Wedding fair fun at Bawdon Lodge Farm

Yesterday I was at Bawdon Lodge Farm wearing 2 hats! As well as attending as a punter taking the chance to soak up the a wealth of inspiration at this fantastic fair, I was there with my crafty stall letting everyone know about the fab hen parties and events we have to offer at Crafty Sew&So.


I was in the pop up shop area along with a host of lovely makers and wedding suppliers including Florence and Bow, Tickety Boo, Burleighs gin, Polly and me, mi +my and Ruby Lous treat co. 

My neighbours for the day mi+my made very cute mini wooden teepee table centre pieces and shared some top Instagram and wedding tips with me over the day too! I was asked by the lovely owner of Bawdon Lodge Lyn Bailey, to make some bunting to decorate the teepee. I made it using craft foam and I’m really happy with how it turned out – plus it was super easy. I’ll definitely be making some more of this for future events and maybe my wedding. 


We’ve had lots of interest in party packages for ladies looking for something a little different to do for their hen dos and other celebrations. 

Here’s a small selection of some of the projects suitable for parties.
To find out more about our party packages take a look at our parties page HERE

Having recently booked my wedding venue, Waltham on the Wolds village hall, I enjoyed picking up a few ideas and some lovely inspiration from the fair. This simple cutout lettering frame is really lovely and I love these cut out lettering cake toppers by Polly and me. Owner Ali is lovely and (as well as being very kind and letting me borrow her phone charger for the day,) she told me about her calligraphy workshops which I’m really interested in checking out. 


The tables in the main teepee were styled by Tara from Tickety Boo events. I love all the green foliage on this dressed table which sits really well on the pine slatted trestle tables. 

She used a marbled paper table runner, an effective way to display the wedding breakfast menu. 


These gorgeous blooms in the bar area confirmed our colour palette of orange and yellow in my mind

I also enjoyed some very yummy tasters from Thomas the Caterer and look forward to finding out more about what they have to offer. 

All in all it was a great day talking to lovely people and spreading the Crafty vibes a little bit further to a brand new weddingy audience whailst soaking up a bit of inspiration myself too! 

Two new Vlogs up on YouTube

Hi guys! I’ve just popped 2 new Vlogs up on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOhQ5DS8VtSZiSa0-1ooSDw

The first is a little insight into why I’ve decided to start Vlogging…


… And the second is a roundup of my makes this year so far and my making plans from March onwards including some of my #Make9 plans

I’ve got some pretty hefty projects on the go including a Kellie coat by Closet Case patterns, a pretty Indian style quilt and a few stash busters too!

Hope you enjoy!

I made a vlog! 

I decided it was about time I had a go at vlogging. My first vlog is a (slightly shaky and poorly edited) guided tour around my craft room ably assisted by Ollie of course!

It’s a bit chocker at the moment! I could really do with some advice about how to get more organised and get more out of my craft time so all hints and tips very welcome! Take a look at the first vlog on my new YouTube channel…

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOhQ5DS8VtSZiSa0-1ooSDw

A Raspberry Cleo

I’m pretty sure that everybody in the sewing world is making a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo right now! 


So I thought I’d have a go too! 

I used this gorgeous cotton elastine cord in a lush rasberry pink. It’s the kind of fabric that looks even better after washing and plumps right up. 


I’ve loved this cord from day one of opening the shop and we have it in navy, red and brown too. It’s available in the crafty online shop at http://www.Craftysewandso.com. I made a lovely Grainline Moss skirt in the navy a couple of years ago which is an absolute staple in my wardrobe. I really must make another one in a different colour.

I also matched the perfect colour from our Metler threads range. I’ve become more fussy with my threads recently after failing miserably several times with cheap thread and a twin needle then finding the immediate satisfaction of a first time win using the higher quality thread.

There’s a fair bit of topstitching on the style so this makes matching the colour even more important. I would say if you can’t get an exact colour match go for a shade darker for this make. 

I tried out the triple stitch on my machine which creates a thicker  looking topstitch effect without having to buy a separate thread


 I lengthened the stitch to 3.5 and I’m pretty happy with the look of this.

Make was pretty straightforward following Tilly’s brilliantly concise instructions. Having read a few previous pattern reviews of the style I took advice and stay stitched the curved edges before making up the dress. 

And here’s the finished result. 

It was nice quick make and I’m glad that I got on the bandwagon and had a go but I don’t think the style really suits me. I don’t think shape of the skirt and the roomy waist really flatter my pearshaped figure. 

