Archives for posts with tag: handmade

I love a beret. Casual, pretty and they keep your head toasty. And they’re super-easy and quick to make.

B complete

I made this one from an old sweatshirt, but you can use new fleece-jersey if you like. Ribbing can be a little tricky to find in shops, but you could thread elastic through some of your jersey instead – just cut the elastic an inch or so shorter than the band circumference.

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Lichen pins

Free machine embroidery, reclaimed fabric, hand dyed and embellished lichen-inspired pins


So, remember those £21 headbands? No way were they ever going to make it into my shop at that price, so here’s a free tutorial. If you have a few basics in your sewing box, they don’t have to cost you a penny, and there’s no adhesive necessary! Enjoy :)

  • measurements are for an adult size bando, you may need to trim a few cm off to adapt it for a child

You will need…

  • an old t-shirt/other plain scrap fabric
  • a length of felt
  • elastic
  • fabric scissors
  • pins
  • embroidery thread & needle
  • measuring tape
  • fabric chalk/marker

On your felt fabric, mark out a strip which is 39cm (15.5 in) by 2.5cm (1in) using your fabric marker or chalk. Cut out with your fabric scissors.

Pin the felt strip onto your jersey or scrap fabric, making sure the whole strip fits on. Cut around the felt so you now have 2 strips of fabric.

Cut 15cm (6in) of elastic and tuck it in between the two layers of fabric on one of the short ends. Make sure to tuck it in about 2cm. Begin a running stitch from the corner as shown (hiding your knot or anchor stitches between the two fabric layers). When you reach the elastic, make three cross stitches as shown (making sure to go through all 3 layers), making three diagonal stitches going up to where the elastic ends inside the band (use your fingers to feel where it is), and crossing them to get back to the edge. Continue a running stitch along this short edge and then the long edge.

When you reach the opposite short edge, tuck the other end of the elastic into the band and stitch in place as before. Running stitch the remaining edges.

Now to decorate the band; you can use any embroidery stitch you like (in fact this is a good excuse to try a new one!). I chose to work Ermine stitches in a line repeat over the band, which is worked as follows (see pictures): bring needle up at 1, down at 2, up at 3

Down at 4, up at 5

Down at 6, up at new position 1.

Continue to the end of the band and fasten off. And you’re done! If you’re so inclined, you can make the band broader, thinner, patchwork, quilted, beaded… anything you like really, just using these basic measurements. If you take your time they’ll be a lot neater than mine :D

P.S., A message from Dinah, who is purring and stomping across my keyboard: “n mmmmmmmmmmmmmnb mmmmmmmmm”

I think that says it all, really.

lno cut antique keysSo, I’ve had a range of textile home accessories on the back-burner for a while now, and the past few days I’ve finally got started on some tentative samples.

100% linen tea towel, block printed with water based inks. I do love my antique keys. I was hoping to take some “proper” photographs of it this afternoon, but it decided to rain and spoil my light. Maybe tomorrow.

wooden losenge butterfly necklace with brass chainThis is the necklace the boy made me (I think it was supposed to be for christmas? It didn’t get finished ’til a few months ago anyway!). He carved it from a block of scrap wood (I forget what kind) and painted the little butterfly in gold acrylic. The chain is brass, and is much more pretty and golden in real life. If you can’t tell, it’s based on the locket in The Illusionist – you know, the one with the head-hurting opening mechanism – I jokingly said “make me one of those” and he did (although mine isn’t a locket!). (: I keep telling him he should design a range, maybe using gold leaf or pyrography. What do you think?

Minor disaster. My camera is missing. A week yesterday I had it in the garden with me, brought it back inside and set it on the kitchen table. When I went to get it the next morning, it was gone. Gone! I had that camera for four years, now I feel lost without it. There’s always another (often better) camera around for me to use, but still… I want my camera! It’s so frustrating, I’ve looked everywhere (right down to the recycling bins, the fridge, and the box where the toilet paper lives). Sigh…

Anyway. I borrowed my Dad’s camera last week so I have something to show you…

This is Buffy, my other little helper. She’s Dinah’s sister (though they couldn’t be more different). She’s very talkative and a bit grumpy. She likes chicken and anything that comes out of a can (because anything that comes out of a can could be fish, you know). She’s also a master seat-stealer. She dislikes the rats that have come to stay with us (more on those in a moment) and her sister. When she was a kitten, she thought she was a lion.

Buffy (the cat) and one of the new handbags

You’ve seen this bag (pre-completion) before – this is it finished. I haven’t settled on a name for this collection yet – I’ve changed my mind two or three times already. I find it really difficult for some reason!

And this is the big sister bag, which is what I was making in my last post. :)

My last piece of news: a mischief of rats has temporarily moved in to our home (clean and tidy pet rats, that is). Most of them are living in a big cage in the shed, but two lady rats have the privilege of living in the house because…

A litter of baby rats

They have kittens! This is one of the litters at 10 days old. They have since all opened their eyes and are a right handful :) They’re so lovely!

And just for the record, we are a hygienic household and animals do not come into contact with my work (as hard as the cats try to sleep on all my expensive fabric…)!

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