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ABOUT ME

I am Angela and I really love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. I wear my Handmade clothes almost exclusively Years have passed and I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill. So I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, free of charge. Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, and you can pass your knowledge on to others. What is not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . As a child my Saturday mornings were spent at Dads factory playing amongst razor sharp Card Clothing . My grandmother worked in the cotton mills and one of my aunts made bespoke car seats. I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion. I have Parkinson's and support disabled people without question. Do ask if you need help or advice on sewing aids and techniques Angela.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A review of the Horn Nova Sewing Machine Cabinet from Jaycotts.co.uk

THE HORN NOVA SEWING MACHINE CABINET



I used to long for my own sewing room,and when my son left home there was my opportunity. Of course he still comes home as much as he possibly can but he is a busy man and that does not happen as much as I would like.
As I now have his room for most of the year I decided to purchase a Horn sewing cabinet so that I am able to tidy everything away neatly when I have finished sewing.



My sewing table was a rickety, very old small square table and the legs kept having to be fixed back on. I also had to keep swapping my chair from one side to the other whenever I wanted to change from overlocker to machine and back again.
It was he who suggested the  table had to go and be replaced with something "proper"



Well, there was not much thought went into ordering this beauty.Yes they are not cheap but just look how elegant and beautiful it looks.Of course I needed the chair as well!


Introducing the Innovative and Intuitive Brother Innov-is VQ2


The Brother Innov-is VQ2 from Jaycotts.co.uk

I recently spent a day instore at Jaycotts finding out from owners of this wonderful machine just what it is that excites them so much.

What became obvious very quickly was the tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion for this machine shown by both owners and staff, so I had to find out more!

I interviewed a group of  Jaycotts customers who all own this fabulous machine and have put their comments and thoughts together so that you can see it though their eyes

Quilt by Sue from Liberty Bell Chester
Ann has been sewing all her life and has not had the VQ2 for very long so she is still learning. She loves the electronic side of it, in particular the extra-large colour touchscreen which is so easy to use
All Ann needs to do is to simply touch the screen to edit stitches, customise the settings, change to one of 13 built in languages and set the clock. She also loves the on screen video tutorials and built in tutorials and help guides which recommend the perfect settings for her project.
Another feature which she loves is the lighting. This machine has ultra-bright LED lighting giving a crisp natural light, it is also adjustable, so it can  turned down or brighter as you require .The lighting is not just in the needle area as usual though - this machine goes better than that as the whole arm area is illuminated.

The VQ2  with quilting by Elaine
As soon as Elaine saw the VQ2 she knew instantly that she had to have it. She loves the way the fabric is fed through easily which was instantly apparent when she went for her demonstration.
Elaine recommends that when doing free motion quilting you practise first on a small sandwich of your quilting fabric, wadding and backing until you are happy with the effect you want to create.



Saturday, 5 August 2017

My review of the Brother Innov-is NV800E Embroidery Machine from Jaycotts.co.uk

A review of My Fabulous embroidery machine plus a tour of my sewing room

I have been longing to tell you about my fantastic new embroidery machine but I am (annoyingly some say) very good at keeping secrets!
The week before last I drove down to Chester to visit Jaycotts and to look at this  machine. I have to be honest I have never in my life used an embroidery machine before so I was doubly excited and keen to see how it would work.

Do have a look at my embroidery machine on this link Brother Innov-is NV 800E


This is the machine. It is an embroidery only machine. There are some which do "normal" sewing as well as embroidery, but well, this one is perfect for my needs, and is exactly what I wanted. I prefer things which have a specific function rather than something which tries to do everything.
There are some things to consider when purchasing any machine, including an embroidery machine and I would strongly advise you going to Jaycotts to try a few out.  If you can't do that then do give them a call on 01244 394099 because they will discuss the different options with you before you make your decision.
Of course you should be looking at a machine which YOU find easy to use, is reliable and value for money. It makes good sense therefore to buy your machine from somewhere reputable like Jaycotts.
Other things to consider are
The embroidery area needs to be large because as you become more proficient you are in danger of outgrowing the machine inside of a year if you limit yourself to a small embroidery area.
This machine comes with built in designs but I would definitely chose a machine with  a USB port so that you can download additional designs - and there are plenty of free ones in the internet. I have just found lots on Pinterest.
You need a machine which is easy to thread, how many times have people told me that they hate their machine because it is hard to thread! Choose one which is easy to thread and which comes with a good quality needle threader, it will save hours of frustration and time. You may be changing thread several times for each design so this is important. I have a preference for all Brother machines in this respect.
You need to see if the machine has a colour touch screen which is clear and easy to use.
And finally you need to choose a machine which has on screen editing so that you can build up a picture using more than one design and add lettering and so on so that your embroidery becomes personal to you.

I highly recommend Jaycotts for all your sewing needs but in this respect they display and demonstrate a wide variety of embroidery machines which means that you can see them in action before you make your purchase You are also welcome to return for advice and demonstrations anytime. Plus a great bonus is that they offer regular in- depth tuition sessions with the lovely Melanie who is  Brother UK's sewing guru.
In case you need any further incentive to purchase your machine from Jaycotts they have been selling Embroidery machines since they were first released in the UK over 20 years ago. They are therefore very experienced not just in sales, but the aftercare, service and maintenance is terrific. They will keep your beautiful new machine performing perfectly for many years to come. I can testify to that because a Brother Machine I purchased  from Jaycotts over 15 years ago is still in constant use by one of my pupils and she loves it just as much as I did.
So, having been a customer  of Jaycotts for many years, well before I became their blogger,  I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to you.




