Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Makes

Now that all of the presents have been given I can share a few pictures of my Christmas makes!

I posted earlier about the Christmas Dress I made for my little girl but then for some strange crazy reason I decided to make some more for friends daughters too!


My brother asked for a draught excluder and though he'd shown me a pic of a simple snake I decided that as they had just got a new puppy I'd try to make a dog one!  Much hilarity ensued at sewing class as after many alterations (with no pattern I had much fun trying to make the dog face the right shape) I produced something that was neither a snake nor a dog - Sewing class christened this a 'snog'!

I made some little belly button pads for Post Pals children who are fed by feeding tubes and sent quite a few of my Christmas clips to the children too:


The final projects were using some fab wood print fabric bought from Fabric Shoppe on etsy to make work aprons for my wonderful hubby and daughter and some bunting using more fabric from Fabric Shoppe and the gingerbread cutter on my big shot!

And then last thing on Christmas eve I was busy converting the neckline of a dress I'd bought for Christmas day (sorry for grainy phone pic).  It was high, round necked and not very flattering so I gathered for a much nicer neckline.

I'll leave you with my latest fun adventures in crafting - glass etching! I etched this glass at the
Hobbycrafts show - a fun first attempt at a glass for Santa etched with his name and some holly - look out for more of this in 2012 as Bella Boutique launches some Wedding focussed products.

So that's why I disappeared in December! Drowing under Bella Boutique orders from lovely customers and making lots of wonderful crafts for Christmas.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas,


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sew, Show and Share and by the end of the night Shelebrate!

Last Friday the great and good of Helen's famous sewing classes gathered together at the fabulous Word of Mouth crafts and had an evening of fun and frivolities.  One of the highlights of the evening was the show and share session where people shared the experiences they have had in the classes and their handmade items.  I thought it best to tell the story of the evening in pictures!

So lets start with  a multitude of boxy bottoms!  Not the ladies but the bags that have been made!

Next we move onto garments, ranging from 1 hour skirts to beautiful thrift store transformations and everything inbetween


Then sticking with the clothing theme we had a wonderful insight into re-purposing with some wonderful coat collaborations - take 2 coats that don't work, sew them together (with flair and style obviously) and look what you get......................

Throw in a little crochet, drinking, gossip, fabric fancying and it makes for a brilliant night full of inspirational ideas for 2012!


And then all that remains is to say Thank You Helen for a year of wonderful sewing adventures and a great end of year party!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Quick Hello

Just wanted to post a quick message to say I haven't disappeared, I'm still busy as ever with Christmas fairs and making Christmas presents!  Here's a little picture as promised of my little one in her 'Christmas Dress' she had such fun twirling and playing with the little Christmas tree prop and as always the pictures by Dale from DRWPhotographics were amazing.

Off to do more sewing now, having a real challenge as my machine has had a fault and so I'm working on an old singer machine that my friend has lent me (lifesaver).  It has really taught me how much I depend on all of the features my new machine has and those wonderful machine feet!!  Oh well that's for another post!

Happy Sewing, Keri

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas Dress

Without a doubt the best part about sewing is being able to do this:

 My little girl 'needed' a Christmas dress ready to meet santa and have her Christmas pictures taken!  I have loved making this even though at the busiest time of year for Bella Boutique I tried to start and finish it in a night (it took me a couple of hours one night then half hour the next day to do buttons, ribbons etc).

Here's a closer look at some of the detail.  It was made from beautiful taffetta bought at the Shuttle in Shipley with fabulous heart shaped sparkly buttons, she loves it!  Oh and I had to give it the requisite net lining, very important for twirling and swishing! 
Our favourite photographer Dale Wain from DRW Photographics is coming today so as soon as we have the piccies I'll post one for you all!

Off to iron it now before the piccies!  I'd love to hear from others who have also been making Christmas dresses (or outfits for your boys) and see your creations.  I figure it's such a precious little time that they will be happy to have a dress made so I'm going to cherish every moment of my little one in her 'Mummy Made' Christmas Dress.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Busy Bee

Just a quick message to say, sorry, I'm sooooooo busy that I've not had 2 minutes to blog!  I have had some serious output this past couple of weeks with new baby gifts for friends and Christmas gifts for friends little ones also, this is what I've churned out just off the top of my head:

3 nursing covers
1 nursing cushion
4 personalised stockings
1 set of personalised letters
3 Christmas dresses for gifts (1 age 6, 1 age 4 and 1 baby)
15 G tube pads (for Post Pals children who are fed by tube to help make them more comfortable)
5 wiggly bags (for Post Pals also)
10 bandana bibs
2 height charts
2 applique'd vests
oh and I also finished my wrap dress in my sewing class, 

Phew, seriously my machine is begging for a rest but not likely just yet!  I also managed to fit in a trip to the Hobbycrafts show at Birmingham NEC which was brilliant fun and gave me chance to learn how to Needle felt and also to do some glass etching too.

Back soon with pictures of all my makes!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Christmas Clips

Preparation is almost complete for all of the Christmas fairs now so I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of more things I have been making using my big shot!  I bought circle and oval dies thinking that they could be quite versatile and have created these little lovelies!

Christmas Clips were a good favourite last year so I'm hoping for the same this year too! 

Soon to come are the last couple of machine feet tutorials including the 1/4" seam foot, roll on topstitching because this foot makes it super neat!

