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Project planning and choosing the right yarn for your knitting project

The lovely Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City have been writing some yarn-focused blog posts for us to help inspire you with your knitting and crochet projects. We get so many question in the shop about what yarn to use for certain projects so the ladies have created this post to answer all those queries…Take it away, ladies! 

Yarn in the City

One of the things that we love about hosting our yarn-y events is introducing makers to the amazing world of yarn! There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a knitter or crocheter’s eyes widen at the creative possibilities in front of them. But all that choice can come with a price in that it can be easy to get overwhelmed with too many options.

The biggest pitfall with all that choice can be choosing the wrong yarn for your project. Too often we’ve seen people get swept away by a gorgeous hank of yarn without a plan, hoping that “the yarn will tell me what it wants to be!” That’s all well and good sometimes, but it might be better to have an idea of what to look for in a yarn so that you make the perfect pairing right from the start?

We’ve come up with a list of questions to consider when planning your next project to help things go as smoothly as possible:

Choose the right yarn for your project

Who is my project for?

Just like an advertising executive will want to know who an ad is targeted at, you have to know your audience. Knitting for yourself or your Grandma is different from knitting for your toddler! A couple of things to consider:

  • What will the item be used for? A blanket for a new baby is a different kettle of fish from a cozy shawl for an ill friend.

  • Is the recipient going to handwash the item if needed or will they throw it in the machine with the rest of the laundry?

Take into account the personality of the person you’re making for – if they’re not likely to appreciate cashmere in their special holiday gift, do you need to splurge on the yarn?

Why am I making this project?

A lot of us like to show our love for the special people in our lives by making them something. Holidays, birthdays, special anniversaries – they’re all great reasons for starting a new project. The big question to ask yourself here is how much time you have before the big day. Do you want to knit sweaters for your whole family for Christmas? Are you making a shawl for your friend who’s getting married? Think about how long other similar projects have taken you and if you realistically have enough time to make it to the finish line. Don’t forget that you’ll have to be done a few days before your deadline so you have time for finishing and blocking!

What is my project? What is the gauge or tension?

Garment? Accessory? Toy? Other? Just as it’s important to know who you’re knitting for, knowing what you’re making can have a HUGE impact on your choice of yarn. Are you wanting to make a delicate lace shawl? Then maybe that super soft chunky yarn isn’t the best choice. It would be great for a blanket or last-minute accessory gift though! Is the project a sweater? A fluffly single-ply yarn will wear more easily and pill at friction points under the arms where the arm brushes against the body, so maybe it’s better saved for a project that will get less abrasion and wear, like a hat or cowl.

Check the gauge or tension given in the pattern to help figure out which weight of yarn is required.

A note about gauge and weights of yarn:

The weight of a yarn refers to how thick the yarn is and every yarn label generally provides a range of recommended needle or hook sizes. With many different yarn producers around the world, different size yarns can vary in what they’re called depending on where you are. We’ll get into this more in our next guest post!

What is the fibre content of the recommended yarn in the pattern?

The combination of fibres used in a yarn contribute to the characteristics of the fabric created and how it will wear and drape. This is good information to have if you’re not able to find the exact yarn used in the pattern, as choosing a yarn with a similar fibre content can have the same desired look and feel in the finished piece. Knowing the fibre content is also important if you need to make any adjustments for climate or allergies/sensitivities to any fibres.

Does my project need to be machine washable?

Remember our question about who you were knitting for? After all the hard work you’re going to put in it’s important to know how the project will be cared for. Is your recipient not great with the idea of hand washing or a busy mum who just wants to be able to chuck it in the laundry machine with everything else? Whether or not your project needs to be machine washable will be an important factor in your yarn choice. Don’t worry if you fall in love with a yarn that isn’t machine washable though – taking extra care by hand washing can be simple and easy thanks to no-rinse detergents like Soak that will keep your project looking like new for a very long time. And don’t we all want our projects to last as long as possible?

Is budget a consideration?

Of course we all wish that budget were no object! The reality is though, that good quality yarns are not inexpensive. Yarns blended with cashmere, silk and alpaca will also cost more because those fibres are more expensive. A yarn that is commercially produced on a large scale will also cost less than a special skein of yarn that is hand-dyed by someone earning a living wage.

Hopefully by answering even some of these questions you’ll help narrow your choices and find the perfect yarn for your project!

Thanks Ladies!

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One paper pad, eight easy papercraft projects to try!

We have these totally lovely paper pads available in so many themes and motifs, but what should we make with them? The possibilities are endless but the super talented Laura Howard is here today to show us eight fun and easy papercraft projects you can make at home with just one pad! Take it away Laura!

