Shelley Made: January 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Little Boy Bedroom Part 3 - Roman Blind

Hello again!  Welcome to part three of my son's bedroom makeover.

Following on from the wall canvases, and the lampshade, I tackled a bigger project  for my son's room...



The Roman Blind.  What is a Roman Blind (sometimes called a Roman Shade)?  Roman blinds are soft fabric blinds which when raised, gather into pleats or folds.

Roman blinds originated in Italy and have been used as a window dressing for many centuries, hence the name "Roman".


I like them, because I can pull them up and out of the way - and they look neat and tidy.

This one measures about 75 inches, or 1.9m across.  It was a little unwieldy to sew at it's full length and final weight on my machine, but I did it!

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I looked at the other blinds I had in my house and used them as my guide for measuring and sewing it all up.



This is my own printed design from Spoonflower, using their Cotton Poplin.   You can see the fabric here.  I lined it with a heavy blackout lining which has given it a really substantial feel.

My way of doing it uses no dowels - rather a number of small seams that you sew the cord rings on.  I used Heat'n'Bond to secure the sides of the blinds down, and over the lining, before sewing the seam lines across the backs. 


Sewed a pocket at the bottom to insert a piece of thin timber.  This does two things - it acts as a weight to pull the blind down and it keeps it nice and straight.



Sewed rings on the back, evenly spaced along the seams I had sewn in - about 30cm spacings across.





I covered the ends of the timber I used in scrap fabric before inserting/wrapping them - makes it look nice.



Wrapped my fabric around my top piece of timber, then attached screw eyes to it, through the fabric and into the wood, to thread my blind cord through.


Threaded my blind cord up through each set of rings, and then along through the eyes at the top.  Then plaited the remainder for the pull cord.


 
Then - I got to hang it up.  A very satisfying moment!
 
 
 
 
These photos were taken just after I put it up.  The last few remaining wrinkles have all dropped out now.
 
The room is really starting to come together now...
 


Next - the pillowcase that you can see in this photo, and yes, there will be a tutorial for it.  :)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Little Boy Bedroom Part 2 - Lampshade

Following on from my last post - about the wall canvases, I moved on to the next task...a new lampshade cover!




This is what I started with:




Not quite right for a wee boy is it?!

The supplies I needed to fix this were:

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Spray on glue
  • Card or a dropcloth to protect your surface while spraying!
  • Fabric
  • Wide bias binding to match fabric

It was fairly straight forward to do.  I needed to first make a paper template, in order to cut the fabric out right.  To do this, I found the seam on my old lampshade cover.  I placed that on one edge of my paper, and rolled it around, drawing along the top and bottom of the cover as I rolled.  I stopped once I got to the seam again, having drawn the complete circumference.  I then added an inch to one end as a fold over to get a neat finished seam.

This is what my template looked like after I cut it out - with the lampshade placed so you can see how I rolled it.


 
Next, use your template to cut out your fabric. 

If you are using bias binding both top and bottom (I didn't - I only used it for the bottom), then cut the template out exactly as is.  If you do as I did - and only edge the bottom with binding - then cut the top edge (smaller semi-circle) about an inch wider so you can wrap the edge over the top of the lampshade neatly.



Go somewhere with some ventilation for the next part.  I laid an old cardboard box down on the lawn.  I placed my fabric wrong side up, and gave it a good spray with the adhesive.  I couldn't get any photos of doing this, as I had to work quickly in the heat of the day before the glue dried!

It's as easy as wrapping the fabric around the lamp as smoothly as you can, matching the bottom of the shade to the bottom of your fabric.  When you get to the side end, overlap the starting edge a little, then fold the rest of the fabric under to neaten the raw edges, add a little glue, and stick it down.

I used spray adhesive for this, as I was worried about bumps and lumps on the shade if I brushed glue on...  The spray gave a lovely even light coating, and has stuck well.

I folded the remaining fabric over the top, and down into the inside of the lampshade.  I decided it was busy enough without adding binding to the top, but I wanted it on the bottom.  To do this, I cut an approximate length of bias binding, sprayed the back of it with the glue, and ran it evenly around the bottom - up about half an inch from the edge.  I started at the same seam line as the rest of the shade, and ended it by tucking a little under again for a nice edge.  Once I got all the way around, I then folded the overhanging binding into the inside of the lampshade, completely covering the bottom cut fabric edge.

It then looked like this...


Really quick, really simple, and really easy.

 
 

And it matches the bedroom!

The fabric I used is this one...

Next...the Roman Blind for the window.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Little Boy Bedroom Part 1 - Canvases

Ok...so quite some time ago I started work on my 2 year old's bedroom...  I wrote about it way back here.  I have two more things to finish, then I'll show you the complete room!

