Thursday, 19 December 2013

Clothes Show Live 2013

Recently I went to the Clothes Show Live at Birmingham NEC with the GCSE and A level Textiles students. So yes, that means I not only got in free, I was being paid to be there - there have to be some perks to my job right?!

The major fashion show was a mixture of high street and designer clothes, with the theme of 'A Weekend in the Country'. The story running through the show was that a group of friends arrive at a country house for a weekend away to party & celebrate New Years Eve. I thoroughly enjoyed it (and not just because of the skantily dressed men, although that is always a bonus!). A particular favourite was the eveningwear section, complete with gothic looking black lace masks and headpieces.

I also managed to see some of the Graduate fashion shows from the colleges and uni students, which were very inspiring. One of the collections I could have worn immediately, which was made up of quirky vintage style tweed outfits complete with pill box hats.

The rest of the day was spent browsing the huge number of stalls, it really is a shoppers dream! The discounts on the items on sale were really good, and I got some real bargains. Next year my friend Sian & I plan to go back on our own time so that we can take part in some of the hair & make up demos going on.

So yes, I spent the day oggling male models, shopping & taking photos and I got paid for it....!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


 Recently we spent the weekend in Brighton, staying with Ash's sister & her boyfriend to celebrate her 30th Birthday. I've never been to Brighton before, but after hearing them all tell me repeatedly how much I would love the shopping over the years I was definately looking forward to finally visiting!

I was not disappointed! Shopping in The Laines was a great experience, pretty much all the shops are small & independently owned, so you are guaranteed to get something unusual. I could quite easily have spent a small fortune, so I feel I was very controlled with my 3 purchases!

We went for coffee & cake in the most extravagant fashion, stopping off in a French macaroon shop for a 'pick me up'. The cakes arrived looking almost too good to eat (but only 'almost'!) and tasted even better. An extravagant coffee stop, but well worth it for the experience!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Daydreamer Lap Quilt

Friends of ours are expecting their first baby, and Ash asked me to make them something baby related for Christmas. The result is this, the 'Daydreamer' lap quilt. The idea is that the mum to be can use it as a quilt while she's expecting, and then once baby comes along it has thick enough padding to be used as either a cot quilt or a playmat on the floor.

The patchwork stripes are remnants of upholstry style fabric that I bought last year in a market in Totnes - I loved the cream, gold, blue & brown colour combinations but until now had never found a project to use them! These were cut & stitched together in stripes.

The clouds themselves are padded and then were quilting stitched onto the stripes background. Then I pinned the wadding and backing fabric to the front, created a border around the edge and stitched (very slowly!) through the whole lot.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Bath Christmas Market

So many ideas taken from this wonderful felt decorations stall!

Beautiful hand blown glass baubles

I loved these fat little owls on their branch - something I might have a go at making myfelt in the new year

This stall smelled AMAZING with all the dried fruit decorations!

Lots of doggie decorations, but no whippet ones!

Almost too good to eat! Almost...!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Bath Melts

Makes 15+ bath melts.

You will need:
200g Cocoa Butter
100g Sweet Almond Oil
6g fragrance oil or essential oil
Dried flowers/petals
bath melt cases or baking/ice cube molds

Place the cocoa butter in a heat proof glass dish/jug in a saucepan of water over a low heat. The water should come about a third of the way up the jug. Melt, stirring. Remove from the heat & stir in the almond oil and fragrance. Stir it well so that the mixture combines.

Pour into cases. I used cupcake cases and ice cube molds for my bath melts, as the silicone makes it easier to remove them once the set. If you want to add dried flowers or petals you need to wait until the melts are semi-set and then push them into the surface, otherwise they will just sink to the bottom.

Leave the melts in a cool place and they should set within a few hours.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Bronwyn's New Clothes!

With winter drawing ever nearer, and Bronwyn's reluctance to go out in cold weather, I decided it was time she had a new coat. I'm not sure she was thrilled with this idea, but it's her fault for being a wimp about the cold!

The fleece 'dog poncho' was made from a cheap pet blanket, picket up for 70p in a baragin shop. As fleece doesn't fray I didn't even need to hem the edges, making this the quickest sewing project yet!

To layer up over the top of the fleece I made a waterproof coat from an old umbrella donated to me by my friend Rachel - I even reused the red frill from the edge of the umberella, which I'm sure you'll agree Bronwyn looks thrilled about!

Her reputation as the best dressed dog in the village is safe for another season!

Owl Cushions

After seeing cute vintage style owl cushions in lots of shops I decided to save myself the £15 plus they seem to cost everywhere and make my own. This proved to be the perfect way to use up scraps of fabric, the all the patches on the front can be different fabrics. I used iron on bondaweb to fix all the pieces in place before machine stitching it all over the top, as this meant I didn't run the risk of the tiny pieces moving while I was sewing.

The stuffing was an old duvet inner that Bronwyn had ripped up, so I think these little fellows are very eco friendly and recycling unwanted bits!

In future I think I will make some stuffed with dried beans so they can be used as doorstops.