Author Archive

Tools and Equipment for Furnishings

by on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 18:47 under Home & Garden.

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The most expensive piece of equipment needed for making soft furnishings is a sewing machine. Although a modem swing-needle machine is preferable because of its zigzag stitching, an ordinary straight stitch machine, either hand or electric, is perfectly adequate. Always work a small piece of practice stitching on a fabric sample before starting a project, adjusting the stitch length and tension as necessary. Fit anew needle whenever necessary; machine needles become blunt very quickly, especially when sewing on synthetic blends, and a blunt needle can cause uneven stitches and puckering. Have the machine serviced by a professional repairer at regular intervals and put it away after each sewing session to prevent it from becoming covered with dust.

A steam iron is also essential. Choose a tidily heavyweight one and keep the sole plate spotlessly clean at all times. Fill the iron with distilled water (available from a pharmacy or motor accessory shop) when using the steam facility to avoid limescale forming inside the water reservoir and clogging the steam jets. A sturdy ironing board with a well-padded surface or slip-on cover is also needed.

Sewing needles come in various shapes and sizes; choose a type of needle which feels comfortable when stitching. As a general guide, betweens are short needles, sharps are slightly longer and used when tacking (basting) or gathering, straws or milliner’s needles are very long and useful when sewing through several layers of fabric.


Try to keep the necessary equipment in good order, clean and tidily stored so it is always easy to find immediately. A plastic tool box with divided trays is useful tor this purpose.

Fabric, threads and trimmings should be stored in a cool, dust-free place. Keep off cuts of fabric in self-seal plastic bags with the appropriate threads and label the bags with the date and the name of the project. This is useful in case the stitching needs to be repaired or a patch needs to be added to conceal a damaged area.


There are different types of needle threader available and these can be helpful when using fine, hard-to-thread needles. Whether or not a thimble is used when hand sewing is largely a matter of personal preference, but using one will protect the fingers.

Glass-headed pins are easy to see and handle. If the ordinary type of pin is preferred, choose a brand which is stainless and rustproof to avoid marking the fabric. Store pins in a dry place. A small horseshoe magnet is useful to retrieve pins and needles from the floor after a sewing session.

There are several types of sewing threads for both hand and machine use. Use mercerized cotton thread when sewing pure cotton and linen; core-spun thread (thread with a coating of cotton around a polyester core) for general purpose stitching; spun polyester thread on synthetic fabrics. Use tacking thread for tacking in preference to sewing thread as it breaks easily and tacking can here moved without damaging the fabric.

Good quality scissors are a real investment as they will cut accurately and stay sharp longer than cheaper ones. Drop-forged scissors are heavy, but the blades can be sharpened repeatedly over many years while the lightweight type with plastic handles are very comfortable to use. Buy a large pair with 28 cm/I I in blades for cutting out fabric, a medium-sized pair with 10 to 12.5 cm/4 to 5 in blades for trimming seams and cutting small pieces of fabric and a small pair of needlework scissors for unpicking or snipping thread ends.

Choose a fibreglass tape measure as fabric and plastic tape measures will eventually stretch and become inaccurate. A wooden metre rider or yard stick is also useful. A dressmaker’s pencil is more convenient for marking fabric than tailor’s chalk as it can he sharpened to a fine point. Choose white or yellow for marking dark fabrics and blue for light ones.

The metric and imperial measurements quoted in the following projects are not exact equivalents. Always follow just one set of measures, either centimetres or inches, to ensure perfect results. Note also that contrasting thread has been used for the stitching for clarity only; it is normal to match the colour of the thread with the dominant shade of the furnishing fabric.

Stamp Making

by on Friday, April 11, 2014 17:32 under Do it Yourself.

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Use high-density sponge for sharply defined and detailed designs. Trace your chosen motif on to the sponge using a soft pencil for dark, clear lines.

Cut along the outline using a sharp blade, then, pinching the background sections, cut them away holding the blade away from your fingers.

Roughly cut around the design, then spray the tracing paper with adhesive to hold it in place on the sponge while you are cutting it out.

