We Make Collective: Embroidery Box

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I first discovered the We Make Collective box through Instagram and then heard more on the Blogtacular podcast. As I already had a regular subscription box, I wasn’t sure if I could justify another subscription. I then realised that I was already regularly spending money on new craft materials anyway, and so decided to subscribe in time for the embroidery box.

The box arrived in early August and I was immediately impressed. Opening the box, there was a beautifully curated stash of embroidery goodies, a mixture of fabric, brightly coloured threads, yarn, and other embroidery essentials.

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I’ve had a go at embroidery before, but usually in the form of pre-designed kits. I was most excited about having the chance to truly create something original. My initial idea was to start with something bright and colourful, and I started scouring Pinterest for ideas. I was immediately drawn to the hoops with beautifully stitched text, and decided that was the route I was going to follow, also giving me an opportunity to practise my hand lettering.

But what text to include? Over the last month or so I’ve been rewatching one of my favourite shows, Mad Men. Among the many memorable quotes, one always stands out ‘Make it simple, but significant’ said by the very creative Don Draper. That’s what I was going to do with my design, use both the quote and the principle.

I began by sketching some ideas out roughly in my sketchbook. Once I had an idea of the fonts I wanted to use, I drew around the inside of the hoop to help size my designTo help with placement, I drew rough lines marking the centre of the hoop. Using a black pen, I went over the design so that it would be easy to trace.

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From the We Make Collective box, I used the hoop, fabric, and needles for this project. I already had some black embroidery thread, which doesn’t need separating into smaller thicknesses, which I decided to use. I originally thought about using the calico fabric, but thought that the pale mint fabric would provide a nice subtle pop of colour and provide contrast against the black thread.

I find embroidery really therapeutic, and like to stitch in the evening in front of the TV watching a good box set. This was no different, and was completed whilst watching many episodes of Mad Men. I think there is definitely room for improvement, but for my first ‘original’ design, I’m really happy. Overall, I’m hoping that Don Draper would be impressed.

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As for the We Make Collective box, I’m so happy that I ordered it. I’m definitely going to be keeping my subscription for the foreseeable future. Along with the materials you get in the box, you also get access to online tutorials. Given that I still have plenty of materials left, I’ll definitely be checking these out for my next embroidery project. The next kit is something that I’ve never tried before, macramé! I’ve been itching to have a go at this for a while. I’m really looking forward to having an opportunity to have a go at something completely new!

If you are also a We Make Collective subscriber, I’d love to hear/see what you made with your box!

The Handmade Fair 2016

img_2531If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I went to The Handmade Fair on Friday. It’s safe to say that I’ve been excited about going for weeks (correction, months), and this year wasn’t a let down.

I wanted to start this post by reflecting on why I was so excited. Looking back, it’s because I learnt so many new skills last year. Through the workshops/talks, I discovered a love for calligraphy, learnt how to lino print and then used those skills to make all of our Christmas cards! I also enjoyed being surrounded by so many other creative people. I’ve been to other shows before, but The Handmade Fair is so different, there is a real sense of community.

Fast-forward to September 2016, and five crafty friends battled rain and traffic to make our way to Hampton Court. When we arrived, the weather was pretty awful, but after a quick cup of tea and we were raring to go.

We all had one stand that we definitely wanted to go to, Tilly and the Buttons. Last year, most of us purchased a pattern from her, and we were looking forward to going back and showing off the clothes we had made (which had nothing at all to do with wanting a free badge, honest). It’s fair to say that we were all pretty excited, and I think this shows in the photo! I’m a huge Tilly fan, and aside from the fantastic patterns, I think it’s because the whole brand feels so approachable. The instructions are easy to understand, there are lots of blog posts to support you, and Tilly herself is just lovely. This year I treated myself to the Marigold pattern, as I fancy making myself some lovely patterned trousers.

Of course, new patterns need fabric, and the event had plenty to offer. Fabric Godmother was high on my list, having bought from them a number of times before. Josie was on hand to provide expert advice on what fabric would be best for my Marigold trousers. I ended up with some gorgeous navy and mustard print cotton, and I couldn’t resist picking up some star print chambray which I’ve been eyeing up for a Bettine dress for a while now.

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Fabric: The Fabric Godmother

I was also looking forward to visiting the Fabric Fox, and finally meeting Kirsty and Lee. I worked with The Fabric Fox recently on a tutorial using some of their fabrics, and I took along one of my finished products to show off. I love buying from independents and it was great to work with such a wonderful fabric shop. I couldn’t resist treating myself to a little fat quarter of fabric from their beautiful range.

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Fabric: The Fabric Fox. Earrings: Ladybird Likes

Towards the end of the day, I visited the Sew Over It stand to have a look at their lovely range of kits. As I’d already bought quite a bit for myself, I decided to treat Mr Makes. A huge Mad Men fan, I knew he would love a Don Draper style tie in a navy polka dot fabric, so this kit was given to him with a promise that I will make it one weekend.

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One of the most enjoyable parts of the fair is chatting to all of the lovely stallholders. Ladybird Likes was high on my list, having received one of Zoe’s lovely necklaces in my Blogtacular goody bag. I bought some cute silver cloud earrings, although it was hard not to snap up everything.

Zeena Shah’s stand was so lovely that I actually stopped by twice. The first time I picked up a little pin badge, and I then returned later to also pick up a screen print. It was lovely chatting with Zeena, and having done one of her workshops at the Fair last year, I’m really hoping to attend one of her screen-printing workshops in the future.

The Handmade Fair is also great for discovering new talent. Tipped off by my crafty BFF Rachel, we visited the Rachel Seymour Design stand. Her typography-based products are beautiful, and I couldn’t resist picking up a motivational print.

Aside from shopping, we did do some crafting too. Unlike last year, I went for an entry only ticket for 2016. I signed up on the day to Enamel Mug Painting (there was some mild panic when we thought they had sold out). Run by the Lovely Drawer, it was a lovely opportunity to sit down and relax with some crafting. Joined by Rachel and my sister Laura, we spent an hour learning how to work with enamel paint. We all freestyled a little bit, and our finished mugs looked fantastic! This is definitely a craft that I’ll be trying again.

Finally, I think my favourite part of the day was just chatting with so many lovely people. It was lovely catching up with some familiar faces, I bumped into Shelley Makes just before heading home, and it turned out that we must have just missed each other a number of times. It was also fantastic meeting lots of new people. Crafting really is a community and I’m so proud to be part of it. I’m sure that the Handmade Fair will run for many years, and I hope to make it a regular event in my diary.3

If you went to the Handmade Fair, I’d love to see what you bought and made!

Fabric Storage Tubs DIY

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If you hadn’t already guessed, I love buying fabric. I often find myself going into fabric shops ‘just to look’ and then buying something. I tend to purchase fat quarters, because they are an affordable way of getting that gorgeous fabric you fell in love with. But aside from a quilt, what do you actually use them for?

In this post, I’ll be showing you how to make some practical, yet pretty fabric storage pots using fabric I’ve been lucky enough to have supplied by The Fabric Fox. These pots are simple to make, and are an ideal way to experiment with new colours and fabrics. There are lots of tutorials available for fabric pots, using a variety of techniques. This method is simple, quick, and easy to achieve!

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You will need (for 1 pot):

  • Outer fabric (60cm x 25cm)
  • Lining fabric (60cm x 25cm)
  • Heavy weight interfacing (it doesn’t matter if it’s sew-in or iron-on, but it needs to be heavy enough to support the weight of the fabric)
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Iron

Instructions:

  1. Cut two rectangles from your outer fabric, 30cm wide x 25cm tall. Repeat for your lining fabric and interfacing.
  2. If using iron-on interfacing, attach to the back of the outer fabric, if using sew-in interfacing, lay a piece on the wrong side of each rectangle. Place your outer fabric right sides together and pin.
  3. Using a straight stitch, sew along the two short sides and bottom of your outer fabric rectangle.
  4. Place your lining fabric right sides together, and also sew the sides and bottom.
  5. To make the pots stand on their own, we are going to add some corners. Pinch one of the bottom corners of your outer fabric so that it is a triangle (see picture) and press flat.
  6. Measure 4cm along the edge of the triangle and draw a straight line across. Repeat for the other 3 corners (outer and lining fabric).
  7. Using a straight stitch, sew along the line. Trim the excess fabric, approx. 1cm from your stitching.
  8. Turn the outer piece right side out. Insert your outer into your lining (see picture), and pin at the top. Align your side seams first and then pin all the way around. You’ll need to leave an opening of 10cm to allow you to turn the pot the right way out.
  9. Using a straight stitch, sew around the top, avoiding your 10cm opening. Finish your threads.
  10. Turn the whole pot right sides out through your opening.
  11. Tuck the lining back into the pot, ensuring you fold in the opening and pin so that it sits flush with the outer layer. Pin and then sew approximately 5mm from the edge, this will also close the 10cm opening you made earlier.
  12. Finish your threads, and turn over the top so that you can see the lining. Congratulations, you’ve made your own fabric storage pot!

