LOLA LOVES GIVEAWAYS… WIN your ‘Queen of Crafts’ book now!

Queen of Crafts, by Jazz Domino Holly

Queen of Crafts, by Jazz Domino Holly

Win your hardback copy of ‘Queen of Crafts: The Modern Girls’ Guide to Knitting, Sewing, Quilting, Baking, Preserving & Kitchen Gardening’ 

RRP £16.99

This beautiful book for modern crafters teaches a number of crafting techniques from knitting to patch-working and kitchen gardening to preserving.

Illustrated with beautiful and inspiring photos, the book also gives you plenty of ideas and clear instructions for your own projects.  A knitted bow headband, peppermint foot scrub, or button-shaped biscuit, anyone?

Queen of Crafts is great for those new to a craft, wanting to recap, or needing some sweet inspiration.

Author, Jazz Domino Holly, is the daughter of the Clash’s Joe Strummer. She heads the Shoreditch Sister’s WI and has a craft column in Company magazine.

 For your chance to win, all you have to do is follow my blog and my Twitter account (LolaLovesCraft) and retweet by competition message (which is my last Tweet). Good Luck! x


Lola’s finding… Vintage storage solutions for embroidery threads

This isn’t a ‘make’ exactly, but I thought I’d share this idea with you because I’ve found it so useful. Lo and behold – vintage tins make great storage solutions for your sewing bits! I regularly sew during my long commute and as I’ve been too busy to make any kind of storage or sewing roll, I’ve just been throwing all of my craft ingredients into a plastic bag. Not good.

My solution? Vintage tobacco tins! I found these two in a local charity shop (admittedly it was on the first day of my pledge to stay away from said charity shops for a whole month. Naughty, eh?) These tins were very common in their heyday, so they pop up all over the place and I recommend keeping an eye out for them.

Vintage tobacco tins - great storage for your embroidery bits

Vintage tobacco tins – a travel kit for your embroidery bits!

Vintage tins - A perfect fit for your skeins

 A perfect fit for your skeins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only are they very pretty but the larger is the perfect length for embroidery skeins. I have a few, some for tobacco, some for sweets, but the large ones are all the same length and width. There is also enough room for your essential scissors and needles.

They took a bit of cleaning and I lined them with tissue paper as the insides had become a little rusty, but at just £1 for the small and £3 for the large one, I think I’ll be heading to the charity shops more often!

 

 

 

 


Lola loves… her fabric luggage tag

Mollie Makes cowgirl luggage tag

Mollie Makes cowgirl luggage tag

Hey blogger peeps, just a quick post today to show you my most recent make, this luggage tag, which was courtesy of Mollie Makes magazine.

Oh, how I heart this fabric! You may not be able to see it too clearly but it features some great retro style cowgirls.

Both the instructions and the fabric came in the last issue of Mollie Makes. (Sorry guys, you will have to order online or run to the shop super quick to get yours as the latest issue is about to hit the shops).

I know, what’s the point in a luggage tag without your name and address in it? I need to finish that bit but I’m reluctant to cover the lovely fabric! I thought for a bit of extra fun, I might sew my details instead of writing them.

I’ll be travelling to Rome in September so I’ll have a to wait a whole month to use it properly but here’s my handbag modelling said item. Oh, she is such a show-off, is handbag! 

And here's the back of the luggage tag, check out the cowgirls!

And here’s the back of the luggage tag, check out the cowgirls!

Handbag just can't get enough of the camera, the lush!

Handbag just can’t get enough of the camera, the lush!


Lola loves… sewing a sugar skull cushion

Here’s two things I can’t resist; a cushion and sugar skull design. I really didn’t need another cushion I’ve made so many, but the fun of it took over.

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion front

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion front

What you will need:
2x large felt squares
Assorted felt scraps for appliqué
Assorted embroidery thread
Needles
Fabric scissors
Tailors chalk
(I also used Sublime Stitching iron-on designs for the appliqué).

What to do:
Cut a number of shapes from your felt scraps. These will be used to decorate the cushion. Traditional designs are flowers, hearts and diamonds. I used Sublime Stitching iron-on designs to give me the flower shapes.

Next, mark out a skull on your large pieces of felt and add a 1 inch seam allowance – but don’t cut it yet!

Lay  your shapes on top and decide how you want to arrange them. You will need to do this for the front and back.

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion - back

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion – back

Once you have positioned your pieces, take a photo of them so you can remember where they go.

You may wish to use some shapes for the features.  I used roses for the eyes and an upside-down heart for the nose.

It’s also nice to use a variety of stitches. I used back, chain, feather and rope stitch, plus satin stitch to fill in the black on the mouth.

Now it’s time to embroider your small pieces and the skull (not having cut it yet means you can position the felt in an embroidery hoop, which will make it easier to sew.)

