Super Easy DIY Fabric Tape

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This really is a super easy project that you can do in under half an hour.  You can definitely do it watching Girls, The Good Wife or The Jinx, which is our current watch list.

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Maybe you, like me, have fabric scraps hanging around from various projects.  Throwing away good fabric, even a small piece seems such a waste, but equally you don’t want it hanging around forever.  This year, for me, is all about using up what I already have and not buying anything new when making things for my home, family and friends.  So I’m going to try and think of projects to use everything up. The stash is getting out of control!  I also have a secret stationary obsession and definitely can’t justify spending any money on really pretty fabric tape.  So I’ll just make my own and you can too.

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I have only suggested you get two pairs of scissors ready as I have ruined a couple of pairs of fabric scissors by using them to cut tape, paper, card etc.  but you can just use normal scissors if you don’t have fabric ones. I think this works best if you choose lightweight cotton fabrics that don’t fray too easily.  I used some scraps left over from the quilt I was making.

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And also a few other bits I had lying around.

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All you need to do is lay your fabric right side down on a flat surface and stick the tape to the edge.

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Then cut the fabric as close to the tape as possible and trim the ends off the tape. That’s it!

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This is a really pretty way of taping up brown paper for special presents or parcels, it even makes newspaper look really pretty if you want to do some eco wrapping.  I used mine for the first time today when I sent off a special letter for the project ’52 Hellos’ from Meet me at Mikes – you can read about the project and get involved too here.

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Stitch your heart out quilt

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So . . . a patchwork quilt, it’s complete and my, oh my it was quite a task.  It’s going to be for Roo’s first proper bed but is doubling as a play mat at the moment, as he is still in his cot.

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This really was a labour of love, I think this is what mothers do for their children, for no particular reason, just because.  Sometimes mothers do these things and their children probably, no, definitely don’t even want them – hopefully it will stand the test of time and Roo will actually like it one day, he seems to think it’s alright now.

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I used different cotton fabrics collected from all over the place: the florals are new fabrics, the white was a worn out shirt belonging to Matt and the paisley a piece of fabric inherited from my Grandma.  I found the navy backing in a charity shop and the other plaid I have had for a long time, the first item of clothing I made for Rupert, a pair of summer trousers, was made from this.

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I still have to do a little bit of hand sewing to keep the wadding in place, but that’s ok, he hasn’t even got a bed yet!

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I have been reflecting a lot this week on the world’s events and to say it’s been a tough week for a lot of people is a drastic understatement.  It makes me grateful for what I have and without wanting to belittle daily feelings of frustration or tiredness or anxiety, which we all face at times, life is sharply put into perspective when you see others suffering real tragedy.  I recognise that I am small but I also feel an important sense of gratitude to have been able to give my son something I made for him this week, and to have done what I can do, by donating to the plight of the Nepalese.  Here are just two of the places you can do so too: here (Unicef) or here (Red Cross).  Do that and do something for or with someone you love.

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Slow burners!

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Hello you!

Sorry I’ve neglected you, this year has been a bit of a slow burner so far, a bit like my crafting; slow work but working up to a big flame! I found the start to the year quite hard trying to balance work, motherhood and my passions for music and craft, it has been a bit of a juggling act.  I think I’m just about turning the chaos into some kind of order.  It was really good to get some perspective on things when we went away over Easter, it’s so great to get away for a little bit, isn’t it?  We were super lucky to go to New york for 10 days and visit family in Brooklyn.  It was both very exciting and a bit scary to take Roo away for the first time on a big trip, but we had an amazing family time.

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I only went and knitted a gawd, darn sweater!  I have done some (simple) knitting before, mostly things that involve square shapes, but I’ve never knitted a jumper before, so this was a first.

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As a slightly more experienced mum now after a year or so, I knitted this in my favourite merino wool (Tip:  I bought some in bulk online, check wool shop ‘Sale’ sections!) but made sure it was ‘super wash’ so it is a practical jumper as well as a pretty one.  I really feel happier when things are both aesthetically pleasing and practical and I’m not the world’s best at remembering to hand wash, so this was definitely the way to go.

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There was quite a lot of undoing and swearing and starting again, so it went even slower than I expected, but I got there in the end.  I’m really pleased with how it came out and I am feeling satisfied with my efforts although I’m no expert knitter yet!

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I used this free pattern in the largest size and I made up the patterned bit which was fun, just because I wanted a bit of colour and honestly got bored knitting in the same colour. The bits I was worried about actually were easier than anticipated, like the neck and buttonholes. I love, love, love these yellow buttons!

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I had enough wool to make a little jumper for Roo’s new cousin who has just arrived.  Yay!  It’s my favourite jumper to make for babies which I adapted from this pattern to make the Little Cornish Jumper.  Hopefully it will be breathable enough to keep her cosy through the constantly changing Spring temperatures and of a cooler evening but without overheating when it warms up. I kept the front nice and simple.

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But, I added a button at the back (that yellow again!) . . .

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. . .not only because I love the colour combination, but also because it should make it easier to get the jumper over baby’s head.

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Here are a couple of great photos taken by Roo’s uncle on our trip, firstly, Roo is modelling amazing booties by Laurel of Arrietty Exeter:

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. . . and here is little chubby cheeks in his new jumper (that’s Rupert, not his dad, shoving, one of many, amazing NY pastries into his mouth!)

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Monster Larksfoot Blanket

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I am aware that summer (well here in the UK anyway) is perhaps not the best time to get stuck into the crochet or warm knits, except that of course, it is perfect if you want to have them finished for the winter!  I made most of this blanket at the beach on summer’s evenings whilst Matt was in the surf and when the sea wind was just taking the edge off the warmth.

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I’ve called it a ‘Monster’  blanket as it took a long time to make!  I started it in the summer and had it finished by the winter, just in time for our house move.

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I used the great tutorial over at Meet Me at Mike’s for how to make a Larksfoot blanket and one day I intend to make her amazing ‘Arcade blanket’ – too cool, maybe when Roo gets a bit bigger!

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