Tag Archives: tattoo

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!

 


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… Sublime Stitching

Sublime Stitching: Cover

Sublime Stitching: Cover

Sublime Stitching:
Hundreds of Hip Embroideries and How-to
By jenny Hart (Chronicle Books)

Seeing as I heart Sublime Stitching so much and embroider quite a lot of their patterns, I thought it was about time I reviewed one of their books.

If you’re not familiar with Sublime Stitching, get Googling quick! The head honcho, Jenny Hart is an inspirational crafter and luckily for fans she produces a large range of iron-on embroidery designs so everyone can have a go.

When I  embroidering as a kid I was disappointed by the choice available. It was all fruit bowls and stuffy still lifes of flowers. Bore. Jenny’s motto is; ‘this ain’t your grandma’s embroidery’ and the phrase pretty much nails it. Jenny is one of the people who has modernised craft – embroidery in particular – and made it fun, accessible and meaningful to a new generation. (If that isn’t worth a Google search, what is?)

The Book:
Each sheet in this book has a number of designs (often larger or smaller versions of the same image so you can choose your size). Each sheet of images is protected by another page so the designs don’t transfer onto each other.

You simply cut out the image and iron on — but don’t take my word for it, the book has full instructions including lessons on a range of stitches such as feather, chain and satin. For the beginner, these instructions are great — they’re clear but not patronising and Jenny’s style of writing is always fun and welcoming.

The spiral binding makes it easy to use and there are useful pockets at the front and back to store the designs once you’ve cut them out  to use them. (The only annoyance is there are so many they won’t all fit).

Reading other reviews, some people were disappointed by what they thought was a lack of new designs. It’s true that Jenny has produced many similar books and if you already have one or two you’re likely to see familiar images, but in my view there is enough to keep me busy and happy for a long time.

If you do want something a bit different, try the individual kits sold on the Sublime Stitching webiste. I bought the wedding kit to embroider this ‘love blanket’ and they also do great designs by Ryan Berkley, The Black Apple and artist and skater, Michael Sieben. You can also chose from tattoo designs, robots, 50’s pin-up sirens, zombies or sugar skulls. (Argh, craft project overload!)

The designs in the book are varied but many fit into a theme: animals; flowers; children and babies; food; tea parties. My favourites however, are the tattoo style birds (which you will see a lot of on my blog) and the cocktails (how couldn’t they be!)

Here’s an example of the bird and a rose, which I sewed onto a babygrow. I’ve also sewn Jenny’s cat designs on other babygrows; the bird onto a fabric envelope and lots more designs onto an embroidered patchwork baby blanket, which I will post on soon!


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.


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