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Archives: August 2015

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Noah's Ark - introducing the first knit-along by Sirdar!

The story of Noah’s Ark is one that has been passed on from generation to generation, and one that children and adults alike love! The people at Sirdar HQ love the story so much they have decided to create a fun six-part knit along featuring your favourite animals from the ark.
How adorable are these knitted toys...
Bestselling toy designer Sue Jobson has created six pairs of the most adorable animals you will ever see. Each one has been designed with the loveable character and charm that Sue Jobson is famous for.
Designed using a mixture of traditional and zingy colour combinations from two of our bestselling yarns, Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK and Sirdar Cotton DK, these toys are perfect for knitters of all ages and knitting abilities.
Tilly and Tommy Tiger, Hatty and Hector Hippo, Gerry and Georgie Giraffe, Molly and Mickey Monkey, Ellie and Eddie Elephant and Zoe and Zack Zebra are a great way to introduce children to knitting and would make fantastic Christmas presents!
If you would like to join in this Knit Along here is the materials list for all the yarns you will need for each character;
The first installment of this knit-along will be launched here on the blog on Friday 18th September with a new one following every two weeks, so be sure to check back!
I'm really looking forward to this!
Bye for now,
Vicki x
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Q&A with Emma of Crafty Clyde Sewing Blog

Hi Guys,

Another Q&A for you today! I recently came across this wonderful sewing blog Crafty Clyde and thought it would be fun to do a Q&A here on the blog with Emma the writer so we can all find out a bit more about her!

So here goes...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

My name is Emma and I write a little blog called Crafty Clyde. Clyde is the name of my tortoise who regularly features in pictures as he just loves to get involved! I blog about sewing projects, pattern reviews and great fabrics. There are a few tutorials on there and I have also blogged about general arts and crafts – anything creative!

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

I have been into crafts for most of my life, as a kid I was always making something! I once tried to make a time machine from cardboard and egg boxes. Sewing however was a more recent event – I taught myself how to sew about 5 or 6 years ago. I saw a designer tee dress and thought ‘I’m going to have a go at that!’

What is your favourite craft?

I’m going to have to say sewing clothing at the moment as you get something lovely and useful as the end result, but I’ll have a go at most things like these spray painted plant pots!

What do you love most about crafting?

Crafting is a great creative outlet, especially if your day job doesn’t let you go too wild with colours and imagination! It’s almost a form of meditation as time just slips away when you’re concentrating. I think I love feeling useful the most – it’s nice to have a skill.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My sister has been known to come round and do some decoupage! And she lives about 200 miles away so it’s quite an event!

Who do you make things for?

I used to make to sell, but no more! It’s far less stressful to be a selfish sewer! I do enjoy making things for my sister and gifts for friends. I’m currently working on a child’s dress for a friend’s daughter.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

It was a way of forcing myself to sew more, improve and get better. If it’s out there for people to see, it gets you learning and making! I also liked seeing how it was possible to interact with other bloggers and share opinions and ideas on patterns. I learnt from people’s blogs and tutorials so if someone can learn from mine that’s lovely.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

I tend to get a bit involved and forget to eat – however a G&T or a cold white wine always goes down well!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

Seam ripper, seam ripper, seam ripper.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I recently, and goodness knows why only recently, I discovered that viscose prints are great! Lovely soft and drapey. I do love a bit of ponte de roma though, that’s my favourite, very forgiving!

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

I have tried to be a reformed character and try and keep to one at a time these days. That’s not to say I haven’t got a draw of unfinished bits and pieces from before this new rule! I also have an ever changing list of things I want to make next.

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

A pair of floral trousers made of stretch cotton fabric – getting the pattern right for those was a labour of love. My By Hand London Anna dress was also great because I loved the fabric. Still not worn it out yet though.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

My WIP at the moment is my first proper man’s shirt! It’s a test version in some great Alexander Henry fabric that’s got naked tattooed ladies on it.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I watch all kinds of rubbish on my ipad! All the tv player apps.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

If I have a pattern in mind I have a browse on pinterest and instagram to see what versions people have made – it’s great to have inspiration like that out there.

