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Archives: September 2015

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Q&A with Hannah of Crafternoon Cabaret Club Craft Blog

Hi everyone,

Today I would love you to meet Hannah. Hannah writes a fun and gorgeous blog called Crafternoon Cabaret Club and runs an even of the same name too. I asked Hannah if she would be willing to do a Q&A guest post here on the blog...she said yes and so here we go!...

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

Hello! My name is Hannah and I blog at www.CrafternoonCabaretClub.com: a craft and creativity blog, and the online home of my Craft and Cabaret mash-up event of the same name. I’ve always loved DIY, performance and people so it was only a matter of time before I found a way to bring my passions together!

Crafternoon Cabaret Club is a regular afternoon event where you can craft to your heart’s content whilst watching live performances from a top-notch cabaret line-up. 

 I started the blog a few months before launching the event as a way to document and share my making, new crafts I was tackling and creative inspirations, and because I was really keen to link into the amazing online crafting community. I’m a complete craft magpie and I’m always chasing the next new skill to learn so my blog includes papercrafts, knitting, jewellery making, sewing projects and upcycling... and I’m sure I’ll keep adding as I learn new skills.

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

I’ve always loved making things from a young age – my mum used to make clothes and I loved watching her work. I did lots of arts and crafts at school and even when I moved into theatre instead, I still loved playing around making costumes or fancy dress. Back in 2013 I felt like I’d stopped lots of my creative interests and I wanted to get inspired to start making again so I started knitting. My first attempts were really not great! (I’m not the most patient learner) so I gathered some friends and a few bottles of wine so we could learn together. I loved the atmosphere of working that way and it’s very much part of what inspired Crafternoon Cabaret Club.

My first project from that time was a bobble hat, and then I quickly moved onto making pretty embellished felt collars.

What is your favourite craft?

I’d find it very hard to choose because I love flitting between crafts depending on my mood, what I’ve seen recently or what I’m interested in. Sewing is my original love, but I’ve got really into jewellery making in the last year and I’m absolutely loving papercut at the moment. Ask me again in a month and I’m sure I’ll be giving you a completely different answer!

What do you love most about crafting?

I love the creativity that comes from playing with different materials to create different effects: I find colours, textures and patterns really inspiring. I love working with my hands and I love seeing a project come together. I find craft relaxing and exhilarating all at once.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

I’ve got a few crafting buddies and I love a natter with my mum about making (she’s a big scrapbooker). Recently I got married which gave me the perfect excuse to get my bridesmaids making decorations with me! One of the highlights for me about running Crafternoon Cabaret Club is that every month I get to meet an amazing new group of people interested in craft: they might be practiced pro’s or absolute beginners but it’s so lovely to be able to spend two hours chatting craft and design choices.

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

I started my blog to help encourage myself out of a creative rut. I figured that if I committed to blogging about what I was making publicly then I would have to make things! I always work better with a deadline. Since then I’ve really developed a love of blogging and I blog a whole mixture of content from DIYs, to inspirations, to interviewing other creatives, or writing about cultural events I’ve been to. My blog has really evolved from what really started as a creative diary, and I love how you can create so many connections with other creatives and crafters through the blogging world.

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

My sewing machine – I love it so so much! It makes everything easier – I’ve also covered it with beautiful sparkly rhinestones so every time I look at it it makes me smile.

My pretty stork scissors – useful and beautiful to look at. The ideal balance.

My huge stash of fabrics and embroidery threads (can I count that as one item?) – Yes I’m a big craft hoarder but I love delving in, discovering a fabric I’d forgotten I had and finding new inspiration for projects!

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

The honest answer is too many, although I’m trying to stop that habit. At least one long term unfinished project just sitting there waiting for me to go back to it and then a few half done... but I like mixing these up with smaller quick projects that I could work on in one evening.

What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?

Indecisive as always: I love love love my French knitted necklace, I’m really proud of my upcycled washing machine drum lamp and I’ve got a real soft spot for my mini bunting wine charms.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I’ve just started learning to cable knit and I’m working on a beautiful yellow scarf!

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

I love listening to music while I craft – my current favourite album is by Caro Emerald but I love listening to lots of old motown too.

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

I love reading craft blogs, going to exhibitions, reading craft magazines, spotting street art, and looking at fashion and home design. I think it’s good to keep your inspiration varied and eclectic – you’ll end up with fresher ideas and it removes the risk of just trying to make your own version of someone else’s work.

