Search

Hanna-Mae Illustration

Illustrator & eco clothing designer

Tag

sew

Monthly tutorial: Halloween treat bag

Halloween is coming up so this month I’ll be showing you how to sew your own mini drawstring treat bag. As my blog followers will know I’m a huge fan of recycling/upcycling material (take a look at my eco wear: link) so when I was given a stash of random bits of material I was keen to get stuck in and get sewing again. I hand-sew all my items as I like the control and the feeling that i’m really engaging with what I’m doing. I also feel that hand sewing can be therapeutic due to the repetitive motion and concentration it requires but this bag can be done using a sewing machine if you don’t have much time. Some materials are easier to work with than others. Generally speaking thinner cotton fabric is quite easy to work with. The spiderweb material I used had a lycra-esque quality to it which made it difficult to work with, for this tutorial I recommend sticking to non stretchy fabrics.

You will need:

halloweenbag12.jpg

 

♦ A cutting mat (optional but useful!)

♦ Fabric scissors

♦ Fabric marker/pencil

♦ Pins

♦ Sewing needle

♦ Cotton thread (in colours matching your material)

♦ A piece of material measuring at least 32 x 18 cm

♦ A piece of contrasting material measuring at least 32 x 8cm

♦ 2 pieces of ribbon approx. 32cm

Step 1

You’re going to need to cut out two pieces of material for the main part of your treat bag. Using a fabric marker/pencil, mark out two rectangles measuring 16 x 18 cm and cut out.

halloweenbag11

Step 2

For your casing you’ll need to cut out two rectangles measuring 16 x 8cm.

halloweenbag8

 

Step 3

To give a neat edge, fold shorter ends of your casing over 1cm and pin in place before sewing. I used basic backstitch.

halloweenbag7

 

halloweenbag5

 

Step 4

Pin your larger pieces of fabric together around three edges (2 long edges,1 short) with the wrong sides facing. Sew with 1cm seam allowance and turn the right way.

halloweenbag10

 

halloweenbag4

 

Step 5

Take your casing pieces and fold in half so you can see the neat side of your stitching. At this point if you have time it’s good to press your pieces with an iron but as I had limited time I skipped this step. It just makes your material more well behaved and neat. Pin your folded pieces to the top of your bag (raw edges at the top)

halloweenbag3

 

Step 6

It’s up to you how far down you wanht to sew, the further down you sew the less of the contrasting material you’ll be able to see and bear in mind you’ll need to be able to get your ribbon through. As I had a gap at the top of my material where the spiderweb pattern stopped I chose to sew quite low down, just above half way but anything 1cm or over is fine (providing you can fit your ribbon through).

halloweenbag2

 

Step 7

Turn your casing in. This is also a good time to press your material to keep your joins/edges crisp. Please remember that some fabrics can only be pressed at a very low heat though! Stretchy fabrics can actually melt. If you’re using cotton as recommended this isn’t a problem.

Step 8

Attach a safety pin to the end of your ribbon and feed it through the gap you’ve made with the casing.

halloweenbag1

And there you have it, your own unique Halloween treat bag! This pattern is so versatile, it can be used for any occasion, including Christmas and birthdays. You can alter the sizes to make a smaller or larger bag and is a great way to use up scraps of fabric.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Advertisements

Monthly tutorial: easy peasy toddler skirt

skirttutorial1.jpg

This month I’m bringing you a super easy introduction to making children’s clothes. This tutorial is good for beginners or sewers looking to boost their confidence. The skirt will fit most 3 year old’s, but can stretch and will sit just above the knee.

You will need:

. 2 pieces of material (I used light cotton) measuring 45cm (width) 25.5cm (height)

. Fabric scissors

. Cotton to match your material

. Sewing needle

. pins

. 47cm elastic

Step 1

 

skirttutorial15.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron your material and cut out your 2 pieces

Step 2

skirttutorial14.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the edge of your skirt neat you’ll need to create a hem. You can use bias binding, but to keep it simple we’ll be making a simple hem. Turn over a few cm’s of material and pin into place.

