Live at Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC!

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(Well, one of us is – the other one is still in Ashford, but let’s not mention that.)

Exciting times, Clair is live at the NEC this weekend for the massive sewing show Sewing for Pleasure! She arrived on Wednesday ready to set up, and had her first day yesterday – if you’ve in the Birmingham area or fancy a day out, you’ve got another couple of days to go along and see what’s what at one of the biggest sewing and dress making shows in the UK.

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Here she is at our stand, with our gorgeous range of Kaffe Fasset prints, all of our fantastic sewing themed jewellery and our full collection of independently designed patterns, including the brand new releases – the Lotta dress and the Issey culottes.

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And here’s the lovely Hannah who kindly volunteered to help out on the first day – she was busy at work showcasing the kimono dress pattern in some gorgeous Kaffe Fasset material.

So far it’s been hugely busy, as you might expect, but that hasn’t stopped Clair from having a little look around at what everyone else is up to. The Emporia stand is located in front of the Toft Alpaca, selling alpaca wool and animal patterns, and opposite The Silk Route, who are selling silks. Just around the corner is the Brother stand, where our lovely rep Rachael is working, the fabulous Maven patterns who are another indepdent small scale pattern designer.

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And of course our fabulous friend Paul from Fabrics Galore is always nearby, selling his own range of amazing wares. It wouldn’t be an Emporia day out without a visit to see Uncle Paul, now would it?

There are plenty of amazing displays on show all over the hall too including some beautiful kimonos – Clair was very excited to see these, as she loves anything Japanese. Alongside these there are some stunning examples of quilting and embroidery, proving these stitching skills are far from old ladyish.

The Sewing for Pleasure show is taking place at the NEC Birmingham today until Sunday 18th March 2018, and Emporia is located at stand F15.


Behind the Scenes at our Photo Shoots

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Last weekend we teamed up with the amazing Photography Company, i.e. Emily Holland who is part of the Love Ashford team, to take some photos of our patterns for our forthcoming website. We used a gorgeous house out in Mersham which belongs to friend of the shop Hannah – and she kindly agreed to be a model for the day too.

Emily is an amazing photographer and has been working with her sister for a a few years now having set up their company through the Ashford town centre pop up shop. Despite now mainly focusing on wedding photography, they also still do photoshoots like ours and for families too. And this is all on top of Emily still being on maternity leave. You can see their work on Instagram @weddingsbyemandbeth or visit their website

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Brrrm, brrrmm. Modelling pays well these days

We took plenty of photos and had a really enjoyable time posing in the clothes, and we even had help from Clair’s sons – one in the form of another model and the other in the form of child-model wrangler. It was another of our truly iconic Emporia days out, which always involve good fun, plenty of laughs and generally some pastries of some sort. Sadly it was a bit too early in the day for wine, but I know we all had a glass or two when we got home – modelling is hard work!

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Having a hot cross bun break

We are still working on our website, and a couple of other exciting projects that we will be releasing soon, but in the meantime, take a look at the some of the behind the scenes pictures from the day, of our fabulous models and gorgeous location.

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A team effort

Keep your eyes peeled for all our exciting news coming soon!

Saturday Manager Vacancy


We’re hiring! Sadly, our lovely Saturday Manager Raquel is leaving us this spring and we are now on the look out for a replacement. She has been with us since October 2015 and has made a big impact on our weekend customers and we’re very sad to see her go, but with all things in life, we must move on and this means we are now looking to find the next member of the Emporia gang. If you are a big sewing fan, are free on Saturdays and would love to work with us, then read on …

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Since Raquel joined us over two years ago we have expanded our shop quite significantly; we had only just moved into the new premises in Park Mall in July 2015, and now we’ve been here for two and half years and are well and truly settled in. Back then we only had cottons and a few jerseys, and now we stock an even wider range of cottons, poplins, lawn, jersey, felt, velvet, wool, organza, chiffon, sequins, lace, fur, brushed cotton, canvas, net and oil cloth. We also introduced the Brother sewing machines in January 2017 and are now selling sewing, embroidery and overlocker machines. Clair has been super busy over the last two years designing patterns, so we now have ten Emporia patterns alongside our other independent dress patterns. And we have a much larger selection of wools and knitting too. So things have changed a great deal since the old days of the tiny shop!

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Now we are looking for a seriously passionate sewist who would love to join our team; if you are free on Saturdays (and some Sundays), keen to showcase your amazing customer service and would love to get involved with helping out with our patterns, then head to the vacancy page and see how you can join our gang!

Application forms are available from the shop – the closing date for the Saturday Manager job is Saturday 17th March 2018.


Low Down on the Innovis NV1100

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We are hosting yet another Brother Demo Day next week giving lots of you the chance to see just how amazing some of our sewing and embroidery machines are. Rachel from Bother will be here from 10.30am onwards on Friday 16th February, showcasing any machine you want to see in action, and answering your questions. If you are thinking about getting your hands on any of the Brother machines, it’s well worth popping along for a chat to see what’s what and take advantage of any special offers we have on the day.

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A brand new machine will be joining the Emporia stables on that day – the Innovis NV100 – which is also on special offer during February and March 2018. The NV1000 has a fantastic range of features including a large (210mm) work space to the right of the needle, plus 140 stitches (plus lettering), 10 different styles of button hole, and a memory function that allows you to combine and store different stitches and symbols for embroidering. It also comes with all the brilliant extras that Brother is renowned for that make sewing a much smoother experience, like the SFDS – Square Feed Drive System for optimum stitch quality, the advanced needle threader, automatic thread cutter, slide speed control, lock stitch button, drop feed and knee lift.

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A powerful and multi-functional sewing and quilting machine, this model also comes with a variety of different feet like the Zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, blind stitch foot, zipper foot, a monogramming foot and a button fitting foot. And if you buy this one before the end of March 2018 then you can get your hands on either the Creative Quilt Kit OR Creative Sewing pack and Couture Kit for FREE, both of which are worth over £140.00. The Creative Quilt Kit includes a wide extension table, motion free grip, open toe walking foot, 1/4″ piecing foot with guide and a stitch guide; the Creative Sewing Pack contains a narrow hem foot, a concealed fastener foot, a plastic quilting foot, a braiding foot and a piping foot; the Couture Kit includes an adjustable binder foot, a gathering foot, a 5-groove pin tuck foot, a straight stitch foot and needle plate set, an adjustable zipper/piping foot, and a non stick foot.

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If you would like to take a closer look at the Innovis NV110, come and see it in action on Friday 16th February 2018 from 10.30am to 4pm.


Win Tickets to Sewing for Pleasure!


Next month Clair will be heading off to Birmingham for a very exciting trip to the NEC for the wonderful Sewing for Pleasure, and we are giving away four pairs of tickets FREE to our lovely followers! Featuring a wealth of exciting stalls, stands and demonstrations and workshops, this inspirational exhibition is sure to get any sewing or knitting fan excited.

Taking place at the NEC in the heart of Birmingham, Sewing for Pleasure offers craft fans an amazing array of different stitch themed activities and shopping experiences; whether you are after demonstrations of new and exciting crafts, the chance to get hands on with physical workshops or just the opportunity to browse fabric and craft stalls from all around the country, there is plenty to be inspired by over the course of four whole days. Speak to the experts, shop for yarn, fabric and patterns, and soak up the crafty atmosphere – we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic day out.


For more information on the full run down of Sewing for Pleasure click here.

In amongst all the creativity Clair will be hosting our very own Emporia Fabric & Craft stand, where she’ll be selling new fabrics, the Emporia patterns collection and jewellery, plus a range of sewing equipment and haberdashery. We will also be launching two NEW patterns at the show which will be on sale exclusively at Sewing for Pleasure for the first week. Exciting times! Who wouldn’t want to win tickets to see that?!


The Sewing for Pleasure event takes place from Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th March 2018 at the NEC Birmingham; if you would like to take part in the competition to win a pair of tickets to the show, all you need to do is follow the blog if you don’t already, and leave a comment below saying who would like to go to the event with. We know you all love a day trip out, so now’s your chance – get entering!

The competition runs from Friday 2nd – Wednesday 28th February 2018, and we will announce a winner via the blog and Facebook on Thursday 1st March 2018. Please make sure you follow the Facebook page too, so that we know we can get in touch to notify you if you win.


Win a Cupar Hat Knitting Kit!

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This week we are approaching the end of January, arguably one of the most gloomy and depressing months of the year – Christmas is long gone and spring is still far too far off to look forward to; the evenings are still dark and the weather is still cold! So what can we get excited about? Craft! That’s what! We suggest you take advantage of the Hygge factor of the long nights and make sure your craft stash is well and truly full, before settling down in the evening to make something for yourself, a friend or loved one, or even for charity. Psychologists have been talking for years now about the mental health benefits of all kinds of craft – knitting and crochet can apparently help stave off dementia, and sewing is good for mental agility and mindfulness – so if you’re feeling a touch of the winter blues right now, the answer could well lie in your sewing box or knitting bag.

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And to that end we are sharing the Win a Cupar Hat Knitting Kit competition hosted by Lotte Jamieson Crafts this week. For anyone who has already knitted her super easy Irvine cowl or perhaps wants a simple and quick project to keep their hands busy, this pattern is the ideal next step. Using extra chunky 15mm needles and just one hank of Lotte Jamieson merino yarn, this hat can be made with an extra fold over edge that will keep the wind out and ensure warm ears whatever the weather; add a large pompom for fun or go without, it’s up to you!

The kit contains a pair of 15mm needles, one hank of 100% merino in a colour of your choice, the Cupar hat pattern and a knitting bag to keep it all together. It’s a lovely little treat to mark the end of January, so we’re sure you’d love to take part.

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The competition runs until the end of January, when Lotte herself will be rejoicing at the end of that most wintry month, and the winner will be announced on Thursday 1st February. All you need to take part is like the Lotte Jamieson Crafts page and competition post on Facebook or Instagram, and then comment on the post to say who you would like to knit the hat for, or whether you’d hand it over to someone else to get the knitty benefit. Just follow either of the links below to enter, and don’t forget to comment!

Lotte Jamieson Crafts Facebook Page      Lotte Jamieson Crafts Instagram Page

For more information on the hat pattern, or any other Lotte Jamieson knitting kits, Emporia sewing patterns or tutorials, pop into the shop for some crafty inspiration – we’d love to see what’s keeping you busy during the dark winter months.

January Sale!

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Today we are launching our official January sale! We’ve selected some collections and a variety of our fantastic prints and are giving you 30% off until the end of January, as well as the 40% we’re giving off all our Christmas fabrics. Including everything from kid’s fabrics like the cloth book kits to farmyard animals and foxes, to sewing themed prints and Japanese style whales.

There’s also discounts in the wool section with a basket of sale cowls, most of which are 50% off, and the Cocowawa jersey yarn reduced from £10.00 to £6.50 per cone. The Red Heart Grande super chunky is also reduced from £4.50 to £3.00 per ball, and there are plenty of bargain one offs, pattern books, knitting needles and crochet hooks in the sale basket.

Take a look at our fab sale fabrics, and remember they are only selling at this price until 31st January 2018!

Princesses and fairy tale castles, plus cute farm animals could be the answer to some little people’s dreams – make a couple of cushions or how about some pyjamas?

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Feeling funky and a little bit retro? Bowling alley themed prints are the perfect answer! Try a circle skirt for a real fifties feel.

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Sewing themed fabric is just crying out to be turned into a needle case, a sewing bag or maybe a knitting needle case.

We’ve got plenty animal prints in the sale, including whales, rabbits and foxes. Run yourself up a kimono dress or a pair of Alice trousers in these babies!

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And Highland Cows! Moo! This whole collection of blue and white Scottish themed prints is in the sale until the end of the month. If you want to get your hands on some of these hugely popular designs, get in quick!

All sale fabric is 30% off and all Christmas sale fabric is 40% off until Wednesday 31st January 2018.


January Sewing Machine Offers

Hello and a Happy New Year to all our lovely followers! We hope you had a fabulous break and got to spend a little bit of time crafting as well as eat your own body weight in chocolates and mince pies.  We’ve been eager to get back to the sewing area and start on some new designs, as well as developing projects that are underway, and now January is here and the kids are back at school, we can finally get crafting again.

A new year, and a new month, also mean that we have some brilliant new deals in our Brother machines, so if Father Christmas didn’t manage to bring you the latest sewing or embroidery technology, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to one of these amazing models.  As usual all models can be ordered with next delivery if purchased before 2pm, and they all come with a three year guarantee.


Innovis V7
The V7 is a simply amazing machine with a wealth of technology that will simply blow your mind. A sewing, quilting and embroidery machine that can create beautiful embroidery, quilting and home decor. Packed with pioneering new features, such as direct dual drive and laser sewing guide, it also comes with an extra large long arm (11.5″), and an ultrasonic sensor function for placing embroidery designs with precision and setting stitch width. Users can also set an end point for sewing and the machine will automatically adjust stitches to fit. The ICAPS continuous automatic pressure system continually detects fabric thickness for superior stitch quality, and the fast 1050 stitches per minute embroidery speed and large LCD touch screen with on-screen editing guarantee you will never run out of options for your craft projects.
The V7 is priced at £4499.00 and comes with a free wide table and multi-function foot control worth £279.99.


