Showing posts with label home decoration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home decoration. Show all posts

I have recently hooked a basket for my ever-growing stash of wool, and wanted to share this tutorial with you.

Material :
- t-shirt yarn
- crochet hook (size 10 to 14, up to 15 according to the size of the yarn)
- stitch markers


I have bought the yarn from a Portuguese maker : Tek Tek, as I always to stay away from the big brand names. Besides the yarn is much nicer and also way cheaper :) 

The wooden hook was bought from Adzewoodcraft (Etsy). It's been made just for me, and it sure is a hook that is special to my heart.


After more than 8 failed attempt, I can honestly say that if your base is wonky, it means your tension is way too tight. 


I have found that Donna Wolfe's instructions and youtube videos were really helpful. 



The only changes I have made were:
- adding handles on the side.
- having a variations of stitches on the side from single to half-treble stitches. I have also stitched my singles on the outside to prevent the baskets to become a giant floppy frisbee. 


Note- Do not expect the basket to hold by itself. If it's not full with stuff inside, it will collapse as t.shirt yarn is flexible and elastic.


Recently, I have participated in a wool exchange on instagram (#fibershare), which made me discover weaving.

Let me explain.

I dye yarn, and the lot I sent to my wool pal (@sarahelizabethsphere based in Canada) only included wool hand dyed by me.

In my (relatively conventional) mind, I thought she was going to knit or crochet the yarn. Well I was pretty mistaken. Sarah used my wool to weave wall hangings and mobile baby (available in her Etsy shop).

Here are some pictures of her work (my wool is the chunky indigo / dark blue).



For some time, I have seen more and more weaved art on instagram. It seems that there is a new craze for this textile art that comes from the United States of the 1970s. When we see the bobo / hipster mood of the 2010s, it does not come as a surprise that this art has resurfaced.

Personally, I find it amazingly pretty but, having a practical mind and an allergic companion, I imagine the dust that must amalgamate and, just for that, I do not see myself weaving or putting a weaved wall hanging at my house. What about you?
Le Stitch is a lazy bugger... Let's start with the beginning, say about 5 years ago when Le Stitch and Mister B moved into their Home Sweet Home. Everything was all rosy, except for one tiny detail. Mister B hated the curtains that were left in the spare bedroom by the previous occupants. A sunburned denim curtain from Ikea. The hems were glued to the fabric ... oooh, the horror!!

Adding panel to extend the fabric length
 'Fine', I responded, 'I'll sew a new pair.'

Using a magnetic guide to help straightening my wonky stitches 
The seasons passed. In the meantime, Mister B changed jobs about 3 or 4 times. I got pregnant, gave birth, moved the kid to that spare bedroom, started a new business, and finally sewed the curtains (say, I finished them yesterday night).


The stitches are not straight, the dimensions are all wrong and not matching. I used black thread against a shiny duck green. And, I had to sew extra panels of fabric as, otherwise, the curtains would have never reached the floor.



But I am happy with the outcome, because if you squint really hard in order not to see these ginormous defects, it looks good, sturdy and warm. Sure I would have loved to have put the curtain rack higher but, if I had to start DIYing with the screwdriver too, these curtains would have never been put up this morning.

Curtains opened

I saw the idea in my head and did not follow any instructions, apart from the system on the back to hold the curtains up, which comes from La bobine website. And, in times of desperate need, I referred back to my sewing bible: Readers' Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.

curtains closed
The 100% wool fabric and the blackout lining were both purchased on ebay in the same shop: the fabricman. All together, I have paid less than £50.00 for the pain pair of 2.15cm-long curtains. 


Having a break from crochet. Pfiiuuu.

Here's an embroidery I started ages ago, as seen in my article from 2011 (Say whaaatttt!!!) I thought it would be good to have a final go at it and finish it off.

Just need to frame it now, but that might take another 3 to 5 years. Who knows...



The mimosa (top left corner in blueish grey and pale yellow) took me about 5 hours of work. It's made with a combo of French knots and fishbone stitches.




The centre piece of the embroidery is sewed using lattice couching. That took a bit of time too, about 2 hours of work.
With the festive celebrations way behind us and the wintery January being in full swing, Le Stitch is cosying up at home, stitching along by the heater.

As a not-so-new project for the new year, Le Stitch is actually working on some old stuff. 

Remember the stubborn border I was crocheting round a kitchen cloth? ... well, I have now undone it all as I was not happy about it, crocheted a new one (so much nicer in my opinion - you'll see a new post soon), and today I'm working on a nice hand-sown embellishment to finish the whole project. 

And here is a glimpse of the folkloric Polish-inspired embroidery pattern:


Le Stitch experienced her first road trip in Sardinia, Italy, last May, where Le Stitch and Mister B enjoyed many new adventures, culturally, culinary, and even 'embroiderily' (if I may say so). 

In one of the hotels, where we stayed, the bed headboard was covered with a magnificent white cotton cloth into which were weaved yellow knots. You could easily image it was ancestral artisanal-made:






Pibiones is a particular type of stitched relief, created from the grains that make up the design. These are made by twisting the yarn around a needle which is arranged in a horizontal position on a loom; the needle is then pulled away, thereby creating a raised effect (grains).


