Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tilda Notice Board

Ok so here is a little something I have been making for my Sister's 2nd wedding anniversary. (but shhhhh she doesn't know yet ;-D)

I decided to make something for the home. I had some scraps of pretty Tilda and Cath Kidston fabrics that went well together but I didn't want to make just anything like a cushion. I wanted it to be something different. So I chose to make a notice board Here is how I have done it....

1) Cut the fabric squares in half diagonally to create little triangles then stitch them all together in what ever pattern/ design you like this is how mine came out...

2) This on it's own looks pretty but now we are going to cover up those seams. I chose a white cotton lace trim. Just start by pinning it down so that you can get the positioning right...


3) How pretty is that! Now it is time to stitch the lace down around the edges and then add the buttons I thought the buttons would look nice in the centre if the squares. I also added an odd silver button with a swirly pattern on it in the centre of the whole thing...

4) After sewing the lace down and adding the buttons, we then need to tidy up the sides. I used an over-locker for this but if you don't have an over-locker, a sewing machine works just as well. Place right sides together and start with the 2 short side pieces...

5) Now add the other 2 longer sides. In the same way, with right sides together. Remember to pin it first and if you feel unsteady with the fabric it is better to take the precaution of tacking it too...

6) Finally you need ply wood and wadding. Staple the wadding to the ply wood and then stretch your notice board cover over it. Try not to stretch it out of shape but at the same time it needs to be quite tight so that papers don't just fall out of it. Staple it to the board and staple a backing over it. then cover the staples with the lace trim.

I don't have a picture of the finished item yet as I haven't given it to my sister yet and I want her to seen the finished product first. But when I give it her I will take a picture and share it with you.

It's easier than you think and really fun to make. It allows for lots of creativity so make it unique to you.

Let me know what you think and send me pics of your notice boards I'd love to see them
Keep Crafting everyone

Saturday, 24 August 2013

I Can't Live Without....

Sewing books

This is my small but rapidly growing collection of sewing books. I love them all and have a long list of projects from them.
       My first one was the 'Encyclopaedia of Sewing Techniques' by Jan Eaton. I love this book not only because it was my first serious sewing book and a gift from my mother, but also because it really does have everything you need to know in order to get it right when you sew. It has everything from knowing your sewing machine to different seams, pleats and darts. From embroidery to patchwork, quilting and dressmaking projects. The illustrations look a bit outdated but hey it is an edition from 1986 and I think it adds to the lovely vintage feel to the book.

From old to new. The latest addition to the family is....

(sorry this picture came out a bit blurry oops)
        These two are unfortunately only temporary additions as I got them from the Library but after having a mooch through with a cup of tea and a cake, I fell instantly in love with them and I just knew I had to have them. So they have been added to my watch list on Ebay. The 'Stitch Step By Step' book is full to the brim with embroidery stiches, needle work designs and something I have not come across before 'Florentine Stitching'. Embroidery is something I have wanted to do since forever so I was so excited when I found this book with a step by step picture guide to tons of different stitches. I can't wait to try them. I have also fell in love with Florentine stitching it is so beautiful and I love how it has quite a retro feel.
        'The Busy Girls Guide To Sewing' is a definite must have if you are trying to set up a craft business. Not only does it have some lovely easy and quick projects like aprons, folders and covering a pouffe.  It has tons of advice on how to set up a craft business, how to find supplies and so on. I would definitely recommend this book.
As for my favourite book. It is a tie between...
The Great British Sewing Bee and...
Reader's Digest, Complete Guide to Sewing
        The Great British Sewing Bee book is new, modern, full of lovely pictures from the show and there are so many projects. It is easy to use and great for all levels. With step by step pictures and then projects to put your new skills into practice, this has to be the easiest sewing book I have ever used. Plus there is the added bonus of free sewing patterns in the back of the book.
        My joint favourite is the all time sewing bible.... Reader's Digest, Complete Guide to sewing. It was a gift from someone I once knew and really is the book every seamstress should have. Again the illustrations are dated but who cares when there is so many stitches of wisdom in this book. I could loose myself in this book looking at all the skills, tips, advice and how to's. It is easy to understand with step by step instructions that are accompanied by an illustration. The only way to describe it is The Sewing Bible.
So those are a few book from my collection. What are your favourite craft books? It could be anything from woodwork to paper craft. Let me know what your go to book is for your skill.
Keep Crafting everyone
Speak Soon

Sunday, 18 August 2013

How to Make a Pencil Skirt

Here is the perfect first garment to make if you are a beginner. I chose a thick cotton fabric as it is easy to use, versatile and a flattering fabric to wear. It is a greyish navy colour. The fabric was given to me from a friend and I had planned to make a skirt from it for a while but was convinced that I didn't have anything to wear with it, I soon realised that this colour goes with so many things. I made it for a special event and wore it with a magenta blouse and pale pink kitten heels. I made it longer than the average pencil skirts that you will find in the shops because I love the 40s style and think that the lengths of the skirts in the 40s were so flattering I just had to make one that length. I had taken photos of the process but they were bad quality, so if any of you can recommend a good and free photo editor or have any tips for taking good photos then please let me know. I would really appreciate it. So heres what to do..........