Friday, 4 August 2017

My first steps on my fabulous Brother Embroidery Machine

The Brother Innov-is NV 800E from Jaycotts.co.uk







In my previous blog post I told you about the functions of this wonderful machine and discussed what to look for when choosing a new machine.
Since then so many of you have asked me how I am getting on with it  so I thought I would update you.



This Embroidery only machine is from Jaycotts.co.uk and you can view it here Brother Innov-is NV 800E  Do read my previous blog post for more information about the machine
I do suggest that you speak with them before ordering if you are not sure which machine is right for your needs. They have years of experience behind them and can talk you through the benefits of each machine enabling you to make the correct choice.





Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Sewing Workshop ZONA Jacket . A MCBN post


This is the Zona Jacket, a pattern by The Sewing Workshop with fabric from MinervaCrafts. A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network Post



Once in a while something unexpected and magical happens, and that’s how I feel about this pattern. On first glance the pattern envelope shows a drawing of a rather ordinary looking jacket, but once sewing commences it quickly becomes apparent how complex and interesting this pattern is. I would say that if you have some sewing experience and if you are prepared to follow the pattern instructions and not go “off piste” then fantastic results are very achievable.  Do include the pleated back and resist the plain back as it is mainly the back view which adds magic to this garment.........

To read the rest of the post go to:-The Zona Jacket by The Sewing Workshop






#jacket #linen #MCBN #TheSewingWorkshop #Zona #topstitching #BiasBinding #elephants #patterncutting

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Easy sewing challenge, try adding a lining to a Simplicity dress

Lining a dress

Labels

Lining,stay stitching, pressing, zipper foot, 

There is nothing quite like a fully lined dress. It feels special and it looks special. Adding a lining to a dress makes it feel wonderful, it hangs better, it lasts longer and when you choose the right type of lining it swishes when you walk. As a bonus your dress will look just as good on the inside as it does on the outside.
It is definitely something which you must do for a special occasion dress but why not line a day dress and see how wonderful you feel when you wear it.
This pattern includes a lined bodice and if you choose the straight skirt a lining is included. It is however very easy to add a lining to the full skirt version



I chose a bold printed linen and cotton mix fabric which is widely available. This particular fabric was from Abakhan Fabrics. Linen on its own creases badly but the addition of cotton helps to prevent it happening quite so much. Other fabric choices are cotton lawn and viscose. Whatever you choose for this full skirted version it needs to drape well. If you are going to make the dress with the straight skirt then your fabric choices are almost endless, why not try a brocade for a cocktail dress or a slub silk for a wedding?
I used the same fabric to line the bodice and sleeves for coolness and comfort but I chose a good quality lightweight woven lining fabric in Navy for the skirt. This gives a swing to the skirt and makes that delightful swish as you walk.
You can use lining fabric for the bodice but remember that it will not be as cool to wear unless you pick a lining fabric made from natural fibres such as a pure silk or a cotton voile.



The pattern is by Simplicity and it is New look 6447 available from Jaycotts on this link  NewLook 6447
There are options for a wide skirt or a pencil skirt and cap sleeves or sleeveless.
I cut out size 12 and it did fit well. I have a narrow back and needed to make a small adjustment during fitting, more about that later.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Make An embroidered tunic top -Sew fashionable

This is a continuation of my previous blog post, Making free- standing lace....  I have made exactly the same top but this time I have embroidered it instead of putting applique lace on.
The pattern is as before by  Simplicity -  Simplicity 4149


When I find a pattern I like I keep it in a large plastic envelope to use again. I liked​ the Navy Blue top on the previous post so much  that I wanted to make another one straight away.
The fabric is a length of embroidered Indian cotton from my own stash of fabrics. I have been looking for an opportunity to use it for a few years!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Making a tunic top with lace made on my Brother Innov-is NV 800E embroidery machine

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post



Labels

Machine Emboidery, free standing lace, embroidery stabiliser, French seam,

My embroidery machine does so much more than just embroidery and I am  working through all the different functions and applications. In this blog post I want to show you how easy it is to make free-standing lace and how to add it to a garment. Have you noticed all the embroidered garments everywhere? With this machine your own unique garments can be made quickly and easily.




Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sewing a Nautical BURDA Anchors Shirtdress


This is a #MCBN post.

What a fabulous dress this is. Shirtdresses are so fashionable at the moment and this dress not only ticks that box but it has a nautical theme and can be worn with or without a net petticoat. This dress is made in stretch cotton but picture it in a floaty cotton lawn too. However you make it this is one stunning dress.
The fabric is very well behaved, and easy to sew for all abilities. I love the anchors don't you! And the buttons are just stunning!




Please do follow the link under  read the full post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network . It explains how I made it, and what fabrics I used and how you can make one yourself.


And do leave me your comments,They are very much appreciated.

Thank you

Angela x 


Thursday, 5 January 2017

How I made My white lace pintucked blouse

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post 







This is how I made my beautiful lace pintucked blouse and how I wear it without looking too "girly" Thanks to the wonderful Alex Jaycott for his input into my  adventure with corded pintucks.



If you don't have a pair of leather trousers do go and try some on right now, they are an effort to get into I admit, well my skinny ones are , but they are the most comfortable thing ever. I love lace but for me it needs to look edgy rather than girly, so this pretty blouse will be worn with my leather pants and upcycled leather biker jacket. I will show you how I blinged my jacket later.


To give you a view of what we are going to make this is the front whilst It is being worn. The shape is very flattering with a fitted waist and lots of pintucks to create shape.
I must stress that if you do not want to do pintucks then gathers are quite acceptable, but do at least try them