Following on from a lovely afternoon crafting with Hillarys (which you can read about here I took the plunge and decided to enter their craft competition! Selecting from four of their new fabrics, the brief was to transform a 1x1 metre squared piece into something unique and eye-catching, using any other additional materials required. Whilst I do enjoy sewing I'm not hugely skilled and after looking at the fantastic entries on the Pinterest board I set off feeling less than confident!
I wanted to create something quite different from the intended use of the fabric, so stayed away from home furnishings and decided to make a child's soft toy (ironically it ended up looking like a cushion!) A good friend of mine is pregnant at the minute and her two year old son loves sea creatures so I thought this would be a cute present for him and a good way to discuss the imminent arrival!
I chose the 'Daisy Pistachio' fabric because it was the most sea-like with its shades of green, and also just because its a really gorgeous fabric. I started by sketching a simple whale pattern onto paper and used this to cut out two mirror image pieces from the Daisy Pistachio fabric.
I used a simple approach of sewing round the seams of the two pieces of fabric, and using stuffing material to pad out the shape. I created a little zipped pocket on the machine and hand stitched it into the whale's tummy. I used a bit of imagination and trial and error as I have never sewn more than a straight line on a machine before, and have certainly never sewn a zip! I made the baby in the same way, but instead of a zip I attached some little fins. I sewed the baby's eyes using black thread but used black buttons for the mother's eyes.
And here are the finished products! What do you think? Definitely a bit more practice required but I'm still happy with how they turned out! I have to say, the Daisy Pistachio fabric was a lovely quality to work with; easy to cut and sew and is lovely and soft and smooth so worked well for a toy. You can see the pouch opening for the baby whale below.
Thanks to Hillarys for a fun competition, which you can read more about here and see some of the other new fabrics on offer, and of course the other incredible entries.
I like to think I’m a crafty person. I’ve had a go at card making, cushion making and even had a stab at a pair of curtains, but I do find it hard to schedule craft time into my life these days, so I was thrilled to be invited to Hillarys Crafternoon last Saturday. Every two years, Hillarys Blinds introduce a new range of fabrics for their curtains and blinds and have recently introduced new gorgeous, quality fabrics. They decided to challenge bloggers in four cities across the country to get creative and use their fabrics in ways beyond the usual scope. They enlisted the help of the Clare and Hannah from The Crafty Hen who provided inspiration and direction. I attended the Crafternoon in Newcastle, held at the iconic Jazz Cafe, and was looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers and to all the crafty fun planned. We enjoyed tea and biscuits while we met the lovely people from Hillarys and the Crafty Hen, and were given a run through of the activities planned. There was a bit of nervous excitement amongst the bloggers and when we were invited to select our fabrics, there was a definite hint of Great British Sewing Bee, as we picked enthusiastically!
First of all we made embellished covers for notebooks, that were designed to be removable and reusable. We had a number of fabrics and embellishments to choose from as well and needle and thread, and glue guns. I chose this beautiful green fabric and some simple buttons and ribbon and was really pleased with the outcome. Now… not so successful (for me!), but still very enjoyable was a little 3D bird. This was a little more challenging, and I stitched a little too close to the seams so the poor bird kept bursting his sides and needed a bit of reconstruction along the way. It was quite therapeutic actually, especially the hand sewing, and I saved the template so that I could have another go at home.
It really was lovely to spend an afternoon doing something a little different, with the gorgeous fabrics, and to see how everyone interpreted the notebook covers so differently. We received a goody bag at the end (who doesn’t love a goody bag?!) including of a tote made from one of the new fabrics.
You can read Hillarys blog post about the craft roadshow here on their website.
If you are a bride-to-be or hen-to-be, you should definitely check out The Crafty Hen, for something fun to do on your hen weekend!
And thank you to Joe Blogs for bringing us all together for this event.
Welcome to the blog! I'm Rachael; Belfast born but resident of the gorgeous Newcastle upon Tyne. I'd love to share with you some of the food, design and culture this city has to offer, and some of the things I love in life. Enjoy!
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