Thursday, 14 March 2019

Shop News: Price Rises Coming Soon

I've got some non-fun news to share today, which is that I'll be putting up the prices of my PDF sewing patterns slightly at the start of April (2019).

Currently, all the PDF patterns in my Etsy and Big Cartel shops are £2.50 (+VAT if purchased via my Etsy shop), but from April they will be £3 each (+VAT if purchased via Etsy). So, if you've had your eye on any of my current designs now's the time to grab them before the price goes up!

Good news, though: I've got lots of new patterns in progress and I've decided to have a special launch price for all of them (£2.50), rising to the standard price after a week... so you'll still be able to snap up the new patterns at the old price. Don't want to miss when I add a new pattern to my shop? Sign up to my newsletter!

Currently in my shops, you'll find...

Felt Poppies (including a poppy embroidery pattern).

Felt Primroses and Auriculas.

Felt Robins (including a robin embroidery pattern).

And a wren embroidery pattern, inspired by an old proverb. 

Visit my Etsy shop for instant pattern downloads, or head to Big Cartel to buy direct from me (if you make a purchase from my Big Cartel shop your pattern(s) will be emailed asap and always within 48 hours).

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Daffodils and Narcissi: Spring Flower Embroidery Patterns

February's free project for my pattern newsletter subscribers? A pair of little floral embroidery patterns!

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive these free spring flower embroidery patterns

These sweet, easy-to-stitch little flowers are designed to be framed in 4 inch embroidery hoops but they'd also be great for embellishing all kinds of spring projects.

There's a large, solo daffodil...

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern
  Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern
 Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern

... and a trio of narcissi (or daffs, I guess, if you stitched them with yellow thread instead of white!)

 Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern
Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern
 Subscribe to my newsletter to receive this free spring flower embroidery pattern

Stitch your fave, or embroider them both as a pair! They'd make lovely gifts for Mother's Day or Easter.

I'm running a little behind with my newsletter freebies at the mo, as you may have noticed, but I'm gradually getting caught up! The emails might land in your inbox at slightly unexpected times but you'll still get a free project for each month this year.

I'll be sending out these two patterns to subscribers later today, but don't worry if you're not already subscribed: you'll immediately get sent the current project when you sign up, and I always include a link to the previous project when I send out a new newsletter. There'll be lots more crafty goodness on the way soon, too!

Click here for more information about my newsletters and to subscribe!

Click here to visit my tutorial archive for lots more free patterns, including more embroidery patterns and lots of ideas for spring craft projects.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Sew Felt Spring Flower Brooches With My Primroses Pattern!

Do you know what the absolute best part of my job is? It's seeing things people have made from my patterns!

This fabulous photo Daniela, aka ivyarch, shared of the brooches she's been making from my Primroses & Auriculas pattern has brought me such joy this week:

I love the bright colours Daniela has chosen and I adore how the brooches look when worn together like that.

Want to sew your own version of these brooches? My Primroses and Auriculas pattern is available as a printable PDF from my Etsy shop (as an instant download) or from my Big Cartel shop (where your pattern will be emailed to you within 48 hours).

The tutorial includes templates and step by step instructions for sewing primroses and auriculas, floral trios and single flowers (with or without leaves), and lots of ideas for different colour combos.

As well as using it to make brooches (perfect for adorning your jackets and cardigans this spring) you could also use these patterns to make spring flowers for decorating anything you fancy. Hair clips! Floral crowns! Purses! Pincushions! Even cushions!

For even more spring flowers, check out my tutorial archive for loads of free floral projects and sign up to my pattern newsletter - the next free project I'll be sharing is two little daffodil / narcissi embroidery patterns! Here's a sneak peek of one of them...

... I'm just waiting for a delivery of 4 inch embroidery hoops so I can frame both designs and take some decent photos of them, then I'll be sending out the newsletter asap.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

A Year of Wreaths: March Felt Daffodils Wreath

This month’s wreath is all about joyful spring colour: fresh spring green yarn paired with bright felt daffodils and narcissi.

spring flowers wreath

Just like real daffofils, the felt version will add a vibrant pop of cheerful colour to wherever you hang this wreath!

