Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Friday, 23 August 2013

I'm Moving My Blog!

Hi, after a long hard think I've decided to move my blog to a different site.

It was becoming too much of a burden for me to post about sewing all the time and I want to be able to branch out to other crafts.  I decided I wanted a clean slate so I wont be importing any of this blog over, and after today I wont be posting here either.  I also wanted to leave blogger and switch to wordpress because I think it will allow me to do more and be easier to use.  I'm already quite happy with it.

My new blog will include sewing, paper crafts, decorating, baking, and anything else I think of.  And I will do reviews, links, tutorials, guides, and more so I think it will be a much better blog.  It is currently live and I will start posting there on the 27th August 2013.

Please join me at the new address:

I hope to see you there soon!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Bin Cosy/Cover

My bin did not look pretty.  It was of great concern and distraction to me, it was ruining a nice little corner of my room.  So I decided to pretty it up by making a little cosy or cover for it.  It took about 30mins and was very easy, particularly as I cheated slightly and glued a bit.
Here's the before and after:

So all I did was take some left over fabric (about half a metre but I didn't need that much).  I drew around the bottom of the bin, then drew another circle about an inch around the first one.  My fabric was quite wide bu not long enough so I cut it half and then sewed the two pieces together to make a longer thinner rectangle.  I then folded the top over a good inch and sewed it, leaving the ends open to feed elastic through.  Then I used the tried and tested 'wrap-the-fabric-around' method to make the body of the cover.  The bin is bigger at the top than the bottom but I didn't worry about that initially I just made sure it fit around the widest part and then sewed it.  The I put in on the bin several times in order to get the fit right and had to take it in, particularly at the bottom.  I then glued the bottom circle on and trimmed around the edges.  The I fed some elastic through the cosy and pulled it tight, then sewed the elastic ends together.  And that was pretty much that. :)

Friday, 12 July 2013

Cut Off Denim Shorts

So, I have problems buying shorts.  Similar to my problems buying jeans and trousers in that I struggle to find the correct fit, although somewhat remarkably I picked up some jeans in a charity shop for £1 which fit perfectly (remember that).  But my other issue with shorts is that I want to cover both my exciting lady body parts as well as my less exciting budget underwear.  The, always enjoyable, high street seems to be of the opposite opinion and limits my options to shorty-short shorts that I can barely put on anyway. 

The point is that I don't have any shorts that fit or are long enough, and we finally seem to moved into some kind of hot season and I'm stuck in jeans or tights.  So I went back to those £1 jeans and decided to turn them into cut off shorts. 

1. I tried on the jeans and mulled over how long I wanted the shorts

2. I took off the jeans and turned them inside out, then measured 11cm from the crotch and marked that on the jeans.  I wanted the outside edge of the legs 2cm shorter so I marked those 2cm shorter (it's rocket science here I hope you're keeping up).

3. I cut along the markings on one leg.

4. I folded the jeans in half and used the first leg as a guide to cut the second.

5. Then turn right side round and tried on.   Hmm not sure they fit great, a little snug in the thighs which I didn't really noticed when they were jeans but now somehow feels and looks a lot more prominent.  But still I have shorts I can wear in public which is nice.  After going in the wash they should fray a bit and look all cool.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Pom Pom Balls

I saw a tutorial on You Tube for these and decided to copy 'Modern Mom' because that's the way I roll.
I bought polystyrene balls from Hobby Craft (other craft stores may be available, but not where I live!) and used two old tote bags that I was given from work.  I cute the tote bags into lots of identical circles (coincidentally the same size as the inside of my roll of cellotape which I used to draw around to create my template).  The I folded them into quarters and pinned them onto the ball.  Once I'd done a bunch in an overlapping kind of way I opened the quarters out as much as I could to make it look nice and full and flowery. 
I think I'll add a ribbon and tie it to my bed next to my feather boa- because that's the way I roll.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Star Wars: Ewok Village Terrarium

Sorry I've not posted for ages I've been busy with holidays, and work, and my international, super secret, night-time crime fighting operation.
Anyway, I'm back with a project I started working on ages ago; a terrarium for boyfriend.  (This is a little garden in a bowl which you arrange in a particular scene, I chose stars wars, and in particular Bright Tree Village on the forest moon of Endor, home to the Ewoks- see below.)


