The Pretty Wall

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I think I mentioned a few times that I’ve been working on beautifying the girls bedroom wall, although I love the wallpaper it’s still been feeing a little empty. It’s going to be on going project so I thought I’d share how’s it’s going so far and ideas I have for what to do next.

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Selection of vintage postcards (blogged about here)

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Children’s 1950’s Maudella sewing pattern envelope

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Cross stitch done by my aunt and/or cousin?! not sure but we love it!

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Cath kidston cross stitch, pattern from ‘Stitch

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Embroideries of the girls, blogged here (might do Rosie again as it’s a little creepy!)

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Belle and Boo picture from ‘Belle and Boo Book Of Craft’

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Cath kidston cowboy, pattern from ‘Make

 

Here are some more bits I’m starting or haven’t put up yet.

IMAG0257Another vintage postcard.

IMAG0259Postcard of ‘Cowboy Joe From Mexico’ by Angela Lizon

IMAG0266Embroidery Pattern from ‘Little Sew and Sew

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And finally to celebrate the royal baby in style I’m making a start on this Belle and Boo cross stitch pattern, it’s going to take a while and I’ll probably just hang it up in a embroidery loop, might add some of the bobble braiding too.

Friday Favourites

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I bought my Colette Hawthorn pattern last week and have almost finished making view A (the blouse) and will hopefully be ready to share it tomorrow. But now I’ve fallen in love with yet another shirt-dress pattern! This new 1940’s Burda Style shirt-dress is a little more classic than the hawthorn, I’m going to try and get a copy of the magazine as the print at home patterns can be such a hassle (and a nightmare waste of printer ink!). I could only find the plus size pattern which is for size 16+ so perfect for me, but they do have some other regular sized shirt-dress patterns.

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1. I’ve be avidly watching ‘The White Queen’ every week and even though I know how it’s going to end, it’s been really fun to see Philippa Gregory’s spin on it. I haven’t read the book, in fact I haven’t read any of her books, I really want to now though especially after watching the brilliant documentary she made to go along with the show.

2. I’ve loved 4OD since it was launched a few years ago, it’s such a great way to catch up on shows I missed the first time around either because I was to young or working. Recently I’ve watched all of ‘Bob and Margaret‘ a really nostalgic and funny cartoon made in the late 90’s, it’s made me long for simpler times before the smart phone!

3. I have a total girl crush on Lucy Worsley so can’t wait to watch her new programme starting next week all about the royal bed chamber, she really knows how to make history come alive!

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I got these cute vintage postcards off of eBay this week, I think they’ll look great in the girls bedroom along with all the needlework pictures I’m working on. The top one is postmarked from 1930 and I love the simple valentine message on the back, how lovely is the joined up handwriting! The second arrived this morning and the image is copyrighted to 1908, but the postcard is probably later sadly its unused but I just love the diving girl. They were both really cheap costing under £2 each including postage, eBay is literally packed full of them, below are a few of my favourites.

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Portrait Embroidery Tutorial

Portrait Embroidery Tutorial

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I’ve been working on a few embroideries lately in preparation for building up a needlework wall in the girls bedroom. I found four portrait frames super cheap on eBay and thought it would look great to do our portraits in them. Here is how I did it and it’ surprising simple.

All the supplies you’ll need:

embroidery hoop (I got this set here)
embroidery floss
needle
scrap of fabric which fits (I used old baby clothes)
dressmakers carbon paper
tracing paper/freezer paper/baking paper
pen/pencil
masking tape

Step One

photo (4)choose your photo!

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Step 2

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Upload your photo to http://online.rapidresizer.com/photograph-to-pattern.php using the edges slider adjust the image until your happy with how much is visible, right click to save.

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Step 3

IMAG2204Print your picture and using masking tape stick it down onto a flat surface to stop your image from shifting while you trace it.

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Step 4

IMAG2205Do the same with your tracing paper/freezer paper/baking paper

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Step 5

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Trace your image in pencil.

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You’ll end up with something like this!

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Step 6

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Stick your fabric down on a flat surface with masking tape. (I’d suggest you iron yours – oops!)

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Step 7

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If your using patterned fabric move your traced image around until your happy with it’s placement, then stick this layer down over the top only on one side.

