Christmas advent calendar competition Part 1

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A few weeks ago I entered a competition to create the best hand made advent calendar for Kirstie Allsopp’s Christmas craft programme. A couple of days later I received a call asking me to send over my ideas for the advent calendar I would create during the show. I did my research and decided that I would try and recreate a fabric version of the traditional paper fold out advent calendar:

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I made a mini version to see how it would work and sent it across with some design sketches.

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To make my advent calendar even more special I decided that I would use the homes of my friends and family to line the streets and on each day you would open the house door to see who lived at the property.

They loved my idea and I was invited to Powderham Castle to start filming alongside the other contestants.

In these next few blog posts I’ll go through how I created mine so you can sew along in time for the start of December, and the airing of the show!

Post box and Post Bag

Numbers 1 & 2 on the advent calendar

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I created the bag using Hessian fabric. I cut out a rectangle and sewed along the edges to leave the top open. I then used some red ribbon to create a tie and free motion embroidery to sew the number 1 on the tag. (To learn how to do basic free motion embroidery please see this previous post).

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I then filled the bag with chocolates for me and Phil to eat on the 1st! (A great way to start December!)

To create the post box I cut out a rectangle of red fabric and added the details of the post box using free motion embroidery. I sewed the back up to create a fabric tube and then made a tube out of cardboard that I popped inside to ensure that the post box had stability.

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I then cut out a circle, slightly wider than the diameter of the post box and sewed 1/2 cm around the edge. I then pulled the thread to make it the circle the same size as the diameter of the post box and attached it onto the top of the tube using small stitches.

To create the black base I cut out a strip of black fabric that and popped a slither of cardboard down the middle to give it stability. The base is slightly larger than the red tube so it can slide in. I then attached it to the bottom of the red tube using small stitches.

You can then pop some more chocolates under the post box for the second day of your advent calendar!

That’s it for this weeks post! Look out for next week’s where I’ll be showing you how I made the houses.

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If you would like PDF pattern for the post box and bag please contact me and I’ll send it to you via email.

I purchased all my fabrics from Wimbledon Sewing Machine Co. and you can see some of my research on my Pinterest board.

Happy festive sewing everyone!

Claire xx

Sewing and filming with Kirstie Allsopp!!!!

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Last Friday I spent the day at Powderham Castle filming with Kirstie Allsopp for her Christmas craft programme! I’ll be posting updates on the blog and popping photos on instagram so keep your eyes peeled for updates!

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On the show I take part in a competition to make the best Christmas advent calendar and I was up against the wonderful Betsy BennOrigami Esther and Kathy (above). I can’t wait for the programme to air!

I’ll be creating a series of blog posts on how I made my calendar so make sure you subscribe for updates!

Speak soon

Claire x

#makeitsewcial – London meet up

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I have just been to my first #makeitsewcial event this weekend and I loved it! The picture above is of the goody bag- it was brimming with treats!

There was even a really cute doughnut pincushion “made by nanny” (so cute!):

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Aside from the amazing goody bag I met some great ladies (and man):

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I sold mousey (now named Maud):

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We ate LOTS of cake:

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We had a great #makeitsewcial pic:

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We ate more cakes:

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We networked:

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We got to see everyone’s lovely crafts (plate by Heart Vintage and Bangles by Stanley and Maud):

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More networking:

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The goody bags:

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Miss Papercut teaching us to Papercut:

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My poor attempt at a paper cut:Capture2

All in all a really great day! Special thanks going out to Caz from Taylor’d Bundles for organizing!

If you know of any other sewing events in London please let me know!

Speak soon

Claire x

coffee traveller- aprons and cushion

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Hi everyone

A while ago I made some cushions, aprons and a hat for the coffee traveller using coffee stacks (above). The now have a BASE CAMP and I was lucky enough to receive another order for some cushions and aprons!


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Gemma, one of the staff, looked lovely in her apron whilst handing out champagne and olives at the opening night:

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I made the aprons using a dark black/ grey denim from Minerva Crafts using a lovely non stretch denim:
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Detailed pockets were added using a double row of stitching and burgundy apron tape for the ties:

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I also made 10 cushions which sit really well with the décor of the building:

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I used fillers from Merrick and Day who offer a good range of sizes and fillings.

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A great night was had at the opening where you could try their full range of coffee’s as well as having a nosey!

