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Monday, March 26, 2012

a spring clean...

Firstly, thank you to craft gossip for featuring my lace top tutorial, I was very excited when I found out!

Secondly, I'm hoping to get back to regular blogging again soon.

Thirdly, does anybody else get the desire to spring clean? It seems to be inevitable for me. The rest of the year is spent in a small whirlwind of disorganised chaos but, come Spring, I have this need to sort out my house.

Whether you're a super-organised person (if so, let me know how you do it!) or more like me, the link below made my day. I know, I'm not the type of person to read lots of organising articles either, but I enjoyed this one!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cup of tea anyone?

A couple of years ago I stumbled across this adorable book

I LOVE all things related to afternoon fact I'm pretty sure I could live on tea and cake forevermore and be happy. I'm really interested in the history of food and how it links in with cultures. So this was perfect for me! It is a quaint and easy read, full of quotes, traditional recipes and the history of the introduction of tea to England. It includes do's and don'ts of serving tea and gorgeous recipes - including a 'foreign food' section for brownies and the like :)

So...anyone fancy a cuppa?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sew it lovely: lace overlay top...

Hello to you and hello to sunshine!! Wow, Mondays are SO much easier to deal with when it's sunny. I unfortunately didn't get to make the most of the sunshine over the weekend due to a 'certain' rugby tournament that is ruling our roost at the moment...I did however get to crack out my sewing machine so all is well :)

I've been on the lookout for a lace top for a while now. So when I found a long forgotten bag of black lace I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. It was just big enough to make a full length top...I'd like to think that it was meant to be :)

This is the perfect way to upcycle an old t-shirt, I love how it turned out! It was impossible to photograph the hems on the lace but I would recommend a narrow hem if you have enough fabric. If, like me, you're short on lace then I settled for a single hem. But I'd recommend a zigzag stitch to secure the hem.

What you need:

1. The length of lace required will depend on what top you're using underneath. While the t-shirt is still intact measure the length of the t-shirt and cut double that measurement plus 2 extra inches of lace.

2. Turn the t-shirt/vest inside out. Measure the centre and mark. From there mark out a sweet heart neckline.

3. Mark a straight line across the back of the's really up to you how low you want it, I kept mine about armpit level. Cut out the t-shirt. I'm sorry about the photo...occasionally blogger likes to rotate my photos for no reason what so ever when uploading...anyway you get the idea!

4. Put the t-shirt to one side. Take your lace and fold in half width ways. Measure the centre point of the folded edge and cut a line across the edge to form the hole for your head (it's quite a helpful thing). Just keep cutting until it easily fits over your head! Sew a 1cm hem around the neckline.

5. Next sew the hems of the two bottom edges of the lace top. Oh look, it did it again...grrr!

6. Fold the lace right sides facing with the neck line on the folded edge. Place the original t-shirt on top of the lace (the t-shirt will not be pinned at this stage, it is just acting as a guide) and pin the lace together. It will need to be at least 4" wider than the t-shirt purely because jersey stretches but lace does not! Taper the pins in to meet the arm pit of the t-shirt.  Next I'd recommend trialling taking it on/off before stitching and adjust widths as needed. Sew the seam from under the arm to 2" short of the bottom hem. Repeat for both sides.

7. To finish off the side seams, take the bottom open part of each seam and sew two hems. (I'm so glad I have photos, I feel like I'm just saying seam, hem, hem, seam, hem!) This makes it even easier to remove the top without the hassle of fitting a zip or buttons!

8. Next, the sleeves. Trim the seam and the cut horizontally at the top to create the sleeve.

Fold the corner in to create a triangle and pin. Ideally then pin a 1cm hem all around the sleeve. However I really liked how the sleeve sat prior to making a hem so I simply sewed the corner and then just sewed around the sleeve to make it as neat as possible. I actually quite like the rough edge.

9. The lace top is now complete. Take the lace top and t-shirt and turn both inside out. Place the lace top inside the t-shirt and pin the two tops together across the sweetheart neckline.

10. Next sew the two tops together along the neckline of the t-shirt. If the t-shirt is a jersey material (like mine is) then you might find that the t-shirt material stretches as it is sewn resulting in the shape distorting. I overcame this by sewing in 1-2cm sections along the neckline (remembering to backstitch to secure).

11. And finally wear to your sophisticated hearts content! It looks great tucked into a skirt or just simply paired with jeans :)

This is my first foray into making clothing, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! Let me know if you have a go or if you know how I can stop blogger turning my photos round the wrong way :)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A burst of creativity (or not)...

This time last week I had just welcomed my husband (and laptop) back home after some time away without me. I much prefer it when they're with me but I did think that in the absence of any distractions I would have a wonderful productive time which would result in me having lots of crafty ventures to share with you. I waited and waited but that spark of productivity just never struck...although that may be linked with my excessive viewings of CSI.

So instead I've collected a few things I've made lately to share with you.

This is the aforementioned clutch bag...which one day I will post the tutorial for. As you can see, the love of bows continues...which is strange as I have never really owned anything particularly bow-y before. We have a record number of weddings this year so a new bag was most definately needed, this was the first time of me sewing a zip so it took me a while but seems to have turned out just fine :)

This was my one bit of creativity while hubby was away. A lovely friend of mine came over and we had a fab evening of chatting and card making. As there was only one card to show for it we clearly did a lot more of the chatting! I adore these gorgeous little houses and I think it makes the perfect home-warming card...I just need to find someone who's moving homes now.

Me and wire go a long way back. I have a huge collection of beads just waiting to have wire lovingly wrapped around them. One of my favourite things to do when I started jewellery making was to study the jewellery in my favourite shops to work out how they made it. Well this idea came from one of those catalogues that suddenly appear on your doormat in the weeks leading up to christmas. I was intrigued to know whether I could replicate it. I'm pretty happy with how it worked out, I love how the pearls look like blossom. I don't have any photos of this in progress so let me know if you would be interested in a tutorial and I'll attempt to make another!

So there's my little story of what I have been up to lately. I'd love to hear what you've been making, drop a link in the comments below :)
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