Innovis VQ2
The Innovis VQ2 allows you to express your creativity with its long arm sewing and quilting facilities. The 11 1/4″ long arm is perfect for larger projects like coats and quilts. Enjoy smooth precise stitching on all types of fabric from silks to heavy denims. It comes with 473 built-in stitches, 14 styles of automatic 1 step button hole, 5 lettering styles, and a large colour LCD touch screen, plus extra wide stitches up to 40mm and an ICAPS – Continuous Automatic Pressure System.
The Innovis VQ2 is priced at £1999.00 and comes with a free wide table and a 96 piece thread set worth £299.99.


Innovis 1300
The Innovis 1300 gives you the chance to bring fashionable creations to life with a spacious, feature-packed powerful sewing and quilting machine. Features include a large 8.3″ work space to the right of the needle, 182 built-in stitches, 10 styles of one step button holes, 5 Styles of letting upper and lowercase and a SFDS – Square Feed Drive System, which delivers a smooth strong feed.
The Innovis 1300 is priced at £899.00 and either a free creative quilt kit or a creative sewing pack and couture kit, worth £144.00.


Innovis 55 Fashion Edition
A great basic digital machine, the 55FE is the perfect model for those wanting to up their sewing game. This machine offers you unlimited ways to shape your fashion dreams into impressive ready-to-wear garments with features such as the advanced needle threader, quick-set bobbin function, an LED sewing light, drop feed setting, lettering designs and a start/stop buttons, plus side speed controller. The digital function makes life easier with a memory facility for storing combinations of stitches.
The Innovis 55 FE is priced at £449.00 and comes with a free creative quilt kit worth £149.00.

All sewing machine prices and free products are valid until Wednesday 31st January 2018. For more information or to order any of these machines, give us a ring on 01233 612278 or pop into the shop and see us in person.

Last Minute Chrtistmas Makes

Only two and a half more sewing and knitting days til Christmas and we hope you’re nearly done with your shopping and gift making. But just in case you’re not, here’s a quick run down of some seriously quick makes that you still have time to complete and wrap before the big day. Ready for some serious fast crafting? Let’s go!

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Simple Gathered Skirt
Here’s our tutorial from a couple of year’s ago on how to make a gathered skirt which you can use for a little girl, using nothing but fabric and elastic – no closures! No problem that this is labeled as a summer skirt – just pop on a pair of leggings and make in a wintery print, and you’re sure to make someone’s day with a handmade skirt in their favourite colour or featuring their favourite animal.

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Simple Knit Scarf or Cowl
Grab some super chunky wool – we’ve got Lotte Jamieson 100% Merino or Rowan Big Wool that knit up on 10mm needles, or Red Heart Grande that knits on 15mm needles – and just using the standard knit stitch, you can make a seriously chunky scarf or cowl in an hour or two. Just pick a colour that you know the recipient will love and get knitting. Rowan has some free Big Wool cowl patterns on its site if you need some guidance. For even more gift appeal, wrap the present in plain brown paper and tie with the same wool you knitted it with.


Applique a T-shirt or Jumper
Grab some felt or scraps of material and design something special for someone you love. Clair did this gorgeous reindeer design for her son’s school Christmas jumper day and he loved it. There are plenty of easy pictures you could make, or you can go for something more complicated – the choice is yours! All you need is a pre-bought jumper or top, plus bondaweb.


Drawstring Gift Bag
Check our comprehensive tutorial on how to make this neat little (or large) bag from last week’s blog post. All Christmas fabric is STILL 40% off! Alternatively, you could go with some of other amazing prints including Star Wars, Marvel Avengers, Disney Cars and Princesses, Kaffe Fassett florals, or anything we’ve got on the shelves.

A Bow Belt
Take a tip from Tilly and the Buttons and make a special bow themed belt just in time for the festive period. You only need about half a metre or less of standard width fabric and some interfacing. Someone you know would be delighted to find this, or any of our Tilly & the Buttons sewing patterns under their Christmas tree.


Makeup Bag
Craftsy has a wealth of online inspiration, including this super simple makeup bag tutorial. Easy to sew and very quick, you could sew up two or three of these in an afternoon. Pick some of our gold embellished fabrics and you can make some really glamorous bags for some very special people.

And if you’re wondering if you can still feed your crafting needs over the festive period, here are our Christmas opening hours:

Saturday 23rd December 10am – 5pm
Christmas Eve 10am – 2pm
Christmas Day and Boxing Day – CLOSED
Wednesday 27th December – 10am – 5pm
Thursday 28th December – 10am – 5pm
Friday 29th December – 10am – 5pm
Saturday 30th December 10am – 5pm
Sunday 31st December – CLOSED
Monday 1st January – CLOSED
Tuesday 2nd January – CLOSED
Wednesday 3rd January – 10am – 5pm

And if you’re still planning on sewing up something to wear over Christmas, we’d love to see it! Share your sewing and knitting makes on Emporia Fabric & Craft on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We hope you have a fabulously crafty Christmas!



Sew a Simple Drawstring Gift Bag


Christmas is drawing ever closer, but we’re still selling loads of festive fabric which means lots of you out there must still be making and sewing gifts. With that in mind this week we are sharing with you a tutorial for a lovely drawstring  gift bag that makes a fabulous (and recyclable) alternative to wrapping paper. Or you could make a larger size and gift it to a child as a PE bag; or go even bigger and make a Santa Sack – there are plenty of other creative options. Great for using up scraps, or some of our reduced Christmas fat quarters, you can knock out a few of these in under and hour, whilst eating a mince pie or two.

Take a look at our instructions below and share your own results on our Facebook page or on our Instagram feed – we’d love to see your makes!

Drawstring Gift Bag Instructions


1. Cut a rectangle that is double the width of the bag you would like to make, adding 2cm to the width and 4cm to the length for seam allowance.

2. Fold both side edges over by 1cm, iron and pin in place.


3. Stitch down both sides, close to the edge.


4. Fold the top edge over by 1cm and iron, then fold over again by 2cm, iron and pin in place. Then stitch close to the edge.

5. Fold the bag in half and pin. Sew from the first pin down – if you start sewing at the top, you will seal the tube opening for the drawstring.

6. Sew almost to the bottom of the bag; then (making sure your needle is still down) lift the foot and turn the fabric at right angles, before putting the foot back down and sewing across the bottom of your bag. Make sure you sew inside the first line of stitching or else it will show on the outside of your bag. Turn your bag the right way out and iron.

7. Pin a large safety pin to your ribbon or whatever you want to use as a drawstring. Thread the safety pin through the casing at the top of your bag then cut the ribbon to the length you would like. Unpin the safety pin and tie the two ends of the ribbon in a knot.


Ta da! You’re finished! Fill your gift bag with some lovely treats and spread a little sewing magic at Christmas.

Don’t forget our Christmas fabric is 40% off until Christmas, and we’ve got 20% off all Star Wars fabric until 2pm Sunday 17th December 2017.

Special Offers on Sewing Machines


The Christmas period is hotting up now (or cooling down to be more precise) and we’re getting a lot of visits from customers wanting to have a closer look at our lovely range of Brother sewing machines. From the most basic models all the way up to the huge and extravagant embroidery and sewing combi machines, we’ve got plenty to offer – but this week we thought we’d show case some of the special offers we’ve got on a range of our machines.


The Innovis 15 ex-display machine is a great basic digital model that feature a great variety of stitches and extra features, perfect for the beginner. Nice and easy to use, the ‘jog dial’ makes it very simple to select stitches you require quickly, and needle threading is complete in no time thanks to the built-in needle threader. With the LCD screen you can see at a glance information about the stitch width and length. Choose from 16 different stitches, including three different buttonholes, all of which will give a professional looking finish. Was £249.00, now £175.00. Only one available with this offer – ready to take home today!


The Innovis 27SE is another ex-display we have for sale in the Christmas period, and it features a great range of functions for the newbie or experienced sewer. An electronic ‘jog dial’ provides fingertip control to easily choose from 50 stitch patterns, including five different buttonholes. A fantastic backlit LCD screen allows you to see at a glance information about the which stitch you are using and the electronically controlled functions allow you to adjust the stitch sizes in a simple way. Automatic needle threading and quick set bobbin also make it easy to get started on each sewing project. Was £349.00, now £249.00. Only one available with this offer – ready to take home today!


Feel like you need a machine that is a step up from the rest? The combi embroidery and sewing machine Innovis F480 could be the answer to your Christmas dreams. The Innov-is F480 is the ideal machine for sewing and embroidery projects alike. Packed with features and a superior quality digital mechanism you can create labels, monograms and even your own stitch patterns. It features an easy-to-use keypad and numerous advanced functions which make this machine a favourite amongst keen sewers. Was £1399.00, now £999.00. Only one available with this offer – ready to take home today!

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The Innovis NV1800Q is another incredible machine that could be the star present underneath the Christmas tree this year. Perfect for almost any sewing project, such as quilting, fashion, home furnishing, this model comes with a large wide table and huge range of standard accessories to add to your sewing ease. Ideal for working on large quilt projects or upholstery items such as curtain, or anything with large amounts of fabric involved, this  machine comes with over 230 built-in stitches. Opening up a huge world of inspiration and sewing possibility, you’ll love the flexibility of the NV1800Q and be sewing and embroidering some amazing projects as soon as you unpack it. Normally £1299.99, now £999.00 until 31st December 2017. Can be delivered to your home with next day delivery for free.


Innovis F420 digital sewing machine comes with 140 inbuilt stitches and 10 different button holes, plus a great range of other features making this a fantastic machine for anyone who takes their sewing seriously. Whether you are a new or more advanced sewer the F420 makes sewing so much easier and enjoyable. User-friendly features and automatic needle threading give you more time to concentrate on the creative aspects of sewing. Featuring a strong smooth Square Feed Drive System (SFDS) this model will also handle all types sewing from fashion and homeware, to precision quilting. Normally £599.00, but now comes with couture sewing pack worth £149.00 until 31st December 2017. Can be delivered to your home with next day delivery for free.

For more information on these or any of our Brother sewing machines, pop into the shop or give us a ring on 01233 612278. 

Gifts for Christmas 2017 at Emporia

Today is the 1st December so that’s it, we are now officially on the countdown to Christmas! Whether you are all prepped with a shopping list (or in fact have been calmly and casually shopping since August) or you are the kind of person who leaves everything to the last minute, we are here to help you with a quick and convenient guide to Christmas gifts for craft fans.

The newest gifty introduction to Emporia’s shelves has to be our amazing and super funky sewing and knitting themed jewellery. Created in collaboration with the talented R&R laser cutters, these amazing designs feature a range of crafty themes from scissor earrings and ball of wool brooches to statement tape measure necklaces. If you know someone who is proud of their crafty status, there’s no better way to reward them (and give them a chance to show off) this Christmas. The jewellery ranges from £12.00 – £20.00 per piece.

Also new in stock are these cute little craft kits, just perfect for little fingers to get to grips with. Choose from felt sewing a bear or an owl, or the chance to sew up a cotton bunny or monkey – we’re sure these will be a big hit under the Christmas tree with all ages of kids, and grownups too!

Know someone who is feeling the chill this December? Treat them to the gift of warmth with our range of soft wool cowls and bobble hats designed by Lotte Jamieson. Or if they like making things themselves, choose from our select range of Rowan knitting books and wool; how about a beginner’s knitting kit including a pattern for a simple cowl, enough merino wool to make it, needles and a knitting bag all for £25.00. We’ve also got a good selection of high quality knitting needles and crochet hooks, which make fabulous stocking fillers for crafty sorts, with prices ranging from £2.50 – £12.00. Rowan pattern books cost £9.99, and Rowan wool ranges from £6.50 – £9.95 per ball.

We’ve got a range of fat quarters, Kaffe Fasset quilting squares and a couple of design rolls in gorgeous colours and patterns available at the shop, all of which make great stocking fillers. Choose a pre-made fat quarter bundle for around £12.00-£14.00, or make your own selection based on the recipient’s likes. Individual fat quarters range from £2.00-£4.25; the Kaffe Fasset squares are £15.00, and design rolls are priced at £25.00.

We all know at least one crafter who is always losing their scissor, cotton reels, unpicker and pins – give them the organisational skills they need with one of our beautiful sewing boxes and a wrist-worn pin cushion to accompany it. Available in a variety of lovely colours and themes, these fantastic boxes are the perfect place to store all your crafty goodies, keeping everything in one neat place ready to use whenever you have sewing time. The wrist pin cushions are £4.50 each, and the sewing boxes range from £20.00-£30.00.

For those wanting to give someone a truly amazing treat under the Christmas tree this year, why not take a look at some of our brilliant Brother sewing machines? Whatever your budget, we’ve got basic mechanical models that would work as perfect starter machines for someone just getting into sewing, all the way up to all singing, all dancing sewing and embroidery machines. The L14s is a great machine for beginners, with a variety of simple stitches, and it’s only £99.00. Or perhaps you know someone who would love to start sewing more stretch materials and would love an overlocker? Our trusty 1034D is a great machine to get cracking with jersey and sweatshirting, or to tackle tricky fraying fabrics like satin, and it’s only £199.00. For someone who wants to try their hand at machine embroidery with a love for Disney, the Innovis M280D is ideal – featuring 25 different official Disney machines, this sewing and embroidery combination machine is smaller and much lighter than some of it’s bigger contemporaries and won’t take up as much space on your sewing table, for only £899.00.


