The Eternal Maker Crafts

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Grassy Basket

The daffodils are out, and it is definitely feeling like spring. That means that the Easter Bunny is gearing up for the weekend, with all his chocolatey treats.
Here is a quick Easter basket tutorial for those Easter egg hunts, which was inspired by a shopping trip to Waitrose - thanks Janette!

Happy sewing and hunting,

  • Card 
  • Two 20cm contrasting shades of Woolfelt for the grassy look (I have used Grassy Meadows and Moss
  • 20cm strip of Woolfelt for the base, I picked a dark contrasting green, Evergreen
  • Woolfelt for handle (or you can use left over bits from the base)
  • 10cm paper backed fusible web
  • Butterfly and/or flower buttons (from a selection in store)
  • Rotary cutter, Pinking blade, Scissors, Thread to match 

Firstly, make your templates for the grassy sides.
Cut one rectangle measuring 15cm x 14cm and another 25cm x 14cm.
The long sides being the base, from the base measure up 6cm and mark a line. Then mark a 1cm seam around the lower half.
Draw thin long triangles to replicate grass varying the hight of the points, and cut.

Using these templates, place facing up on the light Woolfelt and cut around. I used a rotary cutter then scissors to cut between the gaps to finish - being extra carful with the sharp blade.
Place face down on the dark Woolfelt and repeat.
When these are cut pair them up light with dark, and heat up the iron so that it gets nice and hot.

Cut the fusible web into 4.5cm strips. Using the manufacturers instructions, iron onto the front of the dark Woolfelt lined up with the base.

Peel off the paper backing and place the light green Woolfelt on top lined up with the top edge of the fusible web so that it is approximately 1cm lower then the base of the dark Woolfelt, iron on.

Cut the Woolfelt you pick for the base of the basket into a 25cm x 15cm rectangle.

Pin the grassy edges face up on the base, lined up with the edges. Machine sew the bottom of the grassy edge to the base, repeat on all sides, leaving a 1cm gap on each side.  Repeat for all the other sides.

Once the base is sewn, you'll see that the corner edges will naturally butt up together.  Pin them together how they naturally meet, ensuring that the base felt is pulled out of the way (it'll form a diamond shape in the corner joins).  Sew up each side.

On completion cut away the bulky excess, using a pinking blade on a rotary cutter to mimic the grass look (my new favouite tool!)

You have now got the basket base!
All that you need to do now is pick the colour, length and thickness of your handle. I have gone with some left over Evergreen from the base, cutting my strip 4cm x 40cm. Then using your matching thread hand sew on, at the base and also where the fusible web joins the colours.

Sew on some lovely buttons and you are set for all your Easter hunting, good luck finding all your treats! 

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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Denim Roll Top Backpack Tutorial

I've been pondering for a good while over this Robert Kaufman Selvedge Denim - ever since it came in late last year.  On the one hand, this denim is thick, sturdy, durable, gorgeous colour, and has that awesome selvedge.  On the other hand, it's super thick and sturdy, and has that awesome selvedge that you definitely want to keep - and it's quite narrow.  What on earth could I make with it?

And finally, yesterday, it came to me.  I was doing the finishing touches on my Hidden Panda Rucksack (more to come on that one later) and was trying to figure out how to do the straps.  And as I thought further, I wondered whether you could make a feature of the straps with different coloured webbing, and whether you could bring this across to the front of the bag.  And if you were to do that, then the main fabric should be fairly plain.. something like a denim... I think you see where I was going with it.

This backpack is completely unlined - the canvas is so thick it's entirely unnecessary, and it has simple flat pockets on the inside. 

Shopping List:
Selvedge Denim or other type of thick canvas - 80cm x 80cm
Webbing: Red - 40mm/1.5" x 1.5m, 25mm/1" x 40cm
                Navy - 40mm/1.5" x 1m, 25mm/1" x 60cm
Metal Sliders: 25mm x 2, 40mm x 4 (I actually used 50mm, which worked just fine too)
Denim sewing machine needles 
We've put together a kit of supplies for this backpack - you can find it here.

Divide your 80cm of denim into two pieces measuring 40cm x 80cm - with the selvedge on the narrow edge.  Cut 25cm off the bottom of each piece.

On one of these big pieces you need to place the straps.  I decided to use my denim with the right side on one side and the wrong on the other.  I placed the straps on the wrong side piece. 

From your red 40mm webbing cut one 30cm piece, and cut the remainder in half.  This 30cm piece will help keep all your straps secure in a band across the top.  Divide your navy 40mm piece in half, and cut 15cm from your 25mm navy webbing. 

Place your webbing in the following formation on the bag piece:
Measure 20cm down from the selvedge top of your piece, and underneath this line, centrally place your 30cm red webbing piece, folding under the raw edges, pinning to secure. 

In the centre of this piece, tuck the 40cm of 25mm red underneath, facing up.  Pin.

Over the top of this, fold your 15cm piece of 25mm navy into a loop, and tuck both ends either side of the red 25mm piece.  Pin into place.

Take each half of your navy 40mm piece, fold in half, thread on 2 of the large metal sliders, and pin under the red band approximately 1cm from the edge.  Do this for both sides.

Sew around the edges of the red band, making sure to catch all the pieces you've tucked in.  You may want to do extra stitching to help secure it all for strength.

At the bottom of this bag piece, fold your 25mm navy webbing in half, thread on the two small sliders, and pin in the centre bottom.

Take your two remaining 40mm red webbing pieces,and pin into place 10cm from each edge along the bottom at an approximate 45 degree angle.  Tuck the long edges of these pieces in towards the centre, so when you stitch around the edge you won't catch any of the pieces on it. 

Lay one of your small bag pieces in front of you, with the selvedge at the top, and then the panel with all your webbing pieces face up on top of it, lining up the bottom edges.  Lay your other bag piece over the top facing down, and then lay your other small pocket piece along the bottom edge again.  Align the bottom and side edges of all your pieces. 
Using your denim machine needle, as this will be super thick work, sew around the sides and bottom of your bag, making sure to catch the bottom edge pieces of webbing but not any around the sides.  You may want to sew around this twice, for extra stability.

Next, we'll make the gusset.  Cut a 5cm square from the bottom corners.  You may have a struggle with cutting through so many layers of thick fabric - I actually ended up cutting through one layer at a time - poking through each layer with a sharp pair of embroidery scissors.  Discard your cut off pieces.
With one corner, take the cut corner, and pull open until it lays flat the other way - with the sewn seams meeting in the middle.  Sew along this line carefully - making sure all the layers are flat and the seams are matched.  Sew back and forth a couple of times, to aid the strength.
Neaten all your seams the best you can, then turn your bag the right way out, poking the corners to push them out properly.

Next take all your raw edges of webbing and fold over 5mm and stitch for a seam to neaten.  Sew along the webbing with your sliders on, as close as possible to your sliders to hold them into place.
And you're all done!  Fill it with your picnic, get on your bike, and go have a jolly day out with lashings and lashings of ginger beer.  Or something like that...

Anna x

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