When using a stamp mounted on a block, draw a straight line on the back to help with positioning. Align the block with the pencil guideline on the wall. A piece of cardboard held between the previous print and the stamp will ensure consistent spacing between motifs.

Sharp scissors, rather than a blade, can be used with medium-to-low density sponge and are especially useful for cutting out the basic shapes.


With the aid of a spirit level (carpenter’s level), draw a faint pencil line to use as a guide when stamping. Once the stamping is finished and the paint is dry, this guideline can be removed using a cloth wrung out in soapy water and rubbed along the line.


Although stamping is sometimes thought of as another form of stencilling it is essentially a form of printing. You can achieve many way it is applied.

Half-shade: Roll the first, paler colour over the stamp, then roll a second, darker shade over one half only, to create a three-dimensional shadowed effect.

Sponge print: Applying the paint with a sponge gives variable, individual prints.

Two-tone: Using a dry roller, load the stamp with the first colour, then apply the second to the top and bottom edges only.

Stippled: This stippled effect gives the print lots of surface interest: apply the paint with a stiff brush and a dabbing, stippling motion.

Light shadow: The paint has been applied with a roller, covering each element of the motif more heavily on one side to create a delicate shadow effect.

Contrasting detail: Pick out details of the design in a contrasting colour: apply the first colour with a roller, and then use a brush to apply the second colour in the areas you want.

Wallpapering Ceilings

by on Saturday, March 22, 2014 16:33 under Do it Yourself.

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Many people regard the papering of ceilings with horror. In reality they are easier to deal with than walls because they are flat, do not have any awkward angles (except in rooms with sloping ceilings and dormer windows), and have few obstacles attached to them apart from the occasional light fitting(fixture), which can in any case usually be removed quite easily.

The only thing that takes getting used to when papering ceilings is working on an upside-down surface. The basic technique is no different from working on walls. The wall covering is simply positioned, brushed into place and then trimmed where it meets adjoining surfaces.

The most important thing to plan carefully is access equipment that will safely allow a complete length to be hung across the room. Nothing is more dangerous than attempting to step off of the chair; proper access is a must. The best solution is to use scaffold boards or lengths of staging, supported by stepladders, trestles or home-made supports to create a flat, level walkway spanning the room from wall to wall at a height that allows the ceiling to be reached comfortably. It will take only a few seconds to reposition after hanging each length, ready for the next.
This is also a job where an additional pair of hands will be a big help, at least before gaining the knack of supporting a concertina of pasted wall covering with one hand while:.-rushing it into position with the other— this can be done only with practice.

The first length should he hung to a guideline on the ceiling. The best way of marking this is with a chalked line against the ceiling at both ends snapped against it.


1. Paste the wall covering in the usual way, but fold it up concertina-fashion with the starting end of the length folded over on itself. Lining (liner) paper has been used here.

2. Hang the first length to a chalked line just less than the width of the call covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering.

3. Trim the overlaps at the ends and along the side wall. Then hang the second length in the same way, butted up against the edge of the first length.

4. On meeting a pendant light fitting (fixture) pierce the wall covering over its centre and make a series of radial cuts outwards front the pierced point.

5. With the power turned off at the unscrew the cover and trim the tongues off, flush with the base of the fitting. Replace the cover.

6 Where the ceiling runs into an alcove, CIA the wall covering in line with the sidewall of the recess and brush it into place.’


The shape of an arch makes it impossible to get a pattern match along the curved join. It is best to choose a wall covering with a small design motif and a random pattern, to use different but complementary designs for the face walls and the arch surface, or to use lining (liner) paper inside the arch and paint it a plain colour.

To paper an arched recess, cover the face and hack walls first turning cut tongues of wall covering onto the arched surface. Then cover the arch surface as described below.

To paper a through archway, hang the wall covering on the two face walls and trim out the waste to leave an overlap of about 25 mm in all around. Make cuts in the edge so that the tongues can be turned on to the arch surface. Then cut a strip of wall covering a traction narrower than the width of the arch surface and long enough to cover it in one piece, and brush this into place. Work from the bottom of one side upwards to the top of the arch, and then down the other side. Always use special overlap adhesive with washables and vinyls.

