Thursday, 28 February 2013

Demo 3 - A Frilly Pinny

This demo is to show you how to make this lovely pinny with a Lavinia Stamps digital image on the pocket. Demo 1 and Demo 2 will have shown you how to transfer the image onto fabric and to attach it to your project, this is the sewing side!

You will need -

  • A piece of cotton or poly cotton 41cm L by 46cm W for the main part (excluding selvages)
  • A contrast piece of cotton or poly cotton 40cm L by the whole width of the fabric ie usually 112cm
  • Corresponding coloured threads
  • Your digital image on the pocket piece of fabric from demo 1 and 2 edged with your contrast fabric or bias binding
  • Approx 1.5 metres of 25mm bias binding (iron this in half length ways before you start, makes it easier to attach)

Main Piece

I made a quick paper pattern using brown parcel paper which measured  41cm long by 23cm wide, down one side I measured 31cm and then drew a curved line to join to the other side and so form the bottom curve.

Fold your main fabric piece in half,  lay your pattern on top with the longest edge against your fold, pin and cut the other 3 sides. You will now have a shaped piece of fabric measuring 46cm across the top. Find the centre of the top and measure and mark 8cm on either side of your centre mark then fold in 2.5cm from these outer marks to create 2 pleats. Sew across to fix ........see picture below.
Sorry if this sounds gobbledygook! Basically you are simply creating 2 evenly distributed pleats on the waist of the apron .....

Then sew your pocket onto the main piece by using a top stitch  - approx 12 cms down from the waist band and 5 cms in from the side.

That's your main piece done for now.


Now you need to take your contrast fabric (don't forget to cut off the edge selvages)  and cut 4 x 10 cms strips right across the full width of the fabric so if you have used 112 cm wide fabric you will have 4 pieces measuring 10cms by 112cms. Join 2 of your 10cms x 112cms pieces together down 1 short side so you get a long strip 10cms x 224 cms and put the other 2 pieces to one side. Top stitch your folded bias binding along one long length of this piece and then gather the other long side to create a frill.
Pin your frill to the whole curved edge of your main piece, when you're happy with the distribution of gathers machine it in place. Then to make sure your frill doesn't flop you should top stitch all the way around  about 5mm in from the seam of the frill and main piece to hold it in place.

Trust me we are nearly there! We are now going to attach the waistband ........


Take the remaining 2 pieces of contrast fabric which you cut earlier and which measure 10cms x 112cms and cut ONE of those pieces in half so you now have 3 pieces of fabric - 2 pieces measuring 10cms by 56cms and 1 original piece 10cms by 112cms. Attach the 2 shorter pieces by the short edges, one to either end of the original long piece. You now have 1 really long piece which measures 10cms by 224cms with 2 seams evenly distributed along the length - thus avoiding a seam line in the middle of your waistband. Now a girl's best friend here is their iron! First of all iron this piece in half length ways and then iron in approx 5mms all the way around .......

This makes it so much easier to attach the waistband to the main piece as you have already made sure that when folded the back and front will tally when you sew them together.  Top stitch all the way around the waistband...........along the bottom edge, up the side, along the top edge and the last side..........

.......we're on the home run now! By going all the way around you are strengthening the band.
So just tidy up any loose ends you have ..........and you're done!
One pretty frilly pinny to serve your tea in china cups and cupcakes to your friends!

Now, believe me - this is a lot easier to make than it is to write about and if you have basic sewing skills it will be a doddle! Any questions please leave a comment below and I'll get back to you. 

Demo 2 - Using Fusible Bond to Attach Images to Fabric

This is demo 2 on  how to attach your printed image to your project using a fusible bond.

You will need -

  • Your printed image on Inkjet Cotton Sheets - see demo 1 for instructions on this
  • Your project you are making, in this case a pocket for a pinny
  • A hot iron
  • Fusible Bond  - I used Bondaweb but other makes are available!

This is very simple to do. First of all I cut a piece of the fusible bond to fit the printed image and a piece of fabric to the size you require for your project. So you now have 1 printed image on cotton, 1 piece of fusible bond and 1 piece of fabric all cut to size.

