Pincushion tutorial

This is just a quick and easy idea for a pincushion more than a tutorial. It is a great scrapbuster though (I like a good scrapbuster!)
square pincushionI made this pincushion for my mum, who is just getting into sewing. I already seem to have lots of pincushions, including a crochet cupcake and my slightly tacky wooden one, which is the perfect size for sitting on my sewing machine while I sew.

You need two squares of fabric in the same size, and four rectangles. My squares were around 14cm by 14cm to start with, and the rectangles were 14cm +2cm seam allowance (1cm each end) by 6cm.

Sew the rectangles together in a long strip, being mindful of the seam allowance. Each seam of the rectangle strip should line up with the corners of your squares. Then right sides together and working one edge at a time, pin one of your squares and the rectangle and sew. 
sewing pincushionYou should end with a box which looks a bit like this.

pin cushion sewing projectThe next stage is to sew the second square onto the rectangles, making a lid. Make sure you leave a gap to turn it all the right way.

pin cushion turning holeTurn it all right way round, and stuff it with toy stuffing. Make sure it it pretty solid, to accommodate your pins and needles. Sew up the hole using ladder stitch, which is the tidiest way to blend in the seam.LADDER-STITCH-1

Draw string bag tutorials

I went home to visit my family last weekend, and while I was there I had a bit of a sewing session with my mum. She’s meant to be doing a sewing workshop soon, and felt she needed some prep before she went. We used this old Singer machine, which used to belong to her mum, but she passed it on as she no longer uses it. We had it serviced, and it runs really nicely now.old singer sewing machineMy mum decided she wanted to make a little bag to put the pedal and wires in. So we raided her as yet quite small sewing stash, and used one of the fat quarters I bought her for Christmas! For maximum practice, we also sewed on a pocket decorated with an appliqué owl, and a long hidden pocket inside for scissors. sewing on pocketHere’s the finished item, complete with Bryn the dog. I’ve also found some links to some different types of draw string bags on Pinterest. They all have great instructions, enjoy!completed draw string bagDraw sting bag tutorials

My mum sent me a picture this morning of another bag she’s made, this time with cat appliqués. I think she may be addicted!

Russian doll pencil case

Do you remember my Russian doll fabric?  As promised, I had a think about what to use it for, and finally got round to making it into a pencil case. russian doll fabricI used this amazing tutorial from Rachel at Transient Expression.  The instructions are by far the clearest ones I came across for a lined pencil case, and the overall project was very easy (even the zip which I usually dread!) Russian doll pencil caseAlong with the Russian doll fabric, I used an old pillow case which is a great colour match to make the lining.  It is a great little project to use your scraps up, and there is lots of scope to make bigger items like a makeup bag, or a smaller one like a coin purse.


DIY Canvas Artwork

As part of the great living room revamp, I have been on the lookout for a nice piece of artwork to go on the wall.  Now everything I have seen has been too small, too expensive or too generic (you know – the same as everyone else who shops in Ikea).  So I finally bit the bullet and had a go myself, and I am mightily pleased with the result.

It all started out with a minor debate in the hardware shop as we decided on what colours to go for.  We were limited to the Dulux tester pots as they were 3 for £3!  This colour chart was our inspiration – if you ever need ideas of what colours go together the Design Seeds website is great. pear colour inspirationOnce we had picked our colours, we painted an old generic canvas white.  This took a couple of coats to get rid of all the original design. blank canvasNext, we masked a sunburst pattern onto the canvas with tape.  Use a ruler to make your stripes evenly spaced out.  Then get going with the paint!masked stripes

The stripe colours are all completely random – there was no rhyme or reason to the way they ended up.  We ended up doing two coats of paint for each colour which gave a much better finish, and there was still paint left over.  Make sure you leave it to dry before you pull off the masking tape!  Any messed up lines can be touched up with either coloured or white paint.

finished sunburst canvasThe blue-y coloured stripes were done using a metallic paint which we have used as a feature wall colour, and we have a red sofa, so the picture has tied everything together nicely.