You can either embroider the pieces straight on to the skull or embroider them first and stick them on using all-purpose glue. I found the latter best as it means you don’t have to sew round the edges to keep the shape in place. Also, sewing two layers of felt can be slightly stiff!

Once you’ve finished your embroidery and appliqué, place the two pieces with their faces together and sew round leaving a small gap for the stuffing.

Turn right-side out, stuff with padding and  hand sew the hole.


Lola loves… making easy table decorations

Glass jar tea light

Glass jar tea light

How’s this for a sweet table decoration? I love a cheap project and this one didn’t cost a thing!

 
I washed and reused an old coffee jar and tied on some cheap garden string I had lying around. I then cut a cute paper bag into a strip, cut out a heart and popped in a spare tea light.

This took all of five minutes but I think it looks great and may make some more for Christmas decorations. I love stags and raindeer so may go with those as a design.

I’ve seen it on Pinterest using a page from a book but newspaper or wrapping paper would also work well.


Lola is… making fascinators

I have a real thing for fascinators at the moment, apologies if they’re not your cup of tea because you’re likely to see more of them on this blog.

I made this one to smarten up a dress for a wedding reception party. I love the cheeky look a fascinator lends and how it can be both smart and fun.

Fascinating!

Fascinating!

How to make your own fascinator

Jaunty headgear at a jaunty angle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you will need:
A sinamay base  (I used a round one from eBay)
Enough felt to cover both sides of your base
2x strips of Organza
2x beads (I chose pearls)
A needle and thread
All purpose glue
A hair comb / slide

 

How to make the fascinator:

Birds eye view

Birds eye view

Place the sinamay base on to your felt and cut round leaving a 2 inch edge for sewing.

Next, place the felt on top of the base and smoothing it down as you go, attach the edge of the felt to the inside of the fascinator base with small stitches in a matching thread. Make sure your stitches don’t go all the way through to the top; you should only sew through the felt at the bottom and the sinamay.

Keep smoothing and attaching  all the way around. The last part is tricky and tends to create creases. Be particularly careful; pull the felt taught and use a little all-purpose glue if you need to.

Next, cut a circle slightly smaller than the base, this will sit inside the fascinator to cover up the folds. But before attaching your felt circle, sew on your hair grip. You can use a hair slide or hinged hair clip, whichever stays best for you. Then glue on your circle underneath, making sure you cover all folds and messy bits.

Back of the fascinator

Back of the fascinator

Now for the decoration. This is particularly fun as there are so many things you can do. (Have a look at my Pinterest fascinator board for a few ideas!)

For this one I made a fold of felt and cut the end like a ribbon. To that, I attached two organza flowers using the method I told you about here. I also stitched a pearl button in the centre of each flower for decoration.

That’s it, you’re done.

I’m keen to make a yellow fascinator (I also have a thing for yellow at the moment and think it goes beautifully with blue, which is a staple colour in my wardrobe). I’m also planning to make a couple of crazy hats for Bestival music festival, which is coming up in a couple of months.

The theme is wildlife and I’m planning to wear some pretty massive stag antlers (homemade of course, not real) and a bird’s nest hat complete with a bird and eggs. Cross you fingers they work out!


Lola loves… altering a summer skirt

Today’s post feels a bit of cheat. By now, I wanted to tell you all about the amazing dirndl skirt I’d made. Unfortunately, I haven’t. (Roll on the weekend so I can get busy with the sewing machine!) Buuuut, I did manage to adapt a too-short dress into a skirt. Here are the pics (apologies for the blurriness, I really must sort this camera situation out).

Here's the dress in its original form

Here’s the dress in its original form

I liked the fabric of the dress, which is why I bought it (and it was a Primark cheapy), but the dress was too short. Also, it fell in ruches from under the bust which wasn’t at all flattering on me (did I mention it was a Primark cheapy?

So, I unpicked the top section (which is in a pretty black lace that I intend to sew into another dress later), leaving me with the bottom section which was the perfect length for a skirt.

I pinned ruches that fallen out when I unpicked the skirt and then sewed it to an elastic waistband with strong zigzag stitching. Of course, with firm stitching the elastic had less give so I made sure I used my usual waistband measurements, the bit of give that’s left allows me to get the skirt on and off.

If I was a good girl and had more time I’d have added a proper waistband and zip, but I’m impatient and wanted to get in quick to catch the uncharacteristically hot weather (four consecutive days of sun, am I still in England?)

I think it sits a lot better now and is far more flattering on my waist and legs. I must have worn the dress only a few times until I pushed it to the back of my wardrobe in frustration, but now it’s a skirt I’m sure it will become a staple.

And here's the skirt I made it into

And here’s the skirt I made it into


Lola loves… making felt roses

I promised you a picture of and ‘how to’ of these felt roses. I’m a day late (apologies), but here goes!

As I said in my last post, I got the ‘how to’ from Gertie’s Blog For better Sewing (are you super excited about her new book, out soon? I can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy!).

