Tuesday, 30 April 2013

DIY Glitter Flower Corsage

 Todays DIY is using our new fabric rounds to make a gorgeous glittering flower corsage. 

Materials and equipment: 

A stack of glitter rounds
brooch back or crocodile clip
needle and thread

1. pick the colours combination you want to use from your stack of rounds.

2. pinch the tip of the round and stitch into a petal shape. Continue to do this on each of the 10 petals

3. One by one stitch the petals together in the order you would like them to appear

4. turn over and stitch the back making sure each of the petals are secure. Then sew or glue your brooch back to the base. 

And there is your glittering flower! 
The stacks of glitter rounds are available in our shop in packs of 20. There are two of each colour in the pack, enough to make two corsages. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

DIY - Birdcage Bow Veil

DIY 1950s Style Birdcage Veil

Here's how to make your own birdcage veil either for your wedding or in different colours for  another event. 
I have always loved these little veils that I used to find on vintage cocktail hats and see in glamour photos from the 1940s. They really finish a dress without being too over the top and when wearing a short wedding dress the birdcage veil is a subtle balance if you don't want to distract from your dress too much.

N.B no cat toys feather fascinators needed here, a simple bow or pill box or nothing keeps it sophisticated.

Materials : alice band
bias binding in your colour choice
20cms sqaure piece of fabric
10cms ribbon
50cms merry widow veiling

Step 1. Cover your Alice band in the bias binding by folding the binding in half length ways and stitching a channel

Thread the Alice band though the bias binding channel and neatly fold the ends and stitch down

Step 2: To make the bow - fold your square length ways with the right sides together. Stitch around the edges of the rectangle and leave a gap in the middle of one edge to turn through.

Clip the corners and turn through your rectangle and press flat.

Pinch the centre of the rectangle to form your bow and tie in the centre with your ribbon

Step 3: Take your veiling and gather one edge to approx 2.5cms Stitch this to your Alice band.

You can shape your veiling by steaming around a curved cushion and trimming the corners to a rounded shape.

Attach your bow on a tilt to the Alice band over the gathering and secure the centre and each end.

And there is your Birdcage veil.

Try different types of veiling, I love the style with the velvet spots. Little flowers and corsages can be used instead of the bow and there are endless combinations. Enjoy experimenting!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Glitter Scrap Bags

Glitter scrap bags are now available in shop for you to embellish everything with glitter fabric!
100g and 200g bags with a lovely big handful of sparkly goodness. Have a great weekend crafting everyone x

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

DIY Beauty Sleep Eye Mask

This week Anna is sharing her DIY Eye Mask tutorial with us, I'm already a fan after seeing this for real and I want one, now. Prepare to say goodbye to eye-bags and hello to beauty sleep. You'll of course need a dramatic peignoir and fluffy, heeled slippers to match for your boudoir attire. Enjoy the sewing x

Gwen likes the eye mask too!

Beauty Sleep Eye Mask

A lovely and unique home made present, perfect for using up scrap sized pieces of material.

You will need:

 A piece of patterned (or plain) outer fabric, approx 25cm/15cm.
A piece of silk, or soft cotton for the lining, approx 25cm/15cm.
A scrap piece of dark coloured fabric (any) to block out the light, approx 25cm/15cm.
A piece of padding, roughly 5mm thick, approx 25cm/15cm
100cm of 25mm wide ribbon for the head tie.
60cm of bias binding, to compliment the outer fabric, for the edges.
Other bits of ribbon or bows for decoration.
Coordinating threads.

 Sewing Machine
Hand sewing needle
Paper to make pattern.

Make the eye sleep mask pattern by folding in half a piece of paper and drawing half a mask shape. Think half a pair of Jackie O or Avaiator sunglasses but deeper in the middle. Don’t make any of the curves too tight or it will be difficult binding. Cut out your pattern.

Draw around your pattern and cut out 1 x outer, 1 x lining, 1 x dark fabric and 1 x padding. Cut the ribbon for the head tie into 2 x 50cm pieces.

Sandwich together the outer fabric / padding / dark fabric / lining and pin all 4 layers in place. Pin the head tie ribbon on the lining side to the edges, make sure this is level.