Remove the backing paper from your printed image and lay it on the shiny side of the bond, iron for 5 seconds (for Bondaweb) - you have now attached your print to the bond.

Remove the backing paper from the bond and lay this onto your fabric and iron for 10 seconds (for Bondaweb) - you have now attached your image to your piece of project! Seemples!

There are other ways of attaching your image, such as applique which I will cover later. This way is ideal for beginners or if you're not sure about sewing, don't forget to keep your iron moving to make sure you get every bit heated in each process.
Finished pocket edged with fabric

Demo 3 is on completing a whole project - in this case a pretty frilly pinny!

Demo 1 - Inkjet Printing onto Fabric

Here's a little demo on how I used Jacquards Cotton Sheets for Inkjet Printing.

You will need -

  • A pre coloured digital image from Lavinia Stamps
  • Jacquards Cotton Sheets from Lavinia Stamps

......and needless to say a computer and and an inkjet printer. My printer is a very cheap model which cost me around £30 from Argos - so you don't need anything fancy!

I loaded my digital image, received in jpg format by email from Lavinia, into my camera software already installed on my computer. This meant when I went into the print option I could choose how many images to the page I could print. This is important to get right, for example on my software I could choose to print 1, 2 , 3 , 4, 6 or more to the page thereby determining the size of the image for my project.
Check out these 3 pictures - each screen shows an A4 sized piece of paper but then dependent on how many photos I ask for in my software I can alter the size of the  image to fit the project I am making.
I would really recommend you play with this and print off some examples of the different sizes onto ordinary copy paper, don't bin them -you can keep these for future reference on other projects. Once you are happy with the size double check 1) that your printer is set to print onto A4 size and 2) that you have it set on the highest saturation of ink eg best quality, before loading 1 sheet of the Jacquard's Cotton Sheet and printing off. This is a piece of cotton fabric attached to a piece of thin card/paper so that it runs through your printer easily.
 Leave it to thoroughly dry - it isn't soaking wet by any means but I wasn't going to risk it!
Paper prints for sizing reference
You should now have a lovely printed image in your chosen size on a piece of cotton fabric! Now you choose what method suits your project for attaching it. In my next demo I will explain how I used a fusible bond to make the pocket of a pinny.

PS I have checked with Tracey Dutton at Lavinia Stamps that I am not infringing any copyright by using this printing method  - ie; I have not altered her design only the size of the print.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Countdown to Clarity!

There are only 4 days to go before the Clarity Challenge Blog goes live so I wanted to make some Clarity inspired cards. I don't own hundreds of Clarity stamps (wish I did!), most of mine are from the monthly  New Design Club but I have bought one or two. They often get used as they are very versatile - yes some are used more than others so today I have 2  cards to show you using some of those stamps that get used a lot! I've been asked lately if I could make blank cards for people to add their own sentiment to, and also for Thank You cards.

The pink flower card is made using the Pretty Petals remountable set of stamps, I just used the plain one because I wanted a clear black outline and then I painted it with Picked Raspberries distress ink. I could have stamped the whole petal as there is one that is a 'block' for this purpose but I deliberately wanted the outline. Quite a bit of masking on the flower but they are really simple to cut out on a post it pad. I cut a square out of the top mat and mounted it over the flower using foam pads. The centre of the flower is glittered with Glamour Dust and the falling petal secured again by foam pads. Two sets of squiggly black lines (Pilot Pen) to finish off the 'frame' ( I cannot do this freehand - I use a see through ruler which keeps me on the straight and narrow!). I think a sixties pop arty feel to this card!

The second card took no time at all, simple blending with Panpastels to create a background and then after sealing I used Alium 2 stamp with Slate Grey and Wild Plum Adirnodack Ink and Versamark Ink with silver embossing powder. A few gems in the flower centres, then matted onto purple and silver card before putting onto a 6x6 card stock and stamping with a Thank You sentiment.

