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Crafts, Crafty DIY

Getting in the Christmas spirit: making our Meri Meri 3D Advent Village

December 2, 2014

So we’re a day late, but we have now got our Christmas Advent Village up! I bought the Advent Village for Tony for his birthday from Pod in Clifton, who apart from having the most amazing Christmas selection in their shop, also have a lovely selection of Meri Meri products. Meri Meri started out as a stationers back in Los Angeles in the mid 1980s, and now sell all sorts of gorgeous paper-based products for stationery, kitchen, party supplies….

Our friends and I are a bit obsessed by the gorgeous colours and patterns they use, and how could you not be! I think we will all have one of these Advent Villages in our houses this year!

meri meri meri merimeri merimeri merimeri meri meri meri

It was a little bit fiddly constructing all the houses and trees – they are die-cut really well though, and you have to make sure to punch all the holes out of the windows.

meri meri meri meri

Once they were all made, we decided that it would probably be a good idea to put some treats inside each one, so of course we chose the Lindt Lindor chocolate balls! It’d be rude not to…

And here it is!

meri merimeri meri meri meri meri merimeri meri

I can’t wait to get in to them for those Lindors! Although will be a shame to take them down…

Yay, it’s December!! :)

Sofia <3

Crafts, Sewing

Midweek sewing inspiration

September 24, 2014

I’ve just started at the Folk House dressmaking course for the second time this year, and as the summer has been very quiet on the sewing front i’ve been looking forward to getting back in to it in the Autumn again. Although, the common mantra my friend and I have is “so much to sew, so little time!”. I really need to be selective with my sewing projects, and look at making things which won’t take too much time to make up.

Another reason i’m looking for these ‘quick wins’ is that I am going to be making Tony a duffle coat for his 30th birthday (more on that in the future!!) and as it’s almost certainly going to be one of the hardest things i’ve ever attempted to sew, some nice easy projects for myself will go a long way in keeping me sane.

Salme kimono top

I came across this lovely Kimono top by Salme patterns in the sewing class on Monday, and I think it will quickly become one of those patterns, like the Sorbetto, that I make multiple times. I have some lovely Liberty print silk which I think will be perfect for this.

Papercut Clover dress

This Clover dress is in a similar vein to the Kimono top, but has that lovely v-shaped detail on the front. Bonus is that it comes as a t-shirt as well…I haven’t used Papercut patterns before, so probably a good one to test out.

Vogue misses coat

I am IN LOVE with this coat. The fact that it says ‘VERY EASY’ on the pattern is also appealing…i’ve even spotted some fairly inexpensive double-sided wool in Fabricland that I could make a wearable toile out of.

Hmmm…what to do!!?


Crafts, Sewing

Sewing Inspiration – fabric window shopping

July 4, 2013

On Monday I happened to be in London, and I couldn’t resist going in to Liberty and checking out the haberdashery section…Oh my what a beautiful place to be!! The fabric was just to die for. In fact I hardly had any time there but next time i’m in London i’ll make sure I have a proper look.

I’m currently in the middle of sewing a toile for the Elisalex dress, and the fabric choice is pretty limited (from what i’ve found so far) here in Bristol, so it was refreshing to see such a beautiful selection. The swatches below are some of my favourites.

liberty fabricAlma A Tana Lawn

liberty fabricRed Ianthe Print Linen Union

liberty fabric

Strawberry Thief H Tana Lawn

liberty fabric

Mabelle A Tana Lawn

Well, one can only dream!

Big love <3


Crafts, Sewing, Things i've made

Preparing for the Blogcademy with my business card idea

January 17, 2013

sequin, sequins, sparkles

So as I keep saying, i’m really excited about the upcoming Blogcademy next week. I’ve read endlessly through the list of things to prepare before heading to London on Tuesday night, but one thing has been playing on my mind…

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 22.09.32

Yes, business cards! I have a ‘work’ business card, but what on earth am I going to take with me that promotes me, my blog and my supposed ‘brand’?!

I have been thinking a bit about my blog design and header recently, and i’m sure the Blogcademy will give me loads more ideas and inspiration as to how I want to improve it, but I do want to stick with the sequins/sparkle theme as that is so much of what I love and who I am!

So I was thinking of incorporating the sequin theme into my new business cards, and as I now won’t have time to have anything printed, I thought a bit of crafting might be in order.

sequin, business card, sparkle

As you can see I started sewing a little group of sequins (and by the way, what is/should be the collective noun for sequins? A sparkle?! A dazzle?!) onto a business card-sized bit of nice, thick paper. I like the effect of the ‘dazzle’ of sequins, but I don’t think sewing them on is a particularly time-effective or the best way of doing it. Also, you can see the sewing pattern on the back of the card, and I really need that space to write my name, website etc etc…

Also, seeing as though i’ll have to try and make 30/35 of them, I think glueing them on might just save my sanity.

business card, sequin

I love how they look against the white card! And the fact that each card will be individual also appeals, although i’m sure Kat, Shauna and Gala will have something to say about that at the workshop. How will my ‘brand’ look consistent, if they’re all different?!


