More birthday sewing...

A while ago I saw a sewing kit that Annie had made for her own daughter's birthday. I loved her idea, and seeing it brought back memories of how much I had treasured my own sewing box that my grandmother gave to me one Christmas - the beautiful red satin lining, pins all of my own stored on a special wheel and some grown-up looking red-handled scissors...I have been slowly collecting and making items to put together something similar for my little Zebra's birthday. I modelled the pin-cushion on one that I'd seen on Anna Maria Horner's lovely blog, but I think that one was incredibly large, so my one is a miniature version, made in thick felts rather than cottons, and with an appliqued flower on the top.

I loved making this needle case as I knew that, in the absence of a real one, the cat would be appreciated. I bought a needle-case in the shape of a cupcake at a fair last year from a lady whose sewing I admire hugely, and the way it opens is so ingenious (to me, anyway) that I decided to use that as my starting point and build in the feline shape around that design.

Here it is open:

And here is Zebra-girl's new sewing box - Cath Kidston loveliness. And how delighted I was to lift the lid and see that inside it is almost identical to my own childhood basket.

I filled it with buttons, threads, tape measure, heart-headed pins, pin tin, and of course pin cushion and needle-case. She looked so pleased with it when she opened it.

By 8am this morning she was stitching away in preparation for seeing her grandmother today who was having her own birthday. First she drew the outline of a butterfly with an erasable pen and then got to work stitching over her lines in carefully chosen thread colours.

'Grandma will love this!' she exclaimed with absolutely certainty as she stitched away - and she did. Below is the finished picture.

Mr Teacakes has barely stopped working over the last couple of weeks and so his normal cake-making antics had to be scaled down as he didn't have time to start decorating the cake until 1am one evening (or perhaps that should be morning). I had baked the actual sponge earlier in the day and came down the next morning to find that he had decorated it with this lovely unicorn. Ian seemed disappointed over the lack of time that he'd had to do anything more adventurous and we both ended up laughing when Zebra-girl looked both confused and delighted (because constant delight is the only mode of being when it is the day of your birthday and you're seven years old) as he presented it to her while we all sang happy birthday. Is it a bird? She asked. Erm, no. Poor lovely, tired Ian. I felt pained for him, even though I knew that he wouldn't really mind.

I have been most tardy and awful on responding to commenty loveliness over the last couple of weeks (okay, actually, it's never been one of my strongest points, but things have now reached an all-time low), but I just wanted to say how much I really, really love receiving your comments and that I'm so sorry that I don't have the hours in the day to respond as much as I'd like to at the moment. The midday school pick-up means that I have less time now than when Dinosaur-boy was at nursery and what time I do have seems to have been taken up with sewing projects, leaving little time to report on them....oh, and that imaginary shop site I keep's nearly finished (yippee!).

So because it may be Christmas before I reply individually, I will say now that the much coveted cotton reel holder can be bought from here and that I am wishing all of those who do buy one, many happy hours of colour arrangement. My own thread racks were actually bought locally and only hold 60 reels, rather than 90 (but were substantially less expensive, so perhaps it's worth doing a more extensive Internet search, although I have bought things from Cotton Patch in the past and think that their service is excellent), but in every other way they are identical.


  1. Thanks for the cotton reel tip and lovely work with your daughters sewing kit. I would have loved one when I was younger, it's setting her up so well to have a creative flare when she's older - brilliant!

  2. I have also put together a sewing kit for my friend's daughter for christmas. I had so much fun putting all the little bits together!

  3. That is a gorgeous sewing box. I had a sewing box as a small child and it's arangement inside looks very similar. I still have mine and I'm sure your daughter will treasure hers always. Congratulate her for me on her beautiful sewing and Ian on the cake. It's a very lovely unicorn.

  4. Such lovely things, what a great idea, I'm sure your daughter will treasure them always.
    Hen x

  5. how did u do this pincushion?

  6. Oh my! What a lucky little girl! That sewing case is beautiful as are your accessories inside it ... the pin cushion is particularly pretty ... Thanks for the tip on the cotton holder too! x

  7. Oh you are not dead! That is awesome ;)

    You've been very busy, and rightly so. The cat needlecase is so fantastic - such skills! I have never yet made a pincushion or anything else 3D that requires stuffing because it looks scary. Much kudos to you, Mrs T.

  8. What a lovely gift for your little zebra. I love seeing little hands busily sewing and crafting. A beautiful butterfly indeed that is such a special gift for her grandmother. The pin cushion is lovely too and i adore the soft felt colours. Looking forward to having a peep at your website soon Florence... how exciting.
    Have a lovely week... with love
    Ginny xx

  9. I honestly think that is the loveliest pincushion I have ever seen Florence. The soft and pretty colours are just beautiful. I made sewing kits for both my girls in the past and will do so for little Isabella when she is old enough to use one without snipping her chubby fingers off! A lovely post xx

  10. What a beautiful sewing box and filled with such treasures. Fabulous to see it being put to such good use already. Great cake too!

  11. Such a lovely idea, my little one is only 2 but I can't wait to do that for her!

  12. What a lovely needlecase, I am sure your daughter will treasure it always. Once again, I’m inspired by your present ideas. The unicorn cake is charming. And I’m blown away by the butterfly

  13. What a wonderful sewing box, full of delights!

  14. There is just something so lovely about sewing boxes. I treated myself to the cottage box this year, but the Princess is desperate for a new box (a la your daughter's) Not yet, though!
    And the pin cushiony loveliness and miaovellous needle case! Happy Birthday to all concerned!


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