DIY Tutorial: Knitted Bandana for #WearItOut

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Following my DIY tutorial last week to sew your own bandana to wear on Friday 3 March for the Bandanas For Brain Tumours #WearItOut campaign in support of The Brain Tumour Charity, tonight I have another tutorial for a different take on the bandana! My lovely Mum Bev, aka Spotty Daisy, designed and knitted this beautiful collar with a ribbon edge effect which you could wear as a bandana on Friday 3 March. Isn’t it pretty? And she very kindly put together the instructions for you to make your own! It’s very easy to wear as one end slips through the other to secure it, and super snuggly too!

How to Make Your Own Ribbon Edge Effect Slip Through Collar

You will require:

  • 1 x 50g ball of DK yarn (more if larger collar required)
  • 4mm knitting needles
  • Stitch holder
  • Darning needle

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Instructions:

Cast on 3 stitches

Row 1. Knit 2 slip last stitch purlwise

Row 2. Knit 1 increase 1 knit to last stitch, slip last stitch purlwise

Row 3. Knit to last stitch, slip last stitch purlwise

Row 4. Knit 1 increase 1, knit to last stitch, slip last stitch purlwise

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 12 stitches

Place these 12 stitches onto a stitch holder

Cast on 3 stitches

Repeat above instructions until you have 12 stitches

Rejoin the first section you knitted (12 stitches) onto your needle, ensuring that the two straight edges are on the outside of your knitting (i.e. the edges where you have increased should both point inwards to create a cut ribbon effect (see photo below) 24 stitches in total

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Knit across the 24 stitches for 30 rows, remembering to always slip your last stitch purlwise on every row

Now rib (K1 P1) to last stitch, then slip last stitch purlwise

Repeat this for a total of 8 rows

Rib 8, cast off 8 stitches, rib 7, slip last stitch purlwise

Rib 8, cast on 8 stitches, rib 7, slip last stitch purlwise (24 stitches in total) (this creates the hole for your collar to thread through, it’s the same procedure as when making a button hole)

Rib for 8 more rows, remembering to always slip last stitch purlwise

Now knit every row (always slipping last stitch purlwise) for approximately 15 inches (or however long you need the collar to be, check your neck measurement as you knit to ensure a comfy fit!)

Rib (K1 P1) for 18 rows, always remembering to slip last stitch purlwise

Knit 30 rows, again remembering to slip last stitch purlwise

Knit 11, slip next stitch purlwise, slip remaining 12 stitches onto a stitch holder

Working on the 12 stitches left on your needle:

Knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to last stitch, slip last stitch purlwise

Knit to last stitch, slip last stitch purlwise

Repeat the above two rows until you have 2 stitches remaining

Cast off

Pick up 12 stitches from stitch holder

Knit 11, slip last stitch purlwise

Knit 9, Knit 2 together, slip last stitch purlwise

Repeat these two rows until you have 2 stitches remaining

Cast off

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If you do knit your own bandana to wear on Friday 3 March, don’t forget to share a picture using the hashtag #WearItOut, and why not text TMBF81 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to The Brain Tumour Charity: The Michael Barry Fund, or make a donation here.

Thanks for your support!

Lucy x

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DIY Tutorial: Twist Tie Bandana for #WearItOut

In two weeks time on Friday 3 March I’ll be asking you all to grab a bandana and #WearItOut in support of The Brain Tumour Charity (which you can read more about in my last post). This year, the theme of the campaign is to Make your own bandana, Buy one or Use one you already have, so I’ve put together a simple tutorial to encourage you to Make your own wired bandana to wear on the day. I made 30 of these bandanas to sell in my Etsy shop in support of the campaign and they proved to be extremely popular, selling out in less than 12 hours!

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I personally love to wear wired bandanas since I find them easy to style, and much better at staying put in my fine slippy hair. You can just twist the bandana in your hair and you’re ready to roll! If you’d prefer a bandana without a wire, I’ve explained how to adapt the pattern at the end of the post. And if sewing isn’t your thing, I’ll be posting another tutorial to make a very pretty knitted bandana in a few days, put together by my lovely Mum, Bev of Spotty Daisy.

The weather hasn’t been great here and some of the pictures are a little darker than I would like, but hopefully you can still get the idea!

