Isn’t it ironic?

….. Or so said Alanis Morrisette and never has a truer sentence been uttered! A couple of weeks ago you’ll remember I wrote about losing my sew-jo and about my despair at my creativity seemingly vanishing. Well, it came back (hooray I hear you all shout!) but the irony is that there have been too many darn germs knocking about for me to do anything at all about the rediscovered love of all things crafty. Oh the sadness of staring at a Hobbycraft bag brimming over with goodies but yet you have neither the energy nor the motivation to get out of your sick bed and have a play ….. Not that it’s just my germs though, oh no, one of the joys of having school age children is that they bring home every bug going. If there’s an illness to be caught then mine will be first in the queue, just begging the germs to bring it on, like some weird dual and we all know who will win. So over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had colds, sore throats, headaches and the dreaded sickness bug which resulted in the youngest member of the Riley household sleeping on the bathroom floor. Just when I thought that perhaps the arrival of spring might herald a phase of being bug free, I also came down with what will now be referred to as ‘The Cold From Hell’ (I’d trademark that if it were a little more catchy). I swear that the common cold thinks I’m it’s mothership because when I get a cold, I really get a cold. Not just a little sniffle and some polite and discreet nose blowing for me, no, I go all out with my colds. A tsunami of snot takes over, my head pounds, my eyes run like a Justin Timberlake song (literally, Cry Me a River), my limbs ache and I sneeze so loudly they can hear me on the other side of town. Never one to do things half heartedly, it’s a case of ‘go big or go home’ or in this case ‘go big and go straight to bed’ 🙂 So, my sewing machine will stay silent, my knitting needles will remain in their case and my crochet hook will think I’ve forgotten what it’s for. The quilt I was going to start will have to wait for another day and my list of projects will continue to grow but only in my head because for the time being the germs have well and truly taken over ….. send Lemsips, Lucozade and don’t forget to buy shares in Kleenex! 🙂

Night night, I’m back off to bed!




Bow-tiful hair bows!

I’m in the fortunate position of having 3 daughters, however this also means I’m in the unfortunate position of hearing the same cries every morning “I can’t find a hairbow…..”. Strange how we live in a house overflowing with glitter, unicorns and every other girly item known to man and yet we can never find a bow when ones needed. The love child of Columbo and Sherlock couldn’t solve the hairbow conundrum so are we going to A) run riot in Claire’s Accessories until our baskets are overflowing or B) make our own?!? Unless you’re new to craftymrsriley you’ll know that option A was never an option for tight-arse me so let’s get going with Option B …..

Ideal for using up scraps, these bows are simple to make, lovely to look at and they only cost pennies to make!

  1. Choose some pretty, contrasting scraps from your scrap pile. Poly cotton is a good choice but feel free to use practically any type of fabric, even denim or velvet would work well.
  2. Decide how big you’d like your bow to be and draw the corresponding rectangle onto some thin card.
  3. Draw another, slightly smaller rectangle also onto thin card and cut out both.
  4. Using a fabric marker, draw around the larger rectangle onto the wrong side of the first fabric. Do this twice.
  5. Cut around both of your drawn rectangles with pinking shears, leaving approximately 1/4″ seamage.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 using the smaller rectangle and the contrasting fabric.
  7. Place the first two rectangles right side to right side and machine sew from the top left hand corner down, along and back up to the top right hand corner ensuring you leave one end of the rectangle unsewn.
  8. Repeat step 7 for the smaller rectangles of fabric.
  9. Turn both sewn rectangles inside out so they are right side out and hand stitch the unsewn ends together using the mattress stitch.
  10. Place the smaller rectangle on top of the larger rectangle leaving an even space all the way around.
  11. With a double threaded needle, find the middle of the rectangles and starting at the bottom sew a line of 4 or 5 large running stitches up to the top.
  12. Pull the thread taut so the fabric bunches up. Both rectangles should now be joined in the middle. Without cutting the thread and still keeping the thread taut, wrap it around the centre of the bow a couple of times and knot.
  13. Using the pinking shears, cut a narrow strip of contrasting fabric and wrap it around the middle of the bow, covering the thread. Secure the first end with a hot glue gun and then place another dab of glue to join the other end.
  14. The final step is to place a couple of dabs of glue onto an alligator grip and place the bow on top, remembering to press firmly whilst the glue cools.
  15. Ooh look, we made a bow and, as with all the best crafty work, the possibilities are endless! Ah, the final final stage is to pass it on to a little girl who needs a hairbow which in this house shouldn’t be too hard a task! 🙂



