Tutorial: Making Paper Quills

What do criminals and crafters have in common? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, quite a lot! Their definition of the noun ‘stash’ is as follows:

stash, n.1 slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.).

1 a. Something, or a collection of things, stashed away; a hoard, stock; a cache.

  1. A cache of an (illegal) drug; a quantity (of a drug); the drug itself.
  2. slang (orig. Criminals’). A hiding-place, a hide-out; a rendezvous; a dwelling, ‘pad’.

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The meaning of the verb ‘to stash’ isn’t much better either:

  1. To bring to an end, stop, desist from (a matter, a practice); to quit (a place). Often imp. stash it!, stash that!, †to stash the glim: to cease using the light. to stash up: to bring to an abrupt end.
  2. To conceal, to hide; to put aside for safe keeping; to stow or store. Freq. with away. Formerly Criminals’ slang; orig. U.S. in revived mod. use.

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Tutorial: Making a Raddle

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When you’re a child, there’s nothing more disappointing than getting some exciting new toy, only to find that it didn’t come with any batteries, they’re some obscure size you’d never have any spares of anyway and of course, it’s holiday season so you can’t just pop down to the shops either.

The grown-up version of this is having hauled some hefty piece of crafting equipment back home, precariously tied to your car, only to find you’ve forgotten some nut, bolt or screw that means you can’t fully assemble it immediately.

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Luckily, particularly when it comes to weaving, necessity is the mother of invention and one of the true joys of adulthood is unfettered access to DIY stores and power tools. Plus, how often is it what you get to do is essentially crafting with a very heavy hammer?

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Tutorial: Making Buttonholes

The pyjama saga has finally come to an end! They are now with the intended recipient, who sadly was too shy to model them for the blog, but they fit perfectly and look fantastic. Great success all around!

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Finished!

The final steps were mostly making the buttonholes, pressing out the material so it didn’t look like it had been in the bottom of a project bag and tidying up any hairy seams that hadn’t quite gone according to plan. There were also a few finishing touches, like sewing in some loops to the top and bottoms, so they can sit on a hanger.

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Bit of gift wrapping

Buttonholes have a, somewhat undeserved, reputation for being really difficult to do. I think it is because they are generally one of the last things you will do on a garment and there is the lingering terror that you’re going to butcher your project and have months more work to do.

It is always a good idea to have a practice of these things, particularly if you’re doing them for the first time. I also recommend trying a sample on the material you will be using for the garment as well – I’ve found machines have a tendency to chew the polyester with dense areas of stitching.

So how do you make a buttonhole then? As sewing machines have moved a long way from the days of the cast iron Singers, there’s a few different methods, with varying levels of automation, for doing buttonholes.

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