How To Make Your Own Wired Bandana

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Supplies:

  • Fabric of your choice – you will need a piece measuring 88cm x 13cm (see later in the post for tips on how to make the bandana from just a fat quarter, or how to make the bandana reversible)
  • Matching thread
  • Craft wire 2mm thickness – you will need a 95cm piece
  • Washi tape (optional)

Tools:

  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker if you have one, or a pencil will do!
  • Point turner – you can use a knitting needle, or anything with a blunt point

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STEP 1: draw the bandana shape & cut out your fabric. Take your ruler and draw a rectangle measuring 88cm x 13cm on your fabric, using an erasable fabric marker if you have one. Just a pencil will do if not, as the lines you draw will not be seen when the bandana is finished.

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Once you have drawn out the rectangle, you need to taper in the short edges of the rectangle to create a pointed shape at the ends of your bandana. Measure in and mark 3cm from each corner along the long edges of the rectangle. Then mark the halfway point (6.5cm) of each short edge. Using a ruler, join these marks together, as shown below.

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Cut out the rectangle and cut around the pointed edges you have drawn, which should give you a shape as below.

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STEP 2: Fold in half, then pin and stitch the sides. Fold your bandana in half along the longest width, so the right sides of the fabric are facing together. Pin the raw edges together.

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Make sure to leave an opening in the centre of about 6cm so that you can turn your bandana inside out and thread in the wire once you have sewn it. Use 2 pins to mark each side of this gap to remind you to stop sewing here!

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Sew along the raw edges using a 1.5cm seam allowance, and make sure to back tack at the beginning and end of each seam. Start from the pointed edge and sew towards the middle.

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Once you reach the edge of the opening which you have marked with two pins, pivot and sew off the edge of the fabric at 90 degrees as shown below. This will help to keep the opening neatly tucked inside when you turn the bandana the right side out. Repeat from the other pointed edge.

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STEP 3: Trim your seam allowances & turn the right way out. Trim your seam allowances down to about 1 cm. Cut diagonally across the corners, but be careful not to cut too close to the stitching line.

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Turn the bandana the right way out. Use a point turner to poke out the pointed corners and keep them sharp. I use a bamboo point turner, but you can use anything with a blunt point, like a knitting needle. Be gentle and make sure not to poke a hole through the seam!

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STEP 4: Press! Give the bandana a really good press with your iron.

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STEP 5: Make and insert the wire. Take your craft wire and cut a length measuring 95cm. Fold each end in by 5 cm, then twist together as below. This will prevent having a sharp end to the wire which could poke through the fabric and worse, poke you!

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If you have some washi tape to hand, you could cut a strip and wrap it around the edge of the wire as below, just to be extra careful.

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Now carefully insert the wire through the opening. Once the wire is in place, try to grip each end of the wire in each corner of the bandana and give it a good pull to straighten the wire out, as it can get a little twisted as you thread it in through the opening.

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STEP 6: Topstitch the opening. The last step is to sew up the opening you have just inserted the wire through. Use thread in the same colour as your fabric, and stitch close to the edge as shown above. Back tack at the beginning and end of the seam to secure it.

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And ta-da – you have a fabulous new bandana to wear! Now for the final and most important step…

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STEP 7: Wear It Out! On Friday 3 March, wear your handmade bandana proudly in support of The Brain Tumour Charity: The Michael Barry Fund, take a picture of yourself wearing it and post it to social media using the tag #WearItOut, and text TMBF81 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to The Brain Tumour Charity: The Michael Barry Fund, or make a donation here.

Wired Bandana from a Fat Quarter

If you don’t have a wide enough piece of fabric to cut out your bandana, you can easily make one from a fat quarter! My lovely friend Daisy of Make Thrift London recently gifted me a set of fat quarters cut from vintage bedding, which I thought would be perfect for making bandanas.

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To cut a bandana from a fat quarter, you will basically need to cut it in two halves and sew these together along the middle, and the rest of the construction is then the same as above. So, you will need to draw out two rectangles measuring 45.5cm x 13cm, and then taper one end of each rectangle as shown in Step 1 above. This should give you two pointed rectangles as below.

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Pin the two rectangles together along the flat short edge, right sides of the fabric together.

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Sew along this edge using a 1.5cm seam allowance, and back tack at the ends. Then press the seam open as below.