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Step 8

IMAG2224Lift up the layer of tracing paper and stick down the carbon paper underneath, but on top of the fabric, ink side down.

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Step 9

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Trace over your image using a ballpoint pen, the reason for changing to pen is not only because it works better with the carbon paper, but also so you can easily see if you’ve missed out any lines.

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Un-stick all the layers and you’ll have your finished image ready to be put on its hoop and embroidered. If your completely new to embroidery then there is a great free stitch guide here by wildflower embroidery. I used a split back-stitch throughout.

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Step 10

This is not the correct method to neaten the fabric at the back of an embroidery frame!! But it is quick and easy to do and undo if you later want to use the hoop for something else!

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Cut the fabric leaving about an inch and half around the frame.

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Running stitch around the edge of the frame

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Pull tight and fasten off, now all the lose fabric is ‘neatly’ tucked away behind the frame, but can be easily undone if you want to use the embroidery or the hoop again.

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Ta da! You’ve made your very own embroidery portrait! This method could be used for any kind of picture, landscapes, flowers, urban images, pets, packaging, fashion photography, sewing pattern envelopes, the list is endless!

I’ve also finished Rosie’s one, I used jersey fabric for her’s which I wouldn’t suggest to a beginner because of how much give it has! Hope you have fun giving this tutorial a try!

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Cath kidston – Coming Up Roses

Cath kidston – Coming Up Roses

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I always thought Cath Kidston’s story was a riches to riches to story, you know the sort where there is heavy investment by affluent parents throughout. However I couldn’t have been more wrong she worked incredibly hard to build her company into the worldwide brand it is today. Starting off in the industry as a interiors designers assistant slowly building up her own reputation within the field and earning the money to start her own enterprise. Having those links within the field proved invaluable in her early years when promoting the brand would have been incredibly difficult almost impossible without a marketing budget. Anyway I think I’ve given away to much already, it’s a fascinating read!

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She is very generous with the content of this book, giving the step by step process of how the brand got where it is today. I was temped to describe it as a ‘how to guide’ and I suppose in a general sense it is. Although a lot of the ‘fortunate’ things which happened to her came down to good timing, there is no reason why someone with a great idea now couldn’t capitalize on the same sort of things. For example she was informed enough to open her first shop in an up and com ping area where rents were relatively low, but there are places like that now dotted all over London, including  Brixton and Shoreditch, just to name a few.

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Although this book has all the characteristics of a coffee table book, the large print easy to dip in and out of text, the beautiful full page glossy images and pretty CK print cover it’s worth it’s weight in gold to anyone looking to open a craft business. I honestly found it hard to put down and read the whole book in a afternoon.

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Coming up roses by Cath Kidston with Sue Chidler

Published by Quadrille , rrp £16.00 , available on amazon here.

And Sew To Bed – Vanessa Mooncie

And Sew To Bed – Vanessa Mooncie

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‘And Sew To Bed’ by Vanessa Mooncie is simply stunning, it’s pages are filled with vintage inspired projects to make your bedroom (I should really say boudoir!) an elegant sanctuary. I literally want to make everything in this book which is so rare with craft books! It’s well laid out, with clear concise instructions and the most beautiful pattern sheets I’ve ever seen! Each pattern piece has a lovely illustration of the garment making finding them very easy, also there aren’t too many squeezed onto one side of paper.

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The variation of projects is brilliant and includes many I’ve never seen before, I especially love the idea of making hosiery bags out of vintage hankies/embroidered textiles, mine are just slung in a tie draw at the moment, but I can imagine how pretty it would look filled with these instead. While the frilly dressing grown has real classic glamour and even though my other half with probably laugh at me lounging around our inner city flat dolled up to the nines ready for bed I’m definitely going to make myself one! We all deserve to feel pampered once in a while and that’s what’s so appealing about this book, it’s full of little treats you can make to spoil yourself.

