Mickey Mouse inspired

 

Last week I went to my local Hobbycraft for some supplies and saw a new fat quarter bundle of Mickey Mouse fabric. What fun!

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I decided to have a go at making a document wallet in the lovely Mickey Mouse fabric as well as some little wallets and purses. I will definitely need to go and replenish my stock of this lovely fabric. If only they had Minnie Mouse too!

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Anyway, this led me onto the idea of making a batch of wallets and credit card holders out of my fabric scraps. They will eventually make it onto my Etsy shop but are also useful little presents at craft fairs too! As you can see I’ve had a very busy week!

These little wallets are are easy to make  you just need a front fabric, a lining fabric and a layer of interfacing or fleece as a sandwich layer. You can choose how big or small you want to make your wallets, from small business card holders to A4 magazine storage holders.

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Its a fun quick way to use up a fabric stash and I like being creative with choosing the fabrics with matching or even contrasting linings. Plus there is the fun at the end with the snap fastener tool!  Give it a few weeks and I think I may well start on some more!  So go on, give it a go!

A selection of these wallets and card holders are available in my shop  just click on the link above and if you fancy a certain fabric or pattern, let me know and I can customise you a lovely wallet.

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Hopeful for the sun!

I was thinking one day  with a cup of tea in my hand, of what other items I could make with my fabric remnants, apart from pincushions! (I always like making those!) and came up with the bright idea of making a few more sunglasses holders.  Last year I did actually make a Lovehearts sunglasses holder.  I ordered a beautiful 2 metres of this fabric and made myself a skirt with it and with what was left over, I also made my first sunglasses holder.  Not buying more of this fabric was a mistake as it went out of stock and I can’t find it anywhere else!

Anyway, back to making sunglasses holders!  I really enjoy making these as they are not too tricky to make and you can have a lovely finished result quite quickly.  They also look quirky and stand out a mile from the plastic boring solid colour ones!

Firstly you need some lovely fabric for the outside, a lining fabric and also a fairly thick wadding which will sandwich the 2 fabrics together and also give the case more stability and better padding. If you can obtain fusible wadding then all the better, but if not, don’t worry!

I use  a rectangular template which measures approx. 19 x 10 cm.  You will need to slightly curve one corner to given a rounded more professional appearance too.  However, if you have super fashionable large sunglasses, you will need to re-measure and make yourself a larger template. Similary, if you wish to make a case for a child’s glasses, then you will need a smaller template.

Firstly, cut out your outer fabric, lining and wadding. You should end up with a fabric sandwich of 3 layers; the lining fabric right way up on the bottom, the wadding in the middle and finally the outside fabric wrong side down on top.

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Pin all layers together, leaving a couple of inches gap in the middle of one of the sides.  (You can see this indicated by the 2 large pins at the bottom of the picture).  You will need this gap as the fabric needs to be turned out). Machine stitch all the way round (minus the gap!). Cut off any excess wadding and clip the corners.  Then turn out so the right side of the fabric is now visible.  Iron  all the square layers to make it easier and flatter to sew.

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The next step is to handsew the gap that you turned the fabric in from.  Once you have finished that, proceed to sew a topstitch all the way around again with the outer fabric facing you.

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When that is complete, fold the square in half and start stitching the open side about 2 inches from the curved top, leaving enough room to put your sunglasses easily in and out.  Sew to the end.

You shoukd have a lovely sunglasses case just like mine, which are available to purchase in my Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/510562797/sunglasses-fabric-holders?ref=shop_home_active_1

Enjoy!

A Retro Christmas – Nostalgia required!

I started my Etsy shop in September 2015 and I didn’t really properly prepare for Christmas, I was just learning the ropes, trying new things out and researching what sold and what seemed to be the most popular trends.

This year, I started Christmas earlier than I meant to!  It came about on a trip to my local Hobbycraft, in Shirley, Solihull.  I was looking for some cottons and happened to spot their Christmas fabric displays and homed in on some lovely retro looking material.  It was a fat quarter of 6 different Christmas themed fabrics.  My favourite was the pink fabric featuring a reindeer.  Very kitsch!  (The reindeer design also comes in a blue fabric).image1

I started making some hanging decorations with these fabrics and decided I was going to make a heart decoration.  This is a completely non-traditional shape and colour so a bit risky, however I thought it would appeal to all those retro fans out there who are looking for that something a little bit different and eye-catching.untitled

Making the hearts was relatively straight forward – I previously wrote a blog post on how to make a seamless heart which you can reference.

Fingers crossed, all those retro fans out there will like these lovely decorations.  A touch of nostalgia is all that is required!

See the shop link at the top of my website for links to my Etsy shop. Also, see Hobbycraft for lovely retro fat quarters.


My Cath Kidston bathroom!

I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to make changes to our downstairs loo.  It was ok really, not long ago painted but it needed a loving touch and some freshening up!  I was shopping in Homebase and picked up a paint catalogue and saw a lovely fuschia colour paint which I thought would certainly cheer the downstairs loo up.  I said to my husband, “would you mind if we had a pink loo?”  He reluctantly replied, “well, we already have a pink fridge, so I suppose so”. I thought I would ask my handyman friend to start on this after Xmas so didn’t think any more of it.

