Make your own sunglasses case

I found a most excellent tutorial online to make a sunglasses case in a 1/2 hour on the blog of Sew Well Maide which I have made extensive use of – making myself two cases and a case to match the beach bag I just made for a friend.

It’s super easy to make and could be customised quite easily I think – I’ve got plans for an embroidered version and have already altered the pattern slightly by using a proper press stud rather than one’s you sew on – because I know (like all my buttons) it would fall off! Though I’m still not awesome at the press studs though…

Anyway, if you it give it a try then let me know how it goes – here’s one of my attempts…

1/2 hour sunglasses case

1/2 hour sunglasses case

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Make your own beach bag

Following the success of my first beach bag (which I am keeping, no questions, I hands down LOVE it), a very lovely lady innocently asked if I could make her one before her impending holiday which essentially gave me two weeks – plenty of time in normal hours but with a full-time job and about a gazillion intentions to make stuff for my shop not so long – and I said no.

I just didn’t think I’d have time – then I saw this fabric in my cupboard which I completely forgot I bought from IKEA and a gorgeous matching yellow and white polka dot that I thrifted and I just knew I had to make it – I even had enough of the plastic to make the base hard – it was fated to be.

So the VIP lady got her wish and I made her a bag…which I now like a little bit more than mine (shhhh, my bag shall never know). It’s bigger, brighter and has even prettier pockets. But its future lies with VIP lady and I do hope they are very happy together! 😉

If you would like one for yourself or as a present for another then please get in touch!

VIP beach bag

Beach bag – Perfect for towels and suncream!

 

I’m pretty proud of myself if I do say so! Using some fabric leftover from cushions in our lounge and making my cousin’s birthday quilt, I put together this hard bottomed, multi pocketed beach bag last weekend in about 4 hours.

Whilst there are a few things I would tweak – running out of white thread halfway through and making the outer about 5mm larger than the inner being the most noteable – I am mostly happy with the bag and looking forward to using it on the beach in California! Just need to by our microfibre super bright towels now at Decathlon…

The outside of the bag - pretty bright!

The outside of the bag – pretty bright!

Interior of the bag with four pockets

Interior of the bag with four pockets

A shot of the interior pockets

A shot of the interior pockets

My label on the pocket

My label on the pocket

 

I won something! Passport wallet pattern

I was lucky enough the other week to win a competition run by the very talented Lynne of Lily’s Quilts – something I’ve not done in a very long time – and I became the proud owner of a passport holder pattern from the most generous Amber at One Shabby Chick.

The pattern was really great and perfect for our upcoming California trip (could I mention that more times?!?) – I chose to make the smaller, 4 pocket version as there are only the two of us travelling. However, for some unknown reason I chose to make this in an oilcloth I got cheap off of eBay – do not make it in oilcloth unless you are intending to swear an enormous amount at your sewing machine, break 2 needles and unpick a million gazillion missed stitches. If you have a super duper powerful sewing machine you’d be fine I’m sure but my good old Janome was just not up to the task – even with a heavy weight needle. I ended up having to ‘cut’ the corners and sew a straight line across them to avoid the bulk of the corner.

This was my first time using a press stud too so excuse the small dent on the top, for some reason I decided to hit it with a hammer whilst the wrong way round in the holder. But there is beauty in imperfecti0n…hmmm. Better results next time for sure!

I have learnt my lesson…well I thought I had till I saw how gorgeous the wallet looked in oilcloth, and oh how practical…but no, these thoughts must be squashed!

But what do you think? I’m pretty pleased with myself if I do say so and love the grey and yellow together. I’ll definitely be making some more to put in my shop too…but for now, here is my little wallet, all packed up with our passports ready for our trip…in a month’s time – somewhat early! 😉

Another wedding quilt – Congratulations Claire and Simon!

 

Back in wedding season once again and an old friend from uni just got married (congratulations!), for their wedding gift I’ve spent the last few months creating a quilt which I hope they like and get a lot of use from.

I found some wonderful fabric from Moda called Good Fortune that just yelled to me wedding quilt. I created blocks of 2.5cm cubes and then sewed these all together to form a large cot sized quilt/foot warmer quilt for across the bottom of the bed. I then backed it in a vintage bed sheet – flowery blues and greens and bound in a upcycled white and green cotton pillowcase. This was then all quilted together using a grid pattern. Hopefully it gets lots of use and love or years to come!

Detail of the quilt top

Detail of the quilt top

Embroidered detail

Embroidered detail

Close up of the backing with the quilt label

Close up of the backing with the quilt label

Front and back of the quilt

Front and back of the quilt

Detail on the quilt

Detail on the quilt

Quilt folded up and ready for wrapping

Quilt folded up and ready for wrapping

 

If you are looking to give a unique gift to someone for their wedding/birthday/anniversary etc then perhaps you would be interested in a quilt? I take commissions and would be very happy to discuss ideas if you have a particular fabric or style in mind, get in touch!

 

How to re-upholster a seat pad…or try to…

So I FINALLY managed to re-upholster our dining table chairs. We’ve had the table for over a year now – an old teak G plan table and chairs from my Granma’s house – and I have LOATHED the pink velvet chair coverings for that entire time but secretly been very intimidated about doing anything about it.

