Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Book Giveaway

Refashion Co-op are doing a book giveaway at the minute. The book is called Fabric Leftovers and it looks reeeeally good!!

Go and join Refashion Co-Op and enter to win the book :)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Applique cushion cover

This past Friday it was Paul's nan's birthday. He sent me shopping to buy her a present and I just didnt have a clue what to get her. I went through a few DIY ideas in my head but none of them seemed right. I was in a card shop and I saw these little embroidered, appliqued hearts. Not cushion size, more like ornament size but I loved the idea behind them. I decided to make one in cushion size so it was more usable, not just another little keepsake that was going to get shut in a drawer somewhere.

To make one, all you need is an uncovered cushion (or a covered one but bear in mind that some darker patterns might show through if you cover it with lighter material) and whatever material youd like to cover it in. If you want an applique and embroidery on it then obviously you'll need stuff for that too.

First, you want to measure the cushion. Mine was an 18" square. Draw out a square on your material of 18" then add a seam allowance. I made my seam allowance 1/4". Only draw one square for now. You're going to make the back overlap fastening so that will need different measurements. Cut your front square out and set it aside.

To make the back overlap fastening you're going to want to take your initial measurement, half it, then add 1" for the center hem. For my cushion this worked out to be 10.25". You want to cut out two rectangles 18.5"x10.25" (ETA: for a bigger, fluffier pillow it might be a good idea to add more overlap. Mine was only thin so there was no gap but I imagine with a fatter cushion this closure would gape.)

Depending on your material you might want to finish off the raw edges. I used a really fluffy fleece and pieces were getting everywhere so I serged all of my ends, just to stop the shedding. Normal fleece wouldnt have shed as much but the fluffy fleece was sooo cozy :)

Next you want to fold down 1/4" along the long edge of the two rectangles, fold over another 3/4" and stitch them down. This makes a nice finished edge for the opening. You could leave it just serged if you want to but I prefer the look of a proper hem.

Now you want to make your applique. I cut a heart shape out of fleece and embroidered 'Nan' on it. I ran out of embroidery floss so I ended up having to use parcel string lol. It worked quite nicely but I'm dreading when it gets washed. Hopefully it won't shrink and wreck my cushion!

Take the 18.5" square and place your applique wherever you'd like it to go. I put mine slightly off centre and a bit wonky. I figured I wouldnt be able to get it perfectly aligned in the middle so took the easy option :P Stitch on your applique using whatever method you like. I used my sewing machine on satin stitch.

With the right sides together pin together the long raw edge on one of the rectangles and one of the sides on your square. Do the same with the opposite end. Stitch. You'll see on the other two edges that the two rectangles overlap in the middle. Pin and stitch down the other two sides. You could round your corners if you liked. Clip your corners to reduce bulk.

Turn your cushion cover right way round through the opening in the back, stuff and admire your handiwork :D

I'm really proud of it actually and she loved it :)

Linking here.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Knotted tutu

I've wanted for some time to make matching sister tutu's for my two girls. I made this one a few days ago for my biggest girl and am waiting to get into town to buy some more tulle to make a matching one for my littlest girl.

I used this tutorial on Little Pink Monster, formerly Samster Mommy. LOVE this blog, its full of really cute ideas. It didnt take me 10mins though because I didnt use rolls of tulle, I had to buy it by the metre and cut it into strips. Her cardboard trick saved me so much stress though. Imagine trying to cut all of those pieces of tulle the exact same length for the hem without the cardboard :O

I made my length 12" (around 2yrs size) as I wanted it to be knee length. Since my tulle was 3 metres of 60" width, I decided to make my strips around 2"x3m. I wasnt too exact since I figured it would be near on impossible to cut it out perfectly anyway. I started off using my ruler to measure out the 2" and just cutting with my rotary cutter all the way up the length, but then realised I'd probably be there my whole life trying to cut it all out like that. I folded it up along the length and cut through eight layers at a time. Much quicker! I ended up with a lovely fluffy pile of tulle :P

