2 Mar 2016

Behind the scenes

To an outsider I've probably appeared to have not been being very productive over the last few months. Christmas and half term holidays were lovely and I took a total break from anything even remotely work related and immersed myself into family time. However during school time I've been pretty busy ...

  • Designing some new patterns to improve and extend my range. 
  • Trying to get my head around search engine optimization.
  • Doing market research.
  • Honing my product photography skills and set up. 
  • Considering the direction I want to take my business in and breaking it down into small steps.
  • Emptying my workroom, rearranging all the furniture and making it more workable.

Today it's finally time to get to the sewing machine and get creative with lovely fabric. Yay!

29 Nov 2015

A step in the right direction

I've been pretty busy (in between the lovely distractions of children's birthdays) developing my own kiss lock purse pattern. It took a while to get it just right but I've made around 15 purses with it so far and there'll be many more to follow. This Mr Fox purse was the first successful one I made...

I've also been having a go at making a some cute wristlet keyfobs...

As well as making I've been photographing, editing and uploading my work to Folksy. 
I'm ready to get making again tomorrow and am feeling the urge to make something Christmassy!

5 Jul 2015

Where has the time gone?

Wow! About 3 years has passed since my last post and it's been one hell of an eventful rollercoaster ride during that time! However, I'm back...

Hello again !

Just dipping my toes in the blogging water and maybe having a bit of a paddle to begin with until my youngest starts school in September at which time I plan to perform gentle CPR on Belovedly and hopefully bring my once fledgling business back to life. I'm in the midst of sorting out my new sewing room, which is nearly complete, I'll show you around it when it's finished. It's only the box room but it should be more than adequate to get me started. 

I'll leave you with a condensed list of our goings-ons over the past few years...
  • Moved house
  • Bought a pet fish
  • Renovated our new home (7 rooms down - 2 to go)
  • Had one of our children diagnosed with a chronic disease
  • Plucked out too many grey hairs and resorted to dying it 
  • Done a course in garment construction at college
  • Bought an overlocker
  • Mastered Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Taken up Pilates


17 Jun 2012


Introducing the finished Clarabel ...

Isn't she lovely? She is just how I imagined in my head except for one small thing. The choice of fabric was a slight compromise. It is exactly the right colour to match with the red wall but I would have liked white hearts instead of spots as there are already hearts featuring strongly in the decor of this room. I did find the perfect fabric online but you never know exactly what colour something will be when buying online and reds can be funny to match. So I'm going to keep a swatch in my purse and if I happen to come across the exact right fabric I will get it and make new curtains and re-purpose the spotty ones. So pleased with it though, I just need to put everything away now so that the room can be used again and I can get on with other sewing for Belovedly. Not bad for a grand total of £35 eh?

If you are new to my blog you can view the before pictures of Clarabel here...

10 Jun 2012

Beautiful and beyond

Believe it or not bag-making and related activities have been very slowly continuing behind the scenes (and I shall be blogging about them again shortly!) However, they  are on hold for a few days.

I bought a beautiful yet dilapidated display cabinet today which I'm in the process of giving a new lease of belovedly life. So far I've only removed the glass (I have v.young, v.boisterous children) it needs some reinforcement at the front, a couple of plywood panels in the sides, a sand down, a few coats of paint and some fabric panels making for the little windows and then it will be even more beautiful than it is now in its worn out, faded, graffitied state. (Did I mention it was super cheap?) Anyway here it is ...

 In the shop

Glass removed

When I saw it I immediately knew I needed it in my life, Mr Belovedly needed some persuading but I wore him down in the end. I think he was getting hungry and realised I wasn't going home without it! I even agreed to get rid of one of my many beloved blanket chests as a trade off ... I'm secretly hoping he forgets about that particular part of the deal! Anyway when my cabinet is finished it will be used to store all the bits and bobs from Belovedly bag-making that currently reside all over the place in our dining room so Mr Belovedly will actually be a happy chappy as he is always complaining about the many homeless bits and bobs.

I think my cabinet will be so lovely that she will need a name. Normally I like things in my life to be masculine, My husband is a man, my children are boys, my car 'Bernard' is male, I have always without exception opted for male pets (okay, maybe I wasn't too sure about the gender of my fish,) other household items etc that I've named have also always been male (I'm sure I'm not the only one to do this as my husband has a plant named Stuart ... maybe that's my influence though thinking about it! Hmmm - Actually I know I'm not the only one as my sister in law had a hoover called Bob.) But to get back to my point, the cabinet is most definately a girl, she will need an old fashioned but cute name that starts with C.
Any suggestions?

20 Jun 2011

Sock Elephant Tutorial

 How to make a sock elephant...

The green lines represent sewing, the pink lines represent cutting, the dotted red lines are where to do hand running stitch and pull tight and yellow lines are where to attach something.

Please refer to the photos below regularly.

You will need 2 gents socks and 1 plain ladies sock, 2 buttons, good quality thread, toy stuffing and a needle. It will be alot quicker with a sewing machine!

Step 1. Ears - Sew (green line) zigzag across the toe of each sock as shown in the first picture. Cut (pink line) as close to the zigzag sewing as you can. You now have 2 ears - put to one side for later.

Step 2. Body - Turn sock inside out. Using straight stitch sew across the elasticated opening of one of the socks and then up and down as shown in the first picture to form the separate legs. Carefully cut between the legs to separate. Turn sock right way again and stuff legs and body. The heel will form the elephants bottom. (It will take a while to get a good form when stuffing socks and it really is worth spending the time over as can't be sorted out later if its lumpy.) Hand sew a loose running stitch around the opening of the sock about 1cm down from the edge, pull it tight (I use top stitching thread for this bit to ensure strength, or you could use your thread doubled) poke the frill that forms down inside the sock, pull abit tighter and tie off very securely.

Step 3. Arms - Get the other sock, turn it inside out, sew across the elasticated part of the sock and then sew parallel lines to separate the arms. Cut across the top as shown in the first picture and cut between the parallel stitched lines to separate each arm - sorry I forgot to put that bit in the photo! Turn each arm the right way around, stuff, sew across the opening with zigzag a little way down from the edge and trim neatly.

Step 4. Head - Turn sock inside out and use straight stitch to sew on the green line in the picture below to form the trunk and forehead. Cut on the pink line. Turn the right way round again. Turn up a little bit of the trunk and hand stitch around it to form a nice neat edge - N.B. You are NOT closing up the trunk just hemming it.

Step 5. Now get the ladies sock. Stuff a good sized firm ball of stuffing into the toe, about the size you want the elephant's head to be. Tie a knot in the sock next to the stuffing to close off the ball (- this stops stuffing escaping down the elephants nose and allows secure attachment of buttons for eyes.) You will have a long bit of sock with no stuffing in it - tuck this down the trunk you have sewn in the gents sock and pull the head of the gents sock over the ball in the ladies sock. Using hand running stitch sew approximately 1cm down from the edge of the opening in the gents sock, pull tight and repeat the closing up procedure as you did with the body.

You are now ready to start assembling your elephant which needs to be done by hand with good quality thread, doubled.

Step 6. Sew a button on for each eye - as shown in the picture above by the yellow circle -N.B. The seam coming up from the trunk will form the shape of the forehead so you need a button each side of the seam. Then sew on the ears - as represented in the picture above by the yellow curved line.

Step 7. Sew the arms onto the body in the position you want them.

Step 8. Position the head on the body. The sock heel on the head will be the neck bit so rest this on the gathered bit of the body. Hold carefully in position whilst sewing around the neck (taking fabric from both the head and the body) in a circle attaching the head and body together. Sew around twice or three times until happy the head is securely on. Tie off securely.

Love, Love, LOVE.

Oh and give him a name :)

Hope you enjoy making your elephant. If you decide to have a go please do send me a photo! I will upload a good sized photo of a finished elephant once I've found my camera (the photos on this post were taken with my phone.) as I've had it pointed out to my that the group of elephants in my last elephant post wouldn't enlarge for some reason.

Pop over to Wendy's 1st Unique Gifts Handmade Monday blog to see what other crafters are upto :)

23 May 2011

Changing Bag - At Last!

A week later than originally planned, due to matters beyond my control, my changing bag is ready for public viewing. It's been a massive learning curve and I've really enjoyed making it. The front has 2 birds on a blossom tree branch appliqued on it. A pale blue bird for my eldest boy and an even paler blue bird for my youngest boy. I've used glittery flower buttons for the blossom. There are loads of pockets and it's big enough for everything I need for a full day out with my boys including a change of clothing and a few toys! 

up close detail

bottle holder
under the flap
round the back
inside empty - nearly

inside full

I'm really very pleased with it and am so glad I treated  myself to making something for myself! It turned out exactly as I'd imagined. I've included this blog post on Wendy's Handmade Monday Blog, if you've enjoyed reading this then pop over there and see what other talented crafty types have been making this week.