Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Personalised t-shirt

Here's my second customised t-shirt (you can see my first one in this blog post).  I wanted to do a personalised version, so I've done a funky, colourful design on this one -

The 'Joshua' letters were created entirely out of scraps I received in a recent scrap swap with Julie. I literally grabbed 6 random scraps out of the bag and they looked so good together, I used them for my freehand letters.  The large 'J' is a gingham print from the Hideaway collection and the yellow is leftover from my Sunkissed layer cake that I used for my quilt

I love how colourful this design has turned out.  That's the great thing when you do a scrap swap - you get fabrics you wouldn't necessarily have in your stash, but I received pieces that were perfect! 

I used a fairly wide zig zag stitch to go around the large 'J' and the yellow wonky rectangle, and for the letters I just used a straight stitch on a medium length.  I went round the 'O' and the 'U' a couple of times and did small zig zags around the small 'J'.  I wanted the overall look to be kinda 'doodled'.  I think I've achieved it! 

Once again, this is another project I feel that I'm 'branching out' with because I've used so many vibrant colours when usually I'd use colours, patterns and designs that 'match'.  When you're nearly 2 years old you can get away with wearing bright, funky clothes!

The colourful, mis-matched buttons just finish it off nicely :)

Linkin' up to -

Photobucket  Todays Creative Blog    Somewhat Simple DIY under $5

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Customised t-shirt

Just a quick post today - I just had to come and show off my first attempt at customising clothes. I've been thinking about doing some applique on t-shirts for my son for ages but for some reason I thought that sewing on t-shirt fabric was tricky. I took the plunge last week and bought some 'ball point' needles for my sewing machine and a pack of plain t-shirts to 'play' with.

I decided to use a template I already had to hand - an elephant from the applique elephant cushion I made for Mothers' Day.  So I chose my fabrics and got to work with my template and some Bondaweb.

And ta-da!  Here is the finished t-shirt -

Isn't it sweet?  I thought the elephant on it's own looked like it needed 'something' so I added the water droplets.  The elephant and his ear have satin stitch around them and the droplets just have a single line stitch just inside the edge of the fabric.  I've also added a button for the eye.

My applique around the elephant isn't perfect but for my first attempt, I'm very pleased! 

I'm really glad I found a tip over on Sew, Mama, Sew! where it suggests ironing fusible stabiliser to the back of the fabric where you'll be doing the applique.  I didn't have fusible stabiliser however, so I just ironed some thin interfacing on and it held the t-shirt fabric together making it easier to sew onto.

I've got another t-shirt planned too - a personalised one!  All cut out and ready to sew during tomorrow's nap-time.

Linkin' up to -

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Thursday, 26 May 2011


First things first - a hexie update. 

This is what 75 paper pieced hexagons look like!  It doesn't look a lot, but I think it'll almost be enough for a cushion front.  I just need a quiet night in front of the tv to start sewing them together.  This will be the scariest part for me as my hand sewing isn't usually that neat! 

I have been working on some more vintage bunting lately, I had a custom order for a 2m length.

This one is strung together using gorgeous pink gingham binding.  I didn't plan it that way, but as usual, when I go to the fabric shop with something specific in mind (in this case, plain pink binding) it's never in stock!  Luckily I saw this and thought it might work.  I think its even better than the plain pink I used before

I also managed to sneak a few new (but vintage) fabrics in there too - I love this polka dot fabric -

It's probably my favourite - cute, girly, pretty and fun!  These ones in particular are the vintage fabrics, the rest that I used are from my local fabric shop, unbranded, but equally as pretty :)

I also have a custom order for 2 cushions, which is really exciting as I've to design them specifically for my customer.  I can't wait to get looking through fabric and deciding how to sew them.  Log cabin, crazy 9-patch, stripes, squares, wonky star, appliqued shapes..... my head is in overload!  (But in a good way).  I'll keep you updated! 

Has anyone else had problems commenting on blogs lately?  A few times when I've tried to leave comments, it's taken me to a page to sign into Blogger, then just completely kicked me out (and not posted my comment!)  Very frustrating.

Speaking of comments, I'm really grateful to all of YOU who take the time to leave me comments, but I get a little disappointed when I can't reply back to you because you're a 'no-reply blogger'.  This means that blogger doesn't display your email address so I can't contact you.  If you'd like to amend your profile, it's really easy and I'm going to point you to this blog post over at Sew Happy Geek.  (I recently discovered that my settings were also wrong and I too was a no-reply blogger - and wondered why people never acknowledged my comments!) 

