Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

Baby shoes

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A dear friend of mine had her first baby not long ago and I wanted to make something for her baby girl.† I tried to knit a pair of baby shoes but dpns and I just don’t get along.† I managed to finish 2 shoes but you should have seen them! They looked so different from each other that I thought I had used a completely different pattern for each one of them.† Afther seeing so undeniable facts, I decided to play it safe and turned back to sewing, and I am so pleased I did as I couldn’t be happier with the results.

I knew straight away which fabric I wanted to use, this fabric is cute at its best and I have been waiting the right moment to use it, and now this moment has arrived. I don’t know about you but I think Japanese fabrics have that extra sweet touch that makes them perfect for a gift.

Mary Jane's Baby Shoes

I went for a very simple pattern as the fabric is so pretty that it doesn’t need any help from complicated patterns.† I had a bit of flannel in my stash that worked perfect as lining and I was ready to go.

I enjoyed making this tiny little shoes, I don’t usually sew for babies, but I found it great and gratifying that you finish baby things so quick, besides you use so little fabric that I think I will be making more presents than buying them.

Mary Jane's Baby Shoes

I would love to make a baby quilt with these fabrics (Children at Play by Sarah Jane)… so if you know of a good pattern for them let me know, I am on a roll here!

Motherís day gift ideas

Friday, March 25th, 2011

If you havenít decided about your mumís present for next weekend let me help you out.† I have a few very good ideas that I can assure you they will put a big smile on her face.† The only down side is that you will love them so much that you might have to buy one for yourself (I speak by personal experience here, so be warned ).

My suggestions are in no particular order, but letís start with 2 talented sisters, that I am proud to say that they are friends of mine too.† The 2 Pink Sardines have quite a few goodies in their Etsy shop, from clutches, iPad covers to very fashionable cowls, basically they can source presents all year around from motherís day, birthdays, to Christmas, even that cheeky treat to yourself!

You can't go wrong when something is made with lots of love

Another shop that I find myself very often browsing is Three Red Apples.† I own two of her handmade goodies and I cannot tell you enough how happy I am with the attention to detail and the how her designs just bring happiness to any room.† Do check the hoops and the messenger bag (if you donít get it I probably will!)

Adorable handmade goodies by Three Red Apples

Another clever girl with an Etsy shop is Fiona from Patchwork Delights.† I do love her Mug Rugs and the fabric covered magnets will be welcomed with open arms.† If your mum has a crafty soul, go for the covered buttons, they will certainly brighten up any project.

Presents like this are always cherished

Of course, I couldnít miss the opportunity to do a sales pitch here, so if you think that your mumís fabric stash is getting a bit low, come over the shop and get her one of our bundles or go ahead and buy fabric by the length.† Ths is a great option if you mum is anything like my nan, because she uses anything that I give her to make something for me :)

You can't go wrong with fabric, but remember that you have to give it away!

Happy Shopping!

About bags and fabrics

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Those two words used in the same sentence are just heaven for me, and they often put my strong will power to the test when I am a bit short of cash; but it was certainly heaven when I made this bag a few months ago with 3 of† the fabrics that I have in stock.† I didn’t blog about it then because it was going to be birthday present for my sister.† I say “was” because she never got it.† The bag is still with me and I don’t feel the tiniest bit of remorse about it (as they say, to accept your problems is the first step to solve them).

I can fit anything in this bag!

The pattern is the Cosmo Bag from Amy Butler’s latest book Style Stitches (read my review here) and I used 2 of the fabrics from the Botanica Collection by Lourdes Sanchez and Kona Zucchini for the lining.

The bag was incredibly easy to make, for some reason if I see a big bag with pockets and things I usually think it is going to be difficult, but this pattern proved me wrong.† I do like the designs of the fabrics, but perhaps I should had used Springs in Cream for the handles instead of the one that I used or maybe a solid colour.† The thing is, I was so desperate to use Leafy Stripes that I convinced myself that it was the way to go.† I don’t think it looks bad, but I guess it could have looked better as the pattern of the fabric is difficult to appreciate, or what do you think?

Anyway, the bag is done and I am very happy with it.† Now whilst I don’t feel too mucho remorse I do feel guilty! so I must crack on and make one for my sister!

More than I expected

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Yersterday I started my weekend a bit earlier and headed down to London to meet two lovely and very talented girls.† To my surprise, I didn’t only spent a great afternoon in Central London looking around fabric shops and eating cake with Margarida and V‚nia but also they gave me this sweet little bag:

Handmade in Portugal - Click on the photo to check their lovely shop

If you haven’t met them, I’d strongly suggest you visit their blog for lots of handmade inspiration, drawings, baking, and all about those little things in life that make you smile.

