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Author: Home Focus

  • We are super excited to announce our latest round of FREE in store craft demonstrations in selected Hickeys and Home Focus stores nationwide. These demos aim to educate beginners and seasoned sewers alike – there will be lots of tips and tricks to be learned - we’d love to see you there!

     

    *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 [email protected]

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    Autumn/Winter Events

    Henry St

    Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry St, Dublin 1

    • Saturday 14th September – 10.30– 13.00 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 21st September – 10.30 – 12.00 – Easy Makes ‘Baby Quilt’
    • Saturday 28th September – 10.30– 13.00 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 5th October – 10.30 – 12.30 – Easy MakesSewing with Jersey’
    • Saturday 12th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 19th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Craft & Sewing Tips
    • Saturday 26th October– 10.30 – 12.30 – Easy Makes ‘Sewing with Sequins’
    • Saturday 2nd November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 9th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Craft Panels
    • Saturday 16th November – 10.30 – 12.30 – Easy Makes ‘Sewing with Leather’
    • Saturday 23rd November– 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 7th December – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes

    Carrickmines

    Home Focus, Unit 4, The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 18

    • Saturday 14th September – 14.30 – 16.00 – How To Use your Sewing Machine
    • Saturday 5th October – 14.30 – 16.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 12th October – 14.30 – 16.00 – How To Use your Sewing Machine
    • Saturday 19th October – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Craft & Sewing Tips
    • Saturday 2nd November – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 16th November – 14.30 – 16.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 23rd November – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 7th December – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Mini Makes

    Tallaght

    Home Focus, Level 2, The Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24

    • Saturday 21st September – 14.30 – 16.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 28th September – 14.30 – 16.00 – How to Use your Sewing Machine
    • Saturday 2nd November – 14.30 – 16.00 – How to Use your Sewing Machine
    • Saturday 9th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 16th November – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Craft Panels
    • Saturday 14th December – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes

    Blanchardstown

    Home Focus, Unit 406, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

    • Saturday 21st September – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 19th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 2nd November – 10.30 – 12.00 – How to Use your Sewing Machine
    • Saturday 16th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making

    Northside

    Home Focus, Unit 2, Northside Retail Park, Coolock Drive, Coolock, Dublin 5

    • Saturday 5th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 12th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – How to Use your Sewing Machine
    • Saturday 9th November – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Mini Makes
    • Saturday 14th December – 14.30 – 16.00 – Christmas Mini Makes

     

     

    Corbett Court

    Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court, Williamsgate Street, Galway

    • Saturday 14th September – 10.30– 12.30 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 21st September – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 5th October – 10.30 – 12.30 – Easy MakesSewing with Jersey’
    • Saturday 12th October – 10.30– 12.30 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 19th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Craft & Sewing Tips
    • Saturday 26th October– 10.30 – 12.30 – Easy Makes ‘Sewing with Sequins’
    • Saturday 2nd November – 10.30– 12.30 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 9th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Craft Panels
    • Saturday 16th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Mini Makes

    Cruises Street

    Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick

    • Saturday 14th September – 10.30– 12.30 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 21st September – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making
    • Saturday 5th October – 10.30 – 12.30 – Easy MakesSewing with Jersey’
    • Saturday 12th October – 10.30– 12.30 – How to Use your Sewing Machine & Read Patterns
    • Saturday 19th October – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Craft & Sewing Tips
    • Saturday 9th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Christmas Craft Panels
    • Saturday 16th November – 10.30 – 12.00 – Curtain and Roman Blind Making

  • 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.

    For the Superhero Cape:

    Download Your Templates Here:

    Instructions:

    1. Fold the fabric in half length ways. Pin the template in place, with the neck opening along the folded edge.
    2. Cut out the neck opening and the curved line of the template finishing in a straight line to the bottom of the fabric.
    3. Cut out shapes from contrasting felt to represent the superhero of your choice and attach to the back of the cape using felt glue.
    4. Attach the Stick & Stick Velcro to the neck opening for easy dressing

     

    For the Superhero Masks

    Download Your Templates Here:

    masks-500

    Instructions:

     

    1. Cut mask template from one felt square.
    2. Iron on the Vilene to the back of the mask to add stability.
    3. Iron Bondaweb to the back of the other felt square, then cut out the super superhero shapes of your choice.
    4. Place the shape over one eye of the mask and cut out the eye socket. Peel back the Bondaweb backing and place back over the mask. Iron the shape in place on the mask.
    5. Attach an eyelet to either side of the mask.
    6. Measure elastic to fit around the head and thread each end through the eyelet. Secure with a stitch.

