Easy kimono DIY*

Simple sewing at its best - you need just the most basic of sewing skills for this super easy DIY. It's also the quickest garment I've ever sewn, taking less than an hour to make. There's no paper pattern to follow, minimal cutting and pinning, and as the idea is that it's over-sized, you can't really go wrong! I used a cotton for my kimono as I wanted something with a bit of structure, but it would also look great in something light like chiffon or jersey. 

You will need

Fabric 1.5m of Coraline Mondorla Lavender Blue*  
Matching thread
Sewing machine
Tape measure/ruler

How to

1. Fold your fabric in half with the inside together and the fold at the top, it should be a landscape shape.

2. Measure 28cm down from the top fold and then in 25cm to create a rectangle each side and cut out.

3. Pin together the cut sides and sew a 1.5cm seam. Press flat.

4. Find the centre of the front of your kimono and draw a line from top to bottom, then cut through the top layer of fabric only. Before you seam the front opening it's a good idea to try it on at this point, to make sure you have cut high enough. I cut another 2cm open after trying it on to get it to hang better.

5. Fold over your front opening and pin then sew a 1.5cm seam.

6. Pin and sew a 1.5cm seam along the bottom of your kimono. Turn the right way out and you're done!

Happy sewing!

*some of the materials for this project were supplied by Sew Crafty, but all tutorials and opinions are my own.



How to make a fabric pom-pom

Easy DIY fabric pom-poms to decorate your home or party

Let's face it, pom-poms are back and here to stay - which is no bad thing in my book! So in the spirit of #worldpomination I figured it was only right to make a couple of pom-pom decorations for my next Sew Crafty Design Team project, to adorn our garden, wedding, home, they could even become the new yarn bomb. And they are so quick to make that you'll have a pile of pom-poms in no time! 

Of course the gorgeous fabrics can't help but add to how happy these pom-poms make me - colourful confetti spots and hello, gingham! I think all my garden party dreams are coming true. I've used both a large pom-pom maker and even larger cardboard circles to make these so they're lovely and big. Read on for both methods...

You will need

Gingham fabric*
Confetti dots fabric*
Pom-pom maker* or cardboard (or both)

To make a fabric pom-pom using a pom pom maker 

1. Cut your fabric into thin strips about 3cm wide. The more fabric strips you have the fuller your pom-pom will look, I used less than half a meter for this pom-pom.

2. Once you have a pile of fabric strips, open one side of your pom-pom maker and wrap the fabric around the arm. Repeat with the other side.

3. Cut through the middle of each side of your pom-pom maker.

4.Wrap string around the pom-pom maker and pull so that it pulls the fabric together into the centre of the pom-pom maker. Tie a few knots, then pull the pom-pom maker apart to release your pom-pom! Fluff up and trim as needed to get a lovely circular shape.

So easy.

To make a fabric pom-pom using cardboard

 1. Draw a large circle with a smaller circle inside onto cardboard and cut out to make a donut shape (dinner plates and candles make good templates), then draw around this to make a second donut.

2. Cut your fabric into roughly 5cm wide strips, I actually made a small cut and then ripped mine, which created a nice frayed effect and created a fuller pom-pom. I wouldn't do this for the smaller pom-pom though as really thin strips just curl up and hide the lovely pattern.

3. Place your two cardboard donuts (damn, I really want a donut now) on top of each other and wrap with the fabric.

4. Cut though the edge of the donut using the gap between the two pieces of card as a guide.

5. Slide some string between the two pieces of card, pull tight and then tie around your pom-pom. Leave a long tail for hanging.

I love how they look hung outdoors in particular, so colourful and fun! They'll definitely be making an appearance at our wedding and after that I think they'll take up residence in this tree on sunny summer days.

*some of the materials for this project were supplied by Sew Crafty, but all tutorials and opinions are my own.



Life Lately | June 2017 edition

Recently I've been...

Sewing 50 meters of bunting - another wedding DIY to tick off the list! I'm not sure how long it took in total but I finished it one Friday I had off from work after a six hour stint, it did get a bit repetitive but I also loved the quality time in my with the radio and sewing machine. #simplepleasures

Looking after my skin, I've never been one for a particular skincare routine, but seeing as my skin and I haven't been getting along to well recently I figured it was time to do something about it. I headed straight for Caroline Hiron's blog for a good read as I've heard all the beauty bloggers recommending it. My new routine involves exfoliating with Liz Earl (I've used the cleanser for a while but never bothered with the exfoliator, oops), the Origins Clear Improvement charcoal face mask twice a week and moistuirising at night. It hasn't been long but I'm starting to see improvements - if anyone knows the magic secret for getting rid of under eye circles though, I'd be all ears!

Crocheting a corner to corner cushion. You might have seen this one on my instagram as I've been working on it for a little while - crochet time is at a premium at the moment. It's my first corner to corner project and I used this tutorial by the brilliant Bella Coco to learn the stitch. Full details coming soon to a blog near you.