Having said this I do want to go ahead and make some tweaks to the pattern and remake the style. I plan to take in the waist and little and flare out the skirt slightly to create a more a line shape. I think I’ll have a go at making this up in some of the stretch denim we have in store and go to town on the contrast topstitching and hardware including proper dungaree buckles. I think one single pocket at the bust will also be more flattering on me. 

In the meantime I’m making another Cleo in bright pink cord for my friend emily’s birthday present- I gave her a choice of styles including the Grainline Moss skirt and the Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt and she went for the Cleo pinny dress. At least I’ve had a trial run! 

The above 3 photos are courtesy of The New Craft House, Tilly and the Buttons and Grainline Studio

My Make 9 for 2017- sewing plans (in motion!) 

So I’m pretty late to the party but here’s my #makenine for 2017 and I’ve kinda cheated as I’m half way through a few of them but never the less here’s my plans for the next month or so!

1. Jelly roll strip blanket – with kantha hand embroidery (this one might take all year!)

I got this gorgeous Craft Cotton Co. textured plains jellyroll as a Christmas pressie and then found the Indian garden jellyroll which includes some of the colours and tones in beautifully, also by The Craft Cotton Co.


I really enjoyed the Bollywood theme last years Barefoot festival I’d love to bring a bit of the vibrancy into our home and garden

2. A comfy Rosie bralet to go with my Evie La Luve Bella panties (New favourite obsession!) Check out her gorgeous patterns and kits on Etsy


3. My third Sewaholic Granville shirt – nailed the cuff plaque it this time! I’m hoping to make a fourth this year as a shirt dress pattern hack

4. I will finally use the gorgeous printed liberty silk I bought four years ago in simple and classic style  (Yes the one I mentioned in my stash using up blog post a year ago!)

5. Swiped the last 2.5 m of our red based printed floral cotton for a Summery Sewaholic Nicola dress

6. The images online for the cloth kits vintage tea dress do you not do it justice at all. I’m making it out of a super drapey double crêpe in teal

One of my customers made it in this fab polkadot and cherry print at the weekend


6. After making a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo for me (more on that in my next blog post), I’m totally ripping off lovely Rosie from The New Craft House and making one in bright pink cord for my friend Emily

8. This one is going to be a bit of a labour of love! I’m making a Kelly cagoule with all the trimmings including a removable faux shearling lining – wish me luck!

9. I will FINALLY Make up my second pair of Closet Case patterns Ginger jeans which I have had cut out since February 2015!!!

Better get sewing hey!

A Coco with a pop of tomato and an Ochre cardi

I’m feeling very inspired by classic colour combinations with pops of surprising colour! 

I’ve not stopped wearing my ochre cardigan since Christmas, I love how it adds a bright splash of colour to my winter wardrobe

Looks like the high street is being inspired by a love of the mustard too! 


I’m loving this Fat Face window pairing ochre with the mid washed denim 😍

One of my first makes of 2017 is a Tilly and buttons Coco in spot printed ponti roma. I love the weight of this, it’s medium weight and hangs beautifully. The base colour is navy and it’s a dark shade with clean white spots. I’m very glad it didn’t run in the wash as I thought it might!


I added a little tomato red coloured pocket which I just love! 


I think food colours are very much inspiring my colour palette at the moment! 

This delicious soup was made by my sewing buddy Morven for one of our “table Tuesdays”. We try to meet up every fortnight and sew together- sometimes we might have other things which need to be done like admin etc, but it’s a really nice way to round off my weird weekend (Mondays and Tuesdays!) and nice to have company sewing or admining! She she made the most fantastic lentil and vegetable broth last time which I have begged the recipe for – Yuuuum! 

It’s my turn to host tonight and I’ll be doing smoked mackerel and butternut squash risotto – again with the yellow food! I’ll be working on my Evie la Luve Bella panties and Morven is making a kindle case. 

2016 in review! 

So, blogging hasn’t exactly been top of my priorities in the last half of 2016 it would seem! This isn’t a bad thing as it’s just because I’ve been really busy with lots of other things! In my defence (if I need one- haha!) I have posted a few blog posts on our Crafty Sew&So blog

So I guess it’s time for a quick catch up! 2016- it’s been a rollercoaster of year hasn’t it?! I’m not feeling quite as down about all the political goings-on now. Although it has affected our business to some extent it’s also encouraged us to really think about our strategy and find positive outcomes, adjusting our range to include more UK produced products and UK-based suppliers. We also found that as a result of the dreaded “Brexit” that the suppliers we do work with in Europe and other countries for the most part I have been very open and honest with us about changes and price rises and also implemented a few strategies themselves which have actually made it easier to work with them. So although I’m not overly happy about the reasons behind the shakeups, the outcomes could actually work out for us in the long run, I hope! 

