Calling all crafty types! We’re giving away small business subscriptions to Made It, an online Aussie marketplace for handcrafted wares.
Are your mates always telling you that the stuff you make is so dandy that you ought to be selling it? If yes, then you might like to check out Made It, an online Aussie marketplace for handcrafted wares. You’ll find heaps of stuff listed from local, independent makers: fashion, art, homewares, accessories, stationery, toys, kids’ clothing and more. The nice types who run Made It only promote local crafty talent – and they’re offering three small business annual subscriptions to frankie readers. Should you win one, you’ll get your very own store with up to 130 active products at any time, no sales commissions, and 32 credits to promote your products in the Made It gift guide. Not too shabby, eh? Shoot through your details to go in the draw.
Created in collaboration with National Craft Month at Spotlight
Reckon you can’t sew? Guess again. Armed with these super-simple instructions from the jumpsuit-obsessed ladies at UNC., a bit of fabric and a humble cake tin, you’ll be able to whip up your very own homemade hat – just the thing to finish off a swanky outfit, or slink around the lounge room, looking and feeling like a mega-ace crafter. Hurrah for simple DIYs!
0.25m of your desired fabric (preferably a somewhat stiff fabric that’ll hold its shape – tough cotton drills, canvas and furnishing fabrics work really well!) 20cm wide cake tin scissors a ruler a sewing machine (or you can hand-stitch it with a needle and thread)
1. Trace around the base of your cake tin onto your desired fabric. Carefully cut out your circle.
2. Now measure a 60cm x 22cm rectangle onto your fabric and carefully cut that out.
3. Sew the short ends (22cm) of your rectangle together. Press the seam flat, then fold your rectangle in half lengthways. Make sure that the wrong sides (aka the sides you don’t want showing) of the fabric are together.
4. Pin, tack (i.e. make a quick temporary stitch), then sew the open edge of your folded rectangle to your circle, leaving a 0.5cm seam.
5. Here’s where your creativity comes in. You can choose to have the seam hidden, on the inside, or exposed – it all depends on what you like! If you have the seam on the outside, fray the edges to create a cool look. Keep in mind that some fabrics fray better than others.
6. Wear with pride!
This super-easy (and rather charming) sewing project was brought to you by National Craft Month at Spotlight – celebrating creative families and getting together with loved ones for crafty good times.
Want to see more lovely stuff from UNC.? Head here.
Crack out the sewing gear, because we’ve got a sweet new project for you: a drawstring basket-bag, big enough to keep a whole bunch of stuff in! P.S. It’s pretty cute, too.
Walking by a river in a small Japanese town I fell in love with a little grey-green drawstring basket-bag I saw hanging in a shop. It was covered in a pattern of impossibly plump blue and purple chrysanthemums and, despite banning myself from buying any more souvenirs, I decided there had to be room in my holiday suitcase for such a thing of beauty!
Over the years (surely not 15!) since I brought the basket-bag home to London (to undertake the noble job of keeping all my little bathroom bits and pieces somewhere I can actually find them) I’ve often thought I’d like to try making one. At first the structured shape and that cool drawstring bit just seemed completely overwhelming, but as I’ve built up my sewing skills over the years I began to see that really, like many things, it’s not as complicated as it looks.
So finally, after all these years, here I go! I’ve reverse engineered my little basket-bag and made a new one – so you can make one, too! I think this one will help me store some of my sewing stash, or maybe carry my lunch, or maybe tidy up some of my toddler’s toys… OK, I’m going to need to make some more!
1/2m patterned fabric 1/2m plain fabric 1/2m stiff interfacing thread to match both your fabrics 1.5m cord pins 2 safety pins scissors sewing machine tape measure ruler tailor’s chalk pencil
1. On your plain fabric use your chalk to mark a rectangle 50cm x 33cm and cut out with a 1cm seam allowance. Set this aside. Next, lay out your patterned fabric face-down and draw out a rectangle 50cm x 33cm. Cut out with a 1cm seam allowance. Do the same with your interfacing. Lay your interfacing out face-up (i.e. shiny side up) and place your patterned rectangle on top, face-up, so all the edges meet. Iron to seal together.
2. Turn your patterned/interfacing piece over (patterned side down), fold the two shorter edges over by 1cm and press.
3. Next, turn your rectangle over so it’s face-up. Fold in half so the shorter edges meet at the top. Pin along the sides and sew 1cm in (leaving the long top edge open).
4. To create the basket’s base, place your patterned piece in front of you with one of the seams facing you. Flatten the seam down so you have a pointed corner facing you. Measure 6cm up from the tip of the corner and mark. Pin across where you have marked, at a right angle to the seam.
