Fun Printing Shirts

I’ve been experimenting with painting different fabrics lately. Later this week I’m hoping to get some silk painting supplies to play with which I am super excited about. My two favorite things in the world: painting and silk scarves!

Back on topic, my first attempt with printing was for BraveBirdFly’s birthday last year. I made her a kitty shirt!


This isn’t going to be a real tutorial, more of just a rough guide to what I did on my first few tries.

I made a basic shirt out of some nice drapey fabric.


I made a stamp by cutting out a piece of cardboard in the shape I wanted and sticking it to another piece of cardboard.

I tried a few of the inks I had to find the one with the most staying power after washing.


The process was really simple: paint ink on… then stamp!




Because the cardboard absorbs some of the ink each print is a little different and it looks really vintage-y.



After a few test runs I decided on a pattern and stamped away!



Once it was done I ironed it to seal the ink and then washed it to get rid of any ink which didn’t take. Make sure you put it in a load by it’s self so it doesn’t transfer to any other clothes!

Yay kitties!





I enjoyed this so much that I decided to do something similar for myself. I used an old shirt James didn’t want/would notice was missing.


After cutting the seams off it to make it more feminine, I made my stamp. This time I printed hearts.





Lottie found watching me work very tiring apparently.




I snipped at the neckline and wove them together to make it a bit cuter.






I loved making my own fabric, I want to try doing some more using different colours and techniques. I can’t wait to get my hands on some silk!



My First Cable Knit Cardigan! Finished Project!

This is the feeling of having finished your first cable knit sweater project:



I have wanted to learn to cable knit for years but it looks so complicated so I was scared off. I was given a lovely birthday present from my friends Dino Slippers and I used it to bite the bullet and purchase yarn and cable needles to try it out.

Of course I didn’t try a small project first, I made a gigantic cardigan XD



After a little trial and error I found some good online guides including this one on cable knitting and just kind of went with it. I’ve never knitted a cardigan or jumper before so this was a big project for me.

I didn’t have a pattern, I pretty much just winged it!


I did the arms first, they had a 2 strand cable up the middle and were stockinette stitch either side. I can’t remember how many stitches I used so I will give estimates for everything. Obviously do test swatches and see how many stitches you need. I used 7mm needles and 8ply yarn for a loose finish.

Arms- make 2!

Knit 10, purl 2, 2 strand cable, purl 2, knit 10.

Once it’s long enough to reach your arm pit, decrease one at the beginning of each row until you have only the cable and purl stitches left. Cast off.



Back – make 1

Knit 9, purl 2, 2 strand cable, purl 2, knit 5, purl 2, 6 strand cable, purl 2, knit 5, purl 2, 2 strand cable, purl 2, knit 9.

When it reaches your armpits decrease one at the start of each row until you think it’s long enough. Cast off.




Front pieces- make 1 then make one in reverse.

Knit 9, purl 2, 2 strand cable, purl 2, knit 5, purl 2, 6 strand cable, purl 2, knit 3.

Knit until you reach your arm pit. Decrease 1 at the beginning of each row until it’s as long as the back piece. It can get a bit tricking decreasing with the 6 strand cable. When you get to that section just decrease and entire cable and continue with it as a 5 strand cable. Cast off.




Sew all of the pieces together. I added a collar by picking up stitches from around the collar area and doing a knit 2, purl 2 rib along the edge.


All done!



I was really surprised how easy it was to cable knit. If you can plait or braid it’s really easy to see where the strands of knitting need to go next.



I had a great time making this cardigan and I really want to try another one in a smaller gauge so you can see the pattern!



What do you guys think? More cable knitting? I’m totally obsessed XD

Let’s Sew A Simple Lolita Skirt! Sew Fun!

You guys voted on the topic last week and the winner by a long shot was a simple ruffled Lolita skirt for our first big project! Fantastic choice guys, you’ll learn some really great skills in this project which you’ll be able to transfer to other projects.

So before we get into it, let’s have a look at the finished project being modeled by the lovely Miss Quinn ;D




Before we start, let’s look at the features of the skirt we’re going to make.

The basic shape of the skirt we are making is a bell shape. This shape is suited for cute girly styles  like Lolita fashion. This shape is very easy to make but it does take up a decent amount of fabric. When choosing your fabric keep in mind that if you are using a patterned print you may need more to make sure the patterns match up well.

The top of the skirt is gathered and there is a ruffle along the bottom of it.

This skirt features a flat waist band.



On the back the waist band is partially elastic to ensure a good fit.




