I’m Sally aka The Yorkshire Sewist and today I’m showing you my Autumn and Winter Pattern Picks. There are a lot of lovely colours coming out for this season and I’ve paired up some fabrics and patterns that may tempt you.

First up is the fantastic free pattern The Plantain T-shirt from Deer and Doe.

It is a fitted T-Shirt at the shoulders and bust then flaring at the hips, with optional elbow patches. Short, long or 3/4 sleeves are included in the pattern. It caters for a range of sizes which is great.

I’d recommend lightweight jersey knit (cotton, rayon, linen, wool) with 40% to 50% stretch.

Next up is Made by Jacks Mum – Penelope Pinafore – a relaxed pinafore dress. It has either tie straps or traditional buckles. There are FIVE pockets for hiding all of your things. There are two lengths – mini to sit above the knee and midi to cover the knee. A back split can be added to both lengths.

There is a matching child pattern called the Penny Pinny.

This pattern is designed for medium weight woven fabrics such as corduroy, denim or linen.

Ellie and Mac – Be Creative Hoodie Pattern – This Hoodie Pattern is comfortable, stylish and definitely a must-have. It features hood or cowl, short sleeves or long sleeves, piping option and colour-block style. You can make this in many fun ways – who doesn’t love a good hoodie? There is also a kid’s version too! This hoodie is designed to be made using 4-way stretch fabrics with 50% stretch.

Tilly and The Buttons Ness Skirt – This is a classic fly front skirt pattern. It looks stylish all year round, but especially made up in a nice Corduroy for Autumn/Winter. The straight skirt has a shaped waistband and curved back yoke for a flattering fit.

Choose from mini version or below-the-knee hemline with centre front split. Details inspired by denim include a zip fly front, topstitched mock felled seams, belt loops, all important in-seam pockets, plus optional back pockets for stashing your essentials. To be bang on trend you could convert the zip fly to a full length button planket skirt.

Experimental Space Casey Sweater – It’s a pretty pullover sweater with button details at the neck, long shaped cuffs and comfortable deep pockets. I recently saw this pattern when I went to Sewbrum and it’s a nice jumper with great details. I’ve got this pattern and will be sewing my own up shortly!

So there you go folks, my Autumn and Winter Pattern Picks with a few fabric recommendations. Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

Where does your love of creating come from?

I think it certainly comes from my family. My father was a painter and worked with wood, my mother was a dressmaker, embroiderer and exceptional knitter, in her spare time. I have pieces made by my grandfather too, who was also a talented woodworker, and an amazing model ship made by a great grandfather. So I was lucky to grow up in a creative atmosphere where drawing, painting and making things was quite the norm, and happened every day. However I can’t knit and have no talent for accurate woodwork!

 

You were a ceramicist for 20 years – how and why did you move to mixed media and textiles?

I went to art college to do my Foundation course when I was 24, after a few ‘proper’ jobs, none of which I liked in any way! I had intended to do a degree in textiles, but became involved in ceramics instead. I made ceramics at home and from a studio in a busy craft centre for 20 years, and have taught ceramics for longer, but through those years I still loved textiles and made as many stitched pieces as I could. I was a member of the Embroiderers’ Guild and an avid reader of textile magazines and books.

When I left the craft centre studio to work from home again I decided to take a break for a week or two, as the years at the craft centre had been fairly intense. During that time I started to stitch appliqued pictures and that was that; I didn’t go back to producing ceramics professionally, but switched my practice to textiles. I didn’t make a definite decision, it just happened. I still can’t explain it to myself or anyone else, I imagine the time was just right, but it was the start of one of the best periods in my life. That was in 2003.

 

If you had to make do with just 5 crafting materials what would you choose?

Calico, acrylic paints, acrylic inks, threads and beads.

 

What are your influences?

My influences are landscape, museums, particularly natural history collections, observation of the natural world, science, architecture, interior design, painting and ancient and contemporary artefacts.

 

What makers inspire you?

Four favourite inspirational potters are Lucie Rie, Elizabeth Fritsch, Ron Nagle and Fiona Salazar.

