Tuesday, 27 May 2014
This week I look around at my sewing room and realized that although I think I am pretty good at taking old things and making them new I am not always good at taking my old things and making them new. I have so much fabric that is cut too small to turn into a bag or purse. I have scraps or fabric with tears or stains literally everywhere. They are beautiful pieces of fabric but need to find a way to be used.
Following on from my patchwork bag which I continue to be in love with I have been feeling the patchwork vibe! I spent a lovely afternoon after work last week chatting to a friend and cutting up fabric scraps into more usable scraps.
I have now set about attaching them altogether to create a patchwork something! Given how many scraps I need to work through I think it will probably result in being a quilt but currently I am keeping an open mind.
So far my patchwork has been using new fabrics - patches that have been bought for me by friends. But patchwork was originally about making do and mending! Taking the odds and ends of old clothes, old bedding, leftover fabrics - anything really - and turning them into something useful and hopefully beautiful too!
I intend to get going on that style of sewing for a while - so this is going to be my first piece of patchwork that truly uses odds and ends of fabric. I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out! It will definitely be something I pick up and put down so don't expect a finished product any time soon!
As much as I love the other patchwork I have done that followed a pattern and theme I am starting to love the absolute randomness of it. It feels somehow more authentic! We will see how it looks on a bigger scale!
Friday, 28 February 2014
I set about pinning my gathers. I used 8cm per gather and folded it so that the 8cm became 4cm therefore by the time I had finished my skirt is half the length of when I started. I used the same gathering as I did here so click on the link to get the full tutorial. Once you have pinned your pleats run a line of straight stitching to hold them in place and press firmly.
Now I added a bias binding waist band. This can be made as thick or thin as you like - I really liked the little band on this skirt so I went for it.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
I thought I would take some time to do a bit of a post about some of the fabulous upcyclers that I come across. I keep finding the most amazing creations made from old or unused things so thought I would do a post to shout out to some of these fantastic artists. So here goes . . .
A gorgeous upcycle of a toddlers tunic made from an old top! This is by xoxo grandma - just click on the link to pop across to a whole load of sewing fabulousness! I love the gathering on this and the belt is too cute!
A sweater from a charity shop to a gorgeous bag - the detail on this is fantastic! Pop over to visit Gina at Gina's craft corner
This comes from Callaloux Bikoux and you can buy these lovely things on facebook so pop across and say hi!
Well I hope you have enjoyed my little wander around some fellow bloggers work - I certainly have. Do pop across to their blogs and shops and give them a follow or a like. I think this post represents what I love so much about upcycling really well - reduce waste and be super creative and innovative while your at it!
Friday, 20 December 2013
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!
Monday, 11 November 2013
I've uploaded just 4 products because I am still preparing for the craft fair that is coming up so all my stock is needed to fill the table there. Once that is done I plan to begin uploading more products regularly and just see how it goes.
I've already realized a few things - I need to learn to improve my photography skills and to do this effectively I need to be very efficient. I can take reasonable pictures but then I upload them and set about attempting to do a bit of editing (of course armed with google) and see my photos turn into disaster areas. I've tried something similar before when me and my husband did a batch of screen printing - our biggest challenge by far was the editing of photos to prepare the prints. But with some time and patience we got much better and we ended up with some pretty cool prints ( well I thought so anyway ). So a challenge for myself - in between everything else - is to work on photos. On etsy you can't pick up your products, touch them and imagine them in your home or wardrobe so great photos are everything.
The efficiency thing I guess is just about realizing that your time needs to be managed really well to craft, dream up ideas, shop for fabrics, edit photos and talk to potential customers - all that while holding a full time job, staying in touch with friends and loving blogging to you guys. Well whatever happens so far I've been enjoying every second so I figure while I am still having fun I will continue!
Anyway it is a new step in my upcycling adventure so I will keep you posted on how it all goes!
Here is the link if you want to check it out!
Have fun browsing and as always feel free to feedback - I plan to share everything from this journey I'm on - the good, the bad and the massively embarrassing errors - on this blog so feedback to me might reduce some of my red faced moments! Enjoy and link me up with your shops too so we can help each other out!
