Sunday, 30 March 2014

DIY Fabric Scraps Tassel Necklace

diy tassel necklace 1
diy tassel necklace 2

If you've been following my quilt updates you may recognise some of the fabrics from today's DIY! As I cut my patchwork pieces I was careful not to throw away any of the scraps as I knew they would come in handy at some point - if you sew I'm sure the above image looks familiar! Whilst the larger scraps are still waiting to be used for a future project I gathered together the thin strips for a jewellery DIY. Here's how I turned them into a pendant...

diy tassel necklace 3

1. First I sorted through the scraps and pulled out the thin ones that weren't big enough to use for other sewing projects. I then trimmed them all down to roughly the same length

diy tassel necklace 4

2. Next I cut a short length of wire and bent it into the shape shown above to use as my base for the fabric pieces

diy tassel necklace 5

3. I began adding the strips onto the wire by folding them in half over it. I continued layering on fabric strips until I felt the tassel looked the right size

diy tassel necklace 6

4. To keep the strips in place I took the ends of the wire and twisted them together

diy tassel necklace 7

5. Putting the tassel aside I cut another small length of wire and wrapped it around a pen to create a loop big enough to thread the tassel through

diy tassel necklace 8

6. Next I slipped the wire over the top of the tassel and secured it in place by carefully tightening it around the fabrics using pliers

diy tassel necklace 9

7. I then went back to the twisted wire I had created earlier and used round-nose pliers to turn it into a small loop to hang the pendant

diy tassel necklace 10

8. Finally I opened up a jump ring and hooked on the tassel using the loop created in step 7, as well as a chain. I carefully closed up the jump ring and the necklace was done!

If you have any great DIY projects or ideas for using up fabric scraps let me know in the comments below!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

March Reads & Reviews

march reads7

March has been a bit of a slow reading month for me as I've been doing a lot of crafting and have also been suffering from a fair few headaches! Despite this I did manage to make my way through one novel and three non-fiction titles (I actually finished Yes Man last month just after posting February's roundup!). Here's what I thought...

The Savages, Matt Whyman (2013)
This quirky title, somewhat a cross between the Addams Family and Sweeney Todd, follows the Savage family who are secretly cannibals. The story kicks off with eldest daughter Sasha's announcement that she has a new boyfriend... a vegetarian boyfriend, to which father Titus is not at all pleased. Meanwhile someone starts to become suspicious of Titus and his family after a famous actress who was last seen filming at the Savage's house (which they rent out as a set to film and TV crews) goes missing.
This interesting premise for a story set in modern day England caught my eye and luckily I wasn't disappointed. The Savages was a fun and unique read with a dark humour and I found it enjoyable to read something a little different from your usual YA. The book is also the first in a planned series so I'm looking forward to reading future adventures featuring the Savage family! 3.5/5

Yes Man, Danny Wallace (2005) 
After a chance encounter on a bus where a stranger simply told him to 'say yes more' Danny decided to take this statement seriously and did just that. Yes Man follows Danny's journey as he says yes to everything, finding himself in many strange situations along the way.
The unique concept and humour of Yes Man made for a very enjoyable read and I also loved the friendly writing style. Although a very fun read Yes Man did leave me a little sad too as it also had me reflecting on all of the opportunities I might have missed out on myself. Of course, this was all part of the book's charm and just reiterates Danny's message, encouraging readers everywhere to be more positive too! 5/5


This month I also read...
  • Divergent Thinking*, Leah Wilson (2014) - full review to follow on Blogger's Bookshelf next month 
  • Are You Dave Gorman?, Dave Gorman & Danny Wallace (2001) ✯✯✯✯ 
  • Random Acts Of Kindness, Danny Wallace (2004) ✯✯✯

Reviews posted in March...
Books marked with a * c/o Netgalley | Images via goodreads.com
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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

DIY Bunny Ear Scrunchies & Hairbands

diy bunny ear scrunchie 1

Once again scrunchies have been popping up all over the high street and over the last year these bunny ear designs have been everywhere. Although the return of the scrunchie seems to be dividing opinion, love it or hate it I'd been wanting to try out this project for a very long time, and today I'll be sharing the tutorial!

scrunchies inspiration

If scrunchies aren't your thing you can skip straight to the second part of this DIY where you can learn how to make bunny ears to add to your regular hairbands instead! Here's the step-by-steps...


