Tag Archives: fabric

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 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!


Lola loves… Fabric bird decorations

This is just a quick post to show you a couple of decorations I made a while back. I originally made these as Christmas decorations (I went for a country cottage look which to be honest, was a bit weird in my London flat). Anyway,  I loved these little birdies so much that I couldn’t bare to pack them away.

They’ve now moved to the kitchen and go much better with the décor. I have a thing for birds and love a lot of the bird decorations I see in shops but these sweet things are so much cheaper.

I found a simple bird shape from the Internet and used it as a template. I marked up two pieces of scrap fabric, laid them with the faces together and machine-sewed the edges leaving a small hole for the filling.

I then turned it the right-side out (if you’re going to try this, make sure the shape of the template is simple and the tail and beak aren’t too small or you’ll have trouble turning it right-side out), filled it with stuffing and hand-sewed the hole adding a loop of ribbon or garden sting to hang it with.


Lola loves… Handprinting scarves

It’s supposed to be summer here in the UK, but April, which traditionally is the rainy month, just will not give way to the sun. So, all those beautiful summer dresses I’d bought at discount rates during the winter and stockpiled for summer are just hanging limp and forlorn in my wardrobe.

Instead, of all things, I’ve found myself wearing a scarf. It’s not what I’d planned for my summer attire  but the fact that it’s adorned with some pretty cool sugar skull images means I still manage a smile when I wear it.

I’d had this scarf for years and liked the colour but always felt it was a little bland so it seemed well suited as a canvas for fellow blogger, Slyvita Handmade’s cool stamp. Slyvita makes a range of hand carved rubber stamps of characters including The White Stripes, The Beatles, killer bunnies and cute pugs. I chose a female sugar skull because I’m particularly fond of them.

What you will need:
An old scarf to print on
Fabric ink (I used black ink by VersaCraft)
A rubber stamp (I used one by Sylvita, you can buy her stamps at Etsy)
A hard surface and plastic bag or cardboard to protect it
An iron

To print the image, I used the same method when stamping my geometric t-shirt and bird tote and I stick by the simple tips I told you about then:

  • Make sure you’re stamping  on to a hard surface as this will make for a better print.
  • Remember to protect the surface from ink that could bleed through. To do this, place a card or a plastic bin liner under the fabric.
  • Practise makes perfect! You might want to do a few trial stamps on a scrap bit of fabric.
  • Let your stamps dry fully and then remember to iron both the front and reverse side of the fabric to fix your ink to seal the ink

Here I am, mid June, still with a jacket and scarf – but also smiling! It’s a shame that the fabric is a little too dark to show off the print but I know I’ll be using the stamp on plenty of other projects (I’m already planning a Halloween party just so I can use it to make some amazing invites and perhaps I can rustle up a sugar skull print summer dress for the beautiful sun we’re owed later!)


Lola loves… Making a DIY tattoo swallow necklace

I love a bit of jewelry and if you’ve read my other blog posts you may have worked out that I also love tattoo designs. Add a bit of craft into the mix and I’ve got a recipe for happiness.

Yup, this necklace includes many things I love and (being a bit lazy) it’s also great that it’s quick and easy to do!

What you will need:
Embroidered fabric with your choice of design
Black felt
Multi-purpose glue
Chain
4x Jump rings (1x large, 3x small)
1x Lobster clasp
2x Pairs of pliers
Metal cutters

I made this simple necklace using an iron-on embroidered bird, which I’d bought previously.  You can buy these on-line or in craft shops in a huge variety of designs; flowers, dice, animals, letters. Using the iron-on bird meant making the necklace was super quick, which was what I needed, but next time I will embroider the design myself – I’m toying with the ideas of cross-stitched pendants. I’m also considering selling a few on Etsy – what do you think bloggers, would it go down well?

I backed the bird to make it sturdier by gluing black felt to the back. I then trimmed all the edges with embroidery scissors. (If you do this, be careful that you don’t cut into the embroidered design while you’re at it.)

Next, measure and cut your chain; you will need two pieces of equal length. Drape the chain around your own neck to find the right length but remember to accommodate the width of your pendant, otherwise your necklace will end up longer!

Once your embroidered pendant is dry, pierce the bird with a thick needle in the place you want the chain to hang. (It is good to experiment with where you want the holes as this will effect the way it hangs). Next, hold a small jump ring with one set of pliers. Take the other half of the ring with the other set of pliers and twist to open the ring.  Using just one set of pliers now, ease the opened ring through the hole you just made with the needle.  Also thread one length of chain onto the ring before closing it using both pairs of piers and the same method as before.

Using the same method with your pliers, fix a lobster clasp to the other end of the chain using a small jump ring to attach it.

Now repeat this process for the other side but add a large jump ring the end of the other piece of chain instead of a clasp – this is what your clasp will latch on to.

Then, enjoy your lovely new necklace!

 


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