My Latest Sewing Project – Tooth Fairy Cushion (tutorial kind of included)

My daughter is 5 years old and very eager for the loss of her first tooth. When I showed her the idea of the tooth fairy cushion she was very excited! She raced to my fabric stash to help me choose some fabrics. I started this project with no pattern but a pretty good idea of how it would go thanks to Pinterest. I wanted it easy but also cute & not too dodgy.

We wanted a tooth on the front with a pocket for the tooth/money & ribbon on the top for it to be hung. Sounds pretty easy.

We found some felt for the tooth but it was an off white & that colour didn’t sit well with me. It reminded me of an aging old tooth of someone who drank lots of tea or coffee not a nice new baby tooth of a 5 or 6 year old, LOL. So instead I found some cheap white fabric & decided just to try drawing & cutting a prototype tooth for the front of the cushion. This practice tooth actually ended up being the tooth I used as it turned out ok. I stitched it onto the front of a square piece of scrap fabric which was to be the pocket using a zigzag stitch. This looks a little dodge up close as it was hard to manoeuvre the curves but overall it looks fine! I then hand stitched (using regular black sewing thread) a face & ribbon to make it look cute. That was kinda fun & it turned out cuter than I expected. See below.

I then ironed down all of the sides of the pocket. Top stitched the top part down then stitched it to the fabric which would make up the cushion. Easy peasy. With the measurements of everything I just played it by ear & used my guess-timation skills. I love sewing like that, LOL. I then positioned the hanging ribbon inside the cushion & stitched around the edges. Left a little gap open at the top, stuffed with stuffing & then hand stitched closed. This looked a little dodgy & so I added the ribbon the cover it. But all in all I think it looks good. My daughter is happy with it & it was easy so win win all round.

Finished product:

Now to await the loss of the first tooth!!!

Hope the instructions I gave make sense & help you be inspired to whip one of these up yourself. It really was easy, quick & very rewarding to see the finished project and my happy daughters face!!

Cheers,

Paula x

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Free Pattern / Tutorial Review – Paisley’s Patchwork Skirt

I LOVED this tutorial by Create Kids Couture!! (press here to be taken to the free tutorial)

It is aimed at beginners so it is easy! There is lots of cutting and sewing though due to the patchwork nature but other than being a bit tedious it is very simple. I love Create Kids Couture patterns as the instructions are so easy to follow, I am never left wondering exactly what I am meant to be doing!! I stock many of the Create Kids Couture patterns on my website here & I urge you to try them, you will not be disapointed.

This pattern is ideal for using up scraps in your stash or making your favourite fabric go a little further! I found for my daughters size (4) I was able to use FQ’s I had in my stash which I love!!

Here is a Christmas skirt I also made with this tutorial. Please do give it a try & share your creations on my Facebook page so we can all see & be inspired 🙂

Happy sewing!!

Paula 🙂

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Fabric Jungle is Moving Home!!!

The time has come for me to make the big decision to move the Fabric Jungle back home. I am giving up the warehouse & cleaning out my sewing/scrapbooking room to move the fabric back in. Whilst this is a little sad this isn’t a step backwards it is a step in the right direction!

Since I finished working part-time and started focusing on the Fabric Jungle full-time I have been lacking something very very important. A goal!!! When I was working part-time my goals were set out, written down and stuck to my wall for me to view often. My main goal was simple, to make Fabric Jungle successful enough to allow me to quit my job. I had more specific indicators of “success” and I ticked these off as I achieved them. But since I completed this first list of goals for some reason I have failed to set out any more? I don’t know why this is? As a result for the past year I have not really been working towards anything in particular bar keeping the Fabric Jungle running.

I moved into the warehouse because I ran out of space at home and also because I thought it was the next natural step in the progression of my business. I didn’t think into it very much at all! Recently I have started wondering where I am going. It has actually made me quite worried because I wasn’t sure what I wanted. All I knew was that I didn’t really have a shop, I didn’t have a lot of customers coming into the warehouse and I was paying a rather large chunk of my fabric budget on rent!!

