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15% OFF ALL WOOL ONLINE - USE CODE LOVEYOURWOOL15
We at Hickeys are so delighted to be the first stockist for Wool And The Gang here in Ireland. This incredible and innovative company work hard to reduce impact on the environment. The yarn they produce with all their hard work is nothing short of amazing, with so many varieties available. Check out their Billie Jean Yarn for example- it's made from up-cycled denim remnants?!
We've all been there, you buy something, wear it once and then it sits in your wardrobe for a while before you get rid of it. This brand are all about sustainability and ethically sourced materials. The idea that if you make something yourself, you're more than likely going to treasure it and keep it for longer- maybe even take care of it a little better. The high quality yarn that Wool And The Gang offer is soft, durable and long lasting- making it great for staple pieces in your wardrobe. They even have video tutorials over on their website, showing you great stitch patterns and techniques. I knit myself the Happy Days Beanie with the Crazy Sexy Wool in Bronzed Olive. It got such a reaction from people that I ended up taking requests for beanies in Hotpunk Pink and Tweed Grey.
Haven't heard of them before? Well, I am delighted to provide you with a little introduction to some of the amazing yarns we are lucky enough to supply to you.
CRAZY SEXY WOOL
Are you looking for a cosy yarn that will give you great results quickly? Look no further than Crazy Sexy Wool. It's great for beginner and experienced knitters alike. The wool is so chunky that mistakes (they happen to the best of us) are quickly noticed and easily fixed. The wool used to create this gorgeous yarn is considerably sourced from happy sheep in South America. Natural, renewable, biodegradable and an amazing array of colours to choose from- you will soon be in love.
FEELING GOOD YARN
Sustainably produced in the Andean Highlands, supporting Peru's remote Alpaca growing communities, you will feel SO good working with this yarn. It is light weight, but holds warmth really well with its soft, fluffy finish. The patterns we have available in our Henry St store to pair with this Feeling Good Yarn will make you all the more eager to get creative.
BILLIE JEAN YARN
Made using up-cycled pre-consumer denim waste, Billie Jean Yarn is produced without the use of chemicals or dyes- which saves 20,000 litres of water per kilogram of up-cycled material! It has a lovely drape and is perfect for summer knits as a light weight addition to your wardrobe. You can buy patterns for this specific yarn in our Henry St store.
Now that you’ve got the rundown- what are you waiting for? Go and treat yourself to a ball of yarn and make something you’ll be proud of!
If there’s one thing I heard more often than anything else when I worked in our stores it was “mine don’t look like that” - no sniggering please I’m obviously talking about ready made curtains. You see when you see ready made curtains on display in our stores they have been hung by our amazing display team who know all of the tricks of the trade to make them look fantastic. If you read on I can fill you in on the steps to take to make your ready made curtains look amazing.
I know this might seem like a lot of steps but none of them are complicated and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re admiring your perfectly hung curtains.
If unlike me you're not naturally a person who loves a good preen or have too much other stuff to do to be ironing curtains then inquire in store about our expert fitting service.
So you get home with your shiny new curtain pole and are faced with hanging it. It might seem like a straightforward proposition but I have spent years working with curtains and have seen some shockers in people’s homes. Hung barely above the window, squashed either side of the window, brackets right at the end. On a side note -don’t invite me into your home people – I may not notice the pile of newspapers a la Horders: Buried Alive but I will notice if your curtains/pole are hung incorrectly.
I have already covered How to Hang your Curtains but I suppose that’s a bit like putting the horse before the cart as you have to have something to hang them on. That thing you hang them on must be hung correctly otherwise you’re just starting on a bad foot. So here’s our expert tips on how to hang your curtain pole.
If you need to cut the pole it can be done easily
Just remove one of the finials and cut the excess off with the hacksaw and replace the end, the end will cover up any unevenness in your work so don’t be too precious
Remember to cut an even amount of both sides so the pole meets in the middle of your window. Remove both ends – cut to size and replace the ends
Ideally this will be a minimum of 6” (15cm) above the window but what I would say to you here is that hopefully you won’t hang your pole until you have your curtains so that you can use the curtains as a guide.
