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Weekend Rewind L: Mathematics is not my strong point

And so we arrive at number 50 weekend rewind. Which equates an average of roughly 3,000 links. Which equates to about how far my mathematical capabilities extend to. I actually had to ask Bart for help with helping Badoo with her maths homework the other night. I think I would feel more ashamed of myself if I actually cared one iota for maths.

Incidentally, an iota is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet and (Ιώτα). The word 'jot' derives from iota as does the German, Spanish and Portuguese name for the letter 'j' (jot/jota).  See, I am much more interested in words.

And I just love this:

Other things that had me this week:

Reading... How to Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran. Hugely wonderful.
Writing... my Problogger presentation - finally smashed it!
Trying... to bring back the poke on Facebook. Didn't go so well.
Loving... my amazing sister's success.
Marvelling... at my DTLL finds, especially batboy.
Making... a drawstring bag a la Frog, Goose + Bear (isn't fabric paint the biz!)
Wondering... whether really slow or really fast drivers piss me off more.

Fast or slow? (DRIVERS, you saucy minx!)

Happy reading.
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THANK YOU for joining the Weekend Rewind list, hosted by Maxabella lovesLife, Love and HiccupsSonia Styling and Kelly Exeter. To join in, simply link up your favourite post from the week just gone. Then settle in to read some wonderful stuff from your fellow bloggers: no pressure to read, but it's always worthwhile.


Teach me how to sew a drawstring bag

The 'teach me' series is all about learning how to do things I can't from clever clog wearers who can. I'm learning so much as we go and I hope you are too! This week I'm welcoming an old bloggy mate of mine (one of my very first, actually!), Emma from Frog, Goose + Bear. You are unlikely to ever meet a nicer soul than Emma and certainly not many as creative. Emma is going to take us back to basics to learn how to make the handiest thing known to man - the drawstring bag. I've tackled a few drawstring bags in my time, but they always fall about or look decidedly miserable. It's time I learned how to do it properly and Emma always explains things in a way that makes me believe I can do it...

Bron knows that I love parties and that, like her, I like to go the extra mile when it comes to all the little details of the party, so I thought I’d share with you how to make a cute little drawstring bag for your party guests to take home. You can also use these bags for storing toys, make-up, library bags, swimming bags - they are handy for everything!

How to make a drawstring bag 

The beauty of making your own party bags is that you can make it the perfect size to fit your party favours, which makes them great for obscurely shaped things, and there is also the added bonus of the bag being a gift in itself. There are more complicated ways of making drawstring bags, but this is my quick and simple , no fuss version. You will need 1. Cut your fabric into two small rectangles of the same size. How big you want the bag to be will depend on the size of the goodies you intend to put in the bag.

You will need:
cotton fabric
fabric scissors
sewing machine
ribbon or string
safety pin
fabric paint or ink for stamping (optional)

1. Cut your fabric into two small rectangles of the same size.  How big you want the bag to be will depend on the size of the goodies you intend to put in the bag.

2. Sew the two pieces of fabric together.  If you are using a patterned fabric, you’ll need to have the underside facing outwards when you sew them together.

Giving it about a 1cm seam allowance and starting at the top, stitch back and forward a couple of times to reinforce the seam and then sew around three sides of the rectangle finishing by reinforcing the end of the stitching by once again sewing back and forward a couple of times.
3. Trim the fabric from the bottom two corners.  This will make the corners nice and pointy and not bunched up when you pop the bag the right way around.

4.   Fold the opening of the bag down about 1cm using an iron.  Make sure it is nice and even the whole way around. 
5.  Fold the opening down one more time using an iron. You might like to make this fold a little larger, depending on the width of the ribbon or string you intend to thread through it later.

6.   Sew around the bottom of the folded edge.  Beginning at the edge of one of the seams, reinforce  the stitching by sewing back and forward a couple of times and then continue sewing all the way around the bottom edge of the fold and stop approximately 1cm before you reach the beginning of your sewing.  Reinforce the stitching by sewing back and forward a couple of times at the end before you finish.

7.   Trim the threads and flip the bag the right way around.   I like to use a chopstick  in the corners to make them nice and pointy.

