Monthly Archives: February 2016

Sewing Space


Sewing SpaceSince moving house last Autumn I have had my eye on the spare room to turn into a sewing space and now we have done just that!

It is now a really great space where I have space to lay out my fabric, do all my tracing and cutting as well as sewing and pressing all in the same room without having to move my machine and ironing board each time I want to use them – or anything else for that matter!!

Creating space to cut out fabric has made my sewing life much easier

My main criteria for my new sewing space was that I wanted a space for cutting out pattern pieces and fabric. This is something I have always struggled with either spreading out across the dining table or clearing a big enough gap on the floor and then having to crawl around.

BenchAfter a lot of searching for the perfect table/desk I realised that it didnt exist, or at least not within my limited budget. So, with a little lot of help I decided to build one. We went down to our nearest DIY store – which amazingly was having a closing down sale and bought a length of wood-effect kitchen work surface for around £20 – bargain! We had to saw it in half to fit it in the car but this was no problem as this is what we planned to do anyway. We then bought three bookcases that were the right height for £12 each and attached the work surface pieces to the wall at one end and used the bookcases to prop the other end up.

It’s the perfect solution as I can lay out a piece of 150 cm wide fabric folded in half no problem and can fit around 1.6 m length on the table without even having to move my sewing machine off. It also has space for my amazing new A1 cutting mat as well as my old A2 one.

shelvesThe shelves are the perfect place to store all my fabric and yarn stash as well as jars containing all my buttons, beads and ribbons.

I also stapled a couple of tape measures onto the end of the work surface to hide the cut end. One is showing centimetres and the other inches. This is a great way to quickly measure how much length of a fabric I have to see if it is enough for a new pattern.

rail Above the desk I hung a rail from Ikea which is perfect for hanging my many scissors and rulers as well as a small tray for storing pencils, chalk, pin cushion, masking tape and measuring gauge.

I have also hung a notice board to pin any inspirational material and a white board on which I have written my planned makes in an attempt to keep my crafty plans on track!

ironing boardBeneath the window I have my ironing board, complete with new cover so it is always on hand when I need to press. In fact, I can just turn around and it is right there! No more dining table and chair obstacle courses for me! I even have my tailors ham and lint rollers to hand on the window sill.

Oh and for the observant amongst you there is a sneak peak of my latest make on the ironing board waiting for a final press.

Now I have the space I can just squeeze in half an hour of sewing whenever I have time without having to keep packing all my stuff away each time so hopefully this will be all the encouragement I need to sew more! I cant wait!

To keep up with my escapades in my new sewing space you can catch up with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

A quiet couple of weeks


pot labelsSorry for the radio silence for the last couple of weeks. I was knocked back with a virus and then had so much work to catch up on! For those who don’t know I am a PhD student in my day-to-day life working on agriculture. This last week I had a huge experiment to set up so have not really had time to write much here.

Don’t worry though because I have lots to report so you can expect some updates soon. Here come the teasers!

Before I got ill I made a new skirt using up the last of my green and blue tartan used for my Megan dress and Lou Lou dress. However, for a couple of weeks after making it I did not look in a fit state to take any photos. So as soon as I get round to taking some I will show you!

Also, my sewing room is almost complete based on some of the ideas I shared here and featuring my new ironing board cover too!

Finally, the only activity I could cope with whilst unwell and the only thing I’ve had time to squeeze in over the last few days is knitting! So after the success of my first cardigan I have been working on a jumper – I already have most of the body and one sleeve done so it hopefully shouldn’t be too long before I can share that with you too!

Thanks for your patience and continuing to read despite me not having any projects to show you, but hopefully there will be plenty to come soon!

If you want to keep up to date with my jumper progress you can find my project page over on Ravelry

How To: Make a new ironing board cover

ironing board cover

Today I have a really quick post for a really quick make. In fact I did everything from cutting the fabric to the photo shoot all within 2 hours!

I decided it was time my ironing board got a makeover. Whilst visiting Ikea last week I discovered their great fabric range and just had to get some. This was the perfect choice for my ironing board. Look at that print!


