about me


Hello! I’m Cornel and I blog about things that inspire me, things I’ve made and Craft Share, the craft group I started in 2009.

You'll find lots of crochet on my blog, as well as my crochet and sewing projects for Ideas Magazine, since September 2011.

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Entries in sewing (32)


first bags

I've been dreaming about making handbags for quite some time now and last week Tuesday I took the plunge. It should sound risky, because I stopped all the normal work my 4 seamstresses do and had them sewing handbags for a whole day. We managed to make up 6 and my hubby took them to work the next day (they all have The Fabric Library label inside, because I used their fabrics). Four days later there were 2 left. So sorry I didn't photograph all of them. They're fun, roomy and I hear music when I see all the lovely fabrics together. Today I'm taking another plunge!


one thing led to another

Do you remember the crochet needle hold-all I made for Mel for her birthday? 

I've been wanting one for ages. My mother still has hers - the one I grew up with. It's in a black-and-white mattress ticking and holds all her knitting needles.

When I got home from Mel's birthday party, I mentioned to the kids that if they needed me, they would find me in my studio. About 3 hours later I had my own "Deluxe crochet and knitting needle holdall"! It even has a pocket for cuticle oil! I love the little heart felt book that keeps the needles.

Since then, 6 of my Craft Share friends ordered one each. I took notes of what fabrics they would like. Something bright with 'bling' for Marinda, floral but no black for Anneke,  any print with a cream background for Sonja mixed with ticking and maybe a check here and there.

So, if you want one too, please email me. I love sewing these! Cornel x 


for mel

Happy birthday! And many more hours of happy crocheting (even when you're far away [sad]). C x 


today ...

"Come closer, and the world looks much more like a wish, a great desire coming true all around us, with our own wishes and desires woven into it." (D Chopra)

Image: Petrina Tinslay Photographer


granny dress

Absolutely LOVED this granny dress when I saw it on Nath's blog (one of my favourite reads) little over a week ago. C x


5 ways to trim scatter cushions

Here are just a few ways I like to trim (finish off) my scatter cushions:

1.With slip-stitch or running stitch. I use any co-ordinating or contrasting yarn from my collection. It's usually double knit, although embroidery yarn has a lovely sheen and looks good on more serious scatters.

2. With fabric ruffles. I cut these on the bias (1 to 1,5 cm wide), wrapped around a piece of cardboard (7 cm wide) with a slit in the middle. The ruffle is stitched onto the outside of the scatter. I plan to do a tutorial on this one soon.

3. With flat piping. Prepare fabric like normal piping (cut on the bias about 7 cm wide), but no piping cord is put inside when it is sewed into the seam of the scatter. I like to iron the flat piping flat when finished.

4. With left-over ribbon. Simply use left-over ribbon (or ribbon from gifts) sewed into the corners of the scatter.

5. With pom-poms! I like using extra small (like these) or large (if they're available) pom-poms. They always add a fun element to scatters. They make people want to touch them (don't know why; maybe curiosity). Use them right round, only on the sides or in the middle if you are joining 2 panels of different fabrics. And just to show you how much i love pom-poms (lol), here's more:


the 9 books i have to have

1.Alabama Stitch Book

2.Applique Your Way

3.Bend-the-rules Sewing

4.Linen, Wool, Cotton

5.One Yard Wonders

6.Sew Liberated

7.Seams to Me

8.Sew and Stew

9.Simple Sewing

Isn't it funny that all these books are about sewing and I haven't done any sewing in a looooong time ...


inspirational "thank you"

On Friday 2 October I crafted alone, after spending some time on the beach with the kids for the last time. Hope you don't mind me sharing. I wanted to give Olga something meaningful to thank her for inviting us to join them on this beach holiday.

The design for the bag I was sewing came to me as inspiration about 2 months ago. I was paging through a Living Etc magazine late one night, when I saw a beautiful photograph of a bedroom with a wave blanket at the end of the bed. Something clicked, and an image of a simple handbag came into my mind. It helps of course if you've been obsessed with the idea of making handbags for weeks (don't know why). I 'saw' two panels of the wave blanket (about 40x60cm) as the sides of the bag, covered with thick upholstery plastic. The handles were long and strappy and also crocheted. They were attached to the bag by being looped through chrome eyelets in the four top corners of the side panels. The bag was lined in a small floral design that co-ordinated beautifully with the colours used in the wave pattern on the outside. It was so real I could almost touch the cool smooth plastic, with the colourful handcrafted fabric behind it. But the bag stayed imaginary. I was doing other things in my spare time, like quilting hexagons for my scatter cushions. Then I found a gorgeous beach-inspired fabric at the Irene quilt shop two weeks ago - a 100% cotton by Makower UK called 191 Coast Labels. I bought it because it reminded me of countless happy holidays at the coast. This was definitely one of those fabrics I had to have, without having an idea of what I wanted to do with it.

Only on the night before Christi and I left Pretoria for the farm (and then Glentana), while packing everything we needed for crafting, did the bag and the fabric make sense together. I'm so glad it did! It was really easy to choose the blue-and-white checked fabric for lining the bag, as well as a deep red embroidery cotton for some detailed slip-stitching (my favourite finishing technique for ages). I also packed the chrome eyelets, the dyes needed to attach the eyelets to the fabric and the thick plastic. The last item was the ingredient I thought would give the bag the edge.

In the end, the bag took 6 hours to sew on my domestic Bernina. But so (sew!) worth it. I don't know who was happier: Olga, who really appreciated the effort and the beautiful end result, or me, realizing that what I just did, was truly inspired!


and the winner is ... the imagination!

The school concert started today and finishes on Thursday. Mind you, with all the positive feedback about the costumes, I could consider a career change!


sewunderwater pressure


Needless to say, making up the school concert costumes has become a group effort, since I didn't finish them last week Thursday. The full dress rehearsal is tomorrow morning and we are knee deep in mermaid and octupus body parts. My back-up plan is 2 energy drinks in the fridge (I haven't had those in ages), containing enough Taurine and Caffeine to keep me awake 'till at least 2 am tomorrow. To make matters worse, Sebastian's school just phoned to tell me about an accident he had. His teacher thinks his nose is broken!!!

Ok, make that 4 am.