Surf Jewels

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Jul 5

Yarn Bombing

Heard of this crazy thing called Yarn Bombing, loving the idea.Heard about this quite a while ago, people knitting and crocheting things and then attaching them to lampposts and railings etc around towns or cities. When I first heard about it, it was around London, but now it is happening where I live.

This local group are also going for a world record for the most crocheted items in one installation and it is for Little Havens charity. Anyone can get involved, so if you crochet (or even want to learn a new hobby) you can join in too.

The things you need to make need to be woodland inspired, toadstools, animals, fairies etc.

Here’s the advert:

craft

So obviously I have been making and getting involved and plan to make a few more. You may have already seen my little fox, so watch this space for more pics as I get making…

More info here:

http://www.deramores.com/blog/the-craft-club-yarn-bombers-need-your-help/

Jul 5
I’ve got a new toy, maybe a bit of an expensive one, but all the same.

I knew you could get paper cutting machines and we actually had one at the school where I used to work, but it was expensive, you had to buy cartridges and you were limited by then with what you could do, so would have to no doubt buy a lot of them.

I then discovered that you could buy ones that you can plug into your computer and you can not only use and buy preset designs, but more excitingly you can use any images you have from the web or otherwise and even design your own from scratch. 

I was excited then! I spent some time looking into costs and realised they were actually affordable and one that did all of the things that I wanted was around the £150 mark. A bit of a splash out for something to do paper cut, but after a loooot of thought, decided to just go for it.

You will see a bit if paper cutting here now as we’ll as all my usual sewing and making projects.

I have made a few cards so far, also the letters for my mums cake were cut out on it.

So far so good, seems to be able to cut out pretty intricate designs and through pretty thick card too. I have so many ideas from Pinterest and the web.

Oh so many crafts and so little time… that and I’m starting a teaching course in September.

I’ve got a new toy, maybe a bit of an expensive one, but all the same.

I knew you could get paper cutting machines and we actually had one at the school where I used to work, but it was expensive, you had to buy cartridges and you were limited by then with what you could do, so would have to no doubt buy a lot of them.

I then discovered that you could buy ones that you can plug into your computer and you can not only use and buy preset designs, but more excitingly you can use any images you have from the web or otherwise and even design your own from scratch.

I was excited then! I spent some time looking into costs and realised they were actually affordable and one that did all of the things that I wanted was around the £150 mark. A bit of a splash out for something to do paper cut, but after a loooot of thought, decided to just go for it.

You will see a bit if paper cutting here now as we’ll as all my usual sewing and making projects.

I have made a few cards so far, also the letters for my mums cake were cut out on it.

So far so good, seems to be able to cut out pretty intricate designs and through pretty thick card too. I have so many ideas from Pinterest and the web.

Oh so many crafts and so little time… that and I’m starting a teaching course in September.

Jul 4
Made my Mum a bday cake.

I made a coconut cake and added flowers and leaves, as well as coconut and glitter for decoration. I then made the happy birthday, I cut out cardboard letters then attached them to cocktail sticks! :)

Made my Mum a bday cake.

I made a coconut cake and added flowers and leaves, as well as coconut and glitter for decoration. I then made the happy birthday, I cut out cardboard letters then attached them to cocktail sticks! :)

Jul 2

Making Handmade, Buying Handmade

Ok, so I make a lot of handmade items, from dresses to felted mice and anything inbetween, and I love the idea of handmade. So I should really buy handmade too, that’s if I’m not making it myself of course.

So I wanted some new rings, nice unique silver ones, I started in the high street, but couldn’t find what I wanted, so turned to Etsy and this is one of my purchases:

A cute little floral ring!

And look how it came packaged:

how cute!

Look what I made.

This is a project I have just started for little havens, a crochet world records, more info to come soon!

I have made an owl, this fox and a couple of toadstools so far, it is a forest theme!

Also played a bit with some photo apps on my phone, love magic hour and also played with bokeh camfx. 

Awww he does look like he’s having a good nap!

Look what I made.

This is a project I have just started for little havens, a crochet world records, more info to come soon!

I have made an owl, this fox and a couple of toadstools so far, it is a forest theme!

Also played a bit with some photo apps on my phone, love magic hour and also played with bokeh camfx.

Awww he does look like he’s having a good nap!

Navy Polka Dot Blouse

I was inspired to make a blouse from some I’d seen people wear at work, someone has this bow back blouse below and someone else had a plainer simpler one and I wanted a nice simple blouse.

image

I wanted a cross between the two above, the style of the sorbetto, without the pleat and with the colours of the blue one. I considered have a red bias and buttons, but wasn’t quite sure it was me, so went for white.

I first purchased this fabric:

image

With small, but not tiny dots.

Then using a combination of the candy dress pattern and the sorbetto blouse pattern (both of which you can download and print for free). I created this simple blouse.

image

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Beginner Sewer? What do I need?

If you’re a beginner in the sewing world then it might be hard to know where to start and what you need, so I thought a few posts on this might be useful.