     

     

     

     

     

  • How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 1
    Tools Needed

    • Headband
    • Bridal Trim
    • Diamante Appliqué
    • Flower Sprigs
    • Glue Gun / Glue Sticks
    • Scissors

    So, lets kick things off with our first look- a timeless classic!

    1920's Bride

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 2

     

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 3

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 4

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 5

    CLASSIC BRIDE

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 6

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 7

    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.

    BOHO BRIDE

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 8

    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.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 9

    Glue each sprig separately onto the headband, alternating the colours.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 10

    Trim the sprig ends off with a sharp scissors.

    How To Make A Bridal Headpiece 11

    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!

     

  • How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 1

    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!

    How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 2

    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.

    Picking a pattern

    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.

    How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 3

    What you will need

    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.

    How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 4

    Measuring

    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.

    How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 5

    Read through your pattern instructions

    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.

    How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 6

    Notches and dots

    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.

    Sewing instructions

    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.

    Chat soon,

    Catherine.

    How To: Dainty Dress Diaries Step By Step Easy Sew Wrap Skirt 7

  • Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-1

    This week we have teamed up with the lovely Catherine from Dainty Dress Diaries, who has created a video over on Youtube, and written a blog post all about how you can create an envelope cushion. We are sharing the post here on our platform as we think it is something that any crafty person can do, no matter how experienced you are in sewing! If you are a fan of the Dainty Dress Diaries like we are here in Hickeys Fabrics- why not check out her Blog or Youtube Channel?

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-13

    Today I have teamed up with the guys over at Hickeys to show you how to make an easy envelope cushion. Making an envelope cushion was my very first project when I was learning to sew. I did some evening sewing classes at my local school and I remember the excitement when my teacher Mary showed us how to make a cushion! I was a complete beginner and could barely thread my machine at the time so it really motivated me and inspired me to sew more when I completed my first project. Hands up who has a sewing machine collecting dust? From chatting to some of you ladies on Instagram I know you guys have sewing machines collecting dust, why not take them out of storage, dust them off, thread then up and have a go at making today's project.

     

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-2

    What you will need:

    The first thing you will need to get is some nice fabric. I love picking fabrics and have a soft spot for florals. I used fabric today that would match my pink chair in my bedroom. I want to change up the cushions on this chair to give it a freshen up. That is the fun thing about sewing, if you want to change up your decor then get a metre or two of fabric and get crafty, you can save yourself money and get to have pieces in your home that others don't have. I am using fabric from Hickeys, I normally head to my local Hickeys in Blanchardstown for fabric but you can also shop online if you are not near a store. If you are a beginner then I recommend starting off with the cotton or poly cotton fabrics. These have very little stretch and are easy to work with when starting off. There is a wide range of fabrics available in store and online. When I was first learning to sew my favourite thing was heading into Hickeys to pick fabric for my next project. If you are like me and love your florals then you will be pleased to know that they have loads of stunning printed fabrics in stock at the moment.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-3

    • 1 metre of fabric (depending on how many cushions you want to make)
    • Fabric scissors
    • Pins
    • Thread in a matching colour to your fabric
    • Paper to make a template/pattern
    • Cushion pad in the size you want to make
    • A good iron

    When it comes to thread, I highly recommend using good quality thread and avoid the threads that come in sets. Keep the cheaper quality threads for hand sewing. When I was learning to sew, I had trouble with poor quality threads bunching up in my sewing machine and leaving me with poor stitches. Nowadays, I always use Guttermann threads in my machine and these are great quality. Home Focus at Hickeys stock the Guttermann threads in store and online so you can easily pick up a contrasting thread for your fabric.

    Make a template/Pattern

    I find it easier to make myself a template. In today's post, I made a 16x16 inch cushion and I also made a 18x18 inch cushion. If you make yourself a template then you can easily take it out whenever you want to make some cushions. It also makes it easier when you are making a few cushions at one time.

