Saturday, 21 March 2015

Little Lady Liberty Book Tour

Hi everyone and welcome if you've popped by on the Little Lady Liberty (or Sew Pretty for Little Girls if you're in the US!) book tour. I jumped at the chance when I was asked by Stitch Craft Create as I'm a bit of a fan girl of Liberty fabrics!!!

The book is written by Alice Caroline who was introduced to sewing at a young age and is also a longtime fan of Liberty fabrics so much so that she now sells them! It's a beautiful book to look through, and covers everything from starting to sew, different techniques to colour theory as well as covering a wide range of projects from a hair scrunchie (which I think is the first thing I ever sewed!) to a bed quilt. Its the perfect book to look through with beautifully styled photos and a range of projects that the little lady in your life (and probably you too!) would like to sew. I particularly love the layered skirts, although I daren't show them to Little Lady as she will be hassling me immediately!

One of the things that I was inspired by were the butterflies that were scattered throughout the book and used in the curtains and lampshade project - they are so bright and cheerful and, given how pricey Liberty can be, the perfect way to make a few precious scraps go a long way.

I didn't quite fancy cutting out that many butterflies so instead used the instructions for the Orla Pencil Case, traced some butterflies from the back of the book and then spent a happy while arranging everything until I was happy!

The instructions were easy to follow, although I did make a couple of additions to the pencil case by putting in zipper tabs ends and boxing out the corners. And soon enough I had a couple of pouches and the desire to decorate all the things with butterflies!!!!

You can find a copy of the book here and if you'd like to make some of your own butterflies you can find some scraps here. And don't forget to check out all the other stops on the book tour;

Mon 2nd – Alice Caroline
Wed 4th – Crafting Not Cleaning
Thu 5th – Sew4Home
Fri 6th – Bloom
Sat 7th – A Spoonful of Sugar
Sun 8th – Fabricworm
Mon 9th – Pieced Brain
Tue 10th  Pretty Nostalgic
Wed 11th – Olivia Jane Handcrafted
Thu 12th – One Shabby Chick
Fri 13th – Sew Creative
Sat 14th – The Last Piece
Tue 17th – Sew Crafty Jess
Wed 18th – Stitchery Dickory Dock
Fri 20th – Molly Flanders
Sat 21st – Fabric & Flowers
Sun 22nd – A Bright Corner
Tue 24th  - Straight Grain
Wed 25th  - Sew Justine Sew
Thu 26th  - Tracey Jay Quilts
Fri 27th  - Feather’s Flights
Sat 28th  - Monkey Do
Sun 29th  - Miss Print

Tue 31st  - Sew Scrumptious

Thanks for popping by,


Today's sky - beautifully sunny. Hopefully it will stay that way as we've got an outside party later!!!

FULL DISCLOSURE::: Stitch Craft Create sent me an ecopy of Little Lady Liberty for review. All views are my own. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Behind the scenes::: an unwitting learner!

Hello everyone! Are you ready for this weeks installment of Behind the Scenes?! Okay then, let's hand over to Mr f&f......

There are times (usually early in a Project) when my opinion is actively sought.  Fabric swatches, colour palettes, patterns have all at some time or another been wafted under my nose for me to comment on. 

Mrs F&F thrusts five different swatches of fabric at me:  “Do these go together?”
Me:  “Err, yes?  Is this a test, or are you genuinely unsure?”
Mrs F&F:  “Hmm.  What about if I swap one out for this one instead?”
Me:  “Can’t you just use all six of them?”
Mrs F&F:  “No, stop being silly, this is important”

Now apart from the relatively short term anguish of navigating my way through these minefields, you could be forgiven for thinking that this has no lasting impact on my day to day living.  You would be wrong.  So very wrong.

I first noticed something was up 3 years ago, whilst attending a work conference.  There were 200 or so colleagues attending a day long off-site series of presentations and rousing calls to arms by various members of the management team.  Listening intently, sitting in the auditorium, I became distracted by a lady two rows away – not in *that* way – shame on you.  No, I noticed this lady had on her lap a rather fetching tote bag made in Cath Kidston waxed fabric.  I became quite concerned with how I knew not only the style of bag, but also the type and designer of the fabric used.  I felt a bit light headed, and completely zoned out of the rest of the presentation.  

Nowadays I regularly find myself well versed in fabrics and patterns, fat quarters, jelly rolls, bag designs, cut and fit of clothes.  I even got into a conversation with work colleagues (female) regarding the position and use of bust darts in dresses.  All of this has been absorbed via some sort of osmosis over years of having snippets explained to me before being asked for an opinion.  As a gentleman of advancing years I am frightened that I may be losing key bloke-knowledge to make room for the continuing onslaught of sewing related data.  

What if I lose the ability to list the Iron Maiden albums in chronological order, with year of release, so that I can classify the various feet which fit a Janome sewing machine, with their respective purpose?  I suspect my new found knowledge would be of limited use in the pub with friends.  I’d better go and revise, perhaps I’ll start with album number 4:  Piece Of Mind (1984).

Hee hee, I have to say that I think this is my favourite of Mr f&f's observations so far - I will even confess to reading this through tears of laughter! - although I think he's going to have to absorb a lot more sewing info before he looses any music knowledge (seriously, he has hundreds of CDs, alphabetised too!)