So I thought back to the main reason why I started Fabric Jungle in the first place all the way back in 2010. The number one main reason why I started Fabric Jungle was because….wait for it……I wanted to have another baby!!! Sounds crazy because I haven’t had another baby at all!! LOL. I wanted to have a way to earn income while working from home & allowing me to pay bills but also to be a stay at home mum. It was/is important for me to be able to take my daughter to school at 9am and pick her up 3pm. I still hope at some stage (in the near future hopefully) to be able to have a baby and continue to work on the Fabric Jungle from my home and I certainly would not feel more comfortable taking a newborn baby into a warehouse for work than I would having a baby at home snug in their cot while I worked away in the spare room cutting fabric. Not to mention my daughter who gets extremely bored when she has to come into the warehouse. When I worked from home it was so much easier on her!!

So now I can see moving into the warehouse actually went against this main goal of being a stay at home mum! I currently leave my daughter every Monday, Tuesday & every second Wednesday (when she isn’t at kindy) to go to the warehouse without her. I have every Thursday off working on Fabric Jungle but this is when she is at kindy & she also goes to kindy on Fridays. So in actual fact I am seeing her less than when I was when I was working part-time at my other job!!!

Having the warehouse I also couldn’t work at night when she was in bed to catch up on packing. I had to postpone answering customers’ questions as I couldn’t check on any fabric or stock levels when I was at home and I couldn’t set up the sale album on Tuesday nights as the fabric was all at the warehouse. So it was a big pain in the bottom in that regard and I felt a lot less in control!!

Whilst it would be lovely to have a pretty shop front it is not something that I now see having in the foreseeable future. I don’t even think a warehouse is called for in my new business plan. I don’t want to create the next Spotlight or Lincraft!

What I would like is:

  • To be able to work from the comfort of my own home so I can spend more time with my child/ren. Be a true WAHM!!
  • Flexibility in my work hours. So I can answer questions any time of the night or day!! Pick ups can happen after work if necessary!!
  • Less overheads so there is less pressure to sell fabric & more pleasure in running the business.

Fabric Jungle is not downsizing!! I am still growing! You will still see lots of new wonderful fabrics every week, possibly even more as I have more money to buy with!!

First on my “to do list” now I have made this major decision is to sit down & devise my goals again!!! That is long overdue. Also I am making an inspiration board, so I can be inspired every day to work towards my ultimate goals.

Do you have goals written down for your business or life? Do you have an inspiration board? Please feel free to share here or on my facebook page.

Thanks for reading this very large post!! I look forward to bringing you lots of new fabrics & packing them from the comfort of my own home.

Paula 🙂

Bye Bye Warehouse

Bye Bye Fabric Jungle Warehouse

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*Pattern Review* Create Kids Couture Lola’s Tiered Twirly Dress PDF Pattern

 

As some of you who have been fans of my page might know I love to make this dress! I thought I might do a pattern review as I have made it so many times.

Difficulty Rating: Intermediate. But if you are confident in gathering I would say beginner. This is a very easy pattern to master!

Sizes: 18 months to 6 years. I will continue to make this for my daughter until she is six as I love the pattern so much.

Instructions: Step by step with full colour photos throughout. There was never a point where I was confused as to what to do next as the instructions covered everything. There wasn’t any highly technical sewing jargon that I needed to google.

Pattern tricky bits: Australians used to using metric will need to sit down & convert the measurements before you start. I worked my way through the instructions & used my iPhone app to convert all the measurements. The pattern doesn’t really call for overlocking but I did it on all seams to keep them all under control.

Pattern Price: $12.50 (Can be purchased here)

Cost for materials: $27-$36 for high quality quilters fabric. I tend to mix up my dresses with a high quality quilters fabric for the main fabric and a more basic spotty poplin for the bottom ruffle and the straps. This makes it cheaper as the bottom ruffle takes up a lot of fabric. Your could make the entire dress from a cotton poplin fabric though or even use an assortment of scrap fabric from your own stash. You could have a different fabric for every tier if you like. Really it is up to you & your current supply levels as to how much the material will cost for this dress. Please see the fabric & material requirements below.

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine & Overlocker
  • 1/4″ Elastic (60cms approx)
  • Iron 

Resale Conditions: This dress once made up can be resold!!! But only in limited quantities and please credit Create Kids Couture as the pattern designer.

