I was asked by HOW.DO, a clever new app, to design a project to celebrate the birthday of William Morris the 19th century designer/writer who urged a return to handmade craftsmanship amidst a world rushing toward industrial manufacturing. His textile and surface designs heavily featured floral and nature inspired motifs, so with that in mind I gathered some leaves and flowers and set off to print my own paper.
Printing your own Floral Wrapping Paper is super quick to do, and with the magic of HOW.DO I’ll even talk you through it!
The other day Emma asked me if she could do some sewing. Hooray! After watching me stitch she is finally taking an interest in trying it herself. She described to me in detail how she would push the ‘very sharp’ needle in the fabric and not get hurt because she is ‘a big girl now and knows how to do it’.
Lack of confidence has never been Emma’s problem, but the reality is her fine motor skills still need some work, so going straight to a needle and thread would be super frustrating for her. So I improvised a weaving activity that would develop her motor skills and the very basic concept of sewing with a plastic canvas and pipecleaners. (more…)
I was so pleased with myself when I learned to Crochet a Popcorn Stitch, whilst making this trivet from a pattern in Handmade Glamping*. I love the three dimensional texture and cushioned effect it produces.
Because crochet stitches are much easier to learn when you watch someone actually doing it, I thought it would be helpful to make a little video showing you how it’s done. If you already know how to do a Double crochet (US)/Treble (UK), like the one granny squares are made with, then you practically know how to do a popcorn stitch already. There is just one extra step.
Watch the video to see how.
I was lucky enough to receive several cones of Zpagetti yarn from the lovely Gwen at Hoooked, I’d been curious about it for a while and was delighted to give it a try. It’s made from fabric off cuts from the garment industry, so it’s a sustainable product that defers textiles from entering landfill.
I am in desperate need of places to store all my crafty bits and pieces, so making some baskets was the logical option.
These baskets work up quite quickly and if you make them in graduating sizes, they can nest into each other. I’ve included basic instructions and a video, but I do assume you have some experience with crochet.
Ok, put your hand up if you dread sewing buttonholes. Most sewing machines have a either a manual or automatic buttonhole setting that can make your life a whole lot easier.
My old machine had a manual 4 step buttonhole, which meant I had to manually change the settings between each stage. It was simple to use, but getting a consistently sized buttonhole was difficult.
Now my new machine has an Automatic buttonhole setting which uses a special buttonhole foot to measure the size of the buttons and makes a perfect buttonhole every time. I recently made a duvet cover with a button closures (will share a How To soon), and fell in love with this little contraption.
It looks a little complicated, but once you see how it works, you’ll love using it too.
I’ve created a video to explain how to use it.
I have so many delicate silver chains sitting in the bottom of my jewellery box, unloved and unworn. I’m not one for dainty jewellery pieces and thought adding some colourful beads to this silver chain would be fun makeover. Paper beads are easy to make and will only cost you pennies, but make quite a fashion statement. Why not make a whole bowl of different coloured beads, then mix and match to add a fun twist to any outfit. The kids will have fun playing threading games with these too.
I’ve made a video showing how to roll the beads…
You will need:
Colourful paper strips, the wider the strip the longer the finished bead
Quick dry craft glue
A long chain with fastener (look in your jewellery box)
I’ve made a video which shows you how to roll your beads.
They are fun and super quick to make.
The longer the strips of paper, the thicker and more durable your beads will be.
The ones I’ve made here are quite light weight and sit well on my delicate silver chain. If they get squashed I’ll just make another quick batch.
What colour combinations will you make?
I’ve been experimenting with my free motion quilting foot this week and I wanted to show you how fun it can be to have a little play and add an extra dimension to fabrics that can then be used in other projects. This same technique can be used on bigger projects like quilts.
I’ve quilted a pretty vintage linen tea towel and made a fun video so you can watch the whole process. If you’ve always wondered what a ‘darning foot’ or free motion foot was for, this is the tute for you!
You will need:
Darning Foot, also called a Free Motion Quilting/Embroidery Foot
You may already have one in that box of sewing machine attachments that you’ve never used, but they can also be purchased from sewing stores. Yours may look slightly different so you may need to check your manual to see how it attaches.
A tea towel or piece of fabric with large graphic flowers
Poly batting (nice and lofty)
Backing fabric (I’ve used a thin cotton voile)
Batting/Applique adhesive spray (optional)
Preparing the fabric-
If you are using a batting adhesive spray make sure you are working in a well ventilated area.
Lay down your backing fabric and spray lightly.
Lay the batting on top of this, spray then place the tea towel on top.
The idea is to sandwich the batting in between the two layers of fabric, and the spray makes the layers grippy so things don’t slide around. If you don’t have the spray, you can also pin the layers together.
Preparing your machine-
Attach your Darning foot
Lower your feed dogs
Set your stitch length to zero
Now it’s time to have a play on some scraps of fabric.
Presser foot down (although the foot looks like it is up, it moves up and down with each stitch)
Move the fabric slowly under the foot sewing at about medium speed. It takes a little practice to get used to.
Here is my Before and After:
I’ve made a video to show you how I have used the floral design as my guide for the quilting pattern.
How much fun was that?
Here is the back
And a close up of the front
Tune in next week to see what I make with this quilted panel…
If you’ve been following me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve gone a little loopy for making Blythe doll clothes. Had so many failed attempted early on that I lost my Blythe sewing mojo until it was rekindled by an impromptu swap organized via twitter.
Anyhoo! I crocheted Perty this beautiful raspberry beret and thought you may like the instructions to make your own…
It’s very simple if you know some basic crochet technique and stitches, and I’ve made a video showing you how to do a decrease treble stitch.
My pattern writing skills are terrible so this is more a how to than a strict pattern, but I hope it’s easy enough to follow.
Yarn: 8 ply (I’ve used 100% wool)
Stitches: AUS/UK terminology. magic ring (explained), sl (slip), ch (chain), dc (double crochet), tr (treble crochet), anything in * * means repeat, inc (means work 2 stitches in one ie. inc 1 dc = 2 dc worked into one stitch of previous row), dec (means work one stitch in two).
Optional- stitch marker
1. Make a Magic ring (slip knot) 1 ch then work 7 dc into it, pull the end to close
2. 2 dc into each dc of row 1 (14 stitches)
3. * 1 dc then inc 1 dc* repeat till end of row working in a spiral (21 stitches)
4. * 2 dc then inc 1 dc* repeat till end of row working in a spiral (28 stitches)
5. 3 ch then * 3 tr then inc 1 tr * repeat till end of row then sl
6. ch 3, 1 tr * inc 1 tr, 2 tr * repeat till end of row then sl
7. ch 3, * 3 tr, inc 1 tr * repeat till end of row then sl
8. ch 3, * 5 tr , inc 1tr * repeat till end of row then sl
9. work 2 rounds of dc
10. ch 3, dec tr all the way around (see video for instructions on this stitch)
11. work one round of loose dc, sl then tie in loose end.
I hope that was clear enough. My tension is pretty tight so you may need to adjust for your tension. The idea is to work a flat circle till round 8 (shouldn’t have any cupping or waves) then 2 plain rows before decreasing.
Here is how to do a decrease treble stitch (sorry you tube has added ads because of the music licensee)
Please leave a comment if you have given it a try and have an questions or suggestions