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Beginners Guide to Ready Made Curtains

A handy guide for buying ready made curtains. How to choose the correct size, heading and the right type for your window.

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  • Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare your children's costumes than to make them yourself!

    It's easy to create a beautiful and unique Halloween costume with Hickey's Easy Sew Wooki Jedi Costume - complete with pants, bag & mask to complete the look. It's the perfect Halloween costume for any Star Wars fan, and is sure to turn heads this October.Wooki-resized-500x700

    How to make a Wooki Jedi Costume

    You will need:

    • 1.2 metres of Wooki Fur.
    • 1.5 metres of Bonanza Leatherette.
    • 1.5 metres of Leather Trim.
    • Fabric Glue.
    • Bag Hooks
    • Square Foam Stickers
    • Mask
    • 0.5 metres of Stick & Stick Velcro

    For the Top:

    1. Cut 0.4m of fur and fold over the fabric.
    2. Cut a slight oval shape on the fold to make a neck hole.
    3. Fold the fabric right sides together and sew up the sides, leaving a space of approximately 6" to insert the arms.
    4. For the arms, make 2 tubes by cutting 0.3m of fur, folding the fabric, and cutting on the fold to make two pieces.
    5. Fold each piece length ways, right sides together, and sew up the long side to form the tubes.
    6. Shape the top of each tube into a slight curve to attach to the shoulder.
    7. With every piece inside out, attach the curved edge of each arm into the 6" spaces left in the top.
    8. Pin in place, and sew.
    9. Turn the top right side out, disregarding hems as the fur will hang down and disguise any raw edges.

    For the Pants:

    1. Each pant leg is a straight tube, like the arms.
    2. Cut 0.4m of fur and cut in half on the hold to create two leg pieces.
    3. Fold over the fabric length ways and right sides together to create a tube.
    4. Shape the tube at the top to form the crotch by cutting out a reverse L shape.
    5. Sew up the long side of each tube.
    6. Sew the legs together at the crotch area.
    7. Cut the elastic in half and attach the 2 straps at the back of the trousers, then criss-crossing the elastic to resemble braces, and attaching the other 2 ends to the front of the pants. This means you won't require any buttons or zips.

    For the Bag:

    1. Cut a long strip about 4" wide x 1.4m long of the leatherette.
    2. Sew or glue the length of the plaited trim down the centre of the leatherette strip.
    3. Stick on the square foam stickers along either side of the trim strip, spacing them 0.5" apart.
    4. Fold over the remaining leatherette and cut out an oval shape using a plate. This forms the bag.
    5. To attach the bag to the strap, sew bag hooks to each end of the strap.
    6. Sew the bag rings to either edge of the bag and click the hook and rings together.
    7. Decorate the bag with studs, leather straps, or a button.

    For the Mask:

    1. Paint glue all over the mask.
    2. Use some of the left over fur to place over the mask.
    3. Once dry, cut out the eye and mouth holes, and glue a small triangle of leatherette to the nose.
    4. For the hood, cut out a piece of fur 0.25m wide x 0.4m long.
    5. Fold it over, with the right sides together and sew up along the long side, curving at the top.
    6. Cut off the excess around the curve to create a hood shape.
    7. To attach the hood to the mask, attach the stick & stick velcro along the outside of the mask, and stick the front of the hood to the velcro to create the full head of fur, tucking in the excess.

    Create something truly unique this Halloween for a night of trick or treating that they'll never forget. Plus, when it's so easy to create a memorable costume, you can get the kids involved in making it too!

    Get creative and try out the Easy Sew Witch's Dress & Hat Costume.

    Shop all Halloween Fabrics.

  • How to make a childrens spooky halloween cape

    Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare your children's costumes than to make them yourself!