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Now follow on from Step 2 above, and make sure to pay particular attention to Step 7!

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Reversible Wired Bandana

If you’d like to make your bandana more versatile, why not use a different fabric for each side and make it reversible? You’ll need to cut a rectangle measuring 88cm x 8 cm from two different fabrics, as illustrated below.

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Then taper the ends of each rectangle to create a pointed edge by measuring in 3 cm from each corner along the top of each rectangle, then use a ruler to draw a line from this mark to the bottom corner.

Or, if you don’t have wide enough pieces of fabric to hand, you could use 2 fat quarters and cut out 2 rectangles measuring 45.5cm x 8cm from each fabric, as below.

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You’ll then need to taper the ends as below.

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Next, pin the matching rectangles along the straight edges.

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Sew along this edge using a 1.5cm seam allowance, and press open.

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Pin the two rectangles together all along the raw edges, right sides facing. Make sure to leave a gap in the centre of about 6cm so that you can turn your bandana inside out once you have sewn it. Use 2 pins to mark each side of this gap to remind you to stop sewing.

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Sew all around the raw edges using a 1.5cm seam allowance, and make sure to back tack at the beginning and end of the seam. Then, follow on from Step 3 above, and you’ll have a nifty reversible bandana!

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Making a Bandana Without A Wire

If you would prefer to make a bandana without a wire so you can simply tie it in your hair or around your neck, it’s very simple to adapt the instructions above. The main change you will need to make is to cut out a longer piece of fabric, as the bandana will need to be longer so that you can tie a knot to secure it in your hair or around your neck. Ideally, you’ll need to cut a piece of fabric measuring at least 110cm x 13cm. Then follow the instructions as above, but don’t insert the wire!

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To make a non-wired bandana out of a fat quarter, you’ll need to cut two rectangles measuring at least 56.5 x 13cm, and follow the instructions as above, skipping the step where you insert the wire.

Or to make it double sided, you’ll either need to cut a rectangle measuring at least 110 cm x 8 cm from two different fabrics, or cut 2 rectangles each measuring at least 56.5cm x 8cm from two different fabrics, and again follow the instructions as above, skipping the step where you insert the wire.

I look forward to seeing your makes on Friday 3 March! And don’t forget to take a picture of yourself on the day wearing your bandana and post it to social media using the tag #WearItOut, and text TMBF81 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to The Brain Tumour Charity: The Michael Barry Fund, or make a donation here.

Hopefully you can follow my explanations above, but do let me know if you need any help! Happy sewing!

Lucy x

A Handmade Christmas

Now all of the gifts have been unwrapped and the mince pies eaten, I can safely share the handmade gifts I gave to our family and friends this Christmas. I love to give handmade presents as I think it is a really thoughtful way to show someone how much you care about them.

(Please excuse the quality of some of these pictures, it was a very dark December here in the UK and I had to photograph most of these gifts at the last minute before wrapping them up!)

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First up is this super cute felt beach hut and matching swimming lady I made for my Mum. I spotted the pattern by Noia Land on Pinterest a while ago and immediately bookmarked it as a perfect gift for Mum as she loves anything nautical. I decided to make it in a pastel colour scheme and it was a really fun project to make, especially the little lady who is so sweet in her swimming costume and hat! And look at the little bucket and sand castle detail on the back…

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I also gave Mum a hand painted brooch, again in a nautical theme with blue and cream stripes topped off with a golden anchor. Fortunately it’s the perfect match with her lovely new Seasalt anchor print dress.

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Next up I made some Lego themed gifts for Michael. I decorated some papier mache letters to look like Lego bricks by adding circles of cardboard to create the stud effect and painted them in primary colours. They now take pride of place above his Lego desk!

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I also made a felt embroidery portrait of us in Lego mini figure form, because you can never have too many couple’s portraits, right?!

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My Dad had a telescope for Christmas, so I stitched up an embroidery hoop for him based on the moon and the starry night sky, with a little reminder to “Look Up”.

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For my Nana, I stitched up an appliquéd cushion with a tea and biscuit design. My Nana is a firm believer in tea cosies and I have a lovely collection she has knitted for me over the years to match each of my teapots, so I had to include a tea cosy in the design.