Enjoy the weekend xx

Christmas Presents in the making

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

This year, as with the last few years, I have taken a pledge that it will be a homemade Christmas.† It wouldn’t be fair to say that I have failed previous years, because quite a few of the presents that we gave were in fact homemade… not all were made at my home, but in someone else’s home, and yes, I did made a few with my very own hands.

I thought that Christmas 2010 was going to be a bit different, and my house was going to resemble Santa’s workshop than just clicking away at Amazon for last minute presents.† The truth is that many of our clients are indeed creative crafters that make wonders with fabrics they have bought from The Fabric Loft, so they are keeping me busy and leaving me very little spare time to make my own presents.† I am happy to know that they are busy as well selling their goodies in Christmas Fairs all over the country and a few abroad too (yeap we are international now!).

The clock is ticking and I had to find pretty things that wouldn’t take ages to make, I hit the target when I got Fat Quarterly‘s Holiday Special Edition.† I made the sweetest doll ever designed by Katy Jones from I’m a Ginger Monkey.† It is one of those projects that are easy and quick to make and once you finish it you end up with such a great feeling!

I am on a roll now and have a few fabrics pinned together ready to be the next smiley long legged doll… will post more pictures soon in our Facebook page, but in the mean time, feel free to check the ones I’ve published on our Flickr page.

Initially made to be given away... now I'm really considering keeping it for myself :)

Fabrics used:

Head: Tiny Flowers by Sevenberry

Body: Henna Garden by Sandi Henderson

‘Supermodel’ long legs: Sun Spots in Turquoise by Amy Butler

About presents

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I am absolutely mad about buying presents, specially for my loved ones. I am not really into buying lots of presents, I rather give one or a couple of good ones, carefully chosen, than give lots of presents just for the sake of it. Another thing that I like about present is choosing the wrapping, ribbons, tags, etc. I have even designed and printed my own when I can’t find what I want.† I have always thought of the wrapping as part of the present.

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and after buying his gift I went to all of the shops that sold wrapping paper but couldn’t find one that made me 100% happy. So I thought of putting my stamp on it and wrapping with fabric. After all this is what I am, a fabric lady :) So here it is how it looked:

Prince Charming loved it, both the present and the wrapping. I am sure you agree with me that it is such a great feeling to see people that you love with a big smile on their face. But the very best part of the whole thing was that after he went off to play with his new gadget, I still got a bit of fabric to use for my hexis!

And seeing as we are in a celebration mood, I have teamed up with Fiona from The Sewing Directory for a Giveaway.† For the chance to win a £15 voucher from The Fabric Loft just let us know which fabric or fabric designer you would use to wrap a present, or you would love to receive as a present from the ones that we have in stock (of course feel free to add these to your Fabric Loft wish list and send it to your loved ones!).† Send your answer to fiona@thesewingdirectory.com or by filling out this easy form.

You must be quick, the winner will be drawn at 6pm Monday so you have only got this weekend to let us know which one is your favourite!

Style Stitches

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Amy Butler is a lady who needs little introduction, we all have seen her fantastic fabric designs, timeless patterns, books and now even wallpaper! For this post however I am only going to concentrate on her new book Style Stitches, mainly because if I don’t I could possibly break the Guinness World Record for the longest blog post ever (and if it doesn’t exist I would be setting a very high bench mark which would be difficult to beat).

I have used Amy Butler’s patterns before and her designs are simple and perfect lines that create beautiful things, and the instructions are easy and precise which means that you can make a garment or a bag with confidence. This book is not an exception and I fully recommend it.

It has a good variety of bags and purses, to suit most tastes and skills.† Most of them have variations, almost as if she had read our minds, so before you can finish saying† “I like the Cosmo Bag but short handles would be better” you will discover that there are instructions for that, or “If the Ruffled Handbag was larger I could carry all my gym stuff” yeap youv’e guessed it there are instructions on how to do that too, she has done all the adjustments so you don’t have to fiddle with the pattern and design.† How clever is that!

The bags vary from a simple tote (with a twist of course) to a pleated clutch, to the most fantastic Take Flight Handbag/Shoulder Bag.† This last one along with the Everything Wristlet have such a beautiful vintage look that they will make you feel like Grace Kelly.

The instructions in this book have not only been written to help you sew together a bag, but to efficiently use the material and your time like a pro.† When you look through the pages you get the impression that attention was paid to every single detail.† Not only on the designs and the instructions, but also on the diagrams, the spiral book format and photos, which by the way not only show the designs in the different alternatives, but in different fabrics to help us awaken our imagination on how to create a unique one of our own.