How to Prepare to Paint a House

by on Friday, March 21, 2014 3:57 under Do it Yourself.

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Remove areas of flaking paint using a scraper or filling knife (putty knife),and then either touch in the bare area with more paint or fill it flush with the surrounding paint film by using fine filler (spackle). Sand this smooth when it has hardened then use a clean cloth moistened with white spirit (paint thinner) to remove dust from recessed moldings and other awkward comets.

If knots are showing through on painted woodwork, sand back to bare wood and apply knotting (shellac) to the knot, then prime and undercoat to bring the new paint film level with the surrounding paintwork and sand between coats. Resinous knots may produce stains which can only be prevented by drying out the knots with a blowtorch.

Stripping Paint

Every time a surface is re-painted, a little more thickness is added to the paint layer. This does not matter much on wall or ceiling surfaces, but on woodwork (and, to a lesser extent, on metalwork) this build-up of successive layers of paint can eventually lead to the clogging of derail on moldings.

More importantly, moving parts such as doors and windows start to bind and catch against their frames. If this happens, it is time to strip back to bare wood and build up a new paint system. There are two methods of removing paint from wood and metal surfaces. The first is using heat, traditionally from a blowtorch but nowadays more often from an electric heat gun. The second is to use a chemical paint remover, which contains either dimethylene chloride or caustic soda. Heat works well on wood (although it can scorch the surface), but is less successful on metal because the material conducts heat away as it is applied. Chemicals work well on all surfaces, but need handling with care; always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.


  1. Spray the air stream from the heat gun over the surface to soften the paint film. Scrape it off with a flat scraper as it bubbles up, and sit the hot scrapings in an old metal container
  2. Use a shave hook (triangular scraper) instead of a flat scraper to remove the paint from moldings. Take care not to scorch the wood if you intend to varnish it afterwards.
  3. Remove any remnant of paint using wire wool soaked in white spirit and paint working along the grain. Use a hand vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining loose particles paint.
  4. Sand the wood to remove any raised fibers, and then wipe it over with a cloth moistened with white spirit. Seal the resin in any exposed knots by brushing on liquid knotting (similar) and leave to dry.
  5. Apply a coat of wood primer or other recommended primer/undercoat to the stripped wood surface. This will provide optimum adhesion for the subsequent top coats, ensuring a really great finish.


  1. Fill splits and dents in wood using filler (spackle) on surfaces that are already painted, and tinted wood stopper (patched) on new or stripped wood that you intend to finish with a coat of varnish.
  2. Use the corner of a filling knife (putty knife), or a finger, to work the filler into recesses and other awkward to reach places. Smooth the excess filler before it dries and hardens.
  3. When the filler or wood stopper has hardened completely, use a piece of fine grade sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block to sand down the repair until it is flush with the rest of the wood.


  1. Wear rubber gloves and old clothing. Decant the liquid into a polythene (polyethylene) container or an old can, then brush it on to the surface to be stripped. Leave it until the paint bubbles.
  2. Use a flat scraper or shave hook (triangular scraper) as appropriate to remove die softened paint. Deposit the scrapings safely in an old container.
  3. Neutralize the stripper by washing down the surface with water or white spirit (paint thinner), as recommended by the manufacturer and leave it to dry.


  1. Paste remover is especially good for removing paint from intricate moldings because it dries very slowly. Apply the paste liberally to the surface
  2. Give the paste plenty of time to work, removing paint from intricate moldings especially on thick paint layers, then scrape because it dries very slowly. Apply the paste it off. Wash down the surface with plenty of liberally to the surface.


Add caustic soda to water until no more will dissolve. Thicken to a paste with oatmeal and use as for proprietary paste remover. Be particularly careful when using this corrosive solution. If it splashes on the skin, rinse at once with plenty of cold water.

Window Treatment Ideas

by on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 15:23 under Do it Yourself.

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When planning a window treatment, think of the scheme as an integral part of the whole room. Consider the proportions of the window with respect to the rest of the room, the contents and the dominant colours. Successful window dressing should be part of the ensemble rather than influenced by the whim of fashion.

