Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Dream a little dream… my bedroom sewing projects

At the weekend I told you all that I’d finished sewing the cushions for my bedroom that I’d been putting off for ages. I finally powered through my sewing-block and used the leftover fabric from the bottom of my bedroom blinds to rustle up a pair of cushions for the bed. It is kind of lucky that the blinds were too long for my tiny windows: although it meant I had more work to do before I could hang them – spending time trimming them to size and stitching up the hems – it also meant that I had some leftover matching fabric to use for my cushions. I used two squares of the striped fabric for the cushion fronts and to make the simple envelope cushion-backs I used a different fabric – a beige checked fabric which had previously been a single duvet set that I wasn’t ever going to use again.

DIY sew your own quilted bed runner throw

It’s been great cutting up this duvet set rather than going out to buy fabric as it has given me enough quantity to make these cushions, some cushions for my living room, the lining of a Christmas stocking for my nephew, and now it has become the back and binding tape for a bed throw. When I had a narrow strip of my striped fabric leftover, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I knew I didn’t want to make more cushions and the base of the bed was a little bare with it’s plain white sheets. Even so, I knew there wouldn’t be enough fabric to make a proper quilt and I didn’t really want to introduce any other fabrics to expand the size of the quilt. So I decided that a bed ‘runner’ would be adequate to add a little interest at the foot of the bed – and something for the cats to sleep on, it turns out! I used three layers – the top layer of striped fabric, a thin quilting wadding from Abakhan, and the checked single duvet fabric. I pinned and stitched along the longest side of the layers to hold them in place, then I machined down the stripes to make a quilted effect without actually having to cut and stitch the quilt. It was a little fiddly to get it through the machine – especially at the centre of the runner, so I rolled it up from the edge (which you can see in the photo above) so that I didn’t have to struggle with excess fabric while sewing. After the whole runner was ‘quilted’ I used a narrow piece of the duvet fabric to make a binding and stitched this around all the edges to finish it off.

Stripe cushion and bed throw DIY sewing project on Cassiefairy blog

And here are the finished cushions and throw in the bedroom. As you can see, my cat Cookie took to it immediately and managed to curl up and go to sleep on the runner before I’d even managed to take a photo of it, and I didn’t have the heart to move her as she snored happily. Also Mrs. Rabbit likes the cushions and called for Mr. Rabbit to join her as she snuggled in but he was busy reading a book at the time so only Mrs. Rabbit made it into the photo of the cushions. Did you ever watch or read the Velveteen Rabbit as a child? I loved that story and I think that’s probably why I asked for Mr. Rabbit as a birthday present only 3 years ago and still have a pair of plush rabbits living in my bedroom!

Using books in the bedroom - DIY sewing and decorating project on Cassiefairy blog

I feel like my bedroom makeover looks more ‘complete’ now that I have cushions on the bed – I don’t know why, but it seems to finish off the bed as a focal point in the room. If you want to see how I wallpapered a feature wall using  old books please check out my blog post here. I know I’ve got plenty more that I need to sort out in the bedroom, such as storage and curtains, but I feel more like it’s getting there and at least I’ve stopped procrastinating and have broken through the sewing ‘block’. What will I make today I wonder??

More articles in my bedroom makeover series:


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My little vintage caravan project ~ take a seat

I’ve finally started what I was most looking forward to doing with my little vintage caravan project – creating a lovely place to sit. Yes, it’s soft furnishings time! I’ve spent a couple of hours at the sewing machine and I’ve made my own covers for the bench seat pads using an old duvet cover that my in-laws had given to me ages ago and I’d not got round to using the fabric. It is a cotton fabric and it is printed with a patchwork design which is much easier than trying to patchwork a seat cover myself, and it gave me lines to follow while I was sewing it!

Cassiefairys little vintage caravan makeover project diy sewing cushion pads for bench seat with patchwork duvet

Although the old bench seat cushions looked awful and the fabric was shredded (had something been living in there??), the foam underneath was in good condition and, of course, it fitted the bench seats perfectly so I didn’t need any point in replacing it completely. I stripped off the old tatty covers and set to work making a replacement cover for the foam pads. I simply placed a rectangle of the fabric over the foam and pinned the corners in place. I then took the fabric to my sewing machine and stitched the corners before adding a back piece to the fabric and stitching around three sides. I then stretched it over the foam and hand stitched the open side to close it. You can probably guess that theses aren’t removable covers – but I won’t be taking the caravan away on holidays so I doubt I’ll make enough of a mess on them to need to wash them. Nothing that a damp sponge wouldn’t sort out anyway! And if, during the lifetime of the caravan, I do have a big spillage, I will simply unpick the hand-stitching, wash it and stitch it back up. So here are the finished seat covers:

cassiefairys vintage caravan camper project patchwork quilt cushion pads for bench seat

Check out my other vintage caravan articles below to follow my progress of my little makeover project and tweet me @Cassiefairy with photos of your own caravans, campers or workshops – I need all the inspiration I can get and I’d love to know what you think! :)

More caravan articles:


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My beach hut cushion + the Inspiration Challenge

I’m delighted to say that I’ve had a few messages asking for a quick tutorial on how I made my beach hut cushion for the beach hut Inspiration Challenge in June. So I’m pleased to share the step-by-step photos of my cushion with you all today and I also want to remind you that there is still plenty of time to get involved and make something  for July’s Inspiration Challenge too!

