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A Hand Made Happy Easter

24 Apr

I am glad to say that this Easter I have been extra crafty and made all of the gifts I will be giving to family members tomorrow. My mum, sister and Nan will receive Bunting, which has then been wrapped in brown paper. My niece will be opening a Hand sewn rabbit and my nephews will be getting little baskets filled with hand crafted goodies. Not a chocolate in sight. Woop. Here is how the bunny looked in the magazine:

Happy hopper april 2011 sew magazine pattern

Here is the bunny toy all sewn up.

Happy hopper pattern from sew magazine April 2011 issue 22

Not bad for a first to make. I left the nose and eyes of on purpose as the recipient is likely to pull the eyes off and eat the nose.

Sew magazine includes mini makes with every issue and I thought this one would be great for an Easter present. I used a lovely soft snail fabric By Heather Ross’s far far away collection and two plain cottons. All fabric and notions were bought from Decorative Cloth during my Leamington Spa visit earlier this week. All together it cost me under £5 to make leaving enough supply’s to make another at a later date. The arms on the bunny can be moved up and down thanks to the button hinges. I used coordinating colours so the buttons stood out.

Coordinating buttons on my bunny

The pattern was easy enough but I have never stitched a toy up before so could to a tidier job of whip stitching the parts where you need stuff the stuffing. Here is a closer image of the little snails.

Fabrics used for the bunny

I had a really lovely day with my mum in Leamington Spa. The sun was shining bright and the roads all closed making getting around really easy. I hate almost being run over every five minutes.

Pansies in bloom

Just lovely. Have a great Easter all, and I will be back with the final part of the good, the bad and the WIP.

I really love wierd things, and looking forward to Lemington Spa.

20 Apr

The Libby Smith shoe

Just look at these lovelies. They are so Penelope it hurts and would suit many of my Victorian dresses that are lurking in my mums house just waiting to be accessorized. The can be purchased here, but sadly the colour shown here is gone. I am blogging this in hopes to remember it and one day come back to find them…..ebay?

Also I have found these very sewing related mugs!

Kedo silicon button porcelain mug

They are made by a company called Kedo and the button is silicone. You wrap your tea bag string around the button to stop it getting in the way! Of course the other way to do this is to take the tea bag out, but I just love that red button mug!

Button cookies!!!!

These babies are edible button cookies by bakerella are the most adorable cookies I have seen! These would make wonderful presents for family members all wrapped up ready to eat! Lovely stuff. I have saved this in the tutorial section of my blog so you can make your own!

With all that has been going on with my car being trashed by unknown idiots (it got its window smashed yesterday only a week after it was vandalized) my mummy is coming to pick me up and take me for a lovely day in Lemington Spa. I am going to decorative cloth to buy 2 fat quarters of fabric to make a Easter bunny for my sisters baby, joules to see if the sailor inspired top suits me and pizza express to eat lovely lovely salad. The easter bunny make is from the March edition of Sew magazine and I will make a tutorial/review once I have finished. I do visit Lemington Spa quite a lot because it has all the sops I would need without being a city shopping center. My mum always takes the scenic route and we chat about what the cats have been up to, and if I will ever get married. Tomorrow is my nephews (my sister has 4 children) birthday so I will be joining in and having a jolly good time! Hope my mum loves her hand made bunting.

How to make your own wonderful bunting!

18 Apr

To celebrate the royal wedding I know that a handful of you lovely people out there care enough to have a street celebration. I am sad because I know no one who is bothered about the royals enough to have a party that does not involve drinking loads of beer at the pub. So I plan to have my own small celebration at my mothers house and hope for good weather so that we can sit outside eat cake. Lovely lovely cake.

If you are lovely and having any type of party, bunting is a must. Bunting also makes a great hand made gift to share with your loved ones for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, valentines day and even Halloween. All you have to do is theme the fabric appropriately! Also a fab way to get your youngsters involved in sewing as it gives them time to experience sewing in straight lines, how to use a sewing machine and inspires them with a wonderful finished product. Its a lovely vintage item that can be used all over the house and garden to make an instant impact, and by the sea! That is were bunting looks best. Both me and my mother dream of living by the sea so I decided for Easter to make her some bunting to inspire her to move.

