Friday, 31 January 2014

Heart Bunting Tutorial

As I have been posting my heart bunting up on my etsy shop this week I thought some of you might fancy making some of your own.  I am loving heart bunting at the minute - and although we are approaching that time of year when the shops fill with heart themed products I am of the opinion that a bit of heart decoration and bunting is totally acceptable all year round.  So here goes - I hope you have fun!

What you need:
Fabric of your choice, stuffing, ribbon, heart template (or great free hand skills), needle and thread, scissors, pins and chalk or pencil.

1) Choose your fabric and cut it a little bit longer in height than your heart template to make for ease of cutting.

2)Like so . . . .

3) Now fold your fabric backwards and forwards until it is stacked in a square like you see in the picture.  You need to ensure you don't do too many hearts at once otherwise you won't get a neat shape - especially be aware of this if you are using thicker fabric.  Then pin your heart template onto your fabric and cut round it.  If you are going to make 4 hearts on your bunting then you must end up with 8  individual hearts cut out.

4) You then should end up with 4 pairs of hearts.  Place them right side of fabric facing towards each other.

5) Now mark where you want the ribbon to be on the hearts.  I chose towards the bottom of the curve as you can see.  You need to ensure you mark this in the same place on each heart to avoid a wonky garland.  Mark on both sides of the heart.

7)  Now cut out your strips of ribbon.  I was making 4 hearts so needed 2 longer pieces of ribbon and 2 shorter pieces.  The longer strips are for the edges so that it can be hung up and the shorter pieces go in between the hearts.  The length is your choice but I used about 10cm between each heart and 20cm for the 2 edge ribbons.

6) Now move across to your sewing machine if you are using one ( if not just set up on a flat surface).  Place your ribbon (long piece first)  in between your two heart pieces and leave a small piece out the edge where you have marked. Now start sewing from just below that point.  Once you have sewn over the ribbon I find it helps to take the long piece and bring it round to where you started sewing so there is no risk of accidentally catching it as you sew the edges.

8) Continue sewing round the edge of the heart until you get to 2 cms before your next mark.  Then take a shorter piece of ribbon and attach as instructed above and shown in the pictures.  Continue sewing round the heart and stop sewing about 2cm before you reach the first stitch you did.

9) You should end up with something that looks like this.

10) Use the ribbon to help you gently tease the heart out through that gap you left so that you have right sides of the fabric facing you and just a small section remaining to be sewn.  
You now need to repeat the above instructions on each heart.  Always remember to work out how the fabric will turn right side so that you get the ribbons attached to the right side.  For example if you want to attach a heart to the right hand side of the heart below the ribbon will be sewn into the right hand side of the next heart.  When you turn it right sides out you will have the ribbon attached to the left side of the second heart and sitting to the right hand side of the one below.

11)  So now you have this line of hearts all linked together and ready for filling

12) Now this is where you pop into a comfy sofa, stick the telly on and merrily fill your hearts with stuffing.  Once you have done this take your needle and thread and stitch the little gaps closed. Cut loose threads and there you have it you are done!

Please do share pictures of your heart garlands with me.  Either post them here or pop over to my facebookpage  and when you do I'll give them a share.  Have fun crafting!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Tunic top

This week after a little review of my wardrobe I decided it was time to invest some time making some clothes for me.  I have this fantastic floral fabric I bought from a charity shop and have already used some of it to make a bag.  It is really 60's so I decided to go with a light - easy - breezy tunic.  Tunics are so simple to make and I love them.  They look great, they are comfortable to wear and if your using bright fabric they can really make a statement.

I didn't have a pattern so I used another top to get the sizing right.

I drew round this top adding some extra fabric to create a shoulder and also allowing about 1.5cm for a seam allowance.  I also flattened the neck line out at the back.
These were the pieces I had for the top part.  One for the front and two for the back.  Really simple to shape as I just relied on the outline of my last top.

I cut out sleeves from another pattern I had (I have never been great at doing my own sleeves - something to work on) and then set to work.  Using an overlocker to bind the seams I sewed shoulder to shoulder together and then the side seams before adding the sleeves.  I added a small gather to each sleeve which works really well but I actually added it in because I didn't quite measure out right and ended up with sleeves a bit bigger than the arm hole.  The finished effect I am pleased with though.  
I then used bias binding the edge the top.

I curved the back to create a neat edging and then finished the bias binding about half way down before closing the seam up.

