Holidays offer the perfect opportunity for making stuff, and as we were required to make Easter hats for church, the boys and I had some craft time after school last Thursday.
I wanted to keep things simple while at the same time giving them some freedom to make what they liked. The hats needed to be wearable as there is an Easter hat parade at church on Easter Sunday!
I decided to investigate Poundland as this is often a good place to get seasonal crafty bits and and pieces. I was not disappointed! There were several racks of Easter craft stuff, including hats for boys. Hooray for the Land of Pound!
So £20 and two carrier bags full of stuff later, I had enough to make 5 Easter hats and we actually had quite a lot left over!
The boys had a nice selection of things to choose from, including chickens and lambs, flowers, ribbons and stickers.
I put out the PVA glue but we actually found that it was easier to use double sided tape. We used ordinary double sided for the ribbons and foam tape for the chickens, lambs and flowers.
Here are the hats we made!
This is Boy 1’s hat…
Boy 2 refused to model his…
And here is Boy 3. He was very happy to model his hat!
Not to be outdone, I made one too! I also used a hat from Poundland. As it was a bit too small even though I have a tiny head, I made some cuts in the rim so that it would expand a little bit to fit my head. I also added a ribbon so that I could tie it on.
Instead of putting a ribbon around it, I used the flower garland I made a few weeks ago. You can read about that here! To attach it to the hat, I secured it with a few stitches at the front and at the back. Then I added chickens, lambs, flowers and stickers.
This is a dress I made last summer. The pattern came free with a magazine. Despite some misgivings I decided to have a go at making it.
However, I should have heeded the warning on the packet. “Easy” is usually a synonym for “completely shapeless and won’t fit. You might get away with it if you are stick thin but if you are a bit chunky, forget it”.
I am definitely on the chunky side and there was no getting away from the fact that the finished dress looked like a sack. I made a little belt but it still looked dreadful. It was utterly shapeless and the facings wouldn’t behave. I pressed them the right way and understitched them, but it made no difference at all.
I do not like having clothes in my wardrobe that I do not wear because it is an inefficient use of space. So I set about turning this horrible, shapeless dress and its ridiculous facings into something I could actually wear without needing to cover most of it up with a knee length jumper.
I decided to turn it into a skirt and here is how to do it if you want to do the same!
How to Turn a Dress into a Skirt
1. Try the dress on and mark where your waist is.
2. Remove the zip
3. Cut off the top part of the dress along where you marked with the pins. Fold it in half to check that it is symmetrical.
4. Add the zip. The zip I used in the dress was quite long, too long for a skirt. Fortunately I had another, shorter zip in the same colour. Otherwise I would have cut down the original zip I used in the dress.
I pinned it over the back seam as this was where the zip was in the dress and some of the seam was still open. Then I tacked it, then sewed it in place. Then unpicked the rest of the back seam to free the zip.You can find a more detailed tutorial in how to put in a zip here!
5. Try the skirt on. If it needs adjusting, you could either gather it or take it in at the sides. I took the sides in as it only need altering a little bit.
6. Make a waistband. It will need to be 8 – 10 cm wide and long enough to go round your waist, plus a bit extra. I used the belt I had made. You could use fabric from the top part of the dress or make the waistband out of different fabric altogether.
Fold the waistband half lengthways and press. Fold the raw edges into the middle and press again. Attach the waistband to the skirt by sewing the raw edge of the waistband to the raw edge of the skirt on the wrong side. Then fold the waistband over and top stitch all the way round, remembering to tuck the raw edges at the ends underneath.
Last summer I made some bunting to hang on the front of the house to celebrate the start of the summer holidays. I only meant to leave it up a week or so, but I liked it so much it stayed! By the time autumn swung round, the bunting was looking tatty and sad. I took it down but my poor old house looked naked, so I made some more in beautiful autumn colours.
Now it’s spring and the bunting is very tatty. It’s also got twisted round and round in all the wind. I had actually intended to make some more at Christmas, but as Christmas always manages to sneak up on me I didn’t get round to it.
However, it’s worked it’s way up to the top of my list and last week I made some more. I finally finished it yesterday and I hung it out this morning to reward myself for emptying the bins.
As it is pretty windy where we live, I have tried to make the bunting heavier by lining it, so hopefully it won’t get all twisted up this time.
Here’s my little bunting tutorial!
How to Make Bunting
You Will Need: card for the templates, fabric for the flags, fabric for the lining, bias binding, needle and thread or a sewing machine.
1. Make your templates. On a piece of card, draw a line 20 cm long. Find the middle. Draw a second line 20 cm long from middle of the first line and at right angles to it. Join the end of this line to the ends of the first line to form a triangle.