Top tips:

  • Ensure your interfacing is heavy weight, so that it can support the weight of your fabric, this is essential if you are using a thin fabric such as cotton. The interfacing will also make your fabric crease quite easily (as you can see in my pictures!), so be sure to give your pot an iron at the end.
  • When making the corners of your pots, it’s important that the seams align, to give you a nice square corner. To help with this, insert a pin into the top line of stitching, push through, and line up with the bottom line of stitching. Pin and press with an iron. Repeat on the other corner and then for your lining fabric.
  • To help you remember your 10cm opening, try marking it out with pins, so that you know when to stop.
  • These pots are really versatile, you can easily change the size but using different sizes of fabric. The measurements I give above give you quite a long, narrow pot, but you can also make the pots more square, by increasing how far in you draw the line on step 6 (e.g. increase to 6cm).

The fabric used for my pots has kindly been given to me by The Fabric Fox from their new Cotton and Steel ranges. If you are heading to The Handmade Fair next week, do stop by their stall and say hello, and of course stock up on some of their gorgeous fabrics!

Disclosure: The Fabric Fox gave the fabric in this post to me free of charge. The fabric used was chosen by myself, and is representative of what I would usually use.

August Roundup

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It’s hard to believe that Summer is officially over. This year is flying by faster than I can believe, and August was no exception.

Making

August started with some impulse making, on a visit to Darn It and Stitch in Oxford, I fell in love with some green cotton, which I instantly knew would make a fantastic Dominique skirt. I wasn’t disappointed and wrote a post all about why this is the perfect pattern for beginners.

 

Early in the month, my first We Make Collective box popped through the letterbox. I was instantly impressed by the wonderful selection of materials, and the cute packaging. I’ve just started my first project, it’s going to be a bit of a longer one which will probably be completed in the evenings in front of the telly!

I also shared the first in a series of ‘mini makes’, a simple decorated cardboard box. This make was inspired by the small stack of postage boxes that I can bring myself to throw away and my collection of Mollie Makes magazines containing pretty papers. The reaction to this has been fantastic, and I can’t wait to share some more tutorials with you!

Baking

It’s fair to say that it’s been quiet on the baking front this month, I don’t tend to bake much over the Summer as it’s just too hot. I am however getting my baking fix through the return of The Great British Bake Off. I am a huge fan of the show, as well as being entertaining, the main thing I love about it is the community it creates. I find myself discussing it with so many different people. Inevitably, I do find myself completely inspired, and although I can’t promise any show-stoppers, there will inevitably be some more bakes over the coming months.

Doing

August has been particularly special because I’ve spent lots of time out and about doing nice things, mainly with Mr Makes.

The first was a visit to London, to attend a graffiti workshop in Notting Hill. This was actually a Christmas present from Mr Makes last year, and I enjoyed every second of it. I’m already planning some graffiti-inspired makes to share with you all.

We also visited Leamington Spa, mainly to visit the lovely independent shop Berylune. I’ve been following the store on Instagram for a while now, and wasn’t disappointed. A gorgeous shop filled with lots of goodies from independent makers, I could have easily bought most of the shop. I managed to stay fairly restrained with a yellow Sun Jellies bag, a label maker, and some other little goodies.

Finally, towards the end of the month, I did my third Color Run a 5k run during which you are decorated with coloured paint powder. By the end of the run, you are a lovely bright rainbow of colours (which does wash off). We did get a few funny looks as we walked through the motorway services on the way home! Running doesn’t really come naturally, but I do love this event. This year, I treated it as a bit of a warm up for the 10k which I am doing in October.

I’ve been trying to blog regularly this month, but my favourite post was quite a personal one. Why Making is a Learning Curve is my thoughts on why we don’t need to beat ourselves up about making mistakes, and how we can learn and develop from them. I haven’t really shared any personal/feelings-type posts before, but it certainly seemed to be well received. I’ll be looking to do a few more of these in the future.

Looking forward

Now that Summer is over, I’m looking forward to the next few months ahead. There are some exciting things coming up, which I’ll of course be sharing on here and Instagram.

Why Making is a Learning Curve

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‘It’s all gone wrong!’ I wail from my craft room. I’m filled with that dreaded feeling that something hasn’t turned out the way I planned, or it’s beyond repair.