Hold your curtains up against your wall – leaving them approx. ½” (1.25cm) off the floor to mark the height the pole will hang.
Make all of your marks 1.5” (3.5cm) from the end of your pole as this is where your bracket will sit – for example if your pole is 6” (15cm) wider than your window make the marks for your bracket 4.5” (11.5cm) from the edge of your window.
Mark where the top of the curtains hits the wall and use this mark to mark the screw holes in your bracket.
A good rule of thumb is
Hold your bracket up to the line and mark the screw holes with a pencil.
Measure the distance from the floor to these marks and make a note of it.
Next go an equal distance from the other side of the window and make the same marks using the measurements from the other side. If your pole comes with 3 brackets do this in the dead centre of your window as well.
This might seem an inaccurate way of doing it but your ceiling and floors may be uneven so in my experience the best way is to have your curtains hanging evenly on the bottom – your eye won’t notice a slightly uneven pole but you will certainly notice if the curtains are in wavy lines at the bottom
If you’re hanging pencil pleat curtains keep one 1 ring between the bracket and finial (pole end)
If you’re hanging eyelet curtains keep one of the eyelet rings between the bracket and the finial (pole end)
So there you have it – one perfectly hung curtain pole. If all of this sounds like an ordeal or is likely to cause a divorce, visit your local store for information on our expert fitting service.
Ready to get started? Shop our range of curtain poles and find something that suits you!
Choosing the right furnishing fabric for your project may seem a bit daunting but if you know a few things before you get started you can choose with confidence.
Our furnishing fabrics will be marked with either UPH (upholstery weight) or CTN (curtain weight) - these are divided into 2 separate categories online. What do they mean?
You can generally use upholstery fabrics for curtains also, the only time this would not be the case would be when the fabric is too heavy to fall/pleat correctly, in our current range all upholstery fabrics can be used for curtains.
You can generally use curtain fabrics for cushions also, some heavier cottons I would even say you could use for kitchen chairs etc as they can be spot cleaned but they will not last as long as a fabric that is designated upholstery.
Most fabrics you see will be some sort of mix of the above fabrics giving them slightly different attributes. For example: Polyester is frequently mixed with cotton to give it the firmer handle of a cotton and dull the polyester sheen with the longer life span/ lack of shrinkage of a polyester; Viscose is frequently mixed in with other fibres to add lustre and drape.
Generally if you see a mix, you will be getting the best attributes of the fabrics listed rolled into one.
I hope you can shop more confidently knowing more about these fabrics, trust your eye, choose what you love first and then have a good look at the composition and care to see if it is suitable for your project. If you want further help you can ask out experts in store who will be happy to advise you.
Oilcloth has come a long way from when your granny had the terracotta teapots on her kitchen table. I dare to say it is downright cool with some fresh and funky designs available along with the more classic styles.
Your table measures 105cm (41 ½”) wide x 150 cm (60”) length and the oilcloth we’re buying is 140cm (55”) wide - we will have an overhang of 35cm (14”) let’s go ahead and add the same to the length and buy 1.85m fabric.
Now you’re educated about all things oilcloth (who would have thought there would be so much to know!) Shop our trendy range of Oilcloths now.
We are delighted to offer a range of FREE In-store Events & Craft Demonstrations in a selection of Hickeys Fabrics and Home Focus at Hickeys stores for Autumn/Winter 2018. (Please note, you do not need to register, and all are welcome!) If you have any questions or require further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Turn your little hero into a Superhero with these quick and simple no sew capes and masks. Batman, Ninja Turtles, Minions & Little Princess...the possibilities are endless with this quick and simple tutorial.
