Tagged ‘tutorial’

Cat Hair Band Tutorial

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011


You will need: Felt (two colours), paper, thread, a hair band and some glue.

Create a cat head template with paper and then use it to cut out two pieces of felt. Cut two triangles out of the other colour felt for the tabby markings.
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Stitch the triangles on to one of the cat head shapes and then add a nose and mouth.
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Take the other cat head shape and glue it onto the underside of the hair band. I used a hot glue gun but I’m sure other glues would work.
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Using blanket stitch, sew the piece with the face on, onto the felt with the hairband in between.


If you try this, I’d love to see your results.

Peg Bag Tutorial

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011


Even boring household stuff isn’t safe from my cat obsession. We’re always losing clothes pegs so I made a bag to put them in when they’re not in use.

For this you’ll need some fabric and a coat hanger. I used a kids plastic one from Ikea. I cut the coat hanger so that it was as wide as I wanted the bag to be.
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Cat Pouch Tutorial

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Cat Pouch Tutorial
This pouch is so simple to make and looks really great. You can make it in whatever size you like, even adding straps to turn it into a bag :)

What you’ll need
Fabric, lining fabric, facing and a magnet clasp.
Cat Pouch Tutorial

Decided how big you want the pouch to be a cut a piece of the main fabric, adding half an inch all round for the seams. Then cut another piece the same width but about 50% longer as pictured. Round off the corners (only the two lower ones on the smaller piece). Cut the same pieces from lining fabric and facing.
Cat Pouch Tutorial


Cat Shopping Bag

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011


I’ve got lots of different cat fabrics but only small pieces as they can be pretty pricey. To save spending lots I like to use the cat fabric as a feature on a larger plain item. I came up with this shopping bag idea a few days ago and have made a few now as they’ll be really useful. I hate plastic bags and always try to use my own bags, however I wanted something different to the canvas bags you see everywhere.

You will need some webbing, I’ve used cotton webbing which is usually available in the ribbons and bindings section of fabric shops. Also, you’ll need fabric for the main bag, lining fabric (I used a pillow case) and some pretty cat fabric for the pocket. Pins are essential in making this too.

Cut your bag fabric to the size you want your bag plus a seam allowance of half an inch all the way around, you will need two. Then cut two of the lining fabric the same width but an inch shorter than the outer fabric.


Business Card Holder Tutorial

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


I am always forgetting to take my business cards out with me. If I get comments on the necklace or badge I’m wearing I feel stupid when I can’t give them a card so I’ve made a case for them. Now they’re in my bag, protected in a nice case so they don’t get tatty, I’ve no excuses!


You’ll need fabric, a hair elastic and a button.  Make sure to have some cards to hand so you get the sizing right.

Lay the cards on the fabric you’ve chosen for the outside of the case. You need to leave a gap between them for the fold. Cut the fabric, leaving a gap of 1/2 an inch around the cards, cut two. Cut two pieces of the pocket fabric the same height but an inch or so shorter, as pictured.
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Fold the pocket pieces in half and iron. You can also stitch along the fold for a nice neat look. Place an outer piece right side up, then place the pocket pieces on each end with a gap between them in the middle. Place the hair elastic on one side and then lastly place the last piece of outer fabric right side down on top.

Sew around the edges, leaving a gap to turn it the right way out. Trim edges and cut off corners.

Turn right side out. Poke something like a knitting needle into the corners to make them pointy. Iron.

Stitch around the edges and along the middle. Make sure you leave enough space for the cards to fit in the pockets when you’re going around the edge!

Sew a button onto the front to hold it closed.

Now you can put your cards in :)

If you make a case I’d love to see it!

Beads and Beyond Magazine

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Here’s the latest article I’ve written for Beads and Beyond Magazine. It’s the latest issue – October 2011. Even though I’ve been published quite a few times now it’s still exciting to see my work in print. If you’re into creating with wire then check out my tutorial for making flowers.



Cute Cat Hair Bow

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Now my hair is finally getting long I can start making pretty accessories for it. These are super simple to make and you only need a little scrap of fabric. You can experiment too with layers of fabric or using lace instead of ribbon.

I didn’t realise until reviewing the photos that black fabric isn’t a good colour to use in a tutorial as you can’t see all the stitches! Hopefully my descriptions make sense, if not, ask away and I’ll try to explain or retake the photos using lighter fabric.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Fabric, coordinating ribbon, needle and thread, a hair clip and a hot glue gun.

Measure a piece of fabric that is as long as you want the bow to be x2 and then add half an inch for the overlap. The same goes for the width; twice what you want the bow to be, plus half an inch. I used a piece 8.5 inches long by 4 inches.

Sew lengthways into a tube, right sides together. Turn it inside-out and press it with an iron. Have the seam running along the centre rather than at one of the edges.
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With the seam on the inside, fold each end of the tube into the centre, overlapping the ends by half an inch.

Stitch loose stitches across the centre, through all the layers, and pull to scrunch the middle of the bow together. Secure with a few stitches.

Take a piece of ribbon and starting at the centre of the bow, lay it out to the edge and fold back towards the centre. Fold it again where it reaches the other side of the bow and repeat so you have two loops of ribbon on each side like mini-bows.

