Monday 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

 Seasons greetings to one and all!  I hope that you have an enjoyable festive season, and that Santa (if he visits your house) is kind to you.

My sewing this week was another fused snowflake tree - just a little one this time, the hanging is 24" tall.  The last of my die cut snow flakes, put to use to make a seasonal leaving gift for one of the teachers from the girls school.

Can you see how these chicks have come on?  They are about four times the size that they were, with feathers coming out all over and the start of little combs too.  The speed of growth has been quite surprising!

They are cheeky little things, very curious (although not very happy about having a camera thrust at them, as you can see!).

They all have names now.  From left to right they are: Earth, Stripes, Cheese and Peckit.

I'm off downstairs to tell them all about Christmas and to apologise for the Christmas tunes which they are about to share as I start peeling potatoes. 

Happy Christmas!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

A little bit Christmassy

 A few Christmassy star hangings.  Not the project that I'd hoped to complete, but I realised that I'd reached that 'finished is less than perfect' point, and that if I was going to get anything in the post I'd have to stop prevaricating and get making, in the limited time that I have!

This year I'm taking part in a 'Journal Your Christmas' project by Shimelle Laine.  It's fun, and I thought that it might make me feel a bit more Christmassy, but I'm not sure that it has yet.  One great suggestion was that with a week to go until 'the big day' that we declared a 'Christmas Amnesty' (my interpretation is that you should write the big list of everything that you want / plan to do, then reduce it by 2/3rds, knowing that you'd be able to do all the stuff that didn't happen this Christmas at next Christmas instead, and that this Christmas would be more relaxing if you weren't exhausted by doing stuff that wasn't essential.  Great plan!  I mentally made my list, and realised that if I just finished some stuff life would feel better - I'd already pared it down pretty much to the minimum! 

I'm happy to say that it seems to be working, and a day and half of getting items ticked off the list has worked well.

Of course, some people may not consider sewing decorations, finishing this years TAST stiches or making a small hanging for a teacher who is leaving essential, but then they aren't me, and I am!

I've managed all 48 stitches of the TAST project this year, and I'm quite chuffed that I've managed it before the year's end.  I'm not at all sure that I'll be joining in again next year, although I will be stopping by Sharon's blog to see what other people get up to!

Thursday 13 December 2012

Christmas Sparkle

 An evening of making bead flowers last night - lots of sparkle, but not photographed very well, I'm afraid!

Lots of fun and not too taxing.
My only sewing so far this week - making a bag for 'Patch' who has been home from school for a week with DD2, and who arrived with his journal in a battered paper carrier bag.... I should have taken another photo with Patch, this bag (finished) and the little 'man bag' that I made to match - cute, even if I do say so myself.

It's one of those weeks where I seem to have been busy, but have nothing much to show for it!

Footnote:  For those interested in the progress of the chicks, I'm sorry to say that little Sunshine didn't make it, but that the other four are thriving - already trying to fly short distances, and only two weeks old today!  They are not only turning from fluff to feathers, but growing at a phenomenal rate!

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Who would want to see this?

 Well really, I mean, it's a hanging that I made for my SiL, its Christmassy, fun, finished (always important!), its quilted and so on.....

but I'm sure that you'd rather see these little loves instead!  Five days old, collected from the Domestic Fowl Trust near Bidford on Avon, and currently living under a heat lamp in our living room.  We are hoping that they are all girls, as promised, and we are hoping that 'Sunshine' the littlest one, manages to hold her own against the others.
Of course, I'd like to hold my own against Blogger - these chicks are more golden than lavender, as you might guess from the bottom of the photo!

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Post Card Crazy

 This was  a week to make and send postcards in my birthday swap fabric postcard group.  The three themes were 'anatomy', 'flowers' and 'purple'. 

Fun to make these and play with different ways of making them.  Actually, this FMQ hand was sewn earlier in the year when I cut up my hand quilted block but didn't want to show it in case it gave the game away to the recipient!

As well as these I've started a bit more hand work too - I've managed to get seven stitches behind (that's seven or eight weeks!) on my TAST samples again.  I know that this happens when my finger joints are a bit sore, as I just stop doing hand sewing in the evenings, but it does always surprise me how long these flare ups last.  Still, back up and running and ready to get to grips with it all again, so perhaps a progress photo next week.