If you are starting from scratch, with bare walls and no furniture, then you almost have free range. For some, total freedom can be daunting, so if you have an existing carpet or soft furnishing fabric, take this as a starting point when making your fabric colour choice. The best way to choose colour is to do it on site, with the windows and the rest of your belongings around you. Look through glossy magazines, hooks about art, travel, style, food, gardens — anything where you see combinations of colours that appeal to you. This should he fun and not a chore, so feel free to draw inspiration from whatever appeals to you. It’s easy to become bewildered by choice when looking through fabrics in a store, so allow yourself time to consider the other options available.

Bear in mind, however, that your personal preference is the most important of all, so go with your instincts. There are so many reasons why we like or dislike a colour, so even if purple is the most fashionable colour of the moment but you find it depressing, avoid it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one person’s boring beige is another’s delicious oatmeal. If you like the natural look, consider earthy reds, Oranges and browns that have been dyed with natural pigments. They are warm and restful and look good with ethnic trimmings and accessories.

Practically speaking, you should consider two main elements when deciding on which treatment to use —the weight of the fabric and the state of the wall. A heavy fabric needs the security of strong brackets supporting the pole. You will need brackets at both ends and possibly in the middle as well. It should stay level, not bow in the middle. Check the walls before you invest in the coveted iron pole. Old plaster does not always conceal sound masonry, and it will need to be rock solid. Check both sides of the windows.

If the fabric is light, it may need no more than a wooden dowel and two cup hooks. Sew a channel along the top of the curtain (drape), and feed the fabric on to the dowel to cover it. Then paint the small exposed ends. With this method, the hooks screw into the wooden window frame, so no drilling is needed. Curtain clips are another option for lightweight fabrics. You can adjust their spacing at will to change the way they drape and, with ring attachments, draw the curtains.

The very simplest no-sew way to drape a window is to use a pair of sheets over a pole. Simply throw them over and pull the back and front to the same length. The two sheets should meet in the middle of the pole and be

A selection of materials suitable for hanging, attaching and decorating curtains. Most materials are easily bought and are not difficult to use. It is worth going to a good fabric or furnishing store to ensure the widest selection of materials, such as rings, hooks, brackets, cord and wire pulled back to each side of the window. The idea can be adjusted to fit most windows. Any extra fabric could be arranged on the floor below for a touch of opulence. Fabrics like suit lining, mattress ticking and calico are ideal for draping this way. Allow about three times the drop of your window, and start in the middle at the top. Arrange folds and swags, pleating as you staple. Be creative, and don’t feel as if you have to copy any ‘correct’ way of draping the fabric. There are no set rules, just ideas and inspiration.

Window Repair

by on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 3:19 under Do it Yourself.

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By far the most common window problem is a cracked or broken pane, caused by a flying object or by the window being allowed to slam. Make a temporary repair to cracked glass with a clear waterproof repair tape not household adhesive tape – but aim to replace the pane at the earliest opportunity. If the glass is broken, lift out all the loose pieces for safety’s sake and make a temporary repair by fixing heavy-duty polythene (polyethylene)sheeting or a piece of board over the opening to keep out the cold.

When measuring up bar the replacement glass, measure all four sides in case the rebate in the frame is not perfectly square, and use the smaller of each pair of figures. Subtract 3 nun/

Vs in from each one to allow for clearance all around, and note which way the pattern ran if the glass was obscured rather than clear. Take a piece of patterned glass with you when buying a replacement, so as to be sure of getting the correct type.

The other problems that windows suffer from are similar to those affecting doors– paint build-up, expansion and warping. They may also pull out of square if the frame corner joints start to open up, causing the casement to bind in its frame and possibly also cracking the glass. The trouble can be cured by strengthening the frame corners with small L-shaped metal repair plates; cut shallow recesses for them and disguise their presence with filler (spackle) and a coat of paint.


1. When a window breaks, remove all the loose glass immediately for safety’s sake. Wear stout gloves to protect your handstand dispose of the glass safely

2. Use an old chisel or a glazier’s knife to remove all the old putty from the rebate in the frame. Take care not to cut into the wood while doing this.