Step 3

 

 

skirttutorial12.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use back stitch to sew your hem. Back stitch is an easy, strong stitch. If you’re not sure how to do back stitch you can find tons of tutorials on youtube [link]

If you want to add sequins or decoration to your skirt, now is the time to do it before you sew your pieces together.

Step 4

skirttutorial11.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve done your hem on both pieces of material, put your material right-side together, and pin around an inch from the edge of your material, on both the left and the right. This is going to be your seam. Use back stitch again to sew up your sides.

Step 5

 

skirttutorial10.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press your seams open. This is the easiest option for beginners, but if you want extra neat seams you can find my tutorial here: How to neaten a seam

Step 6

skirttutorial9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn your skirt the right way around. It should be starting to resemble a skirt.

Step 7

skirttutorial8.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we have to make the waist band. Take your elastic, and fold the top of the material over it, leaving some excess, and pin in to place (see below). Do this on both sides, and remove the elastic.

skirttutorial6.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: make sure your seam is flat, not folded over:

skirttutorial7.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8

skirttutorial4.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use back stitch to sew all around your waist band, leaving a couple of inches to feed the elastic through.

Step 9

Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and feed it through the waist band.

skirttutorial3.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 10

Once your elastic is all the way through, overlap the ends by about an inch, and sew together.

skirttutorial2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 11

Sew the gap up, and adjust until ruffles are even all around, and voila! you’ve just made a skirt!

Once you’ve gained some confidence the sky is he limit! But if you’re looking for something read-made take a look at my newly uploaded collection of eco-friendly upcycled clothing [Link] including the piece I mentioned in a recent post, inspired by St Dwynwen’s/Valentine’s day. Simply click the images below for more pictures and details.

vskirtnew1.jpg

springcollection22_cmyk.jpg

‘Allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow’

Welcome to the third week of the New Year! I’m glad to say that so far I’m keeping up with my resolutions, and finding them quite rewarding. The wonderful thing about pledging to do a ‘deed a day’ is that there’s mutual benefit. Studies have shown that people who help other people report feelings of satisfaction and gratitude. There’s also proof that doing good benefits your mental health. Win-win! To read more about the science behind this, and get even more inspiration to help others, take a look at this interesting article from goodnet.org (link) which brings me to my second resolution – to be aware of what I Put in my body, physically and mentally. In a previous post I mentioned the book Touching Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh, in which he explains the importance of maintaining ‘a proper diet for our consciousness, refraining from ingesting toxic intellectual and spiritual food’. I realised that by starting my day by reading of all the sadness in the world in the newspaper, and then flicking on the news channel to also view it, I was starting my day with thoughts of what I was seeing and hearing – violence, death, crime. In common with other people who suffer from anxiety, I find mornings to be one of the most difficult times of the day. Research has shown that cortisol levels (the fight or flight hormone) is at its highest during this time. By ingesting negativity I was feeding this anxiety, which is why I made the decision to instead fill my morning with craft and creative journaling. This has definitely given my sewing projects a boost! And I’ve started work on a St Dwynwen’s day (Think Welsh Valentine’s Day) inspired skirt.

vskirt1.jpg

As with all my clothing this is entirely hand sewn, and made using upcycled material and vintage broderie anglaise found in my local market. The material is fantastic quality, and of course this piece will be one of a kind due to limited material. Next month I’ll be bringing you a tutorial on how to make your own basic children’s skirt, which is so easy it’s even suitable for beginners. If you feel the need to get crafty in the meantime, there are plenty of tutorials from the past couple of years to choose from:

Last week I was excited to drop off my piece at Y Galeri Caerffili (website) ready for the Winter Exhibition. It’s uplifting to see how the small town of Caerphilly has evolved over the years to now have a real presence of creativity. Next month I’ll be bringing you a review of the visitor centre/art gallery, and hopefully inspiring you to visit for yourselves. If you’re interested in seeing this year’s Winter Exhibition, which showcases the work of 72 shortlisted artists, the gallery is open from 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday. The exhibition will run until 2nd February. You can even participate by nominating your favourite work for the Visitor’s Choice Award.
Although I’ve found my focus more craft-based than art-based lately I’m occasionally dipping in to an autobiographical piece that I started late last year. I’m taking my time and enjoying the process of creating. I found a wonderful quote by producer Carlton Cuse that I feel really expresses the creative process: ‘The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there’s ongoing creative revelations […] along the way you must allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow’. As I paint I feel different things, ideas come to me, and the piece almost always evolves from what I originally envisioned. I like to think that’s what puts ‘soul’ in to a piece.

flowerpiece.jpg

Creative chaos!

