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Archive | April, 2016

Life is beautiful - enjoy the ride! Bicycle inspired crafts......

TourdeYorkshireTop10CraftIdeasPicture credits / links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

This week at Poppies & Polka Dots we've been getting excited about the Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place from the 29th April - 1st May 16. Fingers crossed the recent promising weather continues for the weekend, making it a great event for all those cyclists and spectators involved!

It's got us thinking about some of the fun bike themed makes out there; from bicycle basket crochet through to bicycle bell covers! Above is our 'Top 10 Bicycle themed craft picks', but for more details and fun inspiration, check out our Tour de Yorkshire Pinterest board.

In the meantime, as we can't get enough of bicycles and the sense of freedom first felt when our stabilisers came off (!) we've pulled together some of our bicycle themed fabrics for your enjoyment. Cast your eye over these adorable prints and I'm sure you'll agree they do justice to that which is the universal symbol of summer fun!

PoppiesandPolkaDotsBikes

1. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Aqua - more info

2. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Bicycle White - more info

3. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Red - more info

4. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Main White - more info

5. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Blue - more info

6. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Main Mint - more info

7. The British are Coming - more info

Tell us about your bicycle memories or any bicycle themed craft projects you've been working on : hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk or share on our Facebook

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Gilliangladrag - Felt Selfie Kit - Here's what we thought & our top tips!

During the recent Easter school holidays, we had plenty of time to get my children to 'test drive' some of the new products that have arrived at P&PD HQ which are suitable for younger crafters.Felt Selfie Wet Felting KitFrom the moment I placed the order for this Gilliangladrag Felt Selfie kit, I couldn't wait to test it out. I'll be honest, I am no felting expert, in fact, I've only given it a go once before, so I was as keen as my son to give this a try!

Felt Selfie - PackagingAnyway, we had a morning where is was just the two of us (which never happens) so my 6yr old and I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to give this kit a go.

I thought it best that we watch the 'wet felting guide' video that Gillan from Gillangladrag has on youtube. This gave us a really clear understanding of what we needed to do and so we cleared a space at the kitchen table and this is how we got on!

 

My son is really into making things, mainly lego and anything out of a cardboard box (which is great, as I've got a regular supply of large cardboard boxes arriving thanks to P&PD). Like lots of little boys and girls, I guess, he doesn't have a particularly light / deft touch, but he does make up for that with lots of enthusiasm.

So he began by placing a white wool background down and then choosing the background colours that would feature on the self portrait.

Felt_Selfie_WoolSammy's absolute favourite colour is green, however the instructions in the pack recommend using more that one colour to give it a little more depth / interest to the background. So he opted for green and blue.

Sammy was able to follow the instructions for laying out the background wool and enjoyed the pulling apart of the yarn tops as per the guidance provided in the youtube video.

 

When it came to actually 'painting his portrait' with the yarn, I'd say for a 6yr old, adult assistance was definitely required! Very small amounts of the yarn is needed to add the features and going back to his slightly 'heavy handed approach!', it can be very easy to move bits of the yarn on the picture that you weren't meaning to, so it can get a little fiddly!Felt Selfie - Adding the portrait design

Nevertheless, we worked together, with Sammy choosing the colours, I'd manipulate the yarn into the trickier shapes and Sammy would pop it onto the picture. For details like the glasses, I definitely had to help to get the wool placed correctly on the picture, however I'm sure for older children this wouldn't be an issue.

When Sammy was happy with the arrangement of yarn for the portrait, we then covered the picture with the netting provided in the kit and began the process of turning it into felt!Felt Selfie - Netting

First we added soapy water (washing up liquid and luke-warm water) to the netting and then pressed out all of the air. Sammy was able to assist at this stage and then once this was complete, he liked the idea that he could write his name with his finger in the soapy sheen on the top of the netting. That way we knew it was ready for the next step!

Then came the rubbing stage, this can take quite a while (between 20 and 30 minutes), so after the first few minutes, it was left to me to complete this step, I actually found it quite therapeutic - so not a problem at all.

