Saturday, 25 July 2020

Mummy/Daughter Matching Maxi Skirts

Whatabout ye folks....its Lee here, aka Loops.  I hope you are all doing well and everyone is safe and healthy in these crazy times we are a'livin'.  I'm trying to get back into the swing of crafting and blogging again since, I upped sticks and ran for the hills. But hopefully I will be a bit more present on my blog and YouTube channel.  I have so many things I want to make and tutorials I want to share.  If you have any requests, please do leave a comment below and let me know what you would like to see.  Or you can contact me directly on the blog contact form at the top right of this blog.
I'm here to show you a little sewing project I've made for my wee sister and niece. Other than the time I made T a Dorothy Gale outfit (see post HERE), I've never made cloths before.  And starting my sewing garments adventure, I decided to work with probably the most difficult of fabrics...good old slippery chiffon.  But this fabric was a medium weight chiffon so I found that as long as I used a 70/10 needle and plenty of pins, the fabric was a dream to work with.

As I said, Im new to garment sewing.....or any sewing really, so I wanted to make something simple.  My sister, T loves matching with her wee 4 year old daughter, Lexi.  So I decided a simple elasticated waist maxi skirt would be a great beginner project for my novice skills.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the exact Ebayer that I bought this fabric from.  And I can't find this exact fabric.  But this fabric is pretty similar...click here  and this fabric is similar in colour, also from Ebay
If you want a really great tutorial, check out Comicat Creations on YouTube.  She has fantastic tutorials that are so well explained and really simple.  Here is the tutorial of her Maxi Skirt here
This is Lexi's little skirt.  It is a simple elasticated waist.
To make the skirt, I used the complete width of the fabric and doubled it, ie., one piece for the front and one for the back.  So I basically had a massive rectangle of fabric, just sewed up the 2 sides.  This gave me a really big rectangle that is obviously too wide.....but that's what the elastic is for.
Use the elastic to make the pleats.  I just made a channel along the top of the skirt and added the elastic into it.  As the waist size is smaller than the large rectangle of fabric, the elastic creates the pretty and even pleats.  Such a simple make.  I think I will now make myself one....and I think I'll be very brave and add pockets!  Little Miss Confident, teehee...I've made 2 maxi skirts and suddenly I'm a fashion designer, lol.

That's it from me folks.  Hopefully I'll be back soon with another project of some kind....goodness knows what it will be, teehee.

Toodles Noodles.......Lee aka Loops xx

If you want, you can buy me a coffee which helps me maintain this blog so I can make bigger and better content, simply click on the image or copy the link below.  No pressure at all, its just if you want to.  Cheers big ears!

https://ko-fi.com/craftyloops

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Jelly roll race Quilt for my Niece

Whatabout ye folks?!!! I should have shared this years ago....but I'm a disaster, teehee.  3 years ago, I shared the little tiny rag quilt that I frantically threw together to give to my niece as her "proper" quilt hadn't been finished yet.  It only took me 2 1/2 years (yes you read that correctly...two and a half years!) but I FINALLY finish the long promised quilt for my little niece, Lexi.  The poor child didn't get it until Christmas 2017, lol....and here I am only sharing it now!

I am new to anything involving a sewing machine.  I mean, I'm so new to it that I haven't even made the simple beginner projects yet like table runners and placemats.  I still have to consult my users manual every time I thread my machine.....that's how new to all this sewing stuff I am.  So goodness knows where the confidence to make an almost King Sized Quilt came from.  I even quilted the monstrosity myself.  Ok, it was a simple, sew up this end, turn and sew up the other end, kind of quilting.....but I did it.  I found a tutorial on YouTube of the "Jelly Roll Race Quilt" by Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company  along with another tutorial from Angie at ChicNScratch YouTube Channel.  They are fantastic tutorials.  Granted.....it took me 2 and a half years to make and not the "1 hour" that Jenny made hers in....but hey, whats a few years between friends, eh?  Admittedly the actual quilt top does go together incredibly quickly, it was just the rest of it that took me a long time, teehee.

