MeMadeMay #MMMay18

MeMadeMay #MMMay18

Every May lots of people take part in Me Made May. What this exactly means is different for each person that signs up. Some people undertake to make something new every day, some people undertake to wear something handmade every day, some people undertake to seriously scrutinise their handmade wardrobe to find what they maybe don’t wear so much and what they maybe need to make more of to fill gaps.

We (or is that just me?!) can get so carried away making the same fabulous dress over and over, or making things in all the crazy flamingo fabric we find, that we may not every really stop to think whether we actually wear all the wild prints or whether we actually consistently grab the plain ones. Y

I myself have pledged to fill the gaps in my handmade wardrobe. In 2015 I didn’t buy any clothes apart from underwear, socks and tees, and even then, I learned to make bras and knickers and knitted some fabulous pairs of socks! It was a great year, I learnt so much and loved every moment of it. I’ve let things slip in some departments, all my handmade bras are kaput or too small now, and I have been too tired/ busy/ reluctant to pick up the patterns and books again and make more. It took about 8 goes to get the pattern to fit me perfectly and I suspect now middle age spread has well and truly set in, I may need to re-do a lot of the pattern to achieve a good fit. But I may not have to, and I won’t know until I make one! I have a huge stash of bra making fabric and really no excuse at all. I have been busy teaching and also took on an allotment in December so time is precious and I more often than not curl up on the sofa with knitting and Netflix rather than get the machine out in the evenings but I am promising myself I will make at least one well fitting bra this month.

Today I am wearing a Sew Over It Ultimate Shift dress in a fabulous cherry print. I’ve not worn this much at all, it kept being overlooked for baggier dresses and today I realised it just needs some tweeking. The neckline is super high which doesn’t suit me nor does it feel very nice, and it is pretty short (and rides up), so I am going to alter the neckline and maybe add a funky ruffle for length. And maybe some waist darts to make more of my D cup (it’s a bit shelf like in this dress, also because of the high neck). So it’s good to examine my me made clothes and refashion ones that I don’t love quite as much, fix ones that may have sustained some holes/ tears, and fall in love with all my handmades again. I must say I wear handmades all the time anyway, I reckon half my dresses are handmade. I made leggings in the summer but they fell down within hours of wearing them and life is too short to make leggings which don’t fit so well when you can just buy some in Tesco’s for £6 as I did this morning (yes I know…cheap fashion, someone pays for it…)

Here is a link for you to sign up: http://sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/me-made-may-18-sign-up-here.html

Check out all the blogs, Instagram posts etc under the hashtag #MMay18!

 

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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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cheeky handmades