As well as making a wreath decorated with felt flowers, you could adapt this tutorial to make floral brooches or headbands, or add stems to the flowers to create a felt bouquet.

felt daffodils and narcissi

This tutorial originally appeared on The Village Haberdashery's blog - visit their shop for lots of crafty goodness! I'm sharing all twelve seasonal wreath tutorials here on my blog as the year progresses.

You will need:

The template sheet provided (click here to view, download and print the PDF)
A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
Yellow, white, and orange felt
Orange and yellow sewing thread
Orange and yellow stranded embroidery thread
Spring green yarn (I used one skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Lettuce)
Sewing scissors
Pinking shears
Sewing needles and pins
A glue gun and glue
A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips

To make the wreath:

1. Decorate the wreath base with your chosen yarn. Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside.  Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base.

Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show. 

wrapping the wreath with yarn
yarn-wrapped wreath

Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.

yarn-wrapped wreath

2. Use the templates provided to cut out the felt pieces for each of the flowers. To make the exact wreath pictured you will need five daffodils and seven narcissi. For each flower, cut two petal pieces, one trumpet piece and one circle from the appropriate colours (yellow for the daffodils, orange and white for the narcissi).

When you cut each trumpet cut along three sides of the template with sewing scissors and along the remaining (long) side with pinking shears - just above the edge of the paper template. If you don’t have any pinking shears you could use embroidery scissors to cut a zigzagged edge, or just cut a straight edge.

pieces for making a felt daffodil

3. Add some embroidery to each felt circle. Cut a length of embroidery thread to match the felt, and separate half the strands (so for six-stranded thread use three strands). Use the embroidery thread to sew single stitches radiating from the centre of each circle, as shown. Sew seven or eight stitches for the daffodils, and five or six stitches for the narcissi.

embroider the felt daffodil

4. Join the trumpet and circle pieces together with whip stitch and matching sewing thread. Make sure that the embroidered side of the felt circle will be visible inside the finished trumpet and that the knot of your thread will be hidden underneath it.

Sew the long straight edge of the trumpet piece to the edge of the circle, then trim any excess felt from the trumpet piece. Sew up the side seam of the trumpet with more whip stitches, then back down the seam to finish your stitching neatly underneath.

Repeat for all the trumpets.

sewing the felt daffodil trumpet together

5. Sew the petal pieces together. Position the pairs of petals on top of each other, as pictured, and secure each of them with a couple of stitches of sewing thread. You can use matching thread for this if you want but as long as the stitches are small and in the centre of the petals they’ll be hidden on the finished flower.

sewing the felt daffodil petals together

Tip: if you want to use this tutorial to make flower brooches, etc., now’s the time to sew the trumpet to the petals. Whip stitch in matching sewing thread would work well. If you’re making the wreath leave the pieces unattached (you’ll be gluing them in position later). 

You should now have lots of flowers ready to add to your wreath.

felt daffodil
felt daffodils and narcissi

6. Arrange the flowers on the wreath base and pin them in position. You can use the photo as a guide, or create your own arrangement.

adding the flowers to the spring wreath

7. Use a glue gun to attach the flowers to the wreath. Think about the order you’re going to glue the flowers before you begin – remember that if two flowers overlap each other you’ll need to glue the bottom flower to the wreath base then attach the top flower.

One by one, remove the pins holding the flowers in place and secure them with a few dabs of hot glue. To attach the petals, add some glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt petals down into position on top. To attach each trumpet, add a dab of glue directly to the bottom of the trumpet then place it in the centre of the flower and use your finger (or the unsharpened end of a pencil) to carefully press the trumpet in position.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

8. Your wreath is now finished! Add a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath, or hang it directly from a hook or nail.

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This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many wreaths as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Subscriber Exclusive: Floral Wreath Hoop Art Pattern

January's free project for my monthly pattern newsletter subcribers is a floral wreath inspired by my dreams of spring:

I've included two versions of this project: you can use the templates to create the felt version (above), or use the embroidery pattern to stitch the whole design (below).

