Friday, 20 December 2013

To make or not to make?!?

Everyone has different criteria for what makes a perfect gift and some people are really hard to buy for.  There is a challenge when it comes to handmade gifts – for many people handmade reminds them of those gorgeous little crafts that small children bring home to their parents dripping glue and glitter.  People love to receive those gifts from children but as we grow up we become concerned about anything we make turning out to be an explosion of random craft materials and that it won’t really turn into anything useful.  Handmade is tricky but when it is done right those gifts can be the best.  For me handmade gifts sum up what giving is all about – not just money but something of you has gone into the gift.  So how do you get it right? 
I think the key is not over complicating things – simple gifts can be the most perfect.  A gift I love to receive is pretty things for around my home – things I see every day and remind me of the person who gave them.  So I have decided to share a tutorial on how to make bunting.  This is perfect for any time of year but with some clever fabric choices and colour selection bunting can make a country chic style Christmas home.
You will need
-          Fabric of your choice
-          Bias binding to match your fabric
-          Ruler, pencil and card/paper
-          Pins
-          Needle and thread or sewing machine
-          Iron

1    1.    Measure out a triangle on paper.  This can be done by measuring the base and then marking the half way point all the way up to how high you want your triangle to be.  Then draw the lines.  You can fold in half to ensure it is even

2.       Trace out the triangle onto your fabric as many times as you want.  I made 6 triangles for my bunting so I cut out 12 triangles of fabric.  You can make your bunting as long or as short as you need

3.       Place your triangles with the right sides of the fabric facing each other in pairs.  Sew from the base up to the point and leaving your needle down lift the foot and turn the fabric.  Then sew the line along the other edge of the triangle back to the base.  Leave the base unstitched.

4.       Once you have done this turn the triangles so you have the right side of the fabric facing you.  Push the point out using anything that isn’t too sharp ie the end of a pencil or crochet hook.  At this point it is really important to iron the bunting to ensure it is sitting correctly.

5.       Now you need to work out how wide apart you want the triangles on your binding.  I left a 10cm gap between each flag.  Place the triangles into the binding and fold it over hiding all the raw edges.  Pin in place and sew neatly along the edge of the binding.  I used a zig zag stitch as it looks nice but also ensures you don’t miss any of the bias binding when it is folded.

6.       Now trim your edges and display or wrap up for that perfect gift!

The fabric I have used was gifted to me by a friend and it has previously belonged to her Nan who didn’t have the opportunity to use it.  Hanging this bunting up I think honors her and the special person she was in my friend’s life.
If you have something special that belonged to someone who was important to you why not incorporate it into a gift for someone or for you so that it becomes a part of your home on a daily basis.
I hope you have fun making the bunting – do send me pictures of how you get on!


Monday, 16 December 2013


So in the last few weeks I have done my first craft fair, fixed my sewing machine and set up my etsy shop in amongst that and a few handmade Christmas gifts I have been super quiet on the blog!  Sorry about that!
  After doing a bunch of projects over and over again to produce enough stock to fill a table I decided I needed to try some new things.  I want to keep trying to improve my sewing skills and techniques so want to constantly try new and exciting things.  I have recently discovered a love for pinterest - there is an amazing wealth of resources on there.  So many inspiring projects and beautiful pictures it is amazing and often they come with great patterns or tutorials.

So on one of my pinning adventures I found this cute little backpack pattern here

I love this pattern mainly because the pieces to cut out are so easy - lots of straight lines.  I have to admit that once I had cut out my pattern I just followed what made sense in my mind so I'm not sure how easy the written instructions are to follow but the pattern is great.

So from this pattern I have made two little back packs and another one is cut out and ready to go.  The fabric I have made mine from I think mean they lean towards being for a child but really it could be made from anything.

So here are my finished products.

I used a white ribbon as the drawstring which works great if you tie it half way (which will be hidden by the fabric) as this gives it a good hold rather than it slipping round and through the top of your bag.
 I hope you like them and I hope you are enjoying the Christmas preparation and not finding it too busy.  
And do come and say hi on pinterest - till next time!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A little bit of assistance!

Doing this blogging thing is opening my eyes to a whole world of technology that I had no idea existed!  With the help of the lovely Emma from It's Emma Made I now have a blog button and know how to add in other fantastic blogs that I find in my wanderings around crafty internet world.  I'm going to start gathering a few of my favorite blogs and posting their buttons along the side.  I'm working on the theory that if you enjoy what I write about you might also enjoy the things I read about!  So pop across and get to know some of the blogs I add over the next few weeks and if you want to grab my blog button the script is just below it!

The other achievement of the week also came from a fellow blogger Irene over at sergerpepper
With some advice from Irene and some time invested on my part my sewing machine is back!  To be fair it remains towards the end of its life but it has been given a new lease of life for now at least which buys me the time to start saving and dreaming about the next one I get!

It turned out the main issue was a hugely embarrassing amount of lint build up in the machine.  I unscrewed everything that appeared to be detachable and armed with cottons buds eradicated every last piece of fluff.  Some fiddling around with tension and putting the machine back together and I can feel and hear the difference!  I had been under the impression that I was cleaning my machine regularly but clearly I needed to go to a whole new level to keep the machine in tip top condition.

Well a massive thank you to those who have helped me out this week!  Hopefully I can return the favour in a different context in the future!

I'll post over the weekend a gorgeous backpack that I'm making out of some truly bright fabric that used to be a bed sheet! :)