Some of my favourite craft blogs are;

A Beautiful Mess

Studio DIY

The House that Lars Built

Sugar and Cloth

Crafting Fingers

Fall for DIY

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just throw yourself in, be true to writing about what you’re interested in: don’t try and be someone you’re not, and be sociable – the best thing that can come from your craft blog is being part of the amazingly friendly and generous crafting community so make the most of it! Also don’t overload yourself – you don’t want to burn out and lose your love for the very thing you’re blogging about.

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

Colourful, Silly, Bold

Well thanks so much for that Hannah - it was lovely to learn a little more about your, your blog and the wonderful Crafternoon Cabaret Club events. What can I say readers except be sure to pop over to the blog or better still hop along to one of the workshops :)

Bye for now,

Vicki

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Pattern of the Week McCalls 7063 - Christmas Stockings with Applique

This week's POW will strike fear in to the hearts of everyone, everywhere. Christmas is coming! I know it's only September but we crafters need to be prepped. I started Christmas Crafting weeks ago to avoid the rush of last year. The fear will soon subside, however, when you see how lovely this weeks pattern, McCalls 7063.
The great thing about this pattern is you can easily do it with the whole family and we have a splendid amount of choice of felt that will be perfect!
The pattern is design for Wool Felts so let's start traditional with our Wool & Viscose Handicraft Felt. Deep Greens, Rich Reds and Icy Blues will keep traditional and contemporary Christmas fans alike happy. Being blended with Viscose will create a lovely soft texture whilst the resilience of the wool will make this the gift that keeps on giving year after year. 
If you're more of a fan of fuzzy felt, then Camelot's new Plain Solid Soft Craft Felt is the way to go, Beautifully soft, and lovely and fuzzy!
Perfect for any winter wonderland scene!
Camelot also have a great range of Patterned Felts, so why not give a Snowman a Snowy Mandala Print background? Or Santa a Starry Night sky!
The the lovely appliques, our Plain Craft Felt will work wonders (we even have Sticky Felt if you'd rather!)
and of course don't forget the Embroidery Floss for those quaint blanket stitches! 
 
This is such a pretty pattern, and an absolute winner for Christmas Crating. It's just £4.40 for this week only so grab it quick! 
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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Q&A with Nicky from SewandSnip Sewing Blog

Hi everyone,

We have a lovely Q&A feature for you here on the blog today. Please meet Nicky...

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

Hi my name is Nicky and I write a blog called Sewandsnip; sew from my favourite craft & snip from my day job, a hairdresser. My blog is mainly a sewing diary, helping me to remember what I found worked & what didn't, but I do tend to add snippets of other bits too!

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start?

I've always been creative (drawing, painting, making) and remember stating to sew in my teens. Then as I had a family this hobby grew as I made my girls dresses as well as things for myself & our home. Once my children grew up the sewing did slow down for a while but it was kick-started again when the 1st series of The Sewing Bee reminded me what I was missing.

What was your first project? What is your favourite craft?

Sewing has to be my favourite craft & the first thing I remember making was an awful A-line cotton nightie that we had to make at school! I remember thinking I could make something better so bought some fabric & a blouse pattern, which I still have, & taught myself.

What do you love most about crafting?

The thing I love most about crating it having the opportunity to express yourself and produce something unique.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

No I tend to craft on my own unless someone asks me to help the make something. I find sewing is a great way of relaxing & I enjoy the solitude of my sewing room especially when I've been at work chatting to clients all day. If I want to be social & craft then that's when the knitting comes out.

Who do you make things for?

I mainly make for myself but do the occasional piece for my grandchildren & have just made my husband a tunic style shirt copying one of his old favourites (pictured below). There will be some sewing for my daughter’s wedding next year but that's still in the secret planning stage!

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

I decide to blog because I thought it was a great way of recording what I had done; the great makes, the not so great, the mistakes & the ideas. I also thought it would be a way to encourage myself to make sure I made time for sewing & to make different things so I would have something new to write about. I was lucky that I saw the Simplicity's Bloggers Challenge not long after I had set it up so this inspired me to try and figure out what I was doing. It was very satisfying to work out how set up the page, add links & pics but it's still on the basic side so hopefully I'll improve at it. I'm not sure I ever thought anyone else would read it but so chuffed that they do. I hope it will encourage anyone to try something new.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

My favourite snack would have to be a big slice of cake & a cup of tea.

