4 Mar 2015

Review: Pretty Organised

This month we were given the opportunity to review the Pretty Organised book by Jane Hughes.  It popped through the doors of Sammy's shop, Sew Crafty and was a pleasure to leaf through and gain inspiration from.

There is a lovely index with small pictures of the projects divided into the rooms in which the projects would fit.  This is a great way to divide up the different ideas and so it gives you a great excuse to see what that next-room-you-just-have-to-get-finished needs.  There is a mix of quick simple achievable projects and things that would take a little longer, so something for everyone.

The projects themselves are clear and easy to follow.  Each project has written instructions and a few pictures to help you along, aswell as the tools and materials you will need.  We loved this wall box and H found a very similar box in Homebase the other day for all of you that fancy having a go.

This Wall pocket organiser is so good to use up those little bits of fabric left over for the pockets and would look great in a children's bedroom or an adults of course.  You could make as many pockets as you like and make it fit all your bits and pieces too.

Just look at this storage trolley too!!!!  Everyone was going crazy for the Ikea Raskog trolley last year, but you could make your own!  Perfect for the laptop to have a rest or just to look oh so pretty in the corner!  Perhaps a drinks trolley for parties?  I know, so retro, but we are in those times, right?!

Next up is a project that I think Sammy might love and its not just due to the stickers involved!  The Meal planner, we all know that leaving it till the evening to decide on what your having for dinner is a recipe for disaster and so planning not only saves you time, but money aswell, alongside throwing away less food and that is no bad thing.  If you have a family it can be a godsend to fend off any 'what are we having for dinner' questions too.

All in all, the Pretty Organised book is lovely.  Some great projects and easy to understand instructions all really help, along with the lovely paper it is printed on and the fact that it is just a book which, well, just has our kinds of projects in.  This would make a great gift for someone who is moving home or trying to get organised.  But then, there are also some great projects so that they can make them for you too, so its a win win if you buy it as a gift!  The main problem is choosing which one to do first!

H & Sammy

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2 Mar 2015

#HomemadeMothersDay With Roberts Radio

Time to get your crafting supplies out and create a masterpiece to win a retro classic. Mothers Day is just around the corner and we have a great competition with the lovely people at Roberts Radio. The best part is that you get to show off your creative talents and we get to pick the winner!

With our love of all things retro, both H and I have had these classic radios on our own wish lists for a while. My Mum would love the classic black and of course H thinks her mum would love the the duck egg blue.

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win one of these adorable Roberts Radio Mini's for your Mum in a colour of her choice is:
  • Create an original, one of a kind Mothers Day Card
  • Share a photo or video of your handmade card with Roberts Radio on FacebookTwitter or Instagram. 
  • Make sure to tag us and Roberts Radio
  • Use the hashtag #HomeMadeMothersDay

The competition runs from the the 1st or March to 12 midnight on the 16th of March 2015 and winners will be announced on the 17th of March. The wining design will get a beautiful mini radio in the colour of your choice to give to your Mum. Check out full terms and conditions here.

We can't wait to see the cards that you make! Good Luck!

Sammy & H

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Check this out: Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition

Picture sourced from https://fashionworked

This month sees the opening of the much awaited Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A, Savage Beauty.  We seriously cannot wait!  The tickets sold out in record time, but a few weeks back they allocated some more tickets and so we were first in line!  We do however need to wait till May to go, but are looking forward to it so much already.

Picture sourced from https://fashion2011marketing

We are both big fans of McQueen's work and so fingers crossed it delivers and with all the people who will be going to see it, fingers crossed we can actually see the items on display as this will be the first and largest display of his work in Europe.  The exhibition was shown at the Met in New York in 2011 and was one of their top 10 most visited exhibitions, not too shabby hey!

Picture sourced from http://dressful.com/

Are you going to see the exhibition or is there an exhibition coming up that we should check out?  Let us know in the comments below.


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27 Feb 2015

February Favourites

Monthly favourites time again and this month is an odd bunch I will admit, but worthy all the same.

My strawberry slicer, I know a lot of people will say its a silly gimmick and that I am perfectly capable of chopping my own strawberries, but anything that gets me excited about eating fruit for breakfast is a winner with me.

The powerhouse of blogging that is Dana aka The Wonder Forest has a second blog all about blogging (I can Build a Blog), which I have been a fan of for a while now. When Dana started a YouTube channel last year I was an instant fan. I have been catching up this month and loving her no nonsense advice. I'm just not sure if I am brave enough to put our blog up for review but I love the advice she shares about being a better blogger. 

