Our New Pad

We’ve been in the new house for a week, and what a week it’s been.

The move was okay but the unpacking took me nearly the full week to get done. Yesterday I changed the curtains and took the last of the boxes and others disposable goods (read – leftover crap) to the tip.

For my troubles I’ve been a bit under the weather. Mostly looking like I’ve been scrapping in the streets of Manchester, with a face swollen with the worst cold sore outbreak I’ve had for years and lumpy glands under my chin.

On the plus side though I have spread my crafting and sewing goods out and am no longer confined to half a bedroom. I’ve set up downstairs in the dining room as we have tonnes of space here and it’s much nicer to use the space as multi purposes, plus no traipsing up and down stairs to get enough room to cut my patterns out now.

I commandeered the 60s teak sideboard we have and filled it with my vintage patterns and other things such as felt, my hair flower supplies and other bits and bobs I used to have piled high, and I can have my sewing books out and close to hand.

My sewing machine is happily sat under the window and is spoilt with all of the light it’s getting. I really can’t wait to get cracking but I have to get better first, Enforced rest it is for the time being.

New House

New House
New House
New House
New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

New House

and here’s our favourite spot, right next to each other in the living room. We always joke that we have to sit so close as we’re not used to having the space, but really it’s just nice to be near each other, isn’t it? 🙂

New House

Moving House….

On 2nd Jan we were hit with the news we’d be moving as our landlady is moving back into the house. As such I’ll be away for a few weeks while we finish packing (all my sewing/craft stuff was packed up last night), move and get hooked up to everything at the new pad.

See you on the other side folks!

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Embroidery: Christmas Table Crafting

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas Day! Here are a few pics of my table cloth and napkin embroidery (which I finally finished on the 23rd – phew!). All patterns are from the excellent Doodle Stitching the Holiday Motif Collection book, which is really great value for money for anyone who likes to embroider for occasions.

Doodle Stitching Tablecloth
Doodle Stitching Tablecloth
Doodle Stitching Tablecloth
Doodle Stitching Tablecloth
Doodle Stitching Tablecloth
Doodle Stitching Tablecloth
Doodle Stitching Tablecloth

 

It feels odd to think it’s all over and done with now, but I am looking forward to a new year full of sewing and craftiness and fun. Wishing you all the best in 2015 from Stitch Towers.

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Simplicity 2602: The Christmas Edition

Christmas eve is almost upon us and here I have a festive feast for your eyes.

The Simplicity 2602 all made up and worn for my work Christmas party (and soon to be seen on Christmas Day!).

Christmas dress and fabric 2015

I know I’ve been a bit slack on the stitching over the recent months but I have fantastic news to share, I’ve been making changes to my life and will be starting a new post in my current job in the new year. It’s the perfect way to round of what has been a wonderful year.

That’s the main reason for the lack of updates and besides that I decided to literally work my butt off after I  found myself in a position where I couldn’t fit into my beautiful pink boned dress that I made back in June. I’ve been working out day and night and haven’t been in this good shape for years, but enough of that, lets get on with this fantastically festive frock!

I have to confess that I made the choice based on something quick to whip up (relatively speaking) and the lack of messing about with sleeves when I knew how busy I’d be in the weeks running up to the date I needed to finish by.

I picked a medium weight cotton from Benartex (Let It Snow) available from Plush Addict. I went for a good 4 metres and I was very happy in the end that I did.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned out the pattern and up came a quandary, mainly that the pattern doesn’t repeat itself often enough.

It meant a lot of pinning and re-pinning before cutting and I had to deal with the sides seams not matching (I decided the back was much more important due to the side closure and the split).

So after holding my breath and cutting while crossing my fingers and every available part of me (I don’t often sewing with patterned fabric!) it was done.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned the darts and pinned to my dressform and was already very happy before I even started to sew it up. Sewing was relatively easy apart from the back, which I had managed to get a tiny bit out of sync.

Yet again my seam ripper became my best friend and I opted to sewing on the fold down the back rather than try (for the umpteenth time) to match the seam.

I don’t think you could obviously see it due to the pattern but decided even if you could I’d give myself a break and not give too much of a monkeys.

So on I went, and the rest was relatively easy, the split was a breeze and the side zip went in with ease. It seems that a break away for a while has done me some good. Eight and a half hours later and I was done, pressed and ready to go.

I wore at the office party, looking way more dressed up than everyone there BUT it’s Christmas and if you can’t wear a lovely sparkly dress for a party what can you wear it for? Here it is in all it’as glory!

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Better photos to follow after Christmas day – wait until you see my hand embroidered napkins and table cloth!

Wishing you all a fantastic festive season, a wonderful Christmas Day and much love and happiness with your friends and family. I’m off to ice my ridiculously boozy cake!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Sewing, Embroidery and a Double Craft Book Giveaway!

Hello there!

Apologies for the silence the last couple of months but my work load has been off the charts both in my full time job and my copy writing freelancing, but the good news is I am now free to sew and craft!

First off, I have picked the gorgeous fabric for my dress and riffled through my vintage patterns to find this stunning late 50s dress.

I’ll be making the pencil dress version, I would love to make the overskirt but I think it’s a little too fussy for the works christmas do.

The fabric is a gorgeous retro christmas pattern and the gold is metallic so shines beautifully under the light.

Only worry is matching the pattern but I have a good 4 metres so fingers crossed it wont be too much trouble, any advice gratefully received though – please comment below!

