Sunday, 9 September 2012

Help me to name my new collection

After first starting to sew over 3 years ago, I have finally put together my very first collection of designs to sell. I'm really excited if not a little nervous too.  I wanted my latest venture to be shared with friends, family and other like minded craft lovers, so I'm looking for your help to find a name for my collection.  I would love to use the chosen name for my collection and the winner will be given the chance to choose a piece to take away as a thank you! (Unfortunately I am unable to give away my patchwork baby quilts on this occasion).

I wanted my designs to build on traditional crafts but with a contemporary edge, and hopefully I've achieved that.  My appliqué and patterns have been inspired by woodland animals with contemporary colours and fabrics, and I wanted my clothing to be unique but functional too for little ones!

With the arrival of my friend Alex's first baby, I started making baby quilts/playmats.  Each I've designed independently and sewn by hand.

I love cushions, or is it just me? So naturally this was my next step.  I think my polka dot stag is my favourite.


Next came my nephew's 2nd birthday, and as a crafter what could I give as a present other than some handmade goodness?!  After browsing several infant sewing patterns, I was somewhat uninspired by the selection available for boys.  So here's what I came up with.

Leighton enjoyed playing on his new wiggle bug in his new trousers!

From there I moved on to girls clothing.

So that's it so far, thank you so much for spending the time to look through what I've been up to.  I would be so grateful to hear your suggestions, and I look forward to choosing my favourite.  You can send your replies to me via blogger or my twitter:


You can also find my shop on Folksy:

I will also be selling at Victoria Baths art and craft fair on 4th November, hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Inspiration from España

It was the most idylic setting and a beautiful holiday full of design inspiration.  The mountains of Andalucia provided the perfect setting for a yurt eco holiday.  The lovely Instagram app also helped to make some pretty pictures too!

I was particularly taken by the vintage fabrics and rugs used in the yurts.  The colour combinations really made this rug, almost timeless.  Sadly I was told it was one of a kind and not for sale!

This style followed through in the communal areas.  Flip flops had to be strictly removed inside to maintain the rugs, now that's dedication to vintage!

Such a simple idea with the seating area.  All hand made using recycled wood.  I think I can convince Oli to make this for me, and I'll provide the cushions.

When walking through the village, all staircases had beautiful tiled designs.  My favourite was this green design used on the staircase of the bullring.

So I might not be able to quit the day job and see out my days living in yurt soaking up the sun in Andalucia just yet, but with such a picturesque setting I couldn't help but be inspired!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Becoming a seller

So much has happenned since my last posts that I have neglected my blog somewhat...oops!  One of the biggest changes has been my decision to move from having a homemade hobby, to becoming a handmade seller.  After spending a lot of time crafting and making various pieces for friends and family, I have stepped away from the comfort of my home, to putting my crafts in the public domain to see what others think.  I'm excited about getting started, so I thought I'd share my journey and my first baby steps!

You can now find my designs at:

Here's a sneaky peak...


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

From towelling to tiling

With the final day of annual leave from work looming, it was time for a spot of sewing.  Today the agenda was...bathroom towels!  I know this might not seem like the most exciting of projects, but stay with me.  With the cost of bathroom towels ranging from £10 upwards, I thought I would attempt to beat the high street and make my own.  Or at least add that personal touch to our bathroom!

Materials you will need:
  • Towelling material (I bought a piece 56x64 inches costing £10, this was enough to make 2 towels)
  • Matching thread
Step 1 - Cut your material

A stroke of shear luck meant that I could divide my material in half to make 2 large bath towels, but a standard towel measures at 26x53 inches so I used that as a guide.

Lay your material on a large suface, and simply fold the towelling in half.


Next cut your fabric along the fold line.

Now you have two towel pieces ready for finishing.

Step 2 - Hem the edges of the fabric

Starting with a shorter edge, turn up 1 inch of fabric and iron to create your fold.

Next, tuck the raw edge underneath to meet the fold you have just created, and pin.

Step 3 - Mitre the corners of the fabric

Fold the next longer edge of the fabric as above.  Then unpin around the corner of the fabric.  As you unfold the fabric place a pin at the point where the creases cross.

Fold the corner in at a 90 degree angle towards the pin.

Cut away the corner of the fabric leaving a small allowence.

Re-fold the side hem and the bottom hem, fold the mitre in place and pin.

Step 4 - Sew all sides of the hem in position

Using a straight stitch, sew along all the edges of your fabric to secure the hem in place.  I also altered direction slightly to close the mitred corners.  The corner sections can be a little tricky with the amount of fabric going through the machine, but I didn't worry too much if this wasn't the neatest of finish.

And there you have it, your very own bath towel made in minutes. Happy drying!

After finishing this sewing project and feeling a little parched, I decided it was time for a good old cuppa.  So, I popped out for milk and then shortly after this I heard a knock at the door.  My lovely landlady wanted to use my flat as a photo shoot for a local artist, and of course I wouldn't say no to a fellow crafter!  A cup of coffee, several personal props and a couple of light dancing hours later, the photographs turned really well.


The moasiacs are utterly beautiful and hand made by Amanda McCrann.  You can find more of her work at:  I would definately recommend taking a look as I can imagine the craft world will be seeing much more of her work to come!  Good luck with everything Amanda!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Patchwork essentials

What is a girl to do with another glorious spring day?  Go shopping for more craft materials of course!

Today has been such a lovely day and also time I invested in the right tools for my latest patchwork project.  After reading many blogs and watching many tutorials online I quickly realised that my previous patchwork projects were missing a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.  So why are they so important you ask?

