I'm so excited to tell you that the Hexagon Sewing Case PDF pattern is finally ready and in my shop! It's taken me a long time to get it ready because I wanted to make sure it was the absolute best it can be.
Thank you so much to Zena @mycreativepottylife, Sarah @sarah.costello.10 and Jen @jenthepiecemaker for testing it for me. They are such wonderful makers and helped me so much. I am so grateful to you for giving up your precious time to help me with this, I honestly cannot thank you enough.
I'm also really excited to tell you I have teamed up with Ashmead Designs who produce the fantastic Hexiform shapes I love to use, and Rose Garden Patchwork who I buy wonderful zips from (she also sells amazing fabrics and notions) to create some supplies kits for the case.
In these kits there will be:
The idea behind the kit is to make it easy for you to get started on your case and to have all of the supplies in one place, rather than having to source them from different places.
It also gives you an opportunity to try the wonderful hexiform EPP shapes from Ashmead Designs. Kits will be available to buy from Monday 2nd March 2020.
Thank you so much and have a great day!x
When Elise Baek asked me if I would like to be part of the book tour for her soon to be released Patchwork Gifts book, I was absolutely delighted! I've never been asked to be part of something like this before, what an honour! I've been following Elise for about a year on Instagram and her work is wonderful. Her designs are fresh and exciting, she uses beautiful fabrics and she is really inspiring, so I knew her book would be fabulous, and I was right!
On receiving my copy of the book, I quickly opened it as I couldn't wait to see the projects inside. They are all wonderful and it was so hard to narrow it down to one. I love the Double Wedding Ring Table Topper as I've been wanting to make one for so long. But I decided on the Meadow Mini Quilt. I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it because I knew it would be perfect for the many Liberty prints I have. Also, I want to give this as a gift to someone special and I knew that person would love this. It also speaks to my love of tiny EPP so it was clearly the right project for me!
I enjoyed every stitch of working on this project. I really took my time over it, doing a little bit each day. I think the finished result is joyful, bright, cheerful and makes me think of Spring.
If you are thinking of buying this book, I really recommend it. The projects are so lovely and very well explained. I know this won't be the last thing I make from this book, as well as the double wedding, I have my eye on the toadstool pincushion and the kite lavender sachets. I hope my version of the Meadow mini quilt did justice to the original. Thank you to Elise for letting me be part of this book tour, it really has been an honour and the highlight of 2020 so far for me. Make sure you check out the rest of the people on the book tour, every single one is a fantastic maker and it is so inspiring to see what they make. Elise is also running a really fun bingo competition so head over to her Instagram and be sure to follow the hashtag #patchworkgiftsbook.
Hello everybody. Today I would like to invite you to take part in a fun stitch along which is taking place on Instagram and hosted by myself and the lovely Zoe Mayson. So let me tell you all about it!
The Slow Stitch Along is a community event taking place on Instagram throughout the month of March.
What is the Slow Stitch Along?
Working on a long term, slow project such as a hand pieced quilt, knitted blanket or cross stitch, is lovely and rewarding but it can be easy to run out of steam. I think, aiming to do a little bit each day or as often as you can, and sharing with your stitchy friends online, will help to keep you motivated and you will soon see visible progress. So that’s where the Slow Stitch Along comes in. Dig out your favourite long term stitchy project - this can be epp, embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, or any type of craft you want, or start a new one! The idea is that we share a slow, meaningful project together. This stitch along doesn’t really have any rules other than take your time, no pressure to complete your project at all. Just relax and find some quiet time when you can. This can be daily, weekly, it’s entirely up to you. Find ten minutes, find an hour, whatever fits in with your life. Stitch your project and share a lovely photo of it to inspire others. Support and cheer others on with their slow projects.
How did this idea come about? - I think we all sew for two reasons, the process and the product. Yes, we want the product at the end and the product is important. It might be an item that we need or it might have personal meaning or be a gift, but I think ultimately, it’s the process of sewing that is healing and rewarding. I really believe there is something to be said for slow, repetitive stitching. Being mindful in your project, sewing for the process not putting pressure on yourself to have a completed item. Doing a little bit when you can and seeing your project grow!
No competition, no prizes. Just community and friendship, the sharing of ideas and supporting one and other.
So if you’d like to take part, use the hashtag #slowstitchalong and tag me and Zoe so we can find you and share as many photos in our stories as we can.
Each week there will be a topic to discuss if you'd like to, and we will of course remind you of this as we go along, but here is a brief outline. It’s just an idea, you don’t have to stick to this!
Week 1 - introductions
Introduce yourself and tell us about your project. Have you started it? Show us the stage it is at currently. Is it a new project? If so, share your planning process. Is there a story or special meaning behind your project? Tell us all about it, we love hearing the details behind a project!
Week 2 - Progress photographs and videos. Share any progress you are making on your project this week however small it may seem. Are you working on your project daily or every other day? How are you fitting it into your routine? Are you doing ten minutes or an hour? Is it the only project you are working on or are you switching between other, quicker projects? Remember to follow the hashtag and cheer others on too. The best part about Instagram is seeing what other people are doing and building friendships through our love of craft.
Week 3 - Slowing down - How does slowing down feel? Are you enjoying working at a slow, relaxing pace with no pressure to finish. Is it helping you to feel more grounded, relaxed and calm? Are you feeling more creative without any time pressure? Share your thoughts and feelings.
Week 4- How does your project compare to when you started the stitch along? Did doing a little bit often work well for you? Did you see results and feel like you have made good progress? Have you made new friends online and felt motivated? Has slowing down and being mindful in your project felt good and had a positive effect on your wellbeing?
This is the first time we have hosted any kind of sew along and we are so so excited about it. We are both passionate about slow stitching and we really hope you will join us. So let me know in the comments here or over on Instagram, will you be joining us for the Slow Stitch Along? I really hope so!