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

Bias bind your armholes!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I follow loads of them – some of my favourites are The Enantiomer Project, House of Pinhiero and Erica B’s DIY Style.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just have a go – why not! It’s good to see people wearing their own creations as you can see how a pattern works in real life, that’s useful to other sewers.

Thanks so much Emma for that great Q&A. To find our more and watch future projects evolve be sure to hop on over to her blog.

Bye for now,

Vicki x

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Lace Cover Up

Hello,
Recently I bought a cover-up for around the pool in black lace. I later thought why? when I could have made one! 
And so I decided to make one in ivory lace. I chose this gorgeous cotton lace fabric because of its cotton content. It is the design though that sold it to me as you can see from the picture. 
I have photographed it over my blue ironing board cover so you can see the lovely design a bit clearer. 
The design runs along the length of the fabric but I have cut it out across the width of the fabric so that the 'stripes' run from side to side. Talking of cutting out! The pattern I have chose is Butterick 6176 design C. A really quick and easy design, it has no facings, just turned under edges.
What can I say about the sewing of this garment. I've cut it out and completely sewn it in just under 1 hour!
Why oh why didn't I just return the black lace one and make it instead. I could have chosen this gorgeous black lace fabric
This a soft lace fabric that drapes beautifully and because the lace design is quite close together it is less see through than my ivory one. 
Here's a couple more pictures of my finished cover up...
That's all for today folks, hope you like it!
See you soon,
Annette xx
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Fake It 'till you Make It - Part 2!

Hey Guys,
Yes I'm back with my first Part 2! I'm excited. When I started work on the Fake It 'till you Make It post, I completely underestimated how usable faux leather and suede were! So here's the second installment in the F.I.M.I. saga, how to work Faux Suede! Like I said in the first F.I.M.I. post, leather and suede are BIG in fashion right now and many of the suede trends blend so I'll do my best to categorize them for a quick go to guide!
 
Starting with clothing and a pretty solid staple. The Suede Jacket
Winnie (Scruffy Badger) on our Blogger Network did a wonderful replica of a jacket she had when she was a teenager and it is divine! She used KwikSew 3334 and our 60" wide Polyester Suede Dress Fabric Brown.
I really like the look of Butterick 6169 for our Black Suede, but I'm REALLY tempted by Burda 6800, I sense a lot of fun with contrasting on this one. Maybe the Stone and Cream... 
Another thing I noticed a lot of were Suede Skirts
Simple A-Line cuts, letting the fabric do the talking! The most adorned skirts I saw were button ups like New Look 6346 in Tan
If you want a slightly sexier look, Burda 6902 is right up your street with gorgeous Pencil Skirts! I love the double button look on View A!
Next on the clothing line is a suede shift dress
I could see a peep of a contrast zip on the back of one of my favourites (which I'm a huge fan of) so why not rock a Bold Metal Zip with Simplicity 1609
A surprising find for me was a boxy suede top! I didn't think this could be a thing, but it is and it's really cool!
Burda 6850 is a collection of loose fitting casual tops which I think would work with the faux suede as it isn't as heavy as you'd imagine!
Next on the fashion line up is a slouchy hobo bag 
Butterick 6011 is a great pattern for this. You can keep the straps as they are, shorten them for a high street look or swap them for handles for a true designer look.
I would absolutely LOVE to see Vogue 1311 in Suede!
Another bag I saw around the place, in suede particularly, was a type of drawstring bucket bag, not dis-similar to Burda 6961. It was often mixed with Aztec Weaving designs and so much fringing!
Which takes us swiftly into accessories and the big trend with suede; Tassels and Fringing!
 You can add them to anything for instant style and chic. Mix and match textures and fabrics with suede tassels on a calico bag for Boho vibes. Misty Spinny at Brit + Co has a great tutorial for Tassel Jewellery which can easily be tweaked to make great adornments for your accessories, or a quick and easy way to stay on trend (psst we sell Jewellery Making  supplies, too!)
Another quick and easy accessory comes from Eileen at Yes Missy who has a lovely tute for a DIY Bracelet with suede thonging woven in a cross style through the chain. Absolutely to die for! I might adapt into a headband for festival season!
For something slightly different we head over to Lil Blue Boo where Ashley has a great tutorial for DIY Suede Book Covers and Handmade Journals! How amazing would these be as gifts?!
So how did I do for my first Part 2? I thoroughly enjoyed myself as it got me right into the festival spirit! I'll be bouncing around an Island in the Danube River around the time this goes out to you lovely people! I'll hopefully have plenty of homemade Minerva fashion to share with you all on my return so stay tuned!
Be sure to share your makes, too! 
@minervafabrics on Twitter
@minervacrafts on Instagram
minervafabrics.com on Facebook
minervacrafts.com on Pinterest
Keep crafting!
Katie B xo
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Q&A with Maddie of Madalynne Sewing Blog

