Category Archives: Show Me How Friday

Show Me How Friday: Crochet

Hello Friends.

In my parallel life – the one where I have mastered the art of time management, have a house keeper to take care of the endless streams of washing, and an organised sewing room Martha would be jealous of – I crochet. Prolifically.

In this life, I just fiddle around longingly with bits of wool and my Grandma’s crochet hook. After somehow managing to make a tiny acorn-style hat instead of a lovely granny square, I pull it all undone and tell myself today is just not the day. But it’s coming soon.

Enter the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mikes:

Yep, a very encouraging post title, nifty photo of a lovely crocheted rug, all looks promising doesn’t it? But wait for the best bit:

That’s right folks. Kind-hearted Pip has created step by step tutorials to get even the most clumsy of us crocheting our little fingers off. She offers video, photos and diagrams (choices!) and friendly instructions to have you on your way in no time. She has also linked key terms to more info so you won’t be left wondering what worsted weight yarn is, or the best yarn holding technique.

Oh the potential! The things we can make! The satisfaction that awaits at joining the long list of clever crocheting women in my family, and creating something to be treasured and hugged by our little one and those who come after her.

So, is it a deal? Will you join me on an adventure into hooks, chains and double chains? Excellent! We can keep each other motivated.

Oh, and just incase you are thinking “I would love to learn to crochet with you, but rainbow granny squares are just not my thing…” :

Then you should head on over to The Purl Bee to see a more sophisticated twist.

Oh yeah, now you’re hooked!



Show Me How Friday: A Clever Clutch from The Purl Bee

Hello Friend.

Glad you made it to our Friday date together, we have been looking forward to it. Today we bring you stylish yet achievable cleverness from one of our favourite online destinations:

We love for The Purl Bee for so/sew many reasons… the beautiful photographs, the colour, the regular posts. Most of all, we love their dedication to providing usable, gorgeous and attainable how-to’s for the big four loves of our creative lives: crochet, sewing, knitting and embroidery.

But we digress – this is Show Me How Friday, not Creative Crush Wednesday, so lets get to the making bit.

Screenshot from

This clever little tutorial is ideal for beginning sewers, time pressed crafty folk, or even a project to tackle with the little people in your lives. What could be more fun than pouring over your precious fabric stash to find just the right fabric combinations? Exactly. Nothing. (Well, nothing short of dribbly toddler kisses or a family size block of Top Deck).

Laura walks you through the materials you will need, holds your hand while you cut, and cheers for you as you pin, sew and admire your new clutch. The instructions are very clear, but if you are a visual learner like me, you will appreciate the wealth of photos to avoid any confusion.

If you are feeling pretty confident, you could follow along online. However – hoarders and lovers of busy work that we are – we think it could be rather nice to print out the tutorial to make notes and take ones time. Then it could be filed away in a folder accompanied by pictures of us partying with clutch deftly in hand…  you know, for bragging. Just a little bit.

So there you are, your weekend project awaits. You have full permission to pull out all your treasured fabric bits and lay them out all around the house for the selection process. Hooray!

M & A

Show Me How Friday: New Products!

Morning Friends.

On today’s Show Me How Friday, I thought detour from our very practical sewing tips, to share with you the complex and deeply intellectual creative process that is our product development…

  1. Arrive at AVS Headquaters. Boil kettle, corral kids in ball pool and kick off shoes.
  2. Spend the next 45 minutes gossiping talking about everything non-sewing related.
  3. Feed fractious children.
  4. Clean down walls, floor and self.
  5. Realise it is now lunch time and a lack of food is to blame for the drop in blood sugar –  and increasing irritability with splatters of kids lunch now adorning grown up clothing.
  6. Make and eat lunch.
  7. Clean up, boil kettle and break out the choccie biscuits.
  8. Finally get down to business….

I know. We too are amazed that we get anything done.

Still, we do, and most recently we are on the brink of something rather wonderful. The product idea that started the whole ball rolling is at the end of prototype stage. Much giggling and admiring of our handiwork has been taking place, and we are about to launch into the real, actual bona fide MAKING! Sneak peeks coming soon, suffice to say at this stage it is A) for little ones and B) something big folks who love little ones will love too…

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are, see you Monday with some pictures to whet your appetites!



Show Me How Friday: Skirt Love from The Long Thread

Hello team. Happy Friday to you.

Another short one today. This time it’s a looming girl’s night that has my fingers typing rather quickly. You should not, however, assume that this means todays ‘Show Me How Friday’ is lacking in quality…. after reading you may in fact be moved to rush to the sewing machine. You have been warned.

Some of you may have already taken our advice here and perused the VAST collection of  wonderful tutorials collated by Ellen over at The Long Thread. My sewing fingers get all twitchy as I click greedily through all the sewing fabulous-ness… So, it was only a matter of time before one of those lovely ideas found its way here.