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

Sharp scissors, loop turner & notepad (I'm always making notes when I have ideas so I don't forget)

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I don't really have a favourite fabric but I like something that has a bit of weight, I find soft floaty fabrics a challenge but am determined to keep practicing with them. I’m currently looking at some stretch cotton sateen to add to my fabric pile.

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

I always have a pile of things to sew but I don't allow myself to cut the next thing out until I've finished my WIP because I know in my eagerness to do the new make I'll push the other to one side & forget about it. Knitting is another matter & a while back I found a half finished jumper that was for my son. It looks like for about a three year old...he's now 23!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

My favourite has to be a boned Victorian style corset. I love the structure of it with its steel boning, coutil cloth & back lacing. It gives such a lovely hourglass shape.

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

The next fabric on my table is a lovely bold floral fabric. I'm trying to add colour to my wardrobe this year & loved this as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately I delayed buying it a little too long & there wasn't much left when I went to get it but it's just enough for a skirt so I plan to make it in time for the Simplicity Bloggers Meet-up.

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

I do put TV on while I sew if there is something I want to see but usually find that I get engrossed in what I'm doing & don't actually know what happened.

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

I find inspiration everywhere. It can be something I've seen, read, or a conversation I've had. I've usually got so many ideas jotted down that I don't actually go looking for inspiration but if I need an outfit & don't know what to make I usually look at fabrics first then go through my pile of patterns.

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

My tip would be to take your time. I was terrible at rushing things because I wanted to wear the finished result but I'm making myself slow down as rushing causes mistakes & I hate having to unpick things & redo.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I dip into different blogs when links pop up on Twitter rather than follow lots, but I do follow scruffydadgertime.co.uk, dfabricate.blogspot.com & kestrelmakes.com

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Just be yourself, write about what you enjoy so it doesn't become a task & give it a go, if I can do it anyone can!

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

Enthusiastic, experimental, determined.

Back to me! Wow that corset was impressive wasn't it! Thanks very much for that Nicky. Be sure to pop on over to her blog to see more!

Bye for now,

Vicki

 

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Pattern of the Week Butterick 6145 - Ladies Easy Casual Pyjamas & Dressing Gown

Now, I've been dying to make myself some lovely Pyjamas lately, and I think I've found the perfect pattern in this weeks POW!
Everything you could ever need pyjama-wise! Each item has a lovely loose fit, perfect for cosying up in the winter, or keeping cool in the summer! 
The pattern is designed for light- to medium-weight woven fabrics, including Flannel, Broadcloth (a plain weave cotton like poplin or lawn), and Brushed Cotton
Starting big and working down, let's have a look at View A - the dressing gown! When I think of dressing gowns I think lovely and cosy. 
Brushed cotton makes me giddy and I'm not 100% sure as to why, but looking at some of the brushed cotton we have on offer it's a little understandable! We have spotstartansginghamfloral, the list goes on! But I'm going to go Plain with our Dark Green Brushed Heavy Cotton. It cries roaring fires and hot choco to me.
 
