Archive for the 'sewing' Category

Circle scarf in beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabrics

I made this scarf a few weeks ago when I was feeling creative, itching to make something and avoiding the chores. My inspiration was from Sincerely Kinsey and the fabric is Anna Maria Horner voile that I’ve had sitting in my stash for quite some time.



I love it and can’t wait to make another one! However it will have to wait in line behind all the other craft plans that are piling up.


Dressing Emily: circle skirts

I made these incredibly easy circle skirts during Emily’s naps. I cut the fabric out and serged the hems in one nap (Note: I left the serged edges showing rather than fold them over and top-stitch as I’m lazy. And I have a baby). Pinned on the fold-over elastic in another one. And stitched the elastic on during another.


So cute!

The pattern is over on Dana Made It.


Oh and with the leftover circles I made matching bibs! I just used a zig-zag stitch to attach them to plain ready-made bibs. She’s started to really drool so bibs are becoming a necessity.


I think someone is getting a bit big for their bassinet!


Making baby clothes is so much fun. I have several projects planned – and some fabric on order – so I’ll be back soon with more adorable baby photos.

Nursery projects part 3

{part 1 here} {part 2 here}

Baby due date is just a week away now. I don’t think he or she is going to arrive for a while yet though so there’s still a bit of time to finish up some crafting.

This will be a bit of a whistle-stop tour of all the latest projects as some are so simple they don’t need much explanation.

First up: burp cloths and blanket.

Yes that's my 39-week belly

The blanket is simply one layer of flannel hemmed all the way around (it’s approximately 40″x40″).

The three burp cloths are made from two smaller fabric squares. I sewed the two layers, right sides together, leaving a gap to turn it through. Then I top-stitched all the way round.

I have a matching quilt in the works but I’ve run out of thread so hopefully I’ll be able to finish it and show it to you soon.

Next: owl bookends

These are simply two rectangles of linen with an owl applique made from vintage fabric applied to one of them. I used freeehand machine embroidery and a couple of buttons to pretty them up. Then I stitched the two rectangles together (right sides together) leaving a gap to turn and fill them. They were then filled with cheap rice and the gaps sewn closed.

Not forgetting: teeny tiny baby hats

I used a tutorial by Alisa Burke to get the basic idea. They’re simply made from an old jersey t-shirt, decorated with some pretty fabric paint and stitched together (or you could use fabric glue like Alisa). I didn’t leave the end long enough so instead of tying a knot I sewed it down so it kinda looks like one instead.

Last but totally not least: freehand machine embroidered owl picture

I sketched this owl a little while ago so I decided to play with my favourite craft technique and make a little framed picture.

I backed brown fabric with some heavy interfacing and cut it to fit my frame. I decided to use freezer paper to transfer the basic outline to the fabric. I just ironed it to the fabric and sewed over the top of it. You could use a fabric pen instead. Once I had the outline I tore off the paper and then filled in the details. I’d quite like to make some more of these as they’re so easy.

I’ve got a couple more projects to finish so hopefully I’ll have time to get them done and I’ll be able to show you soon. In the meantime I’ll keep crafting to distract me from the wait until we meet our little boy or girl!

Recycled Valentine’s place mats

Wow, long time no blog hey? Hopefully you’ve been checking in with Letters Home and you’ve seen I’m settling in to life in California. And can you believe our baby is due in 7 weeks? I have some baby related projects to share soon.

But today is Valentine’s Day so here’s a very quick project I whipped up.

Our belongings from the UK arrived last week which included our gorgeous dining table and chairs. But idiot that I am I didn’t pack our placemats. However we do have a mountain of bubble wrap and paper left over from the unpacking so I stitched these quickly on trusty Nina (the Bernina) who seems to have survived the Atlantic crossing unscathed (oh I missed her!).

All I did was cut the bubble wrap and paper to size, sandwiched them together (like a quilt) and used Nina to freehand embroider a heart and a border through the layers.

I’m going to make some proper mats soon (well time allowing, we’re on a bit of a countdown now!) but these will protect our table for now, and look pretty for our romantic dinner for two tonight.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

{week 9} smocking

Well the observant amongst you will have noticed I haven’t been around these here parts for a while. Crafting and blogging sometimes have to take a back seat behind family and work (where are my priorities?). But here I am with my newest project and week 9…


I love the colours aqua and hot pink together, don’t you?

I used this really easy tutorial to make this little project. I think I’ll turn it into a cushion cover.

Have you ever tried smocking? What embroidery techniques have you been trying this month?

You can comment here, on Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks), or upload your projects to Facebook or Flickr. Or you can add it via the link tool below.

Flashback: week 9 in year 1 was all about porcelain beads!

It’s month 3 – time to embroider

I think embroidery is one of my favourite crafts. It’s so relaxing – I love the meditative hand sewing and the sketch-style machine embroidery.

This is my schedule for month 3. Feel free to follow along or try your own projects.