Keep in mind I’m going to keep this as simple as possible so we are going to cut some corners and it’s going to be a very basic skirt (eg. it’s not lined). I only sew for myself these days so I don’t mind taking short cuts because I know how I wear clothes. A lot of my techniques are just my personal preference after way too many years sewing so I would suggest looking at several different courses and styles of sewing so you can find the one that works best for you.

So let’s get started!

You will need:

  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Sewing machine
  • Tape measure
  • Any decorations you want like lace etc



I will be using dark thread so you can see what I’m doing again but please choose a thread that matches your fabric.

First thing you need to do is measure your waist. These skirts sit on the waist not the hips so measure around the thinnest part of your waist. I will do an entire post on how to measure yourself later because that is very very important. It is very hard to measure yourself accurately so please get a friend to help if possible.



Now you need to cut your pieces out.

This project will consist of 3 rectangular sections:

  • The ruffle at the bottom
  • The main skirt part
  • The waist band

Here is how to measure for each piece to cut


This is made from 4 rectangles. Two wider ones for the front/elastic back and two shorter ones for the sides of the back

Height- Twice as high as you want the finished waistband to be plus 3cm for seams.
Width- The pieces for the front/elastic back should be 1/2 of your waist measurement. The pieces for the sides of the back should be 1/6th of your waist measurement.



This is made from 2 pieces (it can be more or less depending on the fabric you’re cutting from).

Height- This depends on how long you want the finished skirt to be. Make sure to leave extra for seams.
Width- This should be at least 3 times your waist measurement. The longer the width, the poufier the skirt.


This is made from several long strips. I used 3 but yours will depend how wide your piece of fabric is.

Height- This depends on how long you want the finished skirt to be. Make sure to leave extra for seams.
Width- This should be at least twice the width of the total skirt width.The longer the width of this, the frillier the ruffle.

The way my fabric was patterned I had to use several pieces where you could just use one if your fabric allows it. Keep in mind that this is more of a guide than an exact pattern, so experiment. I would ALWAYS suggest if you’re unsure on measurements to draw things out and use some basic math. I would also suggest pinning things together before you start sewing so you can check the fit before you go to the effort of sewing.



We are going to work from the bottom to the top so we’re starting with the ruffle first.

The first step is to seal the short edges of your ruffle pieces using a zigzag stitch or overlocker. Most of you will be using zigzag so that’s what I used too.

You will notice that some edges of the fabric have been sealed, it’s up to you if you want to bother zigzagging those, I generally don’t bother. Make sure when you do sew them into seams you sew far enough in that the edges won’t be seen.



Ok so once you have zigzagged the short edges you will need to sew the ruffle pieces together so they make one gigantic long rectangular piece. To do this, put the good sides of the fabric together and then stitch down the short side around 1.5cm from the edge. Make sure you secure the beginning and end of the seam as you go.

Repeat this for all of your ruffle pieces until you have one super long piece.



Now flatten out the seams you made by folding them in opposite directions. You can pin them in place or iron them or if you are more confident then just hold them down while you sew. When I first learned to sew we were taught very strictly to pin every single seam and then iron it in place before sewing. I would suggest doing that until you get a good feel for sewing and then you can be like me: lazy and avoid ironing at all costs.



While your seams are flattened out like that, zigzag down the long sizes of the ruffle piece to seal the sides in.



When you zigzag the long side make sure you have the seams open and go right over the top. This will hold them open permanently.

This side with the seams will now be called the bad side.



Now we need to close up the bottom ruffle in a proper seam. So fold the long edge over to the bad side. I make seams like this around 0.06cm so they aren’t too huge, this is personal preference so you can do whatever you prefer.



Fold it over again so the zigzag edge is completely inside. Pin it in place!

Fold and pin for one entire long edge.



Now sew along that seam using a straight stitch.



Be careful when you go over the flat seams. You want the whole thing to be nice and straight.



Great work!

Now let’s turn this long rectangle into a ruffle!

There are a billion ways to make ruffles, I’m going to use the easiest machine one.

Turn your machine tension to the highest number. Anchor a line of stitching around 2cm from the zigzag at the top of the rectangle.

Straight stitch all the way down the side of the ruffle. You should notice that the fabric coming out the back of the machine is pulling and very slightly ruffled. This is because the tension on the thread is very high. This may not work with heavy fabric.

It is important that if you want to do this method that you use good thread. Cheap thread will just snap when you try to pull it later and that is VERY frustrating when you’re half way through several meters of ruffles.




Do not anchor the end of the stitching when you reach the other end and leave a long trail of thread.

This is what it looks like when it comes out of the machine.



Look closely at the thread, one side will be a tight straight line, this is the end you will pull if you want more ruffles.