3. Use a pair of pincers or pliers to pull out the old glazing sprigs. Metal frames have glazing clips; save these and re-use them.

4. Knead some putty with your hands toward and soften it, then press it into the rebate by extruding it between your thumb and forefinger.

5. Set the replacement pane m position against the bedding putty with equal clearance all around, and press it into place mound the edges to compress the putty.

6. Secure the pane in the rebate by tapping in glazing sprigs at roughly 30 cm/12 in intervals. Replace clips in their locating holes in metal frames.

7. Repeat step 4 to extrude a bead of putty all around the pane, then neaten it to a45′ bevel by drawing the blade of a putty knife along it.

8. Trim off excess putty from the outside and inside of the pane and leave it to harden for about14 days before painting over it to disguise and seal the joints.


1. If a build-up of paint is causing the edge of the casement to hind against the frame, strip it hack. Use chemical strippers for this, as heat may crack the glass.

2. If the Ionic has swollen because of moisture penetration, plane a little wood off the leading edge. Prime and paint it immediately to keep the wood dry.

3. If the corner joints of a casement show signs of opening up and the frame is pulling out of square, screw on small L-shaped metal repair plates.

How to Sew a Box Cushion

by on Monday, February 24, 2014 8:39 under Do it Yourself.

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Circular bolster cushions look attractive on most types of furniture and make a good visual contrast against the more usual rectangular cushions. This shape of cushion works particularly well with striped, check and tartan cloth, especially when a contrasting tassel, ribbon how or pompom is used as a trim.

A box cushion adds comfort and style to a sofa. This cushion has been made by tie dyeing individual patches of contrasting fabric then sewing them together. A box cushion adds comfort and style to a sofa. This cushion has been made by tie dyeing individual patches of contrasting fabric then sewing them together.


  1. Cut out the fabric then cut the hack gussetin half lengthways and place together with the right sides facing. Pin and stitch the seam 12 min/1/2 in from the raw edges, leaving an opening for the zip (zipper).Press the scam open.
  2. Pin and tack (baste) the zip in position along the opening, as shown, allowing the fabric to meet centrally over the zip teeth. Stitch the zip in place using a zip foot on the machine.
  3. With the right sides facing, join the four gusset pieces together along the short ends, taking a 12 min/1/2 in seam allowance and leaving 12 mm/1/2 in unstitched at each end of the seams. Press the seams open.
  4. With the right sides facing, pin and stitch the top edge of one gusset section to one edge of the top cover piece, taking a12 mm/1/2 in seam allowance. At the gusset seam, leave the needle in the fabric, raise the machine foot and pivot the fabric so the next section of gusset aligns with the next side of the top cover piece. Continue pinning and stitching each section around the top in this way. Open the zip, then repeat the procedure to attach the bottom cover piece to the remaining side of the gusset. Trim away the surplus cloth at the corners and then turn the cover right side out.


  • Cut out the fabric then pin and stitch the length of the bolster cover with a French seam. Turn right side out and press. Turn under is double 12 mm/t/’ in hem at each end of the tube. Pin and tack (baste) the hem in place using a contrasting thread.
  • Stitch along the hems, keeping the stitching close to the inner folds. Remove the tacking (basting) stitches and press thoroughly.
  • Using double thread run a row of gathering stitches along each end of the tube, close to the outer fold of the hem, leaving a long thread end. Insert the holster pad in the tube, then tighten the gathering threads to close the cover. Secure the thread ends, then cover the small hole left at each end by attaching a furnishing tassel, ribbon how or a button.


There are a great variety of tassels available in shops to be attached to the corners of cushions or on the ends of a bolster. The colors, shapes, sizes and designs are infinitesimal, but if you want something a bit more tailor made, create your own.

Cut out two pieces of cardboard to the length of your finished tassel and 10 cm/ 4 in wide. Place them together. Put .30 cm /12 in of your yarn to one side and then wind as much of the rest around the card from top to bottom until there is sufficient for the type of tassel you are making. The more you wind on, the fuller will be the result.

