Thursday, 30 January 2014

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts - Winner

I'm glad to say that the ticket has found a new home and is on its way to


Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your day at the show.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Giveaway - Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts tickets

This giveaway is now closed.

I was sent a complimentary ticket for two for the Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts show at Event City in Manchester in February.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to go and would like it not to be wasted.

Event City is located next to the Trafford Centre and only a few miles away from Bambers Sewing Machine Centre. There are lots of stands covering a wide variety of crafts and various workshops to attend. Full details can be found on the show's website. I went to the show last year and did not come away empty handed, even though the sewing stands were in the minority.

If you would like to win this ticket, just follow this blog by whatever method you prefer and leave a comment saying how you are a follower. There are buttons for Bloglovin and Feedly, but if you have another method, do let me know.  A bonus entry is available if you spread the news of this giveaway by Twitter, Facebook or on your own blog – just leave a second comment telling me how you’ve shared the giveaway.  The giveaway will close at 10 pm GMT on Wednesday 29th January and, given the nature of the prize, is limited to UK addresses only.

(If you are unsuccessful with the giveaway, advance tickets are available to buy online until 5pm on 3rd February.)

Friday, 17 January 2014

Sewing Machine Makeover

Several years ago I got a second hand John Lewis mini sewing machine from a well-known online auction site and I used to take it along to Sewing Club. The machine was fine but I struggled with the chunky combined foot and finger guard design on the mini machine. After years of sewing on Husqvarna machines, I have got used to their standard foot with its simple, but oh so useful, step design.

Fast forward to the present day, and I am again wanting to take this machine to Sewing Club so that I can do some patchwork piecing. I had read that the mini machines can take a standard low shank screw on foot, but when I tried this I found the needle was off centre. Looking at other presser bars, most have a flat side to which the foot attaches whereas my mini machine has a curved presser bar which prevented the foot from fitting properly.  As I had spare Husqvarna feet, including a quarter inch foot, I decided to buy a Husqvarna ankle and “adapt” the mini machine. One needle file and a couple of hours of filing later, the presser bar now has a flat side and my mini machine can take Husqvarna clip on feet and stitch a perfect ¼” seam.

As the mini machine does not have a light, the new white ankle makes it much easier to thread the needle as there is now greater contrast between the eye of the needle and the background (again something I have got used to on Husqvarna machines, but a feature that does not appear on all machines). 

Even though threading the needle is easier, I thought it would still be nice to add a light. I had wondered about the stick-on LED lights that can be used in cupboards, but these were far too big for my mini machine. Luckily in Clas Ohlson I found a tiny LED lamp designed to attach to screwdrivers which turned out to be the ideal size for the mini machine. It is currently attached to the machine with a blob of blu-tack, but only time will tell if a better fixing is required.

I’m so pleased that for a little over £10 I’ve managed to give this mini sewing machine a new lease of life and will be able to use it for hours of patchwork piecing at Sewing Club.

Friday, 10 January 2014

First finish of 2014

After putting in writing that my husband had been waiting over a year for a pair of pyjama trousers, I decided to make these my first project of 2014. So on New Year's Day, I got the fabric and pattern and started cutting and sewing.

After a few hours of sewing and trimming and pressing, the trousers were completed. I used French seams throughout and included both elastic and an elasticated drawstring in the waist casing. However, after waiting so long for these, my husband seems to be in no rush to try them on, so a photo of them on a hanger will have to suffice.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Resolutions

I'm not a great one for New Year resolutions, but I've seen quite a few posts about stash busting and fabric fasts for 2014. I am in danger of turning into a fabric collector and so something needs to be done about my stash. Whilst exceptions are allowed and the fabric fast is only for an initial six months, I really don't think I could manage that as there are too many temptations in the form of sales and an Abakhan shop only five minutes from my work.

I've decided to attempt a lite version of a fabric fast and see how I go. Mine will only run until Easter and because I love to find a bargain, my exceptions are:
* I can buy Liberty lawn from the Lancaster factory shop.
* I can buy from the Abakhan sale.
* I can buy plain/textured solids to go with stash fabric.
* I can buy fabrics for quilt backings.
* I can buy sale fabrics if they have been reduced and then further reduced.

I've also promised to make a quilt for my husband and my final exception is I can buy fabric for this once we've decided on a pattern.

Well, now this is written for all to see, let's see how I do.