Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Sunday 25 February 2024


Personalised Baby Boy Gift 

Jungle Theme Applique Bunting Garland

Cute Giraffe Pendant Flags

A friend asked me to stitch up some teal and brown bunting for her little nephew who adores giraffes. It took me a few attempts to draft a suitably cute giraffe. I then drew a 'Varsity' style font, as I felt this would balance the 'babyish' feel of their faces! The wide polka dot bias binding finally pulled it all together beautifully.

Lola was very keen to help with the sewing!


The giraffes and letters were all hand drawn and cut before being stitched on normal sewing machine.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Precious Baby Boy Garland DIY 

Personalised Bunting Garland Tutorial

Scroll for tutorial

Yet again over a year has flown by since my last post!  It's been a busy 12 months, with a complete remodel of our downstairs but the builders have finally left now. My sewing machines were safely stowed away for the whole time and now they're not only unpacked but also newly serviced. I wonder what excuse I can use next year, if this pattern continues!

Anyway apologies over, Let me show you the adorable bunting I stitched for the newest addition to the lovely La Spada Ristorante family. We are so lucky to have this wonderful Italian restaurant just five minutes away, the food is gorgeous and the atmosphere welcoming. The family who own it treat their customers like family and even gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers when I was undergoing surgery and treatment for breast cancer.  I was therefore delighted to take the opportunity to create a gift for the chef's new baby boy.

Our house renovations included a new kitchen and TV lounge, along with a complete refit of my sewing room. I'm only letting you see two sides of that at the moment, as I haven't finished unpacking the cupboards and shelves on the other walls yet!
I'm delighted with all three rooms, their design and quality exceeded my expectations, so Paul and the team from Dragonville Interiors will also be doing our bathrooms next year!  

Sewing Room

(Still waiting for the oak bullnose bottom step!)

TV Lounge


The first step is to make a template for your fabric letters and bunting flags. Simply use Microsoft Publisher/Word, or similar software, to create a 14 cm equilateral triangle and then resize your chosen font until the letters fit nicely in the middle of the triangle.  Print onto thin card and cut out.

Now take your card letters and turn them over before tracing around them onto the smooth side of a sheet of Bondaweb.  Iron onto the wrong side of the navy polka-dot fabric and cut out.....They will now be facing the right way round!    Cut the required number of pennant flags from the light blue and beige fabrics, not forgetting to cut out the same number of linings.

Peel the backing paper from your letters and place centrally onto the flag fronts and, once you're happy with the positioning, fix with a hot iron.

Using white thread sew around each of the letters at least twice to create a 'sketchy' feel.  Don't worry if you have a couple of wobbles as this all adds to the appeal of raw edge appliqué!

Place each appliquéd flag onto a triangle cut from your lining fabric, right sides together, and stitch the side seams leaving the top open.   Trim seam allowances and clip the bottom point to reduce bulk. 

Turn the flags right side out and use a chopstick or blunt stick to gently push out the points.  Press and then trim off the little 'ears' at the top of the flags creating a nice straight edge.

We now need to enclose the raw edges, the easiest method is to use pre-made purchased binding or even just fold some ribbon or canvas tape in half.

To apply bias-binding, open it out and stitch to the right side of your flags matching up the raw edges at the top.  Carry on sewing whilst placing your flags with an even spacing and leaving at least 10cm of tape at each end for hanging.  Then fold the binding over to the wrong side and catch into position with little hand-stitches, using the machined line as your guide.

This method ensures a neat finish on the right side of the flags with no visible stitching.

....and that's it!

If you can sew a straight line, you can sew adorable personalised bunting!


Finally, no blog post would be complete without

Lola, Luna, Digby and Orla 


Monday 31 October 2022

Happy Halloween Garland
Upcycled Bedding Bunting!

Halloween seems to be becoming a bigger event each year in the UK but most of the decorations are either imported, plastic or both. I wanted to create some that are kinder to our planet and was therefore delighted to source a 'well-used' duvet cover costing just 50p! 

I forgot to take any photos before I attacked it with my scissors, so 'borrowed' this image of an unopened set from the internet!  The pillowcases were missing from my set but the sugar skulls on those would have been rather too big for bunting anyway! 

I was able to cut 80 pennants/flags from the duvet cover, not such bad value for 50p!  The bells were from a thrifted wire Christmas decoration which, after taking apart with pilers, yielded enough bells for many, many more projects to come - The 70 I used here didn't even seem to make a dent in the stash!

In the bottom of my bead tin were these tiny skulls from a batch I picked up at a car boot sale years ago.  They're not really my thing and I wasn't expecting to find a use for them but they worked out pretty well on this project! 

Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without cats, so here's the gorgeous Luna 'helping' me with my stitching!

The sugar skull duvet cover was originally from George at Asda and they stock lots of lovely seasonal designs. I was also excited to find this used set featuring the most adorably kitsch Christmas Kittens!

Once I've finishing stitching it into some upcycled Christmas items, I'll post some more photos and perhaps even a tutorial or two!  It really is gratifying to take an item which at first appears 'worn out' and then find lots of salvageable areas to cut out and stitch, creating new items for many more years to come.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Meet Orla!
Our Hairy Sausage Dog

In the previous post I hinted that we had welcomed another set of paws into our hearts and home.  As regular readers might know we are very much a cat household, and already have three gorgeous felines - Two British Shorthair sisters, Luna and Lola, along with Digby, our daft Oriental boy.

Hubby and I have never been 'dog people' but our daughter ended her first year at university with nearly four months laid up in plaster, having been diagnosed with a benign bone tumour. She and our son have always been keen to have a dog and in a moment of weakness, whilst feeling sorry for Alice, we agreed to find an adult rescue to rehome.

Our search led to Orla, a 4 year old wirehaired dachshund.  She had been kept with fourteen other dogs and used purely for breeding. She was very shut down and had absolutely no idea how to 'be a dog'. When we took her in she had stress alopecia, so her ears and nose were completely bald and she also had very little fur on her sides. The photo below was taken after she'd been with us for 3 months, her nose and ears had grown back but her sides remain very sparse.  Her poor undercarriage bears witness to multiple puppies and her nipples pretty much touch the ground😢. The day she arrived we took her for a short walk around the block which left her lame for 3 days, so she had clearly not been out before.  Her most testing issues were a complete fear of humans and no toilet training. These were by no means the only challenges however and, as novice dog owners, we did question if we had made a sensible choice.

Fast forward 5 months and her progress feels nothing short of miraculous!  She's pretty much house trained and has also all but stopped 'submisson piddling'. It took at least 4 months for her to open up and show an interest in life, but she now loves playing with her ball and even enjoys a game of hide and seek with my hubby!  We're extremely proud parents and take a ridiculous amount of joy watching her overcome such an appalling start in life.  

She charms everyone she meets and is quite the celebrity on her walks! It feels like the entire local dog walking community is following her progress and she loves meeting her doggy and human friends whilst out and about.  She is a very comical dog, both in personality and looks and we're constantly asked what breed she is.  Some people hazard a guess at a hairy sausage dog, others suggest a Dandie Dinmont Terrier and just a few know she's a wirehaired dachshund. 

She is very gentle with the cats and generally gives Lola and Luna a wide berth as they're not very playful. Digby is a high energy male Oriental and chases her around the garden before they come in and collapse together on the sofa!

The cats have lots of lovely beds and scratch posts so it seemed only fair that Orla should also have some nice things of her own too.  I was therefore very excited to find some gorgeous wirehaired dachshund linen fabric in two slightly different styles and snapped up a metre of each!  Orla is now the proud owner of two personalised quilts, each backed with cosy fleece for warmth. 

Orla is a nice short name to applique!

Having two blankets means that we can have one in use and one in the wash.  I used a wavy stitch to quilt the fleece and linen together and a blanket stitch to attach the personalised labels.  I then bound the raw edges with a wide satin bias binding, which remind me of blankets from my 70s childhood! 

Orla seems pretty happy with both of her new blankets!


Monday 26 September 2022

Precious New Baby Gift 

Personalised Applique Bunting Garland

Wow, it's been a year since my last post!  It's flown by and I have been sewing but just haven't found the time to blog my projects and magazine work.  I wonder if it will be another twelve months before the next update?!

Anyway apologies (and excuses) over, I made this cute lemon yellow bunting for the new granddaughter of an amazing joiner who has been working his magic in our home for over twenty years!  He takes my random eBay purchases and customises them into stunning bespoke pieces of furniture which then blend seamlessly into our home.  Having the services of an artisan carpenter is a privilege we don't take for granted!

This project was a little different for me as, for the first time ever, I used a die set to create the letters.  I've always previously drawn and cut out my applique pieces by hand. Each method has its advantage, creating my own allows me the absolute freedom to create fonts and images, in any shape and size, limited only by my imagination. However, die cutting is much quicker and gives a sharp professional edge to the letters which I couldn't possibly replicate with scissors.  

I stitched the applique pieces in white thread, rather than my usual choice of black or dark grey, as I felt this would be more appropriate for a new born baby.  The buttons are from a vintage stash inherited from my great grandmother and the spotty bias binding was upcycled from a thrifted dress. 

We've also been hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet in our house, here's a clue until the next blog post....