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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!
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!
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)
There is nothing worse than your favourite jeans aging on you. What was once a cool black denim, is now a washy grey. The dark indigo navy, is now more of a mid-blue. They still fit like a glove, but the shade just doesn’t pack a punch the way it did when you first put them on and felt like a god(ess). We have all been there, I too am a victim of washed out denim. You end up trying to stretch out the wears between washes, the thought of handing out another €60 to buy another pair is just too much to bear. Luckily, it is Dylon Machine Dye to the rescue! These nifty little pods are an upgrade from their original machine dye, where you would have added the salt separately. The new and improved version has all the hard work done for you. You literally just pop it into your machine! I have put together a really easy to follow tutorial, helping you get to know the Dylon Machine Dyes, so you can give your favourite jeans a new lease of life!
Step One: Get your jeans out of the wardrobe and ready. To achieve optimum results your fabric needs to be damp. I popped the jeans in a sink full of water and then squeezed them out a bit so they weren’t soaking.
Step Two: Pop your jeans in the drum of your washing machine. Make sure your machine is clean, no scummy bits around the edges as the dye will catch. I gave mine a good wipe down, getting rid of little bits of fluff and cleaning the rubber. Dylon Dye won’t cause any issues with your actual machine or washing experience, but a stained machine doesn’t look the nicest really, does it?
Step Three: Carefully peel the packaging off the colour pod and place it in the drum on top of your clothing or fabric.
Step Four: Pop on the wash, at either 30C - 40C. A full cycle is perfect, don’t cut it short.
Step Five: Do another wash with the jeans in the machine, adding some detergent. This is to rinse the excess dye from the fabric, otherwise you might pull out a drippy black mess.
Step Six: Dry as you normally would and love your life because you’ve got yourself some jazzy new jeans.
Ok, so the actual act of dying your jeans is pretty straightforward. There are however a few things you’ll have to be careful with. You’ll thank me later.
* Please, PLEASE be careful opening the dye. Although Dylon have made it very easy to open, spillage on your floor/clothes/hands will likely stain. Hands will eventually return to their normal colour- floors will not. Use with caution.
* The Dylon Colour Pods are best used on Cotton, Linen and Viscose. Fabrics that are mixed with synthetics, like a Polycotton blend, will colour but it will likely be a lighter shade. Pure synthetic fabrics like polyester will not catch the colour and you will likely ruin the garment in the process. My jeans are actually a mixed material - 64% Cotton, 32% Polyester, 4% Elastane and as you can see they coloured brilliantly, the more natural fibres the better.
* If your garment is advised as ‘Dry Clean Only’, don’t try to dye it. Again, you’ll ruin the garment because it is not made to be put in a washing machine.
Maximalism. A retaliation against minimalism, an idea that more, really is more. This trend is a great excuse to truly lavish yourself in everything that you love, it doesn't have to follow a theme or make sense- it breaks all the boundaries. If you love rich textures, bold prints and jewel toned shades- this is the trend for you. Florals, stripes and plains all combining together to create a variety of themes and elements to your home, what's not to love?! The great thing about prints and bolds is that you can use them as much or as little as you like. The maximalism world is your oyster. We have a few ideas and concepts of maximalism put together in this post, to give you a little inspo into how you can truly ramp up your interiors.
Ah, prints. From flourishing florals to nautical stripes, a print will always add a little 'juj' to a room. Layering prints with a variety of colours and patterns may seem like a bit of a risk, but the end result can have a very contemporary and modern look (it doesn't have to look like your nana's house). Layering bright florals like our Secret Garden Cream furnishing fabric piled with bold prints and contrasting tones adds a flurry of colour. If you are feeling extra fancy you can always throw a velour cushion into the mix (I love all things velour).
Don't forget, you don't have to reupholster your whole living room to get the look. Here at Home Focus we have a wide range of patterned ready made curtains, cushions and bedding. Or if you'd like to get creative with our fabrics, why not check out our recent collaboration with Dainty Dress Diaries? She created some amazing Envelope Cushions and has a handy step by step blog and YouTube video!
