Quick Craft – Starting on Thursday

Starting this Thursday I am aim to run a regular slot, that I am going to call Quick Craft. The aim of this is to make something within 60 minutes, I will time myself and take photos every ten minutes to document my progress (pausing the timer to take the photos). If I haven’t finished within the 60 minutes I will take a photograph of how far along it got and then keep the timer going whilst I finish it off to see how long it takes. If the project is finished before the 60 minutes is up I shall pause the timer to report how long it took

I already have some projects planned for the next few weeks and projects will include clothing, accessories and home furnishing. It is important to me that everything is finished to a high enough standard that I would be happy to put them on display, wear them or give them as gifts, so a project will be classed as unsuccessful if I am not satisfied with the standard.

This week I will be making a Pac-Man inspired bookmark for S, he uses all different bits of paper, so I thought he would benefit from a proper bookmark…..lets see how I get on.

Waiting for Material

I have now ordered and am waiting for a whole selections of material and other bits to start and finish off some of my projects. I have ordered all of the bits needed to make the changing bag for my friend and have also ordered the bias binding to complete the Amy Butler top and the wadding to complete the quilt, this left me a rather a loose end today. I ended up completing a lining for the bin that little one has for her toys.

The bin works very well, she has a selection of toys in there right by her bed, it keeps it all tidy and she can also find her toys when she wants. The only downside is that because the bin is metal and by the leather chair, it may scratch…something S would be very unhappy about.

To make the lining I started of by drawing around the edge of the bin, adding about 1/2 cm for seam allowance and a few centimeters at the top so that the lining can be folded over at the end.

I then repeated this for the bottom of the bin

I then used these pieces to cut out the fabric (I had some lovely Amy Butler fabric left over from another project so I used this up), cutting out two of the bottom squares and eight of the side panels, this is so that I can make a double sided lining due to the mesh nature of the bin

I then placed two panels right side together

and stitched down one side. I then opened the pieces out, laid another piece right side together and stitched down the other side

I then repeated this with the fourth piece and then attached the last edge of the fourth bit to the first edge of the first piece to make a tube

I then attached the square to the bottom. I did this by placing one edge of the square to the bottom edge of one panel, right sides together. I then stitched along the edge, leaving the needle of the sewing machine in the down position so that I could rotate the fabric and match the edges of the square and the panel in the next section

I then repeated this on the other two sides, until the bottom was attached all of the way around.

Next, I repeated all of the above steps to make another one that is identical (lining)

To attach the lining to the exterior (although mine were from the same fabric so were indistinguishable for one another), I turned one the right way out and placed it inside the other one so that they were right sides together and stitched around the top leaving a small gap for turning it the right way out.

Next I turned it the right way out and the top stitched around the top, ensuring that the material at the gap were turned in and stitched in place

The lining was now finished so I popped it into the bin

All that was left was for little one to try it out

All in all this was a super fast project and would be very easy to adapt for lining any other boxes. Fingers crossed the materials that I have ordered will not be too long in arriving.

Decopatch Jewellery Box

Middle Sister brought me a wooden box as part of my Christmas gift….it was something that I asked for. I have looked for ages for a jewellery box and could not find one that I liked that was also practical, I then stumbled across wooden boxes when I was making a gift for my niece and thought…”ahh…I could make my own.”

Firstly I gathered all of my materials, the box, decopatch paper, glue, brush and scissors (I used the kitchen scissors which have now become my craft scissors):


I then cut the paper that I wanted into smallish squares, I wasn’t too exact about this but I would estimate that they were about 1 inch by 1.5 inch on average

I then brushed glue onto the box, stuck a bit of the paper on and then brush more glue over the top of the paper. I did this bit by bit because the glue dried so quickly, if I had brushed glue onto the whole it would have dried before I stuck the paper on.

The tricky bit was going over the sections that divided the drawers, I did this by firstly gluing it flat.

The cutting into the corners

I then folded the cut part into the drawer cavity and glued into place

I then built up the paper in the same way for the rest of the box. This is the back view

This is the front view

I was originally going to cover the drawers too, but I have now decided that I think this will be a bit much. I will buy some dark blue and red paint, doing the main part of the drawers blue and the handles red. I think I may also line the drawers to make it into a finished product.

Coat for Little One (The dog)

Last night when I got in from work, little one got herself all excited and decided to have a play with her jumper. This resulted in a massive hole in the back of it that was beyond repair, to be honest I am quite pleased it was pretty ugly anyway. This has meant that I have spent the morning working on a coat for her, she gets cold at the moment and needs something to keep her warm, this is what the finished coat looks like

Little one is not the best model because she finds it so difficult to stay still, most photos of her have some sort of blur about them.

