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!
*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!
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!
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!!!
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
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!