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For my other Nana, I framed one of my “There is always time for Tea & Cake” prints in a lilac frame and made a milk bottle filled with handmade origami flowers. Nana has a really pretty dresser in her living room so I thought these would look perfect next to her china. I used some Maggie Holmes scrapbook transfers to decorate the milk bottle and sprayed it with varnish to give it a frosted look.

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Last up I made some baking themed jewellery for my brother’s girlfriend. She loves baking as much as I do, and has a very pretty duck egg blue cake mixer, so I made her some trinkets inspired by this. I painted a dolls house cake mixer in the same shade and attached it to a keychain, and found some cute cake mixer charms to make a necklace and a crocheted bracelet based on a project I saw in Mollie Makes. To finish it off I made a cute oven shaped gift box (using this PDF I bought on Etsy) to package up her gifts.

I also made sets of the Mollie Makes crochet bracelets for each of my friends in co-ordinating colours with personal charms, but unfortunately I forgot to photograph them before I wrapped them!

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I hope all of the recipients liked their gifts as much as I enjoyed making them! Although I am now secretly looking forward to some selfish crafting in the New Year …

Lucy x

Hoop Art Wall Update

Hoop art wall update - September

Today I wanted to share an update on my embroidery hoop art wall. I’ve been busy sewing away and have completed another four hoops since my last post!

Record player embroidery

1.  I’ve just finished this hoop and I think it might be my favourite so far. The design is based on a photograph from our wedding reception of the vintage record player we had set up playing Belle & Sebastian during our arrival drinks. The tiny writing on the album sleeve took a lot of patience to stitch! I used some leftover gold leatherette from a Mollie Makes kit to add details to the record player.

Hot air balloon embroidery

2. When I was putting together the hoop wall I ordered a few extra fabric scraps on etsy and ebay including a piece of my favourite Cath Kidston clouds print, and once it was framed on the wall I thought the perfect idea for it would be to add a hot air balloon. I sketched out a design including lyrics from a favourite song and appliquéd the balloon with felt and Liberty print bunting.

Mason jar flowers embroidery

3. Next up I wanted to make something with a 3D element. I decided on a bouquet of pastel roses with pearl centres displayed in a mason jar.

Mini bunting embroidery

4. For this hoop I made a string of mini bunting from the actual bunting we had at our wedding. You can’t really see it in the picture above but I also embroidered our wedding date onto the bunting flags. I’m enjoying how the hoop art wall is giving me an opportunity to display some of the mementoes from our wedding like this bunting, and I have also framed some material from Michael’s wedding shirt in another hoop. It’s nice to be surrounded by our happy memories.

Up next I’m planning on something lego inspired for Michael, two hoops with our initials on and a pretty bike.

Lucy x

Design your own paper cut artwork: DIY

Finished paper cut

Like many crafters, I like to make gifts for my family and friends. I have gifted quite a few handmade items to my parents over the years so it is becoming a little more difficult to think of something new to make for them! Today is their wedding anniversary, and this year I decided to try a new skill by designing and making a paper cut artwork.

After a little reading up on hints and tips I decided to give it a try, fully expecting it would take me a few attempts to make anything successful, but it actually turned out well on my first try. Sometimes you just have to dive in and learn as you go!

Supplies

You will need:

  • a sketch book, pencil and pens to draw your design;
  • tracing paper;
  • washi tape;
  • a large piece of coloured card to cut your design out from;
  • ruler;
  • craft knife (I used this one which has a swivel blade, handy for getting around corners and curves!);
  • plain paper or card to back your paper cut;
  • a frame for your finished masterpiece; and
  • lots of cups of tea!

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1. The first step is to sketch out your idea. I wanted the design to be based around a quote and to have a nautical theme to match my parents’ living room. I grabbed some scrapbooks and keepsakes from seaside holidays we have shared for inspiration and came up with some motifs I thought I could include, trying to stick to fairly simple shapes as this was my first attempt. I started by marking out the layout for the quote and then drew in the lettering, thickening the down strokes to give the effect of calligraphy. I then added the other motifs and details around the edges. You need to make sure that every element of your design is joined up so that it will all hold together once you have cut it out, for example I had to add joining lines to the birds and the fish, and make sure the lettering was all joined up.

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2. Once you are happy with your design trace over the outline to create a template, using washi tape to hold the tracing paper in place while you work.

