Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Just a quick post to say Happy Christmas everyone!

I'll be taking a week's break over Christmas and New Year, and am planning lots of useful informative posts for next year. In the meantime, have a really lovley time, drive safe if you're on the road this Christmas, and thanks for reading my little blog and to all of you who leave comments... thanks for the support!

I'll leave you with a picture of a cold Greyhound wearing his brand new Pajamas that I made him for Christmas (he got to open his present early becaus it's so cold). Oh and the stuff on his feet are bandages, we're still having his troubled feet treated - poor thing!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Beanbag Chair Sewing Pattern

Phew, I've finished my nieces' beanbags in time for Christmas. They were such fun to make!
And as promised, below are the instructions to make them.

I recommend also making a lining so that the outside cover can be washed without having to empty out the polystyrene balls separately- I used some old sheets and just made the lining in the exact same manner as the cover minus the handle. The lining also gave me a chance to test how to sew the bag before using the more expensive nice fabrics. The hardest thing about these is pinning and sewing the circles at the top and bottom, but practice on the lining if you need to. And if you're nervous about sewing in a zipper or can't find the right colour/length, use Velcro instead - just as effective.

I did the letters using the fantastically quick 'fusible interfacing applique' method - see this tutorial for help.

The beanbags basically consist of 6 panels sewn together to form the sides, and then a circle and strap at the top, and two half circles at the bottom with a zip.
It's also a little bit more complicated sewing with two different fabrics because you have to get them to alternate when all 6 panels are sewn together - just pin and test as you go along.

They are small children's sized beanbags (as in for 2- 6 yrs), but you could easily adapt this pattern by slightly enlarging the measurements and adding more height to the side panels to adapt it.
To make one child sized beanbag you will need:
  • About 2.5 -3 metres of fabric (I used two colours so bought about 1.5 of each) - it also depends how frugally you can place your pattern pieces on the fabric.
  • Extra fabric for letters applique & fusible interfacing (optional)
  • a 50cm zip/ 60 cm Velcro
  • polystyrene beans (I bought some old beanbags off eBay for this, but you can get them from fabric stores. A 5 cubic foot bag should be enough)
  • plain fabric or old sheets to make lining + extra Velcro/zip
1) Measure and draw out the patterns onto some brown paper. Once cut, pin the paper pieces to the fabric, remembering that the side panels are cut on a piece of fabric folded in half, so line the edge up to the fold. Cut the pieces of fabric.
Click on above image to enlarge.

2) Pin the zip/Velcro in place on the two large half circles, turning over an edge to conceal raw edges. Sew the zip/Velcro on one side at a time, then close the zip/Velcro to make a full circle.

3) If you're doing an applique letter, sew that on one panel now before sewing all the panels together. Then sew together the side panels by sewing along the edges only until it forms a complete circle (like a skirt). Leave it turned inside out.

4) Fold the handle piece of fabric in half, and sew along the long edge to make a tube. Turn inside out and press

5) Pin the handle piece in the centre of the top circle piece. With the handle on top, pin the top smaller opening of panel skirt to the circle and sew together. When you turn it right side out the handle should be visible on top.

6) Now pin the large opening of the skirt to the full circle with zipper/Velcro, and sew together (if using a zip, leave it slightly open so that you can open it from the back to turn inside out).

This is the liner version

7) Turn inside out... and ta-da! Place the liner inside the cover before filling (or you will struggle to get the cover over the already filled liner).

8) Fill the lining bag and cover with polystyrene beans until nearly full and close both liner and cover properly.

I hope these instructions aren't too complicated, I do have a tendency to be a bit wordy in my instructions. Email me if you have any trouble... I hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where am I?

Hello lovely blog readers. I'm so sorry for disappearing and not posting, nor visiting in the land of blogs. I have been busy with all sorts of things (you all know what this time of year can be like) including some Christmas get togethers, Christmas crafting, taking the dog to the vet for his still troubled feet, I've also been doing my twice a week yoga class for my yoga teacher training,

Ha ha - not like this though... I'm still training remember.

I've been shopping in London, and yes I went to the absolutely gorgeous Anthropologie shop...
where I treated myself to this teapot (a girl has got to treat herself every now and then)...

I've been Christmas shopping with a friend of mine and her beautiful baby boy in Reading,

I went Christmas shopping in Oxford

and not forgetting what I ought to be blogging about I, have actually managed to squeeze in a bit of cleaning and laundry. As a matter of fact, just this Sunday at 5:00 in the morning you could find me on my hands an knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. Ha ha, now you must be thinking 'this woman is a mad one'...

... believe me, I believe we all ought to be sound asleep at 5:00 on a Sunday morning, but alas I had no choice. We are currently dog-sitting for friends of ours, and their Greyhound who is friends with our Greyhound had an upset tummy on this very early Sunday morning. The smell was pretty bad, so I really had no choice but to wash and scrub the floor as soon as it was discovered - it was Mr L who went to check on the dogs when he heard one walking around and discovered the unpleasantness... I found out about it pretty soon after hearing some swearing coming from the kitchen. But hey, who could blame the man, most people would swear on discovering that sort of mess at that hour, especially as this is where he wanted to be... (yes, you see, there is no space for me!)

Aha, I feel a post coming on about cleaning pet mess, yes, not the prettiest subject, but those of you with pets will be all too familiar with doing this at some point... so pet owners I will be back with some help, I am well rehearsed now!

I'm also currently sewing some children sized beanbag chairs for my nieces as Christmas presents, and in the spirit of Christmas I will be sharing full instructions and how-to's for sewing these beanbags as soon as I finish them (I'm hoping by tomorrow). They are so easy, and such fun to make.

And lastly, I'm having a small Christmas lunchtime party with Christmas tea and mince pies at our house for my work colleagues... so expect a post about hosting a Christmas tea party too!

Have you been cleaning the house in anticipation of Christmas guests? We're going to Mr L's mom's house for Christmas, but in the meantime I'm getting the house ready for the tea party whilst trying to teach two naughty Greyhounds to stop messing biscuit crumbs all over the living room rug!
I hope you are all well and I promise not to disappear for so long again without warning.
I'll be back soon... lots of love and Christmas wishes for now!

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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