On Instagram, I’ve recently been sharing more of my doodles. Generally, I’ve been chuffed with them, but there have been a few that I’ve been really disappointed with. In particular, one evening, I came up with an idea loosely based on a doodle that had proved popular the week before. In my head, it looked fantastic. On paper? It looked dreadful. My immediate feeling was disappointment; I’d invested time in something that was now a bit of a waste.

I’m not the only one paying attention to when things go wrong. Although Pinterest is full of wonderful inspiration and tutorials encouraging us that something is super simple, there are also numerous articles online dedicated to ‘Pinterest fails’ mocking when things have gone wrong. In June 2015, an online story about an Elsa from Frozen cake appeared everywhere, making fun of a finished homemade cake. A few days later, it was revealed that the story had been mis-reported; a volunteer for a charity had made the cake. The online baking community soon began celebrating the effort that someone had put in, rather than focusing on just the aesthetics.

True creativity requires us to experiment, to push the boundaries, to try new things. Unfortunately, that means that some of those experiments just don’t work. But instead of being ashamed/disappointed/down heartened, we should celebrate and learn from them. If we don’t make mistakes, how will we develop, how will we get better?

Back when I was doing my GCSE and A-Level art, we were encouraged to experiment and just give things a go. One of my favourite ever lessons was where we experiment with textures by adding different things to paint. The whole objective was to see what worked, but more importantly, what didn’t. Those that didn’t work well, just made the ones that did even more of a success.

If everything we make was just perfect all the time, would it not ruin that moment when you’ve done something really well, and you just want to show it off to everyone? Regardless of how something we have made looks, we should focus on the work that has gone into it, the time, the skill, and the love. I make because I love the process as much as the finished article.

As I write this, I think about many of my crafting fails. I wanted to put a positive spin on them, and share the lessons I’ve learnt.

The A-line skirt

A few years ago, encouraged by the Sewing Bee, I invested in an A-line skirt pattern. ‘It’ll be easy’ ‘I can totally fit a zip’ I thought. How I was wrong, it was almost easy, the zip did not go well, and I ended up with a skirt that did not suit my body shape at all. It sat in my sewing room for about 6 months before it was inevitably binned!

Lessons learned: Do try things in cheaper fabric first, don’t buy a pattern for a garment which you wouldn’t buy ready made in the shop, start simple! Later skirts have been much more successful.

 

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Not the original skirt, but a later project that has actually been worn! 

 

The papier mache eggs

Remember this egg I shared on Instagram at Easter? There were actually meant to be three. But I used cheap paint, and didn’t wait long enough for the paint to dry between coats. The paint went lumpy, and then the papier mache started falling to pieces.

Lessons learned: Don’t scrimp on paint. Just be patient and wait for the paint to dry! I had another go with this papier mache ‘E’ and after being patient, ended up with something I was proud of.

 

The doodle

A doodle that was originally intended to be an Instagram post, I hoped to quickly draw it out one evening in front of the telly. The finished product was not what I had imagined, and the colours didn’t really work together.

Lessons learned: Plan things out more, start with some little experiments and then get bigger. Don’t be disheartened when it goes wrong, turn the page and start again.

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The dreaded doodle, the green just isn’t right!

It’s so easy to just omit the bad projects from my online presence, and only share the good ones. I’m certainly going to share more of my experiments both on here and my other social media accounts. I’m also going to be proud of them, good or bad. Being a maker is a constant learning process, and the successes wouldn’t be there without the disasters that have led to them.

Mini Makes: Decorated Boxes

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Crafting can be expensive; it can also be time consuming. I’m hoping to begin sharing some mini makes with you, projects that can easily be completed in an evening, and won’t break the bank!

First up are some super cute storage boxes. If like me, you have had subscription boxes from Lucky Dip Club, Birchbox, Papergang, etc., you’ve probably got a nice little stash of cardboard boxes just waiting to be turned into something beautiful. For my box, I used a little cardboard one from my Hello Sunshine surprise box, some of the lovely Mollie Makes papers, and my new label maker (the label maker is optional, I just wanted to try mine out!).

This is a super easy project that requires minimal crafting skill, but gives your something both pretty and practical! This make was completed in about ten minutes as I sat and watched Mad Men. It’s also a good project for kids, who can easily do this themselves with minimal adult intervention.

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You will need:

  • Cardboard mailing box
  • Patterned paper
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissors or a craft knife and cutting mat
  • Ruler

Optional:

  • Sticky labels
  • Washi tape

Instructions

  1. Begin by removing any labels/stamps from your box. You don’t need to remove every trace; but if the label can easily come off, it’s best to remove.
  2. Measure the size of your box. On the reverse side of your patterned paper, draw the relevant shape.
  3. Apply double-sided tape to the reverse side of the paper, and stick to the top of the box.
  4. If using a label, make and attach to the box. Add any additional decorations such as Washi tape, stickers, etc.