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3. Next you need to transfer your design onto the coloured card you will use to create the paper cut. You will be working from the back of the card when you start cutting to keep the front neat and tidy, so you will be transferring the template as a mirror image. Place the tracing paper face down on the card, tape it in place and then shade over all of the pencil lines on the reverse of the paper. This step reminded me of art projects when I was at school, and I was just as covered in lead by the end of it! Once you have shaded over all of the lines, you should have a very faint outline left on the card as you can just about see in the picture below.

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4. Draw over the faint outline so that your template is clear and easy to follow. You should also draw in the edges with a ruler to create a border.

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5. To avoid any mistakes, shade in the areas which will need to be cut out.

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6. Now for the tricky part, to start cutting! I had a little practice on a spare piece of card first to get used to the knife. Start with the small sections and then gradually work your way through the larger sections. Use a ruler to guide your knife along any long straight edges, i.e. the borders. Take your time and only work in good light!

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7. Take a moment to admire your finished piece!

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8. To frame the paper cut I chose a frame with a mount and lined up the paper cut inside the mount, securing it with washi tape around the edges. I then took a large piece of plain paper and taped it over the top to create a backing. You could also use a contrast colour or even glitter card as a backing.

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It was very difficult to take a good picture once the paper cut was framed (and if you look closely you can probably see my reflection in the image above!) but it gives you an idea of the finished look. And here it is all wrapped up…

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I am pleased to report that Mum and Dad loved their gift, and I am looking forward to showing them this post so they can see how I created it!

Lucy x

Introducing Daisy & Alice Jewellery

Sewing necklace

I have some exciting news to share today, as I have opened a new Folksy shop called Daisy & Alice with my wonderful Mum selling our new jewellery designs.

We both love making and creating, and after each selling our own handmade designs we decided to collaborate together. Mum’s business is called Spotty Daisy and I have been blogging and instagramming using a twist on my first names, Lucky Alice, so the name Daisy & Alice seemed the perfect choice for our next crafty adventure. We have been experimenting with jewellery made from shrink plastic for a few months now, and having made ourselves plenty of pretty necklaces and perfected the process we decided to take the plunge and open a Folksy shop. We have both previously sold on Etsy, but decided to try out Folksy this time due to its focus on UK designers.

Each necklace starts life as a hand drawn illustration which is then copied and printed onto shrink plastic, baked, sealed with varnish to prevent fading and attached to a silver plated chain. Our designs are inspired by our passions and interests and are all colourful and pretty, with a vintage feel and a touch of whimsy.

Here is our first collection, I hope you like it!

Flower bouquet

Flower necklace

This necklace is inspired by my flower garden and is based on a selection of my favourite blooms from this summer – pretty pink cosmos, bold purple anemones, delicate little violas, vibrant dahlias and blousy roses.

(Anyone who takes part in or follows #makeitsewcial might recognise this necklace as I posted an earlier version of it earlier this year and have since been working on improving the design!)

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea necklace

This necklace is inspired by our love of tea and cake and is based on memories of afternoon teas we have shared together – delicate china adorned with polka dots, stripes and rose buds, pretty pink cupcakes piled up with frosting and sprinkles, and a classic slice of Victoria Sponge.

Sewing basket

Sewing necklace

This necklace reflects my love of sewing and is based on my favourite items from my sewing basket – dainty silver embroidery scissors, rainbow heart pins, ditsy patterned tape measure, colourful buttons and vintage wooden thread spools.

In the garden

Gardening necklace

This necklace is inspired by my love of gardening with my husband Michael and is based on my favourite gardening tools, including my trusty blue watering can, enamel patterned hand trowel and fork, wooden trug for gathering flowers and picking produce, colourful seed packets and Michael’s favourite flower to grow – sunflowers.

Days at the seaside

Seaside necklace

This necklace is inspired by summer holidays spent at the Great British seaside, and is based on memories of sunny days on the beach – flip flops and sunglasses, beach ball and bucket and spade, and of course a delicious ice cream!

Dressing table

Dressing table necklace

This necklace is inspired by my love of all things girly and getting ready at my dressing table and is based on everything a girl needs to get dolled up – lipstick, perfume, nail polish, a bow for your hair and a pretty hand mirror to admire the finished look!

