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Christmas bags

Make this easy Christmas bag in just half an hour!

We ditched the Christmas wrapping paper last year and went with fun drawstring bags for our presents.  As long as the mice haven’t eaten them and I can remember where I put them, they will be reused until they fall apart.

Follow the pics to make your own Christmas bags.  You will need:  fabric, scissors, trim, cord for drawstrings, sewing machine.

I used half a metre of green glitter cotton, 4 and a half metres of cord for the drawstrings, 1m of ribbon for the casing. You can decorate with fabric initials, pompoms, felt or anything you fancy.

Step 1

I used glitter cotton fabric and sewed the seams up each side.

Step 2

Chose my trim and cord drawstrings.  I like a pull cord from each side. You can save money and cord by only having one pull cord, like a school PE bag.  Don’t forget to add another half metre as when the knots are tied it can get quite short. 

Step 3

I turned a wide seam over to the inside and stitched round the whole bag top to make a neat top.  If you have plenty of fabric, turn it even wider so you can use this top seam for your casing and sew 2 rows of stitiching half an inch apart.

Step 4

I used ribbon for my casing as it doubles as decoration. Stitch it around the top of your bag about 3 inches from the top edge.

Thread the cord through the casing. If you haven’t left a gap you can cut your ribbon to thread through.  If you want to do it really properly, sew one casing on the front and another on the back, leaving a little gap for your cord to thread through.

I usually run Christmas classes to make these and we had a blast last year with little versions of these.  If you need any help just shout or come and see me!  I have lots of Christmas fabric in stock.

 

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Garlands

A week to go until we can reopen!  In the meantime, here’s a couple of garland ideas to keep you busy and get prepared for Christmas.  These work well both as presents to gift, or make some to decorate your house, tree, garden or wherever!

Felt Bunting

You will need:   felt sheets, half inch tape, scissors, needle and thread or a sewing machine.

Cut out your felt triangles   and arrange.  Rainbow as shown, or go scandi Christmas with red, white and green, or celebrate a new baby with pastel colours.  Cut as many as you need.

Fold over the end of your tape to make a loop.  This keeps the ends neat.  If you need to tie it around something, use a seperate bit of string, ribbon or elastic band to secure.

Fold the tape over to catch the felt triangle within the tape. Pin to secure.  You could iron the tape in half if you wish for a sharper guideline.

If you have a sewing machine, my top tip is to use a ZIG ZAG stitch to make sure you capture the binding tape on the reverse.  I find it a total nightmare trying to catch the tape on the backside if i sew straight stitch.  Of course if you are hand sewing, you should be able to turn your work and see where you are going.

Make the felt bunting as long as you require.

Pom pom garland

This pom pom garland is a lot of fun to make.  You can put as many or as few pom poms as you like on your garland.  This one, made by Freya has space and pegs for interspersing with photographs.  What a great idea!

I will show you how to use a pom pom maker to create your own winter garland.

These are wooden pom pom makers not the usual circular ones. Simply wrap your yarn around the forky bits and tie tight to secure.  I will upload a little video tomorrow as it’s too dark tonight to show you. 

 

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Knitting project

Welcome to lockdown crafts 2.0

Want to do something? Had a go at knitting before? Haven’t knitted for years?  Here are some patterns and yarns that might inspire you to re skill and make yourself some lovely accessories or give as gifts for a handmade Christmas!

This is Carnival Tweed chunky yarn from Stylecraft. I had a delivery the day of lockdown plus half a dozen pink ones already in the shop. It has a wool content of 20% and is lovely and soft to knit with on 6mm needles. As you can see from the photos, it knits up in a lovely varigated stripe. There is a beret pattern on the inside of the ball band plus see the patterns below that I have in stock. If you’d like anything, give me a call or message and I can arrange to meet you at the shop for collection.

