DIY wrap dress, Simplicity 8608 |AD

                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                    *This is a sponsored collaboration with Hickeys Homefocus

Diy wrap dress with Hickey's fabrics | *Ad


I have achieved my goal to make my very own dress unsupervised and I am buzzing. You might remember last year when I made a dress with Angeline Murphy. I wanted to tackle making a dress by myself and see if I could follow a pattern myself. I teamed up with the guys ay Hickeys for today's post and I used the simplicity 8608 patterns for this project. I love working with the team in Hickeys as I am learning new skills with each project. I learned a lot with this dress pattern, I inserted my first dart, added flounces, inserted pockets and I stitched a lot of narrow hems. You can catch my Youtube video here and see in more detail how I made my dress. 


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Craft night, DIY teacup candles


Teacup candle DIY


Hands up who loves a good craft evening. My work buddies and I were chatting about a craft evening for Autumn as the dark nights can be so long. We had a shot at making some teacup candles as this has been on my to-do list for ages. These were actually easier than I expected and I am quite impressed with our first attempt at them. I have put together a Vlog which you can catch here and follow us along and see how we made them. I will also pop in some details and pictures of how we made them below. This is a great DIY for reusing old china as once the candles burn through you can remove any wax and make them again. 

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Cosy Autumn Lookbook


*This is a sponsored collaboration with Marks & Spencer and shopping links

Sweater season with Marks and Spencer


I am finally getting that Autumn feeling, I am seeing the leaves falling and the nights are drawing in. I have noticed that the mornings and evenings are getting cooler and I even had the heating back on! So, I thought I would share some pieces that will keep you cosy but cute for the rest of the Autumn season. I picked up pieces that are hero pieces for your wardrobe and these will last all season long, I teamed some knitwear pieces with skirts that are in nice pastel and berry shades. I do love Autumn but I like to add some lighter shades to my wardrobe for the season.  I love the quality of the Marks and Spencer clothing so I invest in pieces that I can get a lot of wear out of.  I have been wearing the pieces from my last few posts featuring marks and Spencer and I can vouch for the quality and they are wearing well. 

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How to make a memory cushion, easy sew no zips


Sentimental sewing 


In this post, I am showing you how to turn an old shirt into a memory cushion. I used to make these for people a few years ago but I am no longer able to make these so I decided to share a video and show you how you can make your own. These make amazing presents for people and I used to love seeing peoples reaction when they would get a memory cushion that I had made. You can use clothing from loved ones that have passed or simply recycle old clothes to make a cushion. You might remember my previous easy cushion making blog post, you can catch it here. I am following the same steps and this will be an easy sew with no zips. You can also check out my video here to get a better idea at how I made the cushion. 



What you will need 


If you are a beginner then I recommend starting with cotton/poly shirts. These have less stretch and are easier to start with. If you want to use a knit or stretch fabric then you can iron on some interfacing to stop it from stretching. 

- Fabric scissors
- Pins
- Thread in a matching colour to your fabric
- Paper to make a template/pattern
- Cushion pad in the size you want to make
- A good iron




Make a template 


I find it easier to make myself a template. In today's post, I made a 16x16 inch cushion. If you make yourself a template then you can easily take it out whenever you want to make some cushions. It also makes it easier when you are making a few cushions at one time. Depending on the amount of fabric that you have you can adjust your pattern to make it smaller or larger. You will have a front and a back template for this project. For the front of the cushion, you will need to to make a 16x16 inch template. However, you need to allow for a 1inch seam allowance so you will need to measure out 17x17 inches on your paper. For the back template, you will need to measure out 17 x14 inches. You can adjust the measurements accordingly. 



Cutting your fabric 


Cutting your fabric is just as important as sewing your fabric so please take your time. With old clothing, I cut along the seams and I separate the front panels from the back panels. Iron your fabric before cutting it, having crease free fabric will make it easier to cut out your template. Pin your template to your fabric. You will cut one piece for your front and then two pieces for the back. Your back has two pieces as they overlap giving the envelope shape to your cushion. You want to cut the fabric as straight as you can to make it easier for when you are sewing. 



Sew a hem onto your two back panels and add a stitch to front


You are now going to sew a 1-inch hem onto your two back pieces. These two pieces need a hem so the fabric won't fray on you. Using your iron, fold over half an inch and press. You can use your measuring tape as a guide. Once you have ironed your half an inch you are then going to fold it over again and press. Depending on the fabric you may need to secure it with some pins. Using your sewing machine you will then sew a straight stitch down the hem of your fabric. Start with a reverse stitch to secure your stitch and stop it coming loose. I have put together a Youtube video which I will link below if you want to have a look at how I did this. 

I added a stitch down the front of the shirt panel to stop it from gapping. If you skip this step your shirt cushion will pull open when you insert your cushion pad. Sewing a stitch down the existing hem will make sure your cushion holds its shape. 