Do It Yourself

What you will need:
  • Fikea fabricabric (Length needs to be the length of your ironing board + 30 cm, width needs to be the width of your ironing board +30 cm)
  • Elastic (length needs to be long enough to fit around your ironing board
  • Safety pin
  • Matching thread
To make this yourself follow these simple instructions:
  1. Trace around the top of your ironing board directly onto the back of the fabric.
  2.  Add 15 cm extra all the way around your ironing board and cut out the fabric
  3. ironingboard2Turn over 1.5 cm or 5/8 in all the way around the edge making small folds in the curved parts so as they lie flat.
  4. Turn the same amount under again, press and pin.
  5. Stitch as close as you can to the first fold to create a channel all the way around the edge. Be sure to leave a small gap of about 3 cm along the long edge.
  6. Attach a safety pin to the end of a long piece of elastic.
  7. Thread the saftey pin through the channel you have created.
  8. Place the cover over your ironing board and smooth out the top
  9. Pull the elastic tight until the cover wont move on your board.
  10. Tie the elastic tight and cut off any excess.


It’s such a quick make but can really spruce up your sewing space!

If you enjoyed this make why not try some of my other patterns!

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Inspiration: Valentines

Pinterest inspiration is my place to show you what I’ve been falling in love with recently over on Pinterest. This is one of my favourite place for finding inspiration and I can easily loose a couple of hours pouring through all the beautiful things to make.


I don’t like Valentines Day. There, I said it. I know loads of people love this sort of thing but I don’t like smushy stuff. I do however like making stuff, so I thought I’d see if I could find things to make that are Valentine’s day themed to see if I could be convinced in time for Valentines day!

I couldn’t bring myself to actually search for Valentines crafts in Pinterest so I decided to just trawl through my boards and see if I could find some tenuous links to Valentines-themed stuff. First up is this hat. I actually saved it because I really like this stitch pattern and I guess it kind of looks like little hearts! Team this with the dusty pink colour and you’ve got yourself a Valentines hat! This pattern is available over on Ravelry.


There’s also this cowl. It is not smushy at all even though it has heart shapes in the lace pattern. The super brains amongst you may remember that I started knitting up this pattern but grew frustrated with my poor lacework skills at the time. Now I have had a bit more practice I hope to return to this pattern soon so keep your eyes peeled for that! The pattern is by Ambah O’Brien and is available on Ravelry.




What says Valentines day more than jewellery and flowers? Well you can combine the two with this crochet flower ring! I found this via the Mollie Makes Pinterest account along with lots of other flower-based makes. Original post is here.






Well, that’s certainly enough Valentines-based crafting for me – and I didn’t even have to make any of them! What about you do you love Valentines day and all its smushy romanticness or do you like to stay away like me?

Do you love to get lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest? Leave your user name in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check out your profile! If you want to see the rest of my pins you can find me here.

My #VintagePledge


#Vintage Pledge is an exciting concept to get sewers making things from vintage patterns. It is hosted by the lovely A Stitching Odyssey and  Kestrel Makes. I think it’s a really great idea as there are so many patterns out there and it’s so easy to keep making new and exciting things but actually a lot of current fashion is based on previous trends so why not go back to those old patterns and give them a new lease of life?

Last year I really enjoyed seeing other peoples makes as part of this challenge and so I’m really excited to be taking part this year!

My #VintagePledge

During 2016, I, Helen of H’sHandcrafts, pledge to attempt to sew at least one vintage pattern.

Vintage PatternsI recently purchased some vintage patterns from eBay. I really like a lot of 80’s clothes and feel like in the right fabric many of the styles can feel modern. The patterns I purchased fit in really well with what I like to wear and so I was really excited to make some of them up for my Vintage pledge. However, when they arrived and I eagerly read the back of the packet and took the paper pieces out of the envelope I realised that I may have bitten off more than I could chew! Vintage patterns, or at least these ones were written for a time when sewing was a lot more common. They assume you know what you are doing and so there is no hand-holding when it comes to the instructions. So, I decided to be more realistic with my vintage pledge and decided to opt for attempting at least one. This is fairly realistic and I hope to be able to complete at least one garment to a standard I am happy with but I feel baby steps are the best way to make progress!

Want to keep track of my progress? Check out my Instagram feed for all the latest pictures!