Tag Archives: fabric

Lola loves… Making Girl Guide badges for a retro glamping experience!

Well wow-ee, what a fun weekend I’ve had! I spent it glamping in East Sussex with a bunch of lovely ladies celebrating a friend’s hen do. Just in case you haven’t heard of the craze, glamping (or glamorous camping) brings a whole new, and much classier, interpretation to slumming it in tents.

Our ‘tent’ had a butler sink, eight-seater dinning table and proper beds that are better than the one I have at home. We all had an amazing time, though the bad thing about glamping is that there’s no going back; I will never have the same relationship with a normal tent again.

We had a Girl Guide theme, so I made these badges for the hen to dish out to the girls. I printed images of real Girl Guides badges I found on the internet, which I then transferred onto fabric using the same method I did here. I then backed them with felt and sewed a safety-pin on the back so the girls could put them on straight away.  They looked pretty much like the real thing, which was fun. (Okay, so the DJ badge (headphones) is not an original Girl Guide badge but it was so cool I couldn’t leave it out!)

I also made tags from garden string and thin cardboard, on which I wrote the name of the badge and a suggestion for what a gal might have to do to earn it…  For example, the little blue bird badge is ‘bird watching’ and was awarded to the person who kept an eye over the gals.

I also made a guide belt with purse for the hen to keep the badges in. Another friend made the hen a Girl Guide hat and we each wore vintage scarves and toggles.

Here’s a picture of the delicious afternoon tea the ladies at the campsite laid on for us. (I would love to tell you where it is but selfishly won’t for fear of it getting booked up – I can’t wait to go again!) Ah sigh, if only
we could have stayed there forever!

Lola loves… A DIY Poncho

My make today is a DIY poncho – an idea I pinched from A Beautiful Mess’ Kinsey and Elsie. There’s a lot of scope for variation, which is what I like about this project. Kinsey added tassels and suggested embroidery and I went for a mix of over-grown buttons. You could also try personalising your poncho with fabric stamps or paints.

I travel a lot and always pick up those blankets they hand out on long-haul flights. Even my cat now owns (and ignores) four and I’m running out of reasons to pinch them (the ultimate reason is of course that the cost of the flight warrants pinching anything that’s not bolted down. It’s a quiet, civilised style of protest and I do it as a favour to all frequent flyers). Anyway, now I have something to use them for. For this I used a soft fleece blanket that doesn’t fray so didn’t even need hemming!

You can see the very easy instructions already drawn out for you by Kinsey and Elsie. After this, I simply cut the fabric on one side and added three buttons and buttonholes.

I’m going on a glamping hen do at the weekend and with the dire UK weather I think this’ll come in handy!

Lola loves… an easy-to-make owl doorstop

Meet Charlie. He’s my easy-to-assemble felt doorstop. Lover of open space and cool breezes, he stops dead any squeaking or slamming doors with his mighty owlness. Want one (twit) twoo? Here’s what’s to do…

What you will need:

Material scraps for the  features
A selection of button
Needle and thread / sewing machine
Filling (I used dried butter beans)

Mark one side of your owl shape on felt, fold the felt in half and cut both layers so you have a perfectly symmetric owl shape.

Use this first shape as a template to cut another – now you have your front and back.

Cut shapes for the features (wings, eyes x 3 pieces, beak as shown). Arrange these and your buttons into a design you’re happy with, then take a picture so you can remember where they all go!

Sew on your feature shapes and buttons, then you’re ready to sew the two sides together.

Lay the front of the owl face down onto the back piece of felt, sew round the edge leaving a hole at the bottom.

Turn your owl inside out and fill with something weighty enough to hold a door but not too small that it might leak out of the sides (i.e. rice) – I used dried butter beans.

Sew up the hole, give him a cute name and you’re done!

Lola loves… DIY fabric jewellery

Remember this ring I blogged about a while ago? I told you I’d post about how I made it. Well, it’s been a while but here it is.

Making these fabric jewellery pieces feels a little bit like magic. You can use any image you like so long as its laser printed onto paper. The best bit is that the process can be used for all sorts of projects so you can create customised fabric either to frame or use for your next sewing project.

Because of the process involved, the fabric ends up a little like waxed fabric, which means it’s great for items that need to be wiped clean like table runners or make-up bags.

Here’s a few more I made using the same process…

What you will need:

An image laser printed onto paper (it must be laser printed, not ink or it won’t work)
A scrap of fabric
Acrylic gel medium (you can find this online, or in art supply shops)
A paint brush
Ring / brooch findings (see picture, right)
Fabric scissors
A needle and thread

Using a laser jet printer, print your chosen image onto paper. Make sure that the image is slightly smaller than the findings (see above). I chose circular findings for the ring and larger oval findings for the brooch but you will find lots to choose from at craft or jewellery stores, or online.

