DIY Kingsize Headboard

What’s this – 2 blog posts in 2 weeks? That’s almost unheard of round here! You would think I have excess time on my hands. Actually, that’s quite far from the case, in fact things are more hectic than ever! I’ve recently taken on a new role at work which I’m delighted about and we’re focusing more and more time on wedding planning! In among all that, we have a house to fill with furniture to make it look less like a shell… Quite a task when you only started with 2 side tables and a temperamental floor lamp! The good news is that things are coming along and this past week we finally managed to MAKE and INSTALL a headboard for our bed!

img_1840

I’d like to just take a minute to talk about the bed. This bed is my most favourite purchase for the house. It is the most comfortable thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of flopping my body onto. You don’t appreciate how important a bed really until you have a crap one. In our old house the bed and mattress were brand new but SO uncomfortable to me. The mattress gave me such a sore back on it’s own that we had to invest in a memory foam topper just so I could get some sleep. When we were choosing our bed I was basically prepared to throw ALL THE MONEY at it because it was so important to me. We tried many, many shops and finally settled on this dream king size divan & mattress set. I won’t mention where it’s from as the service I had from the shop was pretty terrible but even that doesn’t dampen my love for this bed. ANYWAY, when we bought the bed we decided to pass on the headboards they had available in the shop because there was no way I was spending another £250 on a piece of covered MDF – thank you very much! We decided we could at least try to make one for a fraction of that cost and I think it turned out pretty well.

The process was pretty simple and the cost of all the materials (including a swish new staple gun) came to under £90 which I’m delighted with. In true blogger style I attempted to document the process. Also this is the first real DIY project that Ian and I ever ever worked on as a team so I thought adding more stress to the situation by stopping every 5 minutes to take a photo would be a good idea 🙂

Materials

  • MDF board (cut to size at B&Q for free)
  • 2 pre-cut wooden posts (also B&Q)
  • 2m of upholstry fabric (from Remnant Kings)
  • 2m of wadding fabric (Remnant Kings)
  • 2inch thick foam (cut to the correct size and bought at the most random little shop in Glasgow city centre that exclusively sells foam products – who knew?)
  • Staple gun & staples (Amazon)
  • Sandpaper, nails and other handy DIY tools like a drill
*Gathering the materials for this job was the most difficult part. Not because they were hard to come by, but because we were woefully under-prepared for how big a bit of MDF we would need to fit into Ian’s tiny toy car. Basically, the main thing I’m taking away from this project is that we need a bigger car in our arsenal.

Once we actually had all of the above in our possession, we set up a make-shift work bench (*note to self: Get proper work bench for future DIY projects) from lawn furniture in the garage. Then Ian started brandishing tools.

Look at all that brandashing
Look at all that brandishing *Still has the sleeve on – we have no idea what we’re doing.

It may not seem like it, but we know our limitations so went for a very basic square headboard. The MDF is the same width as the bed (152cm) and we figured we would need the height to be 80cm taller than the mattress. We measured the spacing of the holes in the divan meant for the headboard screws and transferred this to the posts, making 2 holes in each one. We then spaced the supporting posts 15cm in from the edge of the MDF and secured them with wood glue and nails for extra stability. This is the basic frame in the crap picture above!

The foam was cut to the same dimensions as the board and is 2 inches deep so it’s nice and cushioned. We attached this with some spray adhesive to the top of the board just to hold it in place for all the yanking that was to come.

img_1837

We laid our wadding out and placed the frame face down on top of it so that the side with the posts was facing up. Taking it in turns (because it was actually hard work) we then pulled the wadding tightly over it to smooth out the edge of the foam and secured it to the back using the staple gun. Once the wadding was secured we repeated this step with the actual fabric.

img_1838

This took a fair amount of time and caused more than a little grunting on my part. We found the best way was to pull tightly on the 3 visible edges and then yank with all our might on the bottom edge so that it compressed the foam to the board. It’s kind of hard to explain but hopefully you can see from the picture below what I mean. This taught edge means that the headboard meets the mattress nice and snug.

img_1843

LOOK HOW DELIGHTED HE IS WITH OUR HANDYWORK!