Craft paper pads

Today I’m sharing some fun and easy ideas for crafting with paper and card.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

This post was inspired by a range of gorgeous paper pads available from the Village Haberdashery’s shop. Each pad includes 30 sheets of co-ordinating paper and card (15 sheets of each), which all have a grid of squares on the back so you can easily cut straight edges.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

I chose to work with the marbled paper pad – aren’t these patterns lovely?

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

As you can see, as well as the detailed marbled designs there are also some plain sheets in soft, ombré colours. You could use the papers for all kinds of fabulous crafty projects, but I’ve put together a few simple ideas to get you started!

1. Greetings Cards

I love sending handmade cards to my friends. Everyone loves a bit of proper post, and there’s nothing quite like a handmade card. Use simple shapes and geometric designs, layering patterns to create some stylish cards. Click here for some Greetings Cards Templates to recreate my designs, or draw your own.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Cut and fold a sheet of card to size (remember if you’re using the card from the pad there will be a grid of squares on the inside) or decorate some ready-made blank cards.

Use the card as a template to cut out a section from one of the ombré pieces. The subtle colour variations make a great backdrop for adding some bold shapes. Stick the paper to the front of the card with a glue stick, lining up the edges neatly.

Then cut out your chosen shapes and stick them in position. You can use layers of the plain paper to create frames for the shapes (like the heart) or just layer the patterned papers on top of each other.

If you want, you can use a fine pen to draw around the shapes to make them really stand out – but make sure you have a steady hand! (Can you spot where mine slipped?)

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

2. Envelopes & Notecards

As an alternative to making handmade cards why not make some handmade envelopes? These are lovely to send but they also make a great gift: make a set of five or six envelopes with co-ordinating notecards, add some plain address labels and tie them up in a bundle with a bit of baker’s twine ready for gifting.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Find an envelope you like the shape of or search online for some printable envelope templates. If you’re going to be making lots of envelopes, I’d recommend gluing the shape to a piece of card (part of a cereal box would be perfect) to make a sturdy template.

Trace the envelope shape onto the back of one of the patterned paper pieces. Cut it out and use a ruler and one blade of a pair of scissors to carefully score along the fold lines. Fold the paper into an envelope shape and use a glue stick to secure the edges. You can use more glue to close the envelopes later when they’re ready to send, or add a couple of strips of narrow double-sided sticky tape to the edges of the flaps.

To make the co-ordinating notecards, just cut rectangular pieces of card slightly smaller than the envelopes so they’ll tuck neatly inside.
Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

3. Gift Wrapping

Pretty craft papers also make lovely wrapping paper! Use them to wrap small, special gifts or cut shapes from leftover scraps to create patterns on plain parcels.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

I used the lid of a glue stick as a template to cut lots of identically sized paper circles, which I glued in a row across the parcel. You could cut different sized circles, glue them in rows or dot them at random, or explore different shapes like stripes and triangles. Get creative and turn a plain package into something fabulous!

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

4. Gift Tags

Another great way to make use of scraps of pretty paper and card is by making gift tags. Cut out lots of different shapes, layer colours and patterns, and see what you come up with!

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Cut out a rectangle from one of the card sheets, punching a hole near the top and adding some string, twine or yarn to create the tag (or just decorate some plain ready-made tags!).

I added bands of plain and patterned paper, cutting them slightly wider than the tag and trimming them neatly to size once I’d glued them in position. I then added some card and paper circles in contrasting patterns to complete the designs, punched the holes and added some string.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

5. Paper Chains

When was the last time you made paper chains? They are such fun to put together and make wonderfully colourful party décor.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Cut several sheets of the decorative paper into strips about 3cm wide (each sheet of paper makes 10 strips). Bend one strip so the two ends meet, securing them with a piece of clear sticky tape. Add a second strip interlinking with the first, and continue to build the chain mixing patterns as you go.

You can use one strip of paper per chain link, or make a chain like the one pictured with two strips placed together so the inside and outside of each loop is patterned.   

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

6. Bunting & Garlands

Bunting is a summer party classic! It’s so easy to whip up a length of bunting or a modern garland to decorate your space… then when the party is over it can be disassembled and the pieces returned to your crafty stash.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Use the Bunting & Garland Templates to cut out lots of bunting flags or circles from paper or card. Use a large, sharp sewing needle to poke two holes in each piece (at the top two points of the triangles or at opposite sides of the circles).

Use the needle to thread the flags or circles onto a long piece of sewing thread, yarn or thin twine. Double up the circles (as they tend to spin when hung up) and double the bunting flags if the back of the bunting will be visible when you hang it.


