Tag Archives: sew

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!

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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… 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 (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… A quick embroidered cardigan

Is there nothing craft can’t fix? Exhibit ‘A’ is this dull grey cardy with not much going for it. Mix a bit of craft magic and you’ve got a one off piece that’s suddenly got some balls.

This is another example of the Sublime Stitching patterns (which I reviewed here) put to good use. A great bonus is that it can be done in just one evening.

I gave the stretchy fabric extra strength by ironing Wonderweb onto the back of the area I wanted to stitch, this made sewing neat stitches much easier.

Once you’re done sewing you can also iron another layer over the first patch to seal any loose ends (Just make sure the patch of wonder web is larger than the first so that your iron doesn’t melt the glue as this can leave sticky, dirty marks on both the iron and the fabric.)

I think this looks great with colour-pop accessories that pick out the colours of the embroidery. My favourite way to wear it is with a yellow belt, yellow heels, a red ring, navy pencil skirt and a stripy top.


Lola loves… a homemade baby’s mobile

Phew, it’s good to be back! A week without blogging has been hard! I’ll post a thing or two about my trip to Barcelona but for now I’ll fill you in on a project I finished a while ago…

 I made this mobile for my god-daughter, Annabelle,  as a ‘welcome to the world’ present. It was actually one of a long list (bibsbootiesembroidered babygrows) and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come.

I hope she enjoys using it as much as I did making it. Here’s how I did it.

For the rainbow:

  • Take the cardboard inner from an old loo roll and cut it in half length-ways and again width-ways so that you have a long semi-circle, or rainbow, shape.
  • Next, carefully stick a length of ribbon against the edge of the loo roll sticking it both on the top and underside of the arch. Trim any excess ribbon.
  • Take another piece of coloured ribbon and stick it next to the first. Repeat until you have used all your ribbon and have created a rainbow effect.
  • Cut any excess cardboard and leave to dry.
  • Take another length of ribbon and sew one end to the centre point of rainbow. If you can’t sew it easily, you may will to glue it instead. You will want a short ribbon on this so that the rainbow hangs high up, preferably out of baby’s reach — while the  other shapes are soft and meant for grabbing, this one is delicate and could get misshapen. 

For the felt shapes:

  • Using tailors chalk, mark your shape on a piece of felt.
  • Pin the felt to another piece so you have two sides pinned together.
  • Allowing a little extra material around all sides for the seam allowance, cut your doubled-up up felt.
  • Mark and sew a face on one side
  • Lay your felt on top of each other with the embroidered face touching the other piece of felt, pin in place and sew round leaving a small gap at the top.
  • Turn it right side out and stuff with filling. Use a pencil to poke the stuffing into any small parts if need be.
  • Sew up the remainder of the shape adding a ribbon at the top, from which it will hang (I used different lengths for each shape so that it fell nicely)
  • For the bird, appliqué a wing shape on either side before sewing the two sides together and once finished, glue a small gem on either side for the eyes

For the cloud:

  • Draw and cut your letter (I used an ‘A’ on each side for Annabelle), tack it to the front of your fabric and sew it in place. You will need to do this twice so that you have a front and a back.
  • Next, draw a cloud shape onto paper, cut this out and use it as a template to mark your fabric.  (It’s best not to mark straight on to fabric – it’s trickier than it looks to get the cloud shape right!).
  • Cut your fabric with 1-2 inch excess around all edges for your seam allowance.
  • Here’s the tricky bit. You will need your shapes finished before you can continue. Place one side of your cloud with the letter facing up. Put your shapes on top, directly above the letter, and lay the ribbons out straight down to the bottom of the cloud. You will want the ribbons to poke out lower than the bottom of the fabric. Pin the  ribbons in place.
  • Take the other side of your cloud and lay it face down on top, making sure that it is not upside down and the letters are directly facing each other. Pin in place so that the shapes are inside.
  • Sew around the edges leaving a gap at the top so that you can turn it right side out (remember it has to be big enough to fit the shapes!) Turn it right side out and remove the pins from the ribbons. The shapes should fall straight from the bottom cloud. It not (and this happened it me) stitch the longer side of the ribbon to the bottom of the cloud to straight it up.
  • Stuff the cloud with filling and sew up the top adding a loop of ribbon so that you can hang it.

Of course, you don’t have to make a cloud — I just wanted something related to the sky. Perhaps you can make something based on what the parents like, or a family tree with the name of each family member sewn onto a branch.


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… 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.


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