I paid special attention to the corners and found a way to fold in the fabric so that it was kind of mitred. We cut slits in the wadding and fabric to be able to wrap both around the posts. This but won’t be visible so we weren’t too concerned about how it looked, as long as nothing was poking out! Below you can see how long the posts extend down from the board. We wanted to make the frame as sturdy as possible while making sure it would be flush with the wall. Ideally the posts would go all the way to the floor when the headboard is attached but then they would be hitting the skirting board behind the bed and would angle the board which may cause splintering. (I EVEN SOUND LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING NOW!)

img_1755

This is the back of the board and one of the corners. It looks pretty crap but it’s very secure and looks lovely from the front which is the main thing. I also turned under the raw edge of the fabric and stapled that to the board too so we wouldn’t have any fraying.

It’s quite the structure once it was attached to the bed, almost imposing, but it definitely completes the room and makes the bed feel even more luxurious! I’m calling our first joint DIY project a success and now I have about 5 bajillion more things that I want to make 🙂 On to the next one!

Buchanan Dressing Gown

Alright lads? Long time, no see! I’m coming out of a hiatus to show off one of the Christmas presents I made last year – A Buchanan Dressing Gown from Gather.

gather buchanan dressing gown

I made this for my wee mammy as her Christmas present which meant that it took me a bajillion hours to make. When it comes to sewing for myself I usually fly by the seat of my pants (a typical Gold trait) but this is the first think I’ve ever made for another human (dog gifts have less pressure associated with them) so I wanted to make a really good job of it. Every seam is finished and all the cuffs are top stitched. I made proper belt and hanging loops, and even added my own label cause I’m a God damn professional.

buchanan dressing gown gather kit

buchanan dressing gown gather kit

I originally bought the actual Buchanan kit by Gather, compete with fabric and the printed pattern. I sewed it all up only to discover that the fabric made it look like something a 70’s dinner lady would call a uniform. I was sent back, kicking and screaming, to the fabric drawing board only to discover the perfect replacement in the form of a beaut paisley-esque print which I bought at a little market in Turkey. It had a much nicer drape to it than the original fabric and I could still use the navy contrast fabric from the kit.

buchanan dressing gown gather kit

You can get a better idea of the fabric and print in the picture above. Even with all my attention devoted to this project (I banned myself from Netflix so I could concentrate properly whilst sewing) I still managed to cock up the label and hanging loop placement. They should both be a good inch to the right face palm I suppose it’s those kind of things that make it one-of-a-kind.

It was quite lovely handing this over as a gift and seeing my mum’s face when she finally realised that I had made it just for her ><

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share and then again I get it because I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed and uninspired lately. Call it a yearly slump coupled with the STRESS of planning a wedding, work being hella busy and building/moving into a new house in less than 8 weeks. My brain is fried and any free time I have is filled with tasks related to the aforementioned. I’ve not really felt like creating anything because I know that I’m just about to pack up my craft room and hit the road. My one creative outlet continues to be my planner and what a saviour of sanity it has been! Hopefully things will settle down at work over the next couple of weeks and we’ll get a confirmed date of entry for the house. I’m buying a couch on Friday so here’s to small (but very expensive) milestones 🙂

Quilting for Cheats

If you’re a legit quilting aficionado then look away now as this post will only offend you. I’m all about finding shortcuts when it comes to certain crafts, and anything that can shorten the amount of work on a quilting project sounds excellent to me! I’m pretty much down with the patchwork aspect of making a quilt, there’s not much to be done to cut down on work other than using some pretty nifty tools, but when it comes to actually quilting the thing I come out in a cold sweat. The problem is that I LOVE the look of quilted patchwork so after a bit of searching I’ve found the solution – quilting for cheats, if you will. Meet my secret weapon.

FMQ secret weapon

Yes it’s the KRÅKRIS blanket from Ikea. Again, if you’re a proper quilter please forgive me for what I’m about to say… I don’t use proper batting/wadding for my quilts. I use blankets from Ikea! Guys, wadding is expensive so when I can get something that does the job for £1.50 I’m gonna jump at the chance. I’ve used these blankets for 4 quits to date and never had an issue. However, the price isn’t the only reason I prefer these little gems. Notice the pattern on the blanket?

image

Doesn’t that look suspiciously like a FREE MOTION QUILTING design? Oh yes it’s as easy as following the grey lines. I can attest that this gives a lovely quilted effect to your projects. It’s also a really good way to try out free motion quilting (FMQ) and get used to the movements. You still need a FMQ foot for your machine and the ability to lower your presser feet but I think most machines have those options now.

