Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to make and A Line Sundress + FREE Sewing Pattern

DIY summer sundress with free sewing pattern
Summer sundress

I've made a similar dress to this before. See - this link - and - click here. And using the same pattern idea, but shorter, I made a camisole top. Find that - here.

Both Burda and Martha Stewart have similar patterns. Martha's dress is straight - no flare. Burda has a version with a centre front and centre back seam. And another version that requires darts and a bit of shaping.

Pattern instructions

You might prefer their patterns so check them out. Here is my version. A really simple A-Line summer dress.

Firstly, you need to make a pattern. See details
Cut sundress from fabric
at left for pattern instructions. I usually cut a pattern from an old newspaper. As for fabric choice? You could probably use just about anything.

You need: -

matching colour thread
sewing machine

Sew sides. Neaten arms. Fold over top.
You do: -

Cut your sundress and straps from your fabric. You can buy ribbon and use that instead of making your own straps.

If your fabric is inclined to fray - finish raw edges.

Stitch side seams leaving about 15 centimetres open for your arms to fit through. You may need to leave more. Unpick if you have sewn more than is comfortable for you. Hem around
Sew straps
the arm area so it's neat.

Fold over top to make a casing for your straps. Sew making sure to leave enough space for straps to slide through.

Sew straps as per picture.

Slide straps into casing. Tie straps roughly as
Slide straps into casing
tight as you think they should be.

Pin hem. Fit dress.

If you are happy with fit, cut off any surplus fabric from straps.

If you are happy with length sew hem in place.

That's your sundress finished!

Check out the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page for more FREE patterns and inspiration.

Back next week with more.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Hose Pipe Rings

Hosepipe ring

How to make a ring from hosepipes

I have been meaning to make this ring for sooooo long now. The inspiration was a pack of rings I bought from ASOS. See pic at bottom.

It just never happened. Finally got around to it this week. Why didn't I do it sooner? I have left over hose, so will be making more rings.
Irrigation piping

Of course it's another easy DIY. The only hard part is finding hose that will fit your finger. If you cannot find the right size hose, you can slice your rings at the back so the ring
Cut rings and file smooth
expands open to fit your finger.

I used irrigation piping. Ordinary garden hose comes in fun colours so think along those lines too.

You need: -

a small piece of hose
Mix glue to add embellishment to hosepipe ring
a saw to cut the hose
a file or lighter
crystals or embellishments
strong adhesive

You do: -

Using a saw, cut your piece of hose to fit your finger.

If your hose is a bit raggedy around the edges, then either use sandpaper to file it smooth.

Or hold a lighter flame near so it can melt the plastic. Please take care using a lighter.

The ASOS rings that inspired this DIY
Next mix your two-part or extra strong adhesive.

Pick your embellishments or crystal/s and dip them in the adhesive. I used tweezers.

Make sure your ring is on it's side and won't roll about. I used the grouting between our tiles to rest the ring.Then add your decoration to the ring. Don't use too much glue or your item will slide off your ring.

Allow to dry and your new ring is ready to wear.

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

See you next week.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to make a Travel Purse

DIY Travel purse
Travel purse

Another slight departure this week. Most Greenie posts are for clothing and accessories.

Two friends are off to Thailand next week and asked if I would make them a travel purse. They had a good idea of DIY slouchy bag
Sew a hem across top and bottom ends
what they wanted. Something in which they could keep passports, lip balm and cash. I also made them a large lightweight cloth bag for all the rest of their stuff. Find that pattern here -
Sew a hem in top and bottom ends. Pins sides.

Nearly all my patterns use circles, semi circles, triangles, squares or rectangles. I only use patterns for trousers and jackets, which obviously must fit properly and require a patterns to get that right.

This purse was a rectangle 70 centimetres long x 28 centimetres wide. If you wanted your
Stitch sides. Snip corners. Fold over side edges and stitch
purse bigger or smaller. longer or wider, then play with the measurements. My only suggestion is to cut the bag pattern out of newspaper, fold all around for your seam allowance, and check you are happy with the dimensions.

