Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Kindle Cover

My lovely Other Half bought me a Kindle for Christmas so I decided to have a go at making some kind of cover for it to keep it clean.  I found some nice fabric in my stash that had writing on it so I thought this would be good for the outside.  For the lining I used some turquoise polkadot cotton fabric.  I put a layer of thin wadding next to the lining and then a layer of interfacing to give the whole thing a bit more body.

To make the cover I placed the Kindle on the lining fabric and cut out a rectangle leaving about an inch all the way round.  Then I used this piece as a pattern and cut out one piece from the outside fabric, one piece from the interfacing and one from the wadding.  Then I used it as a pattern again on the remainder of the lining fabric and cut out another piece in a similar size but made it about 1.5 inches longer for the flap.  This new longer bit I then used as a pattern to cut out the other pieces from the outer fabric, the wadding and the interfacing.  This gave me four pieces of each size.

I cut a piece of velcro so that it was wide enough to fit across the front of the cover.  It was about the same size as the width of the actual Kindle.  I stitched the fluffy bit to the right side of the smaller outer fabric at one of the short ends, then stitched the rough bit of velcro to the right side of the longer lining fabric also at one of the short ends making sure they were both central.

Next I took the two pieces of lining fabric and placed them right sides together with the larger bit on the bottom.  Then I laid them on top of the larger wadding piece and placed the smaller wadding piece on top so I had like a sandwich with the two wadding pieces on the out side and the two lining pieces on the inside right sides together.  Then I stitched around three sides starting about 0.5 inch under the top of the shorter piece, sewing down the side, across the bottom and up the other side until I was 0.5 inch away from the top of the smaller piece again.

Next I did the same thing with the outer fabric but this time I made it into a sandwich with the interfacing on the out side and the outer fabric pieces in the middle right sides together and stitched around the three sides again same as before leaving 0.5 each side.

Next I folded back the top edge of the smaller pieces and tacked across them to keep them down in place.

Next I placed the long sides together so that the interfacing was next to the wadding and stitched the flaps together just around the three top sides, the short bits at the top of each side of the flap and across the top.

Next I turned the flap through to the right side making sure the corners were right out, then I turned the outer pieces through to the right side and stuffed the lining and wadding bit inside again making sure that the corners were well turned out.  Next I tried the Kindle inside to make sure it was a nice fit.  If you need to make it a bit more shallow at this point then just turn it all back inside out again and stitch the bottoms of both pieces (separately) again a little bit up from the last seam and trim off the excess.

Once I had it all nice and the right size, I turned it back in the right way with the lining inside the pouch and pinned the two front edges together and hand sewed them close.  Then I used the machine to do a row of top stitching around the flap and gave it all a good press with the iron (mind how you iron over the velcro as if your iron is too hot it might melt it).

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Footstool To Match The Sofa

I have covered my footstool to match the sofa using a piece of fabric left over.  It was really easy to do as it just needed a few staples underneath to hold the fabric on.  I was going to put some of the braid for the dining chairs around the outside but decided it looked nice enough as it was.

Recovering Our Dining Chairs

I must be a glutton for punishment as no sooner had I finished doing our sofa than I decided to have a go at doing the dining chairs.  I had quite a bit of the plain black fabric left over so I didn't have to buy any fabric.  Our chairs have fabric set in the backs as well as the seats so it wasn't going to be an easy job.  As before, I searched Youtube and found a good video showing very similar chairs to ours and how the woman had stripped and covered them.

Our chairs were a pale pink velvet and they had studs around the outside.  Some of the studs were missing and the pink had got really dirty what with kids dropping food and the dog rubbing up against them.  Here are some photos of them before I started stripping them.

I decided I wasn't going to put the buttons through the backs either which would save a lot of work.

The stripping was a mini nightmare, there were so many staples, the studs were strips of pretend studs and they were fixed on with tiny staples plus then the fabric was stapled on with hardly any gaps.  I didn't have a proper staple removing tool so I had to use a bradawl to lift one side up and then a pair of pliers to pull them out.  This next photo shows one of the chairs with the top fabric stripped off and the one after shows another chair with the whole back taken out ready for rubbing down and varnishing.

The stain and varnish needed to dry off over night so I was doing either one or two at a time so that I could leave them up on the table to dry so the dog didn't brush past them and cover them with his hairs.

Once they were dry it was a case of stapling on the new fabric to the bottoms.  The backs were a bit harder as the foam that was in the backs had holes in where the buttons had gone through so I had to stuff some stuffing into the holes and then cover the whole piece with a bit of wadding which I glued over the foam.  This made the back nice and smooth when I covered it.  I had to staple the back piece on first then place the foam on top and then staple the front piece over it all.  It was quite a job as I had to make sure there were plenty of staples in it everywhere to make sure the fabric didn't pull out as soon as we sat on them.

