Oh the thing us parents have to do.
I thought I’d start the new year – not with a pattern – but with a story of regeneration, and of what is possible when you think all is lost… sometimes. 
Meet Pop-pop. Yes, I’ll admit the name’s a little quirky, but she was given it by a 1 year old that had a pretty limited vocab at the time.
Fast forward 5 years…… that floppy little bunny has become a major part of our family. I can safely say that it’s my daughters favourite cuddly toy. She will not travel or go to sleep without it.. and we kind of love it as much.
But would you just look at the state of her! Shabby, covered in holes – I’d darned her countless times – I’d even darned the darned bits – those holes were now just too big to darn. And terminally grubby – as much as I was keen to give her her regular spin in the washing machine it was a safe bet that she was likely to just fall apart. 
Buying a new one just wouldn’t have cut it. We’d never have been able to replace the old Pop-pop. Drastic measures were what was required here – this bunny needed a skin transplant. Could we rebuild her?
Only one way to find out.
 I got to work with my trusty tools and an old minky hoodie that no longer fitted…
took a copy of her body parts….
 made them into a pattern, 
and bit… 
 by bit…
gave her a bit of a makeover…
Some bits I could sew together by machine but it was mainly hand stitching. The eye and nose area had to be care fully cut away and stitched back so she still has the same ol’ features.
It took ages… but oh was it worth it.
Ta da! Good as new. A brand new Pop-pop….
and a very happy, little girl.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
XXX

We’re hunkering down for the winter here in London… and it’s getting cold… so I thought I’d share this. In these times of saving energy, colossal heating bills and (still, despite what people are saying) austerity. Someone somewhere may find it useful….
Have you seen the gaps underneath our doors?

I mean… seriously…. Look at them.
Gaping, draught-beckoning, under-door, wind-tunnelling, chasms.
…. Kind of needed to sort this.
I have a small stash of fake fur that I’ve had for years. nice stuff that is destined to become, one day, the most gorgeous coat – but in the meantime, there’s just about enough of it to spare for a more pressing little project to keep out those breezes.

So off to Jewsons I go for some pipe insulation (all will become clear – I promise). Love it there – shopping with all those builders – surreal.
So what do you do with a pile of fake fur and pipe insulation?
Here’s what. This is an idea I got from lovely blog Living a Slow and Simple Life . A fab draught excluder that slides snugly underneath your door – and (this is the important bit) stays there. It moves with your door. No getting in the way. No having to put it back in place. 
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And you know what – what a difference.
So snug that when you open the door you’re practically blown off your feet. Ok…. so I exaggerate, but trust me – it works, and particularly well with wooden floors. Our living room has never been so toasty. You needn’t use expensive fake fur. Fun fur, fleece, velour, velboa, minky or even just some unused fabric would be just as good, and for a room with a floor covering like carpet, a fabric with no pile, like cotton canvas, would be the best option.
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It’s important for the environment and for our pockets that we try to conserve as much heat and waste as little energy as possible these days so this is a great idea. It’s easy to make and works out pretty cheap. With the most basic of sewing skills and couple of hours you could do some serious draught busting. 
Click HERE for instructions.

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There’s nothing nicer than a handmade gift. I love ’em. But Boys?….. simple handmade gifts for boys (and by that I mean men) – now, that’s a tricky one, especially with the men I know. They seem to be much more discerning, more fussy than any girl. They totally get the handmade thing but with them there seems to be no messing –  they want stuff that is either really cool or really practical.
Ok. BIG birthday challenge of the above kind. Thankfully I had a small amount of this  great Riley Blake cassette-print cotton fabric.
I picked it up on a visit to friends and family in Bristol, UK from the most fabulous craft shop Flo Jo Boutique. Well worth a visit if you live in or are visiting the area. It sells  all manner of gorgeous printed fabrics, and holds some great classes and workshops – check it out.
I decided to keep it very simple with these lovely little Tidy Bags. Great for keeping their shoes/trainers or undies in when travelling, or just for great-looking, handy hanging bathroom/bedroom storage. Half a metre will give you a couple or if you have more fabric you can make as many as you like. How about a variety of sizes. You can change the size and proportions – the making process is still the same. I think an extra large one would make a great laundry bag. Perfect  – and not just for the boys – I know plenty of girls who would love it too.
They’re easy to make – a good project, particularly if you’re new to sewing. It’s made using ‘French Seams’, so it will be nicely-finished and good quality. I’ve put together an easy to follow tutorial.
You Can find it HERE. 
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Here I am again, sorting through my stash, not wanting to throw away these scraps of fabric. It just seems so wasteful.
Time for another project….. some modern patchwork. As lovely as traditional patchwork is, it takes on a whole new lease of life when we bring in right up into the digital age. “How do you do that?”, I hear you ask…….
…….PIXELS
1. Pixel Ice-cream Plimsols, 2 & 3. AIE Fashion, 4. 3 Rings, 5. Avant Garden, 6. Socialphy
These graphic inspired textiles are currently all over the blogosphere, and are crying out to be made up as modern patchwork.
I decided to stick with something pretty simple – a cushion comprising of 9 rows of 9 squares, 81 squares in total. 
For anyone who’d like to give this a go HERE’s what I did. 