Put the ruffle to the side for the moment so we can prepare the middle part of the skirt.


Zigzag all of the edges of the skirt pieces. As you did with the ruffle pieces, stitch the skirt pieces so they become a really long rectangle. Fold the seams flat as well.

You should have something along these lines with one big rectangle for the skirt and a super long ruffle underneath.



We need the ruffle to be… rufflier XD

Basically it needs to be the same width as the skirt piece so you can sew it on to the bottom. To make it rufflier you need to pull the tight thread gently and slide the fabric along it so it gathers evenly along the way.

Be careful as you go especially when you are pulling over the top of seams. If your thread snaps you will likely need to start this again so many people suggest using two lines of stitching at once so there’s no big strain at anyone point. I am lazy so I choose to use one strong piece of thread 😉



Pull the ruffle and arrange it until it’s as long as the skirt piece and then tie the end of the thread in a knot so it can’t un-ruffle itself.



Now let’s attach the ruffle to the skirt.

Place the ruffle upside down with the good side facing the good side of the skirt and pin it in place.



Sew down the long side around 1.5cm from the edge.



You can see there will be two lines of stitching when you’re done, the one you just did and then the line you used to make the ruffles.


When you fold the ruffle flat you can see the stitches too.



Use an unpicker  or scissors to remove the ruffle stitching.



Get mad at your dog for insisting that she lay all over your projects.



Back to the point, yay you just made a ruffled edge!!!



Now we need to gather the top of the skirt so it will sit in the waist band properly. Use the same ruffle method and gather the top of the skirt.



Now we need to put the waist band together.



Zigzag all of your edges and then sew the pieces of the waist band together to form one long rectangle. The order should go: side, front, side, elastic back.




We will be folding the waist band in half and then sandwiching the skirt part inside it. If you want to iron a fold it to make it easier for yourself, now is the time. You can also run a line of stitches close to the fold if you want to.


Get the rest of the skirt off your dog again. Seriously Lottie, what makes laying on my projects so appealing?!


Put the band on the ground (bad side up) and lay the skirt on top of it (good side up)



Fold the waist band over.



And then fold the zigzagged edge of the waist band under again. This can be a little bit fiddly so do it a little bit at a time and pin as you go.


Straight stitch just next to the edge of the band and you’ve made a waist!



If you want to be really great about it, you can fold the edge of the inside of the waistband over too but this can be a little tricky for beginners so I didn’t bother.

You can see the difference of the inside and outside here:



Now we need to add in the elastic part of the skirt.


Thread the end of the elastic through the inside of the waist band. I find this is easiest when I put a safety pin on the end.



Stop threading when you reach the first seam of the waist.



Stitch a line through both the elastic and the waistband. This will hold the elastic inside.



Pull the end of the elastic so the fabric gathers on it. Make another line of stitches on that side of the waist band and then cut off the extra elastic. The elastic should now be secure inside the skirt.



Now we have one thing left to do… turn this long frilly rectangle into a skirt!

Fold the whole thing in half so the good side is inside. Match up the last zigzagged edges along the side.


Stitch right down it making sure to anchor well.




Snip off all of the loose threads everywhere.


Turn it right way out and you’re finished!!



The back now has a fancy elastic section to ensure a great fit!




You have officially completed your first piece of clothing, congratulations!!



This is just a very basic skirt but from here you can decorate in numerous ways including adding lace to the edges or seams, ribbons, bows, anything really!


Depending on the fabric you choose you can make a whole variety of styles. Once you get more confident with sewing and understanding how different  pieces work with your body, you will be able draft patterns like this easily and whip one up in an hour or so!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, if you have any questions make sure you leave them in the comments and let me know if you give this a try. I can’t wait to see all of your finished skirts!


How To Crochet A Crazy Faux Cable Hat!

It’s getting quite chilly and wintery here now so I’ve been going through a knitting/crochet binge. I tend to do this every time it gets cold XD

I’ve been trying to dent my yarn stash a bit and one of the projects I came up with to use up scraps was this fluffy faux cable crochet hat. I like to think it’s so ugly it’s cute!

So let’s get started!



For this guide you will need to know the basics of crochet eg. stitches, decreasing, beginning,ending etc.

You will need a few balls of yarn in various colours. I just used my scraps up and when I ran out of one colour I started the next. I used a 5.5mm crochet hook and doubled over the yarn for a chunky look.  All of the stitches in this hat are double crochet, you could use single crochet but you would probably need to double the number of rows.

This technique is basically cabling for people who can’t be bothered to actually cable, it’s good for beginners because there’s less thinking to do while you’re stitching!



