sewing machine repairs…

sewing machine repairs…

I love fixing sewing machines. I love seeing harrassed or broken machines being broiught back to life, cleaned and oiled and purring away happily. Unless your machine is a cheap plastic thing most machines an be coaxed back to life even after being ignored for years and years and the really old ones are utterly indestructible.

Here’s just a few of the horrors I’ve come across…

Keep your machine covered up and clean, change your needle often, use decent thread and the right bobbins, and don’t stitch over pins, and you should have a long relationship with your machine! IUf it does all go pear shaped come and see the doctor and I will fix her right up.

Sewing machine servicing & repairs London

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applique and free motion workshop

applique and free motion workshop

On Saturday 15th July the whole day is dedicated to appliqué and free motion embroidery in my sunny garden studio.

This is such a fun and freeing workshop, the techniques take no time at all to learn and then you will spend hours creating pictures with thread and scraps of fabric. Applique and free motion are brilliant for adding lovely details to dresses, tea towels, kids clothes, quilts, bags etc.

All the tools and materials are included in this class. You just turn up with yourself and I’ll supply everything else including coffee, tea and biscuits!

Booking is here: bookwhen.com/cheekyhandmades

*photography by Simon Daley [email protected]*

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why my sewing classes are different

why my sewing classes are different

The longer I teach the more I find out just exactly how different my classes are from many other classes.

I don’t want this post to sound like me massively blowing my own trumpet as to me it’s more about eradicating bad teaching rather than promoting myself. But hey if that means another few students I’m obviously not complaining!

My ethos is to inspire confidence and to encourage a love of sewing. A love of creating, stitching, making and wearing clothes that fit and make you happy, knowing where to buy fabric and how to look after your sewing machine, the confidence to start and finish a project, to experiment, to play, to enjoy the process even if the result disappoints.

And I believe I manage to get this across most of the time. My classes are friendly, encouraging, in depth, fun, inspiring, and I give everyone as much time and attention as they need. I couldn’t teach another way. To see people skipping out of my class smiling is more important than getting paid even. To get emails from students saying how sewing has changed their lives, is invaluable.

And yet I hear horror stories of how other people teach. Over and over. Too large a class for anyone to learn much or dare to ask questions. Teaching from a real distance (learn to sew in a lecture theatre anyone?!). A dressmaking class with 8 students and everyone making something different. People left to their own devices week in week out. People being belittled for not knowing certain things (erm hello it’s a beginners class!!), and people being told they will never learn. People being set useless exercises. Recently someone came to me asking me to help her learn to sew in circles as this had been set as her homework. You’ll never need to sew in a circle baby! Teaching for teaching’s sake. Not inspiring or challenging or providing a supportive environment.

Hearing these stories breaks my heart. There is just no need to teach like that and to destroy someone’s confidence or potential love for sewing is unforgivable.

Needless to say then that’s not how I teach.

To book one of my classes click here

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Joseph Frank

Joseph Frank

I went to the Fashion and Textiles museum last week, for a class in dyeing techniques. Before I went in I got to see the Joseph Frank exhibition which is amazing. Super colourful, positive, hopeful. A nice counter to the crazy negativity in the world right now! 
Here’s some pictures:


I always love going to the FTM, the building alone is inspirational (it’s pink and orange!) and the exhibitions are always amazing. The shop is fabulous as is the cafe next door. I’ve always known it was Zandra Rhodes’ baby but this time I found out she works from there, her printing studio is on the ground floor and her sewing studios upstairs, and that she lives upstairs. What a lady! 

Go and visit, I highly recommend it!

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making plans update; sticking to my resolutions!

making plans update; sticking to my resolutions!

So far so good. I have made two blocks for my Gypsy Wife quilt, only about 25 to go ~(*’><‘*)~. I’m posting the blocks on Instagram as I go. Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, do! I’m a very visual person and am always posting pictures of nice sewing machines and trees and stuff. I’m here.

 

 

I’m working on my gorgeous Carousel crochet along blanket again. It took a backseat whilst I finished my christmas present knitting and I can’t crochet and watch tv so it’s a morning thing only so progress isn’t fast but I only have 5 large pentagons to go and then the border!

 

 

 

 

My sociable sewing sessions are finally working. This is the third time I’ve tried running these and now it’s taking off. I’m so chuffed. There’s been such a lovely

variety of people and projects already, people have made dresses and bunting anf worked on tailored shirts and skirts etc. The next session is on Sunday 5th

February and there’s plenty more throughout February and March!  Book here!