Moving on to Views C and E we have the Long Sleeve shirt style top with collar and ruffles, and straight leg Long Pants. This ensemble reminds me of the style Morecambe and Wise wore in their bedroom skits! (This is by no way a bad thing, I love M&C, Whey Hey!)
Now, I absolutely need these in our Duck Egg Blue Paisley Print Truella (now out of stock but we have lots of other Truella Fabric)
NEED! I have a craving for Duck Egg Blue. It just brings a certain class to anything it graces and the paisley is just divine. Together it's the ultimate combination and just oozes style. Very Vintage Chic! 
You can really have some fun our Poplin, too. Who doesn't need a few pairs of pretty lounge pants?! For pretty, you can't go wrong our Black Miniature Vintage Floral Cotton Poplin Fabric. Simple, classic chic that would look adorable with pale blue waist ties!
Now, contrary to Singer's Guide to sewing from 1949, we all craft in our jammies!
We, of course, have the perfect fabric for these days!
Our Tape Measure Poplin comes in 4 different colour ways!
and our Knitting Sayings Cotton is adorable!
The cotton is great for those odd times when the weather can't make it's mind up, but what about those awkward Autumn evenings where it's not quite cold enough to put the fire on (or your housemate just won't let you!), but by no means warm enough for shorts and vest? Well View B is your answer, the Short Sleeve shirt. Cream & Blue Floral Print Truella or a Pastel Winceyette would really work well with the ruffle collar and keep the April Showers bright!
Finally, for those glorious summer evenings We have the Pretty Pretty View D, straight leg shorts with quaint ruffles to match the Short Sleeve shirt.
These can only be done, for me, in Cotton Lawn. I have to confess I dislike sewing cotton lawn intensely but I cannot deny the finished product is just AMAZING! I wish I'd had these when I was in Australia for their summer. The cooling cotton to help wick any moisture, and a cute cover up for the room (I was in hostels sharing rooms for 2 weeks!). I'm dying to use our Candy 100% Cotton Lawn. The colours really just pop, I simply cannot resist them much longer!
My heart, however, belongs to another with our cotton lawn and it's our Floral Embroidered Border Cotton. Available in Silver Grey and Beige they are the perfect match for the short view mix in this pattern.
And if more proof were needed, Annette made this gorgeous dressing gown in the Silver Grey and took it one step beyond by dying the fabric black! It looks truly mazing and a definate go-to guide if you're thinking of taking up the challenge. These are only £2.99 per metre, too. Teamed with this pattern at just £4.00 for this week they're a perfect practice piece!
Now if the thought of posing in your PJs doesn't terrify you be sure to share your makes!
@minervafabrics on Twitter
@minervacrafts on Instagram
minervafabrics.com on Facebook
minervacrafts.com on Pinterest
These are most certainly going to be Christmas presents to keep your eye out here and on the Blogger Network!
Katie B xo
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Sirdar Noah's Ark Knit Along Part 1 - Molly and Mickey Monkey!

Hi everyone!

Well, it's finally here...the first free pattern in the first ever knit-along by Sirdar. Your first free pattern in the series is the delightful 'Molly and Mickey Monkey' pattern.

Here's a list of the materials you will need;

F071 Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK main shade 170 1 50g ball and contrast shades 155 (limey) or 116 (lemonade) 1 50g ball

Oddments of cream (eye section) and black for embroidery (eyes, nose)

1 pair 3 1/4 mm Knitting Needles (UK10 – USA3)

Pipe cleaner

Stuffing

And without further ado, here's is your free pattern;

Measurement

Height (Approximately) 19cm (7 1/2 in) – sitting down

Abbreviations

Beg beginning, cm centimetres, mm millimetres, g grammes, in inches, inc increase, k knit, p purl, rem remaining, rep repeat, sts stitches, tbl through back of loop, tog together M main, C contrast.

M1 Make 1 stitch Pick up loop between last and next stitch and work into the back of this loop.

st-st Stocking stitch 1st row Knit 2nd Row Purl. Rep these 2 rows.

Intarsia Method

When working with different balls of yarn the colour to be used should be twisted round the colour just used to link the colours together and avoid holes.

FRONT

Body/Head

Using 3 1/4 mm needles and M cast on 10 sts.

** Next Row. K1, * inc in next st, rep from * to last st, k1. 18 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. K8, m1, k2, m1, k8. 20 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. K8, m1, k4, m1, k8. 22 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. K8, m1, k6, m1, k8. 24 sts.

Next Row. Purl.**

Working the intarsia method proceed as follows for the tummy:-

1st Row. K9M, k6C, k9M.

2nd Row. P8M, p8C, p8M.

3rd Row. K7M, k10C, k7M.

4th Row. P6M, p12C, p6M.

5th Row. K4M, k16C, k4M.

6th Row. P4M, p16C, p4M.

7th Row. K3M, k18C, k3M.

8th Row. P3M, p18C, p3M.

Rep 7th and 8th rows twice more and 7th row once more.

14th Row. P4M, p16C, p4M.

15th Row. K1M, k2togtblM, k1M, k16C, k1M, k2togM, k1M. 22 sts.

16th Row. P4M, p14C, p4M.

17th Row. K5M, k12C, k5M.

18th Row. P6M, p10C, p6M.

19th Row. K6M, k10C, k6M.

20th Row. P8M, p6C, p8M.