Spending all my free time in the garden, because it's been to beautiful not to! Not much actual gardening has taken place, between avoiding the weeding and waging a war on our ever-hungry slug population, I've mainly just been sitting with my notebook or crochet, bliss.

What have you been up to this month?



How to make a bunting cake topper*

Easy DIY wedding cake bunting

You just can't have a village hall wedding without bunting, eh? At least that's true in my book. So it's only fair that the wedding cake gets a bit of the bunting treatment too! This super easy Mr and Mrs bunting is quick and inexpensive to make, plus you can personalise it with your name or chosen message - 'Just Married' or any cake related quote would also work perfectly.

Now you may be wondering why I've photographed it sitting in a teacup rather than on a cake (!), as I'll be using this at my own wedding later this year I wanted to keep the full reveal for guests on the day. But I'll be sure to share a picture of how it looked after the wedding! 

You will need

Hessian ribbon*
White thread*
Hemp cord*
Pencil and ruler
Bamboo kebab skewers 

How to make your bunting cake decoration

Cut a long length of your ribbon and iron in half. Then using a pencil and ruler mark out your bunting triangles on one side of the ribbon. My triangles are 2.5cm wide.

Using 3 strands of white thread embroider a letter or heart onto each triangle.

Measure and cut a length of bondaweb to go inside your ribbon, make it about 0.5cm thinner than your ribbon.

Iron the rough side of the bondaweb inside of your ribbon leaving the 0.5cm gap near the centre fold.

Peel of the bondaweb backing and iron the other half of the ribbon to the bondaweb.

Cut your triangles out. Thread your hemp cord onto a large eyed needle and thread through your bunting triangles.

Tie either end of each bunting skewer, arrange so that you're happy with the bunting drape and cut excess thread. I've kept mine long in the pictures in case I need to make any adjustments when we put it in the cake.

Ta-dah! A cake decoration fit for a new Mr and Mrs. Obviously you could also make cake bunting for birthdays, anniversaries, Fridays, generally any occasion involving cake! 

*some of the materials for this project were supplied by Sew Crafty, but all tutorials and opinions are my own.



Life Lately | May 2017 edition

Recently I've been...

Crocheting about 90 of these little hearts! They're for our wedding in a few months time (super sneak peek of the colour scheme here), I'm trying not to go overboard with the crochet, but I couldn't resist a few touches  ;)

Growing sweet peas, both from seeds and shop brought plants - this is one of the shop brought plants (my seedlings don't look quite as healthy and are too long and spindly to photograph). Again these will hopefully flower in time to be used in the wedding this summer. Cross your fingers for me though, plants are not my strong point!

Learning how to dry rose petals (sorry last wedding related one, I promise) for biodegradable confetti. I've been keeping them in this vase to decorate my craft room while they wait to be used. 

Running through all the bluebell woods, although as I don't take my camera out running this picture was taken on a walk a few weeks ago. But every Monday evening for the last month, run club has taken us through some beautiful bluebell woods. It's true what they say, having something pretty to look at really does make the exercise a bit more bearable! 

What have you been up to?



Crochet cat blanket | a pattern

Easy crochet pet blanket - free pattern

You could say I've well and truly caught the crochet blanket bug as I'm back with a second blanket pattern less than a month after my first. However, this is such a quick and easy make I just couldn't resist. Also don't worry, I have remembered that I don't actually have a cat (yet), inspired by Leanne from This Little Space of Mine, this little blanket will be headed to my local Cat's Protection Centre. 

The pattern is a super simple eight round granny square joined with a slip stitch. This was one of those patterns that just evolved as I crocheted, if I'd planned things a bit more I think I'd have done a seven round square and then used the join as you go method for the eighth round, as it would make the pattern even quicker. I'll try that for the next one! As it is the cat blanket took just a few evenings to make and used up some stylecraft special DK in Lavender, which I seem to have a particular excess of. The border is Parma Violet also stylecraft special DK.

4mm hook

Ch - Chain
Tr - Treble crochet
Sl st - slip stitch

Round 1 - Ch 4, sl st to form a magic loop

Round 2 - Ch 3, then tr 2 into the centre of the magic loop ch 2, *tr 3, ch 2 three more times. Until you have four sets of trebles. Sl st into top of the chain 3.

Round 3 - Sl st along to the corner, then ch 3, tr 2, ch 2, tr 3 into same space. *tr 3 into next space, ch 2, tr 3 into same space. Repeat three more times until you have eight sets of treble 3. Sl st into top of ch 3 to join, then break yarn.

Continue in pattern until you have eight rounds on your granny square. 

Make six granny squares.
Join together with a slip stitch through the back loop only of each square.
The finishing touch is the gorgeous scallop border, I used this pattern by Kimberly Pye.

Insert cat below!
I'd love to know if you've made a blanket for your pet, or donated one to a animal shelter before. Happy crocheting! 



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