Make for Your Man… How to make a bow tie

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Lots of people don’t believe in Valentines day and the way it has become so commercial, but I think if there is an excuse to tell someone you love them… why not take it!?

Bow Tie

So, just ditch the commercial bit and make something for your man this valentines. Handmade gifts are so thoughtful and he will love it… and look great in it too!

WHAT YOU NEED…

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Fabric – if you use a thicker fabric your bow tie will be more plump! I have used a blue/grey linen for this example and I am really pleased with the results.

I got my linen from Fabworks in Dewsbury and the floral above from B&M Fabrics in Leeds Market.

CUTTING:

Cut pieces of fabric:
1 x Bow Tie: 12.5cm x 37.5cm
1 x Knot: 9cm x 7.5cm
2 x Band = 54cm x 4cm (Cut this piece to a point at one end)

STITCHING:

1. With right sides together fold the Bow Tie piece in half length ways and press.
Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance around the cut edges, leaving a gap to turn through. Repeat with the knot piece.

Stitch and leave a gap

2. Clip your corners and turn through the gap to the right side showing. Hand stitch the gap with a slip stitch. Repeat on the knot piece.

Slip Stitch

3. Fold in half width ways and measure 6cm from the non-folded end. Then stitch together at 6cm.

Stitch Bow Tie

4. Open out the ends to bring the line of stitching to the centre…

Open Bow Tie

5. Lay flat and ‘stitch in the ditch’ to fasten in this position…

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6. Pinch the bow tie to make a pleat in the middle.

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7. Wrap the knot around the bow tie and hand stitch to secure.

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8. To make the band… with right sides together stitch the 2 band pieces together, leaving an opening at the non-pointed end to turn through…

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9. Clip the corners, turn through and press. Then hand stitch the open end, closed…

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10. Thread the bow-tie onto the band and secure with a hand stitch if needed…

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11. Add a popper at the end to fasten…

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Tah Dah… You have made a bow tie! Package up in a pretty box and give to your man. I found it easier to leave the popper off until I had given the bow tie to my hubby so I could get the length of the tie fitting perfectly.

Bow Tie

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How to make a simple drawstring bag…

Drawstring bags are one of my favourite things to make, one: because they are so easy, and two: because the possibilities are endless. A simple homemade drawstring bag can give any gift the personal touch, or make a messy toy room tidy again. You can use up small pieces of left over fabric, or it is great for Fat Quarters you may have stashed away somewhere. I love these drawstring bags and hope you do to. I would love to hear what you will be putting in yours…

Make a Drawstring bag

Just follow the steps…

Step One…

Cut Fabric Size

 

Step Two…

Hem Top Edges

 

Step Three…

Measure Ribbon Holes

 

Step Four…

Stitch your Seams

 

Step Five…

Press Seams and Turn

 

Step Six…

Stitch Top Channel

 

Step Seven…

Turn and Thread Ribbon

 

Now you have made your drawstring bag!… What will you use yours for? I have decided to give mine as a housewarming gift for my friend. My Dad keeps bees and she just loves his honey so I am going to give her some honey in my homemade drawstring bag… I hope she likes it!Gift with Honey

Pressing Flowers

If you have received some flowers today and like me love them when they are in bloom but wish they would stay that way forever… pressing flowers is for you. Its a true vintage hobby, with pressed flowers found in antique books… and it can become addictive.

Remember, its only good to press flowers which are in full bloom, but sacrificing a few heads from a bouquet is worth it.

Flower Pressing 2

 

Snip the head off one of your flowers. Open a heavy book and cover the pages with some blotting paper or kitchen roll and place the flower head inside the book. You can add some leaves in too if you like.Flower Pressing 6 Flower Pressing 4Flower Pressing 5

Close the book and rest more heavy books on top. Leave it for about 4 weeks or more and then your flower will be pressed.

