Tag Archives: handicrafts

Painted Jars

I really do love a pretty tin or jar to keep my bits and pieces in!

 

 

My final project was nice and simple, which made it particularly satisfying.  All you need to do is to take a couple of jars, remove the lids and spray paint them.

 

 

 

Once the paint is dry, and using a glue gun, attach decorations to the lid.   You can get creative and customise your decorations depending on what you wanted to keep in your jars.  I used an old row counter for the little jar I’m going to keep my stitch markers in, and a crocheted flower for the jar I’m going to keep all my crocheted flowers in!!

What could be simpler!

 

 

Liberty Patchwork Curtains

 

For a while now I’d been looking for some curtains for the small window at the top of the stairs, but couldn’t find any I liked the look of.  I didn’t have any large pieces of fabric in my stash either, so hit upon the idea of using my Liberty stash to make some patchwork curtains instead.

 

 

 

Once I’d measured the existing curtains, it really was just a case of sewing my stash fabric together until I had 2 pieces the right size.  I started out thinking about which pieces to put with which, but I ended up going for a random design as there were just so many bits of fabric and I didn’t really have the room to lay them all out and experiment.

 

I made sure that I pressed all the hems open as I went along to make sure the curtains would lie flat.

 

 

 

Once the patchwork fabric was the right size for the curtains, I hemmed it and sewed some tape (which I had to buy) along the top.

 

 

 

 

 

It was then time to gather them to size, pop on the hooks and hey presto!

I wasn’t sure about whether to line the curtains or not, but I’ve got two large cotton sheets waiting in the wings in case they’re needed for the job 🙂

Quilted Laptop Cover

I was lucky enough to get a Chrome notebook for my birthday in April.  It’s the perfect size for taking with me to do my writing when we go out for coffee, or on longer trips further afield.  However, I was conscious that it didn’t have a case and worried about damaging it.  The only thing to do was to make a case myself!

A couple of years ago I’d bought a duvet set in a charity shop only to discover it was a single and not a double when I got it home!  As a result it’s sat in the cupboard upstairs since then, but I really loved the colour and the pattern so didn’t want to part with it.  The pillowcase turned out to be the perfect size for my notebook case!

The case is basically a sleeve with a velcro flap to secure it.  You can find the full tutorial here, but I’ll take you through the various stages involved so you can see what I did.

To begin with you need to measure the height and width of your notebook adding an extra 1.5 inches to both measurements to allow a little wiggle room.  You also need to know the depth of your notebook.

 

Cut out 2 identical fabric pieces, one for the front and one for the back, plus 2 pieces the same size again which will be for your lining. (4 pieces the same size – 2 for the outer cover and 2 for the lining).

 

You need to pad the cover which requires some kind of quilting batting.  The batting I had in my stash wasn’t adhesive so I had to stitch some freestyle quilting stitches to secure the exterior pieces to the batting.  I just used one of the quilting stitches that was available on my machine to do this.

 

Now you’ve got the front and the back pieces fixed to the batting you can trim off the extra batting and it’s time to focus on the flap.  You’ll need to attach the front of the flap to a piece of batting and work some quilting stitches on it just like you did with the main cover, and add one half of a strip of velcro onto the back portion of the flap about 1.5 inches down from the top.

  

Put both pieces of the flap together, right sides facing, and sew up one long side, along the top edge (where the velcro is) then down the other long side leaving the bottom open.

Trim the seam allowances, snip the corners and turn the flap back to the right side.

 

Now you can pin the flap to the back panel of the cover and attach the second half of the velcro to the front so that both pieces will line up.

 

Next place the front and back of the cover together with right sides facing and sew up both long sides leaving the top and bottom open.

 

Repeat this with the lining.  Slide the padded cover inside the lining so that the right sides are together.  Sew across the top joining the lining to the padded cover and through the flap too.

 

Turn the cover right side out and top stitch all the way around the top.

Turn the cover back inside out again and hem the bottom.  Turn back the right way and there you have it – one padded notebook cover ready for action!

 

 

 

And Here’s One I Started Earlier …

When I came across this piece of sewing the other day, I realised with shame that it was almost four years since I started it!
I was going to make a label for Coco’s food jar and I started it whilst on holiday down in Wiltshire.  I’d bought some scraps of fabric from a charity shop and hand embroidered ‘Coco’s food’ on a piece of cream linen type fabric before hand stitching that to the larger patterned piece using blanket stitch.

Since then, the sewing has lived at the bottom of a basket until the other day when I decided it was time to finish it!

