Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

How to Make a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket Costume for World Book Day

Who loves Charlie & The Chocolate Factory?

Who knew that this year is the centenary of Road Dahl?

He was born on September 13 1916 and so to mark his 100th Birthday I've created this Charlie & The Chocolate Factory dressing up costume!

AHA! I hear you exclaim. She promised to show us this back in FEBRUARY when the costume was originally made for Patrick (Aged 5) to wear to school and it's taken till August to get round to posting it - I know and I'm sorry! My bad.

So here's the finished costume on a VERY excited Patrick:

You Will Need:

Large rectangle of thick felt - size according to the person you are making the costume for.
Large rectangle of gold felt (same size as thick felt)
Large piece of gold material (at least 2" larger than thick felt)
Black felt for lettering
Iron on fusible interfacing (bondaweb or similar)
4 pieces of elastic for shoulder & waist straps
muslin cloth or cotton cloth for ironing
Sewing Machine
Fabric pen or tailor's chalk
Lots and lots and lots more pins!

How To:

1. Iron the fusible interfacing onto black felt, trace around the letters (the wrong way round) and cut out. Then iron the black felt letters onto the gold material according to the bondaweb instructions. For mine, it's simply, peel off the paper backing and iron on a hot setting with steam for 10 - 15 seconds on each piece. Make sure you use a cotton muslin or cloth on top of the felt & gold material as you don't want to cause iron marks on the shiny material.

2. If you have a really large piece of gold material then you can cut it into a rectangle after the letters are ironed in place. But if you have a piece of material already cut to size, make sure you center the letters on it. I held the gold material up against Patrick to make sure it wasn't too big/too small.

3. Take a large piece of thick felt and cut it to a rectangle 2 inches smaller than the gold material.

4. Pin the gold material onto the felt rectangle and tuck the excess behind the felt. Pin all the way round.

5. Realise that you needed to center your words to the middle of the rectangle... unpin and re-position. Then repin! D'oh!

6. Tack the gold fabric into place using a needle and long stitches. You will be removing these tacking stitches later, so make them large so they're easier to remove.

7. Cut a piece of gold felt to the same size and pin this onto the back of your gold material & thick felt piece. You now have 3 layers.

8. Machine stitch the 3 layers together, with the 4 pieces of elastic slipped in between the layers - 2 at the shoulders and two for the waist. To work out where these should go, hold the 'ticket' up to your wearer and mark with a fabric pen or chalk onto the gold felt.

9. Cut another piece of the thick felt and another slightly larger piece of the gold felt. Pin the gold felt in place over the thick felt, with the edges tucked under at the back. Machine stitch these together.

10. Finally, line up the front and back piece of the ticket (on against your wearer if you have another pair of hands to help you, or you can lay them down flat on the table/clean floor!) and pin the 4 pieces of elastic into place on the back piece of the ticket. Stitch these on by hand, making sure you go over them a couple of times or by machine, but the whole costume might be a bit unwieldy by then to manage on the machine.

And Ta-Daaaa! You have a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket Costume and hopefully a very happy little (or big!) wearer!

I'd love to see any pictures you take from making this costume - or any of our other patterns!

Visit our Tutorials page for more ideas and makes.

Monday, 8 August 2016

How To: Felt Weaving - Rainbow Drinks Coaster Tutorial

Happy Summer Holidays!

We're currently enjoying a couple of weeks staying with the grandparents in Ireland, so beaches, lots of being spoiled by Nanny and board games contests are predicted in our futures!

While we're here, I wanted to share a tutorial with you for the 'Thank You' gifts the kids made for their teachers this year - Rainbow Felt Woven Coasters.

This is a great craft for kids of all ages and abilities as you can tailor the challenge to suit their capabilities. As we were short on time (having, as always, left the present making till the last week of term!) I did most of the hard work prep and the kids did the assembly.

You Will Need:

A square paper template (about 5" x 5")
1 piece of felt for the base
5 strips of coloured felts (about 0.75" wide and twice as long as as the square)
A heavy book.


1. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut 6 straight lines from top to bottom in your base piece of felt, starting 0.75" down from the top and stopping 0.75" from the bottom. Starting with the red piece (if you are using the same colours we did - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green & Blue/Purple) weave the red felt strip in and out of the base piece.

2. Continue with each felt strip, alternating under and over so you have a chequer board look. Wiggle each strip up tight to the one above so that all the strips fit into the base piece. Make sure you have a good length overhanging at each end.

3. Trim the ends, so that on both sides the felt strips match up to the base piece.

4. Add a dot of glue to the end of each strip to secure the felt in place to the base piece. Weigh the coasters down with a heavy book while the glue dries. (Preferably leave overnight) As you can see by the picture below, we tried to keep the ends in place with clips, but it leaves dents in the felt once dried, so the book technique was dreamed up after the first two coasters were made.

5. Wander off and leave Mummy to do all the clearing up!!

Hope you like this one - a great one to try with the kids over the holidays and good for stash busting!

We'd love to see any pictures of things you make from our tutorials, so please do send them to us at: simmi@gracesfavours.co.uk

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