The final bit to do was to cover the rows of staples with some lovely braid we got from Dunelm Mill using my new glue gun.  I found it easy to do although I did end up with a couple of burnt fingers.  Here is a photo of one of the finished chairs.

And here is a photo of them around our table with the Christmas table cloth on.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Oriental Bag Added To Shop

I bought some lovely Japanese designed fabrics from a craft fair earlier in the year and thought it would make a nice bag so here is my finished item.  The bag is roomy and has an inner pocket in the pink lining inside.  There is an outer pocket on one side with a magnetic fastener to it.  Click on the title below to go to my Folksy Shop.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Re-upholstering Our Sofa

We have been looking for a new sofa for our front room but all the ones within our price range have been either too ugly, the wrong colour or too uncomfortable so my Other Half asked me how I felt about recovering our old one again.  I say again as I have covered it twice now, the first time I used a cheap fabric which didn't last very long and looked shabby quite quickly.  The last time I did it the fabric was a better quality but the colour doesn't go with our room these days.  We were given a black leather two seater sofa a while ago which was nearly new so we wanted a new sofa that would look right with the black leather.

This is a photo of what our sofa looks like at the moment.

When I made these covers I still didn't know exactly what I was doing, I was just winging it as I went along but I have been watching some videos on You Tube and reading up on various web sites and have picked up some tips to try out this time round.  I am going to keep this blog going through out the project so I can look back at it when its finished and remember what I did.

Choosing the Fabric
We went to Dunelm Mill first to have a look at their fabrics and saw a couple that we liked.  We thought we would go for a chenille type fabric for the covers and thought a plain black for all the outside bits and a patterned fabric for the seats and back cushions.  In Dunelm Mill their patterned fabrics seemed to start at about £14.99 a metre and the plain chenille was £12.99 a metre.  When I tried my first attempt at working out how much fabric we would need to give us an idea of what the costs would be I was over estimating a bit to be on the safe side and reckoned we would need about 11 metres of the patterned fabric and 10 metres of the plain.  This would have worked out at just under £300 which is still a lot less than £700 for a new sofa but I wanted to cut the costs down a lot more.

Buying The Fabric
I decided to have a look on Ebay to see if there were any sellers on there selling these kinds of fabrics and found a couple of sellers selling the plain black chenille.  One was selling a chunkier version for £6.99 a metre with free pp and the other was selling normal chenille for £6.99 a metre but you have to pay added pp costs on top. I decided on the thinner chenille and ordered 12 metres which is probably more than I will need but I wanted to have too much rather than not enough.  I can always use up extra fabric.

For the patterned fabric I spotted a seller selling some grey fabric with black chenille flowers on it and thought this would look nice with our plain black.  The fabric was for an end of roll and it said it had about 9.5 metres on the roll which was plenty for what we needed so we decided to put a bid on it.  The current bid was £7 plus £9.99 postage so we decided to put a bid of £50 on it which took the current bid up to £9. We didn't have too long to wait as it was finishing the next evening.  I kept watch all afternoon, no one had bidded until about half hour before, then two more bidders joined in, the first took the bid to £29 then they dropped out then the next bidder took it to £51.  My heart was sinking as there was not much time left, so I upped our bid to £61 and it took the current bid up to £56.  It was agony watching the dying seconds tick off the auction but we won it in the end.  I was so chuffed as it was going to save us a load of money and the fabric is really nice.

Here is a photo of the fabric now its arrived.

It feels like a nice quality cloth, the colour of the grey is more a taupe colour and it really looks nice and I prefer it to a stark grey, it softens the colour scheme a bit.

Most of my supplies have turned up so I decided to have a go at making the inner cushions for the back of the sofa.  The old ones had two compartments and each was stuffed with a separate cushion.  These cushions had gone quite hard and compacted over time so I wanted to make new ones.  I fancied having boxed cushions along the back instead but new I would have to start from scratch with making them and wasn't too sure where to start as I didn't want them coming out the wrong size or shape and wasting the fabric.

I bought some fabric from a shop called Fabricland which was called honeycombe parc and its the kind of fabric that inner cushions are made out of.  It is quite stiff like its starched when it comes so was easy to use.  I took the two cushion pads out of one of the cushions and measured the dimensions of the outer shells of both and then drew them onto the new fabric but joining them together in the middle so they would be just one whole pad instead of two.  Once they were sewn up they looked massive and I thought they were going to be too big.  I had bought a big bag of stuffing from a seller on Amazon.  It was a 5kg bag and was massive when it came but somehow it worked out just the right amount to stuff the three new cushion pads.