 I've also ordered some Christmas fabrics.  I thought that I'd never be in a position to say that, as I'm not usually a fan of them, and seem to spend the run up to Christmas trying to use up any that I have on small projects (I don't usually have yardage, I usually have small amounts that have snuck into charm packs or FQ packs....).  This year, though?  I remembered that last year I'd promised to make my DIL a Christmas tree wall hanging with my left over bonda-webbed fabric snow flakes....and that Christmas was fast approaching.  A quick check revealed that her Christmas colours were red and green, so a order to Doughty's followed, and I will soon be able to reveal a new wall hanging.

In the meantime, I also need to think about other projects that need to be finished for Christmas.  I'm hoping that there isn't anything else that I've committed myself to for 'the big day' as I'm feeling a bit behind on other Christmassy things like writing the cards, and I can't see how to give me enough time in the day to do everything!

Hope that you're fitting everything that you'd like to to do into your weekly leisure time!

(PS did you notice the photos?  no streaks?  Why?  no idea!  Maybe I should just stick to taking photos of small pieces!)

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Sew and burn away - short tutorial

 Did I tell you about my cousin John?  He takes the most amazing photos of birds - and has a site devoted to them which you can see here.  You will come away from it inspired, I'm sure!

I decided to try out my 'sew and burn' technique to try and reproduce one of his photos to use as a cushion front.  I took some photos along the way in case you wanted to try out something that you feel drawn to too.

This is the finished cover, showing the Nashville Warbler in all its glory.


This is how I started.  I made a fine line tracing of the image, showing just the main areas.  I then turned this over and masking taped this to the back of the fabric that I was going to use.  This time I used linen.

 This is the other side - I covered the bird shape with yellow and brown organza and pinned them into place.  You need to think carefully about which colours you use and in which order!

Sewing from the back, I FMQed the basic bird shape and the main areas inside the bird shape.

Next I heated up the soldering iron, and carefully burnt away the brown organza around the shape. You can see all the yellow still untouched.

Next I burned away the yellow all around the bird, and the brown from over the yellow belly of the warbler.  I should have taken photos of this bit (it can be tricky to lift the top layer of organza far enough off the bottom layer so that you only burn through the layer that you want to.  It helps to use a pin or even a darning needle to give you that lift.) but I was using both hands and couldn't hold the camera as well!

Then it's a question of layering more colours on as required.  Pin them to cover the area you want, sewing around them from the back before burning away the excess fabric from the front. 

Although it's called 'burning' the fabric away, really it's more like cutting with heat, as you only make a narrow cut, you don't burn away the whole of the excess fabric.
This is the warbler once I'd applied white and silver layers for the beak, lower belly and legs.  After I'd done that I added a little background detail - again sewing from the back following the original tracing which was still taped onto the back.

Finally I took the paper off the back (easy, as it was perforated along the stitched lines).  The last steps were to add some 'thread painting' over the top of the organza colour blocks to blend them a bit better - the colours are fairly true on this photo.
I then went on and created a quilt 'sandwich' with this basic picture, wadding and a backing fabric, before stipple quilting around the motif and adding the name of the bird (look carefully, bottom right).
Fancy trying this?  I just use an ordinary battery soldering iron (less than £10 from my local electrical store) rather than one of the fancy fine tipped craft ones.  Normal rules apply: be careful where you put the hot tip down (inside an empty mug on it's side works well), clean 'gunk' off the tip regularly (I use wire wool stuffed into a small pot), your workspace should be well ventilated.
Once again apologies for the odd banding on the photos.  I STILL don't know why it's happening!
If you give this a whirl let me know how you get on - it's a really fun way to make quick applique with almost no preparation!


Wednesday 14 November 2012

All together now!

Not suggesting we all sing (although that would be nice, something rousing with a good chorus would be nice) but telling you that the FMQ samples are neatly put together as a sample quilt and hanging on a newly created bit of wall space (following redecoration and the purchase of a new cupboard.....).  It may not stay there forever, but it fills the space in a pleasing manner at the moment!

I don't think that I've properly tried 'quilt as you go' before.  My way of doing it (zig-zag the squares together, cover this seam with narrow tape on the back by sewing down both sides, then add the 'sashing' at the front by sewing down each side of it) seems secure and fast, but not desperately attractive from the back.  I'm not sure that doing it this way is something that I'd want to take on to larger quilts, but it's interesting to try.

As you can see, I still can't work out why Blogger is splitting my photos....I've tried re-sizing (reducing the pixels in each direction) - this is 1/4 of the usual picture that I use - but to no avail.  I might try photos from my phone next time to see if that makes any difference.