Hi Everyone!

Madalynne is one of the most beautiful looking sewing blogs I have ever seen! If this blog is new to you I urge you to check it out and especially visit the 'About' page which is a lovely read. I discovered this blog a little while ago and it's one that draws me back time and time again. If you appreciate beautiful photography, then you will love this blog too.

I thought it would be a lovely idea to ask Maddie the author if she would like to do a Q&A so you can all find out a little bit more about her and the blog. You can see examples of her beautiful imagery as used in this post and hop on over to her blog to find out more!

So, without further ado... 

Hello! Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog??

Hi! My name is Maddie Flanigan and I am a sewing blogger, aspiring lingerie designer and freelance photographer. I started my blog, Madalynne, when I was 18-years-old at the suggestion of my father. In was 2006 and I was a freshman in college. In hindsight, I believe it was his way of keeping an eye on his only girl. Thank you dad! At first, Madalynne had no focus. I didn’t know what to write about so I wrote about everything – fashion, food, travel, beauty, cars, history, etc. I was a hot mess. Shortly after I started blogging, I discovered sewing, and as I got more involved and passionate about it, my blog naturally evolved into a sewing blog.

About 3 ½ years ago, I made my first pair of underwear, and it was the beginning of my love affair with lingerie. It’s been a huge learning curve, and I attribute a lot of my success to the fact that I worked in technical design for intimates for 2 ½ years. Having that foundation in sewing, patterning and producing lingerie has helped me tremendously.

Madalynne has grown organically over the past 9 years, and that’s just the way I like it. I’m really happy with what my blog offers today – tutorials on bra making, glimpses into my own sewing projects, one-day intensive bra making workshops and more.

What is your favourite craft??

Sewing

What do you love most about crafting??

The community. My best friends today are women I met through my blog.

Who do you make things for??

I sew lingerie equally for myself and others. I offer bespoke/one off lingerie and I really enjoy seeing my designs on other women.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting??

Cereal, especially Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without??

Duck-billed scissors (to trim super close to seams), French ruler (for getting the most accurate curves), and temporary spray adhesive (for basting fabrics together).

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why??

Lace – it’s just so darn pretty!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made? 

My favorite thing I’ve ever made is my dress to my dad’s wedding (he got remarried after my mom passed away). It was a strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline. It was made with 4-ply silk and chiffon, so you know it was a labor of love!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? 

I’m currently working on a bodysuit. I love the look of bodysuits, but haven’t found a way to wear them practically. I mean, I don’t want to prance around the house in swimsuit-like attire. I’d rather wear an oversized t-shirt. But I think that if it’s the right shape, you can wear underneath dresses, pants and blouses.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft??

It all depends on my mood. Sometimes, I’ll listen to music on Spotify, Pandora or Soundcloud and sometimes I’ll listen to a movie or documentary on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If I’m working on project that doesn’t require much thought, like a TNT, I’ll listen to NPR.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers??

Define what your blog is about. If you don’t have a clear purpose, you will find it harder to generate ideas and motivation for blogging. After 8 years, I’ve missed 3 post, and that’s because I have a clear focus and passion - sewing.

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words? 

Detail-oriented, passionate, meticulous.

Thank you so much for that Maddie! I hope you feeling inspired and if anything like me, a bit awe-inspired by all these beautiful images! Please take the time to check out Maddie's blog!

