Going forward

It has come to that time of year when we all start to think about what we have done and what we would like to do in the future. I’m no exception and I have been making forward plans.
For me, my life is filled with sewing and making. So it won't be any surprise to you that I intend to sew more next year and to bring you more workshops and classes.
As for my own sewing, this year I have completed (some items started life some time ago) 38 sewing projects, these are 4 quilts; 2 cushion covers; 12 items of clothing; 6 bags; 2 items of kids clothes; 5 sunglasses cases and 7 other miscellaneous items.
But for me it is not the quantity, but the value they bring. I have found that the crafty community are a generous bunch and we tend to make things for other people. Of the 38 items I have made 7 went to other people as presents.
Many of you know that I have had a challenging year, and I am so grateful to you all for sticking by me. Part of my future plans are therefore to get classes back up and running, but this won’t be easy. Due to my ill health I am currently under scrutiny in my day job. I am being monitored for my capability to perform my current roll. This takes time and I need to devote my energies to it. This will mean that my usual Tuesday evening classes will be not, unfortunately be starting in January 2020. But, don’t worry, they will be back and I will let you know in due course.
One thing that has gone from strength to strength and, I for one really enjoy, is the now monthly Sewcial Sundays. These are every third Sunday of the month and are for sitting and sewing. I do not provide tuition on this day, as I will be sewing myself, but help is always available. Due to their popularity, these are now a ticket only event and will be published monthly on Eventbrite. Best thing to do, is to log onto Eventbrite, search for Sewcial Sunday, then like me and choose to have updates when I publish a class.
I am presently seeking alternative places to hold classes and workshops and hope in the near future to bring you tailored classes, hopefully in bag making; patchwork and quilting; soft furnishing; and of course, garment making. Again these tickets will be going on Eventbrite.
I have just one more fact to tell you. In 2019, you bought 15 miles of thread from me. Which is the equivalent of me travelling to Barnsley and back. Thank you so much for your continued support and custom over the last year.
All that is left for me to say is:

May your heart be joy-filled
and
your life sew-blessed

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Skye Wrap Making Weekend

Skye Wrap




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For those of you wanting to make a Skye Wrap on our next Sewcial Sunday, I have some tweed and wool fabric in my stash that I am offering for sale. The tweed and wool fabric I would like donations for and the charity that I am supporting this year is The Woodhead Mountain Rescue. The prices below are for three coconut buttons and lining fabric.

The first is a camel coloured felted wool and I have enough for only one wrap.

Here it is teamed with sky blue buttons and a batik, cost £10.50

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Red buttons and Blue Floral from Art Gallery Fabrics Sonata, cost £15.00

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The second fabric is a beautiful tweed with autumnal colours in a grey background. I have enough of this for two wraps.

Here it is matched to natural buttons and Liten Ditsy from Art Gallery Fabrics, cost £15.00:


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Bright Red buttons and Makower Linea, cost £12.50:

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How about going more autumnal with orange buttons and orange Linea, same cost of £12.50:

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The third fabric is a multicoloured tweed (I have enough for 4 wraps), this zingy fabric deserves to have a bright lining, these are all from the Linea Makower range, so the cost for 3 buttons and the fabric is £12.50. Here are just three colour ranges that I can think of:

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Which one would you choose?

Remember, the cost is for the buttons and lining and not for the tweed or wool fabric. I am looking for donations for the wool and tweed fabric and all donations will go to the Woodhead Mountain Rescue. So even if you give a donation of £5.00 for the tweed or wool fabric, you will have a beautiful wrap for £20.00 or less.

Happy Skye Wrapping

Claire
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I haven't been inactive

I haven't been inactive


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I have been very busy over the last couple of months.
My time has been taken up researching and buying fabric, then designing things to make. Then building and launching my online shop.
Researching fabric was hard, have you seen how many fabric types there are available. Then to find the right supplier, then what to have. The decisions were endless, and extremely hard for me as I am Piscean.
Hopefully I have now found the right fabrics and suppliers and can bring some great things to you; whether that be through my classes, at my Saturday market or, on my online shop.
At the top of this page you can see that next to the home button is a shop button, click on this and it will bring you to an almost blank page, This page has a button with Shop Now on it. This will take you to my online store. Not everything is on at the moment, but I am updating weekly, so please come along every now and then and check it out.

Discount


To help launch my online shop, I am giving a 10% discount to all my customers. For every £25.00 you spend you get 10% discount, use the code Summer18 online and this is valid until 31st August 2018. (This does exclude the cost of lessons.)

