Tag Archives: sewing

Lasting Till Payday: How To: Make DIY curtains from a blanket

A little thrifty tip and DIY mash-up from me today.

When we moved into the new house, we came minus any window coverings. We quickly bought some curtains for the front of the house, but when it came to the den, our shared office space, I decided that we needed a cheaper option. Curtains are really expensive!

Using blankets to make curtains means you don’t have to do any extra hemming, meaning it is super quick and effortless. I chose these blankets from Ikea because they are polar fleece, which is great for keeping the heat in during the winter.They are also £3 each….so a pair of curtains for £6!

These curtains will be easy to wash and will last for years. These particular blankets also come in cream, which I have used in our wardrobe room.

Firstly measure your window….boring I know, but vital.

Secondly fold over the top of the blanket and use your window measurements to work out the drop and how much of a fold you need.

DIY curtains from a blanketMeasure along the top of your fold to the edge at intervals, to ensure that your curtain will be level when it hangs.

DIY curtains from a blanket how toPin along the fold so it doesn’t shift when you sew it. Please always use pins….the amount of times I have failed at a simple project because I think I can get away with not pinning….

Beck's Birds and Ipad for BT 007 (RAW to JPEG)

Using a sewing machine or very tidy hand stitching, stitch along about 2 cm from the edge of fabric…not the fold. You want to create a long loop in the fabric so you can hang it on your curtain pole.

DIY curtains from a blanketI kept the folded edge on the outside as I liked the edging on this blanket, but you could always hang them the other way round for a cleaner line.

So there you have it…easy peasy curtains from a blanket. Cheap and cheerful.



REVISIT – How To: Make Beautiful Bunting

Hi folks, I am on my way home! I thought as a little treat I would show you one of my  popular older posts which makes me very happy. I love making bunting. I love it. If I could spend all day at my sewing machine making little triangles of glee I totally would.


Ok…I’m months behind the fever of bunting making that occurred in the UK due to the Royal Wedding, but I have to admit how much I love these little triangles of joy.

Perfect for any kind of party, indoors or outdoors, having your own handmade bunting to string up for all your occasions is something I think every person should have. I also think all celebrations should be how Enid Blyton writes about parties in all her children’s books…but hey…that’s just me.

Image found here.

Please, please, please for the love of a deity, don’t BUY bunting. With a little scrounging and putting by, you can make bunting for under £3. FACT.

Things You’ll Need

Fabric & Hemming Tape/Ribbon

First things first – you need fabric.  Got an odd pillowcase that doesn’t match anything else? An old t-shirt with a stain on one side? That shirt of his that you really can’t stand?

All my fabric is reused, rehashed, recycled and/or scraps donated by understanding and yet highly confused friends and family. The only thing that I have paid for when making my bunting is the hemming tape which cost me under £2 for 3 metres. You don’t have to use hemming tape, you can use ribbon or fabric cut to size. I simply used the first thing I grabbed from my haberdashery that looked like it would do the job.

Pinking Shears

I have a running stack of fabric cut into bunting triangles, thanks to my pinking shears. Pinking Shears are honestly a crafty girls best friend (after sticky dots of course) because they save you having to hem all the edges of each little triangle…which is very boring and very time-consuming, and I’d rather be drinking tea from tiny cups and talking to my bear….sorry…seems to have stepped into another Blyton day dream.

I got my lovely shears from eBay.


Don’t try to cut corners, you will need pins. Don’t think you won’t.

A Template

Decide how big you want each triangle to be, and cut yourself one out of paper.

I find the best method is to fold a sheet of paper in half, and then cut your ‘half’angle and then unfold it into a triangle. This means both sides will be symmetrical. You can get all bogged down with rulers and angles if you wish – it’s just not my cup of tea.

You can also find templates here and here. (They also do teddy-sized and doll house size – Mr Growly is going to be in for a treat!)

An Iron

Things are just more manageable when they are flat….

A Sewing Machine or Time & Patience

If you don’t have a sewing machine, never fear, you can do this by hand. It just might take you some time. If you know someone who does have a sewing machine – it’ll take about 5 minutes to whizz it through, so ask very nicely.

Now you are ready to get going!

Firstly, pin your template to your fabric.

My fabric is an old Primark t-shirt that I had managed to splash with oil.

Then, cut around your template.

I managed to get over 16 triangles from half of this top, and the other half went in to P’s ‘useful rags for the garage’ bag.

The other spotty fabric you can see in the background of this picture was taken from some old pajama shorts that had long required binning.