Today we bring you:


Skirt with built in shorts from The Long Thread


This is on the absolute top of my things-to-make-for-Miss C, and I find myself thinking through my fabric stash for just the right combo. Ellen has so very generously provided a wonderful and very clear pattern pdf which you can find here. You will want to adapt the sizing to fit your own little one, but I promise it really is easy. Go on, get sewing!

Off we go, cocktails a-callin…


Show Me How Friday: Stichorama!

(Yes. You are right again. Today is technically Saturday. Seems someone forgot to press ‘publish’ after spell-checking and pressed ‘save draft’ instead. Someone was weary and not paying attention.)

Welcome to the first ‘Show Me How Friday’ for 2011 to all our loyal readers. Well, Megan’s Mum, Ali, our hubbies…. that makes at least four at least. Anyway, those of you who are following along may remember this post filled with much admiration for the ever-reliable whip stitch. Hold on to your hats people, because the information you are about to receive may send you into a stitching frenzy. Really, you should think carefully before reading any further….


…. ok. Glad you are up for it. Here we go…. Meet Sarah Louisa Whittle.

You will be glad you did when you realise the *immense* amount of time she has saved you. You see, lovely Sarah has created an easy and clear stitch-by-stitch photo tutorial for 43 different types of embroidery stitches. Crazy but true. Pick up your embroidery hoop, put on your thimble and get ready to squeal.

From Algerian Eye Stitch..

... to Bullion Knot Roses...

... to Fern Stitch... Threaded Herringbone Stitch.

I know. Awesome. And yes, I did look at every single one the minute I found them all. If your hand is not too shaky, click here to go to Sarah’s blog and the ‘Stitch A-Z’ list of amazingness.

My favourite of the moment is this one:

Closed Cretan Stich Leaves

I have so many grand plans for ways to incorporate some of this loveliness into our new products… bring on the needle callouses, stitching awaits!.

M & A

Show Me How Friday: Whip Stitch

Hello friends.

Those of you in Australia may feel the urge to gently nudge us and whisper “ahem, girls, it’s now Saturday, not Friday….”. We hear you, and offer the black circles under our eyes and auto-pilot parenting of sleep deprivation as our feeble defence. But we are pretty sure you will let it slide this time (for our non-Australian friends: we are usually coming to you from the future, so no doubt we have muddled your sense of time no end today. Sorry ’bout that).

Anyway, let’s put the calander away and get into it – our first ‘Show Me How Friday’ !

If you are like us (and by ‘us’ I mean the non-methodical Hare half of us) you began your hand stitching adventures in a gung-ho, stitch it up any old way. We were always so keen to see what the finished idea would look like that the stitching was, shall we say, a little ‘organic’. No more! This wonderful tutorial at futuregirl was a turning point. It clearly demonstrates how to achieve a neat and easy whip stitch for joining fabrics – great for purse sewing, soft toy making or decorative hand sewing.

Until recently we assumed this was THE way to whip stitch, however this terrific video on You Tube shows a form of stitching we used to call “the stitching my Mum does when she takes up the tricky hems on my suit pants”…. Useful for hems, linings or attaching embellishments with minimal evidence, it is a useful trick to have up one’s sewing sleeve.

As we type, one of us has a sore thumb from a whip stitching frenzy of Christmas present sewing…. yes, time is fast running out. Yes, one should have started earlier. Yes, said one should move Time Management of Sewing Projects back to the top of her To Do list.

Still, a certain little babe just can’t be without a handmade, love filled, slightly-wonky-in-a-characterful-way rabbit for her very first Christmas.

Er, yes, Hello again…

Hi. Sorry about that. We disappeared down the crafting rabbit hole there for a little bit. Nevermind, let’s put it behind us and get stuck into some fun new developments shall we? Good-0.

Since we saw you last, we have

  • been sewing our fingers off, creating some exciting new lovelies…
  • liaising with rather unhelpful printers whilst simultaneously placating hungry wee ones and ducking pouring rain
  • styling and photographing said lovelies… (oh if only you could see the chaos just outside of each shot…)
  • spending waaaay too much time on WordPress late at night trying to work out widgit-y gidget-y things and getting rather muddled then a bit grumpy. Remedy? –  some extended ‘research’ over at the ever delicious Design*Sponge, followed by some blatant yearning on Anthropology… yes, you know how that story ends. Black circles under eyes the next morning and still no better grasp of the ways of the widget…

Still, we creep ever forward, and find ourselves now feeling quite chuffed at our blossoming little store. We are even getting all disciplined, and are making better use of the organising power of Google Docs to schedule in some regular working/making/blogging time. Phew, no wonder we feel a bit pooped!

Be on the look out here for our new regular series:

  • Creative Crush Wednesday – we highlight some of our favourite crafters, creatives and stores
  • & Show Me How Fridays – we share tips, tricks and rather clever crafting techniques, from our own discoveries to the wonderful resources of the www…. because we all want to work smarter not harder, right?

Off we go, the kettle has boiled and little one’s nap is wriggling to an end..

M & A