Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Bag Tutorial - Not great but it's my first time!!

Right, here goes, my first proper tutorial. It's not great but hey - we all have to start somewhere. To make this bag, I bought some calico (£3.50 per metre) to line it as it's sturdy. You can use, curtain material/denim or anthing that you think will be quite strong. The pretty fabric is an old M&S pillowcase (purchased from a Charity shop along with the Duvet cover for £3.00, so loads of fabric left). If you look at the hand drawn diagram you will see roughly what fabric you need. I am new to sewing so have absolutely none of the proper lingo. PF means pretty fabric and L means lining and that's that. My pattern was based on a standard newspaper which is roughly the size I wanted. Think the front page of the Sun not the broadsheets.
So when you have finished cutting 2 lining pieces & 2 PF peices, you are ready to sew. Firstly sew up three sides of the PF (flowers/pretty sides together and you should have the back of the fabric showing) . As a guide I used the edge of the screw on the plate of my sewing machine as it's roughly 1 cm.

You need to leave a gap in the bottom edge of the lining to turn the bag out right at the end. So sew the two shorter edges, then do a bit either side of the bottom edging. If you are using calico, then you need not worry about right sides in, as it's reversable. If you are using patterned fabric, then your patterns need to face each other, it's called right side in.

I can't explain this very clearly but when you have two pockets, you need to squash the corners flat before turning out and sew a line across. I have drawn this in diagram 2 (if you click on this it will get bigger). Just make sure you line up the seams and do each corner the same amount. I cut the corners off after sewing and left about 1cm hem. I did sew again for stregnth.
Ok you should now have two bags. On L & one PF. Put these to one side and lets make the handles. I wanted quite long handles as I like to carry the bag on my shoulder but you can make them as long as you like. You should have 4 long strips of fabric, 2 PF & 2 L. Sew one peice of PF and lining together using a 1cm hem, PF on the inside again. Once this is done along both long sides, turn it inside out and iron. You should then have a perfect handle. Personally I would sew a couple of lines down the ironed edges just for strength.
Turn your PF bag out so it's got the pattern on the outside showing. Sew the straps to the tops of the outside with the straps hanging down. Just a short line of stitches to keep it in place. then turn inside out again, put the lining in so both right sides are facing and stitch a 1cm hem round the top. You can see in the above photograph how it should look before sewing round the top. The handles need to be sandwiched between the two patterned/lining fabrics.

Then when you have finished sewing round the top, turn inside out using the hole in your lining and it should look like the above picture. Iron seams, then turn to the handles. Because you left about an inch hanging up (see 2 pics up), you should be able to feel those bits in between the two bits of bag. I sewed a square into them to make them stronger.
You need to sew the hole in the lining up, preferably before ironing and you will have a bag perfectly capable of holding your favourite magazines etc.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

My Sons Nautical Bedroom

I have finally finished my Nautical room. It's taken a lot of hard work, especially with changing the pine from hideous orange to white. But it's done - Yayyyy!!! So far you can see a lifebouy I sourced from ebay for £7.00. It was the only thing i didn't make but I felt it added a touch.

Obviously sunlight streaming in the windows which are unwashed. In fact the room is sterile at the moment as I haven't really started putting Max's stuff in yet. I bet once my young Captain get's in it I will totally regret painting it white. Yikes!!!!!

Bunting, glorious bunting. I had to cut it in half as I couldn't work out where to put the other bit unless I put it on the shelf which is ongoing. Also sourced a couple of canvasses (?) for £1 each and got Max to do his utmost on them. Best thing about them is that I can unstaple the canvas and save them. I am going to get him to do 2 new ones each year.

The bed & the chest of drawers. These were my real treasures on moneysaving. They looked worn and old and orange. OK, they both took 5 coats of primer, and the chest 2 coats of acrylic eggshell plus two coats of plastikote clear varnish (the bed too). But if Max drops something on them, they will not chip. Not this year at least.

Just the whole room really.
I am really chuffed and the whole thing cost me approximately £400 including floor, fabric and furniture. I think I could give old Laura Ashley a run for her money.

Friday, 15 May 2009

If anyone out there in Blogland could help me

and tell me how I move pics to where I want, I would be extremely grateful and will sent remnants to make your own heart!