(Main image: Fern Glad Linen Furnishing Fabric, Top Left: Secret Garden Cream Furnishing Fabric, Top Right: Fern Glade Linen Furnishing Fabric, Bottom Left: Droplet Cream Furnishing Fabric, Bottom Right: Paradise Springtime Furnishing Fabric)
If a jumble of patterns isn't your thing, you can still embrace this trend using textures. Juxtaposing a variety of plush materials, such as cottons, velours and knits with contrasting materials like marble or wood creates a layered opulence. Focus on one bold print, like the gorgeous Henning Mimosa and pair it with our Sula Bauble Knit throw and Roksana Cushion, to create a comfortable opulence. You can use prints and bolds in such a subtle way, that although modern and classic, your home will have so many lovely aspects to it - you won't want to leave!
(Main Image: Henning Mimosa Furnishing Fabric, Middle Left: Henning Mimosa Furnishing Fabric, Middle Right: Glamour Silver Furnishing Fabric, Bottom Image: Roksana Ochre Cushion)
When you think of maximalism, you might not think of a tonal decor. However, as mentioned previously, the beauty of this 2018 trend is that it gives you the freedom to create your own rules. Big, bold prints like our Bergen Ochre contrast beautifully with the modern design of the Linear Ochre. We are lucky enough to have some lovely velour touches in this tone, with the Santorini cushion and the Glamour Ochre Fabric. More is more, is more!!
(Top Left: Bergen Ochre Furnishing Fabric, Top Right: Glamour Ochre Furnishing Fabric, Bottom Left: Santorini Linden Green Cushion, Bottom Right: Linear Ochre Furnishing Fabric)
In case you haven't already guessed, velour plays a fantastic role in the Maximalism concept. That may be just my opinion, but I have browsed through enough Pinterest posts and interior magazines to know that it is a texture that is very much here to stay. A truly modern, yet decadent fabric in our selection is the Glamour collection. Available in a variety of stunning, jewel toned shades, they will add a little lift to even the most neutral of home decors. Emerald and Teal will make you feel as though you are in a stately home, Spice has a lovely earth feel, while Ochre is simply sumptuous.
(Image: Glamour Spice Furnishing Fabric)
Felt Flowers are a fun and relatively easy craft to follow. Some flowers can be a little complicated, but I can assure you that the pretty roses used in this project are straightforward enough and the pay off is fantastic. Who knew felt could look so pretty? As we have been gifted with the rainy weather (April Showers, give us a break!), why not bring a little piece of Spring into your home?
This would make a fantastic gift for a loved one, you could use their favourite colours to really make it personal. I added a few leaves to my wreath but really, they aren’t necessary. You can go all out and fill the whole hoop with flowers, using little and large roses, or you can go really minimal and rustic by not wrapping the hoop with embroidery thread. This craft will take you an afternoon, I personally opt for a mug of tea, dressing gown and a good film on in the background- the perfect rainy Saturday Craft!
Felt – 1 sheet of felt per rose, ideally. This will vary depending on if you want to vary the size of the roses.
Glue Gun - with glue sticks because you don’t want to run out half way!
Embroidery Thread (for wrapping the hoop) and separate thread to use for the flowers.
Circular Shape – To use as a stencil, Approx. 1.2-2” Diameter. I used a shot glass ?
Step One: Start by tracing around your stencil, as many circles as you can fit on the sheet.
Step Two: Cut neatly around the circles, try to not have any marker on the felt circles, trim them a little as the pigment may ruin the finished piece.
Step Three: Cut each circle in half.
Step Four: Separate your embroidery thread in half, so three threads in total. Thread your needle.
Step Five: Take one half circle and create a stitch along the edge. Don’t worry about the stitch being perfect as we will be pulling it later.
Step Six: Once you get half way (about two stitches) across your half circle, take another piece of felt and lie it evenly behind the first and continue your stitching. Repeat this, so that after covering every half piece of felt, you add another half circle to create a chain of half circles.
Step Seven: Once you have run out of felt half circles, gently pull the thread at the edge. This will create a bunching up at the front of the chain. Move the felt along the thread to even out the bunching and keep pulling. This will create a lovely petal-like look to the felt.
Step Eight: When you are happy with the bunching, tie a knot in the thread.
Step Nine: Turn on your glue gun and let it heat up. Take one side of your petal thread and in the middle of the first petal, dot a blob of glue from the gun. Gently fold the petal in on itself.
Step Ten: Repeat this process, adding a little blob of glue and twisting the petals around each other. (As you progress to make more flowers, you will be able to vary how tight or lose you twist the petals over each other, creating different textures and looks for your flowers.)
Step Eleven: Once you have finished twisting your petals, you should be left with a beautiful rose flower. Add a circle of felt (I chose green because- nature) and glue it down, creating a base for your flower. Trim the edges so it doesn’t show when you are looking at the flower directly.
