Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas tree decorations - a tutorial

This is possibly the quickest and simplest way to use up your fabric scraps and make some toddler/cat proof decorations for the tree! They take very little time to make and all you need are some fabric scraps and stuffing - I used toy stuffing but if you don't have any you could easily use cotton wool.

Take your scraps (around 3" x 3" is best) and lay them together with the WRONG sides facing. Draw the shape that you want to make using a fabric pencil or marker - I used a glass to draw round mine.

Using the edge of your presser foot as a guide, stitch inside the line that you've drawn, leaving a small gap so you can stuff later.

Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end. Using a small amount, gently push the stuffing into your decoration, taking care not to overfill as it's then tricky to sew closed! When you've filled it, sew the opening closed and tie off the ends by hand.

Using pinking shears, trim around the shape using the line that you marked earlier. Thread a piece of cotton through the top, knot and hang on your tree! So simple.

Tada! This is our last post before Christmas - we hope you all enjoy the festive season. We'll be back sometime in the new year with exciting pattern testing news!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A list for Santa

Really? Is it that time of year AGAIN? It seems like no time ago at all that we were prepping for last Christmas. Not that I'm complaining - I absolutely adore the festive season. And as we're feeling pretty smug, with most of the xmas shopping complete, it's time to think about what's going on our xmas wishlists. You know, just in case anybody feels the need to buy us armfuls of presents...

Some might say that the ombre trend has had its day, but these tights by Virivee are AH-MAZ-ING. In my naivety I tried to make myself a pair of these in the summer, only to discover that lycra doesn't dye that well...

A sweet acorn necklace by Antonia Ross, to wear on wintery walks in the woods with loved ones.

Obviously not for me (although if they came in bigger sizes I would be tempted - even if I'd look mad), this lobster hat and mittens would make any little dude in your life look more adorable than they already are.

It's pretty chilly out there and apparently it's going to be the coldest winter for years, so wrap up in one of Bless the Weather's cosy cowls. The lady who makes these also has a wonderful blog featuring
beautiful photography of London life - a lot of it South London based (whoop!)

Oh, I do love the V&A. I could spend HOURS in there. Ok ok, so a lot of that time of it would likely be in the shop, but when I'd managed to prise myself away from the retail therapy, the Hollywood exhibition looks sumptuously amazing.

So, that's what we're wishing for this Christmas - what's on your wishlist?

Monday, 3 December 2012

A few me-made presents

Seeing as it's coming round to 'that' time of year again (I can't quite bring myself to say the big C word...) I thought I'd get cracking early with some little me-made pressies for some of the little people in my family!

You can't get simpler and easier than some pretty name bunting for nurseries or bedrooms and this is a great way of using up some of those larger scraps of fabric. All you need is some triangles of fabric - I double sided mine but you can easily use just one piece and cut out with pinking shears. I cut the letters out from felt and stuck down with fabric glue. So easy! If you wanted something a bit more detailed you could appliqué the letters on to the flags.

The recipients have obviously not yet seen these so here is just a sneaky peek!
I decided to make some bags to present them in as well as I've been wanting to try out some transfer paper that I bought a while ago. I'm starting to see a lot of these calico bags in the shops now with initials or pictures printed on and so whipped up my own version for a fraction of the cost. I used Lesley Riley Transfer Artist Paper which is brilliant and can be used for printing on to lots of different surfaces, not just fabrics. Again, these bags were very quick and easy to make but add an extra touch which makes the whole present look really special.

Sandra's also been crafting and has made a tote bag from the Cath Kidston 'Sew' book as a present for a certain someone - we won't mention who just in case she's reading!

So, the Christmas crafting has begun! Are you making any of your presents this year? Or is all your sewing time devoted to yourself?!