FMQ using KRÅKRIS blanket ikea

Here you can kind of see the design on this Christmas WIP that’s been on the go since October. Apparently even with time-saving cheats I still struggle with finishing things.

christmas quilt

The KRÅKRIS blanket is really an excellent tool if you’re just dipping your toe into the quilting waters and I can’t recommend it enough for wadding. I’m by no means a proper or even good quilter but I can put together a pretty decent blanket now and I owe it all to this little trick!

Handmade Summer Wardrobe

Soooo.. I know it’s only March but I’m starting to pull together my holiday wardrobe! What can I say? When you’re planning to make everything you need plenty of time to get your act together. As of last Thursday I have 3 trips planned this summer; one to Turkey with Ian and my family for my mum’s Birthday, one to Spain with my girls and then a 5 day trip to Marrakesh with Ian again and our Uni friends. 3 VERY different experiences but I’m hoping they won’t require separate wardrobes. I would love to say that everything going in my suitcase will be handmade but that’s just completely unrealistic for me. What I will commit to is making some dresses, skirts and maybe some swimwear. I’ve started to pull a Pinterest board (shock) together with some ideas so here is my handmade summer wardrobe ‘want’ list.

06_062_Delphi_Layered_Maxi_Dress

Named Patterns Delphine Maxi: There’s something about this maxi dress which really appeals to me! This is from the Named SS15 Ticket collection and I’ve heard good things about their other patterns so hopefully this will turn out well! I’m planning on making up a wearable muslin in some wild lilac jersey for starters. My only concern is that the flounce(?) at the top with do my chest no favours, but we can all live in hope.

143_Pleated_color_block_skirt_pattern_grande

Salme Patterns Pleated Skirt Skirt: This is one piece of clothing that I’ve been tryig to buy on the High Street for about a year now with absolutely no luck. All I want is a pleated skirt which goes past my knees which doesn’t leave me looking like a troll-bag-lady. When RTW fails, make your own! After my (yet to be blogged) success with the Salme Kimono pattern, I have high hopes for this one! My goal is to add a sheer panel above the colour-blocked portion of the skirt cause I’m fancy like that.

113_playsuit_1_grande

Salme Patterns Playsuit: Another Salme Pattern! My first tryst with a playsuit was not a successful one but I’m having another go with hindsight and better fabric choice on my side. There’s something about this black version that’s right up my alley! Although not a typical summer hue, I just wouldn’t feel right without bringing my inner monochrome fiend along for the ride.

mission-maxi-cover_1024x1024

Jamie Christina Mission Maxi: Oh yes, another maxi dress! Simple and VERY wearable. Even if my Delphine maxi turns out to be the most flattering frock I’ve ever made, I’ll still be making up this pattern and possibly hacking it into a maxi skirt too!

CloverDressPic_a065a24a-ff70-45c6-b6ff-7c2a48a838b7_large

Papercut Patterns Clover Dress: I’ve been eyeing up this dress for a while so it only seems right to add it to my summer list. No idea what fabric I’ll use but you can bet there’ll be a contrast piece for that V.

M6696a

Misses’ M6696 Shirt Dress: This pattern is really only going to happen if all the stars align and I have oodles of time on my hands. I’ve never made a shirt dress, or a shirt for that matter, so there will be A LOT of fitting involved. Thankfully my order of Swedish tracing paper arrived last week so if I get round to making this beauty that will be a god-send!

view_b_grande

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit: This final number is definitely not set in stone for a couple of reasons. 1. I’m not sure if I could make a one piece better than the ones I already own. 2. I’m not totally sold on the actual shape of the suit and how far it comes down over your thighs. I would like to try making swimwear but it’s not absolutely necessary for this summer so it’s on this list as a definite maybe.

I can almost guarantee that this list will change (not even included any shorts) but this is how it stands right now. Now that my Sew Your Own Wardrobe series is coming to an end, I’m excited to get started!

Sew Your Own Wardrobe: Colette Moneta Reveal

The Colette Moneta dress is finished! Well, I have a confession… I actually finished this on the 31st of October! I really wanted to wear this frock on our recent trip to London so I brought it to the front of the pile and am I glad I did. I’m still classing it as my November make because it’s first outing was on the 1st November and I honestly have no time to make anything else this month! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am with this dress and I think it turned out really well.

colette moneta dress

Gah this photo! I demanded that Mr M take some cute pictures of me wearing it whilst we were in Green Park in London. It’s so strange that I would never dream of doing this in my local park where 1 dog walker goes past about every 20 minutes, but had absolutely no qualms about frolicking in a packed park in a city with the same population as my entire country. Weird.

