Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Just some pictures.....

Here are some more floral fancies I have made in prep for my meeting ......the daisies are from the Dryad leaflet. I made a poppy too, but as the posy is not complete I didn't want to spoil their moment x

This little chap is actually a lovely teal blue, but try as I might, the lighting would NOT allow me to capture its essence!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

It couldn't have come at a better time!

This leaflet come from a second instalment of wonderful things passed on to me by my Aunt and I see it as a portent of fate!!

It is called "The Dryad Leaflet 128"  It has some wonderful photos and it is just a shame they are not in colour.  I'm not sure when this leaflet was made, as there is no date on it, but I imagine the cost of the colour printing process of that time would have made it prohibitive.

"In 1936..... Dryad Handicraft was the largest suppliers of handicraft in the world"

You can find further info on Dryad Handicraft   HERE.....should you be interested!

I am in the process of making ALL the flowers in the book and then will see how they can be adapted.  Although they are exquisitely charming as they are!

"Two Big White Chrysanthemums"

"Multi Coloured Daisies"

"Three Red Daisies"

"Spray for Afternoon"

"Crispy Tailored"

I have to say that the descriptive language that is used in this leaflet would have entirely different meanings today...especially the use of the a much maligned N word used to describe a certain shade of brown felt.  This also makes me think the leaflet comes from a long gone era.

Why do I see this as a portent of fate? Well, I have an appointment in a couple of weeks with a brand spanking new craft shop, who may be interested in selling my flowers!!!

I have been very tentatively putting out the feelers to sell my crafts, as I must say I am a bit scared. However, all seems to be going to plan and I have opened an ETSY shop....so here is to a busy crafting future!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Metric Pattern Cutting

Here is another lovely find......

It seems that Auntie B did a technical dressmaking class back in the day, and in amongst her things were all her coursework and books! What a great legacy to pass on. I am going to have a good read and perhaps do a mini review of it. I am sure it is still possible to buy this book as I imagine that most of the technical data has remained unchanged

 I have always wanted to produce a "block", which is a set of basic shapes, tailored to your measurements. These shapes take the form of a basic dress, top, skirt etc.  It is then possible to add technical design details to them to make your own patterns that fit well. I imagine, now that I have this book, I can become the proud owner of a set of blocks.

It shows on this page, the tremendous amount of measuring that is required. Thankfully it only has to be done the once ( or hopefully a few times, in much smaller sizing, in my case).....

Monday, 23 January 2012

...but love wont kill germs...

...but Milton will.

Here is a treasure that I found amonst my dear departed aunts possessions. It is from 1947 and just goes to show that the advertising world has not changed one jot when it comes to pulling on the heart strings.

I must say though, that the mother is looking spiffingly dashing as woman always seemed to then, but then again, who needs photoshop when you have pen and ink?

I think this may have belonged to my nan, as the real treasure for her was on the knitting pattern on other side of the page.

Here are some more wonderful things....again from the 1940s..

Aren't they just the sweetest?...and it looks like Stanley was around well before Cath Kitson!

The are loads more goodies to blog about, but time is running short..so that is for another day......

Sunday, 22 January 2012

How to make a felt sunflower...

OK, here comes my first real tutorial!

I'm going to show you how to make the sunflower in my earlier picture.

You will need:

 A4 sheet of felt in yellow. I got mine from Hobby craft. It needs to be fairly stiff. Acrylic is fine.

Enough brown felt to cut out one, 3.5 in (9cm) diameter circle and one 2.75 ( 7cm) circle

A small amount of wadding to pad the centre of the flower.

5 or 6 small dark colour seed beads. ( I have gone a bit overkill in the photo)

Thread to match each of the felts.

A petal template.

My template is cut from a 1.5in by 2 in rectangle of cereal packet card. Fold the card in half along the longest length to make sure your petal shape is symmetrical.

