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Archive | Sewing

Make your own personalised cosmetic bag

Personalised cosmetic bagI think there can never be enough cosmetic bags! I just love to keep everything organised, even if I don't keep many actual cosmetics(if you know what I mean). Last week we celebrated my sister in law's birthday and since I was giving her some cosmetics I thought why not make this simple customised pouch bag. What do you think?...Personalised Cosmetic Bag DIYPersonalised Cosmetic Bag DIYLike it? If you fancy making it than here is a link ;-).http://friendlynettle.com/portfolio-items/personalised-cosmetic-bag/Enjoy sewing it!

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Our bedroom update: curtains

Basic curtain DIY Our bedroom has been painted last year, but we only have moved in from our spare room in February. What took us so long? The fact we did not have any curtains! I could not find the ones I liked, so I went trough make-your-own process instead. Which delayed our moving in date too many times! Anyways, I am really glad they are there and although it was a project on more challenging side (dealing with large amounts of fabric is not my thing I guess), I love the fabric I chose.

These are basic lined curtains that is good to know how to make. The instructions on how I made them are coming out soon ;-).Basic curtain DIY Basic curtain DIY Basic curtain DIYHave a lovely weekend everyone

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My attempt on altering wrap dress pattern

updated wrap dress patternI wanted to update this wrap dress pattern for quite a while now and I wanted to complete it before the summer began. However due to my pregnancy, house buying and other unexpected events I was not able to finish it on time. But I was persistent and voila! I have the dress here! Not sure if the fitting is any better now to compare to the previous wrap dress. original wrap dress pattern updated wrap dress patternI would not call this pattern complete failure, just because it's so difficult to judge the fitting of it when my body is so different because of pregnancy. The dress looks like a block on me :D. Anyways, I will leave it till next summer perhaps till I release this pattern (that is if it fits properly).   updated wrap dress patternHave a lovely weekend :-)

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Make your own catnip toy for your cat

DIY catnip flower toy for catsRecently I made these flower toys for Leia and she loves them! Why flower shaped? Because I thought it would be funny (for me) and cats don't give a s*** how their toys look like anyways. The key ingredient is catnip which makes any toy cat's favourite toy! DIY catnip flower toy for cats DIY catnip flower toy for catsDIY catnip flower toy for catsIn the past when Leia just entered our home she has been given a gift, a snail shaped toy! A snail? I thought that was silly and that cat would not be interested in playing with it. Turns out I was wrong. This little snail toy have received so much "affection" from Leia that it could not survive any longer, the evidence is obvious in the picture bellow. After failed repair from Joni, I have decided to make another silly toy that worked out quite well. Although I am not too sure how long will those flowers survive?! As I mention before catnip is the key ingredient here, because that's exactly why the snail toy was soooo "loved"!  DIY catnip flower toy for catsInterested in making your own catnip flower toy for cats, click here for the instructions! DIY catnip flower toy for cats DIY catnip flower toy for cats DIY catnip flower toy for catsHappy stitching!

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Cushion cover inspired by Liz Payne work

Embroidery inspired by Liz Payne artworkI loved Liz Payne's work for quite some time now. I first came across it on Pinterest and I was completely mesmerised for it. Only recently I have decided to make something that is inspired by her work. Ok, not exactly in same colours, but still used similar technique! Easy removable cushion cover DIYTo make this cushion cover I first cut out the pattern needed and then painted it over with some oil based fabric paint (you can use any other fabric paint, but since I did it on dark fabric I wanted the paint colour to really stand out).Embroidery inspired by Liz Payne artworkThen I picked 3 thread colours to match the paint and started embroidering all over mostly using straight/basic stitch. I wanted to do other stitches such as fly stitch or even french knot stitch but realised that it would have taken up a lot of time (Liz Payne must really have a lot of patience!).Embroidery inspired by Liz Payne artwork Embroidery inspired by Liz Payne artworkEmbroidery inspired by Liz Payne artwork Embroidery inspired by Liz Payne artworkEmbroidery inspired by Liz Payne artworkThere you go, my finished cushion cover! For full DIY click here.Easy removable cushion cover DIYI hope you feel inspired too x

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How to sew without a sewing machine

hand stitching tutorial, how to sew without a sewing machineToday I thought I would give you a tutorial on how to hand sew. It's sometimes much easer to do small things (alterations or a project) with just a needle and thread rather than getting the sewing machine out. Interested? Click here for a full tutorial! If not, carry on reading while I am trying to convince you to see hand sewing in a different light. blanket stitchAlthough sewing machines are often useful for big projects as they are faster, neater and more efficient, hand stitching has also many plus points. Here are few of my favourites.