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Top tips:

  • This make is great for using up little scraps of paper. I used one of the patterned papers from an old issue of Mollie Makes, but you could experiment with all different types of paper.
  • If you are stacking your boxes, keep your decorations nice and flat; stickers and Washi tape are perfect.
  • If your paper is particularly see through, it may be worth sticking a piece of white paper to the box first, so that any writing doesn’t show through.

This make is so simple and so versatile. You could easily use these boxes for so many things. I’ve used mine to store little paint chips, but you could also use them to store stickers/stationery/cards. It’s also environmentally friendly, as you can use recycled materials. You could recycle some wrapping paper and use it to decorate a box to store cards from a birthday, wedding, or anniversary! Or, use it to make simple gift boxes for birthdays and Christmas.

If you give this a go, please share your pictures on Instagram and tag me @emmakesandbakes

Learning to Spray Paint: Graffiti Workshop

IMG_2003Creative presents are the best kind of presents. I’m lucky that Mr Makes is a brilliant present buyer, and last Christmas, he came up trumps with a voucher for a graffiti art workshop in London. I love attending creative workshops, but this one was particularly meaningful in that when we first met back at Sixth form, a large part of my Art A-level was spent studying Graffiti art. This workshop would give me a chance to finally use actual spray paint rather than the usual pencils and acrylic paint which I’d used all those years ago.

Fast forward to August 2016, and we booked to attend our session on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Graffik gallery, based on Portobello Road. We arrived early so were able to spend some time looking round the gallery. The workshop took place in a courtyard to the back of the building. As we donned our protective suits and sat down, I was immediately drawn to the bright colours and amazing murals that surrounded us.

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We started with a quick run-down of the different painting techniques that could be used, and then a demonstration of how to spray properly. My only experience of spray paint prior to this was actually a few weeks before when I painted a peg-board for my desk. I can now see that my technique was completely wrong!

After the demo, we were given some time to come up with a design. We would be using stencils to create a small canvas. I went for a calligraphy ‘E’, which I wanted to coordinate with my craft room. Coffee-addict Mr Makes went for a cup design. Once drawn, we carefully cut out our stencils before the real fun began, the painting!

From a rainbow of coloured spray paint, I picked a trusty turquoise and grey colour combo for the background, with some metallic copper paint for my letter. Mr Makes went for a cool monochrome with a small hint of Tour de France yellow. (Mr Makes adores coffee and cycling!).

Our tutor made the process look so easy, but I can safely say that spray painting is an art in itself! It’s so easy to apply too much paint, or not enough. During the session, we were able to experiment with some different techniques. We were also able to experiment with painting on the walls, which was great fun!

I’m so happy with our finished artwork. For a first attempt, I don’t think we did too badly! We’ll be hanging up our work pride of place in the kitchen/spare room for all to see. I definitely think that spray painting is something I’d like to try again, and I’m already thinking up some ideas for my next project.

Sewing for Beginners: Tilly and the Buttons Dominique Skirt

birthday partyBack when the first Sewing Bee was launched, I declared that I would begin making my own clothes and before long, I would have my own handmade wardrobe. It started well; I eagerly ordered an A-line skirt pattern and dedicated an afternoon to making up a sample. I patiently inserted a zip, and followed the instructions to the letter. My finished skirt was rubbish and quickly discarded to the rubbish pile.

My experience with sewing patterns hasn’t always been great. At this point, I should say that I haven’t tried out every range of patterns; this is just my limited experience. I’m not a fan of the ultra-thin pattern paper, which so easily rips. I’m also not keen of the massive instruction sheets, which are too big to sit alongside you, and never seem to be that simple to understand.

Then came Tilly and the Buttons. A contestant from the first Sewing Bee, I am in love with Tilly’s style. I first bought a couple of her patterns last year at The Handmade Fair, Tilly herself assured me that they were simple to follow and she was right! And of all the patterns, the Dominique skirt that was released earlier this year is possibly the simplest of all her patterns, if not all of the sewing patterns in the world. It comes with a detailed step-by-step instructions booklet, and the pattern itself is printed on some nice and thick white paper.

I often have people tell me that they want to sew but they can’t. The Dominique is the perfect starter project for anyone getting into sewing. No fiddly zips, minimal fabric required (for the basic skirt, a metre is enough), and you end up with a garment that is actually wearable.