Step Twelve (Optional): Get your embroidery hoop and take some embroidery thread. Add a blob of glue to the top of your hoop and wrap tightly, covering the entire hoop. I used the equivalent of two spools of embroidery thread for this hoop size.
Step Thirteen (Optional): Cut out felt in the shape of leaves and add them to the base of some of your flowers. This will just add a little splash of colour!
Step Fourteen: Lay your hoop out and take a look at where you would like to place your flowers. Add a little mark as a guide if it helps you. Add a blob of glue to the place on the hoop you would like to place a flower. Don’t add the glue to the base of the flower as it can be a bit messy and is easier to place the flower on a blob of glue, than cleaning glue off the table because you misplaced the flower.
Leave it all to dry and voila!
Pastels have made a comeback for 2018, and they are making a statement in a big way. Gone are the days of washed out shades, just because they are chalky doesn't mean they can't pack a punch in your home.
Filled with chalky tones and textured interiors, our Pastel Dreams Collection will bring Spring into your home. The soft shades in cottons and velour materials can create a gentle and calming ambiance. The Pastel trend can be adapted to a variety of other trends and colour schemes. Achieve the Scandi look with washed out wooden textures and knitted throws. Adapt it to a warmer palette using sunny yellows and creamy neutrals, adding touches of powder blues and pinks. Embrace it in the 60's trend with beautiful plastic and marble finishes, adding twists of bright floral to add layers of texture.
The Pastel trend is perfect if you love colour but still want to achieve a stripped back Scandi touch in your home interiors. The Nordic influence is still very present in interior trends of 2018, but we are upgrading to a bolder look. Famous for it's stripped floors, white walls and simple decor, the Scandi look has begun to incorporate subtle touches of colour. Powdery pinks, minty greens and chalky blues can be paired beautifully together, our Alora Dusk and Ivory cotton fabrics with textured throws such as the Sula Bauble Throw will help you achieve the look of stripped back luxury.
Pastel shades don't just mean plain fabrics, a print will add some depth and can be as subtle or as statement as you like. A pastel printed fabric like our Walcott Pastel or Bird Song Pastel would look stunning layered with soft textures such as velour. The Lesley Green Eyelet Curtain has a delicate geometric print, the minty green shade is paired beautifully with our Alford Blush Duvet Set. Combine with creams and ivories, leafy plants and wooden materials, the combination of soft green and blush pink in varied textures creates a modern spring time look.
For a more understated take on the Pastel interior trend, layer soft shades with a bolder accent colour. Light blues and yellows complimented by a navy or wooden tone will give your decor a contemporary and modern touch. Our Lesley Yellow Eyelet Curtains feature a soft geometric pattern that will add depth and texture, when paired with Alora Delft and Marine, you can achieve a stunning seaside look. Achieve the popular Tonal trend by layering pastel shades and deeper shades of the same colour, varying the texture for a uniform and timeless look in your home.
Pastel shades are so adaptable to your current home furnishings, and may help to give it that little lease of Spring life. Shop our Pastel Dreams Collection, or browse our Pinterest for more Pastel inspo!
A Starter Kit…
If you have clicked onto this post you are likely to be a novice or a beginner here in the world of sewing and dress making. If that is the case- welcome! Congratulations, you have taken the first step towards developing a skill you can use forever. Something I have learned from my mother is- as a beginner, do not dive in head first. Start small. Otherwise you will get frustrated and give up before you’ve even begun. Here is a list of things you’ll need to get started…
There are two pairs of scissors you will need in your kit. The first, shears or dressmaking scissors. They will make your future dress making projects a whole lot easier provided you choose the right pair. They don’t have to be an investment, but a great investment they will be! Both are designed to make the cutting of fabric a less laborious task, their handles allow for you to get a good grip and really control the cutting, and their sharp blades result in the fabric having a clean cut. You should choose them carefully, as you may find that some are very heavy whilst others too light. It’s personal preference. One thing you will hear time and time again from dress makers is do not, I repeat DO NOT use them to cut paper. Paper will blunt the blades, and therefore render them useless when it comes to the task of cutting fabric. Fabric only, people.
A set of small embroidery scissors is the second pair you will think a handy tool to have, for the likes of cutting thread. A little less clunky and pretty reasonable value.
