Tea Towel Tutorial with Mitred Corners

With my need to stencil as many things as possible I decided I would make personalised tea towel for the teachers this year. I asked the kids what’s one word that describes your teacher and we will stencil it onto a tea towel. Perfect!
Initially I was looking into purchasing pre-made blank tea towels but discovered that they are quite pricey. Thus a trip to spotlight was needed to get some linen/cotton blend fabric. I do love linen tea towels but at $27m I compromised with blended. It worked about each tea towel cost me $2.50.

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So I just bought 55cm off the bolt so it works out roughly 2x (50×65) when finished.
Linen and linen blend is not the easiest to work with as it shifts and stretches but who cares if the tea towel isn’t perfectly square in the end, to me that’s what handmade is all about.

So cut out your rectangle, press.
I then drew 2 x 1/4 inch lines on each side.

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Starting on one side bring the raw edge to the second line, press.

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Then fold over again so it’s the same width as the first fold.

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Complete this for all four sides. Make sure to unfold a folded corner to complete each edge. The fold lines run the entire lengths.
Okay, grab one corner and have it so the good side is facing up.

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Now fold the corner back so that the second lines meet.

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Press. This line is the guide you use to sew the corner.
Still with right side facing up fold that corner so that the last folded line meet, see pic.

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Place a pin along the first line, this is where you sew too.

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Trim off the excess fabric from that corner. Now turn your seam inside out.

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Fold the unsewn section of the corner under and pin. Do this for both sides. Repeat for all four corners.
Sew around the entire tea towel along the edge of the fold.

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Voila you have a tea towel. Easy peasy and done within 20 mins. Use my stencil tutorial if you want to contact stencil or embellish as you wish.

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Contact stencil tutorial

Not sure why I didn’t twig onto this craft years ago but I am sure making up for it now. No plain shirt is left in my house and I am about to print shirts for all my family this christmas.
Right let’s get started.
Tools:
Shirt or fabric
Contact paper ( clear or coloured)
Fabric paint (I use permaset)
Brush
Cutting device, blade
Cutting mat

Print out your design onto paper, here is the link to the bunny I am using. The design needs to apply to stencilling and less detail works better with this method. Cut out your contact so that there is a generous amount around the design.

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Place the contact over your design, paper side up. Trace your design onto the contact. The shaded areas are what I will be cutting out.

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Using a blade and a mat, cut out the shaded areas of your design. Easier to start in the middle and work your way out.

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This design has two parts, the outer silhouette and the middle part. Discard the shaded cut out part.
Prepare your shirt and line up where you want the design to go. Peel off the paper from the outer silhouette and stick into place on shirt. Rearrange if needed till it’s right.

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Take the middle part of the design and stick in place.

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Before you begin to paint put a piece of paper under the print so that the paint doesn’t seep through to the other side.
Paint away and leave to dry.

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When dry, peel off the contact. If there are any blurry edges you can just touch up with fine paint brush.
For the fabric paint I am using I have to heat set it. Check your paint for instructions.
You can use your stencil a few times until it looses it’s stick.

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Other little bits to add:
* Don’t make design to complicated, it will stick to each other terribly when trying to position. Simple works best here.
* If you get paint on your shirt where it shouldn’t be, leave it to dry and then wipe off. You will only smear it when wet and make a bigger mess.
* coloured contact may be better particularly if you are using lots of cut outs in your design.
* Sharp blades work better, a given.
Hmmm what else………
Have FUN!!!!!

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Chain of Crocheted Doilies tutorial

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I initially made this sweet chain of crocheted doilies to be used as Christmas decorations, but frankly I think you could enjoy these all round.

So simple yet so much effect.
– small crochet doilie, cut (cut from tableclothes) or whole. I got mine off eBay.
– PVA glue
– 4ply wool or string

To start with all you have to do is mix your PVA glue (approx 2tbl) with water (4tbl). Then dunk your doilies until they soak up the liquid. Lay them out onto a plastic surface to dry.

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They dry hard and will not fray when using cut doilies.
To finish I finger knitted a chain using 4 ply bamboo. I incorporated each doilie 10cm apart by just sticking the wool through a hole of the doilie during a stitch.
Here is an easy finger knitting tutorial made by Imogen’sAngels.

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Drape on your Christmas tree, the wall, book shelf, anywhere you want some vintage sweetness.

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New PATTERNS for Mellebug

It has been a little long inbetween blog posts but that is life at the moment. There is only so much time I will spend on the computer these days and unfortunately maintaining the blog is at the bottom of the list.

This year has been full of designing and creating patterns to add to my etsy store. This has been a fun change to what I was doing. With the success of the Wristlet Clutch I had to continue on with clutch theme. This lead to the Deco Clutch Pattern.

I just love the pleat detail and the scalloping at the front. Finish it off with a funky vintage button and its a perfect accessory to take out.

Then came the Haru Clutch. The biggest of the clutch patterns I have on offer with a boxed in bottom. It also has a pleated detail on the front and back and the little wristlet to help carry it.

To mix it up a little and the want to use some gorgeous drill out at the moment I  had a go at making a funky little handbag. The Soho Handbag Pattern was born.

