Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Soap & Sachets, or How We Said "Thank you".

Along with Christmas there is another time for giving in the school calendar - the end of the school year. Many children like to say "Thank you" to their teacher who has guided them through the ups and downs of the school year and it is an ideal time for us parents to show that we recognise their hard work and the valuable input that teachers can have on our childrens' development.

My oldest boy is now too cool to take in a gift for his teacher, apparently it's not the done thing when you get to secondary school, so this year there were just three presents to organise - two class teachers and a very special much loved English teacher. After consultation with my two younger boys we decided to go handmade - that is "made" mainly by my hands...

....here's what we came up with:

A lovely fragrant gift comprising of a set of lavender sachets and a vintage style jar full to the brim with fabulously scented Lime, Mandarin and Basil soaps.

The soap was completely home made and we had lots of fun making it and in order to get a vintage look I packaged it in a Kilner Jar. These lovely chunky glass jars were first invented in the 1800s by the Kilner family. Originally they were used for preserves as the rubber sealed lid made them airtight and ideal for keeping food fresh for long periods of time. These days you find Kilner Jars used for all kinds of craft purposes and they make lovely vintage packaging. They can be found in most supermarkets and hobby shops and are inexpensive to buy. The finishing touches were gingham ribbon tied around the top and a luggage label with a fabric heart stuck on the front as a gift tag.

The lavender sachets make a lovely home made gift. I made them as a set of three with co-ordinating fabric tied with some cream cotton tape - simple, but cute and effective. The tutorial for these will follow shortly.

Happy Summer Holidays!

It is hard to believe that another school year has passed and we have reached the Summer holidays. This year has been amazing at Hope & Gloria Sewing Clubs. Our club members have been hard working and incredibly creative and should feel very proud of all that they have achieved. It seems like the ideal time to add a gallery of some of the lovely projects that have been made throughout the year and at the same time say well done to everyone who has been to a Hope & Gloria Workshop or club this year.

Good luck to all of the lovely Year 6s who are moving on to their new schools. You will be missed and remember - keep sewing you are brilliant at it!

Pretty Patchwork Cushions

Easter Bunting

Groovy Baby Sunglass Cases

Juicy Orange Purses

Mouthwatering Melon Purses

...and finally pear pincushions that look good enough to eat!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lavender Blue - A Shabby Chic Lavender Heart Tutorial

An online search of the healing properties of Lavender will show a surprising number of healing and therapeutic uses for this pretty plant. All I know is that it smells lovely and looks great in the garden throughout the Summer.

We have a number of lavender plants in our garden at home (here they are!) and I am told that I need to wait until mid August before I can cut it and hang it up to dry for use when making gifts just in time for Christmas. In the meantime I have bough some dried lavender petals online - they are easily available to buy and also inexpensive.

As we are rapidly approaching the end of the school year here is a project that is a pretty idea for a teachers' gift. It is quick and simple to make and ideal as a "Thank You" for the past school year.

You will need 2 large fabric heart shapes, 1 small fabric heart shape, 15cm ribbon, 1 button

For this project I have used cream calico fabric. It is quite thin fabric so will allow the scent of the Lavender hearts to seep through.I have cut out the smaller fabric heart using pinking shears to give that shabby chic feel. Any combination of patterned and plain fabric works well but remember the thinner the fabric the more scent you will get from your shabby chic heart.

Step one:

Pin the small fabric heart to the middle of the larger calico heart and sew around the edges. For speed I have used my sewing machine but this project will work just as well if it is hand sewn.

Step two:

Pin the two calico hearts together with the right sides facing then sew around the outside leaving a 4cm gap along one of the straight edges.

Step three:

Cut small notches into the fabric along the curved edges. Take care not to cut through the stitches. This will prevent the fabric from being bunched up inside the heart and distorting the shape when you turn it around the right way.

Step four:

Turn your heart the right way round by folding through the gap you have left on the straight edge. Add the lavender, sew up the remaining hole using small hidden or over stitches.

Finally, add the ribbon and sew in place with a button to decorate.

These pretty hearts are ideal for adding a delicious fragrance to stored clothes in wardrobes, cupboards and drawers or if you think they are too pretty to hide away why not hang them over door/drawer handles adding a decorative touch as well as a relaxing scent to any room.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Time To Get Organised.- A Vintage Inspired Memo Board

When I look around my workroom, making a memo board does seem like a bit of a token gesture when it comes to getting organised. This time of the year is always so busy - it's coming up to the end of the school year and we have lots of projects to get finished in our sewing clubs. Then there are next year's projects to design which I am happy to say are nearly complete. On the home front there are sports days, swimming galas and end of year parties. A few days ago a friend of mine said this time of the year feels as busy as Christmas and I think I am beginning to agree with her.

However, I wouldn't have it any other way. Hope & Gloria I am pleased to say is expanding further next year with four new school sewing clubs being launched and two lovely new members joining the Hope & Gloria Team.

With all of the above in mind it is my Summer Holiday resolution to become super organised. It's time to throw out anything that is not needed and to have a specific place for everything that is. This lovely memo board is the first step in the right direction. OK, I admit it was also an opportunity to make something lovely out of lovely Summer fabric and I have wanted to make one for a long long time but I am very pleased with the results and I now have the perfect place to put all of those notes to myself and pictures of things I plan to make instead of piling them on the corner of my desk.

It was very easy to make - I opted for 100% cotton curtain fabric as this looks smart and crisp as well as being hard wearing and easy to work with. The criss cross ribbons are pink cotton tape which works well with the candy colours of the fabric and I was delighted to find the floral fabric covered buttons which add to the vintage feel of the memo board.

All I need to do now is knock a nail a in the wall and it's time to get organised!