Friday, 13 July 2012

Abakhan Challenge - What can you make for £20??

The very lovely people at Abakhan Fabrics recently set some of us sewing bloggers a challenge. In the current economic climate every penny counts so they wanted to see what kind of things could be made from a small budget. I love challenges like these as they really make me try new things so I signed up to have a go. It took me a good couple of weeks to finally decide what to order as there was just so much choice on the Abakhan website. I finally decided I would make something nice for both Izzy and Sam and then see what I could do with the leftovers focusing on things I could make for the children.

I ended up choosing some red and blue polycotton, a very pretty floral fabric, some elastic, some ribbon, some bias binding and some clear vinyl fabric. This all came to under £20 and would actually be cheaper at the moment as Abakhan are having a sale with 15% of everything!!


I decided that I wanted to make Izzy a dress. I have made lots for the 'Dress a Girl' charity and thought Izzy deserved one of her own. When I told her she insisted that I make one to send to a girl in Africa instead so its one more for the charity. So sweet! It turned out really well and looks really pretty. I love the delicate flower pattern.


I even found some little ribbon roses which matched the binding perfectly. I also added beads to the end of the ties.


For Sam I decided to try my hand at a superhero cape. When I asked Sam what he wanted, he told me he wanted a Superman Cape on one side and a Prince's Cape on the other. No pressure then! After a big gulp I decided to give it a go and it was actually surprisingly easy.








I have to admit to using bondaweb to help fix the superman logo in place before I stitched around the edge  but if you were going for a slightly simpler design or just an initial it would be easy to do it without. If I hadn't been making it for the challenge and trying to only use the things I had been sent I would have probably used felt instead for this bit as it doesn't fray.


On the other side I just made a crown design and stitched it on using some silver thread that I had.


and I finally used one of the many fancy stitches on my machine!


I used velcro at the neck as I am always slightly worried about using ties around children's necks but you could use a button (if unlike me you know how to do button holes on your machine!) or poppers. The coolest bit which you cant really see is when I top stitched around the cape I put blue in the bobbin and red on the machine which meant that it stitched blue on the red side and red on the blue side. I can't tell you how happy this made me!! Why have I only just realised you can do that??



A superhero cape isn't complete without a superhero mask so I made one of those from the leftover fabric and elastic. Again pretty quick and easy although it probably took me longer than the cape!
.

I actually had quite a lot of fabric left over from the dress and cape so thought I would challenge myself to see how many extra little things I could make. These little flowers were a great way of using up small scraps of fabric. I attached mine to a clip that I had but they could be sewn onto a little hairbobble just as easily. They could also be made into brooches or sewn to a hairband.





 This hair band was also made from leftover fabric and elastic and took minutes to make.



as did the matching hair scrunchie.


Another really quick and easy thing to make which also makes a great gift is this pen roll. Izzy has several of these and absolutely loves them. We take them everywhere.


You just need fabric, bias binding and ribbon. You can then fill them with crayons, coloured pencils, felt tips whatever you choose. These gel pens were only £1 for 8 and the other pens cost 25p each.



The reason I choose the clear vinyl was that I have been dying to give these little bags a try since seeing them on Pinterest.






I had run out of bias binding by the time I got round to these and didn't want to cheat by buying more so decided to make my own out of left over fabric. I have a confession to make - I didn't even cut it on the bias!! Just straight lines. They turned out really well. They were a bit fiddly but easy to sew as the vinyl which can be slippery was enclosed in the binding. 



I got a bit carried away







I also decided to give a luggage tag a go. This was a bit trickier as my machine didn't like the vinyl. It couldn't grip it very well. I think I probably need a Teflon foot as I have the same problems with oilcloth. It turned out ok though. I just put some thin cardboard in mine to give it a bit of stiffness. You could use iron on interfacing as well. The vinyl is not sewn down on the right hand side to allow you to put a business card or address in the tag.



and finally I made some little juggling balls. These were so quick and easy. I used rice to fill them up. They are really good for practicing throwing and catching. One of mine ended up being thrown into a bath full of water so I had to make another one as the rice went soggy!


Phew! Thats 12 things made from £20 worth of haberdashery goodies from Abakhan and I still had a little bit of fabric left over but just ran out of time. Thank you Abakhan. It was lots of fun. I think the cape is my favourite thing. I'm due to do another tutorial soon so does anyone want me to do a cape tutorial? 

22 comments:

  1. The cape is fab! My LM has been using towels as capes and I have been meaning to make him a proper one so a tutorial would be brilliant!

    Love all the the little hair accessories too and those toy bags are just genius!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm working on a tutorial. Watch this space!! x

      Delete
  2. Wow Louise thats amazing. How big did you make the juggling balls?
    A x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ooh not sure. Will go and check and let you know!

      Delete
  3. Wow!! You have done really well. So nice of your daugther to donate her dress for the charity. The see through bags and tags are a great make too. Hugs Mrs A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Some great ideas from Pinterest!

      Delete
  4. Wow you made loads well done. I love the cape too, I have 2 little boys that would love a cape of there own so a tutorial would be ace.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love everything, such fabulous makes. The toy bags are a brilliant idea.
    Dx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a great idea! Never sewn with see through vinyl before so a bit of a challenge!

      Delete
  6. Wow Louise - where do you find the time? 12 out of 10 for everything! Its so inspirational - don't know which of your projects to start first! With a holiday in mind, I think it might be the luggage tag. Margaret x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I sew into the night and then wonder why I am so grumpy the next day!!

      Delete
  7. You have been so resourceful! Love the way you have used the remnants so creatively. I am inspired by the toy bags and pen rolls! How wonderfully generous of Izzy to donate her dress to the campaign! Your little Superhero looks indeed heroic! Congratulations on such wonderful results!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a brilliant and resourceful way to use your £20 worth of fabric. So many items and such useful, fun things too. How lovely of Izzy to want to donate the little frock to the "Dress a girl scheme". It's just what my daughter was saying today - set the seeds early enough and it lasts a life time. She was recalling holding a charity sale when she was about 6 and now she works for a charity full time!! x Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so lovely of her. Just shows that they do listen and take notice of what you say sometimes!

      Delete
  9. WOW!! all of this loveliness for 20 squids! you are amazing!! Please tell me all of this is going to be available in your shop ?? :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Might make some pencil rolls for the shop!

      Delete
  10. Such a great challenge and it just goes to show that you don;t have to spend a lot of money to get results.

    I just find it such a shame that some people wouldn't even attempt to make things themselves, I know a lot of the crafts I do now are things I have self taught but I'm a firm believer that sewing and textiles should be introduced back into the curriculm, everything is so paper based now rather than practical and skills like these are being lost, very sad.

    I love the luggage tag, very pretty x x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Sewing should def be taught in school along with cooking!! xx

      Delete
  11. You've made some great things for your £20. I especially like the reversible cape, very clever.
    How much of the fabrics did you buy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I had 1 metre of each fabric. x

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you! If you ask a question I will reply underneath your comment as soon as I can so please come back and check. Please feel free to 'pin' any of the projects I have made. I love Pinterest!!