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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Dressmaking adventures!

Oh I've neglected my little blog lately!! School is back in full swing and I haven't got time to eat lunch, let alone blog but I'm determined to try and have a normal life in the evening and at weekends! 

I started sewing again in the last couple of weeks, and am really pleased with my latest creation. The last couple of dresses I made were not great and I'd lost a bit of my dressmaking mojo, but it's back with a vengeance! 

I got a free pattern with 'love sewing' magazine and thought I'd give it a go with a vintage curtain from a car boot which cost me about 50p. 

It's a great pattern with a zip and a circle skirt. 
This was rt way through, the back wasn't finished and it needed hemming. I finally mastered all in one facing, which once I understood it, is so easy to do! Definitely worth watching a video or two on YouTube for this, one I watched really helped me, a definite 'eureka' moment!! 

Here is the finished dress styled: 

I am really really pleased with it!! It fits perfectly and is more flattering than other dresses I've made! Not bad for a 50p curtain hey?! 

I'm using the same pattern again using a vintage Sanderson navy fabric which is gorgeous! 

Here's a sneak preview of my work in progress:

 I'll keep you posted, but it's after 8.30pm so time for bed (ah, the life of a teacher!) 

Love, Sian 💕💕

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

How to.... Upcycle a footstool

Morning all!! On Instagram, lots of people ask me how I upcycle things, what paint I use etc. so here is a little tutorial on my most recent upcycle, a footstool purchased from the car boot for £3.50. 

This is the before pic: 
Not sure how old this is, but there was a layer of disintegrated leather and a cushion which had seen better days underneath! 

STEP ONE: remove the existing covers. For this, you are going to need some tools (my skills in knowing the names and uses of tools has really grown thanks to my hubby!) we used a chisel and side cutters to get out the upholstery pins and remove the covers. You need to strip it right back really, otherwise existing pins and nails will take away from the finished effect. 

STEP TWO: now all of the existing fabric was removed, it was time to paint the frame. I used my favourite brand of chalk finish paints 'rustoleum' (available from b&q) in the shade bramwell. This stool didn't need priming or sanding as it hadn't been painted before. If yours has, you need to lightly sand it or use sugar soap to remove 
any existing grease and residue.

STEP THREE: to make the cushioned top, we used foam which is widely available in diy shops. Measure the size you need, and cut using a hacksaw (or an electric carving knife-but be careful!!!!!) 
As you can see husband took over at this point as my measuring and cutting skills aren't the best!! 

STEP FOUR: once the paint is dry and the foam cut, it's time for the fabric top. This is my favourite part, as the right fabric can really transform a piece. It needs to be good quality cotton to 
withstand wear. My fabric is from the Birmingham rag market,
 alternatively you could use an old cushion cover, curtain etc that isn't used. Measure the fabric and cut, making sure you leave room to pull it round the stool. 
Once the fabric is measured and cut, it's time for the tricky part, stapling on the fabric. It's worth taking your time on this part as it needs to be done properly to have that professional finish. 

STEP FIVE: using a staple gun (w e got a really good heavy duty one from asda for £7) pull the fabric really tight around the foam and the frame and staple. The edges get trimmed at the end, and be careful round the corners as that's the really tricky part!! 

STEP SIX: enjoy your finished upcycled footstool! I already had the paint and fabric, so it still only cost me £3.50!! 

After pic: 
Ta dah!!! I'm really pleased with it, I love the colours together! 
So have a go, a footstool is a great beginners upcycling project, so enjoy! 

Love, Sian 💕💕

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Hello dolly!

Well I have my vintage 1950s larder, and she is home and well (after a very traumatic getting her into the car....but that's another story). 
Her name is dolly and I am in love with her! She's in great condition, so I'm not going to paint her. All I've done so far is put fablon (woo hoo) onto the drop down shelf and am going to make a floral curtain to hang behind the glass.
What I love most about dolly is hearing people's stories about their nan who had one at their house and how many memories it evokes for people. That is why I say no to new and love vintage as it always comes with a tale to tell and revives a memory for someone which might be long lost. 

On a more sour note I went to the car boot this morning and brought...nothing. I am not happy, I've never come away without finding treasures. I'm wondering if my car boot luck has run out.....😳😳😳😳

Here are some pics of dolly:

Have a lovely weekend all, last bank holiday of the year for us Brits! 
Love, Sian 💕💕

Thursday, 14 August 2014

What a larder fun!

Oh I think I'm so clever with my play on words in the title!! 

Anyway, I've been after a 1950s vintage larder cupboard to complete my dining room. After scouring eBay, preloved, gumtree, people's garages etc I eventually found one for not too bad a price on the e of bay. 

I can't wait to collect it (ahem, husband are you busy at the weekend my love?!) and start doing it up (aka paint and fablon, which may well be my favourite word in the whole entire world). 

I've been scouring Pinterest (aka a way to waste an hour or two, or three...) and have found some inspiration so watch this space!! 

And if anyone knows where to get vintage style fablon (woo!!) from let me know!! 

Love, Sian 💕💕

Saturday, 9 August 2014

More crafts!!

I am so enjoying the long summer holiday and spending a lot of time being crafty and making things I don't normally have the time nor energy for.

This week I have made floral pinwheels using some vintage paper I found in the range for £1. They are very easy to make and look really effective displayed individually or as a group (always in an odd number, just a little styling tip I've picked up along the way!) 