Basic Patchwork

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but indoors is so delightful and as we’ve no place to go, then let’s sew, let’s sew, let’s sew!
I’m pretty sure those would have been the lyrics had Sammy Cahn been a fabric enthusiast 🙂 Anyhow, the weather outside really is frightful (5inches of snow is way past frightful tbh) so what better way to pass the time than to start a quilt. Not only is it a good hobby but you can wrap yourself up in it afterwards ….. pretty and practical, how brilliant is this going to be?!?
Quilting can be simple but on the other hand quilting can be truly difficult which I’ll presume is what puts many people off of it in the first place. However, we all need to start somewhere right and the only way you can get to the top is to start at the bottom so let’s begin with a basic patchwork quilt …..

1) First step is pick your fabric. Cotton or poly cotton works best for a quilt so run (carefully mind, do you know how slippery it is) to the fabric store and grab some fat quarters. Alternatively, you can finally use the stash you’ve been hoarding for another day because lets face it we’ve all got one and it’s much better to use it than to let the dreaded moths get it!
My fabric of choice this time is the Birdsong collection from Dashwood Fabrics, a beautiful muted mix of trees, mountains and birds in a selection of pale greys, mustard and navy.

2) Now because this is a basic quilt we’re going to use a basic square as our template. You can draw it on anything but I find a cereal box is especially good and seeing as most people have one it makes sense to use it. Grab your box, flatten it out and draw a 5″ x 5″ square. Cut it out and voila, there’s your template!
3) One of the most simple rules of quilting is press, press and press some more. Pop your iron on a medium heat and press all your fabric until every crease is banished. Then we can set about cutting our squares.

4)Using a fabric marker (or a HB pencil, for this basic quilt it doesn’t matter too much) draw around your template on the ‘wrong’ side of the material being sure to leave a good inch or so between each square. When you’ve got a selection of squares drawn then carefully cut them out using sharp scissors or pinking shears. Leave at least a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around the template.

5) Before we do any joining or sewing, the squares now need to be placed into an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. We can then begin to join the first squares …..

6) To join 2 squares together, place them right side to right side and carefully put a pin through the top left corner of the top square, through to the same corner of the underneath square. Once those corners are lined up, go along the same line with some more pins, checking that each one is also going through the same line on the underneath fabric. Using a small stitch on your sewing machine, sew along the pinned line (remembering to remove the pins as you go). It helps if you go back over the first couple of stitches as well as the last couple in the line so as to ensure the sewing is secure.

7) Continue the above process until you have joined all of the squares in your first row. Repeat for all of the other rows that will form your quilt top.

8) Remember step 3 where we spoke about ‘Press, Press and Press some more’? Well this is where that step really comes into play. Turn over one of the rows and using your fingers, separate the seams, then press with the iron until the seams are flat. Repeat for all seams in all rows.

9) The rows we’ve just made are brilliant but we can’t do much with them until we join all the individual rows to form a quilt top so working from the bottom of the quilt upwards, place the second to last row on top of the last row. Make sure they are right side to right side and put a pin through the top left hand corner using the drawn template as a guide. Follow the top line all the way long, pinning as you go, so that the two rows are joined at the top. Once all the pins are in place, carefully sew all the way along (removing pins as you get to them).

10) Repeat step 9 for the rest of the rows and voila, you have one amazing quilt top.

11) Now, you could leave it as it is but it simply wouldn’t be a quilt without some form of quilting. For the quilt in the example, I’ve done a simple but effective straight line design but you could try a more complicated straight line effect or even try your hand at free motion quilting (more of which we’ll cover at a later date).

12) Once you’ve decided on the quilting design, you need to pin your quilt top to your batting and possibly to the backing as well. It’s up to you whether you choose to sew through all 3 layers or instead through the top 2 and then join the backing afterwards. Use safety pins to join your layers before you sew as it’ll keep the layers together more securely than pins at this stage.