Bye for now,

Vicki

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Free Child's Bolero Knitting Pattern

Hi everyone!
How about making this lovely pink glittery bolero cardiagan for that special daughter/granddaughter in your life?
My Granddaughter Jess who is now 17 would have loved this when she was a little girl. I think she'd wear it now if it was big enough! 
King Cole tinsel yarn has been around for a couple of years now and last year they brought out the now infamous hedgehog pattern. This pattern was a huge success, I knit it in brown the only difference being I used safety eyes and a safety nose instead of embroidering them on.
The next pattern that was hugely successful is the owl pattern. Anne (who works in the Minerva Craft Centre) has knit the owl in white. She has written a blog post on this because she adapted the pattern by adding some wings and also crocheting the eyes instead of knitting them as the pattern suggests. This blog will be posted shortly giving these new additional instructions or we have some printed ones to give out in the Craft Centre upon request.
And now back to the bolero! I decided to knit this for display in the Minerva Craft Centre and chose pink because to my knowledge most little girls love pink. In my mind pink and glittery...well you couldn't get a better combination! King Cole Tinsel comes in a fantastic variety of colours including a good few that are new for this Christmas. Talking of Christmas and patterns, the new Christmas patterns this year are fabulous...check them out!
I chose to do the biggest size purely because this size would fit our dummy in the shop. The pattern is FREE and you may receive one in your yarn orders if you purchase from us in the near future because King Cole have kindly given us a huge pile of them to giveaway free. Likewise we have them in the Minerva Craft Centre for you to look at too. And we have also included a copy of it here in this blog post (at the bottom) so no-one misses out.
The pattern is really easy to follow and is quite straightforward. Tinsel is a lovely yarn to knit with, it flows through your fingers. Here is what it looks like knitted up, isn't that a fantastic texture and shine...
However beware!! It is really hard to count your rows. So it is a good idea to write your rows down as you knit them. This also helps when doing the fronts because you can just cross through them as you knit them. Alternatively you could use a row counter. The size you would need is for a 6mm needle. I don't see a major problem with recommending this pattern for beginners but definitely have a pen and paper handy. 
Would you believe this pattern took me just 6 evenings to knit and I enjoyed it immensely. I finished it off by sewing a pink button that actually says SELF-MADE on it. 
This range of Dill buttons is available in two sizes and a range of lovely colours, so no matter which colour of Tinsel yarn you choose, there will be a button to go with it.
The free pattern from King Cole also features some scarves and a snood, so why not get knitting these too? The snood takes just 2 balls and the scarves just 3 balls so you can make these for less than £5 and £7 each. Bargain! And what perfect Christmas presents they would make.
Here's your free pattern;
In case that's a bit hard to read we have split it up and made the pattern larger for you below;
Well that's all for now. I hope you enjoy this free pattern and that we get to see some pictures of what you make with it. Don't be shy...share them with us!
I'll be back soon! Bye for now,
Annette xx
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Q&A with Sally from SewSweetbySally Craft Blog

Hi everyone,

A little while ago I stumbled across this sewing blog and asked Sally (the writer) if she would like to do a Q&A so you could find out a bit more about her and her blog!

Sally said yes! So here goes...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog? 

I'm a Creative and Energetic Person who loves cute and glitter. I've been married to my lovely husband Brian for 9 years and we have 2 terror of boys aged 7 and 3. I’m part of The Sew Simple Blog Team where we will be providing tutorials for their patterns.

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project? 

I've previously made jewellery and cards for years and I thought I would try something new. So from late 2014 I've been having a go at sewing and I am totally hooked! My first ever project was a Polka Dot Headband and I’ve come a long way from that since then!

What is your favourite craft? 

I think out of all the crafts I have tried I think Sewing is my favourite!

What do you love most about crafting? 

I love how I can make clothes that fit me perfectly rather than buying shop bought, when the waist is too baggy or I have to take up trousers!!

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

Nope, but my eldest son is starting to hand stitch :D

Who do you make things for? 

I must admit I am a selfish sewer. I do make a lot of things for myself but I have made things for the hubby and my boys too.

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting? 

I'm not sure. I used to blog with my Card creations so it just followed on from there.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting? 

Cheesy Doritos! But only once I have finished handling my fabric as they are quite messy LOL!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without? 

Tailors Chalk

French Curve 

My Singer Stylist 9960 of course!!!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why? 

It has to be cotton.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time? 