I picked up this shade of nail polish when I was at Bicester Village last month, not because it was Michael Kors, but because I LOVED the colour. Envy is the perfect Pink/Purple shade with a great formula and a stubby flat brush, Yum!

Accessorize always hit it out of the park with pretty stuff for your tech and this season is no exception.  I was torn between the golden pineapples and this Flamingo... as you can see the flamingo won.

Finding these little beauties in my fave stationary place Fox and Star was a game changer, MT Nano is a handy gadget you use to make neat cuts in your washi tape. It's the little things.

How was your February? What have been your favourites? Are you loving a TV show? Anyone else loving the new season of Suits? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great weekend, but pop by on Sunday for a little competition....

Sammy xxx

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25 Feb 2015

Sewing Tips: Basics #1

We had such a great response to our post last month about How to Fall in Love With Your Sewing Machine, so we thought we would share some more of our sewing tips with you today. We are starting with a few basic things and we are planning more of these so if there is anything specifically that you would like tips on, maybe bias binding or zips? Let us know. Also why not check out my fabric buying tips and pattern advice from last year. Lets get going..,..

  • If you're not sure which colour to use on a jazzy fabric try and stick to the most dominant colour or the colour of the background. If there isn't an obvious choice go for the darkest colour, it will always show less that a lighter thread. 
  • The same theory applies when trying to match a thread colour in general, if you can't find a perfect match go a shade darker as it will show less.
  • Threads will always look darker on the reel than off it as a single strand. Guttermann threads have a little magic trick to help, their bottoms are loose so you can twist them to free the thread loose to check it against your fabric. 

Machine needles:
  • Most brands of machine needles will fit any domestic sewing machine. When you are looking at needles their sizes (ie. 90/14 or 80/12) refers to the thickness of the needle and therefore which fabric they should be used on. The lower the number the finer the needle and the finer the fabric you will sew with that needle. 
  • There are different needles for different types of fabrics too. Jeans needles are especially for working with Denim and densely woven fabrics, Ballpoint needles can be used for jersey fabrics, but also for silk. Stretch needles are for use with Lycra or swimwear fabrics and quilting needles are designed to go through lots of layers at once. Try and stick to using the right needle for the right job. 
  • We advise that you mark up your needles so you know which are which when they are out of their packets. I use nail polish, but you can use coloured sharpies. The sizes are written on the needles but it is so tiny it can be hard to read. 
  • If you have put a specialist needle in,  remove it when you have finished the job and put it back in the packet so you don't forget which needle is in your machine. 

Tricky fabrics:
  • If you are sewing with waxed fabric or pvc, leatherette or anything sticky you will need a Teflon foot to get a smooth stitch. Not go one of those? Dive into a drawer and use some trusty Scotch magic tape (the one that is slightly misty) to cover the bottom of your normal foot. It is a great alternative until you can get a hold of the real thing. 
  • Sewing jersey or anything stretchy or slippery? Sandwich your fabric with tissue paper to get an even stitch. Or use scraps of interfacing which you can then remove by tearing away when you have finished.
  • Tack, tack, tack. It may seem laborious but it will be worth it in the end.

  • Taken your measurements but still unsure which size to cut out from your pattern sheet? Take a garment similar to the one you want to make that you like the fit of and lay it over the pattern pieces. This will give you a good idea of whether you are on the right track with sizing.
  • If you are working with tricky chiffon or jersey fabrics try cutting out your pattern with a rotary cutter and mat. It stops the fabric from moving around as much as when you use scissors. 

  • Always keep your best scissors for cutting only fabric, cutting paper (even pattern tissue) will blunt them faster. Also avoid using them on beaded or sequin fabrics unless you remove the embellishments from your seam edges first. Avoid wired edge ribbon too.
  • Don't waste your money on cheap scissors, especially pinking shears. Generally speaking you get what you pay for with scissors. A good pair, well looked after should last you a lifetime. 

What are your top tips for sewing, Is there anything else you need or want to know more about? I have had a lot of questions about bias binding lately, is that something you would be interested in as a post here?? Let me know if there are any specific areas that you want tips about and I will see if we can do a post on them.

Sammy xxx

P.S. The gorgeous sewing poster in the first photograph is by Rebecca Stoner, you can now buy them at Sew Crafty Online, Yay!

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23 Feb 2015

New Home haul

So big news in the H camp this week, I have moved!  It's been a long time coming, but finally I have my own space!

I am sure there will be some other features along the way, but for now I thought I would show you a few bits and pieces I am coveting to make my space my own.  Now just to wait for the bed to arrive!

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