Stitch along the hems, keeping the stitching close to the inner folds. Remove the tacking (basting) stitches and press thoroughly. Thread the set aside yam through a needle and then pass the needle through the top of the wound yarn and tie at the top. Repeat several times so that you are left with a strong loop at the top of the tassel, it will be attached later to the item you are dressing up. Holding the yarn firmly in one hand, cut through the yarn at the bottom between the two pieces of cardboard then release the cardboard and then bind the tassel as near as possible to the top to ensure that the head remains firm. To neaten, comb out the yarn using your fingertips and then give the whole tassel a good trim.


A French seam encloses the raw edges of fabric and prevents them from fraying. It is worked in two stages: first stitch with the wrong sides facing (top). Trim the raw edges close to the first row of stitching then stitch with the right sides facing (above).


Box cushion: Measure the length and width of the top of the pad and then add 12 mm/1/2 in all around for seam allowances, two pieces of fabric this size are needed, one for the top and one for the bottom of the cover. The gusset is made from four pieces of fabric joined together. Measure the depth and width of the pad and add12 mm/1/2 in all around for seam allowances. Cut out three pieces of fabric to this size. Add an extra 2.5 cm/1 in to the depth of the fourth piece for the zip (zipper) seam in the gusset.

Bolster cushion: Measure the bolster from the centre point of one end, along its length and around to the centre point of the opposite end, adding a total of 5 cm/2 in for hem allowances. To calculate the width, measure the circumference of the pad and add an extra 2.5 cm/1 in for seam allowances. Cut one large piece to fit these dimensions.

How to Make Curtain Valences

by on Thursday, February 20, 2014 19:13 under Do it Yourself.

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The pelmet (valance) was originally used as a means of keeping curtains and drapes free from dust, and is now very popular simply as a decorative feature. Tie-backs are both attractive practical, holding hack curtains to let in the maximum light.

A fabric covered pelmet is quick and simple to make with a special PVC (vinyl) material that is self-adhesive on one side and lined with velour on the other. The adhesive is covered with hacking paper, which is printed with ready-to-cut pelmet patterns to suit most styles of decoration. Attach the finished pelmet to a batten (furring strip), with the returns secured to the wall above the curtain (drapery) track with angle irons. The batten should he5 cm/2 in longer than the curtain track at each side of the window.

Plain shaped tie-backs are easily made with the help of buckram shapes coated with iron-on adhesive. The buckram is available in kit form, pre-cut in several sizes to suit the curtain width. Attach the tie-backs to the wall with rings and hooks. Experiment with the position of the hooks, before fixing, to assess the most pleasing effect. A fabric-covered pelmet (valance) provides the perfect finishing touch to this window treatment and echoes the shape of the wallpaper border. Pelmet styles can he plain or fancy, scalloped or stepped. Choose a style to suit your chosen fabric and the general decor of the room. Position tie-backs about two-thirds of the way down a short curtain for maximum effect, but do experiment with the positioning before making the final fixing.


  1. Measure the batten (furring strip) and the returns. Cut out the PVC (vinyl) pelmet material to this length, taking care to centre the chosen pattern. Cut out the shaped edge of the pelmet material along the correct line for the required shape. Cut out a piece of fabric about 3 cm/ 11/4 inch larger than the pelmet material.
  2. Lift the backing paper at the centre of the pelmet material, cut across it and peel back a small amount on either side. Match the centre of the fabric with the center of the pelmet material, and press the fabric on to the exposed adhesive. Keep the fabric taut, peel away the hacking and smooth the fabric on to the adhesive.
  3. Turn the pelmet material so that the velour backing is facing upwards. Using a sharp pair of scissors carefully cut away the surplus fabric around the edge of the pelmet material.
  4. For a neat finish, glue a length of braid around the edge of the pelmet using a suitable craft adhesive. Attach strips of touch-and-close fastener to the barren with staples or tacks. Use the hooked part only, as the velour hacking of the pelmet material acts as the looped part of the fastener. Press the pelmet in position on the batten.


