I have to tell you something

I’m soooo busy at the moment and I think it’s about time I shared this with you as I kind of feel I’m leading a double life…

LOL I know what it sounds like… read on!!

The thing is… a few months ago I started selling my handmade creations, on Facebook and Etsy. I didn’t want to share it on here because I didn’t want things to change – I don’t want my lovely loyal readers to look at me differently and I don’t want to try to sell you anything!! So I do want to keep it separate, but feel like I should just tell you all, because I want to explain why I don’t post as often as I used to.

I’m a bit shy now, haha! I’m selling girl’s clothing and accessories, and my business is called Pink Bobbins. Surprise!!

pink bobbins image

So I haven’t posted less because I’ve stopped sewing (far from it). I just don’t sew for myself so much (erm, for ages!) now. And as I said, I don’t want this blog to be all “I made this and I’m selling it” – this blog is about ME!!

I’m not really sure why I decided to sell stuff – one day I just did it. And now it’s actually going really well, I’m snowed under at the moment in the run up to Christmas…. so I’m guessing there’s no going back (at least for the time being) so I’d better give in and tell you!!

I’m also still teaching dressmaking, I’m studying for a teaching qualification, and I’m also studying Foundation Journalism. Oh and I’m looking after my girls and all the usual stuff of course. So assignment deadlines are looming, my order book requires attention, and I’m trying not to neglect my children…. sewing for myself and blogging comes last! 😦

I do have several plans of clothing to make for myself, but I just don’t have the time to do it!! I am enjoying my little business but I do want to do a bit of selfish sewing soon!!

Of course I am blogging for Simple Sew patterns; I will be posting some tutorials when their new patterns and website launches soon….  I think I’m going to be in Love Sewing magazine this month so look out for me! (Only a little pic!)

I have a Seamwork Oslo all cut out and ready to sew… I need to finish my Simple Sew Tea Dress (I didn’t have enough fabric for the skirt part so it’s sitting waiting for some!)… I have some sewing-themed fabric (you’ve probably seen it around) ready to be sewn into a Clemence…. I have so much other dressmaking fabric (including those lovely Liberty pieces, and the beautiful floral cotton I won from Jane’s giveaway), I want to make things and share it with you but we just have to be patient!!

untitled^^ The fabric I won 🙂 ^^

That’s enough of me rambling now – just thought I’d get that out there. Give yourself a pat on the back if you read it all – you’re now updated on my life!

If you’re feeling nosey (curious!) now you can check my page out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/PinkBobbins 😀 You’ll see I have been very busy!!

Beth x

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My new baby

Yeah, not a real baby. I bought an overlocker!
You may have heard about Lidl’s offer on Singer overlockers last week – well that’s the one I got. I was thinking about getting one, maybe around Christmas time, but this offer came up, I did a bit of research, it looked good so I thought I’d go for it now!

Overlocker

And it’s great! OK, I’ve barely used it, but at least I know it works.

It was threaded so all I had to do was tie on my new cones of thread and feed the threads through. The threading process is colour-coded and looks pretty straightforward once you know what you’re doing (haha) so hopefully I’ll be OK when the time comes to rethread. Which is now, as it unthreaded itself. I say now, but it’s back in the box until I have the time to read the instructions and do it!

But before it unthreaded itself I did get to play; I overlocked all the edges of my daughter’s new simple A-line dress. Wow, it’s fast!!

overlocked dress

I don’t love the look of overlocking; it’s good for fraying etc., and I understand why you’d do it, but I still much prefer the look of enclosed seams. I’m going to try not to be lazy, and still do French seams often!

I have cut out the pieces for a Seamwork Oslo cardigan and my plan is to sew it up on the overlocker. I might change my mind though. I haven’t looked at the instructions yet; it depends how curvy the pattern is too I guess. Watch this space…!

Beth x

Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair!

I had a fun day yesterday! I took my girls to the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court. I was lucky and got a free ticket from someone giving one away because she didn’t need it… So I just had to pay for my 6 year old. Oh and the extortionate parking when we eventually got there after sitting in 40 minutes of veeeeerry slow moving traffic! Anyway let’s talk about the good stuff!

