Sew Saturday at Emporia

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Saturday 21st October sees sewing fans up and down the country celebrate their addiction to their craft and we’re joining in the fun. With competitions, goody bags and workshops all taking place at the shop, there is plenty to get excited about on this fantastic sewing-inspired day.

Saturday morning will see a Beginner’s Class take place, so if you are keen to get behind a machine and learn the basics or refresh your knowledge if you’ve not sewn for a few years, then join Clair for this three hour session. Make an envelope-closed cushion cover and learn how to insert a zip in a pencil case or makeup bag. The Beginner’s Class starts at 10.30am and costs £40.00 per person – booking is essential.

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In the afternoon there will be the chance to get your hands on a special Sew Saturday goody bag containing a variety of sewing themed treats and some free patterns. You can then take a seat in our sewing corner and spend a bit of time with fellow crafters making some special Sew Saturday creations. Sausage dogs are the theme of this year’s Sew Saturday so you can create a cute little canine friend to take home with you in our special open craft session.

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Special offers will be taking place in the shop on the day, including Buy One Get One Half Price on all sewing patterns, and everyone who makes a purchase on Sew Saturday will be entered into a prize draw to win a fantastic bundle of goodies including fabric, pattern cutting tools, a copy of Sew magazine (who are sponsoring the event) and tickets to a sewing and crafting event of your choice!

All this plus our ever expanding collection of new dress fabrics, and our brand new jersey collection – come and see us on Sew Saturday and celebrate your passion for sewing!

For more information on the Sew Saturday Beginner’s Class or to book a space, ring 01233 612278 or pop in at see us in Park Mall.

 

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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.

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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. 

Our First Year in Park Mall – Special Anniversary Offers

This Sunday we will have been resident in Park Mall for one whole year! This is what the shop looked like when we had first moved in:

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Our very first window displays were made in a crazy rush just in time for the shop launch, which was attended by the deputy mayor George Koowaree, and loads of excited sewers and creative types from Ashford. And the rest of the summer seemed to disappear in just as much of a rush as we spent our time moving furniture around, stocking up on new fabrics, buying in new products and sourcing our lovely local crafters. We also started working on our future plans for the shop, getting excited about all the possibilities being in our new location could bring.

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It seems like much longer ago than one year we moved out of the tiny unit on Bank Street and into our much bigger, lighter and more spacious unit here because so much has happened since last summer: we’ve expanded our range of fabrics hugely, introduced a whole lot more sewing equipment, started selling yarn and knitting accessories, and increased the range of classes we offer, including ones that use our very own patterns, which is probably the achievement we are most proud of.

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Emporia Patterns started off with the cute and simple Reversible Dress which has been flying off the shelves since it was launched back in February; loads of you have made your own fantastic versions of this and we’ve been really pleased to have introduced lots of newbie sewers to the delights of sewing little girls dresses in our classes. We recently then added another girl’s dress to the range, with the slightly more advanced Amelie Dress. This too has proven very popular so we can expect to see more amazing versions from all our customers soon! And with more patterns currently under development, there will be more new releases hitting our shelves over the coming months.

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To celebrate all our achievements and our one year anniversary, we are having a flash sale this weekend – on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th all our full priced fabrics will be 15% off. We will be open from 10am – 5pm on both days, so if you’ve had your eyes on a particular print for a while, now is the time to pop down and bag it! And we will be announcing the winner of our very exciting basket of crafty goodies – and if you haven’t managed to enter the draw to win it, there’s still time before Saturday.

Enter our Anniversary Prize Draw and Me Made May Winner!

This week it’s a double whammy on the competition front – not only are we announcing the winner of our Me Made May 16 competition, but we’re also inviting you to enter our fabulous prize draw! Competition craziness!

So first up, who won the MMM title this year?

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Big congratulations to Annette Battersby who made these adorable dungarees in some of our disty floral fabric for her granddaughter Amber. Annette wins her choice of a pattern and enough fabric from the shop to make it up. And thanks to everyone who took part – all the entries were fabulous, and we really enjoyed seeing our fabrics transformed into some wonderful garments. We hope to see you all again next year for some more of the same.

