Friday, 29 June 2012

{Giveaway} Ruffle Cushion Fabrics n' More!

There has been such a great response to the Ruffle Cushion Tutorial!  Thank you to everyone who has commented and emailed.  We hope you were inspired to give it a go and we're looking forward to seeing all your makes! 

Its been an age since we've had a giveaway so we thought you might like the chance to make your own ruffle cushions!  So here we have....

You can win....

A pin wheel containing 40 pearl headed pins
and 3 metres of wide satin ribbon

Everything you need to make the cushions, all you need to add is some toy stuffing (or the inside of an old cushion as I tend to do!) and a sewing machine.

So what do you need to do to enter???  Its easy...

1. Follow our blog and leave a comment below saying you do and that you'd like to enter.

Ummm, thats it!  It couldnt be easier.

Of course for extra entries you could....

2. Like us over on Facebook

3. Follow us on Twitter

Leave a comment below for each and we will count your extra entries.

The giveaway will close next Friday, the 6th July at 5.00pm (GMT) and will be drawn later on that evening.

Thats the boring bit out the way - thanks for reading and GOOD LUCK!!!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

{Quick Tutorial} Ruffle Cushion

Hello blog followers!  Lovely to have you with us...

I just had to share this project as its super quick and super cute!  I know you're going to become addicted to making ruffle cushions in every colour to match every room.  Plus, the best bit is, it uses just one fat quarter and some ribbon - how easy is that!?

First things first this is what you'll need....

1 fabric FQ - mines from the Riley Blake Daisy Cottage Collection
Pins, Thread, Cushion/Toy stuffing, Sewing Machine

1. Start pinning your ribbon, about 3 inches in from one of the short edges of your fat quarter.  It doesnt need to be precise, just tuck it under and pin to keep in place until you sew it.

2. Once you've gone all the way down, machine sew into place using a long straight stitch.

3. Fold in half right sides together and pin in place.  Sew around two and a half edges so you have space to put the filling in.

4. Stuff with cushion filling and close the opening, and voila!  Very simple but very effective ruffle cushion....

I wasnt lying when I said they are easy!  Infact, I love them so much, I made another two from the Daisy Cottage fabric for our playroom...

I'd say they took around 30 - 45 minutes to make and I'd made three in just under an hour and a half.  The bit that takes the longest is pinning the ruffles!

So go give it a go!! Would love to see any ruffle cushions you make. 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Where to start? At the beginning of course!

Whenever we are at craft fairs often people come by our stall, admire all the lovely fabrics, buttons, bit and bobs and say to us "I love all this but I cant sew".  My answer to them is "Just give it a go!".

I've always been "crafty" (some say in more ways than one) but there was a time not so long ago that I was new to sewing.  It was something I admired, something I wanted to try but then one day I found some gorgeous fabric I fell in love with and I haven't looked back!

So I thought I'd put together quick list of "must-haves" for anyone wanting to take up sewing, whether it be dressmaking or making things for your home, this is what I think are the very basics you need to get started.*

1. Needles
A range of needles in different sizes are useful for hand sewing but you will find one you are comfortable with once you start sewing.

2. Sewing Machine
This is the exact machine I have and it's amazing for beginners as its so easy to set up but has a variety of stitches, tensions and functions once you become more advanced.  I use mine mainly for plain straight stitching but have also done a number of lovely appliqu├ęs using the zig zag stitch on this machine.  Also, doesn't cost the earth!

3. Pins
Long pins with coloured ends are handing for pining work in place before you sew.  Also, a great tip I was given if you are machine sewing, the more pins you put in the slower you will sew and therefore, will have more control.  It works too!

4. Seam ripper
For when your stitching just isnt quite right!  So much better than using scissors which WILL rip your fabric (trust me, I've tried).

5. Tape Measure
No sewing box should be without one of these!  A retractable one saves it getting all tangled around other stuff.

6. Rotary Cutter
Some may say this isnt essential and a good pair of scissors will do.  I do agree, a good pair of scissors is invaluable for cutting smaller and irregular shapes.  However, if you are thinking of having a go at patchwork or quilting or will be cutting a lot of straight lines, it is so much easier to get an accurate cut with this.  A metal ruler and cutting mat is also needed.

7. Fabrics
And lots of them!!  Whatever takes your fancy, cotton, polycotton, fat quarters or metres of it, its important to have a good range of fabrics that you like in your stash in case inspiration strikes!

8. Magazines and Books
Mollie Makes is a favourite (and we will soon be stocking it!) but there are lots of books and magazines out there ready to inspire you and guide you in your next make.  I tend not to follow patterns to the letter, preferring to be inspired and use patterns to give me a starting point.

