Wednesday, June 10, 2009 

Blanket Box

Combine a seat with practical space to keep your bedroom free of clutter.

You will need:

  • Wooden box with lid
  • Tape measure
  • Tongue and groove paneling
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Strong wood glue
  • Wood primer
  • Paintbrush
  • 4cm (1½in) deep foam
  • Craft knife
  • Fabric
  • Sewing machine or needle and cotton
  • Pins
  • Touch-and-close tape
  1. Measure the box and calculate how much tongue and groove paneling you will need. You can cover the box all around, or just the front and sides. If the widths do not fit exactly trim a plank to fit. Mark the measurements on the tongue and groove planks, then cut to size.
  2. Use the wood glue to fix the tongue and groove on to the box. When dry, give the entire box a coat of primer and allow to dry. Neat apply one or two coats of oil-based paint. Leave to dry.
  3. Cut the foam to fit the lid of the box. Cut a piece of fabric 40cm (16in) wider than the long edges of the cushion and long enough to wrap right round the cushion with an extra 15cm (6in) to spare. Turn under the long edges of the fabric and sew 1.5cm (⅝in) hems. Place the foam in the centre on the wrong side of the fabric. Fold over the long edges so the fabric overlaps in the middle of the foam.
  4. Fold over the short edges, mitring the corners exactly as if you were wrapping a present, and pin in place. Remove the foam and handstitch the fabric where it is pinned. Sew touch-and-close tape to the central seam. Replace the foam pad, close the opening with the touch-and-close tape and place the cushion, seams down, on the lid of the box.


Friday, June 5, 2009 

Fabric Cube

A versatile fabric cube can double as a useful table or comfy seat when guests arrive.

You will need:

  • Small square table
  • Wadding
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric
  • Pins

  1. Cover the top of the table with wadding, stretching it over the sides and fixing in place under the table top with a staple gun. Wrap a length of wadding all the way around the four sides of the table to form a box and secure in place with staples, as before.
  2. Measure the top of the table and the four sides. Cut out five pieces of fabric to these measurement, adding an extra 1cm (⅜in) on all sides for hems. Sew together the four pieces of fabric for the sides of the cube, keeping right sides together. Pin the top piece to the side pieces, then sew in place. Turn the cube right sides out an press. Hem around the bottom edges and slip the fabric cover over the table.
  3. Measure the top of the cube and cut the foam to fit. Cut out two pieces of fabric to the same measurement, adding an extra 2cm (¾in) on all sides for hems.
  4. Sew the pieces of fabric together with a 1cm (⅜in) seam allowance, keeping right sides together and leaving one short end open. Turn right sides out and place the foam inside. Stitch the opening closed. Place the foam on top of the table.


Thursday, June 4, 2009 

Colourful Curtain Tops

Create a touch of country style with an easy-to-sew checked heading that will add interest to plain curtains.

You will need:

  • Plain curtains
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and cotton
  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Tape measure
  • Curtain rings
  • Curtain clips

  • Remove any heading from the curtains, and resew any open seams. Wash, dry and press the heading fabric to make it easier to sew.
  • Measure and cut the heading fabric, making it 16cm (6½in) wider than the curtain, and 10cm (4in) longer than you want the finished heading to be. Turn under and stitch a 1cm (⅜in) double hem on one long edge, which will form the lower edge of the heading. Hem all other edges.

  • Lay the heading fabric right side down on a flat surface with the double hem at the top and lay the curtain, right side up, on top of it, positioning it centrally on the width. Overlap the two by 7cm (2¾in). Stitch across the top of the curtain to secure the two together (this will be invisible on the finished curtain).
  • Fold the heading over on to the right side of curtain and wrap the ends around the curtain to the back. Stitch all the edges in place by hand. Repeat with the second around. Attach the curtain rings to the pole and the clips to the curtain, then hang them at the window.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009 

Garden Chair Cushions

Use simple tea towels to make a seat cushion and headrest with handy pocket, for your garden chairs.

You will need:

  • 4 large tea towels
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine or needle and cotton
  • Iron
  • 40x30cm (16x12in) cushion pad
  • Eight 40cm (16in) lengths of satin ribbon
  • 45x45cm (18x18in) cushion pad

  1. For the headrest, trim the side seams from two of the tea towels so they are around 44cm (17½in) wide. Lay one tea towel, right side up, on a flat surface. Fold up one short end to form a pocket approximately 23cm (9in) deep. Pin and sew the sides together, allowing a 2 cm (¾in) seam. Press the seams open, then turn the fabric to the right side. Repeat with the second tea towel.
  2. Lay one headrest piece, pocket side up, on a flat surface. Lay the second, pocket side up, on top. Pin the top edges together and check the fit of the headrest on the chair. If the pockets are hanging down too low, reposition the pins until the fit is just right. Sew the two pieces together with a seam of around 2cm (¾in). Press the seam open and turn to the right side.
  3. Insert the smaller cushion pad into the front pocket, the fit the headrest on the chair. Mark on each pocket where you want to stitch the ribbons and neatly sew of a length of ribbon to each side of each pocket. Secure the headrest by tying the ribbons together.
  4. To make the seat cushion cover, cut a square, approximately 49x49cm (19½x19½in), from one tea towel. Trim along the long sides of the remaining tea towel to leave a rectangle around 49cm (19½in) wide and cut it in half widthways. Lay the square piece, right side up, on a flat surface. Position the two halves on top, right sides down, so they overlap in the centre with their hemmed edges. Pin all the way around the cushion cover’s edges and then machine stitch, allowing a 2cm (¾in) seam.
  5. Remove the pins and turn the cover to the right side. Stitch the ribbons, in two pairs, to adjacent corners of the cover. Insert the square cushion pad and fasten to the chair back with the ribbon ties.



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