  1. To make the hack of the tie-back, pin the buckram shape on to the fabric and cutout around the edge of the shape. Lay this on the wrong side of the fabric to make the front, and, using a dressmaker’s pencil, mark a line on the fabric 12 cm /1/2 in all around the outside of the buckram shape. Cut out the larger front piece.
  2. With the wrong sides together, sandwich the buckram between the front and hack pieces. Press with a hot, dry iron to fuse all the layers together, raking care nor to scorch the fabric.
  3. Snip into the edge of the surplus fabric all around the tie-hack. This will help the fabric to lie neatly without puckering when you turn it over to the wrong side.
  4. Fold the surplus fabric over to the wrong side of the tie-hack and turn under the raw snipped edge. Use matching sewing thread to stitch the folded edge neatly in place, taking care that the stitches do not go through to the right side. Stitch a brass ring on to each end of tine tie-back.


It is easy to vary the look of plain tie-backs by adding narrow frills or by binding the edges with bias strips of contrasting fabric. A strip of wide, ornate ribbon or braid makes an unusual tie-back, simply apply iron-on interfacing on the wrong side to stiffen the ribbon and cover the back with a strip of lining fabric in a toning color. Turn under the raw edges, and slip stitch together around the edge.


Underactive Thyroid Gland

by on Friday, January 24, 2014 22:23 under Health.

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In infants and small children this may be a deficiency of iodine in the diet, producing a visible swelling in the neck called a goitre. be extremely important. It can affect the mental and physical development of the infant, and if undiagnosed and untreated may lead to a serious condition called hypothyroidism. This is also commonly termed cretinism.

Underactive Thyroid Gland Symptoms

Symptoms may set in fairly early in life. The first few weeks may seem fairly normal, but then an observant mother or physician may notice that baby seems sluggish and a bit slow mentally. The skin may appear to be cool and grey; the infant may be constipated, have a large tongue and flabby muscles on the abdomen. In time these become accentuated. The tongue may loll out, a swelling be present at the navel, called an umbilical hernia. There may be a hoarse little cry. Often the symptoms are vague, rather than clear-cut.

This may be at a slower rate than one would normally expect. Mental development especially becomes obviously much slower; the eyes seem to be set widely apart, and an abnormal appearance develops. With further increase in age, the skin becomes dry and coarse, the hair dry, coarse and brittle. There are the obvious signs of thyroxine lack.

Underactive Thyroid Gland Treatment

I’m happy to say treatment is often dramatic. The hormone that is lackingthyroxine – is administered, and can make a world of difference. If given sufficiently early, it can also prevent serious symptoms from developing. But if it’s so difficult to pick, how can the doctors start early therapy? Fortunately, in Australia, obstetrics hospitals now carry out a routine blood test at birth that can detect hypothyroidism. The complaint affects about one baby in 4,000. So in this manner it’s possible to commence treatment virtually from birth. It is done under medical supervision, and may be continued for many years. These services are now available in many countries of the Western world, and have virtually become an automatic procedure for babies.

Overactive Parathyroid Gland

by on Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:09 under Health.

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The Parathyroid Gland is embedded in the back part of the thyroid gland. They are quite small, and have nothing to do with the thyroid or its hormones, for they have their own chemicals that are associated with the way the body uses calcium and phosphorus, two very important chemicals. The glands may be underactive (producing a condition called hypoparathyroidism), or overactive (giving rise to hyperparathyroidism). Disorders here are uncommon, but I would like to give mothers some information about them. Overactive Parathyroid Gland
An uncommon set of symptoms may take place. It may follow on from a tumour or growth of the gland, or in certain cases where the kidneys are diseased—a condition called glomerulonephritis and there is too much calcium in the blood.
They are a vague set, and could include a general weakness of the body and the muscles in general. The child may be constipated, be nauseated, vomit and lose weight. There could well be an intense thirst and increased amounts of urine will be passed as more and more calcium leaves the system.
If there is a tumour present, this will be removed, and the patient may improve. But, as I said earlier, this is rare and will ultimately wind up at a major clinic where conditions such as these are diagnosed and treated.