Make It Yourself

As you may have noticed (or not!) I have had a bit of a rearrange of my categories and menu. I’ve made a new category (and archive page) for posts where you could make the things yourself – like my tutorial for making a tote bag and how to make a running armband: Make It.

I thought I’d write this quick post to let you know all the ones I’ve written before, which are now in the archive. I’ll be checking through them to make sure they all have comprehensive enough instructions for you to follow. Let me know if you spot anything that needs better instructions.

I’m hoping to add new posts of crafty, and thrifty things you can make yourself. I love sharing things I’ve made, but I want to encourage other people to make things too.

You can make food shopping/ planning less painful (well, I find it less painful!) with this meal planner pinboard.

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Make your very own Doc Brown costume from Back To The Future – though it might be too late now it’s not 2015 any more 😦

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One of my favourite ever makes, A Beautiful Mess’s Felt Allotment, could be made for any kid in your life – and, in fact, I kinda want one myself!

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Do you know a kid with a favourite show or book? Why not make them a cushion with the character on, like my Sarah and Duck cushion?

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Have you set a New Year’s Resolution to take up jogging (or another kind of exercise)? Make yourself an armband to hold your phone so you can listen to chunes while you work out!

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Ah, the tote bag. If you’re living in the England, then what better way to avoid the new plastic bag charge than by making up a bunch of tote bags?

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I made these tea cup candles a while ago, and I plan to make more as they’re so cute!

Tea Cup Candle

If you know someone who recently had a baby, but don’t really know what to get them, why not applique some animals or flowers or letters or anything at all on some babygrows? Clothes are always a useful gift and this way they’re a bit more personal!

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I made this Polaroid camera case for a friend of mine a while ago, and the principles could be transferred to any camera. Of course, not everyone will probably like an anatomical heart adorning it…….

Polaroid Camera Case

This has to be one of the easiest makes ever – you just need a clock kit from ebay! And a vinyl record, of course.

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For one of my many friends who likes BBC’s Sherlock I made this Kindle cover – it’s got silhouettes on one side and the purple shirt of sex and John’s cabled jumper on the other side!

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If you don’t fancy making a cushion for a kiddie, you could make a wall hanging instead, like this one of Norman The Slug With A Silly Shell!

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Make It: Sherlock Kindle Case

So for the last 3 years, I have made Christmas presents for my wonderful Aunt. She is a HUGE BBC Sherlock fan (along with quite a lot of other people I know!) so last year I made her a Benedict Cumberbatch Calendar:

It took AAAAGES to draw all of the line for all of the days inside!(Photo from Evenlode’s Friend Tumblr)

It took AAAAGES to draw all of the line for all of the days inside!

 

 

I had to think of something to top it this year, so I decided to make her a Kindle case with a Sherlock theme. (A Kindle is approx 20.2cm high, 13.5 cm wide and 1cm thick, so I made the case 23cm x 16 cm with seam allowances. I figured it was thin enough to not need a gusset). Although I am contractually obliged to hate Kindles and Amazon, I had a brilliant idea of how I could make it awesome! On the internets, there is a LOT of fan art for Sherlock and amongst the common things are some Victorian-style silhouettes. I decided to cut these out of felt and applique them onto each side of the Kindle case:

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It was quite fiddley, but worth it! I then used one of the fancy stitches around the outside, to give them, like, a frame. Look how they’re gazing at each other longingly!

So I was pretty pleased with this part, but the pièce de résistance was using some of John and Sherlock’s best-loved clothes (and the ones that so often appear in the many, many, many pieces of fan fiction) for the other side of the case – to make it reversible. Probably Sherlock’s most famous piece of clothing, aside from his amazing coat, is the purple shirt of sex:

Purple shirt of sex

I still had a bit of purple fabric left from making Norman (which is slightly wrong, using fabric bought for a child’s present to make a purple shirt of sex, but what are you gonna do?). I decided to cheat a bit and just sewed 2 lines down the middle of the rectangle but the buttons in the middle of them, to make it look like buttons and button holes. (There would be no point making functioning buttons and my machine is crap at button holes). You can just about make out the stitching…

You can just about make out the stitching...

Probably John’s most famous piece of clothing (aside from the red pants – warning, explicit content!) is his oatmeal/ biscuit coloured jumper he wears in the first episode:

John's jumper

For the other side of the purple shirt of sex, I knitted a rectangle of John’s jumper. I can’t quite remember how many stitches I cast on, though to work it out, knitting usually ends up about 1.5 times the width of the cast on stitches, not including the stitches which will be used in the cable. I practised to make sure I got all of the cables going the same way as on the actual jumper, though sadly, again, I can’t remember which way round it was – I have various notes which I worked from, but they don’t say which ones I used. Sorry!

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Construction-wise, I sewed the 2 silhouettes and the shirt and jumper together as though they were small individual bags (with right sides together). I made a small button tab which was calico on one side and purple on the other side, so that it would blend in whichever way round you have the case – I sewed it together on 3 sides with right sides together (not that it really mattered as they’re pretty reversible fabrics) and turned it inside out – the un-sewn edge would get sewn into the top seam, so it didn’t matter that it wasn’t sewn. I also sewed a button-hole into the end of this (with purple thread in my bobbin and cream thread in my machine – check out the detail I went to!). The top button on the shirt allows the case to be closed up (and closed on the inside of the case if it’s the other way around).

I sewed the bottom seam allowances of both bags together a little bit, to stop the whole thing being turned inside out, rather than one bag being reversed (if that makes sense?! I’m not sure it does). Anyway, I sewed the 2 bags together at the top, remembering to put in the button tab and voila!

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When the sillhouettes are on the inside, it looks like they're kissing!
When the sillhouettes are on the inside, it looks like they’re kissing!