I had a lovely Saturday before Christmas visiting my local fabric store; Barry’s in Birmingham. Those of you who live in Birmingham and are addicted to fabric, will I am sure know this store very well!
There is no pattern of fabric that they do not sell! Anything you could wish for in terms of stripes, spots, teacups, gingham and special occasion fabrics, Barry’s sells.
You can gain so much inspiration from just going in for a quick look. Shall I make a skirt from this? A dress from that? That would look nice in!!! etc, etc.
I originally went in with a list of the fabric that I wanted. I really don’t know why I bothered! I did purchase all I needed plus quite a bit more! Well, its a treat, isn’t it? (Did I mention how affordable the fabrics are?). Notwithstanding the special offer fabric rolls they have!).
Readers of my blog will know that I am obsessed by the 1950’s and I have been making some vintage style retro half aprons as my latest project. I had in mind a kitchen inspired fabric for the front of the apron. Well, I was spoilt for choice! There were dozens I could choose from. In the end I plumped for a selection of named cakes (macaroons, eclairs etc) all in a pretty vintage stlye on a cream background. I also bought some retro jar fabric with a green background. Both will do nicely for my vintage style aprons.
My son wanted me to make a new PE bag for school for him – his London transport made bag has served him well for 2 years, but is showing a fair sign of wear and teat! He’s obsessed by cats at the moment, so he chose a lovely cat fabric, which I made into a bag for him with his name on. Very chic! He loved it. On the way to the measuring desk, I spotted some monkey and bananas fabric which I thought would look great for making into a PE bag or toy bag. That’s my next project.
My final purchase was some cotton plain pink fabric to make “mock ups” of dresses and skirts that I enjoy making for myself.
While I was paying, my lovely husband after playing hide and seek with the rolls of fabric with my son! took these photos for me. He’s quite used to my fabric obsession and is fairly handy at suggesting fabric that I might like.
I had an interesting email from my local fabric store, Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley (you may remember, Lauren Guthrie was a finalist in the Sewing Bee in 2013) about Sew Brum, coming up in October. http://www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/events
Sew Brum is organised by the sewing blogger Englishgirlathome http://englishgirlathome.com/sewbrum/ and promises to be a lovely day of visiting fabric shops in Birmingham such as the Fancy Silk Store and my absolute favourite, Barrys. Lunch will be provided from the street food stalls at the Moseley Farmers Market and finally we all reconvene at Guthrie Ghani for tea and cake. What more can you wish for on a Saturday! Visit englishgirlathome’s blog to sign up for an exciting day!
I decided to have a go at making these lovely hanging heart decorations after having some left-over fabric from the Cath Kidston designed “Rosalie” range from Ikea. The first couple of efforts weren’t that successful as I couldn’t quite figure out after stuffing the heart, how to sew it up neatly so it looks seamless. However, after some trial and error I finally came up with a method that works that I would like to share with you.
Firstly, decide how big you would like your heart to be. Mine are usually 10cm x 10cm, but you can make yours as large or as small as you like. Make a paper template.
Cut out 2 squares of matching fabric 2cm bigger all round than the size of the heart. With right sides together, sew a 1cm seam down the centre. Open up the fabric with right side facing down. Now you will need another square of fabric, either the same, if you want both sides of the heart identical, or choose another colour. Place the new square of fabric on top of the square with the seam, wrong sides together and pin to secure.
Place the heart template on top of the sandwiched fabric and draw round it with a fabric marker (or pencil, if you don’t have one to hand!). Machine stitch over the drawn template. You could even do this in a contrasting stitch if you like.
Once finished, use pinking shears and cut round the heart with about a 1cm gap all around.
You will then need to unpick the original sewn seam in order to stuff the heart. Unpick a good inch to enable you to get the stuffing in. Once stuffed, neatly sew up.
Finally, using a large darning needle, thread your choice of ribbon and just below the top seam of the heart, insert your needle so it goes through both sides. You may need to insert some pressure here!
Once you have the required length of ribbon, cut the ribbon and tie in a knot. Hey presto! A hanging heart.
I love these fabric designs, courtesy of fabric rehab. The London buses is my particular favourite. I’m currently making yet another kit bag for my transport obsessed son with it. The London underground fabric will probably be used as the background for a wall tidy and the car fabric can always be turned into little bags or cushions.