Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Tutorial: Making filofax dividers!

So both me and Pippa have got ourselves lovely Filofaxes, Pippa has had hers for over a year now and I'm a more recent convert. Pippa bought me one for my Birthday in November. 

Our filofaxes left: Pippa's, right: Nikki's
Pippa saw a post on pinterest (from the blog a bowl full of lemons) that inspired her to create filofax dividers. Her filofax didn't actually come with any dividers although mine does. (I still made more, because they are pretty cool and you can never have enough dividers...)

We measured our binders (they are helpfully both pocket filofaxes) so are the same size. The pages are 8cm wide and 12cm tall. This gives us the base size for making the dividers. We chose to make them in publisher because it actually allows for quite easy manipulation of text and boxes etc without too much faff (plus it has neat bits to add a calendar in).

The dividers that we decided we wanted were:

  • Calendar pages (1 month on a page) to use as a planner to indicate days where specific things were happening
  • Blog planners (calendar pages, 1 week per row, to allow scheduling of blog posts)
  • Section dividers (To-Do, Blog, Money, Lists)

But obviously you can make whichever dividers you want/need. 

The design we went for was simple. 4 dividers in a section so the tab would be a 1/4 of the height of the page (3cm in this case). We used a rectangle of 8cm by 12cm for the outside and attached the tab to the righthand edge, we made the tab 1cm wide to make it stand out enough from the page and give space for the text to fit. This was then moved for each of the remaining tabs.

Here you can see the designs for our dividers and calendar pages:


These will both be laminated to make them more rigid and sturdy. The blog planner pages we decided not to laminate, but if you wanted them to be reusable you could omit the date and laminate them.

The holes were measured as 5mm wide and 14mm between the edges of the holes. I made the holes and then copied them onto all the sheets. We put 1cm between the edge of the page and the start of the content, but actually this could be reduced because the lamination gives an extra border around the page. If there is too large a border inside the binder it will make it difficult to move the pages.

Here are the pages printed out. You need to be careful to make sure the pages don't scale when you print them out. We printed them onto paper but if you wanted them slightly more robust you could print them onto card. We just didn't have any available at the time.

filofax3 filofax2

Once printed, they need to be carefully cut out, ideally I should have done the majority of that at Uni where they have a guillotine, but I didn't so we tried using a metal ruler and a rotary cutter, and the rest with a pair of scissors. 

Then it was time for lamination! We don't necessarily have the best laminator in the world (it only cost us £10, but hopefully it will do a good enough job on these)

You need to place the paper dividers into the laminating pouch. Because you have cut them out you don't need to be too careful about how you place them in the pouch, but make sure you have enough gap between them so that you can cut around each divider and have a plastic border (a few millimeters for the border should be enough to keep the seal)

be sure to leave enough gap around the dividers
put the pouch in straight

After the sheets have been laminated they are ready to be cut, leave a couple of millimeters as a border around each sheet. The tabs can be difficult to cut around, so using nail scissors can be useful.

Then it is a case of punching the holes. I removed the base of our hole punch and placed the sheet in right side down so I could line the marked hole up with the hole punch.



Now they are starting to look really nice, and the tabs are perfectly aligned to fit next to each other.

Next is the moment of truth to check whether the holes are the correct alignment to fit in the binder...

Luckily they are, although I guess it isn't really luck since I was quite careful when I measured them out and designed them on the computer. They also look quite good since the size of the hole punch was just large enough to remove the circle that was printed. 

Here you can see the dividers in the filofax, I'm very pleased with how they turned out!


These will definitely help us make better use of our filofaxes! I might even have to make some more dividers if I have more sections that need them. If you are thinking of making some they definitely aren't that difficult to make, if you don't have a laminator you could possibly get away with using card and covering it in sticky back plastic to give it a bit of protection. But definitely give it a go!


Monday, 21 April 2014

Colour Inspiration: Sunset

A lovely bright pallet designed around this gorgeous sunset scene. Incidentally this or a very similar pallet is what my new ballroom dress is going to be designed around.

Weekly Roundup: 20th April

This week has been a bit of a weird week in as much as we have not spent much of it in southampton.
We went down to Devon to celebrate our mothers brithday and help out in the garden as there is always work to be done here...

Today we went shopping to buy stuff to take to my parents and a few other things...

Today was my Mothers birthday so we chilled out and then packed up a picnic and went to the beach but it has not quite warmed up enough here yet and we ended up eating it in the car. We then walked up to Start Point Lighthouse.

Wednesday consisted of lots of work in the garden, using the chipper to get rid of some old logs we have and creating a new path and hacking up a few large sections of soil.
New path...

Pulling the neighbours trailer out of a hole...
More work in the garden... We also pulled the neighbours ride on mower out of a puddle, including the trailer.

We walked into Totnes today from Dartington and then went round the shops, popping into my grandparents on the way back home. Unfortunately I had a stinking headache this evening and ended up having to go to bed before dinner and didnt get up till late the next day.

Nikki went into Totnes again today to check out the food market and I stayed home trying not to agrivate my headache more. The afternoon was more productive making Blackberry Jame and turning this pile of fabric into a top.


Friday, 18 April 2014

My Ballroom Dress: Inspiration

Now that I have finished my latin dress (link to finished post) my next major project is a ballroom dress. This is quite a step up in complexity from anything I've ever really done before. But I don't really want to spend a ridiculous amount of money buying a custom made dress nor do I want to get a cheaply made dress, so a steep learning curve and hopefully the outcome will be a well made dress for a significantly smaller price tag. I also have a little bit of a challenge since I am going up to intermediate level on the dance circuit next year which means I can wear open dress, the uni circuit starts at the end of October/beginning of November... So ideally I have until then to design and construct my ballroom dress... eeeek!