As well as all these luscious gifts, we are also selling ALL of our Christmas fabric at 40% off between now and 24th December 2017 – so you’ve still got time to get making for the big day itself!

For any more information on any of the above, do please feel free to give us a ring on 01233 612278, get in touch via the Contact Form, or pop into the shop – we would love to see you! 

Emporia at Tenterden Christmas Market

This time next week we’ll be set up on the streets of Tenterden and taking part in their fabulous Christmas Market. Running over Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November, the Tenterden Christmas Market kicks off the festive season in that little corner of Kent, with a lantern parade and the big lights switch on taking place on the first day. It’s the perfect start to the festive season proper, with rides, snow and a whole host of independent crafters and retailers selling their lovely wares.
Kicking off from 12pm on Friday 24th November, up and down Tenterden High Street will be a huge range of stalls all selling amazing unique gifts and foods. We’ll be joining a fantastic selection with our very own stall, selling lovely handmade things for Christmas from stockings and quilts, to knitted hats and scarves, plus a variety of other exciting gifts for the festive season. Craft kits, selections of special fabrics, one off handmade items and all the normal loveliness you’ve come to expect from Emporia will be on sale. Come and find us, browse for Christmas gifts and enjoy the festive atmosphere – there’s bound to be a few mince pies and maybe some other treats lurking on our stall too.
Alongside us will be the likes of The Farm Street Kitchen and The Mucky Duck Bakery selling delicious pies and pastries, plus The Chocolate Note and Mini Mouthfuls fudge with their gorgeous sweet treats.  And for those that have a really sweet tooth, why not get stuck into a special Santa Shake from Chin Chin – it looks truly amazing and serious indulgent!
Helping everyone get in the festive mood will be the Christmas in Tenterden light parade, where pupils from Tenterden Primary Federation and St. Michaels Primary School will carry handmade willow lanterns down the streets from the junior school, all the way to St Mildred’s Church. Starting at 4pm on Friday 24th November, members of the public are welcome to join in the lantern parade with LED candles that can be bought on the high street on the day. At around 5.30pm, after the church service the Mayor of Tenterden will give a special Christmas Tree blessing before turning the Tenterden Christmas lights on.

On both days of the Christmas market, the Kent and East Sussex Railway will be offering a free shuttle service from Rolvenden Station up to Tenterden High Street. For just a small charity donation you can park at the station and enjoy a ten minute old fashioned steam train ride along the track to the market. A perfect way to start the festivities!
The Christmas in Tenterden festive market takes place from 12pm – 9pm Friday 24th November and 10am – 8pm Saturday 25th November along the High Street in Tenterden. Come and find us at our stall near the snow machine!


Emporia at Kent Quilt Show


This week we are live at the Kent Quilt Show in Detling! We’re currently on stand number 8 on the left handside when you come in and round the corner – come and say hello!


This year we’ve brought with us a whole host of lovely fabrics from the shop, including our Kaffe Fasset collections, new extra wide quilt weight designs from French supplier Stoff, a whole host of Marvel and the brand new Star Wars and of course all our super festive Christmas fabrics. We’ve spent the whole day chatting with lovely quilters, discussing what they’re planning to make, which designers they like and how you can never, ever have too much fabric in your stash.

There are plenty of other fabric stands and sewing machine stalls all around, all offering their own variety of prints, from a whole rainbow of plains to a selection of hundreds of different white on whites. Next door to is renowned quilter Sylvie Plested, who is running workshops throughout the weekend and introducing people to different quilting skills.

As always there is a wonderful quilting exhibition, full of amazing designs. some traditional, some more modern, and many of them using a vast array of different skills. Take a look at these amazing designs and you’re bound to feel inspired to get quilting!

We’re here at the Detling Show Ground today until 4.30pm, and then again from tomorrow from 10am – 4pm – we’d love you to come and visit us!

Star Wars and Disney Fabric


Exciting new fabrics have arrived in the shop this week! Star Wars is back once again, just in time for the release of the new film The Last Jedi, which is due out at cinemas on 18th December. And we’ve also got a few cheeky Disney bolts on the New Fabrics table too, perfect for anyone planning Christmas makes for their kids.


From big panels squares to cheaty block patterns that can be quilted with no hassle, these brand new prints are making the fabric fans very happy already. Take a look at these fabulous designs and tell us what you’d be inspired to make. We’re definitely thinking quilts, bean bags, drawstring bags and of course pyjama bottoms – well, it’s traditional round these parts to think of sewing up cosy pjs at this time of year.

Princess fans will be happy too as this is the first time we’ve had any of the sparkly Disney ladies on any fabric.

All Star Wars and Disney prints are £16.00 a metre and stock is limited – if you see something you want, then get your hands on it quickly as once it’s gone, it’s gone forever! Need to reserve something? Give us a ring on 01233 612278 or email us on Alternatively you can get in touch with us via the Contact Form at the top of the blog.

Emporia Sewing Jewellery


Last Saturday was Sew Saturday and we had a fabulous time in the shop handing out goody bags, teaching newbies the basics on their machines and enjoying a bit of hand sewing with some crafty customers. But we also launched our very exciting new range of sewing and knitting themed jewellery!

These gorgeous creations are the result of a fantastic collaboration between ourselves and our long-time crafty mates Richardson & Richardson, who are renowned in Kent and beyond for their amazing laser cut designs. We sell their brilliant jewellery and wooden keepsake cards in the shop, and now we’ve teamed up with them to create some exclusive crafty designs. If you love sewing and/or knitting, then these gorgeous designs are just perfect for showing off your passion. Take a look at these lovelies and tell us which one is your favourite?

The new jewellery range is priced from £12.00 for smaller items up to £20.00 for the biggest pieces.


And they’ve hit our shelves just in time for Christmas too! Know someone who’d love one as a present? Get your hands on them soon as we’ve got limited stock of each design.

Speaking of presents and the dreaded (or not so dreaded in some people’s eyes) Christmas, we’ve also got a whole load of fabulous sewing boxes in store now. Ideal as gifts for committed sewing fans or the ideal present for someone who has just started off on their sewing journey, you can give the someone a sewing box to help them keep their sewing area tidy, or fill one with all the necessary pieces of equipment they might need. Either way, they come in a variety of fantastic prints – fun, funky, cute, pretty, sophisticated – they are loads to choose from.

The sewing boxes vary in size from small to extra large, and the prices range from £25.00 – £35.00.

Seen something you’d like? Give us a ring on 01233 612278 or get in touch via the contact form at the top of the blog and we’ll reserve it for you.


Fleece, Wool, Tartan and Sequins!

Loads more luscious dress fabrics have been finding their way into the shop in the last couple of weeks, so if you haven’t been in for a while, now is the time to pop by and see what new additions we’ve got. The nights are definitely drawing in now and and we’re starting to think more about creating our autumn/winter wardrobe so all these babies are the perfect place to get inspiration.

Tartan is spot on for a little bit of winter brightness; it can be both traditional and edgy at the same time in the style of Vivienne Westwood. Go for a punky kilt or a bias cut long skirt, or perhaps bring a little of the Highlands into your home with some cushions or a warm and funky patchwork throw. The tartan is £8.00 a metre.

Our new wool blends also feature some plaids which you could also use for homewear – or create some amazingly warm trousers, or perhaps a coat. The soft plain neutrals are just as inviting – we’re thinking of knocking out a few A-line skirts in these fabrics to keep out the chill. The wool blend is £10.00 a metre.

Nothing is more inviting in the colder months than the option of snuggling up with something super soft and warm, so these cute fleeces are sure to be on someone’s sewing list. Great for kids, dogs, people – whomever! And the best bit about fleece is that is won’t fray, so if you’re feeling lazy, this is an ideal fabric to work with. The fleece ranges from £6.00 to £10.00 a metre.

One of our most exciting new fabrics in stock are these gorgeous sequins – not as good at keeping you warm as our other new arrivals, but perfect for glamorous winter evenings out. Try a simple cami vest top or maybe just use to applique onto a sweatshirt for instant zing. The sequins are £10.00 per metre.


Neoprene, like scuba’s older and slightly more exotic sister, is a fantastically durable and versatile fabric. Mostly used in sportswear, you can create all kinds of amazing looks with this non-fraying, stretchy material. Try out a bodycon dress if you’re feeling brave or maybe go for a futuristic take on a fifties style jacket – the fun is in the experimenting. The neoprene is £10.00 per metre.

All colourways and styles are available at stated prices at the time of going to print – look out for more exciting fabrics hitting our shelves soon!

Made something with one of our prints or new materials? We’d love to see it! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or leave a pic in the comments on the blog. It’s good to share the sewing inspiration. 

New Jersey Selection

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This week to celebrate the arrival of our amazing new cover stitch machine, we’re showing off all our lovely new jersey. We’ve got cats, skulls, pandas, florals and even llamas – all perfect for making everything from a basic t-shirt to yoga pants and pyjamas for your kids.

All these lovely prints are available for £12.00 a metre, and we have some plains in stock for £10.00 a metre too. Just think what quick and easy makes you could be sewing up with this fantastic prints?



Our fabulous  new cover stitch machine is the CV3550, a brand new model from Brother that is a double‑sided cover stitch machine. It comes with a wide range of cover stitches and works on many types and weights of fabric. You can use it for both decorative and constructive reasons and the standard stitch will appear on the bottom side of the fabric while a top stitch will show on the top side of the fabric. You can then sew hems and add decorative stitching to your projects. This machine also comes with three additional stitches for an even more professional look. When the cover spreader is engaged, a cover stitch will appear on both top and bottom sides of the fabric. This special one‑step finish was previously unavailable, so this is an extra exciting addition to an already pretty amazing machine.


We also have a fantastic overlocker that is perfect for sewing stretch materials. The 1034D is available as 3 or 4 thread machine which will trim, edge and neaten for a professional finish which won’t fray or unwind. It comes with a range of features including three or four thread, cut and sew overlock stitches, a F.A.S.T. lower looper threading system, perfect overlock stitches on all types and weights of fabric, a differential feed, free arm flat bed, a removable knife and a snap on presser foot. It’s a lightweight, compact machine with a carry handle for extra convenience and it comes with an instructional DVD that gives you the lowdown on everything you can do.

The Brother machines are available to buy from Emporia now – call us on 01233 612278 or pop into the shop and have a chat to find out more.

Macmillan Coffee Morning


Today is the official date for the Macmillan Coffee Morning but we are hosting ours next week on Wednesday 4th October, here in the shop. We’ve got cake, coffee, biscuits and tea all planned for our regular visitors, so if you fancy eating some delicious treats in the name of charity, then why not join us.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer. Every year they invite people all over the UK to host their own coffee mornings (or afternoons) and raise money on the day to donate to Macmillan. Last year they raised a phenomenal £29.5 million and this year they are aiming to raise even more.

The reason behind all this cake and coffee making and eating and drinking is that there are now 2.5 million people in the UK living with cancer, and before 2030, it will be 4 million people. Macmillan nurses aim to be there for as many of those people as possible, supporting them and their families in whatever way they can through one of the toughest things many of them will ever experience. Macmillan provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support, as well as campaigning for better cancer care for all sufferers.  One in three people will get cancer, and their goal is to make sure no one faces cancer alone.

So with this in mind we will be hosting our own Macmillan Coffee Morning next Wednesday 4th October, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. If you would like to make a contribution of cakes or other delicious goodies, we would be most grateful; but we would be even more grateful if you would join us in having a cup of tea or coffee, eating some baked treats and maybe sitting down with some sewing or knitting, whilst having a chat. We want to make our coffee morning a convivial and crafty couple of hours, so if you have a portable project you want to bring with you, then be our guest! As long as you put your donation in the pot, it’s all good.


If you are in need of any baking inspiration, you can visit the Macmillan Coffee Morning website which has a collection of recipes from various chefs and celebs, including a recipe from Rupert Grint for chocolate and ginger biscuits and Jamie Oliver’s blood orange and polenta cake. Sounds delicious!

Join us from 10.30am Wednesday 4th October 2017 at Emporia Fabric & Craft for our Macmillan Coffee Morning – all donations received on the day (and afterwards) will be donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support. For more information on the Macmillan nurses, click here.

Emporia at Sewing Bee Live!


This week we’re at the Sewing Bee Live at ExCel London! (Another work trip out, we hear you cry! Yes! Aren’t we lucky?) The show runs for another two days over the weekend and we’ve spent the day here checking out the stalls, watching some of the contestants take part in the various challenges and getting the most out of our sewing themed day out.

From the varieties of fabric and haberdashery stands selling all kinds of sewing wonders, to specific designers showcasing their patterns and different designs, we have had a full on day of oohing and ahhing about everything on show. Vogue fashion shows, getting technical advice from the judges, expert tips from previous Sewing Bee contestants as well as getting to see some of the garments from the TV show live and in person – there isn’t much sewing related action that we’ve missed out on.

One of the the highlights was the vintage fashion exhibition hosted by the London Textiles and Fashion Museum which featured some amazing garments from the 1930s up to the 1970s. From gorgeous silk tea dresses that your grandmother might have worn to the kind of thing your mum might have been boogieing before she got pregnant with you, there were some amazing designs and even more amazing prints on display.


We stopped off at various stalls to make purchases, including some gorgeous arrow print chambray and star pattern sweat shirting from our mate Paul at Fabrics Galore; a Linden Sweatshirt pattern from Guthrie and Ghani, some fabric print blocks from Block Craft and a dress pattern from Maven Patterns.