Why I love the pattern: because it is easy & quick to make! It sits so well once made & looks delightful on. My daughter loves it as it is twirly & girly. Because of all of the gathering mistakes can be concealed easily. Also due to the twirly ruffly nature of the dress I don’t iron them when they come out of the wash as it looks fine! This is a big thumbs up as I find most 100% quilters cotton garments need to be ironed after they have been washed as they crinkle easily. 

Here are the dresses I have made for my daughter:

 

 

 

I highly recommend this pattern as I love it so much!

If you have made this dress please share a link to it or post a photo on my page as I would love to see yours.

Paula 🙂

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Advent Calendar

My daughter & I made our Advent Calendar this year! It was fun & easy…

We got together some envelopes (24), some old wrapping paper & ribbon, some glue & started decorating the envelopes. I also purchased some cute coloured cardboard offcuts, some ribbon, some pegs & some numbers.

My daughter got through about 6 before she lost interest. If you have more or older children you might have a better chance of having every envelope decorated. I just did some decorating myself & added 14 blank envelopes to make up the full 24. She had fun while it lasted anyway and that’s all that counts.

 I stuck the numbers on the envelopes, wrote up activites for each day, popped in a treat for each day & hung them on ribbon on the wall!

Idea’s for Activities to include (I doubled up on some activites as well):

  • Visit Santa
  • Drive around looking at Christmas lights
  • Write letter to Santa
  • Bake ginger breadmen
  • Go to the beach
  • Go to the pool
  • Do some Christmas crafts
  • Go Christmas shopping
  • Make/write Christmas cards
  • Make gingerbread house (or buy one as mine always fail)
  • Go to the city to look at the Christmas displays
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Go to Christmas Carols
  • Go to the Park
  • Drink Eggnog & eat shortbread (LOL)
  • Colour-in Christmas drawings

Hope that helps a little!!!

My daughter is going to have lots fun over the next 24 days opening up envelopes of fun activities! Much better alternative to the store bought variety 😉

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*Fabric Jungle Sewing Club* Bye Bye Birdie Quilt

Ok I have looked into the supplies a little bit for our first ever sewing club project! I still need to finalise specifics but I thought to give you an idea I would show you my estimate prices for supplies. This is what we will be needing:

Pattern – $13

1 x Moda ‘Charm Pack’ (42 x 5” squares) – $20

60cms Sashing (white) – $12

15cms Tree Branch (Brown) – $3

Fat 1/8 for Leaves (Green) – $2.50

Fat 1/8 for Bird (Pink) – $2.50

Fat 1/8 for Bird Wings (Contrast) – $2.50

40cms Outer Boarder – $8

40cms Binding – $8

Total = $71.50

Extra Requirements I may/may not be able to supply

Sewable Fusible Webbing (Vliesofix or Similar)

Stranded Embroidery Threads

Buttons for Birds Eyes  (Optional)

Backing & Wadding slightly larger than quilt top

Now you are more than welcome to use supplies you have at home if you want to save some money or use up some stocks that you have at home! (Just remember to cut your squares VERY ACCURATELY). I will list each item individually so you can pick & choose what you would like to purchase. I will share the designs I have found for the Moda Charm packs as soon as I hear back from my wholesaler, there are some really really cute packs I have found! I will also see if I can find some pricing on the items in the bottom list & any extra supplies/tools the pattern may call for.

I will keep you all up to date when I find more information! Hopefully I can get kits to those who want them in the next 2 weeks I hope!!!

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Fabric Jungles First Birthday!!!

