Author Archives: Editor

Tesla Electric Power

By Andrew Dunning


Solar energy – we all agree it’s a good thing, but generally the panels are so ugly. If you have a beautiful home and want to add solar panels the option has until recently been very limited. Too many beautiful homes have been ruined by the additional of ugly black rectangular panels on roofs along over the country. However much you want to harness the power of the sun surely we can still have a good looking home?

Thankfully Elon Musk and the innovators over at Tesla have just launched a great looking solution and it could be a game changer in seeing more people adding solar energy to their own home. If your home looked like this and it was collecting energy from the sun who wouldn’t want to choose solar panels?

The solar roof from Tesla, in conjunction with SolarCity, consists of glass tiles that are embedded with a very high-efficiency photovoltaic cell. The tiles will be offered in four different styles to suit the different architectural styles of home – Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Smooth Glass Tile.


Tesla also announced the launch of Powerwall 2, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to allow you to use the solar power from Solar Roof in your own home. Surplus solar energy can be stored when generated and used later, i.e. when the sun isn’t shining. The Powerwall 2 is around 115cm x 75cm so can easily be installed in your home – either indoors or outdoors.


These new products were launched just last Friday in Los Angeles so it will be interesting to see how the products develops and progresses until they are launched next year. If you want to learn more head over to the Tesla site – alternatively for a more in depth review take a read of a great Bloomberg article on the new products.

Let’s hope Mr Tusk does for solar energy what he has done for electric cars – and maybe one day you’ll be inviting people over to see your new roof! I’d love to start harnessing the power of the sun and using it in my own home.

If you have enjoyed this post why don’t you head over to our page on Facebook, or follow me for my regular updates on twitter. Full details of all our Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Filed under: Product Reviews Tagged: Solar Power, Tesla

Read more here: APD Interiors

It’s time to start planning your 2017 interior

By Andrew Dunning


So you told yourself over Christmas that 2017 is the year you will finally get that new kitchen, redo the bathroom, rid yourself of the previous owners decor and finally make your house our own. But where to start? It can be very confusing deciding which room to redecorate, how to prioritise your spend, what to tackle first? To help you get started I’m giving you some inspiration from design projects APD Interiors completed for our clients in 2016.

Did your living room let you down over Christmas? When planning your home renovation I think this is always a good room to focus on as it serves as a retreat from the rest of the house. Relaxing in comfortable seating at the end of the day makes you forget that your bathroom is still avocado.

Last year after several years of grey being the fashion, and buoyed by a rediscovery of colour in interiors, we’ve seen a return to blue. In this Islington townhouse we used Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue to decorate the double reception room. The dark colour provides a perfect backdrop for the strong lupin fabric on the L shaped sofa and two custom upholstered chairs in Osborne and Little fabrics. The room is anchored by a modern engineered light wooden floor that has the slightest hint of blue in the grain.

The fireplace of the home was restored, something we always try to do to retain some of the original character of the home. The marble surround is complemented by a smart convex mirror in matt black. Adding a dash of black to your interior is an interior designers secret trick.

Good storage is essential to any home but you do need to strike a balance and not build into every space in your home. In this part of the room we didn’t opt for the alcove cupboards often seen in Victorian homes to keep the look more relaxed. Instead we bought smart media storage furniture from Heals and used a chair in the other alcove.


If your bathroom is the 2017 project this is one we completed in Kings Cross. In an urban apartment we decided to remove the bath and fit a large walk in Matki shower surround. The homeowner very rarely takes baths and this solution is a much neater solution.

Tiling is always the one item where I always tell clients they shouldn’t comprise even if your budget is limited. On this project we combined a large grey square tile with a feature faux marble strip running around the bathroom. Luxuries like heated mirror pads and concealed LED lighting finish the look.


One of the biggest projects you tackle in your home will always be the kitchen. Everyone now wants their kitchen to be the heart of their home and you need to think about how you will use the room. This is one area where a specialist interior design firm can listen to your brief and build a solution for your family.