You simply mark the middle of the square and cut the four corners up to a third of the way in towards the middle. Then fold over alternate corners and pin. I sewed mine together as I didn't have any push pins and wanted to attach a button to the front. I used a straw for the tube part as they do them in some lovely designs now. 

I'm really pleased with them and think they look very vintage! The possibilities are endless using different patterned paper or fabric, different straws and fixings in the middle, ooh my brain is fizzing!! 

I brought a wicker basket from the car boot for a few pounds a while back, and have been undecided about what to do with. I contemplated painting it, but felt that would ruin the vintage style of it. So I came across a blog showing how to make a liner for a basket with handles (the blog is called 'ruffled sunshine'). It was really easy to follow, so I grabbed some material I had left over from another project and some lovely bias binding I wasn't sure what to do with and: 

I'm really pleased with it and it will hold all my supplies while I teach myself to crochet! I'm going to spend Sunday afternoon watching YouTube vids and reading my 'crochet for dummies' book so watch this space peeps!! 
Happy weekend all,
Love,sian 💕💕

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Crafty august

Well the summer holidays are in full swing and I've been making the most of my time off by being covered in paint splatters and bits of cotton (and my bank balance depletes every day!) 

I've been taking part in 'crafty August' on Instagram, posting a photo around a certain took each day. I've really enjoyed dusting off my creative mojo which gets lost during the working week and taking creative (in my opinion!) photos. 

I've reorganised my craft room and moved my table under the window, hoping the view might inspire me! 

Here are some of the pics I've taken and posted so far: 

I'm enjoying making bags a lot, which is a change for me as I normally make skirts and dresses. They are so easy to make and I love the fabric I brought from dunelm, which is very reasonably priced and great quality. Wheredo you get your fabric from?? 
Happy crafty august,
Love, Sian 💕💕

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The garden makeover continues...

Im thoroughly enjoying decorating my garden and treating it as a room outside. I've been inspired by a fee books, such as selina lakes outdoor living and a book called handmade glamping. 

As well as decorating our summer house and indulging in my love of all plants bright and beautiful, I've been making over things we already have. This is my passion, taking something and reloving it, using items I already have. 

I've painted the side gate this lovely shade of sea blue, it's a cuprinol garden shade called coastal mist. Two coats required, but I love this paint and it goes really far! Add the obligatory hanging heart (although I'm a bit worried it looks like something out of the Blair witch project) and...

I do love this colour! I've also painted an old garden bench with wrought iron sides I rescued from a skip in the same colour, but can't show you that as I have absolutely no idea how to put it back together!!! Have to ask the hubby about that one! 

I also had a love seat which was fine, sturdy and practical but oh so boring. So an afternoon of painting has resulted in this;

This is another cuprinol shade as you can see called willow. I love these paints, they are brilliant and such good value for money! They do need a few coats as because they're weather proof they soak into the wood but I've only used a third of a small tin on this. 

I had a single quilt cover in my fabric stash which cost me a quid from the good old chazza shop, and I've cut it up to make cushion covers, voila...

I don't know why the green looks so awful in the top pic, David Bailey I am not!! Anyway, I already had the foam squares in the garage (don't ask) but you can purchase them fairly cheaply from diy or craft shops, and have fun cutting them to size with an electric carving knife (sounds like the opening scene of casualty...) 

So cut your fabric to size and sew up three edges, leaving he too open. Insert foam, hand sew the open edge (my hand sewing is absolute pants but I figure if I put that bit of the cushion to the back no one will know!) and done. 

I'm pretty chuffed with the garden makeover so far and as a bonus I have a wicked tan!! 

Happy painting all,
Love, Sian 💕💕

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ta dah!!!!!

Well our summer house is finally almost finished, just a bit of turf and paving to go round the edge and voila!!! 
I absolutely love it!! My husband (god love him) has built the step part and the flower bed using old timber that was lying around. I've planted some of my favourite plants in it such as daisies and hydrangea and my two olive trees (named Thelma and louise, it's surely not just me who names their trees, my two bay trees out the front of my house are called terry and June)....

The black and white tiles are self adhesive vinyl tiles from b&q very easy to apply and cut, just get yourself a good Stanley blade. 

I also have a pot of lavender outside because...well just because it's pretty and smells nice! I now would like some shelves putting up inside to put some knick knacks on (hard to believe I have any, I know). 

Considering it looked like this when it was first installed....
...I'm pretty chuffed!! As it's the six weeks holidays, I may spend the afternoon in here tomorrow reading my book!! 
So what do you think?! And what would your dream garden have in it??
Happy Sunday all,
Love, Sian 💕💕

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Waste not want not...

At the moment, I'm on my high horse about people buying everything new and turning their nose up at charity shops and 'old things'. Eventually we will run out of stuff and all those wonderful old things with a story to tell will be in landfill, gone forever.

Anyway, enough with the lecture! If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I can often be found dragging my poor husband around car boots, charity shops and vintage fairs. I've also taken to asking 'do you want that?' When I'm round various relatives houses.....

I love nothing more than finding something with a history, and knowing that someone once loved it. 

Here are some of my favourite charity shop and car boot buys...

Some of these things have had a makeover, and some of them have been left in their glory. The man who sold me the spinning wheel is saving the chair for me!

My latest fave find from the deep dark recesses of oxfam are these 1940's annuals
So have a rummage, don't be afraid to elbow people out of your way and always, always haggle!! 
Happy treasure hunting, 
Sian 💕💕