7

DIY Thread Holder

I’ve been doing  a lot of sewing recently, and as a result I’ve collected a lot of thread! I could no longer close the lid on my sewing box so I knew I needed a better storage solution. This yellow thread holder stores a lot (181 spools to be exact) and it’s beautifully colourful 🙂 Now I just need to fill up all that empty space! I decided to use nails as bobbin holders on the bottom half only because I usually have much more thread than bobbins. And here’s how I did it…

You will need: A large rectangular piece of MDF (mine’s 1220 by 606mm and it’s 6mm thick) 10 metres of 6mm dowel sticks, a drill and a 6mm drill bit, a saw, a pack of thin nails, wood glue, 2 picture mounts and screws, 2 picture hooks and some paint (I used spray paint, but in retrospect regular paint would have been better.)

To begin with, saw your piece of MDF exactly in half. / Decide where you want your spools to go. I drew lines 2.5 inches apart both horizontally and vertically along one half of the MDF. / Drill holes through the MDF at each point where the lines you drew intersect. If you haven’t used a drill before, get someone to help you! / Saw your pieces of dowel into 5.5cm long strips.

Squeeze a little wood glue onto the end of each strip of dowel and insert them firmly into the holes you drilled. / Once the glue is dry, cover the back of the MDF with wood glue and adhere this to your second piece of MDF (not pictured.) Whilst drying, I placed jam jars over the strips of dowel and balanced heavy books on top of the jam jars. That way, the MDF will be sandwiched firmly together when dry and you won’t snap any of the dowel strips! Once this is dry, paint the entire thing. / When the paint is dry, hammer nails in between the dowel strips. These will hold bobbins! I only hammered nails onto the bottom half, since I usually have more spools of thread than bobbins. / Screw picture mounts onto both top back corners.

Hammer your picture hooks into the wall and hang up your thread holder!

This project ended up taking me a long time because the wood needed so many layers of spray paint. Note to self, use paint brush paint in future! I feel like I’ve done a lot of DIY posts featuring this corner of my room lately, so hopefully that means it’s nearly finished. I’ll hopefully move into my flat in Edinburgh next month, and I’ve been doing  lot of furniture browsing and decorating planning. I’m so excited!

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11

An Announcement!

You guys, I have some exciting news! I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, and in mid May I plan to open an Etsy shop! I have been collecting second-hand and vintage fabric and sewing it up into these cute little elasticated waist skirts. I’ll be selling mini, midi and maxi varieties! The skirt above was the first one I made, and I just love the sixties fabric. It’s been so much fun having a big project like this to work on, and although I don’t expect to be making a living wage from selling on Etsy, it feels so good to be taking my employment into my own hands to some extent.

My yellow sewing machine makes sewing a lot more fun!

My fabric stash is getting a little out of control…

Just some of the beautiful fabrics that I’ve picked up this month

I have to say, it’s handy having an excuse to browse car boot sales and charity shops weekly, and I’m definitely getting to know my sewing machine a lot better (and it’s limitations – I wish it let me adjust the width of my stitches.) I’ll keep you updated with my progress, and when I expect to open. Wish me luck!

10

How to Make A Lacy Bra

How To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsHow To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsHow To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsLately I’ve been drawn to triangle bras on pinterest, like this one. I don’t actually wear bras day-to-day, but they’re fun to have for special occasions! Underwear is so expensive, especially for the small amount of fabric that you buy, so I decided to DIY my own triangle bra. Joe took these photos for me when I was in Southampton last week, and we had so much fun!

You will need: 1/4 metre of cotton fabric, 1 metre of wide lace, 1 metre of thin elastic, greaseproof paper, measuring tape, pen, scissors, needle and thread, sewing machine.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / Jessthetics

First, you need to get your measurements. I don’t have any expertise in pattern cutting, so there’s probably a different way of doing this, but this is what worked for me! For the width of each cup, measure the distance under your bust where the bottom of a bra sits, and add an inch (let’s call this length 1.) For the height of each cup, measure the distance between the bottom of your bust and just above your armpit and add an inch (let’s call this length 2.)

