Vintage linen napkins

Blue napkins

Hello everybody!

Today I bring you another stash busting project with vintage linens, in this case, a blue and white table cloth that I picked form a charity shop a few years back. Yes, that’s right… it’s been sitting on my stash for years!!

I wouldn’t normally pick linens from a charity shop because usually they tend to be quite worn out and have a funny smell, but this old tablecloth was tip-top and it seemed like it had been used sparingly.

This project is as simple as it gets and you can even do it without a sewing machine, so it is going to be like the shortest tutorial ever.

You will need:

Vintage (or not) tablecloth

Needle

Thread

Sewing machine (optional)

How to make the napkins:

  1. Decide what size you want your napkin to be. In this case, since the tablecloth has a check pattern, I’ve cut my napkins following the grid on the fabric. As a guidance, meal napkins then to be about 22″ square and dessert napkins about 12″ square but my suggestion is to be creative and make them the size that works better for you, we all know about extra messy children!
  2. Now you just need to hem the edges and you are done!

I love this napkins because they are extra strong and they wash great. They also have a great rustic/country-kitchen feel to them and since you are making them from a tablecloth, odds are that you’ve got plenty more fabric to make many more. I think they make a lovely pressie!

Blue napkins 04

Napkins ready to gift 🙂

Here you can appreciate the pattern of the cloth

Blue napkins 03

Blue napkins 02

That’s all for today folks! Hope you enjoyed my stash busting project #4. I have to say I am still not noticing a major decrease of my fabric stash but hopefully by May-June time I will be able to see the bottom of my drawers!

Have a lovely everyone and thanks for reading!

Pilar

Reusable fold-away bags

You can never have too many :)

You can never have too many 🙂

Hi there!

Welcome to project #3 of my Stash Busting challenge 2016: the super useful, super hardy and super cute reusable fold-away bags.

When I moved back to Spain about a year and a half a go I was quite surprised at how very few places gave you a bag with your purchases so I was always caught off guard and I always had to end up buying a bag. I know it’s only a few cents, but when you see the volume of plastics bags accumulated in your kitchen after a weeks worth of shopping, then you realise that it is about time to start taking your own bags with you and do your bit for the planet.

As it happens, I had a look for a fold-away bag that I could carry always with me but, surprise surprise… I didn’t like any of the ones that were available in shops so I decided to make my own. At this point I decided to take my project a step further and make them from recycled vintage linens, just so they were fully “green” bags.

To make the bags, you will need:

1/2 metre of fabric of your choice (ideally washable and resistant)

Button

15cm cotton tape

Needle, thread and sewing machine

How to make it:

(all measurements include 1cm seam allowance)

  1. Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 42 by 45cm each (bag body)
  2. Cut two stripes of fabric measuring 8cm by 47 cm (bag straps)
  3. With right sides together, sew both long sides and one of the shorter sides of your bag body. At this point you can serge or zigzag stitch the raw edges to avoid fraying when washed.
  4. Still with right sides together, fold out 1cm all around the open top of your bag. Press. Then fold 3cm around the top of the bag and press.
  5. To make the straps, fold the strap fabric in half  lengthwise and press. Then fold in 1cm from each side and topstitch all along the edge of the strap.
  6. Place the straps on the bag before you topstitch it. Leave 10cm at both ends of the bag and place the straps. You should have a gap of about 16cm between both ends of the strap.
  7. Now place the cotton tape right in the middle of the bag, catching it under the top seam that we are going to stitch now.
  8. Topstitch all around the bottom edge of the bag’s top seam top of the bag, catching both straps and the cotton tape.  Now topstitch around the top edge of the bag, catching both straps and leaving the cotton tape free.
  9. If you wish, you can square the bottom stitch across the bottom corners. I’ve boxed mine by 11cm.
  10. Sew the button in the middle of the bag… and you are done!

I’ve haven’t had the time to sketched a diagram explaining how best to fold the bag, but I’ll upload it in the next few days so please bear with me!

This bag is super handy and since it folds so small, it is great to carry in your bag all the time. As you can see in the picture, I’ve made quite a few and so many never seem to be too many. The make wonderful gifts too because they are pretty and useful (and you can make them last minute!). The only risk is that if you lend them to someone you’ll probably never see them back…

Here there are some more pics of foldaway gorgeousness:

 

Folaway bags 02
Untitled designHope you enjoyed project #3 of my stash busting project! I’d love to hear about your makes, I’m always looking for inspiration for future projects!

Have a lovely day!

Pilar

Lavender-scented rice heat bag

Hot pouch

Hello everybody!

So here there is my first project for the Stash Busting Challenge 2016: a reusable rice heat bag.

This was one of the Christmas presents I made for my mum this year. She had been complaining about some muscle ache for a while and despite my suggestions of using a hot water bottle to relieve tensions, she never quite tried it. So I decided to make her something along those lines hoping she would use it because I had made it for her. I’m glad to say I was right, and she is loving it now, yay!