  • Hand stitching is cheaper (because you only need a needle and thread)
  • You don't need a big set up or space
  • A needle and tread doesn't mess with you like a sewing machine (it never pulls your stitches and never gets lose or tight)
  • Hand sewing is peaceful and quiet (some sewing machines can be really loud)
  • Hand sewing can be social, you can work on projects in a social craft club(you can't do that with a sewing machine! Ha!)
  • Hand sewing is portable (you can sew on the train or bus!)

top alteration using hand stitching techniquesHere is an example where I used hand stitching to sew a lace insert on the t-shirt, I finished the raw edges with a blanket stitch!top alteration using hand stitching techniques back stitchI used a combination of stitches such as blanket stitch and back stitch to complete this handbag organiser insert. I loved how it turned out :-).Bag organiser insert made without the use of sewing machine Bag organiser insert made without the use of sewing machine invisible/ladder stitchI used invisible/ladder stitch on many occasions, even if I used sewing machine to begin with. You see a lot of stuffed toys and pillows require a gap in the seam which is used for stuffing. To close it neatly invisible/ladder stitch is the best, because you just don't see it (really invisible)!Hand stitching to finish off a pillowHand stitching to finish off a pillowOk, I am not trying to convince you that you should completely ditch your sewing machine. Because sewing machines are very useful and fast. I am only trying to open your eyes to more possibilities with hand stitching.  Here is a link to a tutorial again ;-).

I hope this has been useful to you!

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Organised bags are happy bags! (make custom handbag organiser)

Make your own custom bag organiser insertToday I wanted to share about my most favourite handbag and a little project with it. My "Zatchel" is what I use most of the time as it looks good (get so many praises from everyone!) and it fits only the most important things. So I never end up carrying too much which means I could go cycling with it any time!Make your own custom bag organiser insertAnother cool thing about "Zatchels" is that it is quite hardwearing. I worn it almost every day for the past two years and everything seem to be still intact! The top that is slightly crinkled and few pen marks inside adds up to that rustic vintage appeal in fact!Make your own custom bag organiser insertThe only negative thing about this bag is that stuff don't stay organised inside. I had numerous incidents where I lost my keys in the worst situations! Small things slide out when the inside surface of the bag is hard. So for quite a long time I have been thinking of the solution for this. Make your own custom bag organiser insertMy solution was an insert that would have a zipper where I could put the keys and other stuff in. I know it may not be the most equipped bag organiser insert, but it really works with the small handbag like mine. Do you have a small bag like this without a lining? Then help yourself to this quick project here!Make your own custom bag organiser insert Make your own custom bag organiser insert Make your own custom bag organiser insert Make your own custom bag organiser insertHappy organised bag :-)

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Instructions for Christmas craft kits!

Make your own hanging birdie decorationMissed your chance to order Christmas craft kits? Well here is your chance to make your own hanging decorations with the materials you have. We have updated the original instructions and now they are exactly the same as you would have found in the Friendly Nettle craft kits. If you fancy making hanging birdie deco then click here or if you prefer to crochet then hanging star may be your thing ;-).make your own crochet star hanging decoAlternatively if you learn this triangle crochet pattern, you could make these super cute mini buntings!crochet your own mini buntingHappy Christmas waiting!

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Friendly Nettle shop is re-open! Yey!

New in Friendly Nettle Shop: Crochet Star kitHey dear friends! I have a very good news. The Friendly Nettle shop is re-opened and updated as it should be! There is always room for improvement, but I am really happy with the progress!New in Friendly Nettle Shop: Hanging birdie kitWith this store relaunch we are happy to add craft kits to our range. These include everything you need to make a thoughtful gift for a friend or a loved ones as well as some biscuits to enjoy while you do.New in Friendly Nettle Shop: Crochet Star kit New in Friendly Nettle Shop: Hanging birdie kitIf you are not a maker type then you can gift this to someone who like crafting themselves. The kits come nicely packaged, so you don't need to do a thing! Maybe just add a gift tag or a simple wrap and that's done!New in Friendly Nettle Shop: Hanging birdie kitEnjoy Christmas shopping!