Easy bunting card

I made this quick bunting card today, ready for Mothers Day next Sunday.  It was super easy to do, and doesn’t need too many paper supplies at all. Bunting Card CollageIngredients

  • Plain piece of card, folded in half to make the base of the whole card
  • Scraps of patterned paper and other bids and bobs to decorate the front of your card
  • Short piece of embroidery floss
  • PVA glue
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors or craft knife


  1. Start by decorating the outside of your card (I used a strip of paper and a pre-printed label which I stuck on using sticky pads).
  2. Punch a hole with a hole punch, so it goes through both layers of card (as show below).

punch holes3. Cut out 4 diamond shapes from your scrap papers to make the bunting flags.  Use the PVA to glue them into place on the embroidery floss.  Leave the glue to dry. paper bunting for card

4. The next step is to add the bunting to the card. threading the bunting instructions6. Tie the card shut with a bow, using the embroidery floss. front of thebunting card

7. Open the card up to show the celebratory bunting!

bunting card


Crochet heart lavender bag

Do you remember my crochet heart from the other week?  Well, I made a couple more using some lovely variegated purple and grey wool from my stash.  I then sewed them together, stuffed them with some left over stuffing and added some dried lavender which I had left over from last year. crochet filled heartI sewed on one of my ceramic buttons as decoration, and the hanging loop was made using a piece of left over wool.

I do apologise that my blog has become very crochet orientated, but I am so on a roll at the minute.  It is so easy to pick up and put down again, while sewing needs a bit more time, setting up and concentration (at least for me).  I will no doubt be migrating over to another craft soon!

Tshirt yarn is amazing!

I have been wanting to make tshirt yarn for ages, and following a clear out of the wardrobes yesterday, I had a go.  For the uninitiated, tshirt yarn is basically jersey fabric cut out into long strips about 1 inch wide.  It doesn’t matter if you’re cutting ability is shocking (like mine) as you just need to pull the strips and they sort of curl over on themselves and make a nice chunky yarn.tshirt yarn

I used this tutorial from Gracious Rain to make my yarn, along with lots of old tshirts and vest tops which have seen better days. tshirt yarn crochetThis is my work in progress, I’m using the largest crochet hook which I can find (8mm) so it is quite tight.  I’m also ruining my nails as it is quite hard work to pull the stitches through!  I’m making a bag, and will post a picture of the whole thing once it is done.  Depending how it turns out, you may also get a tutorial and pattern out of me 🙂

Embroidered Christmas stocking

Laura at Bugs and Fishes is organising a Christmas project link which I’m taking part in.  Today you’ll get my project, and I’ll post a link to everyone else’s projects as soon as possible – to keep you busy!  stocking

I decided to make a little embroidered stocking, using lazy daisy stitch to look a bit like snowflakes.


  • Felt
  • Stocking template
  • Embroidery floss in at least 3 colours
  • Small piece of ribbon to hang


  • Draw your stocking template on paper.  My stocking is around 11cm long and from heel to toe is it 8cm.
  • Use your template to draw 2 stockings onto the felt, and cut them out.
  • Randomly embroider 2 to 3 lazy daisy’s in each colour.  I love lazy daisy stitch as it is one of the first embroidery stitch I remember doing on a mini-sampler table cloth which I was dead proud of!  I have taken a picture of the instructions from my grans very old copy of “Weldons Encyclopedia of Needlework.”

lazy daisy stitch

  • I then filled in the gaps with smaller stitches, to do a bit of a seed stitch effect.

closeup embroidery

  • Finally, sew to two stockings together, and sew the ribbon into place at the top of the stocking.

Easy wedding makes

Following on from my wedding anniversary post, here are a couple of easy wedding makes which made an appearance at my wedding.


This confetti was made from rose petals from my grans garden which were the dried out.  My mum then made paper cones a bit like these ones, and put them in a big wicker basket. home made confetti

Slate and shell candles

For these, we used some old roof slates, some big tower candles and shells.  The shells came from my cousins who went to the beach armed with beach buckets to collect shells.  Simply artfully arrange the shells and the light candle!  Easy 🙂 shell and slate decoration