Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Envelope Advent Calendar Tutorial

That exciting time of year is almost upon us again, and the time of year I go a bit crafty crazy, making handmade presents for all. Normally my boyfriend and I just get a Cadburys chocolate advent calendar, but this year I fancied making a fabric one, something that would last us a long time. So I came up with the idea of little envelopes, 1 for each day with 2 little pockets inside. A his and hers one if you want to be cheesy...or for two children. And here is the end result...


Now I realise it's leaving it a bit late for this year, but this really didn't take me too long to do, the sewing is very quick with a machine. And after all, as long as you have number 1 done by the first...you've got a day to make each one.

And now for how to make it. Here's everything you need. I got some really cute Christmassy clothes pegs and the ribbon from an amazing Danish shop called Tiger.



Firstly make a template for your envelopes. Cut out a rectangle, and fold the two ends over each other so it's roughly in thirds. My template was 28cm long by 16cm, when folded making a 11cm by 16cm rectangle. Now use the template to cut out 24 rectangles from the hessian fabric. (called burlap the other side of the pond) Try to cut along the grain lines at all times, otherwise it will fray all over the place! Now fold the pieces of fabric like you did with the template, and use an iron on a high setting to press it into place.



Open up the front flap of the envelope and on the inside folded over section, paint on one initial on each half, using the stencils, and the newspaper to stop the paint getting on the fabric underneath. (I made my stencils by printing out large letters and then cutting them out)


When the letters are dry, fold the front of the envelope back over, and using stencil numbers paint on a number for each one (1-24). When all the paint is dry, cut lengths of ribbon a few cms longer than the width of the envelopes, and press them in half width wise. Slip the ribbon either side of the edge of the front envelope flap, and sew into place using a sewing machine on zigzag stitch. Fold the edges round to the other side of the fabric and sew into place with a few stitches.



Now sew the edges together from the bottom of the envelope right to the ribbon edge, with a 1/2cm seam allowance and a zigzag stitch. Lastly make the inside pocket into two, buy stitching a line from the bottom fold, inbetween the two initials to the edge of the fabric. Repeat...errr well 23 more times.

Now all that you need to do is put up a couple of long lengths of ribbon across an empty wall somewhere, and use the clothes pegs to attach each envelope to the ribbon. I thought about stitching them to the ribbon, but I thought this way you can take them down to fill up the pockets more easily. And, if like myself you aren't spending Christmas at home, you can unpeg the envelopes and take them with you. All that's left is to fill them with treats and sweets!



Emily Kate



 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Cards!

An exciting annoucement...

Now ready to buy in my Etsy shop are these quirky Christmas cards. Have you ever been looking for a music-themed card in the shops but not been able to find one? Look no further!

With the help of my good friend and his snazzy camera, we snapped a few shots of the mini musicians featuring santa hats, jollying about in a winter wonderland. Yes they really were there. Honestly.







 So if you'd like one of these, (of course you would, because who wouldn't want a Christmas card of Santa playing a saxophone in sunglasses?!) then visit my shop at..

www.etsy.com/shop/Littleknitbits

Emily Kate 
x



Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sewing with Jersey

So I made a few things with my brand new sewing machine when it arrived in July, but it had been sat on the side feeling a little neglected recently...when I discovered Pinterest. There are some really great boards out there for free sewing patterns, in particular http://www.pinterest.com/debycoles/free-sewing-patterns/ which has quite literally thousands! So I made a board of lots of lovely items of clothing that I want to make and then I got started.

The first project I made was this folded miniskirt, from the great tutorial found here http://onlythesmall.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/folded-miniskirt-tutorial.html. I found the folding part easy to understand, although keeping the folds in place was much more difficult at times! This was my first time sewing with jersey, and I chose a double knit plum coloured jersey fabric. 
This fabric was the perfect choice as I found it really easy to work with. I'm very happy with the final outcome as there are actually no obvious mistakes for once!

My next project was a day dress, again in knit fabric for which I chose a lovely bold flower pattern. This fabric I found much harder to deal with, as it is thin jersey and stretches so easily under the machine. I really liked making up a pattern from clothes I already had so it sure to fit. The tutorial for this dress can be found here: http://www.merricksart.com/2013/06/mod-shift-dress-tutorial.html

Both fabrics together cost only £12, so that proves making your own clothes really is cheaper than buying them. I've decided to really make an effort to make rather than buy now I'm getting to grips with my sewing machine!


Emily Kate