Something a bit different to my usual posts but yesterday I went to an exhibition of clothing from 1886 to 1966 at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and I thought you might like to see a little bit of it. I love history and I am fascinated by clothing from the past. I love watching period dramas to get a glimpse of days gone by so whenever there is an exhibition of fashion from the past I enjoy going to see it. Since becoming a mum, I haven't been to a gallery or museum to see things that are of interest to me so this was a real treat. The lovely thing about Walker Art Gallery is that there is an excellent area for children, so my dad could look after my little one there whilst I viewed the exhibition and there were so many lovely activities there to keep them occupied.
The collection of clothing had belonged to Emily Tinne and is the largest collection of any one person's clothing in a UK gallery. She was an affluent woman and had a real spending habit. Her family had no idea of the sheer amount of clothes that she bought until after she passed away in 1966. Most of what was found was unworn with the price tags still on. The collection was incredible as the pieces were a mixture of daywear, evening gowns, children's clothing, accessories and coats.
Some of her items were from ordinary shops, others made by dressmakers and some were designer pieces. It was said that she often bought clothing because she wanted the shop assistants to earn their commission, so in this respect she was a charitable woman however there is no doubt that she definitely had a spending habit.
I loved these beautiful examples of lace collars and look at the tiny children's shoes below!
Below is a picture of a bathing suit.
I really loved the examples of children's clothing, there were so many beautiful embroidered details.
Emily's evening gowns were stunning. She loved wearing black and chose such elegant pieces adorned with beads and lace. She even had just the front of a beaded gown in her collection and it explained how you could buy dresses in pieces which is something I'd never heard of before.
At the end of the exhibition were pictures and advertisements about the large department stores in Liverpool which brought back memories for my mum and there were some that even I recognised from the 80s when I was a child. Below is Cripps which is where my mum got her wedding dress from.
It was so nice to take a peek into history and immerse myself in the fashions of the past. It saddens me that our high street shops and department stores are closing, I would love it to go back to the way it was where we would all be buying less, it would be of a better quality and we would cherish what we have rather than the fast fashion of today. Viewing this exhibition was a lovely reminder of this and will help me to access the clothing in my wardrobe and who knows, I may even delve back into dressmaking again one day. That's where my online name Vintage Sewing Box comes from, my love of vintage fashion and sewing patterns, and it was lovely to revisit this yesterday. The exhibition is on until 1st March 2020 if you would like to visit it too.
Do you make things to sell at craft fairs or online? Or are you like me and just love making things for fun? I often get told by friends and family that I should sell the things I make but they don't realise how long it takes me to make things. I'm currently working on my Hexagon Sewing Case pattern and it is close to being complete! This has led me to think about how it will feel to sell my pattern. I don't have a job at the moment as I am a stay at home Mum, so making a little bit of extra money would definitely be a help. Thinking about selling it got me thinking about a time in my life when I did make things to sell. I did a bit of digging around and found some old photos so I thought I'd share here.
Back in 2009 I was 26 and working as a Spanish teacher in primary schools. Even though I had a degree and a masters degree, I was working as an unqualified teacher as I hadn't done teacher training at this point. I had quite a lot of spare time and loved making things so I set up a website, an Etsy shop and I sold what I made at craft fairs. I sold nothing through my Etsy shop and nothing through my website because I had no idea about how to promote it or make it show up in google searches. However I did sell quite well at craft fairs. At one fair in Liverpool, a woman came over and bought all of the earrings I had on sale for her shop in the city centre which sold handmade items. I then later gave her a lot of my bags which she took on sale or return.
However, I never went back to her shop to see if she had sold any, I couldn't bring myself to go in. I even stood outside once, with the aim of going inside, but I couldn't do it. I loved what I made. I loved the fabrics and I put my heart into everything. So I think because of this, I was scared she might not have sold any and that she'd ask me to take them away. I was also afraid she might have sold some and then they might have been returned by the customer because they didn't like it or maybe it fell apart. I also felt so strange about asking her for money, I don't know why, it was just so uncomfortable for me. I was crippled by this lack of confidence so much that I never, ever contacted her and to this day I have no idea if she sold my bags or not. I also really struggled at the craft fairs. I loved being around other makers and I always received great comments from them and the customers about my things but I felt so awkward about selling I didn't enjoy it at all. I just wanted to curl up and hide.
Whilst my skills, style and tastes have changed a lot over the past 11 years, this feeling about selling my work has not gone away. When I exhibited my mini quilt in the art gallery over the summer, I put 'Not For Sale' on it. This was partially due to it being a very personal piece, partly because I had no idea how to put a value on it and also because I didn't think anybody would buy it. Or if they did, they might end up disappointed with it. The same negative thoughts as 11 years ago.
It feels quite emotional writing this because I can see how sad it is that this has held me back in some ways. But then the most amazing thing happened last week. After sharing the image of the second hexagon sewing case sample I made online (pictured at the top of this post) I mentioned in my Instagram stories that I might sell it. I was thinking about it but not entirely sure how to go about it. Within an hour I got a message from a lovely person who wanted to buy it and within no time it was sold! I could not believe it and it really made me happy. I could not be more grateful to the lovely person who bought the case and I hope she really loves it. This sale really boosted my confidence and I feel so positive now. I definitely won't be chaining myself to my sewing machine in order to churn out some products to sell, that sort of sewing isn't enjoyable to me. But if occasionally I have a some pieces that I do not need, I don't feel afraid of trying to sell them anymore. Have you ever sold the things you make? How did you find the selling process? I'd love to know, please leave me a comment. Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading!
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing, especially EPP. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to! All opinions are my own and I only share things that I think you will love. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.