Friday, 30 April 2010
I made mine in two different colourways, one white cloud with pale blue raindrops and one darker, stormy grey cloud with dark blue raindrops:
To make your own clouds you will need:
- a needle, a pin, scissors, and the template at the bottom of this post
- white or grey felt to make the cloud and blue felt to make the raindrops
- thread to match the two colours you choose
- embroidery thread to match your raindrops
- a large needle to sew the embroidery thread
- silver and blue round sequins
- a brooch clasp or safety pin
First, cut out your pattern pieces using the templates provided. Each piece of the brooch is made from a "sandwich" of three felt layers, the middle layer is the smallest so it's hidden when you sew them all together.
Using embroidery thread, sew your small raindrop pieces to your small cloud piece (this structure will be the filling in your sandwich). Knot your thread and make one stitch in one of the raindrops, starting from the bottom and sewing upwards. Then leave a bit of embroidery thread "loose" between your raindrop and cloud so the raindrop can dangle freely, and sew it securely to the cloud. Repeat this for your other two raindrops, hanging your middle drop slightly lower than the others.
Now it's time to add your sequins onto the "front" felt pieces. I used silver sequins on my white/light blue cloud and a mix of silver and blue sequins on my grey/dark blue cloud. You might find it helpful to arrange the sequins on one cloud shape or your paper pattern as a guide and then gradually transfer them to the final shape as you sew. Use three stitches for each sequin, and thread that matches the felt you're sewing them onto.
Take your remaining cloud shape, turn it over and sew a brooch clasp onto the back using a double thickness of matching thread (alternatively you can use a safety pin and a scrap of felt - for info on how to do this please see this post).
Using thread that matches your cloud, sew the back piece (with clasp) onto the middle piece. I used long stitches on the inside (which won't be visible when the brooch is finished) and shorter stitches on the outside (visible on the back of the brooch)
Now it's sandwich-making time. Start with your raindrops - they can be a bit fiddly! Use a couple of small stitches to secure the small middle piece to the plain back piece (as you just did with the cloud), this will make it much easier to sew all three pieces together neatly. Then then add the sequinned front piece to your sandwich and use whip stitch to sew all three layers together. Finish your stitches on the back where they will be less visible.
Finally, put your sequinned cloud shape in place and use whip stitch to sew your cloud sandwich together (again, use matching thread and finish on the back).
Double-click on the image below to view the template & print it. If you print the template at 100% your raincloud will be the same size as mine.
This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many brooches as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!
Thursday, 29 April 2010
I'd meant to sign off from the internet after my last post, and then I discovered this totally gorgeous tutorial for a dahlia corsage via Twitter...
(Photo by Megan Reardon)
... and felt compelled to make one immediately!
I stitched my flower instead of glueing it, and used quite a soft piece of felt (one of the 30% wool blend colours I sell in my shops) and it ended up a little lopsided / adapted from the original but I'm still rather in love with it. I'll definitely be revisiting the tutorial for future birthday gifts.
Fiona, who said: Oooh another chance to win one of your lovely brooches. I'd love a red one if I win.
Toby Tea Cosy, who said: Poppy red, we're I lucky enough to be chosen, they're all just gorgeous! x
and Sparkle Pants Girl, who said: I have been eyeing them for a some time now. I can't decide between red or white. Ooooh, red it will have to be!
In other news... I've been working on a new brooch tutorial inspired by April showers:
Come back tomorrow for the full project :)
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Whilst sewing on all those beads I've been listening to some recordings from Librivox. I discovered Librivox (an archive of free audiobooks from the public domain) after one of my lovely blog readers recommended it, and I'm a total convert. So many great books to listen to, and all for free! Gosh, I love the internet.
Monday, 26 April 2010
So imagine how delighted I was to hear from my former boss that she's starting a weekly knitting group! The Gloucester Cathedral Knitting Club will be meeting in the Cathedral's coffee shop on Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm (first session: Wed 5th May).
I'm really looking forward to it. In a moment of super-keenness I even got a book on knitting out of the library at the weekend which I hope will prove as helpful as it looks:
Have you ever joined a knitting group? I'd love to hear your experiences... And, of course, if you're in the area on Wednesdays and fancy a bit of knitting do come along!
Friday, 23 April 2010
All my Eco Flowers were created using felt made from recycled plastic bottles, and each one is topped with a vintage button from my stash. Grab a bargain and help me make room for some new designs!
Thursday, 22 April 2010
I feel like a total girl for blogging about shoes (and pink ones, at that!) but they are making me smile a lot this week. I'm really tempted to treat myself to the matching turquoise pair...
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
This month there's three chances to win as I'm giving away THREE large poppy brooches.
The large poppies are a new version of one of my favourite designs* and are available in red, pink and white. Each brooch measures 3 inches / 8 cms across and will look lovely pinned to a jacket, sweater or summer dress (I've got a white one pinned to my spring jacket at the moment).
