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.

wool week snood

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 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.


Christmas and New Year Opening Hours



Christmas is pretty much upon us now, and there’s nothing left to do but wrap up presents and start to indulge in the festivities. Unless of course you are a committed crafter, in which case you’re probably still wondering if you have enough time to make a hugely complicated king size quilt before Christmas Eve as well as knock up new pyjamas for all your children and your other half, plus knit each of your friends a hat. Well whether you fall into the first camp or the second, or indeed the third camp that is indulging in some purely recreational craft as part of the Christmas downtime, just in case you still need a last minute gift or a browse of the fabrics, here are our opening hours over the holiday period.

Thursday 22nd December 10am – 7pm
Today we are staying open for the last late night Christmas shopping evening as the town gets truly festive with a evening Christmas market. Lots of the usual suspects from the Ashford Farmer’s Market will be in residence, plus Father Christmas will be welcoming kids into his chalet for a present and a photo opportunity. The town will be in full festive mode and no doubt there will be some mulled wine and mince pies to indulge in.



Friday 23rd December – 10am – 5pm
Christmas Eve – 9am – 3pm
Christmas Day – closed
Boxing Day – closed
Tuesday 27th December – closed
Wednesday 28th December – 10am – 5pm
Thursday 29th December – 10am – 5pm
Friday 30th December – 10am – 5pm
New Year’s Eve – 10am – 2pm
New Year’s Day – closed
Tuesday 2nd January – 10am – 5pm


So if we don’t see you between now and 2017, we would like to wish you a very restful and warm Christmas and a happy new year from everyone at Emporia.