Monday, 6 March 2017

Ladybird, Ladybird

My bathroom is full of ladybirds.

They’re coming in through the window frame. Which probably means that it needs filling somewhere or worse, replacing.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The ladybirds being in the bathroom that is, not the window frame. The whole bathroom needs some serious TLC to be honest.

I quite like Ladybirds. They’re probably the only insects that don’t make me drop everything and run the other way. Known as the gardener’s friend, these unassuming little bugs eat the nasty creepy crawlies that eat your best plants.

So as a nod to the Ladybirds, and a quick-fix to brighten up a room in need of some makeover inspiration, I decided to make some curtain tie-backs. Using some Ladybird buttons that I’ve had in my stash forever, and the legs from some old jeans.

(1) First step, chop up the jeans.

Well, actually, the first step is to decide how long you want the tie-backs. I wanted mine to be around 7 inches (17cm) from hook on the wall to the front edge of the curtain. Just don’t forget that the tie-back goes around the back to! So when you cut the leg, make sure that you double the length. I cut a length of 16 inches (40cm) that also allowed for a seam allowance.

Next I chopped away the seams. 

So I was left with two pieces of denim. 

The width of the tie-backs is down to personal preference. Having folded my leg pieces in half, They were around 3 inches (7cm) which was OK for me. You might decide to go a bit thinner.

When you have your folded over denim – square it up and make sure both are the same size. 

(2) Interfacing

You going to want the tie-backs to have a bit of body. For that, you will need some interfacing. The Iron-on fusible type is best. It’s available wherever they sell fabric. Ask the shop assistant to help you find it. Medium weight is good enough.

Iron it on to ONE side of each folded over leg. We want body. We don’t want rigid! When you iron, make sure the bobbly side of the interfacing is facing down towards the fabric. If the bobbly side is up, you’ll stick it to your iron. 

(3) Stitching it

OK, this is where folding the leg parts over starts to make sense. It reduces the amount of sewing. With one side, already done, you only have to sew two seams. With right sides together, stitch one end seam and the base. Leave the other end open. 

You’ve made a long, thin bag. Turn it the fight side out. Now you can stitch the other end closed using a top stitch close to the edge. Don’t worry about how it looks, we’re going to be covering it up. Or you could top stitch all the way around and make a feature of it.

(4) Trim

Find a trim you like. Ribbon, Ric-rak, beading. Whatever. Head down to the fabric or craft shop and see the choices on offer. I had some edging already. It’s been in my stash for years. That’s the thing when you start sewing. Over time, you accumulate all sorts of bits and bobs. Most of it will stay unused for ages until the right project pops into mind. 

Anyway, using your trim, decorate your tie-backs, making sure both are identical. I used glue to attach mine. Make sure that you make a loop with the trim at each end. 

(5) Flowers

To make flowers, you will need a length of fabric about 1.5 inches wide by 10 inches long, depending on how big you want your flower. Smaller lengths will give smaller flowers. Grab a needle and some thread and stitch a running stitch along one of the longer edges. 

Make sure you secure the start of the running stitch. Then just push the needle in and out of the fabric all the way along. Make sure your stitches are even in size and spacing. Then when you get to the other end, pull on the thread. 

It will gather up the fabric into a flower shape. Secure the flower. Then, if you want to, find a novelty button to stitch in the middle. You could even cover some buttons with fabric. Make as many as you want.

Glue or stitch your flower to the tie-back and your done.


Bye for now


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