I’m super excited because I’m having my family over this weekend for a party in the garden and me being me I have all SORTS of fun plans. I want to create a super colourful summer garden party feel, with bright colours, flowers, lanterns and bunting. Then I’m going to make lots of classic british picnic party food, but a bit poshed up.
So, firstly I tidied the garden up a bit, mowed the lawn (badly – I left loads of stripes of long grass!) and added a fun little bit of bamboo mini-fencing and a big yellow spinny flower (yes I know it’s cheesy). I had an idea of making 2 wigwams for my youngest nephew and nieces to play in, so I used the big bamboo pokes I had bought ages ago and put them up. Then I hit up the charity shops to see what I could find!
Fabric was a bit thin on the ground in the charity shops, but in the end I found a few bits that could look cute together. Then I made a template out of card and marked out triangles on the reverse of the fabric.
Then I cut them out and sewed them together, 2 pieces back to back.
So then I had a lovely little pile of inside-out sewn triangles in different fabrics. I also had some old pages of a book (also from the charity shop) that I cut out too, cos I thought they looked fun.
Then I took some wide ribbon and folded it in half, tucking the tops of the triangles into the fold and pinned them down. Then I sewed along the ribbon to seal the whole thing.
And here’s the end result…
Lastly, I found a couple of other lovely things in the charity shop – a great wooden salad bowl with mini bowls and servers, and a carved flower bowl from the 60s. Lovely stuff!
Yes ladies and gents, I can now show you the secret felt brooch commission that I was working on before Christmas, which was for my lovely friend Rachel Spivey and commissioned by her husband, Craig. Rachel has a rather beautiful tattoo of a pinup with camera, surrounded by lovely yellow roses, and Craig’s idea was to make a brooch for Rachel of the roses from her tattoo!
I started out by sketching out the rose onto yellow felt, with a fine tip drawing pen. It’s worth remembering that this will be the reverse of the brooch, so if you’re doing a design that has to be a certain way round, you’ll have to draw it mirrored!
Next up, I started embroidering the design using a chain stitch, which I’d never done before, but it turned out to be pretty straight forward.
I did all the outline in black, to give it that heavy, inked look of a tattoo.
The rest was easy – I added a little highlighting here and there with white stitching, cut the rose out and made a second one. Once I had both, I placed them together and blanket stitched around the whole thing. I added a couple of leaves, stitched on the brooch clip and bob’s your uncle and fanny’s your aunt! A tattoo style rose felt brooch
Handmade Felt Stag Head
I’m pretty proud of this one I love the new trend for stag heads and antlers and that sort of old fashioned hunting lodge feel, so I had a bash at creating my own stag head out of felt!
The antlers were really delicate, so I “mounted” the whole thing onto a piece of dark brown backing felt, to give it some stiffness and strength and I did a bit of free hand stitching to create some shading. I’m super pleased with the result What do you think?
Vintage SLR Camera felt brooch
I’ve been meaning to do something like this one for ages, and finally got round to it! It’s an old fashioned SLR camera. It’s a lovely one to try, as the shapes are quite simple, but you can add lots of detail to it if you want to.
I’m delighted to say that this particular one was snapped up by my very talented friend, Rachel Spivey, who happens to be an amazing photographer, so it suits her perfectly!
Vintage Pocket Watch felt brooch
Hello everyone! So I made this rather lovely vintage style pocket watch felt brooch the other day. You can buy it on etsy if you like! Just click here
It features roman numerals in silver thread Pretty neat huh?
(Or…how to make a cute penguin brooch out of felt)
Back in the summer, I had a commission from a friend to create a penguin brooch for his wife’s birthday. Up until this point, I had been making quite basic things, but when I was asked to make the penguin, I wanted it to be really special. I knew she loved baby Empire penguins, so I started out by looking at lots of photos on the internet and getting an idea of what they looked like and what sort of markings they had, then I did myself some sketches. When I was happy with the sketch, I picked out the colours of felt that I thought would work, and drew out the shapes from my sketch, onto the felt, starting with a large piece in the “base” colour, which in this case was a light grey.
The small pieces for the face, beak and feet were tricky, and you have to be really delicate with the scissors, especially as felt can sometimes just fall apart on you! Once all the pieces were cut out, I layered them up and stitched them all onto the main base piece. This looked cute, but to really give it a special feel, I started to use dark and light stitching to add highlights and shadow, and I used a running stitch to add detail like the flippers. I then took a second “base” piece that I had cut out at the same time as the first one, stitched a brooch back onto it, and then attached it to the back of the penguin, using a blanket stitch all round the outside. This also covers up any dodgy stitching you may have done on the front piece, which is a bonus. I popped a bit of wadding in the pocket that was formed, to make the penguin a little bit chubby, and thus even cuter!
I was so pleased with the end result, and the recipient was too. Apparently, she gets loads of comments when she wears it out!
Bet you’re all super excited to hear what happened next, right? RIGHT!?
Ok, so my love of felt was sparked with those first Christmas decorations, and was spurred on by all the amazing people who were already making lovely felt things all over the ‘net. Seriously, you can’t help but stumble across inspiration if you just google “felt craft” or similar.
The next step for me was to start making brooches. They seemed like a really fun medium, and really simple to make. I started out using safety pins as the attachments (as I had some hanging around), then eventually bought myself some proper brooch backs from ebay.
Here are some early examples of the brooches I made in the early days!
Felt teacup brooch
Cherries Felt Brooch
Tattoo heart felt brooch
I first started playing around with felt a couple of years ago, after seeing some rather delightful Christmas decorations online that someone had handmade. Having seen them, I hopped onto ebay and bought myself a stack of felt and some rudimentary sewing equipment and had a go, copying a design I had seen on the internet. What I ended up with was this:
My first handmade felt goodies
I was amazed at how easy felt was to work with and how quickly I could make something fun. There also seemed to be no limit to what I could create with felt, and it was exciting to think of all the things I could do with it.
It started out as a therapeutic pastime (and I also didn’t have a TV back then), and has continued to be a really enjoyable thing to do, and because there’s no limit to what you can create, it never gets boring.
Felt reignited my love for craft in general, and since then, I’ve been feeling the need to try more and more crafts and skills. Most of us are limited by space, cost, time and by things making mess, but there’s always a new thing to try that isn’t expensive, won’t take you too long and won’t take over the house!
A good place to start is getting yourself some storage boxes that are dedicated to your crafting kit. That way, you can chuck it all in when you need to tidy away, and have it all ready to go again when you have a bit of time. I have a nice old sewing box that I got for free from freecycle, and it’s wooden, with legs. Perfect for throwing all my sewing bits into when I need to!
So, what’s stopping you?