Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children
Happy Mother's Day UK

Friday, March 29, 2013

OK Easter Bunny - Bring It On!

The past week has been truly hectic for a number of reasons. The end of term for Hope & Gloria Sewing Clubs meant overseeing adding the final touches to approximately 200 children's Easter projects to be taken home just in time for the Easter Hols, getting ready for our fabulous Easter Sewing Workshops and also making sure the boys are equipped for the end of term festivities at school - Egg Hunts, raffles and cake sales to name but a few. However, in amongst the chaos of the week has been the thought of the fantastic long weekend ahead when we get to relax, enjoy and spend time with family.

It has finally arrived, but just before it did there was just enough time yesterday to add a a few Easter decorations around the home before the school holidays began.

This Easter garland will greet visitors to our front door over the Easter weekend. The base is made from a willow wreath - one of a few that I bought eighteen months ago with this kind of project in mind. I am delighted to have finally found the time to make it and I am delighted with the results.

I chose bright Spring colours in polka dot and heart patterns for the eggs and a cute yellow ditsy print for the funky chickens.

Both eggs and chickens are very simple to make. The eggs are made by cutting two egg shapes from fabric using pinking shears and adding a simple decoration to the front. I used buttons, bows and felt heart shapes. A small piece of batting was placed in between the two egg shapes and I used a machine to sew around the outside but this could easily be done by hand.

The same technique was used for the chickens but with the addition of a felt beak and head feather placed between the fabric when sewing around the outside.

The shapes are attached by thread stitched through the back of the decoration to remain invisible. I then added brightly coloured large buttons and a gorgeous green spotty ribbon for hanging to match the green polka dot eggs.

In total the project is approximately two hours work.

Here is another Easter idea which takes no time at all to make and looks fun and fab. I found these gorgeous decorations in a half price sale earlier this week at our local garden centre. The twigs, I have to confess, were also bought in the garden centre's flower section as I was feeling too lazy to venture out into our freezing cold garden to find some of my own, but I am sure something similar can be found for this purpose in most gardens.

The twigs were placed in a vase to hopefully keep them looking fresh until Easter Monday and I also added some of my favourite green ribbon to brighten the vase. I then hung my bargain decorations from the twigs and my simple but very cute "Easter Tree" was complete.

So now all that remains is to sit back relax and wait for the arrival of that gorgeous, chocolate delivering Easter Bunny - Happy Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fabric Egg Tutorial

At the risk of being a stereotypical Brit I am going to mention the weather. It deserves a mention as it has been truly hideous here over the past few weeks. Where we should be having more than a hint of Spring we have been enduring grey skies and freezing temperatures not to mention the odd snow flurry here and there.

It is hard to believe it is Easter next weekend and I have decided that if I can't have Spring outside right now then it will be Spring inside our home over the Easter weekend. I have been creating fabric Easter Eggs over the past few days and they are a truly lovely way to bring a splash of Spring time colour into the home just in time for Easter. So, if like me you feel in need of a colour boost, gather up your scraps of brightly coloured fabric and have a go at making these.....

Step one:

Choose a selection of lovely brightly coloured fabrics in a range of patterns. It doesn't matter if they clash as this will make your display of Easter eggs more interesting.

Cut out symmetrical oval shapes. The size of the oval shapes depends on the size of egg you wish to make for mine I used an oval template 12cm in length x 6cm width at the widest point in the middle.


To make one egg you will need four ovals - two each of two different patterns/colours.


Step one:
Pin two opposite ovals together with right sides facing and sew along one side of the oval leaving a 1/2cm seam. Repeat with the other two ovals.

Step two:

Open out the shapes and line up the open edges with the matching edges of the other two ovals you have sewn and pin together. The shapes should be lined up so that the two patterns/colours you are using alternate with each other. This stage can be tricky but it is important to ensure that the edges line up correctly so that the final egg is not an odd shape.

You now need to sew completely along one of the pinned edges and part way along the second leaving a gap of approx 3cm. You should now have a 3D shape see below.
Step three:
Turn your egg right side out through the hole you have left on the last seam fill the egg with toy/cushion filling and sew up the remaining gap by turning the edges inwards and using small overstitches.
Your cute egg is now finished. These lovely eggs take no time at all to make and look fab in a bowl as a colourful Easter decoration. They also make a fab Easter Gift - a healthy alternative to chocolate...!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Delightful Easter Gift Bag Tutorial

If like me you are horrified by the amount of packaging that comes with your average chocolate Easter Egg (and not just because it takes ages to break through to the chocolate!), here is a fab idea for adding that personal touch this Easter. As well as being re-usable year after year this gorgeous gift bag also provides easy access to the chocolate...!

To make this delightful Easter Gift Bag you will need:

2 pieces of patterned fabric approx 15 x 20cm, 1 felt egg shape approx 8cm in height, a selection of brightly coloured buttons, 25cm ribbon,

Step one:

Sew the buttons to the front of the felt egg shape.

Step three:
Pin and then sew the felt egg shape to the front of one of the pieces of patterned fabric. It should be positioned approx 4cm from the bottom. Sew around the outside. I used blanket sitich but running or back stitch are fine.

Step four:

With the wrong side facing fold over approx 1cm of fabric then pin and sew to make a neat edge along the top of each piece of patterned fabric.

Step five:

Now place the two rectangles of fabric together with right sides facing. Pin so that the edges match exactly and sew around the three edges 1/2cm from the edge leaving the top open.

Step six:

Turn the right way around - your bag is nearly complete!

Step seven:

Finally, fold your ribbon in half to find the centre point. Secure this to the centre of the back of the bag approx 3cm from the top.

Step eight:

Now all that is left to do is to fill the bag with delicious treats and gather the top of the bag securing with a bow using the ribbon.

 Your Delightful Easter Gift Bag is now complete and ready for giving - yum!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stitched, Woven and Sewn - Easter Card-Making Ideas For Children

Easter is early this year. Everyone in our family can't help but feel pleased that we only have a four and a half week half term to gallop through and then a two week break - bliss!

On one hand this is great news, on the other it sends me into a bit of a panic as we like any excuse for a get together in our family and tend to embrace Easter as another big event on the family calendar. My side of the family usually joins us for a big lunch followed by an Easter Egg hunt where young and old alike make an unseemly dash around the garden to grab as much chocolate as possible.

As well as providing an excellent excuse to eat tonnes of chocolate Easter also provides the perfect opportunity to send a friendly word to friends and family who you may not be seeing over the long weekend and Easter cards have grown in popularity in the UK over the past few years.

Here are some very simple ideas for Easter Cards for children (or adults), to make using fabric, ribbon and Binca - simple ideas but also very effective.

For these I used cards that I bought in a local craft shop. The oval shapes were already cut out from the card but you could easily cut an egg shape from the front of a blank card or from a folded piece of card.

For the First design I used scraps of ribbon and wove them on the back of the card. To do this stick strips of ribbon vertically down the cut out egg shape and then weave strips of ribbon horizontally through them until the whole of the egg shape has been filled.

For the second I used sraps of floral fabric sewn together in a form of simple patchwork. This was then stuck to the back of the oval cutout using double sided tape. Finally I used some brightly coloured binca and stitched patterns in lovely Spring coloured thread and again this was stuck to the inside of the card.

They only take a few minutes to make and now all that needs to be decided is who to send them to.

Happy Mother's Day

Some pretty fabric flowers for a very special day - Happy Mother's Day to all of the briiliant Mum's doing what really is the best job in the world!