Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Top Tips.....

So, in my first edition of Top Tips I am going to talk about zips. Before, and during, workshops questions often come up and "what type of zip should I buy" has come up more than once.

What type of zips are there?

Coil Zips - These are the most common sort and in any good haberdashery you can expect to see a whole stand devoted to them. They come in a variety of lengths and colours and the zip pull runs over coils which attached to lengths of tape on each side. If you look closed you will see that these are not individual teeth. 

Can't find a zip short enough? Well as long as the coil is plastic there is no reason why you can't measure the length that you want and then stitch over the coil with your machine at your mark. You just need to ensure that the zip pull is below the mark which means you shouldn't be sewing over the coil where it is joined together.

Invisible Zips - Similar to coil zips but they have the coil on the underside of the tape. Put another way.  the tape sits over the top of the coil making it much more discrete and you tend to find that they have a more delicate zip pull. They are perfect for dress and skirt making.

Metallic Zips - Generally used in heavy duty garments and jeans these have shaped teeth rather than the coil formation mentioned above. Due to the metal teeth you can not sew over the ends of them with the machine in the same way that you can the coil ones.

Open-ended zips - These are the those zips that allow you to zip up from the top and bottom and are often found in jackets, coats and gillets. They are very useful as they can allow you to unzip from the bottom giving the ease needed to sit when wearing a bulky item. They can be metal or coil.

Closed-ended zips - As the name suggests these are closed at both ends and are most commonly used in bags and luggage.

Continous Zips/ Upholstery Zips - Upholstery zips tends to come in neutral shades and are that bit longer than zips that you might find in the normal haberdashery section. They need to be so as they may be needed to a variety of larger scale projects. Upholstery zipping comes in different sizes (referring to the size of the coil) and can also come on a continuous roll. Continuous rolls can now be sourced in a range of colours.

 This allows you to create exactly the right size for bespoke projects. You should normally find the zipping being sold alongside zip pulls which then need to be fed on to the continuos zipping.

Top Tips number one all done.




Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Simple things

When we were tucked up at home over the weekend I took it upon myself to get Niamhy in the mood for tidying her room. Long overdue since Christmas there was a need to fit a few more things in, strip a few things out and tidy what was already there. As always, it was a marathon event and I lost several hours of my life to the cause. However, I'm reaping the rewards now when I stroll in. 

Meet Emily Button, kindly gifted this year by Father Christmas. She's just adorable with her ric rac hair and she came with another set of clothes too. If you've not her about her you should visit her website... so charming.  The little patchwork quilt I made a few years back using the same fabrics that had I used for a blanket for Niamhy. I think she must have been about 1 at the time.

This little lady doesn't have  a name believe it or not. The doll, the bed and all the quilts together with a little felt pea were a gift to Niamhy for her birthday one year. I found the iron bed on ebay, the doll in a local shop and made all the rest. Since Christmas though she now has more furniture and a rather enormous tea set!

So I'm hoping that I can keep Niamhy focused on the cause of a tidy room and enjoy these two scenes for a little while longer as they are both making me smile lots.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Getting back into the swing......

Since I last posted I got so busy with the run up to Christmas and trying to fulfil as many orders as possible (not just to hit promises but to try and give people a nice surprise too) lot's of things fell by the wayside. I admire the bloggers who seem to be able to keep up with their posts despite the ongoing time pressures of work and family. How do they do it? Are they just more organised? Do they have magical longer days with more hours? Perhaps I should ask one or two!

So a quick whistle stop tour of the last month.

Christmas was fab, as it always should be, though we were all a little under the weather at one point or another. Not enough to spoil it though. The only thing it did wreck was eating all the lovely chocolate and cheese as I couldn't taste anything but I seem to be making up for that now.

The handmade christmas cards were fab again this year and will be treasured for years to come. Niamh and I got clever with washi tape......

.... whilst Cait made a beautiful one with more of a rustic feel. It was really charming and she had even crafted a door on the big house that opened up. (You can just about make it out if you look very closely). 

There was plenty of crafting that went on including the design of some new kits for Made by Me @ Home. I made up a number of these flower hanging decorations which look lovely strung along some ribbon like bunting.

Cait and I also visited the Fluff-a-Torium belonging to Gillian Gladrag in Dorking. If you like wool and felt you really should go, it's a very inspiring environment. Just look at the front of the shop.

And then there is all this inside.......

I had been wanting to pick up a few extra bits for the needle felting workshop I have in February.  I also  indulged in some lovely felt from the roll and came back and made some snuggly bunting. Each flag has a different design on it. There was however a running theme of spots! I must try and find a better way to photograph my bunting. I never seem to really master it and laying it out like this does not necessarily do it justice.

Oh and then there were a few of these that I started making which are now for sale at Miss Mabels. 

The school holidays ended with an insett day which was fantastic as it was my birthday. How kind of the schools to plan this for me! I had made Mr B book the day off work so we all hopped on the train (after a very lazy lay in) and went to Brighton for the day. We did ice skating at the Pavillion rink before wandering around a little. We ran a few errands and peeked at some bargains in the sales. The day was finished off with a lovely tapas dinner at a new little restaurant that we had discovered in Sydney Street called Solera D Tapas. Would happily recommend it if you like a little tapas.

Since then it's been head down with curtains and kits. A couple of evenings have seen my kitchen table looking like this and if it's not been the heart kits it's been the felt flower ones. I have to say though that there is something wonderfully therapeutic about putting the kits together on this scale. 

And of course there has been the snow. So no post today could be complete without  a snowman now would it!