Eight easy papercraft projects to try

7. Party Food Toppers

Let your guests know what’s in your party treats with these colourful toppers. This is such a simple idea but a practical and pretty one.
Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Using the Food Topper Templates, cut circles from one of the less busily patterned card sheets to create labels for sandwiches, cupcakes and other party foods.

Add the important info in pen, and attach a cocktail stick to the back of each circle with a piece of sticky tape. You could also cut extra paper circles to scatter on the table-top for extra Instagram-ability!

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

8. Gift Boxes

If you’re giving a small gift, make it extra special by making a gift box. These boxes would also be perfect for wedding or party favours. Scrunch up some pretty tissue paper inside the box then add your gift.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Use the diagrams provided as a guide to drawing the box templates (one for the box itself, and one for the lid). If you’re just making one box, you can draw the template directly onto the back of the decorative card. If you’re planning on making lots of boxes you’ll save time by making some re-usable templates you can quickly draw around.

Draw and cut out one box and one box lid. I’ve designed the templates so both shapes will fit onto one sheet of card, but you can mix and match the patterns as you like.

Use a ruler and one blade of a pair of scissors to carefully score along the fold lines. Crease all the folds then use a glue stick to add glue to the four flaps (on the patterned/colourful side of the card) and carefully assemble the box and its lid.  

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Thanks so much for these great ideas Laura! 

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

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Let’s all wear…food!

(I don’t mean let’s all have a massive food fight!) We have so many fun food related prints in stock at the moment just waiting to be stitched up into some amazing outfits. Here are a few ideas to work up your appetite!

This super cute strawberry print from Sevenberry would make the most adorable Geranium Dress! (I actually have some stashed myself to do just this!)

How about an Oliver + S – Art Museum Vest in this fun banana print (also by Sevenberry) for all those little monkeys out there!

A super sweet and simple sew with more Strawberries… the Two Stitches Frida Dress and Swing Top would work great with this quilting cotton from Riley Blake. (And it’s in the sale too!!!)

The most perfect Seersucker with Pineapples to make a summer dress…. the Christine Haynes Lottie Dress perhaps?

The Grainline Studios’ Willow Tank would be perfect in this cute apple print from Cotton + Steel.

And finally… Cocktails! Dressed up with the Sew Over It Eve Dress, or could be more casual with the Closet Case Patterns – Kalle.

Don’t forget to share your food outfits with #thevillagehaberdashery we can’t wait to see what you make!

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Top tips: Pattern matching stripes and plaids!

So you have found the perfect sewing pattern, and you have found the most perfect plaid or striped fabric but you are dreading getting all those lovely lines to match up! These fabrics are such a popular choice at the moment and look so good, don’t be put off by the pattern matching. Here are our top tips for matching those lines!

how to pattern match stripes and plaids

1.  Make any sizing alterations to the pattern and test with a muslin first. Once the pieces have been cut out any alterations will ‘mess up’ all your hard work with the matching! Always make a muslin!

2. Decide what falls in the centre of the garment. Depending on the type of plaid/stripe you will need to make decisions on which way up you want the pattern to be and which ‘line’ falls in the centre. As a general rule, it is best to place the most dominant colour or the one you want to be featured in the centre of the garment.

3. Make sure that your pattern is running in the same direction for all the pieces you cut. Sometimes plaids can look different when placed different ways up. Unless you are creating a contrasting section, you will want all your pieces to be placed in the same direction on the fabric.

4. Never cut on the fold! Most of the time stripes and plaids turn out slightly uneven and it is so difficult to get the pattern to sit straight when you can only see half of it. Lay your pattern piece on the fabric and draw around it in a water soluble pen, pencil or tailors chalk and then flip it over to do the other side. This way you will be able to get it perfectly in line.

5. Always mark the reverse of your pattern pieces. Sometimes it is not always clear which is the right and wrong side of a striped or plaid fabric and there is nothing more frustrating than spending all that time lining up your pieces to then not be able to work out which way up you intended them to be! It is also a good idea to mark the top/bottom of any square or rectangular pieces.

6. Prioritise the matching on a garment as follows: front and back, sides and shoulders. Seams that run down the front and back of a garment are the most noticeable so match these first. Then look at the side seams and shoulders which are not quite as essential.

7. Don’t be afraid to draw on your paper pattern pieces. This can help a lot. Once you have one piece ready, draw the pattern lines to help line up the next piece. Also adding the seam lines to your pattern pieces can help you to see which line/section of the print you need to be matching too.

