Jenny @jennystitched makes a fancy robe

For my first Design Team make, I wanted to fill a gap in my wardrobe that was definitely more a ‘want’ than a ‘need’. I’ve been hankering after a lightweight summer robe for throwing over pyjamas in the warmer months and when I spotted this viscose print in the Sew Crafty shop, I knew it would make a brilliant robe. 

The viscose is a very bold print which typically is not my normal style, but when it comes to nightwear and loungewear I think anything goes! It’s a classic combination of black and white stripes and florals (who doesn’t love a bit of pattern clashing from time to time?!), but the scale of the floral design makes this fabric look quite fresh and modern rather than twee. I think my favourite flower in the print is the beautiful pinky-red poppy!

Despite picking this fabric quickly, it took me ages to choose a robe pattern. I felt like the big 4 pattern companies either offered ‘comfy and cosy’ or ‘lingerie’ and I wanted something that fell somewhere in the middle of the 2 options that I could just chuck on when it’s a hot evening. We have a great charity shop near me that has a large haberdashery section and I found this great vintage 1950s housecoat pattern that looked like just the thing. I did modify the pattern, I took 12 inches out of the skirt section – apparently, women in the fifties were built like Amazons, and I, most definitely, am not at just 5’ 3”! I also took about 4 inches from the sleeve to make it bracelet length so I don’t always have to roll my sleeves up to do anything, and instead of easing in the sleeve head I gathered the fabric to give the shoulder a more vintage look.

To complement the floral viscose I’d chosen from Sew Crafty, I used a cheap and cheerful black viscose from my local market for the roll collar and belt, but the floral is better quality. It’s got a great drape (for swishing around the house like a Hollywood starlet) but as it’s viscose it can be chucked in the wash over and over again without doing too much harm to it (because I am not a Hollywood starlet and have to do my own laundry).

The print on this is big but it doesn’t seem to repeat in any obvious way so I didn’t bother to pattern match as I think when a print is this striking it’s easier to get away with. As the black stripe runs horizontal to the selvage I chose to focus on lining that up for the pockets and pinned all the pieces in the same direction.

The fabric sewed up nicely and I finished the insides on my overlocker. I used a black Guterman thread for all the seams and the hem. Viscose can be quite slippy when pinning and cutting out so I would recommend cutting on a slightly grippy surface like a carpet if you can as this will help prevent any shifting around whilst you cut and avoid any funny shaped pieces! You can also use a starch spray to help make the pieces more stable as this will wash straight out again. I prewashed the fabric on a 30 degree with a colour catcher sheet setting and there wasn’t much shrinkage or colour bleed.

I feel very glam when wearing this – anything that elevates a pair of tired old pyjamas into an elegant lounging outfit is a winner!

Jenny

Alison @aliivens clever storage solutions!

Beautiful storage for a kids room!
 
Last year we decorated our daughter’s bedroom, mostly because we were forced to since she’d already started peeling the wallpaper off the walls around her cot! So we carried on, stripped the walls and painted the whole room white.

She already had some decorations in the room which were blue and pink and I figured at some point we’d paint a wall one of these colours but she would choose which (spoiler alert – she’s leaning towards pink!). A few months ago she got her ‘big girl’ bed which is a mid sleeper which helps to make the most of the space in her very tiny room. But since then I’ve been wondering how I can add to the existing decorations by sewing a few items of storage. I’ve been collecting ideas on my Pinterest board for a while and chose to make some fabric trays, storage pods and some bunting to decorate under her bed. From the Sew Crafty website, I chose three colours of their star cotton to make these items. The colours are fantastic and being 100% cotton they iron and cut beautifully.

For the fabric trays, I cut two A4 pieces for each tray and lined them with batting to give more structure. I’ve made them quite deep so her hair accessories and jewellery are easily stored.

The storage pods were made from a tutorial by Sewing 4 Free and were very easy to put together. I like the way they are easy to access her toys but I think they could be bigger. I might make some more but double the size but for now, these are perfect for things like here small collections of lego.

I drafted a small triangle template for the bunting, cut 14 pairs and, once sewn, attached these together with 3m of pink bias binding from the site. I think these might be my favourite, they’re so striking, and who doesn’t love a bit of bunting, right?!

The space underneath her bed is really coming together now and when her bedroom is tidy it’s a nice space to be in. I’d like to get her a small desk and chair to go under there but I think that will come when we sort out the rest of her bedroom furniture. For now, she’s happy with it!

Alison

Lucy @lucyhannahmakes a Wall Banner!

Wall banner project…

 

I love making gifts for other people, especially my nieces – children’s things are so fun to sew.

 

One of my nieces has just turned two and in the summer they’ll be moving from down south back up to our hometown of Liverpool, so I wanted to make something that was a belated birthday present/moving in gift.

I had the idea to make a wall banner for my niece’s room and when I saw the Sevenberry Yarn Dyed Cotton I knew it would make a great base. It’s a chambray style cotton, is nice and lightweight and has a lovely natural texture. I love the selection of colours for this cotton as they are all quite subtle and fab neutral shades of greens, pinks and blues. I went with the pale blue.

I wanted to choose another fabric that I could use to make some sort of decoration on the wall banner and as my niece loves rainbows the Remix Stripes Cotton was the obvious choice for me! As I’d went with a quite pale blue for the main fabric, I went with the more pastel-toned Remix Spring Stripes and I think they work perfectly together

My first idea for the wall banner was to make the letter I out of the striped cotton and use the Sevenberry cotton to form the main shape of the banner. I then thought about using the stripe as a little frill around the edge of the banner, but, when I got the fabric delivered I fell even more in love with the Remix Stripes cotton and I just didn’t think that a frill would do it justice – it just wouldn’t show off the lovely colours enough. So I decided against a frill and thought about what I loved when I was little and one thing I loved to do was change things around in my bedroom. I was always drawing little doodles of how I could move furniture around or colours that would look better on the wall, I probably drove my mum mad, but I loved it. And I thought that my niece might like something that she can change in her room when she fancies it, so I thought what if I make the banner reversible!