Have a great weekend,


Today's sky - beautiful clear skies here, great for seeing the eclipse this morning!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Quilt Now Little Zippy Pouch Tutorial::: how to add zipper tabs

Hello everyone! How are you all? I'm very excited to have a project - Little Zippy Pouch - in the latest issue of Quilt Now (9), which came out this week. I had lots of fun working it out and, measuring around 5" (h) x 8" (w) x 3" (d) it's the perfect size for carrying make-up around although I think it could also make a fab project bag. 

I made another Little Zippy a Pouch for a friends birthday last week and added zip tabs and thought I'd put up a tutorial just in case you would like to add them too.

To make the zip tabs you will need;
(1) 1 1/2" x 4" fabric
(1) 1 1/2" x 4" interfacing 

Iron interfacing to the wrong side of the zipper tabs. Cut into (4) 1" strips along the long side

Optional - secure the open end of the zip together with a few stitches.

Taking two zipper tabs, place them right side together, sandwiching the zipper in between. Make sure that they are just on the other side if the metal zipper tabs so that sewing machine needles don't get broken!!!

Secure in place using a 1/4" seam allowance. I also completed another line of stitches at 1/8" for extra strength. Trim the zip.

Fold the zipper tabs back so that they are right sides together. Finger press/iron. Top stitch.

To add a tab to the other end of the zipper, use a ruler to measure 16 1/2" from the end of the zipper tab that you've just made and mark the zip.

Follow previous steps for adding the zipper tab. Once everything has been trimmed and top-stitched the zip should measure 17 1/2" in total from end to end.

Continue with the instructions for making the bag as detailed in the pattern. 

If you have any questions, please do get in touch. And if you make one please use the hashtag #littlezippypouch as I'd love to see them all! And in the next couple of days I'll be announcing a #littlezippypouchalong on Instagram if you'd like some support/help along the way.

Have a great weekend,


Today's sky - overcast and miserable

Friday, 13 March 2015

Behind the scenes::: are there benefits of living with a sewist?!

On this weeks Behind the Scenes Mr f&f is waxing lyrical about the alleged benefits of living with a sewist......

I rarely moan.  I can live with the loss of the study to the fabric stash, and even the overflow of work in progress projects to the rest of the house.  I try to be the supportive Mr F&F I hope you hear lots about.  The upside of having somebody so skilled under our roof is that niggling defects in everyday items of clothing can be resolved with the merest wave of a needle and thread..... or so I thought. 

I understand that these little jobs cannot hold the fascination of piecing a 70 x 70 quilt or shopping online for fabric.  I did raise an eyebrow however when it took Mrs F&F 4 years to sew up a hole in the inside pocket lining of my main work suit.  In the intervening years the jacket has absorbed countless receipts for expenses and at least 3 different biros who let go of their lids expecting the comforting embrace of the pocket.  Imagine their anguish as they plummeted straight into the abyss of the suit lining (it’s no walk in the park fishing the blighters out either)!  I’ve watched dresses, quilts, bags, cushions and more all come into existence whilst my pocket acted as a mini black hole.  

It is now fixed, and is holding fast.  The quality of the repair will undoubtedly see out the life of the suit, and most probably me.  There’s a teddy bear in our utility room awaiting the skilled reattachment of an ear.  NHS waiting lists are nothing in comparison to his predicted treatment date of July 2018.

As you can see Fluffy (the teddy bear in question!) has now had his ear reattached, finally! Is it bad if I also admit to using a Sharpie to label school clothes....I don't want to use my precious sewing time sewing on name tags!!!!

Have a great weekend!


Today's sky ● miserable, grey and raining. Boo!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Living with a sewist::: the birth of a quilt

Happy Friday everyone! I'm so pleased you all enjoyed last weeks post about Living with a Sewist (you can read it here). So over to Mr f&f for this weeks Behind the Scenes.....

After a week of work it’s nice to spend some time at home, relaxing with a movie and a glass of wine.  I have noticed, however, that as a project nears completion it requires more of our house be given over to it.  It’s as if the successful “birth” requires the increased consumption of resources as the happy day of arrival nears.  Of course, there are occasional “contractions” where things are forced back into the Sewing Room, but they quickly spill out again the following evening, spreading further than the night before. 

I'm now used to watching movies from the sofa whilst Mrs f&f scurries about the floor between panels of material, muttering to herself about the best order for piecing them together, unpicking and disappearing to re-sew at the machine, before returning to continue.  This normally culminates in a night or two where the entire kitchen floor is given over to the project and I have to either accept that the kitchen is off limits, or engage a Greg Rutherford long jump technique to make it across safely.  Greg should consider training for Rio by jumping over pinned quilts with a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit!

I've learned the hard way that during these particularly tense periods there is no substitute for silence.  My role is to make tea, and keep quiet, only offering gentle encouragement when prompted.  Actually, that sounds quite a lot like my incidental role in the arrival of each of our Smalls, so maybe the whole birth analogy is a better fit than I first thought.

Mmmm, I can't be the only one that spreads out around the house......can I?! And I'm glad to report that Mr f&f has never actually attempted to long jump over my quilt basting attempts, woe betide him if he spilt tea on any fabric!

Have a great weekend everyone! Come back next week to find out what I (allegedly!) have in common with NHS Waiting lists......


Today's sky ● gorgeous blue with the odd cloud, most spring like!!!

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