We also spent quite a bit of our time going gooey at the knees over various famous sewing types, including Lisa Comfort from Sew Over It, the ladies from The Foldline, Ana from Cocowawa, Chinelo Bally from the first Sewing Bee series and most important of all, Patrick Grant himself! Having interrupted Chinelo on her way to the loo, half way through a challenge, we thought it best to shout after her “I think you’re amazing!” and the less embarrassing phrase, “We love you!” as she departed. She looked at us either like we were crazy or just over excited. It was most likely a mixture of both.

All in all we had a fabulous day out and generally got a bit over enthusiastic about sewing, fabric and all the stars. If you are headed here tomorrow or Sunday, we hope you have just as much as fantastic time as we did.

The Sewing Bee Live event continues to take place at ExCel London on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September 2017.


A Visit to Brother

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Yesterday we went on a little shop adventure all the way round the M25 to Reading to visit Brother and see all their brand new machines which they are now launching across the country. Invited by our lovely rep Rachael, we got to go and see all kind of exciting new machines and accessories along with the various other Brother retailers. From relaunches of their most basic mechanical machines to demonstrations of some amazingly complicated looking (and huge!) embroidery machines, we got well and truly stuck in and had a good look and a go on various different new releases.


One of the most exciting new products to come out of the Brother factory this year is the brand new M280D, a small scale embroidery and sewing machine, that comes loaded with 125 embroidery designs, including 45 different Disney characters.

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We tried out an Elsa on our test and we’re convinced that this baby will be a godsend to those of us with Frozen (or Cars, Monsters Inc., Mickey Mouse, Ariel, etc) obsessed children or grandchildren. This model also comes with an SD card slot meaning you can always add more embroidery designs to the collection if you want. This Disney edition costs £899.00 and will be in store with us from next week.

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Having seen a huge surge in popularity of our overlockers recently, it was a great revelation to try out the new Brother coverstitch machines yesterday. Designed to work almost like an overlocker that doesn’t cut the fabric, the coverstitch can create similar stitches across the edges and hems of stretch and non-stretch fabric, meaning you can bind edges in a similar way, whilst only having a two-line stitch showing on the right side of your make. You can also get more creative with these coverstitch machines as they can be used for all kinds of decorative top-stitching too. We will have this five thread edition in store from next week, costing £599.00.

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The last and most innovative piece of kit we tested yesterday was the incredible needle felting foot which can be used with the Brother V range: this accessory is designed to mimic the action of hand-created needle felting, which works by repeatedly stabbing a barbed needle up and down through thin layers of wool to blend the fibres together. It uses three needles to felt the wool, alongside a free motion action that allows you to steer the needles around your felting piece, and you can go as fast or as slow as you please.

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Most importantly of all, the foot also features a plastic guard around the triple needles to ensure you don’t get carried away and stab your fingers! Perfect for those who like to create felted pictures or artwork, you can get really creative with the wool – just like we did! The wool felting needle foot attachment is available to order from us now, priced £149.99.

For more information on any of our Brother sewing or embroidery machines, overlockers or coverstitch machines, please pop into the shop and have a chat. We are holding a Brother Demo Day on Friday 20th October from 10am – 4pm, where Rachael from Brother will be on hand to showcase these amazing machines and all the fabulous things they can do.

New Autumn Fabrics


The kids have finally gone back to school, the weather has taken a turn for the chillier and the evenings feel like they’re are getting darker much earlier too, which can only mean one thing – autumn is well and truly on its way. So it’s perfect timing that these gorgeous autumnal inspired prints have just arrived in the shop. Featuring a host of adorable woodland creatures and cute forest style prints, these luscious fabrics are making us very excited for the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Bright colours, adorable animals, autumnal florals and folk inspired patterns all come together to create some simply beautiful designs. We’re already thinking about what we can make with these fabrics – an Amelie dress or maybe a simple gathered skirt or two – what do you think? What kind of autumnal makes are you feeling like sewing up? Take inspiration from these lovelies and let us know!


A simply beautiful teal and turquoise woodland featuring deer, foxes, squirrels, hedgehogs, hares and rabbits is just crying out to be turned into a fabulous autumnal quilt to snuggle under on the sofa.

These dragonfly and butterflies prints are an unusual take on a more traditional spring or summer theme, but in these colours work perfectly for a colder season.

A stunning contrast panel of traditional Scandi style designs on a black background makes for a very easy cheat’s quilt or can be turned into cushions or table runners very easily.


This gorgeous floral would make a lovely child’s dress or maybe a fresh take on a kimono dress.

Try out these trees for some simple patchwork – such a cute woodland scene will certainly make for a perfect autumn day’s spot of sewing.

This little foxy fellow comes with his own mixers of tiny orange and white stitches – we all know someone who loves foxes, so maybe it’s time to start thinking about making gifts for other people if you’re feeling suitably inspired.

All the new fabrics are priced at £16.00 per metre.

We’ve also taken delivery of some great new accessories for our Brother sewing machines, including Stitch in the Ditch feet, Open Toe and standard walking feet, concealed zip feet, quilting feet, and adjustable binder feet. And a whole range of colourful embroidery threads, plus water soluble sheeting for the embroidery machines. Prices on these products vary, so pop into the shop and take a look at what we can help you to do with your Brother machine.


Adjustoform Dress Forms at Emporia

Another new and exciting stockist has arrived at Emporia this week – the incredible and sewing-world renowned Adjustoform!


Giving you the chance to create amazing fitting clothes either for yourself without having to persuade someone else to do the pinning whilst you wear your creations, hoping they will do a reasonable job. Or if you’re sewing for someone else, then you don’t need to have them constantly on hand to be able to fit their clothes to them as you can use the dummy instead.

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Coming in a variety of sizes that adjust their shape to replicate yours, these handy models can make the difference between endless pinning and tacking and resewing, and simple, easy fitting and creating. The model we’ve currently got on show in the shop is the Lady Valet, priced at £160 for either a small or a medium, and even though it’s the most basic model it will still adjust in 12 different points to replicate your body. Other benefits include using it to hang clothes to keep them in shape whilst you undertake a long-winded sewing project, and it’s old school style and traditionally designed polished wood stand and matching neck cap.


If you want to take things up a notch with your dress model, take a look at the SupaFit standard and deluxe editions. These forms come as either a four or eight part dummy, which again can be tailored to fit your own measurements as an aid to accurate fitting. The body is split at the waist to assist fitting for those with longer or shorter waistlines, and it features 12 adjusting wheels, an adjustable neck with useful pin cushion, a foam-backed nylon covering which allows easy pinning and marking, strong tripod stand folds for easy storage, and hem marker or hem leveller options. You can also get a male version of this model too.

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The prices for the SupaFit deluxe models start at £130.00 and go up to £145.00 for the full figure; and the SupaFit standard starts at £120.00 for the petite and goes up to £135.00 for the full figure.

For more information on the Adjustoform dress models you can give us a ring on 01233 612278 or pop into the shop and have a chat with us about your sewing needs.

New Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Since January this year we’ve been stocking the super amazing range of Brother sewing and embroidery machines, and it’s fair to say that you have been won over by them just as much as we have. We’ve all got our favourite machines to use for various different things, and have got to spend lots of time with them creating amazing things. Or just doing a little bit of hemming and darning (it’s not always dressmaking glamour here you know!). But since the lovely Rachel from Brother came and did a machine demo day in July, we’ve been keen to see what other exciting machines we could add to our range – so we talked to everyone who came on the day about what they might like to see in the shop, did some research and now we’ve got our hands on yet another amazing machine – the Innovis V5, a sewing and embroidery combined machine.


Given that we thought the Innovis F480 was pretty much the bee’s knees, the V5 is up another level or two. It is a brilliant sewing, quilting and embroidery machine that is capable of creating beautiful embroidery, and undertaking quilting with it’s new long-arm function. Rammed full of exciting features, this combo machine is perfect for anyone who takes their quilting and embroidery seriously, but who also wants a fully functional sewing machine on the side.

The Innovis V5 comes with all these brilliant features:
An extra large long arm – 11.25″ (285mm)
The ICAPS continuous automatic pressure system, which continually detects the current fabric thickness ensuring superior stitch quality
10″ (258mm) full-spectrum LED lighting
A large 300mm x 180mm embroidery area, making it ideal for larger projects
High-speed sewing and embroidery
A large LCD touch screen, including on-screen editing for embroidery projects
USB ports, making it easy to import new designs
A lock stitch function to automatically tie off threads at the beginning or end of the stitch
A knee lift
And 227 built-in embroidery designs and 17 fonts


It all sounds like a dream machine doesn’t it!? But if you prefer the concept of having a separate sewing and embroidery machine, then you can always take a look at the Innovis V5 and order the VQ2 Sewing and Quilting Machine instead, as it comes with all the same functionality as the V5. Either way, if you would like to come and take a look at the machine in action, you can pop into the shop and see if we can squeeze you in there and then, or you can come along to the next Brother Demo Day which takes place from 10am – 4pm on Friday 20th October 2017.

The Innovis V5 is available to order from Emporia priced £2999.00, and the VQ2 sewing is priced at £1999.00. For more information give us a ring on 01233 612278 or come and see us in person at the shop.

New Dress Fabrics

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Even more new fabrics have been arriving since last week, and we could hardly wait to share them with you. A whole new range of different dress fabrics that will bring a completely different (and slightly more grownup) feel to your sewing are now on our shelves, so if you fancy seeing just what we’ve gone and got our fabric-greedy hands on, then read on!

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New Lawns
We’ve expanded our range of cotton lawns again, and have some real beauties in store. Check out these super lovely gold embellished ones! A gorgeously simple print on navy, black and off white is given an extra edge with the addition of gold. Perfect for summer dresses and maybe the most sophisticated pair of Alice trousers you’ve ever seen!

Beautiful paisley patterns on these super shiny satins will make for amazing linings if you want something a bit fancy, but will also function as fabrics in their own right. Available in a range of gorgeous colours, some are shot to give them an extra shine and depth. Back a waistcoat or line a winter jacket with these babies and people are sure to notice. The jacquards are 140cm wide and £6.00 a metre.

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Taffeta and Chiffon
A pair of luxury fabrics if ever there were – we’ve only got a limited amount of colours for both the taffeta and the chiffon right now, but come autumn we will be expanding this range to include several more. We’re thinking prom dresses, party dresses, bridesmaid dresses for the taffeta, and pussy bow blouses for the chiffon. Time to up your sewing skills to include working with slippy fabrics! Both fabrics are 140cm wide: the taffeta is £8.00 a metre and the chiffon is £4.00 a metre.

Habutae Lining
You’ve been asking for lining materials for quite a while now and we’ve finally managed to get some. In a range of basic colours, you can be sure to find something to coordinate or contrast to line whatever you are making. On the rolls, these are 112cm wide and only £2.95 a metre.

Another luxurious fabric to hit our shelves this month is this lovely heavyweight lace. With a large pattern and a gorgeous feel, this is certain to be making it’s way into several sewers shopping baskets soon. Lace covered dresses and skirts, embellishments on hems and edging, this stuff will add extra elegance to whatever it touches. Currently available in grey, blush, teal, black and navy at £10.00 a metre.

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We’ve also added significantly to our stock of poplins with patterns including bicycles, London buses, florals, stripes, squares, chevrons, spots, ditsy flowers owls, elephants, stars and butterflies, just to name a few. Ranging from £6.00 to £8.00 a metre, these are perfect for whipping up summer skirts, shorts, dresses and anything else you can think of!

All new fabrics are currently in store at the prices stated above – as always we love to see what you make with our fabrics, so don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show off your makes.


Two New Summer Patterns

Clair has been a super busy bee this summer releasing three new patterns since May, and now she has two more for you! The Simple Gathered Skirt (which you can see on show in our current August summer sewing themed window) and a child’s Reversible Skirt.

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Both patterns are slightly different from our normal pattern releases in that they are simply a set of detailed instructions that take you, step by step through the processes that you need to complete each garment. Despite us running a Simple Gathered Skirt class for a year or so now, many of you have asked for a pattern or some instructions that you can take home so you can make more for yourselves or for other people.

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So now Clair has obliged and we are launching the pattern instructions next week! Meaning there is plenty of time for you to make you and your kids, friends, family some lovely skirts for the rest of the summer, or get a head start on your autumn wardrobe.

Our second pattern release for next week is a girl’s Reversible Skirt to go with our other reversible kid’s items. It’s another set of super simple instructions that show you how to make a fantastic gathered skirt for a little girl, that has two sides for you to choose fabulous prints!

We’re loving this Black Widow versus Captain America shield design that Lotte has made for her daughter. The perfect solution for fussy kids who can’t decide between two different patterns, this skirt is a two in one dream.

Both the Simple Gathered Skirt and the Reversible Skirt instructions will be available from Emporia next week, priced at £3.00 each. If you’d like to get your hands on one or both of the patterns, let us know in advance and we’ll reserve them for you.


New Fabrics In Store

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Loads more exciting fabrics have arrived in the shop this week, so here’s a sneaky peak of what you can expect to see in store. From rabbits and sunrises to giant gold polka dots, we’ve got a luscious new range of inspiring prints that will have you planning your next sewing projects right away.