I do hope you like our first range of designs. We are busy working away on other ideas, including brooches to match each of the necklaces above, bunting flag necklaces, a snail mail inspired design and, dare I say it, Christmas necklaces!!

Lucy x

Hoop Art Wall

Embroidery hoop art wall

One of the most frustrating things about renting for me is not being able to paint or wallpaper the walls. I long to have patterned wallpaper and colourful feature walls in our house and I am always trying to come up with new ideas to make the walls more interesting.

After winning the lovely Emma Nicol’s instagram giveaway recently for a custom couple’s portrait, I wanted to find somewhere special to hang the amazing portrait Emma created for us and I had the idea of installing an embroidery hoop art wall above our bed to fill up the big blank space.

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This is another project I have had pinned on my home decor board on Pinterest for a long time after seeing a similar hoop art wall and I am so pleased with how my version looks. It has given our bedroom a lot more colour and really adds to the mismatched homespun look. It makes me smile every time I walk up the stairs and catch sight of it through the bedroom door!

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To create the wall, I bought a big batch of embroidery hoops (you can find lots of bulk listings on ebay) and painted them a mix of pretty pastel colours.

Painted embroidery hoops

I then raided my fabric stash and started filling up the hoops with material, cutting out a piece slightly larger than the size of the hoop and then carefully framing it. For some of the thinner fabrics I also added a plain piece of white cotton behind the fabric to make it less see through. I used a running stitch to gather in the excess material at the back and tied a small piece of twine through the fastening at the top of the hoop to hang it by. Next I drove myself slightly mad trying to plan a layout with a good distribution of size, pattern and colour, before giving up and just piecing it together as I went along! I used stick on hooks by 3M to hang the hoops on the wall as they can be removed with no damage to the paint (a renter’s dream!).

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One of the upsides of this project is that I was able to use up some of my fabric stash and I’m pleased that snippets of a few of the lovely prints and patterns I have been hoarding are finally getting to see the light of day. I also used quite a few sentimental fabrics like material from Michael’s wedding shirt and from the bunting which decorated our reception venue, which adds a thoughtful touch. Of course I still took this as an opportunity to buy yet more fabric to add a few new patterns into the mix, and I scoured Etsy to track down some small quilting pieces of Liberty fabric I have been coveting but couldn’t quite afford to purchase by the metre, like the Alice in Wonderland Gallymoggers print and the fun Forget-me-nots print.

At the moment, there is a mix of some hoops which I have embroidered and others which are just plain fabric. As there are over 30 hoops altogether the idea is that over time I will stitch up the hoops so it will become more of a gallery, but there are some fabrics I might just leave plain to showcase the prints.

Here are some of the hoops I have stitched up so far:

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L-R:

  • This is inspired by one of my favourite photos from our wedding of our shoes. I traced the outline of the picture to create a simple line drawing then used this to cut out pieces of fabric to appliqué onto the base fabric in the hoop. This is my favourite hoop so far!
  • I actually made this embroidery of our initials carved into a tree last year to go in a woodland themed room we had in our old house, but with a fresh coat of paint on the hoop to add a pastel twist it fits in perfectly with the new hoop art wall.

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L-R:

  • The “Be Nice” hoop is a gorgeous DIY kit I bought from the lovely Ruth of The Make Arcade to take away on holiday with me. It still needs a little more work (some satin stitching on the polka dots) but I couldn’t wait to put it up as I love the design, it is super pretty and gives a daily reminder to be kind to the world and to myself!
  • This is a quick and simple hoop I stitched up using a Sublime Stitching pattern to commemorate Michael’s success in our recent mini golf tournament on holiday. We take mini golf very seriously in our family!

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L-R:

  • Michael is a huge fan of Peanuts so I stitched up this cutesy Snoopy cross stitch one rainy afternoon for him. I am trying to incorporate a few hoops to reflect Michael’s hobbies and interests above his side of the bed.
  • The rose cross stitch was a free kit with Mollie Makes a couple of years ago, and I have happy memories of working on this while we stayed in a vintage caravan in Lincolnshire for a relaxing holiday in the summer of 2013.

I am hoping to share a blog round up every few weeks of the hoops I have been working on. Next up on my list are a record player and something Lego inspired for Michael, and a hot air balloon.

Lucy x