I was very brave or crazy to take my 2 daughters with me. I didn’t bother with any workshops as I envisaged that ending in disaster but I did book on to one ‘Super Theatre’ session which was Dawn O’Porter talking to Kirstie about lots of stuff from her new clothing line to breakdowns,  and working mums to the fact that she doesn’t like doing TV. There’s not going to be another ‘This Old Thing’ series!

Handmade Fair

Handmade Fair

Oh my word, it was busy. There were loaaads of stalls. But I didn’t buy any fabric! Yes I think I deserve an award for that! There were several fabric stalls!

Handmade Fair

This is my little haul:

Handmade Fair

Plus one more thing that is for my mum so I can’t show it here in case she’s reading!! But it was something handmade. I feel I did OK with my little mission to support small businesses!

So there’s a print of a poem that’s spot on – I’ve been wanting something like ‘House Rules’ but this is probably nicer! And there’s the Agnes pattern! And two hair bobbles that S spent far too long choosing the colour she wanted! Now I have to make her a dress to match apparently so if anyone knows the fabric…?! And the colourful box is nail polish pens. I never buy things like this but this was immediately after I made my girls sit in the Super Theatre for 45 mins, which was “very very very very very very very very very boring” haha, so this was a treat!

The seller did give us both a quick demo!

Handmade Fair

We met Tilly Walnes, and my daughter was a little confused!! Tilly was happy to pose with somebody shorter than her!

Handmade Fair

We bought pasta for lunch. I liked the look of the stall.

Handmade Fair

Well looks aren’t everything. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t as nice as it should have been and we are pasta-loving people – we didn’t even finish the bowls! I thought I’d treat us instead of buying a picnic but should have just brought a packed lunch in hindsight. Ah well. And yeah there weren’t enough tables so we sat on the floor. Luckily the weather was gorgeous!

Handmade Fair

We did have tea and cake in the Mollie Makes café (whoops no pics) and I got 3 or 4 refills for £2 so that wasn’t bad! They had colouring in there and plenty of adults were doing it. Crazy how when someone says it’s OK for adults to colour then everyone is happy to do it!

I wanted to sit in this vintage café where these lovely ladies were singing, but that was packed. Little A had a good time dancing just outside though!

Handmade Fair

There was so much inspiration and beautiful things to buy.

I loved the work but this artist – I can’t remember her name but she was very talented in freehand embroidery and applique work.

Handmade Fair

Yep, I was attracted to the blue polka dots!

Handmade Fair

OK, last photo. We liked these little purses by “love from beth” hehe, nice name!

Handmade Fair

I will go again next year – but leave earlier, expecting to sit in traffic, and probably bring a picnic!!

Beth x

 

A selfish brag post… giveaway win!

Yep, this post is purely to show off. Well if I can’t show off to you, who can I show off to?
The lovely Sharon at Creativity & Family ran a fantastic giveaway last week. And, yes you guessed it – I won the sewing bundle!
So here I am showing you all what I got…
It came wrapped in fabric – wow, my daughter and I were impressed by that idea! The ribbon was actually tied in a nice bow, but I untied it before I thought to take photos.

competition win

I love the chalkboard tag! I’m keeping that! 🙂

And here’s what was inside:

competition win

Sharon is always leaving lovely comments on my blog – and she must be just as lovely in real life because she even thought to add a little knitting doll for my girls! Well, Sharon, my eldest was very happy with that as you can see – and we’ve started her off already 🙂

competition win

Look at all this pretty fabric!!

competition win

I’m going to use it to make things just for me! One piece will be made into a sunglasses case. As for the others… suggestions?! I realised I’m not used to making things for myself anymore!

My photos are a bit rubbish, but if you zoom back up you can see a pack of pretty floral buttons, too. This package oozed girliness!

I had a surprise gift, too, which wasn’t detailed in the giveaway post.

competition win

Ahhh – I have been wanting some of these scissors! I’m so pleased. I do like a bit of embroidery!

