Category Archives: #Project34

#CraftBlogClub – ‘You Complete Me’ Challenge Reveal…

craftblogclub badgeSo, I have a little confession to make before I get into trawling your wonderful makes!  I haven’t completed my project :(.  I feel like the worst host ever, but I was inadvertently left without a table on which to use my sewing machine for nearly three weeks, which has inevitably left me very little time to complete ANYTHING I need to.  I’m behind with my sewing projects already BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Here’s my WIP so far…

The Scrappy Patchwork Chair

chair 1The purpose of ‘You Complete Me’, was to bring to light just how many WIPs us crafty lot have and really take the time to get ONE thing finished.  I blame external incidents for my unfortunate half-finished masterpiece, that and a particularly nasty delivery driver.  BUT, it has been fabulous to see so many of our #craftblogclub crew working so hard on projects they had near forgotten about, over the last few weeks – my Twitter feed has been littered with lovely WIP photos and posts and I can’t WAIT to see some finished projects.  So please, do link up below and share your work!

For my ‘You Complete Me’ challenge, I decided to challenge myself with some new crafting ideas and creating something of a statement in my lounge.  These old chairs were given to us me by some relatives who had no use for them anymore.  Though they were specifically ‘conservatory chairs’, at the time I really liked the shape of them and the comfort too – plus the footstool would be a great added extra for lazy knitting evenings sat in front of the TV.  They did, however, need a lot of TLC and I thought our ‘You Complete Me’ challenge would be the perfect time for me to get to grips with covering them.

patchwork close upAs I’m in the midst of painting and DIY-ing my house at the mo, I decided to try and make this chair a real statement in my lounge.  I had already painted a red accent wall and decided to trawl through my fabric and see how little I could spend patchworking the chair.  I had a lot of teals, turquoises and blues, which I felt would blend in really well with the red.  To finish, I decided to contrast the footstool by knitting a stripy cover using the same colour palette.  This would blend in with the blue hues on my sofa cushions and I even have a couple of knitted squares, ready for a sofa throw in the same palette too.  What could go wrong, thought I?  Well, to be honest, I’ve never patchworked a thing in my life.

Being the renegade crafter that I am, I thought starting off with big patches measured, ironed and sewn into place, couldn’t be too difficult – luckily I possess a lot of the ‘how hard can it be’ attitude, so the effect is already really starting to look great on the chair.  Being quite the sewing novice still, I decided to sew each of the top cushion sections and leave an open end on both.  I’m toying with the idea of hand-sewing press studs to secure the cover in place, but it does seem to fold and sit quite nicely without, footstoolwhich I’ll be thankful for when it comes to washing the covers!  I’ll get there, just not this month.  I did have to purchase a little more fabric, but the total spend on this project was just £11.98 – though I should replace the foam at a later date too.

I’m planning to get this baby finished as soon as I can, then I’ll post some finished photos and updates on my new lounge.  It has been a great way of working with patchwork and I do feel I’ve created something really unique for my home too.  I think it has a charm to it, the not-so-perfect patches, there is something quite fairytale-cottagey about it, which I think I quite like!  Just nod and smile.

So what about you guys?  What have you been up to and DID you manage to complete this project on time??  Stay tuned, I’ll be setting up a #CraftBlogClub makes board on Pinterest to showcase our wonderful work!

armchair 1Stay Peachy x

Come Join Us..



#Project34 Week 5 – The Tunic To Skirt Hack

IMG_20140604_164025#Project34 Week 5 – The Ultimate Tunic Skirt Hack

 Time Taken – 45 minutes before teatime!

So, what with my new found love for my sewing machine, I thought it was high time I started a bit of work ‘that there wardrobe of mine’.  The truth?  Not giving yourself the freedom to pop into H&M for a quick update is HARD – I’m still between sizes but, with the weather warming up as it so irregularly is, I’m in need of a constant wardrobe update!

IMG_20140604_163938Being that as I am, I tend to steer clear of Summer pastels and crop tops – they just aren’t me, the last time I wore flip flops I was trudging between lectures at uni and I have one pair of trusty Dior sunglasses that I simply couldn’t live without.  I’m not very, well, ‘Summery’.  I was, however, in possession of two rather gorgeous velvet tunics that felt a little short – which gave me a brainwave!

You might remember I wrote a little post about hacking a black tunic up to make a sumptuous velvet skirt – well, I did the same with my burgundy version and here is a ‘sort of’ tutorial if you fancy hacking up your own wardrobe!