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Then I saw that Cath Kidston had a Xmas sale on.  That was that! http://www.cathkidston.com/fcs/content/home-furnishing/wallpaper/

I love Cath Kidston and their fabric is lovely.  However, I always see if I can pick up a bargain in their sales.  Fortunately for me they had one pattern of wallpaper, “Rainbow Rose”, reduced to half-price, so I measured up and ordered a couple of rolls (we have a fairly small downstairs loo!).  It came a few days later and I loved it.  Its extremely chintzy! My handyman friend came over last week to decorate.  It took him a couple of days (fiddly pipework) but the effect is amazing!  Its a real “in your face” bathroom!  No subtlety spared.  I love it!  Even my husband likes it and admits its striking!

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Unfortunately the pink and green colours in the wallpaper don’t match the colours on the existing splashback.  No fear.  A bit of quick research on google and you can buy tile paint. in pink gloss!  A quick trip down to B&Q and said paint purchased.  Along with a pink chandelier!  (the existing blue lampshade doesn’t match either).  Ta-dah!  A brand new bathroom for not a lot of money.  Plus a real talking point for those visitors who need to use the facilities!IMG_0637

I am now looking on what I can decorate next!  In the meantime every time I open the bathroom door I smile!

My favourite fabric shop in Birmingham

I had a lovely Saturday before Christmas visiting my local fabric store; Barry’s in Birmingham.  Those of you who live in Birmingham and are addicted to fabric, will I am sure know this store very well!

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There is no pattern of fabric that they do not sell!  Anything you could wish for in terms of stripes, spots, teacups, gingham and special occasion fabrics, Barry’s sells.

You can gain so much inspiration from just going in for a quick look.  Shall I make a skirt from this? A dress from that? That would look nice in!!! etc, etc.

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I originally went in with a list of the fabric that I wanted.  I really don’t know why I bothered!  I did purchase all I needed plus quite a bit more! Well, its a treat, isn’t it?  (Did I mention how affordable the fabrics are?). Notwithstanding the special offer fabric rolls they have!).

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Readers of my blog will know that I am obsessed by the 1950’s and I have been making some vintage style retro half aprons as my latest project.  I had in mind a kitchen inspired fabric for the front of the apron.  Well, I was spoilt for choice!  There were dozens I could choose from.  In the end I plumped for a selection of named cakes (macaroons, eclairs etc) all in a pretty vintage stlye on a cream background.  I also bought some retro jar fabric with a green background.  Both will do nicely for my vintage style aprons.

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My son wanted me to make a new PE bag for school for him – his London transport made bag has served him well for 2 years, but is showing a fair sign of wear and teat!  He’s obsessed by cats at the moment, so he chose a lovely cat fabric, which I made into a bag for him with his name on.  Very chic!  He loved it. On the way to the measuring desk, I spotted some monkey and bananas fabric which I thought would look great for making into a PE bag or toy bag.  That’s my next project.

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My final purchase was some cotton plain pink fabric to make “mock ups” of dresses and skirts that I enjoy making for myself.

While I was paying, my lovely husband after playing hide and seek with the rolls of fabric with my son! took these photos for me.  He’s quite used to my fabric obsession and is fairly handy at suggesting fabric that I might like.


Sew Brum -Saturday 31 October 2015

I had an interesting email from my local fabric store, Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley (you may remember, Lauren Guthrie was a finalist in the Sewing Bee in 2013) about Sew Brum, coming up in October.  http://www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/events

Sew-Brum_Charlotte_550pxSew Brum is organised by the sewing blogger Englishgirlathome  http://englishgirlathome.com/sewbrum/ and promises to be a lovely day of visiting fabric shops in Birmingham such as the Fancy Silk Store and my absolute favourite, Barrys. Lunch will be provided from the street food stalls at the Moseley Farmers Market and finally we all reconvene at Guthrie Ghani for tea and cake.  What more can you wish for on a Saturday!  Visit englishgirlathome’s blog to sign up for an exciting day!

 

Hanging floral hearts – tutorial

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I decided to have a go at making these lovely hanging heart decorations after having some left-over fabric from the Cath Kidston designed “Rosalie” range from Ikea.  The first couple of efforts weren’t that successful as I couldn’t quite figure out after stuffing the heart, how to sew it up neatly so it looks seamless.  However, after some trial and error I finally came up with a method that works that I would like to share with you.

Firstly, decide how big you would like your heart to be.  Mine are usually 10cm x 10cm, but you can make yours as large or as small as you like. Make a paper template.

IMG_0863Cut out 2 squares of matching fabric 2cm bigger all round than the size of the heart. With right sides together, sew a 1cm seam down the centre.  Open up the fabric with right side facing down.  Now you will need another square of fabric, either the same, if you want both sides of the heart identical, or choose another colour.  Place the new square of fabric on top of the square with the seam, wrong sides together and pin to secure.

IMG_0867Place the heart template on top of the sandwiched fabric and draw round it with a fabric marker (or pencil, if you don’t have one to hand!).  Machine stitch over the drawn template.  You could even do this in a contrasting stitch if you like.

Once finished, use pinking shears and cut round the heart with about a 1cm gap all around.

IMG_0868You will then need to unpick the original sewn seam in order to stuff the heart.  Unpick a good inch to enable you to get the stuffing in.  Once stuffed, neatly sew up.  IMG_0869

Finally, using a large darning needle, thread your choice of ribbon and just below the top seam of the heart, insert your needle so it goes through both sides.  You may need to insert some pressure here!

Once you have the required length of ribbon, cut the ribbon and tie in a knot.  Hey presto!  A hanging heart.  IMG_0871 (2)