Having taken the world of DIY craft blogging by storm, The New Craft Society show us their latest sewing project.
Hannah and Rosie are the creative masterminds behind The New Craft Society sewing blog. With Hannah in Germany and Rosie in England, they put their DIY craft ideas together and share their projects with a broad online community. We chatted to Hannah about their latest projects, what handmade gifts are on the cards for Christmas this year, plus we bring you their step-by-step guide of how to make your own chic Liberty print quilted bomber jacket.
Why do you think it’s important to pass on crafting traditions?
Crafting is still increasing in popularity and we find this so exciting! How amazing is it that you can make something in the same way that people have for hundreds of years and apply the techniques to modern, stylish designs? We have both learnt skills from our own parents and grandparents and it is wonderful that this knowledge has been shared and passed on.
What inspired you to start your blog?
We’d both been crafting away at home and sharing our projects with each other, but we wanted a way to share our projects with a wider audience. I was living in Germany and Rosie was in England, so a blog seemed like the obvious way for us to put both of our projects in the same place and show everyone! Rosie came over to visit me in Berlin and we dreamed up the idea of The New Craft Society.
What is your favourite medium to work with, and do you prefer sewing or knitting?
At the moment we are both sewing a lot as we are working on our handmade Christmas gifts. My favourite medium is fabric, I love how quickly and easily a flat piece can be transformed. Rosie probably likes yarn best, although she loves sewing too. She loves how tactile yarn can be and is a bit obsessed with knitwear in general.
Will you be making any Christmas presents this year?
Yes! We always hand make all of our Christmas presents. It’s so much more personal and often has hilarious results. Last year I gifted my brother a hat that he could just about squeeze over the top of his head… This year we’re both planning on making everyone pyjamas in different Liberty prints.
Do you have any ambitious upcoming projects?
We’ve both been working on some Liberty print quilts for a while now. The process of hand quilting them takes ages so they were possibly too ambitious for the amount of free time we both have. We’re also starting to develop our own sewing kits which is very exciting!
What’s the biggest crafting challenge you’ve taken on so far?
I made a quilt for a friend’s wedding. Despite a huge amount of advice and help from my Nana, this quilt took me ages to complete. I had completely underestimated the amount of work involved. Next time I’ll be much more prepared.
What tips would you give to people new to making/crafting?
Just to keep experimenting and trying out new things. Don’t take on something too complex or that’ll end up very frustrating. It’s wonderful to see how your skills develop over time, so just keep doing little projects and learning!
What Liberty prints do you have your eye on at the moment, do you have any more Liberty print projects in the pipeline?
We both love the Grayson Perry prints and basically everything that came out of the Scandinavian inspiration trip. My favourite has to be Ianthe; it’s a bit more masculine than other Liberty prints and has amazing colourways. Rosie loves Poppy and Daisy at the moment and we’re both huge fans of Wild Flowers. We always have Liberty print projects in the pipeline! Have a look at our Instagram @NewCraftSociety for pictures of upcoming projects.
How to make your own Liberty print quilted bomber jacket:
“Ianthe is one of my favourite prints so I had been storing up this piece while I waited for the perfect project. This bomber was made from Papercut’s Rigel bomber pattern, which is an absolute dream to sew up. I’d recommend that you have some sewing experience before tackling it, but it is definitely a pattern that you’ll learn lots of new skills from – welted pockets and raglan sleeves! I made some adjustments to the pattern to create a quilted, fully-lined bomber…”
You will need:
– Papercut’s Rigel bomber pattern
– All of your pattern pieces cut out except the facing pieces
– 2m of cotton batting
– A walking foot – definitely not essential, but always makes quilting easier
– A fabric pen
– A ruler
– Thread that matches (or clashes) your fabric – this will be visible
– 2m of lining fabric
How to make:
1. Pin all of your cut out pieces to the cotton batting right side up. Cut around each piece leaving about an inch of extra batting around each edge, sometimes fabric can shift when quilting so this is just to make sure you have enough space to allow for this.
2. Using your quilting ruler, draw your first line at a 45° angle from the bottom of each piece. Do the same in the other direction to create a cross.
3. If you have a walking foot with a stitch guide there is no need to draw on all of the lines which makes this so much quicker. You just need to set the guide at the distance you want your quilting to be at – I would recommend between 1.5 and 2 inches – and then start quilting! If you don’t have a guide you’ll need to draw all of the lines on yourself before you can begin quilting. Complete this stage for the back, both front pieces and both sleeves.
4. After you have quilted all of the pieces, trim off the excess batting. You can now follow the pattern construction in the Papercut instructions.