So this is the first post in a series which will hopefully guide you through my discovery of ballroom dress designs and my (hopefully successful) journey to making my first ballroom dress!

and now onto the actual inspiration...I actually have to say that a lot of the dresses that I have seen online I haven't really liked that much. It seems that feathers and adornments are quite fashionable and I really don't want any of them! 

image source:
So many feathers! I'd feel like a bird dressed in this! And there are some crazy coloured dresses out there. Pretty much ever crazy colour combination you can think of there will be a dress out there made with it. 

Dresses that I like more are some of the following.

image source:
seahunter ebay store

This dress has a lovely binding on the bottom of it. The crinoline (or horsehair braid) gives it more body. Nice use of patterned fabric as well. Although I'm not such a fan of the sleeves/floats.

image source: Seavex ebay store

Another use of crinoline binding on the hem of this dress although it is a thinner crinoline and there is a significantly longer hemline. Not sure if I like this style quite so much. 
The colour would definitely be noticeable on the floor though...

image from

This dress I really like the colour of, although I'm not too keen the back, nor the shiny fabric. I think I'd prefer something matte.

image source: swanstudioau ebay store

I love love love the colour of this dress, and I actually quite like the back of it as well. It also uses crinoline in the hem, but in such a way that it is not exposed when it is finished. 
A little bit too much volume to the skirt I think though. 

image from fioreballroomdesigns

I really like the back on this, although I wouldn't necessarily want it to be so low.
But I want more volume in the hem of my skirt than there is in this one. This just seems to hang there (although skirts like this can move a lot when you spin and turn)

There are so many different styles and constructions of dresses out there. I am going to have to look at a lot more and then come up with a list of the features that I want/ colour schemes and try to make a design where the features complement each other. 

I also need to have a long look at materials used in the construction of the dresses, most of the materials they use I will never have sewn with before and I don't think I can get away with using t-shirting in it...

We also have a pinterest board where we have pinned a lot of images and dresses for inspiration about ballroom dresses. Pippa is also planning on making her own ballroom dress so expect some posts about that soon hopefully =)


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Rag Rug Project

Well this project has been in the works for a little while now, it is taking me quite a long time as I am doing little bits to it here and there. But I thought I would post about my inspiration for making my rag rug and how far I have got so far. Later on I will post a tutorial about it =)

A while back we had a clear out of some old t-shirts and Pippa made some strips from them and crocheted together a phone holder. It was very nice and soft and I thought a lovely way of reusing/upcycling the old t-shirts, which got me thinking about other ways to use them. 

I also saw a few things on pinterest, there are a number of different ways to make a T-shirt rag rug, the main ones are linked below:

You can make a long piece of fabric from lots of strips attached end to end, this can then be crocheted or stitched together in a circle usually:

using a strip and crocheting, then sewing
image from:

Another method uses strips of fabric which are tied through or looped through a backing fabric to provide a ruffled finish to the rug.
a very different finish
image from:
I have decided to go for the second method because I think it will provide a much better feeling under my feet. I actually got the inspiration to start this because I found some hessian bags for sale in a local charity shop and decided they would make a good backing. In hindsight I should have either used half of the bag or got a plastic rug mesh backing to use with slightly larger holes... but oh well you live and learn.

I started off around the outside first and then started filling in the middle. In an ideal world I would just use fabric from old t-shirts and other suitable clothing, however it's hard to find t-shirts that are in a wide variety of colours, I would mainly have had a yellow and blue rug with white edging... so instead I may have bought some fabric from fabricland in a wide variety of colours to make my rug look really cool. 

Here is some of my fabric:


And it cut into strips:


The start of my rug with it's white edge:


Further into the project, still a long way to go though:


and how it looks at the moment.... I'd say it might be about halfway finished...possibly 


Well there's still lots more to do, so next time I sit down in front of the tv I'll be sure to get the rag rug out and add some more strips. I will post a tutorial when it is complete =)


Monday, 14 April 2014

Colour Inspiration: Bouquet

This colour pallet could be used as inspiration colours for a wedding, birthday party or just redecorating the lounge.

The image was from here, but the original was from Style Me Pretty, but the correct link is missing so if anyone knows it please let me know.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Weekly Roundup: 13th April

We went to Ikea again and bought some flooring to put down in the downstairs toilet as an extra layer between our toes and the cold terracotta tiles. It will also hopefully stop it being as damp in there
New Flooring

Nikki baked Creme Egg Brownies.

The recipe was posted on Thursday, and we have been doing some blog 'spring cleaning' and have updated our Tutorial and Recipes pages to be nicer to look at and easier to find things so go and check them out and pick up this yummy recipe whilst you are there...

Nikki baked strawberry and almond traybake, and I finally tried the cooked ham hocks that Sainsbury's do for dinner. It was wonderful and there was more than enough for three of us for dinner and leftovers for me the next day :-)


I volunteered at BHF again for the afternoon and came back with two new tops... Nikki left to stay at her other half's parents for the weekend.
My other half went home today as well leaving me home alone to find a suitable pattern for this lovely material in my stash:

Home alone on Friday I caught up with some blog posts and general organisation, before deciding to create a pattern for this peasant blouse that I wanted to produce. Shortly after I finished drafting the pattern I got invited out for drinks. Would there be enough time to make up the top to wear out that evening...

Well apparently there was, although the sleeves need adjusting to remove the poofyness:

I did some more organising which resulted with me being sidetracked by a WIP so i spent a lot of time sewing up the bodice on that.
Also all this cleaning must be having some affect on me as I ended up ironing a set of curtains! but couldn't put them up as the tension rod was too small for my window :-( 

So I treated myself to another version of the peasant blouse with modified sleeves. I'm loving these 'instant gratification' projects and also the practical wearable additions to my wardrobe.

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