Archive for June, 2011

Better late than never

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Apologies for being a bit late announcing the winner of a copy of Get the most out of your clothes.  As I mentioned before here my parents and sister are here and there was just so much to catch that I didn’t get a chance to do anything else.

Anyway, let’s get to the point.  The lucky winner is Meg Jones, she shared with us photos of a Kindle cover and a handbag that you just got to love.

There is a second little prize to Mary (tobit_e) who also shared lots of her photos of things she has upcycled.

Meg and Mary could you please send me your address so I can post the prices for you.  I think I have it but I just want to make sure I have the right information.

Thank you for sharing photos and all of your comments and photos also shared in our Facebook page.

Flower bouquets by Sevenberry


With open arms

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I made these 2 little purses for my mum and baby sister that are coming to visit us for a few weeks.  I was a bit short of time, so I decided to go for something quick to make, but still pretty and useful, specially whilst you are travelling.  The pattern is Origami Bags from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches and they were a joy to make.

Choosing the fabrics was by far the best part of the whole process, but seeing them finished is great.  They are a bit addictive, and I want to make a few more but larger and I might even try a smaller one made all with natural linen and the stitches with a thicker thread in a contrasting colour.

I hope my guests like them and more importantly, I hope they find them useful.

I'm quite happy mixing the vintage feel of Denyse Schmidht fabrics with linen

Fabrics used for Mum’s bag

Large exterior fabric: Prairie Rose in Piney Woods – Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidth

Small exterior fabric: Essex linen/cotton in Putty

Lining: Thistle leaf in Piney Woods – Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidth

I have used quite a lot Momo's fabrics, but can't you blame me?

Fabrics used for Trouble’s bag

Large exterior fabric: Flower garden in Jelly – Just Wing It by Momo

Small exterior fabric: Four Petals in Jelly – Just Wing It by Momo

Lining: Stripe in Jam – Just Wing It by Momo

Sunday Stash #4

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Sweet treats are certainly not only for children, I have got a treat for you that will make you smile best of all it has no calories and it won’t damage your teeth either.

This sweetie from the Sugar Pop! collection by Liz Scott is one of those designs that puts a smile on every face.

The name is still an issue for me, call it Tree Mods or Lollipops, it doesn’t matter, it is yummy and it is our chosen design for this Sunday Stash Sale.

As usual, minimum purchase is 50cm, sale last until midnight Monday 27th June, 2011.


Sewing to reinvent and upcycle your clothes

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Marion Elliot’s new book Get the most from your clothes, published by David & Charles is certainly bang on trend.  If there is a person that  has not heard about ‘make do and mend’  or ‘upcycle’ has probably spent the last few years in a cave.

The aim of this book is to make you see your wardrobe or the charity shops in a different way.  It is full of ideas of how to give a second chance to those clothes that you haven’t worn for months, if not years.

It also has a few projects for children clothes and little charms, so if you want to get your children busy this summer without spending too much, they can learn a few things with this book and proudly wear the finished project.

To my taste, most of the projects look a bit homemade.  So if you are looking for a more professional finish the photos might not inspire that much.

This book however does have good advice on fitting garments, which is crucial if you want to upcycle your wardrobe or vintage garments.  The Perfect Prepping chapter is also very useful, it teaches you among other things on what to look for when buying used clothes and how to get more out of what you buy.

Have you thought of giving a second chance to something in your wardrobe?  Have you already turned a dress into a bag?  If you would like to win a copy of Get the most from your clothes and get a few more ideas of how to reinvent your wardrobe, share a few photos of something that you have made,whether upcycled or made from scrash, in Facebook or in our Flickr group.  I will announce the winner next 29th June, 2011.  Each photo is an entry, so the more you share, the more you increase your chance to win!

Good Luck!!!

This giveaway is open only to UK and Europe.

Get the most from your clothes by Marion Elliot is published by David & Charles.  ISBN 978-0-7153-3842-1

On finishing projects

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Two of the many reasons that encouraged me to start up a fabric shop was that I hoped to spend a great part of my day among colourful and modern fabric; and also I had the naive thought that I was going to have a lot of spare time to sew.  The first part was true, the second one not so.  Partly this is my fault because I could be a touch more organised and partly because all of you have kept me busy cutting and packing fabric for you to sew.

Do not be offended, I am not complaining, quite the opposite actually; which this leads to one of the most gratifying aspects of my job,  seeing your finished things.  Even when I have done nothing, I am very proud when you share a photo of something that you made in our Flickr group and in Facebook, or even in Twitter.

So this is my time to show off a bit, and show you what I have done during the weekend.

I used Four Petals in Jelly from Just Wing It collection as the main fabric.

This clutch is very simple and very practical.  For the exterior fabric I used Four Petals in Jelly by Momo and for the lining I went for the more subtle pattern of Stripe in Jam also by Momo.

It is easy and quick to make, I could have finished it the same day that I started it, but I got side tracked with other things that I want to make for next week.  So the key for me is to stay focused, no distractions, no “what if I use this same fabric for this other bag?”, or “what if I make it larger and add some embroidery?”.

I am seriously thinking on writing a list with everything that I want to make, and start ticking boxes every time I finish something and not add more things unless half of the things on the list are finished.  Easier said than done, but I am going to give it a try.  Maybe this way I will get more things finished.

Do you have a “system” to keep on top of your projects?  Do projects move from the Wish List to the Done List? It would be very interesting to hear from you :)

Stripe in Jam by Momo make a perfect lining.