5. Sew across the corner where you’ve pinned, then cut away the corner about 5mm below your stitching. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other seam, then turn your basket right way out.
6. Repeat steps 2 through to 5 with your lining fabric, but don’t turn right way out. Tuck your lining into your outer basket and pin together around the top edge.
7. To make your handles, cut two strips of your patterned fabric 40cm x 6cm each. Take one strip, face-down, and fold both long edges in so they meet along the centre. Press with your iron.
8. Now fold your strip in half so the long edges meet and press again. Pin along the open edge.
9. Sew along both long edges, 2mm in. Repeat the folding and sewing steps with your second strip. Pin the ends your handles in place sandwiched between your lining and outer layers, 9cm from each seam.
10. To make the drawstring section of your bag, cut two rectangles 33cm x 13cm. Lay the rectangles out landscape, face-down, and fold in the top corners of the shorter edges by 5mm then again by 5mm, pinning in place to form a narrow triangle at least 3cm long. Sew in place.
11. Now fold the top long edge (with the folded triangles at the corners) over by 1.5cm and again by 1.5cm. Pin in place and sew along the bottom edge of the folded strip about 2mm in. Do this for both rectangles.
12. Place one of your rectangles face-up with the other face-down on top, lining up the edges. Pin the short edges together 1cm in and sew along those edges only. Trim the seams to 5mm and over-sew with a zigzag stitch to stop them fraying.
13. Turn right way out and then tuck the bottom (cut) edge of your drawstring section between the lining and outer layers of your basket by 1cm. You’ll need to remove and replace the pins you put in earlier as you go. (Make sure your handles are on the outside!)
14. Tuck your drawstring section down into your basket and re-pin again 5mm from the top edge. (This seems like a lot of pinning and re-pinning, but it’s the best way to keep all the layers happy while you go through the stages!)
15. Next, sew all the way around the top of your basket about 5mm from the edge. Pull the drawstring section back up and press.
16. Finally, add your cords. Cut two pieces of cord each 82cm long. Pin a safety pin to one end of a cord and across the other end. Use the first safety pin to help you thread your cord through a channel at the top of your drawstring section, out and back through the channel on the other side. Tie the ends of your cord together in a knot and trim.
17. Repeat in the opposite direction with the other cord. Pull the knotted ends of your two cords in opposite directions to close your drawstring and you’re all done!
To see more cool stuff from Anna Alicia, head over this way.
Created in collaboration with National Craft Month at Spotlight
The ladies of UNC. – Alpine frontwoman Phoebe Baker, plus mum Pobby and cousin Kate – make some mighty cool jumpsuits. You might have seen a bit of them in frankie 82 (on sale now!) Here, we have a sticky beak around their Melbourne workshop and ask some impertinent questions.
Working with family isn’t high on a lot of people’s ambition lists. How did UNC. come about? Kate: Well, it was a bit of serendipity. I’d just moved to Melbourne from Perth, and Phoebe and I both arrived at our cousin’s 21st in identical jumpsuits. We got a little bit drunk and started talking about how much we loved these things, and just came up with this ridiculous idea to start a fashion label that only sold jumpsuits.
How did Pobby get roped in? Phoebe: We could both sew, but it certainly wasn’t our forte. That’s where Mum came in. She’s an incredible sewer. I don't know if she loves jumpsuits herself, but she certainly loves sewing and making them. She’s already made like 30 for me to perform in. Kate: I reckon it was a year before we ran the idea past her and she was like, “Just do it. And I’ll help.” Pobby: At a basic level, I love teaching the girls to sew. They always had a natural interest growing up, but now thanks to the business we get to make it a priority.
So, why do you love jumpsuits so much? Phoebe: Jumpsuits just make me think about David Bowie, Grace Jones, the original Charlie’s Angels. There’s something so powerful about them. You feel like you can do anything while you're wearing one. No need to worry about shirts coming untucked or skirts flying up. Zip it up and you're done! It's literally the only thing I'll wear on stage. I put one on and I feel like I'm strapping on a suit of armour.
Do you all bring different skills to the (sewing) table? Pobby: Absolutely. It's a good learning curve for all of us. The girls are learning about business, and I'm learning how to sew better. Phoebe: Mum takes lead on the sewing, while Kate and I do more of the before and after stuff. Personally, I love refining the details and making nice seams. There’s something so satisfying about doing craft and doing it well.