Anyway, here it is.  The finished quilt in all its glory....and mistakes galore, lol.
This jelly roll was so lovely to work with and the fabric is so pretty. Details of where to buy are below. This was the topper section of the jelly roll.  I hadn't cut it all even at this stage.  This was literally just completed at this stage.
Here's a closer look at the fabric and how it all came together.  I was so chuffed when it all came together so easily.  I highly recommend the Jelly Roll Race quilt for any newbie sewers and quilters.  If I can do it, anyone can, teehee.  Check out the link to Jenny's video, above.  You basically just sew each 2" strip of fabric together is a massively long strip.  Match your 2 ends and sew those lines together, and so on.
 The Downtown Abbey label (purchase link below) was simply cut from a selection that was printed onto the fat quarter.  I hand sewed the message onto it....ok its not straight but I don't do hand sewing lol.  I (badly) hand sewed it onto the quilt, once I had everything else complete.  I made my own bias binding with a plain pink cotton fabric.  I used a zig-zag stitch to attach it, using my sewing machine instead of hand stitching it on like a lot of people do.  I did not have time (or patience) for hand sewing the binding on and the zig-zag stitching actually looks very pretty on the quilt.  It added an extra element of texture to the quilt.  That isn't a hole in the fabric by the way.  I edited the photo to obscure Lexi's surname.  
When it came to quilting, I just did simple vertical and horizontal lines.  I didn't worry about marking the quilt with evenly spaced lines as I wanted the quilting to look "handmade".  So although I did try to keep the space between each line of quilting even, I wasn't being too particular if a line of sewing was a few mm wider or narrower than its neighbour. 
Ok, this is where my lack of experience in sewing was ultimately obvious.  There are a few little (ahem...rather large, teehee) wrinkles in the fabric where I mistakenly pulled in folded fabric under the presser foot.  Realistically, if I had have noticed it sooner, I should have hand picked the bottom right third section of the quilt and resewed it, but of course I had the quilt turned the other way up so I didn't see it until I had completely quilted the vertical lines.  Of course I still could have unpicked all that sewing but honestly...I would have cried if I had to do that. So I hoped it would be hidden in the quilting and my mistakes would be forgiven, lol.  But for a newbie, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  And the quilting did hide most of my faux pas, teehee.  I'll just know for the next time to keep checking the back of the quilt as I go along.
PRODUCT LIST AND WHERE TO BUY IT

My sewing machine is a Janome QXL605 sewing machine and I purchased it from Sewing Machines Direct in the UK (fantastic company by the way.  If you visit them and make a purchase...tell them I sent you.).
The fabric I used for the main "Jelly roll" section of the quilt was a Jelly Roll I bought on Ebay from cottonsquares on Ebay.  It didn't have a specific name, it was just called "pink/lilac".
The fabric for the borders, backing and binding was bought from fyvie.star.fabrics.ltd from Ebay also. (sadly, they no longer seem to be open).
The fabric quilt label was bought from eddiecw from Ebay and it was a fat quarter called Downtown Abbey.
The quilt batting was again bought from Ebay but I can't seem to find the seller for it, sorry.  But it is readily available on Ebay.  It was a cotton batting that is flame retardant and can be washed at 40 degrees in your washing machine.  If you are buying batting for a quilt, particularly one for a baby or child, please pay a bit more money for a flame retardant batting.  I'd rather spend a few extra pennies per metre for the safety benefit, knowing the quilt is safe for my niece to use, than not.  Plus it's always a bonus to be able to throw it into your washing machine too.

That's it from me folks.  I'll be back soon with goodness knows what.

Toodles Noodles....Lee aka Crafty Loops xx




Friday, 22 May 2020

Face Masks with Filters


Hello Folks.  Long time no see......for everyone, I suppose.  These are strange times we are living in and I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

I thought, as everyone and their garden gnome are making masks, I thought I would share 2 designs that I have made. These are not my designs, and I will share the links to the original posts.

I decided to go with 2 styles, as I wanted to ensure that everyone in my family got at least 2 that would fit them perfectly and safely.  I did change some of the features in both these masks but I will explain what I changed and why I did, below.