Tutorial


Over on my tutorial pages I have put the instructions on how to make this quilt:


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A very simple quilt to make and it measures 44" x 49.5". Great weekend project and great gift to give away.

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Great Barnsley Bunt Off

I am so pleased to announce that I am going to be involved in the following:

The sewing machines and overlocker will be in great demand.

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Looking forward to the New Year and a look back

As Christmas turns to New Year, we start to think of starting again, of resolutions and making a difference. I am no exception, but this year I have got to thinking about what I have learnt over the years. Most of my sewing misconceptions I have seen my students have and I’d like to share some of them with you here:


The machine needles that come with your sewing machine are all that you are ever going to need.

It took me many years to figure this one out. I now use so many needles that I have a tin to collect the broken and dull ones. In the drawer in my sewing machine table I have over a dozen types and sizes of needle. I have adopted a pincushion to take the “not quite blunt” needles for future use. This has sections drawn on it with the size and type written in the sections, so I can easily pick one out that I need.

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If the tension on my machine is out, or it’s skipping stitches I change my needle. This surprisingly helps. I service my machine once a month and the needle gets thrown then. When I go from one project to another the needle will get changed then. The list goes on, but the next time someone says that my sewing is very neat – I know it is mainly due to the needle.


All threads are the same.

My husband and anyone coming into my sewing room look in wonder at the amount of thread I have. Gütermann and Superior are the ones I use. But I have also tried YLI and Metler and I need to study these in more depth. I use Gütermann, as they don’t shed as many fibres when you are sewing, this is turn leads to the shuttle case in your machine not clogging up as much. I love working with the very fine Superior thread. It is a long staple Egyptian cotton and very strong. YLI have plenty of specialist thread, the invisible thread is great for applique and Metler have the same range as Gütermann, so maybe I won’t be changing over to them just yet.

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I once used over locking thread in my sewing machine to make garments and did so for quite some time. I thought this would save money, but in the long run it cost me. The garments didn’t hang right and the overall finish wasn’t great and my machine needed some urgent repairs.

I want a sewing machine with lots of stitches

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We’ve all been there. We’ve sat in awe at the array of stitches and dream of the things we will make. My present machine has over 300, but actually I only use 6 stitches and sometimes the alphabet.
My favourite stitch on my machine is the button sewing on stitch. I hate sewing on buttons with a passion, but love to do it with my machine. The other stitches that are used are obviously the straight and zigzag, and the buttonhole. The other two are a bit out there. I use the blind hemstitch for applique. I’ve never mastered the art of doing blind hemming with a machine, I do try now and again, but I’ve not been able to do it. But for applique, the blind hemstitch is almost invisible (especially when using the invisible thread from YLI). Then lastly the stepped zigzag gets lots of use. Some of you know I make my own lingerie and this stitch is invaluable for sewing on elastic.

Making a toile is a waste of time
Why make the same thing twice, and one of them you are going to throw away? My mannequin has just as many clothes as me now that I have learnt a very expensive lesson. Ok, I confess I don’t make a toile for everything I make; simple skirts and dresses are ok. But complicated dresses, trousers and even skirts need a toile. What is a toile you may be asking? Basically it is a mock up of the finished garment in a cheap fabric of the same weight. Almost anything will do. One of the cheapest ways is to buy bedding sets from Asda or Primark etc. Have you ever calculated how much it would cost to buy the amount of fabric in these sets? A duvet has over 4m of fabric in it, plenty for a couple of toiles. When a toile is made, you can decide what to change, or in my case, whether to make it or not. Saving your expensive material for another project.

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What to do when someone asks you about your garment
Most people know I make my own clothes, so I nearly always tell them that I have made it. But occasionally you meet someone you don’t know very well and they ask you where you got your dress/skirt/top. It will depend on who they are. I go with either, “Oh, I’ve had it some time, can’t remember” or my favourite, “I have a special little lady who makes things for me”.
I have lost count on how many times a bride has said to me, “You make clothes don’t you? I have my wedding dress and now need 6 bridesmaid dresses.” How I cringe inward at that one. Usually I ask how much they have paid for their wedding dress and how much they want to pay for their bridesmaid dresses. Their answer is usually something like £300 and £50 each. Wow, It would cost about £40 for the fabric for each dress!!! I usually politely tell them that there is just the same amount of work goes into a bridesmaid dress and I couldn’t make one for under £500 each. Usually puts them off, and then I recommend a decent dress shop that I know have occasion outfits.

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It is now coming up to the New Year. I’ve decided not to have a resolution, but intend to complete all the projects in my sewing room! Notice I haven’t put a time scale on that!

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