Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I'd just like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and thank you for joining me here on my blog over the past months.

This will be the first Christmas without the kids so it's just me, Garie and Alfie this year, but the family will be getting together on Boxing day so we'll make up for the quiet Christmas then!

Hopefully I'll have news in the new year of the projects I'm working on at the moment, you've already got the idea that bag-making is involved...

Happy New Year to you all too!

Friday, 19 December 2014

And More bags...

Another little something I'm working on for my new project... this would make a great washbag if made in oilcloth...

Sunday, 14 December 2014

More bags!

Now talking of bags and owls, I'm working on a little something that should be with you in the new year, I know I'm teasing at the moment, but I'll let you know more after Christmas. And it's not a book!

A bag book I'm working on...

I'm working on a few books at the moment, one of them being bags! This is a cute little three pocket bag with owls printed on the fabric. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Ideal Christmas Show

Here's a few pictures from the show, I was demonstrating making Christmas gift bags. Lots of stalls with so many decorations, and even an ice skating rink in the centre! I went with my daughter, who has bought lots of cinnamon-scented goodies to make Christmas wreaths. There was even a beauty area where you could get your teeth whitened or eyebrows threaded!

I loved the white trees, I half expected Mr Tumnus to pop out!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Alfie modelling in a magazine!

What a lovely surprise today when I picked up my copy of Love Sewing and firstly they've featured my latest book, but also chose a picture that didn't end up in the book, of Alfie snuggling up to one of my cushions! He loves the camera, my daughter had her picture taken on the bed so he just had to join in. He can be fast asleep in another room but as soon as those lights come on he springs into action!

I write a monthly skills class for the magazine, and answer any readers questions that come along. You'll also find my projects in Simple Homemade Magazine each month, the Christmas bookazine should be available now with lots of gift and gift bag ideas!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas gift bag tutorial

I've been making loads of these drawstring bags, video on You Tube, try padding with fusible fleece to carry delicate gifts. Two fat quarters will easily make a good sized bag so they're really quite affordable too! They can be recycled each year, and made from pretty fabrics they could be used for lingerie or nightdress bags, pop a stone in the base and stuff, and you have a door stop.  

Monday, 10 November 2014

Ric-rac roses

I thought this was a nice idea. rolling together two different colours of ric-rac to make a flower! A dot of glue on the ends holds them together... but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them at the moment...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

decorating the studio

This is some of the new set dressing I've been making for Create and Craft. The balloons are mount board covered in fabric, the letters were cut with my slice machine and sewn on, and I shadowed them with my spectrum noir pens. The montage below apart from 'and craft' I cut the letters by hand then stitched them on to white fabric, and added a few stitchy embellishments! They took all day to make but I enjoyed doing them, and I'm working on some more this week, a kite is my next project!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Toyota Oekaki Renaissance

This is the brand new Toyota Renaissance, I'll be launching it on Ideal World on the 4th November at 9pm. I's a bit of a 'love it or hate it' look, I happen to be in the 'love it' party! It's already won a design award in Japan. 
It does have a few unique features, thick thread capability, strong enough to sew through 12 layers of denim, but I think the best new feature is the stitch width control when free motion embroidering. Choose the speed on the control panel, then the foot pedal controls the width. It's very easy to pick up, my first attempt was the flowers on blue silk, below, and my husband asked if it was one of those designs pre-installed in the machine!

The basting stitch is another brilliant feature, particularly for quilters, you can tack a stitch as long as you like, then easily pull the thread out when you need to.

Apart from that, it's a computerised machine with 50 stitches! I think 'well done' Toyota!

This one is embroidered on to faux leather, I made it into a little make up bag...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Mannequin pin cushion I use on air

I've been getting a few queries about the pin cushion I use on air, it's my mannequin, with a bucket base, and you can find it here... hope you like it!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Froggy face coin purse

I was sent a picture and asked to make a coin purse from this little person, I think he's a cartoon character but looks like a froggy-face to me! And it actually came out a bit big for a coin purse, unless you have a lot of coins that is! There's a zip across the back, and he's fully lined. There's a You Tube video on my channel if you'd like to make one...

Friday, 17 October 2014

Voting for the Craft Awards 2014

I have two books nominated for best craft books, Half Yard Heaven and Sew Bunting, Voting has opened today and there are prizes to be won, it would be lovely to have your vote! [again... sorry, these things all seem to come at once!]

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Cosmetic bag step by step pictures

My bag measures 8" tall and 8" wide, I drew around a plate to make the curve. The cut out squares in the base are 1" along the sides.lining on the left, outer on the right.

I made my own bias tape strips

The strips went in between the two front panels

I then sewed bias along the round edge of the bag

The zip was then sewn to the bias, I used an invisible zip as it was the only red one I had, but I sewed it on the same as a regular zip.

Then do the same with the second side of the zip

sew the bag sides together from just under the end of the zip either side, and across the base.
Do the same with the lining.

Open up the cut off corners and sew to make a square base, turn the right side out.
Same with the lining!

Press the opening in the lining over by 1/4", then drop into the bag and hand-sew aroun the top.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A few pictures from my frilly pinny workshop

We had such a lovely day!

Half Yard Home

It looks like Amazon are sending out my new book , Half Yard Home, ahead of the publication date so if you've ordered, they're on their way! I'm so pleased with this one, small projects for each room, but I love the photography more than anything. My husband is a very talented man! The pictures were takes about a year ago, it takes a good 18 months to produce a book, I'm working on three for 2016 at the moment!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Pretty plant pot tutorial

No sewing for these cute plant pots, I love the textures of terra cotta, string and linen. Perfect storage pots for pencils and bobbins and so simple to make!

I filmed a video tutorial for RedShed, take a look here...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My tidy sewing room!

I feel so much more organised when my rooms tidy, just need a coffee and the dog and I'm ready!

This blog nominated for an award!

I'm so excited and surprised that readers of Sew magazine have nominated this blog for an award! Voting is open now so please feel free to click and vote! And thank you all who nominated me...

Zipped wristlet tutorial

I've been making a few of these in different sizes, I'm thinking Christmas isn't very far away!

Here's the link...

Monday, 6 October 2014

Make up bag

I'm just finishing off this little make up bag, it's quite time consuming as I'm hand sewing in the lining, but I think it'll be worth it! I like the ticking, that was from Abakhan, and I made the bias tape with my Simplicity tape maker. I'll post instructions when I'm done...

Saturday, 27 September 2014

How To Sew Your Own Handy Tool Belt

This is a tutorial I filmed for, I want that sewing shed in my garden! What a perfectly peaceful place to potter!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My new Pfaff

I'm so excited to have taken delivery of my new machine, so many features and I just love the bobbin storage!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Best Craft Book awards

Two of my books, Half Yard Heaven and Sew Bunting have been nominated for the Best Craft Book 2014 awards, I couldn't be happier! Voting starts on Oct 17th so I'll post a link then, and thanks to all of you who nominated me!