8. Use the bias to create contrasts. Sometimes it is good to break the pattern up a little with a bias section. Turn your pieces so they sit diagonally on the fabric like we did with the waistband and pockets on our Sylvie Dress.

9. Take your time when cutting out. This is the most important step in the pattern matching process. Make a mistake here and you will be kicking yourself further down the line! Find a time to cut out your pieces when you can really concentrate without interruption and your results will be top!

10. Use plenty of pins to match up that pattern before sewing. You don’t want to spend hours getting all your pieces cut out to then rush the sewing bit! Pin each line together before sewing and take it slow on the machine. A walking / even feed foot may help with thicker fabrics to stop them shifting about.

I really hope these tips have given you more confidence to work with these amazing fabrics. As long as you take your time and really think about the placement you will be pattern matching like a pro in no time!

Don’t forget to show us your ace pattern matching with #thevillagehaberdashery

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A close up on our ‘Summer in the Garden’ Vignette!

Summer is here (I think!) and there is nothing better than sitting out in the garden with a good book or handwork project! Our latest vignette is inspired by long summer afternoons doing just this. Pop along to our West Hampstead shop to see it in person or keep reading to find out more!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

Our lovely summer lady is wearing the Christine Haynes Sylvie Dress in Checkers – 1/2″ Gingham in Santa.

Summer in the Garden Vignette

We love the big pockets with this pattern…. perfect for your sunglasses!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

You have to watch your pattern matching with this fabric! Keep an eye out for our helpful hints on pattern matching post coming soon.

Gingham Sylvie Dress

Summer in the Garden Vignette

We really wanted a summer chair for this display and there is nothing better (except perhaps a sandy beach) than a good old-fashioned deckchair!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

This one is another Ikea purchase and we have re upholstered it in the fun Trailer Travel in Light Green fabric from Michael Miller.

Summer in the Garden Vignette

The quilting cotton is strengthened with the original cover and some calico inside so we shouldn’t have any deckchair fails!!!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

We have the summer essentials ready… a good magazine, a fan to keep you cool, drinks and some snacks!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

Not forgetting some tea-lights for late night relaxing!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

The lovely and super talented Erin from BerinMade made those amazing paper flowers! How awesome are they!

They look so great hanging above our vignette in the shop and you can find out more about them in Erin’s new book, Paper Parties!

 We hope you enjoyed reading all about our ‘Summer in the Garden’ vignette. We would love to see all your summer makes too. Tag your creations with #thevillagehaberdashery. Happy Sewing!

Summer in the Garden Vignette

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MORE Wonderland by Rifle Paper Company sewing inspiration!

We still have a great selection of the amazing Rifle Paper Company Wonderland fabric collection on our shelves, including those hard to find fat quarter bundles, and in case you were short of ideas of what to stitch it up into we thought we would share some makes from social media to get you inspired!

Wonderland by Rifle Paper Co for Cotton and Steel

We love the Rose Garden print in the Moss Metallic colour-way so much. How amazing does @colleenwynn look in her top and skirt!

Wonderland Inspiration

Cameos in Green is another fantastic green. @224acres has made this awesome bag…

Wonderland Inspiration

…and @somethingsewsweetofficial has created this simple but effective cushion cover. A great first project idea!

Wonderland Inspiration

Cameos also come in a Rose colour-way. This sweet apron by @missamandawilliams is perfect for baking those jam tarts!

Wonderland Inspiration

@chickietails has made these really lovely made everyday dresses in Cameos in Rose and Mad Tea Party in Neutral. How cute would a Geranium Dress be in these prints too!

Wonderland Inspiration

Speaking of things that are cute… what about this baby romper by @elisehuguette in Procession in Neutral!

Wonderland Inspiration

This skirt in the same by @stitchologyabq is so fun!

Wonderland Inspiration

The Painted Roses in Black Rayon fabric is so nice to work with and has a stunning drape. @cablesandcalico has cleverly ‘hacked together’ the Washi Dress and the Bettine Dress to create this stunner!

Wonderland Inspiration

This tunic by @kimaboxer works so well….

Wonderland Inspiration

…and she even had fabric left over for her daughter to make a mini dress too!

Wonderland Inspiration

@urbanspools looks super happy with her massive tote in Rose Garden in Crimson Metallic! Tote bags are great first projects for beginners!

Wonderland Inspiration

Don’t forget this fabric comes in Red too! Here is our By Hand London Flora Dress.