Sunday Stash #3

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

How is your weekend going?   Mine is going great, but whilst the weather has not been on our side, there are still plenty of reasons to smile.  Hopefully today’s offer will draw a big smile on your face ;)

This week’s choice is Tarika in Moss from the Kumari Garden collection by Dena Design

I fell for this bold and very simple design when I saw it for the first time.  On a computer screen it might be a bit difficult to appreciate how sweet it is, but do believe me you won’t regret purchasing this fabric.

You can also get this fabric as part of this small bundle for only £5.25 per pack; not bad if you can think of all the options that these 2 fat quarters give you.

I leave you to enjoy the rest of the weekend and/or the beginning of the week.

Unfinished projects

Friday, June 17th, 2011

I am sure I am not alone on this one, I have a few unfinished projects.  Is it because they are difficult? No, they are suitable for beginners.  Lack of time?  I am afraid I can’t use that excuse this time.  Have I run out of fabric? Certainly not!  Then????? Well, I just got carried away and started too many things at the same time and I couldn’t finish them for today’s post.

Last night I started making a little purse with this fabric from Momo’s Just Wing It collection, and I loved it so much, than I thought of making a clutch too. So I started cutting fabric for that too.  Then I thought that a larger purse was going to be very useful to take with me for a weekend break, so then I started choosing fabric for that too.  When I realised it was a bit late and my eyes were tired, I decided to call it a day.

Four Petals in Jelly and Stripe in Jam by Momo

I really wish they were all finished and I could proudly show them here today, but you can be sure that I have learned from this lesson, so everytime I am tired, I just leave it for a moment or a day or two until I can trust my senses again.  The fabrics are so beautiful and the design of the pattern is so simple and nice that I don’t want to mess things up.

Flower garden in jelly, Four Petals in Jelly and Stripe in Jam by Momo

I leave you know with photos of unfinished projects and with a promise that next week you will see them all stitched together.

Have a lovely weekend, see you Sunday!

Sunday Stash #2

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Well, our first Sunday Stash sale was a success!  I was overwhelmed by your response and support.  So much so infact, it has sort of put a bit of pressure when choosing this Sunday’s fabric, but at the same time it has encouraged me to keep the sale running.

This week’s fabric is a cotton voile, soft texture, beautiful sheen, a delicate drape, and an amazing design.  It is of course from Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush line, I even love its name, Slow Dance.

There is very little that I can do to describe this fabric with words, so instead I will leave you with some images and let your imagination go wild.

When I first saw this particular design I could only imagine it being used in a Maxi dress or something long, but then I thought of it in the most decadent throw, or a skirt, even huggable cushions…. it will only take you seconds to do a quick search online and see all the great things other people have made with it.

The beauty of long or big designs is that if you use them in a design/pattern/project with very simple lines, the design of the fabric will do the rest for you!  Call me lazy if you want, but with this beauty you don’t have to work extra hard.

Check out the detail!  Awesome!

The sale, just as last week, will last until midnight Monday.  After then, you can still get this fabric (if any left) at a regular price.  You can also check the other voiles in stock here.

Have a lovely week!

Sunday Stash

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I am very keen to start a new tradition here at The Fabric Loft, and something tells me you are going to like it.

Every Sunday I am going to select one fabric and sell it at a reduced price, the reduction will be always different but I promise you won’t be disappointed.  This silly price will only last for 2 days, Sunday and Monday, just to help you with a smooth transition from weekend to weekdays.

So without further a do, our first fabric to be showcased in Sunday Stash is —drum roll please—

Scarf Stripe in Grey from the Sherbet Pips collection

by Aneela Hoey

I know that you might be thinking that scarves are just not cool for summer, but really, these ones are just so great that you could make things all year around with them, and of course, it would be a nice addition to your stash.

Minimum order is half a metre, there is no need for a code, so just add it to your shopping cart et voilà!

See you during the week, but make sure you pop in every Sunday to see the next surprise  I have chosen for you ;)

A guide to simple sewing

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I think it was in a small shop in Portobello Road where I first saw a Lisa Stickley bag and I remember how my pupils dilated and I wanted so much to own every single bag that was on display.  Ever since then I have admired her style, and how she mixes simple lines with a contemporary take of vintage details.  Her book Made at Home, a guide to simple sewing, published by Quadrille last year, carries on this same style not only on the design of the book, which I love, but also on the projects that she shares with us.

I personally admire a designer that sticks to his/her style and in this case Made at Home has Lisa’s stamp all over it.  Even at the beginning of each pattern, there is an introduction by the designer that comes across so warm that almost encourages you to make it and makes you wonder why you have not done it before!

Although the projects might be a bit basic for the experienced sewer, they are so varied that you will definitely find something that you want to do, or always been wondering how to do, I even bet you will find in this book better instructions of how to do something that you have done before.

Another great thing about the clean design of each pattern is that whether you like to use natural linen, animal print or kawaii fabrics you are not going to be put off by the style of the projects.  All the opposite actually, you can see your favourite fabric working in either of the 30 projects in the book.  And as you get more comfortable with the pattern, you can start adding things to it, ruffles if that what you like, or maybe a border on different fabric; after all, like the title says it, this book it is a guide to simple sewing, you can make it as complicated as you want!

The patterns can be as basic and beginner’s friendly as the napkins and placemats

a bit more challenging like the piped cushion or outdoor cushion

or even a bit fun and inviting to get you out of your comfort zone like the roman blind or the pouffe (which by the way she suggests to use all those scraps of fabrics to stuff  the pouffe for a firm and weighty feel.  I told you she was a clever girl!).

I guess that the best way to describe this book is a blank canvas with very clear instructions on how to sew things at home.  At least to me, it does encourages me to go ahead and make something and put my own stamp, which is why I love so much about making my own things, don’t you think so?

Made at Home, a guide to simple sewing by Lisa Stickley is published by Quadrille Publishing, ISBN 978-184400-237-5