Just the one at a time or I’ll have a load of unfinished projects otherwise!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

So far it has to be The Skater Dress from Sew Simple as it was a breeze to make and love the scoop neckline and three quarter sleeves with a sexy v neck to the back. The picture below shows a group family photo at a cousin's wedding in July where I made the Eliza M Betty Dress and wore it with pride  :)

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? 

I’ll be starting The Peter Pan Blouse from Sew Simple just waiting for my pattern and fabric to arrive!

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I have the TV on in the background as ill be sewing away in the living room with the family, but I don’t tend to watch or I'll get distracted.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting? 

I get inspiration from everyday things, it could be from anywhere! I don’t want to be a copycat lol!

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share? 

Read the instructions at least twice before you start cutting anything out or anything sewing together. There's nothing worse than getting it wrong and it puts me off from completing the project if I mess it up at the beginning.

Do you have any advice for new crafters? 

Take it slow and don’t have too high expectations of yourself. You are a newbie you will get there eventually, even if it is after many attempts. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, at the end of the day you have made it from scratch! That needs applauding!

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words? 

Happy, Determined and Selfish LOL!

Thanks for sharing that with us Sally! To find out more and watch future projects take shape hop on over to Sally's Blog 'SewSweetbySally'.

Buy for now,

Vicki x

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Holiday Sarong

Hello again. 
Well since I last was speaking on our blog Vicki and Richard have got married. I am sure you will by now have seen Vicki's blog post of the wedding day and what a wonderful day we had. My 12 weeks of continuous wedding sewing is over! I did enjoy myself very much but I would be lying if I said it all ran smoothly. There were moments when I could have screamed with frustration or cried in anger. However on reflection I think my main problem was I didn't allow myself enough time with the 12 weeks. There was always something interrupting my sewing either a customer query that needed my help or I had to cover for staff on holiday. Now I can honestly say I am not frustrated or angry and am looking forward to sharing plenty of my sewing, knitting and crochet projects with you. I am also hoping to try a few crafts that are new to me. Patchwork and felting being top of the list.
In a few weeks time I am going on holiday. First stop will be Niagra Falls for one night, then on to Las Vegas for 3 nights taking in a trip to the Grand Canyon. Last but not least we then travel to Palm Springs to stay in a beautiful villa. And yes I will have my knitting or crochet with me. I may not even do any but I cant stand the thought of not having anything with me.
Year after year I take the same sarong with me on holiday. I've always said I would never buy another one because lets face it, it is a 1 metre piece of fabric that is 1.5 metres wide, hemmed on all 4 sides. 
Here at Minerva we have a collection of semi sheer fabrics at just £3.99 per metre that are absolutely ideal for sarongs. I have chosen the turquoise fabric probably because I I have just treated myself to some turquoise sandals. 
We have placed these fabrics in a basket near the counter in the Minerva Craft Centre and as I expected are selling well for sarongs. They would also be ideal for beach dresses. Floaty dresses would be quite stunning in these fabrics too but they would require lining. So going back to my sarong I am using about 90cm of fabric because I am quite short but 1mt would be suitable for most people.
My friend who has a pfaff sewing machine like myself has lent me a 4mm rolled hem foot. I've had a go but I need to get used to it first. Cotton is probably the best fabric to use to get used to this foot. I've had a look on YouTube and each video seems to be using cotton so trust me to be using a silky fabric when first trying this foot out! And so I am just turning the fabric under twice approx 1/4" and sewing with a straight stitch this time round. But I'm definitely going to have another try with that foot in the future when I've more time!
Voila, one gorgeous sarong!
Cindy (my friend who loaned me the foot) is having a girl's night in, in October. She is raising money for a school to be rebuilt out in Nepal. At this point in time Cindy has made around 14 bags and other friends have made crochet scarves etc. So while I have been hemming the edges on my sarong I thought why couldn't I do the same with a half metre piece of the fabric and make a silky scarf. I could make quite a few of these when I get back off holiday and donate them to 'Cindy's night'.
And so I've made one scarf so far but until then I am using it alongside my sarong on the dummy in the Minerva Craft Centre as in the photo above. I have tied the sarong at the side and the 'top' at the back. I think it looks pretty good don't you?
Until next time,
Annette xx
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Pattern of the Week Kwik Sew 0116 - Ellie & Friends Animal Toys