I am one to start projects, new crafts etc with just the basics and go from there, I don’t like getting a lot of unnecessary stuff. If I can make do with the ordinary scissors I already have, then I will and if at a later date I want something better I can get it.

So what do you need if you want to start making handmade clothes? Well a sewing machine is the main expense (I guess you could sew things by hand, but each item would take you a long time!).

If I was starting out, I would get something basic, you can always upgrade if you fall in love with sewing and to be fair I have been sewing for ages and my sewing machine is pretty basic, the one I got when I was studying at college.

Unfortunately this is not my machine, I just have an average modern one!

Once you’ve got this, what’s next? I would get hold of some white and black thread to get you started.

Thread

You can get all sorts of colours, but black and white are great to start you off.

You will also need some basic kit, you might even get some of this with your sewing machine, but get hold of some scissors, an unpicker (this is so handy to undo any mistakes)

Tools of the Trade | Fashion Pattern Cutting: Quick unpicker

Get hold of some pins

Once you’ve got these I would just get hold of some fabric (ebay does some great bargains on polycotton) and just get sewing. Start off with something basic, I have a couple of skirt tutorials here and here, which are basic and you won’t have to have lots of sewing experience to be able to sew them.

You could also try a basic pattern, I love Burda for patterns, you can also get free print at home patterns such as the Candy Sundress or the Hope Wrap Dress (both of which I have tried and tested here and here.

The Candy dress is a great pattern to start with, it’s free (always a bonus), it has no zips or fastenings and you could keep it even more simple without adding the scallops. 

Got any questions? Just send me a quick message or comment on this post.

Handmade vs RTW

I have read a lot of posts about sewing for fun versus sewing for a job and handmade vs RTW (I had to keep looking this up every time I read it, knowing it was to do with shop bought, but it stands for ‘ready to wear’ for those who don’t know, or can’t remember like me!)

Ok, so lets start with sewing for fun vs as a job. I do admire lots of people out there for turning their hobby into a job and have often wondered if it was something I could do. I am slightly jealous (ok quite a lot jeolous) of those sewers out there who are designing patterns and making dresses and getting paid for it. Isn’t it everyones’ dream to get paid to do something they love?! But I do wonder, like some others have been pondering too, would making my hobby a job make it a chore? Make it routine? And take the fun out of it? Would making patterns and sewing dresses all day because I had to kind of ruin it for me?

I don’t pretend to know the answers to any of these and some people seem to love it and that’s fantastic. But it would definitely not be easy. Making clothes for a living is hard, there is so much competition out there and the high street sells things so cheaply. I can’t even say that I’m against it as I love a good bargain! Even though I do worry about how they make things so cheap and who is making it, where and at what cost. But like someone else mentioned, where does our fabric come from? And I can’t say that I know where that is sourced either!

So as to handmade vs RTW, I know some peoples aim is to have a whole handmade wardrobe and good luck to them, but I’m not sure I have either the time or inclination. It sounds great, but do I really want to spend all that time and money making vest tops that I can buy for £2 and skinny jeans that I can buy for about a tenner in Primark! Not really. I can buy these things and then spend my time making things that I can get no where else, pretty dresses and skirts, unusual tops and things that I just dream up or things that I’ve seen and wouldn’t spend all that money on or things I see on TV or out and about and have no idea where to get it, but really want one!. That’s why I love to sew.

So Me Made May was interesting and a bit of a challenge, I started off wearing only handmade items and at work that was quite easy, a lot of my dresses are handmade that I wear, but I do still wear RTW pencil skirts and blouses and I missed them when I was trying to only wear handmade. I did give in and wear them some days in May! I also had half term at the end of May (I work in a school) and handmade almost went out of the window that week, I did wear a couple of hand knitted jumpers and a pair of socks! But if I was indoors, it is just some old jeans and jumper that I wear and out and about it’s skinny jeans and a T usually, even quite a few of my casual dresses are RTW and I don’t want to get rid of them or remake them just so they are handmade, I already have them, so why go to all that effort.

So Me Made was interesting and made me have a look at what I sew and why I sew. I love to sew and will definitely still be sewing, I have loads of plans, but I will not be trying to make my whole wardrobe handmade or only wear handmade, that has never been my aim, I just get a bit distracted by all the amazing sewing blogs out there and the beautiful items I see.

My aims are to make more things that I see and love and learn more skills to do that, which I will do along the way.

Why do you sew? What do you think of RTW clothes? I would love to hear from you.

Dress I wore to a wedding

A couple of friends of mine got married a little while ago and this is the dress I made, not the best pictures, but shows you what I looked like on the day :)

As you may have heard

As you may have heard I recently turned 30 and this was the pressie I got from my Aunt, Uncle and my Nan, a very pretty bracelet with some beads.

I have a similar bracelet full of beads, but this is a nice simple one and I’m going to keep it silver with the peach bead, think it’s cute like that.

I just bought a silver stopper to put on it, on the bottom left, just keeps the beads nicely spaced as it really annoys me when they all collect in one place and the rest of the bracelet is bare.