Wednesday, 19 September 2012

cupcake bouquet

This is my first attempt at a cupcake bouquet. I was looking for different ideas for a celebration cake for my mother in laws birthday and stumbled across this great concept on the internet.

I made mini vanilla cupcakes using my cupcake maker and a dual piping bag to pipe on the pink and white vanilla frosting. I need to work on my piping technique as I am a newbie when it comes to this!
I bought a plant pot and polystyrene sphere and cut a square of  clear cellophane gift wrap and pink tissue paper to make the bouquet look more realistic. I positioned this under the sphere and tied the pink organza bow around the front to decorate it. I pushed cocktail sticks into the sphere and then placed the mini cupcakes individually onto the sticks. I bought a stem of artificial leaves, cut the leaves off and sellotaped them to cocktail sticks to plug the gaps and create a more authentic look.
It took 23 mini cupcakes to fill the sphere.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

handmade cushion

After looking for a cushion for our new nursery tub chair and having no luck finding one, I decided to make one using a pillow case from a single duvet set that we had. The duvet set matched the colour scheme of the room perfectly and as it had only been used once (and then washed!) it seemed a shame to bin it (as we now no longer have a single bed in our spare room). 

I unpicked the pillow case and opened out and pressed the fabric. 

I bought a cushion insert from wilkos and made a paper template (45cm x 45cm) I then reduced it to 45cm x 30cm for the two back panels that would overlap slightly. 

 Once I had cut the fabric out I pinned the edges and hemmed them (on the long side of the two back panels).

 I then set about making my own bias binding for the piping that I was going to attach around the outside of the cushion. I cut a rectangle out of the remaining fabric. Because binding should be cut on the bias (diagonal) of the fabric it was necessary to fold it in a particular way.
I started by folding the top left hand corner down to the bottom edge of the fabric.

 I then took the bottom left corner (point) and folded it up towards the top of the fabric.

 I then began folding it from the bottom upwards and finished by tucking the remaining piece around the fabric.

 I trimmed the left hand edge off after using a ruler and pencil to mark it out and then measured and marked out the width i wanted for my strips. I had to make them thinner than I would have liked as my fabric was not big enough.

 I then took the strips and pinned and marked out the edges ready for attaching on the sewing machine to make one large bias binding strip.

 After sewing the pieces together I pressed the seams flat.

I then pressed the strip length ways in half so I could find the centre and provide a nice crisp groove for the piping cord.
I used a zipper foot on my sewing machine so I could sew as close to the cord as possible and sealed it inside the length of the bias binding. I made just under a metre.

I then pinned the piping to cushion - raw edge to raw edge with a seam allowance.

I then tacked it in place with a needle and thread and removed the pins to make it easier and more secure when machine stitching the piping.
I then placed the two back panels right side to right side over the piping and stitched around the edge as close to the piping as possible.  I also zig zag stitched around the edges of the seams to stop the fabric from fraying (as i don't have an over-locker) before turning the cushion cover inside out.

I'm really pleased with the results, especially the piping. The duck egg colour scheme of the cushion matches our nursery theme perfectly and is feels more special as it was handmade with love. 
I would like to attempt a nursing pillow next using the same fabric from the duvet cover next. Watch this space!