Crafts, Sewing, Things i've made

New dress project: Colette patterns ‘Peony’

November 12, 2012

I’ve started on a new dress project, as I want to make myself a long-sleeve dress for this Winter. I’ve decided on Colette pattern’s ‘Peony’ dress as it says it’s for a novice, plus last time I used their patterns I found them really easy to follow.

I’m using a medium weight wool-blend for the main fabric, a minty green for the pocket lining (both bought from Fabric land for the grand total of £8!) and this cute flowery fabric I bought at Paper Village in Bedminster as a fat quarter.



It’s not very good light in here so sorry for the crap photos…

It’s already gone slightly wrong, as you’ll be able to see from the following photos. I think I either need to cut a smaller size, or make some adjustments to the darts. I cut a size 4 though (so, in English, a size 8) but it seems big?! I’m sure i’m not a size 6…I think i’ll try and adjust the darts first and if that doesn’t work then just cut the pattern again to a 2 (size 6)…



If anyone else has any other tips, i’d be massively grateful! Other than the front, it was all going so well…I even marked out all the notches and things, and cut the pattern so accurately (very unusual for me)!


Crafts, Sewing

New skirt project: part one

October 4, 2012

So i’ve been a bit lacklustre lately on the old blogging front, and not because I haven’t wanted to! I’ve started this new marketing course and it’s so far taken up all of my week trying to do the first assignment. Plus, just like the rest of Bristol right now, I have a horrible cold too.

Still, that did';t stop me from looking on the Burdastyle blog today and seeing something instantly that I thought, “Yes!, I could try that!!”.

The pattern is this Tulle Skirt.

I thought it looked lovely and floaty, and hopefully not to difficult either (well, it does say ‘novice..)

I’m not going to do it that long though, as I want to be able to wear it with flats. As much as I love heels, flats (read: converse trainers) pretty much rule my day-to-day wardrobe. Not that I would wear this skirt with converse…

So i’ve gone through the initial steps here, and hopefully i’ll be able to start sewing on Sunday night/Monday.

As it was such a simple pattern, folding and cutting out the pattern from baking paper wasn’t such an ordeal.

I don’t have a proper cutting table or anything (yet!) so I have to use the floor. It’s a good job we have a big living room otherwise it’s be pretty hard to do!

And here is the sneak preview of the skirt patterns on the fabric. As it’s a tulle skirt, it has 2 layers. I’ve decided to go for grey polka dots over a grey crepe de chine…we’ll see how it turns out! I’m not usually a fan of grey, so I don’t know what possessed me to buy it, but I think I thought that black might look a bit ‘halloween’ at this time of the year. Also, that spotty fabric is only available in a limited amount of colours at my local fabricland, so I think I decided that grey would be the best option.

Total cost of fabric, plus 20cm invisible zipper: £12.30

Next time i’ll blog how the sewing of the skirt goes, and hopefully there will be a happy, smiling picture of me wearing it at the end!


Crafts, Sewing

Autumn sewing inspiration

September 21, 2012

With the weather getting so much colder so quickly it’s really made me think about what on earth i’m going to try and sew next…having only started sewing going in to Spring and Summer, I was thinking it was going to be really difficult finding simple, great-looking patterns to sew that would be suitable for the Autumn/Winter.

How wrong I was! Colette patterns have brought out this beautiful jacket, and Burda Style have also got this great new sixties collection that’s just in. These patterns are what’s inspiring me to sew for the coming Winter months:

I do love a long sleeve dress…this Burdastyle sheath dress looks simple enough for me to attempt.

The Anise jacket by Colette pattens is probably my favourite – as soon as I saw it in my inbox I knew I had to try and make it! I think they’re starting a sew-along tomorrow, but I still need to get the pattern and the Anise companion which I think will massively help me!

I love this Burdastyle Dress Coat

The Kelly skirt is also going to be on my list this Winter. I think this would be great in a corduroy fabric, or a wool/tweed mix. I love button-down a-line skirts!

I don’t know why there’s such a pink theme going on here, I don’t think I was drawn to them because they’re pink! I’ve got some decisions to make as to what’s coming first, I guess that will depend on my fabric stash and whether I want to buy some more (of course I always want to go and buy more…)


Crafts, Sewing, Things i've made

My first ever home sewn shirt

September 3, 2012

So i’ve recently started sewing, pretty much ever since I got a new sewing machine for my birthday back in February. So far i’ve made various iphone/ipad pouches and cushions, but what I really wanted to get in to was sewing clothes for myself.