Do you see that adorable little cat attached to the handle? Awww, what a lovely touch. The giveaway entry rule was to comment with the name of a cat – I chose Sonic and Shadow. (I got two entries; one for being a follower of the blog). Sharon’s son chose the winners and he chose Sonic. So that is the name of the little cat on my scissors!

That’s the end of my brag post. I hope you’re not too jealous!

THANK YOU, SHARON!

Beth x

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

It was over a month ago that the lovely Jana at Me and My Veritas nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Of course I accepted it – why wouldn’t I? Yet I haven’t shared it with anyone else yet. I thought now is about time!

So, firstly, THANK YOU JANA! Jana is one of my loyal readers, and I certainly enjoy her frequent posts too. She shares the cutest ideas of things to make for kids. She’s currently running a DIY Felt Tools series, which is just adorable. Of course she received the Very Inspiring Blogger award before me, and I think she’s a very deserving blogger indeed.

very-inspiring-blogger-award

So, what is the Very Inspiring Blogger Award?

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers from fellow bloggers. It recognizes bloggers who work hard to keep the blogosphere a beautiful place.

Award Guidelines:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
  2. Display the award logo in a blog entry.
  3. List the award guidelines so your nominees will know what to do.
  4. State 7 hidden facts about yourself OR 3 things that inspire you.
  5. Nominate 10 other blogger friends for the award.

Jana said that she found different rules for #4 of this award; hidden facts or things that inspire you. Like Jana, I have already received the Versatile Blogger Award, which asks you to share 7 facts about yourself – so I am going to share what inspires me. Check out my old award post if you’re curious now!

My Inspirations:

1. My children. I love sewing for my children. They are so sweet and grateful. Of course I am inspired by their love of girly things.

2. Recycling. I love to look at things in a new light. I now can’t throw away old clothes for I want to refashion them into something new. A few of my old clothes have been upcycled into clothes from my children, and I have bought duvet covers and charity shop clothes to make ‘new’ skirts, dresses and more.

Upcycle old jeans into girls' dungarees @AfterDarkSewing 3. Reading blogs. Is there actually such a thing as TOO MUCH inspiration? I certainly get an awful lot of inspiration from reading blogs, as well as sewing magazines, and of course Pinterest!

This leads me swiftly on to…

My Nominations:

These are ten of the blogs that I find inspiring. In no particular order!!

1. Sewchet. Check out her DIY t-shirt yarn. I saw a roll of t-shirt yarn selling in TK Maxx for about £5. Why would you pay that when you most probably have a t-shirt lying around at home you can cut up?!

2. Thimberlina. I’ve made a Grainline Morris Blazer after seeing hers, and I will soon make a Seamwork Oslo cardigan after seeing hers!

3. Navybluethreads. I’ve been following Teresa’s blog almost since I started blogging myself, and her makes are always inspiring. She churns out skirts like there’s no tomorrow! Especially Gingers!

4. Threads & Bobbins. Natalie started the whole Sunday Sevens thing. That in itself is quite amazing.

5. Saturday Night Stitch. Hila also inspired me to make a Grainline Morris Blazer. (Here’s her fab yellow one!) I also love her denim Hollyburn skirt. In fact I love a lot of her clothes!

6. Dressed by Dressler. I so badly need to make this lacy skirt.

7. Fabrikated. Kate is so talented and always full of advice and interesting, inspiring posts about sewing, fashion, fabric and more.

8. Making & Marking. She always choosing beautiful fabric for her beautiful dresses. And she’s just made two adorable quilts that have given me a bit of a kick up the bum that I need to get moving on my 2015 goal to make a quilt!

9.  Made by Toya. Oh my goodness, the amount of fabulous clothing Toya makes for her kids makes me green. The most inspirational bit about her blog, though, is how she very often prints her own fabric designs. Just look at this fruity ensemble. Can you believe she drew all those fruits on the fabric herself? I HAVE to try it soon!

