Blog

Craft Supplies! April 21 2017

We are in the process of updating our website and just added a cute craft supplies section - scissors, pins, pom pom makers with lots more to come!

Visit https://www.themakearcade.co.uk/collections/haberdashery-and-supplies to see the selection!


Crochet Cacti Cosy! March 27 2016

Hi! Ruth here with a more in-depth look at the tutorial included in your Lucky Dip Club Cacti Cosy Crochet kit! I tried to make the instructions as clear as I could but understand that any crochet newbies may benefit from some bigger images and a few hints and tips to get you started - lets go! 

*Your finished cosy should measure around 20cm in circumference - it will fit around a small cup/glass or pot, with a little stretch to go around a larger pot if you have one, at the end of this tutorial I will suggest ways of making it bigger if you have a specific pot in mind!*

Step 1: The Chain Stitch (ch) 

All crochet work starts with a chain of stitches which acts as a foundation row for whats to follow. This cosy tutorial uses 35 chain stitches but a large blanket will use around 150 chains as its foundation (yikes!). As you make this initial chain it will start to twist - you can hold it to keep it straight as you go.

+ TIP + Keep your stitches loose on the hook, this will make it easier as you go to the next stage. Its a very common beginners trait to crochet too tightly so chillax and keep everything fluid and loose (this can take a little practice!)

Make a slip knot place over your hook. Pull the ends so its gently tightened around the hook - not too tight as you need to pull yarn through this loop next!

With your slip knot loop on the hook, wrap your yarn that comes from the skein over the end of the hook. You can gently hold the knot end with your finger and thumb.

Pull the hook towards you sliding the loop to the top of the hook and then pull the wrapped over yarn through the loop on the hook.

You will be left with one loop on the hook again and one chain stitch - these get easier to see when you have a few more. 

Repeat the process - yarn over, pull through loop - making chain stitches until you have around 35 in a long row. This is your foundation chain - keep counting and chaining!

Step 2: The Slip Stitch (sl st)

A slip stitch joins crochet work together without making any additional stitches. We will use one to join the ends of our foundation chain together to make one continuous loop that forms the basis of the cosy.

Leaving your last chain on the hook take the start of the chain and put the hook through the first chain - giving you 2 loops on the hook. Make sure that the chain is not to twisted.

With your 2 loops on the hook wrap the yarn over and pull it though both the 2 loops.

This will leave you with one loop on the hook, a continuous foundations - and you are ready to start the next stitch! You may want to gently pull this loop so its not too loose.

Step 3: Double Crochet Stitch (dc)

The Double Crochet Stitch is a super easy basic stitch which is frequently used and a great place to start. It creates a nice surface area. Keep practising and don't make your stitches too tight and it will all happen! 

Make one chain stitch (yarn over, pull through loop on hook) and then put the hook though the 2nd chain of your circle foundation chain. This is how we start making the cosy grow upwards!

With your hook through the 2nd loop of the foundation chain wrap the yarn over the pull through the chain stitch...

... this will leave two loops on your hook.

Wrap the yarn over again and pull through both loops leaving one loop on your hook. You are repeating the 'yarn over, pull through' process twice, a good thing to remember as its a 'double crochet'!

This shows a complete first round of double crochet stitches. You can use a slip stitch again to join this row of Double crochet together as you did for the foundation chain. As you add more rows the crochet will start to appear more obvious. Keep going to that next row!

Use the tail of your yarn as a marker for the central back point. When you have done a complete row of double crochets this will act as the start and end point. 

The next row of double crochets stitches aren't made into a chain as the first, these are made into the 'v' shape made up of two loops that have been created by the previous row. We want to put the hook under both the loops of the 'v' shape not just one of them.

So, hook through, yarn over and pull through under the 'v' shape stitch...

...leaving 2 loops on the hook.

Yarn over and pull through both the loops on hook - making a double crochet stitch. Repeat a double crochet stitch under each of the 'v' shape stitches. Continue doing double crochets all the way round. I have designed this so that we don't need to step up on the rows, they are in a continuous loop. Keep going round until you have about 7 rows, finishing at the back where your yarn tail is! 

*if you come to the end of your first skien of yarn just tightly tie the new one to the first. You can sew the loose ends into your crochet with your needle at the end or trim them off*

To Finish/Tie off: When you are finished keep a loop on the hook. Cut your yarn with a 10cm tail and then pull the loose end back through the loop on the hook. Pull to tighten and sew the end in!