One horrible day at work and the desire to feel like I’d achieved something, anything, that day and voila, new chair covers in under 2 hours 🙂 In fact most of that time was spent removing the horrific old covers!  I used an IKEA fabric (only £4.99 a metre) and probably used only about £8 worth of fabric doing this.

My re-upholstery was by no means perfect/following any kind of instructions, but it has worked and I’m more than happy with the results…of course, the moment my mother sat down on one, she HAD to point out the staple she could feel round the bottom edge – but that’s what mothers are for isn’t it? 😉

The naked chair pad - minus the horrific velvet

The naked chair pad - minus the horrific velvet

Triangles of quilt batting I used for the worn corners of the pads

Triangles of quilt batting I used for the worn corners of the pads

New fabric cut to fit the chair pad

New fabric cut to fit the chair pad

A newly covered chair pad!

A newly covered chair pad!

My lovely 'new' chairs!

My lovely 'new' chairs!

It’s funny how the chairs actually do look quite modern now!

In other news we have now got built-in shelves in the alcoves in the lounge, thanks to my lovely Dad, pictures to follow shortly (I have before and during but no after!) and I am progressing along nicely with all the pre-Christmas sewing projects, plenty to show in the New Year!

How to make a Knitting Needle Roll

Well I’m more than a little proud of myself! Last night, driving home thinking about the exercise I was going to do and all the stuff I hadn’t achieved at work that day I thought that actually finishing a sewing/crafting project would maybe make me feel a little better…do you know what? It did!

I’ve been knitting a bit lately (though I am still very much a novice), I’ve just finished a scarf and I have two lovely new wools to make two new scarfs from so I thought something to use for knitting would be great. Ages ago I bought a load of gorgeous wooden knitting needles which have lived in a jiffy bag ever since. Whilst the top of one has been gnawed off by an errant rabbit – mentioning no names of course – they’re in good condition and I thought that they deserved a home worthier than an envelope!

So I googled knitting needle roll tutorials and found some pretty good ones such as – Lupinbunny, a load of suggestions from Tipnut, Multicrafty and Craftster – before settling on this one from madebyloulabelle (love the site!). 
I pretty much followed the tutorial, although I am terrible at cutting straight edges which might be why I had a little trouble getting everything to line up and might even have to do some post sew repairs but I am SUPER pleased with what I ended up with – wonky lines and all!

A few things I would change, if I ever make another one, would be – choose a fleece or thinner batting instead of the quilting batting I used, get thicker bias tape (I used my Granma’s pre-war stuff), make the upper needle guard a little deeper, cut straighter lines in the first place and embroider the numbers BEFORE I sew it all together! Other than that it was pretty successful, the fruits of my labours…

Knitting needle roll – rolled

Unrolled

My attempt at post sew embroidery…

At home with the wools
So I’m now going to steam ahead with the scarfs and I’m even thinking about making a blanket, but I need circular needles I think…and a whole lot more knitting knowledge than I currently possess – you’ve got to try I suppose!
My latest knitting project

The Grandmothers quilt…

My, has it been a busy week at work! Hence the complete lack of blogging – sorry! I’ve been rather preoccupied and therefore haven’t really cooked much to shout about or done any crafts but here is a look at my progress so far on putting together the hexagons I found amongst the sewing stuff my Granma gave me …



There’s a LONG way to go but it’s about 2.5 ft square at the moment and I think I’ll just make it 6 ft square at most, bigger hexagons make for much quicker quilting so that’s good, plus they were mostly pre-basted so all makes my life a little easier – can still see this taking forever though! 😉

A label for my quilt…getting somewhere!

I finally put together a little label for my quilt, not the best embroidery I’ve ever seen but the first I’ve ever done so of course I am proud! The smudge is on the picture not the quilt – should have picked a better one but I’m bleary eyed and haven’t got any others…


I’m still working on the ‘grandmother’ quilt and have just finished knitting a scarf so not doing too badly really. Bought a car on Saturday too so all in all a good weekend. A few recipes to share with you over the coming days including celeriac remoulade and salsify fritter – both delicious!

Binding commences!

I cut up all my binding strips last night so hope to get onto binding over the next couple of days. The end if nigh, and this time I mean it!

I’m using a blue polycotton that came in the stash that my Granma gave me a while back, it’s sort of cornflower blue and matches really nicely with the colours in the quilt. I think it’s also fitting that I use it to complete this quilt seeing as she sadly passed away before I could show her it, I really wanted her to see what I’ve struggled to achieve. As a sewing teacher and an accomplished home sewer I wanted her to see how I was inspired by her paper pieced hexagons to make my own and, using some fabrics from her, how I’ve created something that will hopefully last a long time…oh well, maybe she can still see it 😉

As I have not idea how to do this I’ve been looking out for tutorials for binding a quilt and I thought, maybe you guys might be trying this too, or contemplating producing a quilt – do! So here are the two best tutorials I came across, with different ways of doing it…

Crazy Mom Quilts – Hand sewn finish (or you could try Sew Inspired)

Christine Mann – No hand sewing.