*** Working in M only, proceed as follows:-

Next Row. K1, k2togtbl, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. 20 sts

Beg with a purl row work 5 rows in st-st.

Next Row. K1, k2togtbl, knit to last 3 sts k2tog, k1. 18 sts.

Beg with a purl row work 3 rows in st-st.

Next Row. (K2tog) 9 times. 9 sts.

Beg with a purl row work 3 rows in st-st.

Next Row. (K1, m1) 8 times, k1. 17 sts.

Beg with a purl row work 3 rows in st-st.

Next Row. Inc in 1st st knit to last 2 sts, inc in next st, k1. 19 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Rep last 2 rows once more. 21 sts.***

Working the Intarsia method proceed as follows for the eye section:-

1st Row. Inc in 1st st, k4M, k1 cream, k9M, k1 cream, k3M, inc in next st, k1M. 23 sts.

2nd Row. P6M, p2 cream, p7M, p2 cream, p6M.

3rd Row. K6M, k11 cream, k6M.

4th Row. P6M, p11 cream, p6M.

Rep 3rd and 4th rows once more.

7th Row. K7M, k4 cream, k1M, k4 cream, k7M.

8th Row. P8M, p2 cream, p3M, p2 cream, p8M.

Working in M only work 4 rows in st-st.

Next Row. K2, (k2tog, k2)twice, k3tog, (k2tog, k2)twice, k2. 17 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. (K2tog) 4 times, k1, (k2tog) 4 times. 9 sts.

Break yarn and thread through rem sts.

BACK

Body/Head

Using 3 1/4 mm needles and M (throughout) cast on 10 sts.

Work from ** to ** of Front.

Work 14 rows in st-st.

Next Row. K1, k2togtbl, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. 22 sts.

Beg with a purl row work 5 rows.

Work from *** to *** of Front.

Next Row. Inc in 1st st, knit to last 2sts, inc in next st, k1. 23 sts.

Beg with a purl row work 11 rows in st-st.

Next Row. K2, (k2tog, k2)twice, k3tog, (k2tog, k2)twice, k2. 17 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. (K2tog) 4 times, k1, (k2tog) 4 times. 9 sts.

Break yarn and thread through rem sts.

LEGS (Make 2)

Foot

Using 3 1/4 mm needles and M cast on 10sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. Inc in every st knitways, to last st, k1. 19 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. K8, (inc in next st) 3 times, k8. 22 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. K6, (k2tog) 5 times, k6. 17 sts.

Next Row. P6, (p2tog) 3 times, p5. 14 sts.

Next Row. K5, (k2tog) twice, k5. 12 sts.

Next Row. P5, p2tog, p5. 11 sts.

Leg

Working in stripe sequence of 2 rows in C and 2 rows in M, commencing with C work 18 stripes (9 contrast and 9 main).

Cast off in M.

Make Up

Sew side edges of foot and stuff lightly. Sew side edges of leg without stuffing.

Embroider 4 long stitches in M, around the foot, giving 3 separate sections for toes.

ARMS (Make 2)

Using 3 1/4 mm needles and M cast on 10sts.

Working in stripe sequence of 4 rows in M and 4 rows in C, proceed as follows:-

Work 9 stripes (5 main and 4 contrast).

Hand

Change to C and proceed as follows:-

K2, * inc in next st, rep from* to last st, k1.

Beg with a purl row work 3 rows in st-st.

Next Row. K6, cast off 5sts, k5. 12 sts.

Next Row. Purl across all sts.

Work 4 rows in st-st.

Next Row. (K2og) 6 times. 6 sts.

Break yarn and thread through rem sts.

Make Up

With rem sts fastened securely, sew side edges of hand and slip stitch the tiny thumb section. Stuff lightly. Sew remaining side edges of arm without stuffing.

NOSE

Using 3 1/4 mm needles and M cast on 26 sts.

Work 6 rows in st-st.

Next Row. K2tog to end. 13 sts.

Next Row. Purl.

Next Row. (K2tog) 3 times, k1, (k2tog) 3 times. 7 sts.

Break yarn and thread through rem sts.

Make Up

With rem sts fastened securely sew side edges

EARS (Make 2)

Using 3 1/4 mm needles and M cast on 18sts.

Working in st-st proceed as follows:-

Next Row. K6M, k6C, k6M.