13) Binding ….. scared?!? 🙂 Don’t be, it really isn’t as awkward as people claim. For this quilt I’ve used double edge bias tape in a contrasting shade of grey. To begin, start a couple of inches in from one corner of your quilt. Open the tape so the bottom inside edge is level with the edge of the quilt. Carefully pin in place until you reach a couple of centimetres before the next corner.


The underside of the binding tape

14) For this quilt I’ve used mitred corners because I feel they look nicer but you can use a butted edge if you prefer. To create a mitred corner, fold the unsewn binding straight up so that it is at a 45 degree angle and so that its bottom edge produces a diagonal line. Then fold the binding back down on itself so that the top of the fold is level with the top edge of the quilt. Pin in place and continue round to the next corner. When all corners are complete and when all the binding is pinned in place, carefully sew all the way around to secure the binding to the quilt. The line of stitches should now be hidden by the binding tape.

15) Now that one side of the binding is joined to the quilt, the next step is to gently fold the binding over the top of all 3 layers and pin in place. Although you could machine sew if you wanted, a better alternative is to hand sew using invisible thread and the ladder stitch.

16) The final stage is to give it another good press and check it all over for any stray heads that you missed as you were going along, then ….. Give yourself a round of applause because you’ve just finished your first basic quilt! 🙂









Well that’s August done and finished with for another year but don’t be sad because it means we get to welcome in September 🙂 Not really autumn but definitely not summer, September is a glorious ‘in-between’ sort of month. If it were a person, it’d be Forrest Gump – wonderful but never quite fits in!
So, what did last month bring? Well, another superbly eclectic mix of half finished projects and an ever growing list of new ones that I’ve yet to start plus a couple of rare ones that I’ve actually completed! There’s a sweater still sitting on my circular needles, a project bag that was finished in French Knots and lined with adorable dachshund printed fabric as a birthday gift, as well as a shawl which HAS to be finished by Christmas (we’ll see if this ever comes to fruition!). All of which brings me nicely to the subject of WIPs (Works in Progress). I don’t know about you but I tend to flit between projects like most people change their socks. Monday I’ll be all about the knitting but come Tuesday it’ll be sewing that grabs my fancy. Hence why so many projects on the go at once. In all seriousness though, there are so many amazing things that I want to do and try and learn that it’s near impossible to get my brain to concentrate on just one thing at a time. No matter though, there’ll be plenty of time for sitting still when I’m a genuine old lady (as opposed to the pretend old lady I am now!).
But back to September, you just can’t help but love it. Everything starts getting ready for the chilly season and our thoughts turn from t-shirts to jumpers, from sandals to socks. Yarn related projects jump upon our needles and help us while away dark, cold evenings. Ooh I’m excited just thinking about it 🙂
Until next time!


French Knots

Bonjour, Je m’appelle CraftyMrsRiley et Je suis accro a des noeuds francais! Or for those of us not fluent in le francais, my name is CraftyMrsRiley and I’m addicted to French Knots! 🙂
Those tiny little bundles of knotty loveliness fill my heart with hearts (as my four year old would say) and make my head a little giddy. However, it seems not everyone shares my affinity with the little saucy French ones. It would appear that whilst almost everyone loves the appearance of them, the general consensus is that they’re a little tricky to master (this ‘official’ poll took place in my kitchen and consisted of myself, a rather opinionated 4 year old and 2 potentially bored silly guinea pigs but we all know the result would have been the same whoever I’d quizzed🙂). Well let’s resolve this right now then shall we. Grab your needles, grab your thread and let’s speak the language of love with these beautiful little knots!

1) Before we begin, remember whichever thread you use for these little beauties, be sure to use two strands to maximise their shape.
2) Once your needle is ready to go, push it through the fabric from back to front just ever so slightly away from where you want the knot to be.

3) Pull the thread taut (but not too taut) and wrap it around the needle twice starting with the thread at the front of the needle and bringing it round anti-clockwise.

4) Keeping the thread around the needle, push the needle back into the fabric in the spot where you want the knot to be. Remember to keep the thread taut using your free hand. Pull the needle all the way through to the back of the fabric and you’ll have one tiny but beautifully formed French knot.

Your only issue now is to decide how you’re going to use your new skill….. Hoop art? Fabric decoration? Contemporary design?!? The choice is yours for the taking!

My own take on using French Knots to create negative space hoop art


Ruby Red?!?

