Tag Archive | workshop

Vintage Style Apron

I haven’t had much time for crafting recently, but when I saw Sam and Heather from Live It Love It Make It were running a vintage style apron workshop, I had to book onto it. The venue was Norden Farm in Maidenhead, which is an arts centre where Sam and Heather have started running a monthly craft club.

The group was a nice size, consisting of five ladies (including myself) who had all brought their own sewing machine as requested. My machine wasn’t a happy bunny and kept jamming whenever it had to go over lots of layers of fabric, but luckily for me, we were given an unpicker as well as the fabric and matching thread.

Our first task was to make the ruffle for the edge of the apron. This took a surprising amount of time!

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Do you like the fabric? I could choose between this or a cupcake print – both were lovely!

Then the ruffle needed sewing to the edge of the apron.

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This is where my machine wasn’t playing ball. I ended up having to do it twice and I ended up behind everyone else. The next step was to make the strap. I managed to attach it before leaving, but didn’t have time to sew the pocket on.

At home the next day I commandered the dining table. I unpicked the strap so that I could neaten the raw edge of the ruffle.

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Bias binding is my friend! Hopefully this will make it a bit more durable. I didn’t have any wide pink binding and neither did the curtain shop in walking distance, but this doesn’t look too bad. This is a step none of the others took, but I had the time, so why not?

All I had to do then was reattach the strap (going very slowly over the top of the ruffles) and sew on the pocket. Heather had kindly folded the edges of the pocket under for me, so that bit was relatively easy (although my machine didn’t like the rounded corners!).

And here it is:

The back:

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And on:

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Thanks to Mr M for taking the last photo.

Now I feel as though I should morph into a perfect 50s housewife, but I doubt that will happen!

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Handmade Books

I spent all day on Saturday February 2nd at a workshop learning how to make handmade books. It was a really enjoyable day 🙂

We made two books, we made them concurrently, but I’ll show you them separately…

For one book we cut out cardboard the size we wanted our book to be, and then cut out a small sliver (we used 7mm) to act as our spine:

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You need one for the front and one for the back.

Then cover in paper, fabric or whatever you want.

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We were advised to cover the spine first with the book cloth, but I did it the other way as book cloth doesn’t fray, whereas my fabric does. Most people did it the way were we advised. I decided which would be my front and back as my fabric pattern had a right way up.

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I still really like this fabric. I bought it ages ago from fabric land and made a crochet hook roll with it, as one of my first sewing projects.

After making holes through the paper and front and back covers, we then sewed it together using Japanese saddle stitch.

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And inside…

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The book is lined with paper I took along, which I originally got free from Simply Homemade magazine. This is a good stash busting craft!

I think a book like this would be perfect for a guest book for a wedding, or travel journal, well it could have so many uses!

The other book had a leather coating, which we lined with paper. I used more paper from the Simply Homemade set.

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When trimmed to size, I had some lined leather left over. It seemed a shame to throw them out, so following Sian’s from Buttons and Paint suggestion, I trimmed them down to make bookmarks.

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OK, they aren’t standard bookmark size, but they will still be useful and a reminder of the day 🙂

Anyway, back to the book…

I folded five lots of paper to make the pages:

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We used an awl to make holes in the paper:

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Before stitching them into the leather:

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When open it looks like this:

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I think the lining works well 🙂 Here it is at the back:

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I used a button and some thread to secure it shut:

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I’m also really happy with this book. The book binding technique can be adapted in many ways and there are a lot of possibilities with fastenings.

I’m now off to order a few bits so I can do this at home 🙂

That’s one of my resolutions for 2013 met – try a new craft.

Christmas Gift Bags

There isn’t a much better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than being crafty, having fun and learning some new skills at the same time. I treated myself to a Christmas Gift Bag workshop at Creative Crafts and Workshops and spent a few hours doing all the aforementioned.

The workshop went through the basics of using your machine, which I knew, but was very useful to those who didn’t. To make my clutch bags all I needed to do was to sew in straight lines, with only one curve.

I sewed hems for the first time (well maybe I did them in textiles classes at school, but as that was  20 years ago, it doesn’t really count!):

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They are not perfect, but they’ll do!
Don’t you just love the fabric?

I have appliqued by hand, which takes ages. I dread to think how many hours it took me to applique the alphabet cushion, flower cushion and Christmas stockings last year! I cheated and just decorated ready bought items for these, but I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time.

Applique by machine is definitely quicker than by hand. The basics are the same. To make life easier I used bondaweb to keep my shapes in place.

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Then I used the machine to sew them in place. You really just need to have the confidence to have a go!

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With a button as embelishment and some more sewing, complete with the addition of ribbon for a tie,.I had one Christmas gift bag!

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I had a few hiccups whilst making it, but I was helped and encouraged along the way. These bags are actually quite easy to make. I had time to make another.

I went for Christmas pudding applique the second time:

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When the bag is open it looks like this:

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And shut:

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The second bag took me considerably less time than the first. I am considering filling them with chocolates for those hard to make for men in my life. I have some Christmas fabric in my stash, so am tempted to kick Mr M and his laptop off the dining table and set my machine up!

Clutch Bag

Do you like my new clutch bag?

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This is the end result of a morning workshop at Creative Crafts and Workshops in Reading, run by the lovely Amy of CoCo Crafts.

We had a wide choice of fabric from which to choose. I went for the black and cream flowers as I’d only really use a clutch bag when dressed up, so thought this fabric would be perfect. Others used stripes or more colourful fabrics with flowers on.

