Monday, December 6, 2010

Crafty fun for everyone!

I've enjoyed reading illustrator Jenny B Harris' Allsorts blog for some time now.  Jenny is an extremely talented artisan and offers many free patterns and downloads for readers to try. She also has an etsy shop where she sells embroidery patterns of dolls dressed in traditional folk costumes from all over the world.

One activity on her blog which my younger daughter has delighted in for the last couple of years is the interactive cloth doll figure Zoe.  With a little clicking and dragging of clothes, shoes, hats, etc, children can dress Zoe in different outfits ready for any occasion!  At the moment, Zoe's clothes reflect a Christmas theme, but do change depending on the time of year.

Even more fun (I think!) is the beautiful gingerbread cottage that requires much sweet decoration in the form of candycanes, jellybeans and other delights.

For the littlies (and the big kids amongst us!), Jenny's blog is a wonderful play to visit.  At the moment, there are lots of Christmas crafts ready to download - all clearly written with patterns included.

Well done Jenny for such a wonderful web resource!!  We visit you often and I hope others receive as much pleasure as we do from your blog!

Fiona  xx

Friday, December 3, 2010

Giveaway winner

What a wonderful week I've had visiting new friends from all over the globe!  From England to Switzerland, Greece to France and the USA back to Australia, I've so enjoyed reading about the snowfalls, seeing new recipes and looking at the gorgeous Christmas decorating taking place. Thank you all for your lovely comments about my new website, designs and tutorial!  Your words are very much appreciated.

Without further ado, I'll announce the winner of my giveaway:

As entrants received extra entries for blogging or tweeting about this giveaway, or for following Nicobelle Design on facebook, we had a total of 19 entries.  The winner was number 14, Jessa Irene from A Holiday Haven!  Congratulations Jessa - I hope you little cousin enjoys wearing the brooch and hair ties.  If you could please email me on with your mailing address, I'll get the goodies out to you first thing next week.

Thank you once again to all of you for entering my giveaway - I'll be blogging about new stock on my website next week so stay tuned.

Have a lovely weekend, and for those in the northern hemisphere, keep warm!!

Fiona  xx

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tutorial and Giveaway!

To celebrate the opening of our new online store, I thought it might be fun to do a tutorial and giveaway!  We are currently running a special offer in our store: with every skirt purchased from our Summer Collection, you will receive a matching Puff Brooch FREE! Simply pin a puff brooch to any top and it will instantly coordinate with the beautiful colours in that skirt.  These brooches are made from a Suffolk Puff (or Yo-Yo) which has been embellished with a crocheted flower and button - so pretty!  

In today's tutorial, I'll be guiding you though the creation of one of my Puff Brooches - and will give details at the bottom of this post on how to enter the giveaway to receive this very brooch as well as two matching hair ties!

To make a Suffolk puff, you'll first need to decide on its finished size.  For a brooch on a little girl, I find that a finished diametre of just over 5.5cm (2 inches) works well, otherwise it can become a bit overpowering on her outfit.  For hair clips or ties, smaller is better again.

For this tutorial, you will need:
  • a smallish piece of fabric
  • fabric scissors
  • a paper template cut into a circle of the desired size
  • needle
  • thread
  • embellishments (I'm using a crocheted flower and button)
  • brooch pin
  • thread to match the button colour 

Here's what you do:

1. Using a paper template with a 12.5 cm (5 inch) diametre, cut a fabric circle.  This width allows for .5cm (1/4 inch) fold-over around the entire outside edge and will give you a finished puff of approximately 5.5cm.

2.  Thread the needle with a doubled piece of thread for strength - you'll be pulling tightly on those stitches!  Tie a knot at the end of the threads, leaving a tail of a few centimetres.

3.  Place the fabric circle wrong side up and with your free thumb, fold over half a centimetre of the edge to make your first stitch from the top side.  Continue to fold with your thumb as you go, making small stitches along the edge. (I'm right-handed, so I stitch from right to left and hold the edge down with my left thumb.)

4.  When you reach the beginning again, bring your last stitch through to the top side.  Gently pull on the thread to tighten your stitches and form the puff shape.

The gathering will end up as a tight circle in the centre and the folded edge will be hidden underneath.
5.  Keeping the thread taut, make a couple of small stitches inside the gathered edge to finish off.  Cut the thread, again leaving a tail of a few centimetres; knot this three or four times with the initial thread tail to secure. Cut the thread ends and you have completed your puff!

6.  Now for the embellishments!  Place the crocheted flower and button in the centre of the puff and stitch them in place, starting from the back (again, using a doubled thread and leaving a tail for later).  Once they are secure, stitch the brooch pin to the back of the puff and finish by again knotting the ends together to secure.

All finished!

How sweet does it look on our Kate Strappy Top!

Would you like to enter this giveaway??  Each of the following will give you one entry:
  • leave a comment on this blog
  • blog about the giveaway, and place a link to this post on your blog
  • visit our facebook page, 'like' it, and leave a comment here to let me know
  • follow us on twitter, and leave a comment here to let me know
On Friday December 3rd, I will select a winner.  International entries are welcome - I am happy to post anywhere in the world!  What a gorgeous treat for the little girl in your life!

Speaking of blogs, I follow Natasha's gorgeous lifestyle and cooking blog 5 Minutes Just for Me - today she is doing a '5 Minutes With....' segment about me!  Hop on over to read it! Make sure you stay for a while - she writes the most wonderful posts about home decorating, cooking and much, much more!

Thank you for visiting me today - I have also joined up with Beverly's Pink Saturday linky party.  Thanks for having me Beverly!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Now Open!!!

We are so pleased to announce that the virtual doors of our online store Nicobelle Design are now open!

Grab a tea or coffee, find a comfy chair and browse our gorgeous new Summer Collection of dresses, skirts and tops to delight every girl! We are currently selling in sizes 4, 6 and 8 and offer a beautiful and unique range of clothes made from pure cotton designer fabrics imported from the US, Japan and Europe, and of course from right here in Australia.

Almost our entire range is produced only once in each size, so what you are buying is truly unique.  Our two Summer Basics tops are available in white to match every skirt we offer and will be available throughout this current summer range, or while our fabric stocks last.  We also offer One-of-a-Kind garments which won't be seen anywhere else - this section will be greatly expanded in coming weeks.

Stay tuned - tomorrow I'll be back with a tutorial and giveaway to celebrate our grand opening!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Summer Collection

With our shop opening just around the corner, I am so excited to present some of the clothes we will be offering in our summer range!  Of course, there will be more on the site, but here is a sneak preview,
of some dresses:

and skirts:

We are also offering one-of-a-kind clothes which are truly unique and won't be seen anywhere else!!

I will post again with our official opening!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome to my new blog home!

Hello and welcome to the Nicobelle Design blog.  My name is Fiona and I live and work in beautiful Brisbane, Australia.  I have been sewing ever since childhood and have always loved the process of mixing and matching fabrics to create a unique piece of clothing.  I formed Nicobelle Design so my original creations could be offered to people who are as passionate about gorgeous girls' clothes as I am.

We love to keep our garments as unique as the girls who wear them, so only offer very limited runs of dresses, skirts, tops and pants for girls in sizes 4, 6 and 8.  Some items will be one-of-a-kind and will therefore be truly unique!

To stay informed of our latest styles, news and specials, subscribe to this blog by clicking the RSS feed link on the right side of the page.  Visit our facebook page or flickr photostream for up to date information and photos.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for our official store opening!!
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