As much as I’m a dress girl through and through, the versatility of skirts is just astonishing when you are a) on a budget or b) bored of your wardrobe.  Since their creation, my velvet mateys have been invaluable in creating new looks and styling up with various charity-shop bought tops and blouses that I have.  I ended up replacing the elastic in my original black skirt hack with a thinner, softer elastic and opted for more of a ‘pencil’ length with my burgundy one.  Read on to find out more!

You Will Need

An old tunic

Soft elastic – around 1.5 inches thick

Matching thread.

Now Do This

Choose the length you want your skirt to be and cut the top off your tunic to the desired length – I opted to cut just below the arms and work lower if I wanted to.

IMG_20140604_163909Measuring your waist, cut a length of elastic and around the waist-line of your new skirt.  Thread your sewing machine with matching thread and, using a straight stitch, stitch along the top line, securing the elastic to the waistline.

Once this is completed, turn your waistline over (the same thickness as the elastic) to create a neater edge and stitch again along the top line to secure in place.

IMG_20140604_163847That is it, you are good to go – providing your stitches are secure you have one rather beautiful skirt and a whole new world of stylish opportunities!

That's me on the left...with the Absinthe Fairy

That’s me on the left…with the Absinthe Fairy

Stay Peachy x

#Project34 – Sensory Toys for Busy Baby Hands

daisy and box#Project34 Week 3 – Sensory Shape Sorter

Time Taken – About 20 minutes – on a borderline hangover, absolutely Reznor-ized!

A little catch up needed here…the end of May came and went in the blink of an eye and I got so busy planning and starting my project for the next #craftblogclub challenge, I’ve barely had time to get behind the sewing machine and knock up another project for #project34.  I have, however, been busy putting a few bits together for Little Miss D and her busy little hands.

At fifteen months, Miss D is developing the most intrigued and clever character; like her peers she has been busy forming words, interacting and learning more about the world around her.  She loves puzzles, books and generally a lot of other things she isn’t allowed to have – so I started collecting odd bits and pieces to make sensory toys that will keep her busy and learning too.  And mostly, out of the kitchen cupboards.

So, one sunny Sunday, armed with little more than a very tired half-a-brain, some polkadot wrapping paper, an old cardboard box that once housed my new iron and about 50,000 plastic balls to fill D’s paddling pool, I made this easy shape sorter.

boxUsing a thick craft knife to punch three adequate sized holes in the sides of the cardboard box.  I covered the box in wrapping paper – not necessary but it does make it look very pretty – and filled the box with about 8 plastic balls.  Then, I watched the fun commence!

It’s funny how something so simple can entertain a child – When she’s a little more aware of the ‘sorting’ part, I might highlight each hole with different colours to match the coloured balls.  But, simply put, this very quick make is ideal for frugal entertaining on a rainy day!

#Project34 Week 4 – Fabric and Felt House Puzzle

Time Taken – About an hour – with plenty of Elvis on Spotify and tea by the bucketload

finished houseSo, not being content with just cutting up a cardboard box, I wanted to do something colourful for D with this mountain of primary colour felt I had left over in my stash.  I’ll be honest, bright yellow isn’t usually my go-to choice for felt projects – but when it comes to baby sensory projects, you can’t go wrong with the original and best!

felt mountainUsing a square of black canvas, I cut and sewed some leftover red polkadot fabric to it, to create a base. sewing I then cut a very simple yellow square for the house template, a red roof, a brown door and some green windows.  I used a black fabric pen to decorate the windows etc simply.

I bought a stash of sticky velcro from my local DIY store, costing a total of £2, cut to small sizes and placed on the back of each piece of the house puzzle.  I used one in each corner for the house and two for the roof – enough to ensure each piece sits securely. It was then probably best to leave the velcro to adjust to its surroundings for a couple of hours (or stitch it, if you have the inclination) – sadly my velcro was pulled about within seconds BUT it has held fast!

I absolutely love this idea and I’d love to make more for Miss D.  They can be rolled up and packed in the bag for the little ones during boring lunches out and they are a great way of using up those last few felt bits that just don’t work with your projects!

velcro stripsdaisy and house

So, I guess I’m pretty pleased with these two ideas – do you have any sensory toys that your little one loves to use?

Stay Peachy x

 

Hello June!

mainThis is it…my Frugally Fabulous Year is hitting the halfway mark – and WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN SO FAR!  I guess, like everyone, there have been some great bits and some not so great bits!  But I’m really excited to see what the rest of the year brings…

May: The Month That Was…

So that was May – a month of accent walls, true colours, larking back to my teenage years, wanting to be Mrs Emma Reznor all over again, the world’s biggest knitting needles, DIY Gardening, lovely bloggers, big changes and exciting developments!  I often find myself holed up making big plans and half-starting them, May was definitely a month for that as well!

