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10 Things (June 2011)

10 things
10 things on the tenth
1. How many scrapbook pages I’m going to make this morning with these words then come back and add to this post. Mark my words.
2. The issue of Mollie Makes magazine that came out this week and is happily waiting for me to sit and read. Preferably on a train. Possibly in the rain.
3. Quantity of scrapbook pages I have made since Monday.
4. How many recipes I have tried based purely on pretty pictures from Pinterest.
5. The number of days this week I have worn stripes. Totally unplanned, but perhaps subtly inspired by this, though I haven’t taken any pictures.
6. Kinds of cheese that have made an appearance in our fridge so far this June.
7. Precision pens I found at the bottom of my bag. I wondered why my scrap drawer was seeming a bit bare for writing utensils.
8. My favourite number. True story.
9. Days until I must be packed for a trip home for a little work stuff and mostly catching up with family. Pretty excited about that.
10. Things. on the tenth of the month. Something brought to you by the participants in Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers starting today. Each participant will share something totally of their own creation – but always ten things. Some will share ten photos, ten crafty ideas, ten sources of inspiration, ten recipes, ten things in a collection… always ten things and always on the tenth of the month.

You’re welcome to join us if you like! Blog your ten things on the tenth and add your link – easy! Then click through to visit other participating blogs to meet some new friends and revisit old favourites. We’ll be doing this every month, always on the tenth!

There’s a 10 Things badge too – copy and paste this code into your blog sidebar to display it!
<a href=""><img src="" /></a>

Can’t wait to see what all these girls have planned for today… but first, I better get that scrapbook page finished! Have a lovely Friday.


Afternoon Craft Project :: Add a Ruffle

afternoon craft project :: add a ruffle
ruffle cardigan tutorial
About two years ago, I found this dress in a sale somewhere ridiculously cheap and bought it. Then wore it approximately every third day. I love everything about it – it’s jersey, it’s not too short but not too long, it has ruffles and puckered sleeves, it works with long sleeves underneath or a cardigan over the top and it never needs ironing. I worried that I might wear it until it fell to pieces, but just around that time, I started to find it turning up on sale racks in other colours. So I also have this dress in black. And purple. And hot pink. And one that is not too far off in a dark turquoise. With all the ruffles on so many things in the shops right now, the little rows of ruffles here are still my favourite.

But while I have many empire-waisted jersey ruffle dresses in my wardrobe, I only have one white cardigan. It is a much loved light-weight cardigan and frankly, it’s looking a bit rough around the edges. Its days are numbered. So with an afternoon to work on something crafty, I took a little over an hour and made a new cardigan out of a t-shirt… all inspired by my favourite ruffle dress. So I just thought I’d share.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
To create a ruffle cardigan, you need a shirt that will be the base of the cardi – I started with a light-weight white t-shirt to make something for summer, but you can just start with long sleeves or a heavier shirt for something warmer. (Or in fact, you could just add ruffles to an existing cardigan, but that is a whole other idea and I have no spare cardigans hanging about… but I do have some extra plain white t-shirts.) Then you’ll also need fabric for the ruffles themselves. I had another white t-shirt that I used for this – it just happened to be in my bag of offcuts because it had a big snag in it that really made it pretty useless as a shirt. So you can use a second shirt or you can use anything else you would like – plain jersey fabric or something more colourful if you prefer. If you want the cardigan to close, you’ll need a button (or a hook and eye or some ribbon to tie). And you’ll need fabric scissors, thread to match your fabric and your sewing machine. Pretty basic, so even if you bought two brand new t-shirts, this can be well under £10, assuming you already have your tools.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Straight away you get to be brave: cut right through the t-shirt. You can measure to the middle if you like, but jersey is really forgiving, so I just folded in half to make a crease in the centre, then cut along the crease. You can even try it on at this point to get an idea of how it will drape with the neckline and hem of the t-shirt.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Hem the raw edges you just created at the front. If you have an overlocker, you can serge those edges and feel amazingly cool! I don’t have an overlocker. So I just roll the fabric back a bit and run a straight stitch along the length. Either will work.