Paint the printed image generously with gel medium and lay it face down on a scrap of fabric. Pat down to get out any air bubbles or creases. (Make sure to wash your brush quickly or the gel medium will dry and be hard to get off.) Hang the fabric pieces up to dry for 24 hours.

Once they are fully dry, wet the paper and carefully peel it off the fabric. The best way to do this is to rub it with you fingertips but be gentle around the edges as the gel, not just the paper, may start to lift.

As you remove the paper you will see your image imprinted on the hard layer of gel.

Make sure all the paper is off. As the paper is wet it may be hard to see and you might find that once your fabric is dry there is still a little paper left. If so, repeat the process.

Once all the paper is off, hang your fabric to dry. Once dry, paint it with another layer of gel medium – this time thin – and hang to dry again.

Now that you have your bespoke fabric, it’s time to make the jewellery.

Simply stretch the fabric over the disc section of the jewellery finding making sure that the image is well centered. Trim any excess fabric and secure at the back with a few stitches. You will find that the gel has made the fabric stiff, which may create corners instead of smooth edges. Add a few stitches here to smooth these out.

Next, pop the disc onto the back piece of the finding (the ring or brooch base) and press the teeth down with pliers. Enjoy your new jewellery!

Lola loves… a heart-felt brooch

I made this heart-felt brooch (a heart made of felt – get it? I know, ouch!) in no time at all using scraps of old felt… So I then made a sugar skull one too!

What you will need:
Retractable pencil
Felt scraps
Embroidery threads
Brooch clasp

First up, pick your design. I chose these just because I liked them but the options are limitless. A vintage tea cup and saucer? A pug? A record?

Draw your design on to felt using a pencil with a fine point. I find retractable pencils are best for this. You will need two matching sides for the front and back plus any extra bits for detailing the front.

You may wish to use an image from the Internet as a guide or template, or you may want to go freehand.

I used contrasting felt for the details on the sugar skull brooch, some I embroidered, others I simply glued on. For the heart, I embroidered a message into the ribbon and glued that on.

Then it’s simply a matter of sewing the front and back together (I used blanket stitch for this), stuffing with some padding just before you close up, then sewing your brooch clasp to the back.

Lola loves… Fun with fabric pens

I remember when fabric pens were all the rage for kids. We’d decorate our t-shirts with designs so horrible our mums would bin the top and pretend it got lost instead of incurring the embarrassment of allowing us out in it. That was just my mum then? Really?!

I digress. While the memories faded, the fun hasn’t. It still feels a bit decadently naughty to draw all over fabric, and it’s still fun to make an item feel it’s your own by personalising it with a bit of pen.

Here are two homemade cushions to which I added a shot of colour with fabric markers. The designs, both from Ikea, are perfect for colouring and I love that it reminds me of colouring in books (I was naughty, I went over the lines. And I liked it.)

Hmm, what next? Pillow cases? Totes? Na, the tea towels are gonna get it!

Lola loves… Pretty seat cushions

Here’s a chair cushion, a variation on a simple cushion.


To make this, measure the shape of the seat of your chair, this will give you the shape of your cushion. You’ll see mine doesn’t fit perfectly, that’s because I used a pre-made chair cushion as the filler and simply made a cover for it. You could also use foam cut to size instead of a cushion.

With your measurements, draw your hem line into the back of your fabric. Use either a pencil or chalk, depending on what shows up better. The hem line is where you will sew. Then mark your cutting line 1inch out from that.

You will need to measure two pieces, one for each side, or you can measure one strip of fabric that is large enough for both sides (this way means less sewing!)

A good way of checking you have your measurements right is to place the cushion or foam on the fabric, it should meet with the hem line. BUT, don’t forget to accommodate for depth – the thicker your filling, the more fabric you will need!

Choose the side that will face the back of the chair and mark out a flap on this side. This is so you can tuck the flap in like an envelope, making the cover removable for washing. The flap should be about 7inches long. Cut the sides of the flap at a diagonal so that it’s neater and easier to tuck.

You will only need this on the fabric that will cover the top of your cushion – you don’t have to double up on both pieces of fabric.

Cut the fabric along the cutting line. Next sew round the flap to give it a clean hem. Then hem the same side on the other piece of fabric. This is what you will tuck the flap into so it needs to look neat.

Pin the two sides together with back of the fabric facing up on both sides. Then sew the pieces together along the hem line on each side except the one with the flap.

Turn it inside out, stuff it with your cushion or foam and tuck the flap in.

Sew ribbon to the back two corners of your new seat cushion so they can be tied to the back of the chair, otherwise sew a length of ribbon to the middle of two opposite sides, the ribbon can then be tied underneath the chair to keep the cushion in place.

Another way to cover you chair is simply to measure, cut, and staple your fabric over the existing in-built cushion — but you will an industrial stapler for this!



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