Linkin' up today to this linky party -

Sunday, 22 May 2011

I've caught the bug!

Well, I didn't think I would, but it seems I've really caught the hexie bug!  After yesterday's post about my small collection of red and white hexies, I did a bit more 'research' online, and saw some beautiful hexagon cushions and then I started thinking how good my vintage and vintage look fabrics would look made into lots of hexies and all sewn together to make a cushion front...... very pretty me-thinks! 

I made a start on cutting out some hexagons this morning and carried on this afternoon, I have about 30 cut so far. 

I'm just loving all of the combinations that can be done using just a small amount of these-

I'm planning on making a square (or maybe rectangular) cushion cover with this little bunch, not quite sure how many I'll actually need (I don't think I'll work that out just yet as I may end up putting myself off!). 

Like many people though, I'm very guilty of sitting in front of the tv most  every night, and not doing much else.  At least now I'll be able to do something productive!

It's really easy to get started on these - this is all the kit I need for the moment -

I found a sheet of hexagons online (I'm not sure where it was, but if you want it, leave me a comment and I'll email it to you - it's a pdf) so I made 1 cardboard template (from a cereal packet) slightly bigger than the hexagonal paper pieces and I'm using that to cut hexagons from my chosen fabrics. 

I was also a little bit sneaky/lucky with some of these pieces of fabrics - while looking through fabric shops online, I found a few who offered free samples...... one of which you can see the back of in the photo above - it's a very pretty Tilda fabric, just the right size for a beautiful hexie!

And you know what all this cutting means?  More of these -

Beautiful scraps!!

Thanks to all of you who have already commented on yesterday's post and helped me out with my decisions on my laptop case design.  I think I'll be spending a few more days thinking about it, so while I'm cutting out and sewing hexies, my mind will be wandering....

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Some finishes and a new project

My beautiful vintage inspired bunting is finally done, and I have 2 strings of pretty pastel flags - one pink and one blue.

I will be adding these to my Folksy shop soon, and making some more for myself!

As usual, I'm already planning ahead to my next project.

I have been meaning to use my hexies that I made a while ago, but I wasn't sure what to do with them....then I got a new laptop....and so it became obvious that I should use them on a laptop case!

The hexies are all made from different red and white fabrics so I'm going to go with a white background (a bargain table cloth I recently found on sale at the supermarket!), luckily I had a lovely red zip in my box of vintage zips, and I raided my button jar for some lovely red and white ones.

I'm not quite sure how to lay out the design of the case, (the only thing I've worked out is that I'll do a zip along the long edge as my laptop is quite big and I don't think a flap would work as well).  Here are some layouts I've been playing around with -

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4
I think I'm leaning to option 1, although it doesn't give the full look of the hexies as they're not sewn together as I feel 'traditionally' they should be.....so maybe option 3, but possibly with just 1 fabric along the bottom rather than a patchwork of all 4.  Hmm, decisions, decisions!  I'd like to also do some hand quilting around the outside edge of the hexies (however I finally decide to arrange them). 

I like having projects like this on the go, because its something for me and something that I'll use on a regular basis.  I feel so enthusiastic about getting it 'just right', but that also means that I'll spend way too long over-analysing every little detail!  It feels great designing and making something practical that I know I'll use all the time, (like my sewing rool wrap and my travel sewing roll). 

It's a busy weekend for local car boot sales too, we visited 2 this morning in 2 local villages.  There were no fabrics though :(  but we did find lots of lovely toys for Joshua (he got a slide for the garden, a little play kitchen, some dvds and a fire engine book).  There's another car boot sale tomorrow so fingers crossed the weather holds out...and that someone is selling some lovely fabric.....!

Here's Joshua enjoying his car boot find!

PS - If you've made any projects using hexies (and you've blogged or posted on Flickr) please leave me a link so I can check them out!  I have a feeling I'll be using them in more projects.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Pretty pastels

So this is how my sewing space looks today -

I decided that my newly painted dining room needs some bunting (doesn't every room??), so I made a cardboard template and cut out some 'flags' from various new and vintage fabrics....but then I got a bit carried away and started cutting out extra to make some bunting for my Folksy shop.  I'll sew them all double sided in one go, (chain piecing?) so they should be done in no time at all, and I'll attach them to some pretty binding as the string to tie them up. I think bunting adds a little bit of country charm to wherever you put it.  I've been working with this selection of fabrics for the bunting and for quite a few of my projects lately -

All pretty pastels, and some vintage fabric in there too.  I'm loving the colour combinations within these lighter fabrics - something which I haven't really used before (and you can see my love of gingham scattered through this pile!). 