First, I chose a selection of fabrics from my stash of fat quarters (mainly from wholeport and some thrifted from old clothing) to cut out the beach hut shapes and I snipped around a lighthouse design on the piece of Porto fabric I already had from Abakhan. I positioned these on the sky-blue “background” piece of fabric and pinned them down before machine-sewing around the edges.

inspiration challenge for June beach hut cushion by cassiefairy using abakhan porto

I then stuck on some sticky fabric-tape (like washi-tape but made of fabric, I found mine on Ebay) for the beach hut roofs and went over this with a line of stitching too. When it came to attaching the sun and the seagull, I added a little adhesive webbing to the back of the pieces and ironed them in place before sewing over the top.

For the sea I layered up pieces of folded fabric with sparkly ribbon, running lines of stitching back and forth using the sewing machine. This was my favourite part of the cushion and I’d like to do this effect all over a cushion front next time, perhaps with a rainbow of colours or use co-ordinating fabrics to create a striped/patchwork effect.

IMG_6603

I then stitched the front ‘picture’ piece of fabric to two pieces of pink fleece which overlapped to form the back of the cushion cover – leaving a flap to put my cushion pad inside. When I had finished, I realised how well the cushion matched my vintage Paddington Bear pillow case – it even has a red lighthouse too!

Please join in with this month’s Inspiration Challenge. The theme is Maneki Neko/Lucky Animals and you can make anything you like with this inspiration as a starting point. Even if you’ve never made anything before, maybe this month it is the perfect time to start crafting, sewing, painting or writing and I’d love to see what you come up with! Send me your projects to cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk and I’ll share your photos and links at the start of next month – and don’t forget that there is a special prize draw to win a ceramic lucky cat and a purse from JoaniesGifts.co.uk - all the projects will be entered into a prize draw and the winner will be picked at random on the 1st August!

inspiration challenges for July maneki neko

Other Inspiration Challenge articles

Orange Tweed Mill Blanket Knitted Wool Throw Tartan grey sofa retro dralon cushion 60s 70s


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Inspirations for a retro living room: Soft Furnishings

I’ve already blogged about finding vintage fabrics and making some unique retro cushions for my 60s-inspired living room design, but here’s a post on the rest of the soft furnishings in my living room, including throws and curtains. I am looking for clashing patterns and, of course, lovely orange shades to add to the retro feel of the room.

As I was choosing my fabrics, I was looking for something quirky but not necessarily directly from the era in this case, as I knew that it would be difficult to find enough quantity of a vintage fabric to make curtains. So I chose a modern fabric with a cartoon bumble-bee design – still including a little injection of the orange colour that I’ve used throughout the room design. I actually think that these curtains are supposed to be in a children’s bedroom but I love them and I’m happy to have the bees buzzing around my living room windows!

I also chose a throw that clashes nicely with my cushions, which also has an orange stripe running through the tartan pattern. This throw is a recycled wool rug from Tweed Mill Textiles and can be bought for around £15 online and from farm shops including the Adnams brewery shop in Southwold and Jimmy’s Farm near Ipswich. (You can see my bumble bee curtains just behind the sofa too!)

 

Dunelm Mill gingerbread cushion cassiefairy blog review post christmas festive soft furnishings


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One month til Christmas – Christmas markets & cushions!

Hurrah! It’s the 25th November and only one month til Christmas! So I’m celebrating with a trip to the famous Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market this weekend and here’s what I’m expecting to see this year:

Plus, I’ve gone all festive whilst wearing my over-the-top fairy lights jumper and have got myself this amazing gingerbread cushion from Dunelm Mill – at only £3.99 it is definitely my bargain of the week! This new addition to my retro-inspired living room is a way of gently introducing some festive cheer into my home before the 1st December, when my Christmas decorations box finally gets permission to explode and fill the house with sparkly festive joy!


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Craft Project – Creating new cushions & artwork for my retro living room

I was lucky enough to find this set of vintage RSPB placemats and coasters in almost brand-new condition at the Shakespeare Hospice Furniture Shop in Stratford Upon Avon and although I loved the autumnal bird design straight away, I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. I don’t often need placemats and I already have some 70s wicker coasters, so I took a second look and viewed them as pieces of fabric rather than finished items. And I’m glad a did, because I realised that the shape was ideal for creating cute rectangular cushions  to sit on my retro armchair and sofa, and the embroidered bird design has the perfect colours for my retro living room – and the robin motif will be great for autumn/winter!

  1. I chose some beige checked cotton fabric for the back of the cushions and I carefully measured out two pieces which would cover the size of the placemat with an extra 2 inches: allowing enough fabric to turn the hem back on itself in the centre and to overlap on the back where the buttons would be placed.
  2. I stitched the hem along the edges that would become the middle of the cushion and then inserted button holes using my sewing machine at three points along the hem on one of the pieces of backing fabric.
  3. I stitched buttons on to the opposite side and buttoned the pieces together.
  4. I then placed the front placemat and back pieces on top of each other with their right-sides facing together. I pinned the front and back together and stitched along all four edges.
  5. I unbuttoned the hem and turned the cushion-cover right-side out and slipped it onto a rectangular cushion pad and re-buttoned the back. Job done!

I also found a use for the coasters – I framed up two of them to create cute embroidered artworks – and I still have a pair of placemats and coasters left for when I want to lay the table to match my soft furnishings!


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The London 2012 Olympics start today – here’s my fave GB inspired things!

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