1) Cut the fabric
The pattern I used was placed on the fold. Iron the fabric and put a fold down it. Place the pattern on the fold and pin it down. Cut out the front piece, the back piece and the waist band. Mark on the darts and seam allowance.
2) Darts
Make sure you tack the darts in place first so that the fabric does not slip and you end up with a wonky dart. Then sew the darts and unpick the tacking. It is best to use a contrast colour for the tacking to make it easier to unpick after. 
3) Seams
Tack one side then mark where the zipper will be on the other side. Tack up to the zipper marker then you are ready to sew. I always find it best to check the fit at this stage as it saves having to undo lots of work later on if something has gone slightly wrong.
4) Insert the zipper
Again always tack it first. Once the zipper is tacked in, I try the skirt for fit again as the zipper can make all the difference. To insert the zip, I used a centred zipper. Although the Sewing bee book recommended an invisible zipper and for side seams a lap zipper is more professional, I felt that the centred zipper sat better on me. (Plus this is the first zip I have ever put in, so I am thrilled at the result).
5) Waistband
Now it is time to add the waistband. Press the seam allowance of the waistband, then measure up the middle of the waist band with the side seam. With right sides together, pin, tack and sew the one edge of the waistband to the skirt. Press the waistband in half and then pin tack and sew to the inside of the skirt. Using slip stitches close the ends of the waistband.
6) Hem
This is the simplest part. Measure and then turn up the hem. Turn it over twice so that it remains neat.
And voila...
You have a simple pencil skirt. I created this skirt from the Great British Sewing bee book, which I absolutely love. Have a go and show me the results. I am currently doing another pencil skirt with lace over the top of it. I will post the results of that one soon.
So keep sewing folks...
Speak soon.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Alteration Creation

My Mum has had this skirt from Next for a long time. She stopped wearing it, as it was originally ankle length. She asked me to shorten it, so I thought I would share with you a quick way to shorten a skirt without the use of a sewing machine.

(sorry for the poor quality photo)
All you need is:
Your choice of skirt,
Webbing hem,
Thread the same or similar colour to the skirt.
What you need to do:
1) First of all, while the model is wearing the skirt, measure and pin the skirt to the correct length.
Remember: Measure twice, cut once
2) Next, lay the skirt inside out on a flat surface and from the hem measure an inch. Mark this all the way round. This is your seam allowance.
3) Cut the skirt on the marked line.
4) Turn the hem over twice so the the raw edge is hidden. Press with an iron.
5) Now, put the webbing inside the hem and iron once again. Be careful not to get any of the webbing on the iron itself, as it will not come off.
6) Finally with the needle and thread, use a slip stitch all the way round to add extra strength to the hem.
Your now finished. You can now enjoy your newly fashioned skirt.
Keep Crafting

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Katie Kandles patchwork cushion

I went to a craft fair in Exeter last week, it was every crafters heaven. All sorted of different things to do. There were countless workshops. There was woodwork, sewing, watercolour, paper craft, parchment, felting, cross stich the list is endless. While there I saw this truely beautiful fabric very Cath Kidston style. I got a metre of the green and a metre of the white and made the cushion in the photo above. I had planned to put photos of how I made it with each of the instructions but had a bit of a problem with the camera and accidentally deleted all my photos, oops. Here are the instructions anyway:
you will need:
2 squares of green fabric 25cm by 25cm each
2 squares of a white fabric each measuring 25cm by 25cm
A sewing machine
A backing peice measuring 50cm by 50cm
2 peices of lace trim measuring 50 cm in length each
A button
A fastener (I used poppers)

1) Right sides together, stitch 1 green square to 1 white square along just 1 edge,
2) Stitch the 2nd white square to the 2nd green square (it must be this way round to get the diagnal effect) again right sides together and only 1 edge,
3) Tack or pin the 4 squares together then stitch on the sewing maching along the horizontal edge
(TIP:to get the patchwork perfect make sure the 2 seams in the middle are spot on together)
4) Next add the lace trim to cover both the horizontal and vertical seam.
5) Turn over 1 edge as this will be the opening so it must look neat, then stitch it down,
6) Add a button in the centre of the cushion where the lace criss-cross',
7) Turn 1 edge of the backing peice over again this is the opening so you want it to look neat.
9) Now with right sides together pin or tack the front patchwork peice to the back peice and stitch in place,
10) Add the fastener of your choice I chose poppers but it is up to you which fastener you prefer.

I hope it is easy to understand it would be better with pictures but like I explained I accidentally deleted them, needless to say I'm not great with technology. I am selling kits for this cushion on ebay soon, containing everything you need to make one of these cushions (apart from the sewing machine haha). I will soon put a link up. I would love to hear how you got on making this be sure to send me comments and pictures. Keep crafting everyone. =)


Sunday, 30 September 2012

shabby chic door hanger

Hey everyone. As I said I have been busy crafting recently here are a couple of the pretty floral door hangers that I made. They are easy to make but look so pretty. All you need is:
*a rectangle peice of fabric. Depending on how big you want the hanger depends on the size of the rectangle so size really is to personal taste.
*Stuffing (I took mine from a pillow)
*needle and thread
 You can also add a button or some beads to make it unique to you.
step1) Turn over the 2 smaller edges and stich down to prevent fraying
step2) Fold in half, right sides together, and stich the 2 sides leaving an opening at the top.
step3) turn inside out.
step4) Fill the bag half full.
step5) Tie the ribbon around the bag then stitch it.
step6) make a loop out of the ribbon and stitch it to the ribbon around the neck of the bag.
now hang on a door and let it look pretty =)
Hope you have a go at this they really are easy and quick to make. Hope you have fun making these, let me know how you get on.
Keep crafting everyone.