Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Hand-made Linen Napkins

A good friend of mine got married in Ireland recently but I was unable to make it due to work commitments. To make up for my lack of presence on the special day, I decided to put that little bit of extra effort into making a gift that would (hopefully) be treasured.

I wanted to make something with a beautiful piece of vintage ivory Irish linen I had in my stash and I thought it would make some great napkins. I selected some beautiful organic cotton ribbons in the colours of the wedding as a decoration on each napkin. I then hand-embroidered the names of the bride and groom and the date of their wedding with some embroidery threads.

The construction of the napkins was quite simple. I sewed the ribbons on with rows of machine stitching using co-ordinating threads. I then used the micro-hemming technique I learnt during the couture finishing techniques workshop at the Fashion and Textile museum in 2017.

Finally, I selected a font using my computer and printed out the exact size of the lettering I wanted on the napkins. Luckily the ivory linen was quite transparent so I could easily trace through the lettering using a Frixon pen to transfer the lettering to the napkins (the pen disappears with heat when you iron it). I then spent a couple of hours enjoying the careful process of hand-embroidering the lettering. A truly satisfying project.

My friend and her husband contacted me today and they said they really love them. Yeah!
Have you made a gift for somebody recently?

Monday, 29 July 2019

Adventures in St. Ives

I spent a glorious few days in St. Ives last week. Amazing weather, fantastic scenery and delicious food. It is what all holidays should be made of!
Here are a few photos of the gorgeous Cornish coast and a few quick Plein air sketches and watercolour studies.

I read a really interesting book during the train journey and on the beach, 'The Salt Path' by Raynor Winn. It was recommended by Kate from the Foldline and it is set all around the South West coast which felt rather apt as I was passing through many on the train and wanted to absorb the sights and sounds of this coastline through somebody else's eyes too. I would highly recommend the book as a break from the usual rom-com light summer read!

I also visited fellow Yorkshire lass, Barbara Hepworth's sculpture garden and studio which is somewhere I have wanted to visit for sooooooo long! It did not disappoint and my tip to you, if you are visiting during the peak holiday season, is to go either as soon as it opens (10am) or in the last hour of the day (4-5pm). I did this both times and pretty much had the whole garden to myself (and my friend Charlotte) on both occasions.

I most certainly want to return to this charming and beautiful part of the world again!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

London Open Garden Squares 2019

A few sunny weekends ago I bought a 2-4-1 ticket for the London Open Gardens Squares via Time Out. I whizzed around on my bike so I could visit different gardens across Islington, Kings Cross, Camden and Regents Park. Enjoy these lovely photos of my adventures, it is really surprising how many hidden gems of greenery are in London!

Warren Street Mews, Fitzrovia
Regents Park Square Garden
Kings Cross Skip Garden
Regent's Park Allotment Garden
Victoria Hall Student Accommodation roof terrace, Kings Cross
Coal Drops Yard planting, Kings Cross
Roses in Regents Park
Union Chapel Bee Garden, Islington
Regents Park Square Garden
Regents Canal, Kings Cross
Sculpture at Granary Square, Kings Cross
 Looking back on these photos I was so lucky with the weather and had a splendid time biking across North and Central London.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Sew Over It Alex shirt dress

I made my first SOI Alex shirt dress in 2017 at a workshop in the old Islington store. I learned some new tricks (making my own bias binding) and gained confidence using a more drapey fabric (I made it out of viscose). Fast forward to 2019 and I wanted to use a lovely piece of viscose fabric gifted to me by a lady on a different SOI workshop! The fabric was 80% sewn up into a shift dress which luckily afforded quite decent spans of fabric to be re-used. I cut out all parts of the Alex shirt dress in full sections aside from the belt which I cut in strips from the previous sleeves of its past iteration.

I couldn't decide which buttons to use, so asked a few sewing friends their opinion and the cream buttons were the favourites! I bought them from Ray Stitch in Islington, making this a pretty economical make as they were only 35p each.

Nothing new to report in terms of the construction. I sewed it together over three Social Sewing Wednesday's at the New Craft House at Broadway Market.

Another item completed from my WIP (work in progress) pile! I have worn this so many times since finishing it. It's perfect for this balmy hot summery weather we are having in the UK!

What's on your sewing table right now?