September 21, 2014

How to Sew with Difficult Fabrics

Fall For DIY How to Sew with Difficult Fabrics

I don’t have a huge amount of sewing DIYs on this blog, which is odd because I have a degree in textile design, I’ve owned my sewing machine for nearly 12 years and I use it on a regular basis. But I could do with brushing up on my dressmaking skills. I realised recently that learning to sew and learning to make clothes are two completely different skills and I’m in need of practice for the latter! I’m already thinking ahead to the new year (the blogger in me takes over) and next years resolution is to make one item of clothing a month. This sounds doable right?

I wanted to hit the ground running so I thought I’d put in some prep work and get practicing. My friends are getting married today (check out my Instagram for photos of this!) and I needed a little something to go over my dress. Not being much of a dress girl (I love dresses but I’m just too comfy in jeans) I could not find a thing to wear over it, so I raided my fabric stash and pulled out a gorgeous silky floral fabric and made a really easy kimono. The fabric was a little harder to work with than cotton or stiffer fabrics so I did a bit of research. I’m going to share this tutorial with you this week but until then here are a few tips and tricks I’ve got for working with more difficult fabrics:

  • Sew slowly. With most fabrics it’s worth taking you time at this stage. After all you’ve already done most of the work, but it’s important to be extra diligent with softer fabrics.
  • Use a new needle. No snags please.
  • Set your sewing machine to a shorter stitch.
  • Cut the fabric one layer at a time. A lot of patterns will call for cutting on the fold. Just make two copies of the pattern and tape together. You can now lay these flat on the fabric.
  • Get a good pair of fabric scissors you only use on fabric.
  • Practice. I’ll use a off cut of fabric to test my sewing machine and make sure I’ve got all the settings correct first. It will also give you an idea of what to expect when you start sewing your piece.
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September 20, 2014

Fall For… September Dress Code

September style Dress Code Fall For DIY

There’s no point denying it. I’m a jeans and jumper aficionado. I’ll champion a good ‘well fitting jumper and rolled up jeans’ combo until the day they stop making them. So this time of year I gladly start throwing on the layers and getting a bit cozy. I also have to remind myself that just because it’s getting colder (and I want to leave the house less) not to leave my outfits devoid of all style. It’s really easy to stick to the basics and be done with it.

Luckily September is a great transitional month. I can just about cling onto my favourite summer trends – like berks and lace embellished, cropped T-shirts – and team them up with more practical items – such as a beanie (for when the rain comes) and a big snug coat for the cool evenings – whilst I find the perfect winter jumpers to keep me warm and stylish. Any suggestions?

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September 17, 2014

DIY Faux Granite Rings

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings

I’ve started looking for alternatives to my marble obsession. Polymer clay is great for making different surface textures and effects and I’ve used it to create Faux Agate, Faux Labradorite and Faux Geodes as well as marble of course. But did you know you can get ready made effects that are created for you? Yes, the rumours are true. Faux granite is real and it’s ace!

I’ve had some knocking around for a while so I thought I’d put together a really relaxing Sunday (or midweek) project together to share with you guys.

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings H

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings materials

Materials:

Instructions:

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings b

1. Take a ½” section of each polymer clay and roll it to about ¼” in height.

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings c

2. Press a small piece of pipe into the clay at each end. Test the hole with a ring you wear. If it needs to be bigger circle the pipe in the hole to stretch it. If it needs to be smaller you’ll need a smaller pipe!

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings d

3. Use the knife to cut carefully around the hole leaving about ¼” of polymer clay half way around the ring and then cut the flat top shape as sharply as you can.

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings e

4. Peal away the excess clay and heat the neaten up any edges

5. Heat the rings in a pan of water on a low heat or in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings f

You can varnish them to create a really shiny surface or leave them natural. Both are great!

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings i

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings k

Fall For DIY Faux Granite Rings l

Teri over at The Lovely Draw has also been playing with granite effect polymer clay! See, I told you it was ace. I love her simple, chic necklace and I also love the gold effect alongside the grey. I think these rings would look fantastic dipped in gold!

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September 14, 2014

How to Paint Laminate Furniture

Fall For DIY How to Paint Laminate Furniture

I’ve decided my office needs a makeover. Actually, I decided this about a year ago after moving into our flat but it’s taken me this long to do something about it. So in the spirit of DIY blogging (and because I’ve seen lots of other bloggers do it recently) I’m doing a room makeover! Spring is the time for cleaning and apparently Autumn the time for change… Makes sense.

I’ve taken photos of my office as it is, which I can say is particularly messy at the moment. Moving furniture and sorting means every surface is covered with exploding boxes and bags. I’m almost too ashamed to share it with you but I’ll swallow my pride and give you a glimpse… but only once the whole thing is done so that I can quickly redeem myself! One of the bigger jobs is painting my miss matched (not in a good way) donated/found/acquired furniture, most of which has a laminated or varnished surface. This is a little trickier to paint onto, but totally do-able. Here’s how to paint laminate furniture.

*Before we go any further I just want to note that this is not a sponsored post… (although at times it might seem like one.)

Materials:

*I’ve done the hard work for you and found links so you can easily buy the materials I’ve used if you like. Click on the materials above to go straight to them. They are affiliate links so if you choose to buy I make a tiny bit of dollar to put towards new projects!

I had to fill a couple of holes in this cupboard. This is pretty easy to do. Fill the hole with a filler and then sweep a piece of thin card over the top to create a flat surface.

Instructions:

1. Cover the area you want to paint with cream cleaner. Rub into the surface using a cloth and leave for half an hour.

2. Wipe the cleaner back off and leave to dry.

Fall For DIY How to Paint on Laminate Furniture

3. Start painting with your primer. I will usually put 2 coats onto the lighter areas and 3 coats onto any darker parts. Leave the paint to fully dry between coats and then sand any drips smooth.

4. Go over the corners and tricky parts with a paint brush.

Fall For DIY How to Paint on Laminate Furniture tutorial

5. When you’ve finished priming go over once with your top coat. I always go for a gloss to give it a shine, but you could choose matt if you prefer.

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