The ladies gave me the fabric. It's an upholstery velvet. Whatever you use - it needs to be firm. Think canvas, denim, faux suede, along those lines.
Fold over top flap and pin to make a space for rope strap
Since I was making two of them, I was able to show the process with two bags at a time.

You need: -
firm fabric about 70 centimetres x 28 centimetres
matching colour thread
sewing machine
rope or strapping for strap

You do: -
Cut out your travel purse.

Sew a hem across the top and the bottom ends.
Slide rope through space at top of bag and tie rope.

Pin sides and sew them together. Snip corners.

Fold over sides of flap and sew a hem there.

Now press your travel purse with an iron so it's nice and flat. Fold over the top flap and press again.

Depending on the width of your rope, pin across the top to create a space for your strap.

Stitch across top of bag.

Slide rope though space at top of bag and tie rope ends together. You can leave knot in the casing so it's not visible.

How easy is that? My galleries are waaay out of date. Will hopefully add the last few month's DIY's soon. But do check the galleries for older posts to hopefully inspire you to DIY and not buy.

See you next week.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Make a Beaded Wire Bangle

Beaded wire bracelet

DIY beaded wire bracelets

My daughter made serviette rings for me quite some time ago. I use them a lot and wanted to recreate them for a blog post.

And as happens with a good few of my DIYs I ended up making something different. Instead, I made this easy bracelet.

Here's how I made it.
You need wire, pliers and beads

You need: -
thick wire
beads with a large hole

You do: -
Open up your wire so it has no kinks and start loading up beads.

I intend making a collection of these bracelets so am thinking ahead about options with regards to beads. Some ideas are - patterned beads, alternating colour
Slip beads on to wire
beads, large and small beads and even crystal beads.

Next check you have enough beads on your wire to make a bangle. Either measure around your hand or use one of your bangles.

Using pliers, fold back the end to create a loop and twist wire so it sits flat. See picture.
Make a loop at end and twist back wire

Now slip the opposite end of your wire through the loop you just made.

Fold back wire and twist end so it doesn't stick out. Make sure your ends are squashed as flat as possible or they will catch on your clothing and other items.

Serviette rings
Lastly check your bangle is round.

And that folks is it! The quickest bracelet ever.

The serviette rings are made in a similar way, but my daughter loaded her beads on to a thinner wire and wound the wire around the thicker wire.

Don't forget, there are lots of older DIYs in the Greenie Galleries which are at the top of this page.

Back next week with yet more ideas to hopefully inspire you.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Slim Fit Trousers

How to sew pockets closed
Trousers before

This blog post is a slight departure. I thought I would share how I create a slim fit with all my trousers. And skirts.

It might not be for everyone. Especially people who use their pockets a lot. I put all my
Pin pockets flat
possessions in a handbag. I can't bear lumps and bumps around my hips.

I ALWAYS sew my trouser and skirt pockets closed. This means they fit flush and give a slimmer, trimmer effect.

First, Lie your trousers or skirt flat on the floor. Make sure the pockets are smooth with no rumples.

Then pin your pockets flat.

Use matching colour thread and either machine sew or you can hand sew your
Machine or hand sew pockets flat
pockets flat.

If you hand sew, use tiny stitches.

Sew away any loose threads.

Turn trousers inside out and cut away the pockets. I can't stress this enough. Check first before you cut. Make sure you are cutting the pocket only and NOT your trousers.

I cut right through to the front of my trousers once and ruined a lovely pair of pants.

Cut away pockets
And that's all there is to it.

Look for the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page for lots of DIY inspiration.

I will be back next week.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Faux Nose Ring

No piercing nose ring

Nose rings are fast becoming cool. A person half expects edgy celebs like Joss Stone, Pink, Emeli Sande
Tiny nose ring
and Christina Aguilera to wear them. But when Scarlet Johannson, Kelly Clarkson and even Jessica Biel are wearing them. Well they definitely deserve consideration.

I had a nose stud fitted and it was a disaster. It was a nightmare to keep clean. I kept hooking it on my facecloth and scarves. It got ripped too many times. It never got to heal properly.

Eventually I gave up and took it out. A nose ring, rather than a stud, certainly in the early healing stages would probably have been a much better choice.

