Sewing for Christmas

sewing for christmas 2014This is one of the last makes before Christmas, my sewing machine has had a breakdown under the stress and now hopefully can be fixed.  I was stitching my Christmas Mortmain in a fabulous silk and it just would not sew a straight line and then refused to work all together (have just looked into my wardrobe I have 5 Mortmain dresses – so it really has been my fav pattern of 2014!).  Its lucky that I can sew at work and have finished off a heavily quilted hot water bottle cover.

hot water bottle coverThe quilting is almost matchstick, I used the Janome 6600 built in walking foot as a guide.  I can not remember where i found the fabric, the batting inside is insul bright from Fabrics Galore and lined in plain cotton.  Insul Bright is simply the best insulated wadding I have found, keeps toes, teapots & boiled eggs warm and brilliant for oven gloves, table mats or pot holders.

hotwater bottle coverIf you’d like to make the hot water bottle cover, here’s my tutorial.  The quilt int he background was my very first machine pieced quilt, the brilliant bubble quilting was done my Karen at the Running Chicken – she is a brilliant long arm quilter and has a lovely sellection of fabrics in her on line store.  Ok now to pack up some presents and clear up where my sewing machine normally lives.

Stitching for Christmas

never more the raven

I have been making lace this weekend with a Janome 350E and an Urban Thread pattern.  Having read advice on making lace, I used Solu-fleece from MacCulloch & Wallis and 2 layers of it in the hoop. Although I think 1 may well be enough and will exprement and let you know.  If you can offer any tips, please do!

never more the ravenSo here it is embroiderd, simply place into water and

IMG_5424                                                    IMG_5427

it disapears!  What’s left is free standing stitching.  I left them to dry last night and today I gace the lace bookmarks a light pressing and now have some fabulous finished bookmarks!  I am absolutly delighted with the results!

never more the ravenNow I thought initally that this was Mortimer from Mortimer and Arabel, I know now its form The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.  But thought if your around my age, you’d enjoy a trip down memory lane and see Jackanory!

gifts for Christmas

sewing for christmas 2014With Christmas just under 2 weeks away, are you ready?  I’m not a big internet shopper, although Etsy did prove to be invaluable this Christmas with the over time I’ve been doing at work.  I’ve been scaring South London traffic cycling to the sorting office to collect parcels, off again this morning!

IMG_5396My makes list has nearly been completed, poor machine now needs an urgent service.  At work yesterday managed to make quite a few pin rings, lots of interest from people asking what I was doing!  I thought I’d share the tutorial they are super quick and only require a 4 inch square of fabric and a little stuffiing.

IMG_5309What you will require : 4 inch square of fabric, matching thread and some toy filling.


1.  Cut 1 4inch square of fabric (here I have used an off cut of British tweed from Fabrics Galore).

pin-ring 22.  Fold the square in half and pin.

pin-ring 33.  Stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the 2 open edges.

pin_ring_44.  Make a 1 inch slit on the folded edge.   I also sniped off the pointed seam allowance, as below.  Turn through and be careful when pushing through the points.

pin-ring 55.  Yours should look a little like mine below, if made in quilting cotton the points are a lot sharper.

pin-ring 66.  Start to fill your triangle, I placed lots of stuffing in the central part – do not fill the edges as these are going to form the ring part of your Pin Ring.

pin-ring 77.  Whip stitch closed the opening.  I use a name lable to hide my whip stitching – but thats because it is so untidy.

pin-ring 99.  To form the ring, fold the two ‘wings’ around your finger.  I then placed a long pin through to secure the wrapped ‘wings’.

pin-ring 1010.  Stitch in place with a matching thread and you will have a fab new piece of sewing kit or jewellery!

pin-ring 11I did play with shapes and also made a rounded version, in the tweed it worked brilliantly.  Have fun and do show me your pin rings if you make one.  They are addictive, here’s a hand full in shades of Kona Solids.

pin-ring 12

simplicity 1609

IMG_5344I made the monster Simplicity 1609.  She loved the dress when Dave, the Hairy Biker made it on the celebrity sewing bee.  I found the fabric and pattern at the crafty sewer, tartan is great to sew with and not difficult to match up the pattern.

IMG_5349It’s unlined and very quick & straight forward to put together.  It fits really well and the sizing is true to the measurements.  I overlocked all the seams to give a neat finish.  So very tempted to make one for myself!  This version is 6 inches shorter than the original and to make it seam less homemade I added a label.  Used a standard zip with this dress, I stitched to the base of the zip and then with a large stitch finish the whole seam.  Press open and then place the zip on top of the seam, tack and then stitch into place.  That way I get a good, hidden zip placement.