Hi de Hi Crafters!
I had to double take when I researched this pattern. Had I typed the number in correctly? Was there a misprint? No. No there was not! This week's POW is designed by the marvelous Ellie Mae and is 100% definitely a trio of adorable stuffed animals!
I'm going to write this and pretend that I'll be sewing one of these for my partner's niece, but we all now that it's almost completely for me. That hippo must be mine! the fun thing with this pattern is you only need a fat quarters to create each animal (2 fat eighths make the Elephant and the Hippo, with a fat quarter and a fat eighth for the Giraffe) so you can have a lot of fun mixing and matching Quilting Fabrics, completely tailoring it to your wants and needs. 
For Hippie here, I'm imagining our Gray Herringbone Cotton Quilting Fabric by The Design Studio Collection for Camelot Fabrics
and for the contrast tummy (Oh yes, they have contrast tummies!) I'm thinking Michael Millar'Chrome Drop Cloth Poplin Quilting Fabric
What about little Ele?
Having done a little bit of maths, a fat eighth is just little smaller than a size of A4 so why not go wild with some felt fabric!
"Won't that be a bit plain for you K.B.?" I hear you cry. Yes it would, had we not just received a whole new range of Camelot Fabrics Felt! They are to die for. I'd team this above orange with this gorgeous Mandala Print below for the ears and tummy. I think the Jaffa Orange Felt would really bring out the deep yellow/orange the Mandala print is in.
Now for Gerri you need a full fat quarter and a fat eighth (Gerri got a lot of neck!)
Because you've got a but more surface area I'd love to use Gutermann Vero's World Lizzy's Garden Hearts Quilting Fabric in brown. The Hearts are just adorable!
For the contrast and spots, I think the new Camelot Fresh Solids in Au Naturel is the one for me
This is a nice Easy pattern to get in to, particularly if you want something to do with the kids over the holidays, and for just £4.50 you're really onto a winner!
Be sure to share your makes! 
@minervafabrics on Twitter
@minervacrafts on Instagram
minervafabrics.com on Facebook
minervacrafts.com on Pinterest
Keep Crafting!
Katie B xo
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Fake it 'till you Make it!

How often do you go out shopping, see something and think "...I can make that!" Well I had this in a big way the other day. I'm jetting off to a music festival in Budapest this August so I've been searching around for some clothes and accessories to take and on my travels around various shopping outlets I noticed a significant amount of faux leather and suede, often in the strangest places! Bags, yea sure, but leggings? Tank tops? I'm serious! I have to say they look amazing so I wondered how much of this high fashion could we crafty lot make ourselves? Turns out, a fair amount! So here's my run down of how to Fake It 'till you Make It with faux leather and suede!
Let's start with the obvious, a bag. Probably one of the most iconic leather fashion accessories at the moment is a Satchel, which upsets be a little bit because I've wanted one FOREVER and now everyone has one haha. Vogue have a great Satchel Sewing Pattern which would suit out Fire Retardant Leathercloth Faux Leather in brown down to the ground. The leathercloth has the structure to carry off such a classic pattern, and the brown gives that perfect vintage touch.
Another classic making a comeback is the 90's mini ruck sack! The 90's revival is hitting some of us in the office pretty hard as this is the first time we've seen fashion we remember first time around (eek!) but it does mean we get to re-live our youth and these tiny bags are softening the blow. Butterick 4583 has the trend down with their "utility bags" and I feel our Wine Vintage Effect Marble Faux Leather is bob on!
Going slightly more fashion forward, Liz over at Say Yes has this uber-fashionable fold over clutch tutorial which is amazing. It's so simple and you could easily whip it up for a night out! I'm also in LOVE with the contrast zip. Divine!
I spy this in our pre-quilted faux leather me thinks!
Why not add an accent to your fold over? Cherie at You and Mie has this marvelous Faux Leather Accent Foldover Clutch tutorial that is to die for. You could easily rock this out of a fat quarter of quilting fabric, too! Or maybe a calico with your own design in fabric paint? The world is your oyster!
Moving on to clothing, you're really looking at more fashion than utility, so our Soft PVC Faux Leather is going to be the place to go. I've whipped up a dress in the stuff and it is a-maz-ing to work with. Easing in the sleeves was a dream, and I'd never done sleeves before!
Nicole of The Felted Fox has a great tutorial to revamp and old sweater using Faux Leather! Her Faux Leather Sweater DIY is so simple to follow, and I really do love the result! Much better than anything I've spotted off the rack. I love the structure in the shoulders, and because of the nature of the faux leather there's no hemming! 
Carrying on with clothing and the no-hemming style is Cotton and Curls with a great DIY for a Faux Leather A-Line Skirt. A classic with a twist? Right up my street. I think I'd go a step further and maybe rock out our Navy Blue Soft Faux Leather!
 
