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How to Make a Nautical Lampshade

Think it's too complicated to make your own lampshade? Think again! Use this easy video and written instructions to be on your way to a beautifully handmade lampshade in merely a few hours. 

How to Make a Nautical Lampshade

 

 

For a 20cm lampshade, you will need:

  • 20cm lampshade kit
  • 0.25m Ahoy Yachts Sky fabric
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Metal rule (optional)
  • Weights (optional)
  • Lampshade base

How to make:

  1. Lay your fabric out flat, right side down. 
  2. Lay the backing paper from your kit onto the fabric and cut around the fabric if necessary to remove excess.
  3. Next you need to stick the backing paper to the back of your fabric. The easiest way to do this is to weight your fabric down at the far end, and peel away the backing of the paper gradually, using a metal rule to help stick down and remove any air bubbles as you go.
  4. Trim the fabric to the size of your backing paper.
  5. Bend along the perforations at the top and bottom of the backing, then tear off these strips.
  6. Using the double sided tape in the box, cut a strip long enough for one short edge. Stick down onto the edge which you would like to be on top on the finished lampshade.
  7. Next, use the double sided tape to cover the round edge of the lampshade drum top and bottom. Ensure that they are well covered.
  8. Peel off the tape covering and align your wire top and bottom at the opposite end to your double sided tape strip, remembering to ensure the bottom one is facing the right way.
  9. Gently and evenly, roll the wire circles down the length of your fabric, keeping the edges aligned right up against the edges of the paper backing.
  10. When you get to the other short edge, remove the tape covering on the double sided strip and stick down firmly. 
  11. Cut notches in the top and bottom areas of fabric where the cross wires are. This will help create a professional finish.
  12. Using your hands, roll the fabric in and over the wire circles, trying to stick down firmly and tuck the ends underneath as much as possible.
  13. Using the tool provided in the box, tuck under the remaining ends of the fabric to keep firmly in place.
  14. Trim any frays away, screw onto your lampshade base and voila - one lampshade!

NEW: Star Stitcher Competition!

Want to show off your fab sewing projects AND be in with a chance to win some goodies from our website? Read on...

NEW: Star Stitcher Competition!

 

From 1st February, we will be launching our new Star Stitcher competition. Every month, we will be giving away a £10 gift voucher for our products to the project we think deserves to win.

Some months there may be a theme, others we will leave it open to you! 

We'll be accepting entries from all abilities and will pick based on originality, design and execution according to your skill level - so beginners, don't be put off!

You can enter once a month, by sending in photos of your projects with a short description and your contact details (name, email address and/or postal address). Please email in your entries to info@mysewingbox.co.uk or share with and tag us on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #starstitcher

Entries will close at midnight on the last day of each month, and we'll pick a winner within 7 days. If you're the winner, we'll be in contact within a week via email.

Don't forget to share this post on your social media accounts so everyone can have a chance at winning!

Happy sewing - we look forward to your entries!

How to Make Valentine's Embroidery Hoop Art

Want to make something pretty to hang up and share the love on Valentine's day? Try out our embroidery hoop art project - it's a great one for beginners, using simple sewing and shapes to good effect! And once the big day is over, you could hang it up in a child's bedroom or leave it up as a reminder of the love shared in your house.

How to Make Valentine's Embroidery Hoop Art

You will need:

  • Embroidery hoop of your chosen size
  • Fat quarter of your chosen fabric - we've used Spot on Raspberry
  • White felt
  • A strip of white cotton
  • Contrasting embroidery thread
  • Stamps or fabric pen
  • Scissors
  • Pen & paper
  • Needle

How to make your Valentine's heart embroidery art:

  1. Unscrew your embroidery hoop and place your fabric over the inner ring. Push the outer ring over the top and screw the top to hold in place, making sure the fabric is taught.
  2. Using a pen and paper, draw a template for your felt heart. Cut out and pin to your felt, then cut around the template on the felt to create your heart.
  3. Thread up your needle with the embroidery thread and using a reasonably long running stitch, stitch the heart to your fabric in the centre of the hoop.
  4. Decide what you want to write in the middle of your heart and stamp or write your message onto the strip of cotton fabric, then cut to size. Make sure to leave a cm or two at either side to sew it on. 
  5. Using the thread, sew one long stitch at either end of the cotton strip to attach. 
  6. To hang - attach some ribbon or string to the top of the hoop and hang from a picture hook, or if your picture hook is small enough, hang the hoop straight on the hook using the gap under the screw.

Feel free to comment below with any questions or feedback, and share your pictures of your completed hoop arts!