colette moneta dress

I kid you not this was an absolute dream to make! I did make a trial version first in a much more flimsier fabric which, while it still looks ok, is not a patch on this bad boy. From cutting to finishing everything but the hem, this was done in 2 hours and 15 minutes. That is by far a personal best for me! I let the dress hang overnight before I hemmed it to let it drop. The gathered skirt is quite heavy, especially in this fabric so I’m glad I did. The fabric was absolutely  lovely to sew with and I couldn’t be happier that I found the perfect thread to match in my stash.

colette moneta dress gathered skirt

I did have a bit of trouble with the clear elastic when it came to gathering the skirt. I think I was maybe stretching it a bit too much and it just snapped so I swapped it for some normal 1/4 fabric elastic and it worked perfectly well. It’s maybe a tad bulkier that it would be with the clear but it looks ok so to avoid a meltdown in future I’m sticking with it!

colette moneta dress

Can you tell how much I’m enjoying myself in these pictures? The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to shorten the skirt by a whopping 6 inches! I know I’m short but that’s cray cray. I also sacked the twin needle finish in favour of a standard zig-zag on the neckline, arms and hem but the thread is such a good match you can barely tell. On that note, if anyone would like to come and teach me how to thread and use a twin needle I would be most grateful.

colette moneta dress

We actually had a ball on our short trip and I feel totally refreshed to be back to work and on the Christmas countdown. This dress will definitely see me right through the colder months paired with my favourite fleecy tights and ankle boots.

Sew Your Own Wardrobe: May Project

Good evening ladies and gentlemen! For my first project in the quest to sew my own wardrobe, I will be making the Brigitte dress from Simple Sew!

brigitte dress pattern

I spotted this pattern in the first issue of the new Love Sewing magazine and knew it would be prefect for my first ‘real’ dressmaking item! I’ll let you in on a little secret… Half of my wardrobe is made up of navy and white stripes. I just can’t get enough of them!

I’m so excited to start this project and what could be better than sewing something I also can’t wait to wear! I bough the same fabric as in the picture from Minerva crafts which is my new favourite website! I could honestly spend hours clicking though the different fabrics. It hasn’t arrived yet so here’s a sneaky peak from the website

brigitte dress fabric

I’m making this dress as part of the Thread Carefully sewalong because I’m gonna need all the help I can get! Wish me luck lads!

Christmas Countdown: DIY Christmas Table Centrepiece

20131211-144055.jpg

I have another DIY for you my pretties… a Christmas Table Centrepiece! It’s totes simple to make and uses things that you can get at most craft stores or online! I actually bought my supplies from a local wholesale florist shop in Glasgow called FlowerScene. If you’re in the area I would definitely check it out! The place has a bit of a creepy vibe and it’s a total Aladdin’s cave, but you will find some gems I promise.

Before I get into the tutorial, I have a funny story about centrepieces to share… Last year I decided that I was basically Kristie Allsopp incarnate and I volunteered to make a centrepiece for the Christmas day feast at my mums! I spent ages arranging the candles and searching for the perfect candle sticks. On the big day it was truly a site to behold and my mum was pleased as punch with it. The feast came and went and the centrepiece was still intact so it remained on the table for round 2 of Christmas celebrations at the Gold’s – Boxing day.

I will say at this point that I had not discovered the wonders of a glue gun when I arranged the centrepiece. The whole thing was strategically balanced on a not-so-even charger.You can imagine what happens next…

The meal was in full swing when a rowdy reveller nudged the table and the whole kit and caboodle came crashing down on top of me! Hot wax was everywhere. Anarchy ensued, a massive clean-up operation started, I had a good cry and then we all went back to our meals. The only reminder of the disaster was the wax-splattered bread roll which Ian bit into.

Needless to say I’ve been brought down a peg or two and I now know that when it comes to candles and centrepieces, hot glue and simplicity are my two best friends.

Tools:

  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Vanilla scented church candles in various sizes
  • Hot glue & glue gun
  • Table charger
  • Ribbon

Method:

Figure out how many cinnamon sticks you will need for each candle. If you need to, cut/snap them down to size so that when they are glued they cover up the outside of the candle. Run a line of hot glue down the edge and then stick that stick (haha) to the candle.

20131210-101838.jpg

Grab some ribbon and tie a pretty bow around each of your candles! Place them on the charger plate and voila!

I added some fake holly that I had lying around to up the festive cheer, but this is not necessary. Remember the story above; a simple centrepiece is a safe centrepiece.

20131210-101845.jpg