Step 4: The Ears!

This is a simple method to make some very cute shaped ears. It uses the chain and double crochet stitch (you should be a pro by now!) and involves a bit of back and forth but once you get the knack of working into a foundation chain it'll be a no brainer! 

1. Make a chain of 6 and add one additional stitch to 'turn'. We add this stitch as we are going to work back into the chain. Do a double crochet stitch into each chain, starting at the 2nd chain from the hook. You will be turning your chain on its side and working from right to left. 

When you have done a double crochet down one side of the chain do 3 double crochet stitches into the end of the chain (which is where your yarn tail will be), Making these 3 (dc) stitches into the end will mean that you create a curve at the top. You can then do a double crochet into the other side of the chain.

One row of double crochets!

2. With one row of double crochets complete we will do another to make the ear a thicker shape. 

Make one chain (yarn over, pull through loop!) to turn, and working from left to right this time do a double crochet putting the hook under every 'v' up one side, at the top do 3 Double crochets into the centre top and then work back down the other side. This will create a lovely ear! Repeat again for ear number two - you may find this one easier! 

Fasten off by cutting the yarn with a 10cm end and pulling it back through the loop on the hook. 

Step 5: Attaching the ears!

Thread some of your yarn on the needle with a knot on the end and place an ear just behind the top edge at the front of the cosy. Use a neat stitch (running stitch is fine!) and work from one side to the other. As the yarn is the same colour it will be almost invisible! Repeat for both ears.

Step 6: Adding the details 

Thread your needle with the pink thread, knot the end (you may need a double knot) and sew a little cross shape for the mouth. Position it between the ears!

The eyes are made using the black 'brads'. These are like split pins - push through the crochet from the front and push out the pins to hold to secure! 

Hope this tutorial helped you achieve some crochet kudos. Persevere, practise and don't be afraid to unpick to get it right. Bring it on! 

HINTS AND TIPS!

If your hands are aching after a few stitches you are holding the yarn too tight! The yarn coming from the skein should be kept very loose, and gently pull the yarn through to decrease any tension.

If you have created your foundation chain of 35 and your cosy still looks very small you may need to loosen your stitches. 

If you would like to make a bigger or smaller cosy (for a planter or egg cup perhaps?!) just decrease or increase the foundation chain accordingly. You can make the chain and then wrap it around your chosen vessel to check its going to have the right circumference. Add more chains or take away to get the right length and then continue the process as per these instructions.

Is your cosy getting smaller? Yikes! As you have made 35 chains in your foundation row you will then do 35 double crochets in the next row. Each time you hit the point at the back where the yarn end is you should have done another 35 double crochet stitches. As long as you are working a crochet stitch under both the loops of the 'v' shape of the previous row you should be on the right track! 

Count your rows, this is a little annoying but it will help you get a good finish and on more complex projects it will make things go to plan!

Don't be afraid to unravel or even do something a bit different if that works for you - no one will call the crochet police! 

Gather more info. This is what YouTube is for! I am sure I'm not the only one who watches vids of other people making stuff, I can get lost for a while 'researching' new techniques! My local library has a great craft section - well worth checking out if you want to experiment more on your crochet odyssey! 

Take a break. If you are getting frustrated pop the kettle on and come back to it. You won't do your best crafting if you are cross!  

Happy Making! x


Summer Pinwheels! June 18 2015

Oh my. When the sun came out in Salisbury this week I had the overwhelming urge to 'decorate' the garden (as you do!) and armed with a bundle of colourful felts and some cute paper straws I set upon the project pinwheel! Here is a little tutorial for pinwheels to make to use as decorations - these make great party decor! These are a great project to make with kiddos using craft card or printed papers and straws, you can also experiment with making them move with split pins etc, but these are sewn together with a button detail.

P I W H E E L S !

You will need: Felt, Paper Straws, needle and thread, buttons, scissors and ruler *

1//  Cut out a 10cm square from the felt. Place in front of you and make a approx 4cm cut diagonally from each of the corners into the middle. Fold alternate corners into the middle.

2// When you have all the corners folded into the middle and hold with you thumb. Sew in and out through the middle a few times to secure the corners.