To make the coat, I started off by tracing her coat that she currently has and that fits her well

I placed the coat onto some pattern paper and drew around the outside adding about 1/2 cm all the way around for my seam allowance. I then cut this out.

I then cut out all of the pattern pieces. There were two of the whole coat piece and then two pieces for the belt, I got this by measuring her current coat, and adding a little for over lap (5cm) and some for seam allowance (1cm) making it 75cm long, I did it 7cm wide.

I like the way that the above photo catches little one looking on!

I firstly put the two belt pieces right sides together and stitched around one short side and the two long sides, leaving the other short side unsewn for turning it out the right way.

I then clipped the corners and turned it the right way out and pressed, ensuring that the other short side was turned in. I then put the belt to one side to do the coat. I placed the two coat pieces right side together and stitched around the edges, leaving a gap on one straight side for turning it the right way out.

I then clipped it all the way around to ensure that the seams would lay flat. I always take real care with this because I have clipped my stitches before which is very annoying.

I then turned it the right way out, using a turning tool to get the corners out. I then pressed it ensuring that the edges that were not sewn were folded under. I then placed it over little one to decide where I wanted the belt to be.

I pinned this in place and then top stitched the belt, which also served to stitch it onto the main coat body and fasten the seam on the short end that was not previously sewn.

Then, I topped stitched right around the coat body, this also closed the part that was not previously sewn.

Next I added two button holes, one onto the long side of the coat neck and one onto the long side of the belt.

I then put the coat onto little one to work out exactly where to place the buttons on the belt and the neck and then sew the buttons on

The coat was then finished

All that was left was for little one to try it on

I got her to sit relatively still with some treats, so please excuse the drool coming from her mouth. She is also wearing the collar that I made her for Christmas so she is all kitted out in her own homemade outfit.

Handbag Organiser

As mentioned in my post the other day I found a fat quarter of fabric that I brought ages ago and never used. I was very happy with the find and decided to use it to make a case for my phones and memory stick that I can put into my handbag.

I did not do any measurement to make this project but hopefully I can clearly explain what I did. Firstly I laid out my two phones and memory stick onto a piece of paper to get an idea of the size that I would like the organiser to be.

I then cut out all of my fabric pieces. I folded the material in half so that all of the fabric bits have two copies. I cut out the following:

1) Two pieces of the complete size

2) Two pieces for the pocket

3) Two long pieces for the tie and band

4) One full size bit from firm stabilizer

The first thing that I did was attach some bias binding to the top of pocket. This also acted to sew the two sides of the pocket together.

Next I laid the pocket onto one piece of fabric (full size) and laid the items I wanted to go in the pocket on top. I marked the places with a pin for where I needed to stitch to separate the pocket.

I then stitched where I had marked from the top of the bias binding to the bottom of the fabric. This attached the pocket to one piece of the full sized material.

I then made the long pieces of fabric into the ties. I did this by ironing the fabric in half length ways, opening in out, folding the bottom edge into the middle and ironing and then folding the top edge into the middle and ironing and then folding it in half and ironing again, this means the raw edges are inside.

I then top stitched down each edge of the tie and zigzagged stitched the ends and then attached it to the fabric in the following way.

1) On the full sized piece that does not have the pocket on, mark where the tie needs to be fixed. Attach the tie at this point (I attached it at the middle point of my tie, stitching back and forth several times.

2)  I cut a short (probably two inches) from my other fabric tie. I then laid this over the top of where the tie is attached to the fabric and zigzagged stitched over the ends to fix it to the fabric.

I then sandwiched the material, wrong sides together with the stabilizer in the middle. I also rounded the corners to make the bias binding easier to sew on.

I then attached bias binding all the way around, being careful not to catch the ties as I was sewing. This is the inside of the finished organiser

This is it all tied up

Hopefully I will now be able to find my phone when it rings now, it usually is in the bottom of my bag and difficult to lay my hands on…no excuses now. The project took less than an hour and I am very happy with the results.

Dress Alteration Two

Following on from the dress alteration that I did yesterday, I thought that I would do a second today. This dress has also been waiting around for quite a while, I am happy with the top of the dress but not so keen on the bottom, it is a bit on the tight side and also a sort of inbetween length being neither short or knee length. (Apologies for the quality of the photos, the dress is a kind of black silky material which just isn’t up to being photographed well)

The dress is on a tailor’s dummy that is already the same size as me so I firstly put a pin into a straight seam to mark where I wanted the top to finish. I have decided to finish the edge with bias binding, this means that there is no seam allowance needed so the pin is put in at the exact length that I want the top to be.

I then removed the dress from the dummy and measured how far the pin was from the straight seam at the hem of the dress.