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I am very pleased with how the aprons and cushions turned out and can’t wait for the coffee travellers next adventure so I can get sewing!

Speak soon (ish)*

Claire

xxx

*I’m moving house soon so my shop is going to be on holiday for a little while (exciting!!) Please message me if you have any commission questions or urgent orders!

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Black and Yellow Wedding outfit- “Queen of the wasps”

yellowHi everyone! Another wedding, another outfit! This time it was the wedding of my good friends Aaron and Ella so I had a bit of a sketching session and came up with the drawing above.

My final version did not quite end up as planned but I am still pretty pleased with the outcome:

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I created the skirt using the by Hand London flora dress pattern using two layers of yellow cotton from myfabricsadding a waistband with a concealed zip. I had to add a pin in the back to make it a bit tighter on the day as I must have shrunk since I made it! Luckily the pin could be removed to make room for dinner ;).

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The top went slightly off-plan as I had a play around with some leather triangles and realised there was no way to add it to a stretchy top without making it pucker of “wave” when it was put on so I decided to leave the pattern design on the back burner.

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Instead I created a black tank top using a lovely stretch fabric from the cloth house.

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The pattern was self drafted from a t-shirt I have that fits me really well and I am really pleased with how it has turned out.

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I will get plenty of wear out of it and I have a new love for stretch fabric so I’ll be looking for some patterns to keep practising. The only issue with the yellow skirt, orchid in my hair and DKNY apple perfume was that the wasps became best friends of mine! I was not stung so I think they thought I was “queen wasp”.
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I hope all your sewing projects are going well and you are managing to stick to your initial plans better than me!

Speak soon! Happy sewing!

Love Claire xx

PS I have nearly finished by summer jumper (in time for winter!) by wool and the gang and I’ll be uploading  pics soon. If you want to see the progress shots head over to instagram!

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ATC card swap 2015 … My Favourite … mini hexagon patchwork

I was very excited to see that I was accepted to take part in the Very Berry card swap 2015 as I had so much fun with my last creation:

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I have received my partner but have not been given any indication of their “favourites” so I have decided to create a card using one of my favourite crafting methods. As I was going to spend a bit of time travelling to my friend Annabel’s wedding (where I was bridesmaid!) I remembered the patchwork necklace I made her using her prints and how much fun I had making it. I also figured that as the recipient is a fan of Very Berry that they must love hexagon patchwork!

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Here is the hexagon necklace I made for Annabel so I decided to do a miniature sampler for my card. I also thought that this would be a great craft to do on my train journey!

I already had the mini hexagon templates so I cut out my fabric and got to work forming the hexagon shapes….

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The man next to me on the train must have thought I was mad but that didn’t stop me and I completed my mini hexagons …

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Now to assemble the hexagons to make the card…

Update: 24/8/2015

It is now complete! Yey!

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I joined the hexagons together and backed them on turquoise spotted fabric

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and I added my details on the back with free motion embroidery

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I hope she likes it!

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Can’t wait to see all the other makes on the flicker group!

Happy sewing

Claire x

Black dress re-make

Hi everyone

Wedding season sewing has started! To start I have warmed up with a dress re-make and in my excitement to get started I did not take any before pictures! Opps!
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The dress started as a size 12 dress with a structured top.

To start I cut the dress at the waist and looked to make a crop top and skirt however after some “helpful” comments from the boy friend we decided that it might look better styled differently so I took to instagram to get some help:

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The votes were in and I went for the lace insert, loosely tacked so that I can create a top and skirt in an emergency!

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I removed the long boning at the front and used the smaller boning strips that were positioned at the side to keep the bust in place. I then ensured that the zip was tight enough so I would not be pulling it up all day.

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I started work on the skirt using black ribbon to encase the seam, leaving enough ribbon free to tie into a bow at the back. I then added elastic on the remaining skirt edge so that I wasn’t left with a gaping hole at the end.

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I then joined the top and skirt together with a lace pannel

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It survived the whole day as well as some impressive wedding dancing:

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I wore it with an orchid headpiece that I purchased from notonthehighstreet.com original_orchid-headband-headpiece

The dress also went well with the Mr’s outfit choice
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My next wedding (that does not require me to wear a bridesmaid dress) is at the end of August and I’m planning on a bit of a pattern hack:

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I will keep you posted on it’s progress…… Until next then….Happy sewing!

Claire xx