    Using my tape measure and some paper I measured out a template. You will have a front and a back template for this project. For the front of the cushion, you will need to make a 16x16 inch template. However you need to allow for a 1 inch seam allowance so you will need to measure out 17x17 inches on your paper. For the back template, you will need to measure out 17x14 inches.

    If you want to make a bigger or smaller cushion then just adjust your measurements. So, for example, my 18x18 in cushion I cut a 19x19 inch pattern. So, whatever the size of cushion you want to make, just adjust it and make sure to allow for your 1 inch seam allowance.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-4

    Cut your fabric

    Iron your fabric before cutting it, having crease free fabric will make it easier to cut out your template. Pin your template to your fabric. You will cut one piece for your front and then two pieces for the back. Your back has two pieces as they overlap giving the envelope shape to your cushion. Always take your time cutting out your fabric, cutting fabric is just as important as sewing your piece. You want to cut the fabric as straight as you can to make it easier for when you are sewing.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-5

    Using your fabric scissors cut out the three pieces of fabric that you will need to make your cushion. I highly recommend getting good fabric scissors as they will last years and you can get them sharpened too. The one I am using is the Fiskars Universal Purpose scissors. When cutting a lot of fabric your hand can get tired and sore, these scissors are easier to hold and gives good grip making it easier on your hand. Never, ever use your good fabric scissors to cut paper. You will ruin the blade of your scissors so always keep your fabric scissors for fabric only. When I started sewing I used cheaper tools and I ended up having to replace them over time, my best advice it to spend on good tools as they will stand the test of time and be more valuable to you in the long term.
    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-6

    Sew a hem on your back pieces

    You are now going to sew a 1 inch hem onto your two back pieces. These two pieces need a hem so the fabric won't fray on you. Using your iron, fold over half an inch and press. You can use your measuring tape as a guide. Once you have ironed your half  inch you are then going to fold it over again and press. Depending on the fabric you may need to secure it with some pins. Using your sewing machine you will then sew a straight stitch down the hem of your fabric. Start with a reverse stitch to secure your stitch and stop it coming loose. I have put together a Youtube video which I will link below if you want to have a look at how I did this.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-8

    Sew all your pieces together

    You are now going to sew all three of your pieces together and form your cushion. The most important thing here is to make sure you face the right sides of your fabric face together. I place my front piece down on the patterned side of the fabric facing me. I then lay a back piece of fabric to the front making sure the two patterned sides are facing each other. I then add the third piece and I pin the fabric together. I use a lot of pins to make sure the fabric stays in place when I am sewing, Place your pins facing outwards as this means you can sew on them.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-9

    Once your cushion is pinned together you can now sew it on your machine. Make sure to leave your 1 inch seam allowance. You can use the guide on the plate of your sewing machine as a guide. Make sure to start and end with a reverse stitch to stop your thread from unravelling. Sew all around the cushions. Once finished you can remove all of your pins. To make sure the corner goes into a nice neat point you can snip the corner of your cushion before you turn it right inside out.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-10

    My favourite part of the project is turning it from inside out to right side out, I get the crafters buzz when I see the project coming together. Once you turn your fabric over you can give it an iron to flatten the seams and finish it off. You can then add your cushion pad and have fun admiring and styling your new cushion.

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-11

     

    Dainty-Dress-Diaries-Envelope-Cushion-12

     

  • Adorn your home with a rustic mini pine cone tree this Christmas! Simple yet so effective... It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!ub5ornso-xlarge

    1. Decorate the tips of your pine cone with gems and embellishment to look like baubles.

    2. Make the base from a polystyrene ball. Trim the top and bottom so the edges are flat. Decorate the ball by painting red and adding ribbons and bows.

    3. Stick the pine cone to the top of the polystyrene base with glue and top the tree with a festive bead or bow!

  • How to make an advent calendar

    Advent Calendar

    It's never too early or late to indulge in some Christmas crafting! What better way to mark the excitement of Christmas than to count down each day with a hidden treat or secret message from an Advent Calendar?! Simply follow our easy steps below to create your own!