Simple Sew dress pattern – Ruby

I’m a girl so I must like dresses, yes? No! Because A) It’s not 1950 and B) I’m a bit too tomboy to wear dresses. It helps if you’re all Claudia Schiffer whereas I’m just a bit Claude! That’s not to say I don’t own any though. I’ve some lovely, I’d go as far as to say beautiful, dresses, some bought for me as gifts, some just bought on a whim but they inevitably end up gathering dust at the back of the wardrobe whilst the shorts see all the fun on a sunny day. However, whilst perusing the virtual shopping aisles of eBay what should I stumble upon but the Ruby Dress by SimpleSew. As I said, I’m not a big fan of dresses (years of growing up in scrap yards put paid to too much girliness) but Ruby is a beauty that was begging to be made so I thought I’d pop my dressmaking cherry and give it a go.
This is the part where I introduce Matilda (say Hi!), my dressmakers mannequin. I’d use the word dummy but I don’t want to be unkind 🙂 Here’s Matilda modelling a previous creation of mine

Skirt modelled by Matilda!

Now the formalities are out of the way, let’s get back to Ruby. Ruby is a stunning, vintage inspired, skater style dress with a high neckline, deep V back and a flared full skirt. Simply stunning.
I’ve made the odd piece of clothing here and there but nothing quite as structured and lovely as this and, being a bit of a tight arse to be honest, I didn’t want to waste perfectly good fabric on something I could completely mess up so I bought a duvet cover to make Ruby from. Yes, you did read that correctly, a duvet cover (from Wilkinsons for those of you that are interested!). The amount of material you get for the small amount of pennies is amazing.
So, this is how it went …..
1) Initial pattern cutting went as well as could be expected. It’s basically cutting out shapes, I’ve been queen of this since I was 3 years old 🙂

Lets make a dress

2) After ironing the pattern itself, on a very low heat I must add, I ironed the duvet cover and sliced it open along the seams.
3) I laid out all the pattern pieces to ensure I minimised the fabric waste (I told you I was a tight arse!) and pinned them all down.
4) The pattern calls for 1/4 seam so I devised what I thought was quite a good technique for ensuring even seamage (possibly not a real word, in fact I think I just made it up). I took 2 pencils and held them side by side, then carefully drew around the pattern. Voila, even seamage 🙂

5) Next up was the actual sewing part! No need to panic, it was pretty much as easy as 1,2,3. I started by sewing in the darts at both the chest and the waist and then joining the front bodice to the back bodice at the shoulders, right side to right side. I then joined the facing pieces together at the shoulders and again right side to right side. It does ask for the facing edges to be finished with a zig zag stitch first which you could do on an overlocker for a neater finish but I don’t have an overlocker because I’m not the Mary Berry of the sewing world ….. yet! 🙂
The bodice and the facing then needed to be joined together (right side to right side) and then sewn all along the edge of the neckline and the armholes. I trimmed off any excess and cut a few notches into the seam allowance so that it all sat nice and flat.
6) Now came the really tricky bit of pulling the whole thing through an armhole one side at a time. Sound awkward? Yes, it was!
7) Press, Press, Press! I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to press this dress at every opportunity.
8) The next stage was matching the bottom of the front bodice to the top of the front skirt and then repeating this for both the back right and back left bodice / skirts. Then came a smidge more sewing to connect all the seams.
9) By this point it looked a little like a dodgy tabbard in that it went over my head but didn’t do up at the sides. So I then sewed along both side seams, top to bottom.
10) Now came the concealed zip part. Not to say I was worried about this bit but I was sweating like a mouse in full view of a cat. I’d never put in a concealed zip before but guess what, it actually wasn’t too awful. I’ll be adding a concealed zip tutorial very soon so panic not if you’re in the same boat 🙂

11) The next part asked for the remaining skirt seam to be sewn together which was relatively easy and …..
12) The final part! Ooh I felt like I’d run a marathon fuelled by chocolate biscuits, fizzy pop and a slightly cheesy 80’s soundtrack. The final part was hemming the skirt. I nipped round the skirt first with a finishing stitch to stiffen it slightly and then carefully, very carefully hemmed a quite narrow hem.

Ruby Dress

Dress done! Skill set added to!
Ooh I take it all back, I really rather like this dress 👗



Hello August …..

