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finding space…

28 Aug

Some people are addicted to storage solutions. I might be one of them, or it might just be that I NEED to be addicted to good storage when my flat is rather small and certainly not big enough to happily double as a crafting workshop. It took me a while to realise that my boy-o was actually rather annoyed that we could never eat at the dining table because the sewing machine and all of its many accoutrements lived there. Now that I have realised that this could be a little irritating, I’m trying to find ways to incorporate my sewing equipment into the living space without it looking untidy or unwieldy…

I found this wonderful cake stand in a charity shop for £3.50 (I know! BARGAIN!) and after deciding that it was highly unlikely that it would ever contain actual cakes (unless I have another Marie Antoinette party), I thought it would look equally pretty if I filled it with my threads and tape measure and other bits and bobs. I think it looks good in the middle of the table, and doesn’t take up any more space than a vase of flowers would, and I don’t see anybody complaining about flowers!

Tell me, do you have any clever storage solutions for your crafty stuff? I’d love to borrow a few ideas – especially when it comes to storing fabric. I’ve been stashing it in my wardrobe and it’s starting to grate…


the world in miniature

8 Aug

My sister Amal is a genius doll-maker, and I don’t use the word ‘genius’ lightly. Her dolls are beautiful – at the moment her shop is unstocked (the creatures take a long time to make) but if you take a look at her past sales, you’ll see what I mean. They’re resin ball-jointed dolls, about 9″ tall – very different to what you might have in mind when you think of the word ‘doll’.

To celebrate her birthday, I’ve been having a go at making some mini cushions for these dolls. It’s good timing, since Amal’s just bought a range of chairs for her dolls, and no chair is complete without a cushion!

I hope she likes them! They’re stuffed with cotton wool, and machine-sewed, except for the top edge which I’ve sewn with the tiniest stitches I could manage. I would love to make more of these as they are really cute, but I’m going to wait to see whether the dolls are fans or not – or whether they’d like to see some changes made!

rule-breaking bunting

13 Jun

I am incredibly excited. Not only am I off to the heavenly Cornwall tomorrow for a cheeky break with the boy-o, I’m also celebrating my birthday this week and getting wasted (sorry, having a party) on Saturday to bring in the new year of my life. I’m just throwing a small do at my house centring around a nice meal (food and drink will ALWAYS take centre stage in my abode). But I still want to make some home-made decorations, and today I’ve had a go at making a little bunting…

The best thing about this bunting is that I’ve finally found a use for these old bedsheets that I took from my mum’s airing cupboard. I love the pattern on them but they just haven’t worked well for patchwork quilts – the fabric crinkles instantly which makes cutting neat squares far too time-consuming.

Now, thanks to the tip-off from baby bandito, I did have access to a wonderfully detailed, beautifully put together tutorial on how to make bunting. It really is a gem of a tutorial. Do take a look if you’re interested.

But me being me (the word ‘lazy’ doesn’t begin to capture it), I just decided to take a quick glance over the tutorial, and then try my luck with some good old-fashioned slapdashedness. The outcome is pretty cool I think – it certainly lifts my living room (but the alcohol will also surely help with this!). Et voila, the three rules that I proudly trampled over:

– No need for a triangle template, I just used my eyes and corrected for any differences at the sewing machine

– I didn’t bother using bias binding, just hemmed on both sides the stretch of fabric that holds the triangles together

– A ruler, an iron, coordinating thread? Not for me thanks – I’ll just tell my guests that any mistakes (I prefer ‘unique touches’) were wholly intended. But honestly, I don’t understand our (the sewing community) constant demand for colour-matching fabric and thread. I love it when thread is a different colour and stands out – particularly if it’s something fun like bunting. Is this just me??