Put your cushion together


You are now going to sew all three of your pieces together and form your cushion. The most important thing here is to make sure you face the right sides of your fabric face together. I place my front piece down on the patterned side of the fabric facing me. I then lay a back piece of fabric to the front making sure the two patterned sides are facing each other. I then add the third piece and I pin the fabric together. I use a lot of pins to make sure the fabric stays in place when I am sewing. Place your pins facing outwards as this means you can sew over them. Allow for a 1-inch seam allowance and sew all around your cushion on your machine and use a reverse stitch to keep your stitches in place. Once your cushion is sewn together you can clip the corners and turn it right side out. You can give it a final iron and insert a cushion pad. Your cushion is now ready to give as a present or to keep for yourself and style in your home. 





If you are nervous about trying to make one of these cushions then check out Etsy, I found some sellers below that make these to order.


I hope you enjoyed today's post. If you are new to sewing and nervous about cutting items of clothing that are sentimental then practise on some scrap fabric and build up your confidence. These are such a great item to make. You can also catch my hanging heart tutorial and make some hearts from the scrap pieces of fabric. If you don't have enough fabric to make a sentimental cushion then why not make a hanging heart. Let me know if you have a go at making these and don't forget to check out my video

Thanks for reading, 
Chat Soon,
Catherine. 




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*Some of links in the blog post are reward style affiliate links. You will not pay any more for your purchase however, I will receive a small commission (€1-€5) if you decide to purchase. Affiliate links are a source of income that helps to keep my blog running. Thank you so much for your continued support.



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DIY Bath Caddy


Make your own bathtub organiser 


You might have seen my recent budget bathroom makeover. Well, I was admiring peoples bathtub caddies and I wanted to make one for myself. I have some planks of wood in my garden from when I had my Velux installed earlier in the year. like a true crafter, I didn't want to throw the pieces of wood out in case I could use them in a project. I decided to use some of the wood in today's post to make my very own bath caddy. This was easier than expected and I also got to use my new drill! Which made me feel very empowered. 


Measure twice and cut once


The first thing I did was measure out how wide my bathtub was. I then marked the wood and used my saw to cut the wood to size. I also measured where I wanted the two smaller pieces of wood for the underneath. These underneath pieces of wood stop the caddy from slipping and sliding off your bathtub. I used a saw that I had in my shed to cut the wood. If you have an electric saw or jigsaw then this would be easier to use. As with all power tools, please be cautious and if you are not confident then ask someone to help you or get a pro to cut the wood for you. 


Once my wood was cut to size I used some Gorilla glue to glue the small pieces of wood to the underneath of the larger piece. I used glue because my wood was really thick and I didn't have a nail long enough to drill it together. You can use a drill if you have one.




My wood was really rough to touch, so, I used some coarse sandpaper to smooth the surface. I have a palm electric sander and I used it to smooth out the wood. I started with a coarse grit sandpaper and then finished it with a lighter grade sane paper to make it extra silky smooth. You can have a look at my Youtube video and watch how I sanded the piece. 


 Whitewashing my piece


I loved the character of the wood and I didn't want to hide it, so I decided to whitewash the piece with some watered down chalk paint.  I made a paint that was half water and half chalk paint. I then used a brush to apply it to my piece of wood. I let it sit for a few minutes and then using a dry rag I wiped the paint away and brought out the details of the wood.  It took me a few goes to get the effect I wanted but I am really pleased with how it turned out. As the wood gets really wet please allow extra drying time before sealing your project. If you don't allow your piece to fully dry it may develop some mould which you don't want. So leave it for a few hours to fully dry. 



I then used some Polyutherine spray sealer that I had in my kit to seal my piece. As this is going into the bathroom, you want to protect it from moisture. This sealer does have a strong smell so I recommend that you use it outside and allow it to fully dry. Once the piece is fully dry it will be wipeable and protected. 


Adding some details 


 I did go looking for some nice handles but I couldn't find any. When rummaging in TK Maxx I found these knobs. They came in a pack of 6 for only €9.99. I used my drill to add some holes to the corners of my caddy. I then added my fancy knobs to make my piece easy to carry and move when in the bathtub. You can also use some glue to apply your knobs, as my piece was heavy I decided to drill mine in. 






Once you are finished an happy with your piece you can then have fun and style it. I purposely didn't get a stand for my phone as for me, a bath is a phone free zone. I got a cute love heart wicker basket from The Range. I added some of my bath time faves to the basket so I could enjoy my soak. A cheeky glass of bubbles is optional for your bath time but its perfect for unwinding, I went for some tea instead and used one of my Royal Alberts to style the tray.







Please do check out my video on how I made my bath caddy and if you enjoyed it then please give it a thumbs up. If you want to see my budget bathroom makeover then check out the post here. Have a great week everyone! 



Thanks so much for reading,
Chat soon,
Catherine.


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