Tutorial: Polkadot Denim

After seeing polkadot denim/chambray everywhere this summer I decided to give it a go.

I used:

A pair of  clean, dry jeans

Household bleach

Pencil with an eraser top (or round rubber stamp with similar diameter)

Plastic bags

Tailors chalk or wash off fabric marker


First step is to stuff the legs of your jeans with the plastic bags, you don’t want the bleach to steep through to the other side or onto your work surface.

Next, mark up your jeans, I marked horizontal and vertical lines approximately 1 inch apart and used this grid as a template for my stamping.

Then start dotting, dipping your eraser in bleach each time. Be careful not to spill as this will ruin your pattern.


For a stronger result I went over all the dots a second time, you don’t need to wait for it to dry fully to do this.


Leave the bleach to dry fully, remove the plastic lining and wash your jeans. (I only did the front of mine but if you want to do the back also, leave front to dry, turn over and repeat process on back before you wash them)



Finished Bits

Here are some little bits and pieces i’ve been working on, mostly gifts, lets be honest – mostly bracelets.


Gift tag tutorial found here.

And the finished product from an old W.I.P post.

Now to get working on more.

Upstyle Inspiration

I like the idea of taking something old and updating it with neon french knots.

(this jumper is apparently from H&M, found via nymag.com)


This skirt from Tibi’s Resort Collection 2013 looks like it might be possible to knock together yourself, just where to find fabric in that gorgeous colour!




Rest of the collection can be found here.

Tutorial: Sandal Customise

A  quick tutorial on a really quick upstyle of some summer sandals.

I used:

A pair of plain leather sandals (mine were from here)

6 x gold coloured conical studs (found here)

Leather awl

Measure the area you want to stud and mark where you want the studs to go, it looks much better if you take time to be accurate with this stage.

Place the studs before you punch the holes to get an idea of how it will look/to see if any changes need to be made.

As you can see mine were 2 prong studs so i used the awl to punch 2 holes through the marks I had measured. Be careful to punch onto a matt or something, not through your hand.

Tightly fold back the prongs on the underside of the strap to ensure they don’t scrape or hurt your foot and you’re done!

Drawings Swoon


I came across the artist Nigel Peake while browsing whip up.

Here are a few of his pieces that caught my eye.

W.I.P. Blankee

A small cot blanket I’m currently working on for a gift, it’s coming along nice and quick, good thing babies are small…

(from a pattern found here)

New Year, New Calendar

Gorgeous,  free,  printable calendars to organise the new year from Love vs Design.

Found via craftgossip.

How kind!

Chair Swoon

A bargain at €2000! I’ll take a whole set.

Found via Oh Joy!

Tutorial: Patchwork ‘&’ Cushion

Ampersands are on everything these days so I decided to have a go at making my own version of the many (many!) cushions that are out there.

I used:

46cm x 46cm feather cushion (€8 approx)

Printer and paper – for template

Fabric for & (1 fat quarter is loads or whatever scraps you have)

Background fabric (1 meter is loads)

Iron on Interfacing

Sewing machine, needle, thread and all that stuff

Start by cutting out the background fabric. Cut one front piece measuring 54cm x 54cm (includes 2cm seam allowance) and 2 back pieces measuring 54cm x 36cm (again, includes 2cm seam allowance).

This cushion will have no zip or fastenings at the back, the flaps overlap each other allowing for easy removal for cleaning, and less fiddly sewing.

For the template I printed a 1000pt Franklin Gothic ‘&’ onto A3 paper and cut it out. This picture gives an idea of the look I was going for, the size fit perfectly.

Next step is to cut the shape out of interfacing, remember to have the “sticky” side facing up as we need this to hold the patches.

After that, cut your template up into as many pieces as you like, not too many that it’s going to be annoying to do, I had about 20 similarly sized bits.

Then cut each piece of the jigsaw out of your fabric, ensuring you draw the shapes on your fabric facing down with your pieces facing down. This ensures all your bits are the right direction.

As you can see from the picture below I tried to randomly place the pieces so, even though I’m using only 1 pattern, it gives it more of a patchwork effect.

After you have cut all your pieces, it’s time to put them back together on your, already cut, piece of interfacing. Remember, you want the wrong side of your fabric to face the tacky side of the interfacing. This step is probably best done on your ironing board.

Now, lightly iron over your ‘&’ to fuse the fabric to your interfacing (good instructions from Burdastyle here).

One your ‘&’ has cooled, centre it on your cushion front piece and carefully pin it, making sure it’s as flat as possible.

Next is the laborious part, using the zigzag stitch, applique the ‘&’ onto the front fabric, sewing down all joins where the patches meet. On my machine I chose the longest zigzag with the shortest stitch length. Also, sew all around the shape using the same stitch (be sure to trim any stray thread as you go along.

This part takes a while but the more cautious/careful you take it, the neater the result.

Finally it’s time to put your cushion together. Working on the back parts, along one long side, fold down 1cm and iron flat. Fold again, iron and sew, as below. This gives a neater finish. Repeat on the other back piece.

When both back pieces are done, pin, with wrong sides facing, to the font piece, you will now see your overlap at the back.

The pieces are pinned together like this as we are going to do a french seam, this is often seen on commercial cushions and covers as it hides any raw edges on the inside.

With wrong sides pinned, sew all around the edge of the cushion cover with a 1cm seam allowance. Turn inside out, iron the seams and sew along the edge again, this hides the raw edges.

Turn you cushion cover the right way around, iron one last time, stuff with your cushion and have a nap!