Tag Archives: sewing

Christmas Crafts 2

Patchworking is a favourite of mine when it comes to sewing. The main reason is that its really quite easy, whilst also being very prolific (once you have all the materials.) I have been steadily building my patchworking resources over this year, almost entirely from charity shops. Old skirts and shirts, curtains, sheets, remnants – its amazing how a bunch of very discordant patterns come together once carefully arranged and coordinated. Whilst i’m all about mixing it up, i have generally found that too many different textures and types of material generally don’t work, due to the variety of tensions they create in a row of sewn squares, so i now stick mostly to cotton.

I made these single quilts as gifts for Lucia and Isla, my two cheeky little nieces. Both are backed using salvaged thermal curtain lining, making them fairly heavyweight and cosy. I have previously experimented with patterned or decorative borders, but having done so i resolutely conclude that a plain edging brings out the best of the main patchwork area.

Giving everyone a patchwork quilt wasn’t really a feasible option this Christmas, nor any other Christmas for that matter, so i made these smaller cushion projects for my sister-in-law x2 (can’t seem to work out the plural). With less expanse to work with, selecting the fabrics takes a bit more thought. I used some Sanderson prints and a bit of good old Cath Kidston to make sure they were pretty enough! And finally, to step the whole thing up a notch, i got these woven labels made up to personalise my work.

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Christmas Crafts 1

This year was quite prolific for homemade Christmas presents, and as promised, i am going to do a little series on the projects and how they came together. Having always been someone who can’t understand those who start doing christmas shopping in the summer, i rather surprised myself by starting some of these projects in October. Our holiday in Skye in November also featured quite significant sewing productivity.

These little make-up bags were my first projects whilst there, which were made for salvage sis Gemma and my sister-in-law Marianne. The red cord was a charity shop remnant, and the lining a very thrifty find indeed – 3 metres of Liberty fabric for a few pounds, same source. The bunting is composed of various scraps and off-cuts.

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Oh Brother

I have been pondering a new sewing machine for a few months now, since my £100 friend purchased about 8 years ago started to show signs of tiring. The thing about sewing machines is that you can a decent model quite cheaply, but the servicing will often cost 3/4 of the initial value, and if, like me, you put it through its paces, you will probably need to service it every year. So, after extensive on-line research, i took a trip to David Drummond, possibly the best sewing shop in the world, ever. This guy excels in 2 things – machine knowledge, and customer service. I had a fair idea of my requirements, which happened to match exactly this little gem:

(If you are bored already by this post, things are about to get a lot worse…)

It features 40 stitches including overlocking and 5 1 step button holes, top loading bobbin, automatic needle threader, and, my favourite part, a funky feature which stops the needle either always up or down once you stop sewing. Granted, if your not a sewer, this will seem like a fairly meek offering, but to me, its magic! It also comes with lots of fancy accoutrements, many of which i am yet to identify:

Best of all, it has an ace freehand embroidery function, something i have featured on most of my christmas presents this year (see posts in the New Year.) Buying the machine from a specialist shop got me thinking about the lost value of face-to-face trading. I got an amazing deal involving lots of freebies, including a free servicing of my old machine so i can sell it and make up some of the cost. I honestly came away wondering what the sales guy could have possibly got out of the deal, such were the numerous perks showered upon me. I went home and convinced myself that i couldn’t have found a better deal online, plus the added bonus of doing business with the most tanned, gold-clad man i have come across all winter.

My plans for a manic sewing day today have been laid to rest by an unfortunate slip down the stairs this morning, leaving me less than dexterous. Not to worry though – i have all of the Christmas holidays to put this baby to the test!

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