In Highbury this year we designed and installed this bespoke kitchen for a client. If your budget allows this route will give you the kitchen of your dreams with little comprises. It also doesn’t have to be hugely expensive and is often comparable to the cost of mid end high street kitchen. We work with our in-house fabricators to create bespoke kitchens that are truly unique to our clients and their lifestyle.


This kitchen was custom sprayed in a soft grey that complements the Element 7 mansion weave floor. Dashes of black were introduced with the honed black granite worktop and the steel exterior door. We also installed a new custom designed roof light to flood the room with natural light. The perfect balance between kitchen and dining space was achieved and it has now become the client’s favourite room of their home.

So having given you some inspiration it’s time to start thinking about your own home. Whether it’s the kitchen or bathroom, your bedroom or living room the sooner you start the sooner it will be finished. If you need help from us head over to our website and drop us an email.

If you have enjoyed this post and would like more inspiration why don’t you head over to our page on Facebook, follow me for my regular updates on twitter or look at our Instagram feed. Full details of all our Design and Build services can be found on our website.

Filed under: Projects Tagged: Highbury, Interior Design, Islington, Kings Cross

Read more here: APD Interiors

How to Add a Hood to a T-shirt Pattern

By Julie Finn

How to Add a Hood to a T-shirt Pattern

When you’re sewing a T-shirt, adding a hood is one of the easier modifications to the pattern that you can make. It’s a modification that also looks a lot harder to do than it is, so get ready to impress all of your friends with your mad sewing skills!

To make a hooded T-shirt, you will need:

a good T-shirt pattern. I’m using the Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt pattern, which you can read my review of here.

a well-fitting hoodie. It should be made from a fabric similar to what you’ll be using for your T-shirt, so a sweatshirt with a hood won’t work here. I don’t always love tutorials that ask you to copy something that you already own–if you own one, do you really need to make another?–but this is the quickest and easiest way to draft a hood pattern. Other options include reading up on how to draft a hood pattern from scratch, or simply asking your buddies if they have a hoodie that you can borrow for five minutes.

jersey knit fabric. The blue fabric for this shirt is upcycled from other T-shirts, but the black fabric is store-bought jersey knit. You can see that they both work well here.

sewing supplies. Don’t forget the ballpoint needle for your sewing machine!

How to Add a Hood to a T-shirt Pattern

1. Trace the hood. I have some extra tips for copying an existing piece of clothing here. Seriously, masking tape is your friend!

Note the general shape of the hood in the photo above. No matter what hood you copy, that general shape should be the same. Pay special attention to the curve at the neckline–that’s key to a hood that will fit the shirt’s neckline well.

2. Make modifications. You want your hood to slightly overlap at the front–you can get a view of what this will look like both in the top photo here and in the top photo of my review of the Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt pattern. The degree of overlap is up to you, and there’s a lot of wiggle room. In this shirt, for instance, the overlap is maybe an inch, but I sewed a second hooded T-shirt this weekend with a hood overlap of at least three inches, and although it felt like a lot as I was sewing it, it looked totally fine and normal on the kid, and she declared that she liked it even better than the first hood. So there you go.

How to Add a Hood to a T-shirt Pattern

3. Add seam allowance. You’ll need seam allowance for the bottom and the top/back, and a hemming allowance for the front. I’ve gone into detail in a previous post about how to enlarge a curve on a pattern, so you should be all set!

How to Add a Hood to a T-shirt Pattern

4. Cut out the pattern pieces and sew. You’ll need two hood pieces, and you’ll immediately sew them together to create the complete hood.

You won’t need the neckband from your T-shirt pattern. Instead, you’ll sew the hood on in place of the neckband, centering the back seam of the hood onto the center of the back piece of the T-shirt, then sewing all the way around, overlapping the front pieces of the hood at the center of the front piece of the T-shirt.

How to Add a Hood to a T-shirt

You can further modify this hood by adding trim to the front edge or the middle seam (think pony mane or dinosaur spikes), or making it deeper and taller (think wizard’s hood).

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

14 Ways to Reuse Old Jeans

By Becky Striepe

There are so many ways to reuse old jeans! Grab some scissors, pull out the sewing machine, and let's do some upcycling.

