Monday, 26 May 2014

Saturday, 17 May 2014

A Sequinned Beach Bag DIY

This DIY was inspired by a recent post over at The Things She Makes, turning a plain old canvas shopper into something much more golden and sparkly. I liked it so much, I dug out a canvas shopper I had already and my glue, and headed to the sewing shop for a sequin-themed shopping spree. The result was pretty similar to the original, but also inspired by the speech bubble noticeboard tutorial on the same blog - find it here! This was my version:

As I had also picked up plenty of blue strung sequins as well, I decided to make another bag to use them on. I had bought a dress in the Primark sale last year for a bargain £3, because I loved the cute boat print on it. It was clearly never going to be worn (I am certainly not a size 6, unfortunately!), so it has been in my pile of 'scrap fabrics' to use for ages. I dug it out to see what could be done with it...

Now, I could have just drawn around the above canvas bag on the fabric and had a nice rectangle. But being lazy, I looked at the elasticated waist and thought, hey, that's the top of a bag ready made right there!

So I chopped it off just above where the elastic was sewn in, turned the excess down on the inside and made a hem. This also meant that the sides of the bag were already done for me, being, as they were, the sides of the dress. All I had to do then was chop off the bottom to vaguely resemble a square and sew it up. Hurrah for laziness! Of course, it couldn't all go so perfectly - I wanted to recycle the straps of the dress as handles, but they were too short, so I made some handles out of the bit of fabric cut off the bottom... (even THAT had one side already sewn from the dress hem, so only seconds work!) I did manage to recycle the buttons and used them for where the handles were sewn to the bag.

Taking a grand total of 20 minutes, with precisely zero measuring, pinning or effort, I had a pretty decent gathered beach bag. OK, it isn't perfect - yes, it does feature 2 different colour threads because I didn't stop to check  - but it proves quick crafting is certainly possible, and sometimes lazy ideas even work! And who cares on the beach anyway?!

Then came the fun bit - I glued on my sparkly blue sequins in an anchor shape on the front, and.. ta-da!

Loving my 2 new bags... Now, what can I use the large amount of leftover sequins for?!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Golden Syrup Goodness

The last few weeks have been crazy busy getting all of my university work in - the deadline was today and I finally submitted everything! I'm not completely free now - I still have to write my 15,000 word dissertation over the summer. But I have a bit more time for all the things I've been wanting to do.

The first thing I did after handing in all my work today? Made a TREACLE TART!

I've never made one before and the last time I made pastry instead of buying it was when I was at school, so I'm pretty pleased it turned out so well.

I used a recipe from the BBC Food website here. It doesn't require many ingredients at all really.

For the pastry:
225g Plain Flour
110g Butter
1 Egg

Rub in the butter and flour and add the egg, and knead into dough. Blind bake in the oven first for 15 minutes in the tin.

For the filling:
450g Golden Syrup
85g Fresh Breadcrumbs
Pinch of Ground Ginger
2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Just chuck them all in a bowl and mix! Pour in and bake for 30 minutes.

The trickiest bit was the breadcrumbs - I spent ages trying to grate bread to make them until I realised I could put them in a blender. I think next time I might add something else to it to make it more interesting - maybe some walnuts. But for now, super sweet deliciousness is perfect, just what I needed after all the work!