Firstly, was the Olsen mask that was recommended by a Hospital in the USA.  It comes with a detailed video together with the link to the pattern.  Now, this pattern is a lot more involved in that it isn't just a rectangle of pleated fabric.  You have to cut out 6 pieces of fabric to make one mask.  But its a great design and a really great tutorial.  Here is the link to the Olsen Mask, made by Gail Kollmer on her YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StMPYZ-waso&t=283s

The second design I made was a pleated mask.  Although this mask is basically a rectangle of fabric, I found that this one fits the majority of faces as the pleats allow room to fit the contours of each individual face.  And its so quick to sew up too, so if you need to make a lot of masks for a big family...like me....this might suit you better.  This is the link to the pleated mask made by Kim's Kitchen Affair YouTube channel.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K4dH3-LHLQ

SMALL DISCLAIMER:  I am not a professional sewer....or even a medium sewer....I am new to sewing and am pretty useless at it.  But I managed to make these, wonky sewing lines and all.  So please don't judge me on my sewing skills.  I wanted to make masks to keep my family safe and I don't think they care that the lines aren't straight and the pleats are wonky, teehee.

These are the Olsen Mask design and the first ones I made.  I don't think I changed much in the design of these as they fit pretty well.  The only thing is, these may need adjusting at the ear ties as not everyones face is the same size, so just keep that in mind.

I used polycotton and some 100% cotton fabrics.  And the over the ear elastics were just hair ties that I had.

Each mask also got a proper face mask nose strip to ensure the mask could fit around the wearers nose.  I did buy HEPA filter fabric from Ebay but to be honest, I didn't use it as I felt the 4 ply wasn't enough protection (Im sure it is, but I'm overly cautious when it comes to my family, lol).  Plus it cost a fortune for 5 tiny pieces of fabric.  So instead, I bought Meile HEPA filter hoover bags.  I cut them up and sewed around the edges with a zig zag stitch to ensure it stayed together.  These HEPA filters are 5-ply, super strong and thick.  I didn't just decide off the top of my head to use hoover bags.  It was recommended by a doctor on YouTube, who's wife was making them for him to use at work.  If it's good enough for a doctor, its good enough for me.  They simply slip into the inside pocket on the masks and can be removed and re-used when you need to wash your masks.
Sorry I'm not showing my whole face, but I think you get the idea of the fit from this photo.  It fits really comfortably.  The only issue I have with these masks is, that they aren't great if you are talking.  As there are no pleats, therefore no give, as soon as you start talking, the mask tends to move up and down a bit.  Which isn't complete protection in my opinion.  But great for a quick run out to the shops, without chatting lol
These pleated masks are my favourite as they expand and move with the contours of your face and allow for movement when talking.
In the original tutorial, the lady made these as over the ears masks.  I decided to make my design over the head.  So these masks wrap around your head and neck, rather than just over the ears.
I felt that I got a much better fit by making them over the head rather than just around the ears.  They are very snug and secure but comfortable to wear.  These masks also have the wee bendy nose wires in them together with a pocket for filters.
I added a full 1/2 inch to the original posters pattern as I felt they wouldn't be quite big enough, particularly for men.  I'm glad I did.  The fit is great.  I also came up with my own medium size and 2 children's sizes patterns and they also are great.
I didn't download Kim's pleat pattern, but she has the link there if you feel you need it.  I just freehanded all the pleats...which was probably a bit haphazard of me and resulted in a few wonky pleats, but they all turned out great and fit really well.
I couldn't forget about the wee people in my family, and I made teeny wee masks for my 4 year old nieces too.
These masks also got HEPA filter inserts too. These are a wee bit more fiddly to insert simply because of the pleats and the filter isn't pleated.  But its simply to fit in and adjust it once your mask is on.
The one thing I have told everyone to remember is...REMOVE your HEPA filter from your mask before you put them into the washing machine.  The filters can be reused over and over again but they will most like fall apart or disintegrate in the washing machine.  I haven't tested this theory, but I'm pretty confident that they should be removed.

Once your mask is washed at the recommended 60 degrees C, just pop your HEPA filter back into your mask and you're good to go.

