Tag Archives: felt

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.

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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… 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… 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:

Felt
Material scraps for the  features
A selection of button
Needle and thread / sewing machine
Scissors
Chalk
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… A felt bow hairslide

I love this felt hair bow. It’s perfect for bright colour block outfits and gives an outfit a really summery feel. I’ve worn it lots since making it.

All you gave to do is cut the bow shape and then the two ribbon ‘tails’ from your choice of felt and glue them to a hair clip.

Cutting the bow and tails separately gives it more movement, which looks prettier when it’s on.

You can use an image from the Internet as a template but the shape is so simple you probably won’t need to. I drew half a bow on felt with tailors chalk, folded the felt in half and cut round the edge, when I unfolded it I had a perfectly symmetrical bow.

I added detail with a fabric pen but next time I will sew the detail with rope stitch, which I think will look neater and add some extra texture and interest. I can’t wait to try this with different coloured felt as well!

I glued the pieces together and then glued them on to a large silver clip used for finger waves, you can pick a set of these up at most chemists.


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
Scissors
Embroidery threads
Needle
Stuffing
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… the Love Blanket

I was a bit sad to hand over the love blanket (yes, I named it. Yes, we bonded) but I hope that’s the sign of it being a good present.

I gave this to some lovely friends of mine on their wedding day, they had asked for a donation to their honeymoon fund (Thailand. Three weeks. Lucky buggers), which I happily obliged with but wanted to do something extra that was heartfelt but not budget-busting.

I bought two fleece blankets, a white one  that I embroidered, and a red one that I sewed to the back of the white one to hide the reverse side (which to be honest was a bit messy!)

All of the embroidery designs were from an iron-on kit by Sublime Stitching, which costs $5  and has full instructions.

I also bought some felt for the appliqué heart and used embroidery threads that I already had, so in total it was a pretty inexpensive gift.

They seemed to like it and have decided to hang it on their wall. I was thinking it would only be used on the occasional winter night or for movie watching so I’m happy, though I did have a romantic notion of their not-yet-conceived kids snuggling underneath it, so I hope it makes it down eventually. I have a crochet blanket made by my great-grandmother, which I snuggled under for comfort when I was ill – it is called the sick blanket (don’t worry, it was never covered in sick). It was, and still is, a very special blanket and I had that in mind when I made this.

I chose an appliqué heart and ribbon and embroidered swallows to ‘hold’ them, partly because I’m  into tattoo designs and because they’re a young and trendy couple, so I thought they’d enjoy it.

I machine-sewed the heart and ribbon with a secure zig-zag stitch  and then trimmed any edges.

It took a fair while to embroider this but it was a lovely project to work on. I even took it in the bus to sew on the way to work (I live in London so it’s always a long and public commute). As it was winter it kept me nice and snug as I sewed!

Here’s the couple on their beautiful day – they make quite a dapper pair, don’t they? You’ll see that the wedding dress is different to what I embroidered as, quite rightly, that was all kept secret until the day, but I was lucky enough to catch a look at the groom’s outfit before as he needed me to take up the trouser hem.

The heart matched the homemade fascinator  I wore on the day too!

It was an incredibly beautiful day and I’m really pleased to have made a special keepsake for them.


Lola loves… Reversible bibs

Here’s another homemade effort for little Annabelle, the daughter of a good friend of mine. These bibs are reversible, meaning two for the effort of one and, if mum is run ragged, a little bit less washing. I tried a couple of designs, as you’ll see below.

What you will need:

Two types of fabric, one for each side of your bib (I used organic cotton and baby quilting material made with an organic soya blend.)
A popper or velcro
Felt or other material for the applique heart
Tailors chalk
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Pinking shears

To start, measure and mark your fabric. To do this you will need to know the circumference of the baby’s neck. I made this before Annabelle was born so I used a circumference of  14″/36 cms (a baby’s neck is on average 12-14″). 

Then mark the shape of the rest of the bib with tailors chalk on both pieces of fabric and cut this out. Make sure to snip the top of the bib where the two sides will join with a popper.

Next mark and cut your applique shape — I used a tattoo style heart and ribbon. Once you have cut these, pin them to one piece of your fabric, sew around the edge of your shape and sew your words if you are including them.

If you would like you decorate the other side of the fabric, now’s the time to do it. I simply sewed a matching bow to the reverse side.

Place the two pieces of fabric together with the faces meeting and pin them together. Sew around the circumference of the neck, then turn the fabric right-side out and iron flat. This will create a smooth seam that won’t rub baby’s neck.

Next, sew your poppers or velcro onto each side the top of the bib where the two sides will join.

Then sew round the edge of the rest of the bib and trim using pinking shears to produce a fun edge and stop any fraying.

I also sewed a napkin style bib using a simple triangle shape (right) and folded the backing fabric over to create a contrasting top.


Lola loves… Baby booties!

My future god-daughter, beautiful little Annabelle, was born yesterday! (Whoop! Welcome Annabelle!) So I thought I’d post about a recent project I did for her.

I found the template for these sweet baby booties on Cross Stitcher. They are very easy to make and you can whip a pair up in a surprisingly short time.

You will need:

Felt
Matching thread
Needle
Ribbon or buttons for decoration
2x poppers – optional
Instructions

I veered slightly from the suggestions in Cross Stitcher; I went for plain instead of embroidered; I used a tiny ribbon bow instead of buttons for decoration; and I added a popper on the outer side (beneath the bow) to make sure the booties don’t slip off her tiny feet.

I think these are adorable, so cute in fact that I’ve not been able to wrap them up but have left them on the sideboard where I can coo at them! Now she’s finally here it’ll be worth parting with them though!

I made these on the train to work and was quite proud to hear a lady next to me tell me they are “so cute”. Then again, anything baby-sized will tug at your heart-strings. I’ll be testing the cute v’s size argument soon because my boyfriend has asked me to make a man-sized pair for him as slippers. I will stick proper soles to his as unlike little Annabelle, he has mastered the use of his legs and I don’t think felt could withstand the wear and tear of walking. I’ll blog soon to let you know how it goes.

I’ll also post soon about  the other treats I’ve made Annabelle, including a mobile and baby blanket.


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