Monday, 18 April 2011

Rethink Waste Workshop

I recently discovered that Belfast City Council has been putting a lot of emphasis on educating people in the three R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. As part of this initiative they are currently hosting FREE craft workshops focusing on another three R's - revamp, restyle, repurpose. Anyone can go along to these workshops that are being run across the Belfast area and be educated by lovely crafty ladies in how to reuse various things around the house, rather than throwing them away!

Their website explains it far more eloquently than I could so let's hand over to them:

Participation is FREE and whats more you get to take home your revamped and restyled clothes, cushions and furniture.

You do not have to have any experience in revamping or restyling to enjoy these workshops.
The Fashion Souk’s talented team of experts will share their top tips on restyling and refurbishing textiles and furniture. Working alongside you they will demonstrate just how easy it is to give items already in your home a face lift and create new purposeful items - without the hefty price tag.

All materials are provided from ribbons and thread to jumpers, cushions, sand paper & paint, not forgetting your very own item of revamped furniture. At the close of the workshops you will receive information packs on how to do everything covered by the workshops enabling you to get creative in your home.

The workshops are labelled 1, 2, 3 & 4 each workshop covers:
1 Stitching, mending & embellishing
2 Repurposing textiles (jumpers into cushions, hot water bottle covers and much more)
3 Revamping furniture - breathing new life into dated items of furniture and soft furnishings
4 Finishing off all your work

I missed the first workshop (as to be honest, they really didn't advertise this as well as they could have done - a friend in work told me about them) but managed to get along to number 2: Repurposing textiles. As the blurb suggests, we spent the evening taking old jumpers (which they provided!) and turning them into cushions and embellishing them as we liked. Again, all the buttons, ribbons and other lovely such things were all provided (heaven!)...all we had to do was find inspiration. And I really mean that - we didn't even have to sew the cushions up!

To explain very quickly - turn jumper inside out and position with ribbed edge to top (so neck is to the bottom). Get cushion and place on top of jumper, just below ribbing. Cut jumper to same size as cushion (no need to leave seam allowance as the jumper will stretch and this will give a nice snug fit). Take top layer and slide down so that it's ribbed edge is in line with the lower part of the bottom layers ribbed edge. Cut off excess from top layer. Sew along sides and bottoms.Turn right side round and flip ribbed edge over - this is your envelop-like opening to put your cushion through. Insert cushion and then embellish as you like!

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing!

Anyway, here is my little cushion:

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Burda Easy Spring/Summer 2011

I've just spotted the review of the Burda Easy Spring/Summer '11 magazine on the German Burda Style website. The Autumn/Winter '10 was quite a disappointment and really there was nothing inspiring in there.

The name does give it away - the patterns are all very easy and simple, so for a lot of you out there perhaps not the most challenging. But this time there are a couple of patterns which look a bit more complex:

A tuxedo style jacket - in the easy magazine?!! This is something I'd love to try. I personally think my skills are not advanced enough yet to tackle a jacket...but if this is rated 'easy'  then perhaps I might!

This is it in a lovely blue pinstripe. I really like this.

Shorts! These seem perhaps a little high waisted for me...but again - they are in the 'easy' magazine, so they make me want to give them ago!

They look really cute in pale blue. The wrap-over top looks quite versatile too.

Two versions of a tube shaped dress with a dropped gathered waist. Very easy and simple to make. I got excited about the white version - but then I realised that the fabric actually has those layers built into it (I thought they were part of the design). I guess it wouldn't be too hard to improvise adding those layers (it's just so much easier when someone tells you how to do it...lazy? Me?! lol).

And because it wouldn't be Burda without a few stinkers I leave you with these ultra-flattering beauties:


My question is though...where can I track down this magazine? I have never seen it in any of the local newsagents. I may have to try Ebay for it.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Fabric Friday - Vintage Finds

It's Friday again - whoop! I'm off work today for my honey's (40th!) birthday - double whoop!!

And since it's Friday I thought I would share with you two gorgeous vintage fabrics which I found online:

I am absolutely in love with both. Looking at these photo's I realise I should have some sort of scale on them - but both motifs are large scale - the first flowers are probably about 20cms across and the second more like 30cm at the most. They are both very fine cotton which will both need lined whenever I make them up. I'm still deciding what to make from them, but I'm leaning towards a light summer maxi or kaftan for the first and perhaps a 50's prom-style dress from the second. I'm still contemplating if I should line or underline them.
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