Friday, December 20, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day Twelve: A Festive Frock for You!

The final instalment in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. And this one is to make sure you don't forget about someone very important at Christmas: you!

Have you sewn yourself something special to wear on Christmas Day? The forecast here in Adelaide is looking to be about 30 degrees, simply ideal for a summery dress or shirt made in natural fabric like linen or cotton lawn or voile.

For inspiration, here's the gorgeous 'Hazel' dress by Victory Patterns, made up in newly-arrived 100% linens from Lithuania. These two colours were just begging to be used together! 

Last week we were delighted to have Victory Patterns designer, Canadian Kristiann Boos, drop into The Drapery. Kristiann was incredibly lovely, effortlessly stylish (and tall!) and you can read about why she was in town on her blog, here (it's very romantic!). We can highly recommend this Hazel pattern: it's rated 'beginner', the instructions are excellent, it came together beautifully and the gently fitted style leaves breathing room for Christmas indulgence!

We have more gorgeous patterns from Victory and other independent designers like Sewaholic and Colette, and the ever-popular Japanese pattern books filled with simply lovely inspiration.

Today (Saturday 21 December) is our last day of trading before Christmas and we will be closed until 14 January, so come on in this afternoon and procure the makings of a Christmas gift just for you. 

- Jane & Fiona xx


Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day Eleven: Felt Christmas Decorations

Number eleven in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.

Felt Christmas Decorations
Feel like adding some home made love to your Christmas tree? These two projects can be done by hand or machine. You could even enlist the kids to help. We've made up a handy pattern sheet for these two decorations which you can download at your leisure right here.



 1. Penguin 
You will need: penguin pattern, black wool felt, white wool felt, a tiny triangle of orange wool felt, perle cotton (both white and black), wool or corn fibre stuffing, needles and scissors.


To make this little guy, download the pattern sheet and cut out the pieces for the Penguin. Pin the pattern pieces to the appropriate felt, and cut them all out.

Now take one body piece and the gusset piece. Pin one side of the centre-point of the gusset's length to the centre-point of the base of the penguin. Using some black perle cotton and a whip or blanket stitch, hand sew the gusset around each side of the body piece, easing the two edges together up to the pointed piece of the gusset on either side.


Repeat, attaching the remaining long gusset side to the other body piece. Remember to begin and end each row of stitching with a good double knot.

You should now have the gusset attached to both body pieces and the head of the penguin on either side still open. Use this opening to add the stuffing. Use small balls of stuffing and press them right into the corners before adding larger pieces until the ornament is filled quite firmly.

With the black perle thread now whip or blanket stitch the penguin closed, from one end point of the gusset up over the head and around to the other top point of the gusset. Tie double knots at the end and bury your thread tails in the stuffing


Almost there! Time to applique the face. Take the white face piece and secure the tiny orange beak from the back (if it's too fiddly to hand sew this on, a spot of fabric/white glue will do the trick here). Now pin the face to the penguin. With white perle cotton, applique the face to the body using a blanket stitch.


With the black thread once more, sew a couple of french knots for each eye (or a few slip stitches if you're not into french knots). Now all there is left to do is to use a little perle cotton to make a little loop from which to festoon your little ball of cute on your chrissie tree. Done!




2. Little House
You will need:  house pattern (downloadable along with the penguin pattern, link up top), assorted small pieces of wool felt, wool or corn fibre stuffing, sewing machine, thread, scissors, perle cotton or ribbon.


Cut out the pattern pieces, pin them to your desired colour combo of felt, then cut out the pieces as in the photo above.


On the sewing machine, sew the two roof pieces to the shorter edges of the main house piece. Trim the little triangle corners at the very edges of the roof base on both pieces.

Machine sew a little cross to secure the window in place on one of the house pieces only. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of each row of stitches.


Now pin the two houses together, back and front with wrong sides together. Sew around the perimeter of the house, leaving the base of the house piece open, as shown below:


Pop in a bit of stuffing, and machine sew up the opening. Sew on a loop of perle cotton or ribbon to use as a hanger.

Now step back and admire your handmade christmas efforts. Nice work! Merry Christmas to you!

- Fiona & Jane xx


Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day Ten: A Drapery Gift Voucher!

Number ten in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.


Ok, so this isn't actually a Handmade Gift as such. But it's a gift for handmakers... a gift that enables handmade!

The Drapery does indeed have gift vouchers. We can make them out for any amount. So if you've a difficult-to-buy-for crafty type on your Christmas list, we can help. 

Between now and Christmas we will be open:
Wednesday 18th: 10am - 4pm
Thursday 19th: 10am - 4pm
Friday 20th: 10am - 4pm
Saturday 21st: 12 noon - 4pm

Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:




Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day Nine: Fabric Bags for Gift Wrapping

Number nine  in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.