I got back into the reading flow this month too – I’ve set myself a challenge over on Goodreads to read 20 books by the end of the year (not including such avid titles as ‘The Little Go-To-Sleep Book’, ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ and ‘That’s Not My Fairy’) – which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be difficult to squeeze some time in for relaxing and reading – but it remains one of my most favourite ways to wind down!  Anyway, May saw me complete my 6th and 7th titles this year:

booksThe World According To Bob by James Bowen: Having had the pleasure of meeting this loveable and unlikely duo, I was really excited to follow more of Streetcat Bob and James’ journey from Big Issue sellers to stars in their own right.  A heartwarming tale of hope, survival and the most incredible journey for a most unlikely pairing.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Zafon is, without a doubt, a huge influence as an author.  His poetic writing and magical stories are second to none.  The Prince of Mist was his first published novel, written for a YA audience.  Zipping through this in just a few days, I found the gritty and fantastical story of Max and his adventures that lead him to the grimacing and frightening Prince of Mist.  Moody, atmospheric with a tale of innocence and love interwoven in the reams of fright, this is a must-read.

Currently Reading: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran: Hilarious, poignant in places and a most unglamorous interpretation of a seemingly glamorous career – Moran keeps it real, whilst keeping it hysterical!

I’m definitely feeling as if the blogging mojo is returning a little, after a slumpy period, I’ve started making plans and even getting more creative!  I launched my #Project34 last month – an opportunity to get back some creative time and start making bits and pieces for myself and the home.  Check out my mini tutorials for the Novice Drawstring Bag and Rustic Garden Tealight Holders, not to mention my Cross Stitch Poetry.  Not only that, I embarked on a little secret project/challenge that I’ll be able to share more of later this month!

I also got to grips with some advertising space on the blog – if you fancy being one of my ‘beautiful people’ check out my sponsor page and get in touch!

And to top off a fantastic month, we had another amazing turnout for our latest #MidsBlogMeet.  What started off as a conversation between the wonderful Kelly from To Become Mum and I, has led to us organising and hosting two fabulous meet-ups with some wonderful bloggers from around the Midlands.  Our latest was a beauty-focused meet which took place in Birmingham, read all about it tomorrow.  A huge thank you to everyone who came along and to our lovely speakers Jo and Suzie for their informative and wonderful talks!

May: The Month That Was….Instagrammed

I’ve been keeping myself so busy lately, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll be aware that I was on a NIN-countdown for most of the month (my absolute favourites) and, let’s just say they didn’t disappoint!  Totally worth the 15 year wait to see T-Rez live!  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d take my favourite Insta-pics from the last month and let them speak for themselves!  If you’re on Instagram – be sure to give me a follow!meanddaisy

leanoradrzhivagomeladybirdninttingT-rezSo…June?

Well, this month I’m in full swing with making and shaking for the wardrobe and the home.  Plus, I’m very excited to share with you that I am going to be part of White Tree Fabric’s Blog Team.  Keep your eyes peeled for more posts and info about this coming up – but I’m excited to be working with them and I’ll have my first White Tree Fabric Post coming shortly!

Not only that – a new month can only mean one thing, a new #CraftBlogClub challenge! All will be revealed TOMORROW EVENING!

That aside, I’ve been getting stuck into some interesting articles, falling back in love with my sewing machine (though I think she needs a name…) and getting more creative on a tiny budget.  Fancy it?  Then be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin to be kept up to date with all the latest Frugally Peachy news!

I’m also planning to take a break in July to complete #PeachysWritingMarathon, and I’m still looking for a couple of guest posts – fancy it?  Give me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com with your ideas!

I think that’s about it for now folkies – as ever thank you for reading, let’s smash the hell out of June, shall we??!

Stay Peachy x

#Project34 Week 2 – Beginner’s Drawstring Bag Tutorial

floral bagDisclaimer: Tilly Walnes I am not, elatedly proud of making friends with my sewing machine I AM!  If you are learning to sew too – make sure you follow my Peachy vs the Sewing Machine posts for mini-tutorials and progress updates!

#Project34 Week 2: Drawstring Bag

Time Taken: 3 LONG hours of practice

 30 Minutes Prepping, Cutting and Controlling Shaking

30 Minutes Sewing and Making!

Ok, I’ve been pretty excited to share this news with you!  Last week, I ACTUALLY sat at my sewing machine and decided to master the basics of my sewing machine!  Week 2 of #Project34 was going to be about pushing my own boundaries and FINALLY overcoming my fears!