10. Sew Sensational. If Louise doesn’t inspire you to make several Coco’s, I don’t know who will!

Ahhh I could go on and on. Check out some other inspiring blogs on my blog roll to the right >>>>>>>>

Don’t be disappointed if I didn’t nominate you…. I feel bad but I can’t nominate everyone!

Now, less reading, more sewing!

Beth x

Happy Birthday to Me!

As of today I am closer to 30 than 20. That’s a scary thought!

My mum gave me lots of lovely presents – most of them sewing-related. I’m very happy 😀

So because it’s my day and I can do what I want, I have left the yucky baking washing-up and popped on here to share them with you like-minded sewing people!

Sewing prezzies!

I am now the proud owner of the Coco pattern! Hooray!

Coco pattern

I will be using it very soon along with one of the knits I bought last week (probably the blue one).

Coco plans

And whilst we’re on the subject of the successes of The Great British Sewing Bee contestants – I have got Lauren’s ‘Learn to Sew with Lauren’ book. I really liked Lauren on the show. She reminds me of myself. Although she’s a better sewer! I think it’s just the blue eyes, blonde hair part of her… Oh, plus on one episode she messed something up and it made her cry – that’s something I would do if I was there!

Learn to sew with Lauren

This is a beautiful embroidery kit to make such a sweet purse. I’m so looking forward to starting this!

Made by me embroidery kit

And look at this cuuuuute flower buttons – and some ever-so-practical dressmaking pins. You can never have too many of these. The last lot I bought had loads of blunt ones! I mean, they didn’t even have a point at all. Hopefully these will be better!

Pins & Buttons

And last but definitely not least is this amazing sewing tin. Oh, the stuff I could stash in here…

My cake-monster of a daughter was not happy that it had no cake in, though. Luckily for her, she will get some later 🙂

John Lewis Sewing Tin

Isn’t my mum the best?!

If you’re reading, Mum – again, thank you very much!!

I’m looking forward to see what else my birthday has to bring…

Beth x

Sewing Goals for 2015

Happy New Year everyone!!

Have you made any resolutions? I don’t tend to make them… I’ve never kept one. A year is a long time!

But what I have decided to do is jump on the bandwagon and make some little promises to myself to either improve my sewing or broaden my skillset.

Sewing Goals for 2015

I feel that I have improved a lot since April when I started sewing regularly. I’ve started dressmaking, for one! I’ve made bias binding; I’ve sewn with a few tricky fabrics; I’ve made gifts I’ve been happy to give. [I’ll share some of these soon!] But I still have some way to go until I consider myself a fully fledged seamstress!!

So here are the things I propose to accomplish this year:

Sew something every week. Finish a project and start another. Just keep sewing all year!

Use A LOT of the fabric from my stash before buying new. This means I need to make some small things because I have a lot of fabric about the size of fat quarters but not a lot that’s bigger than 1m. I don’t have a big stash compared to a lot of other bloggers, but I also don’t have a big house!!

Make a quilt. That’ll use some small bits up 🙂

Refashion a few items I have hanging around – a (stretchy!) maxi skirt, a sweatshirt, some t-shirts.

Make my daughter a costume for World Book Day instead of sticking her in a ready-made one (unless her favourite book is genuinely one of which she already owns a costume for!) [Never have I done this!]

Sew with knits. Make a Coco dress and/or top like everyone else in the sewing world!

Try some embroidery. The little bundle of embroidery skeins that came in my Sewing Santa gift really was the little push I needed to try embroidery. I have embroidered in the past – years ago – but I have never actually embroidered a whole picture. I have done some little cross stitches in the past, actually… you can make really sweet motif etc., can’t you. And I will this year!

And a bit of studying when my hands need a rest: learn more about different fabric types. I learnt everything in school but remember very little of the jargon now. I do find it hard to buy the right fabric for dressmaking.

I think that’ll do! Oh, one more – finish a project before starting another one!! Ha, I will try!

So will you make some sewing resolutions? I wonder if I could pinch any more ideas…

Beth x