Friday, 25 October 2013
- A pillowcase (2 for sizes more than UK14) in a pattern you love
- A plain pillowcase or piece of fabric of similar size for the waistband (because I am using a pair I used the other side of the pillowcase)
- A ribbon or strip of fabric that is about 15cm wide and 30cm longer than your hip measurement
- Dressmakers pins
- A sewing machine or a needle
- An un-picker (not essential but helpful in any task involving salvaging fabric)
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Sunday, 13 October 2013
What a rainy weekend it has turned out to be! I have spent much of my time at work so am hoping it will rain itself out as I head towards some much needed time off! Though I would take some time this morning to blog my tutorial on pleats.
I love pleats - they are cute and look gorgeous when done right. I love the shape they add to clothes and as you saw in my last post I've started to use them in bags as well. They can be adapted to any style you like and any shape or size so for me it is a must in your stash of sewing skills.
So what will you need - your fabric of choice, dress pins, a tape measure, tailors chalk, iron and a needle/sewing machine and thread.
1. You need to measure the length of your fabric and decide how big your pleats will be. I chose 2cm pleats to be every 4cms. This means that in total I will need 10cm per pleat because the fold uses 3x2cm of fabric. To work this out for your pleats take the size you chose for your pleat, times it by 3 and then add this figure to the gap you want between pleats. I marked this out along the top of the fabric using pen so you can see it but you will want to use tailors chalk that won't mark or run ink over your fabric.
Saturday, 5 October 2013
Vintage dress on and I was ready to go. This dress is always a particular favorite of mine as it started off as a size 20 and a bit of snipping later - teamed with my chunky belt - and there you have it a light and easy to wear vintage style dress.
The Love Southsea market was on in Palmerston Road and as always it was filled with wonderful people making wonderful things.
One stall in particular stood out and it was run by Busy Bees who work at The Beneficial Foundation. They are creating fantastically professional and creative products and working really hard to create jobs through social enterprise. The stall was friendly and bright and I honestly could have bought a whole load of things but haven't really organised myself to think of Christmas presents just yet. So I bought a hand printed card that will be a thank you to someone. A bargain of a price and I love it.
So if you see the Busy Bees anywhere else do make the time to check out their stall as it was definitely the one that stood out for me today.
On from the market and we did the wander of the charity shops where I picked up some gorgeous floral fabric. Hopefully soon to be made into something gorgeous.
All that wandering has truly worn me out today but what a lovely wander it was. Hopefully I will get my stitch on in the week and have plenty of little projects to share with you all. Enjoy your weekends everyone!
Thursday, 5 September 2013
I love sitting down and sewing! I think anyone who knows me or read this blog once or twice would realize that pretty quickly! Fabric - colour - prints - new projects - ideas - finished projects - I love it all! I started doing the blog because it was mentioned by a number of people and I thought it might be fun - what I didn't realize was quite how much I would enjoy it.
I try to write once or twice a week and other than a little blip seem to be having reasonable success in this area. I actually look forward to putting everything to one side and sitting down to write. I was concerned at first that blogging would become another thing on a never ending to-do list, just a chore to tick off but it has turned into the opposite.
How rarely do I stop and take time to reflect on what I am doing? How little time do I spend considering my next step? I fly quickly from thing to thing and suddenly I am making time to sit and think - to write about what I'm thinking or what I've made this week. I'm finding that time out energises me and gives me space to enjoy the things that are going on around me.
I've also been amazed at the sudden connection with other like minded people spread out over the web. Sharing their skills, questions and advice with one another. Celebrating the skill and talent that each one brings. It's been brilliant! Social networking - when used to celebrate one another - is really good fun!
So what am I saying? I guess I'm just writing today to express my realisation that I'm loving blogging. So thank you to all of you who read, comment, like and share the things I've been putting up! It really does put a smile on my face and I love hearing from you all!
This weekend I'm planning to take some time to craft with the new fabric I got yesterday and as the weather's meant to turn I'm imagining being tucked up in my attic with the rain beating down on the windows. Whatever I make though I'll be sure to blog about it!