Christmas dress and fabric 2015

Secondly, I purchased the fabulous Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection, which is just AMAZING. I can’t recommend enough to any Christmas crafters out there!

I have already traced some patterns for the tablecloth and napkins I’m working on for Christmas day. Updates to follow soon!

doodle stitching

Thirdly, and finally, I am giving away two Christmas craft books this year:

Fa la la la Felt  and Make Me, I’m Yours: Christmas – to enter simply comment below, or retweet the below tweet.

The winner will be announced on 1st December, giveaway closes on the 30th November midday (UK time)!

fa la la la felt cover

make me I'm yours christmas

All Sewn Up: Butterick B6031 Patterns By Gertie: The Slip

I thought it was time I pushed myself away from the cotton and towards something a little slinkier, so when I saw Gertie was starting a slip sew along back in February I thought I’d give it a go. The massively underestimated my time so I only got around to it this week.

yellow slip 1

I opted for purchasing one of Gerties slip packs from Etsy as I thought it would save me a lot of traipsing about or online searching for the little bits and bobs and of course I went for yellow.

Yellow is my favourite colour because it’s the colour of sunshine, how can you NOT like yellow?

The main material is micro jersey fabric (poly/spandex blend) and the lace is stretch. I decided that I’d go for a contrasting yellow cotton while sewing as I like the effect it has on it, give it a little cheat style decoration. I missed the bows off because I didn’t really like them all that much, and much prefer the slip all plain Jane.

 yellow slip 2

So off I set. The pattern was relatively easy to sew up and I was surprised at how easy it was considering all of the stretch in all of the fabrics. This would have taken me a day to complete if I’d had a whole day but it took me several nights and half a day in the end and I am very pleased with the result.

yellow slip 4

yellow slip 6

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The only problems I had were with:

Double sewing the dart on the bust. One side, if you look really close up, doesn’t look as neat as the other, I had a bit of an incident with the slippy fabric but trying to go as slow as possible on the other side was fine. So less speed required from me in future.

The straps; it took my dyslexic brain a while to figure out which way round the straps were sewn once the extending fastening pieces were threaded through, I got there in the end though and this is the finished result.

Next up on my sewing table are the pants (we say that up north, rather than knickers, or panties across the pond).

Decoupage Jewellery Making with the Ministry of Craft

Last weekend I made my way into town for a decoupage jewellery making class with the Ministry of Craft. This is the first course of theirs that I have taken, I have been aware of them for a while and finding myself at a loose end this weekend as Timbo was away with work, I thought I’d see what was on.

This was my first foray into decoupage; sure, I was one of those kids with a scrap book pasting in pictures from birthday and Christmas cards I’d cut out. A very clever and cheap way of keeping me and my sisters entertained when we were kids (well played Nana!) but I’d not even picked up the paste since then.

The course took place in the basement of Fred Aldous (again, I never even knew the classrooms down there existed – even though I’ve been in the shop several times) and we were met by Sam, the course tutor, who was extremely friendly and chatty and explained the process very well, guiding us through step by step and helping out where she could and was needed.

I chose some decopatch paper which was a map of Manhattan and got to work on covering a bangle, followed by a pendant and a brooch, all with different districts from the Island. I chose the garment district for my bangle, I thought it would be quite apt!

I really enjoyed the sticking and glazing process, even though I chose something which in the end turned out to be quite time consuming as I had to ensure that all of the sections of map lined up which meant applying them in small strips rather than chunkier ones, but in for a penny in for a pound.

DCPendant2DCPendant1DCBroochDCBangle2DCBangle1

I’m really pleased with the results and shortly I‘ll have a few bits and bobs for sale alongside my hairflowers, the proceeds of which will be supporting my ever growing adventure into sewing.

The workshop was well run, well supplied and expertly taught and I would have no problem recommending this to anyone who’s looking for a fun creative afternoon. For £29.50 you can’t complain as you get three items to take home (you’re shown how to build origami gift boxes too) and you get 10% off in the shop too – which is kind of worth it’s while but a note – Fred Aldous is known for being particularly expensive compared to online shops and other retailers.

Crafters Take Note: Lucky Dip Club

This month I received my first Lucky Dip Club box. I’m not new to monthly box subscriptions, I’ve subscribed to a certain beauty box for around two years until recently when it lost its shine and I was overloaded by creams and perfume samples. And fake tan. For me. The quintessential English rose.

The lovely Kate over at I Get Dressed in the Morning (check out her tumblr here)  posted about July’s box on facebook and I am so glad that she did.

A lovely themed box filled with craft and vintage styled goodies with personalised items? Yes please!

So along came my first box and I wasn’t disappointed, it’s chocca full of gorgeous bits and bobs in pretty packaging and I love the fact that it comes with an inbuilt crafting project, this month’s cute little ice-cream buttons will be a welcome addition to sprucing up a cardigan as suggested but I’m thinking more along the lines of decorating a large piece of ribbon for my beehive.

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Next month’s box theme is “Magic Forrest” and I can’t wait to see what’s inside, big thanks to Leona Thriftola for thinking up such an amazing idea for all of us vintage crafting lovers out there!

Sewing: Circle Skirts for Soul Girls

You’d think from my lack of sewing posts I’d been laying the needle down but I have been sewing, honest! I recently made two circle skirts on commission for some soulies I know.

I’m holding off the full post about this as I’d ideally like to get some pics of the ladies in question in them and a short clip of them dancing away.

So until then, here’s a little pic of one of them on my dummy and an awesome soul tune that you should dance about to!

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