How has it been working with family? Kate: It’s great! We were certainly super-conscious of the risks associated with a family business when we started. Basically we decided that if it ever stopped being fun, then we’d stop doing it. Phoebe: We're lucky in that we can fit it in amongst our regular lives. I love that the workshop is at the family house and people can drop in and out. Just having a gin and tonic and chatting and sewing and dreaming up new ideas is the best part. Kate: Whatever happens, it’s really taught me that you can just give things a go. It’s so easy to say I'd really love to do that, but never quite do it. Sometimes you just need a nudge from your great-aunt to get things moving.
This excellent bit of studio-perving was brought to you by National Craft Month at Spotlight – celebrating creative families and getting together with loved ones for crafty good times.
Want to see more lovely UNC. jumpsuits? Head here.
Ah, unicorns. Those mystical, four-legged creatures that sport horns on the centre of their foreheads, and poop clouds of fruit-scented glitter. (Or at least, that’s what the internet would suggest.) Technically the flamboyant horses may be fictitious, but that doesn’t mean they can’t trot into your life via a needle and thread, a hunk of clay, or some rainbow-coloured raffia. Read on below for some sweet unicorn-themed crafting, courtesy of frankie friends Rachel Burke, Evie Barrow and Cat Rabbit.
RAINBOW UNICORN JACKET
Words and project by Rachel Burke
10 small rainbow raffia skirts (the kind you buy from a cheapy store) 2 metres each of baby pink, baby blue and silver tinsel lametta, cut into 15cm lengths 1 old jacket sewing machine scissors
1. Prep your raffia skirts by plucking off any fake flowers, and chopping or unpicking any velcro panels. Meanwhile, cut the sleeves off your jacket and shorten them to t-shirt length.
2. Starting 20cm above the hem of your jacket, and at the edge of the jacket opening, lay down a strip of rainbow raffia and begin sewing it into place around the garment. Keep laying strips down until you reach the other side of the jacket.
3. Trim the tassely bits of raffia to your desired length (mine are approximately 15cm) and use the off-cuts to sew back onto the garment.
4. About 5cm above your sewn-down strip of raffia, stitch on a mix of silver/blue/pink tinsel lengths, all the way around the garment (mirroring the first placement of rainbow raffia). Continue this process of sewing raffia and rainbow tinsel all the way up the jacket, until the whole body, back and collar are covered in rainbow goodness.
5. Apply the same process to the sleeve of the jacket. Beginning at the hem, sew down a rainbow raffia strip all the way around the sleeve, before stitching down the rainbow tinsel. Continue this until each sleeve is completely covered in your materials.
white air-dry clay small dish of water skewer or toothpick clay-sculpting tool (a plastic picnic knife or butter knife will do, too!) x-acto knife white and gold acrylic paint paint brushes
cool, smooth work surface like a ceramic dinner plate or marble bench rolling pin (a jar will also do the trick) super-fine sandpaper clear varnish for sealing cake cooling rack/hairdryer (to help dry clay)
1. In the palm of your hand, roll a handful of clay into an oval shape, making one end wider than the other. Flatten the base of the wider end. (A good way to do this is by throwing it against a hard surface a couple of times. Alternatively, cut it flat using an X-acto knife.)
2. Bend the other end of the oval shape at a right angle and shape into a unicorn head (think of it as a simple triangle shape). Use a bit of water and your fingers or clay-sculpting tool to shape and smooth.
3. Using your finger or clay-sculpting tool, make a large enough hole in the top of the head to hold your flower posy. Smooth if necessary with a bit of water.
4. Make the unicorn’s mane. There are two ways you can do this. Number one: using your fingers, pinch the clay down the back of your unicorn and smooth into shape using water, your clay-sculpting tool and the skewer. Number two: roll additional clay to around 5mm thick using a rolling pin or jar. Cut 4 (or more if needed) small half circles. Using the X-acto knife or skewer, score the flat end of the half circles, as well as down the back of your unicorn where you’ll attach the mane. Attach the half circles and secure in place by smoothing around joins with your clay-sculpting tool or skewer. You may also need to use small amounts of extra clay and water to help secure the mane in place.
5. Create ears with additional clay. Pinch and smooth into small triangle shapes while attaching to the sides of the hole on top of your unicorn head.
6. Use the palm of your hand to roll a piece of clay into the shape of a unicorn horn, tapering one end and cutting the other end flat with the X-acto knife. Score the flat end and attach to the front of the hole on top of your unicorn head. Secure and smooth in place as needed with extra clay and water.
7. Use water and tools to smooth off any parts of the unicorn that still require smoothing. Add extra details like nostrils, eyes and body markings with a skewer. Leave your unicorn to dry for 24 to 48 hours. Bonus tip: place the clay on baking paper if leaving on a flat surface, so it won’t stick. If you need to speed up the drying time, place on a cake cooling rack so air can flow underneath your unicorn, pop it near a sunny window or use a hairdryer.