Make a foundation chain and form a circle, the circle should be a bit bigger than your head. The number of stitches will depend on the size of your head but make sure it’s divisible by 8. Here I used 80 stitches. When we add the faux cabling it will pull the hat in a bit so it’s better to add a few extra stitches and have it a bit loose for this style of hat.

Double crochet 2 complete rows.



Now for the faux cabling!

Crochet little tabs in a different colour, they should be 4 stitches across and then 4 rows upwards. Continue making these little tabs until you run out of places to put them.



When it’s all flared out it should look like this:



To make the actual cabling (or rather faux cabling)  you just need to weave the tabs together and then tie/stitch the ends together.



It looks like this when it’s done.



And here’s a better view of the actual weaving. The arrows show the direction that each piece is going and then the scribble represents where the two pieces are sewn together.



Now double crochet another 2 rows on top of that. For the first row you’ll be picking up stitches from the woven bit which can get a little confusing. Don’t worry about it too much but again try to get a number of stitches which is divisible by 8. You’ll notice that the hat as cinched in a little bit and the rows up the top kind of look like a zigzag because they are taking the line of the woven cable.



Now repeat the tab process and weave them together for another row of cabling. It will pull the hat even more at the top.



Now add a row of your other colour. In the next row decrease every 3 stitches. After a few rows of that you’ll run out of stitches to decrease so tie it off and you should have a hat 😀


Now add some ear flaps! Here start with 15 stitches for the first row then decrease 1 stitch each side for ever row. This will make a nice rounded ear shape.


Lastly add some pompoms! I decided to edge the whole thing with white to match the pompoms more. To do this I just did a single crochet row around it all then plaited some long pieces together for the pompoms to hang on to.



Cuuute! And perfect for this chilly weather!


Hope you guys enjoyed it and let me now if you make one!


Smooshy Winter Scarf Knitting Pattern

Winter is coming *insert Game of Thrones theme song….* on strong and when Winter hits I tend to get in the mood to knit and crochet 😀

I’ve resolved this month to make time for myself and doing things that *I* want to do eg. crafting. The first project I finished was this big smooshy scarf!


The knit is super loose and it looks great wrapped up or even rolled into a twist.Knitting-green-scarf-pattern3485


You will need white yarn, green yarn and big fat needles. These ones are 15mm.


The key to this scarf is using fat needles with thin yarn and knitting with two strands of yarn at a time. I’m using standard 8 ply yarn here.



I usually wind the whole ball so the yarn is doubled before I start that way it’s all finished and I don’t have to deal with a knotty mess half way through.



Cast on 35 stitches in green.



Knit in stockinette stitch.



Once you finish 10 rows switch colour to white.



Alternate bands of white and green every 10 rows until you feel like the scarf is long enough. This project is super quick to do up in an afternoon thanks to the chunky needles!


Cast off when you’re all finished!



Now fold the scarf in half (good side out) and use a yarn needle to stitch up the side. It will turn into a big tube! You can sew the ends shut or leave them open so you can tuck them together.



Done, done and done!


I love to wear it wrapped around twice and then tied in a knot. I have an obsession with big scarves!



Ready in a flash and it’s time to go out and enjoy the crisp winter air!


Turn A Dress To A Skirt And Shirt – Quick Craft


Meet Quinn my new mannequin ^_^ She was a gift from an extremely lovely friend and she’s allowing me to do a whoooole lot more sewing! I’m so excited to work on more sewing projects.

I’m planning to do a tutorial as I customise her to my exact measurements as well which should be really fun!



The first project that I decided to do using Quinn was remaking a dress I got from DreamV into a skirt and blouse set.

This was the dress originally:




It was a really pretty dress but they were out of smalls so I ordered a large and it just didn’t sit the way I wanted it to. So goodbye dress and hello skirt and top!

Luckily, ordering a bigger size was really a good idea because it gave me a lot more room to work with the fabric.

First thing I did was carefully cut around the seem connecting the blouse part tot the skirt to separate them. I then hemmed the bottom of the blouse.




Seriously, it was about 5 minutes worth of work.

Here it is with a high waisted skirt:


The skirt had a little more work in it. I made an incision in the waist and shortened the elastic so it was actually the correct size for my waist. I then sewed it back up and hemmed the top.





Now I have a much more versatile set that can be worn together or separately like this in a much more flattering way:


It’s been great getting to some of the things which have been in my sewing pile for waaaay too long. Hopefully I can do some more serious stash busting soon! I will be doing a lot more sewing from scratch as well so if there’s something you’d all like to see let me know ^_^


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