Monday, 27 October 2014

Christmas Sewing Gifts for 2014

Its the annual Sew Scrumptious round up of gorgeous gift ideas for people who love sewing. 20 gorgeous goodies that would be welcome in anyones Christmas Stocking including mine! This list is perfect for dropping massive hints to loved ones so please feel free to share.


First up is this gorgeous Sewing Machine Necklace by Strangely Yours £22.92. They have a fab range of quirky jewellery including cute little cameras. Pop over and check out their etsy shop.


Next we have this lovely box of vintage style mini wooden spools from Crabtree Lane £22. Perfect for storing ribbons and lace and it also comes in a very pretty box!



Love this gorgeous Cotton Reel Necklace by Rock Rose Jewellery £45. This necklace is made from Sterling Silver and you can even choose the thread colour!


I couldn't resist adding this print to the list. 'The Lace Singer' A3 Print is designed by By Charlies Hand £25. The print is from an original papercut by Charlotte Trimm.



Another gorgeous necklace. This 'Love You Sew' Oval Pincushion Necklace is by Wychbury Designs £18. Absolutely beautiful with a real vintage feel.


I've just ordered myself one of these pretty Craft Wall Planners by Artwork by Angie £14.50. Perfect for reminding me of all my deadlines next year! A little treat to myself!




I just adore the colours of these Tape Measure Bangles £29 by Bloom Boutique.
These are definitely on my Christmas list this year.


This Large Cotton Reel Storage Pot by The Posh Scarecrow £10 would make a brilliant addition to a craft room or office. Perfect for storing scissors or pens.



This 'Threads' Hand Screen Printed Cushion by Mintprint £45 would look perfect in my lounge! Love the retro feel of the design. Gorgeous!


These cute little handbag size mirrors would make great stocking fillers for a crafty person. They are from Love Lammie & Co and are only £3.50


Vintage looking inspired sewing inspired Door or Drawer Knobs by Surface Candy £14.95 would liven up any chest of drawers and would be perfect in a sewing room. A great idea!


I have this Button Rug £35 from IKEA in my daughters bedroom. Its so colourful and bright and would also be great for a craft room.



Who doesn't love a vintage Singer? These screen printed Sewing Machine Tote Bags by Stephanie Cole Design £9.95 would make a lovely Christmas gift. Absolutely love the design.


Really like this quirky Antique Sewing Machine & Birds Art Print by Roo Abrook £10. Such beautiful colours. 


Make a fabulous lampshade with a Sew Scrumptious Lampshade Kit. So easy to make. Just add half a metre of fabric or wallpaper for a gorgeous individual lampshade. Available in 20cm and 30cm. From £10. 



I drink a lot of tea so these Sewing Alphabet Mugs by Becka Griffin Illustration £13.50 would be perfect for me! Another great gift idea for a crafty friend maybe?


This gorgeous Liberty 'Betsy' Print Sewing Scissors and Case by Liberty London is only £7.95. They come in a range of different Liberty prints and would make a fabulous gift. I love how you can attach the scissors to the case. I am always losing my scissors!





This is the fourth year these Patchwork Tiles by Welbeck Tiles £75 have featured on the Christmas Gift List. I just LOVE them so much. The prettiest tiles ever. One day they will be mine!



Sometimes you just have to think big when it comes to presents. You never know your luck!! Just LOVE the design of the new Oekeki Renaissance Free Motion Sewing Machines. £599. Find out more on the Oekeki website here


and finally you can never have enough fabric! Choose from a gorgeous selection of quirky and contemporary fabrics at Sew Scrumptious. Fabric makes a perfect gift and as its the season to be jolly, we will even give you a 5% discount on all fabric orders until Christmas. Just type XMAS at the checkout. All fabric comes wrapped in tissue paper ready to hand over on Christmas Day!


Thats it. My top 20 gifts for people who love sewing. Let me know which is your favourite and please feel free to pin this post or share on Facebook and Twitter. Would love to know what you are getting for Christmas!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Adventures in Dress Making - Part 1

I have been meaning to learn some proper dress making skills for ages now as I am surrounded by gorgeous fabrics but rarely make anything for myself. Although I can sew, I am self taught and I have to admit to being a bit scared by 'proper' dress making so when I was asked to review 'The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction' by Christina Haynes, it seemed like a sign to jump in and start giving it a go!




The book was a really good starting point for me and a great resource for understanding the basic construction of different items of clothing. It explains all the different terms you read about and helps demistify sewing patterns. There are chapters which explain measuring and what materials you need to use for different garments. It also includes sections on darts, gathering, pleats, pin tucks, shirring, pockets, collars, sleeves and hems amongst other things. Everything a novice dress maker would need to know to get started. 

I love the fact that the book uses photos rather than diagrams. My brain just doesn't do diagrams and I find photos so much easier to follow. I know that its a book I  will return to again and again as my confidence grows and I get braver in the things I make You can buy this lovely book on Amazon here. It would make a great Christmas gift!

Motivated by my lovely new book, I invited my cousin to come over to try and make an A line skirt with me. We also had some help from a lovely local dress maker friend called Rachel. After much discussion and debate and reading of the book and pattern, we finally did it. The finished result is being modelled by Jill. Its got pockets and everything!



We made a few mistakes along the way but both feel really motivated to try and make more clothes now. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Fun of the Fair - Blog Hop & Giveaway!