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
I love someone complimenting a skirt I have made and being able to say 'this? thanks - I made it from a pillow case, duvet, shirt, scrap etc etc'
This week I did some alterations for a friend and took up the hem of her dress. This left me with a strip of fabric too thin for much to be honest so I decided to turn the leftovers into a hair band. Simple but something I wear often on those days when an outfit needs that extra touch or when my hair just decides to be disastrous and covering up is the safer option!
So how did I do it? Simple, quick and easy as can be.
You will need;
- a long scrap of fabric - mine was about 5cm wide but you can make yours much wider to create a thicker band.
1. Cut your fabric to the length and width you require. The final band width will be half of the fabric minus about 1.5cm seam allowance on both sides of the fabric. It is important that you try to keep this as straight as possible so if you can use a ruler or measure to get straight lines.
You can see that mine still had the hem of the dress on it which I made sure didn't show in the final product by sewing to the left of the stitching.
3. Pin together and sew a straight line from one side to the other ensuring your seam allowance remains the same from start to finish
4. Now take your safety pin and attach it to one side of the tube you have created. Push the saftey pin into the tube and gently ease it through teasing the fabric out as you go. Once the safety pin is through the other end of the tube the fabric should pull through easily so you can now see the right side of the fabric in a tube.
5. Fold the raw edges into the tube at each end of the hair band. This can be done to create a straight edge or you can create a slant so that the band naturally slants towards a point at each edge.
6. Now stitch each end and trim all loose threads. Press the band and pair it with an outfit of your choice!
And there you have it the finished product! Nothing needs to be wasted especially not fabric! The whole project should take no longer than half an hour if you are stitching with a machine and it creates a great accessory out of something that otherwise might have gone in the bin! It makes a cute gift too!
Saturday, 17 August 2013
This week I have been using up my odds and ends of fabric to make little bits and pieces - cushion hearts and coin purses mainly.
Because of the size and light nature of the fabric I've been hand sewing as a pose to sitting at the machine. Now don't get me wrong I love my machine - I love the speed, the straight lines, all the different stitches and generally how simple it makes bigger projects. But sitting down on the sofa with a needle and thread has a very different charm.
I've been enjoying watching each single stitch develop and the repetitive motion of weaving in and out of the fabric. I've enjoyed the extra time it takes and the close attention that can be paid to the development of each project. Sitting quietly isn't something that happens a whole lot in my life and patience certainly isn't my natural gift. Between a job that involves constant interaction with people to generally being an individual who loves to talk endlessly I sometimes could go days without being quiet and taking time to sit and think. When I'm sitting at the machine it's wizzing away and I think just about what's in front of me.
So this week to suddenly stop for periods of time to sew by hand and just be has been quite different. Yet I loved it - my conclusion is that sewing is my kind of therapy.
I can talk constantly but actually say very little. This is something I've been told a number of times in my life. But stopping talking and just being with my thoughts is a quite different feeling.
Watching a project steadily develop, feeling productive and yet embracing the peaceful quiet around me and enjoying my time to process my thoughts has been amazing. Everyone needs their bit of 'me time' and for everyone it looks a little different.
For me as I focus on crafting more regularly I'm going to try to make sure that a part of that each week will be without the machine - sewing by hand or maybe doing some knitting - something where I can sit and enjoy my own thoughts. Honestly I'd recommend it! I might even keep my eye out for a comfy chair as an addition to my attic craft space - somewhere I can curl up, sew and enjoy the sky above me. Sounds like a freecycle check is in order :-)
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
This blog post just proves that these days you can find anything you want on the internet. I had been wanting to make some cute stuffed animals but due to my terrible drawing skills I needed a template. A quick flick through Google images and I found one!
This wonderful blogger has also shared a ready written how to guide so I'm not going to repeat her good work but just share it for you all to follow. So please check it out!
I plan to add some little eyes to the bunny with some buttons on some and on others a little cross made out of embroidery thread.
As always I have made these bunnies from fabric that has been sourced from charity shops, ebay and other up-cycling projects. I've been amazed at the luck I have had recently in finding beautiful fabrics that are in amazing condition being sold off for pennies.
Here is a selection of my recent finds - any suggestions of what you think I should do with them???
Hope your all enjoying your week - will post again soon :)