Simply Sewing Christmas!

Hi, I’ve been really busy with the lead up to Christmas this year.  I’ve exhibited at a local Christmas craft fayre and am working my way through Christmas orders.  So far, my farthest order has been a retro pink heart decoration to a lovely woman in Texas!

Plus, I finally achieved 100 sales with Etsy!  Yahoo!  It’s taken awhile but I’ve got there in the end.

Also Simply Sewing magazine contacted me with a view to a Christmas advert in their magazine.  It was bad enough trying to put together a half decent photo of my Christmas crafts, let alone writing a maximum of 20 words about what I do and who I am! Still, here is the finished proof.  The publication was out a few days ago….

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In the meantime, Happy Christmas to everyone and may you all have a peaceful and prosperous New Year!


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Dr Who and film fabric!

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I saw this great fabric in my local fabric store, Cottonpatch in Birmingham. As an ardent Dr Who fan since a little girl, I just couldn’t resist! It’s bang on trend too for the new female Doctor on BBC although I believe there will be no more Daleks present in the new series

The fabric features the Doctor’s arch enemy, the Daleks!  I had a list of things in my head that I wanted to use this delightful fabric for and in the end I decided on a drawstring bag and a document wallet. It was such fun sewing with this fabric.  I loved it!

 

 

There seems to be a rise in popularity in film or tv fabrics. I recently purchased some fat quarters from Hobbycraft, themed with both Jungle Book and Toy Story. I have used the Jungle Book fabric to make some bunting, which sold a few days later. The Toy Story fabric is currently in the process of being made into bunting again!

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Mickey Mouse and friends have also featured in my Etsy shop  I’ve had great fun making purses, wallets and bunting from a great array of fabric.

 

 

 

Just last week, I saw a fabulous Tom and Jerry fabric too. It’s on my radar to buy although I have so many fabrics! It’s just hard to resist. Watch this space!

For all the latest makes and designs, click on my Etsy shop button!


My Cath Kidston fabric!

I saw this lovely fabric from Cath Kidston and fell in love with it!  To the extent that I’ve gone mad making things to sell on my Etsy shop with it!

I ordered the pale blue smudge spot and also the London toile. So far, the order of blue spot fabric has been diminishing by the day!  I’m literally seeing spots!

The London toile feels a more elegant fabric, as if I should be making a nice skirt out of it and not cutting it up at all!  I’ve only made a practical pinboard so far – it does look striking though!

IMG_1225I started making a set of triangular sewing pattern weights for use in dressmaking.  These pattern weights are really useful when cutting out paper patterns as they hold the pattern still so you can pin and cut.  Plus they look nice too.  I’ve made a few of these over the past couple of years and they are fun to make!

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Then, I started on a large sewing organiser.  I’ve made pocket sewing tidys and have had a few orders for a custom made A4 design.  I sell a popular organiser which is made from a delightful retro sewing notions fabric by Makower.  Unfortunately, its a hard fabric to find as they don’t obviously make it anymore.  The large sewing organiser is A4 size and features a zipped pocket and an inside pouch pocket.  Lots of room to store all your sewing knick-knacks. Plus its so handy you can take it on holiday with you or away babysitting for the night in my case!

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Next, I made a pinboard/memoboard/noticeboard – lots of people call them different things!  I love making these pinboards as you can really be imaginative with contrasting ribbons and trimmings.  For the blue smudge spot board, I opted for a “happily ever after” ribbon that I had stored in my ribbon box.  ( I love going to different places and buying different ribbons – I’ve had some great ones from Spain, in particular)!

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Finally, inspiration came in form of a handy credit card wallet/purse.  These are great to make with fabric scraps and again are fun to do as you can be imaginative with contrasting linings and colourful snap fastenings.  In this case, I opeted for a red spotty lining with a matching red fastener.  I’ve made quite a few of these little (and larger) wallets and they always go down well at craft fairs.

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What next then?  I think I may give this fabric a rest for a while until inspiration strikes again.  I’ve a lovely floral fabric next up!

All these products are available on my shop or will be very soon!


Mickey Mouse inspired

 

Last week I went to my local Hobbycraft for some supplies and saw a new fat quarter bundle of Mickey Mouse fabric. What fun!

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I decided to have a go at making a document wallet in the lovely Mickey Mouse fabric as well as some little wallets and purses. I will definitely need to go and replenish my stock of this lovely fabric. If only they had Minnie Mouse too!

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Anyway, this led me onto the idea of making a batch of wallets and credit card holders out of my fabric scraps. They will eventually make it onto my Etsy shop but are also useful little presents at craft fairs too! As you can see I’ve had a very busy week!

These little wallets are are easy to make  you just need a front fabric, a lining fabric and a layer of interfacing or fleece as a sandwich layer. You can choose how big or small you want to make your wallets, from small business card holders to A4 magazine storage holders.

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Its a fun quick way to use up a fabric stash and I like being creative with choosing the fabrics with matching or even contrasting linings. Plus there is the fun at the end with the snap fastener tool!  Give it a few weeks and I think I may well start on some more!  So go on, give it a go!

A selection of these wallets and card holders are available in my shop  just click on the link above and if you fancy a certain fabric or pattern, let me know and I can customise you a lovely wallet.