There have been other minor sewing projects this week - using an embroidery machine gifted to my DDs by the lovely Benta, and sewing Christmas felt ornaments with Richmond and Kew Quilters on Monday evening.  No photos to show either yet, though - perhaps next week when they are looking a bit more finished!

I've also spent a little time on GIMP - a freeware image manipulation programme - following the first class with Sharon Boggon who is offering a course for textile design.  I'm quite excited about it!

Hope that you are enjoying some sewing or other creative time!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Can you bear another sample photo or two?

No, honestly, I'm not doing this for fun - but Blogger is still telling me to add purple overlays to my (in real life) white quilting samples!

This is my free form feather with stippling - nothing particularly exciting, I'm afraid, and not one of my best feathers, although I was trying to balance each blob with a partner one and I did at least manage to get a matching number!
This was the other sample that I've sewn this week.  It was fun coming up a continuous line quilting pattern based on one of my designs from my last C&G module on media......  You can still see most of the elements from the design if you look carefully between the two photos, although some parts worked better than others after I'd simplified it!

I'm not sure that I'm going to manage more than samples this week either..... particularly not if I'm going to try and find out why my photos are upsetting Blogger so much!  perhaps Blogger thinks that mostly white photos are too dull? I'll try more colour next week, perhaps!

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Fun with FMQ

Not much time for sewing this week - its half term so I'm busy being a mum.  So far I've only grabbed 20 minutes to machine doodle this FMQ sample block as part of my C&G samples.

I have to say that for the second week in a row Blogger has played fast and loose with my photo - this sample is all white and doesn't have interesting colour overlays.....although perhaps that would be a good idea!

My biggest challenge on this was to get the last stitches in each block to lead me to the corner ready to move onto the next design.  I realise that if I'd stitched the grid in purple I'd have been able to overstitch from any point on the edge of the block which is something to consider for the next ones, perhaps!
Happy halloween!

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Still making progress


I can't lie.  My handsewing still doesn't look how I'd like it to.  However, I am just about up to date with my TAST pages, which is cause for a little celebration!  As well as adding the final stitch to this page, at the weekend I managed the next six stitches on the next one of my pages too.

I've also (after trying just one beaded stitch) ordered a book about beaded embroidery stitches which looks lovely, even though I'm not sure that it's easy to find beads that are small but that have holes in big enough to fit needle and sewing thread through.....I'm hoping that the book will help guide me through the right choices!

Not much other sewing so far this week, but I'm hoping to settle down to some machine sewing later, now that I've ticked some other chores off the list for this week.

Finally, my bloggy friend Sarah, who is doing the same C&G course as me, has just set up a new Facebook page - Quilt Candy -  and is starting to showcase her lovely work.  Why not drop by and take a look and a like?

Hope that you are finding some pre-Halloween crafting time too!

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Stich and burn

Not much stitching at all this week (but we have nearly put all the things that belong in the Living Room back into the Living Room, which feels like an achievement)

I'm trying to work out whether I can use the stitch and burn idea used to make this postcard to make a more complex image.  My cousin John takes fabulous photos of birds, including some wonderful bright yellow warblers, and I'm wondering whether or not I could use yellow, white and brown voile layered and burnt away from stitching to try and re-create one of his pictures to make an image to go onto a cushion cover......  I might just have to give it a shot next week.

Planning some scrap booking, then hand stitching and maybe a little paper and pencil work for the rest of the week, so that I can try and catch up my TAST stitches again, and start on my Mod 6 design stuff.

Hope that you are having fun crafting or sewing!

Tuesday 9 October 2012


This isn't a great shot, but taken by DD1 it's the best shot that I have to show something of the quilt show, with my 'flower tree' hanging in a lovely position at the Landmark over the weekend.  It's a lovely building,  large, light and airy.  The quilts were displayed very well by the team of volunteers on Thursday.  Over 600 people came through the doors, so we are hoping to make a good donation to the Royal Marsden.  If you were one of the people who came along, thank you.   We appreciate your support.
 The quilts are all home now - despite two people seeking me out to see if I'd sell the flower tree!

Seeing the quilts piled up like this (mostly backings showing!) explains how I get through the lovely graphic fabric with birds and trees on so quickly.  Perhaps I need another trip to Ikea to stock up on it!
Too worn out even to watch a recording of Downton Abbey yesterday(!), I was saving my energy to go to the quilt group meeting in the evening, where Lesley had made kits and led a mini-workshop on how to use copyright free designs to produce interesting pieces.  Both of these are unfinished but a little more stitching should see them done.

Happy stitching!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Only One More Day!