8.   Decorate your bag.  You might like to leave your bag plain, particularly if you have used a patterned fabric, but I decided to decorate mine to brighten it up a little.

The options for embellishment are endless, for example, sewing or ironing fabric letters or shapes onto the bag, using ink stamps or fabric markers all work really well.

I used fabric paint on the heads of drawing pins to stamp colourful dots on my bag. 
Remember if you are using fabric paint, you will need to put a piece of card inside the bag to prevent the paint going through to the other side of the bag.
9.  Once your paint has dried, you can now thread your ribbon or string through the top of the bag.  The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the end of your ribbon or string and thread it through the opening that you left at the top of your bag. 

Once you have brought the ribbon or string back through the hole, you can cut it to size (leaving plenty of extra to allow it to hang on a wrist) and tie a knot in the end to secure.  

10.  Now you can fill your bag with goodies.  If you are using these as party bags, this is where you can get creative.  Party favours don’t always have to be lollies.  In this case I thought the supplies for making friendship bracelets might be fun with some brightly coloured embroidery thread, a roll of fluro tape, a safety pin and an instruction sheet.

These secret agent bags are for my son’s spy themed 7th birthday party next week, which we used alphabet ink stamps to decorate.

You could also choose a patterned fabric to match your party theme like in the example below where I used some transport fabric with some small toy cars as the party favour.  I can imagine party bags made with dinosaur fabric with toy dinosaurs inside, pirate fabric filled with chocolate coins or sparkly fabric with handmade beaded jewellery.

Once you’ve learned how to make them, why stop at parties?  You can use this same method to make all sizes of bags for storing jewellery, toys, shoes.... whatever you need.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you are really not the sewing kind, or just don’t have the time, but still like the idea of a cute little fabric party bag, you can actually purchase plain drawstring muslin bags just like these from Blank Goods or quite a few sellers on Etsy if you search under ‘drawstring bag’.

Thanks so much for having me Bron – I look forward, as always, to seeing the next amazing birthday party that you put on for your kids!

  How do you rate your sewing skills? Are you ready to tackle a little bag now?



Shopping but not shopping

Since I'm part of the Down That Little Lane blogger family*, every now and then I get to put together a DTLL newsletter. It's the most therapeutic thing I do each quarter. Shopping, but not shopping is a rather wonderful thing. But not as good as shopping...

Is it because I'm a coveter? I see things and I just want them. I want to gobble them up I love them so much. Actually I have this problem with my friend Laura's little boy too... I would add Tommy to these DTLL finds in a heartbeat if I could. He's that juicy.

I don't shop incessantly (and certainly not for toddlers). You won't find me leisurely trawling around the stores on a weekend - who are all those people who have nothing better to do? Rather, I binge shop. I'll stack up in my mind the things I need to get and then go out and get them in one great hit. I even do this with gifts.

The things I find myself buying most for others are arty tea towels. My little thing is to send a friend a random tea towel just to say thank you or happy birthday or missing you or hi. Yep, a tea towel. It sounds so blandly pedestrian when I say it like that, but look at this and this and this and this and... you want one, right?

The things I crave for myself the most are stationery, prints, wooden anything and bed linen. I'm a sucker for the lot. But honestly, look down there - who can resist the whale purse? Or the tin house? Or the batboy pillowcase? Or the eco skateboard even though I can't say I'm much of a skater.

What do you crave the most? What do you covet most from my finds below? {Click on the title of each image below to jump to the item or click here to go to the full newsletter.}

Cotton kaftans
Elephant house
Whale coin purse
Malmo coat rack
Cloud shelf
City blocks
Concrete planter
Wooden helicopter
Superhero blocks
Tin house
Batboy pillowcase
Messenger bag
Eco necklace
Elephant wall mural
Goldilocks theatre
Organic cushion
Celebrate banner
Eco skateboards
Bamboo calculator
Fox bookmark

What are you purchasing in your head right now? And what is it with women and shopping? Why do you think we covet new things so much?

* My gorgeous Uberkate cuff pictured above was a gift from Tessa that made me cry it was so unexpected and lovely. Tessa is always doing that to me - her generous heart reminds me why the world is wonderful.

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