Here is a photo of the three cushions on the settee.

I am quite pleased with them, I am going to do the outer covers boxed as well with some piping round the edges.   I made up some practice covers today out of some old sheets to see if they pattern was going to work and whether the cushions were comfortable or not.  I made them up a bit smaller than the inners but I think I have made them too small as they are not very high and they are a bit too plump and firm.  I am going to make the actual cushion covers 2 inches longer so that it gives the cushion a bit more room to fill out.  Here is a photo of the practice cushions.

I covered the foam for the seat cushion with some middle weight wadding.  I stuck it on with adhesive spray.  There are squares cut to fit each side and then a longer piece wrapped round from front to back leaving the sides and back open.

I made up some trial covers out of sheets again for the bottom.. The rule I saw on the internet was to cut them the same size as the measurements of the cushion so that by the time you sew in half an inch seams it will make the cover fit tight.  I found that they were a little bit loose when I made them up so I was going to cut the proper ones one inch smaller all over except for the gusset.

This morning I had a mammoth cutting out session and cut out all the pieces for the cushions both seats and back.  It was quite a task as I wanted to try to get all the seat pieces showing the same pattern and also I tried to get the back cushions showing the same patterns as best as I could seeing as the end ones are different shapes to the middle one.

This afternoon I made a start and sewed together the seat cushions.  They were not that bad to make up really.  Here is a photo of them on the chair.  I need to fill out the corners a bit with some stuffing tomorrow as  my pieces of foam were a bit battered and I couldn't afford to buy new bits.

The back cushions came out a lot better than the bottom.  I think we will have to get some new foam for the bottom ones eventually but they will have to make do for now.  Here is a photo of all the cushions on the sofa.

Stripping off the old fabric
The next job was taking off the rest of the old fabric.  It was really old fabric as when I recovered it before I just went over the top on most of it.  I had never stripped it right down before.  Here is a photo of it after I had started taking it all off.  The bit facing the camera is actually the back and the bit on top is the bottom.

The fabric was quite hard to take off as there were thousands of staples to get out.  I wrote on each piece with a pen telling me where it went on the sofa and also which way round it was laying and what part it was next to so that when I cut out the new pieces I could fit it back together again properly.

Covering it all up again
Once it was all off I covered the sofa with some wadding giving extra layers to parts of the sofa that seemed to be wearing a bit thin like the arms and across the front bottom.

I have now finished the sofa.   It was a lot of hard work and I ache all over with the bending and hammering.  The staple gun I bought for the job didnt work, I dont know if it was the gun or the staples they supplied but it meant I had to tack it all instead which was much harder as it needed two hands where as using the stapler I could pull the fabric in place with one hand and staple it down with the other.  Here is a photo of the finished sofa.

I made some scatter cushions out of the left over fabrics, I made two black ones for this sofa.

And I made two pattern ones for the other black leather sofa so it looks more like they go together.

And here is a photo of the new wallpaper we put up over the chimney plus another photo of the new curtains.

I am very pleased with the room and cant wait now to get the Christmas decorations down and put the tree up etc.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Short Sleeve Jacket & Matching Clutch

This is the first item I made using the beautiful Chinese brocade fabric my Other Half brought me back from Hong Kong.  I didn't have a pattern for it, I used a blouse that fitted nicely and just made it with short sleeves instead.  The fabric feels really luxurious and it looks very glamorous.  I bought some self covering buttons to go with it as it needed something to fasten the top together.  I just put one button on the top and made a loopy buttonhole to close it.

This next photo shows the button and top of the jacket a bit better as it was hard to photograph as the fabric is so shiny, the light was reflecting on it.

I had some fabric left over so I made a little clutch bag to go with it.  I cut out a rectangle of the fabric then cut out another the same size in some lining fabric.  Then I cut out a slightly smaller rectangle of a very thin foam (it was originally one of those rolls you lay on the floor under your sleeping bag and it was from the 99p shop).  I glued this to the reverse side of the outer fabric leaving a small gap around the outside.  I didn't stick it right down, just around the edges of the top bit.  Then I divided the rectangle into three and hand sewed the lining to the outer fabric putting right sides together and sewing close to the foam.  Once it was done I turned this bit through and it made the flap for the front.  I attached the half of the magnetic fastener now to the flap.