5. After you have assembled the jacket, grade all of your seam allowances to accommodate the extra bulk you’ve added with the batting.
6. To line your jacket you need to cut out the back, two front pieces and 2 sleeves and assemble as instructed. For the front lining pieces make sure that you add on the extra length that is given in the facing pieces. This will cover up the edge of the waist band.
7. When the instructions say to add the facing, you need to sew in your lining. Turn the right way out and fit the sleeve lining inside each sleeve.
8. To secure the lining at the bottom of the bodice and end of each arm, use a slip stitch to secure it by hand.
Inspired to create your own bomber jacket? Browse our new season fabrics and get sewing!
Share your DIY clothing and other sewing projects with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using #SewLiberty.
Discover the behind the scenes process of bringing a Liberty gifting story to life.
At times, Liberty can appear like a whirlwind of fine product, design and colour, so we’ve decided to go behind the scenes of one of our 2014 Christmas gifting stories and show you how we brought the image to life. We talked to James Millar, Liberty London’s Head of Design, to understand how to take an image from an idea to reality.
As Head of Design for Liberty London, James works with the team to create the Liberty print scarves, small leather goods, bags, men’s ties and pocket squares we have become so celebrated for. For this year’s Christmas, our gifting page required a set of images to bring the whole concept together. Enter the Exploding Scarves story.
The original image is from a 1930s catalogue advertising Liberty scarves.
“What I really love about the original is that all the illustrations are part of a narrative of this character using her Liberty scarf in different scenarios. It’s actually her trying to find a husband!”
“It inspired me because it’s really charming and captivating: I love the innocence of it. The story is very sweet and about how you can wear a Liberty scarf with every outfit, regardless of the occasion. It’s of its time in a very innocent way.”
To translate James’ exploding scarves sketch into a three-dimensional piece, a team including art director, photographer, set builder, stylist and creative director were pulled together.
In preparation, the set designers had to custom-make a giant purple Liberty box, the centre-piece of the image.
On the day, the whole process took about seven or eight hours just to set up.
“They (the set designers) had to wire all the scarves individually and also hang them using fishing line. It was very lengthy and tedious. Lots of tweaking: a real mission impossible with all the wires, we were constantly hearing, ‘Don’t touch it!’ in case you knocked anything.”
We hope you will agree that the final result was worth the hours of effort.
Shop the heritage Liberty scarves that inspired the shoot.
The lovely Liberty Design Studio creatives have designed a giant Liberty print-covered letter sculpture for the Hampton Court Flower show.
Last week three members from our lovely wholesale design studio spent a busy few days at the Hampton Court Flower Show, creating a beautiful and inspiring Liberty print patchwork letter ‘I’ to greet the thousands of visitors who will enter over the coming week.
Head of Design Emma Mawston said, “The interior and rear side of the letter represent over thirty years of Liberty history, and the classic designs Liberty is so famous for. The fabrics were arranged in a beautifully random way as we don’t work to specific colour stories when colouring the classics.
The front of the letter is created with blue, pink and purple swatches to blend with the colour the other letters were painted. We started with blues, moving into pinks and then purples. The designs were mainly from the fashion fabric collection with a few classics included. The purple front of the letter being very apt as it represents the colour of Liberty.
The side on show has more of a graded colour distribution as our seasonal fashion fabric collections are created with specific palettes. The designs are placed to represent from the bottom upwards: earth, grass and flowers with the sky, clouds and sunshine at the top. Prints used were a selection of styles by the Liberty Art Fabrics design studio, The Liberty Archive and 25 artist and group collaborations including Grayson Perry, Rachel de Thame, John Malkovich, Florence Welch and Deborah Landis.”
Visit Hampton Court Flower Show this week to see the design studio’s printed masterpiece and tweet us your pictures @LibertyLondon.
Mollie Makes contributor, Allison Sadler, shows us how to make her table decoration wedding ideas for Liberty print bunting and jam jars.
When you’re planning a wedding, time is of the essence. Allison Sadler from lifestyle fashion and art shop, The People, in Birmingham, has offered to share her quick, easy and free craft project will pretty up your tables in no time and ‘wow’ your guests with very little effort.
– You will need a pretty selection of Liberty fabric (don’t be afraid to mix it up a little bit here, using different prints and florals will give your bunting a more hand crafted look, perfect for a vintage style DIY wedding theme)
– Two empty jam jars
– A pair of knitting needles
– Some string
– A little lace to trim
1) Decide what size you want each flag to measure and cut yourself a cardboard template. For cute mini bunting like the one I’ve made here, I used a template that measures 4.5cm x 14cm, but you could go to town and make bigger flags if you fancy!
