Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Handmade Homewares - Drawstring bag tutorial

Hello lovely people and thanks for your comments on my handmade drawstring bags from my linky party post - linking and entries for the giveaway closes tomorrow so make sure you check out the post if you missed it!

Today I'm going to show you how to make these bags. They're a really practical thing to have and one of my favourite, super easy handmade homeware items. I love drawstring bags, because they can be rustled up in next to no time and they're just so darn useful!

I use them as dust bags for shoes or handbags and to stow all sorts of things out of the way. You can keep them super simple like the one I'm going to show here, or if you're going to use this bag to hang somewhere visible, then you might like to 'dress it up' by using a patterned fabric, adding some sort of embellishment, using a fancy cord for the drawstring, by screen printing the fabric or whatever your imagination comes up with. For this bag, I've used calico, but you could use other sturdy fabrics like cotton drill or similar.

To get started, you need to take whatever you're going to keep in the bag and sit it on a piece of newspaper to make a pattern. For this example, I'm going to create a basic calico shoe bag.

**Tip - if you're making several at a time for shoes or handbags, then compare a few different sizes and make it big enough to fit all the shoes or bags in to save yourself time on making multiple patterns.

Measure around the item and don't forget to allow a bit extra for the seams (an inch either side should be sufficient.) You'll also need to allow a little extra at the top. I usually fold it over to hide the edge of the fabric, then fold again leaving around an inch to thread through the drawstring.

Once you've got your pattern, fold the fabric so you can place one end of the paper at the fold, pin the pattern in place and cut around it.

I then take the piece of fabric and do a zig zag stitch the whole way around (you could use an overlocker/serge the edges also).
Next, fold the fabric in half and stitch together the length of the first side. If you're using a patterned fabric, make sure you pin the patterned sides facing each other and sew on the wrong side.
On the second side, start stitching around two and a half inches from the top (opening end) of the bag down to the fold.

Once you've done that, fold and iron the zig zag edge just out of the way and fold the fabric again to roughly an inch wide. At this point, you should see that the lower edge of the fold lines up with the point at which you started sewing together the second side of the bag. Make sure you also tuck the edge seams under so that they don't show when the bag is finished, as in the picture below.

Next, stitch the whole way around at lower part of the folded top seam to create the drawstring section and you're just about there.

The last thing you need to do is turn your bag in the right way and thread through some cord for the drawstring.

And voila! You've now finished your very own, super simple drawstring bag.

If you have any questions let me know and also let me know how you go if you try this out!

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Home Made Vintage Linky Party!

Hello lovely, welcome to my linky party!

Come in and sit down-can I offer you anything...
Tea? Coffee? Cupcakes?

I'm so glad you've joined in and I can't wait to see and hear about what all of you have to 'show and tell' for this handmade and vintage themed day!

So to get the ball rolling, I'd like to show off these lovely drawstring bags that I made. I've been moaning about a lack of storage space lately, so I decided it was really time I did something about it.

I made these three beauties this morning (and yes, I promise to share how I did it very soon!) I love how simple they are and yet they are just so effective for getting all sorts of odds and ends out of the way.

So now it's your turn to show and tell - have you made something new and exciting or found something lovely and vintage - then grab your own linky button from on the right and put it on your side bar, post on your blog and add your link here so that we can all see too!

And as a special treat - one of you lovelies will also get a copy of 'Homemade Vintage' by Christina Strutt (of Cabbages and Roses).

Have a gorgeous day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Announcing a Linky Party and Giveaway!

Hello lovely people. I'm back in blustery old England and being greeted by lots of rain in my little corner of Cumbria!

Before I left I got my hands on a copy of the book 'Home-Made Vintage' by Christina Strutt from Cabbages and Roses. Now as you may have guessed from my last post, I'm a bit of a fan of Cabbages and Roses and this book has lots of lovely projects for the home - in this case, all styled in the stunning vintage inspired fabrics from C&R (swoon!).

I'd love to give this to one of you lovelies who are good enough to read all my ramblings - and I'd love to see what your favourite handmade and vintage home items are. So I decided to have a linky party and giveaway next weekend - and you're all invited to share the story behind your your most prized home items- whether vintage or handmade.

Yep - it doesn't even have to be made by you! I'm a bit obsessed with things that have a story - so if you made it, found it at a car boot, charity shop or market - then I hope you'll join in the linky party and be in the running to win this lovely book!

Just grab the button from the right here (that's the one - right at the top of the page) - add it to your sidebar and come to the party to show off your handmade prowess or second hand finding skills!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Little Bit Country - Home Decor

I was going to post this yesterday, but I was asked by Letitia at The White Shed if I would do a post for her, as she's had a few computer issues stop her from posting. Since I couldn't possibly say no, I did a white theme post which you'll find here.

So today, I'm back to doing my own blog and have inspiration images that reflect the style of decorating I love the most. To me it's a very English style, which blends old and new elements, taking market finds, charity shop bargains and new pieces - and blending them together to create something truly individual. For arguments sake I'll call it modern English country, but I think you'll find variations of this idea in urban homes as much as idyllic country cottages.

I love Cabbage and Roses, because it very much reflects the style I like (hence so many of their photos included here!). If you'd like to see more about Cabbages and Roses - pop by Modern Country Style and check out the beautiful C&R bag made by Sarah.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Family time and a new venture

I can't believe how fast this week has flow by! It seems only yesterday that I was writing a post about the Royal Wedding and here it is a week later and I have hardly had a moment spare since!

Catching up with my family is very much the order of the day at the moment, and since it's 2 and a half years since I was last in Australia, it is a chance to reconnect with everyone in a way that is almost impossible from the other side of the world.

I think it's fair to say that I'm not really someone who can sit around for long and do nothing, so in between visiting friends and family, I've started (another) new venture that I've wanted to do for sometime. I don't talk much about my day to day work on here (in fact I'm not sure that I have ever!), but my new venture is closely connected to my normal work as a copywriter.

Having done copywriting for a number of years, I've had a lot of call for doing web design and SEO for others, but I've always put off doing it as a specific service alongside my other work. However, after a lot of deliberation, I've finally decided to push forward in a new direction, and I'm going to start 'officially' designing and building blogs and websites. So this week has been all about getting things together and getting my new blog 'Crafty Lil Fox' online.
I've still got one or two minor tweeks I'd like to make, but I think that on the whole it's ready for visitors - and I'd love it if you'd pop by and let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend!