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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Curtains!

Wow, it's been too long since I've blogged!! For those of you who are still with me a big hello and apology, work has been so busy I have neglected my little blog! 

It's now the easter holidays, so I'm finding more time to relax and do the things I enjoy, such as cooking, baking and sewing. I haven't sewn anything for a while, and was worried I'd lost my sewing mojo.

I wanted some curtains for my kitchen and dining room window, but couldn't find any I liked or they were extortionately priced. I had a brainwave and decided to go for it and make my own! Here are a few pics; 





They were so easy to make and cost me around £20! I brought the polka dot fabric from ebay for £5.99 a metre (I ordered two). I realised the fabric wasn't quite long enough, so added a strip of floral material to the top, this fabric I already had in my stash. 
You will also need some curtain header tape (mine was 50p a metre from the habadashery section of dunelm, I used about two metres). 

Step 1: cut your fabric to the required length and width. If you are adding a different fabric to the top/bottom, pin right sides together and sew. 

Step 2: hem the top and bottom of your curtain to cover raw edges. 

Step 3: hem the sides of your curtain to cover the raw edges. 

Step 4: pin the header tape to your curtain just below the top hem. Sew along the two stitch lines. 

Step 5: attach curtain hooks to the header tape and hang! 

It's literally as easy as that! My fabric is quite heavy cotton so I haven't lined it, however that would be quite easy, step 1 would also be to pin right sides of curtain and lining together, sew leaving the top open, turn the right way and hem as in step 2. 

I don't think I'll ever buy curtains again! They are so much cheaper, fit perfectly to my window and are unique. 

I'd love to know if you make your own curtains and how you've found the experience! Next on my list are another pair for the kitchen window, then some cushion covers (watch this space!) 

Have a lovely easter, it's my favourite time of year!! Xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Dressmaking adventures!

Oh I've neglected my little blog lately!! School is back in full swing and I haven't got time to eat lunch, let alone blog but I'm determined to try and have a normal life in the evening and at weekends! 

I started sewing again in the last couple of weeks, and am really pleased with my latest creation. The last couple of dresses I made were not great and I'd lost a bit of my dressmaking mojo, but it's back with a vengeance! 

I got a free pattern with 'love sewing' magazine and thought I'd give it a go with a vintage curtain from a car boot which cost me about 50p. 

It's a great pattern with a zip and a circle skirt. 
This was rt way through, the back wasn't finished and it needed hemming. I finally mastered all in one facing, which once I understood it, is so easy to do! Definitely worth watching a video or two on YouTube for this, one I watched really helped me, a definite 'eureka' moment!! 

Here is the finished dress styled: 



I am really really pleased with it!! It fits perfectly and is more flattering than other dresses I've made! Not bad for a 50p curtain hey?! 

I'm using the same pattern again using a vintage Sanderson navy fabric which is gorgeous! 

Here's a sneak preview of my work in progress:



 I'll keep you posted, but it's after 8.30pm so time for bed (ah, the life of a teacher!) 

Love, Sian 💕💕


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

How to.... Upcycle a footstool

Morning all!! On Instagram, lots of people ask me how I upcycle things, what paint I use etc. so here is a little tutorial on my most recent upcycle, a footstool purchased from the car boot for £3.50. 

This is the before pic: 
Not sure how old this is, but there was a layer of disintegrated leather and a cushion which had seen better days underneath! 

STEP ONE: remove the existing covers. For this, you are going to need some tools (my skills in knowing the names and uses of tools has really grown thanks to my hubby!) we used a chisel and side cutters to get out the upholstery pins and remove the covers. You need to strip it right back really, otherwise existing pins and nails will take away from the finished effect. 

STEP TWO: now all of the existing fabric was removed, it was time to paint the frame. I used my favourite brand of chalk finish paints 'rustoleum' (available from b&q) in the shade bramwell. This stool didn't need priming or sanding as it hadn't been painted before. If yours has, you need to lightly sand it or use sugar soap to remove 
any existing grease and residue.


STEP THREE: to make the cushioned top, we used foam which is widely available in diy shops. Measure the size you need, and cut using a hacksaw (or an electric carving knife-but be careful!!!!!) 
As you can see husband took over at this point as my measuring and cutting skills aren't the best!! 

STEP FOUR: once the paint is dry and the foam cut, it's time for the fabric top. This is my favourite part, as the right fabric can really transform a piece. It needs to be good quality cotton to 
withstand wear. My fabric is from the Birmingham rag market,
 alternatively you could use an old cushion cover, curtain etc that isn't used. Measure the fabric and cut, making sure you leave room to pull it round the stool. 
Once the fabric is measured and cut, it's time for the tricky part, stapling on the fabric. It's worth taking your time on this part as it needs to be done properly to have that professional finish. 