Part One - The Scrunchie

1. Cut a length of fabric that measures approx. 50 x 7cm

2. Fold in half lengthways, with the printed side of the fabric facing inwards (as shown below)

3. Sew along the length of fabric leaving a seam allowance of approx. 1/4" or half a cm

diy bunny ear scrunchie 2

4. Turn your fabric tube inside out so that the printed side is now facing outwards - use something like a knitting needle to help with this step (shown below) - then iron the strip flat

diy bunny ear scrunchie 3

5. Cut a length of elastic a little longer than you want the finished scrunchie to be (I'd suggest approx. 25cm) and tie it onto your knitting needle or a safety pin

6. Thread the elastic through the fabric tube, bunching it onto the elastic to create the scrunchie effect as loosley or tightly as you wish

diy bunny ear scrunchie 4

7. Tie a knot in the elastic at the desired length and trim off any excess

8. Fold under one end of the tube and tuck the other end inside it. Machine stitch straight over the join, trapping the elastic in place (shown below)

Usually I would suggest handstitching around the edge so that it is not sewn onto the elastic and gives a neater finish however the bunny ears in part two of this project will cover the stitched join!

diy bunny ear scrunchie 5

Part Two - The Bunny Ears 

1. Take a piece of fabric approx. the size on an A4 piece of paper. Lay out the rectangle landscape ways on your table and fold in half once, taking the far left side and bringing it to meet the far right. Then fold again, this time so that the bottom edge meets the top one

2. Draw on your ear shape (as shown below) using a pencil or erasable pen and once you are happy with the design cut it out using scissors

diy bunny ear scrunchie 6

3. When you unfold the fabric you should be left with something that looks like the shape shown below. Fold this in half with the printed sides together (as shown) and iron flat

diy bunny ear scrunchie 7

4. Stitch along the edges of the fabric, leaving a 1/4" seam allownace, and a gap in the middle (between the two 'ears') which will be used to add the wire later on

5. Turn the fabric back in the right way and once again, iron flat

diy bunny ear scrunchie 8

6. Take a length of wire, approximately the same length as the 'ear shape' and bend over each end into a small loop (as shown below). You can then also wrap some tape around the loop if you want to make sure there are no sharp edges

7. Thread the wire into the 'ears' using the gap you left in step 4, fold the edges of the fabric in and handstitch the gap shut to secure the wire inside the 'ears'

diy bunny ear scrunchie 9

8. You should now be able to tie the 'ears' in a knot around the scrunchie - make sure you tie them on over the join to cover up the visible stitching, and your bunny ear scrunchie is finished!

diy bunny ear scrunchie 10
diy bunny ear scrunchie 11

For those who don't want to embrace the resurgence of the scrunchie trend here's what the wire bunny ears look like on a normal hairband - less of a statement but just as cute!

diy bunny ear scrunchie 12

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Quilt Update #3 - Layout Design & Cutting The Fabrics

quilt design

Choosing A Design

Initially I settled on the idea of a simple square design with a few rectangles mixed in just to add a little more interest (and use up some of the scraps!) however when I laid them all out I wasn't happy with how it looked. I then tried to create a less random layout design using my squares and ended up with a 'brick' style pattern which used only the squares and not the rectangles, but again decided it didn't feel quite right.

After putting the squares to one side whilst I thought about alternative design options I decided to use up my now unwanted rectangles to practise my patchwork. The result of this was the piece shown in the photograph above, which once I stepped back and looked at I realised I really loved. So, my design idea was finalised - I was going to ditch the squares in favour of rectangles!