My first Dominique skirt was in a thin denim remnant that I picked up in the Fabric Godmother sale (this skirt is made for bargain finds!), and I fell in love instantly. It’s comfy to wear, and fits really well. The nature of this skirt means that it is really easy to make a custom-fit garment with minimal effort.

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A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by my local fabric shop, Darn it and Stitch and fell in love with this green cotton. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was destined to be a Dominique. I pictured wearing it with a navy striped top and brogues on a warm summer day.

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Construction of the Dominique skirt is really straightforward and can easily be achieved in an afternoon’s sewing. The pattern is four easy pieces (excluding pockets) with no fiddly curves or complex techniques. For a pattern so simple, the finished product looks so impressive!

As with many of Tilly’s patterns, there are a number of simple additions/tweaks you can make, including a longer flared skirt, adding a sash, or some all-important pockets. I opted for the pockets on both of my skirts, as I had enough fabric left over. They also add a bit of interest to an otherwise plain skirt.

My top tips for the Dominique pattern:

  • If you are an absolute beginner, you could try making your first skirt in a cheaper fabric. Although the pattern is so simple, that I don’t think this is needed.
  • This is the perfect pattern for those ‘I like this fabric, so I’ll just pick up a metre of it’ purchases! I may be making more with my fabric stash.
  • As with all handmade clothes, prewash your fabric to avoid any shrinkage.

Next on my sewing list is to attempt the Miette skirt, which I picked up in Tilly’s seconds sale. I can’t wait to get going with it!

June and July Roundup

 

I can’t quite believe that it’s already the 31st of July, the summer is flying by! It’s safe to say that I’ve had quite a busy few months, and if you’re a regular reader, you’ll probably understand why. June was of course focused around Blogtacular. I’ve written quite a few posts about the event already, but what I will say, is that even 6 weeks on, I can’t believe the positive impact it had.

So what else have I been up to?

Making

I of course made my latest Coco dress to wear to the Blogtacular welcome party. I’ve worn it a number of times since, and have been given lots of compliments from colleagues, particularly impressed that I made it myself! The Coco is such an easy dress that I can see myself making many more.

Post-Blogtacular it’s been all about the mini-makes, tackling mini kits and finishing off old projects. I’m reaching the end of the list of these to complete, so I’ll be planning my next bigger project soon. I’ve just signed up for the We Make Collective boxes, which should fill the gap nicely!

It’s been a while since I made some bunting, so I took the opportunity to refresh the pictures for my bunting tutorial. I’m so happy with the new photos, they are much brighter and more professional looking than the older ones.

Baking

I’ve not had much time for baking, but managed to whip up one of my signature bakes, a lemon drizzle cake, for a charity bake sale. Mr Makes also made his go-to recipe, some amazing chocolate and peanut butter cookies. Both makes went down a storm!

I had a bit of a baking disaster this weekend. Having fully intended to make a carrot cake, as I got my ingredients out last night, I suddenly realised that I was missing an ingredient. No problem I thought I’ll quickly put together a chocolate victoria sponge cake! I should know by now to not experiment when I’m in a rush, different flour and butter resulted in a very flat cake. It was the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book to the rescue, and I managed to save the day with these chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream!

Doing

Following Blogtacular, I’ve been trying to spend more time with my local creative folks. As well as my regular Make and Meet, I attended the Oxford Instameet and an Independent Oxford meet up. Both events were a great opportunity to discover new parts of my hometown, and meet some lovely people. I’m keen to make their events a regular occurrence.

I’ve been following lots of new Instagram accounts, and entering some competitions. I was lucky enough to win these lovely stickers from Fred and Bell, they are so nice that they have inspired me to give proper ‘planning’ a go, a Kikki K planner is now on order!

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I’ve always trying to shop from more independents, and I’ve treated myself to some lovely items. My pin game is definitely improving, and I’m slowly building quite a little collection.

I’ve been rediscovering drawing, via the Lisa Congdon Creativebug courses. Since taking the first few approximately a month ago, I’ve become hooked! Expect a blog post on this soon!

Finally, my craft room is now taking shape! I’m still short on storage, so it remains a work in progress, but I hope to be sharing some pictures of my workspace soon.

So, what does August hold? I’ve got some time coming off, so I’ll hopefully be doing lots of nice things, and some more crafting! I’ve also signed up for the Color Run in Birmingham. It’s my third time doing the event, and I always have so much fun. Expect to see a lot of pictures!