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February 2015

Hello <<First Name>>

Do you have a growing pile of clothes that just need a little mending or some running repairs?  Yup, I do to.

Plenty of people may know how to sew (even if it's just a little bit) but the most they drag out their machine for these days is mending.  Is this you?  Confession: I actually don't mind mending.  I enjoy hemming pants or jeans if it means that I'll actually start wearing them again.  I love any excuse to get a sewing project finished and done which will clear the decks for something new and much more creative.  This month's email is full of tips and tricks to get that mending pile back into the realms of the manageable and get those items back into circulation of wardrobes and washing baskets!

Happy Sewing  Sarah x

p.s. Scroll down to see my very exciting new kit release for you to try : )  
{I'm so thrilled to finally get this little ladybug out into the world!}

Ladder Stitch

The best stitch by far for hand sewing, particularly useful for mending, is a ladderstitch.  It's also called hidden or blind stitch.  The name comes from the ladder shape you make with your stitches as you cross over the 'gap'.  

This stitch is great for closing all manner of gaps - rips, tears, turning holes.  It's also great for re-attaching well-loved teddy bear heads back onto bodies or other soft toy repairs.  A great tip is to use dental floss rather than sewing thread if you need a super strong hold.

The steps are:
  1. Tuck under the seam allowance and bring your needle up on the folded edge on one side of the gap (Point A above).
  2. Poke your needle down again directly across at Point B.
  3. Make a small dash perpendicular to the opening and bring your needle back up again at Point C.
  4. Poke your needle down into the fabric again at Point D.
  5. Repeat steps until you've got a series of parallel stitches that look like rungs of a ladder.
  6. Pull taught to bring the two folded edges of your fabric together and close the gap.  You may need to do this every now and again while you sew depending on how wide your gap is.  If you try and do a large area in one go, your thread may snap and you'll have to start again.  
  7. Sew a few stitches over top of one another to anchor your stitching, knot your thread and trim the excess.
For a photo tutorial for the above steps visit Sew-It-Love-It.

BONUS:  I've got a super clever knot to show you.  So clever that I published my first ever online video to show you in moving pictures!!!  ~ 
To view the 'The Best Handsewing Knot Ever' video, click below

Ladybug Needlecase ~ A Free Gift Kit


I really want you to love sewing too but I know that can be scary to try new things.  So, as a gift of encouragement, I’d like to send you - <<First Name>> -  a simple little sewing kit so you can see if sewing is your thing.

It's a nice easy project and it's all done by hand so you don't even need a sewing machine.  I just need your mailing address and you will receive everything you'll need to make this cute ladybug needle-case.

As you're already a valued subscriber, you'll just need to update your subscription details to add a postal address.  

** Mailing you this kit is the only thing I'll use your address for.  You won't end up on some dodgy mailing list for the sweepstakes.
As a special offer to current international friends, I will be posting these kits overseas to those with mailing addresses entered on or before 28 February 2015.  After that it will be Australia-only while I work on a special digital product.

Although it doesn't look all that pretty, the below link should take you to an individualised page where you can update your subscription information.
Fingers crossed![UNIQID]

Behind the Scenes

I find it's sooooo easy to get caught up in the perfection that exists online.  Everyone's houses look amazing, their kids smiley and happy full to the brim with nutritious meals and husbands saunter in with their rugged good looks.  Ha, not in my world!!

I took this photo of my sewing room the other day.  There are some pictures online already (which took a full day of tidy-up to get photo-worthy I might add) but this is the current reality. We'd just moved in a new/old pine storage cupboard; I was in full create mode compiling three huge Monster Beach Bags and my new Ladybug Needlecase kit; piles of fabric on the floor; and an overflowing scrap bag.  There is literally stuff everywhere!  I photography most of my projects on a basket which is behind me in these photos and even then I normally have to move some random toy out of my shot : )   

I'm sharing this to show you that I'm just like you - I'm dealing with housework, family life, businesses and sewing all in the mix.  I get through by devoting little pockets of time to each thing as they're all important to me.  At the end of the week they might not be finished but they've all progressed that bit further - this week three beach bags are finished and in the post to new homes, my January farm books are  done and there's some lunch box baking in the freezer but there's still a mountain of dishes to do, I'm sticking to certain patches of the kitchen floor so that needs mopping and there's a bunch of orders still to sew.  This sewing room could also use a major tidy.  At least there's always next week :)
If you want to sew or learn to sew then simply make a start.  Take time to sew little and often and you will make an impact towards a finished sewing project. 

Some useful Resource posts I've published to help you get going are:
  1. Tour Your Sewing Machine (what are all the parts called);
  2. How to Thread Your Sewing Machine
  3. What's a Seam Allowance (or how to sew straight-ish)


Why is it that your favourite woollen jumpers are always the first ones to get holes?!  Mending knits is a little trickier than woven cottons but this is a great guide to getting it right.  Click the image to go to the tutorial or here to Pin It
On the 15th of each month, Michael Swaine sets up a tredle sewing machine on a street corner in San Fransisco and offers his services as a tailor to the local residents, mending the clothing they bring him, for free.  Pin It
This one doesn't link to a tutorial but this is a fabulous idea to nurse ripped upholstery along a bit further while also using some of your fav. fabric scraps.  Piece the hexagons together to form the patch before handsewing in place.  Pin It
I have a board dedicated to Up-cycling and Refashions, which includes mending tutorials.  Follow all my boards here.
And if you just can't mend them any more, then why not upcycle old clothing into something new.  I don't know how to knit or crochet (yet!) but this is made from long strips of old t-shirts which are first plaited and then stitched together to make a super soft rug - the more t-shirts you have the larger your rug.  Pin It!
About Sarah

I live in rural Western Australia.  I love living on a farm in the country; there are so many things that I enjoy about the rhythm of life out here. I also love to sew.  When I finally pull myself out from behind my sewing machine, you’ll find me tending a sadly neglected garden with a G&T in hand while the kids bounce on the trampoline. I may also be found occasionally in the sheep yards helping my farmer husband.

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