The Workshop Schedule is launched!

With less than a week to go till the grand launch, we can now reveal the exciting plans we have for the space, including workshops by the experts, pattern classes from Tessa Evelegh (of Great British Sewing Bee fame), craft & chat evenings and drop-in sessions for kids during half term & Fathers Day.

There are loads of different classes; for beginners & improvers in knitting, sewing & crochet, for using patterns to make garments… There are more details on our Workshops page. But do drop in anytime to have a chat with us, to ask advice, to buy bits & kits to get crafting at home, or to browse ideas on our inspiration wall.

Peruse the calendar at your leisure and then book for the classes through the Workshops page.

Make Do leaflet & timetable

Make it Yourself #MIY: Raise a glass to homemade

Make/do isn’t just about needles & thread. We also love to get busy in the kitchen (Julie is the Queen of Baking) and to get out in the garden…

Make/do something new this weekend – Make ginger beer, lemon & elderflower cordial from scratch. Really easy and very impressive to serve to friends.

Here are some ideas for fresh and delicious summer drinks to serve at a garden party, or just to have ready in the fridge… These cooling beverages are just as easy to make in small quantities as large – so if you are just having a summer garden party, you can get stuck into making scrummy drinks for your guests:
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Is your #MIY outfit a winner?

MeMadeMAy2
Make sure you get your gladrags on for the make/do launch on Friday 23rd May. And if you wear something you have made yourself then not only will toy get a voucher for 10% in the shop, but you’ll be in with a chance to win a copy of Sew your own Wardrobe from the #GBSB series.

Sewing bee bookOn the night, author of the book Sew your own Wardrobe, Tessa Evelegh, will be officially opening the shop, sharing some words of wisdom and signing books. But the highlight will be as she casts her expert eye over your handiwork and presents a signed copy of her book to the person she feels has created a standout garment or accessory.

So what will Tessa be looking for in a winning Make it Yourself #MIY piece?
Here are some ideas:

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#MIY – Sew a knitting needle roll

Keep all your needles ordered and neat and #MIY a really simple to make knitting needle roll.

NeedleRoll1
I am always misplacing needles, or to be exact, one of a pair. So the way to keep them together, and have aplace for all my bits such as needle guage, stitch holders, markers etc, is to have a knitting needle roll to keep them organised and where you need them…

NeedleRoll-whatyouneed
All you need is:
2 complimentary fabrics about 70x45cm – this will be good for the usual 40cm needles. If most of yours are longer, then adjust the long side accordingly.
A long ribbon or cord at leas 40cm long. It will be doubled up and need to wrap around the roll and tie in a bow.
The usual scissors and thread
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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

#MIY and wear it to our Launch Party!

Nunhead Corner

Nunhead Corner

Well folks, it’s 3 weeks til blast off! We can’t wait to be in residence at Nunhead Corner and have been ordering some beautiful stock just for the fine crafters of Nunhead to purchase. And in the next few days we hope to bring you our workshop line up of inspirational classes but you can always pop in to use our lovely space any day we’re open and at our craft nights. Doesn’t that sound like a nice way to spend some time?! Continue reading

#Whomadeyourclothes? – Make it yourself

“Who is she wearing?”

Every day the Duchess of Cambridge has stepped out on their tour of New Zealand, this was the first question on the lips of the watching media.

But this question has been given a different meaning as this week as campaigners asked each of us to ask “who made your clothes”, opening up transparancy in the fashion supply chain. Your clothes tell a story about who you are, but there is also a hidden back story.

InsideOutIt is no coincidence that this week marks one year since the collapse of the Rana Tower garment factory in Bangladesh, killing hundreds of workers who were earning pittance whilst working in unsafe conditions. But the campaign set up by Livia Firth and fairtrade business woman Carry Somers was determined to make positive change going forward. The call to ask each of us to tweet a selfie wearing a piece of clothing #insideout, and demand transparency from garment manufacturers, made all of the top 3 spot on twitter trends worldwide on April 24th, which was dubbed Fashion Revolution Day.

It has been recognised that over the last couple of years there has been a massive rise in the numbers of people getting involved in craft and making their own clothes, home accessories… you name it, we’re having a go at making it.

This will give us tracability as far as making garments goes, but you now have much more options in buying fabrics if you want to know where it was woven or grown. Fairtrade Fabric has a wide range available in fat quarters or on the roll. The Fairtrade Foundation gives a basic list of stockists, or a quick web search for Fairtrade cotton fabric will give you more options.

WoolandtheGangAnd for your knitting projects? Well we Love Wool and the Gang, who have a set-up in Turkish garment facories where the offcuts are made into yarn by local women for you to make something new out of. There is a massive range of bases and colours to choose from, with coordinating patterns – and if you are feeling like you want ready-made, then they also have a fashion range.
We’ll be stocking Debbie Bliss EcoBaby Fairtrade organic cotton range in the Make/Do pop-up shop in Nunhead from May-July, so come in and coo over how soft it is…

So go ahead and Make it Yourself #MIY – Enjoy creating a future story using fabric that you know has a positive story behind it.

#MIY: Sew a quick make-up bag

      MakeupBag1
make do something new this long weekend – or just before it, so you can use your easy-to-sew cosmetics bag to take your bits and bobs on your long weekend break…

Quick, easy and cute. This little drawstring bag has multiple uses, can be adapted to be made in various sizes or fabrics, and also is a perfect little gift when filled with a few cosmetics (or cookies).

This is one little wonder that I keep in my work bag so I can do my make up after cycling to work (it would be a waste of time doing it before cycling as I’d only have to wipe off all those little flies and start again…)

So as I start work again next week after having Bairn #2, I thought a make-up bag refresh was in order. And this is how I did it…

MakeupBag-whatyouneed
{You will need}
– 2 complimentary (or contrasting) fabrics. One for the lining, and one for the outside. If your foundation always leaks, you may choose touse a wipe-clean fabric for the lining. Alternatively, just stick it in the wash every so often… – a ribbon or cord three times the width of your bag.
– scissors
– tape measure or ruler
– about an hour

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Make it Yourself #MIY: Vintage birdcage veil

Make/do something new this weekend… For a wedding guest or Ladies Day at Ascot.

Wedding season will soon be upon us, and if you want to stand out from the other guests then pull a Stella McCartney and sport a smart and retro birdcage veil to match the colour of your dress. You could add it to a pillar box hat or just a clip for simplicity. Also perfect for a day at the races.

VintageVeilCREDJewellery

The birdage veil can be just a token, not even going over the face, or can be the full face length. So choose the length of lace appropriate for what you want. This one covers about half the face.

{Step 1}
So before you get started, this is what you’ll need:

DIYVintageBirdcageVeil
Head down to your local haberdashery, raid Mum’s fabric draw, and hunt around your house for the following:
– A plastic comb – white or clear may be most helpful.
– A piece of netting with wide holes (or whatever you like the look of) about 3-4 times the width of the comb,and whatever ength you’d like (to go from the point in your hair where the comb will be, to the point on your face where the veil finishes)
– 50cm of white ribbon about 1cm diameter
– Some sort of decoration to go over the comb. I used an old broken bracelet I picked up from a fair for about £3. you could use little faux-flowers, or fabric pieces…
– cotton & thread
– scissors

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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