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Fabric flowers

Nowadays, a crafter is rarely just a sewist or a crocheter or a knitter – we may have several creative pursuits that satisfy different aspects of our personality. I love the speed and engineering element of sewing. But I also love the portability and flexibility of crochet. I’m also an enthusiastic knitter, a keen baker, a big fan of patterned paper and origami, a passionate cook, an occasional gardener, a keen puzzler, and much more.

I think it’s natural to feel yourself pulled towards a particular craft and away from others – in the past year, I’ve certainly felt pulled towards crochet and away from sewing. And I missed sewing. So I decided to take action, to give myself more sewing projects by becoming a contributor to The Sewing Directory.

I’m delighted to say that my first project is now live on the website – in fact, it’s not just one project but five! I put together a tutorial for making five different fabric flowers – you can see it here. There are so many different ways to make flowers out of fabric, it was hard to choose just five! So I took the selfish route and made the ones that I wanted.

As you might know, I’m getting married in April (this year!) so a lot of my making time is now devoted to crafting for the wedding. One of the items I’ve made is a wrap out of ivory chiffon, for me to wear on the day. I’d never sewn with chiffon before and to be honest, I totally ruined the first metre length I bought! It was only £3 per metre though so I just bought another metre. But that left me with a ruined metre, full of puckers and pulls, which I didn’t want to go to waste. So I decided to use it to make a gathered flower, which I’ll use somewhere on the day:

Chiffon flower

Chiffon flower

This became Flower 1 of 5, and I enjoyed the gathering technique so much that I made another one using a patterned green cotton fabric and attached it to a pipe cleaner stem – simple but pretty!

Flower 1 in cotton

Flower 1 in cotton

For Flower 2, I thought I’d try a simple technique that I’d seen around but never tried myself – chain piecing folded triangles of fabric. It worked really well, apart from the hole in the middle which has to be covered up – to make it a little more 3D, I stuffed the flower centre. Then I attached it to a barbecue skewer to form a stem – perfect for a little vase:

Flower 2 in pot

Flower 2 in pot

For Flower 3, I tried a technique that I’d seen during my time on Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine – it’s a clever way of joining a fabric flower shape to a piece of fusible web. The resulting appliqué flower is flat and ready to fuse onto another fabric. I decided to use it to brighten up this dress – remember it from this post?

Flower 3 on dress

Flower 3 on dress

After making this one, I felt confident enough to cut out a flower shape from another fabric and create a ready-to-fuse appliqué flower out of it. This particular flower shape is a little bit odd, but the technique is neat!

Before and after

Appliqué flower: before and after

For Flower 4, I went back to my stash and found some spare organza (also a wedding purchase) – this seemed a good choice for making flowers. This time, I cut the fabric into petals and had a little too much fun using a candle to shape them (I think maybe there’s a pyromaniac lurking in all of us):

Organza flower

Organza flower

And finally, Flower 5 is just a gathered and layered tube, which I’ve done before, but they’re so simple and satisfying to make:

Flower 5 gathered tube

Flower 5 gathered tube

I made these during the dull days of December and they really brightened up the place, without taking up much time. If you’d like to make any of these flowers, just check out my free tutorials on The Sewing Directory – and look out for some more of my free sewing projects on the website soon…

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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in Sewing

 

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Crochet guides

So I’m finally ready for the big reveal – here’s what I’ve been working on (off and on) for the last errr 10 months…

Crochet covers

Beginner’s & Pro Crochet Guides covers

These are two huge bookazines (designed like a book, but the size of a magazine), packed with 164 pages each. They’re on sale today and I feel like a proud (but nervous) mum!

The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet is perfect if you want to learn how to crochet, or rediscover the craft, or just brush up your basic skills (even I learnt things I didn’t know that I didn’t know!). My favourite bit is the chapter about amigurumi toys, and the little piggy toy pattern is just so cute.

The Pro Guide to Crochet is for crocheters who already know the basics and are hungry for more! This one really is packed full of know-how, from foundation rows to broomstick crochet, colourwork to designing your own pieces, and loads more in between.

Both are designed like workbooks, so you learn some new skills and then make something fab to practise those skills. Most of the patterns have been previously published in Simply Crochet magazine (so they’re gorgeous, of course). Some of the tutorials have also come from Simply Crochet but most of the tutorials in the Pro Guide are brand new (and many written by yours truly!).

So much of my time, energy, blood, sweat and tears have gone into these two publications, it feels a bit like these are my children going out into the world on their own… so if you spot a mistake, please don’t tell me! No parent is perfect 🙂

They’re £9.99 each for a paper copy, available from newsagents or direct from www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk.
Or they’re £7.99 each for a digital copy, available via the Simply Crochet magazine app – see here for more.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Crochet

 

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Make: flower scarf

This flower scarf is one of my favourite ever makes! I’ve previously shared how to make the individual flowers (click here) but now I’ve added the pattern instructions for making the scarf to my Etsy shop, here.

Flower scarf © Becky Skuse

Flower scarf © Becky Skuse

You will need:
Fabric 61x100cm in total
Hook and eye fastening
Hand-sewing needle and thread
Safety pin

Measurements:
Finished neckwarmer fits a neck circumference of 32cm and hangs 23cm down from the front of the neck (but both can be adjusted).
Finished large flower measures approx 10cm in diameter.
Finished small flower measures approx 6cm in diameter.

Your flower is now finished!

Finished small flower

If you do make these flowers or the scarf, do let me know – I’d love to see how you get creative with the pattern…

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Sewing

 

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