This project is very simple, and it is perfect for any left over bits of fabrics. In this case, I used a fat quarter that I had bought a while back and that was sitting doing nothing on my stash. For the inside, I used a thin cotton just to give it a bit more support and make it a bit more stable.

For this project I used:

1 fat quarter of quilting cotton (outside fabric)

Lightweight plain cotton (lining fabric)

Thread matching outer fabric

Lavender essential oil (or any of your choice) optional

1/2kg of rice

IMG_3435

How to make it:

  1.  Put the rice and a few drops of essential oil in a plastic bag and leave it to absorbe the essence. The longer the better, but even if you leave it for just a couple of hours it will be lovely and fragrant.
  2. Cut the lightweight cotton (lining) to the same size as your main fabric, in this case a fat quarter.
  3. Fold both fabrics in half right sides together and sew around the two long sides and one of the shorter sides, leaving one side open.
  4. Turn it inside out, you should have like a long narrow bag. Now we’ll start filling it.
  5. Fill the bag with a third of the scented rice. Then sew across the bag to create a compartment. Repeat this step until you’ve used all the rice.
  6. Sew close the open side.

Done! It’s ready to use!

In this case I’ve opted for a rectangular shape just so it can be used across the shoulders and/or the lower back. Since it is scented, it can be used in bed before going to sleep and warm up your bed as well as relaxing your mind. Uuuummm… how lovely 🙂 Also, I’ve only used 1/2 kg of rice because I wanted it quite flat, but you can fill it as much as you like, always leaving some room for movement though, as otherwise may not adapt to the body.

You can heat it to your own preference, I like putting it in the microwaves for a couple of minutes, but that may be too hot if you intend to put it directly on your skin. Oh, and you can also put it in the freezer and use it cold!

The best thing about this project is that it is so simple and versatile, you can make any shape or size you want, and if you use beautiful fabrics (which I’m sure you would) I think they make a beautiful gift. (I think I’m totally going to gift myself one of those… )

Have a lovely week and thanks for reading!

Pilar

Re-upholstered mid-century teak chair

Upholstered chair

What a beauty!

 

Hello!

Today I’m very proud to present one of our very few items of furniture that is not from Ikea, our mid-century teak chair!!

We bought this chair last year when we were still living in Tunbridge Wells. We used to take regular trips to Brighton as we loved the vibe of the place, and in one of those we found this beautiful chair at Vintage City Brighton. It came upholstered in a not-so-nice checked woolen fabric that was a bit too big for the size of the cushions, which we used as a reason to haggle it down. Since it was the winter and I was mega busy with work, I did not have time to tackle this project until much later, so we just covered the chair with an (also from Ikea) white blanket, which actually looked rather nice.

In another of our Brighton trips a few weeks later, we found the ideal fabric for our chair in Ditto Fabrics: a hedgehog medium-weight cotton in cream!

Hedgehogs, why not?

Hedgehogs, why not?

When I finally tackled the project and started to rip the fabric off the cushions, I realised that these were in very bad condition so I decided to order some new foam pieces online. Since I wanted to make the cushions as long-lasting as possible, I designed them in a way that the covers could be easily removable for washing. Also, I used concealed zippers so you could not see them no matter what side you put the cushions. I must acknowledge that to make a perfectly fitting, boxed cushion cover was more difficult and time-consuming that I originally thought, but I am extremely pleased with the results.

Corner perfection :)

Corner perfection 🙂

Zipper detail

Zipper detail

This chair still has plenty of adventures to live though! It is now part of the baby corner we are preparing in our room for the new arrival and will soon enough become a nursing chair. I cannot wait to contemplate our baby from its comfy cushions!

Hope you like the result! Thanks for reading!

Pilar

Neon Polka Dot Pillow Cover

 

Welcome to this super easy, super quick trend fix for your home.

You will need:

1 cotton pillow case (always prewash before painting)

1 pot of neon fabric paint

1 pencil with a rubber top

How to print your very own polka dot pillow case:

  1. Lay your pillow case on a flat surface. Put a non absorbent paper inside so the paint does not go through to the other side.
  2. Put a bit of paint on a sleek surface, for example a bit of tin foil.
  3. Then, take the pencil and wet its rubber top on the paint. A little paint will do, so don’t go to mad. It is easier to add more later than to have to wash it off. Then start printing your pillow case as if the pencil was a stamp. Add more paint as you need. In this case I have printed my dots randomly, but you could design a pattern to follow for a more geometrical result.
  4. Leave to dry for 24 h.
  5. To fix the colour, iron at 150ºC with a piece of fabric between the pillow and the iron. Once fixed, you can wash your pillow as usual (max 40ºC).

Pillow detail

I said it was easy! Hope you enjoyed it!

Best,

Pilar