New Fabrics From Clarke & Clarke

westonbirtblue

We’re thrilled to announce that we now have some truly beautiful new fabrics from Clarke and Clarke in store! These gorgeous upholstery weight prints arrived at the shop yesterday and we’ve haven’t stopped cooing over them since then. Covered with hares, squirrels, horses. pheasants and leaf prints, they are simply stunning and we can’t wait to see what you clever crafters out there can do with them.

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Although the orange may look a touch autumnal (hey, it is July now, so we have to start planning ahead you know), the pale grey and beige version are perfect for all year round. And the warm blue version is just beyond pretty. We’re thinking not just small scale touches like cushions and bolsters, but long, extravagant drapes, and huge Chesterfield style armchairs covered with these magical looking animals. What do you think?

woodlandtrees

Also, some truly lovely Michael Miller designs arrived in the shop this week, all with a rather cute animal themes. From lizards and snakes to horses and woodland animals, these prints are bright and funky, and we’re rather excited by the more autumnal prints – they would make perfect Amelie dresses with sleeves.

snakeslizards

The bright and fun lizards and snakes would be fabulous for little boys shorts, and given how popular our current horse and unicorn prints have been with little (and big) girls recently, these new gallopy designs could be the answer to many small people’s dreams. Just imagine a reversible dress in blue and red horses!

horses

The horse panel has a slightly more sophisticated feel to it, not unlike a designer scarf – more thoughts about what you could make with this one please!

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The woodland foxes and rabbits have a definite seventies vibe about them with their brown, mustard yellow and bright purple colour scheme. And who doesn’t love a fox wearing a hat and jumper?

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My personal favourite is the nighttime foxes and trees underneath a starry sky and moon – just perfect for little girls’ skirts and dresses, or a beautiful sleepy baby quilt.

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All Michael Miller prints are £14.00 a metre, and the new Clarke & Clarke upholstery fabric is 140cm wide, and is also £14.00 a metre – all available in store now.

 

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Christmas is Coming …

dresser

We know it’s still September and to lots of you the title of this post will giving you the heebie geebies, but it’s true, Christmas is actually coming. In fact it’s 100 days away now, and so to mark the occasion we thought we’d share our fabulous festive fabric that only arrived last week.

Consisting mostly of these gorgeous Scandinavian style designs, the colour palette of red, grey and cream makes for a very simple yet sophisticated range. It features a whole host of traditional shapes and patterns, like reindeer, stars, hearts, missletoe, snowflakes and trees, all designed to recreate that Scandinavian feel for Christmas.

snowflakesmissletoe

Perfect for making placemats, tree decorations or festive bunting, these simple patterns blend together so well you’ll be forgiven for wanting to get your Christmas on early with this bunch of gorgeous designs.

reindeer

Who doesn’t love a reindeer? Definitively Scandi, these little chaps are destined to trot all over Christmas stockings and Santa sacks ready to grace the fireplace or the end of the bed come Christmas Eve.

panels

Fancy getting started on a Christmas quilt? This clever design gives you the option of cutting out the picture panels and placing them on a different background, or just making use of the panels as they are and quilting around them once you’ve sewn up the wadding and the backing. It’s not cheating, it’s called being economical with your fabric.

brights

For those that like a little more colour for their Christmas makes, we’ve also got a couple of festive brights in the shape of these lovely prancing reindeer and the cheerful trees.

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And if you’re planning on sewing an advent calendar this year, then look no further – we’ve got the panel and the pockets all in one design, on only 60cm of fabric! Easy to follow instructions are also printed on the pattern, so you really can’t go wrong.

Now is the time to start thinking about who’s on your Good list and therefore deserves a gorgeous handmade gift from you this year, or simply how you’d like to decorate your house! We know there’s still plenty of time for Christmas shopping, but Christmas sewing is far more enjoyable.

Hot Summer Prints

flamingosboats

Goodness it’s been hot this week – not just summery hot, but properly sweltering, lying on the beach, sipping iced beverages and not moving an inch kind of hot. What can you do in this heat except dream of being on holiday somewhere and not having to do anything at all barring contemplating your next cocktail? Well, you could be inspired by our most summery fabrics to create that perfect sundress, knock up a quick beach bag or evens some fabulously floaty culottes. Take a look at what’s hot on our fabric shelves and then tell us you can’t be bothered to even get up off your sunlounger.