2) Using a selection of all the fabrics, draw around the template and cut a total of 8 flags.
3) These mini bunting garlands would probably work better for smaller table settings but you can cut as many flags as you like until you are happy you have enough.
4) Fold your flags in half ready for the sewing machine (or you could stitch them by hand if you prefer).
5) Stitch each flag across the top to create a little space for threading your string through, continue until all your flags are complete.
6) Flags complete, now its time to thread them onto your stripy string (if you use a little safety pin, it will make this job a whole lot easier).
7) Tie your string of flags onto your wooden knitting needles, if you haven’t got knitting needles you could use some wooden doweling, but I think the needles look really cute!
Ta da! All done in no time at all, now to pretty up those jam jars…
8) Take your jam jar and measure a piece of fabric and lace trim that fits all the way around adding on 1cm extra for stitching up the back seam.
9) Stitch your lace trim onto your strip of fabric, you could use some lovely ribbons, too, for extra prettiness.
10) With right sides of the fabric together, stitch up the back seam.
11) Do the same for the other jar, slip the cover over the top and bingo.. your jars are looking gorgeous!
*Top Tip* – I promise after this little project you will never want to throw your empty jars in the recycling bin again, they make great tea light holders too! You can spray paint them, add buttons and bows and there’s a whole heap of gorgeous Liberty fabrics and trimmings for you to explore – the possibilities are endless. Just have fun with them and let your creativity shine.
12) Now for the best bit, putting your handiwork together, firstly fill up your jars with some water, add a few flowers to match your colour theme and pop your mini flag bunting into the jars… So there we have it, simple, stylish, fuss-free wedding table decorations with minimum effort and amazing results, and still plenty of time left over for planning the rest of your big day.
Purl Soho share their Liberty print wedding garter tutorial to add a little something new and blue for your big day traditions.
Purl and Purl Patchwork are yarn and fabric shops based in Soho, New York. They are also one of our international suppliers of Liberty fabric. The Purl Bee is the inspirational blog for both the stores and they’ve very kindly shared with us their free craft tutorial on how to make your own Liberty print garter – perfect if you’re trying to think of crafty wedding ideas for a big day coming up soon!
This wedding garter is the perfect “something blue” for a bride to be. It’s very simple to make and comes together in a flash.
1/4 yard Liberty Tana Lawn in Betsy
1 spool white elastic thread
1 spool 100% cotton thread
A hand sewing needle
CUTTING AND PREPARING TO SEW
- Iron the fabric
- Cut a 5-inch strip from selvage to selvage
- Iron the strip in half lengthwise
To prepare for sewing, wind a bobbin with the elastic thread. Do this just as you would wind any bobbin on your machine. Load the bobbin in the machine and then load the blue cotton thread as the top thread.
You will want to do a few test runs before starting to sew on your strip. Using a piece of scrap fabric try sewing with the elastic thread in the bobbin and the cotton thread on the top. Adjust the tension of your machine until both sides of the fabric look neat and puckered.
Once you’ve settled on your tension sew along the entire pressed middle fold of the strip with the right side of the fabric facing up as pictured above.
Next sew a line parallel and 1/4-inch to the left of the first line. As you can see from the picture above the 1/4-inch mark on the foot should line up with the first sewn line as you are sewing. You will have to pull the fabric straight as it’s being sewn. This will get a bit harder as you keep going and have more elastic sewing to deal with, but it’s actually pretty fun.
Sew another line to left of the last one and then two lines to the right of the first middle line, all 1/4-inch apart from one another. You will have five centered sewn lines. The picture above is from the wrong side of the strip so you can see the elastic thread lines clearly.
Next sew 3/4-inches in from either edge of the strip. Make sure that you are always sewing with the fabric right side up.
Fold the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pin it together along the raw edge.
Sew this seam together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Again, you should pull the fabric straight as it goes through the machine.
After you’ve sewn this seam turn the piece right side out.
Iron the piece as flat as you can as you stretch it. This will accent and tidy up the ruffles.
Measure the circumference of the bride’s thigh and cut the pressed piece 3 inches shorter than that measurement without stretching it. For example. If the bride’s thigh is 20-inches around cut the garter to be 17-inches.
Tuck the raw edge of one side 1/2-inch inside of itself. Slide the other (un-tucked) side 1/2-inch into the tucked side.
Sew the two sides together with a slip stitch using the blue cotton thread.
All done! Now the bride can check off “something new” and “something blue” from her list!