I forced myself to sit for three hours, whilst Daisy was spending the day with her dad, and follow lines on a tea towel and I can’t tell you how ELATED I felt when I finally felt I’d got it!  I’m sure lots of people reading this will think this is no big deal, but to me, a few straight lines and decent bobbin winding, had brought me much closer to my dreams of learning to dressmake!  With that in mind, I set to work on a small project to keep up the momentum of what I’d managed to master!  Introducing the beginner’s drawstring bag!

fabricI found this gorgeous floral fabric in my stash and already had the matching organza ribbon too.  I thought a drawstring bag to keep plastic bags in my kitchen would be a great first project.  As the cotton was quite thin, I cut four rectangle pieces (approximately 35cm by 45cm) out and practiced my simple sewing by stitching two pieces together.  Once this was done, I simply followed the edges of three sides (leaving one smaller side open for the top) with my sewing machine, stitching in a simple straight stitch.

Then, taking each section of the open top end, I folded it over to approximately a centimetre and stitched across, to create the fabric loop, through which I then threaded my ribbon!

And that, is quite literally it!  Much like cushions and machine covers,sewing machine the idea of a drawstring bag is simple, a great way to practice very simple techniques and the ‘drawstring’ feature hides a multitude of sins if you find your stitching goes a little wonky!

I was so pleased with my bag, I immediately set to work making bag number two – a laundry bag for Daisy’s room, using some beautiful Jemima Puddleduck fabric I bought to make a cot bumper with originally.  I also had a go at two-toning my fabric with this nautical I made for a very special 1st Birthday present!  This one was slightly longer and thinner, more of a pillowcase size but using exactly the same renegade measurement and sewing techniques!

francis bag 1

francis bagSo, if you fancy a go at something this afternoon and you’re pretty confident with the very very basics, why not brighten up your home with a floral drawstring bag?

Stay Peachy x

#Project34 – Week 1- Cross Stitching, Across The Universe

cross stitch finish#Project34 Week 1: Cross Stitch Poetry

Time Taken: 3 x Daisy Naps

                     1 x Sex and the City Film (it was one of THOSE weeks)

               2 x True Blood Episodes – admittedly I was distracted at points!!!

       3 x Listens of the latest Pretty Reckless Album

If you have read one of my latest catch-up posts, you’ll be aware that I’m trying to take a little bit of time to get back into crafting for myself.  One of the best ways I thought I could introduce a little more craft and DIY back into Frugally Peachy was to create my own little #Project 34 – a project in which I create one thing per week (in the last 34 weeks of the year), for myself (or a gift).  I sometimes feel I babble on a lot about crafting and learning to make dresses, with very little evidence of doing so – the desire to do it is there, it really is sadly the time.  In between looking after D, I’m running the home, setting up The Gothic Librarian, Writing, running #CraftBlogClub, amongst other things – that can often leave little time for myself!

So, last week, I got a bit DIY creative around the house and made a start on reclaiming the space in my home.  My bedroom needed a bit of a facelift so I painted one red feature wall, put up some lovely red curtains from eBay (bargain) and treated myself to some much-needed new bedding.  The result?  A gothic-inspired haven of loveliness, my room feels comfy and reflects me!  It is still a little work in progress – I want to upcycle my chest of drawers – but my little home is starting to feel just like mine and I’ve got the DIY bug now!

I didn’t want to put too much on my bedroom walls, I have a little selection of postcards, but I decided I wanted a centrepiece for the wall behind my bed.  I’m all about positivity at the moment and I decided to set myself a little cross stitch project for my first week of #Project34.  What do you think?

cross stitch 2The words are taken from a poem by Tyler Knott Gregson, from his Typewriter collection.  This particular poem means worlds to me, for reasons I won’t go into here – so I thought it was important to have something wistfully romantic and positive to read every morning.

In keeping with the ‘Typewriter’ tradition, I tried playing with fading out the colour of each silk as I stitched the lower lines, as if the ink on a typewriter is fading.  I think working with block colours would have worked just as well, but I like the colour scheme on the finished piece.

From my early days on the Cross Stitch Train (a club I went to at primary school) – as much as I love it as a craft form, but it really is a labour of love –cross stitch 1 everything takes a lot longer than you think, but I’m really pleased with the outcome.  I love the simplicity of working with cross stitch to create words and I’m over the moon to have something personal on my wall again!

Do you feel like you need to take some crafty power back?  Why not join me on #Project34 – I’d love to see some of what you guys are up to!

Stay Peachy x