Showing posts with label Tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tutorial. Show all posts

Tutorial: Half Moon Manicure

First off, I have a confession to make. I'm no nail expert, I've never even had a manicure. When I actually paint my nails its usually right before I go out, between sips of gin and tonic with only moments to spare. This method was learned through trail, error and a few stellar tips from my future Mother-in-Law, Lilian. She's true Geordie lady, always perfectly turned out with a standing manicure appointment.

I've always admired half moon manicures but it was only when I was watching Atonement a few weeks ago, where in one scene Emily Tallis lays her perfectly manicured hand on Bryony's shoulder that I really fell in love with them. At first I tried to cover my half moons with stickers usually used for french tips but on my nails they were a little uneven so I tried circular stationary stickers and it worked perfectly. Admittedly its all a little fiddly but if I can turn my hand to it (pun intended) then anyone can.

  • Basecoat
  • Nail Varnish 
  • Circular Stationary Stickers
  • Quick Dry 
  • Toothpicks 
  • Cotton Pads
  • Nail Varnish Remover
Until now, I didn't see the point in using a basecoat but its really important here otherwise there will be a distinctive line between the nail and half moon. Start with a quick coat of clear varnish, I used Barry M's "All in one" then once its totally dry stick a sticker over each of your nails. I found the holes in these really useful because I could just line them up with my cuticle.

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Once they are all stuck on firmly, with no gaps otherwise the vanish will seep under, paint on two coats of your favourite colour and wait a few minutes. I already had the toothpick to hand for the final stage but I found that they were pretty useful for peeling off the stickers while avoiding any smudges. When all nails are sticker free, paint on a coat of quick dry coating. This was the first of Lilian's tips but after sceptically paying nearly £7 for Save The Nail "45 Second Dry" I am entirely convinced. It does exactly what it says on the bottle and leaves your nails with a super glossy coating, like a 'proper' manicure.

Lilian's second stellar tip is for mini DIY cotton buds made from cotton wool pads and toothpicks. They are perfect for dipping in nail varnish remover and cleaning up any smudges and are so much more accurate than ordinary cotton buds, even the pointed kind. Just put a little NVR on a cotton pad and roll a toothpick on the pad until a little comes away. Smooth it off with your finger and clean off the smudges. Thanks Lillian! x


Tutorial: How to print a tshirt

Dylon Image Maker Tutorial
Dylon Image Maker Tutorial

Ever since I posted about the Francoise Hardy T-shirt, I've been receiving comments and emails asking for more information. So I've made a short tutorial for you. I did say previously that you only need three things - A printed image, a T-shirt and a tube of Dylon Image Maker which isn't strictly true but the rest of the items are things that are likely to be lying around or forgotten in the back of drawers.

Instead of a using a photograph this time I used a scan of my favourite Keats poem, Bright Star. Naively, I choose to type it on our old type writer. A task that is far easier said than done, about seven attempts later I had a copy with only a few small mistakes. Those girls at Stirling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce make it look a breeze but let me tell you... It is not! I scanned the typed page, rectified my mistakes in Photoshop, re-sized and flipped it then printed it at 300dpi.

Dylon Image Maker Tutorial
Dylon Image Maker Tutorial

I choose a neutral toned men's t-shirt from H&M, they are only a few pounds and come in most colours. This one off sets the brown paper nicely and is the perfect colour for Spring, whenever it comes along. I didn't actually mean for the print to look distressed, I was just a little over zealous when I removed the paper. I don't think it matters here but if you would like a pristine print then go slowly and gently whilst sponging off the paper.

Dylon Image Maker Tutorial
Dylon Image Maker Tutorial

There are a few important tips to remember when printing. All new fabric should be washed before printing to ensure that any finish that is often on new clothing is removed, otherwise it will impair the print. The image should be 300dpi and flipped horizontally, otherwise it will be back-to-front on the final print. Finally it is best to print on light fabric otherwise your print will not be as clear as it could be.