Wonderland Inspiration

Another one of the lovely rayons here with @missmake looking chic in her Green Bee Patterns Frances dress in Magic Forest in Ruby. This is also available in blue
Wonderland Inspiration

…and in a quilting cotton weight in Neutral (this fab bag is by @somethingsewsweetofficial)…

Wonderland Inspiration

…and Midnight Metallic! This skirt by @thuthu929 is awesome with it’s big bow!

Wonderland Inspiration

Looking for a simpler or quick sew perhaps…? How about a Willow Tank? This one is by @kimaboxer and fabric is Follow Suit in Navy Metallic Lawn. This fabric is extremely comfortable to wear!

Wonderland Inspiration

Check out this Deer and Doe Belladone dress in the same fabric by @joeycraftworkz.

Wonderland Inspiration

How about this Tie by @thuthu929. This fabric is great for the fellas too!

Wonderland Inspiration

@thesewingbeebee has designed this super cool yoga mat bag in Caterpillar Dots in Cobalt Metallic!

Wonderland Inspiration

This teapot quilt block by @quiltsbydenise in Garden Party in Navy is so fitting!…

Wonderland Inspiration

I wish our Colette Rue dress in this fabric fitted me!

Wonderland Inspiration

I hope our little round up of ideas has got you inspired to create your own Wonderland masterpieces! Share your makes with us using #thevillagehaberdashery. Check our more ideas by searching for#wonderlandfabric#riflepapercofabric and#riflepapercowonderland!

Find our remaining stock here. Get it quick before it disappears down a rabbit hole!

Pssst! We also still have some of Rifle Paper Co‘s other collection Les Fleurs Rayon left in stock including this stunning Birch Floral in Navy (This lovely cami top is by @somethingsewsweetofficial).

Les Fleurs Rayon

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Knitting inspiration for Tough Love Sock by SweetGeorgia Yarns!

One of the things that’s been most exciting about expanding into the new shop space is that we have so much more room for yarn! The response to our first order of the SweetGeorgia Yarns Party of Five mini skein packs was overwhelming so we decided to bring in some full skeins in fun, bright colours this time around – along with more Party of Five packs too!

SweetGeorgia Yarns

Tough Love Sock is a 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon base with a high twist that makes for a super durable knitted fabric – terrific for socks and projects that you want to last! I love how soft and bouncy this yarn is and the drape is wonderful for shawls and garments too.

Party of Five

To get your own creative juices flowing, here are some ideas for one, two and three or more skein projects:

One Skein Projects

Mindful Steps
It’s easy to make a pair of socks from a single skein – the hardest part is choosing a pattern! The twisted stitches in these socks add visual interest to simple socks. These would look fantastic in Pistachio!

Mindful Steps Socks

Tulsi
A hat makes another great single skein project and is a terrific way to try out a new technique. Tulsi features a sweet, simple lace pattern knit in the round for a fresh, lightweight hat for warmer months.

Tulsi

Pebble Beach Shawl
This popular shawl is another easy way to get into lace as it uses eyelets to great effect. Available in three sizes, the smallest size only takes a single skein for a super quick project that you can get on the needles now!

Pebble Beach Shawl

Flax Light
I love the Tin Can Knits patterns and how they’re sized from baby to big. If you’ve got a little one in your life, a single skein is all that is needed for the two smallest sizes. Not only is Flax Light a perfect first sweater pattern, it’s free too!

Flax Light

Two Skein Projects

China Rose
I love striping two colours together but the lace panel in the middle of this asymmetrical wrap adds extra impact! Use Birch or Silver for your lightest colour and pair it with something high contrast such as Coral Rose or Charcoal.

China Rose

Lagom
Did you know the yardage on the Party of Five packs is actually a little over that of a regular skein of Tough Love Sock? Pair a Party of Five with a skein of a single contrasting colour. Try a grellow option by mixing Saffron with the Graphite Party of Five.

Lagom

Flyway Twist
Another way you can use two skeins of two different colours is in two-colour brioche stitch. Flyway Twist mixes both brioche and garter stitch for super snuggly, comforting, squooshy results!

Flyaway Twist

Three (or More!) Skein Projects

Ravello
Once you’re into three or more skeins, that’s pretty much a garment! I love the stripe possibilities with the Ravello sweater and the colour combinations are endless.

Ravello

Edie
I must be in a lace mood right now because the Edie tee has a light, easy, breezy look that I think is perfect for the spring weather that we’ve been having. Get a knit on and you’ll still have time to wear it this summer!

Hoodie Shawl Cardigan
More striping fun abounds with this garment – and an interesting construction too! There’s so many things to love about this cosy cardigan: three-quarter sleeves, a hood and a mash-up of colour! If you like the look of handpainted yarn in the main body, try Windswept or Anthem.