    How to make a Spooky Cape:

    You will need:

    For the Top:

    1. Measure the length of the cape from shoulder to waist.
    2. Fold the fabric in half, and then in half again.
    3. Starting in the bottom corner, measure the length of the cape. Mark out a 1/4 circle with chalk by placing the tip of the measuring tape in the corner of the fabric and pivot the end of the tape to make the circle, marking the desired length as you move across the fabric, making an arc shape.
    4. For the neck hole, cut out a small 1/4 circle at the corner of the fabric, using the neck of a t-shirt as a size guide.
    5. Open up your circle so it's folded in half, making a large 1/2 circle shape.
    6. Draw a slanted line from one side of the neck hole to the bottom - this should be around 1/4 of the size of a full cape. Cut this piece off to create the front opening.
    7. Draw some freehand spider-web shapes and inverted scallops along the bottom edge to give a web-like effect.
    8. Pinch the fabric carefully in the middle of the shapes and nick with the scissors. Then carefully cut out each shape to create the lattice effect.
    9. Wundaweb or sew the ribbon along the neck line to tie at the front.

    Create something truly unique this Halloween for a night of trick or treating that you'll never forget. Plus, when it's so easy to create a memorable costume, you can get the kids involved!

    Get creative and try out the Easy Sew Witch's Dress & Hat Costume or Wooki Jedi Costume.

    Shop all Halloween Fabrics

  • 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

     

  • Make your Christmas table extra special! We've had a look around the web for a little inspiration that will help make your festive table stand out this year.

    Scandinavian Style (image: www.hibs100.co.uk). scandi-styleCreate this look with springs of greenery, candles and simple ornaments in red and white. For more details visit: hibs100.co.uk deck-the-halls-scandi-style.

    Back To Nature (image: deliciousmagazine.co.uk). DeliciousThree quick, easy and inexpensive Christmas table styling ideas from Delicious Magazine.  See more at Delicious.

    Rosemary Wreath Place Cards (image thehappierhomemaker.com). hAPPY-HOMEMAKER

    Add a personal touch with these rosemary wreath place cards from The Happier Homemaker. Rosemary Wreath Place Cards.

    Edible Feast! (image: yellowblissroad.com).Yellow-bliss-road

    Fill glass jars with cranberries, greenery and candles for a simple fresh centrepiece. See Yellow Bliss Road for more table decorating inspiration.

    Pile It High! (image: redonline.co.uk).red-online

    Create a sense of drama in small dining areas, hang stars, baubles, lanterns and fairy lights from the ceiling for a dramatic effect that won't infringe on limited eating space. See New & Easy Ways to Decorate for Christmas from redonline.co.uk for more ideas.

     

    Christmas Tree Napkins (image deliciousmagazine.co.uk)Christmas-tree-Napkins

    Add some festive flair to your dining table with this Christmas tree shaped napkins. Follow the step by step video with Delicious Magazine here.

  • ribbonwreath

    Ribbon Wreath:

    You will need:

    • 12" Embroidery hoop
    • 8-10 Metres of 3 different colour ribbon (wire ribbon works best). You may need more or less depending on the size of the embroidery hoop used.

     

    Method:

    • Tie the ribbon onto the hoop, alternating colours as you go. Tie each bow before cutting it of the spool. You will tie about 26 bows.
    • Trim the ends of the bows into a point for a neat finish and puff up the ribbon loops to give a nice full look.
    • Tie a ribbon loop at the top to hang.

     

  • Tree-SkirtHow to Make a Frilled Christmas Tree Skirt

    You will Need:

    • 1 Metre of Red Felt for the base
    • 0.55 Metres of plain fabric  we used Christmas Plain Red
    • 0.75 Metres of printed fabric we used Scandi Reindeer Natural
    • 3 Metres of ribbon or a bias fro the 3 ties and the neck binding

    Method:

    Tree-Skirt-Step-1

    1. Using 1 metre Square for the base, fold in half and fold in half again.Tree-Skirt-Step-2
    2. Measure downward 1.5" from the centre folded point for the neck, and 16.5" for the outer ring.Tree-Skirt-Step-3
    3. Draw 4 more rings on this 33" circle, spacing them at 3" apart.Tree-Skirt-Step-4
    4. Cut the outer and the neck rings and cut a slit between the two.Tree-Skirt-Step-5
    5. Cut 7 strips of 4" from the printed fabric & 5 strips of 4" from the plain fabric.
      • Join 3.5 strips together on the widths of the printed fabric (for the outer ring).
      • Join 3 widths together in the plain fabric for the next ring.
      • Join 2.5 widths together of the printed fabric.
      • Join 2 widths for the next ring in the plain fabric.
      • 1 width of printed fabric should remain of printed fabric for the last ring.Tree-Skirt-Step-6
    6. Gather each strip and sew to the base fabric along the drawn lines. Tree-Skirt-Step-7
    7. Bind the neck with the ribbon or bias.Tree-Skirt-Step-8
    8. Cut 6 x 12" lengths of ribbon, and sew in as 3 sets either side of opening for the ties.
    9. Tie the bows to finish.

     

     

  • Advent-Calendar

    Waiting for Christmas to arrive can be tough. The anticipation of Santa's visit, family gatherings and the promise of presents can make the wait seem like an eternity! Follow our step by step guide on how to make this patchwork Advent Calendar and get the countdown under way in style!

    How to make an Advent Calendar

    You will need:

    Method:

    1. Cut 22" wide x 41" long in the red fabric for the front piece.
    2. Cut 22" wide x 36" long in both the red fabric for the back and the batting as an insert .
    3. Cut 4.5" strips from contrasting fabrics for the calendar pockets. Sew a 1/2" hem along the strips and ten cut into 4" pockets.
    4. Print numbers from a computer and trace on to the Bondaweb. Iron the Bondaweb onto the felt and cut out the numbers. Iron the felt numbers onto the pockets and decorate as you wish. Alternatively you can use the Advent Calendar pre-cut felt numbers (C012907).
    5. Layer the back, the batting the front and pin, tack or sprat them together.
    6. Sew the pockets in place using the spacing on the pattern.
    7. Sew the ribbon or bias strips down the right and left sides.
    8. Sew 2" folds at the top and the bottom to the back using a 1/2" allowance.
    9. Slide the Cafe rods through the pockets and attach teh ribbon to the completed piece.
  •  

    Patchwork Christmas StockingYou Will Need:

    • 0.3 Metres of Scandi Stars (00362320) for the back.
    • 0.3 Metres of Scandi Tree/Bauble (00362351) for the lining
    • For the Patchwork:

    Scandi Snowmen Red (00362313)
    Scandi Diamonds Red (00362337)
    Scandi Hearts Natural (00362375)
    Xmas Snow Natural, (00362665)
    Scandi Reindeer Red (00362306)
    Scandi Stars Red (00362320)
    Scandi Tree/Bauble Natural (00362351)

    Method:

    stocking-1

    1. Download and print out both stocking templates (Stocking Template 1 Stocking Template 2and join at the marks.

    2. Trace onto the Stick & Tear and add a 1/4" seam allowance.

    3. Using the Stick & Tear as a template, cust as follows: 1 x Back, 2 x Lining, 2 x Batting.

    4. Cut up the 7 shapes on the printed paper template. Trace these shapes in reverse onto the wrong (reverse) side of your chosen fabrics addina a 1/4" seam allowance.

    5. Sew in place on the stitch and tear in numerical order.

    6. Tear away the stabiliser.

    7. Cut and fold a 6" Ribbon for the hanging loop

    8. Layer as follows with the right sides together: 1 x batting, 2 x Linings, 1 x Batting, Front, and Back.

    9. Sew around the stocking shape, remembering to insert the hanging loop and leaving the neck open.

    10. Turn back on the right side out and bind neck with the ribbon/bias binding

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