This meant even more fabric cutting (I really didn't make things easy for myself) and I began work on turning all of my nicely cut squares into equally nicely cut rectangles. When I started the project I decided that I wanted to pick up a rotary cutter and quilting ruler to cut the pieces accurately and I ended up with a 45mm rotary cutter, a 6x12" Omnigrip ruler and a 18" x12" cutting mat from Sew Easy.

quilt pieces

That's it for this update, next time I'll be talking sewing the quilt top!
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Sunday, 23 March 2014

DIY Felt Doughnut Pin Cushion

diy doughnut pin cushion

After a couple of DIY post-free Sunday's I'm back today with another simple project. Recently, with starting my first quilt, I've been trying to sew a lot more and wanted to make a fun pin cushion to use - the plastic box of pins falling onto the floor and flying all over the place was the decider that it was time!

Although my recent attempt at baking gluten free doughnuts didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped (any recipe ideas please let me know!) I still liked the idea of creating a novelty doughnut pin cushion so that's what I did! Here's the step-by-step...

diy donut pin cushion

You will need: one sheet of beige or brown felt, one sheet of pink felt, sewing machine, a pencil or erasable pen, scissors, pins, coloured threads, a needle, and a compass/circular things to draw around!

diy donut pin cushion

1. Decide on the size of your pin cushion and find something to draw around - in my version the outer circle measured approximately 4" and the inside 1.5" but in hindsight I realised the inside circle should have been a little smaller. So, for the next few I made I altered it to around 1" (as shown in the final photograph below)

I used a Pilot FriXion pen to draw onto the felt (as recommended by my pal Skye) which works really well as it disappears with one swipe of the iron!

diy donut pin cushion

diy donut pin cushion

2. Cut three of the doughnut shapes - two pieces in the beige felt and one in pink

3. To create the icing splodge cut into the pink circle with a design that looks something like the one above & lay on top of one of your beige pieces

diy donut pin cushion

4. Now its time to start sewing! Using a pink thread carefully stitch the 'icing' onto the doughnut. My advice would be to not rush this step as it can be tricky to sew around that crazy icing shape!

diy donut pin cushion

5. I hand stitched on some 'sprinkles' at this point however you could also do this before sewing the layers together if you wanted to. I also swiped over the whole top with the iron at this point, just to remove the pen marks before assembling the final doughnut

diy donut pin cushion

diy donut pin cushion

6. Pin all of the layers together and sew around the edges leaving a small gap on the outer edge for stuffing

7. Carefully stuff the donut - use something like a knitting needle to help push it around the doughnut shape and make sure it is as even as possible

8. Hand stitch shut the small opening, trim off any excess felt around the edges if necessary and your pin cushion is done!

diy doughnut pin cushion

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Quilt Update #2 - DIY Printed Fabrics

In my previous update post I shared some of the quilt fabrics I had sourced from shops and online. Although there are lots of beautiful designs out there I also knew right from the start that I wanted to mix in a few fabrics that would be unique to my quilt. How?... by printing them myself! Today's post is part quilt update, part DIY and shares five simple ideas for printing your own fabrics using things you will probably already have lying around at home.

string stamp

1. String + Wooden Block - wrap a length of string around a wooden block and knot to secure in place. This idea which came from Print Workshop by Christine Schmidt, will create straight or uneven lines in whatever size you like

pencil stamp

2. Pencil Eraser - these are readymade stamps! I previously shared this idea as part of a decorated notebook DIY but it works just as well on fabrics. Use to create uniform polka dots or a random layered pattern as shown above.

brick print stamp

3. Basic Eraser - cut down a simple rectangle eraser and use to create a brick style print like this one or instead try making dashed lines

diy printed fabrics 86

4. Carved Erasers - using a craft knife or lino cutting tool carve out a design. You can go simple, like this striped square design, or draw on a design before carving for a more complicated or intricate stamp

diy printed fabrics 60

5. Bubble Wrap + Wooden Block - who doesn't love bubble wrap? Glue a scrap of bubble wrap to a wooden block to create a unique textured-looking stamp design. This one won't last too long but you can always peel the bubble wrap off of the block, grab another piece and keep stamping!

* I used these stamps with Dylon fabric paints

In my next quilt update post I'll be talking about the patchwork design I opted for...!
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

DIY Bunny Plushie

bunny plushie diy
bunny plushie diy

Today's project is this cute little bunny plushie - although unintentional the timing of this post is pretty perfect for those looking to whip up some Easter crafts for next month!