From then on, I pretty much followed Natasha's tutorial exactly. I love how it came out but all my elastic bunched up after the first time she wore it so I kind of wish I hadnt spent so long making sure the elastic was all perfectly straight :P

PJ pants to toddler panel skirt refashion

I picked up a really cute pair of PJ pants in Primark for about £1 a while back and have been wanting to make something for one of my babies out of them, but wasn't sure what to make. I finally decided to make Leyla a panel skirt. I think it turned out really well and it took me hardly any time aswell, finished it in one night :)

All you have to do is take your pants and, making sure to cut through both layers at once, cut out 4 rectangles measuring 12.5"(w) x 11.5"(l). You will end up with 8 panels. This fits my 2 year old really nicely but the 'pattern' is easily adjustable. Just change the width/length/amount of panels as needed. My measurements make a slightly above knee length, very gathered skirt. If you are using anything other than knit or fleece or if you prefer a properly finished hem you will need to add an inch onto the bottom. I serged mine so I cut it to the length I wanted it to end up.

To sew it all up, take two of your panels, lay them right sides together and pin up one of the lengths. Sew using a straight stitch 1/4" from the edge. Follow with a zigzag stitch in your seam allowance. Or serge if you prefer. Add all of your panels in the same way until you have a long rectangle all nicely stitched. Take the two end panels and lay them right sides together. Pin and stitch as above. You should now have a tube all stitched up. Finish the bottom of the tube as you like. Either hem it, serge it or leave it unfinished if your material doesn't fray.

To make my waistband I cheated a little bit. Measure how big your elastic is, multiply that by 2, then add 1/2" on that for wiggle room. Measure that far down from the top of the waistband and draw a line all the way around the top of your tube with a water soluble pen. My measurement was 2". Simply fold the top down to meet the line all the way around. Pin well.

To make your elastic casing, you want to stitch all around where you've pinned, leaving about a 2" gap at the back of your skirt to insert your elastic. I back stitched at the beginning and end of my stitch to make sure it didn't unravel while I was putting my elastic in.

Cut some elastic the size of your child's waist. Mine was 18" for a skinny 2year old. Take one end of it and attach a safety pin. Start pushing the pin and elastic through your casing. You will probably want to safety pin the other end to your skirt so you don't lose it.

When you have your elastic all pushed through, take both ends, overlap them about 1/2" and sew a zigzag stitch to secure. I went back and forth about 5 times. Sew up the 2" you left open.

You could leave it there if you like but I like my waistband to look a bit more finished. Adjust the gathers to where you like them, you'll probably find that even when the elastic is pulled tight there are quite a few gathers. That's ok, it's just because the skirt width is much longer than the elastic. Get your gathers as neat as you can. Starting from the back, stitch two long lines all the way around the waistband. I did my first line 1/4" away from the top of the waistband and the second line centred in between the first line and the line I stitched for the elastic casing.

You're done! Wasn't that easy :D

Linking here.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Stuff I want to make...

This might be here for a while with everything undone but I always say I want to make something cool I saw online, and then totally forget about it and it never gets done.

So I'm going to start a 'to-do' list on here to help me remember :)

Recipe cards (I'd love to have some of these. My recipes are on pieces of paper strewn all over the house and I can never find the one I need!)
Petal potholder (I saw this on someones blog recently, sorry I can't remember whose it was now but it was made up in all different bright colours as a table runner and looked gorgeous! Definitely need one of these!)
Fake Mary Janes (I sooo need a pair of these for Mimie, maybe a few pairs :P)
Bow tie for Mary Janes (oh.em.gee, this would be toooo cute!)
Portable high chair (I definitely need one of these, Leyla is out of her highchair now but refuses to sit at the table for too long so dinner times have become a bit of a nightmare! I do have a shopbought plasticky one but a nice pretty fabric one would be sooo much better!)
Toddler backpack (Awww, Leyla would look sooo cute carrying one of these round!)
Green smoothie popsicles (These sound lush!!)
Ruffled skirt (I love this so much!)
Wallet Bag (I saw this a while back and thought it looked brilliant. It would make an amazing present I think.)
Bustier Line Tshirt (LOVE this!)
Knot No-Hem Capri Pants (These are adorable! I'm going to have to make my girls a pair each and maybe one for me too, theyre soo cute!)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Tshirt to toddler tshirt dress refashion

I made Leyla a gorgeous little tshirt dress, I love it so much and it was so easy!