Download Your Templates Here:
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past year, you’ll know that ‘statement earrings’ are a big trend. Every retail fashion store has rows upon rows of the most colourful and eccentric styles you can imagine. I for one, am living for it. I think nothing jazzes up an outfit more than the colourful pop of an earring. So I have put together a fun step by step of some statement earrings that you can be proud of because you literally made them yourself!
What you will need:
Cardboard cut into the length you want your tassels to be.
Earring Pieces (You can buy them in store!)
Start by wrapping your embroidery thread repeatedly around the piece of cardboard. Be careful to keep count whilst you wrap, so that your earrings aren’t completely different in thickness.
Once happy with the thickness, thread through a piece of embroidery thread and pull it up to the top. Tie it tightly in a knot and slide your tassel from the cardboard. Cut the tassel and then even it out.
Thread your earring piece through the thread and tie a knot again to secure it. Now, protect your table! Lay down a piece of paper. We are using a glue gun and you do not want to get that on your surfaces.
Now, here’s the part that seems tricky but it really isn’t. Start wrapping the embroidery thread you used to tie the tassel to the earring, wrap and add a little glue to secure and then keep wrapping. Do the same with the other piece of thread. And there you have it!
A Pom Pom Maker (the one I am using is available in store)
Stud Earring Pieces (available to buy in store!)
Check out my Pom Pom Twinkle Lights post to learn how to use a Pom Pom maker. Or check out Pinterest to see lots of ways to create the perfect Pom Poms!
Once you have created your Pom Pom, get a piece of felt. Cut the felt to about 1cm width by 2cm length. Cut it directly in half.
Cut one of the little felt squares half way down the middle.
Separate a parting in your Pom Pom and add a blob of glue. Place a square piece of felt on top and press down.
Add a blob of glue to your felt secured to your Pom Pom and add your earring stud. While the glue is still wet, add your second felt pieces. The little slice in the felt will allow the stud to come through.
There you have it! A Pom Pom stud.
Try it another way! Thread your Pom Pom through a hoop. SO EASY.
A circular shape, like a €2 coin to use as a stencil
You can learn how to make a felt flower rose over on my Felt Flower Wreath step by step. Once you have made your rose, you pretty much follow the same step by step as the pom pom stud above! Easy peezy, right?! You could even switch it up and make a few different colour petals to add a little something something!
The sun is shining, the weather is sweet and it makes me want to move my dancing feet! Yes people festival season is upon us, the weather is good (for the moment) and I am not getting any younger.
In the last few years doing the festivals has become less rough and ready for me - I am not a young wan anymore and I like some comforts at a festival. I don’t mean giving the festival organisers €1000 for the glamping experience - I’d rather go on holidays to spain for that thank you very much, but making your own little slice of home in your campsite.
So as a somewhat seasoned festival goer here are my top tips and tricks on not only making your festival experience just a bit more pleasant but slightly more glamorous also!
You have the basics but let’s get fancier on it - not only will this make you feel like a sophisticated member of society but this is also a big help when finding your tent at 3 or 4 am.
I am never going to wear wellies in the real world but you may need them at the festival. I usually pick up a cheapo pair and stick in my orthotic insoles (told you I was old) but I will Customise. I have done all of these in the past and spent many a festival with that smug “Oh I just made them” glow when people asked me where I got my cool wellies. The glitter ones were my favourite as I had a matching gold bomber jacket and glittery cat mask - oh no there’s no pictures I swear!
So there you have it - life lessons from a seasoned pro. I know you might be reading this thinking that seems like a lot to haul around but I always fit it all onto one of those little trollies that they sell in those German supermarkets this time of the year. Take a little time setting yourself up and you will thank yourself all weekend! The items pictured above are available in most of our stores - find your nearest one here. Oh and don’t forget your sunscreen!
If like me, you’re so excited for PRIDE this weekend in Dublin but haven’t a clue what to wear, here are a few last-minute ideas to help you celebrate this amazing event! These projects are pretty low cost, colourful and easy to bring together.