So anyway, that’s quite enough of that, and to the interesting bit, what did I make in the last half of 2016? 

I’ve been working on developing our own blocks so that we can start to make our own patterns from them to use them in workshops and eventually bring out our own range of Crafty Sew&So patterns. The dress above combines the basic bodice block and the basic A-line skirt block. 

I added tabs at the top to give it a pinafore dress styling and made up the facings in a Scottie dog print polycotton. I wouldn’t usually use a polycotton especially seen as this one was very light weight and a bit on the crispy side! But the print was so cute I couldn’t resist! 

 

This dress was also developed from our own blocks. This time incorporating a sleeve and a box pleated skirt. 

This isn’t quite so “me” but looked good in our Autumn shop window and I have worn it once, layered up with a cosy cardi. 

 

In September Freya and I flew out to Monaco for the Brother sewing machines launch. There was a fantastic gala dinner with a Bond theme as part of the trip and I made this gorgeous deep purple crêpe full-length dress with a gold satin waistband which I embroidered using our brother sewing machine – Of course! 

This dress which I made in May was fantastic for travelling as the elastane content in the woven jacquard fabric meant that it hardly creased. The bright print was just perfect for the gorgeous sunny weather in Monico too! 

In the summer I enjoyed hosting the arts tent at Barefoot festival for the third year running. We had a Bollywood themed Sunday and enjoy body art with henna and glitter, a holi powder party and Indian themed crafts including embroidery and jewellery making. 

 

I got crafty in the garden with some wooden pallets which I picked up from a garden centre for a pound! So I wasn’t afraid to have a play and I’m really happy with the results especially the bench which used one and a half pallets. This summer I plan to paint it with lots of bright colours. I’m looking forward to doing lots of work to our garden in 2017. 


Tilly and the buttons patterns played a big part in my wardrobe in 2016. I made 4 cocos, and Arielle skirt, 3 Agnes tees (and I have 2 cut out and ready to sew!) I love the easy to wear everyday styles. 

In 2017 I plan to make a Bettine-for me this time instead of my mum, and the Cleo pinafore dress having seen some fantastic versions of it made up. 

 

After my initial apprehension, I really enjoyed doing me made May in 2016. May is going to be a massive month this year! We are hosting the dressmakers ball and my business partner Freya will be having a baby – but I’m still hoping I can get involved with me made May again in 2017!

I also enjoyed using Clothkits patterns- including the kimono jacket and the tea dress. 

I found a bit of time in the last week before Christmas to make a fun pompom embellished T-shirt 

My final big make of 2016 my Christmas dress also made using the blocks – you can read more about this on the Crafty Sew&So blog.

 

I did make a few garments from the big five patterns but as I often find, I was disappointed with the fit. I made this shift dress pattern in the geo viscose above and it looks fine belted but the neckline is very wide and I had to take in about 8 cm on the sleeves as they were very baggy. 

The neckline pulls down at the back so is a little uncomfortable around the neck at the front! 

Love how “flat cat” our pre-Ollie substitute cat is peeking in here- unimpressed as always! 

Enjoyed a bit of patching up on my old jeans, but I have to be honest with myself they are not going to last much longer! I really need to make myself a new pair of jeans in 2017!

 Ollie has continued to be a fantastic model showing off my home makes in action! Lots more from him to come in 2017!

My First “Big” Quilt- Finished!

So a few months back after making a few smaller quilted projects including a sampler quilt sample for our 6 week quilting course, I decided to make my first “Big” quilt. Read about how I started out with this project in my previous blog post here.

At that point I’d pieced all my blocks and was ready to join them with sashing. I opted for wide 3.5 inch sashing to break up the bold blocks. After constructing the quilt top I used spray adhesive to create a “quilt sandwich” with batting and the backing.

After that I had a good think about how I wanted to quilt my quilt. There are So. Many. Options!

Quilting is a really creative art! I researched freehand quilting and other quilting designs and decided that as this was my first big quilt I’d go for simple in the ditch diamond quilting and foot-spaced stitching on the sashing.

