Thursday, 30 May 2013


These took me back in time! One of my friends is getting married next week and asked for windmill corsages! The larger ones have heart shaped buttons in the centre, these measure 2" square and have little pearls in the middle.

Munchkin outfit

I've just made this munchkin outfit for my friends daughter Elise, who's 8, hope it fits as I was guessing a bit here! The shirt has an elasticated waist so that should be fine, and the blouse has a zip in the back. I've just pinked the hem lines so she can cut them shorter if needed...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Free Motion Embroidery

Well we sold out of the Oekaki machine again, this will be the third time and we need to ask Toyota to make some more! I have to say I've had so much fun with this machine, I was never interested in free motion until I was asked to prep the show. I havn't really stopped since! I do have a freehand embroidery foot on my machine, and I've used it so much over the last few weeks, from rag doll's faces to personalised pin cushions! Talking of which, I'm going to make all my Christmas presents this year, I don't have many to buy this year, but my family seem to have everything they need, so I'm going to give the gift of my thoughts and time this year, and sew them all a little something. I'll let you know what I decide to make them! To be honest it'll probably be cushions, it normally is.....

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Selvedge Sally

This rag doll is a great way of using up your scraps and left-overs, and is easy to make too! I like to look of different coloured and patterns of fabric, and I'm using cotton as its easier to work with.

For the legs, four strips of fabric measuring around 11" x 2.5", jelly roll strips are perfect.

For the arms, four strips measuring 6" x 2.5".
Pair up the strips of fabric and lay right sides together, sew around three sides leaving a gap at the top and round off the bottom to give shape to the hands and feet.
Stuff them with wadding and sew across the open end.

Sew a strip of calico or any plain pale fabric measuring about 6" x 5" to the body fabric, this measures about 7" long x about 5" wide. I'm saying 'about' as the measurements really don't have to be accurate!


Take a cup or similar round object and draw around it on the calico for the head shape, cut out the circle and round off the shoulders.

Now for the face, I drew a simple mouth and dots for eyes, then back-stitched over the mouth and french knotted the eyes. The lips and cheeks I drew on with a pro-marker.

Right sides together, sew from one shoulder, around the head and finish at the other shoulder.

Place one arm inside the doll and sandwich it into the side seam, sew all the way down the side.

Repeat on the other side with the second arm, this is a bit of a struggle but push both arms inside the body and sew down the second side.

Turn the right side out and stuff, leaving half an inch or so unstuffed at the bottom of the doll as you'll need to attach the legs here.

Fold in the hem at the dolls bottom by about 1/2 inch, put the legs in position and pin, then sew straight across.

The hair is about 15 strips of fabric measuring about 20" x 1/2 ", I backstitched this straight down the centre of the back of the head. A little bow on top looks cute!

For her dress, I cut a strip of fabric 24" x 6" and gathered across the top, use the longest stitch on your sewing machine and sew two rows of straight stitch, then pull the bottom threads to gather. I've left the selvedge across the bottom of the skirt, this is where Sally got her name!

The waistband is a strip measuring 10" x 2", I sewed this face down to the gathered skirt, then folded over and top stitched to make neat. Then I sewed the two raw edges together to make a tube.

The straps are ribbons, attached with a couple of buttons.

The finishing touch was to tie a couple of ribbons around her ankles to look like ballet shoes, and I made a little necklace with buttons threaded onto cotton, obviously be careful if you're giving this to a small child.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

My bunting book

Well how excited am I? This is the cover of my bunting book, should be in the shops by September!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Keeping you up to date...

Well I've had a really busy week! I've been a guest for Elna [beautiful machine that 620!] and Toyota with the Oekaki again, and I'm looking forward to working with Hayley this afternoon with the Husqvana. I'm doing a bit of filming for on Tuesday, there will be on-line projects appearing on the site over the next few months so they're really keeping me busy! Do get in touch if there's anything specific you'd like to know or learn, if I don't know the answer I have a  whole bank of experts to ask!
I'm also working on an easy way to get your grids onto fabric for smocking, my publisher Vivienne is beavering away with the new e book to get it released asap, I'll keep you informed, I've had a lot of interest in this book!
Now on with the next...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Leftover Lucy

This is 'Leftover Lucy', she's made from scraps of fabric that I can't bear to throw away, and has really cool hair. One leg's a bit longer than the other but she doesn't mind, it helps her to skip!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

This was me and Zippy in 1987, I'd adapted the dress from one I bought from a charity shop, and you can't see here but I was wearing ankle socks and pink suede Doc Martins! It never really caught on and I don't understand why...

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Denim Decoupage Dog

A little denim decoupage dog! It's a plastic money box, covered in strips of cut up denim and glued on with Modge Podge. The glue sets so hard that if there are any sharp bits they can be sanded off.

Kids catalogue

This is a shot I styled for my husband Garie's childrenswear shoot, the kids had lots of fun and were such good models!

Thai throw idea

When my eldest son David and his wife went travelling a few years ago they brought back some beautiful throws from Thailand, I made one into huge floor cushions for them, Alfie's just testing them out for comfort...

Yep, they're fine...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Ming the Merciless!

This is my 18 year old son Tyler modelling a fancy dress costume of 'Ming the Merciless' from Flash Gordon that I made for a friend of mine! He looks pretty evil I think!

More free motion embroidery...

The flower was freehand and the crown one of the MCS stencils... I'm so impressed with these stencils, I'm going to try the butterfly later today! Although I like the 'scribbly' look of the stitching, I think I'll have a go at something a little more structured...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Looks like I'm demonstrating the Oekaki machine on Friday at 5... better get drawing... I've been weeding all day! Didn't stop even for the rain, and hopefully the nettle stings will have died down before I'm back at work...

Monday, 6 May 2013

What lovely weather! My sewing machine is on the garden table ready for some summer sewing again today,  I have a couple of mending jobs for some of the guys at work then I'm going to have a play with stencils and fabric paint, the very lovely Nance Watt from My Craft Studio gave me a pack of those amazing fabric stencils as I was so excited about them, so I thought I'd sit in the sunshine and paint! Can't do much else... the central heating boilers being replaced today so no water, it really makes you realise how much you use when you don't have any... Anyhow, I'll post my artwork later if I think it's up to scratch!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Don't you just know Alfie had to be involved!

Just received the proofs for my next book on Bunting... I loved making this book, my wonderful husband has made such a good job of the photography, I do rent him out...

The girls are the very beautiful Elise and Sadie, you may recognise those owls from many sewing shows on C&C recently!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Link to the You Tube video on free motion embroidery for beginners...