Slow craft…

Denim jacket re-fresh

I love all types of craft but I’ve been particularly inspired by embroidery lately. I have found some wonderful examples on Pinterest (pics above) of  beautiful clothing and accessories adorned with hand embroidery. I’ve been wanting to do a craft I can pick up and put down lately, something relaxing that I can do socially and in front of the telly, so I thought I’d give it a go! 

I’ve had these ombre (or varigated) embroidery threads in my stash for a while now and throught they would be perfect for this project. You get a whole pack for only £9.50 and they really are goregous and great value, plus it means I can get a lovely graduated colour effect with minimal effort…that’s my type of craft! Shop here

I thought I’d give a new lease of life to my classic blue denim jacket, it’s very plain and could do with something to make it a bit more individual!

So I popped an embroidery hoop on it…then sat there and looked at it for ages! I wasn’t sure If i wanted something quite graphical or some beautiful flowers for my first project…

After a little browse on Instagram, looking at tattoos and artwork for inspiration, I decided to do a graphical picture of a triangle with a moon and sunrise…I may add an egyptian eye too as it turns out the triangle is looking awfully like a pyramid! 

I drew out my design with a water soluable dress making marker, it’s blue so not easy to see in these pics but was enough of a guide for me.

It’s funny how these ideas can organically develop as you go and sometimes it’s nice to just go with the flow and not plan it out to meticulously.

I used a chain stitch for the triangle and straight stitches for the rest. I’m pleased with my progress so far and will report back when it’s finished!

I’m really enjoying the gentle nature of hand stitching, it’s making me slow down and take my time which is a first! I think it’s really important to try and take back some time for yourself. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi crafts such as embroidery allow us to enter a ‘flow’ state, a perfect immersive state of balance between skill and challenge which is beneficial for our mental health.

I truley believe crafts are good for the soul 🙂

What projects are you working on? Where do you take your inspiration from? Leave us a comment!

T-shirt Quilt – Upcycle DIY

We know we are not alone in our hoarding tendencies; we all have a stack of clothes that we can’t bear to part with, but know we will never wear again; for me it is a bunch of fun logo t-shirts I used to wear when I worked in my local pub. I had a uniform of black combats, turquoise hair extensions and cute t-shirts, don’t judge me it was like 2002! I didn’t keep all of them but I have kept a hold of my favourites, the ones that carry the best memories. They have been in a box in the loft for ages so when we were approached by the lovely people at Recycle Devon about an up-cycling post I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This t-shirt quilt gives you the opportunity to make use of those old clothes whilst keeping a hold of the memories, which is a winning combination for me!

You will need:

At least nine old t-shirts, an old throw or fabric to use as backing, fabric scissors, needle and thread, pins, embroidery thread and a sewing machine (optional)

Step 1. Use the t-shirt with the largest logo and cut a square around it.

Step 2. Use that as a template to cut the other t-shirts to the same size.

Step 3. Once you have cut all the t-shirts to size lay them out on the floor and arrange them in a display that you like, balancing the colours and logos until you are happy with it.  

Step 4. Take a photo on your phone to remind you how you laid it out then place the top left and top center t-shirts right sides together.

Step 5. Pin down the edge of the two squares.

Step 6. Sew with a slight zig zag stitch along the edge you have pinned about 1cm in from the raw edge.

Step 7. Open out the pieces

Step 8. Then iron the seam flat then join the next square to the two you have already sewn together.

Step 9. Move on to the next row joining the first two squares then the third square in to strips. Once you have all your strips ready you can place them right sides together matching up the seams.

Step 10. Pin the strips together and sew all the way along the edge. Then unfold and pin the next strip in place and sew.

Step 11. Unfold and you should have the front of your quilt.

Step 12. With right sides facing pin the front of your quilt to the throw or your backing fabric of choice then pin and sew around all four edges, leaving a small gap in one edge so you can turn it through.

Step 13. Trim away any excess seams and the corners to make the edges less bulky then turn it right side out by pulling it through the gap you left open in the edge.

Step 14. Hand stitch the gap close with some neat hand sewing.

Step 15. To stop the layers sliding around take a length of embroidery thread and at the corners of the squares stitch the thread through the fabric.

Step 16. Tie the length of thread in a double knot and trim the ends to about a centimeter long.  

And there you have it, the perfect memento to snuggle under and read a good book. I am actually going to keep mine in my husband’s car to snuggle under on our road trips. We want to know what you have in your home that you can’t bear to part with. Give a thought as to how you could re-purpose it and make it in to something you can love all over again.

Sammy xxx