Week 1: smocking
Week 2: blackwork
Week 3: crewel
Week 4: machine embroidery

Do you have a favourite style of embroidery?

{week 50} needlepoint

Week 50 of a year-long project is really not the time to get sick. But sadly my body did not take any notice of this and decided to strike me down with a horrible fevery sore throat thing. So I decided to pull out a craft I have tried before – and it is one I started when I was off work recovering from surgery almost exactly a year ago. It seems quite fitting to be revisiting it now as it was also the time that I conceived the 52 crafts in 52 weeks idea.

Emily Peacock kit

Needlepoint does require a certain amount of concentration as you need to count the stitches and keep track of where you are in the pattern so it’s not good if you’re feeling really ill. But once my initial fever-fog passed I was able to get stuck in.

Emily Peacock kit

The kit is The Meeting Place by Emily Peacock (check out the Rob Ryan kit too) and is really lovely. However I have a feeling I’ll need a lot more sick days before I finish it.

1970s needlepoint book

I also had a look through a vintage book – The New World of Needlepoint, published in 1972 – that I picked up in an Oxfam book shop.

1970s needlepoint book

1970s needlepoint book

I love all the patterns and it made me think of Sister Diane’s plastic canvas project. I don’t have any inspiring wool to use (other than my Emily kit) so I think I may have to get hold of some and make some pretty pendants and brooches with the patterns in this book. But I had a little go with some dubious old wool I found in my stash anyway and it was very easy to do.

Plastic canvas

What’s your favourite sick-day craft?

PS Week 51 coming very soon.

{week 33} appliqué

I have a craft book addiction – you should see them all! In fact, you can, here you go:

I have a lot of craft books...

So the last thing I needed was another craft book. But that didn’t stop me buying this one:

It’s a lovely book – it’s spiral bound, which I always like in an instructional book, and the full size patterns are all included in a pocket in the back. I hate it when you have to enlarge a pattern – it’s a real barrier for me to attempting a project. As well as all the instructions you need to learn the basics of appliqué it has lots of inspiring projects and ideas for you to try. I really want to make the coasters as soon as I get some batting. But this week’s project utilises supplies I already have: plain tote bags and fabric.

If you want to join in, you will need:

– plain tote bag
– fabric scraps in patterns and colours that make you happy
– matching or contrasting embroidery thread
– embroidery hoop
– needle and small scissors

I’m using the reverse appliqué technique for this project. I’ll try and explain it as we go along but if you have any questions just ask.

1 ) Draw a circle on the bag of a piece of fabric – I used a small jar as a template.
2 ) Cut squares out of the fabric scraps a centimetre or so larger than the circle.
3 ) Turn the bag inside out. Pin one piece of fabric to the bag – right side facing down. Turn the bag back the other way.
4 ) Draw around the circle template on top of the two layers of fabric.
5 ) Put the bag in the embroidery hoop – only the front of it, if you sew through it all you won’t have a very usable bag!
6 ) Embroider around the circle using a running stitch.
7 ) Remove the bag from the hoop.
8 ) Very very carefully snip away the bag fabric a few millimetres inside your stitched line – don’t cut the fabric underneath. A small sharp pair of scissors work best.
9 ) Repeat as many times as you like. You can tidy up the inside of the bag by trimming the squares down to circles if you like.

Reverse appliqued book bag

If you need any help, let me know in the comments. Happy crafting. x

{week 27} cross stitch

This week’s project was a freebie – or at least it was only the cost of a magazine. The cross stitch heart kit came free with Cross Stitcher magazine and at first glance it looked very simple.

Cross stitch is just how it sounds – a serious of small sewn crosses that you sew following a chart. This pattern was just one colour so a simple design but the slight complication was instead of using the traditional fabric – aida – it used gingham. Undaunted, I got stuck in. The main problems were: wonky stitches (no holes to guide me, just the gingham design), tangled threads, knots and pulled fabric.

But I got there in the end and I think it’s a very pretty result:

Cross stitch Christmas heart

Do you cross stitch? Do you have any favourite kits?

EDIT: Just seen this useful list of cross stitch resources, looks good.

{week 21} suffolk puffs

This week could have been titled clip-frame purse as I tried them out this week for the first time as well. But I couldn’t resist the title, Suffolk puffs, not least because I’m from Suffolk.

Suffolk puff clip frame purse

Also known as yo-yos, Suffolk puffs are very easy to make and can be used in loads of projects from necklaces to quilts and cushions. I’ve never made one before so I followed the simple instructions in Ruth Singer’s wonderful book, Sew it up (a great book covering every sewing technique you can think of) to whip up a simple linen ‘puff’.

Suffolk puff clip frame purse

I then made the clip-frame purse – I got covered in glue but it turned out pretty well I think. The lining is my favourite fabric (again, I used it for the clock and cushion too).

I’m definitely going to make some more of these purses – just perfect for Christmas presents!

Suffolk puff clip frame purse

PS Welcome to Sew Hip readers – hope you enjoy my little blog and get inspired to try your own crafting challenge.


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