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Star advent calendar

Star advent calendar DIYI know, I know this might be a bit too late to make, but I really love how it decorated our house all Christmassy! I also like 1 candy a day diet very much, at least for now it's not harming anyone. I got this idea from here (even if it looks completely different, my lightbulb lighted up as soon as I saw that raindrop decoration). Star advent calendar DIYSo, to make your own star advent calendar cut out star pieces out of felt material.Star advent calendar DIY1. Embroider the number of the day on one felt star piece. I found chain stitch is the best for that!

2. Join two felt star pieces together by using buttonhole stitch.

3. Once you finished stitching two star pieces together make sure not to cut the string. It will be useful late on!

4. In the back cut the star open so the candy could be inserted. You can finish the edge off with buttonhole stitch as well. Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIYOnce all 24 stars are made then get a wire hanger and wrap it with pine branches (or fir or spruce or even cypress and cedar). I used a string to keep the branches tight on the wire. Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIY Star advent calendar DIYLast thing to do is to tie all the stars onto the hanger ;-). Enjoy!Star advent calendar DIYHappy Christmas waiting!

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Sewing: back to the basics

Back to basics: sewing seamsWhen I was at Uni I had made this file filled with production samples. It has all sort of stuff from basic seam sewing to collar attachment. So I found really good to come back to it. I feel quite embarrassed by a lot of samples as they look a bit wacky, but overall really useful. Some of the techniques I used more than I need, while some were left out unused. Either way I am really glad I revisited my old folder.Back to basics: sewing seams

Basic seam samplesWant to have a better look at my folder? If yes, I am happy to share! Just click away here ;-). There you can find pics of some samples like above, but with more detailed information and step-by-step instructions.Back to basics: sewing seamsI hope you find this useful ;-)

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It’s a hold up! Feathers McGraw strikes again! (as a door stopper)

Feathers McGraw door stopper DIYDo you remember this from Wallace & Gromit "The Wrong Trousers"? If not then I really really recommend watching it! I love every detail of this stop motion movie. Joni and I particularly like the Feathers McGraw character, notorious criminal mastermind and bird of many faces. He is so mysterious and funny at the same time! Joni suggested that  I should make my next door stopper just like him :-). Feathers McGraw door stopper DIY Feathers McGraw door stopper DIY

Feathers McGraw Door Stopper temporary patternI wanted to make Feathers McGraw in his chicken disguise, but sadly making his comb (aka the rubber glove on his head) did not quite work out. The fabric I used (PVC sort of fabric as I thought this would represent rubber glove best) did not invert back well after stitching on the wrong side. Maybe you have better ideas for this? Maybe thinner fabric? Anyways, the pattern above is an initial pattern that worked well, minus the chicken comb. Click HERE to see how I made it!Feathers McGraw door stopper DIYFeathers Mcgraw turned out quite friendly after all, he serves as a perfect door stopper :). Really pleased with this project!Feathers McGraw door stopper DIYI hope you will enjoy this project too!

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Renew your clothes: Insert lace into the neckline

simple lace neckline inserts DIYMy challenge this month is to organise my wardrobe. It is too full and there are plenty of things I no longer wear. So my first step was to see if I could alter some of the garments to something I like. This week I picked some plain tops and matched them with lace inserts. I made a black crochet collar last year, but I never found anything to wear it with, so I thought I would use it as an insert for the top. I salvaged the lime lace insert from an old blouse which had ripped so many times that I could no longer repair it. At that time I thought I would at least save the lace as I planned to use it somewhere else (that was three years ago). So I finally did use it, and I am loving my new top!