I am very excited to be part of a Blog Hop to promote the new 'Fun of the Fair' book by Melanie McNeice of Melly & Me. Its a gorgeous new sewing book full of lovely patterns to make cute little animal toys for children.


I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of the ebook and immediatly fell in love with these gorgeous seals. They are just so cute so I thought I should dust off my sewing machine and try and make one! 




and here is my attempt! 


  



The pattern was easy to follow although a little bit fiddly for a toy making novice like me! I managed to make one in a few hours though and will definitely be making more in the future for my children and their friends. It was great to try making something new.
 
There are so many lovely projects in the book



You can order a print copy of the book here. If you preorder now you will also receive a copy of the ebook for free. You can buy the book as an ebook here.

If you are a bit addicted to sewing books like me, there is a lovely selection of sewing books generally here

The best thing is that one lucky reader of my blog can win a copy of the book! Just leave a comment below and I will pick a lucky winner on Sunday 19 October at 5pm.

You can see lots of other posts from the blog hop here


Monday, 29 September 2014

Sewing - The next generation!

Happy Birthday to my lovely daughter Isabella who was 9 yesterday. Her present was her first proper 'grown up' sewing machine. Its purple and so cool. I can't wait to start showing her how to use it!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Just Us Girls - Book Review

I was very lucky to be asked to review some craft books for Quarto and the one that immediately caught my eye was 'Just Us Girls' a book of 48 Creative Art and Craft Projects for Mothers and Daughters. My daughter loves making things but I am often a bit distracted by work so it feels like I don't actually get involved as much as I would like. This seemed like the perfect choice for the summer holidays!


Its such a lovely book! My daughter was hooked from the moment I gave it to her to look at. She spent hours looking at all the projects and loved the idea that it was something we were going to do together. She very quickly marked out several projects she wanted to try. The book is split into seasons and a lot of the projects are outdoors based which I really liked and which makes it a bit different to lots of other craft books. We tried out the following projects - all chosen by my daughter...

Peaceful Mind Globe

We loved this idea! Its basically like a huge snow globe but with glitter. The idea is that when you are stressed or perhaps having an argument, you go and shake the jar and sit and watch it until the glitter settles. Watching the glitter float around is relaxing in itself and the time out that the process gives you ensures that any argument is soon forgotten.  




We found some lovely glass jars in our local 99p shop and bought some glycerin in our local chemist. We had lots of glitter and sequins lying around at home and it was lots of fun choosing which colours to put in. Izzy decorated the jar and made the sign. The Peaceful Mind Globe was really quick and easy to make. We actually use it a lot and it is great for diverting children from having tantrums and melt downs!



'Happy Thoughts Jar'

We decided that we really liked the idea of writing down things that make us happy each day and popping them in a jar. Whenever we feel sad, we can then look at all our happy thoughts and remember all the lovely times we have had.

                            

We found another lovely jar in the 99p shop and Izzy filled it with lavender and shredded tissue paper. We then each wrote down some happy thoughts to start us off. Such a simple yet lovely idea and one we want to keep up.
 

'Summer Fairies'

These little summer fairies are so cute and I knew Izzy would love making them clothes with all my left over fabric scraps. I ordered some of the old fashioned wooden pegs on ebay for a couple of pounds. They were really easy to get hold of.


We ran out of pipe cleaners unfortunately so ours don't have arms at the moment! Izzy loved drawing on the faces and making outfits for them though.


There are still lots of projects we want to try and I think we will come back to this book time and time again. It has a lovely section at the end which gives you all the patterns and templates you need along with illustrated colour labels and pictures to stick on things. This book would make a really lovely gift and Izzy (who is 8 years old) and I both absolutely loved it.

You can buy this lovely book on Amazon here

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Giveaway! Win tickets to The Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Shows in Exeter & Manchester

We have 10 pairs of tickets to The Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Shows to give away on the blog today! 5 pairs of tickets for the Exeter Show (Westpoint 25-28 September) and 5 pairs of tickets for the Manchester show (Event City 11-13 September 2014). These shows are fabulous days out if you love sewing and other crafts with an inspiring schedule of workshops, talks, demonstrations, catwalk shows and an abundance of creative and crafting supplies from hundreds of exhibitors. Take lots of money with you!



If you want to find out more check out full details of both shows here.

Highlights include


  • Dressmaking expert Thelma Judge will be on hand at The Learn to Sew Workshop to help those new to the craft get to grips with sewing machines and tackle simple sewing processes.  The Workshop is also the perfect stop off for those looking to return to sewing and in need of a quick refresher.
  • Fashion fanatics will have the chance to get up close to the flamboyant collection of costumes from the popular retail inspired drama, Mr Selfridge.  The biggest and finest department store of its kind back in the 1900’s, Selfridges was as renowned for its wealth of luxurious fabrics and delectable accessories then as it is today. The costumes inspired by this turn of the century era will be on show over the four days.
     

  • Check out the latest trends for autumn/winter on the catwalk in the Fashion area of the show. Visitors can see and hear about the latest ideas and trends and receive top tips and advice on which styles, colours and fit are the most flattering.
 

  • The popular Cookery Theatre is back in Manchester with cookery experts leading demonstrations with delicious recipes and ideas. There are one-to-one sessions with expert novelists in the Fiction Workshop and for visitors who are green fingered, the Gardening Theatre will feature an A-Z of garden planning.


The giveaway ends on 31 July 2014 and tickets will be sent out direct from the Show organisers. Good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway




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