The bag is based around rectangles.

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I used ready cut pattern pieces to cut the fabric to the right size. It’s the first time I’ve used a pattern since I was at school. I also had to cut lining material and interfacing.

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I’ve never used interfacing before and i had to use both iron on and sew in interfacing to strengthen the bag. It’s not that difficult, but before Amy showed me how, I was pretty clueless!

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All of the sewing for the bag was sown by machine. We used quite big seam allowances, which made it a lot easier to sew in relatively straight lines!

The bag is held shut by a magnetic clasp – I put two in – one to hold it shut inside and one to shut the bag. They look quite professional and much better than the sewn on clasp I used on my needle case.

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I’m quite pleased with my resulting bag. I’m a little bit annoyed that the front / top seam is a bit wonky, but hopefully I’ll notice that more than everyone else will!

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I have the pattern pieces and the instructions to help me make another one. I think they would make lovely Christmas presents. I even have some fabric from Vietnam which would be lovely. I need to get a few bits first and need time, which I never seem to have enough of!

Vintage Patchwork

I’ve had a lovely afternoon in the Cath Kidston shop in Reading. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and people were asking if we could do the same again next week – always a good sign.

The setting was lovely and perfect for a vintage patchwork workshop. Our Cath Kidston shop, like many others, is set in one of the older buildings on the main shopping street.

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The workshop was held upstairs and if you look left at the top of the stairs, you can see these lovely quilts hanging up.

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So the store itself was full of inspiration! The tables we were working at had an array of small bits of fabric on for us to use.

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As you can see on the left of the photo there was an example of what we’d be working towards. We were also shown more intricate patchwork, some with hexagons, others with different shapes, but all made using the same principles.

I know some of my blog readers are quilters and that there are many ways to do patchwork, but we were shown how to do it “as my granny taught”. That’s true vintage!

First of all you need to cut the shapes you want your pieces to be out of envelopes. (Others there said they used newspaper, others thin card). To be sure they are all the same size use a template. We were doing traditional hexagons and we were lucky that a template had already been cut out for us!

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For each piece of fabric, cut it so that it is a bit bigger than your template, but the same shape.

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Then fold over and pin the edges of your fabric to your envelope.

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Then do a running stitch to hold it all in place!

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You may notice that this isn’t one of the fabrics I had taken with me . It was available to us at the workshop and I liked it.

Make as many of your shapes as you want and then join them together at the edges. This is when I discovered that my hexagons weren’t perfect hexagons. Oops! Luckily by rotating them I could get the edges to match.

This is what I made over the course of the workshop. I could probably have made more, but we were chatting at the same time. It’s always good to enjoy yourself when making something!

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I need to unpick the running stitch and take the envelope out, but that can wait a while. I need to decide what to do next. I was going to do a fifth hexagon in my pink gingham, but ran out of time.

I’m pleased I’ve had a go at patchwork. I think I could sit on the sofa making hexagons (or other shapes). Unfortunately my crafting schedule atm doesn’t mean I can continue much more right now, but I will definitely make something in patchwork at some time!

I’ve had a great afternoon thanks to Heritage Open Days and Jelly. I just wish they did this more often!

Which fabric?

Edit: For some reason my photos didn’t show when this post uploaded. This would have made it hard for you to give advice. How frustrating! I’m still interested in your opinion, even though it will probably be too late to influence me.

As I mentioned in my heritage open days post, I’m doing a heritage crafts workshop on vintage patchwork tomorrow. As its free I need to supply my own material, although I only need a smallish amount. My question is which material do I take? Are small patterns better than big?

These are the ones I’m considering taking. Which would you take?

1. White background with purple butterflies

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2. White, with white spots (I only have a minute amount)

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3. Black background with bright yellow / pink / purple flowers and butterflies

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4. White background with big blue / pink / yellow flowers

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5. White background with lots of colours of small hearts

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6. Cream background and small blue and pink flowers

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7. White background with big pink / blue / yellow flowers

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8. White background with pink / purple small flowers

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9. Plain pink

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10. White with small pink dots

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11. Pink gingham

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12. Pink with white flowers on

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13. Plain lilac

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14. Plain white

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I don’t have much of most of these fabrics, but I doubt I’ll need much of them.

At the moment I’ve packed all of it!
Which would you put together? I know I won’t use them all!

At the moment I’m thinking  2, 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 12 would work relatively well together. If I was going to use 5, i think I’d drop the hearts and the plain pink. Which would you use or take?

Heritage Open Days

 

This weekend there are over 4500 free events being run all over England as part of Heritage Open Days. Some of the places that open this weekend are never usually open to the public, and others are free that usually charge.

In Reading we can visit the King’s Meadow Baths, which have been closed for many years, and will hopefully be open one day if they can get funding for renovation:

Reading Minster is also open. We’ve lived here for 5 years and Mr M has never been in – it’s usually only open for services.

If you prefer modern, or are a football fan, you can go and see Madejeski Stadium, home of Reading Football Club.

There are many more places open to explore!

I’m going to pop into the town centre later to visit the Here’s Heritage fete this afternoon. And most excitingly for me, I have a place on a free vintage patchwork workshop tomorrow afternoon at the Cath Kidson shop. As it’s free I need to bring my own supplies, but I have them already. I’m really looking forward to it – I’ve never tried patchwork!

If you are in England, go to the heritage open days  website to find out more and what is going on near you.