a go.

What have I bought since?
There are a few other little things I have in my kit now that I didn't when I started out.

A pincushion
Not necessary unless your other half refuses to go near you because you have pins stuck in your clothes! You can use the lounge, a actual cushion, your pants leg, sleeve, or the container they came in. Or it could be one of the first things you sew. I sewed mine this year.

A sewing table
Mine is a old dressing table I have had since I was a little girl with a $3 stool that is unfortunately still to high to sit with my legs underneath it. I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could find something that would fit, I just don't sit there enough yet for it to bother me. I just have to say I do love the idea of using a old piece of furniture, because you could get creative with it and make your little sewing corner, space or room something really special and inspirational! I love the idea of covering my dressing table with fabric (like decoupage) or painting it robin egg blue/green. sigh.....

Sewing box
My cheap little sewing kit comes in a little plastic container and holds pretty much only what was supplied in it. I was lucky enough to received a gorgeous sewing box from my husband and sons for Mothers Day this year. It's wonderful! It has spaces for my cotton reels, a tray with three compartments that comes out and space underneath it for more! I love it, because they made it and I can keep all my sewing things at hand.
A draw or two, cupboard or shoe box would do fine to start out with.

So there may be a few other little bits and pieces I may have left out, I don't know. If so they are probable not important or they are crucial and I just thought they were a given. I do hope to add to this later, so if you have any comments, questions or something to add, please feel free to email me or comment below. I'd love to here from you!

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I hope you enjoy your Thrifty Sewing!

Leacena (aka Mother Dragon)