I had already made my Ewok but it took my a while to get all the bits and pieces together to make the village.  I used a large (30cm) glass bowl that was too large!, moss, pebbles from my garden, hay, brown textured card, scissors, tape, and glue.  I bought tooth picks as well but didn't use them.

You can also see the paper prototype of the Ewok house I made as I was figuring it all out.  I then remade this in card.  I glued the hay onto the little house in an effort to recreate the strange texture the trees and houses have in the films. Not sure I quite got it but it was quite hard to glue on.


 I also made three more little houses (I made them smaller because they are further away, and because I didn't have very much card left!)  They are on the ground and a little hidden in the moss and pebbles  but I think they are a cute surprise.
Pictures aren't great because photographing a dusty and fingerprint smudged shiny glass bowl in a messy bedroom with the sun shining in is slightly beyond my abilities.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Snorlax Door Stop

I have been mulling for a while about getting a door stop as my door closes itself which is very annoying.  I put it off as I couldn't think of what to make but I stumbled across a picture of Snorlax.

Snorlax is a giant pokemon who sleeps and eats, he is in fact a key plot point in the early pokemon games as he blocks your path and you have to figure out how to wake him up.  So he seemed like a good choice for something that's going to sit there blocking something.

 I drew out Snorlax, cut out the individual pieces, then cut them out of the fabric.  I sew the main body together and filled with rice.

Then I sewed the ears, arms, and feet and filled them with toy stuffing, and sewed them on to the body.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cuddly Little Ewok (from Star Wars!)

In the early, early stages of making a terrarium for boyfriend (basically a little garden in a bowl that you arrange in a scene), and I'm creating a star wars theme.  All I've done so far is make a little Ewok.

 It looks a bit silly- like a misshapen teddy bear with an orange sack on its head- which is essentially an Ewok!  I don't have a bowl or any other equipment so all my little Ewok can do is guard my books.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Anchor Shorts

I saw some very cute and cheap fabric at the market that is white with blue stripes and anchors on it (I resisted buying the one that had heart shaped anchors on it) so I bought it and made some shorts.  I think it was slightly sunny for a few days whilst I was off work and I got over excited and started planning my summer outfit.  Obviously, it then went cold again and my making shorts seems mad now.  But that's what I've done.

I copied around my existing shorts, like I always do which means they are high waisted and so wide legged they look like a skirt.  I also used the waistband from some old jeans (yay for saving scraps!) which made life easier because I didn't need to do button holes.  I attempted to do a fly but that failed so the zip is visible but I don't mind that much.  And on the back I added a patch I already had that has a skull and cross bones on it to make them piratey. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

How to Sew a French Seam

French seams are a simple way to make your seams look nice and neat inside the garment as well as strengthening them.  You basically sew the seam twice and hide all the mess inside.

Step 1- Place you fabric WRONG sides together and pin in place.

Step 2- Sew a normal running stitch close to the edge of the fabric.  You only want your seam allowance to be a few mm.
Step 3- Now put your fabric RIGHT sides together and pin in place. 
Step 4- Now line your sewing machine needle up (or hand needle is you're doing it the slow way!)  so that you can sew a new row of running stitch and fully hide the seam allowance.
Step 5- Now sew.

And that's that. The seam looks the same on the outside and inside, it's stronger, and less scratchy!

Monday, 15 April 2013

How to make a backpack/rucksack...

A while back I decided I needed a backpack for days when I went cycling- it didn't need to be very big just big enough to fit the essentials like keys, phone, purse, water bottle, jumper.  So I scoured the internet and actual real shops and found nothing until I stumbled across an etsy shop.  Looking at their backpacks I realised I could make my own fairly easily.  And it was fairly easy but given the nature of making bags with linings (you make the bag inside out, with all the straps and hat not hidden inside when you sew) it required me to unpick and resew as I had put things in upsidedown and back to front.