Both designs could be used for anything as you can stamp whatever sentiment you wish, or just leave them blank. Handy ones to have when you just need a quick card.

So, I hope you like these ones and I hope you'll be joining in with the Clarity Challenge on Friday - you don't have to have your own blog you can enter by email too - see you soon! x

Friday, 22 February 2013


I do love this image from StampinBella so when I was asked to make a 1st birthday card for someone for their Grandson I knew exactly what to use!
I found a site online that does free downloads as well so that was handy as I was out of blue gingham card and think gingham is perfect for boys cards.
The image was stamped with Memento Ink onto white card before matting onto a Spellbinders die called Heart Squares.

Stamps - StampinBella 'Oh the places you'll go' image and sentiment; image coloured with Promarkers and Polychromos pencils

Dies – Spellbinders Heart Squares and Memory Box Parker Lower Case Alphabet

Background – Blue Gingham downloaded from Activity Village website; Plain Blue is white linen card coloured with blue Panpastels; red gingham from my stash

Embellishments – red hearts were offcuts from using the same die on red card

Close up of image

Thanks for looking today, hope you have a lovely weekend and a big thank you to my new followers!
 I have lots of planned blogs for the near future, please keep a look out - not long now until the Clarity Challenge Opens on 1st March (yippee!) and Jayne Nestorenko has now announced her new stamp range due out in March called 'Apple of My Eye' so I've been busy busy busy getting samples ready for that launch too. So much fun coming up - hope you will enjoy and support both events! x

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Distressing at Eileen's Workshop

Well what a fab day we had at Eileen Godwin's yesterday, I always come back exhausted because of all the hints, tips and tricks Eileen shows us! You must visit Eileen's blog - Eileen's Crafty Zone - she really is a talented lady.
Yesterday we worked with distress inks, whilst I love the bright and vibrant colours (who can resist Picked Raspberry or Squeezed Lemonade!) I really struggle to get what I see in my head down onto paper. I don't know why and I'm determined to persevere - practice, practice, practice!
Now take this card - can you guess how it's done? Well you take your distress inks and rub them randomly on your biggest acrylic block. Then spray with a little water and place the block onto your piece of card - I guarantee everytime you do it you'll get a different effect.  You need two pieces of card like this, one for your background - which is overstamped in toning inks, and one to make your butterflies which are simply punched out and stamped. Now at Eileen's because of time restrictions she'd already punched the butterflies out and we had to put them onto the block to colour them. You can imagine the mess I got into! Inky fingers? I thought I'd put nail varnish on at first then remembered I hadn't ! Great messy fun and  we all come up with something different. Part of the fun of going to workshops is seeing what other people come up with and taking some other ideas back with you. A piece of ribbon to try and get a straight edge part way down, a sentiment stamp and the butterflies applied with foam pads et viola! Super colours and will have to have another go at this at home.
We worked on some tags all using different techniques -

This one was more difficult than perhaps it looks.  To get the circles effect you need to have a mask, not the bit in the middle but the outside of it - so basically I'm talking about a piece of paper with a hole in it if you get my drift. Lay this piece of paper on your card and using your blending tool add the ink, keep going, overlaying as you go until the whole piece of card is full up - no white showing. That way you get lots of different colours where they overlap. So tricky as the paper kept slipping - I had some very odd circle shapes going on I can tell you! Once dry simply stamp your images on top then mat your finished tag onto white card. We used some Clarity stamps for this.