These brand new flamingos walking through the sea, with boats and a beautiful turquoise background have been gathering quite a few admirers in the shop recently. Making us think of sparkling seas and hot summer days, this print would make a fantastic dress, with the cloudy sky for the bodice and the elegant flamingos decorating a swishy full skirt.

flamingoshearts

More flamingos coupled with some big romantic hearts from Michael Miller make up these other new arrivals: summer romances and fresh white cottons would be perfect for circle skirts and fifties style numbers.

floralbrighs

Seriously bright floral prints are always bang on trend over the hottest months of the year, so if you’re thinking about going retro with your fabrics, bag a couple of metres of these seventies style prints for a cute sleeveless top or an A line skirt.

floralabstract

More abstract brights make for fantastic maxi dresses – really let your colours show (and your tan) with these geometric prints.

origamianimals

Another gorgeous panel print fabric, these Michael Miller origami animals set against a cool white background would look simply lovely on a knee length dress, with the bright pink, blue and orange birds drifting down over the waist to meet the other creatures around the hem. Sheer summery bliss in fabric form.

If you are in search of some hot weather sewing inspiration, pop into the shop and have a browse – we’re located on the cooler side of the street – we’ve more new arrivals coming soon!

Sewing Summer Dresses

gutermann

Next week June arrives and we should finally start to see the welcome return of the warmer weather for more than one day at a time. And this means just one thing: sewing up some summer dresses! Whether you are a hard and fast dress wearer for the whole year (in which case, we salute you) or you only crack out the skirts and dresses for the summer, there is always room for more dress wearing potential from June onward.

Halter necks, a line skirts, skater style, maxi length, full skirted fifties numbers or simple sixties shift dresses, there are so many different styles of dress you can create for the summer – and all of them are great for spending days out shopping in town, heading down to the beach, mucking about with the kids or simply hanging out in your garden and enjoying the sun. Plus, all the different designs mean that you can always find a summer dress pattern that will suit your height, shape, desire to never have your knees seen in public or one which will cover up those wobbly bits at the top of your arms; there is always a pattern that is right for you.

So to that effect, here are a little selection of our vintage summer dress patterns that you could use for inspiration. And don’t forget that if you simply don’t have the time, the very lovely Melissa of Aye Aye can make up sun dresses for both little girls and grownup ones in any of our fabrics – just come into the shop for a chat and a browse of our selection, and we’ll help you order one.

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Cute and swingy seventies style dresses are perfect for the spring/summer crossover when you still might want some coverage on your arms. Pair with some strappy sandals or wedges for a seriously retro look.

birds

A classic shift dress can be made from not very much fabric at all, meaning you can save yourself quite a bit, or have loads of different coloured and patterned versions! Good for work as well as play, a shift dress is also a very quick make.

seventies

Go a bit more dressy and create something suitable for day to evening with this round neck or v neck prom dress, in seventies influenced prints. The extra wide waistband can be a point of interest with a contrast fabric or even lace or a crochet panel.

gutermann

Maxi dresses are still very much the thing for summer 2015, and this halter neck version is a really lovely way of making it a bit different. Using some of our gorgeous new Gutermann prints, you won’t need quite so many metres of fabric as the bolts are super wide.

annediamond

Go for simple polka dots or a dice print on this equally simple a line sleeveless dress. Cool for summer and great for the beach or to pack to take on holiday.

If you’re feeling inspired to make some seriously summery dresses, pop in and see what fabrics take your fancy and then take your pic and tag us on Facebook so we can see what you’ve made – we love being nosy!

Brand New Fabrics

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We’ve had so much brand spanking new stuff come in over the past couple of weeks that it’s difficult to remember what’s what, but we’ve singled out some of the loveliest bits to show you this week. More delicious fabric has never before been seen in one blog post we assure you. Hold onto your hats people, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride of newness!