Thread can vary, and depending on the project you may need to select accordingly. A great starter addition to your kit would either be cotton or polyester (or both). Cotton is versatile and comes in different finishes, it can withstand a lot of heat from the iron and runs smoothly through fabrics, particularly natural fabrics. Polyester is great because it works well with all fabrics and has great longevity- it washes well and keeps its colour. An important thing to consider when buying thread, is to know your thread. You should test it before using it in a machine, as a dodgy thread could cause damage. Tip- when pulled tightly, thread should snap before you cut your fingers. If it doesn’t then consider your machine, if it gets caught will it snap the needle or cause even more damage?
Pins are a bit like hair grips, they will end up everywhere and you will always be grateful to have them at hand. Use them to hold your pattern to a fabric whilst you trace it, they are also handy when you are sewing as they can keep your fabric in place to help you sew evenly (especially as a beginner). There is a variety of pins available, and standard steel pins would be a good place to start. They may not look as decorative, but for sewing tasks they will be versatile and easy to use on most fabrics. An adorable pin cushion will brighten up your sewing area too!
Hand sewing needles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they all have their uses. It can be daunting to know which one to choose, so be advised to go for a general pack. It has a few different lengths and types, so that you can find what suits you best dependent on the project at hand.
Sharps Needle: When in doubt, choose a Sharps needle. Very sharp (as the name suggests) and used for all general sewing projects. A good one for beginners as it will be able to tackle most beginner projects such as your first attempt at free hand embroidery!
Quilting Needle: Its has a short length which allows you to stitch faster than you may with a normal sized needle.
Embroidery Needle: Similar to a Sharps, except with a longer eye which will make threading the thicker embroidery thread a little easier for you.
Knitters or Ballpoint: Both are great for knit fabrics, the rounded edge goes around the yarn rather than breaking through it and potentially damaging your handiwork. Knitters are for hand sewing, closing the seams on your knitting projects, whereas Ballpoint is a machine needle, great for knit fabrics such as jersey.
We have a great selection of pins and needles available online and in store.
Provided you are confident that dressmaking or sewing is something you really have an interest in, it’s time to invest in a machine. We here at Hickeys are big fans of the Brother machines. With a starter machine, the more basic the machine, the less chance you have of overcomplicating your projects. The Brother LS14S is affordable as far as machines go and it is a great starter machine. Easy to use, a nice size and it covers all the basics. It comes with a DVD to show you how to use your machine and they have a YouTube channel that will show you all of their top tips and tricks. With an LS14S, even if all you end up doing in your sewing career is turning up your trousers, it will be money well spent.
Now that you have committed to a machine, you are raring to go and create magic. This is great! But you need to practice first. You need to get to know your machine, which means sitting in front of it and trying out all the settings. Try every stitch, get used to working the reverse stitch button, find the speed that suits you on the pedal. You will be grateful that you took the time to practice, it will make creating your first garment a far less daunting task.
When cutting out a fabric, this tool could be your best friend. Trace around your pattern onto the fabric with tailor’s chalk and it will make your life a whole lot easier. You could get a little more technical by using a blunt tracing wheel and some carbon sheets but really it is not necessary when you are learning- leave it to the pro’s for now.
Tailors chalk doesn’t have to be boring! Go for a lucky dip, you could get a red, yellow or blue Tailors Chalk – the excitement!
Even the best of the best dressmakers will make the occasional mistake. A stitch ripper will save you and your scissors the big task of ripping the stitches whilst also saving your fabric from damage so that you can try again!
We have a nifty little seam ripper with a rounded edge, to save your fabric from any nicks whilst ripping your stitches.
It’s easy to run away with your imagination and picture yourself creating dramatic pieces or a complex outfit, and with practice you will be able to achieve that one day. However, for now start simple. Don’t go out and buy a really difficult pattern and a really stretchy material. You might struggle and find yourself frustrated and feeling less than confident about your skills. Practice, practice and then practice some more. You should spend a while getting to know your machine before you even commit to a pattern. When you feel ready, go with a Simplicity pattern. They are very easy to follow, have some great looks and hopefully you won’t feel overwhelmed with their guidance.
If you are unsure of a pattern, pop into one of our stores! We have catalogues upon catalogues of patterns and styles to choose from. If you need help finding a fabric to suit your chosen pattern, our staff will be delighted to help you.
As the saying goes “Measure twice, cut once”, A measuring tape will save you on your mistakes (hopefully!). Soft and flexible, it will measure your curves accurately and easily. Most of them will come with both imperial and metric units, so that you can follow the sizes easily. A quick tip, make sure you replace your tape occasionally. This is as over the years, it can stretch a little when used often, your measurements may become inaccurate, even if you measure thrice!