To make the template for the lining, I cut another template the same size as the first one, then cut about half a cm of the sides.
2. Grab your fabric and cut your triangles. You will need to cut the same number from your main fabric as from your lining.
3. Take one main triangle and one lining triangle. With the right sides together, sew the sides of the triangle, leaving the top free. When sewing the second side, you will need to pull the lining across a little bit.
4. Trim the seams and turn out. Because the lining is smaller, you should find that it pulls a small amount of the main triangle to the wrong side of the flag.
5. Press. If you are feeling fancy, you might like to top stitch your flags. I don’t have a pic for this because I was not feeling fancy.
6. Take your bias binding and fold it in half lengthways. Press it down with your finger to crease it.
7. Take yourself and your flags over to your sewing machine. Starting at one end of the bias binding, sew the edges together. When you have sewn enough to tie your bunting to something (I allowed about 40 cm), slip a flag into the bias binding and sew. When you have sewn the top of the flag into the bias tape, add another flag. Keep going until all your flags have their tops contained within the folded bias tape. Continue sewing the bias binding until you have enough to tie at that end.
If you are new to sewing or a nervous nellie, you might like to pin your flags in place first.
It’s only been a couple of months since I last replaced the wreath on our door, but signs of spring are definitely here.
I hadn’t decided what to do, maybe tidy up last year’s spring wreath (you can read about that here!), but at our church a couple of weeks ago they were wanting to get rid of a huge pile of silk flowers. By the time I got over there, they had been raided! But I still managed to find these lovely pink ones and some fake greenery.
I retrieved my willow wreath from the cupboard, very glad that I had not glued on the flowers for my summer wreath (you can read about that one here!) and had just pushed them through the twigs instead.
Once I had removed the summery flowers, I was all set!
Here’s how I made it in case you would also like to!
How to Make a Spring Wreath
You Will Need: SIlk flowers and buds, plastic greenery, a willow wreath.
1. Separate the flowers and buds from the main stems, leaving about 5-8 cm of stem.
2. Start attaching the flowers to the wreath by pushing the stems through between the twigs. Start with one type and try to space them out evenly.
3. Add the buds. As I had 5,I put 2 near the bottom, one at the top and the other two in the middle on opposite sides. I alternated putting them on the inside and outside edge of the wreath.
4. For my bits of greenery, as they had wire in them, I bent them round a little bit so that they would follow the curve of the wreath. Then I put one at the top and the other two on either side.
5. I had planned to put a bow in the gap at the bottom, but when I looked in my box of ribbons I didn’t have anything wide enough and the bows I made just looked wrong! So instead I took some of the little white flowers I’d used on the summer wreath, twisted some florists’ wire around them then tucked the ends of the wire into the willow.
I’ve been on a bit of a crocheted flower frenzy recently. I have made loads. Quite a lot of them got used up when I made my crocheted flower garland (you can read about that here!) but I’ve still got some left.
So here are 10 ways to use crocheted flowers so they don’t just sit in a heap on the unfinished projects pile!
10 Ways to Use Crocheted Flowers
1. Sew them to a hat. It’s an easy way to pretty up a boring old beanie.
2. Sew them to a jumper. You could add one or two, or several! Try sewing them all round the neckline to add some new life to an old jumper. It’s be almost as good as having a new jumper!
3. Sew or glue a flower to a hair bobble or a hair clip.I made these for Boy 3’s nursery’s Easter Fair last year. If you prefer something that looks a bit more grown up, you could slip a flower onto a hair grip or glue some onto a comb instead.
4. Make a hairband. Either stick them to an existing hair band or crochet or plait a band and join the ends with a piece of elastic and sew the flowers on.
5. Make them into a bracelet. I plaited a band, sewed the flowers on and tied the ends together.
6. Attach them to a bag. You could add one or two for a subtle change or, if you have lots, or some big ones, you could completely transform it!
7. If you have some lacy ones made from embroidery thread, you could make some earrings like these. Full instructions for making them can be found here!
8. Use crocheted flowers to embellish a cushion.If you have an old jumper you don’t wear any more, you could easily turn it into a cushion cover and sew the flowers on to decorate it.
9. Make a flower garland like the one I did here. It’s a great way to use up flowers, the cord is very easy to make and it adds a little piece of spring to wherever you choose to put it!
10. If you have a lot of flowers you could make a wreath like these from Attic24. These are among the most beautiful things I have ever seen and I would never have thought of using crocheted flowers like this!
How do you like to use crocheted flowers?
PS if you need patterns for flowers, here are some!