Hoodie Shawl cardigan

Whatever you decide to make, we’d love to see your finished project! Tag your projects with #thevillagehaberdashery and share them with us on Instagram. And don’t forget we have our knit night happening at our West Hampstead shop from 6:30-9pm every Thursday evening. Join us!

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Five unexpected no-sew ways to use fabric in your home

We’re starting a new series on The Daily Stitch with interior designer Sarah Sparrow from The Bahay Club! Sarah will be writing about DIY style for your home and offering new ideas to inspire us! In her first post here she’s rounded up five awesome ideas for using fabric in your home in totally unexpected ways. Take it away, Sarah!

Five unexpected ways to use fabric in your home
“A piece of fabric can get me going”

Anna Sui

As an interior designer, I can really relate to Anna Sui and her above quote. I absolutely love fabric and could spend hours browsing the different patterns and colours.

I believe that the right fabric can provide inspiration for a whole room design or it can simply bring in a pop of colour or a bold pattern that will bring an otherwise neutral room, to life.

Now, I bet that when you read the above, you were imagining curtains in a room or even a cushion on a sofa but who is to say this is the only place you can use fabric in your home?

Read on to discover some amazingly fun and inexpensive ways to use your favourite fabrics in different ways in your home.

1. Fabric on walls

Apartment Therapy

Fabric on walls, you say?  You must be mad!  However, this is known as a being an “army wife” trick and you can see in the above image, from Apartment Therapy, that it really does work!  It does take a little bit of practice and time but it is a great, and bold, way to introduce fabric into your room.  It is perfect for people who like to change their interior spaces regularly or renters as, unlike wallpaper, it can be applied easily without damaging the wall underneath and can be removed when you leave!  See this website for step-by-step instructions.

How about starting small and using this fabric from the Village Haberdashery on the inside of your fitted wardrobe to really make you smile on that miserable Monday morning?

Fiesta Fun by Dana Willard

2. Fabric on furniture 

This opens up a plethora of different ways you can use fabric in your home.  One of my favourites, however, is using a plastic or wooden chair to cover in fabric.  One of both Annie’s and my favourite US interior designers, Emily Henderson, has demonstrated how this can really add a pop of colour to the room.

Designer Trapped

I, for one, am utterly amazed at how great this can look and how you can recreate the pattern on an upholstered chair that may be way out of your budget, as Designer Trapped did.

Another great way to use fabric is to update a sideboard such as below.  If you look at Design Sponge’s project below, you can see how this fabric makeover can transform a knackered chest of drawers to a modern and stylish sideboard.

Design Sponge

I love this fabric for a study chair – it is fun and quirky and will really add some interest to a room.

Buck Forest in Twilight by Bonnie Christine

3. Fabric on mirrors

This is a really lovely way to create an unusual mirror; a real talking point in the room.  I love the idea of using a rather bright colour here to add a pop to the room instead of perhaps the traditional way of using cushions.  See here on Just a Girl’s blog how such a simple thing can change the whole aesthetic of the room. The picture below is from Creekline House.

Creekline House

A fabric such as the below would look great on a mirror for a fun and colourful playroom.

Brush Strokes by Holly DeGroot

4. Fabric as Art

This is a fabulous and inexpensive way to introduce your favourite fabric into your room.  I absolutely love Rifle Paper Company Fabrics and have done this in my own home – it really adds something different to the room that people do not expect.  See here for the easy instructions – if I can do it, so can you!

 

Glitter and Glue

When framing fabrics, I really like combining patterns but keeping a common thread such as a colour, as below.

All three of these fabrics are available at The Village Haberdashery – why not pop in and see what combinations you can put together as art work?

Frame your fabric like art prints!

5. Fabric on Door Knobs

This is another incredibly easy and cheap way to update a knackered chest of draws or wardrobe.  I suggest using smaller print patterns for this, such as the Cath Kidston prints used in the photo above by Livinator, so you can really appreciate the design.

See here for step-by-step instructions on how to do this cheap and easy update.

I love the below fabric for door knobs – it’s cheerful and will brighten up the drabbest piece of furniture.

Frolic by Sarah York

Some other great ideas are:

I hope the above has given you all a little bit of inspiration and please do let me know if you try any of them out – I’d love to see the results!

Thanks, Sarah! You can follow Sarah on Instagram at @thebahayclub and contact her on sarah@thebahayclub.com. 

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Wonderland vignettes in our West Hampstead Shop!