Next Row. P6M, p6C, p6M.

Next Row. K7M, k4C, k7M.

Next Row. P7M, p4C, p7M.

Next Row. K8M, k2C, k8M

Next Row. Using M only, purl.

Next Row. (K2tog) 9 times. 9 sts.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Make up

With rem sts fastened securely, sew side edges.

TUFT

Using 3 1/4 mm needles cast on 7 sts.

Next Row cast off 6sts leaving last st on right hand needle.

* Place last st back onto left hand needle and cast on 6 sts.

Cast off 6 sts, leaving last st on right hand needle.

Rep from * once more.

Break off yarn and thread through rem stitch.

TAIL

Using 3 1/4 mm needles cast on 10 sts.

Work in st-st until tail measures 24cm (9 1/2 in), ending with a purl row.

Next Row. (K2tog) 5 times. 5 sts.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Make Up

With rem sts fastened securely sew side edges. If required enclose

a pipe cleaner, folded in half, to the inside of the tail, to give the tail permanent ‘curl’. Please use appropriate judgement for this.

TO COMPLETE

Sew side edges of head together and stuff firmly. Continue to sew side edges of body and stuff. Run a gathering thread around the cast on edge and close the opening. Sew nose to face placing in line with the eye section. Place ears, with contrast colour to the front, in line with the eyes and sew to the head seam line. Sew tuft to top of head over the gathered section. Using black yarn embroider eyes, in the centre of the eye section, with a French Knot in the centre and a straight stitch at each side of the knot. Using black again work ‘v’ for the nose as illustrated. Sew arms to neck section on the centre seam.

Sew legs to underneath body, to each side of the gathered section 2 1/2 cm apart. Sew tail to the back, which should now give the Monkey balance to sit.   

If you make Molly and Mickey the Monkey please share your creations with us on facebooktwitterpinterest or instagram!

I'l have the next pattern to share with you in 2 weeks time!

Bye for now,

Vicki x

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Jewellery Making Joy!

Howdy!
Now, something you might not know about Minerva Crafts is that we stock Jewellery Making supplies! As Jewellery Makers, Catherine (my partner in office-crime) and I have often drooled over the Jewellery Making Pliers in stock (figuratively, of course!). We have a great choice of supplies available, and I'm here to shine a little light on the sort of stuff you can do with it!
Starting off easy we have Sarah Ortega with her fabulously cute DIY Birds Nest Neckace tutorial. These would be so sweet as a gift because you can personalise them with the recipients favourite colour, their birthstone, anything!  All you need for this is your choice of BeadsJewellery Wire, Necklace Chain, and Clasps. You don't even need pliers!
Over at Craft Gossip there's a great tutorial for an Easy Wire Wrap Bracelet which is a natural progression from the Birds Nest. Working with larger beads a casing is created by wrapping the wire to cage the stones, beads et c.. in creating a really stunning effect! What I like about this is you're not limited to beads, you can use anything! Old Coins, a piece of Sea-Glass, a pretty rock from the beach, all sorts!
Now these are my favourite of the tutorials I found,and the inspiration for this post. Cheri Dowd writing for Craft Stylish creating these earrings of JOY They are absolutely gorgeous, and the great think is you can make all this for £5.70! Throw in an extra 99p if you have to buy the crochet hook, too. That's right, crochet hook! These earrings are crocheted with fine wire,placing the bead of your choice at the centre.
So what do you think? Inspired to rock some home made jewellery? Be sure to share anything you make, we love to see what you crafty lot can do!
@minervafabrics on Twitter
@minervacrafts on Instagram
minervafabrics.com on Facebook
minervacrafts.com on Pinterest
Katie B xo
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Pattern of the Week Vogue 1426 - Full Length Evening Dress with Ruffles