The pattern is designed to be displayed in a 7 inch embroidery hoop, but it would also look lovely as part of bigger projects - e.g. embellishing a bag, or as the central panel in a quilted cushion cover.

As you can see, I've also included two text options for the space inside the wreath: Go Outside and Get Inspired, and Stay Inside and Make Stuff. You could make both versions to display as a pair, or just choose your fave!

The wreath would also look fab on its own, I think, or you could add your own text. This would also be a great design to personalise to celebrate a new baby, a wedding, an anniversary, etc. And course you could also use the felt flowers and leaves in smaller groupings to decorate other projects. Sooo many crafty possibilities!

I'm running a little behind with my pattern newsletter projects at the moment but please bear with me: you'll still recieve a free project for every month this year and there'll be a bonus project at some point this year, too! I have some really fun makes planned for you guys and I hope you'll consider them worth the wait.

Click here for more information about my newsletters and to subscribe!

Click here to visit my tutorial archive for lots more free patterns, including lots of floral projects!

Thursday, 14 February 2019

DIY Upcycled Sewing Thread Reels Wreath

Today I'm sharing a tutorial for making a fun crafty wreath from your old empty reels of sewing thread!

Colourful yarn wreath decorated with upcycled sewing reels
 Yarn-wrapped wreath decorated with upcycled sewing reels
Yarn-wrapped wreath decorated with colourful upcycled sewing thread reels

This tutorial is sponsored by Bostik, and is part of a series of crafty projects I'm sharing to promote their range of adhesives. Click here to see all the posts in the series!

I'm never sure quite what to do with my leftover thread spools - they don't really have an obvious purpose but I still can't quite bring myself to throw them away. "I'm sure these will be useful for something" I think to myself, sticking them in a box of craft supplies... and then never actually doing anything with them. I bet you guys have a bunch of stuff you keep like this, too, right?? You just never know when stuff might come in useful for crafting!

empty sewing thread reels

So, when the team at Bostik asked me to come up with a project to try out their new Fix & Flash glue I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get out my stash of empty spools and actually make something with them.

 Bostik Fix & Flash glue

Making this wreath I also got to use up a bunch of scrappy bits of leftover yarn I'd been saving for ages AND I saved a bit of cash by making my own wreath base from a cardboard box instead of buying one. Essentially I felt like a crafty upcycling genius working on this project.

Colourful yarn-wrapped wreath decorated with upcycled sewing reels

Tip: if you don't have any empty thread reels but like idea of making one of these wreaths for your craft room, you could also make this project using a box of cheap sewing threads or those thread colours in your stash that you somehow have loads of but never actually sew with.

You will need:

- Bostik Fix & Flash (which I'm reliably informed is available at Hobbycraft) or other suitable strong glue
- Empty sewing thread reels
- A wreath base or a large piece of sturdy card (e.g. from a big cardboard box)
- Yarn for wrapping the wreath
- Leftover bits of yarn in assorted colours (or bits of felt, fabric or coloured paper)
- A sewing needle with a large eye
- Sewing scissors

If you're making your wreath base from card instead of using a shop-bought one you'll also need sturdy craft scissors, a pencil, and things to help you draw the wreath shape (I used a compass, a ruler and a large dinner plate). You will also need some PVA or other craft glue if you're decorating your reels with felt, paper or fabric.

To make the wreath:

1. If you're making your own wreath base (instead of just buying one from a shop), you'll need to cut a large ring shape out of sturdy cardboard.

I used a large dinner plate (approx 26 cm wide) for the outer circle, drawing around it with a sharp pencil. I then used a ruler to find the rough centre point of the large circle, and used a compass to draw the inner circle (approx 12.5 cm wide) around that central point.