So here is how I did it. For this quick alteration you will need a plain top, a lace insert, scissors, matching thread and needle (or sewing machine if you don't want to be hand stitching it).Things you will need to make a lace insert1. First you need to pin down the lace on to the garment where you want it (make sure you try it on to make sure it sits nicely). Stitch the lace insert on the outside edge (not inside edge). I hand stitched because I love doing it this was, but you are welcome to use sewing machine for this step!How to attach a lace insert2. Once the lace has been stitched on, you can cut away the neck leaving 1-2cm space from the stitched edge. Lace insert step by step instructions3. Finally finish off the edge. If you have been using sewing machine you could use a zigzag stitch (or overlocker if you have the overlocking machine). Since I have been hand stitching I have used button-hole stitch to finish off. How to install lace insert Lace insert in the garment DIYLace insert in the garment DIYI hope you found this simple alteration technique useful.

Have a lovely weekend!

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How to transform a stuffed toy into a door stop

How to transform a stuffed toy into a door stopper, step-by-step DIY guideSince we have moved to our new home we have been missing doors kept open everywhere. The issue is that it's not easy to keep a heavy door open. The door stopper seems like the only solution. If only we had one door to stop! We have at least three doors that we would like to keep open and we have been stopping it with random stuff such as old laptops (the ones that no longer work, but Joni is keeping them for further experiments). Anyhow, only yesterday I thought of the idea to easily make a door stopper from a stuffed toy. I am thinking to make more door stoppers in the future of course (well... at least one more), but for now this seemed like a great idea! I used this stuffed bird toy that I made last year as a pillow initially, but then it became a shelve deco instead. The only other material/tools I needed to make this transformation is a seam ripper, matching tread & sewing needle and ceramic baking beans (general gravel stones, rice or beans can be used as well, although if you are using grains you probably would need it in bigger quantities). How to transform a stuffed toy into a door stopper, step-by-step DIY guideTransforming a stuffed toy into a door stopper is easy. All you need to do is open a seam at the bottom of the toy by using a seam ripper(1.), remove some of the stuffing (not all as you need some to keep a soft shape)(2.) and fill it with the heavy filling such as ceramic baking beans (3.). Don't forget to stitch the seam back to how it was ;-) (4.).How to transform a stuffed toy into a door stopper, step-by-step DIY guideIt's important to remember that you choose a stuffed toy that have a good/wide bottom base. This bird only managed to keep the lighter door open. This is because it has a very slim base with only one seam at the bottom.  In this case I would add more weight by inserting more of ceramic bean filling. I am sure you can play around with the different types of heavy fillings to make it work for you ;-). How to transform a stuffed toy into a door stopper, step-by-step DIY guideDoor stopper works the best when it is placed at the edge of the door. It also depends on what surface you are placing it on. It worked really well on the carpet, whilst on the tiles or wood floor the door stopper might slide. How to transform a stuffed toy into a door stopper, step-by-step DIY guideHope you found this helpful ;-)

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Bridesmaids dresses

my bridesmaidsWhen deciding on bridesmaid dresses I came across this blog post with the picture of bridesmaids wearing mixed style summer dresses. Unfortunately I can no longer find that post that I had pinned on my secret Pinterest board (I sometimes suspect Pinterest deletes some of my pins :-(). Anyhow, that look really inspired me! So this is what I have done. I made and fixed most of my bridesmaid dresses you see in the pic above.

First, I have made Nicola's dress. You can all go here to see how I made it ;-). This one is also my favourite!Our honeymoon in TuscanyAnna already had a dress we both liked. The only concern we had was it's length. Last month I wrote a post on how to extend the dress length explaining how I made Anna's dress a little bit longer. Really pleased with the result!!!!bridesmaid dress no.2Suzanne's dress was quite a challenge! She was pregnant during the months leading up to my wedding and we were not able to meet to do some fitting. Even if we could have done some fitting, it would still have been very complicated as her body was changing so fast from pregnant to non pregnant. So I thought I would sew a wrap dress to make it easy for Suzanne to breastfeed whenever she needed. Turned out, I was wrong! Ladies (or gents), if you are making a dress for breastfeeding women it's best if you make it out of stretchy fabric or make the dress strapless. This wrap dress wasn't easy to escape apparently! Another issue was that it did not look good on the curves.This happened because I made it slightly loose (not shaped), because I thought that would give a better chance to fit Suzanne. Oh well... no worries, all you curvy ladies! I will be designing my next wrap dress just for you ;-).bridesmaid dress no.3

Making your own dresses may not save you time, but it will definitely save you money. I spend £59.92 for bridesmaid outfits, including shoes!

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