Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Poppy Cushion on The Alan Titchmarsh Show!

Branded beautiful by Alan himself! Thanks to my boss Lisa Comfort for taking it along while promoting her book Sew Over It! To get your hand on one yourself, they are now available to buy here.

My Top Selfish Creations for the Year 2012

No matter how much I make, the itch to create something new never subsides. Here are my favourites of this year (clockwise from top left)...

1.) Matching shorts and crop top (my first official attempt at dressmaking i.e. I actually stuck to all of the rules and didn't blag it!)

2.) Polka dot dress with removable peter pan collar. This started out as a shift dress, but upon completion I realised it wasn't the most flattering of dresses for my petite frame. It was far too big, despite being the right size, and my fabric of choice didn't drape very well (it's all a learning curve!). So, in an attempt to save it I made it more tight fitting and added a peter pan collar.

3.) Oilcloth wash bag. From Lisa Stickley oilcloth remnants.

4.) Leather backpack for my travels. This is made from Mulberry leather remnants that my mum snapped up at a car boot sale!

5.) Embroidered armadillo leather bag. Inspired by what I wanted to see in America (but didn't). The shape is similar to an overpriced bag I saw in Topshop and ofcourse thought 'I could do that'. And I did :-)

6.) Weekend holdall bag. Made from the last of the Lisa Stickley fabric and based on the weekend bag class  at Sew Over It.

7.) Polka dot purse. Also made from Lisa Stickley fabric remnants.

Kirstie's Vintage Home

So I did some filming for Channel 4's 'Kirstie's Vintage Home' a while back, The episodes have just aired and I was featured in a few of them. It's for mere milliseconds within those filler shots, but it's exciting to be on TV none the less. I was hoping they would feature less of my face and more of my work, but the one with me on the machine is the closest thing I got to that. On the upside, I have been credited on the Channel 4 website with a link to my website. Although somehow they have managed to get my name wrong, but my website right, despite my website being my name with '.com' put on the end of it. Oh well, you win some you lose some :-)

Love Embroidery Magazine

My Card Holder Craft Kits have popped up in Love Embroidery Magazine!

Page 33

Material World by Perri Lewis is in all good book shops now. Don't forget to flick to page 33 to get my two cents on fabric paint!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Perri's book is a-coming!

What feels like ages ago, I received an email from Perri Lewis asking me if I would like to be in her book, Material World. The obvious answer was 'yes, ofcourse!'. It's always exciting to be involved in these sort of projects, of the time you're not really sure what kind of thing you're signing up for. Unlike these cases, with this book I felt sure that I was signing up for something incredibly promising! Well, it's finally ready and is due to be release on November 1st 2012. 

It sounded like it was going to be a well written craft book like no other, and that's exactly what it became. With expert advice from companies small and large, this book sounds like it really sets itself apart from any other craft book. Can't wait to get me hands on a copy!

I feel completely honoured to firstly, be asked to be involved and secondly to be in a book with the likes of Tracey Emin, Mulberry and Topshop. Amazing!

A big thank you to Perri for thinking of me.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Exhibition News!

I'm excited to announce that I have two upcoming exhibitions-one in the UK and one in the U.S. 

Firstly is the Fairytale and Florals Exhibition at the Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. The exhibition 'celebrates all things cutesy, crafty and sugary'. Two of my pieces are available to view and print available to buy. The exhibition is open, so go see it if your over in the states.

The second exhibition is an ongoing one, Craftsense at the Bilston Gallery, in the Midlands. I will be submitting two pieces, 'Granny Bingo' and 'Bingo Winner'. These two characters will be available to see from September 2012 until September 2013! It's quite a scary thought to be without them for so long, but I'm sure they will be well looked after! If you're in the area or fancy seeing a craft exhibition, check it out!

Some recent press!

Sewing World Magazine, July 2012

A few things I have made.

First off, sincere apologies for the lack of blog posts! To make up for this I will be doing two post today :) Secondly, I'm afraid there is another long absence to come, as I will be going away at the end of August, until early October.

Anyway back to the topic of the post. Despite my lack of blog posts, I have still been busy making things. My motivation being the things I need for my trip away, so here are just a few!

Oil Cloth wash bag made from gorgeous Lisa Stickley fabric, to put all of my toiletries in. I managed to get some oil cloth and fabric remnants for a bargain price at the Lisa Stickley shop, due to it closing down. This has also inspired a class at Sew Over It!

A purse to carry my money and passport in. Again, the fabric is Lisa Stickley (I really wish she sold this by the metre-it's so nice!). This purse has a zip area for loose change, an area for notes (and my all important passport!) plus cards. It's got a heavy weight interfacing between the fabric, designed for bag making which gives it structure.

I've also made a leather backpack and am currently making a leather bag-pics coming soon!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Tutorial: Fabric Basket

As a sewer, I have so many small bits and bobs scattered around my studio, with no real home. This is when I came up with the idea of making a 'basket' for them to snuggle up in. I wanted it to be stable enough to hold my threads and haberdashery, but still have that pliable fabric quality to it. This is what I came up with...
Before you start-

Fabric-for a project like this, I would say a medium weight cotton is best. Nothing too light as you don't want your basket to be too flimsy! You will need an outer fabric and a fabric for the lining. My fabric pieces measured approximately 23.5cm x 50.5cm- this makes a 14cm x 18cm x 10.5cm basket.

Embroider your design onto the outer fabric. I picked retro teapot print, medium weight cotton fabric, that was given to me for my birthday. Deciding on a haberdashery theme, I added minimal linear embroidery to the fabric, using a simple white thread to compliment the colour scheme and not compete with the print.

Now for the basket!

