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!
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!
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!
I 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!
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!
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)!
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.
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!
We had planned a warm Easter school holiday trip to Estepona, south of Malaga, Spain. In reality we were rained in, cold and were grateful of the heated seats in the hire car! It took us 3 days to finally visit the lovely town of Estepona in all it’s sunny glory. It was worth it.
From what I had read, I pictured an idyllic Spanish local town, generally off the tourist trail where Spanish friends and family met on Saturday mornings in their favourite cafe over a Cortado. I wasn’t disappointed. We were the only foreigners there! Lots of locals doing their Saturday morning shopping. And the shoe shops were to die for!!! 3 pairs of lovely sandals made it back into my case!
Anyway, to bring me to the point of this blog. What I hadn’t realised was that Estepona is famous for its flower pot trail! The guidebook said, go into the tourist office and ask for a trail map. We duly did and began to walk street after street of beautiful, colourful flower pots full of red geraniums which were attached to the street walls. Apparently each street has a themed flower pot colour too! I have to say my favourites were the pink spotty ones and was quite disappointed that I couldn’t bring one back in my suitcase!
The trail went on for lovely street after street until my 9 year old had decided enough was enough and he wanted an ice cream! I took so many photos, that here is only a small selection.
So if you are a fan of flowers, gardening and spotty plant pots, you will love it here!
Last week I went to my local Hobbycraft for some supplies and saw a new fat quarter bundle of Mickey Mouse fabric. What fun!
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!
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.
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.
After the Christmas rush I started my sewing again when my son went back to school. Having had weeks of making Christmas decorations and Santa bags I felt like making something different!
I had a look through all my Cath Kidston books for inspiration however couldn’t really find anything I fancied making. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed my ‘sew retro’ book by the author Judi Ketteler.
I love this book for it’s retro projects and also it’s history of sewing, fabric and fashion through the ages. I’ve previously made a few things from it including an apron and a popular farmers market bag! This time I discovered the ‘charming needlecase’ page and was hooked.
Apparently needlecases were very popular back in the day as needles were so expensive that women wanted to protect them and a made a case specially for them. From doing some research it turns out that the relics of bronze needlecases have been found from Viking sites! I believe the fabric needlecases really stem from the Victorian era.
Anyway, I decided on my material and gave it a go. Actually it was lovely to sew something different and there are so many combinations of front and lining fabric that you can choose from to make your needlecases stand out.
I chose a retro valentines pink fabric with a plain pink lining and pink ribbon. I loved it so much I have made quite a few more and it seems to be becoming rather an obsession!
I wonder if my needlecases will stand the test of time as plenty have from Victoriana!
Needless to say, all are available on my Etsy shop just follow the link at the top of the page!
I spent a delightful Sunday afternoon at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham where there was a screening of the film LaLaLaLand accompanied by a live orchestra.
I have already seen the film twice and own it on DVD and yes, I have the soundtrack! I also previously wrote a blog article on the delightful clothes featured in the film so I suppose you could say I am just a tiny bit obsessed!
Anyway, back to the Sunday afternoon; myself and resigned hubbie arrived to find a hoard of people looking forward to their cinema afternoon. I love clothes spotting and noticed that there were even a handful of the Emma Stone canary dress copies! I myself wore a 1950’s pink and white gingham check dress and some slingback kitten heels so I felt the part at least!
An interval drink ordered and then time to proceed to our seats. The venue was completely packed out with cinema fans alike. The orchestra came on stage and started to warm up. Then the main event started. The widescreen CinemaScope peeled back and LaLaLand finally started.
I had no idea what to expect. How were the orchestra going to fit in with the film etc? I needn’t have been concerned as everything was perfect! I remember seeing the film for the first time and knew during the opening sequence that I would love it. Watching it again for the first time in months, just reminded me of that first feeling. The prescence of the orchestra just heightened the whole spectacle.
I loved the old fashioned feel of the event from the overture (written on screen) to the intermission (likewise on screen) too! I wondered how they were going to ensue a seemless interval in the film and I loved how they did. The first half of the film ended on a close up of Emma Stone’s face which then faded out in a circle, just like the old films that I love. I couldn’t wait to return after the interval and was not disappointed.
When the film finished, I lost count of the encores and everyone was standing up clapping. It was a very special afternoon and a fantastic atmosphere.
Please can we have more afternoons like this? I would love to watch some of the old films, the Gene Kelly and Fred Astaires with the addition of a live orchestra. Judging by the popularity of this Sunday afternoon, I wouldn’t be the only one!
Many thanks to the Novello Orchestra who are currently on tour with their production I hope to see them again in the future
I loved the look of this dress. It was inspired from the movie “La La Land” with Emma Stones’s gorgeous yellow dress. I had never previously followed a Sewaholic pattern and did some research before purchasing. There were lots of positive reviews and a step by step guide on the Sewaholic website which is a great thing to have if you are a bit unsure during the making up stages. http://sewaholic.net/
The pattern and instructions were easy to follow. I did a mock up first as I am fairly large chested and always generally have to alter bodice measurements to suit my frame. I am usually a size 8-10 so plumped for the size 10 to be on the safe side.
The dress is fully lined and actually the finished result looks more difficult than it really was! Although I think that next time I may not line the skirt and only line the bodice. The only alteration I had to make was ironically to take in the bodice slightly to achieve a more fitted effect! I think next time I might even downsize and opt for a size 8!
The only problem I have now is deciding on which material and pattern fabric to purchase for my next Cambie dress!
Although I consider myself to be a feminist and fully intend on continuing to bring my son up to believe that women can do anything that a man can do (if not better!), I find some strange personal satisfaction when I can hang out my washing on a lovely breezy summer’s day, watching it all blowing in the wind!
