Posts Tagged ‘homemade’

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, appliqué, 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.

Simple is better

Friday, August 13th, 2010

A few days ago I received one of the latest craft books published by David and Charles, Simple Sewn Gifts by needlecraft expert Helen Philips.  As I was looking at the 25 projects the only thing I could think of was of all those vintage little treasures that from time to time we come across in a bazaar or at many of the vintage shops at Etsy.

The projects in this book are, as the title suggests, simple but they are also full of charm.  It is a perfect book for a beginner, but also a more experience crafter can benefit from the lovely ideas in this book.

Vintage style pincushion, scissor fob & needlebook

The book is divided in to 3 chapters, At home, Loved Ones and Get Festive.  Basically you can make gifts for any occasion all year around.

One of my favourite projects is the Dolly’s Cosy Quilt, which reminds me of some of the quilts that were on display as part of the past Quilts exhibition at the V&A, perhaps a bit more simple but very charming indeed.  It is a lovely quilt that is embellished with buttons, yo-yos made of contrasting fabric and cross-stitched daisy flowers and elephants.

Dolly's Cosy Quilt

There is also a lovely rabbit that I am sure it could become a little someone’s best friend.  You will find great things for the house too and even a little gift for your pet.  After all they are our unconditional friends.

All of these projects, as well as the book itself, would make lovely presents that will be treasured for years to come.  If you are as nostalgic as I am, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this book and tell me what are of the most unforgettable presents that you have ever received.

Bunny Cuddles

The winner will be chosen at random Thursday 19th August and published on this blog on 20th August.

Simple Sewn Gifts by Helen Philipps is publish by David and Charles, click here to buy it.

Summer dress for all year round

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

After reading Perry Lewis’ article yesterday in The Guardian I end up looking for clever ideas, cool classic dress patterns with modern fabrics, then I found plain and more basic fabric designs matched with quite contemporary patterns 
… then I found the perfect match!  Clever Mary Jo from Five Green Acres made The Liverpool dress using Denyse Schmidt Prairie Rose from the Hope Valley collection.

The Liverpool dress by Mary Jo


I can see that sort of dress/shirt being one of the most useful pieces in any wardrobe all year round.  During the winter I could wear it with trousers, a few layers and voilá!  I would probably use Prairie Rose in Piney Wood instead of the grey colour, but I guess that it is one of the beauties of making your own clothes, you can do whatever you want!

Prairie Rose in Piney Woods by Denyse Schmidt


Personally, I love the idea of using a pattern from one designer and the fabric from another.  It makes the whole project even more unique and personal.  If you are thinking of making any of the variations of The Liverpool Shirt pattern, take your time and read Mary Jo’s post, and, of course, show us the pictures!

A little gift to a friend

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Last week I was invited to a friend’s house for a BBQ.  I was very happy that they invited me that I wanted to take something special with me to share, apart from a good bottle of wine of course!  After discarding the typical options of flowers, biscuits, chocolates, I remembered that I had seen this post and thought it would be a great way to use one of the most popular fabrics that we have at the shop and also the lavender that I grow in my garden.

from my own garden


I love the design in Scroll by Dena Designs, both in pink and ivory, and it’s also very easy to match with other fabrics too.  I didn’t have pinking shears so the end result was a bit different from the original, but I was quite happy with it and the thought of keeping the sachet for me did cross my mind.  But I was glad I did give it to my friend.  The lavender filled the whole living room with a nice soft aroma and the fabric is so lovely that it doesn’t have to be hidden in a corner.

I think it is such a nice present or party favour, and I made it in no time.  I still have lots of lavender from last year so this weekend I am planning to make a few more.

Lavender sachet made with Scroll by Dena Designs