3// With the thread coming up through the centre thread on a button and sew it in to the middle.

4// Bring your thread through the back and push the needle through the straw. Sew back into the felt and back through and around the straw until secure. All done!

I put some of mine in my plant pots - the felts really popped against the green of the garden. Fingers crossed that the nice weather keeps up! 

Happy Making!

Ruth x

*If you attended one of our workshops this week you will have received all the materials you need for this project in your goodie bag - share your makes when finished!


Dinky Felt Pots! June 02 2015

I have been going mad for storage and tidying at the moment - think these two things come together nicely and have been making fabric storage baskets for sewing and craft equipment. I discovered a new interfacing (more to come on that another day!) which is A-MA-ZING and when combined with fabric makes the most perfect baskets.

Whilst on the tidying mission I found some little bits of gorgeous wool felt so made a few mini pots to keep desk bits organised - these would be perfect for jewellery too. If you fancy having a go at a little mini make*... read on!

D I N K Y  Felt Storage Pots!

You will need: Thick Felt (100% wool is wonderfully thick, but a thick acrylic felt is fine too!), embroidery floss, needle, scissors, ruler.

1// Take your felt and cut it into a 10 x 12cm rectangle. Using your ruler cut a 2.5 x 2.5cm square from each of the corners.

2// Thread your needle, knot the end. Pinch one of the squares so that the opposite edges come together to create a corner. Push the needle through the inside edge so that the knot is on the inside of the pot.

3// Use little stitches to join the edges together. You could use a decorative blanket or cross stitch in a nice contrast thread maybe?

4// When you get to the edge do a couple of stitches over the top edge and tie off. Repeat for all corners.

Fill with all your bits and bobs! Check out these neon paperclips - yum!

*if you came to our 'Round Patchwork Cushion' workshop on 2nd June you will have the bits for this in your crafty goodie bag - enjoy your make!

Happy Making!

Ruth x


Sewing with Oilcloth workshop! June 02 2015

There is so much nice Oilcloth style fabric around at the moment I really wanted to do a workshop using it this year - the first one in March sold out as soon as it was launched and the follow up last weekend was also very popular and sold out as soon as I published the pictures of the first. You guys were keen! The workshop took place in the Gallery space of Fisherton Mill in Salisbury and we could take in the Charlotte Moreton exhibit whilst sewing - well worth a look if you are local!

Oilcloth can be a tricky fabric to work with and is probably more commonly used as a table covering. Look beyond the dried on Weetabix on your own table cloths and there are wondrous things to be made! Traditionally Oilcloth is a wax coated material, and the name is now applied to more generic materials that have a PVC coating on a woven underside. In the workshop I discussed the ways you can sew the fabric and what additional sewing equipment you may need - all provided on a hand out. 

We started the workshop discussing how the bag is constructed then got stuck right in to cutting and sewing. The workshop participants were given the opportunity to combine the oilcloth with heavier weight, interfaced fabrics.

'Walking Feet' were fitted to the sewing machines - a must when sewing with PVC coated fabrics - these are a great little addition to your sewing kit!

Here are some photos of the beautiful bags that were made (there were talks of mass production for a school fundraiser) and some small tissue pockets were made with all the offcuts! 

 

Everyone getting creative!

Love the dark blue print in the lining of this one (LOOK at that gorgeous floor at FM!)

The one on the left used a printed canvas as the top section

The base of this bag had a linen base which we strengthened with firm interfacing

Love the red bases on these - very summery (whenever that may come!) 

This is a great little workshop which I love to teach - watch this space for another date coming up in the summer, possibly incorporating zips!

Happy Sewing!

Ruth x

 


Cute Flag Cake Toppers! May 23 2015

Whats not to like about excessive amounts of decoration - sweet or otherwise - on a cake! Makes everyday (I am sure i am not the only one to enjoy cake everyday!) cake pitstops a party! These are so simple to make and they can be made with bits and bobs that you have at home*

You will need: Cocktail sticks, nice papers (you could do plain ones and write/stamp on them or use the papers given away with craft mags), scissors, gluestick. Optional: Ruler and pencil.

1. Cut out strips of paper approx 7x2cm from your paper. Mark out the with pencil/ruler if you need too!

2. Fold the strips in half as shown....

3. Unfold and put glue all over the back of the strip.

4. Put a tip of the cocktail stick along the fold, with the tip not quite to one edge, and the fold up. Smooth down and make sure its stuck. 