On the lining side, starting at either side of the mask, open out one side of the bias binding and line up the edge with the edges of the mask. Stitch along the fold of the binding using your sewing machine, running all around the mask shape - fold the binding over at the start and overlap it at the finish. Remove the pins.

Turn to the outside of the mask and fold around the other edge of the binding, covering the raw edges of the material layers and use the stitch line as a guide to line the binding up to, try to just cover it. Stitch around the mask on machine, backstitch at the start/finish to secure.

Add any additional decoration, bows/lace/trim using hand sewing needle/thread - this could be elaborate as you want - be creative…..Sleep well xx

Reading List - The Pattern Making Primer

The Pattern Making Primer

The Pattern Making Primer - All you need to know about designing, adapting and customizing sewing patterns.
By Jo Barnfield and Andrew Richards
Published by Rotovision and Barrons
ISBN: 978-1-4380-0083-1
Available from Amazon Here: 

This book landed on my desk this week, a long awaited pattern cutting book by Jo Barnfield and Andrew Richards and what a lovely looking pattern cutting book it is.

I had a very minor role offering a few words of wisdom on running your own label and the brilliant Jo and Andrew are based at Bath Spa University and City of Bath College. I'd recommend both for studying fashion.

Pattern cutting books in general an be a little heavy going, it's the technical side of design that took me a long time to get my head round.
The basics of pattern cutting is simply like a big jigsaw with only a few pieces. All the pieces fit together to make a garment. As long as one piece fits to the next you on the right tracks.
It took me three years to understand this until someone uttered the words above and it clicked.

The Pattern Making Primer is beautifully clear and easy to follow with great illustrations, covering every garment detail from cowls to collars and capes. It includes the basics of block building, darts and adapting patterns and gradually works you up to the more complicated details of patterns and cut throughout the projects. I'm going to learn a thing or two also.

What I really love is the look of the book, it's amazing how this makes it far easier to follow and with current designs that you can relate too in your own wardrobe I think this book will be an essential on the bookcase for beginners and professionals.
If you are thinking of studying fashion or just really want to learn pattern cutting get this book.

You read more from Jo Barnfield and her extensive knowledge on all things fashion design here on her blog.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

DIY - How to Sew a Button

Going back to basics today as I have heard too many people say 'I can't even sew a button'. Now there's no excuse. 

You need :
The Button
A needle
Something to cut the thread with.

Thread you needle with the thread doubled so it is stronger for button sewing.

Don't tie a knot at the end of the thread, just do a stitch, then stitch back over that stitch, and then loop through on the third stitch to tie a knot. This is a stronger base.

Thread on the button and stitch through the second hole into the base stitch you just did. Keep stitching round and round through the button holes four or five times.

On the last stitch don't go through the fabric. Instead wrap the thread around and around the base of the button underneath to make it stand away from the fabric. This is good for fastening buttons so the fabric sits nicely underneath the button. 

Stitch through to the back of the fabric, loop and knot and then trim.

This is how the front and back of the fabric will look with the button is sewn. And there you have sewn your first button.

I am hoping to fill a year of tutorials, most will be more complex than this and I would love to hear suggestions. Enjoy stitching!  xxx

DIY - How to make Feather Earrings

This weeks tutorial is feather earrings, something simple, bright, quick and satisfying to do. These are long feathers which look awesome with long hair all mingled with splashes of colour being revealed every now and then.
Materials needed: feathers plain and long, pretty feathers, beads, sequins two earring hooks and embroidery thread. All easy to find at a local haberdashery.
Equipment: thread and super glue (we have a week off from proper sewing!)
Take the long feathers and tie them together with the embroidery thread. With these sharper feathers you can bend and curl them into loops.
Next tie on the pretty feathers, I love the polkadots on these.
Thread your beads into a long loop and add to the feathers, you may want these layered and tied around the feathers.
Add sequins with the glue where you want, you can cluster them at the top or have them sparkling on the edges. Glitter and gems would work really well too.
To finish, soak the top where all the feathers are held together in glue and then wrap the embroidery thread around to tidy. Hook and tie the earring hooks to the feather clusters and there you go. All done!