As you can probably see from the photo above, I’d managed to sew the cream linen on lopsided so the first job was to cut the patterned fabric nice and square.  I then set about finding a suitable backing fabric that I could attach the patterned fabric to and that was long enough to go almost around Coco’s food jar.  I ended up with a rather nice purple material that had small flowers on it.

Once I’d cut this to size I folded over and ironed a small hem all the way around, before sewing all the hems down on the machine.  I’d made sure that the fabric almost joined at the back of the jar, but not quite.  This was so that I could add some elastic that would enable me to pop the label on and off the jar easily in case it needed washing.

 

After that I placed the multicoloured fabric in the centre of the purple fabric and sewed it in place.

 

All that remained now was to attach 3 pieces of elastic to the back.  Because the pieces of elastic were so small I just hand sewed them in place on the inside of the label.

And there you have it – one finished piece of sewing and a much prettier food jar for Coco!

 

A Bee Tree

There is a wonderful Pass It On Skills group where I live.  They organise all sorts of free sessions for local folk from short story writing to beginner’s Spanish – I really must get along to Cake Club soon!  For Knit In Public day (June 8th), they’ve organised a session at a local park and we’re going to knit bees to hang on a tree to promote the plight of these amazing creatures.

I thought I’d better get some practice in, so set about making some bees as well as some colourful butterflies to keep them company.  There are lots of free patterns on line, but the best bee pattern I could find was by the wonderful Attic 24.  The French knots used for the eyes were quite tricky because of the size of the bees, and tiny beads would work well if you have any.

As for the butterflies, they were a joy to crochet too.  I made 2 using acrylic double knitting yarn, and 2 using cotton (they’re the slightly smaller ones in the photos).  You can find the pattern, by Re-Made by Sam here.

 

They crochet up in just 3 rounds then you fold them over and tie a row of chain stitches to hold them together.

 

 

Once I’d crocheted my bees and butterflies, I needed somewhere for them to live.

I remembered I have my advent poetry tree in the garage and thought that would be ideal. (In case you’re wondering what an advent poetry tree i, every day during advent my lovely husband writes me a little poem and pins it to the tree which is just a few twigs bound together with twine).

 

In order to hang them, I sewed a loop of ribbon onto the back of them.  It was then just a case of showing them their new home!

 

 

 

Clasp Purse

Well, I’ve been wanting to have a go at making a clasp purse for a while now, so was delighted when I discovered two clasps at the bottom of a basket that I’d totally forgotten about!  I thought it would be sensible to start with the smaller of the two first and see how I got on.

 

 

First of all I chose fabric for the outside and the lining of my purse, and I also needed interfacing too as the cotton was quite thin.

 

 

 

To make the pattern, I drew around the top of the clasp and then sketched out the shape for the rest of the purse.  I did this on a bit of greaseproof paper so I was able to fold it in half to make sure that both sides of the purse pattern were symmetrical.

 

Once I was happy with the shape, and I’d marked on where the hinges were, I added a seam allowance of 1cm all the way around.

Now I was ready to cut out 2 pieces of outer fabric, two of the lining and 2 of the interfacing.

 

The interfacing I had was fusible, so I ironed one piece onto the wrong side of the two floral outer fabric pieces.   I then placed these two outer pieces (now complete with interfacing attached) right sides together, and placed the clasp in position so that I could use a couple of pins to mark whereabouts the hinges came.  I did the same thing with the two lining pieces as well.

 

I was now ready to sew the bottom half of the purse between the pins on both the outer and the lining pieces, then trim off the excess fabric.

 

 

The next step was to turn the lining inside out and insert it inside the purse so that the right side of the lining was facing the right side of the purse.  Then I pinned both layers of fabric in place before sewing them together (making sure to leave a small gap to allow me to turn the whole purse inside out!)

Then I carefully hand sewed the gap (where the pins are in the final photo above).

 

Now that the purse itself was complete, it was time to attach the clasp!

I folded the purse in half to allow me to find the centre top, then counted the holes in the clasp to find the centre hole, and married up the two so the clasp would be symmetrical.

 

Attaching the clasp was definitely the trickiest part, and it took me a few goes to get the hang of it.  Basically you’re working a back stitch through the holes whilst trying to make sure that your stitches don’t show on the inside of the purse (the idea being that they should be hidden under the back of the clasp but this is easier said than done!)

I’m definitely not 100% happy with the final result, but it’s functional for now and I’m going to have another go at the stitching when I have a bit more time.  I’ve really enjoyed having a go though and am looking forward to making the large purse next.  I think I’ll experiment with the shape of the next purse too!