So, you’ve collected all your bits & bobs, now you need somewhere to store it all! Sure, you could have it all stashed away in a drawer, but where’s the fun in that?! We have a great variety of little and large sewing baskets. Most sewing baskets will contain a removable compartment, acting as a little shelf for the smaller items in your kit. Sewing baskets also usually contain a small pin cushion for you to use while working away on your projects, as well as a little pocket often useful for the sharp embroidery scissors. Half the fun of a sewing basket is the choice in colours and patterns, so get choosing!
At this point, you should be kitted out and raring to create. If so, fantastic news! Use #HickeysFabrics in your social media posts so we can check out all your creative crafty bits and bobs- we can’t wait to see them! If you need any further assistance in your crafting career, why not pop into your local Home Focus or Hickeys Fabrics store? Our lovely staff will be delighted to help you with any queries you may have. We also host a range of Free Craft Demonstrations, no sign up required, just come along and be immersed in the crafting world. Happy Crafting!
Little else is more exciting to an interior design lover than adding something new to their home. Constantly on the look out for something different and exciting- changing cushions, adding throws, a new rug- you name it! Sometimes the eyes can be a little larger than the wallet, so here is a fun, easy and cost-effective way of adding a little something to your humble abode.
Something most can agree on is that twinkle lights are amazing. They are a low cost, pretty and simple way to jazz up your home- whether you wrap them around your curtain poles or drape them over your bed board to create a cosy feel by some candlelight, they are always welcome. Pom poms are all the rage at the moment, they are fuzzy delights that add texture and a pop of colour to anything you add them to. So, as you have guessed by the title- we have combined the two greats to achieve something even greater. Pom Pom Twinkle Lights. This DIY is fun, wallet friendly and interchangeable. Are you an interior chameleon? All you need is some wool, scissors and a Pom Pom maker, you can literally chop and change the colours with your mood.
Twinkle Lights: Opt for LED as they are a little safer, more energy efficient and more manoeuvrable as you’re not having to plan your display around the nearest plug socket. We have a variety available in our stores for great prices! Find your nearest store.
Pom Pom Maker: Pom Pom makers vary, and we have a great variety available to purchase in our store! However, really you can create a Pom Pom out of things in your home. Check out our Pinterest page where we have a board dedicated to the glory of the Pom Pom, with pins on DIY hacks, inspiration and ideas.
Sharp Scissors: There is nothing worse than a blunt scissors. If it’s sharp it will cut easily and make your task a little more enjoyable. Shop our online scissors selection
Wool: We have chosen two colours, both very on trend shades for 2018, but you can go as simple or as wacky as you like! There are no limits (aside from the length of your twinkle lights). Check out our wool selection online and in store.
Let’s Get Pom Pom’ing.
Step One: Assemble your maker accordingly. This one requires the two grooves and ridges to fit together. You then thread the wool through the middle and hold the short end in your other hand, then wrap! It's best to move back and forth around the half-moon shape, distributing the wool as evenly as you can. Don’t go too thick, as you will have to close the two sides which may prove difficult if your wool is packed on too thick!
Step Two: Once you are happy with the thickness of your wrap on one side of the maker, move the thread of wool to the other side and continue to wrap. Don’t worry about the thread of wool being spread across the two sides, as you will be trimming it later on, and will have a chance to even out your Pom Poms to your liking.
Step Three: Close your maker and use the little white grips to clasp the two pieces together. This secures the maker so that you can concentrate on trimming the wool! Get your scissors and place it between the groove and start cutting. The groove will act as a guide so that your cut remains straight.
Step Four: You can start to see the Pom Pom forming now- how exciting! Get a piece of wool, long enough to wrap comfortably around the width of your Pom Pom and tie a knot. When you wrap through the groove, tie single knot and pull tightly. Twist the thread again and tie a double knot to secure the Pom Pom.
Step Five: Remove the grips and carefully remove the maker. Trim your Pom Pom to size, evening it out as you go. Be careful not to cut the tails of the knot you used to secure the Pom Pom, as we will be needing these later!
Step Six: You should now be left with a variety of Pom Poms, as many or as few as you like dependent on the length of your string of lights. Lay your lights out on a surface and decide where you would like to place our Pom Poms. We chose to have one every four lights.
