Sew a Simple Drawstring Gift Bag

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Special Offers on Sewing Machines

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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 emporia.fabric@gmail.com. Alternatively you can get in touch with us via the Contact Form at the top of the blog.

Emporia Sewing Jewellery

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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.

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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.