Then I cut two more pieces the same size as each other.  I decided on my length, added 1.5cm for seam allowance and then took my top measurement and multiplied it by 1.5.
I gathered the two pieces so the width now matched the width of the top, sewed the side seams and then overlocked the top piece and bottom piece together.

Then I just added some bias binding to divide the top a little bit and a cute button to finish the top.

I closed off my seams and I was done - here you have it.

I wore it out today and felt really comfortable in it - I plan to make a few more tunics in the next few weeks.  While making this one I found a fab old pattern that used to belong to my Mum which is for some great tunics with sailor tops and some fabulous flares so I might get onto them!
Watch this space for how I continue to funk up my wardrobe!  This new tunic probably cost me £1.50 as I still have half the fabric left and it cost me £3 to buy.  What a bargain plus the pleasure of making it included in that price!
Do share the things you make for yourself in the next few weeks!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Poncho love

My Mum recently gave me some gorgeous cashmere jumpers that had been nibbled away at by moths to see if I could make use of the remaining material.  I had a little think and thought I would try to make something out of the two jumpers that she could still way - I came up with the idea of a poncho (following a good sweep of pinterest of course!)

This is what I started with - you can just about see a few holes where the moths have had a good go at the cashmere.

I decided to make things easy for myself and stick with the shape of the roll neck jumper as a bit of a template.  I lay the jumper out flat and cut a straight line just about where the side seam and are seam joined up.

Then came the tricky bit.  I had a limited amount of fabric due to dodging holes and seams so I trimmed everything down to use able sections and this is what I was left with.

I sat down and sketched out a rough idea of what I wanted things to look like - originally I started with the idea of smaller patches but due to the limited fabric I ended up deciding on bigger chunkier sections.  I measured and cut out the blocks and then stitched them together to create this.  You can see I have also used the edging that was on the original jumper and cardigan to make the finish very easy to do.

Although this was a poncho it wasn't going to be really long so it needed to be able to sit properly while still allowing arm movement.  I decided to create holes for the arms to slip through and close the side seams of the poncho.  I used bias binding to bond the seams and then stitched the seams down to the base of the poncho.  The idea is that the arms will be through the poncho from about the elbow so it will still have that loose relaxed effect.

And there you have it a finished poncho ready to be sent back to my Mum.  Now I have to be honest at this point that I am not entirely convinced that she will wear this - it does have a bit of a funky 80's feel to it that may not fit in with her usual attire.  If I had made it had been a bigger size then I on the other hand would have been highly likely to sport an item of clothing like this.  Anyway whether it gets worn by Mum or not I am convinced someone will be able to enjoy it and I have to say it was a lot of fun to make.  I wasn't sure how it would be to sew cashmere but it is actually quite simple to work with and so soft to the touch!
My next project is likely to take a bit longer.  I plan to make some curtains for one of my sisters which will be a first for me and a wedding dress keepsake bear for my other sister.  I think those projects will keep me busy for a fair while but I'll be sure to keep checking in and let you know how I am getting on.
Do send in your pictures of your makes!


Thursday, 16 January 2014

A few mentions

Thought I would just take a quick moment to share a couple of fabulous blogs that have given a shout out or featured daydreamsandsunshine.

First is lovely Sammeh from Odds and Sodz - She has been doing a bit of a feature of a selection of fabulous bloggers and very kindly chose Daydreams and Sunshine to do a guest blog.  If you fancy popping over to take a look here is the link :)

Another blog who has given us a shout out is the team over at Christmas in July.  They are a team I belong to on Etsy and gave me a little shout out in their summary of January resolutions.  Anyway here it is along with a selection of other great crafters who sell things on etsy and have set goals for themselves.

It is definately worth popping across to those links to discover some new crafters and some new bloggers!

And finally another blog which is nothing to do with Daydreams and Sunshine other than my enjoyment of her blog.
It has just re-launched and I shall be following with interest and you can follow to at

Emma has set herself a whole bunch of challenges for 2014 all linked with reigning things in, wasting less and generally being frugally fabulous (as the title implies).  I will be adding her blog button to the side of my blog so you can keep popping across to check out what she is up to in 2014.

Like I said a quick post to shout out to some fabulous blogs that are about at the minute.