1. Iron interfacing on wrong sides of both of your fabric pieces

2. Fold outer fabric in half widthways, with right sides together and stitch along the short edge and one of the long edges with a 1cm seam allowance (ensuring that the embroidery on your fabric is facing upwards). Repeat with the lining.

3. Now pinch one of the bottom corners of your outer fabric, bringing the seams together, flatten fabric. Stitch across this approximately 5cm down the seam, so that you have 'sectioned off' a little triangle. Now repeat on the other corner, making sure they are even. Repeat with the lining too!

4. Turn the outer fabric the right way round and press. The base of your basket should be taking a box like shape.

5. Now take your card and cut it down to the size of the base of your basket. I recycled an old greetings card for this!

6. Fiddly bit alert! Attach the card into the bottom of your outer fabric to help keep it in shape. Do this by stitching it in with the machine-I did one straight stitch through the middle (so the stitch was only visible on the outer seam on the base).

7. Once your card is in place and your outer fabric the right side out, place it inside the lining, so that right sides are together. Ensuring the side seams are lined up, pin around the top edge, attaching both layers. Now stitch around the top with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving approximately a 7cm gap for turning.

8. Carefully turn your basket the right way round, being cautious of the card at the base and press.

9. Now stitch the 7cm gap closed with a needle and thread, using a slip stitch.

10. You're done. Fill her up!

Tip: For a sturdier basket, add card to the walls of the basket for support! Also, experiment with folding the edge over (as I have done in the photo) if you want to alter the height of your basket.

If anything is unclear or you have any questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading,

Stay crafty!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Embroidered Book Bags

Have you seen these wonderful creations by Olympia Le-Tan?

They are embroidered and appliqu├ęd canvas clutch bags based on classic books! From Moby Dick to One Flew Over The Cuckoos nest, you are sure to find one of your favourites.

The canvas fabric stays true to the feel of book cloth, adding to the character of the bag. I love that they have kept the exact size and structure of a hardback book. Front covers are often bold and eye catching images and these have translated wonderfully into textiles. Not only are they beautifully done on the outside, they are also lined with complimentary patterns fabrics.

These clutches have also been a hit with the celeb world and at £934, I think that's the world they will stay in!

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Website Problems

Apologies to anyone who has been trying to access my website lately. I've been having a few issues with it. I was trying to update it when it randomly went down. I got it back up and running again, only for it to go back down less than 6 hours later! Again, I managed to get it back after deleting some plugins and attempted to update it for the third time. Third time lucky you say? Nope! It is now down for the third time within 3 weeks!

I'm not really sure what keeps gong wrong with it, but it seems to be very tempramental. I'm doing my best to sort it out and get my website up and running again (permanently!).

In the meantime feel free to visit my Notonthehighstreet shop or keep up to date by following my Twitter or like my Facebook page.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Embroidered & Stamped Tags

As promised, some embroidery.

This first one has a simple stitched pattern around the edge.
For the second, I thought I would attempt some text, it reads 'it's what's inside that counts'.

I must say being used to stitching on fabric and then switching to card completely throws me! With free machine embroidery, I find it takes some warming up anyway, without the change in medium. Perhaps this may have worked better with a normal sewing foot.

Anyway, these tags add a great personal touch to any present. And the best part? You could make matching stamped wrapping paper!

Here's a little extra little peek at the idea of DIY wrapping paper to get your stamping juices flowing...
Enjoy! xxx

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Tutorial: Rubber Stamps

Apologies for the late delivery of this tutorial. I've had a hectic January, but as they say, better late than never!

I decided to start with a rubber stamp tutorial after a run in with a BBC journalist, who was in the process of writing her second craft book. She asked about me about stamping techniques, but I think I shared one too many of my rubber stamping secrets because she replied with, 'that will be in the second book'. SO, I am marking my territory before it is published to the world by a person with more money and contacts than creativity. Ain't that always the way!

Anyway, onwards and upwards-lets get stamping!

Once your design is cut stamp stamp stamp away!

Hope you enjoy the end result. Keep your eyes peeled for the embroidery element and stamping ideas coming soon!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

January so far...

The start of January has been a bit of a mixed bag, with the sudden death of my gangster kitty Rocky, my birthday & a wonderful trip to Istanbul.

Rocky had to be put down after having his ears got severely infected (months after they were removed due to cancer) and being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was the gangster cat of my neighbourhood, beating up cats, foxes and dogs alike! However at home, it was a different story. He was a big softey inside- loving nothing more than curling up on your lap, purring (and dribbling due to having few teeth left from fights) as you stroked him. I'm sure he is happy, purring and dribbling in kitty heaven. R.I.P Rocky xxx

Next came my (dreaded) 25th birthday. I had planned quite a few things in order to distract me from the number-gathering my friends at my house, clubbing, a visit to Top Drawer, pub food and finally Istanbul! And I'm happy to report it worked! Istanbul provided the long over due cultural injection I needed. The mosques were amazing, the food was amazing, the snow was amazing-it was all amazing!

Not much in the way of work has happened due to all of these events coming one after another, but I am now back, a year older (and supposedly wiser) with my batteries fully charged! I am ready to jump back onto the work wagon. Bring it on! :)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

...And a haaappyyy new yeeear!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year and got everything they asked for from Mr Clause. Anyway, seeing as it is that time of resolutions 'n' all, you will be happy to hear that one of my (many) resolutions this year is to be a better blogger! *Horray* This means that I will be more dedicated to my blogging and put more time and thought into my posts.

Another thing I REEEAAAALLY want to start doing here are tutorials. As a dedicated crafter, and someone who likes to hop from one project to the next, this is the perfect way of doing this. But here is the small twist-I am going to try to incorporate my beloved machine embroidery into every project. Hopefully by the end of the year, I will have had lots of hybrid craft objects!

My first one will be coming at you this very month, so watch out for it! This may be the start of something beautiful :)