Well it’s goodbye to July and a big hello to August. We’ve calmed down a little on the moving front now so it’s a bit less unpacking and a little more actual living in our new house. I’m hoping that my blog posts can become more frequent now that my Mac has a home of its own and isn’t hidden away inside of a box 🙂

So, what did July bring us? Well, I made a dress, a pincushion and a skirt (all in a week I hasten to add), popped a new jumper on my needles, added to my skill set by learning all about concealed zips,  the smallest member of the Riley household turned 4 (when did that happen? It only feels like yesterday that we brought her home), painted 3 rooms because I just couldn’t live with floral wallpaper or brown paint any longer and we gained 2 little guinea pigs and 3 fish. I’m exhausted just reading it.

Talking of reading, which we kind of were in a roundabout way, what are you all reading at the moment? I have to admit that I rarely ever have just one book on the go at a time. I’m a self confessed serial bibliophile and at the moment I’m reading Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay, Almost Human by Lee Berger and 11:22:63 by Stephen King and if that wasn’t eclectic enough for you I’ve also got A Dogs Purpose lurking somewhere! Why limit yourself to one genre when you can cover them all.

As I’m writing this it’s torrential rain outside so I’m hoping August hasn’t started how it means to continue. I’m also hoping to finish off the jumper I started in July, cast on a shawl for my friend Jean, make something wonderful with the Liberty Tana Lawn that I’ve had for months but have had no idea of what to do with it, make another dress (same pattern, different fabric), write loads, read plenty and continue working on CraftyMrsRiley. So whilst I’m busy taking over my corner of the world, I hope you have a good one!




Pincushion Tutorial

Pincushions. One of those things which you never have but yet always seem to need. Lets rectify this then shall we by making one (as opposed to buying one, which totally goes against everything this blog stands for!). We could be dull and make a bog standard one but where would be the fun in that. Instead lets go for a Cathedral Window pincushion.

Those of you familiar with quilting will probably already know what a Cathedral Window is, those of you who aren’t quilters are now thinking I’m branching out into glazing for the local church. Don’t panic, I’m not! 🙂 IF we were quilting then we’d be making a quilt without the need for batting which is effectively just a quilt top BUT we aren’t quilting and thats a story for another day. However, making a Cathedral Window pincushion is a clever way of taking one square of said quilt and turning it into a lovely little gift for someone. Alternatively, keep it for yourself, it’ll be our secret!

  1. Firstly, lets talk supplies. You’ll need a fat quarter of any colour that takes your fancy (I’ve used cream), a square of fabric measuring 4.25” x 4.25″ (dotty for me but pick whichever you like) and some scraps of different coloured fabric (flowery for me this time). You’ll also need a square of fabric for the back approximately 6″ x 6″ and some stuffing.
  2. Begin by making a card template 9″ square and another that is 4.25″ square.

3. Lay your fat quarter out and cut a square that is approximately 10.5″ x 10.5″. Don’t worry if its not exact. Lay the bigger template in the middle of the fabric and fold over the edges of the template. Iron it all the way around so as to form a firm edge. Fold the corners over first, as in the picture below, to ensure a neat edge.

4. Now, remove the cardboard template and iron all the way around again to make sure everything is as neat as can be. If the corners are precise now it’ll save you a lot of kerfuffle later, trust me!

5. Once step 4 is complete, fold the square in half and iron. Unfold and fold the opposite way before ironing again.

6. The next step is to fold each corner in towards the middle of the square. The creases you just created when you folded and unfolded will provide you with the centre point marking.

7. Give everything a good iron again and repeat step 6, remembering to iron everything flat again  after folding in all the corners. Try to ensure that your points all meet as neatly as they can. It’s ok to keep playing around until they do.

8. Now, using the smaller template, cut yourself a 4.25″square and place it in the middle of the original square.

9. Sew the points of the corners together with the new square inside. Only do a couple of stitches, its just to keep everything in place.

10. From your scraps of fabric that we mentioned earlier, cut 4 triangles that will fit just inside of each triangle of the square. They don’t need to be too neat as we will trim them up later.

11. Now comes the tricky bit. One corner at a time, peel back the white fabric so that it falls naturally into a curve and envelopes the edge of the fabric on top of it. If you need to pin it in place then feel free to do so and then machine sew along the edge of the curve so that everything is held firmly in place.