Cut out one, 3.5 in (9cm) diameter circle and one 2.75 ( 7cm) circle from the brown felt and one, 2.5 ( 6.5cm) circle from the wadding.

Next, cut out 15 petals from the yellow felt using your template.

It may be easier to cut three, 2 inch strips first and then cut that into 1.5 inch sections, especially if you have a rotary cutter.

To shape the petals:

Fold in half down the length and over stitch with a small stitch, 3 or 4 times.

Next, squash it flat.

Now over stitch it on to the brown felt.

Repeat with the rest of the petals evenly around the circle.

Place the circle of wadding in the centre and then place the smaller brown circle on top.

Carefully stitch around the circle using small stitches.  Make sure the wadding is underneath all the way around and stitch through ALL layers.

Now for the beads:

Secure your thread underneath the flower, either with a knot or a couple of over stitches and then push the needle through from the back out of the centre of the flower. Thread a seed bead onto your needle and push it past the eye onto the thread.  Push the needle back through all the layers of the flower just to she side of your original hole.  Repeat in a random pattern with the other beads.

The next step are optional. I secured each of the petals to its neighbour with a small over stitch on the side of each one. This prevents any movement or spreading during wear.

You now have a completed flower TA -DA!

 It now depends on what you want to use the flower for as to how you back it.  To finish it neatly, I cut another piece of felt and glued it to the back to cover my stitching.  If you want to use the flower as a pin brooch, you can sew either a safety pin or a brooch pin to the backing felt prior to gluing.  If you would like to use it as a hair accessory, cut two slits in the backing felt and insert a slide grip or head band through prior to gluing.

 The sunflower can of course be made in different sizes for different projects. I made a couple of hair slides by reducing the size of everything. They could be used as card toppers, or if you made a bunch of them, they could be displayed in a vase.

I hope this all made sense. There will be more pictures soon, but the light is fading here. Any questions feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can :)

Footnote: I hate to be all official, but please don't use this "how to" on any other site or document without my prior position and please do not mass produce and sell on the finished article..pretty please!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Being a bit of a Posy-er..

I'm not a great photographer, as my previous posts show.

I have no excuse really.  The dawn of the digital age has removed the uncertainty of taking pictures. (I used to work for BonusPrint and I have seen some doozys!) and I have the equipment ( My DH's Canon EOS 400D).

So, in a effort to jazz things up, and of course make my crafty stuff look good, here are some pose-y pictures of my flowers!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Seven steps to a home made dress form

A post on one of the sewing forums I subscribe to asked if anyone had made their own dress form.  I have indeed done so in the past, and it prompted me to put a tutorial on here....
This was many years ago, so I don't have pictures anymore, funny thought they would be!

Step 1)
Put on an old garment that goes past your butt. Make sure it is one that you are happy to cut up and lose forever!

Step 2)
Get someone you trust a great deal ( and doesn't have a camera to hand) to wrap you tightly with gaffer tape from neck to past your butt. You will need several layers.

Step 3)  
Cut down the back of the tape and clothing with a pair of large scissors. DO NOT use a knife and be VERY careful.

Step 4)
Wriggle very ungracefully out of your creation and get dressed.

Step 5)
Tape down the back of your new gaffer tape body and either tie up or stitch down the bottom of the garment to form a body bag.

Step 6)
Fill with your chosen filling. I used the contents of an old bean bag ( or two) but it got VERY messy. You could use an old polyester duvet or some fiberfil.  Make sure you pack it tightly to get the correct sizing.

Step 7)
Sew up the neck and then stand back and gasp in awe at your lumps and bumps in all their glory!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Crowning glory

 Here's my first offering....a girly cutey pink tiara.  I made up the pattern and I will add it to the blog soon.  I'm going to charge £5 for them and do them in sparkly yarn too. I have sold one already and had a request for a wand to match :) Fingers crossed xx
 ...and a view from the side. Its such a shame that "head" doesn't have lovely golden curls.
 This is the second effort. I don't like this one so much......