I’ve made the prototype of my wedding dress and fit first time round, no adjustments needed at all. Amazing! I’ve also made 8 meters of rainbow bunting so I’m wellon track! Later in the year I will get you all involved in bunting etc making so watch this space!

 

I’ve finished knitting the shawl for Sarah I started in Scotland over Christmas. I found all this lush yarn in a Paisley

charity shop for 20p a ball and started a shwal with it. I ended up using quite a bit of pink and coral too to inject a bit of colour into the winter 🙂

And I’ve finished the Hermione’s everyday socks in Helen’s stunning Prism break yarn. Lush pattern and yarn 🙂

 

I am blogging more and I am actively doing my Illustrator course finally after almost 6 months of inaction. I haven’t eaten ANY sweets, cake, biscuits or indeed very much hidden sugars (pizza, juice, sauces) for three weeks now. I feel more energetic and my eyes aren’t as dry but I haven’t lost a single ounce. Argh. Must be my age!

How are you all getting on with your new year’s resolutions?

 

 

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What I’m planning for 2017…

What I’m planning for 2017…

I have had an extremely productive year this year although I produced much more finished knittingprojects  than sewn ones (it’s a huge addiction now, I think about knitting ALL THE TIME!).

Next year no doubt I will knit about a million shawls and socks but I also want to make other planned things. Some of these are already started and been lingering, some for a long time, some of these have been planned (patterns bought even!) for a while, some of them for years.

 

 

 

In the early part of 2016 I took part in a quilt along, making foundation paper pieced blocks from the 1930s farmer’s wife book. It was fn but super time consuming, each blocjk taking at least two hours. After 10 blocks I gave up, but I do want to turn this into something. Maybe a scrappy patchy quilt along the lines of the crochet blankets below?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking of scrappy colourful blankets, the Gypsy Wife quilt pattern has been lingering in my stash for about 4 years. I LOVE the look of it but have never got further than reading the first few pages of the description. I really would like 2017 to be the year I make this! Maybe a quilt along with friends? Who’s in? I know Sam has this pattern and not made it yet. Fancy making it together in a quilting bee? Cake and tea?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been crocheting a blanket made from all different squares since about 2014. Since before I had a boyfriend basically ;-). I have a trunk full of patches but nowhere near enough yet for a blanket. I feel inspired by the pictures of these to make it scrappy and patchy AND finish it this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to crochet and knit some more kids ponchos. These are about 12 year old now! And I want to write the pattern down as these were just made up as I went along…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started knitting this as a jumper after coming back from Arisaig n the west coast of Scotland in summer 2015, then decided to turn it into a poncho. It’s knitted with 2 ply alpaca yarn and skinny needles so progress is s l o w but this year I WILL finish it. Below are some lovely fair isle inspirational photos. Maybe I will even knit another fair isle cardigan too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year I WILL knit myself some fun and lovely fair isle socks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to make at least one more pair of Ginger jeans, as they are just such a good fit. Some more bras too as I haven’t finished ANY this year and I have enough fabric and elastic to make about 20!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am very close to finishing the Sue Pinner Carousel blanket, just a few more pentagons and the final rows. January. Promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m getting married in September and of course it’s going to be a handmade affair! I am making the dress, have started making a test of this 50s simplicity dress to see if it works. I also want to make a fabric/ yarn bouquet, all the bunting and poms poms and other decorations. Watch this space. I will try finalise everything in the summer holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having bought this funky shiffon cat fabric for next to nothing on the market I want to make a summery tunic dress with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have long wanted to make a spider’s web quilt and seeing the pattern for the quilt turn up on Instagram reminded me. I have tons of scraps I can use I haven’t made a quilt since spring of this year so this will be timely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have had the Swoon pattern for a few years now. 2017 will hopefully be the year I will make one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This coming year I also want to make a modern wedding ring quilt. I especially love the scrappy and fun grey one on the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few months ago I learnt to macrame. Plant pot holders don’t really do it for me but I have seen some great wall hangings I would like to try my hand at.

 

 

 

 

Another quilt block I would love to try is the pineapple block. I do think it would test my patience severly to make a whole quilt out of it as it’s rather time consuming but maybe I will make a mini quilt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really would love to crochet a rainbow unicorn! Whether I ever will is debatable but you never know…

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least next year there will be another e17 art trail. The theme this time will be STEAM, how the arts and sciences interact. I have all kinds of plans for mathmatical crochet and quilting. This will no doubt occupy a lot of my thinking and time in the months, no really, realistically the weeks leading up to the Art Trail. Am excited already!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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cheeky handmades