Felt roses, great for so many craft projects!

Felt roses, great for so many craft projects!

All you need to make these is a strip of felt and a needle and thread.

Have a look at Gertie’s instructions as they’re very clear. I found the trick to folding these is to bend the strip of felt down a 90 degrees angle before continuing to wrap it round.

It has to be said, Gertie’s are better but a) she is Gertie and b) this was a first attempt. I think the effect works much better when using a longer, wider strip, making larger roses. I’m sure I’ll soon post again having made larger roses to prove my point!

Once it’s been made and it’s time to sew it in place, I found that sticking in a few pins helped it keep together — essential if you’ve forgotten to thread your needle already! Gertie’s tip to ‘stab stitch’ is also great one I’ll use again.

I can see endless opportunities for these little pretties. I sewed these on to hair clips but I’ll make more to decorate a fascinator and can also see them being used to prettify presents.


Lola (really) loves… learning how to make Peter Pan collars

I got so carried away with the reversible collar I posted about last week that decided to make another one at the weekend. I fancied a red one this time, which I can wear with red shoes, a plain black shift dress and a couple of other red accessories. I hope to wear the complete ensemble this week.

How to make a detachable Peter Pan collar

How to make a detachable Peter Pan collar

Easy-to-make felt collar

Easy-to-make felt collar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went for felt again as it’s a sturdy fabric that needs no hemming or pinking (and it was Sunday, I was feeling lazy!)

You may notice that one side is glittery – it was actually glittered felt. If I’m feeling a bit fruity I can flip it over and wear it with the sparkles showing (but I doubt I will).

I traced the pattern from this  shirt I already had on to baking paper and used it as a template. I love the scalloped edge and thought it was fun to have something different to the last collar.

How to make a scallop-edge Peter Pan collar: Shirt for template

How to make a scallop-edge Peter Pan collar: Shirt for template

Scallop-edge Peter Pan collar: Template and cutting

          Scallop-edge Peter Pan collar: Template and cutting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After cutting, I sewed the two pieces together (you can make this in one whole piece but my felt wasn’t large enough). To fasten it, I added a button to one side and a loop made from a folded length of ribbon to the other.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about some cute roses I made from the remaining felt and which I fashioned into hair clips. The method’s by Gertie Hirsch, who I have a bit of a girl crush on.

I also started to put together a dirndl skirt from Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing. So far, I’ve measured and cut both the paper and fabric. It’s a very simple pattern with a front and back piece, plus the waistband – but it’s also my first try at clothes-making and I’m quite nervous. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

Although I didn’t do half the things I’d wanted to (I blame the sun, which induced a long nap in the park and a Cocker Spaniel pup, which was so cute I couldn’t bear to leave), it was still a pretty productive weekend. I also made some crazy clay antlers that I’ll wear as a fancy dress costume at this year’s Bestival (the theme is wildlife but I’m adding a bit of glitter and glitz  à la  Midsummer Night’s Dream) and will then recycle them to use as a jewellery stand. All will be revealed in future posts!

Still, I have so many other projects I want to work on and I’m always amazed I get to Sunday evening so quickly. I really want to make some pendants from Shrinkies; I have loads sewing projects, including Rosie Music’s Shy Girl to go with the Shy Boy I sewed recently, a cross-stitch Star Wars sampler, a tattoo style cross-stitch pillow for my cat, Dee (I’ll adapt the letters to read Dee, not Dad. Sorry, Dad) and I want to get on with some crocheting. If only I could book a holiday to get it all done!


Lola Loves… Making a reversible and detachable collar

I love weekends. I almost always manage to finish a project at the weekend, meaning I end up with a lovely new something without even having to venture to the shops! Last weekend it was this Peter Pan collar, which I made from a pattern in Mollie Makes (issue 15), you find the template here.

Reversible detachable collar - a quick and easy make!

Reversible detachable collar – a quick and easy make!

Reversible and detachable collars: A great way to jazz up and outfit

Reversible and detachable collars: A great way to jazz up and outfit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a fab pillowcase from a near-by charity shop for 50p, I love the subtle lace print on it and thought it was perfect for a collar.

I decided to back the collar in a contrasting colour, making it reversible. I chose dark grey felt to add a bit of substance and thickness, as well as an interesting texture.

I also added a number of pearlised and pale buttons to the felt to add a bit more interest.

I fastened it with a hook and eye fastener.

I’ve already worn it and already thought of  making another (a red and white polka dot one  to jazz-up my LBD, perhaps?)

They’re very quick and easy. Just mark, cut and pin the fabric (the template is in two pieces). Sew all but the shortest side, which is the join at the back. Turn inside out, sew the two pieces together at the join and add a fastener. The Mollie Makes version is sequined, which is more time-consuming, but fabulous.

So what next? This issue of Mollie Makes came with the instructions and material to make a retro luggage case, so guess what I’ll be doing come Sunday!


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