This bag fits all your daily essentials, even my large glass case. The pretty detail of bias tape on the front makes into something unique and funky.

My little miss saw the bags I was making and asked ever so politely “I WANT ONE TOOOOO”. I thought that this would actually be a great combination to offer, a mummy and daughter bag pattern oh and the fact that I like making things for my children too (LOL).

Little Miss Soho Handbag was created. This one is a little different to the adult version as it is reversible so in fact they get two bags in one. This pattern is available as a two in one pattern deal for only $8 AUD.

All the patterns that I offer are full of photographs (most over 50) and detailed instructions to help the sewer along the way. This makes them perfect projects for beginner sewers. For more details on dimensions and other photos please swing by my etsy store for a look see. www.etsy.com/shop/mellebug

Whats in store next?? I havent figured that one out yet. I may actually start the process of turning my reversible/adjustable hats into a PDF version for you all to make your own. Hmmm decisions.

See you in the next 6mths with an update.

Ciao

Rebecca x

Win an Amy Butler Reversible/Adjustable Childrens Hat.

This gorgeous hat was very popular last year. I squirreled away the last one to be given away as a thankyou for all the support last year. Mellebug goes from strength to strength every year and this has only been achieveable through the people that have purchased my wares. I can not thankyou enough and I hope it continues.

Amy Butler Childrens Reversible/Adjustable Hat. It is made to order, size to be nominated by the winner.

X-small 42-46cm
Small – 46-51cm
Med- 50-55cm
Larg- 54-59cm

Click on this link to get you there a Rafflecopter giveaway. All you have to do is like my facebook page. This competition is only available to Australian Residents (apologies to all others, it just has to do with the cost of postage. I do international orders with prices of postage to be quoted upon based on destination).

If you would like to see the other children hats I have available this season visit my FB page or my Madeit store.

Competition closes this Wednesday 30th January 2013.

Wristlet Clutch Pattern Release

So there are a few things that I am terrible at, one is not maintaining this blog and the second would have to be ironing. Who else is not an ironer?

Anyhoo! Over the last 5 months I really have been sewing up hats for the summer season, so many I think I lost count. This would be my third season of making hats now and I am really proud of how far I have come. I also added to my list of selling and took the plunge and purchased a stack of these Measuring Tape Bangles which you can purchase at my ebay store

Now we are in 2013 and I am taking a new direction with my Mellebug makings. I have decided to focus on some pattern making whilst I return to the classroom to do some relief work. My little man is entering kindy this year so as Bob Dylan says “times they are a changing”.

So here is my first pattern, newly listed in my etsy store last night.

A cute little accessory that can be made in just a couple of hours. The pattern is easy to follow with pictures to help you along the way. You can make it out of colourful quilting cotton or luxurious silk. The pattern is only $5 AUD and you can purchase it at me etsy store.

Wristlet Clutch

 My next project is to turn my Dinosaur Costume into a PDF pattern, so stay tuned.

Time to celebrate!!!

With my facebook likers reaching close to 1000 and my blog counter ticking over to 250 thousand I think its time to thank all those lovely people out there that have supported my  business and enjoyed my tutorials.

I love making, creating and sharing. Its apart of me now and whatever happens in the future I can not see myself too far away from the sewing machine, knitting needle, or any other crafty project that tickles my passion.

To help celebrate my thanks to you I am offering you the chance to win a pair of these fingerless gloves I just made to photograph for the free pattern.

All you have to do is head on over to my facebook page give it a loving like and then leave a comment below. This offer is available world wide so dont be shy. The draw will take place on Sunday 5th August 7pm WST. I will announce the winner first by email and then on my facebook page.

Thankyou again from the bottom of my heart.

Bec xx

Fingerless Gloves Pattern/Tutorial

I like to knit but my skills are limited and it doesnt matter how hard I try at extending them I draw blank when I read the pattern. Give me pictures and I would work it out but put it in abbreviated long sentences and I get lost, completely. So I stick to straight lines and the occasional increase/decrease but it stops there.

Now when looking for gloves for the wee man I couldnt find anything. He says ” No worries mum, you can knit me some.” errrr… no son I cant (no such thing as cant I hear hubby in the background say). So off I go for a search. I came up with nothing for tutorials/free patterns that I could figure out, but in looking at a pic I figured I could make something similar.

These gloves are easy peasy lemon squeezy. A great pattern for any knitter starting out.

Fingerless Gloves Pattern

** Size 7 needles or 4mm

You could win the gloves made for the pattern: head here!!!

Orphan/ Apron Dress Costume Tutorial

It has certainly been the month for making costumes and I can foresee that I will be putting my hand to many more in the future. This latest costume has been made for my daughters dance performance at the end of the year (talk about being organised). After coming up with zilch tutorials I decided to make one up of my own so as always I am not a pattern maker and I try to explain things as easy as I can but if you have any queries please leave a message below and I may be able help out.

The pattern provided is for approx 6-8 year old (depending on chest size) but you can increase or decrease as needed (info in pdf file).

Sewing level: easy to moderate

 Orphan/Apron Dress Costume Tutorial