This week's POW really packs a punch! Yet another stunner from Vogue in the form of V1426, a full length evening dress with RUFFLES!
How absolutely blinking amazing is this dress? I'm tempted to throw a super extravagant party just to justify buying  this dress. It's stunning! Just look at those ruffles...
LOOK AT THEM!
ahem...sorry.
As you can see from that rather extreme close up, the pattern is designed for Crepe Fabrics, as well as Matte Jerseys and Peau De Soie - another name for Duchess Satin (am I the only one who's just learnt this?!) and the contrast is Charmeuse (a French Crepe could also work well)
Our Superior Dull Duchess Satin is my dream fabric!
Using our Polyester French Crepe would create a lovely contrast of textures
Our Prada Red Satin Back Crepe would create the perfect femme fatale look, not for the faint of heart!
Or why not create a regal air with our Ponte Roma Heavy Jersey in lilac. I'm always surprised by how beautiful a jersey can look!
I know I'm completely sold on this pattern. May have to pin in to Pinterest for my imaginary wedding plans :D At just £7.50 I may have to purchase it in readiness, just don't tell my other half!
Be sure to share your makes, we love to see what you crafty lot can do!
@minervafabrics on Twitter
@minervacrafts on Instagram
minervafabrics.com on Facebook
minervacrafts.com on Pinterest
Katie B xo
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Up-cycled Lace & Denim Shorts

Hello again,
I've something a bit different to show you for today's blog post. My grand-daughter Jess (yes the one that works in the Minerva Craft Centre with me most Saturdays) goes away on holiday the same time as me. She is visiting her other Nan and Grandad who live in Spain. She mentioned how she has two pairs of shorts that she can't wear because they were TOO short. You will know what I mean!! 
So I suggested I attach some lace round the bottom edges. The first pair are these blue and white denim ones above, with a frayed edge (the frayed edge had been frayed a bit too much me thinks!!) The lace we chose is this lovely wide cotton lace in white. This is quite a deep cotton lace and has that crunchy feel. Don't ask me why I describe the lace that way it just somehow sounds right to me. Don't let me know what you're thinking haha. 
I first cut off the fringed edge of the shorts and then attached the lace using a three step zig zag. This neatened the raw edge and attached the lace in one go.
This is the lace we used photographed over blue so you can see the design clearly.
Here's how they turned out...
Her second pair already has a lace trim over one side of the shorts so we needed something that more or less matched. The same lace in the natural cream colour was the best match. The design on the cream lace is slightly different to the white - sometimes they do come in in different patterns in each batch. 
We attached it again around the bottom in a similar manner. The only difference really was on the side with the lace, I positioned the new lace over the existing one and the denim behind. The finished results look brill what do you think?
Jess has promised to send us some holiday snaps!
Bye for now,
Annette xx
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Pattern of the Week Kwik Sew 0119 - Floor Decor Decorative Rugs

Hello Gang! 
Well our POW this week is a fresh one. Moving away from clothing we have a lovely pattern for 3 different rugs, a Flower, a Tree, and an Elephant. Each rug is 36" wide with lovely appliqués, non-slip backing, fleece interlining (I think our Volume Fleece would be perfect!), and binding at the outer edge.
I am completely in love with these designs, and I know a few tiny people who I think will appreciate these! The pattern is designed for Minky, Fleece or Fleece Type fabrics (I think our Truella and Winceyette would work very well), also Cotton or Cotton types for appliqués. So as you can see this pattern is a great opportunity to work with some fantastic colour and texture. I'd even go so far to say a Towelling fabric would work wonders, too! 
For the flower pattern I definitely see our Towelling fabric coming into play, particularly in Lavender! Teamed with our Camelot Fabrics Wildflowers Daisy Dot Poplin Quilting Fabric in Pink, and a bright plain centre and accents in Camelot Fabrics Fresh Solids Poplin Quilting Fabric will really make this rug pop!
A perfect chance to experiment with texture!
This absolutely HAS to go in a tiny one's nursery. It's so easy to colour co-ordinate, and with our massive range of Quilting Fabrics you'll be spoiled for choice! Our 100% Cotton Marble Print Quilting Fabric in mid light grey will be perfect for the elephant! Teamed with our Mint Condition Collection Cotton Quilting Fabric Polka Dot in Mint and Polycotton Bias Binding in Pale Grey
The great thing about our 100% Cotton Marble Quilting Fabric is it comes in so many different colours, and each colour has a minimum of 7 shades so you can really tie it in to any colour scheme!
This is certainly the most gentle of the three designs and my personal favourite. The border and trunk would look lovely in our Timeless Treasures Tonal Stripe Texture Poplin, giving a realistic look to the trunk and branches. For the leaves and bird, our Fat Quarter Packs our certainly the  best way to go to get a good mix of colour and print. For the background, I'd be temped by a subtle texture to create a bit of depth, so our Tie-Dye Print Crinkle Cotton or Linen look Cotton would be something I'm tempted towards!
Another great way to tailor your colour scheme!
I love how this one pattern includes varying designs, and gives such an opportunity for personal touches. A great pattern, this week at just £4.50! I hope no family members are reading this, at least 2 people are getting these as Christmas present!
Be sure to share your makes, we love to see what you crafty lot can do!
@minervafabrics on Twitter
@minervacrafts on Instagram
minervafabrics.com on Facebook
minervacrafts.com on Pinterest
Katie B xo
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Q&A with Amy from Handmade by Humbug!