The great thing with faux leather is that it doesn't need hemming so you can really rock the grunge look, or use hole punches and/or an awl to create detailing around the hems. If you're not a fan of the unfinished look, you could easily polish it off with a leather bias binding. I used the brown as a contrast to the burgundy faux leather on the dress I mentioned earlier  and it really finished it off.
Whilst we're on the subject of dresses and contrasts, Simplicity has a great pattern in the form of S1314 Top, Trouser Pants & Dresses which is made for contrasting texture, colour, all sorts. What's also great is it's designed for "leather like fabrics", amongst many others, so you can really go to town with experimentation. 
Another big fashion item of late is Leather Leggings. Not trousers, leggings. I know, I'm confused but I have to admit they are very stylish and look more like the jegging trend than anything. Fashion forward as ever, Burda has this covered with their 6855 pattern, Skinny Fit Jeans in 3 Styles
Yet another reason to love the  Soft PVC Faux Leather is that is actually has a bit of stretch to it! Similar to how standard woven fabric has give across the bias, the Faux leather gives and takes when worked, making it really comfy to wear and work with and it's perfect for this Burda Pattern. What's really interesting about it is that the back of view B is designed to be made in a different fabric to the front. A stretch fabric. 
So you could easily create a really fun contrast with a standard black jersey, for example, or you could utilize a Coated Jersey like our PU Coated Double Jersey.
Match made in heaven much? 
The contrasts on View C would be a great way to use up your scraps from other projects, too. 
Now whilst we're on the topic of scraps, there's a lot of accessories to be made from your leather project off cuts. Natasha at Tasha Delrae has this wonderful tutorial for a No Sew Faux Leather Peplum which is a great staple to keep your wardrobe up to date. Great for holidays, too, to keep your looks fresh! 
Moving onto smaller scraps, Christina of DeSmitten has a great tutorial for a DIY Celine Bracelet with some strategic scrap gluing and a round buckle. Tres stylish.
Stylish storage solutions are always a winner, and Luisa of Why Don't You Make Me has a lovely tutorial for DIY Cord Tacos a neat, stylish and crafty way to stop your headphones or charger wires getting tangled in your bag. Perfect for those about to take on an adventure, or those like me who have a TARDIS of a handbag! Another excuse to personalize with fabric paint, too.
More nifty storage solutions from Autumn at It's Always Autumn in the form of a DIY Card Holder. Now she's designed these with trading cards in mind, but I totally have enough store cards and memberships to fill this bad boy and I'm sure I'm not the only one! I also have a deck of Magic the Gathering trading cards soooooo may need to make two!
Heading back towards fashion over function with this AMAZING DIY No Beading Beaded Bracelet by Honor at Home Heart Craft. This tutorial has really got me into the festival spirit and I may need to dig out my leather scraps and pick up some Dylon 3D Paint and Snap Fasteners to make this!
My all time favourite DIY I've found is for a DIY Leather Lunch Bag. There are many designer versions of this item, Jil Sander and Michael Kors to name a few, but who really has £460 to spend on these? I certainly don't so this is a true Fake It 'till you Make It make! The best tutorial I've found for one is by Le Fanciulle. I love the pinking detail on the top!
So what do you think of the Faux Leather Craze? Works for you? Bit O.T.T.? Let us know and be sure to share your makes! Stay tuned for Fake it 'till you Make it! Pt. 2, Suede!
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Keep crafting!
Katie B xo

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