twitter facebook instagram bloglovin tumblr google plus pinterest youtube

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Party Dress! Butterick 3493 #vintagepledge

I want to share with you a #vintagepledge shift dress I made for my birthday party two weeks ago. The dress was a last minute make as I picked up the fabric the week before my birthday and thought I should make a new party dress as the fabric was so gorgeous!
 The fabric was from My Fabric Place who have a great selection of fabrics online and in their Nottingham shop. I popped in as the shop is now opposite the new tram stop and within ten minutes I walked out with a bag of fabric for £6. My dress which is made of a double layer of crepe with a gold knitted top layer actually cost me £3. I cannot honestly believe it that in 2016 I can make a dress for £3! True vintage prices!
The pattern is a very faithful Butterick 3493 which is sadly out of print buy available on Etsy and Ebay. Both the shift (no bust darts and no zip) plus the strappy dress (with bust darts and zip) have been sewn time and time again by me since the 90s!
I cut the dress out first with a layer of pink crepe but it needed two to make it less sheer and more floatly. I stitched up both layers of crepe first and then the knitted layer as a separate garment and securing at the back seam and shoulders. Once I'd made it, I shared this photo over on Instagram .
Here are a few photos of my party dress with a 60s/90s vibe.
shoulder detail with the three layers attached together
nearly matching the gold circles at the seams
I love the way it whooshes with the three fine layers
I finished the dress just above the knee with the crepe as one hem (hand hemmed) and the knitted hem as a machined hem to get a tidy non-frayed finished.
You can explore more #vintagepledge sews over on Pinterest

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x

Monday, 19 September 2016

Embracing New - Life Update


Well after a Summer of crazy and happy times, last week my little one started school. It's been five years to the week since I went on maternity leave and five years of being there for my little girl. No regrets, it's been the best time and looking back I won't have changed it for anything. I can't have those days back so we've embraced the moments. Then suddenly she's off onto new adventures.

Over the last week, I have been starting to sort through and work on some much needed home projects whilst we adapt to our new routine. It's taken my mind of the change. My unloved looking house is slowly becoming a loved tidy family home but it's empty of childhood laughter in the days. I think taking on this next challenge in Motherhood, the transition to school is huge, but needs to be embraced. Therefore, each day I'm taking on a little mini challenge to move forward with our home; paint a door, clean out a cupboard, new pictures of the wall....

I've also got so used to working unsocial hours, it will take some time for me to get used to being sat at my desk at 1.38pm on a Monday. But this time will give us more family time back and I now have more time in the day to spend on creativity; my (unloved) blog and Crafternoon Tea workshops which I love hosting. I'm currently downloading a Summer's worth of pictures of projects and Crafternoon Teas ready to share.

I recently read this blog post from Emily Quinton which echoes my thoughts about change. I have a list of projects so long and lots of exciting crafts to share both here and at my workshops. I hope that this is a new exciting chapter in our lives and although it's going to take a while to adjust; the work and life balance we will get right for us all.


Samantha x


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Simplicity Sewing Challenge - Reviewing Toddler Dress 1206


Today has been a very sunny, beautiful August day. The perfect day for my little lady to wear her new Simplicity dress I stitched up for her in this strawberry printed fabric. Now four, she loves that 'Mummy made me a dress', and has been my creative director through the project. In this post I'm talking about how myself and Little L (my daughter) made this oh so pretty dress.

Back in July I was sent this pattern to make as part of the Simplicity Blogging Challenge. I entered under Children's Wear as I loved the little girl's dress on the right and had a stash of cotton fabrics awaiting the perfect pattern. I've been sewing Simplicity patterns since I was a teenager (about 20 years) and love the easy to follow patterns and they go together like a dream.

Sewing for a slim four year old isn't easy, so I thought that the swing dress would be easier to fit and sit well on the yoke and on her shoulders.

We decided on view A, the sleeveless version so we could put a t-shirt under it on cooler days and decided to cut the skirt frill half the size so the dress wasn't too long.  I wanted to make it smaller under the arms than the pattern but she liked it's swing coolness which was great for today. I made the bow but Little L didn't want to add it to the design. We may make it into a hair slide for the dresses next outing!

I also added poppers down the back and created a false placket out of bias instead of a back zip fastening. The zip isn't too comfortable again her spine in a car seat. I try to avoid zips on the back of dresses for her.

The dress fitted really well on her shoulders with the yoke. It was really straight forward to stitch and no unpicking! I was worried about pulling the threads on the print if I had to. I hand finished the dress with a slip stitched hem. I love the finish you get from a good hem.

The instructions for the yoke were really clear, I've added a photo below. I liked the idea of biasing around the arm hole instead of faffing with a facing. It gave a really clean finish.

We loved the neckline as it's really delicate with a neat arm seam finish.

Here are a few snaps of Little L having fun in her new dress...

Thank-you to Simplicity, I really love the pattern and we will be making it again.

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x

The pattern for this project was gifted but all views are my own.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Sew A Wooden Handle Bag


After a super hot July week, I'm popping by to share my tutorial on how to sew a wooden handled bag. Perfect for lazy days out this Summer.

The tutorial featured on Made By Mrs M's blog last week. You can read more here . Thank-you Kate for inviting me to share my love of vintage inspired accessories!


I love all the beautiful fabric's Kate has created using mid-century as a design source and including iconic modern London buildings. As an ex-Londoner, I love her prints, they remind me of the fabulous architecture London as to offer.