Large nose ring
But guess what? You can have a nose ring. Minus the hassle of healing. And without the commitment of a piercing. All you need is a slightly opened O-Ring.

I got my gorgeous daughter to model a tiny O-Ring and a bigger one for me. The bigger O-Ring is for braver fashionistas. The smaller one is subtle and I happen to think - lovely.

You would want your O-Ring in silver or stainless steel. And you
Opened stainless steel nose rings
could also wear it on the outside of your nose and not necessarily on the septum as in these pictures.

For more easy fashion ideas, visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page.

My daughter has her own fashion range. Find Love Laced on facebook with - this link.

See you next with with another easy, eco, fashion update.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Easy Tapestry Panel Top + FREE Pattern Instructions

How to make a panel top plus free pattern

Tapestry panel top
This week, yet another easy on trend top. Love wearing loose slouchy tops. They are perfect for using up scraps of fabric. The mix and match fabric thing is bang up to date.

Oh and in case you wonder if I wear my own clothes? There's a pic of me at the end of this blog post. I absolutely hate posing for photos. I'm always scowling. My daughter managed to get a nice pic of me. A rarity. In my new best top.

I made this top a touch too big. My clothing size in a UK dress size 10. This top has a wide neck so it should easily fit people quite a lot bigger than me. If in doubt? Cut the pattern in newspaper. Pin and fit. Make any adjustments bigger or
Pattern for panel top
smaller; longer or shorter from there.

You need: -
fabric scraps
matching thread
sewing machine

You do: -
Cut pattern pieces from your fabric. I allowed 1.5 to 2 centimetres seam allowance. To make top smaller use a bigger seam allowance.

As you can see from the picture above, I cut the long side pieces from plain black cotton. And the front and back pieces from some old tapestry fabric.

Lie pieces on floor and pin together.
You first need to make a hem across the neckline of the tapestry pieces as you won't be able to sew them once the top is assembled. In the picture see area C - D and make a hem.

Now lie your fabric pieces on the floor and pin them in place. Make sure all wrong sides of fabric are facing toward you. See picture at left.

Fit garment - without poking yourself - to make sure neckline isn't too low or too high.
Sew sides together.

Sew panels to side pieces.

Now fold your top over and pin sides together. Allow space for your arms to pop through. Pin and fit again to make sure your arms fit through comfortably. Sew sides together.

Hem all around where the black fabric is on your top. So that's the shoulders and around the arms.

Lastly put a hem in the bottom of your top. And that's it!

Sew hem around sleeves
I would wear this in a nice thick fabric over a shirt or jumper. Or with a light T-shirt underneath?

For more sewing ideas and free patterns - visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page.
Greenie in her new best top

See you next week.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pleather Earrings

How to make these easy earrings

The inspiration for these earrings was the pleather necklace I made a few weeks ago. See - how to make a pleather necklace.
Pleather earrings

I often say I'm a closet Goth girl. I like black. And silver chain. And hardware. But I stop short of scary. These earrings deliver the right amount of emo but are still classy.

To make them you need: -
strong glue
earring hooks
small metal washers

You do: -
Work out how big you want these earrings to be. The best way is to cut the size you have in mind from a piece of
You need pleather, washers, earrings hooks
paper and hold them up to your ears.

Use a ruler and pencil and draw your earrings on the back of your piece of pleather. You need a back and a front for each earring. Cut four equal size pieces.

Mix your glue, spread over back and front pieces, then join together.

Using a needle pierce a hole at the centre top of your earrings. You may need to start with a small needle and work your way up to a bigger needle to avoid tearing.

Using pliers open an O-ring and slip through the hole. Add a second O-ring to make sure your earrings face forward.
Pierce top with a needle then slip in O-ring

Now, with a pencil, mark exactly where you want your washers to be on the earrings.

Mix up more glue and using a toothpick, dot glue on to the back of washers. Glue washers to earring strips immediately.

Allow earrings to dry thoroughly. Add earring hooks to the O-rings and voila! New earrings.

Variations on these? Different colour pleather for a start. Bigger or smaller. Different shapes. How about a feather shape with slits cut along the sides? And, in lieu of washers you could use pretty crystal beads.

For more DIY inspiration visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of the page.

See you next week.