We can’t get over just how lovely this gorgeous collection of rabbits on a Japanese style landscape is, and the contrast between orange and blue, and purple and grey is simply delicious. With a two complementary blenders to add to the mix, this is a super inspiring collection and we can’t wait to see what you make from it. Clair’s already thinking about running up a kimono dress from the blue version …

Rich pinks, bright turquoise and luxurious gold are at the heart of this collection: it’s full of simple but gorgeous designs and the added element of the gold hints will make you fall completely in love with all the prints, whether you want just spots, floral outlines or patchwork themed birds and hearts.

Want something more subtle? Go light and floaty with these delicate feather prints – perfect for clothing or homewear projects.

Fans of simple geometric shapes will be keen on these little crosses on neutral backgrounds: choose from black, red and light blue to make patchwork projects or maybe some men’s shirts or whatever else takes your fancy.

All our new fabrics are priced at £16.50 per metre. Emporia is open from 10am – 5pm Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 2pm Farmers Market Sundays – the next one is Sunday 6th August, so come and say hello!


Brother Sewing Machine Demo Day


Next Wednesday we are having a very special visitor come and spend the day at the shop – it’s the lovely Rachel, our Brother rep, who will be spending all day showcasing our marvelous machines and all the things they can do. From our basic mechanical machines all the way up to our all singing, all dancing, top end digital embroidery machines, you can see them all in action.


Rachel has been working for Brother for several years now and currently looks after the South East area on behalf of the company, and she’s been helping us learn all about our range of sewing machines since we started selling them in January this year. She’s a proper pro when it comes to all our machines, sewing, overlocker or embroidery, so if you anyone can explain them all, it’s her.


We have a range of sewing machines in stock that are available to purchase, some you can take home today and others you can have delivered to your door the very next day, all with a 3 year guarantee. Feel like you don’t want anything too complicated for your first sewing machine?

Check out the lower end of the price range with the simple mechanical machines – with a range of different stitches and a few basic feet, you still sew a button hole with these models, and even sew on an actual button!


Our mid-range digital machines promise to take your sewing up a few notches as they come with a fantastic range of different functions, from tens of different stitches including overstitching and blind hemming, to self-threading needles and automatic thread-cutting.f480zu1_lOr if you fancy checking out our super-duper big guns, then you can watch Rachel demonstrate the amazing embroidery machines which feature hundreds of different stitches, an SD card slot for adding in more embroidery images, plus all the extras that the top end sewing machines come with like the self-threading needles and the thread-cutting.

Whatever your choice of machine, or whether you have no idea what you would like, you just want to see what they can do, Rachel will be on hand to explain all the functions and show you everything these bad boys can do! There will be exciting discounts and special offers, plus finance available on the day.


The Brother demo day takes place from 10am – 4pm Wednesday 26th July 2017 and is free to attend – just pop into the shop on the day and join in.

Two Tone in the Emporia Window

This week we’ve been busy installing a rather unusual window display at the shop, courtesy of local artist and crafter Mandy Munroe. Featuring a very fishy theme, this fantastic installation has been curated by Mandy herself who has been at the forefront of gathering the talents of local crafters, including knitters, crocheters and sewers, into making a variety of different fish themed articles, all in the name of the Create Platform. And we think it looks brilliant!

The story behind our amazing installation comes from the Legacy of Two Tone,  Ashford’s moat famous fish (a mirror carp) who lived in Conningbrook Lake for around 45 years, and was seen as a major catch in the fishing/angling community. Given his significant life span, he grew into quite a substantial fish and was known by anglers around the world for his size and unmistakable colour; he was the biggest freshwater fish in the UK and became incredibly famous on the international angling scene.  Sadly he died in 2010, but has now been immortalised in wool in the Emporia windows for the next two weeks.

And what has that got to do with the Create festival I hear you cry! Well, 2 Tone, or Two Tone, is a music genre that created in the UK in the late 70s by fusing elements of ska, punk, rocksteady, reggae and New Wave, and one of this year’s acts to showcase their spectacular musical talent at Create is the legendary ska band, The Selector. So bringing together theme of the music alongside the famous fish, a crafty band of Ashfordians have been getting knitty and sewing up a storm in order to create our incredible display.

The window features a whole range of different fish and pond themed items that have been made especially for our window installation, the highlight of which is of course Two Tone himself, shown on his ska themed quilt (sewn by Mandy herself); he is surrounded by loads of his fishy friends, and a variety of other amazing hand sewn and knitted creations. Check out those cute knitted pebbles and stones! And how fantastic are the shimmering pieces of pond weed? And don’t miss those adorable jellyfish, who’ve clearly come to visit Two Tone on their summer holiday.

We have a huge long list of people to thank, which you can see in full below, but we think the best way to thank everyone who got involved is to come along and see the installation in person. It looks truly amazing and is testament to the fabulous devotion to craft that so many of you have.

And if you missed out on making some fish for the window and feel left out, then you can still get your hands on our Two Tone knitting patterns which will allow you to create as many mini fish as you like!

Mandy Munroe and Emporia Fabric and Craft would like to thank these people for making such a special window:

– Members of The Little Teapot Knit and Natter group, Hamstreet Knit and Natter,  The Library Knitting group and Ewe-Nique created fish, weed and pebbles.
– Mersham Brownies mastered finger knitting and produced lots of pond weed.
– Wood n Ware very kindly crafted the hull of the boat and members of Artvark stitched some of the fish as well as contributing to the Two Tone Trail.
– Special thanks go to Carol, Christine, Tracey, Wendy, Julie, Janet, Stephanie, Abi, Elaine and Linda alongside some other secret stitchers who all contributed.
– The Official Two Tone Knitting Pattern was designed specially for this project by  Nicky Triggs, Two Tone knitter extraordinaire, along with the beginner friendly Easy Fish pattern which she kindly made available to community groups.

You can also see more beautiful fish in shop windows around town, inspired by Two Tone, Ashford’s famous fish, coloured and designed by various community groups including schools and nurseries.  And don’t forget the Create Festival itself which takes place from 12 midday on Saturday 22nd July 2017 at Victoria Park, Ashford. 

New Summer Florals and Feathers

A lovely range of pretty, bright florals and some lovely feather prints arrived at the shop this week, alongside some more unusual prints inspired by maps and the like. Giving you plenty of inspiration for some easy summer makes, take a look at these gorgeous new collections and see what you want to make from them.

Little girls dresses and skirts, bedding, curtains and cushions would look fabulous in these bright and super cute fresh florals.

These lovely feather prints remind us of early style photography or x-ray prints – perfect for making some Alice trousers for the summer or maybe a cool kimono dress.

And we’ve got a fantastic selection of some more unusual prints – these amazing fat quarters are designed by Tim Holz for the Rowan collection and feature excerpts from a range of old fashioned documents and items, such as maps, sheet music, books, forms, shop labels and Victorian style script. Ideal for adding a more masculine take on interior design or for creating a really different take on a quilt, we are completely in love  with new this collection.

And we have these three luscious designs on bolts too – what amazing things could you make with these?

All these prints are available in store now priced from £15.00 to £15.50 with fat quarters priced at £4.25 to £4.50. For more information give us a ring on 01233 612278 or pop into the shop and take a look in person.

Reversible Shorts Pattern

This week sees the beginning of July and summer is now well under way, what better way to celebrate than to release yet another Emporia pattern, and this time it’s one for the boys. Another one?! We hear you cry. Yes, another fabulous pattern from the creative genius that is Clair! May we introduce you to the amazing Reversible Shorts!

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These bad boys have been on the cards for a long, long time – ever since the creation of the Reversible Dress – and now they are finally here, ready to be made into funky summer wear for little boys and girls.

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The Reversible Shorts are another super easy pattern which can be attempted by anyone from a beginner up to an expert seamstress. Choose two different prints and combine them to make one pair of shorts that work as two pairs! Super simple, and two for the price of one.

We love these Space Boy style ones created from Michael Miller fabric, backed with a green Minecraft inspired print.

And what about this Round the World themed pair, with a map on one side and boats on the ocean on the other?

We know lots of small people who would love to get their hands on some shorts like these. Here’s Clair’s son Leo modelling a dinosaur print pair.


The pattern is available in ages two to seven and available to buy from Emporia priced £8.00.

Feel like you need help making these? We’ve got Reversible Shorts classes taking place on these dates:

10am – 1pm Saturday 8th July 2017
10.30am – 1.30pm Wednesday 16th August 2017

Classes cost £55.00 and include all fabric and access to our Brother sewing machines. To reserve a place, pop into the shop and pay a 50% deposit or give us a ring on 01233 612278 for more information.


Pre-Order Star Wars and Marvel Fabrics


Exciting news people – Star Wars and Marvel fabrics are back! Coming very soon we will have a fabulous selection of both Star Wars and Marvel Avengers prints back on the Emporia shelves and we know that loads of you out there will be just as excited by the prospect as we are. Featuring the likes of Rae from Rogue One and the kick-ass Black Widow we’re sure you’ll want a slice of these babies as soon as they arrive.


Cartoon Characters

Well, the good news is that you can get yourself more than just a slice of both the Star Wars and the Marvel prints by pre-ordering your chosen fabrics, and you’ll get some money off the standard retail price too. Brilliant news for fans of these comic book style prints!

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Comic book heroes in Dark Teal

Because we love Star Wars and Marvel and we know you do too, we’ve decided to give you a discount on your pre-orders for the next two weeks before Friday 7th July

Pre-order up to 1 metre and get 10% off
Pre-order between 1 and 3 metres and get 15% off
Pre-order over 3 metres and get 20% off

Take a look at these amazing prints and let us know just how many metres you’d like. Here’s Star Wars:

And here’s Marvel Avengers:

The standard retail price for all the Star Wars and Marvel fabrics is £16.00 per metre – these prints are due into Emporia sometime in July with limited availability on each fabric. To place a pre-order for any of the prints, please come and see us in the shop as we are unable to take reservations or payments over the phone.

Alice Trousers Pattern Launch


This week we’ve got another lovely treat for you – the launch of yet another Emporia pattern! Just in time for all the lovely summer weather we’ve been having and only a few weeks before the school holidays, we’re proud to announce the arrival of the Alice trousers.

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These fabulous loose fitting summer trousers are the perfect thing for keeping cool out in the sunshine, whether you are taking the kids to school, having a day out at the beach or heading off to dinner with friends – dress them up, dress them down, wear them with wedge sandals or flip flops, they are destined to become your wardrobe’s best friend.

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Choose light and floaty lawn or viscose, or go with casual cotton or poplin to make a pair of these stylish yet comfy trousers. We love the big, bright and bold prints, but they look equally good in ditsy flowers or plain fabric. This bright funky orange elephant print looks gorgeous and so summery. Or what about these lovely yellow, bold and bright floral – very sophisticated and perfect for dressing up for a night out.

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The pattern comes in sizes 8 – 20 and is super easy to make; the ideal introduction to sewing trousers if you’ve never made any before, the Alice is another simple pattern to follow, with clear, concise instructions and illustrations. Using only six pattern pieces, you can make the Alice trousers in just a couple of hours – there are no closures or zips, an elasticated waistband and ankles, and cut-away pockets, all of which are nice and easy to construct. Alternatively you can leave the ankles straight and make them without pockets if you prefer – even easier and quicker!

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The Alice trousers pattern is available in store now priced £12.00. For more information on the pattern or to see some ready-made examples of the trousers, pop in and see us for a chat, alternatively you can give us a ring on 01233 612278.



Not sure you can make the trousers yourself? We are running Alice trouser classes (£85.00) on these dates:

10.30am – 3pm Monday 22nd May
10.30am – 3pm Wednesday 21st June
10.30am – 3pm Friday 28th July
10.30am – 3pm Saturday 26th August
10.30am – 3pm Thursday 21st September
10.30am – 3pm Tuesday 21st October
10.30am – 3pm Friday 24th November
10.30am – 3pm Wednesday 6th December


New Fabrics for Summer Sewing

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The sun is out and we have a fantastic new selection of summery prints that will make your heart and your sewing machine sing! Just look at these big, bright, bold prints featuring flowers and the ocean waves in a range of gorgeous colours. We’ve fallen head over heels in love with most of them already, so get ready to do the same.

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These fabulous florals come courtesy of Kaffe Fassett – featuring large scale print in bright and bold colours, these babies have been much admired by many customers, as well as us. Clair has already made herself a simply stunning kimono dress from the turquoise and green print, which we think is perfect for summer wear, be it barbecues, beach days or even weddings.

Big circle skirts, skinny strapped summer dresses or loose floaty trousers would work perfectly in any of these designs – I’ve got my eye on the strong red with turquoise accents for the next Emporia pattern release! (Keep your eyes peeled for more news on that soon.) Why not take a different angle and make something for the kids? Small people doesn’t have to mean small prints – we think the poppy style flowers make excellent reversible dresses and what little girl wouldn’t look set for a summer wedding in a yellow and red floral Amelie dress?

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If you like your summer prints a little more nautical then check out our amazing Japanese designs from Tokyo Milk – featuring octopuses, swimmers from the twenties, Japanese inspired waves and coral themes, these prints are an exciting and unusual contrast to the Kaffe Fassett collection.

Octopuses may not be everyone’s obvious choice when it comes to summer themes, but these sea creatures coupled with beautiful blue backgrounds and floral flourishes have definitely got our imaginations going. I’m loving wearing my octopus kimono dress today in the sunshine.


If the big old tentacled ones are a bit bold for your liking, then you can take it down a notch with the subtle coral print, or make like a piece of art and have traditional Japanese waves crashing all over your dress.