Today Kym is taking over the blog to share all of the gorgeous samples we have in the shop using fabric from the Wonderland fabric collection from Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel! We got some great snaps of these garments and quilts, but in the shop they really tell the Alice in Wonderland story so we hope you’ll come in to see them all in person. It’s so much fun in here!

When I heard that we were about to receive the stunning Wonderland collection from Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel I was so excited and my head started buzzing with ideas! I have always loved the Alice in Wonderland story and it was a dream come true to have the opportunity to create a shop full of themed displays.

Our new shop is the perfect setting for our cute vignettes and I had great fun creating a little scenes in each area. Annie and I popped out onto one of the pretty roof gardens behind our shop for the photoshoot. We hope you like our new backdrops.

The Tea Party

Is there a more perfect dress for afternoon tea than the Colette Rue Dress in a beautiful Garden Party print fabric?

I just love the v shaped bodice (you can just about see it on the below image) and pleated skirt. Such an elegant shape! This dress is also fully lined in Kona Cotton Solids Indigo.

Just like in our blue, orange and ivory vignette we re-covered this Ikea Ekenäset Armchair in a new fabric. This time the Wonderland Canvas in Light Blue Metallic was the obvious option as it is so gorgeous and I just love how it has turned out! A big thanks to @electricsmoke for helping me out with the staple gun when putting it together!

Last time we didn’t share the back of the chair with you but here it is! It has two YKK 22inch Standard zips mimicking the original Ikea upholstery underneath.

I had a lovely couple of afternoons at local ceramic painting shop Art for Fun because you simply can’t have a tea party without a teapot! I painted this one in a Cheshire Cat theme with matching tea cup. The little Doormouse asleep inside is knitted up in Cascade 220 in Walnut Heather and this pattern from Ravelry.

Mad Tea Party

I spotted this tutorial online to make a Mad Hatter’s Hat and @chefgreg took up the challenge. Isn’t it fab! It is amazing what you can create with cardboard, paper and the all important Mod Podge!

Mad Hatter Hat

Alice and the White Rabbit

The first window you come to in the shop is the home of the White Rabbit! He is looking very smart in the Oliver + S Art Museum Vest in Magic Forest in Neutral and Cotton + Steel Basics – Netorious in Black Cat. I love how well these fabrics go together. The fastenings are Black Kam Snaps!

His bow tie is in Kona Cotton Solids Black and made using this tutorial. I created his fluffy tail using a ball of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Natural and the really fun Multipom pom pom maker! The shorts are Oliver + S Sketchbook Shorts in Robert Kaufman‘s Manchester in Charcoal and the shirt is our usual go-to white button down Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt.

In this vignette we also have Alice looking very pretty in her Megan Neilsen Darling Ranges Dress stitched up in Caterpillar Dots in Cobalt Metallic.

Darling Ranges Dress

Darling Ranges Dress

I had a great time making the self covered buttons with Cotton + Steel BasicsNetorious in Goldilocks and Silver. They are so easy to make!

Darling Ranges Buttons

Quilt Garden

On our quilt swings in the shop we have two fabulous quilts! The first has been stitched by Caroline in a fabulous Backgammon design. The pattern is the Melody Miller Playful Quilt and can be downloaded from the Cotton + Steel website.

It is so cool how she has used the selvedge in the piecing!

And of course not forgetting her trademark paw print signature.

Our second beautiful quilt was stitched by our teacher and friend Jenny Haynes. She has taken inspiration from a Double Drunkard’s Path block quilt block to create this striking design which is called ‘Five Impossible Things’.

The background print is Magic Forest in Midnight Metallic and I just love how the gold shines!

Jenny has created a no binding effect on the quilt edges which gives it a really clean modern finish.

The back of quilt is a great neutral contrast to the front and really shows off her exquisite quilting!

Painting the Roses

Our Queen of Hearts is wearing the simply stunning By Hand London Flora Dress in the Painted Roses in Orange Rayon. (This print also comes in a stylish black colourway). The rayon has such a lovely feel to it and do not fear, it is not as slippery to work with as you might think! I just used some finer needles to compliment when stitching, Schmetz Universal Needles – Size 60/8 worked great.

The full circle skirt on this pattern creates such a lovely silhouette and she looks so chic in our window!

Our little girl is wearing the super cute Merchant and Mills The Skipper Dress. How sweet is she! Fabric is Follow Suit in Orange Metallic.

I couldn’t resist making some paper roses from our paper flower making supplies. The Queen of hearts is not going to be happy with me… we had better get painting those roses red!

Painted flowers ladder

Paper Flowers

I hope you enjoyed reading all about our Wonderland displays. We would love to see what you have all made with the collection. Tag your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery. Happy Sewing!