To make the bunny I used the printable pattern and instructions for Martha Stewart's Stuffed Menswear Bunny however I chose to make mine using a printed cotton fabric rather than flannel. Personally I didn't think the way that this pattern printed out was that great and it also would have been nice to see a step-by-step photo tutorial alongside the written instructions but after a couple of what I like to call 'inexperienced sewer mistakes' I got there in the end.

Now I think this little guy needs a name so, if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments section below!

Don't forget to check out my DIY archives using the navigation bar at the top of this page for lots more ideas and tutorials! 
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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Quilt Update #1 - Fabrics

quilt fabrics
quilt fabrics590

After a little bit of a break from blogging - a few days off from posting turned into a week and then a little more - I'm back today with a quilt update. By the time you see this post I will have been working on the quilt for a few weeks but I wanted to start off the updates series by sharing photographs of some of the fabrics I'm using. I decided to go for a mixture of prints, and began by focusing on a grey base. I also opted to include some more graphic style prints rather than just the traditional vintage style ones often used for quilts.

The first fabric I picked up was a pretty floral print with a light grey background and coraly-pink detailing (shown at the bottom of the photo above). At the second shop I visited, I again went for greys but also picked out some pink/red shades to add a bit more interest and tie in with the flower details from the first fabric. I then decided to look through our drawers at home to see if I could find any scraps that would also tie in nicely and ended up finding two star prints which were left over from a string of bunting my mum had made for my workspace.

To finish up the selection of new fabrics I decided to add in four I had seen online, all from UK-based company Dashwood Studio. Three are from a lovely collection named Annali and the fourth is the  from the fun Petite Street collection. At this point I thought I was done with fabric shopping but after finalising my design idea (I changed my mind three times...) I also went back to the second shop and picked out a further five fabrics! (top photo above)

So, that's it for my first Quilt Update post. Next time I will again be sharing fabrics (yes, there are more), only these ones are a little more unique...
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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Two Sleepy Bunnies...

bunnies march 2014

bunnies march 2014
 
Happy Thursday! 
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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

I'm Making A Quilt!

quilt556

Today I wanted to fill you in on a challenge I've decided to take on - I'm making a quilt!

For a little while now making a quilt that I could keep forever is a project I've been itching to have a go at. Although I can cope with a bit of basic sewing I've never had a flair for it and have always avoided sewing machines where possible, so its not something I thought I would achieve.

The first blogged quilt project I saw that made me sure I wanted to give it a go was this Modern Ombre design by See Kate Sew. Then, last year my friend Skye also shared her first quilt making experience over on her blog, which turned out so beautifully that it definitely pushed me a step closer to taking the plunge and this year I decided it was time to take on my own quilt project!

Sharing this project with you means not only that you will get to follow my progress but also that I will be more determined to finish so that I can share the final piece here as well.

I'll be posting updates as and when to show you how I'm getting on and share a beginner's point of view on the process too. With my birthday coming up not long after I decided to actually have a go at this project I was kindly gifted a few things to get me started (thanks Mum!) including my fabrics so for my first update post I'll be sharing a sneak peek at those.

If you have any tips and tricks for quilt making please send them all my way!
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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Library Haul #4

library haul 4

In place of the usual beginning-of-the-month TBR post today I thought I would share a quick library haul instead. As you can see I've been picking up a lot of craft books recently, and these have been inspiring me to try out some new projects. If you'd like to see individual reviews on them please let me know!

Here's just a few of the books I've picked up recently...
Have you read any of these books?
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Monday, 3 March 2014

Map Print Necklaces

map necklaces
map necklaces

Sometimes a design idea comes out of nowhere and ends up becoming a favourite. For me, that was definitely the case with these double-sided map print tags I created back in November. After recently setting up an Etsy store for Sawyer & Scout I now finally get to share them with you!

Each one is unique with two different map sections in a variety of colours, mounted within a bronze tone tag charm and glazed to give a glossy finish. The tag pendants hang on 18" bronze tone chains, creating quite an antique look.

I really enjoy making simple but effective designs like this one so I'm hoping that Sawyer & Scout customers are going to love them as much as I do!

You can find Sawyer & Scout on Etsy here
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