Some of the textile artists I admire are Eleri Mills, Marta Rogoyska, Michael Brennand-Wood, Matthew Harris, Karen Nicol and Inge Hueber.

I’m inspired too by painters; particularly Peter Doig, Ivon Hitchens, Patrick Heron, Eric Ravilious, John Piper, and David Hockney. I saw the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition at Tate Modern recently and that has been wonderfully inspiring.

 

 

 

   

 

Getting started in the craft arena

I hear a lot that people would like to start crafting.  They see things that people make and think “I would like to be more creative”, but sadly don’t think they are able or even know where to start.

My tip is to find a local craft course or travel further a field if you can and just have a go at something that catches your eye.  With craft courses, classes and workshops, you will have a dedicated tutor with all the knowledge you need to guide you through to complete a project.  If that class wasn’t for you, try other things and you are likely to find something that you like.

Continue reading

Give a lacklustre table a new lease of life using decoupage. This technique requires minimum supplies and spend yet affords beautiful results – prepare to get addicted! You can decoupage any wooden item, so feel free to apply this tutorial to that tired looking standard lamp or junk shop jewellery box find.

You will need:

Old rags (for cleaning)

Fine sandpaper (only needed if your table/item isn’t smooth)

Decoupage papers – ours were from www.decopatchme.co.uk

Scissors

Decoupage glue varnish – our was from www.decopatchme.co.uk

Decoupage brush (a clean paintbrush works too)

 

 

Continue reading

If you love to cook and bake with the kids why not make them an apron of their own? A cheap and easy project that you’ll complete in less than half an hour…

You will nee

A tea towel (cotton or linen is best)

2 meters of  ribbon

Needle and thread / Sewing machine

Sewing pins

Scissors

Tape measure

Iron & Ironing board

 

Instructions

1) Cut off any labels from the tea towel and iron. Fold the tea towel in half, length ways and so the inside is facing out. Fold to make a crease.

 

2) Measure 4 inches from the top of both tea towel edges. Fold the edge over from the half way crease and iron the crease in on both sides.

 

3) Trim the excess fabric, leaving a seam allowance of 1/2 inch and pin.

 

4) Cut two pieces of ribbon measuring 21 inches and one measuring 24 inches.

 

5) Insert your two longer pieces of ribbon into the seams at the bottom of your fold. Pin and then sew the seam, incorporating the ribbon.

 

6) Pin the remaining piece of ribbon at the neck of the apron, leaving two inches of ribbon running down the far sides for strength. Sew into place.

 

Now you’re ready to gift the apron and show your apprentice a thing or two in the kitchen!

 

We asked Terri Highnett – part of the Creative Craft team at ICHF for her top tips!

 

Hi Terri! How would you recommend someone should be ready to visit a craft show?

Preparation is key!  You need to make sure you plan your day – so you don’t miss any demos, workshops or speakers. It’s really easy to get lost in the aisles and spend hours looking over new tools  or kits – so get a Show Guide when you arrive or see if you can access information online before you get there and make a plan of attack for your day!

Also make sure you can carry everything you buy – see if your craft show has a shop and drop area or purchase a shopper or very large bag before you arrive. It’s also a great tip to make sure you have cash with you – as some smaller stands may not be able to take cards!

 

How should they navigate their way around?

Save your biggest or heaviest purchases to last if you can – so you aren’t carrying them around all day. Take time so have a look at the layout of the event and perhaps do a quick sweep first and not down any stand numbers that catch your eye – then you can work your way back round. Remember craft shows often offer lots more than just shopping, so check the maps and see where display and workshop areas are to make sure you don’t miss out.

 

Is there help available for people should they need help finding a particular stand?

Absolutely! Show Guides will contain maps or you can ask show organisers or venue staff – they will always be happy to help! ICHF shows always have an Organiser’s Office you can check in with if you have any problems – from lost property to transport queries.

 

What are your key tips for making the most of a craft show?

