Tuesday, 28 February 2012

From Britain With Love

Just a tiny bit pleased today as the very kind people at From Britain With Love have featured one of my tea cosies in the editor's picks. So a very big thank you to them!

Editor's Pick on From Britain With Love

Monday, 27 February 2012

Tea Cosy- The Make Part 2

Following on from the previous post on how to make a tea cosy pattern. Having made your pattern cut out your fabric:  2 pieces in your main fabric, 2 in the lining fabric and 2 in wadding ( I've use 4oz polyester wadding).

Pin each piece in the main fabric to a wadding piece ( wrong side to wading). and then tack either by hand or with a long machine stitch around the edge of each  to secure wadding to fabric.

With right side facings put each of the main/wadding pieces and the lining pieces together, pin along the base (straight edge) and sew together (1.5cm seam allowance).

Open each piece out so the seam is facing towards the lining fabric.- use a warm iron carefully (do not use an iron directly on the wadding)

At this stage you can add a loop the top of the tea cosy- I've made a loop from the lining fabric but you can use a piece of ribbon- use a 10cm piece fold in half, place at the top of the curve in the centre with the raw  edges towards the curve, as shown pin and tack in place.

Put the two halves of the cosies together, match the seams where the main and lining fabric meet carefully, pin remembering to leave a gap (about 10cm) in the seam in the lining to allow you to turn the tea cosy right side out. Sew round with a 1.5cm seam allowances- mind the gap!

Turn the tea cosy right side out and close the gap in the lining.

Turn the lining into the main body of the tea cosy, match the main side seam and the lining side seam on each side and pin.

Stitch around the base just below where the main and lining fabric meet- this keeps the lining in place and strengthens the base.

I'm off to make a brew!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Time for a brew? Tea cosy make- the pattern.

I'm not a huge tea drinker but one of my favourite indulgences is to sit with a pot of tea and a book for the afternoon, and if you have a pot of tea it's essential that you keep it warm with a tea cosy.
Here's a way simple way to make a tea cosy pattern- the dimensions given here will make a cosy big enough to fit a 4-6 cup pot but you can obviously change the dimensions to suit your teapot. I tend use graph paper when making patterns- makes measuring and straight lines easier although you do still need a rule.

Draw a rectangle 17cm by 28cm- in the picture I've folded the graph paper in half but if you don't have a piece of paper large enough make half the pattern and place on the fold when cutting out the fabric for the cosy.

To get the curve I have used a plate- if you have a flexible curve the type used by artist and quilters use that. I tend to make the most of what I have to hand in the house and the plate was just handy.

Cut out your pattern.

I like quite this tea cosy to make as there is no fiddling with bias binding around the bottom. The appearance of binding around the base is actually the lining brought onto the front of the cosy. How to make the cosy will follow.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

More Lavender Pyramids

This is just an addition to my post of a few weeks ago- thought I would just add a photo of some more of the lavender filled pyramids I've made. So here is a pink selection, I've added little pink ribbon tags to these bags.

To make see post Lavender Filled Pyramids

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Charity shop finds & drawstring bags

