Sunday, 31 August 2014

My Back to School Essentials

So the summer holidays are almost over *starts sobbing quietly* and a few of my friends and I decided to stock up on supplies for the new school year! This is mostly stocking up on the stationary that seems to vanish halfway through the year (where does it go?!) but there are some other little things in there as well.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday, 23 August 2014

How to: Bunting

Colourful bunting has a way of brightening up any room. You can find fabrics to fit your colour scheme, or make the colours and patterns completely random (this looks great in the garden or hanging from a caravan or tent). Here is a simple way of making some yourself. Remember that the measurements can be whatever you'd like - you can make the triangles whatever size you want and add more triangles or take some away to change the length of the bunting you're making.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Variations of my Patchwork Cushion Cover

Yesterday I uploaded a tutorial for how I make patchwork cushion covers (which you can read here), and today I'd like to show you a few variations of that to give you some inspiration for your own projects!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

How to: Simple Patchwork Cushion Cover

I've been spending a fair bit of time recently making patchwork cushion covers. I love the effect of using lots of different colours and fabrics, and thought I'd share my method here.

You will need:

~ A cushion pad (the one I'm using is 40cm x 40cm but it can be whatever size you'd like)
~ Some fabric
~ Fabric scissors
~ Tailors' chalk (a pen does the job too!)
~ Pins
~ A sewing machine (you can also sew this project by hand but it's a lot quicker to use a sewing machine if you can)
~ A zip
~ An iron

1) Measure out the squares for the patches. For a 40cm x 40cm cushion pad, I would usually use 10cm x 10cm squares, leaving about 1cm seam allowances on each edge. As I am using four different fabrics, I need to cut out 8 patches for each.

measure 10cm x 10cm, leaving
a seam allowance of 1cm
Eight patches from each fabric

2) When you have the patches, lay them out on a surface in the arrangement you'd like. This will make it easier to track your progress once you start sewing.
Lay out your patches in the
arrangement you want them
3) Take the first two patches you want to sew together. I usually go from the top left corner and work my way along a row.
With the right* sides together (*the sides you want to be able to see on the finished thing, usually the pattern is paler on the 'wrong' side), pin along one side and sew. 
Put two patches on top
 of each other, right sides
together, and pin along one side
4) Take out the pins and open up the two patches. Place the next square along on top and pin along one side again. Sew these two together, unpin and open up again. You should now have a row of three patches. Continue in this way until you have reached the end of the row.
Sew a row of
patches together
5) Iron the seams flat by opening a seam and ironing along it. This will make the overall finish much smoother and neater.
5a) Open the seam
5b) Iron along the seam
to keep it open

6) Do the next row down in the same way, and then sew both of these rows together along the long edge. Then, iron the long seam flat in the same way as the seams between the patches.
Sew the two rows together
Iron the long seam flat

7) Continue in the same way until all the rows are sewn together. This will be the front of the cushion cover.
8) Do four more rows in the same way, and then sew two of them to each other. Sew the other two together as well. You should have two large rectangles.
Two large patchwork rectangles
9) Take a zip (for a 40cm x 40cm cushion I would usually use a 36cm zip), and place it right* side down (*the side with the slider on) along the long edge of one of the rectangles. Pin this into place and sew. I find zips notoriously tricky to sew, so a couple of practice runs might be helpful if you're new to them. Remove the pins and open it up.
Pin the zip right side down
When the pins have
 been removed and it 
has been opened up, it 
should look something
 like this.

10) Place the other rectangle on top of this, right side down, lining up the edge with the zip, so that the zip will end up in the middle of the two rectangles when you have opened them up. Pin along this and sew. Remove the pins and open it up. This is the back of your cushion cover. At this stage you can sew up the gap between the two halves of the cover.
Pin the other rectangle
to the zip as well
This is what it 
should look like
once the pins a
out and it has 
been opened.

11) Place the front of the cushion cover face-down on top of the back. Pin along three edges and sew them together. Reaching up inside the cushion cover, open the zip, and then pin and sew the final edge. The sides that you want to be visible should be on the inside of the cushion cover and the zip should be open.
 Be sure to leave one side
open so that you can reach in
and open the zip!
12) Turn it inside out (technically the right way round!) by pulling the fabric through the open zip. If you want really sharp corners, you can use a pencil or a knitting needle to poke into the corners.
The back of the empty finished
cushion cover
The front of the empty finished
cushion cover

13) Put the cushion pad inside the cushion cover and zip it up, and you're done!
Stuff the cushion pad
into the cushion cover!
(this is the fun bit...)
The front of the
finished cushion!
The back of the
finished cushion!

Of course you can always change this method by using different measurements, shapes and so on, and if you wanted you could even adapt it for things other than a cushion cover. If you do, let me know so I can have a go too! I hope this tutorial helps you!

Thoughts? Questions? Leave me a comment!