Once this was complete (and the instructions / video, explain exactly how you'll know), we had to take the felt to the sink and rinse it in luke warm water, to remove as much of the soap as possible.Felt_Selfie_Rolling

Next came the 'rolling stage'. For whatever reason, Sammy loved this part of the process and really got into the fact that we had to roll 20 times for every side of the picture and then another 20 times per side on the reverse. This was definitely a highlight - funny isn't what kids enjoy!

After that was complete, I then had to rinse the felt under very hot water and then really cold water, to completely remove the soap and then squeeze out as much of the water as possible. I took charge of this part for safety reasons.

And that was it! We just had to leave the picture to dry overnight and hey presto a fab and beautifully unique self portrait!

Things that I've learnt from this which might be useful to know:

1 - 6yrs + is definitely okay, however Sammy did need adult supervision and assistance to complete the kit.

2 - Wet Felting and this kit - is perfect for children and adults - it's really good fun and I loved the process of turning the fluffy wool into a fabric.

3 - The whole process took us approximately 2 hours.

4 - There is enough merino wool provided in this kit, for two portraits (so I'm looking forward to one of my daughters also trying this out).

I haven't done it yet, but can't wait to frame one of these of each of my children and put them up on the wall - what a unique and very special piece of art!

Felt Selfie - The end result

Hope you found this useful, but if you have any questions, just let me know, thanks, Katrina x

 

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Zipper Purse - Easy Step-by-Step Guide to making your own!

Zipper Purse - FinalPersonally, I think you can never have enough little zipper purses....there's always something you can keep in them and they look so pretty!

Zipper_Purse_Cotton_SteelThis is a perfect beginners sewing project. It doesn't take long to master, doesn't use up much fabric, so if you make any catastrophic mistakes, it won't cost the earth to start again. Plus it shows you how to insert a zip. Something which lots of people try to shy away from, but honestly it isn't that hard at all!

Zipper_Purse_Cotton_Steel_OpeningAnyway, here I've tried to provide all of the instructions that you'll need and include various pictures to help you along the way (sorry, I've tended to jump around with the images that I took, as I was making all three designs at the same time).

I have been itching to use these Cotton + Steel fabrics for months and the Dashwood Twist range works perfectly as a contrasting lining, Hope you like this and find it useful.Zipper_Purse_Cotton_Steel_zipper_tabs

Materials for one:

1 Fat Quarter fabric from Cotton + Steel's Melody Miller fabrics - outer fabric.

1 Fat Quarter fabric from Dashwood Studio Twist collection from Nature Trail by Dashwood Studios - lining fabric.

1/2 m Heavy Fusible Woven Interfacing

1 x 23cm (9in) standard zip in contrasting or matching colour

Basic sewing supplies

Cutting Instructions:

Cut the following pieces from the outer fabric:

2 x pieces (front & back), 27cm x 13cm (10.5in x 5in)

Cut the following pieces from the lining fabric:

2 x pieces (front & back), 27cm x 13cm (10.5in x 5in)

2 x pieces 5cm square (2in square).

Cut the following from the heavy fusible woven interfacing:

2 x pieces (front & back), 27cm x 13cm (10.5in x 5in)

How To Make The Zipper Purse:

1. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the back of the 2 outer fabric pieces.

2. Trim each end of your zip, taking a small amount off each end - no more than 1/2cm (1/5in).

3. Take the zip to the machine and roughly sew together the ends of the open side of the zip (it doesn't matter which colour of thread you use as this will not be seen on the finished article. This process will help you later on when sewing the zip onto the fabric.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 54. Take both of the 5cm square (2in sq) pieces of lining fabric to your ironing board and iron in half, then open up and iron each side in approximately 1/2cm (1/5in) - see image below.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 45. Take the first of the two pieces of lining fabric that you have just ironed place one end of the zip into the middle folded material. Line up the folded edges of the fabric with the end of the zipper teeth. Pin in place as per the below picture. Repeat with the second folded lining piece - pinning it to the opposite end of the zip.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 5

6. Take the zip to your sewing machine and using a zipper foot stitch the lining fabric to the zip at both ends - try to sew as close to the edge of the fabric ensuring you sewing both top and bottom fabric edges to the zip - see the image below.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 67. Trim off the excess lining fabric in-line with the edge of the zip. Now your zip is ready to be attached to the fabrics.Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 78. This is when things become a lot more fun...... take one of the outer fabric pieces and lay it face side up on your work surface. Then take your zip that you've just been working on and place wrong side up (teeth down) onto the face fabric. Then finally you need to place one of the lining pieces that you cut out on top - wrong side up.

