Friday, July 30, 2010

Upcycling is the new black!!

Having my own curtain shop gives me access to loads and loads of fabric. I don't actually stock any curtain fabrics in the shop. I have hundreds (I kid you not) of sample books where we basically choose a fabric,work out the quantities and then order in what we need It usually takes about a week for the fabric to arrive into our workrooms and then Hey Presto the little elves work away on it and out comes a beautifully finished pair of curtains-I wish!!

See I was not kidding about the huge number of sample books. Eventually these books are replaced by new designs and I have to throw out the books. I have to buy all these books so it kills me to dump any of them.
This week I got a note about newly discontinued books. Usually I groan but in this instance I was happy because they are the most beautiful children's applique (ridiculously expensive!!) fabrics. And I had a plan.

Unfortunately I did not photograph the book before I got my scissors to it...

I made these cushions. Each one different to the next. I knew they would be gorgeous but they turned out even better than I had imagined.

Also this week I have been studying the manual I got with my embroidery sewing machine and figured out a few things. I found out how to repeat a design on one fabric so I tried it out like this.
And then used the designs to cover buttons-Sweet. Thinking of putting them on a white cardi, Maybe...
I have a bag of clothes ready for the charity shop (ready since my xmas clearout). I rummaged through it and found this t shirt.
I turned it into a pair of shorts for Cerys. There's not enough sun here though to warrant shorts so she had been wearing them to bed!!
And I made my first tutorial.Jeepers it takes ages to make one. I think I may have too many photographs in it but it was a great experience to do it. Definitely more to come. Check it out and let me know what you think.
As usual I am linking up to a few blogs:
lush friday (my very own show and tell), amy lou's sew and tell, simply designing ,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lush Skirt tutorial

Remember a few weeks ago I made this skirt and top for my daughter,well I decided to write a tutorial on how to make one.

Bear with me,this is my first tutorial...and its for a skirt for my 7 year old Cerys. We love these wonderfully colourful fabrics. The combinations are endless.
This is a gathered skirt with a flat front waistband and elasticated back waistband. The length of the skirt from the top on the waistband to the hem is 15invhes.So if you want the skirt to be a different length ,adjust your piece lengths.

What you need for this skirt are

2 co-ordinating fat quarters

Piece of 1 inch elastic


ric rac(optional)

Decide which will be your main fabric and cut the fat quarter in half so you have 2 pieces each measuring 10 x 21 inches ( front and back)

Cut co-ord fabric into 2 pieces measuring 5.5 x 21
1 piece 13 x 4(front waistband)
1 piece 21 x 4 (back waistband)

Take the 13 x 4 inch piece ( front waistband) and front piece. Mark the centres

Centre markings

Pin some pleats in place, keeping centre markings centred until the front and waistband are the same width.

Pin and sew together

Pin right sides of back waistband and back piece together (no pleats this time).Pin and sew as front.

Press seams flat towards the waistband.

Pin front and back right sides together at sides.

Sew side seams together .

Pin and sew co-ord fabric 21 x 4 inch pieces together at sides.

Pin hem band and front pieces together making sure the side seams line up

Sew and overlock together, also overlock the raw edge of the waistband and the hem band.

Press up a little hem on the hem band.

Press under the waistband so it is about 1.25inches high.

I cut my elastic 10 inches long. Pin the edge of the elastic to the side seam of the waistband on each side

Sew in place.

Place some pins through the layers along the lower edge of the waistband .

Sew along the lower edge taking care not to stitch through the elastic.

The elastic will gather up making it difficult to manage so put the needle down into the fabric, lift the pressure foot and move the elastic through.You may need to do this a few times.The ric rac is optional ! Place it on top of the seam and sew along.

I sewed ric rac on the lower edge to sew the hem in place. If you do not use ric rac simply machine or hand sew the hem.
Here it is ...the finished skirt. If there is any part of this tutorial you cannot follow please comment below and I will try to enlighten you!!

Totally Tutorials Blog

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bicycle bucket

This week has been so full and busy that I reached thursday before I even noticed and I had nothing for show and tell. Yesterday evening I thought back on the week and realised that I had done very little sewing. Well.....very little I could show and tell. I had actually done tonnes of sewing. I had altered a wedding dress for a lovely girl getting married next weekend ,altered a debs dress for a debs last wednesday night, made clutch bags and shoulder bags for a wholesale order,and made curtains at my 'real' job!! Then in the midst of all that I won a giveaway for an Amy Butler pattern and some fabric. No wonder the week flew!!!

So in a bit of a flap yesterday evening I locked myself away in my sewing room and came up with this idea of a bicycle bucket for my friend Emily's High Nellie!!!!

And just so that nobody else thinks it is their's I embroidered her name on it...
Just as cute on the inside
As usual I am linking up to a few delicious blogs ,of course my very own lush friday, fab friday, amy lous sew and tell, simply designing ,saturday soiree

Friday, July 16, 2010

Patchwork attempt!!!

I had a seriously quiet day at work in my shop last saturday. Cerys had come to work with me for the day and she kept asking if we were going to ever have a customer..just to make me feel eveen worse. Summertime is generally a dull time in the shop but saturdays were never this quiet. Anyway I made a quick phone call to Eva in pippablue and headed into Galway on a mission to get some fat quaters to make my first attemp at patchwork. I had been threatening this for weeks and felt it was time. The weather was terrible and traffic was worse but we were determined. The only trouble was trying to decide on a colour combo. I left it up to Cerys to choose, she loves fabrics too. Eva gave me the name of a few blogs to look at to find a tutorial and I eventually decided on this stacked coins quilt on the moda bake shop blog.

I cut all my pieces

Put them into groups and shuffled

I really enjoyed sewing them all together and watching the combinations unfold. In hindsight I would not have included the red/purple spotty one. I think it pops out too much from the overall design. I had to re shuffle the lines a few times to keep those spotty ones apart. But I am happy with the finished product. It is by no means perfect but what the heck.

I have started quilting. I am eyeball quilting because my gauge foot is missing a holding screw for my sewing machine. This is as far as I have got yet.

I am hosting my 4th lush friday and I am also linking up to fab friday,simply designing,amy lou's sew and tell ,frugalicious friday and saturdays craft envy. I would love for you to link up to lush friday and why don't you pop over to the other links too to see what else is going on.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bits and bobs/this and that!!

I was so tired this week,I think i may have overdone it for the past few weeks preparing for the Portumna Great Outdoors Festival where Sprinkles and I had stalls. I spent every spare moment I had making bags and purses and anything else I could think of . It was a great day ,I really enjoyed it. I found it brilliant for getting feedback on my stuff.

I completely sold out of these so I have to make some more.

I had this pretty pink polka dot fabric left over after I shortened a pair of curtains and thought it was ideal for this bag I had been dying to make. I bought the applique pattern some time ago for my embroidery sewing machine and I love the way it turned out.

I panicked last week thinking I had not got enough to sell last sunday so I made these purses with the help of my niece Ciara. She chose the fabric combinations.

Isn't this one cute!!

I bought this fabric some weeks ago and haven't gotten around to making anything with it yet. I originally bought it to make another one of these tops.I think I will stick with the plan.I get so much wear out of the other one I made

Having read so many blogs lately I am itching to try some quilting so hopefully I will go shopping on monday to buy some fabric. I have looked through my fabric stash and can't come up with a combination that I like.
Wish me luck!!
I am hosting my 3rd lush friday and linking up to fab friday,simply designing,amy lou's sew and tell and saturday craft envy. I would really love if you would check out my 'lush friday', and maybe link up too!!!
See you next week..

Monday, July 5, 2010

Portumna Great Outdoors Festival

For years Portumna had a summer festival that we all looked forward to but it simply died away.But this year it was back and ..back with a bang...better than ever and all this as thanks to the great efforts of the Portumna Chamber of Commerce.There was a huge amount of work put into the oragisation of the weekend and this could be seen by the crowds of people soaking up the holiday atmosphere in the town over the weekend.

On sunday there were activities planned for children.. face painting,puppets,ice cream,art and craft workshop and all for free...

So in amongst all this you could also find a little stall manned by yours truly and my two beautiful assistants. Lush stuff had come to display (and hoping to sell) my wares. When we arrived at the playground area in Portumna on this lovely but windy day, I have to admit to having my doubts that we could cope with the wind. But we chose our position and set up. Sprinkles (cupcakes and custom made cakes) also had high hopes for the day and set up beside us. Thanks to my friends Nes and Helen for coming up with the idea of filling paper bags with stones to hold all in place.

My two assistants (with cupcakes yum yum)!!


We sold loads of these

I love to see that people like what I make and am delighted when they buy but often I find it hard to let go of some the applique pouches (like the cow one above). Silly isn't it or does anyone else feel like this?????.......................


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