Wednesday, 31 October 2012

COSY HEADBAND (Tutorial)...and Finally

When I wrote the original Tutorial here I mentioned that if you bought a little extra fleece you could complete your cosy outfit with a scarf.
So here is the method. Not really a full tutorial this time as it is so simple I am just going to tell you how I did it.

Take your fleece usually 60 inches or 54 inches wide and fold in half width ways. Make sure you have a completely straight edge at the top of the fleece and measure down 10 inches making several marks across your fleece to link and draw your second straight line.
Cut out on this line as carefully as possible or use a rotary cutter and mat if you have them.
You should now have a strip of fleece 60/54 inches long by 10 inches deep. On each end mark a straight line to cut off the selvedge. Then mark another line 2 inches away from this (on each end). This is to create the fringed ends. Make 1/4 inch cuts from each edge to the 2 inch line.
The scarf is made!!...

However I am sure you will not want to leave it there......

There are so many ways you can personalise it. My first method is to create a pattern with needle felting, either by hand or an embellisher. I have used both methods here.....

Next I copied a portion of the fleece flower I created on the orange headband, using the same buttons as centres.

Of course these scarves don't only have to be for the adults. As we all try to find ways to save money and live a less consumer led existence what better present could you give a nephew,niece or grandchild than a handmade scarf, with perhaps a matching hat ( find loads of free patterns here) personalised with their favourite toy, pet or even their name.

I took the Stanley and racing car templates from the Cath Kidston books, intended to be used as patterns for applique's and created machine embroideries, but you could appliqué them just as well...

 For a little girl you could use ribbon embroidery, or attach crochet flowers. The options are endless.
And don't forget snowflakes, snowmen and reindeer if you want a truly traditional Christmas gift!

I hope some of you try them and let us all see your creations. Just have fun and make something warm and practical at the same time.

In the meantime don't get too spooked this evening.....Happy Halloween

Jenny xx

Monday, 22 October 2012

AT LAST.....!

I am so relieved to be able to show you the two latest completed rooms. It seems like forever ago that I showed you this.....

and this......

I am sure our experience has been nothing compared to some of the traumas I read about on a daily basis, but I'm still so happy to be able to say...we did it.....

One almost perfect Sewing Room...I only say almost because you sewers and crafters out there will know that whenever we reorganise 'our space' we are never quite sure if it is just right. There will no doubt be minor tweakings (please let that be a word, I love it) for some time, but I do appreciate how very lucky I am to have it at all......

And finally the revamped Dining Room.....
I confess when I first saw the room minus my beautiful Victorian fireplace,

I almost wept. I am still not 100% sure that we have done the right thing.....bit contemporary for our 180 year old house?......
Still it is done now and DH loves it!

I do love the freshness of it and it did need redecorating but this has been a big step.
It is slowly growing on me. (Mind you I absolutely love the oak fire mantel, made locally)
So that's that and now we're planning the next projects. These old houses are like the Forth Bridge...once you think you are done it all starts again. However I think that may have to wait until after Christmas ( I did whisper that , honest) but at least I can make a start on the soft furnishings.

So lovely people if you know anyone in or around the Lincoln area who wants a fireplace and are able to fetch it, we have one we're burning to get rid of (Sorry, that was bad). The pine surround does need repainting, but the Victorian insert is complete and the tiles intact. It cost us over £1000 to have installed but would be happy to accept £300 ono, cash on collection. Ps I would throw the mirror in if anyone wanted it!

Off to play in my new room now.....I may be gone some time.....

Jenny xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Hi fellow sewers and perhaps some who would like to be. Here is the tutorial I promised for the Cosy Fleece Headband. If like me you enjoy walking, particularly in the Autumn and Winter, and I know from some of the lovely blogs I read that many of you do: and if like me you look a right dork in any kind of pull on hat but hate your ears to turn to ice, then this is the tutorial for you (Not that I am implying any of you look like dorks...ever  lol)

Cosy Fleece Headband

First gather your materials and tools

1.  Printable pattern below (hopefully)
2. 1/4 metre of 54 inch or 60 inch wide fleece. (If you also want to make a matching scarf make this 1/2 metre)
3. 2 metres of bi -fold elastic. (I got mine from an Internet lingerie site, available in masses of colours)
4. 4 inches of hook and loop fastener
5. Scissors
6. Pins
7.Sewing machine

First you will need to make a pattern. I hope the following image will print off for you. It should be printed out twice on A4 sheets and when cut out joined together flush with sellotape where indicated. I tend to use thin card but paper will do.

Headband Pattern Signed

Next take your fleece and fold in half width ways. Place the full pattern on one straight edge and weight down with paperweights tins of beans or anything fairly heavy that you can work around. I do this as to try to pin through the pattern and the double fleece can distort the shape you are trying to cut.

Draw around the pattern with tailors chalk and when done remove the weights and pin through both layers of fleece before cutting out.
 Sew around the headband as close to the edge as you can with a medium running stitch, to hold the 2 layers together.