IF you want to add a button to the top of the cardigan, do that NOW. Before the ruffles. I didn’t think that through, so you’ll see all of this from here on out with the ruffles and no button. But when I got to sewing the button hole, the ruffles were in the way and causing a nightmare and I had to unpick a whole ruffle to make room for the buttonhole foot. You are smarter and more prepared. You will add your button and buttonhole now, before you do anything with ruffles. Oh yes you will.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
To make the ruffles, you need six lengths of fabric about an inch wide. I cut these from the bottom of the second t-shirt, and I first cut away the bottom hem and sat that aside (we’ll come back to that later). Then I cut three strips from the bottom of the shirt, so I had three hoops of fabric – each about an inch wide.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Cut the side seams from the three hoops – which should leave you with six strips. You don’t need the seam pieces.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
To make a ruffle from each strip, you need to sew a running stitch down the middle of each piece – but you want a long stitch length. Every machine looks different, but there should be something to change the length of the stitch – mine is that plus and minus below the screen, to the right. The longest stitch setting for my machine is 5.0 and that works just fine.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Then you just want to stitch right down the middle of each piece. Leave plenty of thread at both ends. Jersey has a natural curl to it, and I find it easiest to sew straight if I stitch so the curl is going up around the presser foot rather than the other way, as that tends to twist too much.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Now take your stitched strip and separate the two threads at one end. Pull one thread and push the fabric down the thread to gather it. Hey presto – a ruffle!

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Continue until everything is pretty and as even as ruffles can be. It will look something like this.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Do that for all six strips so you have six ruffles, all the same length. I leave all the threads in place until the end so the ruffles don’t come undone. If you have ends that want to relax as soon as you let go, you can tie or twist the threads at the end to hold the ruffle.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Now place them on your shirt. The shirt to which you have already added a button and buttonhole, if you’re going to do that. Right.
Now all the ruffles are the same length but the neckline is angled or curved rather than being straight and square, so as you line up the ruffles with the neckline, they will appear to be different lengths. Pin the ruffles at the top and bottom, as it’s hard to see what’s straight on the cardigan while you’re sewing it. Much easier to see it on the table.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
Then put your stitch length back to something normal and you’re going to stitch right over the centre of each ruffle to attach it to the cardigan. I started each ruffle by tucking it under against the trim that was already on the collar – or you could take it right to the edge of the shirt if you prefer. If the other ruffles get in the way of your sewing line, unpin them for now but go back to laying the shirt flat and pinning each one before to sew it on. I’m really not overly fond of sewing with pins, but I found them pretty necessary here.

After you sew the first three, it’s also worthwhile to fold the cardigan in half and see if the other side is still going to line up right, in case anything moved from the original pinning. Easier to adjust now then after you have sewn all six.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
And hey there: now you have a ruffle cardigan! You can add more to it if you want ribbons to close it or beads in the ruffles or anything fancy like that… or just leave it plain.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
I had some scraps left over so I cut one more ruffle from the spare t-shirt fabric and a ruffle from some black polka dot fabric, then rolled them into a circle and secured with lots of (messy) stitching. Then added some tulle and a button on top. And stitched that to the discarded hem of the t-shirt…

ruffle cardigan tutorial
to make something to tie in my hair.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
And here is a cheesy picture of me wearing both. I’m not sure I would wear them both together, because it may make me look a little like I’m twelve. Maybe, maybe not. But awww, new cardigan and new penny blossom made with just stuff wasting space in my wardrobe? That is not cheesy at all. I kinda love that.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
I also kinda love the new magazine Mollie Makes. More than kinda, really.

ruffle cardigan tutorial
And Mollie Makes loves ruffles. There’s a whole article about it in their first issue.

If you haven’t checked it out yet – you should totally take a look. Very pretty, very crafty and very stylish. It’s not my project or anything – it’s edited by Jane Toft, who did all the prettiness of the idea book series I worked on last year, so I’ve been excited to see her newest work. If you like handmade, vintage and lovely design, you may very well love it too. It just came out in UK stores last week and hits US stores in June, I think. (If you’re in the UK, you can get a three issues for £5 deal at the moment, which is cool too.)

Now… which colour of ruffle dress to wear tomorrow? Decisions, decisions…


PS: The owl giveaway is still open until midnight tonight and all the Scrapbooking Day challenges close tonight too, so you have a few hours left to enter and win!

Summer Idea Book from Scrapbook Inspirations

Summer Idea Book from Scrapbook Inspirations
Scrapbook Inspirations Ideas Book

The summer idea book from Scrapbook Inspirations is available now with its pretty-in-pink cover. This edition features pages about summer, the outdoors, girls, boys, pets, plus workshop articles on outdoor photography, detailed borders, interactive pages and machine sewing. There’s also our regular Sketch Collection, the scraplift feature Take it up a Step and Colour Story with lots of projects in my favourite colour combination for this summer. And more than £28 in free downloads for our readers too!