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Along with these fabulous prints on the bolt, we’ve also got some luscious charm packs in store too, and a few jelly rolls. So if you’re feeling inspired to make a bright, bold and summery quilt, or maybe a bag, check these little lovelies out.

Don’t forget there’s still time to enter our Me Made May competition! Show us a photo of you in a me-made garment using Emporia fabric to win a fabric and patterns – tag us on Twitter using @emporia_market or Instagram using @emporiafabricandcraft, or on Facebook using the shop name, or come into the shop in person and we’ll take a snap of you. 

Kimono Dress Pattern Launch!

Today we are super, super excited to launch the long-awaited pattern for the kimono dress! We’ve been working on this design for quite a while now and have quite a few sewers on a waiting list to get their hands on the pattern. Well now the pattern is here and we can’t wait to see how everyone gets on with making their own kimono dresses!


Here is Clair’s latest version made out of some of our stunning new Kaffe Fassett designs – big, bright beautiful florals on a super summery background, we think this print shows off the elegant side of the kimono just perfectly.


The pattern is launching as part of our Me Made May month of celebrating creating your own clothes, so this is the perfect time to crack on with making yourself a summer dress in your choice of fabric. The kimono works well in any of weight of cotton including poplin, quilting, lawn, chambray, lightweight denim, but you could also go for something more luxurious such as raw silk or satin. You could even try it out in scuba or a ponta roma for a slightly different take.


We know we’ve talked about the elegant simplicity of the kimono dress a thousand times before, but hey, we love it so much, we’re going to do it again: incredibly simple to make and very easy to wear, the kimono dress is a subtly curved shift dress, with a v-neck, batwing sleeves, pockets in the side seams and an obi style belt which is attached just above the natural waistline. It’s incredibly versatile in that you can dress it up for more formal, going out type wear or go casual and keep it for the beach; you can also wear it in the colder months by adding a long sleeved t shirt underneath, leggings and a big cardy to keep yourself more toasty. You can even wear it as a maternity dress – just move the belt up above the bump and wear it a little looser. However you choose to wear it, this dress is such a key part of our wardrobes, we can’t imagine being without one (or two or three or four!).


Another new and exciting element of this brand new pattern is that we’ve made a few suggestions for pattern hacking at the bottom of the standard instructions, so if you’re a confident sewer or feeling inspired to take a different approach to what we’ve suggested, you can go off piste and create something a bit more personal.


The Kimono Dress pattern is now available to buy from Emporia Fabric & Crafts priced £12.00. Need help? We’re still teaching the kimono dress as a class – the next two workshops take place from 10.30am – 3pm on 17th June and Tuesday 4th July 2017.

Don’t forget there’s still time to enter our Me Made May competition! Show us a photo of you in a me-made garment using Emporia fabric to win a fabric and patterns – tag us on Twitter using @emporia_market or Instagram using @emporiafabricandcraft, or on Facebook using the shop name, or come into the shop in person and we’ll take a snap of you. 

Interview with Me Made May Creator Zoe – part 2


This week we bring you the second half of our interview with Zoe Edwards, the mastermind behind Me Made May. Here she talks about what it’s all about, how you can get involved and where you sign up!

Who can participate in MMM? 
Anyone can! Even if you’ve only been making clothes for a week and only have one solitary self-stitched garment or accessory, you can take part by setting a challenging but do-able pledge to wear that thing more than you otherwise would. Hopefully that experience would lead you to figure out how you’d be able to spend your future making time more usefully, and make you feel proud of your achievements.

Do we all need to have a wardrobe full of beautifully stitched, handmade clothing? 
No. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them. For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2017. But you can pledge to do whatever you like, no matter how new you are to sewing or knitting. How about pledging to wear two or more self-made garments a week? Or maybe to try making a new type of garment by the end of the month to wear on the final day? Perhaps you could pledge to finish all your UFO’s (unfinished objects) by 31st May.

Can we see how other people are getting on? Where can I go for some MMM inspiration?
Some participants choose to document their challenge photographically (it’s not compulsory for taking part though) and share them with others on social media. Lots of people choose to write about their challenge of their blogs if they have one, and/or share photos via twitter and instagram. Google searches and hashtag searches (#MMMay17, #memademay) should open up a world of inspiration!

What will your pledge be for this year? Do you have a standard set of self-sewn patterns you go back to for each MMM or do you like to mix it up? What do you wear more of in everyday life, self-drafted, other designer’s pattern or shop–bought clothing? 
I’m still considering how best to set my own pledge specifics for this year. I tend to think about how my lifestyle has evolved since the previous year, and consider what I would like to improve on (like wearing my self-made skirts more, or improving my mix-and-match game) and make a suitable pledge based on that. My current wardrobe is about 90% me-made and refashioned items, with 10% secondhand (often donated from my best friend!). I still buy bras, socks, tights and footwear new, but one day when I’m no longer breastfeeding, I’ll have a go at making bras too.

We're taking part!

Sounds like we’d better get making …
You can but MMM isn’t a reason to make lots of new clothes (unless you want to). This challenge is about wearing the items that you have already created, not about stock-piling more makes. However, if you want to use taking part in the challenge as the kick in the butt you need to finally hem that half-finished skirt, or rework an ill-fitting garment, then great. Remember, this challenge is meant to be fun, and panic-making isn’t fun! So please people, NO PANIC-SEWING/MAKING NECESSARY OR CONDONED!

Where do I sign up?
All you have to do is copy the pledge below and paste it into the comments section of my MMMay’17 post, having adapted it to include your details and the personal specification of your challenge, before 1st May 2017:

 ‘I, (insert name here and blog address/instagram handle if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear………………………………………………… each day for the duration of May 2017.’

So if you’re feeling inspired to get making or show off what you’ve already made, sign up here! And don’t forget if you’ve made anything with our fabric, you can enter our super duper Me Made May competition for a chance to win some fabulous sewing prizes. For more information, click here to see how to enter, and if you want to see how our own MMM wardrobes are working out, you can find us on Instagram under @emporiafabricandcraft and @lottejamiesoncrafts.

Interview with Me Made May Creator Zoe – Part 1


This week we are super lucky to bring you the first half of an interview with Zoe Edwards, renowned sewing blogger and creator of Me Made May! Here she talks about what inspired her to start the self-sewn fashion movement and how having kids has changed her approach to sewing.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Zoe and I blog all about my explorations into sewing and refashioning. These passions form a big part of my desire to live a more sustainable and authentic life. I also aim to inspire and assist others in making/remaking their own clothing. I currently live in Eastbourne with my husband and our daughter Dolores and our son Frankie.

I am a self-employed sewing teacher, and although I’m currently on maternity leave, I usually teach classes at The Village Haberdashery and Tilly and the Buttons’s HQ, London, and MIY Workshop, Brighton. I firmly believe that sewing and creating can have a fantastic impact on mental health, and am also convinced that enjoying sewing needn’t break the bank.


What exactly is Me Made May?
Me Made May 17 (#MMMay17 on social media) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear garments and love them more. The me-made and self-stitched challenges have been taking place for eight years now and they work on both a personal and community level. This challenge is all about improving your relationship with your handmade wardrobe, and perhaps also learning about yourself and your creativity.

What made you decide to go about setting up MMM, and how much has it grown/changed over the years? 
I didn’t ‘set up’ Me Made May as such, it kind of evolved from a personal, solo challenge I set myself in 2010 whilst I was living in Barcelona, Spain. I wanted to see if I could really rely on the clothes that I’d been making myself, so I decided to wear only me-made things (excluding bras, socks, tights and shoes) for the duration of March that year. It was a really illuminating experience and I want to try it again in a slightly warmer month, so I asked via my blog if anyone wanted to join me (specifying their own challenge) and I was surprised that about 80 people decided do so! And the rest, as they say … Last year we had at least 800 people ‘officially’ taking part. In more recent years, participants have really taken to social media to connect and interact with each other, although that aspect is entirely optional. The challenge is trying to fulfill your own pledge, taking outfit selfies and sharing them is in no way compulsory!


How has it affected your sewing career? 
It’s hard to say. I guess more people have heard of my blog because of Me Made May, which has allowed me to semi-fund my sewing and blogging activities by having sewing-related companies sponsor my blog for a modest fee.

You’ve released several of your own sewing patterns in recent years – has the popularity of MMM helped with that or was designing and releasing your own patterns always part of the plan?
Ha! There’s definitely no ‘plan’ to the stuff that I do! I work on what interests and inspires me. Luckily, I have been able to forge a small income through some of those things that lend themselves to making money, like teaching or selling my sewing patterns.


You’re a mum of two now – does that impact on your personal sewing in ways other than restricting your time?
It has definitely helped me streamline my sewing efforts towards making garments that I can wear at a play park rather than in a cocktail bar! I also love making things for my children. It’s so satisfying to use up cute scraps and small pieces of fabric that would probably otherwise end up in the textile recycling bank and make adorable (and hopefully useful!) little garments for my kids and their friends.

Next week we hear more from Zoe about precisely how you can get involved with Me Made May this year. 

Me Made May Competition Time

May is coming very soon and you’ve only got a few more days to sign up to the Me Made May and pledge to wear your self-made garments throughout the month – Clair and I are raring to go, so we’d love you to join us and thousands of other sewers, knitters and refashioners around the world by signing up too! If you still don’t know what MMM is yet (where have you been?!) then check out our previous posts on the blog, or pop directly over to So Zo’s site and take a little look at precisely what’s involved – we promise you’ll be glad you did.

Monday 1st May 2017 is a very special day – not only is it a bank holiday (hurrah!) but it’s also the first day of Me Made May and therefore also the very first day you can take part in our MMM competition! Now if that doesn’t get you more excited than the prospect of eating badly cooked sausages from a neighbour’s barbecue while standing in the cold/damp/wind of normal May bank holiday weather, then I don’t know what will. Every year we run a competition throughout May to celebrate our participation in Me Made May and how much we enjoy wearing clothes that we have made, or refashioned, ourselves. And we also really enjoy seeing what you lot out there have made too, so much so in fact that we think you deserve a little reward.


This year we are making our MMM competition even bigger and better than before with three different prizes to be won! We want to really spread the word this year that making and wearing your own garments is something to be very proud of – dressmaking (and knitting, crocheting etc) is no longer a lost skill, it is something that has made a huge resurgence in the past five or six years, and is still growing. It doesn’t have to be about making huge and elaborate ball gowns or filling up your entire wardrobe with everything from pants and socks to jeans and coats, it can simply be a time when you get to sit down, by yourself or with a friend or your mum, and be creative. And that creativity results in you making some comfy pjs or a pretty summer dress, or any item of clothing that you will wear and cherish because you made it yourself. THAT is what we want to make a hoohah about – the joy of sewing and wearing your Me Made makes.

So what do we want from you? We simply want to see what you’ve been up to with out fabrics. At Emporia we are desperately nosy and we really love to know what you plan to make with that spotty turquoise print, or the cotton lawn with the orange flowers. Maybe you bought some of that delicious multi coloured stripe jersey from us ages ago and still haven’t got around to making anything with it yet, or perhaps you’ve been hoarding lots of different prints in your stash and have forgotten they’re there – now is the time to get sewing!

You can enter the MMM competition in three different ways: put your garment made with Emporia fabric on Facebook or Instagram and tag us so we can see what you’ve made; or you can email us a photo of your garment – you don’t have to be wearing it, but it does help us see the dress or trousers or whatever you’ve made at it’s best angle; or you can pop into the shop wearing your garment so we can take a photo ourselves as well as see it in person – again, if you don’t want to wear it, just pop it in a bag and bring it in that way, you still get a chance to win!

Three different winners will be chosen from the Emporia MMM Competition – one by us, one by you, our lovely sewing audience, and a third by the creator of Me Made May herself, Zoe! Prizes include patterns, fabric and lessons so there is plenty to get your hands on as a reward for your heard work. We can’t wait to see what you’ve all been up to!

The Emporia Me Made May Competition takes place from 10am Monday 1st May – 5pm Wednesday 31st May 2017. All entrants must have bought their fabric from Emporia Fabric & Craft (excluding vintage fabric) from July 2015 onwards; in order to enter the competition, entrants must provide evidence of their handmade garment in either photographic form or in person. For more information on the concept of MMM or the competition, please give us a ring on 01233 612278, contact us via the Contact form, or come and see us in the shop.


Lampshades by Weird + Gilly Made to Order

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Last week we took a lovely little delivery of some gorgeous new lampshades made by Weird + Gilly using some of our amazing fabrics. Bright and funky, and perfect for kids’ bedrooms, these lovelies are now gracing our shelves to advertise a brand new service at Emporia. As of now you can place an order for a Weird + Gilly lampshade using any of our fabrics!

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Giving you the chance to choose from our fabulous range of beautiful prints, featuring all kinds of designs from mid century modern shapes and geometric patterns, to fairies and castles, dinosaurs and eggs, wild creatures and farmyard animals, you can pick something to match your room, or to use your lampshade as inspiration to kick off your interior design ideas. Whether you want something plain, subtle or in a ginormously bright and obvious print, we have hundreds of fabrics to choose from that will all make amazing lampshades.

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Order time is between 10 and 14 days depending on how busy the Weird + Gilly ladies are, so you won’t have to wait too long before your lampshade is ready. Simply choose your fabric, pick whether you want a standard lamp or a hanging lamp, and decide what size you want. Prices start from £25.00 for a 20cm lamp, and go up to £35.00 for a 30cm lamp. We can’t wait to see what kinds of prints people choose.