    YOU WILL NEED:

    1. Scandi Reindeer Natural
    2. Scandi Snowman Red
    3. Scandi Robins Natural
    4. Scandi Gingerbread Men Natural
    5. Scandi Reindeer Red
    6. Scandi Robins Red

    METHOD:

    1. Cut 2 pieces of 7" x 22" Ecru and 1 piece of 27" x 22" batting. Cut 4 pieces of each of the 6 Christmas cotton fabric (5" x 5").
    2. Cut 4" x 26" of the lace and 6" x 8" of the ribbon.
    3. Make numbers 1 to 24 by tracing numbers onto Bondaweb. Iron onto red felt and cut. Alternatively, you can use our Pre-cut Christmas Advent Calendar Numbers.
    4. Sew 6 squares together using 0.5" seam allowance x 4 times. Press open the seams and press 0.5" hem along the bottom and sides. Press 0.25" twice across the top pockets. Sew lace in place across top of all 4 rows.
    5. Iron numbers in place on lace on each pocket.
    6. Layer back, batting, and front, and tack together. Place first row 1.5" down from the top and in from sides. Sew around 3 sides and down each pocket join. Sew second, third, fourth row 1" below the previous row.
    7. Fold 6 lengths of ribbon in half and pin raw edges to top and back, spacing evenly. Sew in place 1/8" from edge. Fold remaining ribbon in lengthwise and sew around all four side, encasing raw edges and overlapping ends.
    8. Point hanging loops up, making sure they are the same length and sew again to secure.
    9. Thread a pole through loops and hang your calendar.
  • The Summer holidays are finally here and that means only one thing...how do we keep the kids entertained! We've picked some easy kids craft projects from around the web to help keep your little one busy come rain or shine. Happy crafting!

    Fab Crabs (parents.com) 
    Painted-Crab

    Photograph Sabrina Heals

    Turn beachcombed finds into shoreline critters that'll help keep holiday memories alive. Visit Parents.com Spectacular Summer Craft Ideas for Kids for details

    Outdoor Music Wind Chimes (hadsonaswegrow.com)

    wind-chimes-main

    Photograph (handsonaswegrow.com)

    Create this bright musical wind chime using old tin cans. A fun way to introduce your kids to recycling. Visit Handsonaswegrow.com - Homemade Wind Chimes the Kids Can Make!

    Egg Carton Boat

    boats

    Photograph lifeatthezoo.com

    Ships ahoy! These cute little boats are simple to make. Details are available from lifeatthezoo.com 

    Modern Stained Glass Vases (classic-play.com)

    Stained-Glass-Vase

    Phoatograph Deborah Harju

    Using some clear glass, tissue paper and mod podge to create your own “stained glass” vase. Perfect for a summer posy! Instructions available on classic-play.com

    Painted or Decoupage Bird Feeders (candice ashment art)

    bird-feeders2

    Continuing on the recycling theme, these bird feeders are made from milk cartons and painted or decoupaged in bright colours ready to hang in your garden. Build it and they will come! Visit candiceashmentart.blogspot.ie for instructions on how to make them.

    Surfs Up! (www.parents.com)

    surfs-up

    Photograph by Doug Merriam

    Hit the beach in an easy-to-make surfboard tee. Your child can help choose the fabrics and cut out the shapes. Full instructions and Surf Board template from Parents.com

    We also have lots of craft kits available in-store and online to help keep your little ones amused throughout the summer.

  • Tablescapes-Mini-Makes

    Frill and Fluff

    You will need:

    Method:

    1. Fold the napkin in half. Fold the left-hand short edge in about 1/3, then fold the right-hand short edge on in to form a rectangle.
    2. Wrap the chiffon/lace ribbon lenghtways around the napkin and secure at the back with a dot of fabric glue or double sided sticky tape.
    3.  Wrap the satin ribbon around the napkin widhtways and tie in a simple. Tuck the feathers into the bow. Attach name tag around the chiffon/lace ribbon to lie on top of the feathers.

    Diamante Elegance

    You will need:

    • Crisp white napkins.
    • Diamante clasps.
    • 2 to 3 Matching ribbons in various widths, 1 to be chiffon.
    • Length of plain fabric to match ribbons and contrast with napkin.
    • Scissors.