I thought I would add a tutorial as I have had many people visit my site after searching the word ‘Bunting’. There are many ways of making bunting. Using paper for quick and cheap option, one piece fabric cut with pinking shears for a more weekend friendly option but my favorite uses a sewing machine and double sided fabric. Here we go:

You will need.

1) A sewing machine with thread or needle and thread

2) A template triangle shaped made from card- mine is about 16cms across and 20cms long. Start thinking early about size as this has a huge impact on the finish projects look and cost. I chose a size that meant I could top and tail the template on my fabric to get the most bunts possible. Be economical!

3) Bias binding, ribbon or string (Skip to FIG 6 to figure out how much binding you will need)

4) A good pair of scissors to cut fabric (i recommend these from merchant and mills to see you trough your whole life)

5) A theme and fabric coloured appropriately (all mine for this make are remnants from previous makes)

6) An afternoon, make a pot of tea and keep some nibbled at hand. Today I am eating garden picked strawberry’s and drinking earl gray.

Bunting template

Here is my template. I used the free paper bunting from a Bodens cataolgue adding extra size   because I plan to make double sided bunting. Double sided uses a seam like when you make clothes. This means you need to leave ‘ease’ as your triangle bunt will end up smaller than your template as shown in the picture below.

A sewn bunt and a ready to sew bunt showing the ease amount

So with this in mind, always cut your template bigger than you intend the finished bunt to be. Next you need to consider your theme. This is the fun bit! Ask yourself what are these bunts going to be used for. Is this a birthday? Maybe you would use that persons favorite colours, or colours relevant to the season like red and green for Christmas. There are a wealth of insperation out there on the net like The bunting Queen, so get goggling and creative. As I am making these for the royal wedding so I am using union Jack inspired colours but without actually being union jacks. I want my mum to be able to use the bunting for any event and her garden/house is very country themed.

Blues, reds, creams and flowers!

Here is are the fabrics remnants I am using. A mix of union jack colours and vintage patterns. Yum Yum. So using your lovely sharp scissors cut your fabric the most economic way, which could be top and tailing or if your using recycled remnants where ever there is enough material! So you have your bits for each bunt. Now you need to place two bits of fabric together to prepare to sew each bunt. You will be sewing each bunt right sides of the fabric together as you turn the bunt inside out before sewing to the tape or bias binding.

right sides together for that perfect bunt

You can get creative at this point and if you have only a little bit of your favorite fabric why not use a plain fabric to ‘back’ the bunt. For instance I have only enough for 6 double sided bunts in the above fabric so I could use the pale blue plain fabric on the back to make more red heart bunts. It looks individual and interesting. So get some coordinating thread ready. I am using white to sew up all the bunts as you will not see it when you iron the bunts out flat. To sew a bunt by machine set your machine to a straight stitch, at a medium stitch length and a medium tension. We do not want to do any gathering so make sure that tension is right.

FIG A: The bits on your sewing machine

Using your machines guide plate (the bit of metal with lines on it underneath the pressure foot in FIG A) place bunt so you leave about 5mm of fabric to create that seam on the edge of the fabric and lower the pressure foot.

FIG 2: Sew down from A to B

Sew down towards point B stopping about 5mm before the point of the triangle as indicated by the blue dashed lines in FIG 2  making sure your needle remains in the fabric as indicated in FIG 3.

FIG 3. Pivot the fabric 45 dregrees

Lift pressure foot and turn the bunt about 45 degrees placing the fabric with the same 5mm on the edge of the bunt and drop the pressure foot again. When you start to sew it should look like FIG 4.

FIG 4: Your bunt should be looking like this as you sew.