Stitch the ribbon in place.

With the glue gun, attach the centre of the bow to the hair clip. Then take another piece of ribbon and glue the end to the inside of the clip (you may need to remove the springy bit to do this, it just pops out).

Wrap the ribbon as tight as you can around the centre of the bow and the hair clip twice and then glue the end down and trim off.
Glue the bow ribbons in place on the ends of the hair clip to maintain their position and to hide all of the metal of the clip.


Catnips Pillows

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Most cat owners slaves will know by now that the chances are the more you spend on a toy, the less the cats will like it. That’s so true for ours! I buy them lots of toys, especially cute ones with catnip in but none of them are ever as popular as a scrappy bit of fabric filled with home-grown catnip!

I grow catnip in the garden, it’s super easy and you can grow lots with little effort. See previous blog post about my plant. Once it’s dry I put some into toys. In the past I’ve made cute little mice etc but they get ripped to shreds or drooled all over and it’s really not worth it. The most simple thing to do is make fabric pouches to sew catnip into.

I used some plain thickish cotton fabric. It needs to be strong enough to put up with being chewed but not so thick that the aroma can’t seep through.

I use zigzag stitch so that the fabric doesn’t fray. Sew around three edges so you have a pouch.

Then fill with catnip. Stuff loads in, it will break down over time. I put everything but the stalks in.

Once it’s filled up, go round all the edges a few times with zigzag stitch and you’re done. It doesn’t look pretty but after they’ve been chewing on it and soaking it with kitty drool you’ll be glad you didn’t go to a lot of effort to make it look nice!

Thanks to Pixie for being so helpful in all the photos!

Here’s Arty being product tester. I tried to get it off him to show you how soggy and chewed it gets but he wouldn’t let me! We have some pouches that have lasted over a year and are still regularly played with. I usually end up throwing them out when they look so horrible I can’t bare to have them cluttering up the house and I make them new ones.

Fabric Book Cover

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

I got a new sketchbook today. I couldn’t find any with covers that I liked though so I decided to make my own cover.
I started off with a plain book from Paperchase.
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First of all, make a pattern piece by folding a piece of paper around the book and drawing round it. You need to trace round the book when it’s closed, if you trace an open book the cover might be too tight when you close the book.

Cut out a piece of iron-on facing the same size as your pattern piece. Cut a piece with a 1cm seam allowance all the way around out of your chosen cover fabric and again out of plain fabric to line the cover. Cut two pieces the same height as the book and about 5 inches wide in the pretty cover fabric.

Iron the facing onto the wrong side of the cover material. Making sure to centre it on the fabric, leaving the seam allowance all the way round. Also, take the two smaller pieces of covering fabric and fold in half lengthways, wrong sides together, iron.

Now place the pieces together. Place the lining fabric down first (wrong side up if it has a wrong side). Then take the two folded pieces and place one at each end of the lining, with the folded edge pointing towards the centre of the book. Then place down the cover fabric, wrong side down.

Sew around the edge, taking into account how much you left for seam allowances. Leave a gap where the spine would be to turn the cover inside out. Once turned out the right way stitch around the edges to neaten up and close up the hole left earlier.

Once all the sewing is finished and the thread ends trimmed neatly you’re ready to put the cover on the book. The cover should fit snuggly around the book covers.

Now you have a pretty covered book! What’s great is when you’ve filled the book with all your notes and drawings, you can get another one and slip the old cover onto the new book :D

Hair Colour!

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I redyed my hair yesterday. I love having bright hair, I tried a couple of years of natural brown but I couldn’t cope any longer and a few months ago I started dying my hair again. My natural colour is mousey brown. I don’t bleach it before dying so the colour isn’t as bright as it could be. I used to bleach my hair and to be honest I can’t be bothered with having to rebleach my roots every month or so. I’m pretty pleased with how it looks without prelightening though.

I use La Riche Directions Semi-Permanent Conditioning Hair Colour. I’ve tried other brands but I’ve found this to give the best results. It doesn’t come with gloves though so make sure to get some of those before you start or you’ll have pink hands for weeks! I use Badger Balm around the hairline to stop the dye staining my face, ears and neck. The claw style hair clips are great for holding hair out of the way whilst you’re trying to dye other parts of it, much easier to use with gloved hands than hairbands.

I leave they dye on for atleast two hours, with my head wrapped in cling film to stop it drying. The good thing about this type of hair colour is that it isn’t damaging in anyway so you can leave it on as long as you like, the longer the better. After rinsing out, coat your hair in conditioner and leave for a few minutes before rinsing again. I recommend having an old towel for drying your hair with. However well you rinse, there will always be some colour that comes out on the towels.

As you can see, the day after dying I still have a bit of colour on my scalp too. I find it takes a couple of washes to get out completely. Rather than overdoing it with shampoo to get the colour out of the skin which will lighten the hair as well, use conditioner and massage it into your scalp instead. It helps lift the colour and gives your roots a treat too.


If you want more great tips on dying hair (and bleaching) check out Kaylah’s awesome hair dying tips over on her Dainty Squid blog