Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rolled Wire Ring

Rolled wire ring at top of stack

Wire ring tutorial

Last week's post was a bit of a recycle. Same with this week's post.

I made rolled wire bracelets a few weeks ago. While I was at it, I made smaller versions. Rings. Find the tutorial for the silver wire ring- by clicking here.

The black ring at the bottom is made from plastic coated wire. See how to make the black ring - here.

And the middle ring is made by stringing beads to elastic thread. Find that tutorial for the white ring - on this link.

At the top of this page are the Greenie Galleries with heaps of older tutorials, FREE sewing patterns and inspiration to help you DIY and not buy.

Back next week.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Easy Maxi Skirt

Maxi skirt tutorial
Maxi Skirt

This week I'm recycling a previous post. Sort of. When I posted this - I styled it as a dress. I did say it would work as a skirt. And as you can see - it does.

My favourite skirt I ever made is the gathered midi skirt. See it - here. I love wearing it. But here's the lowdown.

I 'm not tall.
Or thin.
I can't walk in heels.
And I am a classic pear shape.

I love the drama of my favourite midi skirt, but the truth is, I look better in skirts that visually add height and skim over my hips.

This skirt does just that. Head to - this link - to get the full tutorial. This skirt not only looks good, it's versatile. Great for traveling.

Check out the Greenie Galleries at the top of the page for more sewing tutorials and re-creations.

See you next week for more ideas to DIY and not buy.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Concertina Ribbon Necklace DIY

Tape necklace
How to make a tape necklace

I got the inspiration for this necklace at a COS store near SOHO while I was in London recently. How similar is it to a necklace I made out of food packaging last year? See that necklace - here. And how about this ribbon bracelet - click here to see.

I tried to Google COS so I could see the necklace again.
Fold one piece over then fold the other over
Could NOT find them on-line. What I did find was a few other bloggers beat me to make this necklace. Really nice versions too. I would give links to their sites. I used to do links, but so many run dead that I no longer do links.

This is my version.

You need: -
fairly heavy ribbon/tape -
     (about 2 centimetres wide and at least 2 metres long)
heavy thread such as embroidery thread
medium thick sewing needle
Cigarette lighter

Fold and fold and fold
You do: -
The more ribbon you have, the longer the ribbon part of the necklace will be - If you look carefully at the finished necklace. The bit around the back of the neck is thread.

You could have less of the white folded ribbon bit, it's up to you.

If you made paper chains in school when you were young, you might recognise this technique. Just a note. Heavy-ish ribbon or tape does not fold nicely like paper. It's harder to work with.
Pin to hold together

I had to use pins to hold my necklace together. It kept wanting to come apart.

Now fold and fold and fold and fold. Use more pins as you go along. Also, the tighter you fold, the more it holds together.

Thread through
I considered trying to iron or press it, but couldn't work out how to.

When you have used up your tape or ribbon, gently melt any loose ends with a cigarette lighter to stop them fraying. You can also use Stop Fray or a similar product instead. Stop Fray reminds me of old fashioned Alcolin cold glue. I'm sure it would work too.

Now, thread up your needle and start piercing your folded ribbon or tape in the middle, bit by bit, until you are all the way through all of it. I used a sparkly silver thread.

Once you are done, tie the ends of your thread loosely. Try on your necklace. If
Tie thread 
you're happy with the length, knot the ends together.
Simple as that.

There are plenty more projects and FREE sewing patterns in the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page.

Back next week.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Easy Scatter Cushion Covers

FREE sewing pattern for scatter cushion covers
Scatter cushion covers

Scatter cushions make such a difference to home decor. We have loads of them in our seating areas and on our beds. I bought a couple from IKEA for our boat. Read about our boat - here - and my husband's take - on this link

Cut fabric 50cm x 120cm
The IKEA cushions are a lovely turquoise colour but the covers are sewn on. I don't want the cushions to get dirty. So I made cushion covers. 

Scatter cushions are really easy to make. Think pillow case - but with different proportions. Scatter cushions seem to come a
Fold over 50 cm edge and sew flat
standard 45cm x 45cm. If you have a different size cushion, or want to make a custom cover, then
Fold over again and sew flat again
play with the dimensions. Wrap a piece of fabric around your cushion to get your size. Don't forget to add a seam allowance.

I bought a divine piece of Shweshwe print fabric. It's waxed but that will only help repel spills until it washes out. My piece of fabric was 150cm wide so I split it in three.
Fold fabric over cushion so ends overlap

You need: -
a piece of fabric 120cm x 50cm per cushion
sewing machine
matching colour thread

Check overlap doesn't extend fully across 
You do: -
Fold over the short ends of your fabric (the 50cm sides) about 1/2 centimetre and stitch flat. 

Fold over a second time and stitch stitch again. There should be no raw edges visible.

Now fold place fabric on a flat table and fold over a cushion - inside out - so the ends overlap. See picture above right.

What you're trying to do is get the covers to fit - not too tight - and just the right amount of
Snip corners
overlap. The fabric must not go all the way to the end or you will fight like hell to get your cushions in. The overlap must come approximately 2/3 across.

If, for any reason, your overlap is too long. Cut and re-hem your ends a bit shorter.

Pin and sew sides.

Snip excess fabric from corners.

Slip cushions into covers
Turn cushion covers right way around and press them with an iron.

Slip cushions into covers and you're done.  

You can use different pieces of fabric as I did in an older post. See that - here.

For more sewing tutorials, FREE sewing patterns and other DIY inspiration scroll up to the top of this page and visit the Greenie Galleries.