If you need some more ideas, check out the UK Hand Knitting Association http://www.ukhandknitting.com and check out my Stylecraft suppliers, who have FREE patterns on their website! https://www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk/

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Saving the Planet – one craft at a time

I do my best to reuse, recycle and be as eco conscious as possible here at the shop.  I am old enough to remember recycling the first time round when pop bottles went back to the shop for a 10p refund!  I know recycling isn’t new, but since the invention of plastic the world has gone into consumer overdrive as it’s cheap and keeps everything clean in transit.

A lovely best mate of mine has been plastic free this last 20 years and there’s still plenty we can all do to help minimise the waste we see every day.  Lots of customers already bring cloth bags for their shopping and when I have them,  you may be given a special handmade Mrs McGregors cloth bag for yours. I always love the reaction when I give them away!  In addition to recycling my packing, I sell a growing range of recycled and eco friendly products.

When deliveries arrive, packing is given to the charity shop to wrap their china in.  Larger cardboard delivery boxes are given to a lady who posts a lot of furniture around the country.    This helps me move waste but more importantly, saves  having to buy new packaging, which I think is a win win all round.  Lots of shop stock comes plastic free; elastic, bindings, trim, lace, threads and things like webbing all come on reels so you don’t have to buy a pre packed amount, just have exactly what you need.

 

New from old

Lots of products are now made from recycled plastic. One of my suppliers has really tried hard to get with the eco friendly products and packaging and I fully support them. I buy recycled toy filling, sewing thread and a range of ribbon called ‘New Life’ which now are packaged on cardboard reels.

I also sell pre loved crafting supplies. I have a large range of pre loved card and papercraft, plus embroidery threads and kits that haven’t been used and are just in old packaging. I have some lovely large embroidery frames and some ready made tapestries that need a good home. There’s lots of pre loved ribbons and fabrics that have just been hanging around a few years and need someone to love them. Do ask, there’s a myriad of stuff upstairs that would love to see the light of day!

Ditch that single use!

  For a long time now, we have stocked a range of reusable and eco friendly versions of make up/face wipes, sandwich wraps (great for back to school) and metal straws in a handy carry pouch, all made by Melissa.  These are great for birthday gifts to post or a treat for yourself!  They have been tried and tested by friends and family.  At the moment these are all displayed in the window, so do pop in and take a look.

At the moment, bags, clothing and anything made from recycled fabrics are on hold, but as soon as we can, the ranges of recycled/upcycled bags and clothing will be back.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

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Face coverings

For those folk making masks or face coverings, I have been following the  www.bigcommunitysew.co.uk tutorials and patterns. check out some links below and look on the tutorial page for  some ideas and help.

 

shaped face cover instructions

shaped face covering pattern

Below is my version of a rectangular face covering.  Any questions then do shout!

 

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Beginners knitting

Steph is running a socially distanced beginners knitting class on Weds 29th July, do come and join us. If you have been teaching yourself during lockdown and need a little bit of guidance then this is for you!  If you have always wanted to have a go, then this is for you too!!

If you are still shielding but wanting to learn, check out this youtube clip from the UK Hand Knitting Association and sign up to their channel for help and ideas.  Check it out here

There is only space for 4 upstairs, so please contact me to book your space.

See you soon!

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Back in business

 

Small businesses officially allowed to open again! hurrah!    Many people came by to say how nice it was to see me open again which was lovely.  It’s worrying to think if your customers will return or not.  Being closed for such a long time makes for reassessment of everything.

  I have spent the time sitting in the garden reading, only finding other things to do when the weather cooled down.  A few folk have told me they haven’t managed to settle through this time to do anything or be productive.  Me neither, I have achieved nothing spectuacular, not learned a language or produced a quilt or crocheted blanket.

 

I have, however, been still, rested and mindful, enjoying the outside, feeling the wind and the sun on my face, watching the birds flit past and being in the now.  I have also spent time cooking for my family, we only ever do 3 meals a day together on holiday.  Finding enough for 4 people to eat every meal can be a challenge, particularly when small teenager declared he was going vegetarian a few weeks ago!

Be kind to yourselves whatever you are doing and whenever you choose to come out of lockdown I shall look forward to seeing you.