The Pibiones technique was used in antiquity only for the best hand-woven bed covers and for household articles such as curtains, fabrics, cushions and tablecloths.
Le Stitches wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Let's hope 2014 brings even more fun adventures. 


Self-covered button kits can be easily found in haberdasheries, craft shops or simply on the Internet. 


In this tutorial, Le Stitch is going to show you how to make your very own fabric buttons in less than 30 seconds per button, using a kit with a plastic base.

1) Cut the fabric in a circle shape following the dimension given on the package. Here the circle is 18 mm in diameter.


2) Sew a simple, rough stitch all around the circle. Make sure to leave some loose thread at the beginning and at the end of your sewing.


3) Place the button dome in the center of the circle, on the wrong side of the fabric, then pull the two loose thread ends. This will tighten the fabric around the button base. Roll the remainder of the thread around the base


4) Place the plastic flat 'bit' on top of the fabric.


5) To push it inside the button dome, use a solid object - here I've used a bobbin thread.


Then push as hard as you can - no kidding but this is the toughest part of the making.


6) Here's your button!!!!!

The June weather being so miserable, Le Stitch has decided to stay indoors all Saturday and Sunday. I'm grumpy at you, weather!! But I did not spend my time lazying on the sofa. Instead I've made my first cushion ever, and I did not even used a sewing machine.

Let me know what you think?




I can't wait to hug the cushion watching a romantic comedy on TV and eating home-made chocolate cake. Well on second thought, I think I do love rainy, miserable June weekend!
This is my latest project, which the tutorial on detached chain is taken from. Here is the whole story.

My little kitchen aide Cuisto was feeling lonely, sitting on the cold window sill, with the dumb smelly onions as sole company. He needed new friends to share good laughs. I've found him not one friend but THREE and now he's all happy chappy, just look at his big bright smile... he is so cute :)


Here are our new tenants: three fish embroidered with different coloured threads and stitches. Their names: BA, CAL, and HAU. Yep, it is a friendly gang of Portuguese cod fish!!


The design is largely inspired from a kit made and sold by Le Chat dans l'aiguille. My sister introduced me to this embroiderer and it's been my favourite since. Although it is a bit pricey, I would recommend anyone who wants to be introduced to French contemporary embroidery to buy their kits. Here is a good distribution website (very reliable but in French).


I love my kitchen now, so full of colours. I start running out of space there, so what's the next step? the bedroom?


I first thought I could finish the embroidery within two weeks... but in reality this was a very long job, which lasted over a month!!! I really challenged myself with this cloth as I am not a very patient person. I even thought of giving up many times :'(

I believe my "assiduity" has been rewarded in the end. It was worth the efforts as the final result looks amazing, colourful and fresh. Is spring time finally coming to town?!
Origin: France, November 2008
Royal Paris embroidery

Now the holidays are over, it is time to resume the stitching work. And yeah, I do have a lot to catch up!

I have decided that I will make a start on this Royal Paris kit, provided by my sister about two years ago. First I need to collect the different flosses. Their shades vary between green, yellow, pink and blue.


The design is already printed onto the fabric. I will have to be extra careful when stitching over the design, as the black ink is not washable.

The embroidery does not seem to be too difficult since it only requires to sew stem and satin stitches. However, I won't count the chickens before they hatch. My experience has already taught me that it is not always as "easy" as it looks, particularly when I have never sewed those two stitches before! Oh dear...
I added the last stitch to the embroidery about two weeks ago. Since then, I had been waiting -quite impatiently- for the embroidery to come back from the frame shop.

Today, the picture is finally back. I am so excited to publish it, as the result is just as-to-ni-shing!!!

Have a break from the pressure of modern life and look at the picture for a little while...

Can you imagine yourself walking in the fields, or smelling the sweet scents of flowers? Personally, I almost feel the light breeze of the wind on my face, whilst listening to the songs of birds in the tree... well yeah I can in reality hear the birds... I live by a common!



A well-balanced amount of French knots (my favourite!), stem and straight stitches creates a beautiful picturesque scenery. I just love it.
Origin: England, 2008



I don't need to be a professional embroiderer to achieve great visual effects with the rowandean embroidery kits, as basic stitches are only required.

It is just a shame that I have hidden the design in my drawer for the last two years!


I quite fancy the final result. Surely my gran will love it too.
Origin: France, December 2009

My granny gave me this unfinished decorative table mat as she could no longer see the blue lines properly. She handed me everything... from the fabric, cotton threads, printed design, to the needle!

This is the state, in which I was given the work:



The only reason why I have chosen this work as a first project is that there is not a lot to do to it. I know... I am a bit lazy right now and hopefully i will be finishing the job in less than 1 week.

I must say that the colour of the linen is not the most appealing! It is a kind of grey/brownish colour. I usually refer to this type of hard textile as the "potato bag fabric" (similar to the Jute fibre, although it is linen!).



What I do love though is my gran's stitching, which is so regular and neat. I will try my best to make this embroidery justice... and as soon as I am finished with it, the mat will go back to my gran's.