At times like this when sewing books are being released by the dozen, we have lots to choose from and we can be picky… but if you ask me, I would certainly pick this one as a ‘must have’ for your collection.

Amy Butler’s Style Stitches is published by Chronicle Books, £19.99 (ISBN 978-0-8118-6669-9)

Bag heaven

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I was very happy when I found out that Lisa Lam was writing a book, I am an avid reader of her blog and I just knew her book was going to be great! †When the publishers David & Charles asked me to review it I said “yes” before they finished the sentence; but I never thought how difficult it was going to be to review this book. †If you have already looked through the pages of The Bag Making Bible, youíre probably thinking that I am not making sense because it is such a cool book that it must be so easy to give it 5 stars.

It is true that the book is a wonderful compilation of all you need to know about how to make a bag, including what tools you do need, the techniques to master, the materials to use, everything.† So why it was so difficult for me to write a review?† Well, I have already read lots of reviews, spoken to people that already own the book including sewing tutors, who all say the book is fantastic, even Amy Butler has said wonders about it, that quite honestly I am struggling to find something new to say about it.

Perhaps if I tell you about my relationship with bags and the effect that The Bag Making Bible has had on me, you will get a bit of a different perspective of how good this book is.† I LOVE bags, this is not the typical girly thing about having lots of bags; I truly have this thing (you can call it an obsession) with bags.† Apart from the simple tote bag, I much prefer buying bags than making them (yeap I said it).† Donít ask me why but I do. Or I did until I read Lisa’s book.

The BMB (as I call it, fingers getting tired) offers you endless possibilities of how to make your ideal bag.† It teaches you the skills to construct each part of a bag, plus it also has a few patterns that apply the techniques that are shown in clear, step-by-step instructions with useful images (not only those pretty and artistic photos that are not very helpful when you have a question midway through your project), and best of all there are tiny little tips throughout the book, a sort of post-it notes that the author has left to guide you on your way.

So my perfect bag is a real possibility, I can now modify bag patterns to make it 100% suitable for what I need and want.† Enough pockets to keep my stuff in place, but not too many that I spend hours looking for keys; a lining that is not too dark that camouflages my mobile phone; long enough handles that it can be used as a shoulder bag, but not so short that is just a handbag; nice edges to make it look professional, and well, the fabric that suits my mood!

The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam is published by David and Charles click here to buy it.

Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts and….

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Almost everybody that knows me will know that I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart, so when this book arrived a few days ago I knew I was on a good start.

If you are familiar with Martha Stewart’s books, The Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts follows the same great formula.† This book has been well thought out and all of the information is very well organised and structured; so well in fact that this might be one of the best sewing reference books that you will find.† For me, what makes a good reference book is not just the photos, but how easy you can find what you are looking for, this book has both, lots of cool pictures and easy to follow layout.

The book is aimed at both the newcomer and seasoned crafter alike, starting from explaining the different types of fabrics, and moving on to tips on setting up a sewing area, through to basic techniques, including hand sewing, appliquť, different types of embroidery (yes, it also includes sashiko too!), quilting, patchwork, dyeing fabric, and even printing.† It comes with a CD that includes all the patterns and templates needed for the projects in the book.† So there is no need for guessing shapes, sizes or risk of damaging the book trying to get a photocopy of a pattern!

The projects are many and varied and to be honest quite a few of them you will find on Martha Stewart’s website; but if you are a little bit like me, I much prefer having all of those instructions, tips and photos in a beautiful hard cover book.

The projects are very creative and inspiring.† Reading through the book over last few evenings I found myself saying several times in my most affirmative and almost imperative tone “yes, I am going to make this bag, after this patchwork cushion cover, and these felt book cover are just perfect Christmas presents, but first I must make this pincushion too, I need it for all this sewing (by this moment my tone has changed and I sound a bit more like I am reading a letter to Santa), and our bathroom towels would definitely look nicer if I add this little touch…OMG Japanese sashiko patterns, I have always wanted to learn…”

Of the long list of pretty things that I want to make from this book, I might only get around to making a few, but I know that time and time again I will look to this book for some inspiration and a bit of guidance too.

Well I close for now, I must get started with one of those pincushions.

Lizzet xx

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is published by David and Charles click here to buy it.

Hexagons

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Just thought of showing you some of the hexagons that I have been making with my scraps.† Still a few hundred to do but I literally just take one at a time.