And now onto the next competition! Except it’s not a competition as such – it’s prize draw which celebrates our first anniversary of being in Park Mall. Yes, on the 17th July we will have been in our fabulous (newish) unit for one whole year, and so to mark the occasion we’ve put together a fantastically crafty and exciting bundle of goodies to give away, all of which comes to around £140.00 worth of products and materials from the shop. Take a closer look at what you could be getting your crafty mitts on:

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Included in the prize basket is: six Rowan Hand Knit Cotton balls in gorgeous soft blues and greens, two Knit Pro Waves crochet hooks in 4mm and 4.5mm, two sets of Brittany birch knitting needles in 4mm and 4.5mm, a copy of Knitting and Crochet magazine, a copy of the Sewing Made Simple bookzine, a large pompom maker, a glue pen, a rotary cutter, a selection of Pebble hand sewing needles, three cotton reels, and a fat quarter bundle of new Gutermann pinks, greys and blues. Not a bad selection even if we do say so ourselves! Whether you are a sewer, knitter, crochet fan or just an all round crafter, just think what you could get up to with all this lovely lot. And if you’re new to any or all of it, this could be your chance to learn a new skill or even donate some of the prize to a friend who you know will use it. Either way, we know we would love to win something like this, so we hope you all would too.

So next time you pop into the shop for fabric, wool, haberdashery or crafts, if you’re spending over £20, just write your name, email and phone number down on an entry form and you could be in with a chance of winning the whole kaboodle.

Entry into the prize draw closes at 5pm on Saturday 16th July 2016 – keep your eyes peeled for more information on events taking place for our one year Park Mall anniversary coming soon!

Getting Ready for Me Made May 2015

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Me Made May kicks off next week and we are starting to get excited and a bit panicky in equal measure. Having made our pledges, which you can see below, we have both decided to get a bit more sewing under our belts before the event kicks off (and possibly at the beginning of the month too …) so that we have plenty to wear throughout it. Taking a look at the self made garments already existing as part of our collective wardrobes these are the pledges we have decided to make for the first ever official joint Emporia and lotte jamieson MMM.

‘I, Clair Heal from Emporia Fabric & Craft as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15, endeavour to wear one me made garment each day for the duration of May 2015.’

‘I, lotte jamieson, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear at least three self made or home made garments each week of MMM and will attempt to NOT wear my jeans as much as physically possible for the duration of May 2015.’

So as part of our preparation for this year’s sewing special, we thought we would share with you some of our plans for the month. We’d also love to know whether you’ve pledged to take part and what, if any, kind of last minute sewing you are getting up to as we approach the last week of April.

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Destined to be turned into a whole load of lovely t shirts

Clair has decided to pay a little tribute to Zoe, the founder of Me Made May, and use one of her patterns – the Dolores. It’s a t shirt/dress pattern designed for stretch knit fabrics, which gives Clair the ideal chance to try out some of our gorgeous jerseys; another pattern designed for jersey fabric that we picked up at the Knitting and Stitching Show will be providing her with a casual dress to wear during MMM. She’s also planning on making up some a line skirts in some of our brighter and funkier cottons, using a pattern that she has created herself.

Hedgehog, cotton reels and framed flower print skirt anyone?

Hedgehog, cotton reels and framed flower print skirt anyone?

My plans for the coming month are to get to grips with the jersey myself, and make at least one t shirt, more than likely with the fabulous multi cloured stripes; I’m also going to use Clair’s fabulous a line pocket skirt pattern to create one for myself, and if that’s successful, maybe another one too! My two main aims for this year’s MMM are to make a dress with sleeves – the Sew Over It Tea Dress, which will hopefully keep my arms warm if May turns out to be a bit chilly, and attempt to make some sort of jacket. Adventurous as that sounds, I can assure you all that it won’t be a complicated affair and probably won’t even feature any buttons or closures of any sort! But what a jacket does do is allow you to wear a Me Made garment very easily almost every day. I might also get around to making those long dreamt of pyjamas that were constantly in my thoughts it Germany – again, another easy way to wear your own made garments very regularly.

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Quite a grownup dress

Still not signed up for Me Made May yourself? Head over to So Zo’s page and take a look at what’s involved. Anyone who comes into the shop during May wearing their MMM garments, will have their picture taken and posted on the wall, and they will be entered into a competition to win a £25.00 voucher to spend in the shop! Or you can simply post your pictures on Facebook, tag us and you’ll still be in with a chance to win.