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I’ve got loads of scrap fabric.
LOADS. 
I can’t get rid of it, it’s far too nice… but the pieces are small – not enough to do much with. I’ve all the bunting I need and no need for anything ‘patchwork’ at the moment.
Fabric Stash ideas, How to use up your fabric scraps, Stashbusting ideas
Here’s something I thought I might try with a scrap of a lovely large flower print I found and a small piece of nice upholstery linen – Appliqué. 
I’ve a lot of cushions without decent covers. I’ve decided, in my new ‘old’ house, that I’m not going to buy any more cushion covers – they are so easy to make, and it seems to be the only way to get something unique, original and interesting, unless of course you pay megabucks for one offs or designer exclusives. 
One by one, I’m covering them, slowly but surely, and I thought that this might be a good use for some of my fabric scraps. 

This is what I came up with – an appliqué cushion. 
I sewed a big red Poppy from a large flower print piece of scrap I had in my stash onto this green linen.
I then used my Easy Cushion Pattern to make it into a cushion. It worked pretty well and was quite easy to do.

I think it looks pretty cool. You can make it as unusual and as unique as you like. 
…and you can get my free instructions on how to do this

Red, white, blue, flags, balloons, bunting, painted faces, street parties – schools, nurseries, church halls, pubs, everywhere! Seems that even the least likely patriots of us have caught the Jubilee bug, particularly here in London where the 2012 Olympics are looming on the horizon. It’s not even worth taking down the decorations – might as well just keep them up until September.
Wishing you all a lovely and not too soggy (weather forecast is dire of course) weekend of celebrations.

Patchwork Flag Dress by thredHED
Pattern is available to order.
For information contact: thredhed@btinternet.com

I had a big stash of fabric and not much space to store it. My little daughter was coming up to the age where she was ready to sleep in a proper bed – a lovely old one, passed down through the family. I couldn’t find a duvet cover in the shops which wasn’t pink and girly, gimmicky or just another brand promotion, and I wanted something a little bit quirky and individual but not too naff. The solution was staring me in the face!

A lovely vintage-style patchwork duvet cover! Perfect for that homespun look that fits so nicely with the old wooden bed, and a great way of using all those cotton prints I had stashed away. Not too difficult to do, although took a certain amount of planning re measurements etc and I can understand how a project could be a little daunting for some. So……. I’ve made it nice and easy for you guys and provided you with a pattern.
This one I did is for a single size duvet. It is made of simple squares, has a sheeting border which frames and shows off the patchwork, and a sheeting back to give a soft smooth surface for your little one’s delicate skin. For a clean finish it has a simple side opening with a button fastening(just one of the options).
What’s great about this duvet cover is that once you.ve done one you can make another in a different colour or patterns – the options are endless. You can then, if you wish, use the lefover offcuts to make cushion covers or a laundry bag (watch this space) for a matching look, at a fraction of the cost of the shop-bought equivalent.


Get my free Patchwork Duvet cover Pattern and instructions
 Here
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A friend of mine has been given an old 1960’s sewing maching. Old but beautiful, and it’s in excellent working order (they don’t make ’em like they used to). Understandably she would now like to learn to sew. Thinking that cushion covers would be a nice basic pattern to start with, and hearing that she’d like to make some, I promised I’d dig out a nice easy one – no fastenings and no fancy finishes, for her and anyone else who needs to update their soft furnishings! This is an easy to follow pattern for a 45cm(18 inch) square cushion which, because of it’s simplicity, can be easily sized up or down, depending on the size of the cushion pad you have. Here it is …..

If you can get hold of a metre of decent quality fake fur – this is a great way to make some early Christmas presents. This fur hat was meant to be made in shaggy wolf fur – thus the name ‘Wolf Hat’ – but I happened to have some gorgeous quality smooth short-pile lying around and it would’ve been crazy not to have tried it out. The result – more of a ‘Cat Hat’ in this type of fur, but gorgeous and just adds to the versatilty of this pattern. Could also be made in a lighter coloured long-pile to give a great ‘Husky Dog’ look.  Perfect for your Halloween Cat or Werewolf costume, and then guaranteed to keep you nice and warm when the real winter weather arrives. Has the added extra of a scarf tie, with pockets at the ends to keep the wearer’s hands warm. Fake fur can be a little tricky to sew but on the plus side it hides a multitude of sins. As well as this, the seams do not need finishing as it’s all hidden inside the lining – and there are no fastenings. Sizes 2-3 to 8-9.

Have noticed that these are quite big with grown-ups – especially the boys. The pattern could be quite easily sized up – or would you like an adult version?….

Just in time for Halloween – Something fun for those who are perhaps a little too young
to dress up properly  -A monster hat and mittens that are cute enough not to be too scary.  Made here in soft fleece – an easily handled fabric which requires no finishing. Nice basic patterns which, with a choice of different features and colours can be adapted for a girl or boy. Makes a great present.
Sizes to fit 2 and 3-4. As the hat pattern is so simple it can be easily sized up.