Hope you are all surviving January!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Getting stuck back in

This week has been about getting going again.  It is crazy how Christmas takes over and suddenly it's nearly the middle of January and you still haven't actually achieved anything.
  I started my week with a surprise visit to my older sister who has just returned from 2.5 years in sunny Australia.  I'm not sure how overjoyed she has been to return to the UK with this crazy weather but we are all very happy to have her back close to us again.  A couple of days being spoilt at my parents house and having a good old natter was perfect before I headed home to get ready to start work again today.
 In between the loads of washing I snuck in some time in the sewing room.  I had to re-locate my sewing machine downstairs as the attic is just too cold at the minute but once I got going I managed to complete a couple of jobs.
  A quick adjustment of some trousers first and then on to some fun.  I recently found some gorgeous floral fabric and am busy dreaming up so many things to make out of it.  As my fingers were itching for some stitching I decided to go with a simple bag to start.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and I'll be adding it to my etsy store soon!  I'm thinking I'll do some sort of tunic/dress for me or for a child out of the fabric too.  It's so fabulously flowery so I feel it just has to be worn!

My next project is going to be a bit of an experiment which I will definitely be blogging about regardless of how it turns out.  My Mums cashmere jumpers have begun to show holes so I plan to cut them up and re-attach them into a poncho.  I'm very excited to see how it turns out and have been busy sketching and measuring to make sure I have enough fabric.  So I might be quiet on the blog for a few days while I tackle this challenge!

Next blog up will definitely be a 'how-to' so do check it out - don't forget you can always pop your email into the box to get updated each time I post or follow me via bloglovin! Till next blog - take care!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Little gifts

Little gifts are often the hardest to think of but we all want to give them.  We have those special people in our lives - work colleagues, friends, neighbours - whoever it might be we want to let them they are special and we thought of them during this busy time.
This year I spent a fair amount of time trawling pinterest looking for ideas.  I found some fab ones.

iPad stand tutorial | Sewn Up by TeresaDownUnder

Christmas Creative: Christmas Decorations ~ Hatifers Hand Sewn Gifts

But in the end I decided to go for something simple and useful for little presents. Now that it is post Christmas and everyone has received their gifts I thought I'd share.

I decided to make little hand warmers.  They are so simple and yet so effective.

All you need to do is cut out squares to the size you want.  I used a lining fabric as well to keep heat in so had a total of 4 squares cut to the same size.  Place them in a pile with right sides together.  Lining then top fabric facing right side towards you then top fabric facing right side down and then lining.  

Sew all round three edges and turn right way out.

Add rice into the square and at this point you can add some scent like lavender.  I chose not to in case anyone had any allergies.  Then neatly hand sew your open edge so it is closed.  

Then wrap and give your gift - it just needs popping in the microwave for one or two minutes and it stays lovely and warm.  Perfect to pop into gloves or a pocket for a winters walk or just to keep with you around the house.

Thursday, 2 January 2014


So it's 2014!!! I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of new years.  The evening itself tends to lean towards people going over the top and I've never been a big new years resolution kind of person.  That said I have learnt the benefits of a bit of self reflection and planning some goals for the future so this year I'm trying to embrace it a bit more.

2013 saw the start of blogging for me and also starting to sell one or two bits and pieces that I make.  It's been fun and I think in terms of my crafting I want 2014 to look much the same.  I have some thoughts - they aren't exactly measurable new years resolutions but more a general direction I would like to see things head in this year.

 I want to make sure I take time out regularly to make something new or try a new technique.  I have learnt that I am not so good at re-producing en mass lots of the same thing (I get bored far too easily and end up distracted).  I ended up doing this for the craft fair and I have much more fun tweaking things each time I make them.  

 I also want to keep blogging and build up a network of people that follow me/I follow to keep sharing new and exciting ideas.  I really do enjoy sitting down to write and share with you all what I'm thinking or getting up to.  Plus to help each other out when we get stuck!

 I also want 2014 to be a year where I think a little less about myself and try to look at what is going on around me - in the city where I live, in my country and in the world.  I still have to figure out exactly what this looks like but I'll be sure to share with you as I get more clear on how it is right for me to do this!  If this had a crafty twist to it as well then I'd be pretty happy!

It would be nice to sell a few bits and pieces as I go along over on etsy or on facebook but I don't want to make this the focus of what I do.  I went shopping before Christmas and got some new to me fabric and it was super exciting to spend money that had been made from selling things I make.  So if I could sell enough products that mean it doesn't cost me anything to sew then that would be awesome.  Anything else would be a bonus!

So there you have it - a little bit scatty but a few thoughts for the year - I'm sure there are many other things like getting the garden going and being healthy but with the current deluge of rain outside all I can think about is curling up indoors so for now I just have sewing on the brain!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from 2013.

I hope you all had a wonderful new year and are starting to feel settled again after the madness!  Do send me your projects from 2013!  I'd love to see what you got up to.