DIY Christmas Button Wreath

handmade-button-wreathHello! I’ve got another festive make for you today and I think it’s one of my favourites so far: a do-it-yourself Christmas button wreath! I think it’s perfect for a sewing or crafting fanatic’s home, don’t you?

The inspiration for this make came from the lovely Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar. I saw her own button wreath on Twitter and knew straight away that it was something I’d like to copy. Who else has a collection of 10 million buttons at home that they need to use up? My sister thinks I need to join Button Hoarders Anonymous, but I’m sure it can’t just be me…

If you’d like to make a button wreath of your own then you’ll need:
button-wreath-what-you-need– Buttons! My sister and I spent a good half hour sorting through my collection to pick out all the red, white, green and gold ones, but you can pick whichever colours you want. I think we easily used about 400 buttons.
– A 30cm polystyrene wreath.
Dressmaker pins.
2.5mm beads. I used pearl coloured ones.
– Co-ordinating ribbon. I used some by Gisela Graham that I had in my stash.

diy-button-christmas-wreathDecorating the wreath is very easy! My sister and I spent about 3 hours yesterday afternoon pinning in all the buttons. You simply thread a bead onto your pin, and then push the pin through the hole in the button and straight into the polystyrene. It’s important that you don’t forego the beads as these prevent the buttons from falling off! We chose to go for a random colour pattern too, although you could do stripes, varigated colour or all one colour if you wanted.

how-to-make-a-button-wreathI also chose to pin a ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon around the outside edge, and a red and white striped ribbon to the inside edge, partly because I like the look of it and partly because we were running out of buttons to cover the entire wreath! I’ve estimated that we used around 400 buttons for this, so you’d easily need 500+ to cover every available space. I had a mixture of button sizes too, ranging from tiny shirt buttons to bigger 2cm diameter ones, and in a variety of different shapes and shades.

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Finally, I made a loop out of ribbon to hang my wreath with (this is just pinned in place on the back), and then used a piece of wide red ribbon to create an over-sized Christmas bow, which I also pinned in place on the top. And there we have it! An afternoon well spent. What do you think?

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Blogger Network #28 – Felt Christmas Decorations

dimensions-holiday-home-felt-ornaments

Hello November! A new month brings with it a new Minerva Blogger Network project, and this month I’m keeping things festive with these cute felt Christmas house ornaments. These were an absolute delight to make and I think they’ll look lovely alongside the Father Christmas cushion I made last month – don’t you?

Click here to read more about my festive make!

New! Issue 1 of Sew Now Magazine

Have you heard of the new Sew Now magazine? Issue 1 was released last week from Practical Publishing (the people behind Love Sewing magazine) and I was very kindly sent the first issue to have a read through. I thought I’d share my favourite bits!

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Issue 1 comes with a free accessories mini-magazine (containing all sorts of quick projects, from bags to necklaces and the fab Liberty-print shoes photographed below), plus the Simple Sew Zoe dress pattern. I’ve had my eye on this dress pattern for a while so to get it free with the magazine is a bonus!

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The projects inside the magazine range from beginner to more advanced, with some projects taking just a few minutes to throw together and others that could take you a whole weekend. I quite like the mix of projects too – bags, shoes, knickers, dresses, tops, placemats, upcyling… I found myself looking forward to turning every page to see what would be next!

(Also, this issue of the magazine gives you a link to order the By Hand London Victoria blazer for free! How great is that?)

sew-now-magazine-issue-oneMy favourite parts of the magazine (that I think set it apart from most other sewing mags) are the pages featured above. I really love how they show you high street clothes, but also give you ideas for which fabric and sewing patterns you could use to recreate these looks for yourself. I thought that was a very novel idea! I also love the ‘hot off the press’ page which gives you an overview of all the new patterns that have been released by indie pattern companies.

Alongside the features I’ve picked out here, the magazine this month also has an interview with lingerie-maker Maddie from Madalynne, instructions for how to cross stitch a design onto an old denim shirt, and tips for sewing a leather bag. If only I had time to make everything!

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Simplicity’s New Collection: the 8131 Blouse

simplicity-8131-blouseIt’s October, it’s a new season and, with it, comes a new collection of sewing patterns from Simplicity! I was emailed by Simplicity a few weeks ago with a link to their new collection of patterns and couldn’t wait to get sorting through them. Which one is your favourite? I picked to make the new 8131 blouse!