Once you’ve cut enough triangles for your ribbon/tape begin pinning them in place. Fold your tape or ribbon over both sides of the fabric before pinning right through, encasing your fabric inside.

REMEMBER – Leave yourself enough ribbon on both ends to hang it up!

I ALWAYS measure using human measurements (like three fingers width) to measure between the triangles. I find it’s quicker, as I don’t have to keep reaching for the measuring tape. (That is also my excuse for doing three fingers of gin and then topping it up with tonic.)

How far apart you measure your triangles is up to you. It also depends on how much ribbon/tape you have and how big your triangles are. Lay them out first on the floor or large table before you pin, to save yourself un-pinning and re-pinning several times – like I did.

Once everything is pinned up together, it is time to start your engines. Also known as the iron. This is about the only action our iron ever sees.

Iron a crease into your tape/ribbon as this will mke it easier to deal with on the machine/in your hand. Mind the pins as you go.

This is also a good chance for you to iron your fabric too.

And then plug in your machine…

In a small straight stitch, in a suitable thread colour (I used white as my hemming tape was white), sew down your tape/ribbon from tip to tip, ensuring you keep your machining neat, removing all pins as you work and catching all the fabric triangles inside the tape/ribbon. (So your triangles don’t fall out when you lift it up!)

If sewing by hand, with the patience of a saint, keep your stitches small and neat as they will be on show.

I don’t hem the ends of my tape/ribbon, I use the pinking shears just to snip the ends of to ensure they don’t fray.


As you canny readers will notice, this bunting is not the same as the one I have been cutting out and pinning previously. I finished this blue bunting (made from old jeans, fabric from an old satin lining and cotton scraps) 20 minutes before I realised I could do a How-To, and promptly began another string that will be given as a gift to a certain little lady at Christmas.

So here ends my first How To…. how did I do? x


I hope you liked this REVISIT!

What I’ve Been Making This Month (May 2012)

Hello gorgeous faces,

Every month I am bringing to you a little vlog of what I have been busying myself with in the evenings in front of the telly. Also I’m hoping that you will see something you like and pop over to my shop or Facebook page! Sneaky eh?

I have a lot of exclusive thingummys in my Stock Box over on my Facebook page that you can order, that aren’t available in the shop. Just leave a comment on the item you want and I will message you the details of how to pay. Easy Peasy right?

Do you like my vlogs? I know a few of you do, because you told me so, some of you to my ACTUAL face……. so fancy knowing when your dose of Ghost-faced Pigeon uploads something BEFORE it is on the blog?

Pop over and subscribe to my YouTube channel, TheShinyPigeon.

I promise to always be a complete goon, to always choose the most unflattering thumbnail picture and never ever edit out my utterly idiotic faces.


Making It: Haylee B and SugarHiStudio

Welcome to the first of my Making It interviews! So the deal is…I am running a weekly feature, here on my blog, showing off small and personal businesses started from the ground up by their owners, in the form of a feature interview, preempting the opening of my own little handmade shop in April! WOW -That was a mouthful.
I really love supporting small businesses and I cannot wait to join the community!

Today, I have the lovely Haylee B from Sugar Hi Studio, spilling the beans about her handmade business.

Click image for source

Why and when did you first decide to open a shop?

I decided to start selling things regularly about 6 months ago! Friends, family, and even strangers on the street kept complimenting the accessories I made and wore myself, and asked if I would be willing to sell them a copy! I’ve actually sold handmade things before, when I was 14 years old I sold beachy jewelry over the summer to raise some extra money.

Why did you choose the name ‘Sugar Hi Studio’?

It actually came about by accident. I’m a writer and a poet as a hobby, and I love word play. I once wrote ‘sugar high’ as ‘Sugar, Hi’ instead, as if it were a greeting, and I thought, that’s pretty cute and sweet, it’d be great for my brand name!

Click image for source

Where did you first decide to start selling your products, and why did you decide on that method?

I currently sell my items from-home to people who ask by word of mouth, and I travel with them to different events and parties. I do it this way right now because I can put my product out there for people to see in person, and I can actually only make up the amount I’ll need for the event. I plan to open an online store this year, soon, and start selling more items that way!

Where do you find that most of your buyers hear about you?

My blog, definitely, because I publicize it so well, and referrals. A lot of my friends wear pieces they’ve bought from me, and they tell everyone I made it!

What do you enjoy most about running your own shop?

I feel really proud when I see a big pile of things I crafted myself. I think, “Wow, that was all a bunch of fabric and buttons and whatnot before, but I turned it into something that will make someone feel very happy and beautiful.”

Click image for source

What is the least enjoyable thing?