  1. Be open to anything! You may discover a brand new hobby or obsession by trying something new.
  2. Plan your day! Craft events can be huge and you don’t want to find yourself at the wrong end of a hall 5 minutes before your next workshop starts.
  3. Bring your friends! A craft show is a great day out and it’s always good to have someone to offer advice on your next purchase.
  4. Eat a big breakfast, bring a packed lunch or be prepared for queues for food and seats at busy meal times.
  5.  Make new friends! Guilds and clubs will often be looking for new members plus you’ll be meeting like-minded people who love the same things you do!

Thanks Terri!

creative craft show logo

Hi Jenniffer! We first discovered you with your 2017 book – Girl with a Sewing Machine – we loved it! It’s a great practical guide and tells your story along the way..

Thank you! It’s my no fuss guide to making and adapting your own clothes, and gives an insight into my sewing journey with projects that I made along the way.

Where did your love of sewing come from initially?

It started with my wedding dress – the first thing I ever made and since then I just couldn’t stop!

We read that you became a debt collector after university – how did you find your creative spark again and change paths?

Oh gosh, that seems like a life time away, but the creative spark came back when I joined the band, Snooty Bobs, as a singer, lyricist and that is how I met my now husband, Kirk. I like to think of him as my muse.

What’s a typical work day for you now?

If I’m not on site doing a workshop, events or filming for Sewing Quarter, I’m normally hiding in my She Shed  which is my new sewing studio at the bottom of the garden, normally preparing for workshops, the live shows or coming up with ideas for projects. Unfortunately, I have not done any selfish sewing in a while – I really need to make some time for that.

We loved watching you on the Great British Sewing Bee – has it changed your life in anyway?

Absolutely, it’s given me the confidence to follow my passions and dreams. I love spreading the #sewingrevolution love and just cannot believe that I was once working in an office for so long!

Tell us about #sewingrevolution please?

The #sewingrevolution is about encouraging other to pick up a needle and thread. Whether that is just to repair a button on a shirt, or making the shirt into something completely different. Sewing is a wonderful and empowering skill that can boost people’s confidence and self-esteem and more importantly it’s so much fun! The #sewingrevolution is about sharing your skill with others. Creativity is contagious – pass it on!

How much of your wardrobe is handmade?

A lot, but there is a lot of up-cycled makes as well. So, I would class those as ‘handmade’ more like ‘revamped’ lol

Where do you look for inspiration, and of course patterns and fabric?

My inspiration comes from lots of different sources. Music, colour, situations and fabric inspires the makes sometimes. I like to think the fabric tells me what it wants to be turned into.

How have you styled your sewing space?  

My space is based on chaos. I try to keep it tidy but it really doesn’t last long. But I like to have fabric swatches around so I have a lot of pin boards with things pinned onto it. It’s a relaxed space, it’s my space and I love it.

What is your proudest achievement in your sewing career so far? 

You’ve certainly reminded me how proud i felt when the first copy of Girl with a Sewing Machine dropped through the door!

What would your advice to anyone looking to get started in dressmaking be? 

There are no such things as mistakes – they are learning curves! So, don’t be afraid to make them! I like to make sample books of seams and stitches; and if I have made a mistake, I keep it and make notes on where and why I had, so I can refer to it to remind myself not to do it again.

Follower Jenniffer’s sewing adventures at www.jenniffertaylor.co.uk

 

Make a statement with a handcrafted button bouquet, perfect for brides and bridesmaids or simply on display at home.

 

You will need:

Dry foam oasis bouquet  

Buttons in a colour(s) of your choice                                                                 

Vintage brooch(s)

Wire cutters 

Craft wire (needs to be thin enough to thread)

Silk, satin or lace to match dresses

Pearl sewing pins

//Step 1// Cut & Thread

Cut 5-inch strips of wire and thread varying numbers of buttons to the wire (we used between 1 and 5), topping each with a bead or fancy button, so you can’t see the wire. They should look like little button flowers. For a 5-inch bouquet like ours you’ll need to make approximately 100 stems of varying size. You might find it useful to display your stems in a little bowl as you work – just so you can what options you have for spacing.

Continue reading