Seascape.jpg

 

Chaotic! That’s the best way to describe my creativity lately, flitting from one project to another depending on my mood. I’ve been in search of inspiration in many areas, from spending time in beautiful natural spaces (which often stirs something in me) to searching pinterest for art, sewing, interiors, and everything in between. I’ve been re-visiting pieces and photographs, working on my seascape (yes, finally tackling it again) and searching my photo file to create a ‘thank you’ piece for a kind health professional.

ty

That’s one tip I’d give anyone embarking on learning/developing artistic skills: compile a reference image folder. That way, when the feeling to draw/paint strikes, you only have to reach for your file for inspiration. Mine is divided into sections: places, people, flower/plants and misc. It also encourages an interest in photography, and is a way to capture a little part of your day. I often carry my digicam with me, even if I’m going somewhere familiar. The beauty of natural spaces and even man-made spaces/views is that things are constantly changing, so there’s a constant supply of new material to work with.

Sewing-wise I’ve been letting my creativity have free-rein, and have been creating a colourful panelled skirt with bright colours, beautiful patterns, and those little details that bring a piece together. I found the perfect fabric which I immediately saw the potential in the moment I set eyes on it.

fabric.jpg

Although my clothing project is a little behind where I’d initially planned by this point, I’ve decided the best route to take is to take my time making and researching, and to try to enjoy the creative process, which is in keeping with my objective to be more ‘in the moment’.

 

 

Spring/summer eco clothing collection

April is finally here, which means it’s time to reveal the textile project I’ve been working on since last year. Below are my 100% hand-sewn children’s clothes, made predominantly from recycled/upcycled materials/garments.

 

Green skirt: A skater skirt featuring vintage decorative ribbon from a local market, with each bead stitched individually. This is age 10, and has a stretchy waist band.

springcollection35

springcollection36

Floaty shoulder-tie top: Made from wonderfully cool cotton, this floaty top has an adjustable neck/shoulder, and features a hand-embroidered element, as well as unique, patterned wooden beads and leaf design buttons. Age 8.

clothesCollage1.jpg

clothing Collage2

clothingCollage3.jpg

This summery skirt is made of lightweight, cool cotton, and is decorated with upcycled red glass beads. Age 4-5, with a stretchy waist band.

 

clothingCollage5.jpg

clothingCollage4.jpg

Layered skirt: this layered skirt includes beautiful rescued shell-like beads, as well as vintage ribbon from a local market, and is decorated with individually sewn bronze-colour sequins. Age 12, with a stretchy waist band.

springcollection21.jpg

clothingCollage6.jpg

Peacock dress: In a former life this colourful creation was a faux pashmina, and has a lovely smooth feel, whilst still being lightweight enough to keep cool in spring and summer. Decorative lace added to the bottom was sourced from a local market, and each bead attached individually. This is a tie-sleeve design, so can be adjusted. Age 6.

 

clothingCollage7.jpg

clothingCollage8.jpg

title

The following items will be donated to charity shops.

Colourful pattern top: A loose and light-weight cotton top with adjustable shoulder ties. For this piece I included vintage buttons. Age 9.

springcollection9.jpg

clothingCollage9.jpg

Feather-pattern top: A cool, light-weight cotton top with adjustable neckline and shoulder ties. Each sequin was attached individually.

springcollection5.jpg

clothingCollage10.jpg

Colourful skirt: Similar in design to another skirt, but with individually-attached wooden beads.

springcollection2.jpg

springcollection1.jpg

Tag design

tagCollage.jpg

nextOver the coming weeks I’ll be adding these to my online Folksy shop as soon as I include care labels, so keep an eye out! If you’d like a custom order please contact me (I’m happy to create skirts in ‘grown up’ sizes as well!)

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: