Screen Printing with Thornback and Peel

Last week I attended a screen printing workshop run by Thornback and Peel at the HQ and it was THE BEST! We started by printing cards then moved on to napkins and finally cushion covers, all the while being fed cake and coffee (I waited to have a coffee after I had printed in case I got the caffeine shakes!) Here are some snaps from the day and some of my Easter styling with my newly printed napkins:


I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any more screen printing events from Thornback and Peel – I’m holding out for a Christmas themed one!


Christmas Crafting with Liberty Print

I’m just getting started on my Christmas crafting with some stockings, sacks and drawstring pouches. Here’s a selection of photos and a brief tutorial of my Liberty print drawstring pouches.





For the drawstring pouches, I used medium weight hessian and cut two pieces the same (or you can cut one long piece double the length that you want your finished pouch to be).


At this point, attach the Liberty print panel. I folded edges under for neatness. Also add Pom poms, ric rac or other decorations at this point. Then fold over the top where your ribbon will thread through and stitch.

Sew up the sides and open out the pouch. For a flat bottom which will make the bag roomier, stand upright and squash corners down then sew straight across each corner, leaving a triangular flap at each corner that you can remove or just fold in.

Attach your ribbon to a safety pin and gradually thread it through the hole and voila! Beautiful Christmas wrapping.



And if you don’t fancy making your own, you can order a custom pouch on my Etsy.

DIY Oilcloth Washbag

I have been meaning to make a washbag for a while but I wanted to make sure it was fully waterproof inside and out and never found an oilcloth that I liked enough to make it out of.

I came across this fabric in The Makery in Bath along with iron on vinyl so decided to take the plunge and make my own oilcloth.


The instructions were easy to follow but basically it looks like sticky back plastic, just less sticky. I found that it was best to pull the film off evenly at both sides to avoid creases. You then put the grease proof film back over it and press the iron over each bit for a few seconds, turn it over and repeat. I then trimmed the edges off to ensure that all of the fabric was covered.

I repeated this for all 4 pieces (2 inside in plain lining fabric and 2 outside in the fabric above). I found that it was best to lie the fabric flat once ironed to avoid curling.

I then sewed each side together, turning inside out, then attached the zip and stitched the sides and bottom. I folded each bottom corner out and stitched diagonally so that it can stand up by itself and it also makes it a bit more spacious too.


I finished it with a scrap of Liberty fabric for the zip and voila!





The Knitty Gritty

I started a scarf for my friend Pam on Boxing Day naively thinking I would have it finished by mid January for her Birthday. It was a little late but at least it’s still cold outside!


I chose Rowan’s baby alpaca wool in dark grey because it is so soft and also has enough texture to it that it looks great in garter stitch. I thought it needed something bright to set it off so attached some neon pink pompom trim, first sewing it on with the wool and then fastening it with matching pink thread.

I think the effect is rather lovely and I’d love to use the same colour combo with a thicker wool for a cushion cover or throw. But next time I will start much earlier!


Here’s the wrapping:



And here’s Pam:


Roll up, Roll up!

So it was my friend Jade’s birthday last week and it was obvious to me what I needed to make her, I just had to work out how to do it! Jade is an extremely talented make up artist and so I decided to attempt a make up brush roll for her in my favourite Liberty print, Betsy. Although it is a bit too pretty to house her gory theatrical make up, it fits quite a few brushes and could alternatively be made in oilcloth so that it is wipe clean.

I started by making the pocket, lining it and sewing in reverse then turning round and sewing up the edge. I then did the same with the main body but with wadding in between and ironed it to make sure it was flat and attached. I sewed vertically to create the pockets and then added the binding to the edge in an attempt to neaten it up!



Finally, I added a grosgrain ribbon, folded in half, and sewed the edges to prevent fraying. I made the ribbon very long and added a loop at the other side so that there is the option to wear it round the hips when in use – although due to the wadding, it’s not all that flattering!



And voila…





And of course, the wrapping:



Oh and of course check out my friend Jade’s makeup blog and website- she’s amazing!

That’s a wrap

With Christmas less than two weeks away, it’s time to get everything all wrapped up. Here are my top 5 wrapping papers available on the high street this year and some of my wrapping creations:

1. Caroline Gardner holly print – This is probably my favourite Christmas wrapping paper. You can buy it on a roll but the quality is much better per sheet and has accents of glitter as well. It goes best with pink, red, purple or green ribbon in silk or velvet.

20131215-114032.jpg Caroline Gardner wrapping paper from John Lewis (£2.50 per sheet), velvet ribbon from VV Rouleaux (£2 per metre), East of India tags (£2.50 for 6)

2. Sainsbury’s candy stripe – This print is a classic one for Christmas and suits children and adults alike. It also lets you be more creative with embellishments as it is quite plain. The paper itself is quite thin and a couple of layers might be needed to keep the surprise. It can be tricky not to rip it as well but at £2 for 4m you can’t really complain.

20131215-120054.jpg Sainsbury’s candy stripe wrapping paper (£2 for 4m roll), ‘Merry Christmas’ tape from Paperchase (£1.50), Muscial Santa toy from Sainsbury’s (£1.99), East of India tags as before

3. ‘Happy Christmas’ paper by Emma Bridgewater – This print is undoubtedly Christmassy. It’s a darker red so goes best with almost burgundy ribbon and plain twine. East of India do great ribbons to match. This print is available on a roll or per sheet. As ever, the sheets are better quality and they have reversible print which is great for making folds but the roll is useful for larger gifts.


20131215-121655.jpg ‘Happy Christmas’ roll from John Lewis (£4 for 3m), reversible per sheet from Selfridges (£2.50 per sheet) Christmas soldier decoration from Marks and Spencer (£3), ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ ribbon by East of India (£3.50 for 3m reel)

4. ‘Do not open until 25 December’ by East of India – Another great print with a handmade feel and perfect for impatient children or adults. The paper quality is good for a roll and East of India do lots of great matching tags.

20131215-122405.jpg East of India paper (£4.50 for a 3m roll)

5. Striped bow boxes by Meri Meri – These are amazing but quite expensive and it’s not as fun to just close a box as it is to wrap and tie bows. Meri Meri do lots of quirky packaging from muffin boxes to wine bags.

20131215-123136.jpg Meri Meri striped boxes from Selfridges (£8.50 for pack of 4: 2 red and 2 green)

Happy wrapping!


Eat, Drink, Sleep Sew

I have been extremely busy sewing, sticking and stamping over the past few weeks getting ready for Christmas markets! My next one is this Saturday 16th November at Rosslyn Hill Chapel in Hampstead and I will be selling Christmas cards, decorations, stocking fillers including new bracelet designs, buttons and badges, and gifts including tote bags and cushions.

Here are some of my designs this year:










Please come and visit me at Rosslyn Hill Chapel on Saturday! It is free entry and there will be mulled wine, mince pies and lots of lovely craft stalls. There is also a raffle for which I have donated one of my hot air balloon tote bags and all proceeds will go to Age Concern Camden.

Hope to see you there!