Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Pretty Little Vintage Goodies - a tutorial!

I fancied a bit of a break from making sofa covers and Roman blinds yesterday so I replenished my stock of vintage linen needlebooks.

They are easy to make - I thought I'd show you how!

I had a rummage through my bin of embroidered linens and cut out 15 rectangles, about 12cm x 16cm with the pretty embroidery strategically placed to be mostly on the front cover of each of the needlebooks.

Then I chose pieces of vintage florals to match the embroideries, cutting it to the same size.

These are from various sources: charity and antique shops; Donna Flower; Sal's Snippets Shop and Rag Rescue. The vintage embroideries are mostly from my local charity shops.

I iron some woven cotton interfacing onto the linens, to stiffen them a little, then putting right sides together I stitch the linen and floral cottons together, leaving a little opening to turn right side out. I use about a 5mm seam allowance.

Turn in the seam allowance on the opening and give the books a good press with a hot steam iron, the linens are so robust they can take the heat!

Now top stitch all round, closing up the opening at the same time.

I then find coloured felt that will co-ordinate with the florals, to make the pages, cutting them out with pinking shears. Then I just machine the pages in across the centre of each book. I do this in a long line, not cutting the thread in-between each one until they are all stitched.

Trimmed of all loose ends, I fold each needlebook in half and give them a good steam press.

All finished!

Now all I have to do is photograph them and upload them into my shop and Folksy for all to see.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

A smart new cover.

The sofa in my conservatory was looking a bit tatty, the old loose cover had faded and had water stains from when the roof leaked.

Under the loose cover it looks even worse!  At nearly 30 years old it's really seen better days, but it's useful and was the first piece of furniture I bought when I moved into my own brand new flat all those years ago.

It's a Habitat sofa, I bought all my furniture for the flat from there , and it came with a pattern for a loose cover, which has proved to be quite useful over the years.

So today I found the material that I bought in a Laura Ashley sale several years ago and made up a new cover and cushion to match.

It's only a simple cover, I usually pipe the seams and make fitted box cushions, but I followed the pattern this time and it only took me three hours to make from start to finish.

The only problem is I have to cover it all over with this.......

......because my little Purdy will not keep off the furniture.

Last week I had three loose covers to measure up and pin-fit for a client. Funnily enough one of them is a Habitat sofa just like mine, so I was able to more or less able to complete that one and just had to measure the hem.

I had to fit the other two though. I had previously cut out pieces for each part of the sofas and then I pin-fit the pieces together on half of the sofa. The client only wants very simple covers made, more like slip covers than fitted ones, with no piping and button and loop fastening at the back.

When I have finished pinning the cover to 'fit' the sofa I trim all the seams down to 2cm and then 'mark' matching points with little snips, so that I know which pieces fit where.

Once I have fitted the sofas in this way, I bring the covers home and cut out all the pieces to the right shape and size and sew them together.

All these covers are being made from white Linara linen from Romo. A bit scary, as I invariably prick a finger with one of the many pins I use in the process of making a cover, but so far I have been injury free!

A little tip to those of you who sew - if you happen to prick yourself 
and bleed onto your work, use your own saliva to dilute the blood on
 the fabric and then very gently dab, not rub, it off. Use more saliva if necessary
and don't let the blood dry. Once the blood has faded, let the fabric dry 
naturally and it should be left without a trace.

I hope to get these covers finished next week so when I deliver and fit them all, I'll post the pictures of them.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Back to Square One!

Hi and welcome to my new blog. 

You may have seen me before...well this is a new blog because I very mistakenly and stupidly deleted my old blog! I am trying with Google to retrieve it but I'm not sure if that will be possible. So I have started again!

Please follow me if you're new to me or re-follow if you're not! I need to build up all my followers again and find all those lovely blogs that I followed.

A Little bit about me:

I live in a pretty town,Tenterden, in Kent. It is also known as The Jewel in the Weald. It was a very affluent market town in days gone by, dealing largely with sheep and wool.
Now-a-days it is a busy country town, with a wide range of shops and is quite popular with visitors. 
We also have a steam railway, running from the town to Bodiam, East Sussex. As I'm writing this I can hear the train coming up the incline into the station now. It's not far from the back of the house, as the crow flies, and when the wind is in the right direction it sounds as though it is in the back garden!

I work from home three days a week, making soft furnishings to commissions and creating unique home accessories and gifts from vintage and recycled fabrics, which I sell in my on-line shop; on Folksy and at fairs and events.

I also teach soft furnishing and sewing at Adult Education classes and a private class two days a week. 

This is where I work at home, my little sanctuary, my workshop.

My growing fabric stash on groaning shelves.

My hard worked industrial sewing machine.

And this is an assortment of the pretty things I make.

Thank you for dropping by...

........more posts to follow soon.