For more information on ordering a lampshade with your choice of fabric, pop into the shop for a chat with us or give us a ring on 01233 612778.

Easter Events and Opening Times


This week we’re all set to take part in the Ashford town centre Easter Egg hunt, pop on our hand decorated bonnets ready for the parade and then sit back and consume plenty of chocolate – and maybe find some time for a little bit of sewing on the side. How about you?


If you have small people off school this week then you might be keen to know that we still have spaces on our Easter kid’s classes. Make a rabbit on Monday, sew a drawstring bag on Tuesday, create an applique Easter cushion on Wednesday, sew a simple skirt on Thursday, or decorate an Easter egg hunting bag on Friday – there’s something for everyone in the run up to Easter itself. For full information, times, dates and prices, click on the Classes link at the top of the page and get in touch if you would like to book your little nippers into any of our sessions.


Emporia is also taking part in the Ashford town centre Easter trail from Monday 10th to Saturday 15th April 2017. All you need to do is pop into the shop, collect your Easter Trail form and then visit the various shops that are taking part to find the relevant letters and write then down on your sheet. Prizes will be handed out from the Love Ashford gazebo from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday 15th April.

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And if you’re in town on that Saturday to collect your Easter treats, then why not take part in the Easter Bonnet Parade too? Kicking off from 2pm at the Love Ashford gazebo, you can really show off your creative skills with a hand made bonnet, decorated just how you like. And there will be prizes for the best ones, so there’s even more opportunity to win Easter chocs!


Our Easter opening hours will be:
10am – 5pm from Monday 10th to Thursday 13th April
1am – 2pm Good Friday 14th April
10am – 5pm Saturday 15th April
Closed Easter Sunday 16th April
Closed Easter Monday 17th April
Open as normal again from Tuesday 18th April onwards.

We hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend and enjoy plenty of time to eat chocolate and do some relaxing craft!


Me Made May 2017 is Coming


Once again Me Made May is just around the corner and we are getting very excited about what we’re going to make and wear. Not only will the weather be a bit warmer (hopefully) but we will also get to try out some of our lovely new poplins and cotton lawns for ourselves. Plus we will be running our annual MMM competition, and it’s even bigger and more exciting than ever before!

For those that are new to the whole MMM phenomenon, very simply put, it’s a whole month of celebrating all kinds of sewing, knitting, crochet and general upcycling of clothing. Whether you have been sewing since you were four years old and have a wardrobe fit to burst with self-sewn garments, or you struggled to make a simple skirt or pair of pyjama bottoms as your very first makes, you can still take part. Me Made May is all about feeling proud of your creative skills, making the most of garments you have made yourself and challenging yourself just a little bit, to maybe push yourself a bit harder to make more or adapt things to fit you properly.


Zoe Edwards is the creator of the MMM movement and she’s been running for it every May for eight years; she started it to encourage people to get more creative with their clothing and in their approach to wearing self-sewn or hand created garments. Hosting the annual celebration every year from her blog So Zo, she bigs up all the sewers, knitters, crocheters, upcyclers and recyclers in her celebration of all things me-made. All you need to do to take part is sign up on her blog post with your pledge of how many MM garments you will be wearing during May this year. Then you can share your progress on Instagram or Facebook, and see what others are making and wearing too. From those who can pretty much kit out themselves head to foot, including underwear, in self-created clothing (much like Zoe) to those of us who may want to pledge to wear something for a certain number of days per week, the idea is to challenge yourself just enough to get creative, but not so much that you feel panicked by a sudden and enormous sewing To Do list.


In fact Zoe specifically states on her blog that she does not condone panic sewing whatsoever, and neither do we. Don’t treat MMM like homework that you have to do – just set yourself a creative challenge that might make you finish off some nearly-done dresses, or maybe make you finally hem those trousers you started last year; perhaps you have been meaning to make some summer tops for ages, but just haven’t got around to it yet. Maybe you have a pile of clothes that you never wear and could easily be upcycling and transformed into something else? Well, MMM is the time to do it! Give yourself a bit of a push to sit back down at the sewing machine or pick up those needles and make something for yourself that you really want to make – all in the name of Me Made May!

We will be running our MMM competition again this year, and for 2017 it’s going to be bigger and better – more details on that to come soon! But if you have bought any fabric from us in recent months and are planning on making a garment for yourself from it, then we suggest you crack on with it now, because by the end of May it could be winning you a lovely prize!

In the meantime, for more information on the whole concept and to sign up with your pledge for MMMay2017, click here to visit Zoe’s blog. And don’t forget to click back throughout April and May for more information on the competition and plenty of MMM inspiration.

New Classes for the Spring


Now that spring is well and truly on its way we have started to spend much more of our time planning our warmer weather wardrobe. With the trees and plants in bud and fresh green leaves springing up all over the place, we are starting to feel like it wouldn’t be too silly to start imagining what we might look like in some strappy dresses or even a short sleeved t shirt would be good! If you feel like spring is making you want to unleash some new skills on your sewing wardrobe, then look no further as we introduce two brand new classes for the coming months.


Beginner’s Overlocker Classes
Many, many sewers all over the country rushed out and bought some overlockers that were on sale from a sueprmarket (which shall remain nameless) last year and have since only got the machine out of the box once or twice, and just generally panicked at the noise it makes. Either that, or they very much wanted to buy an overlocker, but were too scared at the prospect of the fact that it cuts off the excess material leaving no room for error. Well, fear not Wannabe Overlocker Sewers – we have the class for you!

Melissa will take you gently by the hand and show you how to master your own overlocker, or you can borrow one of ours and learn all the secrets of these marvelous (but temperamental) machines. Learn all about how to thread and re-thread all four cones; see what kind of stitches you can sew with; and get to grips with sewing up stretchy material to create either a pair of child’s harem trousers or an adult’s t-shirt. Choose from our funky stretch jersey fabrics and go home, not just with a brand new item of clothing made by your very own hands, but also the skills with which to tame the overlocker all by yourself!

Special offer! If you buy one of our overlockers during April or May, you can get a half price overlocker class! Pop into the shop to test drive our overlocker machines today.

10.30am – 1.30pm Saturday 29th April 2017
10.30am – 1.30pm Saturday 24th June 2017


Sew a Child’s Shirred Dress
Shirring is a fantastic way of gathering material and can create a fitted form on dresses, skirts, tops and trousers. Shirring is done by using elastic on your bobbin and standard thread on your spool, thereby creating a series of tight gathers across your chosen material, whilst showing only the thread on the top layer, ensuring a professional looking finish.

In this class you will learn the basic techniques of threading your machine with elastic and sewing the shirring effect on a child’s dress. Choose from a lovely selection of light weight cottons with fabulous and funky prints, to make a gorgeous summer dress for your little one. Please bring relevant measurements with you to the class to ensure your dress fits it’s desired model – see a member of staff for details.

10.30am – 1.30pm Saturday 27th May 2017
10.30am – 1.30pm Wednesday 28th June 2017

Coming soon …
Melissa is working on a shirred adult top class for the summer, so click back soon for more details on when these classes will take place.

For full details on all classes and workshops, please see the Classes page at the top of the blog. Or pop into the shop and have a chat with us in person. You can also ring us on 01233 612278 for more info. Please note that all classes require a 50% booking fee to confirm your place, and places cannot be cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.

Sewing for Spring

Spring has sprung, and despite the rough winds of this week, we shall all be starting to think about the warmer months and shedding a few layers of jumpers and cardigans some time soon. So if you’re feeling like you want to update your spring wardrobe and inject a bit of colour and print to your clothing, take a look at these inspirational sewing projects that could brighten your day.

Simple Gathered Skirt
This is a super simple project suitable for both kids and adults. You can make this either with an elasticated waistband or cut a separate waistband and insert a zip. Why not add some patch pockets for extra detail and somewhere to keep your phone or a lipstick? Follow Clair’s tutorial to make the easier version for an adult, or if you feel like you need a bit of guidance, there’s always our Simple Gathered Skirt class which takes place on Wednesday 29th March or Friday 28th April.

Applique a T Shirt
Liven up a plain t shirt with some colourful patches of applique. Choose complimentary colours for a subtle spring like feel of blossom and flowers, or go bold and bright with clashing colours and geometric shapes for a funkier edge. Get creative and express yourself through sewing! Either way you can be sure that the design is uniquely yours and no-one else will have anything like it. Unless they’re so jealous of yours, that you kindly offer to make one for them too.

Doris Dress
This new pattern from Sew Over It makes for a great cross-over spring to summer dress as you can vary the length or make it in heavier or lighter weight cotton. We think it would look fabulous in any of our brand new dress fabrics, like the orange and turquoise lawn or perhaps some of the spotty poplin. Have you made a version of this dress yet? Feel free to share as we love to see your makes!

Kimono Dress
Although this is very much an all year round dress, the kimono dress really comes into its own in spring and summer. Choose from some of our amazing fabrics and make something that reflects your personality. Go cool with pink skulls or pretty with bright floras on a navy background; why not try out paw prints or dogs, or maybe go for something a bit more unusual with a large scale print of bicycles or leopard print? There is so much choice already, and we’re constantly getting more fabrics in store too.

We’ve also got plenty of other patterns in the shop as well as a really long class list of different garments you can make with Clair, so there is no need to feel uninspired by your spring sewing! Check out the classes page above or pop into the shop and collect a classes list for more information on times, prices, dates and details of the workshop.

Mother’s Day Gifts at Emporia

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we have plenty of exciting crafty gifts to give to your mum (or ask your children to buy you) in the shop; from lovely handmade crafts created by our local crafters or gifts that they can use themselves for a spot of sewing or knitting, there is plenty to be inspired by.

Cake Pattern Weights
These gorgeous little cake themed pattern weights are just too delicious for words. Bag Mum a box of macarons, doughnuts or some cute little fondant fancies! Priced between £19.99 and £24.00.

Ceramic Hearts
Hand thrown, glazed and fired by local potter maker R. J. Laurenson, these beautiful ceramics would make the perfect gift for any mother who’s been inspired by the likes of The Great Pottery Throw Down. Nothing says I love you like one of these stunning hearts, or the chance to have a decent sized cup of tea from a beautifully decorated cup and saucer.

Sewing Patterns
Gift your mum the gift of craft with any of our fabulous sewing patterns – choose from a wide range, including the whole selection of Sew Over It dress patterns, and of course the wonderful Emporia designs created by Clair herself.

Dress Fabrics
If you’re thinking of getting her a pattern, why not give her the fabric to go with it? We’ve recently got a whole range of exciting dress fabrics, including poplin and lawn, on our shelves, so check out these gorgeous prints and see what you think would be in her style.

Cotton Yarn
Does your mum love to knit or crochet? We’ve got a whole host of lovely spring and summer bright coloured cotton yarn in the store just waiting to be transformed into something amazing. Rowan Handknit Cotton comes in a pastel range of pretty double knit, Designer Yarns cotton is bright and funky, and the Natura XL is an extra chunky version which is great for homewares and all kinds of crochet projects.

Knitting Patterns
Inspire your mum to knit some truly beautiful designs with our range of Rowan pattern books. From beginners to slightly more advanced styles, there’s plenty to get stuck into for knitters of all abilities. Is your mum a complete newbie knitter? Bag her the Lotte Jamieson Irvine cowl pattern, which will gently introduce her to the world of knits and purls.

Fat Quarters
For those on a smaller budget, a selection of fabulously funky fat quarters makes a really thoughtful gift. Choose from our enormous range of cottons and make up a selection that suits her.

Sewing Machines
If you feel like really splashing out on Mum or you are a mother who feels like you deserve a really  big treat, then come and take a look at our lovely Brother sewing machines. From the very basic models at the budget end, up to the all singing, all dancing embroidery machines, these babies are bound to make some mother’s have a very happy Mothers Day. Click on the Sewing Machines link at the top of the blog for a full rundown of all our sewing machines and overlockers, or pop into the shop for a test drive.

Mother’s Day takes place on Sunday 26th March 2017. For more information on any of our fabrics or crafts, give us a ring on 01233 612278 or pop in and see us in person at Park Mall shopping centre.

Easter Holiday Kid’s Sewing Classes


It may seem like half term has only just finished, but the Easter holidays are drawing ever closer – in just over three week’s time, they’ll be off for another two and a bit weeks, meaning you had better come up with some ways of staving off the boredom without simply relying on the electrical babysitters (iPad, Xbox, phone etc) every day. Don’t let them stay glued to the telly all day – get them inspired with some craft! Or, if you have a seriously crafty child on your hands and if you’re already panicking about how you will come up with enough ideas to keep them entertained, then we have the answer – a whole week of sewing workshops for them to get stuck into.

Make a Rabbit – £20.00, 8+
11am – 12pm Monday 10th April 2017
Kick off Easter week with a fabulous rabbit making class! Sew up your very own Easter Rabbit in a choice of spring themed fabrics, adding a tummy and maybe a fluffy tail if you want. A great class for kids with a passion for sewing and making gifts.

drawstring bag

Sew a Drawstring Bag – £20.00, 8+
Tuesday 11th April 2017
Create a drawstring bag to keep your swimming stuff or PE kit in, or maybe to use for sleepovers, as it’s the perfect size for a pair pyjamas and a washbag. Choose from our ever-widening selection of cool and creative fabrics to sew something both pretty and practical. This class is only really suitable if you have used a sewing machine before – if you’re in doubt, please speak to Clair or Charlotte at the shop before booking.

Make an Easter Applique Cushion – £20.00, 8+
11am – 12pm Wednesday 12th April 2017
Create a simple but effective Easter Rabbit themed cushion in this kids’ holiday class. Choose your rabbit fabric, learn how to sew applique style, and then turn your design in a fabulous envelope cushion cover! Excellent for those new to machine sewing and children who have a little more experience.

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Sew a Simple Kids’ Skirt – £20.00, 8+
11am – 12.30pm Thursday 13th April 2017
Learn how to sew your very first garment in this simple skirt class for kids. Choose from any of our funky prints or go for a pretty spring floral to wear over your Easter holidays. This is a great chance for children who have had some experience sewing with a machine to advance their skills and make something personal to them.


Decorate an Easter Egg Hunt Bag – £10.00, 4+
11am – 1pm Good Friday 14th April 2017
Cut out fabric designs, create pompoms, use your imagination to create a fantastic, colourful bag to keep all your eggs in when you go hunting on Easter Sunday! Suitable for little ones aged four and up, this is a drop in session running for two hours on Good Friday, however places still need to be booked so we know how many children are going to attend.

All kid’s Easter classes run from Monday 9th to Friday 14th April 2017; times vary; all classes must be booked beforehand, with either a 50% deposit or by paying the full class fee; all fabrics and materials are included in the price of the class. 

Please note that there are age restrictions for all of the children’s classes – these must be adhered to apart from in exceptional circumstances – please speak to us if you need clarification on this. 

New Arrivals for Spring


It may still be windy, raining and generally grey outside but this week we got hold of some lovely new items for the shop that are a fantastic reminder that spring is on its way! Bright colours and cute designs, plus a brand new kind of product has hit our shelves this week and we have fallen in love with the new arrivals, completely and utterly.


First up, let us introduce you to these amazingly sweet and incredibly practical pattern weights designed by Oh Sew Quaint. Simply delicious, aren’t they? Available in three different designs, you can up your cutting accuracy with these beautiful little cakes. Choose from classic doughnuts with sprinkles, go old school with the Fondant Fancies, or bring a little French (ooh la la!) patisserie fun to your sewing table with macarons.


We can’t wait to start using these babies at the shop – but be warned, although they look sweet, you’ll lose a tooth if you try to eat one.


To accompany these lovely treats are a brand new selection of spring themed prints from Clothworks. Featuring a range of woodland animals and trees, the colours all shout Springtime! and will certainly get you in the mood for some sewing for the new season.


Foxes, hedgehogs, owls, deer and frogs all feature in the designs, alongside spring blossom and budding flowers, proving that woodland themes don’t have to be about autumn and winter.


Light, fresh and simple in design, the accompanying prints range from stripes to bluebells and grass-like chevrons, giving you the chance to mix and match for a super cute spring project. We’re thinking kid’s pyjamas, quilts, reversible dresses and homeware to brighten up the last of the grey winter weather.


The cake themed pattern weights cost £19.99 – £24.99 for a box, and the fabrics are all £16.00 a metre. Perfect gifts for Mothers Day or just a spring themed treat for yourself!

Sample Sale Rail


When we’re not running classes and workshops, choosing new fabrics or generally helping the sewing populace of Ashford with their purchases, we spend quite a bit of our time developing new patterns and creating things for our window displays. This often results in one-off creations or finished garments that don’t quite tally with the final pattern. Sometimes we end up displaying them around the shop or reusing them in the window, but now we’ve built up quite a stock of them, so we’ve decided to put them altogether on a Sample Sale rail so you can browse at your leisure and see if there’s something you’d like to take home, either for yourself or as a gift.


Ranging from A-line skirts and simple gathered skirts to our recently developed kimono dress, plus pyjama bottoms for kids and adults, there are some lovely pieces ready to buy on the rail. There are also a few accessories like tote bags and aprons too.


Joining these are a couple of gorgeous designs from Clair’s previous career as a maternity wear designer – check out this luscious leopard print swing coat and the very funky Vivienne Westwood-ish tartan kimono jacket. Both of these garments work perfectly well for non-pregnant women too, so they are great for pre, post and during pregnancy, or if you aren’t even considering being pregnant! Basically they are fabulous designs that look amazing regardless or whether or not you’re currently growing a person inside you.


Prices vary according to what we’ve made, and sometimes the prices of several items that are almost (but not quite) the same can be different prices too – this comes down to how much material we have used, how often it’s been on display and whether it’s based on the final pattern version or is an earlier stage in the development process. Either way, all the items on the Sample Sale rail are cheaper than what you would pay to have something made up in your choice of fabric, so they are all essentially a bargain. And there’s always the chance that prices will get reduced further.


As a rough guide, A-line skirts are £35.00 for knee length and £45.00 for maxi length; kimono dresses are £45.00; simple gathered skirts range from £15.00 to £35.00 depending on length; the tartan kimono jackets are £45.00 and the leopard print faux fur jackets are £45.00. Pyjama bottoms prices vary.


For more information or to check out some of these lovely items in person, pop into the shop and try something on!

New Canvas, Poplin and Cotton Lawns


Last week we showed you a couple of pictures of our brand new arrivals and this week we’ve got even more! A fabulously exciting and large delivery arrived earlier in the week and we’ve been spending plenty of time oohing and ahhing over them ever since. We’ve got a brand new selection of canvas prints, some extra poplins and some super delicious cotton lawn, for the first time ever! Take a look a this luscious selection and see if you aren’t inspired to start planning your spring sewing.


Cotton Lawn
If you’ve never been sure exactly what cotton lawn is, then do come and see us and have a stroke of these super smooth, silky fabrics. Despite feeling almost like a heavy weight silk, these 100% cottons have a very high thread count which gives them a very luxurious feel. Liberty print lawns have become famous across the world for their iconic designs printed onto this light and floaty fabric, which works perfectly for blouses and shirts, lightweight pyjamas, summer wear and underwear. Check out our funky lawns which come in bright summery orange, bold teal leopard print and a geometric style pink and green number.


These lightweight canvases are perfect for making bags and cushion covers, covering lampshades or making pin boards. They are also good for backing lighter fabrics, for example using as the reverse of an apron or to stiffen table mats; there are endless options for creating household and interior decor style items with these practical yet pretty prints. Get your hands on canvas spots, plains and unusual prints and see what you can create.


Cotton Poplin
Slightly wider, these rolls of poplin will have you dreaming of bright spring and warm summer days in no time. Ditsy line drawn prints and bold and funky florals, cute little elephants, tiny pink owls and French inspired bicycles are all in the mix, alongside a collection of super cute polka dots. Great for all kinds of dress making, you could have the whole family decked out in matching ice cream covered shirts by the time summer comes.



All the poplins, lawns and canvas weight fabrics are priced between £6.00 and £8.00 a metre. For more information, give us as ring on 01233 612278 or pop into the shop to take a look in person.

New Fashion Fabrics in Store!


More exciting news for sewing fans this week as we got some very exciting packages from a brand new supplier – lovely new fashion fabrics for the Emporia shelves!

Alongside lots of new cottons and some canvas prints, we’re delighted to welcome a couple of new fabric styles to our repertoire – cotton lawn and the very fashion friendly scuba. Both will have dressmaking sewers hot under the collar as they think about all the amazing designs they could be knocking up with these gorgeous prints. Including bright florals and funky animal prints, these fabrics are the perfect excuse to lighten up your winter sewing with a bit of springtime brightness.


If you’ve never sewn with anything other than plain old 100% cotton, you’re in for a treat with poplin – this is a lovely lightweight fabric that has a higher thread count than most cotton making it feel smoother and softer, and quite floaty. It is absolutely perfect for dresses (tea dresses look particularly scrummy in it), tops, blouses and kids’ clothes too, as it is still cool in summer and great for layering in winter.


If you’re thinking of delving into the world of lawn for the first time, we’ve got several patterns you could use, including the Simple Sew Keyhole Blouse, Tilly and the Buttons’ Mathilde Blouse, the Sew Over It Doris Dress, and the Sew Over It 1940’s Tea Dress. Or you could always try the free and easy sleeveless top from Colette patterns, which uses just one metre. And if you’re sewing with kids in mind, then our Amelie dress pattern would look gorgeous in lawn, with sleeves or without.


Scuba is a bit more of adventurous choice for dressmaking, but given it’s non-fraying edges and stable stretch nature, it’s not as tricky as you might think. It’s a double knit with a slight stretch that works well for body-con styles and designs with a little structure like a fifties or biker style jacket; it feels smooth and springy because it’s a man made fibre and has good level of drape. Also the edges don’t fray, so there is no definite need for hemming. The only issues to bear in mind are that darts and hems (if you choose to make them) may add bulk which cannot be ironed down. As scuba is renowned for being a warm, non-breathable fabrics, it’s better for winter and autumn wear rather than summer dresses. Make yourself a simple circle skirt to have a go with this versatile material or try out a simple.

Alongside these lovelies, we’ve also got a whole load of new spotty cottons which are great for anything from clothes to quilts and linings for bags and pencil cases etc. They’re beautifully bright and springlike, which is just what we need right now to get us through the chilly last month of the winter.

The new scuba and cotton poplins are priced at £8.00 a metre, as as the new spot prints – all available in store from today.

Embroidery Machines and Overlockers


Since the arrival of our fantastic selection of Brother sewing machines last week, they’ve had lots of admiring looks and plenty of oohs and ahhs. This week we thought we’d take the time to have a closer look at a couple of our other very exciting Brother machines, those that can do a little bit more fancy footwork than an ordinary sewing machine. So here’s the lowdown on over fabulous overlocker and the simply amazing embroidery machine! And don’t forget, if you fancy a test drive on these babies, or any of our Brother stock, do feel free to pop by the shop and have a go on them – we’re sure you’ll be just as keen on them as we are.


1034D Home Lock – £199.00

Overlockers give you the chance to sew with jersey and other stretch materials, adding cuffs and neckbands without over stretching as well as binding off edges with a neat finish. But it’s not just about tackling stretchy fabrics or those that fray easily; you can also make great use of an overlocker to neaten edges and give a much more professional finish to all your sewing projects. This model works as either a 3 or 4 thread machine, and features a built-in carrying handle, a F.A.S.T. lower looper threading system, an instructional DVD, perfect overlock stitches on all types and weights of fabric, a built in light, differential feed, a removable knife and a common snap on presser foot.


Innov-is F480 – £1,299.00

If you are a big fan of embroidery then this combination embroidery and sewing machine is the perfect machine for you. Designed to tackle sewing and embroidery projects alike, the F480 is superior quality and packed with features. You can create labels, monograms and even design your own stitch patterns with an easy-to-use keypad and numerous advanced feature, all of which make this machine a favourite amongst keen sewers. As well as featuring 182 built-in stitches (including 10 buttonhole styles), 5 Styles of lettering (upper and lowercase), 138 built-in embroidery designs, the SFDS: Square Feed Drive System, and a memory function that recalls previously programmed stitch sequences. Alongside all these amazing embroidery functions you also get the best of the sewing machine side of things with a whole load of extra features like a lock stitch button, a needle up/down button, automatic thread cutter, advanced needle threader and a quick set bobbin winder. The user-friendly colour LCD screen is the icing cake.

All machines come with a 3 year warranty from Brother, basic accessories such as screwdrivers, spare needles, bobbins and a variety of extra feet suitable for that particular model. For more information on each sewing machine at Emporia, pop in and see us for a demo or to have a go yourself.

Two New Patterns are Coming!


For those of you with eagle eyes you may have noticed a couple of new designs featuring in our behind the scenes photoshoot post from last week; you may also have noticed these same new designs have been featuring in our window displays for the last few months. Well, now you can finally make them for yourself as we have two brand new Emporia patterns available to buy from next week! Exciting times!


The first pattern to launch as part of our collection is the Lotta dress; designed with spring/summer in mind, the Lotta has a full gathered skirt, flattering bodice darts, a matching front and back v neck and small puffed sleeves, making it an intermediate pattern. It’s perfect for parties, as a wedding outfit or make it sleeveless for a summer holiday dress – you can also dress it up or down depending on the kind of material you use. Why not make a version in lawn for extra lightweight feel?

Be bold with your print choices for something that makes a real statement or keep it simple with one colour, and let the fabric and the dress design really stand out. Whatever you choose to do, Lotta is certain to grab attention with her form fitting, curve enhancing features.


The other pattern to be released just in time for spring is our Issey culottes. These super stylish, Japanese inspired trousers are just the thing for the transition to the warmer months with their wide legs and cropped length. Featuring a very simple design that is incredibly easy and quick to sew, Issey has in-seam pockets, a fold over waistband with V detail at the back and a zip closure.

Fabric wise you could make these in almost anything! From simple cotton or chambray to wool or needlecord, these culottes work all year round depending on your fabric choice. Why not make up a pair in satin or silk for a spin on eveningwear? Or perhaps try out a denim pair for all year round? There are so many choices and we can’t wait to see what you make yours out of.

Both the Lotta dress and the Issey culottes are available to buy from the shop from next week, priced £12.00 each. If you would like to pre-order one, please give us a ring on 01233 612278 or contact us via the Contact Form.