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Village Apple Day

After two days of thundery weather, the day of the Rudgwick village apple day began murky and the fields opposite the house were shrouded by early morning mist. However, the grey soon lifted revealing the warmth of the early autumn sunshine. The apple crates were brimming with windfalls when I arrived to set up my craft stall for the day. I had even produced a gift for the raffle that I thought would be appropriate!

Soon the apple grinders were whirring away producing the pulp to be taken to the presses. Before too long the apple juice was flowing. Lots of stalls were dotted around the village playing field and amongst the chatter of everyone enjoying the day, the sweet smell of hog roast filled the air. There were plenty of local crafts from willow baskets, spinning wheels whirling producing bobbins of yarn, the Rudgwick cider society, local honey and handmade walking sticks with some unusual (and scary!) handles. Local Sussex Charmer cheese too, which is absolutely delicious! Not forgetting lots of fun activities for the children – which of course, involved apples! Somehow (the last image) I DON’T think you are supposed to hold the apple!!!!

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Tweeds & Weeds

I have to confess my favourite season is autumn, so feeling that morning chill in the air, despite the fact that it is still only August, does bring a smile of contentment to my face. I have been harvesting the fruits of my labour collecting vegetables from my tiny ‘potager’ (well I can dream can’t I!) It had become a little overgrown with weeds but an hour or so of digging & tidying the plot revealed a lovely selection of vegetables for my plate. Nothing nicer than homegrown produce.IMG_1774

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moment September is appearing on the horizon I turn to my workroom, hunting through my hoards of woollen fabrics to inspire me to create a new winter range of items for my Etsy shop. Lavender, which I collected from my garden when it was at its peak a fews weeks ago, now ready to fill my little Scottish tweed hearts. Two new wool shoulder bags and a scarf in this beautiful Zoffany wool fabric all ready to add to my shop.

 

 

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Making circles

I ran the first of my circle skirt workshops last Saturday. On the morning of the workshop the heavens opened and torrential rain fell from the sky forming large puddles on the drive – not the only circles to be made that day!

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However, it wasn’t too long before the sky cleared and the suns rays soon evaporated them away, so much so, we had a glorious end to the sewing day and I was able to take a picture of these lovely skirts outside in the sunshine!

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The design of this skirt is really flattering and it suits any figure. It really is a must for your wardrobe, as either a summer cotton skirt or a warm wooly winter version. I will certainly be making a range for my wardrobe. More workshops will be running in the coming months, so check out my workshop calendar for future dates. This workshop is even suitable for anyone new to sewing, without the need to follow any complicated pattern!

 

 


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Thoughts of France

As the sun shone today I began to dream of my forthcoming trip to France… lazy days to enjoy the surrounding countryside of the Loire region. I was planning a sewing project for my Etsy shop as stocks are getting low! With thoughts of France still in my mind, I was drawn to this beautiful piece of grey linen fabric with sunflowers that I’d purchased – I suppose attracted at the thought of fields of sunflowers in Provence!

I love this roomy shoulder bag. Although made for my shop, I am tempted to make another for myself ready for my trip! Perfect for a day out,  far too nice as a picnic bag but I’d certainly fit plenty of baguettes in this!

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Rainy day project

It was an overcast rainy Friday. I fancied a leisurely start to the day. I always seem to be rushing around never taking a moment to pause. I was in need of a slow start. The dark overcast morning made me lay in a little later than usual. I sat eating my morning porridge and in doing so glanced across to my ironing board leaning against the kitchen wall. Hmm… time for a new cover! I haven’t made an ironing board cover before. I’ve often thought about making one, but have always ended up purchasing them from a store,  yet they look so straight forward to make! I rummaged in my fabric cupboard to find a suitable material and before long was cutting and stitching. Here’s how it’s done.

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Lay the old cover on top of the fabric to use as a template. You don’t need to worry about seam allowances. Just cut it to the exact same size as the old one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I decided to line the back with a piece of curtain interfacing I had. You could always use an old towel or even reuse the sponge lining from the old cover. What ever you choose, cut a piece exactly the same size as the cover.

Pin the two layers together and machine close to the edge all the way around to secure.

Next you need to add the cord to gather the edge of your cover all the way round. I had a whole roll of blind cord I use for my roman blind making workshops. It was perfect for the job, but it’s easy to get hold of from haberdashery stores. You could even use the cord from the old cover. I needed something to house the cord, so some 1″ (2.5 cm) white tape I had was ideal for the purpose. It was a little fiddly to do this next stage – perhaps slightly wider tape might have made the task easier!

Starting at the centre point of the narrow end of the cover, I machined one edge of the tape to the back edge of the cover all the way round leaving the two ends a few cms longer where they met. I would have to return to that part later when I had decided how I was going to finish it!

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Facing the cover right side up, I lay the cord along where the tape and edge of the cover met. I placed it under the machine foot and bringing the other edge of the tape up and over to the top, with the cord laying inside, made my way slowly around the edge.  Don’t rush this part! You have to do this very carefully so as not to accidentally machine over the cord!

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IMG_3721Once I had sewn all the way round I had to revisit the ends. It’s a bit like adding bias binding as an edging really. Once you get to the point where the two ends meet you have to machine them across inside and trim away the excess, so that when you turn it to the right side, it looks as though it’s all one length and sits flat and neatly around the edge of the main fabric. The ends of the cord need to be exposed by a few cm at each end so you do need to leave a gap for these to hang out from the tape. I used the plastic toggle which had been supplied with the original cover to hold the cord tight. After threading the two ends through the toggle, knotted them together to ensure it didn’t slide off.

 

There we have it. A rainy day project that only takes a couple of hours at the most.

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Twiddling my thumbs……

…..in more ways than one!

It was one of those weekends when I was all up to date with preparation for workshops. I caught up on housework and all those little mending jobs that I had intended doing for quite some time … I then remembered…. I had some lavender drying in the cupboard that had been there since, ooh longer than I care to remember! It was well stored, so as not to lose any of its vital aroma. So I got to work ….. twiddling my thumbs! By that I mean wriggling each stem of lavender between my  fingers and thumbs until all the little dried buds dropped away and congregated below into my basket.  Gathering it up and quickly sealing it away before any of that wonderful aroma was lost. Mmmm… I just love that smell. It’s so calming. No wonder it’s used to induce sleep.IMG_3624

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that wasn’t the only task I had on my mind to do. I had recently made a bag for my Etsy shop from a lovely green tweed, which as I was making, had felt in two minds about selling. (I often feel like that when working with some of the lovely fabric I have the opportunity to use). I had some fabric over, so thought it the ideal opportunity to make a bag for myself! I had an old leather button which I love and had wanted a project to use it on!  All in all, it worked out a very productive weekend…. twiddling my thumbs!

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Brightening up a basket

The sun has shone brightly today although a chill in the air. Following a dose of flu and only the four walls of my bedroom for the last few days, it was such a pleasure to feel the warmth of the sun on my cheeks as I ventured out into the sunshine. Lots of pretty bulbs springing up out of the ground and the smell of Spring finally arriving! Even the rhubarb in my garden is growing – almost enough stalks for a pie!

Feeling energised, I thought I’d turn my hand to making a floral brooch (in anticipation of the workshop I am running next week!) with some bright coloured silks to keep me in this happier mood!….just the thing to add a little something new to this old basket I have! Or as an extra splash of colour to my winter scarf. I’ve put some in my shop too. My NEW floral corsage workshop will be running next Thursday evening from 6-8 pm for anyone interested! IMG_3154

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