Until then...the first in a series...the wall canvases!



I decided he needed some art to match the rest of the room I was creating for him.  My son loves robots, so I designed a range of fabrics for him, and his room, over on Spoonflower.  I started with the canvases - for a quick project to get underway with.

I didn't stretch canvas over frames.  I took the simpler option of buying pre-stretched canvases from a local art store.  Mine measure 8 inches by 8 inches.  This allowed me to use a regular weight fabric (I used Spoonflower's Cotton Poplin), rather than a heavier weight canvas-type.  You could use any fabric at all using this method - regular quilting cotton would be just fine.  The best thing is that I could get an exact colour match to my curtains, quilt, etc, etc, by using the same fabric type.

Here are the finished canvases on his wall:



For each canvas you will need:

  • One pre-stretched plain canvas (I used 8 inches by 8 inches - 1.5 inches deep)
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Staple gun, or hammer and tacks
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric (I used my own panels here - which are four different fat quarters on a yard)

To calculate how much fabric you need...take your canvas width and add two times the depth to each side for wrapping.  So for my 8 inch square canvases, that are 1.5 inches deep...8 + (1.5 x 2) + (1.5 x 2) = 14 inches square cut fabric.  From a fat quarter you can cover a maximum canvas size of 12 x 15 inches, at 1.5 inches deep.

Use your ruler to measure out your fabric and then cut it to your desired size...


Place the fabric over your canvas so that the canvas is centred underneath.  If you have stripes like I do - you need to be careful with your positioning so that they are straight.  I found the pre-made canvases were not perfectly square.



Once you are happy, flip it over



Pull the four sides in and tape them in place temporarily - pulling them in firmly, but not too tight that you would warp the print.  Flip it back over once you've done it to make sure you are still happy with the placement on the front.

 
Start by stapling (or tacking) in the centre of each side through to the wood.  Then move to each corner, folding them in neatly.  Here are some shots of how my folds look:

 
 
 

So the back is not perfect, but not too bad for an amateur!

The front - very happy with, and so is my wee boy!



 
 
I love how they look in his room.
 
Next on the list to share with you...the lampshade!
 


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Gift For my Fabric Designing Friends...

To celebrate the start of the New Year...a gift from me to you...my fellow Spoonflower designers.

I've been asked, and people have commented - a lot - on my lovely matching seams...

 
 
 
 

How do I do it?  Well - I'm going to let you in on my secret... :) 
 
It's all in the designing.  The scale of the design to be precise.

This trick works well for items that use a full yard across.  Like curtains, skirts, dresses, etc.  I often modify a pattern for my daughter to use a full yard across...and gather it to fit her, either more or less than stated.

So - lets use Spoonflower's Cotton Poplin as an example.  My favourite of the fabric options at the moment.  The example below is my Fancy Swirls fabric, in light blue...


It is 42 inches wide, as you can see in the screen above.  In order for this matching seam trick to work...you need to have a repeat that divides evenly into the 42 inches (or 56 for Sateen, etc, etc).  I used 7 inches across.  7 x 6 = 42.  Perfect.  If I had wanted a smaller scale print, I could have used 6 inches, bigger at 14 inches...you get the idea right?

So, go ahead and create your design, or modify an existing one like I did.  Upload it to Spoonflower, set your Design Size accordingly.  See mine says 7.00 x 7.00in, 150 dpi?  That will work nicely for the Poplin, and give 6 full repeats across.

Order it.  Wait for it to arrive.  Give it a wash, and an iron.

Pop it on a cutting board.  This is the red version of my design...which I made into a border print for a skirt for my daughter.

 
 
This is one benefit of having huge selvedge edges from Spoonflower!  You need precise cutting for this to work, so I use a rotary cutter and a clear ruler.  Decide on your seam allowance.  I used a half inch (the grids on my ruler are half inch lines).  Line the printed edge of your fabric on one side of the yard like this...  Make sure ALL of the print touches your line.  I had a couple of spots that needed a little tug to straighten.  



This is where you see that I'm left handed! :)  Do the reverse if you are a rightie...  Can you see I've gone a half inch to the left of the print?  That's my seam allowance.  Off you go - cut...nice and straight.

 
Repeat for the other side of the yard - again cutting the distance from the edge of the print for your seam allowance.  I've folded the finished cut edges into the centre so you can begin to see what will happen...
 


Next - put your right sides together - matching your two cut edges evenly.  Pin it together, then sew just to the left of the white...

 
 
Open it out and check your handiwork...
 
 


Pretty neat right?  Plus it's SO simple, and gives a lovely end result...




Happy sewing fellow Spoonflorists!