28 September 2017

A Little Happy Sew Along ~ Advent Calendar


Today I'm really excited to share my completed Advent Calendar, which will be this year Christmas 'A Little Happy Sew Along'.  The Sew Along will start Friday 20th October and will run for four weeks, so your Advent Calendar will be all ready in plenty of time to use on the 1st December.  For those of you who follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you've been seeing little snippets of this over the last couple of months as I happily designed and stitched mine....here's a closer look......






There's lots of little details on the Calendar, the numbers are all hand embroidered...but don't worry, the only stitch I used is back stitch, so this is perfectly achievable.  I also enjoyed picked pretty ribbons, buttons and lace to embellish the pockets.


I added just a little bit of hand quilting using my favourite Aurifil cotton 12 wt.. around the Christmas Countdown panel and below each of the rows of pockets..... 




I tied my calendar on to a wooden clothes hanger, which works brilliantly....and gives room to add a little festive greenery.


The design of the calendar was influenced by the one I originally made for my family.  I love it every year when I fill it up with little chocolates, candy canes and notes and even though my children are getting older, they still love the morning routine of seeing what is in each pocket...... and of course getting to eat a little chocolate before breakfast!!

As with all my Sew Alongs, the pattern is FREE and will remain on the blog.  If you would like to make one like mine, we are offering kits in the shop, which will include all the fabrics, buttons, trims interfacing and wadding you will need.   Threads are not included, but available separately.  We decided this was the best option as we know that lots of you have already purchased these from previous projects.  For the machine sewing, as always, I had 50wt in number 2311 in my machine.   Now for the exciting bit of news.....for this years Christmas Sew Along, we're offering a choice of colourways....

Option 1 ~ Scandi Christmas .....  gorgeous red and white prints combined with a lovely warm shade of Essex Linen.  The trims tie in perfectly, continuing the natural and red theme, with mother of pearl buttons adding a lovely finishing touch.  For the embroidery and hand quilting, I would recommend Aurifil 12wt #2260


Option 2 ~ Frosty Christmas ..... a wintery colour palette of white and grey prints combined with Pewter Essex Linen.  The same colour scheme is carried through to the buttons and trims.  For the embroidery and hand quilting, I would recommend Aurifil 12wt #2630


Option 3 ~ Traditional Christmas ..... sweet Gingerbread Men, Candy Canes and Singing Snowmen fabrics are combined with festive blenders.... a perfect choice for the young at heart!  Co-ordinating trims complete the look.  For the embroidery and hand quilting I would again recommend Aurifil 12wt #2260.


All of these are available to pre-order on the website and will be sent out by Monday 16th October.

As always this is a fabulous project for using up your festive scraps, so feel free to raid your fabric stash!



Here's the Sew Along schedule:

Friday 20th October ~ Cutting Instructions and Embroidery
Friday 27th October ~ Pockets
Friday 3rd November ~ Piecing the Front
Friday 10th November ~  Finishing Touches

Obviously the aim of the Sew Along is to have fun and whilst there is a schedule, by all means sew along at your own pace!

Finally here's a list of where you can find all the Scrummy Supplies that I used:

Advent Kits and 12 wt Thread Pre-orders can be found HERE.
I pieced using Aurifil 50wt in #2311 which can be found HERE.

If you fancy a different selection of Christmassy Fabrics take a peek HERE.

Mum and I hope that you fancy stitching along.  Oh and don't forget to use the following hashtags, so that we can we can follow your progress:

#alittlehappysewalong or/and #prettyfabricsandtrims

Happy Stitches

9 September 2017

A Little Happy Tutorial ~ How to make sweet labels and patches


Thank you so much for all your orders for the 'Pretty Handmades' fat quarter bundle....the original bundle sold out in a flash...in fact causing our website to do all sorts of strange things!!!  The second 'inspired' by bundle sold out before it even made it to the website, so today I'm sharing the third version, which I love just as much as my original choices!!!


As you can see I have now used the brown Little Heroines fabric by Lecien and I switched the labels on my pencil case, so you could see how lovely it looked. Whilst doing that I thought it might be useful to share how I make my labels...it's so easy, but so effective and they add something extra to your projects for really not very much effort...win win!!!

Here's some other examples of where I've added them to a project.....
 
On the next one, I made two labels to create a layered look......

Fun aren't they!  So here's how I make them......

First I fussy cut my 'label' fabric allowing a 1/4" seam allowance.

Then cut a piece of light weight sew in interfacing the exact same size.  I use Vilene Sew In Interfacing Light White L11/310, available on my website HERE.
Place the interfacing on to the Right Side of the fabric and sew all the way round with a fairly small stitch.  I use 1.8 setting on my Janome.  A little happy top tip.......I always start on a straight edge of the 'label' and when I get all the way round I continue over my original stitches just a smidge to make sure it will not come undone!
Then trim off the corners and cut a small cross in the interfacing, taking care not to cut the fabric underneath.
Then turn through, I use a chopstick to push out the corners.  Finally give a gentle press and you're label is ready to be added to your project.

For the pencil case, I added a little lacey loop underneath, I secured this in place before hand sewing the label on top.  As you can see from my previous pictures, sometimes I machine sew my labels and other times I hand sew them...it's really up to you!  As a final touch I added a sweet little wooden heart button, which I secured in place with a hand tied knot.

