Category Archives: Everything else!

National Stationery Week

Did you know it’s National Stationery Week this week? As I’m currently half way through a couple of sewing projects (I know I said I would try and finish one before starting another…. the temptation was too great!), I thought it would be a good opportunity to share the Product Testing Review I did for Minerva Crafts earlier this year.

I tested the Colette Sewing Planner, and you can read what I thought of it at the Minerva Crafts Blog!

A Quick Storage Basket

A new year always seems to make people want to tidy up, and once I’d taken my Christmas tree down I realised that the table it had been on, could do with a little sorting out. The worst culprits for making it look a total mess, were the bundle of charger leads draped over a letter rack. The chargers get used too frequently to justify them being tucked away in a cupboard, so I felt the next best thing would be to make a little fabric basket to keep them tidy while still being accessible.

The pattern actually makes three baskets, but I only wanted to make one in this particular size (and wanted an excuse to use up some of my larger fabric scraps). I did make it slightly shorter than the pattern, simply because the fabric I was going to use for the cuff wasn’t quite long enough otherwise!

The fabric was actually part of a duvet cover I’d used as a ‘wearable muslin’ for a dress pattern previously – the main pattern was one side, and the cuff was the reverse design.

To quilt the basket, I simply stitched down some of the edges of the boxes. I don’t (yet) have a darning foot for my machine, so I decided that free-motion quilting was going to be a bit beyond my skills at the moment!

As you can see, two chargers fit perfectly into the basket, and if I make a couple more baskets for my relatives’ phone chargers too, there should be a lot less chance of getting in a muddle with which charger is for which device!

Happy December 1st

The weather here certainly thinks it’s winter already – to say it’s “chilly” outside would be an understatement! But it makes the first day of Advent seem even more seasonal. And what commonly goes with Advent? Yep, you guessed it, a chocolate advent calendar. I spotted the fabric panel for this calendar in my local Hobbycraft store (unfortunately they didn’t stock it online). Priced at £8 for a metre, I thought it was better value than some others I’d seen online…. but when I was told I could have one panel (50cm) for £4, that was one of the quickest decisions I’ve made to purchase anything!

The fabric came with a printed panel, complete with marked and numbered squares, plus all the individual printed pockets.

I added a piece of 2oz wadding to the back of the panel, and stitched through the edge of the pocket markings, just to hold the wadding in place.

The instructions say to fold over the pocket edges before attaching them to the calendar panel, but I found that way too fiddly to get a neat finish. So I improvised and added a polycotton backing to the pocket pieces, which also helps to make them sturdier.

That was quite easy to do – just place both fabric pieces right sides together, sew down one side, along the base and up the other side, Turn the pocket the right way out, fold the very top edges of both fabrics towards the inside, then top stitch that top part to close it up completely. Then the pocket can just be sewn on as normal.

I decided to stitch the pocket pieces on using white thread, as I didn’t want to try colour matching the blue of the sky, and thought that black (like the markings on the panel) would be a bit too heavy.

But how do you get the calendar to hang? When I cut some plain white polycotton for the backing, I added a couple of inches more in height than I needed, and folded that back over itself to make a tunnel. Recycling a sturdy straight plastic tube ‘handle’ from an old broken bag, I threaded some red and white ribbon through it, to allow it to hang from the door.

At this point, it was almost finished, but there were still raw edges around the entire thing, so some basic white bias binding was the perfect finishing touch. I did have to be creative and leave a gap for the ribbon to stick out, but you don’t notice that unless you look too closely!

All I need to do now, is get more chocolates to fill the pockets – the packet of Heros I used only contained 19 chocolates (and 6 of those were ones nobody in my family likes), so we’re still a little short!


Advent Calendar panel: Hobbycraft