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Hopeful for the sun!

I was thinking one day  with a cup of tea in my hand, of what other items I could make with my fabric remnants, apart from pincushions! (I always like making those!) and came up with the bright idea of making a few more sunglasses holders.  Last year I did actually make a Lovehearts sunglasses holder.  I ordered a beautiful 2 metres of this fabric and made myself a skirt with it and with what was left over, I also made my first sunglasses holder.  Not buying more of this fabric was a mistake as it went out of stock and I can’t find it anywhere else!

Anyway, back to making sunglasses holders!  I really enjoy making these as they are not too tricky to make and you can have a lovely finished result quite quickly.  They also look quirky and stand out a mile from the plastic boring solid colour ones!

Firstly you need some lovely fabric for the outside, a lining fabric and also a fairly thick wadding which will sandwich the 2 fabrics together and also give the case more stability and better padding. If you can obtain fusible wadding then all the better, but if not, don’t worry!

I use  a rectangular template which measures approx. 19 x 10 cm.  You will need to slightly curve one corner to given a rounded more professional appearance too.  However, if you have super fashionable large sunglasses, you will need to re-measure and make yourself a larger template. Similary, if you wish to make a case for a child’s glasses, then you will need a smaller template.

Firstly, cut out your outer fabric, lining and wadding. You should end up with a fabric sandwich of 3 layers; the lining fabric right way up on the bottom, the wadding in the middle and finally the outside fabric wrong side down on top.

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Pin all layers together, leaving a couple of inches gap in the middle of one of the sides.  (You can see this indicated by the 2 large pins at the bottom of the picture).  You will need this gap as the fabric needs to be turned out). Machine stitch all the way round (minus the gap!). Cut off any excess wadding and clip the corners.  Then turn out so the right side of the fabric is now visible.  Iron  all the square layers to make it easier and flatter to sew.

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The next step is to handsew the gap that you turned the fabric in from.  Once you have finished that, proceed to sew a topstitch all the way around again with the outer fabric facing you.

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When that is complete, fold the square in half and start stitching the open side about 2 inches from the curved top, leaving enough room to put your sunglasses easily in and out.  Sew to the end.

You shoukd have a lovely sunglasses case just like mine, which are available to purchase in my Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/510562797/sunglasses-fabric-holders?ref=shop_home_active_1

Enjoy!

A Retro Christmas – Nostalgia required!

I started my Etsy shop in September 2015 and I didn’t really properly prepare for Christmas, I was just learning the ropes, trying new things out and researching what sold and what seemed to be the most popular trends.

This year, I started Christmas earlier than I meant to!  It came about on a trip to my local Hobbycraft, in Shirley, Solihull.  I was looking for some cottons and happened to spot their Christmas fabric displays and homed in on some lovely retro looking material.  It was a fat quarter of 6 different Christmas themed fabrics.  My favourite was the pink fabric featuring a reindeer.  Very kitsch!  (The reindeer design also comes in a blue fabric).image1

I started making some hanging decorations with these fabrics and decided I was going to make a heart decoration.  This is a completely non-traditional shape and colour so a bit risky, however I thought it would appeal to all those retro fans out there who are looking for that something a little bit different and eye-catching.untitled

Making the hearts was relatively straight forward – I previously wrote a blog post on how to make a seamless heart which you can reference.

Fingers crossed, all those retro fans out there will like these lovely decorations.  A touch of nostalgia is all that is required!

See the shop link at the top of my website for links to my Etsy shop. Also, see Hobbycraft for lovely retro fat quarters.


My Cath Kidston bathroom!

I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to make changes to our downstairs loo.  It was ok really, not long ago painted but it needed a loving touch and some freshening up!  I was shopping in Homebase and picked up a paint catalogue and saw a lovely fuschia colour paint which I thought would certainly cheer the downstairs loo up.  I said to my husband, “would you mind if we had a pink loo?”  He reluctantly replied, “well, we already have a pink fridge, so I suppose so”. I thought I would ask my handyman friend to start on this after Xmas so didn’t think any more of it.

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Then I saw that Cath Kidston had a Xmas sale on.  That was that! http://www.cathkidston.com/fcs/content/home-furnishing/wallpaper/

I love Cath Kidston and their fabric is lovely.  However, I always see if I can pick up a bargain in their sales.  Fortunately for me they had one pattern of wallpaper, “Rainbow Rose”, reduced to half-price, so I measured up and ordered a couple of rolls (we have a fairly small downstairs loo!).  It came a few days later and I loved it.  Its extremely chintzy! My handyman friend came over last week to decorate.  It took him a couple of days (fiddly pipework) but the effect is amazing!  Its a real “in your face” bathroom!  No subtlety spared.  I love it!  Even my husband likes it and admits its striking!

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Unfortunately the pink and green colours in the wallpaper don’t match the colours on the existing splashback.  No fear.  A bit of quick research on google and you can buy tile paint. in pink gloss!  A quick trip down to B&Q and said paint purchased.  Along with a pink chandelier!  (the existing blue lampshade doesn’t match either).  Ta-dah!  A brand new bathroom for not a lot of money.  Plus a real talking point for those visitors who need to use the facilities!IMG_0637

I am now looking on what I can decorate next!  In the meantime every time I open the bathroom door I smile!