Saturday, 31 December 2011

Cath Kidston bag

 Last Christmas my husband bought me a sewing machine, and a copy of Sew! by Cath Kidston. The book came with the fabric to make the bag on the cover.
After a year of procrastinating - I needed more practice, I didn't have the right colour thread, I was busy making something else... I finally did it last night!
It went pretty well, although I skipped the buttonholes on the strap and just stitched it to the bag. I put the buttons on as decoration only.
I am pretty pleased with it, the fabric is nice and spring-like - a little reminder that brighter weather is on its way.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Just one more thing...

The trouble with making stuff, is that just when you've decided you've made enough stuff, you have an urge to make some more stuff.
So, I made 7 little sweetie bags to be favours on our Christmas table.
I knitted a handbag for Poppy. 
I baked a boiled fruit cake.
And I made myself a large gin and tonic!

Happy Christmas everybody!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Pillowcase rescue; the mission continues...

I loved this lonely pillowcase when I saw it in the charity shop.
I just knew it could have a happy new life as a reusable carrier bag.
It folds up teeny weeny to sleep in the bottom of your handbag.
And I even made it a little pouch to keep it warm and snug ;)

(I am thinking setting up a pillowcase refuge in my sewing box, rehabilitating the prettiest and funkiest so that they can once again lead useful, appreciated lives!!)

Here is my tutorial  so you too can rescue a pillowcase.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Radiator dried oranges

I sliced a couple of oranges the other day, patted them dry with some kitchen roll and lay them over my radiators for 48 hours.
Why haven't I done this before? They came out great, lovely and crisp and orange!
I tied some around bunches of cinnamon sticks...
I hung some on the branches of the tree...
And the rest I scattered into my wooden bowl of pinecones.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Something slightly different...

I always wear a dress in December (we call it Dressember, you can find out more on facebook.)

So this is a dress inspired piece of applique, and the black fabric is made from one of my old dresses. I think this could be a lovely way of remembering favourite frocks. I'd like to say it was a self portrait but most of the time I'm not that glamorous!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Pillowcase sack; handmade Thursday

This is really easy way to make a drawstring bag which is ideal for a Christmas sack.

I bought some red pillowcases, turned the top over and stitched it to make a channel for the drawstring - that's it!!

J for James; must do an A and a P next.
The applique was a little more difficult, but only because I had to be very careful not to sew the two sides of the bag together. I've chosen fabrics which are not specifically Christmassy so this bag can be useful all year round.

More handmade Thursdays at White Lily Green.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Machine stitched Christmas card

Some fabric left over from the advent calendar, glued onto card then embellished with machine sewing.
Handwritten message and mounted onto a square card.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Advent bunting

I've had this idea in my head for ages - I'm not saying it's all my own idea, I'm sure it's been done before! 
I bought a metre of Christmas fabric and made 24 pockets (roughly 5 inches square) and stitched them at regular intervals along a length of bias binding.

The numbers are hand embroidered onto felt - oh, how I hate hand sewing!

And now it's strung around the hallway, ready to be filled with treats!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Fabric upcycling

Now I love a beautiful fabric shop with lovely rolls of brand new fabric as much as the next woman, but I think I love upcycled fabrics even more. I love the rummaging, the searching, the bargain hunting!
In fact this whole post has been inspired by a recent charity shop fest where I purchased this absolutely fabulous, vintage (St Michael) king size duvet cover. 4 metres of extra wide fabric for £2; I was completely chuffed!
I'm also a big fan of vintage pillowcases; my favourite charity shops sell odd pillowcases for around 50p; not bad for about half a metre of fabric.
School dress; lots of lovely gingham!
And of course there are clothes! I have cut up lots of our old clothes; children's clothes are especially good as they often have smaller prints which look good on small scale projects such as applique. If you are a sentimental person (not me actually!) this can be a way of preserving memories of favourite clothes by re-using the fabrics to make something else. (And another great thing about cutting up clothes is that they usually come with free buttons!!)

