Author Archives: Annabel Vita Admin

How I made a button up pillow cover

My thoughts are with any readers currently hunkering down for a night with Sandy. I hope she’s kind and you and yours are all ok.

Although I’ve sewn all sorts of things this year, one thing that I’ve been delaying is sewing cushion covers. I don’t know why! I decided to take the Autumn Pinterest Challenge as the kick I needed to finally make an old pillow fit our new space a bit better.

So, inspired by this pin from Make It Love It…..

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and this one from Sew Much Ado….

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I made this!

The first pinspiration doesn’t actually have an opening behind the buttons (it’s a fake placket), so I read the second tutorial for a general idea of how to go about it and then winged it.

Here’s what I did:

(I apologise, this tutorial is a bit rubbish… as I was making everything up as I went along it’s a bit confusing to people who don’t live inside my brain… Maybe I’ll make another one with better pictures if I ever find another cushion I want to cover!)

1) First I ironed the old pillow cover so it was as straight as possible, then I held it up against the new fabric and drew directly around it with a fabric marker to create a template the for back of my pillow. I then added two squares extra all around for a seam allowance and cut it out.

2) I drew around the old pillow again for the front of the cover and again added the same seam allowance. Before I cut it out, I added some extra width to make button plackets with. To figure out how much extra I needed, I held my button up against the fabric to decide how wide I wanted the placket to be (five squares) so I added that, then an extra two squares seam allowance so I could turn it under the placket to enclose my raw edges (like a hem). I wanted a placket on both sides of the button opening to avoid puckering, so I doubled this figure (7 squares x 2 = 14 squares) and then added that extra width to the original cover size. (Still following?)

3) I cut out some iron on interfacing the total width of both my plackets (14 squares) and then ironed it onto the fabric, slightly off-centre on the pillow front. Then I cut down the middle of the interfacing and folded (and ironed) my two plackets into being.

See how this is five squares? The two squares seam allowance are tucked in the middle.

4) I top stitched down the edge of both sides of both plackets, then added button holes to the outer placket and hand sewed buttons in the same places on the inner placket.

4) Then I did my buttons up so the front cover was all in one piece and sewed the two sides of my cover together (right sides facing), then clipped the corners, turned it inside out and popped it on the pillow form.

This isn’t really clipped enough but I didn’t want really sharp corners.

5) Then, I fell in head over heels in love with it and spent the rest of the evening telling Mr V how much I liked our new pillow. He humoured me for about the first ten times I said this… But luckily my mum came over on Sunday and she always says things like “I can’t believe I gave birth to her! I’m so proud!” when I show her things I’ve made.

6) Then my mum went home and Mr V got really bored of me petting the pillow, so I spammed my blog with pictures of my new cushion:

(Hmm, should have plumped the sofa cushions before that last one)

(BUT, do you see how the cushion matches the cabinet curtain? Love.)

Budget breakdown – My fabric was an Ikea remnant leftover from the cabinet curtain so I’m calling that F-R-E-E (£7 per metre if we’re counting), the insert was from a cushion that we already owned, so also free (and looking at it, I suspect the person that made the original cushion made it for approximately 65p using this cheapie method as one side of the stitching is red), and even though I purchased the buttons ages ago for a different project, I never opened them so they get their full price of 99p for three. (If you suspect you’re local to me, email and I’ll tell you best source for lovely, cheap, wooden buttons).

So there we have it. What did you make for the Pinterest challenge?

With big thanks to Sherry from Young House Love, Katie from Bower Power, Carmel from Our Fifth House and Sarah from Ugly Duckling House for hosting the Pinterest Challenge!

Here are my other Pinterest Challenge posts, in case you missed them:

Summer 2011: I made a postcard hanger from an old frame

Fall 2011: Vintage printables in your shower

Spring 2012: Tiny house paper night light (free printable!)

Summer 2012: My first wearable garment – a halterneck denim dress

Instant French bistro

Hello blog friends! Here’s a quick and silly post for a Monday morning. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

My mum and step dad came over for Sunday lunch yesterday (Mr V roasted a chicken, yum). I wanted to lay the table with a table cloth, but we didn’t have one that fit our table, as in our old flat we had a smaller, square one.

But! I did have three metres of Ikea’s Berta Ruta fabric in my stash. So… I draped it over the table, cut it off (neatly along the line of checks….

et voilà! Instant French bistro dining for four. All it needed was a jug of red flowers to complete the scene.

I liked it so much that I intend to sew it up properly for future use. (I think I’ll round the corners and edge it with bias binding, but more of that when it’s done).

Rast saves the day

We’ve lived in our flat for over six months now, but I still haven’t properly shown you our bedroom! Sure, it’s popped up here and there, but never really properly. That’s partially because it looks like a slobby teenager’s room most of the time.

Man, I wish I’d staged that photo to look extra messy, but no. That’s an honest to goodness before picture.

Anyway, space in this room is pretty tight thanks to our extra long king size bed. There’s no closet and no room for a wardrobe. so we keep our clothes in the small built-in cupboard and on the clothes rail.

