Pattern: BSC Perth Reversible Apron

Continuing the series of posts for tutorials and patterns from my pre-blogging days:

From September 2009: I made this apron pattern and instructions up for my Perth, Australia based BurdaStyle Sewing Club. We made one each at our second meeting on September 12th. It was a huge success and a lot of fun so I thought I would post it for others to give it a go 🙂


It is a very basic pattern designed not to scare off beginners and has huge potential for personalisation and modification.


You need two contrasting fabrics. For a heavy-duty cooking/gardening apron I suggest heavy cotton/drill/canvas or demin.

For a more lighter-weight baking/craft apron then light-weight printed cotton is fine.

Fabric requirements are given in the tutorial pdf download below.


Please download the pattern here: BSC Perth Reversible Apron Pattern Print at Home – it is an A4 tiled pdf file.

Method (to the madness):

Please see download: Reversible Apron Tutorial

You can make your aprons out of other thrifted items too, one of the girls used an old flour bag to dress up some red gingham – very cool!

And here some of us are in our (mostly finished) aprons 🙂

Enjoy! And if you have any questions please feel free to comment below 🙂

IMPORTANT: This work is my creation and my intellectual property, protected under a Creative Commons license. You may not use it for any commercial purposes, claim it as your own, or resell it.

Creative Commons License
BSC Perth Reversible Apron Pattern by thecuriouskiwi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tutorial: Small thread spool holder for under $5.00

In my pre-blogging days I uploaded a couple of tutorials and patterns via BurdaStyle to share. In the next week or two I want to re-post these to my blog, because I can. I just sort of want them on my blog, you know? Then I can link to them more easily and they are here, under my control.

So first up is my tutorial for a thread spool holder I (mostly Nerdy Husband – but I did all the planning and supervising!) made while living in Perth, it cost less than AUD$5.00

From December 2009: OK so this isn’t technically sewing but I thought I might share anyway. I am lucky enough to have a small dedicated sewing room and I’m a bit of an organising geek but since we rent I can’t really put up permanent shelving or hang things off of the wall so I have to get imaginative. I also like to display my sewing items and keep them within easy reach so I’ve had this little project in mind for a while and thought I would document as I go to see if I can inspire someone else. I wanted to display my sewing threads in a nice manner and since I already have a pin board up I wanted to piggy back off of it some way…


  • Length/s of dowel small enough to fit through a spool
    • Mine are 6mm in diameter – $0.87 each x 2 (0.6cm or 1/4″)
  • Length of timber to fit dowel to
    • I used a piece 30 x 12 x 900mm long – $3.07 (3 x 1.2x 90cm long or 1-3/16″ x 1/2″ x  35-1/2″)
  • PVA Glue
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Helpful fiancé or similar

Method (to the madness):

Step 1

First mark a center line down your timber and mark the spacing for the dowels. I measured 4cm between centers; this allows my largest spools to sit side by side without touching.

Step 2

Now pre-punch your marked holes. We didn’t have a punch so we used an old screwdriver, and because my helpful fiancé is a geologist, a rockpick for a hammer.

Step 3

Now drill your dowel holes, mine are on a slight angle, about 45 degrees. Try and keep the angle and depth consistent.

Step 4

All holes drilled. Now clean up the mess and gently sand away any rough parts on the surface and inside the holes.

Step 5

Now cut your dowels. I cut mine 5cm long which allows enough to go into the base and still leaves enough for a spool to sit on without it showing. Clean up any rough ends.

Step 6

Now fill your drilled holes with a little PVA glue and begin to fit your dowels. Mine needed a little gentle persuasion. Clean up any glue that squirts out with a damp rag.

Step 7

I attached my spool holder to my pin board but you could make a larger stand alone one, or attach it to a shelf edge. I’m sure there are plenty more possibilities.

Totting Up:

Dowel: $0.87 x 2 = $1.74
Timber: $3.07
PVA Glue: from my stash – seriously, who doesn’t have some PVA at home?!
Husband’s Fee: Home-made Banana & Walnut Loaf

Total: $4.81

Since writing this I have added another row of spools below this one:

And on the weekend I added some small hooks underneath the bottom row, upside down, so that I can hang some of my current favourite patterns underneath using small bulldog clips. In the picture above I have them hooked over the dowel, underneath a spool of thread but every time I go to move them I keep dropping the spool of thread down behind my fabric shelving, haha. The hooks work much better!

And that’s it, I hope you have been inspired into a little bit of nerdy organisation 😉

Pattern: “Strawberry” Shopping Bag

Continuing the series of posts for tutorials and patterns from my pre-blogging days:

From May 2010:

Mother’s Day Gift Idea (or stocking stuffer at Christmas time)

I saw this little bag in a shop when I visited Wellington in November 2009 and I’ve been planning to make myself one ever since. I’ve seen a few more around since then and considering Mother’s day is not far away it’s the perfect excuse to make a few to give away (and of course one for me).

Now here’s the crazy part, I bought all my fabric, sketched myself a plan of attack, made a pattern and got underway. I figured it would be nice to share a little tutorial and pattern here and then one of the blogs I followed shared this link! It’s the craziest timing but I guess not so much so when you consider the time of year. I have chosen to share my version anyway, it never hurts to have a couple of points of view and I am sure between my scribbles and ikat’s amazing photos others can make some cute bags too 🙂 I love that we chose similar fabrics too and I am glad I’m not the only one obsessing over mini strawberries that turn into carry bags 🙂

I hope you like, they are so quick to whip up and I look forward to seeing your versions.

Edit 19/09/2012: I have since seen orange “carrot” bags, and purple “grape” bags so feel free to use your imagination 😉


  • Printed cotton fabric (or other non-stretch lightweight fabric)
    • I bought 2 meters for the bag and 30cm each for the “strawberry” & “stem”, this will make about 3 bags
  • Cord
  • Cord stopper
  • Thread


Click the image below to download the pattern:

Method (to the madness):

The pattern file above also include these instructions below.