French coun­try kitchen

With a touch of shabby chic mixed with the sim­plic­ity of nat­u­ral linen, you can cre­ate a food haven for the fam­ily.

Sew Ideas - - Contents - projects by KEVIN SWARTS and EL­IZ­A­BETH FES­TER

Hide the wash­ing ma­chine be­hind a cur­tain, sew an apron and learn step by step how to make a di­vided scone holder

Hide-and-seek cur­tains

Hide your laun­dry equip­ment away be­hind charm­ing cur­tains. The se­cret lies in us­ing a dif­fer­ent tech­nique for each fab­ric panel.

Dif­fi­culty: ad­vanced, must have some knowl­edge of stitchcraft Time: two full days

To cut

1 Mea­sure the open­ing (length and width) where the cur­tains will hang and plan your pan­els – you will re­peat one fab­ric print to have four pan­els (for these cur­tains we have used the same fab­ric for pan­els 2 and 4).

2 Cut the fab­rics ac­cord­ing to your mea­sure­ments, with 2cm ex­tra on all sides for seam al­lowances, as fol­lows: cut the top panel three times the width of the open­ing for am­ple gath­er­ing pleats – make sure this panel makes pro­vi­sion for the rod’s casing at the top.

3 The sec­ond panel is cut sim­ply ac­cord­ing to the width, plus seam al­lowances all around.

4 The third panel is cut one and a half times the width for gath­er­ing in.

5 The fourth panel is cut one and a half to one and three-quar­ters times the width – ac­cord­ing to the width of your box pleats.

To make

1 Over­lock all the raw edges of the pan­els to pre­vent the fab­ric fray­ing when you make the box pleats and the gath­er­ing pleats.

2 Be­gin with the top panel. Stitch two rows of gath­er­ing stitches along the top and bot­tom edges of the fab­ric, as well

as in the mid­dle, where the stitch­ing will be worked when the edge is folded over for the rod casing. Pull in all the gath­er­ing threads to the de­sired width.

3 Fold over the top edge of the panel and stitch along the gath­er­ing stitches in the mid­dle, with the bind­ing placed in be­tween to strengthen the seam.

4 Now take panel 2 and stitch the pip­ing along the top edge of the panel. (If you can’t find pip­ing in the re­quired colour, you can make your own.) Now stitch the bot­tom edge of panel 1 to the top edge of panel 2 with the right sides fac­ing.

5 Work two rows of gath­er­ing stitches along the top and bot­tom edges of panel 3 and pull in the gath­er­ing threads to the de­sired width. Stitch pan­els 2 and 3 to­gether with the right sides fac­ing. Stitch the rib­bon tape over this seam.

6 Take your last panel and fold in box pleats so that the top edge of panel 4 fits the bot­tom edge of panel 3. Press the pleats in place and stitch down. Now stitch panel 4 to panel 3 with the right sides fac­ing.

7 Fold in nar­row dou­ble hems along the sides of the cur­tain and stitch down. Make sure your cur­tain is the cor­rect length, trim if nec­es­sary, fold in a nar­row dou­ble hem along the bot­tom edge and stitch down.

‘Eggs’ sign from Peter Os­born Fur­ni­ture. Pes­tle and mor­tar from Wey­landts. Tea towel from On­site Gallery.

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Linen apron

Noth­ing com­pares with an apron long and wide enough to fold around you to pro­tect your clothes.

To cut

Draft the pat­tern on pages 72-73 onto dressmaker’s graph pa­per. Fold the fab­ric in half and pin the pat­tern to the fab­ric with the cen­tre front on the fold. Cut out (3cm seam al­lowances are al­ready in­cluded) and also cut out the pocket, waist­bands and neckband.

To make

1 Clip in the curve of the arm­hole in the seam al­lowance, fold over to the in­side and press flat. Stitch a nar­row dou­ble hem all around the apron. 2 Fold the waist ties and neckband in half length­wise with the right sides to­gether and stitch the long edge and one end of each band. Turn through to the right side and press the seams flat. 3 Stitch the waist ties to the side edges of the apron. Fold the seam al­lowance at the open end of the neckband to the in­side and stitch the band to one side at the top edge of the apron. 4 Make a large but­ton­hole at the top edge of the other side of your apron, for the loose end of the neckband to be threaded through and tied se­curely. 5 Fold over the top edge of the pocket and stitch down. Fold in the seam al­lowances along the other three sides, pin the pocket to the apron and stitch in po­si­tion. Stitch down the mid­dle of the pocket through both lay­ers to form two sep­a­rate pock­ets.

Model: He­lena from Full Cir­cle. Hair and make-up: Lyn­dall from Su­per­nova.

Tray cloth and tea towel from On­site Gallery. Knife from @home.

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