Monday, 16 January 2012

A bit of a cover up.. how to cover buttons

Just thinking it has been a little while since I've written something vaguely useful for those interested in sewing.

I've become a big fan of fabric covered buttons and it is a great way of giving your item individuality and a nice finish. It can also be a cheaper than buying ordinary buttons. You  can use the same fabric as your main fabric or use a coordinating fabric- it is more difficult with thick or heavy weight fabrics.  I use the plastic type of buttons, although you can get metal ones, and they come in a range of sizes. It is something that is very easy to do and doesn't take very much time.

The buttons come in 2 part, a front and back, which clip neatly together.

Cut out a disc of your fabric about double the diameter of the button,  if the buttons come in a pack you may find a template on the pack itself.

Do a small running stitch around the edge of the fabric disc- not too close to the edge or  your fabric will  fray.

Centre the top part of the button in the fabric disc, with the shank upwards, then draw in the thread. Make sure all the edges are tucked in and then place the back of the button on over the shank- with this type of button the convex surface faces out.

The plastic end of a bobbin of thread can be used to push the back in place. You can get devices to do this but a bobbin is cheap, available, and I find effective.

You can get machines to cover buttons but they can be quite costly- perhaps if you plan to make large numbers of buttons worth investing in.

I use the fabric buttons a lot on my cushions- in actual fact it saves me time as I don't spend ages finding buttons I like, and I know I've always got the right  buttons!

The buttons are really versatile and I've made fabric covered buttons to brighten up cardigans and jackets by replacing the old buttons- it's a great way of giving an item a new look. There are all sorts of imaginative things you can do when covering the buttons- what about a little bit of embroidery or beading on the fabric disc before putting the buttons together? The covered buttons can be used to make brooches and in corsages.

The buttons are readily available online and from good haberdashers,and the process of covering them is very easy with a little practise. They're a great fab way of adding a little individuality and a great finish to your item .

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Sunsets, Sales, oh & Selvedge

So, another weather update from the Gwynedd coast and this week the weather has calmed down a bit and is feeling more seasonal. The temperature has dropped down to where it should be in January. The last few days have been crisp and clear, and with the clear skies have come some beautiful sunsets. At this time of year it is a treat to see the sun at any time of day but the sunsets can be just stunning, and a bonus when walking on the beach at dusk.

Contrary to impressions I don't spend all my life walking up & down the beach, and at the moment I busy taking stock, both literally and metaphorically, sorting out old stock and planning for the year to come. With it being January it's time for a bit of a sale and I've reduced the price of some  items online, in both my Folksy & Etsy shops.

 I'm also planning my first craft fair of the year, at the beginning of February, and this is an opportunity to sell off older stock at a reduced price. It's something I did last year and it seemed to work well, people are looking for bargains at this time of year. I'm looking forward to the Crafty Market on  Saturday 4/2/12 at Neston Town Hall on The Wirral, so fingers crossed.

I made an exciting discovery a few months ago and a real treat for any textile geek like me. I'm not sure how it's taken me so long to become aware of it but I found a link to Selvedge while searching online for something else. What a discovery, it's is the most beautiful magazine and it's available by subscription online or through the post- the website itself is worth visiting ( ). I treated myself to a subscription just before Christmas and my first copy arrived this week, along with a couple of back copies I ordered. It is great with beautiful artwork & photographsand fascinating articles covering textiles in the broadest sense including design, fashion, production, social history andculturally. I would really recommend a look, it's beautiful and informative.
I'm off for a coffee and a read....

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Year Storms

The New Year has certainly blown in, and the last few days have been very wild and windy. We have been luckier than many here in Harlech, although we've had our fair share of wind and rain. Today has been bright and clear though still quite gusty, but not windy enough to prevent an escape the beach for a walk. I love the beach after stormy weather, it's fascinating to see what's been washed up and the changes in the beachscape caused by the heavy  tides.

I say I had a walk on the beach, in fact I was blown along as I took the easy option walking in the direction of the wind rather than against it.

I think the dog enjoys the beach more than I do when it's windy and there was plenty of crazy running around today- the dog that is not me! I'm sorry to say she even managed to chase a few birds, a favourite occupation, she hasn't caught one yet but they were having some difficulty in the windy conditions this afternoon.

So it's back to work after our brisk beach outing.  I have to admit that it is  nice, and bit of a relief, to get back to normal after Christmas and New Year. It's time to start planning for this year which is quite exciting and something I'm looking forward to.