Next you need to bind the cut edges of the headband with the by-fold elastic. Starting at the bottom (the wavy edge) sew one edge of the elastic as close as possible to the running stitch you have just sewn around the headband. Leave a tail of about 1/2 inch at the beginning.

When you approach a corner stop about 1/2 inch away and then hold the elastic in place at the corner, preferably with the middle finger

Pull the elastic around the corner and hold it in place with the index finger or whichever is easiest for you..

Using the other hand to guide the work slowly continue sewing around the  corner. Not easy but practice makes perfect (or only nearly so in my case)

When you have sewn the elastic all the way round you should overlap the short tail you left at the start and then trim this level.

 Don't worry it will spring back and look as if you didn't cut it straight but that will be hidden in the next step.
This will be the underside of the headband now.
Next you need to turn the band over and bring the elastic over the edge and secure with an elastic stitch if you have it on your machine...No 6 on mine, but if you don't have this a zig zag will do.

First though you need to make the joined corner neat. Fold the elastic at the bottom edge over to the front just at that corner and pin, and then carefully fold the side of the elastic over to neatly encase the raw edges.

Using the elastic or zig zag stitch pull the elastic over to the right side and attach all around.When you start it is a good idea to do a couple of stitches and then hold the top and shuttle threads to slightly ease the fabric under the machine foot. You should find that it curls quite naturally at the corners, but if it won't stretch neatly in place trim a little off the fleece here to allow it to sit flat.

The finished band should now look something like this. All you need now is to sew on the hook and loop fastener. I use two strips to give more adjustment and strength. With the right side of the headband facing down fold the side near your left hand over to the middle. The loop portions of your fastener should be sewn on the right side (now facing you) near to the finished edge here. The hook portions should be sewn to the wrong side at the other edge.

Your headband is now complete.  The fastening sits at the back of the head so that the curved portions cover the ears. Of course you can leave it plain....or dress it up a little

and voila the hair once the band is removed still looks decent enough to pop into that country inn for Sunday lunch..

I hope this will be a little project that you enjoy. I know there will be many much more experienced sewers who will have a better way of attaching the elastic. On thinner fabrics I merely tuck the raw edges straight into the folded elastic but I find the bulky fleece is not easy to handle in this way. However if anyone has any tips to make it easier still I am all ears.

Now I know this post is quite long and so I will save the scarf details for next time. 

If you have any problem printing the pattern: download, open and then print the PDF let me know with an email address and I will try to forward a copy to you from which you can print it. I have tried to find out about attaching printables to my blog but so far this has been the only way I have managed to do it. Thank you to those that have offered advise, I have tried your suggestions to no avail. If anyone else knows a better solution I would love to hear.

Happy sewing
Jenny xx

Sunday, 14 October 2012


I am hoping that some kind techie blogger will come to my rescue. I have my samples for my cosy fleece headband tutorial all photographed and the instructions planned, but what I would really like is to include a printable PDF of the pattern in my post. It seems so much more sensible than trying to explain the shape and dimensions. So if you have this kind of knowledge and don't mind passing it on to a computer dummy (in an idiots guide kind of thing!) by sending me an email to the address on my profile, I would be very indebted to you........

In the meantime I will do a little showcase of the scrummy things I found at the bi-annual antique and collectors fair at the Peterborough showground the other week. Last year was the first time we had heard of this and in October in 30degrees( I kid you not) we were bowled over by the number and quality of the many stalls there. So this year we were just hoping that we wouldn't be disappointed.

And we certainly were not.... Not quite 30 degrees but very warm indeed! and we definitely didn't need the coats we had brought.

The whole show was again an absolute joy with everything from posh car boot nic nacs to high end antiques. It is a good job that I had a budget or goodness knows what I might have returned with!. Though in all honesty the total cost of all my loot was under £70 so I think I did pretty well.

 First I found this companion to my Tea caddy...........

 a couple more homepride bits.......

 These beautiful green Bakelite pieces, the perfect match to my kitchen....

Some vintage cotton lace trim for the new french inspired cushions and bed throw currently in production...

a bit more Noddy.....

and another French style clock, which is also destined for the revamped bedroom, but more of that at a later date......perhaps first you might actually get to see the finished dining and sewing rooms. The new carpets are being fitted next week so I shall finally reveal all.

Yesterday we attended the wedding of a very dear friend, and so today was to be a day of rest and pottering and I suddenly had this urge to bake. Now my 43 year old cooker is finally showing signs of age and doesn't always keep to the perfect temperature any more so baking is often a bit hit and miss. However it didn't take hubby long to partially demolish this....

and though they're never going to get me a place in the Great British Bake off .......

these tasted yummy......well you have to sample don't you!

I'm off now to watch this, saw it ages ago on the TV and loved it.....

And finally (I heard that sigh!!) in the next week I'll be trying to think what to carve on my pumpkin.... It won't compare to the fantastic spooky mansion created by my DD last year but I would love to do something a little more creative than a face.....Any ideas!! 

Have a good week, and if you can help with my computer dilemma I will be watching eagerly for some emails....thanks in anticipation......

Jenny xx