Now all we have to do is make our final fabric (and pattern) choices, get out that tape measure and get sewing!

Happy New Year!

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We know it’s a little late as we are now a whole week into 2015, but some of us take time getting used to a new year, and need a few days to warm up. So now the holidays are over and we’re back to the daily grind, we thought we’d settle down to business by checking on the entries to our Christmas makes competition. However, it seems that we’re not the only ones who need reminding that 2015 is here and real life must carry on, so we’re extending the deadline until next Tuesday, 13th January and giving you an extra week to get your photos in!

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What did you make? What did you get? Did you do any last minute Christmas Eve sewing? Did anyone get a New Year’s Day present? (Someone we know got a sewing pattern from Sew Over It as a lovely surprise gift on the 1st January, from a husband who had clearly done some very good research.) We need to see your pictures people! Post a photo of all of your handsewn Christmas makes on Facebook, tag us and sit back and wait to see if you will be the lucky winner of a whole metre of fabric from our fantastic selection.

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In the meantime, why not take another gander at all the lovely classes we’ve got going on this year: alongside all the Get to Know your Sewing Machines, there’s beginners patchwork (this Saturday), a special zip workshop and the chance to make children’s clothes. For those that want a different kind of stitching, beginners knitting takes place every Monday evening from the 12th January, plus a special cabling workshop for those that want to extend their skills. Two new classes are perfect for those with a little romance in their soul as Lotte takes a knitted heart class just in time for Valentines Day on Saturday 7th February 2015 – perfect for those that can do basic knitting, this little project will teach you how to increase and decrease, and make a heartwarming gift in any size for the love of your life. Sewers won’t be left out of the romantic action either, as Clair takes a patchwork heart class on Saturday 14th February itself – create a beautiful hanging heart from a choice of all the gorgeous fabrics in the shop, and personalise it for your chosen loved one, be they your other half, your best mate or your little one.

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We’ll have plenty more sewing and knitting going down in February and March, but if there is anything else that you’d like to see being taught in the shop, do let us know.  You can leave a comment at the bottom of the blog, get in touch via Facebook or actually come into the shop in person and have a chat – we love to get feedback from the people that matter most, so hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth would be great.

We’ll be back next week, with some amazingly exciting new fabrics, and to announce the winner of our  Christmas makes competition. See you soon!

Emporia Fabric Competition Winner!

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Do you remember back in the summer (you know, when the sun was out and it was warm?) we decided to celebrate our gorgeous fabric collection and what you clever crafters get up to with it by asking you to send in pictures of your makes? While Clair was on maternity leave, we thought she would be missing out on all the gossip and excitement that goes alongside new fabric deliveries and chatting to customers about what they have on their sewing tables, so we wanted her to have the chance to see what everyone was up to while she was away.

Loads of you came into the shop with your fabulous creations, posted photos on Facebook or emailed your pics to us to show off your sewing skills, so Clair had plenty of lovely things to choose from. The idea came from a lovely woman called Vanessa who came into the shop to show off her noticeboard that she covered in beautiful Makower yellow and grey flowers. We were so touched that she wanted to thank us for helping her choose the fabric and plan her project that we decided we wanted to see more of what you have been making.

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A couple of entries were very close calls, so we must give some special mentions to Sita Turner who made a bee blind for the nursery while she was pregnant; and Helen Parker who made some simply beautiful baby shoes for her great niece Florence from the Makower animal heads. Clair said she was very impressed with these baby makes; she said the shoes were very cute and that she had great empathy with Sita for wanting to make something for her new arrival while it was still in residence. Both Sita and Helen win a free fat quarter as runner up prizes.

Bunting, blinds, baby shoes, Christmas stockings, quilts and bags were all submitted for Clair’s scrutiny and she had a very hard time choosing her favourite when she came back to the shop last week, but eventually she settled on one. So without further ado, we ask you to give hearty congratulations to the winner – Rebecca Musto!

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Rebecca made some truly beautiful wedding bunting for a friend from the batik style Makower floral prints, in purple, turquoise and deep pink, and the serene bird silhouettes. It was her first time making bunting and we have to say she did a truly fantastic job, and it seems from her wedding photos that her friend was delighted too. So well done Rebecca, do come into the shop and collect your prize of a fabric metre of your choice soon! Continue reading