I bought a UK size 6 women's tshirt with the idea of making this little tshirt dress and it came out really well I think, although the neckline is slightly too big for her. I'm not entirely sure how I can fix it without ripping all the ribbing off the neck and I'm not up for that at the minute so it'll have to stay as it is lol.

All I did was turn it inside out, fold it in half, line up a jumper dress that fit her well, add a 1/4" seam allowance and cut all the way round from the sleeve hem, under the arm and down to the bottom hem. I didnt leave a seam allowance at the bottom of the dress since this particular dress was a little longer than I wanted the tshirt dress to be.

Then using a straight stitch, I sewed all the way down, reinforcing under the arm where it's most likely to rip open. I followed that with a zigzag stitch in the seam allowance.

When I did the hems, because I was using knit and it had a good bit of stretch, I didnt use a straight stitch. In my experience when you stretch a straight stitch it does not like it one bit and just pops all open and its not good. I use a very, very slight zigzag stitch whenever I'm hemming knit. So slight it's only 0.5-1 width on my machine. It's just enough that when you stretch the material to get it on, it won't pop. It still looks pretty much like a straight stitch.

It's absolutely gorgeous on and because I made it a little bit too long on the sleeves and the bottom, it will fit her for ages. Woohoo!

Crochet headband

I made this ridiculously quick and easy crochet headband for Leyla, but she's going through a funny stage where she won't let anyone touch her hair so I've taken it as my own for now :P

All I did was chain enough to go around her/my head, add two more for a turning chain, then hdc all the way back to the beginning, bind off, weave in ends, done! :)

Village shorts

I love, love, love this material. It's absolutely gorgeous. I got it off my mam who got it off her Turkish mother-in-law, my Babaanne. She didn't really like it, she said it looked like village material lol, so it sat in her stash pile until I went to visit and ransacked her cupboard and saved it. Ok so she gave me it but my way sounds more fun and dramatic.

I was originally going to make a skirt with it but since my recent obsession with black tights and short shorts I decided to make myself another pair of shorts :)

I made myself a shorts pattern by drawing around a pair of denim shorts I bought last year. I traced it onto my paper then flipped it and drew the other side so I had front and back on the same pattern piece. I then added my seam allowance, I like to use 1/4" so I can line up my material with the presser foot. Every time I've made a pair of these shorts I've altered the pattern slightly afterwards to try and make my perfect shorts pattern and I'm almost there! Perfect shorts every time here I come! :P

These ones are pretty good although they're a bit too high waisted for my liking, the first pair I made were too hipstery so I added some length on the waistband but I definitely prefer them hipstery so have cut most of it back off my pattern again lol.

Oh, I should point out aswell that when making this trusty shorts pattern you want the front and back waistband to be different, I made my back 1" higher and tapered the front to fit. This is so you have space for your bum :)

So to make these shorts all you have to do is take your shorts pattern and lay it out over your material. Cut one side with the pattern facing up and one piece with the pattern facing down.

See the curved lines coming down from the waistband to the crotch. Sew those two seams up. I used a straight stitch then a zigzag stitch right next to it for added durability. I probably would've serged but my serger has all white thread and I couldn't be bothered to change it all so a zigzag worked lovely :)

You then want to pinch where the side seams would be and pull them out to each side. You have nearly got a pair of shorts!!

Next, you want to sew up the legs and crotch. I reinforced the crotch just in case. Just stitch back and forward a few times. That's the last place I'd want a hole in my shorts lol.

Fold up a hem on each leg and stitch in place. I decided to have my hem showing on the outside so I turned my shorts right way around, folded up about 3/4" on each leg and then folded up another 3/4", stitched it all down with a straight stitch close to the edge, then another a little further down.