It doesn't matter exactly what size wreath base you make or use, just ensure you've got enough space to add all your sewing thread reels!

 use a large plate to draw the wreath shape
cut out the wreath shape from strong card

2. Use some brightly coloured yarn to wrap your wreath base. Knot the end of the yarn around the ring shape, tying it securely so the knot will be at the back of your finished wreath. Then gradually wrap the whole of the wreath with yarn until the shape is evenly covered and there are no gaps for the base to peek through. When you're happy with how it looks, cut the yarn end and knot it securely at the back of the wreath.

This step is quite time consuming, but it's a lovely relaxing task to do on the sofa in the evening while watching a bit of telly!

wrap the wreath base with yarn

3. Now it's time to decorate your empty thread reels. Leftover bits of yarn are perfect for this, but you could also use pieces of felt or even colourful paper or fabric to wrap around the empty spools - just cut the colourful scraps to size and glue them in place with the appropriate craft glue.

When choosing colours you could stick to a strict colour palette for your reels, create a riot of different colours, or even create a rainbow effect across the wreath. I had lots of bits of leftover yarn in pink and other warm tones, so I chose a selection of those.

Tip: if you want a rainbow or another sweep of colour across the wreath, plan ahead and work out how you're going to position the reels before you start adding colour to them so you know which reels to add which colours to. I'd recommend using a large piece of paper and a pencil to mark out the positions of each reel, which you can then refer to as a guide when attaching them to the wreath. 

Wrap each empty reel with some leftover yarn, knotting the ends securely and trimming them neatly. Make sure both knots are on the same side of the reel, so you can hide them when you stick the reels in position! I hid the first end of my yarn under the rest as I wrapped it around the reel and used a sewing needle to help me loop the second end into the rest of the yarn to secure it.

wrap the empty reels with leftover bits of yarn
old sewing thread reels wrapped with colourful yarn

4. Once you've decorated all your spools, it's time to get out the glue and add them to your yarn-wrapped wreath base. I'd usually use a glue gun when sticking stuff onto wreaths but I often find glue guns quite awkward to work with and occasionally a bit messy (all those trailing strands of glue! and great squidges of glue that squeeze out from behind the thing you've just stuck in place!)... so I was really interested to try Bostik's new Fix & Flash glue.

using Bostik Fix & Flash glue to make an upcycled wreath

It turns out that using this stuff is half like being in a sci-fi film set in the future, and half like pretending to be a wizard because the glue sets like magic with a beam of light!

First use the fine nozzle to apply the clear glue to the back of one of the sewing reels, where it'll touch the wreath base. I'd definitely recommend test glueing something to start with as I managed to splurge glue everywhere as it was much more liquidy than I'd been expecting. Carefully position the reel and press it in place for a few seconds to create the initial hold.

attaching the first thread reel to the wreath

Then use the UV bulb at the other end to shine a beam of light for fifteen seconds onto the edges of where you've glued. And that's it! The glue has set.

using the Fix & Flash UV light beam

Make sure you follow the safety instructions when using the Fix & Flash (both the glue and the UV light), and gradually add all the reels to your wreath base. I set a little timer on my phone for 17 seconds so I could just tap that and easily time the amount of light needed. 

decorating the wreath with the upcycled thread reels

I will confess that I managed to get a bit of glue on my fingers when working on this project (oops) because I am quite clumsy and really ought to always wear latex gloves when using strong glue (because of the aforementioned clumsiness) but otherwise I was really pleased with how easy this stuff was to use. I definitely felt like I had more control over it than using a glue gun, and you can use Fix & Flash to glue loads of different materials.

I would never have tried this without Bostik asking me to create this tutorial, but I'm glad I did as I think this will be a really useful addition to my craft supplies stash!

Once you've added all the reels to your wreath it should look something like this:

finished yarn-wrapped wreath decorated with upcycled sewing thread spools

Hang the wreath from a hook or nail using more of the same yarn you used to wrap the wreath base earlier.

DISCLOSURE: this post is sponsored by Bostik, who also provided the Fix & Flash I used to make the wreath. 

P.S. Fancy some more free crafty goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

Make a colourful yarn wreath for your craft room