Thursday, 26 April 2012

Crochet Cushion Covers

Another little project I finished on Saturday. I started about two weeks ago after deliberating on whether to buy new cushions for the couch as the two black ones we bought 5 years ago were looking somewhat sorry and flat. I was also looking for another crochet project to potter with as well. While daydreaming and staring at the couch I looked at my little Ikea coloured patterned cushion and then something when 'ting' in my brain... why don't I crochet some and utilise the existing black covers! This way I didn't need buy more fabric to sew up new covers for the crochet to be stitched to, therefore no wastage! All I needed to buy then was the new cushion inserts.

For the first cushion I crocheted many many little coloured circles and then spent time arranging them into a patterns I liked - which in the end I couldn't decide and asked James to choose one. Turned out to be a good choice as it was one of the ones I had short listed in my mind. Then I proceeded to stitch all the little circles together and, using black wool, crochet a thick border around it to frame. Finally hand stitched the crocheted piece to the cover and put the cushion insert in and ta da! Pretty cushion!

I decided for the second one I'd try a different pattern using the same colours I used in the first and now I have two lovelies sitting on the couch brightening the room up! Every time I look at the couch now it makes me smile! I love bright colours and different patterns and these cushions are unique as they were made by me! So satisfying!

I'm on a crocheting roll, I have started crocheting wrist warmers so once they're complete I will put a post up of those too. Stay tuned.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Fabric Slip Book Cover DIY

Materials and Tools:
- Selected book to be covered
- Base fabric for cover, cut enough to cover the book plus extra for around the edges. (I used calico)
- Feature fabric - could be scrap or offcuts
- Large brown paper bag or card
- Fabric glue
- Wool/thread
- Cotton

- Fabric pen/marker or pencil
- Scissors; fabric, pinking shears and paper/stationary 

- Needles; sewing and wool/embroidery 
- Ruler
- Iron
- Pegs, peg clamps or bulldog clips

This is the book that I'm making the slip cover for. It is one of my cooking bibles I constantly refer to for any basic recipe. 
*I bought this book during my home economics class in grade 8 (15 odd years ago, eek!) for a dollar and it's the best dollar I've spent, I use it that much. The school apparently stopped using them years before I arrived and had them in storage a very long time so they decided to get rid of them. As you can see they obviously hired them out to students and inside was a list where people wrote their name when it was taken out and the last student to hire this particular one was in 1981 - nearly 2 years before I was born!

Lay the paper bag or card out (I used a paper bag) and hold the book on its spine and let the front and back cover lie flat on top. With a pencil trace around the book, mark where the spine is and you should be left with a large rectangle. Using a ruler add about 40-50mm around the rectangle and then draw where the corners are going to be cut and the location of where the spine is and proceed to cut out until you have something similar to what is pictured above. Lay that over the cover fabric and trace around using a fabric pen or marker.

I apologise for the poor photo but you can make out the lines I traced around the template and I added a further 15-20mm around that again, you'll see why in a moment.

As pictured above cut around the outer lines and cut 45 degree angles across the corners as it will make for neat and easy folds when it comes time to iron and glue down.

Using the iron, press and fold over the flaps and then apply some fabric glue and press and hold until it adheres. Leave the fabric to dry thoroughly before moving onto the next step. This will give you a neat edge and will stop the fabric from fraying. However instead of gluing, you could also stitch it up on a sewing machine.

Once dry fold over the larger flaps and using peg clamps, clamp over the corners holding the flaps together as shown. 

While clamped, stitch the corners together. I used a straight stitch and continued all the way along for a decorative look.

Using pinking shears, trim the edges of the feature fabric you want to use. For mine I chose Thea and Sami's Spoon & Whisk - fitting for a cookbook - which I picked up at the Bowerbird Bazaar a few months ago.

Using wool (either matching or in contrast colour), stitch around the edge, I used the blanket stitch to give it a pretty border.

Lay the cover out flat and then position the feature fabric piece where you want and then fold the ends over and stitch or glue to the inside of the cover flap.

Now slip the cover over the front and back covers of the book and viola! The book has a new lease on life!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Just a quick post to say Happy Easter to everyone! Hope you have a safe and happy one sharing it with friends and family. I just wanted to share my first ever attempt at baking hot cross buns. Although I've baked a lot of things over the years, baking bread of any sort hasn't really been my forte. I went a little overboard with the piping but was in a creative mood and thought I'd add a twist to mine. Also pictured is my Custard Shortbread biscuits I baked last night after seeing the recipe on A Spoonful of Sugar and I must say they melt in your mouth!