I love my garden which is bright and cheerful. Yes, i’ve made pretty bunting to cover fences and there are matching seat covers with parasol trims, so I thought why not pretty up my peg bag. I don’t think its just me either! All the homestyle magazines keep re-iterating using the garden as another room, a mere extension to you indoor living space. Well, my indoor living space consists of pretty cushions, bunting, Cath Kidston tablecloths, amongst other items, so why not extend out to my garden?
I’m sure I’m not just the only one too! I’m just starting getting into the world of craft markets and have found that peg bags are one of my best sellers. I get people actively searching for the type of old fashioned fabric peg bags that perhaps reminds them of their childhood with favourite granny’s and other nostalgic memories.
My peg bags are a showcase for both pretty and floral stashes of fabric plus a bit more of an adventurous fabric in a retro style. I picked up a delightful one from my local fabric shop; Cottonpatch, which is part of a cat range and consists of cat food tins. Purrfect!
Peg bags are both useful and functional. If you enjoy your garden why have a boring bland green peg bag that everywhere sells, when you could have a handmade object in your choice of fabric to brighten up your washing line.
Peg bags can also be made out of old clothes – kids clothes, especially girls dresses work really well and can be adapted quite easily. There’s an upcycling project for you!
To start with you need to cut out a paper peg bag template. My template measures 30cm across and 45cm vertically. You can adjust your template to make it smaller or bigger – it’s entirely up to you!
Next, choose your chosen fabric and cut out one template. This is going to be the back of the bag. You could choose to have a different colour/pattern back to front or keep them the same.
Secondly, you need to cut out the front of the peg bag. This will come in 2 parts as you need to leave a gap for the pegs! Following my template you need to cut out the top of the bag. Mine measures 30cm across and 18cm down from the point of the top, so you are left with a sort of a triangle shape. Next,, cut out the bottom of the front section, this roughly measures 24cm down and 30cm across.
Next you need to bind the bottom edge of the front top and the front edge of the front bottom section. You can choose matching binding or something contrasting for fun! When you have bound the edges, Place the 2 parts right side together and pin. Measure 7cm from either side (I mark with a fabric pen) and sew from the edge to the 7cm mark. Do this on both sides and you will be left with a nice gap big enough to put pegs through.
Next, with right sides together, sew around the whole of the peg bag, ensuring that you leave a small gap at the very top where the coat hanger is going to poke out of. I find marking this gap with pins reminds me not to sew completely all the way round.
Turn the peg bag the right way round and finish off by adding a strip of binding or ribbon to the bottom of the peg bag. Insert your hanger and hey presto, you have a unique peg bag!
You can find all these peg bags on my Etsy shop. I also provide custom order service so if you fancy a particular fabric or style and colour, then just get in touch with me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So, we have nearly arrived at St. Valentine’s day, where the shops sell cheesy items that you just don’t need and your recipient mostly doesn’t want! The price of a bunch of roses increases at least twofold and restaurants are full of young romantics, looking forward to staring into each others eyes over a bottle of Prosecco!
Do I sound cynical? I’m not really. It’s just hard to do all that when you have an 8 year old with no babysitters available on that special evening. Tuesday 14th February is cubs night anyway and he’s no intention of missing that! The best me and my hubbie can come up with is a M&S meal (no cooking for either and minimal washing up!) after we drop him off then a bottle of fizz after we collect him and bedtime is over. Not very romantic for some but not too bad for us either. I get a break from cooking and we get to enjoy a dinner in peace without being interrupted about Lego!
So, where does St. Valentine’s Day originate from? Is it just an American thing that has now turned commercial and merely a money spinning opportunity?
Apparently, the saint officially recognised by the Roman Catholic Church was a real person who died around AD 270.
The story goes that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in several bloody campaigns. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers and felt the reason was men did not join army because they did not wish to leave their wives and families.
As a result Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. However, a romantic priest called Saint Valentine defied Claudius’s order and married couples in secret. How splendid!
Unfortunately, when his defiance was discovered, Valentine was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. After his death Valentine was named a Saint.
Interestingly, Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy among other things. That doesn’t stop people calling on his help for those romantically involved. He’s now also patron of engaged couples and happy marriages.
St. Valentine’s Day became associated with love and romance from as early as the 14th Century. Throughout the years, especially in the 18th century, lovers sent greetings cards, known as “valentines” which were handmade. I suspect these were quite cute, unlike some of the mass produced rubbish we get nowadays. However, in America in 1913 Hallmark Cards began mass producing specific Valentine’s Day cards. Now about a billion cards are sold every year and it’s the second biggest card sending time of the whole year. Looking at images of the old cards, I much prefer them!
We all know the symbols associated with Valentines today: anything heart shaped and a bouquet of red roses feature prominently. The red rose was believed to be the flower favoured by Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, and has therefore come to represent that .
Why February 14th though? Some believe that Valentine’s Day’s is celebrated mid-February to mark the anniversary of St Valentine’s death. Others maintain that the Christian church decided to place St Valentine’s feast day at this time of the year in an effort to ‘Christianise’ the pagan festival of Lupercalia.
Well, there you go! When you are enjoying your fancy restaurant meal and bottle of sparkling wine, spare a thought for poor Saint Valentine who paid an awful price for believing in enduring romance!
I'm a full-time mum from Birmingham sewing handmade pretty, retro and vintage goods. I am obsessed by the 1950's and anything pink! You can see what I have for sale on Etsy, or follow Lizzy's Homemade on instagram.
I'm a full-time mum from Birmingham sewing handmade pretty, retro and vintage goods. I am obsessed by the 1950's and anything pink! You can see what I have for sale on Etsy, or follow Lizzy's Homemade on instagram.