There is such a wealth of information online for the beginner seamstress, that it was kind hard to know where to start! Colette patterns were my first port of call, and I downloaded their free Sorbetto top pattern. I highly recommend it as a beginner pattern, however, more on that one another time.

I was also introduced to Burdastyle by my friend, and this site has a huge number of patterns you can buy, download and then print out at home to use. I’d been after a simple shirt pattern to try out (I can imagine the more difficult shirt patterns would be a bit of a minefield for a novice like myself!) and found this one.So it looks a bit plain, but I was inspired by the pictures posted by people who had tried this out, and it looked great as a versatile little shirt that you could tuck in to skirts and trousers.

I bought a spotty cotton from my local Fabric Land for just £3.30/metre. It didn’t need much, and I thought if I went wrong I could just buy the same fabric again. I’m not very good patient at making toiles that I won’t even wear, so at least if this was good enough to wear it would be worth all the time spent making it!

So here it is! Apologies for the crap photo, but taking photos of yourself with the self timer is not that easy, and I also felt so stupid doing it! (I bet I looked it too, ha!)

It took me most of an afternoon and evening to make, and that’s from cutting the pattern to the last button hole. It also went a little bit wrong on the collar, but you can hardly tell, especially when i’ve got my hair down. I think next time i’ll make it in a lighter weight fabric, and also make it less long as it is quite a long pattern, and I wouldn’t wear this not tucked in to a skirt or trousers.

What a ridiculous pose and face!!

Burda style sleeveless blouse

I enjoyed making this shirt, and think it could become a good Spring/Summer wardrobe staple in the future. I’ve had loads of compliments on it and so far no one has noticed the slightly wonky collar work. Pity i’ve only just made it and it’s basically Autumn here in the UK and won’t get much more chance to wear it here in the UK!

I’m planning to make a couple more shirts from Burdastyle so i’ll keep posting my progress on here, hopefully the next few will be more successful!


Crafts, Trips away

A lovely jaunt up north

August 28, 2012

Shiny heartsWe’ve just got back from a great trip up to Manchester, Bolton (to visit my Grandparents) and Chester to visit the family. We stayed with my oldest friend in her house in Levenshulme, on the outskirts of Manchester. It was a pretty boozey, meat-filled weekend (read: best burger i’ve ever eaten!) and amazing to catch up with old friends.

Elle and Gaz’z lovely garden…

We ate out quite a lot, and had the most amazing cocktails at this bar call Tusk in the Northern Quarter. It had African-themed decor, so lots of crazy fabrics and colours, but the cocktails were to die for!

cocktails from manchester

Mine was Gin, Elderflower, Pear and Earl Grey and basically the most perfect cocktail i’ve ever drank. Elle’s was some sort of white chocolate concoction that was also pretty scrumptious.

We visited Fred Aldous, where Elle works, which we spent about an hour in just looking at all the cool stuff it sells. It’s an art, craft and design shop so sells everything from rubber stamps, stationery, camera equipment, sewing supplies (yes!!), carpentry supplies…the list goes on!

We bought a few little things, the main event being the ‘Uber Origami’ book that Tony bought and the origami paper. Who knew he was so good at Origami?!

He made an origami duck and dinosaur, amongst lots of other things!



Crafts, Things i've bought

My new charity shop purchase

August 23, 2012

I bought this awesome book from the Amnesty International shop on Gloucester Rd here in Bristol at the weekend for the grand total of £1.50. They’ve always got such an amazing slection of books in there, I always have to stop myself from going in there at the weekends as I just end up coming home with loads of books I take ages to get round to reading (or rather, almost never read!)

Anyway, check out the retro-ness of ‘The Book of Creative Crafts’ edited by Elsie Burch Donald:

The Creative book of Crafts by Elsie Burch Donald

It’s got loads of different crafty things to try out in there, from the obvious like sewing, knitting and stitchery, to the slightly less common crafts such as candle making, rug making and creating bizarre collages out of seeds and beads!

I’m quite up for giving screen printing a go – something I never did when in school and I always wanted to try it.

Screen Printing

Also, the Bargello needlepoint cushions are absolutely stunning, check out these beautiful patterns:
Close up Bargello pillows

It gives you pattern shapes and then tutorials on how to do the stitches. Of all the things in this book, I think this technique is one i’d most like to try out.

Close up of bargello stiches

I can really imagine one of those awesome patterned pillows against our white sofa in the lounge.


PS i’ve just seen you can buy the book from Amazon too!