No, not to see this sample of machine quilting (the photo that I failed to upload last time) - this is merely a distraction (which at the time of being photographed was wet and slapped onto the window so that I could really see the stitching lines.

There is only one more day left to go to the Richmond and Kew Quilters Show at The Landmark, Teddington.  It will be open tomorrow (Sunday 7th Oct) from 10am until 5.00pm, with raffle draws in the mid to late afternoon.

Don't miss out!  There are some fabulous quilts there, including a couple of mine (somewhat less fabulous) and quilts belonging to both Avril and Benta, amongst many others!  If I can entice you further, there is splendid cake, craft and sewing bric-a-brac stalls, local traders......what's not to like?

Hope to hear that you've been along and enjoyed it!

Wednesday 3 October 2012

My One Top Tip for Needleworkers.

So what is this one top tip?  It's this.  Don't - actually, let me rephrase that - DO NOT eat Jaffa Cakes at your sewing machine unless you can guarantee that you will be able to keep all the small fragments of chocolate from melting on the side of your hand and transferring themselves to your hitherto pure white quilting......


Actually, I do have one more needleworking tip:  even if you think that you are going to pick up your cross stitch again in a couple of hours, I recommend that you store the needle either in a needle case, or really close to the edge of the fabric, NOT either in or close to the stitches that you are making.  Otherwise, if, say you 'file' piece of work for 10 years and then want to finish and frame it, you may find that you have two unattractive rust dots on the fabric to deal with.  Go on, guess how I know (and then don't wonder that the lovely 'Australian Alphabet' I stitched some time ago has such narrow borders within the frame).

Turning away from those warnings, though (and perhaps picking up some bicarb in order to get rid of the chocolate mark) maybe these sampler pieces will encourage you to get quilting too?  These patterns are all made with the walking foot (rather than free motion quilting).  Hmmm.  Pieces?  just the one, I'm afraid.  The other sample photo that I wanted to load doesn't seem to be playing nicely with blogger, so you'll just have to wait until another day to see that one.  Only one sampler piece after all.  Oh well, more sewing to show you next time instead, whilst I go off and have a mini-celebration for passing Mod 5 of my C&G course!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Liberating List Bashing!

I'm really enjoying trying to clear my orphan blocks.  This was particularly liberating - having had a good time hand stitching this (very good practice!) I realised that I didn't actually have any way of using it, so it's been stuck to my wall with a pin for something over a year nowI decided it was time to take the rotary cutter to it - and have harvested the bases for three post cards, 4 ATC's and one tag. Not bad for something that would otherwise be destined for the textile bin.

I did wonder about applying some paint or crayon colour before I chopped it up, but decided against it - not quite as brave as I might be, it turns out!

This was my next use of orphan blocks - some of them over two years old, I was horrified to realise!  A bit of novelty fabric, a bit of sashing, and I have another small quilt to donate.

I can see that it's not the most beautiful or cohesive design, but it has some interest to children, and I hope will be a nice fabric hug for someone.

This was something else on my 'list of UFOs' - a very simple hand quilted cushion.  I'd been held up for a little while by running out of the thread that I'd be using....and not being able to remember the name of where I'd bought it from either.  Luckily Lis knew which shop I was talking about (isn't Blogland wonderful?) and I've been able to order more (with just a few extra threads, ahem) and finish the cushion cover.
Next on my hit list was the desire to make some items for the craft sales table for my group's quilt show.  I've added these bags to the others that I made earlier in the year, and a couple of cards too (oh, and one of the cards used another little orphan block - I was pleased with that!).
This productive week also included some work on my C&G module, including a 3d presentation of some of my work.  Isn't this fun? It's like a mini theatre of postcard stands..... ;-)

I'm quite worn out by all the excitement.  Only a few more bits and bobs of unfinished projects or blocks to use, and then my 'design wall' (a piece of fleece hanging from a wooden dowel) will be empty, and I'll turn my attention to my scrap drawers, perhaps.

Time for a rest, and then I need to catch up with TAST (again!).

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Happy Quilting!

Another quilt 'Angelika-ed' - do you recognise the patched strips from the kitchen bench throws?  These are the trimmings from the first throw (and yes, I did know that I was making it oversized, but that was the easiest way to construct the blocks and put it together!).

I quilted feathers in all five rows, although the white quilting on the blue strips doesn't show in the photos. I was quite pleased with the feathers as I managed to stitch them without any pen or pencil guides at all, just a curved line for the spine marked with a Hera marker.  Fuss free, although I might want to mark the start and stops if the piece was more formal and I wanted to keep them the same length!