Step Seven: Using the tails of wool from your Pom Pom, tie your Pom Pom tightly around the Twinkle Light thread. When you are happy with the placement, trim your tails to blend in with the Pom Pom itself.
2018. A New Year, with new goals, new plans and of course- new trends. Below we have our top 5 picks for Interior Design Trends of 2018, and we are so excited to talk about them! The great thing about these trends is you can really make them your own, inject your own personality and taste. 2018 sees the return of Floral, the opposite of Minimalism and a twist on 2017’s hottest trend- Hygge.
“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” – Pantone
Pantone has named “Ultra Violet” as the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018. This striking shade of purple can be beautifully incorporated into any home and countless colour schemes. Make a bold statement with a feature wall. Maybe you prefer a neutral palette? Add a little pop of vibrancy with a velour cushion.
(image credit - www.pantone.com)
With Maximalism- more is more. The need for bold extravagance as opposed to the stripped back Minimalist style that has been popular in recent years. Aim for clashing prints and jewel toned textures. Think Floral, Chintz and Brocade prints layered with Velour, Metallic and Glossy textures, creating a sumptuously decadent ambience in the home. Maximalism is great for those who love to upcycle, pairing period pieces with modern materials.
(Our Bellini Emerald Cushion, Glamour Teal Fabric or Verona Ochre Curtains would be a great start!)
(image Credit - www.interiordesign.net - Palazzo Fendi VIP apartment in Rome by DIMORESTUDIO. Photography by Andrea Ferrari.)
Take a colour, and work it. Layering two or three shades of the same colour or palette creates a fantastic aesthetic in a home. Think Terracotta, layered with ochres and burnt sienna tones. Bottle green with teal and lime. Embrace textures- velour, knits, tile and metals. Inject patterns or prints to really add depth to your colour scheme.
(Our Terracotta Bellini Cushion or Ochre Rib Velour Curtains would be perfect!)
(image credit - www.thedesignchaser.com)
A development of the well loved Hygge trend, Casual Comfort incorporates scandi and industrial textures with the warm and calm. This is less about colour injection and more about using your senses to recognise a comfortable environment. Pom Poms, Tassels, Velour, Faux Fur and Wool throws are all great additions to this style. If you like a pop of colour, why not add some Millennial Pink? Another hugely popular design trend for 2018! Play it up with berry reds and deep purples, or create a calmer ambience with cool greys and sage tones.
(image credit - www.lustliving.co.uk)
Floral is back, and it is fabulous. This style has been so beloved throughout the years and in 2018 it has a new zest for life. We are seeing it with big prints in jewel tones, and ditsy prints in pastels. Whether you go big with bloom covered bedding, or add a touch to your modern monochrome with a statement cushion (like our beautiful Layla Cushion), Floral is a trend you can embrace wholeheartedly.
(image credit - www.sfgirlbybay.com)
Embroidery and statement motifs have taken the fashion world by storm, seen on the runway, celebrities and in the high street stores alike. With notable designers such as Gucci and Saint Laurent embracing the trend, it looks like it's here for the long run. Whether you want to look elegantly chic in floral, effortless trendy in grunge or to simply dress up your old denim - all you need is an iron, your favourite garment and some of our stunning motif designs. For an effortless (and affordable) up-style to your item, add a large statement motif and surround it with smaller, dainty pieces to really pack a punch. (Image credit: Instagram)
1 - Place your motifs over your garment, with the plastic still attached and move them around until you are happy with the layout.
2 - Once you are happy, place a dot on the area using tailors chalk- a marker or pen will do fine, just make sure the ink doesn't seep through the garment to the other side! Placing a dot will ensure you remember where to put the motif when it comes to ironing them on.
3 - Turn on your iron to the maximum temperature, make sure you are careful and use an ironing board.
4 - Have a tea cloth ready and run it under water to dampen it. Wring it out- it just needs to be damp, not soaking wet.
5 - One by one, peel off the plastic on the back of the motif to reveal the sticky layer. Place the motif over your chosen area and push down firmly so it is in place.
6 - Place your damp tea cloth over the garment, covering the motif.
7 - Place the hot iron over the cloth and hold down firmly for 30 seconds. Leave to cool down.
8 - Once cool, turn the garment to the other side (this may mean you have to turn it inside out.) Place the iron over the area of the motif again without the damp cloth and hold down for 30 seconds.
9 - Wait until completely cool and start the process over again with the next motif!