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Portable knitting projects by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

We’re excited to have Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City writing some yarn-focused blog posts for us to help inspire you with your knitting and crochet projects. We’ve also got an event planned to make use of the big West Hampstead Square space right in front of the shop! Yarn in the City will be joining us for World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday, 10th June (click the link for more details or RSVP to join us – it’s free!).

With WWKIP Day in mind, we asked Allison and Rachel to suggest some portable projects for their first blog post that would be perfect for a day out of knitting in the sunshine. Take it away Allison and Rachel!

Yarn in the City evolved from the Great London Yarn Crawl, our first event, which began in 2013 and saw almost 100 knitters and yarn lovers traveling to yarn shops around the city on public transport. The inspiration for the event was our own experience with spending lots of time on the Tube and the bus, knitting as as way to pass the time.

As you can imagine, working on a project while you’re on the go means that space is a consideration. You might be hopping on or off public transport or be carrying something else as well, so small, travel-friendly projects that aren’t too complicated are the way to go. And even If you’ve only got a chance to steal a few stitches here and there, they can really add up when you’re stitching on the move! Here’s some of our favourite options:

Socks
Socks are probably one of the smallest projects you can carry with you. Aside from shaping the toe and the heel, most patterns are pretty straight forward and you can get into a groove with your project whether you’re using DPNs, magic loop or a crochet hook!

Rye socks by Tin Can Knits

If you’re new to socks then a great one for getting started are the Rye socks by Tin Can Knits. They knit up quickly in worsted weight yarn while teaching you each component of sock construction. The sizing runs from baby to big so you can make them for the whole family. A great family-friendly yarn that washes like a dream is the Spud & Chloe Sweater. Plus, Tin Can Knits have great tutorials on their website to talk you through each step in case you get stuck.

Broken Seed Stitch Socks

The Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna Leväniemi are a gorgeous option for showing off a variegated yarn and Malabrigo Sock would be perfect. We love the contrast heels and toes, which are a great way to use up scraps that may be lurking in your stash at home.

Zen Yoga Socks by Melissa Medaglia

For the crocheters out there, why not whip up a pair of yoga socks now that the weather is getting warm enough for sun salutations in the garden? These Zen Yoga Socks by Melissa Medaglia would be delicious in organic Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton – and would make cute pedicure socks too!

Stuff for Babies and Toddlers
If garments are more your thing then projects for the small people in your life are easy to carry with you!

Girl’s Smocked Tunic and Leggings by Tina Barrett

This Girl’s Smocked Tunic and Leggings by Tina Barrett is a darling option for new arrivals. We love the versatility of it working as a dress first and a tunic later as baby grows. Cumbria Fingering from The Fibre Co. seems the obvious choice here as the soft merino and masham wool blended together would make this a stunning heirloom.

Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down

The Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down is the essential baby cardi that all mums will want to keep in their nappy bags just in case of a chill. With only two baby sizes available (0-6 and 6-12mo) and knit in a worsted/Aran weight yarn such as Cascade 220, this little sweater will be finished in no time.

Crochet Baby Converse by Suzanne Resaul

Not exactly a baby garment but definitely cute as a button, we couldn’t not include these adorable Crochet Baby Converse by Suzanne Resaul. The attention to detail is second to none and we love the bright colours. The Rico Essentials Aran are a great budget-friendly choice here.

Shawls
Okay, so depending on the shawl pattern, they can get kind of big! What we’re thinking of here are shawls that focus mainly on garter stitch, with minimal patterning to break things up and keep your interest. BIG shawls have been the trend for the last 18 months or so and show no sign of slowing down with designers putting together patterns that call for three, four or even five skeins of yarn! The colour combinations are endless and can provide a lot of inspiration for finding yarns that complement what you might already have in your stash.

Andrea Mowry’s Find Your Fade

Andrea Mowry’s Find Your Fade has been all the rage this spring. It’s a lot of comfortable garter stitch knitting with shaping and eyelets to keep things interesting. The pattern calls for 7 colours, but the total yardage is only 4 full skeins making it easy to adapt to your own creativity. Many projects have already been made using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, which is another great suggestion for Starting Point, a mystery knit-a-long by Joji Locatelli that gets underway on May 12th.

These (and shawls in general) are bigger projects but are still good in terms of portability, especially in the earlier stages.

Of course, sometimes it’s just as easy to get inspiration from seeing what others around us are working on like at a knit night, or on Ravelry.

And we have our own knit night right here in the shop on Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:00pm to help spark your own creativity. Will we see you there? A big thanks to Allison and Rachel for this fab post!

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