Category: Sewing

A Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing :: Book Review

Craft Magazine

A little while ago I blogged about having this little blog of mine appear in print in Popular Crafts. One of the features of Popular Crafts is their book group. The editor suggested that I try one. So I picked ‘A Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing’ by Carrie Maclennan & decided I’d make a skirt out of an old sheet. Don’t ask me why. I’ve no experience of dress making at all, which is probably why I opted for it.

My OH bet me £50 that I wouldn’t finish it, silly billy! I totally did, as you can see below. It has made me think that I should make more clothes out of old, unused fabric. I have a massive fabric pile that is sitting there doing nothing so I will be turning my hand to more dressmaking in the future.

Craft Magazine

I really enjoyed reviewing this book. It’s a great book that I know I’ll go back to again and again. It has a great feel to it too and loads of advice for anyone wanting to get more sewing in their lives.

I had a massive grin on my face when I bought my copy of PC in Smiths. Seeing myself in a magazine is something I’d never thought I’d see! If you haven’t clicked over to Popular Crafts then you should. There’s loads of good stuff on there or failing that, why not follow them on Twitter? Go on, you know you want to!

Cath Kidston Suffolk Puff Cushion

Suffolk Puff Cushion

A few months ago I attended a Cath Kidston craft night to launch her new book, Patch. AtSuffolk Puffs the event we were given material to make a suffolk puff cushion and we started making suffolk puffs.

Over the festive season, I decided that I wanted to finish it off & set about sewing some more suffolk puffs. 81 to be exact. 81 circles of fabric. I had no idea how long it would take to sew them. Yesterday, I’d finished all my paid work so thought I’d complete the whole thing in the morning. I only Suffolk Puff Cushionhad to make about 12 more puffs, stitch them together, make the cushion & attach the 9×9 rows of suffolk puffs.

Well, needless to say I didn’t have it finished by lunch! I was working on it from 8 until 5.30pm…and it still wasn’t done! I’d sewed the rows of puffs together & made the cushion cover. All I had to do was attach the puffs to the cover using slip stitch, which I hadn’t used before.

Technically, I was supposed to be working on a website this morning but I wasn’t going to leave the cushion sitting there – mocking me! So I’ve spent this morning attaching the top to the bottom. And it is finished! It looks pretty good. My cover isn’t exactly square so it isn’t sitting on the puffs at the correct angle but at this point, after this many hours, I don’t care! It’s finished and that’s enough for me! I had no idea that it would take this long to complete. This is why handmade products are so expensive. It took me over 10 hours to make. If I was to charge for this, my time alone would mean it cost £60.80. It’s a good job that I got the materials for free!

Cath Kidston Suffolk Puff Cushion

Crafty Resolutions 2012

Tea Cosy

Despite working less since July, I still haven’t managed to get enough craft in my life. So I’m setting myself some crafty resolutions. I plan to check back & update every month or so and hope that I can cross some of them off. Hopefully I’ll have them all crossed off by the end of 2012. So here goes…

1. Knit a pair of socks. I really want to do this. I can’t explain why but I have a real desire to make myself some warm & snugly socks. I’ve just got some DPN’s and plenty of wool so this will be my first project.

2. Knit myself a matching hat, scarf and gloves set. I have a real love of wool & this canCrafty Resolutions be seen in the variety of winter gloves, hats and scarves that I have. However, none of them match. This bothers me immensely! So I plan to knit my own. I’ve already got the wool but I imagine it’ll take me until next winter before I’ve completed them!

3. Knit myself a jumper. I am not particularly confident that my knitting skills are up to this but I want to give it a go. I know there are loads of patterns out there but if anyone has a recommendation of a plain jumper pattern, I’d love to have it.

4. Make Mollie Makes kits. I love Mollie Makes. I wait until I have some quiet time before I sit down & read it. I love the free kits but I’ve only ever made one – the phone cover, which I gave to my sister. I want to make them all! So my aim is to make one a month, maybe even two so that I can catch up on the backlog!

5. Scrapbooking. The garden WILL get a makeover this year, honest. I want to document the transformation by doing something I’ve never done before & that’s scrapbooking. Any tips will be gratefully received.

6. Write my own knitting pattern. There are so many amazing patterns out there but sometimes I struggle to find one that fits what I want to make so I’d like to make my own.

7. Make more silver jewellery. Out of the crafts I currently do, this is the one I do least. The main reason is that I’m a neat freak & can’t keep my silver making stuff out so I rarely get down to it. I don’t go to silver group every week because I can’t always afford it. But I need to make a more concerted effort!

8. Sew more. I love my sewing machine but I’m still a beginner so need to spend more time using it. I have a few ideas of items I’d like to make so I’d better get busy! I’ve also got a cool sewing kit that I’d like to complete. It’ll make some awesome owls that would look great on my desk!

9. Make candles. I got a kit for my birthday and haven’t used it yet. I know some lovely people who would like some candles so I need to get busy with this one asap.

Tea Cosy10. Bake healthier cakes. I recently had a cholesterol test. It’s slightly higher than it should be so I need to cut down on bad fats. Therefore I need to find healthy ways to have cakes & chocolates. There’s no way I’m cutting them out!

11. Get organised. I’m one of the most organised people I know. But when it comes to making things in time to give others, or awareness of how close holidays are, I seem to be completely lost. I need to start preparing for Christmas in the summer if I want to make all the presents, cards, cakes etc. And not leave them all to the last minute like I did this year…and the year before…and the year before that! Oops!

12. Make time for craft! I’m not too great at balancing my time. I’ll do all my work, tidy & clean the house before doing craft. Sometimes this doesn’t leave enough time to do craft. I should probably spend less time on Pinterest but I often see that as creative thinking time. I need to allocate time each week, no matter how little, to craft so that I can achieve these resolutions.

I am also doing the usual – eat less fatty stuff, eat more veg, get off my bum more; be more thrifty; sort the garden & finish off the little jobs in the house; learn from my mistakes etc etc. But most of all I want to do more craft because craft makes me happy and isn’t that worth spending time on? x

What are your resolutions? Are you having any crafty ones? I’d love to hear what they are.

Suffolk Puff Brooches

Suffolk Puff Brooches

I have been inspired by my Cath Kidston Craft Night! I am pretty much addicted to makeing suffolk puff brooches. Not that this has helped me finish cushion cover!

It all started a week or so ago. I needed a present for a friend’s birthday. But I don’t have much money to spend on gifts. Then I decided that I would have a go at using my new skill to make a brooch for her. I used the same green material that’s in the picture below. I think I bought it from Lexi Loves in Cirencester ages ago. I’m not sure where the red fabric came from.

I’m thinking about putting some for sale on my Folksy shop. What do you think?

Suffolk Puff Brooches