See you next week.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

DIY Beaded Bib Necklace

Beaded bib necklace
Tutorial for a beaded bib necklace

I've made a bib necklace before - see here. They're pretty easy to make. You need to be on the lookout for a piece of embellishment to make one. I found this one in a bargain bin. Not sure what is was intended for. But it's a necklace now.

You need: -
2 x equal pieces of pleather
Trace around a bowl onto pleather for semi circle
a piece of embellishment
sewing machine
matching colour thread

You do: -
I used a small bowl to draw a semi circular shape
Catch ribbon in stitching. Sew on embellishment
on a piece of pleather. Then using that piece, I cut a duplicate. You could use a square or triangular shape.

Place the ribbon at the top corners of the semi circle between the pieces of pleather. Sew the two pieces of pleather together making sure the ribbon is stitched.

Now put your embellishment on your bib. You may have to move it around a bit to get the best spot.

Sew your embellishment in place. You could also use glue instead of sewing.

Et voila! A lovely new necklace.

For more ideas and FREE sewing patterns have a look at the Greenie galleries at the top of this page.

I'll be back next week.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sew a Zipper Toiletry Bag

How to make a cloth toiletry bag
Cotton zipper toiletry bag

So this week, I'm showing how I made a toiletry bag with a zipper closure. Will show a similar bag with a drawstring closure in a forthcoming tutorial. 

Wow, don't you love the fabric? I bought metres and metres of this particular print. It's called Shweshwe - a traditional South African print. This piece has a different design on each side.

You need fabric and a zipper
I've got loads of Shweshwe in other prints and colours waiting to be made into something or other.

You need: -
2 x pieces of fabric 30 cm x 50 cm
Hand sew zipper in place
1 x zipper
matching thread
sewing machine
bold thread

You do: -
It's not necessary to use the exact specs of this toiletry bag. I made mine this size to fit a zipper that I happened to have handy. I wanted something for my toiletries. Your bag could be for
Machine sew zip in place with zipper foot
underwear, laundry, pegs, whatever you need a bag for.

Sew the top of the bag with really big stitches. Number four on my sewing machine. You're going to unpick them, so bigger is better. Why do this? Sewing the top helps keep the fabric in place when you sew your zip. Hand sew your zip in place with bold thread. I used wool.
Unpick big stitches and expose zip

Sew your zip in place with a zipper foot on your sewing machine.

Remove the bold stitches. Unpick the original big stitches and expose the zipper.

If you want to see another zipper tutorial - click here.

Open the zipper. Pin the bag together right sides facing. Sew sides of bag from one end of the zipper to the other.

Snip the corners. Why do this? Your corners will open out nicely if there is no fabric there.

Sew from one end of zip to the other.
Trim or sew away loose threads. 

At the top of this page are the Greenie Galleries with more tutorials, FREE sewing patterns and ideas.

See you next week.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Shell Flower Ring - DIY

How to make a flower ring

Are you loving the floral theme going on in fashion right now? Me too. Floral shapes are EVERYWHERE this summer. From blossom prints to floral laser cutouts all the way to vibrant colours.

This shell flower ring (left) and the glass button ring  (right) are an easy way to get on board the trend - with minimal commitment. And in true Greenie style, it's yet another super easy DIY.
You need a button and a ring base 

You need: -
A ring post
a flower button
strong adhesive
a cutter and file if button has a shank

You do: -
Firstly, if your button has a shank, you need to cut it off. And possibly even file it so you have a flat surface to work with beneath your button.

Next, make sure your ring is upright and that the button will be level. Two ways to do that. You can use Blu Tak or Prestik, whatever it's called where you live.

Place a blob of the sticky putty on a flat surface and attach the bottom of your ring to the putty.

Or place your button upside down on a flat surface and check if it is stable. Next put ring base on top of the button to make sure it doesn't slide fall off.

Glue ring base to button
Once you know your set up is level - check exactly where you want to attach the button and base.

Now mix your two-part adhesive. Two tips for this bit. Tip One. Mix your two part adhesive well or it will be one part adhesive and not bond properly. Tip Two. Too much glue will drip and run. Less is more. But apply to both sides.

Place button and base together and allow to dry. Then wear.

There are so many pretty flower buttons out there. Especially at specialist haberdashery shops.

Visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of the page for archives of older DIYs

See you right here next week.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

No Sew Boob Tube Top

Make a strapless top without a sewing machine
No sew boob tube top

These tops go back to when I was helluva young. They say you should never wear something if it comes around a second time. Nonsense I say. But finding the same fabric isn't always easy. I wish crimplene was still available. Sigh! It was such a pleasure to work with.

To make this top you need a narrow tube or cylinder of highly stretchy fabric. 

n a previous post I mentioned a friend gave me a massive bag full of fabric. In the bag was this small piece of this bubbly stretch tubing. No idea what it's proper name is.
Make sure ends are straight
Have been looking for it for so long. Happiness!!

You need: -
stretch tube fabric

You do: -
Measure from below your arms to your lower hip. Add about 10 centimetres to that measurement. That is how much fabric you need. 

Cut the ends straight across if your fabric is not neat, Slip on your tube top. Fold the ends under. And wear. How easy is that?

If you struggle to find a narrow enough piece of tubing, then consider cutting it and creating a centre back seam. 

And if you have really narrow shoulders and your top is slipping down, you can create a casing along the top and slip in some non bendable elastic. That will require some sewing unfortunately.

One more thing you could consider? Making your top longer and turning it into a body con dress?

Check out the Greenie Galleries at the top of the page for loads more DIY inspiration.

Am back with more next week.


P.S. A friend who has a daughter in the fashion industry kindly came back to me with the name of this fabric. It's called textured, tubular double knit.