So here's the fabrics I have carefully cherry picked for the new 'inspired by' bundle they have the same feel of the original and I hope that you love them as much as I do!  You can find the new Fat Quarter Bundle HERE..... whilst stock allows. For the ribbon trim, my original Tommy and Riviera choices both by Ebony and Ivory would look lovely as would Bastille, Napoleon, Toscana and Tricolour, all available HERE.  Zipper wise, you'll need the 35cm size and both Light Blue and Ecru look fab and we will be restocking all the colours and adding more... find them HERE.



Of course to make the 'Posie Patchwork Pouch' you will need the pattern, which can be found in Laurens fabulous book 'Pretty Handmades' and hooray our shop copies have now arrived and can be found HERE!

That's it for today....I hope that you have a super weekend with a little time for some sewing!
Happy Stitches!

5 September 2017

Pretty Handmades Book Showcase


Hi everyone......today is my stop on the 'Pretty Handmades' Showcase, to celebrate the publication of Lauren's (of Molly and Mama fame) beautiful first book.  Lauren has written a really lovely book and I'm pleased to report that it really does live up to its name.... all the projects made using fabric and felt, are extremely pretty, with the most lovely photographs and importantly clear instructions are given, making it suitable for both the beginner and experienced sewer.  As you would expect from Tuva Publishing, the book is also laid out in the most aesthetically pleasing way, with a lovely matt finish which all in all makes it a must have!

As you can imagine I had a pretty hard time deciding which project from the 20 included to make, but in the end chose the 'Posie Patchwork Pouch'.  

Lauren is a girl after my own heart and like me, is a huge fan of hand stitches and I thoroughly enjoyed hand quilting the pouch in my favourite Aurifil 12wt.  I used #1158, #2260 & #2310.
I pretty much followed the pattern word for word, but decided to use ribbons for both the tabs and as the decorative trim across the top, instead of the suggested lace trim.  I chose a pretty mix of red, blue and cream cottons......the ticking stripe and red dot are by Lecien, with some Elm Cottage by Windham and finally some lovely Minick and Simpson and American Jane by Moda prints....along side some Essex Linen in Putty.  All of course chosen from my website (Edited 6th Sept I've been asked to put together a pretty bundle, which you can now find HERE, whilst stocks last).  I also added a decorative label to the front.......I've been waiting for the perfect project to use this Lecien Little Heroines fabric! 





The Blog Showcase started on the 1st September and as you can see from the list below, a whole host of talented makers will be participating.......


                     1 Sept 2017     Lauren Wright             www.mollyandmama.com.au                
   2 Sept 2017     Jemima Flendt             www.blog.tiedwitharibbon.com             
   3 Sept 2017     Sharon Burgess          www.lilabellelanecreations.com            
 4 Sept 2017     Lauren Nash               www.transientart.com                          
5 Sept 2017     Sarah Edgar               www.alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
   6 Sept 2017     Ange Hamilton            www.alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com   
 7 Sept 2017     Elea Lutz                    www.elealutzdesign.com                     
  8 Sept 2017     Sarah Scott                 www.piccolostudio.com.au                   
 9 Sept 2017     Martina Bahre             www.avaandneve.com.au                   
10 Sept 2017   Heather Andrus           www.quiltstory.blogspot.com                
 11 Sept 2017   Faith Essenburg          www.saranaave.wordpress.com           
12 Sept 2017   Alisha Orlando            www.ministryoffabric.com.au                
13 Sept 2017   Bev McCullough          www.flamingotoes.com                        
14 Sept 2017   Stacy Olson                www.stacyolsondesign.com                 
 15 Sept 2017   Ali Phillips                    www.arabesquescissors.com               
 16 Sept 2017   Mollie Johanson          www.wildolive.blogspot.com                 
17 Sept 2017   Kristyne Czepuryk       www.prettybyhand.com                       
18 Sept 2017   Xanthe Grundy           www.wife-made.com                            
19 Sept 2017   Anne Oliver                 www.lolliandgrace.com                        
20 Sept 2017   Larisa Shurupov          www.stitchingnotes.com                      
21 Sept 2017   Sedef Imer                  www.downgrapevinelane.com             
22 Sept 2017   Wynn Tan                   www.zakkaArt.blogspot.com                
 23 Sept 2017   Veronica AM               www.VividFelicity.wordpress.com         
  24 Sept 2017   Minki Kim                     www.minkikim.com                               
  25 Sept 2017   Elise Baek                   www.eliseandemelie.com                     
 26 Sept 2017   Megan Price                www.dollyhenry.com.au                       
   27 Sept 2017   Nadra Ridgeway          www.ellisandhiggs.com                        
28 Sept 2017   Ayda Algin                  www.cafenohut.com                            
 29 Sept 2017   Jodi Godfrey               www.talesofcloth.com                          
 30 Sept 2017   Lauren Wright                  www.mollyandmama.com.au        

Lauren will also be hosting a giveaway on her blog, so keep your eyes posted for that!  Congratulations again Lauren for a really super book and thank you so much for inviting me to take part.  Thank you also to Tuva Publishing for sending me an advance copy.  Our shop copies of this gorgeous book by the way, should be arriving very soon  (Edited 6th Sep Hooray they've arrived and you can find the HERE!) 

Happy Stitches!