This edition is stocked at some WHSmiths stores and is available for online ordering as well. I know there were significant issues with the online order fulfilment with the last book (trust me – I was frustrated too!), so I actually held off in posting this until I could place an order and give you an honest account of the ordering process. I ordered my copy from here last Tuesday evening and I received it in the post today (Wednesday), meaning the current UK delivery time is one week. I even ordered under The Boy’s name so it wouldn’t stand out, just in case, so I do think this is an accurate measure of how long it will take you to receive your copy. Orders are being shipped by a different contractor than before: nothing to do with me, but I am thankful for it nonetheless. That same order page will let you send a copy to a friend as a gift or order a copy to an international address. The prices there include shipping: £10.99 for the UK, £11.99 for Europe and £12.99 for anywhere else in the world. Or if you happen upon a WHSmiths who is stocking it, you’ll find it on the shelf for £9.99. (For Londoners, I found it at Waterloo Station of all places! The shop that is right in the centre of the station had it on the bottom shelf behind the regular craft magazines.)

If you’re in the US, it will appear in Barnes and Noble and some Borders stores sometime in the next two weeks I believe. Unfortunately the import/export process seems to mean there isn’t an exact release date, but rather just when it arrives!

On a sad note, this is the last printed edition of Scrapbook Inspirations. It is my favourite of the books we have been working on, so I’m happy it was printed, but of course sad that the series won’t continue. I know there are things that were not ideal about this book, like the higher price when advertising was minimised or the harder-to-find distribution, but those were things that were always outside of my control. On the editorial side, it has been lovely to get to know even more scrappers and publish our favourite pages from all the submissions. And I really must thank Jane, Helen and Jenny who took a stack of layouts and pages of my crazy notes and made it into such pretty books. They are amazingly talented women and it has been a pleasure to work with them over these last six months.

If you had sent in pages for book 3, we are currently waiting on a few things to know what our options are for publishing your layouts in other titles, like our sister magazine Papercraft Inspirations. Your layouts are safe and will be returned, of course. But right now we’re waiting to see how many we can publish in another format, and when I know the result of that consultation, I’ll be in touch with all of you to let you know. Thanks for your patience.

scrapbook page

And just to show you exactly how long I could wait before scrapping at least one photo from last weekend’s tea party, I made this page this morning, with pretty papers from The Girls’ Paperie and a lovely older collection – Adele from Rouge de Garance. Now I just can’t wait for the giant stack of photos I’ve ordered to arrive!


Click here to order your copy of the new Scrapbook Inspirations Ideas Book!
UK delivery time of one week.

Exciting news :: Order the new Scrapbook Inspirations Book!

new scrapbooking idea book from Scrapbook Inspirations magazine

I know some of our regular readers were very sad to hear of the end of Scrapbook Inspirations’ monthly issues last December, and it was certainly sad news for all of us involved behind the scenes, both our full-time staff at the office and our team of contributors. But I am so very excited to report Scrapbook Inspirations is officially back on the scene.

Instead of thirteen magazines a year, we’re bringing you quarterly books. We’ve changed the format to bring you more ideas and less clutter, and there’s only a tiny amount of advertising. Each volume will include a variety of themed galleries sharing beautiful pages in a range of styles as well as articles on techniques, composition, photography and colour. In volume one, we’ve focused on some classic scrapbooking themes like family, weddings, babies and travel and there’s also an article on improving your everyday candid photographs, great looks with hand-stitching, ten techniques to put your patterned papers to work and a range of projects with one of my favourite colour combinations. We’ve also kept some of your favourite features from the monthly issues, like a revamped edition of Sketch Collection. We’re also bringing you special codes for free downloads from some of your favourite scrapbooking websites.

Volume One hits stores on the 31st of March. In the UK, you’ll find it at WHSmiths, Sainsbury’s and newsagents. It is on its way to the States as well, so keep an eye in the magazine section at your local Barnes and Noble and some other stores too. But even easier, you can order it online and have it delivered right to your door. Click here to order your copy now and it will be on its way to you on the 31st of March! The prices include postage: £10.99 for the UK, £11.99 to Europe and £12.99 to the rest of the world. (If you buy it at the store in the UK, it will be £9.99 — I’m not sure what the price will be in dollars in the stores just yet.)

We shared a few preview copies with readers at the Stitch and Craft show and it was lovely to see people excited that SI is not gone! As far as contributors, you’ll see familiar faces from our team and also new faces who have joined us to share their amazing pages. As the editor, this project is obviously pretty near and dear to my heart — but I hope you enjoy this new publication as much as I do! I have more bonus features to share with you online on and after the 31st of March too, so don’t be a stranger!

Contributors for Volume One, your layouts will be returning to you with a copy of the book very soon.

In other news, it’s rather an exciting week all round here! Tomorrow afternoon we’re having a Shimelle Digitals blog hop with some brand new releases and this Wednesday you’ll find a new step-by-step tutorial for the minibook class I taught this weekend at Stitch and Craft. So lovely to see so many of you in class — please do stop by on Wednesday afternoon for the post we discussed!

It’s sunny here today too — may this be a good week for everyone!