My my, it certainly has been a few days since my last post. I got all caught up in the post birthday celebrating and caught up on all the work I have been trying to hard to put off doing. I let myself away with far too much around my birthday. Anyway it’s back to real life now and back to trying to complete my Project 2011. I have a whole drawer full of fabric scraps and fat quarters and all sorts of lovely pieces of fabric and following my investment in Martha’s Sewing Encyclopedia, I decided it was time to dust off my lonely sewing machine and burn some midnight oil in order to make one of the simplest things I could find – napkins.
After picking some suitably summery looking fabric I was off! I made 6 and make them slightly smaller than Martha recommends (17-inches overall prior to sewing). I think this still makes a nice generous sized napkin and it means you can easily get 6 our of a meter of fabric.
And, after minimal cursing and swearing they are complete! Hooray. Now I just need to find more excuses to use them, they will be just perfect for afternoon tea and serving up fat slices of yummy cake. I can’t wait.
We don’t really have the Martha phenomenon here, so my finding of the above book was just plain old good luck. Especially given my big goal of 2011 to get to know and love my sewing machine. So technically I had to buy this (well that’s how I justified it anyway). Its a big hard back (well worth the £10) with everything the beginner sewer could want to know. There is – material types, how to use your sewing machine, quilt making, embroidery everything! Some of the projects within aren’t quite to my taste, but I can see how I might adapt them to make them lovely. Plus the book is jam packed full of really nice pictures. How pretty are all these spools of thread?
So now that I have my magic ‘how-to’ book, it’s time to make in roads into all those old clothes and pieces of material I have been hoarding. Oh what to try first…..???
Published January 12, 2011
Crafts , Sewing
Tags: blanket, bunting, Crochet, diy, fleece, granny, ikea, recycle, Sewing, square, tutorial, upcycling
I’ve been wanting to make a Granny blanket for ages. The one thing standing in my way is that I can’t crochet. Not even if a gun was held to my head. And yes, yes, I can hear all the cries of ‘but you can knit, crochet should be easy for you.’ Well it’s not. It’s down right impossible. After getting laughed at so much for my attempts I have hung up my crochet hook for good. And right when I had given up hope of ever getting a Granny Blanket of my own, I got this beauty for Christmas! I was over the moon. Bought from a charity shop and given to me. Oh how happy I am. It’s gorgeous, bursting with bright colours and probably knit with great care by someone far more talented than I.
I’m delighted to be able to give it a new home. The only slight problems with it, is the little air holes between the squares are a little chilly, and the wool is a little itchy. So measures had to be taken to increase its comfy-ness.
First thing I did? Gave the blanket a good wash. Not that I though it was dirty, it just didn’t have our house smell. Is that weird? I kinda thought it smelled like someone else’s granny, not mine. So in she went on a cool wash. Next I bought this bargain black fleece from Ikea for £2.79 and got to work. First I cut the fleece to about 2 inches larger than the origional granny blanket. I turned in the edges of the fleece and pinned the fleece in place along the edges of the back of the blanket. And finally I got sewing, by hand! Yipes, yes I did. I just wasn’t very confident that the whole thing would go through my sewing machine due to its thickness. I couldn’t sew it all in one sitting, I don’t have the patience. So over the last week or so I gradually got it together. So now it has a comfy, fleecy lining perfect for keeping me warm as I knit away.
But do you want to know the added bonus of this little crafting activity? Bunting! bundles and bundles of bunting. The Ikea fleece’s frilly edging was perfect for cutting off and simply folding over and sewing in place to allow a ribbon to be passed through to make oodles and oodles of lovely bunting. A perfect accompaniment for my non-traditional Christmas Ornaments. Do you like it?
Published November 15, 2010
Crafts , Sewing
Tags: accessories, Crafts, decorative, felt, free, Gift, hair clip, Kids, knot, mat, nautical, rope, tutorial
‘6 Ways with… Hair Clips’ has come to an end. But to finish off the series is one of my favourite experiments. Following on the success of the Figure of 8 Necklace, this is another knot themed accessory. These knots are a little more adventurous but once you’ve got the hang of the basics with the Figure of 8, these are simply a step up in difficulty. Just have patience and follow these great online tutorials and you can’t go wrong – Mast Head
Knot & Ocean Plait. I made my miniature knots out of twine so they fit nicely on a regular sized hair clip. When you’re finished with your knot, just like making the knot necklace, tuck in any loose ends and simply glue of sew to your hair clip cover.
Do you like them? In other news, I’ve been struck with a bad cold and have lost my voice. Hello cold season. So I’m trying to battle through in order to get a brand spanking new knitting pattern out. I can’t wait to show this one to you. Soon my pretties!
Published November 12, 2010
Crafts , Jewelry , Sewing
Tags: accessories, Beading, Beads, christmas, Crafts, diy, free, Gift, glamorous, hair clip, Jewelry, Kids, party, tutorial
Today’s hair clip idea is both simple and infuriating. I’m a beader. And one of the biggest problems I suffer from is committing to my chosen beads. I spent most of my time going ‘how about this’ or ‘ooo, what about these?’ By the time I get round to deciding it’s three hours later and I’m exhausted. So for me teaming bead decisions with all the possible patterns to sew them on in, is an endless pass time. I started with a simple combo this time but I think it’s the kind of craft that I’m going to do over and over and have one in every color and for every mood. I can’t wait.
To make a beaded hair clip, I used a jumbo hair clip but you could use a normal sized one with seed beads or smaller sized beads. Simply sew your chosen beads on to your hair clip cover in your desired pattern. Like the rest of these hair clip tutorials it couldn’t be simpler. I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for your own accessories. I’d love to see them!
Published November 5, 2010
Crafts , Sewing
Tags: accessories, bow, bows, Crafts, cute, felt, free, gifts, hair clips, Kids, Sewing, tutorial
This is the next in our series of hair clips and I’m absolutely in love with them. Aren’t they the cutest? And like the other projects they take very little effort to make. I’ve been wearing them all week long, when they are not in my hair they are clipped to my winter jacket, brightening up the drab weather. For these I used regular sized hair clips.
- Cut 2 pieces of felt – both 2 cms thick, one 12cm long and one 4cm long
- Take your big piece of felt – fold it to make the main bow (see below left) and secure in place with a pin. Sew to fully secure
- Using you small piece of felt wrap it around the centre of your bow and sew in place. Trim any extra felt
- Sew your bow onto your pre-covered hair clip
Finally puff up your bow a little and you’re set. It couldn’t be simpler. Good luck!
Published November 4, 2010
Crafts , Sewing
Tags: accessories, Crafts, diy, felt, flower, free, Gift, Jewelry, Kids, purl bee, rose, tutorial
I love this project. Although this is not my idea, I think it is completely acceptable to reiterate an awesome crafty idea. This one is Rose Barrettes by the Purl Bee. Any photo tutorial I made could not match theirs. It’s simple and clear the steps needed to create this beauty and look how effective? One you’ve made your rose (or roses that would look cute too), simply sew them on to you hair clip covers. It’s just that easy. I love these roses so much I’ll looking at some kind of way to integrate them into my christmas decorations this year. Maybe a wreath? I’ll have a think on it.
Meanwhile, I’m still on holiday and struggling with it. Do you other crafters struggle to relax while away from home? I think it is because I don’t have a project to get on with. Nothing but website updates and things I’ve been putting off for months and months. Any ideas on what to do to relax?