So thats it, my list of what I think you need to get started.  My only other piece of advice would be to just go for it!  If you've been inspired by something, give it a try.

What did you use when you first started out?  Did you make any sewing faux-pas??!  We'd love to hear about them!

* this is by no means a complete list of everything you could need to start, just my idea of the basics.

{Quick Tutorial} Funky Flower Button Brooch

Hello lovely followers!

Lots of new items have graced the shelves at TSB HQ over the last few weeks, including these super cute and funky flower buttons.

So thought a small tutorial was due!  Here's how to make this fab flower brooch....

You will need:

Small piece of felt 

1. Cut two small circles from your felt.  This will make the backing of your brooch.

2. Sew your brooch bar onto one of the circles.  Depending on how neat you've sewn it on or whether you are giving it as a gift, you may want to cover the stitches with another small circle of felt on the right side.

3.  Layer your flowers and the felt together ready to be sewn.

4. Then carefully sew together the two buttons and the felt.

5. Sew the two layers of felt together...

6. Then there you have it, one very cute and simple flower brooch!

All the products can be purchased in the shop, so why not give it a go!

p.s. new Design Team packs are going out tomorrow so some new makes from them using a new fabric will be coming soon!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

{Design Team Makes} Hurray For The Jubilee!

Now that the Jubliee weekend is well and truly being celebrated, I can finally show you the makes from our fabulous Design Team.

They were sent a "Jubilee Themed" pack and asked to make something unique to celebrate the Queens Jubilee.  The hugely talented members of the Design Team certainly didnt let us down as their makes were inspiring.

This is what they were sent....

Photo of Elli from Hearstitch's pack.  Thank you, had forgotten to take a photo before it was sent!
The pack contained:
 9" sheets of Jubilee coloured felt
 Union Jack Button

Elli from Heartstitch's makes...

Fiddly but so worth it, gorgeous teapot embroidery hoop art
As well as the felt Elli also used an embroidery hoop which is available from here.  I love embroidery hoop art at the moment so thought this was such a fantastic use of the products but so fiddly!  Elli did such a good job! 

Tweet Tweet!  Jubilee Bird Keyring

Felt as before

Back detail of the keyring
Emma from Sweet Williams...

So beautiful!  Love the button detail and the different layers

Emma was really excited to receive her pack and created this gorgeous brooch within hours of opening it!  Very impressive and such a lovely make.  We love all the layers and the contrasting stitching and the cute bow she has added!

Lane from Willowlane Designs

Love owls, and this is a Jubilee owl!  Again, such careful stitching of the Union Jacks.

Such a good idea!  In car mini bunting!  Bit gutted my car didnt have some.  Lane was so clever in making a few mini bows to go with this. 

Last but not least Rachael from Sew Ray Me who got her little boy involved....

Expert concentration here...
Rachael cut the felt into strips and sewed together the short ends and added some velcro to make a crown.

Such cute mini bunting!
In Rachaels words "not original but absolutely necessary!"  We couldn't agree more!
What a good reason to make cakes!

No party would be complete without cakes so Rachael design these cute cake toppers to go in them.
The finished crown and a very happy little boy!!

We hope you've enjoyed seeing the first of the Design Team makes.  Which is your favourite??  Honestly, we dont think we could choose, we've loved seeing them all, probably almost as much as our Design Team have enjoyed making them!  Such a lovely way to celebrate the Jubilee.  Please pop over to their blogs too and say hi!

Next months pack is nearly ready to go and will work slightly differently.  Each member of the Design Team will be sent a new product that we will then showcase for you here and over on Facebook so you can be inspired by their makes!  

We hope you've enjoyed such a lovely memorable weekend!

Friday, 1 June 2012

{Favourite Fabric Friday} This Weeks Pick...

Huge apologies for missing out last weeks Favourite Fabric Friday.  Due to the manic-ness of the week and not being near a pc whilst at the Cardiff Craft and Hobby Show, I thought it best to leave it as it was and make this weeks an extra special one.

We've picked two manufacturers to stock here at The Sewing Boutique who we think, have amazing designs and have generally gorgeous fabrics.  These two are Riley Blake and Michael Miller.  We're looking to stock a few more top names in the near future but for now those are our favourites.

So it makes sense to pick our favourite fabric from one of these ranges.  This week it is.....

Michael Miller Forest Life
I just love those crazy owls, the cute bunnys and the little green deer.  Its been a favourite since we opened the shop and hope you will like it now!  You can buy it at the special price for one week only here.