All we need to do now is wait 4 weeks to find great ways to use pressed flowers…

Vintage Sewing Patterns

 

I just spent the whole afternoon looking at MaddieMod patterns on Etsy. It started with a request from a friend for a backless maxi-dress and finished with the realisation the whole afternoon had disappeared and my green tea had gone cold, but it was worth it.

il_570xN.328483637

Just looking through the images of vintage sewing patterns makes me fall in love, I love the style of them. The way the models have their hair and make-up done… big eyelashes, beehives and bendy waists. I am not sure people will look back on the sewing patterns of today with such fondness. They seem to have the same feel, even though just drawn, as models in a magazine and I just adore them…

Simplicity 8153

 

Of course… the fact I can actually make the item of clothing shown just completes the package. I have a particular love for 1960’s patterns, not just the pattern envelopes, the style of the clothes suit my body shape and I find the clothes are easy to wear but still look stylish. The 1960’s shapes are so classic and flattering I think they will always be fashionable. The shift dress patterns made in modern fabrics translate really well into clothes for today.

Butterick 4692McCalls 8755

 

If you are thinking of buying vintage patterns to make then remember… sizing from any era will be different from today, so always check the size measurements rather than just the number. If a dress is fitted on the bust (like the ones above) then go by the bust size. If you are making a skirt or trousers fitted on the hips go by your hip size.

Try to imagine how the dress will look in modern fabric. I always concentrate on the shape of the dress and the way it hangs. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know an item of clothing has been made from a vintage pattern, except I think it has a more individual, designer feel to it, far superior to buying vintage clothes. It’s the ultimate… vintage cuts, in modern fabrics.

Polynesian Pattern Lokelani 162Simplicity 6510

 

…and then there are the patterns where you can’t ignore the vintage fabrics, the ones you buy, but haven’t quite plucked up the courage to make in bright yellow fabric or orange and purple crochet…and it would be sacrilege not to. Sometimes these are the ones I collect just because I love the eccentricity of them.

Polynesian Pattern Kanani 121 Golden Hands Pattern

 

and each pattern I find just reminds me to never throw out a pattern… ever.

Have you made a vintage pattern? Whats your favorite era?

 

Chinese New Year… Invitations

February 9th sees us entering the year of the snake in the Chinese calendar. I have never celebrated Chinese new year but this year I have decided to go all out. I will be inviting friends round for a meal with some festive touches to make it special.

It all starts with an invitation…

Chinese New Year Invitations

Now… I know what you’re thinking… isn’t an origami crane Japanese? Well yes, you are right but they look so cool and unique I couldn’t resist.

I got some origami paper packs on ebay and looked up this tutorial and folded away.

Origami Crane

Using some clear jewellery thread I threaded through the crane’s back, tying a knot at the bottom and top so the crane doesn’t slip down the line.

I used a parcel tag at the bottom as the invitation card and tried my hand at writing ‘New Year’ in Chinese to add a festive touch.

Origami Invitation with Tag

The perfect invitation people can hang in their window and get excited about the  party to come.

Final

Make your own Ingredients… Fish & Chips

You would be forgiven for thinking Fish & Chips is a classic UK meal for by the seaside, well you are right but not just for the UK… Its one of New Zealand and South Africa’s favourite and most popular dishes.  When I was growing up you could easily feed a family of 4 for 2 quid!… here’s the Our Munch version for you to bring it up to date…

 

You will need;

  • Pieces of white fish (any white fish will do so pick your fave)
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • 300ml Beer – a golden beer is best
  • Water (just incase its too thick!)
  • Paprika – Just a pinch
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt, Pepper & a wedge of lemon for seasoning
  • Potatoes for chips – 1 per person (Maris Piper or Desiree are best)

 

Whisk together the flour, beer, paprika, baking powder and beer together in a bowl until smooth and lump free! Add some water if too thick.

Leave to rest in the fridge for 1/2 an hour

Preheat the oven to 80 degrees

Now its time to make those chips… Cut into thick wedges and pop them straight into a pan of salted cold water. Don’t be tempted to rush the process by banging them straight in boiling water – if you raise the temperature of the water to boiling, with the potatoes in they will cook evenly and will give your chips the best flavour. You don’t want potatoes which are mushy on the outside and raw in the middle!