    Method:

    1. Fold the napkin in half. Fold the left-hand short edge in about 1/3, then fold the right-hand short edge on in to form a rectangle.
    2. Wrap approx 30cm of coloured fabric around the napkin leaving a border of crisp white napkin showing along the top and bottom.
    3. Layer 2 to 3 ribbons on top of each other in descending widths.
    4. Wrap the ribbons around the back of he napkin and thread through the clasp at the front leaving a long tail on show.
    5. Layer 2 to 3 ribbons on top of each other in descending widths.
    6. Cut the ribbon "tails" at an angle to with a sharp scissors to create a clean elegant look.

    Summer Fun

    You will need:

    Method:

      1. Fold the napkin in half. Fold the left-hand short edge in about 1/3 of the way, then fold the right-hand short edge in to form a rectangle.
      2. Cut out mini triangle from the cotton quarter pack using a pinking sheers to avoid fraying or the need to hem.
      3. Take approx 30cm of ribbon and attach 2 to 3 contrasting "bunting" triangles to the centre of the ribbon using the iron on Wundaweb.
      4. Wrap the mini string of bunting around the folded napkin and tie at the back.
      5. To dress the chairs, simply cut approx 1.5cm of 3 to 4 different coloured wide width ribbons and tie with a slip knot to one corner of the chair. Face the ribbon to the back of the chair so your guests will see them when they walk into the room.

     

     

  • Stylecraft Crochet Along Fieda's Flowers blanket

    We are delighted to bring you details of Stylecraft's latest Crochet Along starting 5th April. Designed by the very talented Jane Crowfoot, the project features the Frida's Flowers blanket, a wonderful, colourful design inspired by the the Mexican artist Firda Kahlo. Published in 8 fortnightly instalments over 4 months all the patterns will be available to download free from our blog so don't forget to check in every fortnight. We will let you know on our Facebook page when the next free pattern is available. You can also share your progress with us on Facebook Home Focus Facebook

    The blanket is created in Stylecraft's Classique Cotton available online and in the following Hickeys Fabrics stores: Henry Street, Dublin 1 & Corbett Court, Galway . The yarn is available in 50g balls and costs €3.15 each. Download the Stylecraft's Get Started guide which is full of useful information and tips to help you prepare for the start of the project on April 5th.

    This project is designed for those looking to improve their crochet skills rather than complete beginners.

    For the project you will need:

    white-cosmos

    Tueaday 5th April - Block 1 is now available to download from the Stylecraft website. You can download the English terms version here: White Cosmos Fridas Flowers Blanket Block 1. US terms, Dutch and German language are available on stylecraft-yarns.comDon't forget to share you work on our Facebook page.

    Style-Craft-Crochet-Along-Dalhia-Bud

    Tueaday 19th April - Block 2 featuring the Dahlia Bud, a native flower of Frida's Mexico, is now available to download from the Stylecraft website. You can download the English terms version here: Dahlia Bud Fridas Flowers Blanket Block 2. US terms, Dutch and German language are available on stylecraft-yarns.com. We would love to see your progress so far. You can share your work on our Home Focus Facebook page or email us on [email protected]

     

    Style-Craft-Crochet-Along-Bird-Of-Paradise

    Tuesday 3rd May - Block 3 Bird of Paradise takes its inspiration from the 1943 Frida Kahlo painting ‘Self Portrait with monkeys, bird of paradise flower’. This block is a little more complicated to make than the blocks you have already made. Full UK terms instructions are available to download here Bird of Paradise US terms, Dutch and German language are also available on  stylecraftyarns.com.

    Stylecraft Crochet along Rosa

    Tuesday 17th May - Block 4- Rosa.  This weeks block is inspired by one of Frida's very first paintings, Still Life Roses, a gift for her older sister, Adriana. Full UK terms instructions are available to download here Rosa and US terms, Dutch and German language are also available on  stylecraftyarns.com.Style-Craft-Crochet-Along-block-5

    Tuesday 31th May - Block 5- Heart Rose.  This weeks block is inspired by Frida's painting, The Two Fridas, painted in 1939 after her divorce from Diego Rivera. This portrait shows the two sides of Frida's personality. The image on the left of the portrait depicts Frida's vulnerable side - here she is shown wearing traditional dress and with a broken heart. On the right we see Frida's independent side - here she shown wearing modern dress and and with a strong heart. Full UK terms instructions are available to download here Heart Rose and US terms, Dutch and German language are also available on  stylecraftyarns.com.