So, how are you wrapping gifts this year?

Paper gift wrapping can be an expensive and wasteful exercise, but the idea is nice: concealing the presents as a surprise and making them look pretty, too. So how about re-useable fabric bags that can be enjoyed year after year? These are so very simple to sew up, it's probably even easier than cutting paper, swearing at the sticky tape and so on!



Fabric Bags for Gift Wrapping

Make them in a range of dimensions to fit gifts of all shapes and sizes!

Here we have used half of a 40cm cut of linen (this heavyweight olive green is a huge 180cm wide). So this piece is 40 x 90cm.
You'll also need 2 pieces of twill tape or ribbon, 1 metre each.



Make a narrow double-fold hem at the short ends.

Fold in half, right sides together, and stitch down the long sides. Finish the seams (we've used a triple zigzag).
 In the middle of one hemmed edge, attach two 1 metre lengths of twill tape or ribbon.
 Turn your bag in the right way. It's ready to wrap!
 Place your gift inside and use the ties to wrap in opposite directions around and finish in a bow.

Of course there are many variations on fabric bags - you could make drawstrings or sew the twill tape into the seams near the top so they scrunch up the top.

And that's a wrap! Ehehhh....

(Special thanks for this gift wrapping idea to lovely customer Sara and credit also to this blog post at Soule Mama where we found this basic bag idea.)

Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:



- Fiona & Jane xx


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas Ideas: Day Eight - No Sew Felt Pencil Rolls

Number eight  in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.


 No-Sew Felt Pencil Roll
This project is criminally easy, and - even better - kids love it. There are many variations on this simple idea doing the rounds of the internet, but we first saw it right here.

You will need:
45 x 25cm piece of pure wool felt (we have rolls of felt in a rainbow of colours cut to this size in store)
70cm length of twill tape - ours is 2cm wide, but any width will do.
Sharp scissors or a craft knife, a ruler, tailors chalk or removable fabric markers, and a set of coloured pencils/crayons/drumsticks...etc.

Method:
1. Measure the width of your pencils - remember this measurement as that will be the width of your cuts into the felt.

2. Start by laying the felt piece flat on a table in front of you. Lay out all of the pencils on top, roughly where you want them to be positioned on the felt. Leave around 3cm to the left of where the pencils will begin and at least 7-8cm to the right of them. Make a few marks with the tailors chalk to remember these spots before you remove the pencils.



3. With a ruler and your tailors chalk, measure and mark two rows of dashes on the felt. Our pencils were rather thick, so we marked 1cm for each pencil and left 1.5cm in between each. The second row of dashes is 6cm below the first.

4. Use a craft knife to make the incisions, or if you are using scissors make a tiny fold and a small snip down the centre of each pencil-hole mark. Snip along all of your marks.

5. On the far right hand side, make a 2cm long incision about 1cm parallel to the right hand edge of the felt. Feed one end of the twill tape through and tie a knot.

Pop in the pencils - and roll on Christmas (heheh).



Bad puns aside, we think this would make a great stocking-stuffer. Perhaps something for the kids to take away on a post-Christmas holiday? (Easy plane/car entertainment). Paired with a beautiful notebook, this makes a thoughtful and creative gift for all ages.

Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:
Simple Kid's Clothes

- Fiona & Jane xx

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day Seven: Simple Kids' Clothes (links to free patterns!)

Number seven in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.

Today we're featuring some great - free - patterns for basic kids' clothing. Simple enough for beginner sewists, these practical wardrobe basics would make great gifts for little people in your life. Check these out, download the patterns, follow the tutorials... and buy your fabric from The Drapery, of course! (Click on the linky words, not the pictures.)

MADE - Basic Kids' Pants


Oliver + S Popover Sundress, Lazy Days Skirt, Ruffle Halter Top and Reversible Bucket Hat



Made By Rae Basic Newborn Pants

Not free, but highly recommended from two of the pattern designers above:

MADE Kid Shorts (12 months - 10 years)

Made By Rae Geranium Dress (the little version of the Washi Dress)

Sew, sew, sew....



Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:

- Fiona & Jane xx

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day 6: Felt Ball Garland

Number six in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive. Today's idea is one you may choose to give, or make for your own home.


Felt Ball Garland

So simple. Spend a relaxing time threading these felt balls or get the kids on the job!

Materials:

  • Pure wool felt balls from The Drapery
  • Valdani perle cotton
  • Needle with large enough eye for the perle cotton


Cut a piece of perle cotton up to around 2m in length and thread it on your needle. Any longer will become unwieldy to work with.

Leave a bit of thread 'tail' for tying at the end, and make a single knot where you would like your first felt ball to be.

Push the needle through a felt ball (it's easy) and slide it down to the knot.

