27 May 2015

Pimp My Sewing Room! How to Make Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights

Make Your Own Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights!

Wanna make sewing pattern weights that look like your favourite childhood biscuits? Of course you do!

How to Make Party Ring Pattern Weights

Pattern weights are a great alternative to pins for holding sewing pattern pieces onto fabric when you're tracing them off or cutting them out with a rotary cutter. They're also useful for tracing patterns onto paper for alteration or preservation purposes (here are my tips on tracing sewing patterns).

Make Your Own Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights!
Make Your Own Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights!

Until recently, I've just used whatever I had to hand as makeshift pattern weights - scissors, pin holders, a plate o' jaffa cakes (ALWAYS to hand)... A lot of people swear by washers, so a quick trip to B&Q and a nail polish makeover later, and these babies were born!

Make Your Own Rainbow Sewing Pattern Weights!

I started by making rainbow pattern weights, because rainbows...

Make Your Own Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights!

... and then asked Laura to make some Party Ring ones (it's a tough job etc). They're inspired by my friend Lauren who can't get enough of Party Rings.

Make Your Own Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights!

A few notes on making these:

1) Nail polish on metal takes waaaay longer to dry than you might think. Don't stack these on top of each other for a few days, particularly if you've painted the underside. I did and they stuck together (boo).
2) Laura found a pin helpful for making the marbled icing effect on the Party Ring ones. (Mmm... marbled icing...)
3) Erm... that's it!

Make Your Own Sewing Pattern Weights!
Make Your Own Sewing Pattern Weights!

If you make your own, we'd love to see! What design would you go for?

PS. We've got a new sewing pattern coming out next week, along with something else extra exciting. Join our email list if you wanna be first to know what they are! (Eep!)

PPS. Liked this? Make an ironing board cover to match!

20 May 2015

Pimp My Sewing Room! How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Do you like the cover that came with your ironing board? Is it still clean, or has it got interfacing gunk stuck all over it like ours did (ssshhh!)? Vanessa here today – I recently recovered the ironing board at T&TB HQ in a gorgeous yellow fabric, and thought I’d share with you how to go about it. A nice and easy project that will make you smile whenever you press those seams!

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

You will need:

  • Ironing board
  • Enough fabric to cover it – medium weight cotton is ideal (the fabric I used is from Ray Stitch)
  • Matching thread
  • Heat protective wadding – or reuse the stuff that’s already on your ironing board, like I did
  • Bias binding – a bit longer than the circumference of your ironing board
  • String – a bit longer than the circumference of your ironing board
  • Medium-large safety pin
  • Sewing machine and basic tools, including a chalk pencil or washable pen
  • Optional: Pattern paper
  • Optional: About 40cm (15in) of 1cm (3/8in) wide elastic

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Remove your current ironing board cover. Lay your ironing board onto your fabric (or pattern paper if you want to make another one for later) and draw around it, 5cm (2in) away from the edge.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Cut your marked shape out of the fabric. If you're adding new wadding, cut it to the exact size of the ironing board (I'm just going to add the stuff that's already on the board).

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Open out the bias binding and press one of the short ends under about 1cm (3/8in), wrong sides together.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

With one of the long sides of the binding opened out, pin it to the raw edge of the fabric, right sides together. With the short end still pressed under, start stitching the binding to the fabric together along the fold nearest the raw edge...

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

When you are about 2cm (1in) from where you began, stop stitching and cut your binding with about 4cm (1½in) to spare. Fold this end under, pin and press with your fingers, then stitch over the folded edge, guiding it under the needle carefully.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Press the binding away from the fabric, then press it towards the wrong side of the fabric, rolling the seam under slightly. Pin the binding to the fabric, then edgestitch approximately 2mm (1/8in) from the folded edge.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover
How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

You should now have a little self enclosed tube running around the underside of your fabric. Attach a safety pin to one end of the string. Post it into the tube and using both hands to push and pull, guide it right the way around the casing until it pops out the other side – make sure the end of the string doesn’t vanish inside the tube!

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

And now you will now have something resembling a shower cap ☺

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Again making sure neither end of the string vanishes back into the casing, distribute the gathers out until it takes the shape of your ironing board. Remember – more gathering = more curves. Position your ironing board inside the cover, with the wadding in between, then tighten the string until it fits snuggly around the base. Tie a double bow as tight as you can to secure.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

For extra security, you can stitch a piece of elastic to either side of the cover to secure it – not essential, I added this as an afterthought.

How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Give your new ironing board an iron (not something I ever thought I would be suggesting people do, but as zen a task as any). You now have a beautiful, clean and un-scorched ironing board!

This project has given us the bug for tarting up more stuff around the studio, so look out for more posts in our ‘Pimp Your Sewing Room’ series!

PS. Have you seen we've got new dates for our sewing workshops? Come and brush up your skills at our studio in South London. (You can use this ironing board if you like!)