I designed this bag to be sewn up in any of Kate's lovely retro fabrics. The pattern is one you can self draft yourself using the step by step photo's on Kate's blog

Read more about how Kate and her passion for creating fabric.

I've said to Kate, once I get my mid-century house, I'm going to fill it with her prints! Kate - hold me to that! Thanks again.

Have a great week,

Samantha xoxo

Friday, 8 July 2016

Craft The Wedding You Want..Going Back To Our Wedding Venue Six Years On...

..because beautiful, unique venues do exist. 

We created our perfect Wedding day

Today, I'm writing about our Wedding day and how I visited our Wedding venue, Masa At The Old Chapel, Derby to revisit one of the happiest days of our lives. I want to show that you can be a DIY bride and your Wedding venue will be happy to help as little or as much as you want.  

When we walked through the doors of The Old Chapel back in 2009, we felt that we had found the place to hold our Wedding reception. That was it, after six months of looking. It was unique and different from the other Weddings venues we'd seen and this one let you do it your way. 

It was a total breath of fresh air for a bride-to-be with visions of a creative DIY Wedding. I was amazed when we saw the packages that we could just book the venue to host the Wedding breakfast, we could style it ourselves and create what we wanted.

Masa At The Old Chapel is very light and airy, with space for up to 80 guests in the old gallery on the first floor with a reception area/dance floor and bar area downstairs. The venue is licensed for ceremonies too but we wanted to host our party here and bused in our guests on 1960s buses to add to the old fashioned feel.

We went for a colour scheme of duck egg blue, gold and cream and used pretty voiles to wrap around the posts in the reception/dance floor area. Our amazing photographer took this fish bowl lense photo just before our guest arrived!

We filled the windows with vintage glass jars and bottles filled with fresh flowers and the venue were happy to let us in the morning to style as we wanted. I had about six friends helping me put decorations on the tables, wind fabric around posts and fill the windows with prettiness.

Fast forward six years and here I am again and this time it's for their Wedding Fair. The lovely team showed me that again you can do as little or as much as you want for your celebration. Here is my tour and the inspiration I took away from the day (and the memories!) Maybe we can throw a big party here for our tenth anniversary?

The beautiful pillars wrapped in silk fabrics

Pretty little details by Dylandco

Hydrangea Blooms at the front door from River Bank Floristry

Cream roses giving a rustic feel on the front ceremony table

And ivy draped over the linens.

I loved this huge bouquet bloom. I used mine to double up as centre pieces and bouquets.

The large windows are just waiting to be dressed!

The view from the top table.

The guests dinner view.

Cute lit up letters from Spirit High.

Cosy styling from Dylandco again.

My tips for DIY Brides -
Do expect to be at the venue on the morning of your big day
Ask your friends to help on the day
Get some high quality hand cream, you will be using your hands a lot
Don't go to too many Wedding fairs, know your own mind and style
Set up a Pinterest board and show to all your suppliers
Be prepared to have boxes of props to sort out after your honeymoon!

Thank-you to Masa At The Old Chapel for having back to babble on about how much I loved our Wedding day!

I'll be back to sample the Taste Of Masa Night in the near future.



All views my own. Our Wedding photos courtesy of

Monday, 27 June 2016

Embroidery Hoop Art

Adding More Vintage Charm to Your Embroidery Hoops


So earlier on in the Spring I hosted a blogger meet with the Krafty Kat and the girls Sew Essential. In the afternoon we made embroidery hoop art using templates, linen fabrics and stitched with gorgeous fabrics from the Sew Essential shop.

That was a few months ago and I've been hooked on the hoops every since. This post is how I add more than just embroidery into my embroidery hoops and some basics tips to get you's addictive and perfect to pop in your bag for crafting on the go!

For this project, I started with a wooden embroidery hoop with a gold fastening and square piece of plain linen fabric about 5 to 7.5cm (2-3in) larger than my hoop. 

Firstly, put your hoop on your fabric and work out where you want your template. Prym do some fab plastic templates which you can trace around with a fabric pencil or felt tip. I always move my hoop around my fabric when stitching to a natural position where I can hold it. When you put your fabric in the hoop pull your fabric in your hoop tight as poss, a little bit like a drum so you don't end up with baggy stitching on your final piece.

I started with a basic back stitch using just two threads of embroidery thread. I love to use a gold eye needle for all my work as it means that you get less fluff on your fabric off the embroidery threads. I cut a piece of thread about the length of a small ruler and divide the six strands down to just two.

Once you have stitched around the edge start 'colouring in' the middle again using two strands of embroidery thread and using a long and short stitch on a 45 degree angel.  This may take a few hours, but it's perfect if you are on a train on whilst a baby is sleeping or if you just want to out your feet up on a rainy day!

I have to admit about half way through my stitching, I like to have a break and think of how I can add more to my final piece. It's a nice break. I've started to layout out everything, like EVERYTHING! I want to use and then start to pull out the fabrics or trims that would look great.

I then narrow down what I want and start to cut the fabrics and the trims up to add to my embroidery.

When I've stitched up my letter, I can then start to stitch on my fabrics and bows. This is the fun part, I recommend the more is less option and layer up the trims little by little.


I started with the sheer fabrics as a base to build on and then added the pearls and beads.

Throughout the project I used a variety of small and large hoops for my work and swapped between the tow. It just made it quicker to stitch. I love the colours and textures you can create.

The project took about 4 hours to complete and all the materials (except the vintage fabrics are available from Sew Essential's shop.

Happy Stitching!


blogger template