I love rummaging in charity shops and am always on the look out for books, ceramics and fabric. I was slightly shocked last week when in a local charity shop to find some familiar Laura Ashley dresses (probably circa 1980) marked as 'Retro'-I suddenly felt very old! Having overcome the shock I found a lovely collection of fabric- a mixture of new and used pieces, and amongst it was some unused Irish linen ( marked Made in Ireland). Somebody must of had a big clear out and I felt I couldn't possibly not give the material a new home.
My little stash of fabric at a bargain price.
I will always find a use for the fabric and have plenty of ideas. I have put together this drawstring bag with some it. I'm a big fan of drawstring bags- they're very simple to make and useful. Once you get the hang of making them (not difficult) you can alter the dimensions to suit your needs. You can make anything from a small gift bag to a large laundry or stuff bag. I use them for storing bits and bobs round the house, they're great for holidays as toilet bags or to put your undies in.
This bag is lined- I prefer to line bags for several reason: to hide raw edges and seams, to strengthen the bag and to give more shape and body.
You need 2 rectangles of fabric measuring  55cm by 35 cm, your main fabric and the lining fabric. Pin the 2 pieces together along one of the long edges and sew them together with 1.5cm seam allowance. Open the fabric out & with wrong side facing press the seam towards the main fabric.
Fold the fabric in half matching the long edges together (ensure the seam between the two fabrics matches). Pin and mark to allow gaps in the side seam 1/ in the lining ( approx 10cm gap) to allow you turn the bag out 2/ in the main fabric between the top seam about 2.5cm for the drawstring.
 Sew round the edge to form the side and bottom seams- remembering not to sew the gaps! Clip the corners, press the seams open and turn the bag out.
Stitch the opening in the lining side seam closed.
Push the lining into the main body of the bag- press the top seam making sure the lining lies flat within the bag.  To make the casing to hold the drawstring- match lining and main fabric side seams, and on the opposite side of the bags match the side folds in the lining and the main fabric- pin in place.

To make the casing stitch around the top of the bag about 0.5cm from the top, and a second line of stitching 2.5cm from the top.
Using a safety pin pull the drawstring through. Then tie the 2 ends of the string together- you could finish the bag here but I like to put a little fabric pull on the end of the drawstring.
The pull is made from a 10cm square of fabric- fold in half and sew along the long edge- 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam open.
Turn the tube open half way- matching the side seam from a double walled tube.
With a small running stitch sew around the top of the tube ( top= raw edge) then place the tube over the end of the drawstring- raw edge closest to the knot.

 Pull the running stitch tight, and secure the thread.Turn the pull over the knot to cover it. Finish the pull by folding the edge together and place a few stitches in the centre, fold the opposite way and place further stitches to form the bud shape.

I'm very fond of this apple print cotton-  a drawstring bag is a nice way to make something useful from a favourite fabric and it can then be displayed on the back of a door or coat rack ( pretty & functional).
The canvas drawstring bag with its skull and cross bones design was made as laundry bag but would work equally well as a toy bag, and of course is ideal for any voyage your little pirate crew may be embarking on.

So now for the rest of the fabric...

Sunday, 12 February 2012

February Freeze

 Fortunately things have warmed up over the last couple of days after a very cold snap. I know it hasn't been as cold here as elsewhere in the country, but still it has been little chilly. The only consolation has been beautiful clear days ideal for walking the dog.

Unfortunately the top of Snowdon was hidden in cloud the day I was out with my camera despite that the mountains look great with their coating of snow.

I have been doing some sewing, and although not deliberate there seems to be a bit of a Valentine's theme going on...

I'm very fond of ticking and gingham, and red, white and blue- it all works quite well together on the cushions ( I think). Cariad is a term of endearment in welsh meaning sweetheart or love.

More lavender bags!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lavender Filled Pyramids

These lavender bags are very simple to make and they look great. The pyramid shape is slightly more interesting than the usual square bags but they are just as easy to make.

Cut a rectangle of fabric 17cm by 9cm, and fold in half bringing the short sides together, as shown.

Sew across the top and side (seam allowance 1cm) leaving the bottom open.

Clip the corners, as shown.

Press the seams open, turn the raw edge at the bottom about 1cm and press. Turn the bag out so the seams and raw edges are on the inside ( make sure the top corners are push out). Then fill the bag with lavender.

To close the bag and get the pyramid shape bring the bottom edges together matching the side seam with the side fold- the bottom seam is then perpendicular to the top seam.

Stitch the bag closed.

This lavender bag could quite easily be made without a sewing machine-  just ensure your stitches are quite small to prevent the lavender escaping. You can embellish or decorate the fabric rectangle before sewing the bag together, and add a ribbon or string loop to allow you to hang the bag up. 

It is a really nice way of using up scraps of fabric- make a few in different fabrics and display them together in a bowl.