STEP FIVE: using a staple gun (w e got a really good heavy duty one from asda for £7) pull the fabric really tight around the foam and the frame and staple. The edges get trimmed at the end, and be careful round the corners as that's the really tricky part!! 

STEP SIX: enjoy your finished upcycled footstool! I already had the paint and fabric, so it still only cost me £3.50!! 

After pic: 
Ta dah!!! I'm really pleased with it, I love the colours together! 
So have a go, a footstool is a great beginners upcycling project, so enjoy! 

Love, Sian 💕💕



Saturday, 23 August 2014

Hello dolly!

Well I have my vintage 1950s larder, and she is home and well (after a very traumatic getting her into the car....but that's another story). 
Her name is dolly and I am in love with her! She's in great condition, so I'm not going to paint her. All I've done so far is put fablon (woo hoo) onto the drop down shelf and am going to make a floral curtain to hang behind the glass.
What I love most about dolly is hearing people's stories about their nan who had one at their house and how many memories it evokes for people. That is why I say no to new and love vintage as it always comes with a tale to tell and revives a memory for someone which might be long lost. 

On a more sour note I went to the car boot this morning and brought...nothing. I am not happy, I've never come away without finding treasures. I'm wondering if my car boot luck has run out.....😳😳😳😳

Here are some pics of dolly:






Have a lovely weekend all, last bank holiday of the year for us Brits! 
Love, Sian 💕💕

Thursday, 14 August 2014

What a larder fun!

Oh I think I'm so clever with my play on words in the title!! 

Anyway, I've been after a 1950s vintage larder cupboard to complete my dining room. After scouring eBay, preloved, gumtree, people's garages etc I eventually found one for not too bad a price on the e of bay. 

I can't wait to collect it (ahem, husband are you busy at the weekend my love?!) and start doing it up (aka paint and fablon, which may well be my favourite word in the whole entire world). 

I've been scouring Pinterest (aka a way to waste an hour or two, or three...) and have found some inspiration so watch this space!! 

And if anyone knows where to get vintage style fablon (woo!!) from let me know!! 

Love, Sian 💕💕

Saturday, 9 August 2014

More crafts!!

I am so enjoying the long summer holiday and spending a lot of time being crafty and making things I don't normally have the time nor energy for.

This week I have made floral pinwheels using some vintage paper I found in the range for £1. They are very easy to make and look really effective displayed individually or as a group (always in an odd number, just a little styling tip I've picked up along the way!) 

You simply mark the middle of the square and cut the four corners up to a third of the way in towards the middle. Then fold over alternate corners and pin. I sewed mine together as I didn't have any push pins and wanted to attach a button to the front. I used a straw for the tube part as they do them in some lovely designs now. 


I'm really pleased with them and think they look very vintage! The possibilities are endless using different patterned paper or fabric, different straws and fixings in the middle, ooh my brain is fizzing!! 

I brought a wicker basket from the car boot for a few pounds a while back, and have been undecided about what to do with. I contemplated painting it, but felt that would ruin the vintage style of it. So I came across a blog showing how to make a liner for a basket with handles (the blog is called 'ruffled sunshine'). It was really easy to follow, so I grabbed some material I had left over from another project and some lovely bias binding I wasn't sure what to do with and: 


I'm really pleased with it and it will hold all my supplies while I teach myself to crochet! I'm going to spend Sunday afternoon watching YouTube vids and reading my 'crochet for dummies' book so watch this space peeps!! 
Happy weekend all,
Love,sian 💕💕


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Crafty august

Well the summer holidays are in full swing and I've been making the most of my time off by being covered in paint splatters and bits of cotton (and my bank balance depletes every day!) 

I've been taking part in 'crafty August' on Instagram, posting a photo around a certain took each day. I've really enjoyed dusting off my creative mojo which gets lost during the working week and taking creative (in my opinion!) photos. 

I've reorganised my craft room and moved my table under the window, hoping the view might inspire me! 

Here are some of the pics I've taken and posted so far: 







I'm enjoying making bags a lot, which is a change for me as I normally make skirts and dresses. They are so easy to make and I love the fabric I brought from dunelm, which is very reasonably priced and great quality. Wheredo you get your fabric from?? 
Happy crafty august,
Love, Sian 💕💕