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For your pattern piece, draw length 2 on your greaseproof paper, then draw length 1 two inches from the bottom. The rest is just a matter of joining up the lines as above, making sure all three are curved! Cut out your pattern piece and use it to cut two bra cups from the cotton fabric.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsInsert a dart which runs from the middle of the bottom of each cup to the middle of each cup. To get the dart right, I tried on the fabric piece and adjusted it until it curved in the right way / Hem the edges by 1/2 an inch, with a zig zag stitch / Cut a strip of elastic to go around your torso, and sew the ends firmly together / Sew the cups onto the elastic so that the elastic is on the right side of the bra. Cut two strips of elastic for the straps, and sew these onto the cups and the back of the bra. To get the right positioning, keep trying things on as you go! Remember that the cups should be far enough apart that you can add lace to the inside of each.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / Jessthetics

Finally, sew on your lace! I stitched the lace where it met the elastic at the top and bottom of each cup, as well as along the inner edge of the cup. And you’re finished! I later decided to add an extra dart to the side of each cup to give it more of a curve.

How To Make A Lacy Bra / JesstheticsThis isn’t really a practical bra, but it is pretty. Would you ever attemp to make your own undies?

7

How To Make A Maxi Skirt

Jessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtJessthetics / How To Make A Maxi Skirt

A week ago I showed you guys how to make this red skirt. This week I used the tutorial to make myself a maxi skirt! I’ve simplified the process slightly, so I thought I’d share a new updated tutorial. This took me two hours to sew from scratch – two hours! I dare you to find a quicker method. The high, elasticated waist is something that really suits my style, and I love the 70s pattern I chose even if I do say so myself! I can’t wait to wear this constantly this spring.

You will need: 1 meter of fabric, 1 meter of wide elastic, a needle, thread, scissors, pencil, measuring tape and a sewing machine.

Jessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtThis skirt will consist of two identical rectangular panels. For the length of each short side: measure the widest part of your hips, halve this and add two inches. For the length of each long side: measure the distance between your waist and the part where you want the skirt to end and add four inches. Cut out your two panels!

Jessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtSew the long sides of your panels together, right sides facing, making sure the pattern lines up at the sides / Hem the skirt by folding the fabric over by an inch and sewing in place / At the other end, turn the fabric over by half an inch and iron down / Sew this in place

Jessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtAt the same end that you did the ironing, fold the fabric over again, leaving enough room to thread your elastic. Sew in place, leaving a gap to pass your elastic through / Pass the elastic through the gap and sew the ends of your elastic together

Jessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtSew up the gap, and you have a finished skirt!

Jessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtJessthetics / How To Make A Maxi SkirtIf you use one of my tutorials I’d love to see 🙂 Have you been doing any sewing projects recently? I’m on a bit of a sewing kick!

8

How To Make An Elasticated-Waist Skirt

Jessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtJessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtI spotted this red pu leather fabric in a shop in York and I knew that I had to make it into something! I decided that it would make a really cute high-waisted skirt and I spent the morning sewing one, and that afternoon wearing it! This is a really easy and worthwhile project – skirts like this are such a wardrobe basic! If you’ve never made your own clothes before, this would be a great place to start. You don’t even need a pattern!

You will need: One meter of your chosen fabric, a needle, thread, scissors, sewing machine, measuring tape, pencil and elastic two inches longer than the length of your waist.

Jessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtFirst you need to draw your pattern piece. The skirt will be made up of two panels – one for the front and one for the back. Begin by drawing one half of one panel (as above.) To work out the length of side 1, measure the widest part of your hips, divide this by four and add 1 and 1/2 inches. To work out the length of side 2, measure the widest part of your hips, divide this by four and add 1/2 an inch. To work out the length of side 3, measure the distance between your waist and the part of your legs where you want the skirt to end and add 3 1/2 inches. Lastly, join up side 1 and side 2 by hand, including the small curve at the top.

Cut out all sides apart from side 3. Fold the fabric over along side 3 and draw around the other three edges to form a whole panel. Cut this panel out and trace around it to get your second panel.

Jessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtPlace your two panels right sides together and sew along the right and left edges 1/2 an inch from the edge / Turn the fabric at the top edge over by 1/2 inch and sew down / Fold the fabric at the top edge over again, making sure to leave enough room for your elastic to pass through the waistband. Sew almost the whole way around, leaving some room to thread your elastic through / Thread your elastic through the waistband and sew the edges of the elastic firmly together!

Jessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtSew up the gap that you used to pass the waistband through / Fold the fabric at the bottom edge over by 1 inch and sew to create the hem.

And you’re finished! I found sewing with this fabric really hard at first, but if you put a sheet of tissue paper over the fabric as you’re sewing, it won’t get caught under your machine foot and you can tear it off straight after!

Jessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtJessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist SkirtJessthetics / How To Make An Elasticated Waist Skirt

What do you think? If you make something like this I would LOVE to see it!

9

Autumn Stitching Club, The Finale!

Autumn Stitching Club / JesstheticsAutumn Stitching Club / JesstheticsAutumn Stitching Club / JesstheticsAutumn Stitching Club / Jessthetics

Do you remember I started Wild Olive’s Autumn Stitching Club back in September? Well I’ve finished! After stitching (and blogging about) thirteen autumn-themed patterns, I turned them into hexagons, made sixteen little hexagons from patterned fabric and sewed myself a cushion cover. A lot of work has gone into this little cushion, and I’m so pleased with it. It’s not exactly autumn right now, but I’m going to display it proudly on my armchair anyway. This was a really fun way to learn to embroider, and I’m so glad I took part. It always feel good to learn a new skill and have something to show for it.

Happy Monday! Don’t forget that you have until the end of the month to enter my giveaway 🙂

10

Lavender Bunnies

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Last Christmas (all the way back in 2012!) James bought me this book on vintage inspired handmade gifts. It’s so beautiful, it sits on my windowsill next to my Rookie yearbook, and my Tea Party book. Books with big pictures are my favourite. Anyway, I spent last christmas writing essays and I promised my mum that when I graduated we would make the lavender bunnies in my book as gifts. And we did! I know some of my friends and family read my blog, so I didn’t want to write about these before Christmas – I wanted the bunnies to be a surprise. I’m so pleased with how they turned out. They’re not symmetrical but I think they’re cute. The fabric I chose frayed like crazy but once we figured out how to work with it they were super fun to make 🙂

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You will need: Fabric (I used 3/4s of a meter of vintage plaid fabric from ebay), greaseproof paper, pencil, fabric scissors, lavender (you can buy dried lavender online), polyester stuffing, needle and thread, embroidery floss, embroidery needle, ribbon, small pom poms, sewing machine (optional)

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We traced the bunny shape onto greaseproof paper (remembering to leave an inch for the seam) cut it out, pinned it onto the fabric, and cut out 24 bunny shapes I pinned two sides of the bunny together and sewed around the edges, leaving one side of the head unstitched We snipped into the corners of the bunny and pushed the fabric through the hole so that the bunny was the right way around I stuffed the bunnies, alternating between polyester stuffing and lavender

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I hand sewed the stuffing hole closed We hand sewed on the pom poms as tails, tied the ribbon around their necks and embroidered eyes noses and mouths using the embroidery floss.

I rarely craft with others, so it was really fun to make bunnies with my mum – especially since they were completed twice as fast! They’re one of my favourite things I’ve ever made, I hope they enjoy their new homes.

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10

Autumn Stitching Club #11

Pattern eleven of Wild Olive‘s Autumn Stitching Club is this cute smiley leaf! Colourful leaves are probably one of my favourite things about autumn, although they are looking a little more soggy and a little less crisp at the moment. I don’t think it’s autumn anymore!

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I only have two more of these patterns to stitch until they become a cushion cover. At the moment, I stitch these in front of Homeland on a Sunday night. I’ll have to find something else to occupy me when both of those things are finished! I hope your week is off to an excellent start 🙂

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Autumn Stitching Club #10

My latest embroidered pattern for the autumn stitching club is this gourd! I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know what a gourd is. Is it like a funny shaped courgette? Me and James once bought a bitter gourd from the exotic vegetable section in Morrisons and used it in a curry – it was pretty gross but we could have been cooking it wrong!

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I can’t believe I only have two more patterns to go until I can sew all these smiley autumn objects into a cushion. I’m psyched to have the finished project on my sofa!

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Autumn Stitching Club #9

The first time I ever tried a piece of pumpkin pie was this autumn! You can’t be a real blogger unless you love pumpkin, right? I made a couple of pumpkin pies, and although I haven’t got the recipe right yet, they were pretty tasty 🙂 I just wish shops sold pumpkins in the UK for longer than two weeks in October. Anyway, here is my third pumpkin pie of the season, but this time it’s embroidered. This pattern is for the autumn stitching club, of which you can see more here.

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At least the garden is overflowing with apples from our trees, so I could always make apple pie! I’m excited to finish all my autumn embroidery patterns so that I can turn them into a cushion 🙂 Have a great day!