Handmade for Valentine’s Day

If you go to your newsagent today (in the U.K!) you will be able to buy Take a Break Monthly magazine featuring an embroidery tutorial by me!

It’s a Valentines inspired piece but there are plenty of ways to personalise it for other occasions such as wedding or anniversaries? Perhaps even a Christening gift.

It’s in the monthly magazine and the front cover looks like this:

It was really fun designing this project and I learned a few things about working with a magazine as well.

However (blatant advert for my own shop coming up) if you don’t fancy making a gift for Valentine’s Day there are some really rather nice bits in my Folksy shop

And also these beautiful pieces from other sellers on Folksy

Dottery Pottery – Trinket Dish

Vanilla Wind – Little Bunnies

Love Lottie Knits – Lavender Hearts

I thought this card from Gaynor Marshall Designs was pretty apt for me!

Xx Teresa

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Handmade Christmas Gifts 2018

Hello everyone and a very Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good festive break. I’ve enjoyed a bit of time offline, doing some embroidery and a bit of crochet too.

The embroidery is a drop cloth sampler pincushion kit. It’s totally different to any embroidery I’ve done before and it’s really fun making it. It’s from Beyond Measure which is a gorgeous online shop selling highly desirable haberdashery and more.

I’ve started a new cleckheaton jumper in style craft life DK in Silver Nepp which is a gorgeous yarn with multicoloured slubs throughout. However I might have made it a bit small so I might be pulling it out and starting again!

I want to share a few of the handmade gifts I made for Christmas this year; I didn’t make many as the three weeks before Christmas I’d put aside for making got ridiculously hectic with some other projects.

I knew my parents were getting a slow cooker for Christmas so I made my mum a crocheted pot holder for it. The pattern is from Emma Lamb’s book Crochet Home. I made it using DK cotton yarn which worked out to be just the right size. For some reason I didn’t take a finished picture before it I wrapped it. Here’s a work in progress photo, it was finished with a scalloped border. I then went on to make another of the pot holder patterns in Crochet Home for my godmother. I used the same DK yarn but this one came out rather on the large size! I still liked it though, so off it went!

I designed and made an embroidered tree for my sister which I loved doing. She has a beautiful collection of Christmas decorations so I hoped this would fit in well! I enjoyed it so much that you might see a limited collection of them in my shop next winter…

During a browse on Pinterest a few months ago I’d come across some little tiny dolls made from scrap fabric which were super cute, and I thought I’d like to have a go at making some as a gift. After doodling a few ideas I made a little pattern and thoroughly enjoyed making a little lady, a cat and a fish with two tiny blankets. I used some scraps of Liberty cotton, wool felt and some vintage pearl beads. The cat and lady are filled with lavender so they can be popped in a drawer with your clothes. I gave them to a friend in a little tin and I will definitely be making more of these!

One of my commissions before Christmas was to make a Christmas card with the three kings on, I’ve not made any cards for a while now so it was a nice change.

This Christmas I managed not to have too much of a melt down about actually giving people the gifts I’d made them. It seems silly when I make stuff to sell to complete strangers that giving something to someone I know well (and who usually likes me!) is so hard, but there you go! I can’t help being a bit daft.

Teresa x

Dress making in my spare time: the Megan Dress by Tilly and the Buttons 

Hello!
Back in November I made another pattern from Tilly and the Buttons , I’m working my way randomly through her book ‘Love at First Stitch’ that I got last year for Christmas. I’ve made the Megan dress.
This dress has been an exercise in perseverance. I’ve never made a fitted dress before, and rather fancied something in denim, inspired by some dresses seen on Pinterest. I bought a medium weight denim with some stretch from Sharmas in Nottingham. 

  

I naively sailed into making the dress without a toile. This was definitely my mistake- the book advises it too! Oh well. The problem was that the dress fitted on the front, and it was only when I’d inserted the zip that I realised there was a problem. The back was too big! I checked my pattern pieces, had I accidentally cut out the wrong size? Nope, not that… And so a LOT of research began. I turned to my trusty book, The Complete Guide to Sewing, and to the Internet (of course) and discovered I may have a narrow back! The solution is to alter the toile with a large dart to remove the excess fabric, and transfer adjustment that to the dress fabric. However I didn’t have enough fabric to re cut the back of the dress ( and I really couldn’t face redoing the whole of it anyway) so I took in a dart on the actual dress, from the neckline to the bottom of… my bottom! I tack stitched it, and asked my mother and sister-in-law for advice on whether it looked silly. They gave me the go ahead, and ta dah! One Megan dress finished. 

 

I find that if I don’t finish a project within about five weeks I lose interest or start to dislike it- sort of like a best before date in dressmaking! I have a beautifully made white shirt that I made at a dressmaking course, it took about 4 months. I hated it by the time it was finished, and have only worn it once. I knew that if I didn’t persevere and finish the Megan Dress it too would suffer that fate. I like it and have worn it several times and felt comfortable, which is good! It’s the ideal dress to accessorise- necklaces, scarves, brooches, belts and bright tights here I come! 

Teresa xx
Sewing basket Necklace from Daisy and Alice on Folksy;  Red Clogs from Lotta from Stockholm