All you need is balls of wool in assorted colours, a pom pom maker (or cardboard), sharp scissors, a headband and a glue gun. Pom poms are so easy to make, you’ll find loads of tutorials on the best way of making a pom pom all over Pinterest. Or you can even have a look at my Pom Pom Twinkle Lights article which shows you how to use a pom pom maker.
When you have made your pom poms, you pretty much just play around with them, see where you think they look good on the headband. You could make fun little pom pom ears, just wrap loads of colours together and you have a rainbow! Tie the pom poms down to the band to make sure you are happy with the placement and simply add a little hot glue to stop them from slipping and sliding. You could make lots of little pom poms and just have a colourful array all over the headband. Make pom poms of different sizes and try and layer them all over each other! Have fun with it, you could even add some glitter glue to the tips. The world is your oyster with a pom pom craft.
A colourful cascade of ribbon- what could be better?! Get yourself some elastic, a metre is plenty. You want to cut a piece to tie around 4 separate sections of your arm. Your wrist, forearm, mid upper arm and up around your armpit. Repeat for the other side. Don’t worry about it looking a little scruffy when you tie them, once it’s all finished you will look fab! Pop all your arm bands on for a minuet and thread through a long piece of ribbon so that it goes through one arm, across your shoulders and down the other arm. Tie or loop the ribbon around the bands as you go, to secure its location. Remove the bands and lay it out flat. Start knotting your various shades of ribbon strands to the long piece of ribbon attached to your bands. Keep going until it is full and gorgeous! This will likely take you an evening but my goodness will you look amazing at Pride Festival.
Image: Sourced From Pinterest
A strong elastic or ribbon and lots of nylon net is all you will need for this. Wrap the elastic around your waist to get the size right. Cut your net into 3 inch strips and start knotting them onto your elastic. The best way to keep it easy is to fold your net in half lengthways making a loop, lay your elastic on top and then thread your net through the loop to create a knot around the elastic. Keep doing this with your colours and create a nice full skirt. Trim the uneven bits (unless you’ve gone for the fun layered look), tie the elastic at the waist and voila! A colourful addition to your Pride outfit, all the colours of the rainbow.
Image: Sourced From Etsy (Linked in Image)
So, lets kick things off with our first look- a timeless classic!
A classic era that never seems to go out of fashion. Inspired by the Great Gatsby, this piece is made up of a Marcasite style bridal trim and a diamond appliqué placed characteristically, just off centre.
Starting at the top of the headband, place a layer of hot glue 1/3 of the way around the headband. Use the glue in stages as the it dries quickly.
Place the trim directly on top of the glue and press down to spread the glue.
For this look the trim should cover the whole of the headband from tip to tip.
Position the appliqué to the side and glue directly on top of the trim, securing the ends, you don’t want the ends sticking out.
A simple one piece appliqué decoration is a wonderful alternative to a veil, that may seem a step too far for the pared-back bride. I’ve opted for a larger appliqué with no trim on an invisible headband.
First, you need to prevent the appliqué from flopping around and catching on your new hairdo!
To strengthen the piece, turn it over and cover the back in glue. Place a piece of white felt over the appliqué and press down firmly. White felt is the best colour to use, as it emphasizes the sparkle of the stones.
This will stabilise the appliqué and eliminate the ‘floppy frill’ effect.
Cut (carefully!) around the excess felt to reveal the shape of the appliqué.
Glue the felted appliqué onto the headband just off centre, this is always a more flattering position as it nestles into the hair.
Getting married at sunset on the beach? Or, in a tent at the burning man festival? No! Well, this versatile headpiece will look equally as fabulous in a city centre hipster hotel or a sprawling country castle. Delicate flowers framed by an understated beaded trim help create this unique boho vibe.
Start by separating the flower sprigs. I’ve used cream and green for this look.
Leave approx 3 inches flower free at either end of the headband, the flowers should start and finish just above the ears.
Glue each sprig separately onto the headband, alternating the colours.
Trim the sprig ends off with a sharp scissors.
