Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Patchwork pillows and muffins, anything to avoid revision

I started of the day with good intentions. Then one thing lead to another and I had started and finished a whole patchwork and turned it into a pillow. I've never tried patchwork before but rosie and I went a little mad on ebay and ended up buying a set of squares of kath kidston-esk fabric. I wouldn't usually use fabric for anything except dressmaking but there's not many items of clothing you can make out of 16 10x10cm squares!

For a few tips on simple patchwork go here or here.
And I like this idea for making a patchwork stuffed animal.

Then I was sure I'd be able to settle down and read a bit for my exam tomorrow. But Anna decided it was a day for cupcakes. Normally we'd make proper sickly ones and plaster them in buttercream but disaster struck as we realised we didn't have any icing sugar! So we tried some apple and cinnamon muffins with a crumble-like topping.

The recipe will appear on anna's blog sooooon.

Right. Revision. Goodbye for now...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The checked pillowcase skirt

top - H&M, handband - dorethy perkins, skirt - handmade, red band - devon county show!

The beautifully sunny Cornish weather and everyone's pretty summery dresses have been inspiring me lots recently. But I've been pretty busy with the county show, house sitting and exams. After a reasonably good exam I though I'd celebrate with a new skirt. I wore my old blue and white striped skirt this morning which I made a while ago now from a tesco value pillowcase. I love wearing it (except for the transparency... but I can just wear a petticoat) so I had a rummage and found a spare pillowcase that actually came with my current bedset from Ikea with 3 others. Being a poor student I don't have 4 pillows on my bed so I let myself cut it up.
The pattern's pretty magic (even if I do say so myself) because it uses basically all the pillowcase. But this does mean you have to start by unpicking all the seams. Then you're left with a long rectangle that's more than twice as long as the original case was. I then cut two rectangles (half waist x waist band width + a bit of seam allowance), one from either end of the material. If you leave the original hems at either end they can become the hem at the top of the waist band.

(click to see fullsize)

Next I hem all the way along one of the long sides of the remaining material. Then I sew two parallel lines near the other side using a long stitch and gather along them. Don't be tempted to cheat and only sew one line. For some reason that I don't understand it always works better with two - you end up with a more even gather. Plus if one breaks its not the end of the world.
Sew the two waist band pieces together at one side, using right sides together and all that. The skirt piece should be gathered to the same length.
Then it's a case of pinning and sewing the two pieces together, right sides together. Then I sewed the sides together and put in a zip. I tend to just fluff it but if you want to know how to sew in a zip proper-like then there are loads of help on youtube (threadbanger tends to be good).

That's about it for now. Let me know what you think of the skirt and this post. I'm gonna try and blog a little more properly but we'll see what happens!