     

    Style Craft Crochet Along Block 6

    Tuesday 14th June - Block 6 - Ring of Roses.  This was the first motif designed by Jane Crowfoot for the Frida's Flowers Blanket. Inspired by a famous photograph of Frida Kahlo wits roses in her hair set against a dark green floral background . Full UK terms instructions are available to download here Ring of Roses and US terms, Dutch and German language are also available on  stylecraftyarns.com.

    Style-Craft-Crochet-Along-7

    Tuesday 21st June - Block 7 - Frida's Bouquet. “I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”  - Frida Kahlo.

    Block 7 takes it inspiration from Frida’s painting ‘Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on My Mind)’. In this portrait Freda is dressed in white traditional Tehuana dress with an image of her husband, Diego Rivera, on her forehead. A bouquet of white flowers are arranged in her hair. The painting makes it apparent that her husband is at the centre of her thoughts and the source of profound sentiment and passion. Jane Crowfoot designed this motif to sit at the centre of the blanket and at the centre point of both ends of the blanket just as Diego was at the centre of Frida’s life. Full UK terms instructions are available to download here Frida's Bouquet and US terms, Dutch and German language are also available on stylecraftyarns.com.

    Style-Craft-Crochet-Along-block-8

    Tuesday 12th July - Block 8 - Frida's Edging. Designed to to highlight the zigzag edge created by the hexagon shapes at the top and bottom of the blanket. This completes the instructions for Jane Crowfoot's Frida's Flowers blanket. It has been a wonderful colourful journey where we learned about the art of Frida Kahlo while creating something beautiful. Full UK terms instructions are available to download here Frida's Edging and US terms, Dutch and German language are also available on stylecraftyarns.com.

  • Ribbon Tree and Bunting

    Ribbon Tree

    Follow our step by step guide or watch our easy to follow video on how to make a decorative Ribbon Tree

    You will need:

    Method:

    1. Take a long length of ribbon approx 70cm (28") and apply a glue to one end.
    2. Glue the ribbon on to the pointed end of of the knitting needle. then wrap the ribbon all the way up to the end of the needle.
    3. Trim off excess ribbon and glue in place
    4. Push the pointed end of the needle into the poly ball to form the tree trunk
    5. Keep a 50cm of ribbon to tie around the jar, then cut the remaining ribbon into 7.5cm (3") lengths
    6. Begin to fill the polystyrene ball with ribbon. Take a piece of ribbon, fold one end over the other to form a loop. Pin the ribbon loop onto the polystyrene ball, making sure the pins are underneath the loop and hidden. You may need two pins for wider ribbon.
    7. Repeat until the whole surface of the ball is covered alternating the colour and direction of the ribbon.
    8. Take your jar and vase and tie a ribbon around this into a bow.
    9. Fill the container with play sand and stir through some glitter if using.
    10. Place the tree trunk of the ribbon tree into the sand and secure.

    Bunting

    You will need:

    METHOD:

    1. Place the template onto the fabric and cut out flags, for 8 flags you will need 16 pieces in total.
    2. Place 2 flag pieces on top of each other, pattern sides facing and pin together along the long edges.
    3. Sew 1cm seam allowance along the 2 long sides to ma a V shape. Leave the top open.
    4. Trim the excess fabric at the point to reduce bulk. Turn tight side out and press. Trim away any excess fabric from the top to neaten. Repeat with the remaining flags.
    5. Attach the bias binding. Fold the bias binding down over the raw edge of the flag and sew 1/2cm from bias edge. Place each flag at 10cm intervals from each other and sew the flag only there is no need to sew the length of the bias. Double fold the ends of the bias and sew down to prevent fraying and leave a neat edge.

     

  • how-to-make-a-lamp

    Image Prestigious Textiles fabric used Superstar Graphite

    Finding the perfect lampshade to match your décor can sometimes be a difficult quest. Our easy step by step guide to making your own lampshade is the perfect solution! Using the fabric of your choice and Needcrafts lampshade kit we will show you how to make your own professional looking lampshade giving you total control of fabric, colours, texture and finish.

    Tools

     

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