When that wasn’t enough, we moved in those metal Ikea shelves that we already owned, but it never really worked or looked good. Those shelves are great for some things (we used them in our last kitchen) but they really didn’t work here – they’re just not meant for storing clothes.

I wanted concealed clothing storage like a chest of drawers, but, as I said, the space is really tight. I was pondering this late one night (thanks, insomnia) when I remembered Ikea’s Rast chest of drawers. It’s super shallow, which we need for this space, and the fact that its only £20 and real wood sealed the deal. (But first I emailed the only person I ‘know’ who as this bit of furniture to ask if they’d work for storing clothes – thanks Ainhoa!)

Luckily my friend was going to Ikea just a few days after making this decision, so she picked me up a set of drawers and I assembled them yesterday.

Anyway, enough talking, let’s get to some pictures.

 

So… I like it but I don’t love it. That’s ok, I knew this would be the case – it’s a solution to a problem and it’s much better than it was. I feel like the room now looks like a college apartment bedroom, which is a step up from a slobby teenager’s! Even so, I’m wondering whether a lick of paint would help.

I figure I could either paint it white or a pale grey in the hopes of helping it visually disappear as much as possible. I could paint it duck egg blur, or Mizzle like the living room cabinet, because it’s a nice colour, it could work in here, and it would help tie the two rooms together a little. Or, I could paint it a bold emerald colour to go with a few other green things in the room. For emerald, I really like arsenic by Farrow and Ball (I also considered Green Parrot No 2 by Dulux, but, uh, you’ll see why I ditched that idea). I used Pixlr, picmonkey and a colour picker to knock up some extremely rough mock ups.

What do you think? Mizzle came up looking grey and nothing like it looks in real life. It’s such an odd colour… It’s more similar to the pale duck egg in the bottom row, but with a hint of green. I love it in the living room, so I might just give it a go… Arsenic looks great but I don’t know if it would draw too much attention to a pretty dull bit of furniture. White is the safe bet – but could I get it to match the white on the walls enough? So maybe grey? Or just leave it as it is?

Help! What do you think?

Hot pink floral sorbetto top

Hello, my pretty.

Are you bored of hearing about sorbetto tops I’ve made yet? Too bad, because I’m not bored of making them!

This one was actually made out of necessity though – I have lots of cardigans and jumpers (sweaters!) that just don’t work with any tops that I own, normally because the neckline or sleeves were wrong. I decided a nice wide necked sleeveless tank would fit the bill and luckily I knew just the pattern!

Front/Back – should’ve ironed it.

I won’t go into too many details. I omitted the pleat because this print was so busy I thought plain would be best. The fabric is some type of cotton (I think) and I made it much the same as my Sorbetto dress, but I only added a few inches to the bottom rather than, you know, a skirt.

With apologies for my dorky face and the silly mirror picture.

Buttt, I should have extended it in a much “flatter” way – I continued the curve at the bottom of the pattern and ended up making a weird sticky-outy-peplumy-kicky bit at the bottom that I don’t like, so I’ll need to remedy at some point (I won’t document this as I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a hack job!)

Yup, definitely should’ve ironed it. You can see my rookie dart addition in the bottom right picture.

I love the way this top looks from the inside! I french seamed the sides and did a small double fold hem. My bias facing is so much neater than it was on the sorbetto dress (see for yourself there!), so if I wanted to next time I could put the facing on the outside. I really trimmed the seam allowances (with pinking shears) on the neck facing in particular and it really made a difference, so I’ll be doing on the armholes too next time (tip from this great post ).

This dress fits differently to the two other versions of this pattern I’ve made (first one is here). It’s a lot roomier – there was so much excess at the armholes when I tried it on before binding that I added an armhole dart (that sounds complicated and like I know what I’m doing– I just pinched and pinned the excess while wearing it and then sewed along that line). I don’t think I cut inaccurately, so it’s probably just because this fabric highlighted the excess (it’s stiff-ish), but it seems a bit bigger all over. We’ll see.

This fabric cost me £5 at the beginning of the summer (I bought a metre and have scraps left for wedding bunting). I think the bias tape was about £2. The pattern was free.

I started printing the pattern (I tore my old one) at 1pm on Sunday, and by 5pm I was completely finished. I think about an hour of that was assembling the pattern (I did it slowly because I was watching the Sopranos at the same time) and I also stopped for lunch. I hope next time will be quicker still.

Welcome to my new home!

Weeds or wildflowers? The garden of a house I saw last spring.

Hooray!

Through trial and error and a lot of fiddling with settings I did not understand, I have made it to wordpress.org. Thanks for all your kind words on Friday.

I think most of you should be getting this in your feed reader if you’re a subscriber? If you’re not, please re-subscribe to the new feed! (Link in the right hand side bar.)

The design isn’t final, but it’s good enough for now. Let me know if anything doesn’t work the way it should. The bunting in the side bar is from irocksowhat (but I’m not sure about it – too twee?), I made my header using picmonkey.

Does anyone have any plug-ins they’d recommend?