You can see the quilting a little more clearly here, although not the pretty variegated King Tut thread, which is very jolly.

Most of the rest of the week has been taken up with C&G design work (and putting together a 3d star book showing the samples of quilting and some quilt history).

I've done quite well for 'found' treasure, though.  Ribbon from new pyjamas for DD1, elastic cord from wellies for both girls, and,best of all, lovely twisted multicolour threads from my Abel and Cole veg box!  This was our first one, and if they give me lovely thread each week I can see that I will be even more likely to keep them going than if it was just the delicious veggies!

Thursday 13 September 2012

Making more progress

Almost finished this, my A3 challenge piece this week.  It might have been called finished if I didn't think that the text was a bit weedy!  I'm happy to have the writing there, but I need to take the time to bulk it out either by adding extra threads or by using different stitches.

Other than that, it is recognisably a map, (and for those who know the area, perhaps even recognisable as a map of Twickenham), with concentric more or less circles radiating out from our home.  I've added buttons to show destinations we go to each week (swimming, gymnastics, ballet, schools, Brownies) and looped thread around to show the journeys.  Although I'm not sure that the balance of the design is quite right, I'm pretty happy with the technical aspects of applying coloured voiles, stitched around them and then burning off the excess around the edge.  That's how the 'green spaces' and the river were added.  I really want to try more of this!

Come and see it for real at my quilt group's local exhibition - Friday 5th Oct to Sunday 7th Oct (10 - 5pm each day) at The Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington TW11 9NN.  All profits to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

The actual finish this week is another quilt that will be in the exhibition.  I started it at a workshop with Jan Hassard last November, but didn't do anything more with it until this summer when it's slowly crept to a finish.

I can see that it needs blocking to sort out the wobbly bottom (wouldn't it be lovely if some pins and a spray of water would sort out my wobbly bottom - what a thought!) but I'm pleased with the overall look of it.

I'm hoping that once we've sorted out the living room (soon to be re-decorated) that it will hang on the wall in there.  Must remember to mention that to DH......!

My other quilty escapade this week was to go to a talk (again, my local quilt group) by the hugely talented Maggie Barber.  She not only showed us her wonderful quilts, but was kind enough to let us get up 'close and personal' with them all too.  I came away thinking that I should probably just hang up my sewing needles for ever, as the standard of her work was so incredible!  (I've clearly decided that this was an overreaction, and have decided to carry on sewing, but to try and do what I do a bit better!).

I hope that you are finding plenty to inspire you in your world too!  Happy sewing!

Friday 7 September 2012

Mind the Gap!

 Can you see the iconic London Underground logo?  Almost?  Please say that you can - squint if necessary!

This small sample (just over 6" almost square) must have taken me about 8 hours to make.  Each yo-yo (or Suffolk puff, if you are being posh) was drawn up around a 1p piece, so they finished quite small.

It was interesting. It was slightly too repetitive. I won't have to make another sample like this for my C&G course.  I'm pleased that I've done it once!

Far quicker, on a relative scale, was this, the second of the kitchen bench cover-up quilts (thrown over the kitchen arm chair for this photo). As I'd make the top at the same time as the first one I just had the quilting to do.

Another tick on my 'to-do' list.  In the last month I've managed 5 ticks, 3 half-ticks (projects started or moved forward significantly) and 5 more items still to start, let alone finish - most of which I'd like finished by the end of the month.  Lucky that most of them are small projects, but not, I'm hoping, as time consuming as this weeks small project!

Monday 3 September 2012

From Rubbish to Respectable

 Some years ago I made two covers for the benches in my kitchen.  The tension on the sewing wasn't great, and as I was in a hurry to get them finished they were quilted with just a small spiral motif in the plain squares.

They looked nice, until the wear and tear on them (they were on the kitchen benches, after all, and see a lot of sitting and shuffling action) began to tell.  Seams started unravelling in the pieced blocks and despite my best efforts, chocolate and ketchup stains became permanent design additions.

It was time to take action.  Rather than replace them completely (after all, the wadding and backing were still sound) I decided on a makeover.

Ta-da!  Over the holiday I made two quilt tops - and this is the first one quilted onto the old quilt.  Firmer seams, more generous allowances, lots more quilting (just a stipple, nothing fancy!) and a lazy 'binding' that is just the front folded to the back and zig-zagged down.

They won't win prizes.  They don't need to.  It's just my kitchen and a few bottoms that need to appreciate the improvement!