January 28, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

National Hobby Month: A Guide to Hand Sewing

Lots of people are reluctant to take up sewing because they are worried about investing in a machine. No worries! You can still get going on your sewing journey by beginning with hand sewing. 

National Hobby Month: A Guide to Hand Sewing

What can I make using hand sewing?

Hand sewing is a great way to get started with sewing, and build up your stitching skills slowly and confidently. Although it takes longer than using a machine, you can get your stitching looking exactly how you want it, where you want it! You can make all sorts of small projects - some of the most popular ones are pin cushions, small toys, felt projects and hanging decorations.

Basic hand sewing stitches

There are 3 basic hand sewing stitches: running stitch, back stitch and whip/blanket stitch. 

running stitch diagram

Running stitch is one of the most commonly used stitches, which is the easiest and quickest to sew. It involves simply inserting your needle into your fabric front-to-back and then back through from back-to-front at a space of about 0.5cm.

 

back stitch diagram

 

Back stitch is a little more complicated but used for more decorative purposes than running stitch, often used in embroidery detailing. It involves bringing your needle through the fabric back-to-front and pushing it back through like running stitch front-to-back (steps 1-2). At this point you then begin a Step 1 again, at point 3, starting where you want the left hand side of the stitch to begin. Repeat Step 2 to anchor your stitch at point 4, where your first stitch began.

 

whip stitch diagram

Whip stitch and blanket stitch are often terms used interchangeably, although there are two techniques for doing this.

Whip stitch is a little more simple, and is usually used on the edges of your material, to bind them together in a decorative way. It involves bringing your needle through the fabric front-to-back, but without bringing it back through back-to-front; instead, you simply pull you thread up and over the side of the fabric, and place a new stitch front-to-back to the left of the previous.

 

blanket stitch diagram

Blanket stitch is very similar and is used for much the same purpose, it just involves pulling your needle and thread through under the stitch you created previously as you begin the next one, to add a line of thread along the gap between the two edges of the fabric.

Starting and finishing your stitches

It's always important to start and finish your stitching properly, so all your hard work doesn't go to waste! Remember to knot your thread securely at one end before you begin - it sounds silly to remind you, but you'd be amazed how often you can forget or make a knot that is too small and gets pulled through mid-stitch. Always make sure your knot sits on the inside of your project for neatness.

When measuring out your thread, make sure you add plenty of extra - you don't want to get to the final few stitches and then realise you don't have enough left to knot it properly! Like at the beginning, securing your final stitch is super important so that your stitching doesn't come undone. I like to stitch through my last stitch a couple of times for extra security, then knot off.

What you'll need 

Lucky for you, this is pretty simple - all you really need is a pack of good quality needles, some pins and a pair of scissors! You can then choose your material and thread according to your project. So easy to get started right away!

Projects

Great hand sewing projects to have a go at are pin cushions, felt projects and hanging hearts - all require simple cutting and can be as decorative as you like, leaving you plenty of time to practice getting your stitching right! 

Why not try one our fabulously easy Strawberry Pin Cushion kits? It includes everything you need to complete the project, including a pattern, instructions, fabric, ribbon and thread - just grab your needle, scissors and pins, and off you go!

Or if animals are more your thing, we also have these very popular Felt Owl Kits, designed for beginners. They come in 4 different colours too, and you can hang them up around the house when you're done!

 

Shop Sewing Basics 

 

Father's Day Project - Hand-stitched Bow Tie

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Looking for a present for Father's day with that special touch?

We've found this fab bow tie project that can all be sewn by hand, with any fabric you think your dad would like. You could go for a quirky pattern or even an ode to Doctor Who with a classic red cotton! Great for those new to sewing who don't have a sewing machine, and suitable for beginners.

All you need is 0.25m of fabric and a set of bow tie clips which you can find in our haberdashery section.

 

 

For more quirky bow ties the fabrics we'd recommend are Island Batik Green, Island Batik Red, Spot On Sky, Pinstripe Citrus Lemon or even Nautical Boats for a keen sailor!

Spot On Sky Blue Fabric by Makower   Pinstripe Citrus Lemon Fabric by Makower   Nautical Boats Fabric by Makower

 

More traditional bow ties would look great in plain or our range of Spraytime fabrics, a take on plain fabric in a range of beautiful and unusual colours.

Spraytime Turquoise Blue Fabric by Makower   Spraytime Yellow Fabric by Makower   Spraytime Tiffany Blue Fabric by Makower   Spraytime Lime Green Fabric by Makower

 

For instructions on how to make the bow tie, check out http://www.boho-weddings.com/2014/05/26/diy-tutorial-handmade-bow-tie/

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