I got some more vintage fabrics too, from The Vintage Fabric Market.  I can't even remember how I found this online vintage fabric/accessory shop, but I'm very glad I did!  This package arrived this morning -

And.......I stopped by one of my local fabric shops today (luckily, I have 2 in the next town) and got these pretty fabrics -

I know, I know, I really need to stop buying so much fabric!! I do have a good excuse though - I want to build up stock in my online shop, and I've also been considering whether to join the local Craft Association so that I can display at craft fairs too.  Just need to work up the courage for that one!

Most of the things I've made so far have either been for us (me, my partner or our son), for our home, or given as gifts to friends and family.  But it's getting to the point that I won't 'need' to make much more for our home, so the only feasible option is to make items to sell.  What do you do with all of your crafty creations?  Do you have any tips for getting your products out there and selling them? 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Waste not want not

When I made my wonky star cushion the other day, I didn't realise how un-economical this style of patchwork actually is.  You start of with squares of the coloured fabric which are then sewn and trimmed down to form the points of the star,  hence, lots of off-cuts.  Lots of scraps.....  :)

I love scraps, in my opinion no scrap is too small!  So I sat down at my sewing machine with the scraps trimmed from my wonky star and set about sewing them together.....

I carried on until I'd used up every last piece of scrap!  Then I used tracing paper to make a template....

I used Bondaweb and cut the heart out of my fabric.....and appliqued it onto some backing fabric (along with a ric-rac trim) and created this sweet patchwork heart which will eventually be made into a cushion cover (I think) -

Eventually, the only pile of scrap for the bin was this -

Pretty good going huh?  Making something new from stuff that started off as scrappy wastage.  If you notice my thread catcher above, it's also made from scrappy patchwork :)  You can read more about it here in a previous blog post. 

Every now and then my friend Julie and I have a 'scrap swap', it's great to get someone else's scraps, little pieces that are new to you.  Some of my old scraps have started appearing on Julie's blog too in her latest creations, very exciting!  One woman's scrap is another's treasure and all that lol. 

There is definitely something to be said for being thrifty and imaginative, it's very satisfying. Have you made anything useful/pretty from scraps that were destined for the bin? 

Friday, 13 May 2011

Some more vintage patchwork

During today's nap-time, I managed to whip up this pretty little cushion -

I cut the fabrics last night for the wonky star, (I used this tutorial) and I sewed it together in no time this afternoon.  It looks complicated, but it was really easy and I love the finished effect.  I also like wonky, wonky is good! 

I've used some more vintage fabrics, along with some other 'blues' that were in my stash.  A very pretty combination I think. 

I've quilted the cushion through the star only, I did it freehand which also meant a much quicker process (no re-positioning masking tape after each line!).  I saw a star cushion quilted this way on 'A Moment of Whimsy' and filed it away in my head to try one day!

I backed the cushion with some natural coloured calico and made a hidden zip fastening at the top. 

I really love this cushion, and I've really surprised myself.....why?....because it's BLUE.  I'm a pink person, pink and girly, but when putting the fabrics together for this cushion I tried to look beyond my 'favourites'.  I still chose what I thought was pretty, and of course it's still 'girly'.  It just goes to show that moving away from your comfort zone, thinking from another angle, can work!

But the question is...do I keep it for myself or see if it will sell??

Point of View: A Creative Collaboration,a creative collaboration,point of view,point of view a creative collaboration

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Some vintage patchwork

Following the completion of my curtains, I definitely felt it was time to return to some smaller (and quicker) projects. 

Remember the pretty vintage fabric I showed you the other day?

I was itching to get cutting into them and make something so I decided to make some patchwork cushion covers. 

I matched the fabrics up with some already in my stash and ended up with this patchwork square -

I teamed it with some very pretty white lace and some linen-look fabric (left over from the aforementioned curtains)....

And here's how the front of the cushion cover looks -

Click image to see it larger
I quilted the patchwork piece with diagonal lines, and the plain piece of linen-look fabric with vertical lines.  Typically, I didn't have a large enough piece of the linen-look fabric to make the back of the cushion!  I did have enough smaller pieces left to make another cushion front though, this time I wanted to try squares inside squares....

Click image to see it larger

I quilted the whole of this cushion front with diagonal lines.  Hopefully when I visit the fabric shop tomorrow they'll still have the backing fabric in stock (and on SALE!!).