5. Using scissors cut out a shallow 'V' shape from the ends... Make cakes and stab them in! We quite like a big cake with lots all dotted over the top. Great for simple decoration or personalising your cakes!

*If you attended our Oilcloth workshop on Saturday 23rd May all the materials you need were in your crafty goodie bag so you can get cracking (and baking!).

Have a great weekend!

R x


Have a Crafty Hen do'! April 09 2015

Wedding season is fast approaching, coupled with this lovely weather in the UK its perfect for planning forthcoming summer activities! If you are getting married this year we are now taking bookings for Crafty Hen do's! Get to know your hens with some fun and creative craft activities before you move on to the champers and silliness!

We have lots of things to offer including:

Fascinator Workshops - perfect to make something for the big day

Bunting and Garlands - create a gorgeous decoration for the bride-to-be to treasure or for the wedding

Party Paper Pom Poms - learn the art of creating some massive paper pom poms!

Knicker Making - Make a beautiful pair of vintage style knickers

Knicker Customisation - decorate a pair of knickers with our massive stocks of fabric and trims make them fun, frilly, frou-frou or fancy!

We host a varied workshop programme all year round so can also offer a flexible party depending on what you would like to do! Prices start at £12.00pp with a cute crafty goodie bag for each partygoer. We can travel to your venue or can recommend some venues in the Salisbury area. Get in touch to discuss your requirements!


Make + Do! Pom Pom Pin Cushion! March 10 2015

My own personal sewing kit is such a mis-mash. Jars of threads, vintage sewing paraphernalia and pins and needles everywhere! I do love to make a pin cushion if it takes my fancy (we have a very fun watermelon kit in our shop!) and they are a great way of using up beautiful scraps and will organise those wayward pins! 

This is an easy peasy guide to making a Pom Pom Pin Cushion... read on!

You will need:

2 x squares of fabric (10cm x 10cm)

4 x Felt balls (ours are felt and you can get them from this great felt and craft ware supplier)

Needle and thread

Stuffing material (use a old fibre cushion or toy filling)

Scissors and Pins

optional: Sewing Machine

1. Pin your squares with their right sides together and sew (machine or hand) around the edge with a 1cm seam. You will need finish approx 4cm before where you started so that you leave a gap. Clip the corners off the square - carful not to cut through your stitching!

2. Turn the square inside out and push the corners out so that they are nice and pointing - a chopstick or knitting needle works perfectly. Take a needle and thread and stitch on your felt balls to each corner. Start from the inside so that the knot on your thread is inside the cushion.

.

3. Stuff the cushion full of stuffing until its nice and plump. Push it into the corners and give it a squish to make sure the stuffing is even. Using small stitches sew the gap shut.

One cute pin cushion. Why not make one and box it up with some pins and haberdashery bits for a sewing themed present!?

Happy Sewing!


Make + Do! Colour Block Brooches! February 26 2015

I love brooches. Any kind, fabric, vintage, sparkly - you name it and i've probably fashioned a brooch out of it. They are really great little makes, and make a quirky statement... Here is a little tutorial on how to use up scraps from your felt stash and make a textured, cute and colourful brooch.

  

You will need: 

Felt scraps - as many colours as you like, I like to use clashing ones

Wooden shape - I get mine from Ebay or sometimes here (this one is a 5cm heart)

Strong glue - I LOVE, love, love GemTac. You can get it from Fabricland or online. Its super strong and dries clear. I especially love that its designed to stick on rhinestones and diamante to dance wear(!)

Brooch pin - get from most haberdasheries 

Paintbrush or Glue spreader 

Scissors - small and sharp preferably!

1// Pick the colours of felt you would like to use. Cut into thin strips with nice straight cuts. Make sure when positioned together they have enough area to cover the wooden shape with an overlap.

 

2// Put glue all over one side of the brooch - don't be too generous as it can seep through the felt.

3// Lay the felt strips one by one over the glue, butting up the next colour against the piece you have stuck down. Make sure they overlap the edges of the wooden shape.

4// Turn the brooch over and trim off all the excess - get it nice and neat.

5// Put some glue on the brooch pin and stick it on the back, leave for a few hours to dry.