It was 13 and a quarter inches. My tailor’s chalk did not work well on the dress due to the type of fabric so I place pins at regular intervals at 13 and a quarter inches from the hem

It then cut the top at the pins. I put the top back onto the dummy to check that I was happy with the length.

I was happy with the length so I took the top off and then did zig-zag stitch around the hem (this is to prevent it from fraying)

I then finally encased the hem in bias binding

The top was then complete

I am very happy with the results and using the bias binding meant that this was a very fast project, taking less than thirty minutes. When I wear this out I will wear it with jeans and a little belt to accentuate the waist because the block colour on the top can look make we feel box shaped if I don’t nip in the waist.

Dress Alteration/Upcycling

I brought this dress a number of months ago, it was an ebay purchase and although it is beautiful, I was never happy with how the dress sat on my chest as the buttons tended to gape. It has since sat in my wardrobe waiting for me to alter it.

I decided that I would alter the dress into a high waisted skirt. Firstly I measured and marked 6 inches from the waist line

I then cut along this mark, note that I cut the front and back sections separately as opposed to together and I also ensured that the zip on the back was in a down position so that I could use this in the skirt without having to take it out and replace it

My dress has a lining so I was quite lucky that it was not finished off at the bottom, this meant that I could turn the dress inside out to make a seam. So I turned the dress inside out and pinned the seam together on one side.

I then noticed that my tailors chalk did not work on the lining so I flipped the dress over and drew on the other side.

I then did a straight stitch along the marked line (ensuring that the seams to the shaping of the dress remained flat), when the sewing was done, I clipped the edges to a couple of millimeters from the stitching and turned it back around the right way.

I then pressed the seam to ensure that it laid flat and to also tuck in the bit above the button hole. I then top stitched the edges of the panel to give it a finished look

I then repeated these steps with the other side.

The last things that I wanted to do was insert another button hole, I used the automatic button hole stitch on my machine and used the seam ripper to make the hole between the stitches.

Finally I sewn on the button

Then all that was left was to try it on

The skirt has worked over all and I think it will make for a cute outfit for a friends birthday party that I am going to in a few weeks. The only thing that I may do extra is make some belt loops out of the left over material from the top I think this will add a more professional finish and also allow the belt to sit between the buttons as opposed to over the bottom one.

Cardigan Surgery

I have had a cardigan with a hole in the sleeve for quite a while (it was made by my dog when she first arrived as an eight week old puppy, she is now over a year old!), it is one of those things that have hung around in my fixing pile for a while and which I haven’t quite got around to. This is the hole:

Hole in the sleeve

I decide to fix it by attaching a band of colour around the sleeve, this is the finished item:

I have also attached a band to the other sleeve to make it balanced. I like to wear red which is how I selected red, additionally I thought it rather apt that I used left over fabric from my dog’s collar, lead and harness to repair her handiwork.

To start with a cut a length of fabric, this was twice as wide as I wanted to band to be (3 inches) and an two inches longer than the width of my arm at the point of the hole (9 inches). This picture below shows my fabric (please note that this is currently 18 inches long because I cut the fabric in half, one for each arm)

Next I turned the fabric over, folded it in half and pressed the seam, I felt comfortable to fold and I ironed the seam but you can pin before you iron)

I then unfolded it and folded the bottom edge in towards to middle (pressed seam) and then pressed the new fold.

I then repeated this with the top edge, folding the top edge into the original pressed seam and then pressing again

I then turned the whole fabric over and pressed to erase the original pressed seam, ensuring that the two edges remained underneath.

This provides a nice meat edge to sew directly onto the cardigan. I next ripped to seam on the cardigan, this was located at the same place as the hole in the sleeve and using the seam ripper it was made slightly wider that the width of the fabric strip that I have made.

I then placed the fabric strip over the hole in the cardigan and pinned it into place, I did it on the side with the hole in first to ensure that it covered it properly. I then did the second side and fed the ends of the fabric strip into the ripped seam.


I then top stitched along each edge of the fabric strip about 3mm from the edge. This was quite tricky on the sewing machine and it used the manual turn control as opposed to the foot pedal so that I had more control.

Once I had top stitched each edge I then turned the sleeve inside out to repair the ripped seam. I started by doing the straight stitch. I used red thread to make it clear, I ensured that the stitching started a finished beyond the fabric strip edge.

I then trimmed the fabric strip ends to make it level with the seam of the cardigan

I then zigzagged stitched over the seam to finished it off.

I then turned the cardigan back to the right side out and pressed. It was then all finished, I repeated the steps on the other arm to make them match.


The whole project took less that an hour and I now have a cardigan I can wear again.