A quick Heart, this time using Lavender

A very long day but still managed a bit of crafting, again using old remnants. Another heart, but this time instead of stuffing I used half Real Lavender, sourced from ebay. It smells divine. I haven't quite got the hang of hearts yet, but will get there eventually.You can see from the bits on the table that I cut a heart out stitch around and stuffed it. I would strongly advise that you leave the hole on the side as this time I left it on the curve at the top and it's a bit lopsided.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Nautical Curtains - another box ticked

Phew, am I glad these are out of the way. I have spend the day pinning & checking before cutting and they have come out fine. They are lined as well.
I measured the bit from the rail to the sill and added on 5 inches, 3 for the bottom hem & 2 for the top. I then hand sewed the bottom hems and ironed flat the top ones.
For the lining I did cheat somewhat and used some linings from another pair of curtains. The width of my stripey fabric (SF) was 56 so I cut the lining 4 inches thinner so that when they are sewn up the sides and you turn them out, the SF has it's own hem. Like making a tube. I also started sewing the side hems from the bottoms, that way you can ensure that the lining will be higher than the SF. Once this was done I turned inside out, pressed, trimmed off the top and ironed the top down 2 inches then sewed on the header tape. It was very very easy. The Fabric cost £32 from 'all the trimmings' on ebay and the header tape was £3. Linings were free and the rail was in a sale for £9.99. So all in all a pretty good show.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Floor & a heart

Well, finally the floor is down in my 'nautical' bedroom. It's a lovely bleached wood effect (the masking tape will be removed) and I am really pleased with it. It was also very very cheap. £126.00 from Screwfix who delivered it free as well. We used the underlay from the carpet instead of splashing out on new stuff. It was only about 4 years old. This stuff is quite good quality and will last soooooo much longer than a carpet.

As for my little heart pincushion, this is made from scraps of material from the quilt I made. I haven't quite mastered the art of getting the ribbon on straight yet, but I am sure these things will come in time. I sewed som scraps together then made a heart from a piece of A4 folded in half. I left about 1cm for the hem and handsewed it, left a hole, stuffed it with stuffing from an old pillow and bobs yer uncle. It's rather pretty and will look nice hung on a door or something.

I have recently invested in some lavender from Ebay. 200g cost around £3.60. It comes in a huge bag and I wouldn't actually fill up a whole heart. I will put half & half stuffing in one. I rather like the idea of a lavender sachet for my drawers & wardrobes.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

I thought I would show some of Hubs exquisite crafting

He took a rough old piece of wood from our garden and made a beautiful window sill from it.

He is fab with wood. The window cost £200 and the wood was free.

His normal trade is ceramic tiling. I thought I would show a bit of that as well as I am very proud of his work.

Monday, 4 May 2009

A Chest of drawers which I already messed with

some 10 years ago. These started off as mahogany but I 'bastardised' them according to hubs. I sanded and sanded and the wood was still a pink colour, so I used a ronseal bleach and made them white, then waxed them this antique pine colour. They also had a mirror on top which I gave away sadly.

My next project will be to turn these into something special.

Remember what started me off with this Blog

They are now done so from hideous tangerine pine to (well I think) tasteful cool white with lovely knobs!!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Finished Quilt

I finally finished my quilt. I wasn't sure what to do with the edges. In the end I cut strips of fabric approx 11cm and ironed them in half and then ironed a hem on each side. Using a simple slip stitch, I handsewed both front and back. It took ages and ages but was worth it in the end.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

My Chum liked it so much we are making a duvet cover

this evening and all of the afternoon to be honest. She is trendy so went for a modern version. I quite like it actually. I like the 'shabby chic' aspect with the patchwork but also the shocking pink!

Quilt is wadded/batted and I have no idea whatsoever

what to edge it with or even how to. I am thinking put some wadding in the edging to keep the puffy momentum going?

Friday, 1 May 2009

I am making a Quilt

Hi all, I haven't had time to post recently as I have been busy at work but I have the bank holiday weekend off and have to say, have put my time this evening to good work.

I purchased a rotary cutter and plastic ruler at a cost of £25.00. Yes I know, costly but I have been collecting scraps of material to make a quilt, some bunting and maybe curtains for my daughters room. Of course I haven't even finished my sons room yet but sadly, thats a job for hubs who has also been working hard. This weekend, we hope to get Max's room painted and begin to lay the beautiful new flooring which is from Screwfix. It's whitewashed oak and is really lush.

Anyway I am waffling now. I have included in no particular order a picture of the cutter & plastic ruler, the fabric and where I am at. I wanted a really eclectic set of fabrics in all colours, not just pink or girly colours.
My last patchwork attempt was a cushion, which I used square cards for. This being a more ambitious project, I didn't use templates. The one thing a rotary cutter & ruler will give you is an exact square/other shape. So by using the lines next to the needle on my sewing machine, I free sewed the patches together. Also I didn't want it to be too busy so alternated each patterned square with a white embroderie anglais one. Another thing that is extremely important is to iron, iron, and iron again. It really helps with the finished thing.
I also learnt something from an online tutorial from a woman who, instead of finishing each bit of sewing with a back & forwards motion, just puts a small bit of fabric in to leave you machine ready for the next patch. You end up producing what looks like bunting and as you are going to seam it with the next row, it doesn't matter. Very time saving. Hopefully you can see what I mean in the second picture down.