The trick to making it yourself is getting all the bits in the right place in the right order (duh) but if you do it wrong you have to unpick and dig in to an inside out back to front bag and re do it.  I made a new bag recently because my old one had some problems (the straps were too short, the bag was slightly too small, and there was no proper clips to fasten it) so I thought I'd document it for you all.

Here is my pattern! It's super sophisticated as you can see but it's pretty much what you need.
Of course the size of the bag is up to you but these are the sizes I used.
You need:
Main pieces for the bag body x2 lining
                                               x2 fabric
Strap pieces x2 lining
                    x2 fabric
Front flap piece x 1 lining
                          x1 fabric
Pockets x whatever fabric you want, I didn't put any into mine.
Tube for drawstring x 1lining (I didn't draw this but it needs to be about 5 cm wide and long enough to go all the way around the top of the backpack- my bag was about 34cm wide so I needed my my tube to be 68cm long).
Little straps for clips- x4 fabric (again not on my pattern but they should be the right width to fit your clips and the right length for your preference).
Toggles for the drawstring, and clipy things to fasten the backpack at the front.

Step 1. Cut out all the pieces- remember to add at least 1cm of seam allowance to every edge.

Step 2. Make the little straps for the clips- I had two clips so I got 4 pieces of fabric and sewed them into pairs.  Then feed these through your clips and sew one half onto the front of your main bag (the fabric piece not the lining piece)

 Step Three- Also on the front bag piece add your pockets or anything else you want to put on the front, you wont have chance later on.  Don't worry about the back of the fabric all the threads will be hidden by the lining.

Step Four- Make the front flap, this is the flap which will close over the top of the bag and make it more secure.  Put the fabric flap piece and lining flap piece and pin them right sides together along the side seams.  Take the other halves of the clips and attach the little straps to them then pins those in the bottom edge inbetween the fabric and the lining- with the clips hidden inside.  Then sew around the three pinned seams and turn right way round.  And if you found that instruction confusing you wont like the subsequent ones!

Step five- Take the shoulder straps pieces right sides together and sew the lining and the fabric shoulder pieces along the long side seams- leave the small seams open.  Then turn the straps right way round .

Step six- Take the main bag body fabric pieces right sides together and sew along the long side seams, and turn the bag right way round.  Then sew the lining pieces in the same way but keep this inside out.  Place the fabric bag inside the lining bag.

Step seven- Take your draw string tube fold it in half (wrong sides together and fold it width ways so it is still long and thing) and iron or pin in place.

Step eight- Ok- listen carefully!  Take your bag body and along the top edge (it doesn't make a difference which is top and which is bottom at this point so pick an open end).  Inbetween the lining and the bag place the straps (near the side seams, and with the main fabric facing up), the front flap (with the main fabric facing down)  the drawstring tube (make sure the centre of the bag matches the half way point of the tube).  You should end up with a sandwich that goes bag, strap, flap, tube, lining.   But all of the pieces should be hidden inside the bag.  

Step nine- Turn over the bag and carry on pinning in the draw string tube in the front of the bag (but still inbetween the bag and lining.   Now sew along the top of the bag going through all the layers attaching the bag and lining.

Step ten- Now turn the bag around so you are dealing with the bottom open end of the bag.  Reach in and find the shoulder straps and feed the ends of the them into the bottom of the fabric bag and pin in place.  Be careful that the straps aren't twisted.  The bag is currently sitting inside the lining- but you need access to the bag to sew the bottom seam.  So holding the bag with the top edge you just sewed at the top reach in and pull out the bag leaving the lining behind.  You now have the bag right sides together including the straps pinned in place.  Sew along this seam.  Place the bag back inside the lining.    It should look something like this except without the straps showing at the bottom because I initially made a mistake. 

Step eleven- You should still have a hole in the bottom seam of the lining.  Reach your hand into through this hole and pull through it all of the rest of the bag.  Check the bag over and that everythings in the right place then sew the hole in the lining as neatly as possible.  Then place the lining inside the bag.  

Step twelve- The last step is to thread the drawstring and add toggles.