 

Leave to simmer for 10-15 mins, until the outside is softened but the shape still holds. Strain & pat dry with kitchen roll.

Get the oil hot in a pan… (ideally 175 degrees) Fry the chips for 3-4mins and strain on kitchen towel. Pop in the oven to keep warm whilst you make your fish.

Top Tip: If you drop a piece of corn in your oil whilst it heats… when the corn pops into popcorn your oil is ready!

Put some flour in one bowl and your homemade beer batter in another.

 

Coat your fish in flour and then dip in the batter. Hold the fish by one end and sink into the hot oil (keeping hold of the tail) swim the fish around in the oil for a few seconds. This makes a seal in the batter and stops your fish sticking to the bottom.

 

Cooking your fish usually takes about 10mins depending on the size. You will be able to tell when it is cooked as the fish will turn a golden brown, flip over to the other side half way through. Serve with a wedge of lemon and some tartar sauce (recipe for sauces coming up later!)

Serve in newspaper for the authentic look!

We’d love to know what you think of our ‘Make your own ingredients’ series with Our Munch… so please leave a comment…

Make Fruit Candles

If you’ve never heard of Alfresco Dining then you are in for a treat! Imagine a beautiful woodland, beach or lakeside area transformed for a few hours to host a private dinner party…

this is what we created when we were asked to get involved with Margaurita Photography and Our Munch for an Alfresco Dining photoshoot.

With Natasha from Margaurita Photography on her holidays at the moment we are guest blogging for her whilst she laps up the sun in San Francisco… Jealous?… Definitely!

And well… you wouldn’t know we were involved without a touch of DIY to add the finishing touches…

Here’s how we made candles from Oranges…

1. Cut your oranges or (any fruit you wish to use) in half and scoop out all the flesh from the inside.
2. tie a small piece of string (for a wick) to a stick and rest so the string hangs down
3. Pour melted wax into the fruit halves and leave to set
You can get wax beads from any good craft centre, I just poured the wax into an old pan over a low heat.
You can use any fruit you like, and it gives a great scent to the room… We think this would look great on a Christmas or Thanks Giving table too.
Keep an eye on Margaurita Photography’s Blog for the full pictures from the shoot.

 

Make Your Own Ingredients… Pesto

This is Pesto Our Munch style so of course it has a bit of a twist… They call it Semi-Dried Tomato Pesto… and don’t think you are buying your dried tomatoes, no… you will make your own ingredients of course!

It all starts with a tray of tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and icing sugar and salt to bring the moisture out. Sprinkle them with some fresh thyme or rosemary and stick them in the oven.

and voila… Semi Dried Tomatoes! The longer you leave them the drier they are. We put ours in a 90 degree oven for 6 hours. You can put them in an oil filled jar and keep them until later

For the Pesto…

  • 6 tomatoes – oven dried
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100g parmesan
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Few basil leaves
  • Olive oil – the best you can afford
  • Salt & Pepper

Smash the walnuts in a pestle & mortar, chop the tomatoes, grate the parmesan and mix with all the other ingredients.

Add oil until you get a consistency you like. Use sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice as seasoning and taste over and over. Too sharp? Add sugar. Too rounded? add lemon juice. Too bland? Add salt.

Mix it all together and add some chopped basil if you like. We mixed the old fashioned way… with a spoon cos we like the crunchy textures.

Eat with Gnocci, Pasta, Chicken… or even give as a gift!

Make a Button Peg…

The perfect accessory for your padded noteboard and great way to peg your notes to your board with a pretty twist…

Step 1. Drill a hole in a peg. If you don’t have a drill then bore a hole with a sharp point.  Step 2. Cover a button with your chosen fabric.  Step 3. Paint your peg and push the button stem through the hole in the peg.  Add some glue if needed.  Step four. Admire your pretty peg x