IMG_5311For the hem I used one of my favorite dressmaking tools, brilliant for very even hems.  With the fabric left over I even managed to make a mini wrap round skirt!  So enormous value out of 2 meters of fabric.  I am cutting out my last dress before Christmas and hope to have it finish tomorrow – its my entry to the #gatherxmasparty.

brilliant gifts for a sewer

gifts for sewers 2hoop haberdashery

Gifts for anyone that sews can bring on wonderful hours ensconced in ones favorite haberdashery shop.  I love Liberty, the crafty sewer & Peter Jones, online I use backstitch, although there are lots about on line.  If you want to add your favorite in my comment do, I love to find new exciting place to visit.

gifts for sewing 7I love beautiful boxes and what could be more beautiful than a shaker sewing box?  Alternativly a sewing tin

gifts for sewers 10

or Liberty sewing basket?

gifts for sewers 4

Merchant & Mills have a wonderful collection and caters for all pocket sizes.

gifts for sewers 12Thimbles make great stocking fillers, my favorite thimble is from Clover and stays put and is comfortable.

gifts for sewers 13And finally Labour & Wait, full to the brim of useful items!


Christmas Makes – progresss

sewing for christmas 2014

Yesterday I was busy finishing off a few projects and they are now packed away ready for wrapping.  Thought I’d share a few snaps, I have been asked to get egg cups for 2 chaps and I thought I’d add in monogrammed egg cosies and napkins.  The egg cosies are made from scraps from a vintage blanket, monogrammed by a Janome 350E and piped, lined and bound in cotton gingham.  The napkins are very large and pure cotton with a satin stripe, found in a funny little linen shop by Oxford Circus, first street up Regent’s street north.  Fabulous find on my way to work, a treasure trove and very old fashioned!

IMG_5272   IMG_5231


The tea cosy is to go with another kitchen gift, all fabrics from Tikki Patchwork and my final finish yesterday was a Christmas stocking for the London MQG charity challenge.  It is made from some Japanese fabric left over from another Christmas make.  I love the fabric, I found at Fabrics Galore.

IMG_5271What have you been making this week?

1st December | Christmas countdown

sewing for christmas 2014With 24 days to go, how are your makes going?  I have been working slowly through a list and getting there.  At the weekend I went to the Winter brocante fair, held in the grounds of Petworth House.  We had a perfect sunny crisp day in the  country fresh air and met lots of fantastic people, makers, designers, brocante sellers.  Came home with some wonderful Christmas gifts and decorations and some brilliant decorating ideas, really enjoyed our day trip!

brocante fairI have been embroidery napkins, embroidering vintage blanket, quilting a tea cosy, making Christmas stockings and would like to finish everything this week!  Well the stocking deadline is Sunday.  I am also planning a new party dress and hope to find the fabric tomorrow – a sparkly Mortmain – if I can find the right fabric!  If not could just be black silk with a fun crystal Tallis colar for the #gatherxmasparty.

Cockpit arts christmas 2014If your looking for some unque gifts, do go along to Cockpit ats open days in Depford.  The monster nad I went over to the Holdborn studios and had a great time, its become a tradition for us to start our Christmas shopping.  There is also another London Christmas fair, All the fun of the fair.  What could be better than buying direct from the designer, buying handmade and local all in one trip!  Ok, now to get organized and finish my projects!

Treasury Tuesday – On the allotment – gifts for gardeners

‘On The Allotment’ by floraandpoppy

Outside under a clear blue sky,Don’t think about the work I’ve got,Just idly let the day go by,As I sit in the sun and weed my plot

Eco Pot maker


Penguin paperback soft fruit…


Gardening Dungarees Land Gir…


Terracotta ‘Long Tom’…


Allotment/Garden/Flower Bask…


Seed Saver Envelopes


Dibber for Gardeners


Allotment Plot Original Lino…


Oak Boot Jack


Welsh Slate Plant Markers


Spincycle Skye – Welly Socks


Personalised gift, garden to…


Bee Hotel, Bee House, Large,…


Soothing Organic Hand Cream …


Willow Plant Obelisk 1 day C…


Hillcrofts 8″ Tradition…


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twas the night before Christmas – a treasury

’twas the night before Christmas’ by floraandpoppy

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Screen Printed Scandinavian …


Personalised Christmas Stock…


Dark magenta (dark pink) chu…


Personalized Pointy Toed Chr…


CHRISTMAS custom childrens c…




Christmas stocking,wet Felte…


Knit Christmas Stockings – R…


Handmade Christmas stocking…


White Christmas Stocking, Wh…


Four Custom Christmas Stocki…


Christmas Stocking- Hipster …


Personalised Linen Christmas…


Stockings Elfenschuh Elf sto…


Knitted Christmas Stocking


3 Burlap Personalized Christ…


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