Now stitch along the bunt from B to C leaving C to A un-sewn as pictured in FIG 5. This will mean your bunt is now sewn! Simple. Now repeat these steps as many times as you want to get all your bunts ready to make your bunting! Get your iron all hot and steamy and turn each bunt right way out and press along seam. You may have to carefully trim around the sewn edges to get the point to that point nice and pointy. I suggest using pinking shears as this will give your seams more wear and tear.

FIG 5. After turning the fabric sew from B to C

After you have made as many bunts as you want its time to think about what you want to use to string them all together. You have quite a few options it seems. There is Bias binding, which is made from bias cut fabric. You can make your own bias binding, here is a great site to inspire you. You can also use bias binding to cover the edges of if you do not want to turn them inside out. Remember if you do this sew bunts fabric wrong sides together. You can also use ribbon by ironing the ribbon in half, but make sure the ribbon is wide enough and in proportion with your finished bunt triangle. You could also use string if your going for a rural look, use brown waxed string if they are going to be used outside.

Bias binding and ribbon

I am using pale blue bias binding in keeping with my theme and will be using red thread to give it some details as I sew along the binding as shown in FIG 6.

FIG 6: How to work out length of your Bias Binding

Lets figure out (in FIG 6) how much Binding you will need. A represents how long each bunt is (15cm) B indicates how much room you intend to leave between each bunt (5cms) and C shows how much extra binding you will leave in order to tie/pin it up (25cms). Using A, B and C we can find D. Wow, my maths teacher would be proud of me. If only he had used bunting as an equation! I want at least 3m of bunting so A + B = 20. 300/20 = 15 bunts. So I will use 3.5 of binding for my bunting! Yay.

Its a good idea to mark out all your required measurements using tailors chalk before you start sewing your bunts to the binding and what coloured bunts are going where. How do I attach my bunt to the binding? Here is how! Remember that bit on the bunt we left open (C to A)? We will use that end to attach it to the biding thus closing the bunt and finishing off! Place your ironed bunt about half way under then Binding as shown in figure 7.

FIG 7: How a bunt attaches to the binding

Then turn the binding in half, which covers the other side of the bunt hiding all the raw edges As shown in FIG 8.

FIG 8: Sew the binding to the bunt

Once you have repeated this across your binding with all your bunts you are done! You should now have some wonderful professional looking bunting that your family and friends will keep asking you to make them more. If you enjoyed making this Bunting then why not invest in a few gismos that will help you create even better bunting? Simplicity sells a bias binding making machine so you can co-ordinate your bunts perfectly. Also using the big shot pro die cutter means you can cut shaped into or out of fabric, making lettering bunting easy! Have fun and show me those buntings!

New fabric purchase, the death of a friends pet- and a vintage fox collar.

17 Apr

First of all the fox fur collar has nothing to do with my friends recently deceased pet. Becky did not own a fox. She owned a Russian hamster creatively named Hammy. I have only just started spending non work related time with Becky, and after a very very unlady like night out where I may have fallen over and seem to have forgotten doing it….(this was not during work time) she introduced me to her friend called Becky and we went lady shopping. So anyone who is actually following this blog (and i feel this is no one) may recall me not shopping during lent. FAIL. Enough said.

After ‘said lent ruining activity’ she drove me back to her house (my car is still out of action) to pick up a few items so she could go babysitting. Whilst there she did the necessary introductions to family, pets and tour of her house. It was all going very well, her mum and sister were lovely, and I managed not to fall over or swear without meaning to. Then we moved on to her pets. She has a very lovely dog who let me have a good rough and tumble with her, two Guinea pigs called Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley who were really friendly and then started to move the bedding of her Hamster to show me Hammy. Hammy was unfortunately already rolled out of his bed, on his back, arms crossed, legs in the air very much deceased. This the moment that me and Becky were thrown into that unknown area of new friendship were you could really upset someone. Luckily it seems she has a very good dark sense of humor and recognized the hilarity of the situation. Poor Hammy, may his little body be laid to rest and soul depart to a bigger wheel in the sky.

On the shopping front I decided today was the day to invest in a new wrap dress in navy blue that can be worn with pretty much anything and gives the impression I COULD be Kate Middleton. With excess weight and less royal connections. Dam.