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I’ve made two projects from this book so far, I intended to buy some lovely new fabrics probably a soft silk dupion for the cushion and a lovely broderie angalise for the nightdress. However I just didn’t have the money after my laptop broke, so I had to make do and mend, in fact there is a great page near the back of the book encouraging you to do just that! The gold round cushion above started life as an old curtain my mother gave me a few months ago. While the nightdress (below) is more of a top made from a lovely light cotton from my fabric stash. I wear more pajamas than nightdresses so this actually worked out quite well. I love them both and I know next time they’ll be even more perfect, in fact I’m definitely going to make another circle cushion soon as it’ll make a perfect present for my grandmother. They were both very easy to follow and I used the tutorials at the back of the book to make bias binding (something I haven’t done in years!) and to make the covered buttons.

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If your looking for a book which isn’t just a lovely coffee table book, but actually filled with things you’ll want to make and cherish then this is it. Inside are 20 projects, including a full set of pajamas, a powder puff, slippers and a gorgeous yet simple lingerie set.

And Sew To Bed Patterns

‘And Sew To Bed’ by Vanessa Mooncie is pubished by GMC and retails for £17.99,  you can buy a copy here from amazon uk.

Wool House – Somerset House

Wool House – Somerset House

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Today I went to visit The Campaign For Wool‘s exhibition ‘Wool House‘ at Somerset House billed as the world biggest celebration of wool. The campaign for wool was created by farmers, artisans and the textile industry to promote the use of wool worldwide. This exhibition is a showcase of the top designers within in the world of wool ranging from catwalk favorite Christopher Raeburn (design’s pictured below) to modern crochetdermy artist Shauna Richardson (pictured above).

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The first thing you notice is the plush wool carpets underfoot, if I won the lottery I’d fill my home with them its like walking on freshly fallen snow. The next thing you notice is how diverse the collection is, there is certainly a lot to look at, laid out within a number of small rooms each given over to a different exhibitor. It’s cleverly done with a good juxtaposition from room to room, for example the two rooms below lead straight off each other.IMAG0863-horz

The first is Josephine Ryan’s natural room, filled with lovely soft woods, woolen blankets (of course) and earthy tones. While Anne Kyyrö Quinn‘s modern room is bright and bold with a stunning 100% wool felt wall. This wall is her statement piece, she produces them around the world as a incredibly stylish and sustainable solution to sound proofing.

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The exhibition runs from the 13th – 24th of March with a number of talks and interactive workshops available. The best part is that its free, so really if you’re in town there is no reason not to pop along and check it out, even if it’s just to see Shauna Richardson’s stunning life sized crochet bear!

Friday Favorites – Week Two

Friday Favorites – Week Two

I’m back! So all’s been quiet on the blogging front lately, mostly because my boyfriend went into A&E last Friday. He’s home now being pampered and off work for six weeks to recover which is good, however he’s already at a loss for what to do all day! Anyway I’m back and here are my Friday favorites:

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I’m loving this season’s Yumi dresses, there full of lovely florals, polka dots and bird prints (my favorite!) perfect for summer, all available at Yumi Direct and this weekend has free delivery.

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Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been putting picture’s up around our flat, I love this Picasso inspired embroidery my grandmother did, it’s been in a cupboard since I moved so it’s nice to have it up on the wall again. I’m also loving this Broadstairs poster in our bathroom, I bought “The 1950’s Scrapbook” by Robert Opie in a charity shop a few weeks ago for £2 especially so I could takeout  this image. As my brother and I grew up spending summers roaming rock pools and arcades along the Broadstairs seafront its always held a soft spot for me.

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I went to visit my brother in Margate (just along the coast from Broadstairs) last week and picked up this cute Liberty frame for 30p in a charity shop (I’m pretty sure my grandparents had this print on their curtains when I was little). It came with this cute cat picture, but terry made me take it out, saying it was weird to have pictures of strangers cats in our flat?! I also bought the small rose print china trinket box (far left) for 50p from the same shop.

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I borrowed “The Complete Fashion Source book” by John Peacock from my local library and it’s amazing! I’ve already seen dozen’s of dress designs I want to make, this year I’ve set my self the challenge of learning to make patterns properly so one of these would be a great place to start.

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As part of the vintage book group I started reading “A Vintage Affair” by Isabel Wolff, I’m already half way through and loving it! You can join the vintage book group run by Catherine at Vintage Frills and Faye at Blog a Book etc just click the link below.

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