Archive for the ‘DIY tips & tutorials’ Category

Fabric wrapped christmas presents: Year 3!

December 12th, 2013

Fabric wrapped Christmas presents

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about my fabric wrapped Christmas presents. WELL i’m really excited to say that we’re in to the third year of doing this in our family, and i love it even more! There’s something really satisfying about pulling out my little bag of wrappings and knowing that i won’t be throwing any of it in the trash, and i didn’t have to rush to the store to buy paper at the last minute. YES!

So here are the posts i’ve done about my fabric wrapped presents:

Fabric wrapped Christmas presents: year 1The original post where i first tried the idea

fabric wrapped christmas presents -  year two tips

FAQ’s and Tips for wrapping presents with fabric (This time i’ve really perfected my wrapping technique to completely remove the need for using another other securing device than just ribbons and the fabric itself).

Last year i also added reusable felt gift tags, and i’m so glad i did, this year wrapping was such a breeze

Also if you’re feeling really crafty, here are a few other ways i’ve tried to make our Christmas more handmade. I was hoping to add more to the list this year, but I guess moving house and being pregnant has turned out to be enough for me to handle this December hehe

handmade Christmas stockings[TUTORIAL: handmade Christmas stockings]

Holly christmas garland[TUTORIAL: Holly garland]

Another Holly garland[TUTORIAL: Another Holly Christmas garland]

how to felt + leather acorn[TUTORIAL: Felt & leather acorn ornaments]

[Storing handmade garlands and buntings]

[Holly tree skirt]

[Handmade ornaments]

AND Kelli over at True Bias is hosting a handmade ornament exchange again this year – and a bunch of my favourite bloggers will be sharing what they made and their tutorials for their creations very soon (heres the list of bloggers), so make sure to keep an eye out! Last years were absolutely amazing and i know this year will be too (my kids had an epic battle this year over who would hang Jen’s Narwhal ornament hehe)

Any other handmade Christmas things on your radar this year?

what bra to wear with the crescent blouse

August 6th, 2013

What bra can you wear with the Megan Nielsen Crescent blouse?

It feels totally weird writing a blog post about bras, but I know there are a number of you that have been worried about what bra you can wear with your Crescent blouse. I’ve had comments from quite a few people about their hatred for strapless bras, and how that leaves them confused as to how they could wear the Crescent.

Well guess what folks, i never wear strapless bras. They’re freaking uncomfortable!

Thats why i designed the Crescent to be worn with a regular bra – the inner shoulder straps are drafted to lay over the bra straps of a cross over bra. Want to see? Here we go…


Isn’t that cool?

Don’t have a crossover bra? Easy baby, you can pick up these little bra converters for almost nothing. I got mine for $3 at my local pharmacy – there are literally tonnes on Amazon.


I mentioned this in my original post about the Crescent, because a lot of thought went into the exact placement of the shoulder straps. But hey, if you missed that, now you know! I hope that alleviates some of your worries. Yay for not having to wear rib crushing straplesses that require constant pulling and proding to stay in place! hehehe


August 1st, 2013

bookshelf headboard // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

When we moved back to Perth we were very harsh about what we brought. We tried to keep everything to a bare minimum to make the move easier and lessen the burden of international moving costs – which of course meant we ended up with a bit of shopping list when we got here!

But i’m not going to complain – i really enjoyed it! It was really fun to go out and purchase things for our home with older eyes. I know that sounds silly, but my tastes have changed since we were first married and first started accumulating house things, and it was really nice to have an excuse to start fresh.

I completely fell in love with this bed – but it didn’t have a headboard – which is a total bummer. I knew i wanted something a little unusual, so i left it blank for a while. Until i started trying to fit a bookshelf into our very small bedroom. We own a lot of books and special little things that i wanted in our room – and i just couldn’t fit a bookshelf in anywhere (which of course i discovered after i had shoved the bookshelf into our room). Then it hit me – put the bookshelf behind the bed! Make it the headboard. YES!

Honestly, i could not be more thrilled with this “headboard” and it didn’t cost me anything (extra bonus!).

I just love it! All the junk we usually try and cram on tiny bedside tables is easily accommodated – plus i can keep a much larger reading selection at the ready than usual (normally we both have piles of books spilling onto the floor next to the bed). I’ve got my magazines, my sewing resources, my special knick nacks – whatever random junk i decide i need!

Awesome right? I kind of love it when crazy ideas turned out well!

bookshelf headboard // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Eucalypt dress variation : faux leather collar and patch pockets

June 7th, 2013

Let’s finish off the week with another Eucalypt variation, shall we? This time – a dress version. Here, you won’t have to make any changes, just some easy additions! And by easy, I really mean it. I’ll be showing you how to attach a faux collar, which is a million times more simple than a full standard collar. And don’t forget the patch pockets, too! To top it all off – I’ll be doing it all out of (faux)leather for a rich look.

Ok, let’s get started!


Eucalypt tank variation : colorblocked button-front

June 6th, 2013

Are you guys finding some of the Eucalypt tips and tutorials from earlier this week helpful? Well let’s continue on with some more Eucalypt fun, today! I have a super fun variation to share with you. That is what is so great to the Eucalypt tank /dress – it lends itself to so many variation options. The possibilities are endless! One really easy option? Colorblocking. You can color block vertically, or as I’m going to show you today, horizontally. Combined with a button up front placket, it makes for a detailed and unique version of Eucalypt!

********EDIT: an awesome observant reader pointed out a mistake I had made while making this top. I’ve now corrected the instructions to accommodate for the correct amount of seam allowance. The parts of the instructions that have updated are now italicized. Sorry for mistake and the confusion!********

Ok, enough with the chit chat. Find out how to make this Eucalypt variation after the jump…..


Tutorials you might find useful when sewing the Eucalypt tank or dress

June 5th, 2013

helpful tutorials for the Eucalypt woven tank or dress

Though the Eucalypt is a beginner pattern – i know it can be nice to have a little extra help sometimes. So I thought you might like a little round up tutorials that would be useful when making the Eucalypt woven tank or dress.

How to sew french seamsTo make this pattern extra pretty for sheer fabrics, the instructions in the booklet show you how to do french seams. But sometimes photos are even better right? This tutorial will show you how to get perfect french seams every time: How to sew french seams

6 seam finishes and when to use themBut maybe french seams really aren’t your thing? If you’d rather try a different seam finish, then you might find this tutorial helpful: 6 seam finishes and when to use them

How to make bias tapeThough we provide a pattern piece and instructions to make your own bias tape in the pattern – but maybe you need a bit of extra help? This tutorial for how to make bias tape might help

3 ways to sew a rolled hemThe hem on the Eucalypt is curved, but not as much as the other patterns in Breakwater – but the ideas we share in 3 ways to sew a rolled hem might help. Don’t forget to pay attention to the actual hem measurements for the Eucalypt, they are wider than for say Cascade or Crescent.

importance of ironing

And lastly – you know i’m a stickler for pressing. The real trick to getting your hem, french seams and bias neckline to look awesome – is pressing: The importance of ironing & pressing your sewing creations

Did i miss anything? Any other tutorials you found useful when making Eucalypt?