Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Lining A Basket

I have been having a very creative few days, Monday I had a go at Tash's turtle design and am very happy with my new felted friend.

On Tuesday, myself and The Mother went to Brighton, specifically to visit the Fabric Land shop to source pretty patterned cotton fabrics for our various projects. I may have gone a little overboard....and bought half a metre of six different fabrics, as well as a small bundle of felt, four metres of Vilene and a pack of four fat quarters (very cheaply at £3.50 the bundle!!).

It was whilst I was rummaging around through my bag of goodies that I struck on the idea of using one of the fabrics to line the wicker basket I found in a charity shop back in Leicester.

It took a surprising amount of brain power, there were discarded patterns and paper everywhere!! I tried looking on the internet for some help but the only lining tips I could find were to do with square shaped baskets which were no help. Eventually I hit upon a youtube video by Carla at thebubblelush which was about lining an Easter basket but could easily be translated. It is a good video, although Carla does ramble slightly- once you get past that the instructions are relatively clear and easy and she certainly helped me a lot!! Make sure you have a calculator handy though, I ended up doing mathematical equations using pie!!

Eventually the right pattern was hit upon and I could start cutting out my fabric- I'd decided to go with the blue polka dot as in my opinion it goes really nicely with the colour of the wicker. Kit decided that he could help too, and I hadn't the heart to tell him he was more of a hindrance than anything else!

Then today (Wednesday- third crafty day in a row!!) I started putting my cut out pieces together, and to my great relief, they all fit each other and it went swimmingly well!! I adapted the pattern that Carla did to cut out spaces for the handles so mine is quite different to hers.
I also decided that instead of using elastic or ribbon, I wanted the ties to be of the same fabric, so cut strips of the polka dot, folded them like bias binding (the iron was an essential tool here!!) and stitched it down.

Using a safety pin (cool trick, makes threading through so much easier!) I threaded the strips of fabric through the channels I made in my lining pattern.

 (Apologies for the chipped nail varnish)

The basket was starting to look really good, although I noticed there could be room for improvement in the pattern pieces- something to consider next time I think- as the bits under the handles stuck up slightly like little pyramids and also left a gap between the lining and the basket.

Something hAd to be done!

So the problem areas were folded over and stitched to the basket itself, which seemed to solve the issue, hopefully it all stays together.
Right then, are you ready for the final reveal? I admit I am pretty chuffed with this project, it has been quite a taxing one, from the head scratching mathematics at the beginning, to the straight machine stitching, the endless ironing and breath holding when fitting it into the basket and the difficulty of stitching through a wicker basket and trying to make it look neat.
Ok we go......


I am thrilled to pieces with it, and would probably do this all over again should I suddenly develop a wicker basket buying habit. I could just buy pre-lined baskets, but then I wouldn't get the sense of achievement I get from looking at this one! I think I am going to use it to store my pretty cotton fabrics in- now it just needs filling!

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Crafting Mess

This was the mess left after an afternoon of crafting with my friend Anna. It is all to do with my secret project, and was also a bit of fun. There are all sorts of ideas littered amongst the bits and bobs- leaf bashing up the top there, tea bag folding in the image below, fabric crafts, felt crafts, kanzashi flowers...all sorts of possibilities!!

The leaf bashing definitely needs some experimenting on. I'm not sure the linen fabric works very well, maybe a cotton would be easier- unless there is some way of fixing the fabric??? Hmmm...


I've been playing with my kanzashi flower makers from Clover. They are so easy to make!!! I've added a little button to the front and a felt circle to the back- they could now be turned into broaches or hair clips or embellishments for handbags, scarves, hats....

And I can't remember whether I showed you my Scottish terrier dog? So here he is (potentially again) with my Dalmatian. I still have the other dogs to make too- will have to get on that one!!

Anna made a lovely turtle using the design Tash came up with. I might have to get on the turtle bandwagon and make a few myself!!

Little Brambles

My uncle has recently moved into an old fashioned bungalow called Little Brambles. He has been living there for several months but today was the first time I had been round. It is a bit like stepping into another time with very bizarre decorative features, like brown glass lampshades and funnily textured wallpaper studded at irregular intervals with clusters of picture hooks. There are different coloured carpets in nearly every room, a dark green bathroom (with a bath no bigger than a double sink) and built in ornate plastic wardrobes.
The garden, however, was another story, and although quite ramshackle and overgrown, had some really lovely plants and flowers, plus several in-use bird and bee boxes.


There are lots of lovely bits to his garden, so it is kind of like a secret trail with lots of archways leading to different sections.

Can't you just imagine a load of purple wisteria hanging down, providing cool lilac shade in the hot summer??

During the grand tour we found this old wasps nest in his garage- so cleverly made!! (The wasps nest that is, not the garage- although I'm sure that is sturdy enough.)

I really love these steps at the side, especially whilst they are covered in these red flowers!! They almost look like a red carpet welcoming you into the garden.