Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bunting Tutorial

This blog post is written by Reesha Almeida Coutinho, Craft Land sewing instructor and owner of Prêt à Papier, Custom Printables and Event Stationery.

Let me take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself to you. Ever since I can remember I have been interested in all kinds of artistic and creative activities, whether it be painting, sewing, crafting or interior design. I am very fortunate to be able to make my hobby my career. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Visual Communication from the Goa College of Art, and that has helped me gain a wider knowledge of the principles of design, colour, textures and form. These are principles I now use almost instinctively in any creative work I do.

I recently joined the Craft Land team of teachers as a sewing, quilting, machine embroidery teacher and designer. I have been obsessed with Craft Land ever since it first opened in Dubai. You can only imagine my excitement when I was offered a position as a teacher and designer here. Craft Land hosts a number of classes, workshops and clubs to help the residents of UAE develop their creative side. The store also offers a plethora of sewing and crafting supplies that inspire creative minds on a daily basis.

When I wanted to redecorate my daughters room which is also my craft room, I didnt have to look very far for inspiration.

I was instantly drawn to the new range of Lecien Fabric that we carry at Craft Land. These are lovely 100% pure Japanese cotton which seemed perfect for my vintage chic aqua & red themed vision. I chose some  florals combined with polka dots, which allowed the scheme to be girly and playful whilst not being too childish at the same time.

For my first blog post, I would like to share with you a tutorial to make a fabric bunting. It transformed the room and added that special whimsical touch.  I made 4 buntings with with 4 triangular shapes each and hung them over each large window in the room.

To make 4 bunting strings with 4 different patterned triangles on each

1/4  metres of fabric from 4 different co-ordinating fabrics
5 metres of bias binding tape
4 metres of Rick rack tape
A rotary cutter(optional)
A ruler
A tape measure
Sewing thread
The bunting template (Download here)

1.Download and print the bunting template according to instructions on the printable. Cut it out along the outside dotted line.

2. Fold one of your fabrics right sides together along the long sides. Place the template on top of the folded fabric.

Cutting the template

3. Using the template as a guide, cut out the triangles by placing the template opposite to each other every time, to use up the fabrics in the most economical way. Cut up all the triangles in this way. You should have 32 triangles.

4. Take two of the triangles from the same fabric and place them with the right rides facing each other. Sew down the two long sides of the triangles with a 1/4 inch seam. Leave the top open. Snip off the corner. Do this for all your triangles.

5.Turn all your triangles right side out. Iron them so that they are flat and snip off the excess fabric at the opening.

6.Cut out your bias binding strips into 4 pieces each 1.5m long.

7. Pin your first triangle 25cm away from one end of your bias strip. You should be able to fold your bias binding in half lengthwise so that you have a neat strip with no raw edges showing

8.The raw edge of the top of the triangle needs to be encased within the center fold of the bias binding tape.

9. Pin in place, repeat by attaching the rest of your triangles equally spaced along the length of your bias binding strip. You should leave about 25cm of bias binding free after attaching the 4th triangle.

Placing the triangles 

 10. Choose a thread that matches with your bias binding and top stitch down the entire length of the bias binding making sure the triangles are caught neatly within the stitches.

 11. All your triangles will now be attached to the length of the bias binding strip.

10. Measure and cut 4 pieces of rick rack tape into 1mm pieces.

11. Place the rick rack at the point where the first triangle starts. Fold the end in, and pin in place over the bias binding tape. Pin all along the length of the bias binding strip along the tops of the triangles.
The rick rack should end after the last triangle. Fold in the end. Machine stitch carefully to attach the rick rack to the bunting.

12. You now have 1 complete bunting, with 25cm free on each side of the triangle,s that you can use to hang your bunting. Repeat the above steps to make 3 more. Hang over your curtain rods and voila! Stand back and enjoy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Embroidery at Craftland

Today I'd like to introduce myself to you all, I'm Jessica Aldred, the embroidery teacher and general embroidery guru at Craftland.

Canvaswork class sample
I trained to be a professional designer and embroiderer at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in the UK, and over three years I learnt 30 different hand embroidery techniques as well as restoration and conservation and art and design. After graduating I went to work in costume at the Royal Opera House in London where I bought and maintained the materials used to make the costumes. I worked on operas such as Madame Butterfly and Tosca and also for The Royal Ballet . After three years there I returned to the RSN where I spent four years working as the education coordinator. During that time I was hugely honoured to be a member of the team who produced the embroidery for the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress and veil. In 2011 my first book was published- Adventures in Needlework- which I co-authored with Emily Peacock who is well known in the UK for her bright, contemporary needlepoint kits.

Last year my husband and I moved to Dubai as a result of his job, but it was a timely move for me- I was ready for a fresh start. I soon discovered Craftland and was very impressed with their shop, classroom and team of experts, so I was thrilled when they offered me a job! Since I started I've been busy teaching, helping to select new stock for the shop, developing classes, designing and making samples and preparing for the embroidery clubs. In addition to the photograph above here are some of the new class samples I've created;

Goldwork class sample

Stumpwork class sample
Our classes start up again on 15th September and for embroidery there's now a clear path of progression from classes for complete beginners up to more complex and advanced techniques. If you're not sure where to start or what the different techniques are pop in to the shop, give us a call or email our class coordinator iman@mycraftland.com.

Our embroidery club resumes on 2nd October and for those of you who don't know about our clubs they're held once a month and bring together groups who like to share their enthusiasm for a particular form of craft. During the clubs there's a 'make and take'- we provide you with a kit for a small project which introduces you to a new technique or product. There's also guest speakers and a show and tell- we love to see what you're creating at home too!

And last but not least embroidery clinics are on Monday evenings from 7pm to 9:30pm and Tuesday mornings from 9:30am to 12noon. The clinics are for you to bring your own project and get expert help and advice, although if you just fancy hanging out and stitching with like minded people you're always welcome.

You can see our class descriptions, prices and full schedule here. If you'd like to know more about me and my work you can visit my website here. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you at Craftland soon.