You will need:
Printed of photocopied image
Tube of Dylon Image Maker
Rolling Pin
Plastic bags/Grease proof paper
Old tea towel
Paint brush

First cut out the image and work out where you want to print it. I mark this in with pins because once the paper is wet its much harder to put it in the right place. Once you've done this, put a plastic bag inside the t-shirt so that the paste can't seep through.

Place image printed side up onto grease proof paper, NOT newspaper like in my picture as the news print can run into your print. Squeeze the paste onto your image and brush over with a clean paintbrush. The image should be covered completely, especially the edges.

Place the image on the fabric, paste side down. Smooth the paper down to ensure that there are no wrinkles. Cover with an old tea towel and roll over with a rolling pin, horizontally then vertically. Leave to dry thoroughly, the instructions on the packet say to leave it over night but I've always left it next to warm radiator and it's always worked out fine.

Once dry, wet the paper thoroughly with a water soaked sponge. With your finger or sponge, gently begin rubbing until the top layer of the paper can be rolled off. Leave the t-shirt to dry and remove the remainder of the fuzz from the image using a damp sponge.

Finally, allow your garment to dry thoroughly. Place a few drops of Image Maker onto your image and rub in gently with a piece of cloth to seal the transferred image.

Do not wash garment within the first 72 hours. Wash item by hand in lukewarm water or in a washing machine, on a 30°C gentle cycle. Turn garment inside out prior to washing, dry garment and do not iron over the transfer.

I hope this is helpful but if you have any other questions, I'll do my best to answer them. If you decide to try it out, I'd love to see how it turns out and what you choose. Send me pictures!

Peter Pan Collar Tutorial

Peter Pan collars are my absolute favourite. I bought this little nautical dress and an identical floral one weeks and weeks ago with a view to adding cute collars to them but I've only just found the time to actually do it.


This is the finished article, I added a little red ribbon which I think gives it a slight Madeline look, I can wait to take it to Paris with me next week!

Every seamstress has their own way of doing thing and mine is by no means flawless, I'm still learning after all but here is a quick tutorial on how I draft and attach a peter pan collar.

You will need :
Fabric for the collar 0.25m is more than enough.
A small piece of interfacing
Pattern paper or similar
Measuring Tape
Needle and Thread
and most importantly a little patience

1. Trace the neck line (I used pattern paper but brown paper would work just as well) marking in the Center Front (CF) line, the Centre Back (CB) and the Shoulder Point (SP) - this is where the dress sits on the rise of the shoulder. Cut this out to form a template.


2. Using the template, mark out a collar shape. Following the curve of the neckline and curving in at the CF. Once cut out, I always pin it onto the dress at this point to ensure it balances well, for this one I had to enlarge the depth to 1.5' to 2.5' because it just didn't look right.

3. When you have a collar shape that you like, cut out two identical pieces with the CB on the fold and 1.5cm seam allowance.

4. Cut out one piece, as before, from a sheet of interfacing but without any seam allowance. The interfacing I used was far too stiff and I had trouble getting it to lay flat so if your fabric is light weight, like this dress, I would suggest a fairly light weight interfacing.

5. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the collar pieces, making sure to position it centrally as this will act as your stitch line. Then pin both pieces, right sides together.

6. Using the interfacing as a guide, sew all around the outside edge.

7. Once it is sewn, cut the seam allowance down as far as you dare and bag out - turn inside out. Iron, so that the underside is not visible, this takes a little perseverance but is worth it in the end.

8. To attach the collar, start by pinning the top side of the collar to the underside of the dress at the CF and CB, then at both SP and ease it into the rest of the collar. Once you are happy with its positioning, sew it into place.

You will be left with the underside of the collar open, turn the seam allowance under, sandwiching the original neckline of the dress between the new collar and pin into place. I always sew this up by hand, using a slip-stitch because I'm not brave enough to machine it but that's all down to personal preference.

9. All thats left to do is iron it into place, this one was really tricky and I had to tack it down in order to make the collar lay flat but that was down to my bad choice of interfacing. With a lot of steam and perseverance, any collar will eventually sit nicely.

Please feel free to pull me up for any mistakes I've made in my instruction, I really shouldn't have written it so late because now I'm too tired to check it properly.