I drew out the design I had in mind for the front and the back to try and get a rough idea of the sort of size to make it. I decided on making a rainbow on one side of the banner to really make the most of the Remix Spring Stripes cotton, and the letter I on the other side. After drawing my designs out I figured that I wanted to make the banner roughly 50cm long and proportionately about 36cm seemed right for the width. I then played around with some paper to decide on the style and size of the letter and once I was happy to cut it all out. For me, the simpler and neater option was to cut lots of pieces out and sew them up like you would a quilt, rather than cut out a solid letter and appliqué it on.

Both pieces of cotton sew up really nicely, the last few projects my sewing machine has seen have been silky fabrics so it was lovely to work with a fabric that was simple to sew. I used a pale blue thread from the Iris collection which was great quality. Sew Crafty is fab when you’re planning a project because there are so many different things on the website, you really can get everything you need.

On the backside of the banner, I used the stripe fabric diagonally to give the effect of a rainbow. I found some Happy Fabric HappyFlock in Lemon which I had in my stash and created some sunshine as a little extra touch. I used two of the offcuts of the Sevenberry yarn to make tabs to thread some dowel through to hang the banner up. I sewed the front and back right sides together and left an opening of a few inches along one side. Because the cotton is so lightweight it was super quick to turn them out the right way, hand sew the opening shut and give a quick press.

I picked up some bakers twine from the Sew Crafty website too as I thought it would be perfect for hanging the banner. It’s got a little fleck of colour running through it ( I went for the Aqua one) and because its a twine its got a good strength to it. I think I might make up a few pom-poms from the leftovers and stick them either side of the dowel for some extra fun.

I thought I was really organised because I had a piece of dowel that would be great for the project, however, I couldn’t find my saw to cut it down to the right length, so I had to photograph it with it’s super long, haha oops!

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the project. It was a quick make and I think it looks fab hanging on the wall. After I finished it I did realise that somehow I’d cut the top of the I one or two stripes longer than the bottom, but oh well, I still love it and handmade isn’t about always being perfect, right?! It’s going to look great in my niece’s room and with it being cotton it’s super easy to wash, so even if it gets grubby from a two-year-old, it should be pretty durable.

Lucy

Ten Steps To Becoming a Macrame Master

Macrame is so hot right now and we’re totally addicted. There are some fantastic macrame kits out there, but to get started why not grab any yarn, string, embroidery thread or twine you have lying around to get you started. Perfect for beginners, or your next macrame party! This is a thing. Is this a thing? I might make this a thing.

1. Simply Braided

Let’s start at the beginning. Here are the basic Macrame knots. Once mastered can be the base for thousands of designs and patterns.

2. The Next Step

This looks tricky but is actually a lot simpler than it looks, I think it actually looks super impressive! Its literally just knotting 2 threads next to each other, together, 2 at a time. See, super simple. The creativity comes in the colours you choose, and the pattern. Click the image for the Pin I found this on, which shows the step by step images.

Here is a more detailed explanation on honestlywtf.com

3. Up Your Game

Working with this principle, and these rainbow colours because, what could be better, why not try this slightly more detailed pattern by the dolls at Macrame School. Again, its a lot simpler than it looks! And so fun!

Macrame School Youtube

4. Go Glam

This super glamorous and dainty design is the natural next step. You’ll have made 100 bracelets for yourself, so now you’ll want to start making some as gifts, or maybe to sell at a craft fair? Learning different patterns like this is a great tool to your belt. Picking softer colours and neater thread for something like this works wonders. Also by Macrame School.

6. Master the Tension

There are a million ways to create the tension needed to make nice tight bracelets. But using a clipboard and craft foam is our favourite.

7. Put your heart on your sleeve (wrist)

Its time to add embellishments! Start with this simple heart then the world is your oyster! This shouldn’t be hard now you’ve mastered the basics. You’ll be sticking these hearts on everything! Click here for the tutorial.

8. Graduate Up

Time to try a necklace? Use your skills to create a “chain” with your favourite macrame style, then add a gorgeous precious stone, rock or memorable trinket to the bottom by learning how to make a quick bespoke net. The beauty of this is you don’t have to dig out perfect beads with holes in them, you can literally turn anything, OK maybe not the cat, but close to anything, into a necklace pendant! Click the image for the tutorial from Quiet Lion Creations.

You could also try wrapping the pieces with this tutorial from Ecocrafts.

Or go back to bracelets and pop a net in one of them instead with this tutorial from True Blue Me and You.

9. Have a Hoot!

Confident? Why not make your OWN charm? I am so in love with this owl design. Its gorgeous. Who wouldn’t love receiving this for their birthday? Wear this out and you’ll get tons of comments and questions. Check out this video from Macrame School – they really are the best.

Macrame Owl Video

10. Get Creative!

Look on Pinterest for inspiration, and use your new skills to make something incredible and unique! Maybe something like these incredible creations by the amazing Lesh Loom. I’m in love!

Have fun guys! If you delve into macrame, especially if you use any of our bits, then let us know in the comments or on social at @samanthaclaridgstudio

Check out our Pinterest board on Macrame to see some more wonderful ideas, knots to learn and video tutorials from some of our favourite makers.

Sammy x