Make another knot on the other side of the felt ball to hold it in place. Then leave a bit of thread to space the balls out, tie another knot and thread on another ball. And so forth!

Here's a tip for positioning your second knot close to the felt ball: make the knot loosely, then pop the the needle through the loop and push the needle tip into the ball where the thread emerges.

Then as you pull the knot tight, it will slip down the needle and end up placed right on the ball.
Hang your garland on your Christmas tree, in a window, along a mantelpiece or anywhere you choose. The weight of the felt balls gives it a beautiful drape. Or give as a gift!


Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:

- Fiona & Jane xx

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas - Day 5: Merino knit wrap with Liberty edging

The fifth  in our series of Twelve (non-consecutive) Days of Handmade Christmas from The Drapery. Handmade Christmas gifts are thoughtful, cost-effective and kind to the earth. And they're just as rewarding to give as they are to receive.

Merino wool jersey wrap with Liberty Tana Lawn edges


Two beautifully soft and luxurious fabrics join forces to make this easy-to-construct wrap. We think it's a perfect gift for a special woman in your life - great to warm your shoulders on a summer evening, or used as an extra layer of warmth in the cooler months . 

Our wrap measures 60cm x 130cm.

You will need:
30cm Liberty Tana Lawn
60cm Merino Wool Jersey (currently on sale online and instore!) 
General sewing supplies: matching thread, sewing machine, a nice sharp needle for handwork, a bias binding tool (optional but very useful), iron, pins or clips.

Method:
1. Cut the Liberty into four, 1.5 inch wide strips from selvedge to selvedge. If you have extra fabric, by all means cut your strips on the bias - it would give your wrap a nice fluidity to the edge, but it is not necessary.

2. Measure up your piece of merino jersey to make sure it isn't lop-sided and that the corners are square.


3. Using a bias tape maker, feed your strips through to make double-folded tape. Press in half once more down the centre of the strip. If you don't have a bias tape maker here is a great little tutorial to help make that tape.


4. Now open up your Liberty tape and begin to pin it to the edge of your rectangle of merino. Pin with right sides together and both edges aligned. It doesn't matter which side of the merino you start on or where you start, but do fold the corner of your tape back in so that unfinished edges of the tape will all be hidden once you're finished.  



5. Pin the tape around the entire perimeter of the merino. To mitre the corners, pin along to the seam allowance right near the opposite edge then fold back the tape as you turn it around the corner. This tutorial has a clear and excellent description of how to mitre corners.


6. Now, to the sewing machine. You might want to do a test run on your machine settings before you start with the merino, but on our machine, a slightly longer than usual stitch length did the trick. Backstitch to begin, then stitch along the first fold around the entire perimeter of the wrap. Remember to stop and backstitch just before the seam allowance at either side of each corner, and backstitch at the very end as well.

7. Almost done. Now fold your Liberty tape back over the opposite side of the wrap and pin or clip it down. We used a few Clover Wonder Clips to keep the tape in place as we stitched (they were particularly handy on the corners), but pins will work just as well.

8. Machine or hand sew the tape into place. We used a ladder (invisible) stitch and hand sewed. It took a good few hours, but we think the finish is rather nice. Machine sewing would provide a neat finish (and take a whole lot less time!)


All finished! The mixture of soft merino teamed with Liberty Tana Lawn makes for some great drape and a lovely, soft feel. One for each woman in the family, maybe?

Previous Twelve Days of Handmade Christmas posts:
Half Metre Tote Bag
Linen Scarf
Felt iPad Cover
Simple Envelope-Back Cushion

- Fiona & Jane xx

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas giveaways!

Our first seven months or so here at The Drapery have been an adventure, a huge thrill, a big learning curve and, we are delighted to say, a promising success. Thank you to all our lovely, lovely customers who are allowing us to make this dream a reality!

As a thank-you we have two special Christmas giveaways.

 COLETTE PATTERNS BUNDLE

Firstly, we have a set of every Colette pattern we have in store: that's nineteen patterns, people! Approximate value $475, crikey! In fact, Colette accidentally sent us a few more patterns than we recently ordered, so we checked with them, and no-one's out of pocket, and they said we could keep them and maybe do a giveaway. Great idea! So here it is.

OAKSHOTT BUNDLE

Secondly, we have a gorgeous bundle of 16 'fat 8ths' from the Oakshott 'Impressions' range of hand-loomed crossweave quilting cottons. Two metres total, valued at around $60. These would make a beautiful quilt all together or a great addition to any quilter's stash.

We'll have two separate prize draws, and you can enter for whichever one you prefer when you make any purchase in store. For online customers, if you would like to be entered in the draw, please mention which bundle you would like to win in the 'note to seller' when you make an online purchase.

We'll be drawing the winners on Saturday December 21st, 2013. So come on in and make sure you're in the running!

- Jane & Fiona xx