Posts Tagged ‘handcrafted’

So! Are you ready for some more sewing adventures? Yes? Good – It’s great to have you on board!

If you followed my last post carefully you should have ended up with something that looks a little bit like this:

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Today we’re going to add the finishing touches and incorporate it into a really simple cushion design.

Ready to start? OK, grab yourself a half metre of a plain, hardwearing fabric and cut a square measuring 35 x 35 cms and two rectangular pieces measuring 35 x 25 cms.

Take your square and fold in half then half again and give it a little press with an iron – This shows you where the centre is.

X marks the spot!

X marks the spot!

Now you’ll need to position your beautifully crafted patchwork using the crease lines to help you. Once you’re happy with it’s position pin everything securely in place.

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Now for a bit of sewing – Either using a zig-zag or standard straight stitch, carefully sew along the edges of your work, removing the pins as you go.

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This part takes a bit of time and requires a lot of lifting of the sewing foot and re-positioning – Just stick with it; You’re nearly there 🙂

Now you need to find a piece of scrap cardstock which we’ll use to make the central piece of our patchwork. You’ll need to cut a circle of card that’s slightly bigger than that unsightly hole in the middle of your work, then cut an even larger circle of fabric – It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit rough; No-one’s going to see your wonky scissorwork.

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Now take a needle and thread and place a line of running stitches around the edge of your fabric circle, put you card circle in the middle and pull the threads tight so that they gather neatly round it.

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Press with an iron and take care NOT to burn your fingers. Remove the card and Hey Presto! – A perfect fabric circle to add to the centre of your work.

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Now you’ll need to pin it into position…

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And sew it into place.

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This is the stage when it’s probably a good time to do another little happy dance and marvel at your completed patchwork. Do the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter thing too if you have to – It’s good to share your triumphs with others.

Yay! The front of your cushion cover is complete - Gone forever are those unsightly threads and frayed edges of fabric.

Yay! The front of your cushion cover is complete – Gone forever are those unsightly threads and frayed edges of fabric.

So we’re on the home run – Not much more to do until we’ve made our marvellous cushion cover.

First we need to turn our attentions to the two rectangular pieces of fabric that are going to make up the rear of our cushion. We’re not going to fuss with zips or get into a muddle with buttonholes, we’re just going to make a simple envelope fastening so start by hemming each piece.

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Once your hems are sorted you’ll need to piece all the elements together – Remember! You’re creating an envelope fastening at the back so you need to overlap your two rectangular pieces. Pin everything into place. take a deep breath and get ready to do your last bit of stitching 🙂

Yeah I know! Get me with the snazzy label :)

Yeah I know! Get me with the snazzy label 🙂

Now it’s a simple matter of sewing around all four edges of your cushion cover. I usually make a second pass with a zig-zag stitch as this helps to prevent fraying and also ensures nice strong seams that won’t burst open any time soon. It’s also a good idea to snip the corners off to reduce fabric bulk and make it easier to turn your work.

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And, speaking of turning your work, that’s the next thing you’ll need to do. It’s time for the big reveal! Are you as excited as I am?

Well? How does it look?

Time for a final press with the iron and then we’ll pop a cushion inner into our marvellous make. If you’ve followed this tutorial closely you’ll have made a cushion cover that’s just the right size to take a ‘Krakris’ cushion which you can buy at Ikea for the princely sum of £1 – Total Bargain!

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Ultimately though, you’ve made something that looks like a million dollars; You should be dead proud of yourself 🙂

And now you know how to do it, what’s stopping you? Go on! Make a few more and give your home a little makeover – You’ve got no excuse not to 🙂

Happy Stitching Folks!

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It’s another new month – And making memories is the theme throughout October.

In an effort to address this I’ve had my head down for the past week or so and have been working flat out to complete a piece of work in preparation for the imminent arrival of a new baby. My aim has been to make a special gift that will hopefully become a cherished item for many years to come – my attempt at making a modern heirloom I guess……..

It’s been a joy to make but an absolute nightmare to photograph – a labour of love either way you choose to look at it.

And the fruits of my labour……

How on earth do you photograph such a creation to show it to it’s best advantage?

A circular receiving blanket – Hand crocheted with lots of love and care. Here’s hoping it generates lots of happy memories for years to come…. 😉

So many teeny tiny stitches!