Ladies cotton blouses
Little girl clothes
Men's shirts; sensible and lairy!
Have you made anything from upcycled fabric lately?

Friday, 11 November 2011

Still more letters!

Everyone loves my little name canvasses! (See the first lot here.)
It makes me feel very clever to have so many people ask me to make them something! I've made 16 names on canvas in the past fortnight - with another 7 on order to make next week!
I love making them because everyone is slightly different and if you've read this blog in the past you will know I hate making the same thing twice!!

I've listed them in my etsy shop and you can also contact me via Shazronnie makes stuff on facebook.

Linking up with Mum of all trades weekend blog hop!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

More machine stitching on card!

For a new baby; the letters are made from felt, and the gingham fabric is upcycled from a school dress.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

How to make a bag out of a pillowcase

This is one of my favourite upcycling projects. I'm sure there are lots of tutorials on t'internet about how to make a bag from a pillowcase. I'm not saying this is the best way, but this is the way I do it!
First you need a pillowcase; they are really easy to pick up in charity shops and I love the chintzy floral prints.
Then you need to chop it into pieces. 
The bottom piece is the main part of your bag - I measured this to be 18 inches deep.
The two smaller pieces will be the handles; mine are 3 inches deep.
(The top part is leftover; ideal scrap for applique and patchwork projects.)
Take your two handles and turn the ends under and pin.
I top stitch these together, rather than sewing it inside out then struggling to turn them back again.
Here they are all stitched, ready to attach onto the bag part.

Turn the bag part inside out (hopefully you've realised by this point that the beauty of using a pillow case is that it is almost a bag anyway!!) and turn over and iron the top edge down, slipping your handles under in the right place.
Stitch all around near the raw edge. (I cut mine with pinking shears to avoid fraying but you might need to do a double hem here.)
Then turn your bag the right way out and topstitch all around the top, making sure you go over the handles. This will give them extra strength and stop the top of your bag flopping over.
(And it folds up all teeny tiny so it's fab for popping in your handbag when out shopping.)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Quick card - handmade Thursday

For a special friend's wedding anniversary.
This is simply a fabric heart glued onto card, then I ran the sewing machine around it.
Easy, but I think it looks very effective.

More handmade Thursdays at white lily green.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fabric letters galore!

It all started with a little name canvas I made for my daughter. 

Then a friend from my college days asked for one for her daughter.
That had to be larger, because I can only fit 5 letters on a small canvas!
Then another friend asked if I could do 5 canvasses, each with a letter spelling her daughter's name.
And then I got a request for a boy version, which turned out like this :)

I have 6 more name canvasses on order, which is fabulous! I have been neglecting the housework to sew, sew, sew! I have also set up a facebook page, which is where most of these orders have come from.
If you are so inclined you can like me on facebook here :)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Bunkbed bag

This is something I've been meaning to make for ages (and a girl needs a break from applique occasionally!!)
It is basically a rectangular bag, divided into two pockets and attached to the bunkbed rails with buttons on straps. This is actually the first time I did buttonholes on my sewing machine. Don't know why I thought it might be difficult...
But anyway, now Poppy has a little bunkbed bag, perfect for a bunny and and a book :)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Bramley Apple Mincemeat

This is a recipe heavily adapted from one I found on t'internet.

In a large pan melt 20g butter.
Add 850g bramley apples (peeled, cored and sliced - or chopped if you want smaller apple bits.)
Add 400ml water and cook gently for about 20 minutes.

Add 450g sugar, 300g sultanas, 300g mixed fruit, 70g mixed peel, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the juice of a lemon.
Heat gently until sugar dissolves, then boil for about 20 minutes, until mixture is thick. Keep stirring!!

Stir in 2 tablespoons of sherry and pour into sterilised jars. (I got 4 jars worth.)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

I like sewing cupcakes more than baking them!!

The cupcake image is just so sweet and easy to make, and I love it in this red, pink and white colourway. Good enough to eat - except the buttons might stick in your teeth!

It's Handmade Thursday today; why not take a look at some more lovely crafty stuff at