For my very first patchwork I chose to work using a hexagon pattern which didn't need precise cutting for each piece of fabric as this involved cutting rough square pieces from material and then hand sewing this around paper templates.

However, for my second blanket I chose to use square pattern pieces and to machine stitch them.  At the time, I measured and cut each piece using scissors.  This was doable and not particularly problematic, but I found when I then came to put my pieces together that the precision wasn't quite right, and often my square pieces didn't match up (don't tell my mother-in-law to be!).  The joys of quilting meant that this wasn't greatly noticeable.  As with all things craft, it is personal choice which I love and it doesn't need to be an exact science, but my own preferance would be the rotary cutter as this aids measurement and cutting, and ensures a tidy finish when you eventually sew your quilt pieces together.

So, today's shopping haul includes, a cutting mat and a rotary cutter - success!  And also other materials for my next 'making' project coming soon...but can you guess what it might be?

Friday, 2 March 2012

How to make frilly knickers

As it's my birthday today, what better way to celebrate than by getting creative.  I have been very lucky this year and my beautiful friend Lynsey bought me a knicker making pack.  Making pants has quite possibly been the most fun I've had sewing so far! 

I know I used a pack with templates included, but I think you could achieve pattern pieces just as easily by unpicking a pair of knickers your already own.  If you are doing this you will need to unpick the knicker front from the knicker back.  Then cut the gusset seperately.  Alternatively if you do want to use templates, my pack was purchased from 

Materials you will need:
  • Material of your own choosing 70x70cm (I used 100% cotton)
  • White elastic 1m (frilly of course!)
  • White ribbon
  • White thread
  • Soft white gusset material 12x22cm
  • Material scissors
  • Paper scissors
Tip - I always keep my scissors for cutting material and patterns pieces seperate, this is to ensure my material scissors stay sharp.

Step 1 - Cut your pattern pieces

Cut your pattern pieces by following your size lines.  I also ironed my pieces to remove the folds in the paper.  Pin the pattern pieces to your cotton material and cut out following the layout below.

Do the same for the gusset material.  If you are using your own knickers as pattern pieces, I would cut a rectangle to the measurements above, and then trim this once it is sewn into the knicker front.

Now you have your pieces to start sewing!

Step 2 - Insert the gusset

With the right sides of the fabric together, place both underneath edges together. 

 Then place the gusset material on top and overlap the edge by 1cm.  

 Pin together and sew using a straight stitch with 0.5cm seam allowance.

Fold the 1cm overlap over and sew to hide the cotton edges.  Fold the other side of the gusset material and sew to hide the cotton edges.  Next trim any excess gusset material to fit your knicker pattern.

Step 3 - Finish the edges of the material

Using an overlock or zigzag stitch, machine stitch all around the knicker shape.  This will give your garment a neat finish but also help to secure the gusset in place.


Step 4 - Insert the elastic

With right side of the fabric facing your, sew the elastic all around the edge of the knicker using zigzag stitch.  To create the gathered effect, pull the elastic slightly towards you as you do this.

Step 5 - Construct your knickers

With right sides of the fabric together, sew using a straight stitch with 0.5cm seam allowance along each edge of your knicker.  Then turn them out.

Using the ribbon create a bow and sew this onto the centre of your knicker.

And voila!  A pair of very cute ladies knickers!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Life's a stitch!

After being bought my very first sewing machine at 21, it only took me 3 years later to actually start sewing as a hobby.  Around the time I started, my very close friend Lynsey already had the sewing bug and tempted me along to an afternoon of sewing and cake at our fellow sewer's house Cath.  From this day forward I've been hooked!  So really I owe a lot of my passion for creating handmade pieces to you both, and I thought I'd take a look back over the past year and share some of my projects.  I have chosen my favourite to detail 'how' it was made.  So many a trial and error later here is my story so far... 

Knitted scarf

Cushion covers

 Toy bags

Dribble bibs for baby Leighton

Lavender cushions


(Modelled by the lovely Lynsey)


Patchwork quilts

So here's my favourite project so far - patchwork!  Patchwork is a project you start knowing it's going to be ongoing for a few weeks, but for me it's so satisfying to reach the finished product.  I do always feel a bit empty when a patchwork project is finished though, I need to find my next one pronto!  My hand-stitched hexagon patchwork quilt took me a couple of months, mainly because I kept putting it down for other ideas, but it now sits merrily on the end of our bed and I enjoy it every time I see it. 

I'm still new to patchwork and experimenting with different techniques and finishing methods, but for this one I chose to hand sew it.  Patchwork can be much quicker by machine stitching, but it's all preference really.  Hand sewing was quite therapeutic, but after this first pattern I have made quilts by machine, I find it's much quicker and can be a little more forgiving if your patches aren't quite as presicely shaped.

Step 1 - I ordered hexagon templates over the internet from  I did try drawing and cutting my templates by hand first of all, but this didn't work so well.  When I tried fit the pieces together I had different sizes, so as you can imagine I swiftly rejected that idea.  Paper templates are great and ensured sizing was equal (hurray!). The service Jackie provided was also fantastic, and came with a template planner and step by step insturctions.  I ordered the largest hexagon shape possible, I think this was 10cm x 10cm.

Step 2 - Choose your fabric and cut square pieces of fabric a few millimeteres larger than your hexagon.  Then wrap your fabric around your template and hand sew it in place.

 Step 3 - Keep making pieces until you have the desired size of blanket you want.  Find a large space and arrange your pieces in the pattern you like.

Step 4 - With right sides together hand stitch each hexagon togther.  Avoid the temptation to remove papers until your work is complete, then cut your wadding and bind the edge of your quilt.

This was a more of a whistle stop tour of patchwork, so I will write a complete blog for my next quilt soon.