I decide after this to go a bit mad and test out some of the embroidery stitches on our workshop machines along the outside border of the quilt. Some I like, some I’m not so keen on. But it does make it really unique!


  

I finished the quilt with straight cut binding which I hand sewed on whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee.

 Have you been watching? Who’s your favourite to win? My money’s on Charlotte. I love her style and she’s a great quilter too!

I’ll be working on a few smaller quilting projects for now but I am keen to make another big quilt again soon.

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Making Plans…Continued!

Continuing from last week I’m still wading through my stash and planing what to make with my long loved but, I’m ashamed to say, forgotten fabrics … until now!

Picking up at number…

8. Poly- viscose – matt- satiny stuff!
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This feels lovely and is really slinky. I originally had it earmarked for a kimono-style jacket but over time I went of the idea thinking it might look a little too boudoir!

With that in mind I may just make myself a little nightie/slip dress by adapting the Tilly and the Buttons Fifi top into a little night dress. I love the little pleats under the bust and I know this fits really well as my Crafty business partner Freya kindly made me a set for Christmas 🙂

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9. Soft brushed interlock jerseyIMG_6635

So it’s the length of this piece which makes it tricky. As a top I think it would be too short in the arms for a long sleeve but the weight of the fabric lends it to being a winter weight top – maybe a 3/4 sleeve would work. Not sure on what style though! This one will puzzle me for a while I recon! Any ideas?

10. Quilting weight cotton in navy gingham print with cherries and cream flowersIMG_6631

I have enough of this to make a sweet little sun dress with pleats in the waist. I’m thinking if I make one with built up straps I might get a bit more wear into autumn of it with leggings. This is my design so far. I’m going to have a go at drafting this pattern myself.

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11. Printed cotton poplin- with a nice crisp feel – and co-coordinating polyester Indian shawl which could be used as liningIMG_6622

Originally I bought this to make a pair of trousers out of. I got distracted, ended up using some of it for a different project – a cushion or something- and now only have a small piece left. a mini pencil skirt maybe? Or maybe some smart shorts to wear with tights?

I love these high waisted shorts but I’m not sure if I would actually wear them – I might get the pattern and make trousers in black or something and see if I like the fit.

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I have wanted to make the Sewaholic Thurlow trousers for a while too so maybe a shorts version in this fabric could work…

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11. Shoe fabric – a remnant left over from making one of my absolute favorite makes – a Sewaholic Granville shirtIMG_6616

This quilting weight cotton will be made into a handy draw string shoe bag for transporting pretty ballet pumps to and from work whilst I’m wearing my clunky trainers with orthopedic insoles to save my feet. Since working in a shop, walking 3 miles to and from work and being on my feet a lot more in work I’ve had badass foot pain, leg aches and the like- not glamorous. The doctor said I might be getting bunions- eeesh! So I need to wear ‘sensible shoes’ to work. I usually remember to get changed out of them when I get to work and this little bag of joy will help!

12. Woven brocade from an Indian charity shop – via my friend Helen.IMG_6617

When Jenny bought this wonderful, vibrant brocade fabric into a class one day I cheekily requested that if she had any left could I buy it from her. A couple of weeks later, after she decided not to use it for her project she let me have it. I owe it to her to make it into something AWESOME! The other fabric is a polyester mix woven check which I think would work well as a lining- this fabric is pretty but pretty scratchy too. I’m thinking a high waisted pencil skirt maybe? or a shift dress?

Maybe the simple Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt or their Tulip Skirt. When the fabric is so special a simple shape works best.

Or maybe it could be a a dress. This shape is lovely – ooh – this could be my Christmas Party dress! I love the slightly squared scoop neckline and the little lined cap sleeves. This might deserve a better lining though…maybe the gold satin we have in the shop… got the ideas whirring now!

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13. Onto something more practical. Polyester viscose lightweight jersey. This will make a great tiny pocket tee as our lovely volunteer in the shop, Bekki, has made several times now.

14. I have this small piece, a scrap basically of this cotton elastane jersey, which I love. I also have some cotton elastane plain black jersey too. I never make anything with panels, this is crying out for it!IMG_6630

But what pattern/style/shape? This colour/pattern block variation on the Coco by Tilly and the Buttons is interesting. I think I only have enough for a top though. would it work as a top…?

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Maybe the Fraser by Sewaholic – when I first saw this I was put off by the Sewaholic sample version in punched pleather and sluby sweat but I really like the version below by Marie from A Stitching Odyssey. Yes I think this could work.