Happy Sewing


Monday, 10 October 2011

Post Pals Crafty Links

I promised Post Pals that I would work through a list they had given on their facebook page of Crafty links for things to make for children.  Post Pals is a charity which helps children with complex/life limiting or terminal illnesses.  They have a list of all of the children and their siblings with details about their likes/dislikes and you can pick a child to write to or send a little gift to cheer them up.  It's an amazing charity and I really love to send my post so for anyone reading who hasn't come from their facebook page, please have a look at their site and if you have a spare 5 minutes and a stamp you could put a smile on a little ones face, it's priceless.

Here are the links that I've found that may be of interest.  I'll keep posting any blog ones that I get also and feel free to add any you have in the comments.  It ideally needs to be something that can easily be posted.

Happy Crafting


Hello Kitty

I have been having more fun with the Sizzix Big Shot and have made some lovely little Hello Kitty bags which are sure to be a hit!


I'm loving the penguin and gingerbread man dies too, great for little cute Christmas projects.


Just a short post for now as I had a fair Saturday night so I'm busily making up personalised stocking orders and, funnily enough some of the vests as above which were very popular!

Happy Sewing


Monday, 26 September 2011

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Inspired by Bella, this is one of my latest makes that has me smiling every time I look at it so I just had to share it with you. 

Inspired by Bella, how, you may think, given that she's only 2 and a half.  I had made Bella some pom pom Christmas clips and said "I'll put these Christmas clips with your others" to her to which she replied "they aren't Christmas clips Mummy they are hungry caterpillar ones", aha methinks a new line!  As you can see she loves the finished creation.  Aren't kids great!

They are now available in my etsy shop.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Zipper Foot

You guessed it by the title it's time to look at another machine foot - this time the Zipper Foot. 

Fellow blogger Caroline from Redneedle Sewing did a wonderful guest post on Free Motion Embroidery for me and has kindly agreed that I could link to her Zipper tutorial which is as good as anything I'd be writing if not better!  This is great news as it leaves me the chance to get on with the last few feet tutorials (the overlocking foot, satin stitch, walking foot and maybe even the blind hem one too)!

The link to Caroline's tutorial is here - one of the things she suggests is a continuous zipper which you buy on a roll along with a set of sliders and I can thoroughly recommend.  Zips open up a wealth of opportunities - here's a couple of things I've completed recently with one.  The dress would just not look finished without the added zip and a zip means less fabric is required when completing a cushion (when compared with an envelope cushion) which is great news for profit margins when selling!


Have Fun Zipping, I'll 'Zip it' now and hand over to Redneedle Sewing, thanks Caroline!


Monday, 19 September 2011

Ruffler Foot

It's that time of year when I'm busy busy sewing ready for all of those Autumn and Winter fairs so I have just a quick half hour for a tutorial and thought I'd show you the ruffler foot. 

Mine looks like this - scary hey!  Hopefully by the end of this post it won't be.

The basic premise is that you feed your fabric into the ruffler foot with the fabric under the foot (directly under the needle) but also under the ruffling blade!  Sounds complicated I know... I'm trying to make it as simple as possible and am hoping that between the photos and video below it might help.

There is a great link here which tells you all about how to attach the foot and what each of the parts does - here's a drawing of the foot for reference.
Step 1 - Thread your needle - seems like an obvious comment but this foot is BIG and it's a real fiddle to thread your needle once the foot is on.

Step 2 - Lift your presser foot and needle to the highest position then clip the ruffler foot to the machine presser foot holder (as with other feet) making sure that the black curved clamp (mentioned above as the fork arm) is over the needle clamp screw. 

Step 3 - Make sure that you can put your needle down clearly through the hole and if you can't then there are two screws towards the back of the foot (they are the little round things on the diagram near the 'fork arm' label) which you can loosen then wiggle the foot around until the needle fits.

Step 4 - Decide how many ruffles you want and how much fabric you want to be included in the ruffle (I think the best way to do this is to have a play though if anyone knows of some technical calculation feel free to shout up.  For the dresses I have been making and my little ones pumpkin outfit I wanted a mid range of gather so moved the 'ratchet gear feed plate' to 6 (one gather every 6 stitches) 1 gives really frequent gathers and 12 wide apart gathers.  Next I adjusted the 'ruffling depth adjustment screw' to 4 in order to gather quite a bit of fabric in the ruffle.

A couple of tips before you start to sew. 
1. If you have had to loosen the screws to fit the needle then make sure they are super tight.
2. Make sure your needle is really tightly clamped in (see my funny pic at the end of the tutorial for what happens if you don't).
3. Make sure that you have plenty of fabric ready to feed, as this foot really 'grabs' the fabric and rushes it through - hopefully the video further down will give you a view of this.

Step 1 -  Slide your fabric under the foot (in the needle area) and then between the bottom foot plate and the ruffling blade (which I called the forked prongs).  The picture below shows the forked prongs are back.  I've used a sheer fabric to help you see where it fits in relation to the foot.

Step 2 - As you sew the forked prongs begin to slide forward taking the fabric with it.

Step 3 - Very quickly the gather is pushed under the needle and hey presto a ruffle!  The first picture below shows the gather under the needle with the forked prongs forward and the second shows completed gathers (I used a heavier fabric for this as the ruffles aren't as clear on the organza).

I have also done this little video which I'm really hoping works to give you more of a feel of how it looks (and sounds - loud) in motion!

I hope this helps but any questions feel free to e:mail me or post in the comments section.  I'm still working with it and have just completed my first couple of projects so here's one of them!  Also as promised here is the picture of what happens if you don't make sure your needle is screwed in really tightly - how on earth it got there I honestly don't know!

And this is what I'm planning on doing next because I can't seriously believe there is £50 of frou frou in there!-

Happy Ruffling


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