There are so many ways to reuse old jeans! Grab some scissors, pull out the sewing machine, and let’s do some upcycling.

Here in Atlanta, the weather has been weirdly spring-like, and it’s got spring cleaning on my mind a little bit early this year. Last week, my husband cleaned out his dresser and closet and found a few old pairs of jeans that are past their prime. If you’ve got some old jeans that are ready for a new life, get them broken down for crafting and try some of these fun ways to reuse old jeans!

1. Make a Skirt – Turning jeans into a skirt is nothing new, but I love the vibrant colors and pretty edging that Julie uses in her design.

2. Make a Backpack – Whether you’re getting your kid ready for back-to-school or summer camp, you can save some cash a new backpack with this video tute.

3. Make Shoes for Kids in Need – Cut your old jeans into pattern pieces, and the amazing team at Sole Hope will turn them into shoes for kids that need them.

4. Stencil Them – Cover up stains and faded spots on your favorite pair of old jeans with a little strategic stencil work.

5. Make a Clutch – This cute jeans-to-clutch tutorial could not be simpler, and the results are super cute!

6. Make a Picnic Blanket – Denim is durable, and it’s perfect for making a pretty and functional picnic blanket.

7. Make a Work Apron – This is kind of a switcheroo – the back pockets of your old jeans become the front pockets of this simple, functional work apron that’s perfect for craft markets.

8. Make a Portable Car Game for Your Kids – You use your jeans to make the track and the portable tote for this cute kids’ game!

9. Make Some Bibs – These bibs are a perfect sewing project for beginners, and they make a great baby shower gift.

10. Make a Hexagon Pillow – This tutorial uses a few pairs of jeans to create an ombre effect. The result looks totally store-bought!

11. Make a Pouf – This is another project that’s perfect if you have a collection of old jeans that you’re looking to reuse.

12. Make a Fabric Basket – This cute little basket is perfect for stashing sewing notions, knickknacks, or other little items that you need to wrangle.

13. Make a Camera Cozy – Keep your new camera safe with a denim cozy made from an old pair of jeans.

14. Make a Stuffed Whale – This sweet whale stuffie is such a cute way to reuse old jeans!

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

Pattern Drafting: How to Draft a Curve

By Julie Finn

How to Pattern Draft a Curve

Enlarging an existing pattern by a fraction of an inch is a pretty common thing to have to do. Sometimes a pattern won’t have the seam allowance that you want, but usually you need to do it when you’re copying an existing article of clothing.

For instance, to make my daughter’s Junior Ranger vest, above when it was still a WIP, I copied her Girl Scout vest. That gave me the footprint of the completed vest, sure, but I still needed to add the seam allowances. Therefore, I needed to enlarge the pattern on all sides.

That’s easy enough to do on the straight sides, but what about the curves? I don’t have much of a steady hand for drawing, and I don’t like the look of wobbly, hand-drawn patterns anyway.

Fortunately, there IS a method for drafting a curve onto a pattern that is steady, accurate, and fool-proof. Here’s how you do it!

How to Pattern Draft a Curve

1. Extend the line from each adjacent side of the curve to the proper seam allowance. In these photos, I’m extending my seam allowance by .25″. In the photo above, see how I’ve extended the line from the adjacent side by .25″? That’s where my new curve is going to end on each side.

2. Rest your transparent ruler against the drawn curve, so that the straight edge represents your desired measurement. Draw one short, straight line there. Move the ruler slightly down the curve, and repeat. Do this over and over and over again until you’ve done this down the entire curve. You’ll see that all of your many straight lines will, at their intersection with each other, mark out your new curve.

How to Pattern Draft a Curve

3. Re-trace the curve and neaten it. I usually trace over my finished pattern in Sharpie, then label it with the size and sewing instructions before cutting it out.

How to Pattern Draft a Curve

When drawing a pattern from scratch, you’ll find a French curve indispensable for making those curves, but for enlarging an existing pattern or creating seam allowances, this method is the most accurate for preserving the original cut of the piece.

Read more here: Crafting A Green World