First of all I want to thank you; my customers, likers & supporters for allowing me to offer you wonderful fabrics for the past year. Without your love of my fabric & desire to have it in your stash I would not have been able to keep doing this. I have loved every minute of working on Fabric Jungle in the last year & to be honest with you I have spent waaaaay too much time on it! I am still struggling to find the perfect balance, the perfect system, the perfect supplier and the perfect everything to make the Fabric Jungle just perfect but that’s the joy of it! Learning & biting off more than I can chew & chewing like crazy is what has made me grow the Fabric Jungle to what it has become. Expect more growth & changes within the Fabric Jungle over the next couple of months & always always expect new gorgeous fabrics & patterns every week 😉

I want to send a very very big thank you in particular to Keeley T. my first ever customer!!! Liz N., Mel B., Jodie O., Amanda L., Jodie T., Eleanor H., Karita C., Lee M., Caddie N. & Bec M. also deserve a big thank you as they were among my first customers who purchased from me when I was just starting out. Without them Fabric Jungle would have never got off the ground in the first place! So thank you ladies so much I hope you are still around! Please email me if you are 😉

Now in celebration of Fabric Jungle’s First Birthday & reaching 5,000 likers lets give away from Fabric $$$!!!

To have a chance please do one of the following & post under my link on FACEBOOK to this blog entry;

1) Post a link on my facebook page to a photo of my first every fabric delivery. It is in an album on facebook!!

2) Name my trusty assistant! Without him I would not be able to keep up at all, lol. So a BIG thank you to him too. Although he goes unmentioned (he prefers it that way) he plays a very big part in Fabric Jungle!!!

Good luck ladies & thanks again 🙂

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End of my comfort zone!

16 August 2011

Letter of Resignation

Dear XXX,

It is with regret and sadness that I need to inform you that I am resigning from XXX. Due to a personal business endeavour and the everyday responsibilities and demands of being a single mother I feel that I am no longer able to offer you the full commitment, motivation and flexibility that is required for my position. Please be aware that this has been a very difficult decision for me to make but for the sake of self preservation it has been a necessary one.

I am thoroughly grateful for the time that I have spent at XXX and the opportunities that have been offered to me along the way. XXX offers a wonderful professional yet relaxed workplace and it has been extremely tough to decide to give up such a great position that is essentially ideal for me as a mum, but I feel that a decision between my business and this position had to be made. I have arrived at a point where I am giving neither 100% and am running myself ragged. I cannot continue to do both and have no time left for myself & for my daughter. 

Essentially I could have gone either way with this decision but have chosen to see how far I can grow my business. I have worked tirelessly this past year growing it & I couldn’t bear to give it up easily. It has been a comfort working at XXX but it has come a time that I need to take a risk and they do say “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

I thank you profusely for employing me for the past few years I have appreciated every day. I will take away so much that I have learnt which includes answering a phone on reception (thanks Lyn) and how to touch type (thanks Glen).

Please take this as my official two (2) week notice with a finishing date of 26 August 2011. I am happy to complete my full two weeks unless you prefer I finish earlier.

Warm Regards,

Paula Stanley

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*Pattern Review* Pink Fig Designs ~ The Stripwork Skirt No.5

Pattern: Pink Fig Designs – The Stripwork Skirt No. 5
Size Range: 6 months to 10 years
Can be purchased on my website link here.
Pattern Kit: Available. Please email me if you would like me to set you up a custom listing.

This is the perfect pattern to start with if you are new to sewing!!! Lots of straight line sewing involved for practice. The hardest part would have to be the gathering but it’s relatively easy to master when you look up exactly how to do it. I had trouble with it as my thread was cheap & kept snapping.

I couldn’t find anywhere in the pattern where it mentioned what the seam allowances should be so I made up my own. I had to alter the hemband as a result but it wasn’t too difficult. All the cutting and sewing was a little tedious but the completion of the whole project was very quick. Don’t forget to have your iron & overlocker ready! The pattern doesn’t seem the mention it but you certainly need them if you want to have a perfectly finished skirt.

All in all the finished product looks GREAT & my daughter absolutely loves it!!!! So that’s a 10/10 from me.

Looking forward to making more now 🙂

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** CREATIVE CHALLENGE 5 **

Embellished!!! The challenge is to take a plain item of clothing & embellish it to your hearts content!!! It can be new or second hand but it must be relatively plain to start out with. You can choose whatever you like to embellish your item, the more creative the better. It can be an item of clothing for kids, for adults or for your pet, it’s up to you. Please submit a before & after photo as your entry. Closing date to get entries in is 31st July 2011!

Prizes
Voters choice = $20 Fabric Jungle Gift Voucher
Judges choice = $20 Fabric Jungle Gift Voucher

Have fun CREATING!!!

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