12. Take a piece of fabric that is about an inch bigger all the way round than the square you’ve just made. Cut it in half. No, I haven’t got mad, cut the fabric in half and with the two pieces edge to edge, lay the square on top so they are right side to right side. Sew all the way around using a 1/4″ seam and then trim off any excess.

13. Carefully turn the whole thing inside out and stuff it until you can stuff it no more. You can use normal stuffing but for a pincushion you might like to use wire wool so that your pins are kept sharp.

14. Using Ladder stitch carefully sew the back shut.  For more details on Ladder stitch see English Paper Piecing (EPP)    

15. Finish the pincushion by sewing a button into the middle of the ‘flower’.

16. The best part of Step 16?!? There is no Step 16! 🙂


English Paper Piecing (EPP)

EPP, yes it sounds a little like the acronym for a strange, tropical illness but in reality it stands for English Paper Piecing. Or in other words, a way of forming a quilt top that involves wrapping fabric around carefully cut out paper shapes. In case you were wondering the ‘English’ part of the title apparently comes from the fact that us Brits loved it back in the day and we still love it now. There’s very few past times as tranquil as hand sewing some beautiful hand sculpted shapes together to form something that is even more beautiful than when you first began. That isn’t to say it isn’t without its trials and tribulations though but we’ll put those down as part of EPP’s charm.

EPP - Hexagon Template

So, where to begin….. well, grab yourself some fabric and lets embark on the wonderful journey that is English Paper Piecing.

  1. First things first, you’ll need some fabric. Any fabric. Bust your stash or go to town with some nice new fat quarters from your local fabric store (any excuse!). You’ll also need some paper templates (try, paper clips, good quality thread such as Guttermans and scissors.      
  2. After  super carefully cutting out the templates, lay one on your chosen fabric (keeping the fabric the wrong side up) and cut around the template, leaving approximately 1/4″ hem. Fold the edges of the fabric over the edges of the template one by one, securing each edge with a paper clip as you go.

    Front View

    Back View


  3. Once step 2 has been completed for a few of the shapes you can start arranging them in the pattern you prefer.
  4. Ideally you want your joining stitches to be practically invisible so we’re going to use the ladder stitch as a way of connecting the shapes. Ladder stitch (also known as slip stitch) is normally used for joining seams on things such as soft toys so its strong plus you can hardly see it. To work the ladder stitch, begin by holding the two shapes right side to right side. The folded edges of the fabric will provide a nice straight line for you to guide your stitches along. To hide the knot of your thread, push the needle up from under one of the folded edges and pull it through the fabric until the knot is hidden.
  5. Take the needle across to the opposite side, push the needle through both top edges being really careful not to catch the paper inside. Pull the thread tight but not overly tight. Tension is important in this stitch, too tight and the fabric will pucker but too loose and you’ll be able to see the stitch which is not what we want.

    Hold the shapes firmly together and work the needle along the inside edge.

  6. Go back to the other side and work the needle back under the fabric but instead of going through to the next shape, push the needle along the inside edge and then out on the same side to create a tiny little stitch under the fabric. Once the needle is back out then take it to the other shape and and repeat the process. Every time the new stitch will start just up from the previous one but on the opposite side. If you keep the stitches running along the edge then you’ll get the neat join that we’re aiming for. Remember that if the edge is neat then joining the next shape to it will be a piece of cake.

    The stitch should be practically invisible

    Make every edge a neat edge!

  7. Keep repeating this until you get to the end of the edge. Give the thread a final pull to ensure its as tight as it can be (without being overly tight!). Secure by pushing the needle through the edge of both shapes. Do this twice in the same place and cut the thread. Don’t remove the paper templates until a shape has been joined to another on all sides, that way the fabric will keep its shape.
  8. Ta Da! Your first two shapes are securely joined and you’ve earned yourself a nice sit down with a cream eclair and a cup of tea. Well, you could OR you could just keep going. Let your imagination run riot and keep adding shapes until your thumbs are giddy with the sheer excitement of it all 🙂 Before you know it, you’ll have a quilt top or a cushion cover or a bag or ….. whatever you make will be wonderful I promise!

Back view of EPP

Final step ….. don’t worry about the back too much, nobody ever said the back wasn’t going to be messy!