Every day it grew bigger and bigger!

Ivory white and ultra soft and snuggly 🙂

All the time I was working on it it reminded me of something that I did many moons ago……. it took me back to my first attempt at knitting in the round back in 1989….. to a time when I sat down and made a similar item for my second child. Lots of happy memories but not really the sort of thing I’d advise you to attempt the very first time you start knitting with four needles simultaneously, as needless to say it was a bit of an ambitious task that took way longer to finish than this current crocheted confection! But weirdly enough, I think I’ve enjoyed making this so much that I kind of want to start another ‘baby’ project – maybe something that uses up my ever growing stash of yarn left over from other stuff……

Think I’ll have to have a good look here and find my next little labour: http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/baby_afghans.php

Happy crafting folks! 🙂

There’s something very soothing and lovely about a nice cup of tea; Particularly one that’s made using a teapot and some proper loose leaf as opposed to a couple of teabags.

A good cup of Rosey Lee is one of my vices, and whether I’m at home or on the road, a teapot is an absolute necessity; That, and an accompanying cozy of course – as it helps to keep the pot warm and prolongs the whole tea guzzling experience just that little bit longer 😉

I spotted this rather lovely example on the telly the other week……

How marvellous!

………And tracked it down as available to purchase from Debenhams; It looked like a must-have buy……….

However, on closer inspection I found that it’s part of a larger range of patriotic themed wares that go by the name of ‘Street Party’ and has been made to fit one particular teapot that’s shaped differently to mine. The label also reveals that it’s been made in China and imported in to the country – therefore not really flying the British flag and supporting the UK economy 😦 It was with a heavy heart that I kept my money in my pocket and walked away empty handed.

Never fear, thought I………I’ll make my own version – based on classic English design and using locally produced materials that boast bonafide British credentials.

So I dug out an old crafting pamphlet that had been produced in the seventies by a local company just up the road from me called ‘Robin’s’ (based in Guiseley, Leeds) and also selected a few balls of DK weight acrylic yarn made by Woolcraft (spun by Yorkshire craftsmen based over the valley in nearby Bradford). Game on!

21 classic knitting and crochet patterns using odd ounces of wool

The pattern I chose produces a fairly easy and quick to make piece of crochet – it’s pictured at the bottom of the front cover in a striped pink colourway with four matching egg cozies. I adapted it slightly to suit my own tension and also to fit my teapot properly; And I made further changes by choosing to continue the striped pattern from beginning to end, using just double crochet stitches throughout as opposed to a mix of double and half double stitches as indicated in the original pattern.

Quick to make and an easy to follow pattern using single crochet stitches.

The adapted pattern is as follows:
STRIPED TEA COZY
Materials:
3 balls double knitting yarn in Red, White & Blue
3.75 mm crochet hook
Make two pieces:
With 3.75mm hook and Blue make 37 ch. Work 1 dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc into each ch to end, turn with 1 ch.
Work in dc to end, turn, break the Blue and join in White, 1 ch then work in dc to end, turn with 1 ch.
Work in dc to end. Turn, break White join in Red, 1 ch then work in dc to end, turn with 1 ch.
Work in dc to end, turn, break Red and join Blue, 1 ch then work in dc to end, turn with 1 ch.
Continue with striped pattern to 5 ins from beg.
Next row, working in dc, and continuing with striped pattern, dec 7 sts evenly over the next and each of the following 3 alternate rows.
Work 1 row. Take 2tog to end of row, fasten off.
Join both pieces together leaving openings for the handle and spout.
Press lightly on wrong side using a warm iron over a damp cloth.
PLEASE NOTE that permission has been granted to share this pattern and no copyright has been breached.

A BBBB design originally intended for use with a bead loom but also works well for cross stitch.

For a special finishing touch I used the Union Jack chart I published in ‘Adventures with an Indian Bead Loom‘ to create a small piece of cross stitch that I layered up with a few squares of felt and then hand stitched in place with a double edge of clear seed beads. And it’s all finished off with a coordinating pom pom (please see last week’s blog for instructions on how to make one).
I think it looks lovely! And a perfect fit for my teapot; a fine example of retro kitsch.
Must be time for a well deserved cuppa now…………
Next week sees my final delve into retro crafts before entering a new theme and a new month – time for a look at one more gadget methinks. Until then, Happy Crafting!