The Simplicity 8131 blouse is ‘a V-neck bow blouse pattern allows you the ability to choose different bow styles and sleeves plus round or pointed hem.’ You can also do an off-the-shoulder style if you want to be really on-trend! I chose to make view B which has no sleeves, a rounded hem and a cute little pussy-bow neck tie. Despite all those features I actually think I selected the most simple pattern of the lot, but I wanted to make something that I’d be more likely to wear regularly than the bare-shoulder or long-sleeved variants.

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The fabric I used for my blouse is a navy floral viscose that I actually bought on eBay, but there are loads of other lovely navy viscoses available at Minerva Crafts here if you want to take a look! Viscose is a really soft, drapey fabric and suits the bow neck-tie feature on this blouse really well. It feels a little like wearing pyjamas when you’ve got it on which is win/win really! However, viscose can be both quite slippery and stretchy to work with so make sure you cut our your pattern pieces accurately and use lots of pins to avoid producing a slightly wonky garment…

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simplicity-8131The pattern instructions are what you expect from Simplicity – very easy to follow with clear pictures for each step and I didn’t have any problems. I’d probably recommend this pattern for an intermediate-beginner as there are a fair few techniques needed, such as the rounded hem, gathering on the shoulders and attaching the tie/collar. If you’re new to any of these techniques then the pattern instructions are clear enough to help you out, but it’s always good to know what you’re doing beforehand!

So what do you think? Will you be having a go at any of the new Simplicity patterns this autumn?

Blogger Network #27 – Father Christmas Cushion

Design Works Santa Cushion Kit

Welcome, October! It’s time for a new Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post and this month I’m crossing my fingers and hoping you don’t think it’s *too* early for something a bit festive! I actually made this Design Works Embroidery Santa Cushion Kit on the first rainy weekend back in September and I’ve been feeling wonderfully Christmassy ever since. Isn’t he just adorable?!

Click here to read more about my make!

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Yarndale 2016!

This weekend (24th-25th September 2016) saw the return of the annual wool-based festival in Skipton, Yorkshire – Yarndale! I love going to this huge knitting, crafting (and some sewing) fair every autumn with my favourite crafting friend and this year we certainly weren’t disappointed. Here are a collection of my favourite pictures from the day – enjoy!

yarndale-2016-buntingThe walk down to Skipton Auction Mart was covered in Yarndale bunting.

thirsk-yarnbombers-yarndale-2016All the posts on the way into Yarndale were also decorated by the Thirsk Yarnbombers!

yarndale-2016-bunting-mandalas-ice-cream-van-sheepYarndale sheep, a yarnbombed ice cream van (selling finger puppets!) the mandalas outside above a knitted Leeds-Liverpool Canal and the bunting that makes an appearance every year.

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Knitted animals! A rag rug sheep, an enormous knitted bluetit (I nearly bought the kit for my Grandma) and a faux-taxidermy tiger rug from Sincerely Louise.

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Real animals! Goats, alpacas, sheep and a man with a massive Angora rabbit on his knee.

yarndale-2016-with-lucy-attic-24We met Lucy from Attic 24! And what a lovely lady she is, too.

That’s it! Did you go to Yarndale this year? Did you enjoy it? We went first thing in the morning before the crowds got too mad and had a great time. I came away with the Mini Knitted Christmas book (signed by the author/designer, Sue Stratford) plus a box full of coloured yarn to make all the Christmas decorations with. My friend bought a crochet blanket kit full of Stylecraft DK. Until next year!

Blogger Network #26 – A Summer Bolero for Grandma!

King Cole 3111 Cardigan Bolero

Happy September everyone! Part of me loves these monthly Minerva Blogger Network posts as they keep me productive and show how much you can accomplish if you set your mind to it, but part of me also winces slightly as I watch the months pass us by so very quickly. Anyway – on with the show!

This month’s make was made by…. my Grandma. I had every plan to start this project myself and ask for her guidance as I continued (my Grandma can knit in her sleep and is the best person to learn from) but one moment I had a bag of yarn and a knitting pattern and the next thing I know she’s whipped up the entire bolero behind my back😉

And doesn’t she look absolutely beautiful/super cute in her new summer bolero? I love it and I love her so much! (The pattern is the King Cole 3111 Cardigan/Bolero and the yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK in Navy, by the way).

CLICK HERE to see more of my (Grandma’s) make!