diy cosmetics bag

Now that I've got all kinds of scraps left over from my quilt I have fabric for some small easy projects that I've been wanting to get started. So, last night I churned out this super cute zippered pouch (I'm using it as a makeup bag). I love how the little birds fit so nicely in the bottom right corner (that was not intentional).

To make this sweet pouch I followed the zippered pouch tutorial on one of my fave craft blogs make it perfect.

Give it a try!

i heart sewing tutorials

I'm almost finished my homework from last week's quilting class and you can see my progress in the photo above. I've got four more squares to finish before my second class this evening.

Since starting my class last week (I've got the sewing bug) I've been scanning the internet for sewing patterns and tutorials (I especially love the tutorials). I found this awesome site called Sew Mama Sew and it's overflowing with tutorials. The projects range from easy to difficult and include home decor, garments, bags, blankets and QUILTS (my fave). I've got a lot of left over fabric lying around so I'm going to give this log cabin pillow a whirl. Time to spruce up our living room couch for the Spring/Summer season.

Happy learning!

case in point

Greeting from sunny and hot Bonita Springs, Florida!

L'il E and I are chilling out at Nana and Papa's for the week (we're loving the heat!) but that doesn't mean I'm on vacation from blogging. I just had to bring my MacBook Air with me and that meant sewing a padded case for my prized possession. Fortunately I found a really simple pattern in one of my fave sewing books One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects"" and I had some leftover fabric (bonus!) from homemade Christmas gifts. It had to be unisex so the Hubs could carry it as well, so I went with a grey exterior and a bright pink interior for a pop of colour.

Check it out! Can you tell I'm proud of my creation?

April 12, 2011 — Alanna Banks

black cream cozy knitted cowl

I've been wanting to knit this cowl for months and finally got around to it this week! The pattern is super easy (straight garter stitch) and can be knit in a few sittings in front of the TV.

I used three skeins of the Misti Chunky Baby Alpaca yarn in Black Cream (so amazing to work with and so soft!) and knit with two strands on US #10 needles until I was out. Three skeins is enough to wrap it around your neck twice when it's finished.

Now I just want to knit one in every colour! What are you making these days?

something cute

Now that I've had a little break from sewing and knitting post Christmas I am back with a couple of projects and both of them happen to be for me (quel suprise!) well actually our little babe. I received this adorable book for Christmas called Baby Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo and it's full to the brim with all kinds of little projects for baby. The first one I've decided to tackle is this sweet little Mary Lambs Merry Mobile (pic above). I was going to buy a mobile but when I saw this I couldn't resist. I decided to go with all white sheep rather than mixing and matching and will show off my efforts as soon as it's finished.

But FIRST I'm getting started on this little afghan for our winter babe. I've got knitting fever now that it has turned cold and snowy so I should have it finished in no time or at least in time for its arrival (4 weeks!)

Isn't this the most adorable newborn hat and mitten set?!

what i made

Now that all of my homemade Christmas gifts have been unwrapped I can share all of my creations with you (my blood, sweat and tears actually).

As you know I had my very popular lavender eye pillows for sale on Etsy and sold several (even to complete strangers!). They're still on sale if your interested (double eyebrow) just send me an email or you can check them out on the fridaysoff Facebook page.

My nephew was the proud recipient of his very own LEGO sac (sorry forgot to take a photo). I followed this super easy tutorial .

My three nieces each received these (pic below) adorable Elodie the Elephants. So cute and cuddly, but not the easiest to make (I have no patience for handstitching!) Put it this way it was a skill building exercise (smiley face). The pattern was from one my fave books One Yard Wonders.

I also made several produce bags (I love a good free online patern) with gorge fabrics from the workroom as well as everyday tote bags from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing.

Now I'm craving new projects! Any suggestions?


cute advent calendar

I have been so busy with sewing projects for Christmas gifts and of course making my lavender eye pillows (for sale at etsy) that all I've got are crafty projects on the brain. I stumbled upon this adorable advent calendar project today on one of my fave blogs make it perfect and wished I had a house full of kiddies to make it for, but alas I don't so into the bucket of future projects it shall go. In the meantime I thought I would share.

She basically sewed twenty five stockings, numbered them and pinned them up on an indoor clothes line. Each day she fills the appropriate stocking with a treat for each kid and an activity. How fun is that?!

Here is a list of her 25 activities. If only we could include "playing at the beach" as one of our pre-Christmas activities!

  1. Paint toenails in Christmas colours
  2. Make Christmas cards for friends
  3. Write a letter to Santa
  4. Bake treats for teachers
  5. Make Christmas ornaments
  6. Make gingerbread men
  7. Make gingerbread houses
  8. Put a present under the Kmart Giving Tree
  9. Picnic for dinner at the beach/park
  10. Family disco
  11. Games night
  12. Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
  13. Go out for dinner
  14. Have Cold Rock for dessert
  15. Play backyard cricket/footy
  16. Have a bubble bath
  17. Go strawberry picking
  18. Go out for a milkshake
  19. Go to the pool
  20. Make rocky road
  21. See Christmas lights
  22. Play at the beach
  23. Read Christmas stories under the tree
  24. Make reindeer food
  25. Go to the Playgroup Christmas party


December 16, 2010 — Alanna Banks

baby toque

Project #17 Dylan's Baby Blanket and Hat.

Our little babe received its first gift! A little homemade baby toque for it's chilly February arrival (thanks Kiva!)

If you're a knitter you'll love browsing through the beaut of a book this little hat came from. It's called AlterKNITS by Leigh Radford and includes gorgeous photography of all the projects.

Happy knitting!

October 14, 2010 — Alanna Banks

cozy knitted cowl

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the warm weather is just a distant memory I've suddenly got the urge to start knitting again. I found a pattern for this cozy cowl on the Pickles blog and it sounds like a quick project. Now do I use my old yarn (snore) or buy new? I love this bright colour for dark winter days.

Happy knitting!


October 12, 2010 — Alanna Banks

holds anything bag

I love showing off my new sewing projects and here is the latest (big smiley face!)

My BFF Robi loves bags and the colour green so I thought I would whip up a homemade bag to celebrate her birthday (the big 3-0).

I modified the pattern slightly to include two contrasting fabrics, just to spice it up a bit. There is a pocket on the side and a huge pocket right on the front. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing (my fave!)

I think it looks rather glamorous beachside.

August 26, 2010 — Alanna Banks