Next I folded the outer fabric up from the bottom right sides together to make the bag bit and sewed the two side seams.  I did the same for the lining then turned the outer bit through and made sure the foam was going to fit nicely.  I had to trim it a bit to get it to fit in between the outer and lining fabric.  Next I had to attach the other half of the magnetic fastener to the front of the bag.  Then I just turned all the edges in around the top of the bag and sewed the lining into the bag.  All that was left to do was to attach the covered button to the front of the flap to match the jacket.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

My Gorgeous Goodies From Hong Kong

Well my Other Half got home safe and sound from his jet setting around Asia.  He brought me back some lovely presents.  I have taken some photos to show you although they are not that good a photo as some of the items are highly polished and decorative and the flash on the camera was shining on them making them look a bit weird.

My favourite bits were these three pieces of gorgeous fabrics.  They are all Chinese brocades.  The fabrics are not very wide, may be a yard wide and they are all about two yards long.  The selvage edges are not like ours over here, they are really ragged and fraying but I am sure I can make something lovely out of them, I just need to get my thinking cap on.

He also bought me this lovely Cath Kidston purse/wallet.

This gorgeous hand bag mirror

Then there was this set of fabric bags

And this lovely small pot in the shape of a ladybird

And finally a lovely set of wooden Russian dolls

Daughter's bag

I have my camera back so here is a photo of the bag I made for my youngest daughter.  I am thinking she might use it more if she is staying over at her friends house rather than for college.

It is not the best of photos as I had it up on top of my wardrobe and I was trying to take a photo without her coming in to see it so I only had a few seconds to get the shot done.

The handles go up from those black lines and are long enough to have it over your shoulder.  The fabric I used is like a chenille upholstery fabric and what I did to make it firmer is I put a layer of medium wadding underneath and then a layer of medium interfacing (the sew in kind) and then sort of quilted it across the fabric in a wheel design and then sewed the pieces together around the outsides.

I lined the bag with some cream sheeting and I put an inner zipped pocket in it.

The bag looks a lot nicer in real life than in the photo.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

How I Miss My Camera

My Other Half has gone away on a business trip to Hong Kong and China and has borrowed my camera to take some photos.  I didn't realise how much I would miss it.  First I had a customer who wanted me to make them a bespoke cushion, then after I made it I realised I couldn't get a nice photo to show her, ended up taking one on my phone but it wasn't anywhere near the quality that I would have liked.  Still, she still wants the cushion so job done.

Also I made a bag for YD for Christmas.  I wanted to get her one that was large enough to carry folder and text books in to college and also be strong and not have the handles falling off a week later like the ones we have been buying her.  I had some nice chenille kind of fabric in a dusky blue which I got from Dunelm Mill in one of their remnant bags.  I had a look at some of the bags on Accessorize to give me some ideas then made up my own pattern with some bits of newspaper and some sticky tape.  I will post a pic when I get the said camera back again.

The other thing I have been doing is making a table runner.  Another customer has asked me to make one in greens so I have been piecing together some small scraps of fabric to make larger panels for it.  I am hoping to get that finished off tomorrow.  Luckily the customer is a friend of Other Half's so said she doesn't need to see it first.

I need to think up some new ideas for my shop using up the small bits and pieces so I might have a long session up there tomorrow and see what I can come up with.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Three new bags added to shop

I have added three new bags to my Folksy shop this morning.  It seems like I have been making these for ages as I was doing 8 bags all together and I was waiting for things like the metal bits and the straps to come.  I have finished these three completely and have another 5 which just need the linings sewn in tonight.  There are two more of the multicoloured ones which are exactly the same and two more of the brown ones but these will have white straps on them instead of brown.

First Attempt At Bunting

After seeing everyone's great makes with bunting recently I decided I would have a go at making some for YD for her bedroom for Christmas.

I found some fabric I could use for the backs of the pennants but couldn't find enough big bits for the fronts so decided to sew some small bits together and make patchwork ones.  I cut some letters out of black cotton which I had drawn freehand and appliqued them on to the fronts of the pennants before assembling using white thread and a small zigzag stitch.  I was a bit nervous about doing them as I thought they would screw up while sewing but they were fine.

I bought some white bias binding in my local shop, it was 60p for a 2.5 metre length which was long enough for what I wanted.

Here is a photo of said bunting, its not a very good photo as I had to hang it over my crafting desk with all the bits behind it.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tote bag

My Ex Mother-in-law has been asking me for ages to make her a bag to keep in her front room down the side of her chair so she can put her bits and pieces in and have it handy.  I bought this fabric in Dunelm Mill the other day, it was packed up in one of their remnant bags along with some other fabric.  There was about 2 metres of this one.  I cut out another bag first but thought it was too long for her so I am going to do that one for my shop. For this one I used two rectangles of fabric for the outside 16" x 14".  It is lined with some pale green polyester sheeting.  I made a large patch pocket inside but when I tried the bag out the pocket was gaping so I stitched a line of stitching up the middle so it made two smaller pockets.