8. Once dry, smooth the surface of your unicorn with super-fine sandpaper (optional). Paint the entire surface with white acrylic paint. You may need to do a couple of coats. (If you used white air-dry, clay it should dry fairly white already, so you may choose to skip this step.) Once the white paint has dried, paint the mane, horn and any other details you like in gold. Leave to dry, then give your unicorn a coat or two of clear varnish to help seal and protect the surface (optional).
9. Pick a tiny, pretty posy from your garden and place it in the crown of your beautiful unicorn!
blank cotton tote bag embroidery thread in your chosen colours air erasable pen pins A4 sheets of wool felt in six colours of your choice A3 sheet of wool felt in your chosen colour (preferably a muted or contrasting colour to your unicorn colours, as this will be the background and you want your unicorn to stand out!) scissors needle dinner plate for tracing (approximately 28cm in diameter, if you’re using the A4 template)
1. Cut out the pattern from this template (depending on the size of your tote bag, you can scale the pattern up or down on a photocopier).
2. Trace your pieces onto the different colours of felt using the air erasable marker. Mark each unicorn hair piece with the corresponding number on the template, so as not to get your pieces muddled.
3. Take the A3 sheet of felt and trace around your dinner plate with the air erasable marker. Carefully cut this circle out (it will form the background of your unicorn).
4. Take the pieces for the face and horn of the unicorn and draw where you would like the eye, nose, cheek and decorative elements of the horn to go.
5. Embroider these elements using a simple straight stitch, back stitch or chain stitch – depending on your embroidery skills. If you want it to look extra fancy, you can freestyle some more lavish embroidery in this step!
6. Your unicorn will be much easier to sew onto the circular piece of felt (the bit you traced with the plate) and then onto the bag later. Starting with the unicorn head, place the piece approximately 1/3 of the way from the top of the circle. Pin in place.
7. Thread your needle with the cotton of your choice and use a simple whip stitch to sew the unicorn head to the background circle. Add the horn in the same way, pinning in place and stitching down to the background.
8. Lay all hair pieces in place. You will be overlapping some parts of the felt head and horn (that’s OK!). Refer to the number key on the original template to keep the pieces in their correct order. Once you’re happy with where they are sitting, pin all the pieces in place and sew in the same way as steps 7 and 8. Some of the felt hair pieces sit edge-to-edge, so you can sew these directly together, for a neater look.
9. You now have a lovely appliquéd felt unicorn on a nice circle background! Pin it to the centre of your tote bag (being careful not to pin through to the other side – you don’t want to sew your bag shut!).
10. Using a nice bright contrasting thread, blanket stitch the appliqué to your tote bag. To make it easier to hold your work, pop one hand on the inside of the bag when you’re stitching.
11. Sit back and admire your magical felty bag! Bonus idea: This appliqué also looks cute on a sweater, or the back of a denim jacket. You could scale the pattern right down to about 10cm diameter and make a felt patch!
These wonderful crafty projects were brought to you by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Visit the medieval tapestry masterpieces that are The lady and the unicorn in Sydney until June 24th – more information over here.
Smoosh some polymer clay together to make these very pretty trinket bowls. Hurrah for small-scale organisation!
Do you have an excess of whatsits and doodads cluttering your bedside table? Little dishes for coins and bobby pins won’t reduce the amount of clutter in your life, but they’ll hold onto it all so prettily, you probably won’t care.
The squishability of polymer clay makes it so pleasing to work with, and when smooshed in just the right way produces some very pretty marbled effects. Here’s how to use it to make these cute little trinket bowls.
polymer clay in three coordinating colours a small, oven-safe dish (we used the kind you put dipping sauce in) a paint brush acrylic paint a rolling pin, wine bottle, or other tool for rolling clay a knife
1. Preheat your oven to 130°C.
2. Cut a piece of clay of each colour. If it’s about two thirds of the size of your thumb, it should be about right (this is not an exact business).
3. Knead each piece of clay between your fingers until it becomes soft and pliable.
4. Roll each piece out into a skinny log.
5. Take all three pieces, and twist them up together. Once twisted, roll them into a single smooth log.
6. Cut this log into three roughly equal pieces.
7. Roll them out into skinny logs again, and repeat the twisting and rolling process.
8. If you want a more detailed and twirly marble, repeat the cutting, rolling, and twisting process again. If you’d prefer wider swirls, stop here.
9. Coil your large log like so.
10. Roll it out to around three or four millimetres thick.
11. Place your dish upside down on the rolled out clay, and cut around it.
12. Take this round disc, and nestle it into your dish.
13. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. (The packaging on your clay will tell you exactly how you need to bake yours for.)
14. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
15. Make your bowl look more finished by painting around the rim with acrylic paint.
16. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can add gold leaf to the rim and make it shiny.
Now all that remains is to collect all your little thingamajigs and settle them into their new homes.
Pop over this-a-way to check out more cool stuff from Essie.
Up for grabs today: this massive macramé wall hanging, guaranteed to make your home as lovely as can be.
You know what’s nice about macramé? Pretty much everything. If you haven’t already become acquainted with the charming weavings in question, then might we suggest you peruse the work of Natalie A Macramé? The Sunshine Coast-based lass creates stacks of rope-based pieces, designed to make your home as lovely as can be – from wall hangings to plant holders and more. Using her own style of modern macramé – tight, knotted patterns and thick, luscious fringing on ever design – Natalie is able to whip up masterpieces like this. And it could be yours, if you enter our little competition. We’ve got one of these wall hangings to give away. Yowzers!
Mark your page with a handmade crocheted flower – complete with a little green vine!
Technically, there’s nothing wrong with folding down the pages of your novel to keep track of where you are – or using whatever you have handy as a bookmark, like a receipt or a travel card. But wouldn’t it be lovely to have a crocheted flower for this purpose? Yes. Yes, it would. Thanks to Wollongong-based crafter Whimsy Hen, you can get your book-loving mitts on one such flower – complete with little green vine – for just 10 bucks. A nice price for such a delicately handmade item, wouldn’t you say?
Self-taught fibre artist Dani Ives whips up animal portraits using nothing but felt – and they’re remarkably realistic!
Dani Ives, you’re one talented human being. The self-taught fibre artist whips up animal portraits using nothing but felt – and they’re remarkably realistic! That may have something to do with the fact that Dani has an extensive history of working with animals (the Arkansas-based lass punched the clock at her local zoo for around a decade). Or it might just be because she’s an awesome crafter. Either way, we tip our proverbial hat to the lady in question. See more of her stuff over on her Instagram and at her online store.
Like tiny abstract artworks for your table, these placemats will brighten every meal (while also doing a sterling job of protecting your table).
I firmly believe that quilting isn’t just for quilts. And if you don’t believe me, have a go at making these super-cute quilted placemats – then tell me you don’t just want to quilt EVERYTHING! Like tiny abstract artworks for your table, these placemats will brighten every meal (while also doing a sterling job of protecting your table with their felt bottoms). They’re a great way to use up scraps of fabric, and did I mention they’re quilted? Which is why they look so adorably squidgy and plump! Enjoy!
1/4m plain cotton fabric (I’ve used a dark blue) scraps of plain or patterned cotton fabrics 1/4m thick felt (I’ve used 3mm thick felt; if you can’t get hold of this, you can use two layers of thinner felt) 1/4m double-sided interfacing (like Bondaweb) 3m bias binding in a contrasting colour to your main fabric thread to match your binding thread that contrasts with your main fabric pins scissors tailor’s chalk ruler sewing machine
1. Start by measuring and cutting out two 25cm x 32cm rectangles from your main fabric. Next cut an assortment of abstract shapes from your scraps of different fabrics. Play around with arranging these on your plain fabric rectangles until you have a design you’re happy with.
2. Take each fabric shape in turn and pin to a piece of double-sided interfacing. Carefully cut around your shape, so the interfacing is the same shape. Put your shape (with the interfacing underneath) back where it was on your main fabric and carefully remove the pin.
3. Once all your fabric shapes are in place and backed with interfacing, carefully press with a hot iron to seal them to the main fabric.
4. Take your thick felt and cut two rectangles 25cm x 30cm. Lay one of your fabric collages face up on top of each piece of felt and pin together.
5. Using a zig-zag stitch, sew around the edge of each of your shapes (use a thread colour that contrasts to your main fabric).
6. Next, quilt your mats by sewing across from one long edge to the other (I’ve made my lines wavy) at roughly 2cm intervals. Repeat this from short edge to short edge, creating a criss-cross quilted look.
7. Once you’ve quilted your mats, re-measure and trim them, so that they’re 24cm x 30cm each.
8. Now it’s time to add your binding! Fold over the end of your binding by about 1cm. Now fold your binding in half along its length and pin it in place over the edge of your placemat, starting at one corner. Fold it neatly at the corners. When you get to the end cut about 1cm extra, fold this under and then fold to form a neat corner, overlapping where you started. Repeat for your other mat.
9. Sew your binding in place about 2mm from the inner edge, and you’re done!
To see more cool stuff from Anna Alicia, head over this way.
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