To do the waistband, fold over 2" and stitch all the way around, leaving an inch or two at the back unstitched. That's where you're going to put your elastic in through. Take a piece of elastic the same length as your waist. Pin one end onto a safety pin then use your safety pin to get the elastic through your waistband. Once you've gotten it all through stitch the two ends of elastic together, overlapping them about 1/2". Stitch your waistband shut.

You're done :) Wear your lovely new short shorts as often as possible :)

Monday, 6 June 2011

Jeans to shorts refashion

When I was pregnant with Leyla, I had a pair of maternity jeans that I loved. When I had Leyla, I kept them thinking I was bound to be pregnant again soon. When I was pregnant with Naomie it was summer and absolutely boiling so I wanted a pair of maternity shorts. I looked EVERYWHERE but couldnt find any decent ones so I decided to turn my trusty jeans into a pair of shorts :)

All I did was cut them off an inch longer than where I wanted them to sit on my leg, then folded the hem up twice and did two rows of stitching. They were really quick and I love them.

I wore them yesterday and remembered how much I loved them. Yeh, I know I dont need maternity wear at the minute but you cant tell theyre maternity under my top :P

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Bow Hairclip

I decided to make this little hair bow today. It's absolutely cute and I am going to wear it a lot.

It was reeeeally easy to make aswell, it's just two rectangles and all you need to know to make one is how to chain and how to half double crochet. You can find videos on how to crochet all over the internet if you've never done it before.

I used a black sparkly, double knit acrylic yarn and a 4.5mm crochet hook but you can use whatever you like really as you can control the size easily.

First we're going to do the big rectangle for the main piece of the bow:

1. Firstly, decide how big you want your bow to be. I wanted mine pretty big. Chain as many stitches as you think would make a nice length. I chained 26 and my finished bow is 6.5ins long.
2. Hdc in the 3rd ch from the hook and across. You'll end up with 24 hdc's. (I'm using American terminology here. Even though I'm English I learned how to crochet from a video an American lady had done and also I tend to find that most patterns on the internet use American terminology so it was just easier for me to learn the American names rather than the English names. I think the English term for American hdc is half treble.)
3. Ch2, turn and hdc in the 1st hdc and across. Don't count the ch2 as a stitch.
4. Repeat last row until the bow is as wide as you want it to be. I did 6 rows and my finished bow is 2.5ins wide.
5. Bind off and weave your ends in.

Now we have to make the little rectangle that sits in the middle of the bow and cinches it all in. How big you make this depends on the size of your bow. The wider your bow, the longer this little piece is going to have to be. It needs to be a very tight fit to keep everything nicely cinched.

1. Ch6, hdc in 3rd ch from hook and across. You'll end up with 4hdc's.
2. Ch2, turn and hdc in the 1st hdc and across. Don't count the ch2 as a stitch.
3. Repeat last row until it's the right length. It needs to just meet at the back of the bow when wrapped tightly around the middle. I did 4 rows.
4. Bind off, leaving a long tail to sew it all together with.

Now we're going to join it all together:

1. Take your bow and fold it in half lengthways. Fold each side into quarters, folding back onto the bow to make a nice gathered look in the middle.

2. Take your smaller rectangle and wrap it around the middle of the bow.
3. Using the long tail you left, stitch the two sides of the rectangle together, pulling the stitches tight.
4. Before you weave your ends in, turn the bow around and adjust the middle piece so it sits where you want it to. Make a few long stitches from one side of the bow to the other, through the middle piece and the gathering in the middle of the bow. Weave your ends in well.
5. I attached a little kirby grip to the underside of mine so I can put it in my hair. I just poked the top edge of it through a few of the holes in the middle piece and it worked lovely.

I really love this little bow, I'm going to wear it loads :)

Ignore the emo pose :P I havent done my makeup today and there's no way this face is going on the internet like it is :P I love how sparkly it is! Every girl needs a bit of sparkle!

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