That's it from me folks.  I hope this is helpful to some of you.  If you have any questions, leave a comment of send me a wee message through the link at the top right of this blog.

Toodles Noodles......Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

If you want, you can buy me a coffee which helps me maintain this blog so I can make bigger and better content, simply click the link below.  No pressure at all, its just if you want to.  Cheers big ears!

https://ko-fi.com/craftyloops


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Design your very own personal stamp



I don't do this very often, in fact, Im not sure I have ever done a particular post like this.  But in a world that is filled with people happy to complain about poor customer service etc., I think it is just as important to shout out the incredible shops that provide fantastic products and customer service.  I wanted to come on today to introduce you to a shop that I really love.  I have added this shop to my "Places I love to shop" page above, but I felt that I should do a little extra, as the customer service is second to none.

Discalimer:  I haven't been asked to do this post or sponsored in any way.  I just wanted to let my followers know about a fantastic company.  

Have you ever wanted to have your very own personal stamp that you could add to the back of cards or projects?  Or even a stamp to advertise your own blog or shop?  Well, Nicky at Stampingallday is the place to go.  I bought my very first personalised stamp from Nicky years and years ago and its still going strong.  I recently bought new, updated stamps from her, and honestly, her products and service are a cut above the rest.  If you don't find exactly what you are after on her incredible website, Nicky will be more than happy to work with you and design the type of stamp that you want, if she's able to do it.  And if you look after your product, her stamps are beautiful quality and will last you for years.  And the price point on her stamps are the best I've seen on the internet.

I couldn't be happier with my new designed stamps.  So, if you want to make your own, get on over to Stampingallday and grab yourself a bargain.  If you do pop over and buy a stamp, let Nicky know that Crafty Loops sent you.  She'll be delighted to make a stamp for you.

Have fun shopping.

Toodles Noodles .......Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

Sunday, 16 February 2020

More items for sale on Ebay - laces & flowers galore





Hey folks, Im back again to let you know that I have listed more items up on Ebay.  The last sale went really well, thank you to everyone who bought something.  Click HERE to see what I have up for grabs.

This sale is fantastic for anyone who loves laces, flowers and embellishments.  I have put together massive kits of beautiful items for you all to enjoy.  Here are just a few of the items listed for sale.

Once I have finished with the sales, its time for the Art Studio makeover.  I can't wait to have a fully functioning art room that isn't cluttered or filled to the brim, lol.  I might even share some of that process too....I haven't decided yet.

Anyway, enjoy the sale.  I hope you find something you like.  Here's a sneaky peaky of the items for sale....

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Thanks again everyone for having a look and to anyone who bought items previously.  I'm hoping this will be my last big sale - there might be the odd straggler listed next week.  But soon the space will be re-decorated and ready for crafty action.
 Noodles .....Lee aka Crafty Loops

Monday, 27 January 2020

Selling Craft Supplies on my Ebay

Hey folks!  I know.....who is this?  I hear you cry.  I have been a terrible blogger, but i'm hopefully getting back into the swing of things, once I get my Craft Room sorted.  Its a process.

But honestly, I have bought way too many craft supplies over the years and there seriously isn't enough hours in the day for me to use it all.  I NEED to purge.  Cluttered House leads to a cluttered mind and I can't be having that, lol.

So, if you would like to grab some bargain, please have a look on my Ebay page.  The majority of the items I am selling are brand new, unused or if they have been used, it'll most likely be a stamp that has been inked once of twice.  I hope you'll take a look.

There is a tonne of Tim Holtz stuff, the majority of which is all new in its packaging.  A lot of it, Tim Holtz doesn't even make any more.  So if you want them....go get them.

Heres a few photos of just some of the items I'm selling.  I will be continuing to list more items over the next few weeks too.

By for now....hopefully not as long a goodbye as the last time, lol.

Toodles Noodles.....Lee aka Crafty Loops

CLICK HERE to go to my Ebay listings
This isn't everything Im selling, just a little taster sample to whet your crafty appetite, lol.

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Click HERE to go to this listing