Sunday, 27 November 2011

Apron tutorial

Hello! I thought I would share with you my apron tutorial. I was fed up with getting paint on my clothes and ruining them and I couldn't find a cheap apron anywhere that fitted me properly (I wanted it to cover me) so decided to make my own.
I have no real measurements for you, I just held the fabric up to me at different stages...I tend to do all my sewing by eye! Also I didn't really take as many photos as I needed to explain what I was doing, but, its pretty simple so you shouldn't have any problems if you want to have a go!!

You will need:
1/2 m of fabric, a bit more if you want your pocket to be in the same fabric (my pocket was 1/2 m wide so it went all across the front of the apron, by 26cm deep)
matching thread
webbing for the neck strap and ties

 1. I folded my fabric in half with the fold to the right and then I laid an old apron, folded in half, on the top with the armhole to the left. Notice that the top of my apron is wider than the old apron- I wanted the top of my apron wider so it covered me better but you can cut yours to match your apron if you want! If you dont have an old apron to use as a template just hold the fabric against you and put a mark where you want the curved bit to end and then draw a curve on your fabric (IYKWIM! Sorry, not much good at tutorials!)

 2. Cut through both layers of fabric, following the line of the curve. Ensure you are not cutting on the folded edge.

 3. Along the top edge of the apron I put four small tucks in. This was so that the top bib part of the apron fitted snuggly against me and would not gape. I just held the fabric up against me to see how much I would need to tuck.

4.Pin the hem on the top edge. I didn't do a double hem on my apron but if you like things nice and neat you may want to.

5. Stitch the hem along the top edge ensuring you catch in your tucks.

6. On the armhole edges (the curved lines) make some small snips along the curve with your scissors. This will ensure that the hem will lay flat when you stitch it.

7. Hem the armhole edge

8. Hem down each side of your apron. You then need to hold the apron against yourself and check the length. Mine was a little long so I cut off the excess and then hemmed the bottom edge.

9. Take a length of the webbing, roughly the size to fit around your neck, and safety pin it to one side of your apron ensuring that there is an overlap inside so you can attach it, I left about an inch. Take the webbing around your neck adjusting the length to suit you. When you are happy with it pin the other side in place.

10. Stitch the neck webbing onto your apron. I sewed it in a square shape with an 'x' in the middle to give a bit of added strength.

11. The stitching from the front of the apron

12. Next take the 2 lengths of webbing for the side ties and pin one to each side of the apron, placing them to suit you and then stitch them in place. 

13. Now here I forgot to take a photo of cutting the pocket! I wanted my pocket to go right the way across my apron so I cut a piece of fabric the width of the apron (roughly 1/2 m allowing for the hem) and 26cm deep. I ironed the hem all the way around the pocket before pinning it and sewing it. You dont have to hem it seperately you could just iron the hem and attach it to the apron and sew it straight on, but I didn't think of this until afterwards! After I had hemmed the pocket I folded it into 3 equal parts and pressed it with the iron again to give me two crease lines to sew on to divide the pocket into 3.

14. I held the apron against me to decide where to place the pocket and then I stitched it on, leaving the top edge of the pocket open (obviously!). I then sewed up the two crease lines to make the individual pockets. Sew from the bottom of the pocket up as if you go from top to bottom you may get a gathering of fabric which will bunch up.

15. I added a home made label to the side of my apron. I used my logo stamp on calico.

16. Finished!

I ended up making two as my friend wanted one as well! They fit really nicely and look great and you could decorate them how you want. I was going to use calico for the pocket and hand paint it with some designs to make it truly original but I didn't like the contrast between the deep purple and the calico so went for a pocket of the same colour.
I think I am going to make some more so all the Wight Craft Circle ladies have one for our retreat in February and I may design a WCC logo so we can add that to the front of the aprons.
I hope if you want to try the apron tutorial you can understand it, I have never posted a tutorial before, and please show me your finished aprons!!
Also, big thanks to Paige for taking the photos for me (she's the turquoise apron in the photo!!!).
Sami x

Sunday, 13 November 2011

New painting and a new class

I have just finished a commissioned painting for someone.

Mixed media on 12x12" canvas
I used watercolour crayons, acrylics, ink sprays and stamping. The pentacle, raven and triple swirl are my own stamps that I have made stamped onto vintage book paper. I used flocking powder on the flower and the black part of the corset to make it look like velvet (which you can't really see from the photo).
I don't have a name for her yet though.

I have started a new class over at Wild Precious Studio called 'To see us through the long dark'. We are using the book 'life is a verb' by Patti Digh as the inspiration for the class. The book was written because the authors step father died just 37 days after being diagnoised with cancer, which made her examine her own life-'37 days to wake up, be mindful and live intentionally'. It is a wonderful book full of art, challenges to help you live a better life and to examine your own life. Effy Wild is running the class and asked us lots of questions after the first chapter, one of them being-'if your story was a house what would it look like?' We were then asked to do a collage journal page on this particular question.