The repetitiveness. Right now, trying to start an online store, I have to make several versions of the same item, which can get pretty exhausting since I currently sew everything by hand, and I mean quite literally by hand, since I don’t own a sewing machine!

What is your favourite item that you have in your shop right now?

The rosettes! Big flower clips are my favorite way to instantly feel prettier. On a bad or lazy hair day, I just clip one in and feel like a classy woman, I think any girl would!

Is there anything you would do differently if you started the whole process again?

I would worry less about trying to be perfect and trendy. Mistakes happen, and sometimes you don’t like a design. If you don’t like it, people can tell, and you should make what you like, after all, it’s your shop!

Do you have any advice for those following in your footsteps?

Be true to yourself. Don’t just try to copy what you see other people doing. I started making my own accessories because no one was selling what I wanted. Go with what inspires you! Write things down, cut out pictures, sketch, draw, create your own style. No matter what you’re making or selling, come up with something new. Trust me, people are looking for what you have. Don’t drive yourself crazy comparing yourself to others. We all have our strengths, and yours is no less powerful just because it’s different!

Thank you Haylee for your fab advice. I do worry that my items won’t sell as they aren’t similar to those I have seen around in the market, but I think I just have to trust myself and carry on creating!

You can visit Haylee’s blog here and chat to her on twitter here.

I’m dreaming of the perfect craft room…

I have recently spent most of my evenings with a needle and thread in hand, scrunched up on the sofa watching TV. I honestly have to fight to pull my sewing machine out of its storage space to use it, so I wait to have a huge pile of machine sewing to do before I do it. What I really can’t wait for when we move is to have my own little craft space. I hope to be able to share P’s office, so we can spend more time together….me sewing and crafting, him playing computer games and watching Star Trek.

Sooooo till then…I have been drooling over a few of these beauties.

(Please click the pictures for where they were sourced)

A craft room in a cupboard? This would make my inner tidy fairy VERY happy! I could shut the door on my mess! It would also mean that I shut the door on my mess which would no doubt come flying out when I opened it.

This is gorgeous, look at the colours. I love the double bench idea. That would mean I could have my sewing machine on one, and then I could make cards and do other bits and bobs on the other. I really like pinboards. I think I’d have a HUGE one though (or a huge piece of sheet metal) and cover it in inspiration and pictures of those I love.

I know this is a kids craft area, but I love the teal back board. It’s a peg board, and I’m not sure if it is wood or not, but it would be PERFECT if it was metal. I have some gorgeous vintage buttons already glued onto magnets ready for my inspiration board! I do love that everything has its place in this little station.

I love the little squares in this shelving, so perfect for storage. And that lime yellow cabinet? Perfection.

I really can’t wait to get started on this craft space of mine. Only 6 more months of dreaming…..and scheming!

Sunday Saviours #19

Ok…yesterday I meant to post my pics of the Devon wedding (Part 2) but my laptop and I had a full on disagreement. So they’ll hopefully be up tomorrow, or me and my laptop with be having words (with a large stick).

A Beautiful Mess of Hair

I’ve tried this look out twice this week. Attempt 1 was a absolute FAIL and it only stayed in for about one lesson at work, but on Attempt 2, using shorter grips, it held up quite well, even getting me through an hour and a half of archery, an hour drive to Miss Lauren’s and lots of Flashdance related behaviour (don’t ask!).

Babies in 2011

This made me a little bit sad and nostalgic.

What Birds Do

The fabulous Jenny Robins (find her on Twitter – @jennyrobins) artist extrodinaire, linked this up on twitter this week and it made me chuckle.


I want this more than you will ever know.

Fabric Knot Bracelet DIY

Something to have a go at onan Autumnal evening from the Blue Eyed Owl.

Snappy Coin Purse

A little something to make and give at Christmas? Perfection from this lovely sewing blogger!


Sunday Saviours #18


It’s that time of the week again! Hope your weeks have been less stressful than mine. Thankfully got a call yesterday saying that I wasn’t needed for my early shift today, so I have a weekend off 2 weeks earlier than I thought!

Disney Make-Up

The amazing Robyn over at Stay Beautiful has done some make-up looks based on Disney characters. What are you doing? Why haven’t you clicked the link yet?!

Eat Fit

My wonderful friend, Olof posted this on facebook last week. I couldn’t stop smiling for days after.

Should I Text Him?

P found this and it has amused us all week! Something every girl should read to sort her face out!

Show Me Your Sewing

I’m featured over at the beautiful Claire’s blog – HearthandmadeUK. Check out some of my peers VERY impressive sewing projects!