Glue the trim directly over the flower stems to hide them, reaching from tip to tip of the headband.
If the trim is wider than the headband as it tapers to the end, just fold the ends over each other and glue to the inside of the headband.
I’ve used two different colours of classic cream and white for this bride look. You could make a matching version for your bridesmaids or flower girls by switching up the flower colours to match their dresses.
So, get crafting and make that bespoke headpiece, a future heirloom that your daughters will be swooning over in 2045!
We have teamed up again with the fantastic Dainty Dress Diaries to bring you this "Step By Step: Sew A Wrap Skirt" tutorial! Catherine has shown great talent creating two versions of the Simplicity 8606 pattern, and has even created a YouTube video to help guide anyone who would like to do the same!
I am buzzing as I type this blog post as I have made my very first wrap skirt. I have teamed up with the guys at Hickeys Fabrics to share how I made my skirts in today’s post. I am not a pro at sewing and I don’t have much experience with dress making but I was thrilled when I was able to put together a skirt by myself. Last year you might remember I made a dress with Angeline Murphy. I remembered some of the tips she had taught me and I used them when making my skirt. Dress making and reading patterns can be scary but honestly when you break them down they are not. If I can make a skirt then you can too! All of the items I used in today’s post are from Hickeys Fabrics I got my Simplicity pattern from their store in Henry St Dublin. This project is perfect for beginners too but I would recommend you have basic sewing machine skills. If you are a complete beginner then why not check out my previous post with Hickeys on how to make an envelope cushion, you can find that here.
As I have yet to overcome my fear of zips I picked an easy wrap skirt pattern. I got the Simplicity pattern number 8606. This pattern has four skirt options inside. In this post I am making options A and C. The other two options have a flounce but I wasn’t brave enough yet to try the flounce.
Your pattern can look scary when you first look at it. On the back of your pattern you will see lots of numbers and jargon but don’t get scared. On the back of the pattern it will tell you what items you need to make your skirt and how much fabric to buy.
Fabric, for my size I got 1.5 metres of fabric (The Nancy Print Crepe Rose and Mini Floral Crepe Print Silver).
Interfacing, this was just for the waistband.
Thread, I always recommend the Gutterman threads and get one in the nearest shade to your fabric.
Measuring tape, fabric scissors, fabric marker, sewing pins and your machine.
Pattern sizes are different to retail sizes. So, the size you are in a store will be different to the size you will be in your sewing pattern. In stores I am on average a uk size 10 however I am a pattern size 14. Accurately measuring your bust, waist and hip will give you the correct size to use for your skirt.
Inside your pattern pack you will find an instruction sheet and your pattern pieces. Take a few minutes to sit and read through your general direction sheet. This has all the info you need to sew your skirt and you will follow this each step of the way. It even gives you a cutting layout and tells you how to place your pattern onto the fabric to get the most out of your fabric. Don’t get scared when you first look at your instruction sheet, I know it can look overwhelming but when you break it down it isn’t as scary.
As I was making the option A skirt I cut out all of the pattern pieces for option A. I cut out the pieces for a size 14 as that was my pattern size. If you are a smaller or larger size then you will cut out your size on the pattern pieces. I had two front pieces, two back pieces, a waistband piece, a right tie and a left tie end. Each pattern piece has a letter and a number on it telling you which piece to cut out. Take care when cutting the pattern pieces and cut neatly. make sure to use a normal scissors and not your good fabric scissors when cutting the paper. I gave my pattern pieces a quick iron after I cut them out so they weren’t wrinkled.
Iron your fabric before cutting and then lay your fabric out as per the cutting layout in your instructions. Pin your pattern pieces to your fabric. As my fabric has a bit of stretch to it I used more pins than normal. Take your time when cutting, I find cutting is as important as the actual machine sewing. If you cut your fabric wonky then your seams will be wonky. When it comes to sewing don’t cut corners, take your time as each step. On your pattern piece it will tell you how many you need to cut. It will say cut 1 or cut 2 etc, follow the instructions. Don’t forget to cut out your piece of interfacing for the waistband.