Put it on your coat and add a pop of colour on your Parka!!!

R x

P.S if you are in Salisbury on Sunday 1st March we will be making these on our stall at the Salisbury Artisan Market - stop by and make one for only £2!

 

 


Love your Sewing Machine - Some top tips! February 12 2015

We've been sewing for a long old time. Here are some pointers and tips to help you along the way! To start sewing you can get by on a basic kit. A good needle and thread and a few pins or a basic sewing machine will do the job fine until you get more confident.

Your machine will become a real essential item. It’s so satisfying to whizz up cushions and bags at the drop of a hat. You don’t need a machine with all the bells and whistles - a basic model with a few different stitches will serve you just fine. Don’t over complicate things - grab a machine and start stitching!

Most machines will have some basic attachments and different feet for doing different projects along with spare bobbins and screwdriver and oils. You can also buy universal attachments - but check the model against the parts to check that they will fit first.

  

Some tips and words of wisdom for newbies!

Don’t underestimate your own ability, but don’t start too big.  Read through instructions, accomplish some simple projects with success and this will give you the confidence to try new more advanced ones and really get creative.

Get to know your sewing machine - try out the different stitches and stitch lengths and refer to the manual if you need to. They are normally pretty informative and have pictures. If you have a vintage machine, type the model number into Google - you may be able to find a downloadable version.

Always have few scraps of fabric similar to what you are sewing with to hand so you can sew a couple of rows of stitching to check tension and stitch length before you start on the real thing

If you need to sew a short bit, a precise bit or the beginning or end use the hand wheel to manually sew.

If you go wrong, just unpick it. And sew it again, no worries.

Use old fabrics to cut and sew with before you hack into your gorgeous new prints. Old bed covers, denims and shirts are perfect and offer a breadth of materials to practise with. 

If your machine isn’t sewing well - rethread and change the needle. This is quite often the problem! Needles get blunt really quickly and will effect your stitch. 

When you start to sew turn the wheel to put the needle in the work and have at least 20cm of thread (top and bottom) coming out. This will stop it getting swallowed back in when you start stitching.

Don’t tackle a project if you aren’t in the mood. It should be enjoyable, not stressful and you shouldn’t need to swear at your machine!

Press, iron, press. Keep your work ironed and it will always look neat! It makes such a difference to your finished project.

Remember to put the presser foot down - if the work isn’t secured down the stitches will skip!

Chill out and enjoy it. The machine won’t bite and if you need to stop just take your foot off the pedal!

Take the extra time to be precise if you need to but don’t get too bogged down by perfection - if you’re a beginner you will get better with practise!

And finally, Practice makes perfect!

Happy Sewing, R x


Ready, Steady... SEW! January 13 2015

Happy New Year! Hope you are ready to learn to sew or try some new sewing projects this year! After a few weeks of festive activities and necessary admin I can't wait to get the sewing machine out and stitch up some new projects and samples for the workshop projects!
The workshops start two weeks tomorrow (yippee!) and we are kicking of with the ever popular 'Sew a Frame Purse'. This workshop has run a few times in the past 18 months and everyone loves it. Most people attend it as they are keen to learn how to attach the metal frames to the fabric purse bodies. This workshop totally demystifies the technique and you'll be hooked! Past attendees of this workshop have been in touch to show me pictures of other purses they have made, variations on the theme and gone on to sell them. They are a great make and easy when you know how, also a great project to take you from beginner to pro'.
This workshop runs on Wednesday 21st January and its an 'after work' session of 6.30pm - 9pm at the Fisherton Mill in Salisbury. All the fabrics and equipment are provided and i'll also throw in some cake (hello!) for the bargain price of £30.00. I will also be bringing along some trim ideas, if we have time we'll rustle some up too...
Here are some images from past workshops - hope they inspire you to come along! 

R x


Sew far, sew good... October 09 2014

The October workshop program has now kicked off and we enjoyed a lovely morning making knickers! In this workshop we covered basic cutting of pattens and discussed cutting on the bias and what that entails. This workshop also enabled the participants to get to grips with sewing elastic which involved pulling the elastic while simultaneously trying to keep it on the edge of the pattern. A tricky skill and something that was soon got to grips with by the last knicker leg! 3 hours later a lovely quadruplet of knickers were ready to go - beautiful work!