15. MORE pink ponte roma!IMG_6640

I’ve made a fab Chloe dress by Victory Patterns in this vibrant stretch fabric, and a matching cropped jacket, both of which I love. So I want to make something different with this remnant of fabric which came to me after discovering it was unsalable (small flaws which I can cut around).

I really like the Davie dress by Sewaholic – with colour block detail. I also have some grey ponte roma so I might try a pink and grey combo. If not it’ll end up as another TATB Coco!

davie sewaholic dress colour block

And last but not least – trims!

I have these lovely buttons which I picked up in London from Ray Stitch. It was the day I met up with my amazing friends Chloe and Laura and we came up with the name for my business Crafty Sew&So. These little shell buttons printed with black ink have a lot of sentimental value and therefore I can’t bring myself to actually use them on anything! One day I will!

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And I have a ton of these buttons…

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… which I think are calling out to be put on a winter coat… which means I need to make a winter coat! But that’s another blog post entirely!

Making plans… stash busting!

So after Me Made May (read all about how it went for me here) I decided to have a good sift through my stash and sort out lengths of fabric which I have enough of to be made into something.

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Turns out I have some really nice fabric in my stash! I can remember where each and every piece came from. This can be a hindrance sometimes – I remember what i bought it for but may have gone off that idea since but can’t see any other use for it! So I tried to look at each piece in an entirely new light.

I measured and labeled up all my pieces so I know what I have to play with. I also trimmed off any stray weird shaped bits to make my fabric pieces more uniform- I find I am more likely to use them that way- do you? IMG_6636

So here’s what I have:

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  1. An African Wax print – unfortunately not enough to make the fabulous peplum dress they made in the final task of last week’s Sewing Bee – but enough to make a skirt – maybe pleated tulip shape. I really like this style by People Tree.

People Tree | Purple Zandra Rhodes Skirt £90:

I might use the contrast fabric for the waistband or a contrasting hem band or make a matching bag

2. A printed Quilting Cotton picked up from The Village Haberdashery when I visited in January. I bought this to make a Colette Laurel after trying on a similar dress in the Lindon Showrooms on my last trip to London.

I still like it for a laurel I think. IMG_6598

I really like this scallop neckline idea from the Colette Blog so I might give that a go.

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3. I have nearly a metre left of this cotton poplin left from making PJs, so I’m planning a Tilly and the Buttons Arielle – a short one as I only have a bit of fabric. If I need to I’ll do the facings in contrast fabric. I picked up these metal buttons in an antique shop in Nottingham and I think they will be perfect for this. they’re not too heavy and just the right size.

4. I do looove this border print and should have bought enough to make a dress with, but i didn’t! lesson learnt!

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Feel like this will probably suit a gathered waist 50s style skirt best as the hem needs to stay straight to really show off the border print well. I think I keep avoiding this because it’s quite sheer so maybe I’ll line it with light weight white cotton sheeting.

Note to self: add side seam pockets!

5. Liberty silk -ahhhh soooo gorgeous!

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I bought this years ago but have been too scarred to use it!!!

This would make a beautiful simple bias cut top I recon but really I’d like it to be a little bit looser than the usual style I make

I love this double layered effect but I don’t think I’ll have enough fabric-I’ll have to save this idea for a different fabric

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6.Poly crepe – turquoise with white spots

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Tilly has made a lovely Mathilde top and more recently a Bettine dress (which is high on my to-make list) in this exact fabric!

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I only have a small piece so maybe this will be a simple tee with pin tucks-taking inspiration from the detail on the TATBMathilde top

7. Fabulous foxes quilting weight cotton by Robert Kaufman

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So this hasn’t been in my stash for long, we only got it into the shop a few weeks ago, but as soon as I saw it i grabbed 2m and have been toying with what to make ever since. it’s a pretty bold pattern which calls for a simple shape. i did toy with using this for a skirt but I’d have the age old dilemma of what tops to wear with it. So when I saw the free pattern with this month’s Sew magazine I thought it would be a great match.

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I was doubley convinced on seeing GBSB’s Charlotte in a similar dress in the grey colour way on last week’s episode.

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GBSB’s Charlotte, not in her finest hour, getting a telling off from Esme, but wearing a fabulous fox dress!

One of my lessons from my Me Made May round up was to make more fun day dresses and I think this fits the bill nicely. I’m going to make view C with little sleeves. I might lower the neckline a little too.

There’s a lot more in my stash so I’ll leave it there for now but do come back next week for stash busting- round 2!