You will notice on your pattern that you will have some little triangles, these are notches and are really important. They act like little puzzle pieces and mark up to each other when you are pinning your pieces together. I used a fabric marker to draw the dots too. Don’t forget to cut out the notches when cutting your fabric.
Once you have your pieces cut you can then go to the sewing directions section of your instructions and go to step one. I found the sewing instructions really easy to follow. The pattern is also marked to show which side of the fabric is facing in each step. In step one it asks you to put a line of stay stitching on the upper edge of pieces 1 and 2. Stay stitching helps prevent stretching on the curved edges and you won’t see this stitch when the garment is complete.
In step two you will stitch your two back panels together and stitch your centre back seam. Once you stitch your seam make sure to iron your seams out. It is really important to iron out your seams. If you look at your clothes you are wearing now you will see the seams neatly ironed out or over locked. You are then going to add your front panels to your back by following the illustration in your instructions. You can find your seam allowance in your instructions.
In step three you will add your hem. This was the longest part of making my skirt. Take your time making your hem as you will see this at the front of the skirt. The instructions say to machine-baste the edges 5/8” from the raw edge. I won't lie! I had to google what machine basting was. Basically, it is a temporary stitch and it made it really easy for me to form the hem. I set the stitch length on my machine to the longest and made my lasting stitch. I then ironed my raw edge and rolled it under to give it a small hem. I used lots of pins to keep it in place before taking it to the machine to sew. Take your time sewing your hem. Once it is sewn you can then remove your basting stitch and give it an iron. The basing stitch really helped when forming a neat hem, don’t skip this step.
For step four and five, you are going to be working on your waistband. You will iron on your fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your waistband. Then fold the unnotched side over by 1/2” and press. You are then going to work on adding your waistband to your skirt. This is where your notches come in handy as they act as a guide when pinning the fabric together. With the right sides together pin the skirt to the waistband. Place the sides seams at the inner small dots, matching the centre notches and remaining dots. Pin all the way around and sew.
For steps six and seven you are going to work on your ties. You have a right and left tie. Fold the pieces in half lengthwise and sew a 3/8” seam, leave the short end with the dots open. Once sewn you will pull these right side out and give them a good press. Then follow the instructions in your pattern for steps seven, eight and nine as these will show you how to add your ties to your waistband. I also have a YouTube video showing you how I made my skirt and you can reference this as well.
For step ten you are going to finish off your waist band and “stitch in the ditch”, take your time when pinning your waistband over and make sure to leave enough fabric on the inside so that you catch this in when sewing on the outside. On the outside of the skirt is where you will sew. If you don’t have enough fabric on the inside it won't catch and your waistband won't be correctly sewn.
Just like sewing the hem, I found this to be a tricky step. Take your time when “stitching in the ditch” as you will see the waistband when it is on you and you don’t want to see your stitches.
For step eleven you are going to make a buttonhole. I had never made a button hole before. At the marking on the waistband, I cut a slit. I then used the zig-zag setting on my machine and shortened the stitch length and I applied a zig-zag stitch to the hole and I created a button hole. this did the job for me but do have a search on YouTube for other ways to sew a button hole. Your machine might even have a button hole setting.
You can now try on your skirt and admire your hard work. I made two skirts and I actually can’t pick a favorite. I love the longer midi style as it is really popular right now. The shorter length is fun and perfect for a summers day, you could even style it up with a silky cami and heels for the evening. The great thing about sewing from a pattern is that you can re-use it. I keep my patterns in a folder in my craft room. This makes it easier to organise and find my patterns.
If you are inspired and want to check out some dress fabrics then click here to head over to the Hickeys Fabrics website. You can also pick up the other items I used in today’s post. Also, a huge thank you to Hickeys for teaming up with me and collaborating on this post.
Thanks for reading, do check out my YouTube video which I will leave below and tag me in your makes over on Instagram.