Basic navy wrap around dress £30 warehouse

Yes technically I could have sewed this one up myself, and the new sew magazines pattern is almost identical (simplicity 2369) but I hate working with jersey and sourcing it is also troublesome. So instead I did the naughty and bought me my Easter dress. Opps. So the next thing on my blogging agenda would be the introduction of Mr Bramble the first of Kimble Bandington.  Mr Bramble used to have a predecessor whom my late Granny owned and cared for. I believe this was Mrs Dimpleton of Knowle but I could not be sure. It was a long time ago. Sadly at some point over the years Mrs Dimpleton made friends with some seemingly nice natured moths, who turned out to be from Central Birmingham. They robbed her of her grandeur and estate leaving only dust behind. In other words the fox stole I was patiently waiting to inherit got eaten by moths. I was sad. I would never purchase modern furs of any animal unless i moved permanently to a freezing climate as killing animals for fashion really is unnecessary. But vintage furs, that’s another matter. I have been on the look out for a common fur stole for a while that could be worn with vintage dresses and coats. Here is Mr Bramble the first.

Vintage furs

vintage fur

Yep, he is disgusting in so many was but in others he is so cute and appealing. Look at his face. So dead and stuffed. I imagine he has been kept hidden somewhere away from society’s challenging eyes dreaming of the day he would be set free. That day has arrived. At a tiny £15 this little fella will be professionally cleaned, kept in cold storage to prevent any Birmingham moths taking advantage and worn to the most prestigious events. I will model him when he arrives. Fingers crossed he has a safe journey and all is well in his health, also that no Post Offices employee takes offense or liking to him.

I will now share with you the new fabric I bought from Ditto Fabrics from Brighton. I love Brighton and plan to move there when I get rich. Till that day I thought a ‘Brighton dress’ would be in order so what better to make a dress out of Brighton fabric from Brighton!!

Ditto Brighton Fabric is Lime 3m and in blue 1m £32 including p&p

Its a 100% cotton and although not expensive at £6.99 a meter the extra postage bumped the overall price up. I wish i has the money and time to visit Brighton on my sewcation which starts tomorrow (for a week holiday from work) but sadly not as my car is still in disrepair.  I have not decided want to I make with this lovely fabric. I was thinking one of my new collette patterns but we shall see next week.

So today the last thing to finish up is my union jack inspired Bunting. Using all the remnants from my years makes I have begun sewing up the bunting squares to make my mums Easter present just in time for the royal wedding. I had not realised but many of you visiting my sewing blog have done so by googling the word bunting so I will be making a tutorial for all you new bunting makers. Keep an eye out as it will be here really soon and have a great weekend to all.

More fabric shopping, Vintage vogue 2960, bunting and the royal wedding.

18 Mar

So this is not MY bunting but it is very nice bunting from Cherish Cherries, and I have been asked and plan to make loads of bunting for the royal wedding. I have been collecting all the remnants of my makes so I can make Granny Kelly proud and make and make do. I also had a looksie around the net to find some union jack fabric to complement the remnants and bumped into this sumptious baby.

This design is a rework on the 1980s original made to commemorate Diana and Charles’s wedding, and comes in blue and white. I picked up 4 meters of this in blue for a barginus £17 from my new favorite ebay seller Miloabcrabbit. Not only last week I was complaining how there was a lack of good fabric sellers….I have been proved wrong. Of course my bank manager should be worried. Very worried. I plan to make vogue  2960 with this buy. The skirt part at least. Watch this space.

I also bought a ticket to go to the sewing for pleasure event at the NEC next week. As I am disabled I get a helper ticket so some lucky lady can hold all my shopping and keep an eye on me to make sure I do not spend loads of money do not fall over. That lucky lady is going to be Benjamin. I do not know how this is going to pan out seeming as I will be making him get up and ready for about 8.45am. I’ll take photos of his decent into madness whilst women flirt at him from all angles, of which he will be oblivious to and more interested in locating the exit. Priceless.

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