So love this water droplets stamp by Designs by Ryn, amazing 3D effect. To make this tag we embossed it through a cuttlebug folder, then blended some distress inks. I used Faded Jeans and Mustard Seed for this. Then stamped the water droplets on and highlighted the top of the drops with a white pen. I was surprised how well the stamp came out considering we were working on an embossed piece of card. Another thing learnt!
And finally the one we were all waiting for - the star of the show! Credit for this must go a talented lady who has a blog called - Stamping Mathilda - fabulous work. The trick with this is that the tree and grasses are stamped with Stazon ink onto a piece of acetate which when dry was then run through an embossing folder of sun rays. Amazing effect and didn't think of embossing acetate in this way. The background is trickier as you have to judge where you want the tree foliage and background grass at the bottom to come. Then using a foam mushroom you dab the colours you want on and when you're happy with that you blend in the sky around it. I had to keep laying the tree over to make sure I was in the right place but I think it worked OK.
I know I'm lucky to be able to get to these workshops, hope there is something near you that you can go to and get as much fun as I do x

Friday, 15 February 2013

A little bit of news...........and a Clarity ATC

Well I'm fair worn out! You may have been wondering where I got to recently (apart from being laid up with a humungus cold and now catarrh) after all the excitement about joining the Clarity Challenge Blog Design Team. Well........ they say things never come along in ones and a week or so after this fantastic opportunity I was then invited out of the blue to try out for another design team!

Gosh, so much excitement I had to do another happy dance and then lie down in a darkened room (or was that still the effect from my cold? lol !). So days later, surrounded by rejects, off cuts and bits and bobs I have finished my samples for a new stamp range and off they have gone for approval ... or not. I've never been fortunate enough to have been in this position before so it is all very exciting. Can't show them yet or tell you any more about them, but all will be revealed soon I hope.

Anyway, I can put that to one side now and concentrate on other things. The laundry, ironing and housework still need doing (how kind of the dust to wait for me) even though the housework fairy has been very helpful!

Hope you are looking forward to the Clarity Challenge Blog? We launch soon and I have seen some of the design team samples ready for the 'Grand Opening' on the 1st March - they are fabulous! So many different ideas and designs from them all in this first challenge, I think no matter what your style is you'll find something that inspires you.

Here's an ATC I made for the Clarity group this month, with the theme love. I wanted to make this a friendship love rather than a romantic love.

I used Versamark to stamp a heart from Clarity's Kitchen Stamp set and then applied red and magenta pan pastels over the stamped images before sealing it. I wanted to be able to add more images and working on a piece of card 2.5 x 3.5 doesn't leave much room! So I brought in a Magnolia Romance Label, again colouring with pans this time before I stamped more images from the set in Versafine ink. I simply added a white Romance Label edged in Glamour Dust and attached both labels with foam pads for more dimension. A little bit of bling and a ribbon and it's finished. Practising on ATCs can be really useful as many can be used as card toppers as well.

Stamps – Claritystamps remountable Kitchen Set

Dies – Magnolia Romance Label

Background – Panpastels - red and magenta

Embellishments – Bling and ribbon from my stash

That's all for now, hope you enjoy your weekend - I'll update you on my latest adventure as soon as I can - wish me luck! x

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog Design Team

Oooh! Exciting news! I am so honoured to have been asked to be a design team member for Clarity Stamps new Challenge Blog.  I will be working with some brilliant designers on the team who have many different styles and ideas on using Clarity stamps so I hope you’ll take a look. If you look at the top of my blog you'll see an index of cards by type and stamp designer - it's a mixed bunch as I tend to design my cards for each individual. Some are fancy and frilly some are clear and simple, I like to shake things up a bit!
Clarity Stamps ATC

I was fortunate last year to go to Clarity’s Cowden Retreat for two days and met Barbara Gray and Paul Church plus some other fabulous crafters who spurred me on to try and improve my skills. Over the year we have kept in touch and soon started a Clarity Group ATC swop (as opposed to Clarity Stamps ATC Challenge), some of which I show here.  It’ll be interesting to see how I progress over the next few months as I hope to try out different colouring mediums using Clarity Stamps.

Clarity Group ATC - Shades of Grey
Details on how to enter the monthly themed challenge are available for everyone on the Claritystamp blog  
  if you don’t blog don’t worry you can join in by email,  so I hope you will have a go and join in the fun! x

Clarity Group ATC - Nature

Card made using Roxsprint Die and Gummiapan Stamp and Dies

Hello! Yes it's me saying hello again on a card made using products from Swedish Housecrafts. Just one stamp - Daisy Face b...