Just one more quilting session, another binding session, and the second quilt will also be complete to make the whole run of benches a lot smarter.

What a great start to the autumn, and what a good use of my batik stash!

Sunday 26 August 2012

Going Up in the World?

So if you ignore the fact that my laptop has been put centre stage (guessing that was DD1, judging by the glass of 'holiday treat Orangina' next to it), this gives you an idea of where I've been sitting to sew over the last week - a bigger space than I usually occupy, and less crowded, as although I pack a sewing machine and a crate of fabric and other necessities, I leave most of my sewing room safely at home!

What you can't see is that when I was sitting there (and I have to confess to preferring a less beautiful but more comfortable adjustable chair) I could look to my right and see the sea - how lovely was that?

I realise that having ME / CFS means that my holidays aren't like those of other people.  Sharing a holiday with my extended family means that my girls get to play on the beach and do all those holiday things that I can't easily do with them - and which are hard for my DH to do alone.  My role is to be there for them at the end of the day when they come home cold and tired, and other than that I am 'allowed' to stay in and sew or rest.  It still bugs me that I can't go out and join in - I want to be striding over moors, scrambling over rocks and loving the outdoors - but at least this way my girls get to do fun things, even if I'm pretty much housebound for the holiday.

Next time I'll have some photos of the sewing that I did, but as yet the quilt that I almost finished still needs binding, and I haven't taken any photos of my C&G sample blocks!

I hope that you are having a fun summer, whether sewing, crafting or just enjoying yourself some other way.

Monday 13 August 2012

Almost there!

 I have made surprisingly good progress on my TAST catch up plan - due largely to my lovely DH taking my DDs off camping for a couple of nights, allowing me to sit in front of the TV with my laptop propped at eye level next to me whilst I deciphered how to make lovely new stitches.

I am now only three stitches behind - and hoping to make up more ground today, as one of the stitches I can already see how to do!

My only other crafting has been to make two of these little notebook covers.  Cheap and cheerful mini-notepads, a small amount of fabric, ribbon and fleece, and a few small pencils that the girls were given free at some point. 

A really good way of giving them a tiny carry kit, and the individual pencil pockets mean that they can't easily lose the pencils when the train gives an extra large joggle!

I hope that you are having a lovely crafty summer.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Hairband Tutorial

I know that I'm only a couple of weeks into the school hols, so it's not really time to talk about back to school in any way, but you might want to make this simple project with your small people over the summer, as it's really, really easy!

You will need two pieces of fabric (one 17" x 4", one 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" and a piece of elastic 4" long)
1) Fold each piece of fabric in half (right sides together and sew along the long side of each (I used a generous 1/4" seam).

2) Turn them out to make two tubes.

3) Iron them flat with the seam in the middle of the bottom flat side.

4) Turn the ends of the long tube inside (about 1/4") and iron them in ready for sewing.
 5) Use a bodkin or large safety pin to hold one end of the elastic and thread it through the short tube just far enough that the end of the elastic and the end of the fabric tube line up.  Sew over this end several times with the sewing machine to hold the elastic and fabric securely.

6) Pull the elastic through the tube and sew the other ends in the same way - the extra fabric will crinkle up around it - that's what you want!

7) Now put each end of the little elastic-y crinkle tube into the folded end of the large fabric tube.  You should aim to line up the middle seams, and sew them into place with several passes of sewing again - your sewing should go from edge to edge of the large tube but you might want to do a couple of extra passes over the middle section with the little tube end.
 8) Ta-da!  You have finished your hairband - now find a young model to show you how great it looks!

I cut up a school dress that was past it's best, which had a high polyester content, which is why this band doesn't look as flat as the others that we've made. On the plus side it will match school uniform when my DD's return to school!
Of course, you don't have to make it in school colours, and if you want to make it really simple for small people to make, you don't even have to make the small covering tube for the back, like this one that DD2 made.
Alternatively you can get really fancy with two types of fabric and pleats into the smaller tube (so a slightly different construction, but once you've made a basic one I'm sure that you can work that out!).

I hope that you have fun.  The measurements given are for  primary school girls' heads.  If you want a longer band for yourself or an older girl then just adjust the longer tube - you shouldn't need it to be more than about 20" I think, but you can always measure to check before you make it.

I like the idea of embellishing them - I'm thinking jazzy flowers, stuffed ladybirds, perhaps a felt parrot - but the girls have come across my wilder ideas before and have decided to keep the bands plain at the moment.......