The picture below shows the order of fabrics and the way they should face, but you need to get each of the items lining up along the top edge, so they can all be sewn together.Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 8

9. Pin or clip (I like to use clips at this stage as it is easier to keep the fabrics together and remove the clips as you sew), then take all 3 items to your machine. Don't worry if your zip is slightly shorter in width compared to the lining and outer fabrics - this is what you're aiming for at this stage.

10. Again, using your zipper foot, sew along the top edge of the three layers approximately 1/2cm (1/4in) from the edge attaching all 3 pieces together. When you get towards the end where your zipper pull is, stop sewing, reverse stitch and finish off. Remove the fabric from the machine and then move the zipper pull further up past the part that you've already sewn. Then place your fabric back down at the machine and continue sewing where you left off to the end of the fabric.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 9

11. You've now attached one side of the purse to your zip, you need to attach the second side. Take your 2nd piece of outer fabric and as with step 8, place this fabric right side up. Then take your zip (which now has one side attached - try to ignore that!) and place the zip wrong side up (teeth down), then place the remaining lining piece wrong side up. Line the top edges together and pin or clip in place.Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 1012. As before, sew all 3 layers together approximately 1/2cm (1/4in) from the edge. When you get to the place where your zipper pull is, reverse and finish then remove the fabrics from your machine. Move the zipper up and out of your way. Then replace the fabrics back down at the machine and continue sewing where your left off. Continue sewing the whole way down the top edge of the fabrics. Exactly as you did with the first side.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 12

13. You've now attached both sides of the case to your zip and can take it to the iron to press it open.Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 1314. Once you've pressed the pieces open, you now need to take them back to the sewing machine and with your regular foot, top stitch along the length of the zip on both sides approximately 2mm from the edge of the fabric (1/16 or 1/8in).Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 14Here's a couple of examples of the finished pieces with the top stitch complete.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 14Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 1515. Now everything is ready to sew together the purse! ***It's really important at this stage, to open your zip half way***.

Then take the bottom edges of the 2 outer fabrics and line the 2 pieces together, Then do the same with the lining pieces.

Next line up the edges of the fabrics at the zip. It is important to fold the zipper fabric that you attached earlier in the process in the direction of the lining fabric. See the picture below which illustrates this, as it's tricky to explain exactly what I mean!

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 16Once you have lined up all of the fabrics, pin the fabrics securely at the zipper section and then pin or clip all the way around the item. See image below:

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 1716. Now take the purse back to your sewing machine and starting approximately 2/3 of the way along the bottom edge of the lining fabrics, start sewing the 2 fabrics together. Use a 1cm (approx 1/2in)  seam allowance along the bottom edges and 0.5cm (1/4in) allowance along the sides (to minimise the amount of bulk at the zip sections).

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 17

17. Each time you reach a corner remember to keep the needle in the fabric, lift your footer to turn the fabric around 90 degrees before placing the footer down again and continuing sewing along the edge. Remember to be very careful when sewing over the zipped sections as you will be going through quite a few layers of fabric at this point. Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 1818. Once you arrive back on the original long edge of the lining fabric, sew long until you are about 1/3 of the way along that length and finish off. You should now have sewn all the way around the purse, leaving an approximately 6-8cm (2.5in) opening.

19. Remove the purse from the sewing machine and now start to turn the piece right side out through the opening that you left in the lining.

20. Hurrah - you should now have a lined and zipped purse! At this stage you can use something pointy (I used a knitting needle to help), to push out all of the corners including each end of the zips. Once you've done that, you now have to take the purse back to the sewing machine and sew together the gap in the lining.

Cotton + Steel Pencil Case / Make Up case - 19

21. Now all that remains is to push the lining back into the purse and take it back to the iron to give it a final press.

22. Now sit back and admire your work - a beautifully lined purse with zipper tabs in a contrasting fabric. This can be used as a pencil case, or to keep make-up brushes or make-up for how about a purse for your crochet hooks?

Enjoy!

Zipper_Purse_Cotton_Steel_Opening Zipper_Purse_Cotton_Steel

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