Thursday, 16 June 2011

Inspirational Young Lady

Today is a very special post about a fellow blogger that I found through Netmums.  She is just 15, is called Alice Pyne and has been in a brave 4 year battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Alice has created a bucket list of things she'd really like to do (the lymphoma is being very naughty right now and won't go away) and so I'd urge all of you to have a visit her blog and see if there's anything you can do to help, do you know anyone who could help with her wishes? 

The one thing on her list I spotted that I can help with is spreading the word about the Bone Marrow register, which I joined 11 years ago. Things have moved on medically so here's a couple of facts from the Anthony Nolan Website page that might make you think again if it's something that you've not previously considered.
  • Bone marrow donation can also be done through a vein in your arm which is non-surgical, known as a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation as well as the original method which was surgery. 
  • It's not just family that can be a match, 70% of people who need a transplant have to rely on the kindness of a stranger to save their life
  • People who have donated via the bone marrow method compared the after-effects to a hard game of football. Many donors find the experience fulfilling and for some, it’s life-changing
 Alice has links on her left sidebar to the associations but I've posted them below also. 

I don't use Twitter (I know I'm so behind the times) but the article in the Telegraph said she uses the hashtag #alicebucketlist so for those who do use it you could always tweet there too!  Here's the telegraph article:

In addition here is her official facebook page - some horrible people have been setting up and using other ones which is upsetting Alice so I think it's important that the real one is posted for her.

So.... a non crafting post for today but one that I feel is really important nonetheless and so wanted to help in whatever way I could.


Friday, 10 June 2011

Bias Binding Foot

I love my sewing machine and more importantly I LOVE how using different feet makes life easier!  So for my second 'sewing machine foot' tutorial I have decided to take a different approach.  After a long winded buttonhole foot tutorial, which I felt was maybe too wordy for people to enjoy, I decided to think about my favourite tutorials and why  they worked.  One of my favourite tutorials ever is the butterfly dress by Kelly at Sewing in No Mans Land.  Why........?  It's basically a set of photographs with the instructions on each photograph, simples (as the meerkats would say).  Kelly is an amazing photographer, so I can't by any means say that this will work as well, but I'm going to give it a go and welcome any feedback. 

This is what my bias binding foot looks like, you'll get a closer look as we go through the tutorial.  These are about £13 for my Janome and I'm sure will be a similar price for other brands.  The basic theory seems to be a channel through which you can feed the fabric and binding.

I hope this was easier to follow than my earlier buttonhole post - feel free to comment.  I'll leave you with my top 3 reasons why, for me, it's worth every penny of the £13!

1. I sew quite a few aprons for selling at craft fairs and now instead of pinning the binding (20 mins) and then sewing it removing the pins as I go along (20 mins), I can simply feed it through and be done in 15 mins!

2. The finish is so much more professional than my previous attempts - though you do have to focus when sewing round corners.

3. With the typical double fold binding the idea is you sew the back fold first then re-sew (which I never did).  The binding foot eliminates a step from the process and always seems to ensure that the folded portion of the tape is enclosed within the stitches.

Happy sewing!  Next foot to feature will be the rolled hem foot which is coming very useful for all those summer dresses right now!  I'm also really interested to try the freehand embroidery foot and ruffler foot which the kind Janome salespeople threw in with my new machine (after a small amount of bartering on my part)!


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Exciting News

Wow, I recieved my first blogging award from fab blogger Jo at Pickle Lily. seems the courtesy now is to make a post linking back to the person who gave you the award (which I've gladly done above), share 7 random things about yourself and award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award, contacting them to let them know they have won.

This seems to be a lovely way of introducing fellow bloggers/craftspeople and allowing those of us who are just starting out blogging chance to meet like minded folk so here's my contribution

7 random things about myself
- I love to eat lamb and chocolate (though not together)!
- I adore butterflies
- I didn't learn to sew (apart from the odd little thing at School) until I was 32!
- I'm a secret fabric addict and have it all stacked up in my dining room
- I love to ski though I'm a real scaredy cat!
- I love to sew using my machine but am the worst hand sewer in the World!
- Kind of linked to the one above but because I try to avoid hand sewing at all costs I've become a bit of a sewing machine foot queen! (post soon to follow on my current fave a bias binding foot which is saving me so much time I could burst with joy)!!!!

Now I would like to pass this award onto a few other bloggers (too many to choose from so sorry if you are a follower and not included I was trying to keep the list to new or small is blogs)

The Ladies at Yorkshire Made
Jennifer at Mere Made
Kelly at Sewing in No Man's Land
Fiona at The Sewing Directory
Wendy at Made with Pixie Dust
Kate at Tour Widow Moves North

Happy Reading and Thanks again Jo for your award!


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Happy Holidays and Magic Minnie Moments


So.....I've been missing for a while and that's because we were off having a few days relaxing in France followed by a few days of Disney Mania!  We took our little girl for her first visit to Disneyland Paris and she loved it!  In my impulsive madness a couple of days before we left I decided it would be a good idea to make a Minnie Dress!  Crazy me!  I felt sure there would be a simple tutorial somewhere but no I couldn't find one so off I went on my crazy mission following a full circle skirt pattern for the bottom, a bodice copied from one of her dresses, a bizarre collar that sooooooo didn't work out (I'll be re-doing that as it drove me mad all day it not being perfect) and some lovely ribbon.  I think it turned out ok in the end and was glad when she was jumping and rolling around getting dirt all over it that it cost me just a few pounds not the £45 price tag of the very very similar (but more perfect) ones in the shops there!

I'll be back with a sensible sewing post soon but for now just thought I'd indulge myself in a lovely family memory of my little girls first meeting with her idol!

Happy Sewing


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