Hi Everyone,

Another lovely Q&A from another lovely craft blogger today! Please meet Amy from Handmade by Humbug craft blog...

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

Hello I’m Humbug. My blog is an extension of liking the sound of my own voice a bit too much, even when it’s in print. It’s also the place where I document what I’ve made. Showing off what went well and denying all knowledge of what didn’t I mean developing through honest evaluation.

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

Ok full disclosure. I hated crafting at school, my mum made my sewing class pencil case project. Three generations of my family had tried to teach me to knit but all had failed. In the end it was my Great Aunt teaching me to crochet that kicked it all off. I made my then boyfriend a blanket out of granny stitch. I then made my best friend a blanket that she still uses when she’s feeling poorly, what bigger endorsement is there than that? More addictive than pistachios I tell you.

What is your favourite craft?

You never forget your first love so I’d have to say crochet but I’m pretty smitten with dressmaking.

What do you love most about crafting?

I like things my way; crafting allows me to indulge my (not even remotely inner) control freak. I’m also 5’11” with a lotta of me to love so why stand disheartened staring at a changing room mirror when I can prance around my sewing room in garments where the correct size is my size?

My partner in crime Olive

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My Mum is an excellent seamstress making my sixth form leaving do dress. My grandmother made knitted jumpers. My favourite being a My Little Pony one with real tassel tails! I mean tassel tails, come on! My sister is a baker who makes brownies that would make a dessert chef weep.

Who do you make things for?

My favourite is to make things for my loved ones. Nothing better than someone showing off something you made for them...well that is til I start nit-picking the straightness of the stitching in the ditch.

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

I like to keep records of what I make. As much as I was joking about ignoring mistakes I think it helps to keep a chronical of your progress. You need to know where you are to know where you’re going.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

Not much of a snacker as I’m such a messy eater I prefer to wait for the garment to be made before I smear my dinner down it. Gin however is the perfect accompaniment to any craft based activity.

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

Seam ripper, Ravelry (can you believe how good this website is and it’s FREE?!?!?) and my trusty sewing machine Bob.

This is Bob. Say Hello Bob. Hello Bob. 

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

Me and slippy fabrics do not get on. Give me a lovely cotton or a nice jersey any day.

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

I like to have one in each medium going at once so one knitted, one crocheted and one sewn.

WIP the Bettine dress by Tilly and the Buttons 

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

I’d pick two. One made for each of my favourite gentlemen. The shirt of ‘Oh no I’ve gone blind’ that I made for my Daddy dearest and the Newcastle cardigan I made for the fella.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I have three. Two I will gladly share and one wild dogs couldn’t draw from me. Crochet: Aster wrap.  Sewn: Bettine dress. Knitting: My lips are sealed, sorry.

My modest stash

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

I love a good podcast while sewing. Answer me this, The Allusionist or Radio 4 are my preferred ear worms.

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

The crafty community always has the goods. You peeps are the wind beneath my wings.

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

However many pins you think are enough? Double it.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

Many many many blogs. Lucky Lucille, Jennifer Lauren Vintage, LLADYBIRD, Not so Granny, Yarn Harlot, Joy the Baker, Tin Can Knits, Thread Theory, Tilly and the Buttons, But it can’t be from Dolly Clackett.... I could go on.

Crochet squares ready to make up the Aster wrap.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

I’d feel a bit cheeky offering advice as a blogger with only 20 posts to her name so I will give general advice. Cut yourself some slack.

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

Generally winging it.

Lovely! Thanks so much Amy! Be sure to pop on over to Amy's blog to find out more about her crafty adventures. Completely agree, double the amount of pins hehe :)
Bye for now,
Vicki x

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