 

Best wishes,

Sue

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Holidays

We should have been in Spain over the Easter holidays, as usually by then I am in desperate need of some sunshine.  It became quite obvious it wasn’t going to happen so we made the most of our #staycation!

In flight movies… 

Eating lovely home made burgers outdoors… (ok it was freezing and we won’t be doing it again)!

Lazy mornings and pancakes for breakfast…

Having small teenager show me how to make proper barista coffee served in my favourite mug…

and in the main, I have been sitting outside in the sunshine reading lots of books, which is just what we usually do on holiday!  It certainly has cost us a lot less money, or it will do when RyanAir give us a refund on flights!!

I am a couple of weeks behind the boredom threshold that most of you will be feeling due to being ill, but what have you all been doing to survive your lockdown?

Stay safe and enjoy the weather if you can.

 

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NHS support

Recently I have been contacted by a few folk making things for the NHS as they were short of supplies.  I have been out of the loop for a couple of weeks due to being poorly, but a quick internet search showed that PPE was sorely needed.  I have a fellow small business owner Claire@waistcoatsunlimited who is making scrubs for the NHS, plus I read that Patrick Grant (yes him from the Sewing Bee) has turned his Northern factory into full time scrubs production. 

         

The first lady to contact me wanted elastic and buttons to make headbands for the nurses as their ears were getting sore.   I donated the supplies in return for some information in case any of you out there wish to contribute.  Here is the info she sent to me, although I don’t know who wants them or how to get them there at the moment!  I am sure that with enough local contacts we will find out soon enough and I will update here.

Reversible Scrub Cap Tutorial (1)

Pattern plus Hair Pocket instructions

PDF_Full_nhs_coronavirus_bag_tutorial_from_Sew_In_Brighton

 

Mr McGregor has been doing his bit to help and has been busy 3D printing headbands that go with an acetate face shield. 50 of these lovelies went to a collection hub yesterday. He got the pattern from the National 3d Printing Society website with all the details.   https://national3dprintingsociety.co.uk/

 

I hope you are all staying safe and if you’re bored, give me a shout, I can arrange an appointment to get to the shop or get some crafty package deliveries going if you are local.  Time for lunch!

Sue

 

 

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The best laid plans

Welcome to Corona Crafting lockdown week 1 blog!

Boris has closed me down for the time being as I am non essential retail (although you try telling an avid crafter they cant get supplies and see where that gets you).   A 3 week business hiatus I thought would be doable, I would accept it with grace and treat it like an enforced holiday.  I had all these grand ideas about what I could fill my newly gained time with;  make a patchwork quilt, sit serenely knitting, or  finally learn how to put on eyeliner with that little flick at the side? 

What have I done so far? Nothing.   Actually, that’s a lie.  I have spent a week reading teenage fiction in the sunshine, catching up on the last few books of a series that I started some years ago in a bid to stay conneced with my large teenager, who very soon won’t be a teenager any longer.    I usually only read for pleasure on holiday, when I voraciously demolish half a dozen novels of varying types although I am partial  to a good thriller.  I love escaping with a book, especially a well-written one that takes you to imagined countries with an exciting life of derring-do and adventure. 

I am having serious problems of late though, as my fiction is clashing with reality just at the moment due to watching a series on TV called “Under the Dome” (Mysterious dome covers small town, panic ensues in the lockdown) and “The Last Ship” (Virus wipes out the world, Navy ship saves the day).  Plus the books (Time travelling teenagers can’t save the world from a pandemic virus from china in 2070)  I am really having problems waking in the morning and wondering what’s real and what isn’t anymore!

This might be my view for a bit longer, as despite taking my Dettol wipes and being REALLY careful, I have managed to come back from a supermarket food shop with some kind of mini lurgy. (Don’t panic, i’m sure it’s nothing)! and just at the moment, I don’t really feel up to making a business plan as to how I can keep the shop afloat for the next 3 months.  Week 2 of lockdown might just involve staying in bed or sitting quietly reading with a constant supply of paracetomol beside me.  I will, however, need some new reading and TV material – Please help me with your suggestions!!!

Stay safe and lurgy free.

best wishes,

Sue xx