One hand in my pocket

what you will need for the pockets tutorialWhat item of clothing is complete without pockets? Strangely, most manufacturers these days seem to think it’s the first place to cut costs (less fabric maybe? Less machine time? Less pattern paper? Who knows) and so upsettingly few dresses now come with pockets. I can understand not putting pockets on bodycon or wiggle dresses, but on a dress with a floaty or full skirt frankly there’s no excuse. I mean, where else are you going to keep your lip balm? Or your rhubarb and custards and pear drops?

So, what happens when you find a dress you HEART, which is pocket free? Do you stuff the lip balm in your bra? Forego the sweets? Fret not. I have the answer. In a few simple steps we’re going to learn how easy it is to add pockets to most skirts and dresses. Continue reading

Me Made May ’14

MMM14logolargeDo me a favour: cast your mind into its deepest, darkest recesses. No, not THOSE ones, even more shameful. Yeah, that’s right, I want you to think about your craft shelves (chest of drawers, cupboard, room, whatever).

Not your beautifully organised, colour co-ordinated corner you modelled on that Pinterest board you follow (but are so afraid to dishevel that you never touch it). No, I mean the other, untouched bits. The darkest corners that harbour all your (whisper it) unfinished objects.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you must be one of those crafters who works on one project at a time, sees it through and then finishes it (including the sewing up and weaving in ends… shudder) before moving on to the next thing. I had heard tell that such people existed, but I always suspected it to be a carefully constructed lie – like the perfect mother – designed to make the rest of us feel guilty. If you are one of those mythical creatures, though, I salute you, and the unicorn you rode in on. Continue reading

Tuesday Tips #3: French Seams

French seams in progress

French seams! Wonderful, wonderful French seams. These are an indispensable tool for sheer fabrics or fabrics that fray easily. I like to make summer dresses from 100% cotton in funky prints, and adding French seams in is an elegant way to stop the seams from fraying, particularly if there isn’t room in your two bedroom flat for an overlocker. (sigh – one day…)

If you’re making something out of a sheer fabric like chiffon, voile or tuile, too, a French seam is particularly good, as you don’t want to see an unfinished – or even a finished! – raw seam through your garment. French seams encase any raw edges and give a lovely, neat appearance.

So here’s how you do it. As well as your fabric or garment, your thread and your sewing machine, you will need a ruler, tailor’s chalk, scissors, pins and your iron. Continue reading

Tuesday Tips #2: Casting on, three ways

ball of maize coloured  yarn

I wasn’t really sure what to write about this week. Not that I don’t have any ideas; quite the opposite. Last week’s inspiration came from a conversation I’d had that week, this week no such luck. So where do we start?

To quote from Rodgers and Hammerstein (via the wonderful Dame Julie), let’s start at the very beginning. You have wool, you have needles, now you just need to start knitting. Wait – how? Do I just tie it on to the stick things and have at it?

No. Not quite. Although not far off. You do ‘tie’ the wool to the needles – after all, knitting and crochet are really just a series of rather cunning knots. We call this tying casting on, and this week I’m going to cover three simple, but highly useful methods of casting on. Continue reading

Tuesday Tips, Tricks and Techniques #1: Always carry your colour card

colour card close up

In this new series I’m going to be sharing some top tips, tricks, tutorials and techniques for crafting – I’ll be concentrating on knitting, sewing and crocheting, but will also dig out some other crafty things for you from time to time from around the web. Drop us a line and let us know what you’d like to see!

The first tip I’m going to share with you caused much hilarity on my snowboarding holiday last week. I opened my wallet to pay for a round of drinks, and some eagle-eyed boy at the table spotted my colour card. Many jokes followed about my middle-aged knitting obsession, how I had to carry yarn with me wherever I went (they’re used to me getting my needles out in the cinema or on the plane, this is not news to them). But in truth I haven’t got yarn in my wallet because I can’t be away from it for too long or I start to get twitchy – or at least that’s not the only reason.

Continue reading

why, hello handsome…

Hello!  Thanks for dropping by!

We’re just in the process of getting our website up and running, so we’ve got no blog posts for you yet, but keep checking back here – we’ll have plenty to say in due course, I’m sure!

In the mean time, why not come along and say hi in person – we’re at the Old Nun’s Head in Nunhead for our make/do craft night on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, from 8.

X