 So, this is my house. Not a great work of art but I wanted to concentrate more on the meaning of it and answering the question rather than create a piece of art work. Some of the images I chose because they are symbolic, others just because I liked them.My family influence the house greatly, my kids and my hubby (who is my hero, hence the superhero image!), my spirituality, transformation and creativity. The attic is the darker area where skeletons lurk, innocence has been put away, people of the past reside, caged birds (thoughts and dreams) are held and that scared little girl still sometimes wanders. The clock has no time on it to encourage me to live in the now. The white bubbles outside the house represent letting go of things.
I am really enjoying this class, the book is a wonderful read, the questions are thought provoking and everyone on the site is so supportive of each other. I was just going to follow along with this class quietly, in the background, without posting my answers or my art, because I don't really like revealing stuff about myself but I am so glad I took the plunge and fully participated, It means I am 'inhabiting my own story'.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend,
Sami x

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Treasure and JOY

I have been thinking about my JOY book for this year. JOY stands for 'journal our Yule' which is P and mines Pagan version of JYC! Basically the same except we incorporate our Yule traditions in with our christmas traditions.
P had said what a lovely idea it would be to do my journal inside an old christmas book. We then found a pin on pinterest of a JYC book done inside a christmas stories book, so the hunt was on for an old looking copy of this Charles Dickens favourite!
I took P to this wonderful bookshop in Ryde. He sells new books but has 3 stories of secondhand books.We were in there for over an hour and came out with some excellent stuff!

 My selection
I found a red leather copy of A Christmas Carol, not that old, rather made to look old, another copy of A christmas carol as it has some wonderful line drawings in it, an old music book, some old patterns, a book of Keats poetry and oh wonderous joy, an old ledger from 1871!!

 (sorry forgot to turn photos!)
I have been looking for one of these old ledgers for about 8 months. They seem all the trend at the moment to art journal in. I tried ebay and etsy but they were either too expensive or would not post to the UK. I went into the same bookshop about 6 months ago and asked if he had any and he said no. I found this in the bookshop just sat on the window sill on the second level of the shop, as if it was just waiting for me!
It is quite badly damaged but I am sure I can do something with it. And it was only £6!

It is about a third full with the most wonderful old writing. The trouble is, now I have started reading it I am not sure if I can art journal over the pages! It is so interesting.It has the Butlers accounts in, how much of what was bought, when and the price. The ledger seems to be from an English Family and starts off in Wellington(in India), then Aldershot then back to Burma. The names of where they are at the time are at the top of each page and by googling I have found they are towns in India. The names listed as the servents, I wasn't sure if they were the peoples names or their job but I googled them as well and it is their job, one is a washer women, one a water boy and one a native translator as well as the butler and gardener. There are little notes next to some of the names such as 'fined 4 rupes for burning a pair of trousers' and ' gave the old Sais Rs 4, keeping Rs 2 back as a guarnatee that he does not make a vow with other servants'. How cool is that! Unfortunately there is not a family name in the book, but my son and I are assuming that they were British goverment or military in India at that time.So, to art journal in it not???

 Anyway, on to my JOY book. I forgot to take photos from the start, but basically I took out the pages using a craft knife. There were two red pages that I left in tact so that I could cover the inside spine. I then took the binder bit from an old A4 ring binder and lined it up on the spine. I made two holes and used eyelets to attach the binder in place. The eyelets were not quite deep enough to give a firm hold so I also had to use two brads to secure it. I hammered the pin part of the brads into the indent of the binder so that they don't move around.

The spine with the brads showing

I have cut an assortment of pages,

Such as xmas paper, index cards, kraft paper and the pages of the christmas carol book.

No doubt I will add more as December comes around. I am going for a more art journal type book this year rather than a scrapbook/mini book style. I want to concentrate more on the actual journalling but I will include photos as well as I love looking back over previous xmas books I have made and seeing the photos of our traditions.
Sami x

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Thank you Carmen!

This post is a big thank you to the wonderful Carmen! (Check out her blog, lots of arty projects, great book reviews and wonderful Rocking your world posts. A very inspirational lady!)
I entered a giveaway on her blog for a tool tote and I won!!
It arrived yesterday afternoon and I ripped into the parcel straight away, oohhhed and aahhhed over it, stroked it a lot but then I had to put it to one side until this morning as I was busy working yesterday.


It is a really sturdy bag with loads of room inside and lots of external pockets

I have had lots of fun this morning trying to fill it up with crafty/painty goodness

And as you can see I still have lots of space left for the new paints I'm hoping Santa will bring me!
So thankyou lovely generous Carmen, big hugs to you and your cutie random generator who pulled my name out of the smartie bowl!
Sami x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Calendar challenge

Well, I didn't post my October calendar as I had not completed it until yesterday!
I have had such a busy month but I made sure to jot something down for each day so I could catch up when I got the chance.

October page done with Dylusions paints and sprays, stencils, stamps and a little digi image from The Octopode Factory.
Samhain is the pagan celebration on 31st October, a time to remember our ancestors and loved ones that have passed (hence the stamped faces amongst the trees!) and it is also our new year and a time to give thanks for all the blessings of the past year.

November page done with Dylusions paints and sprays and metallic acrylic paint splattered everywhere!
These pages were done in a bit of a rush as I didn't want to fall further behind, but I am quite pleased with how they have turned out!
Check out everyone elses calendar pages over at Kates blog.
Sami x