To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me which colour you would like if you win. I've got lots available in each of the three colours, so each winner will get the colour of their choice :)
Leave your comment before 10pm (UK time) on Wednesday 28th April and I'll pick the three winners at random on Thursday. I'm happy to ship internationally, so anyone can enter.
EDIT: comments for this giveaway are now closed.
*I've still got some of the old version available... they're on sale at a bargain price here.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Day-to-day I write everything in my accounts book by hand and then I'm supposed to type it all up at the end of each month in a nice neat spreadsheet, print it out and file it neatly with that month's receipts ready to do my tax return. If I actually got round to doing this every month it would be a perfect system!
In reality, I end up having a massive paperwork blitz this time each year to catch up on all the months I've missed. It's very dull, but it's quite nice looking back over the past year and getting an "overview" of all my business ups and downs.
Along with my accounts I've got a few other admin tasks on my to do list at the moment - including sorting through all the photos on my computer (oh my goodness what a mess those are in!) and gradually re-taking photos of my older designs, like the sunflower brooches above.
I'm hoping to get as much admin as possible out of the way before the warmer summer weather arrives and I start wanting to go on picnics and to spend my afternoons reading PG Wodehouse novels in the sunshine instead of stuck at a computer...
Monday, 19 April 2010
So I have been making him some political badges to wear on his coat...
... one in the shape of the Lib Dem logo:
... and one embroidered with "I agree with Nick", which has apparently become an unofficial Liberal Democrat slogan after Gordon Brown said it (about the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg) so many times during last week's debate:
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Working on my works-in-progress challenge through the week has made a very nice change from all the boring (but oh so important) businessy tasks that have filled my to do lists.
I've only managed to finish a few things... a couple of poppy bracelets, some moustaches and a cherry blossom hairband ...
... but I've been working on lots more! :)
Honestly, whose idea was it to cut out all those poppies and moustaches, eh? Oh, wait, it was my idea, wasn't it? Sigh.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Normal service will be resumed shortly but in the meantime here's a quick snap of what I've been working on this week - lots of abstract circles for a custom mobile. Love all those yummy colours!
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
... and this yummy felt trim:
Monday, 12 April 2010
Lots of flower brooches and hair combs made from recycled felt (leftovers from a big batch I made last year), plus some battenburg brooches:
Lots and lots of "butterfly flowers" - I cut out the pieces for these a while ago, and stitched them together yesterday:
And I finally finished some of those necklaces! I need to buy more ribbon before I can finish the rest but I'll be gradually be adding them all (along with the eco flowers and battenburg brooches) over in my Etsy shop this week.
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Well, I've decided to try to break this habit - and to do so I've set myself a challenge to finish every single project in my WIP boxes!
I'm hoping that blogging about it will help me stick with it, and instead of constantly feeling a bit guilty about all these bits and pieces I've never got around to finishing I'll have a clean crafty slate ready to start lots of fun new things.
I've been making a start today... beginning with some long-neglected battenburg brooches:
Saturday, 10 April 2010
... and then (rather typically) I got distracted by some new project or other and they've been sitting in a box ever since. Tsk tsk.
Anyway, I've started work on them again this weekend, and have been happily sewing on lots of beads whilst listening to spy thrillers on the radio and enjoying the sunshine. It's a lovely relaxing task and I'm determined to get them all (finally!) finished this week. I hope you will all nag me about it if I get distracted again :)
Friday, 9 April 2010
New butterfly headbands, which are making me feel so summer-y! The butterflies are native British species:
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Hello everyone! My name is Rob Jones, I'm on my second year of illustration at the University of Gloucestershire and I have recently been getting work experience in the world of crafts! I've already been at Stuffed Nonsense with Bex and El, who make really nice toys and were very kind for letting me get in the way in their shop for a couple of days!
The animals that have been posted are my first attempt at handstitching toys, they are pretty much the starting point of my final major project which is going to be based on British eccentricity, they are also helping towards my first stop motion animation which is a very scary thought!
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
How lush is that? No idea what I might make with it yet, but it's a lovely addition to my stash. I never seem to find the time to do "proper" sewing, but that doesn't stop me hoarding fabric for endless future projects.
Monday, 5 April 2010
Thursday, 1 April 2010
I won't be taking a break from crafting though, that would just be too weird!
First thing on my crafty to do list? Finishing these forget-me-not brooches:
As well as cutting out all those tiny forget-me-nots & enjoying the rhythm of sewing all those tiny stitches, this week I've been making lilac flower headbands (I love making those little felt buttons!), more snowy owl brooches , and finishing an extra-large flower brooch which will be making an appearance in my Etsy shop sometime soon.
Have you got anything planned this weekend? Will you be doing anything crafty?