First up are these super cute animal prints featuring cats, dogs, chickens, sheep and pigs. Their funny little faces just shout out to be made into bedroom curtains or bags for small people to carry their bits and bobs around with them. Available in blue or white backgrounds, we can see them being loved to death by the under sixes as they point out the different animals and make the appropriate woof or baa noises. Quick chorus of Old MacDonald anyone?

catsanddogs

Butterflies feature in these gorgeous pink, turquoise, peach and yellow patterns from Makower. Ideal for bedding, quilts or decoration of any sort, these butterflies are perfect for grownups and little ones alike.

butterflies

Speaking of grownups, we’re absolutely in love with these domestic goddess fabrics; covered with sewing machines, needles, cotton reels and lovely ladies wearing their trim little fifties dresses, these delightful retro style patterns are fantastic for anyone with a passion for vintage sewing. It makes us want to have another rummage through the vintage pattern collection next to the cutting table again, and see if we can’t whip up a little number by Vogue before teatime.

domestic

More domestic bliss comes courtesy of these handbags and shoes on a bright pink background, and a collection of dinky little domestic appliances – featuring whisks, scales, jugs, colanders, rolling pins and other kitchen paraphernalia.

handbags

The cooking themed one would make an amazing patchwork creation with these babies – gorgeous cupcake prints (just sold to a woman to make an apron – good thinking!) and these fifties style baking signs. Just right for a Great British Bake Off fan. All hail Mary Berry, for she will grace our screens once more this August!

cupcakes

And for those of you who like to be really super duper organised, we had our first set of Halloween prints arrive a couple of weeks ago. Lovely little Draculas, ghosts and Frankenstein’s monsters, alongside cheeky black cats and grinning pumpkins – they would make a very cool Trick or Treat bag; and the gloomy grey spiderwebs and boggly eyed spiders are spot on for decorations for 31st October too.

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As always, all fabrics are priced between £11.00 and £14.00 a metre, with everything available in fat quarters.

Don’t forget – only one more day to use your 10% off voucher!

July Blog Voucher

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This week we are gearing up for the arrival of the new Emporia baby – due any day now – and to celebrate, we’ve not only covered the window in lots of baby pinks and blues, but we’re also giving you the chance to get yourself a fabulous voucher for money off in the shop!

What’s that I hear you say, money off? Yes, please! Now we know there’s only thing crafters love more than a bargain, and that’s discounts. We all love a discount, and now you can bag yourself a whole 10% off all fabrics and haberdashery (buttons and whatnot) from Emporia, giving you the chance to buy even more scrumptious fat quarters, shiny buttons and fabric bundles. The only thing you need to do to get yourself one of these highly sort after vouchers is follow the blog, and you will be sent an email containing the voucher which is valid until the end of July 2014. So make sure you click on that Follow button soon, and get your voucher sent well in advance of 31st July, as it’s only valid until then.

Now, what about those dedicated people who have been following us all along? Well, that’s a very good question. If you already follow the blog, you can get hold of your voucher simply by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post and we will send you yours via email too. Sound fair? We think it does! After all, if you have been glued to our every word since the blog began, we don’t see why you should miss out on this little baby.

Speaking of babies, asides from Clair’s imminent new arrival, there are simply loads of women with occupied tummies floating about the town at the moment, so we thought we would share with you some of our delightful baby blues and baby pinks, in case you feel like getting a bit broody with us and making something for a tiny little person.

pinks

Lovely soft pinks, in wide stripes, fine stripes, spots and flowers – all perfect for something a little bit girly, but not too bright.

blues

Beautiful blues: cute line drawn wild animals, fluffy white clouds and tiny birds, and blues mixed with peach and white circles, for a not so obvious blue based choice – just right for dungarees or sleeping bags, or anything you fancy for the nursery.

pinkbluechildren

Michael Miller’s delightful children-themed prints, featuring dressing up, playing games, rolling about with bears and pretending to be princes, knights and damsels in distress – all crying out to be made into something destined to be clutched in a chubby little fist.

And if that little selection doesn’t make you go all gooey and make you think of tiny ickle new people, then I don’t know what will. Either way if you want to make something for a brand new baby, or even a hulking great teenager (they’re still your baby though …) you know what to do – click on the Follow button (or leave a comment at the bottom if you are already a follower) to receive our 10% July voucher.

 

Fathers’ Day at Emporia

ties

There’s only a couple of weeks left before you have to come up with some brilliant idea of what you can buy your old man to make him feel special on Fathers’ Day. Buying presents for most men is always an uphill struggle as they claim to want nothing more than to be left alone in the shed with some beer/watch the football with some beer/pretend to be someone from the Lord of the Rings or an SAS type on the X-Box, with some beer etc. But fear not – we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you give Dad the kind of treats he deserves for putting up with you and your siblings.

glassescasesnotebook

You may not think that a crafty shop is the obvious place to buy manly gifts, but you would be wrong. What spectacle wearing father could be disappointed in a delightful glasses case decorated with anchors? Especially if he is a nautical type. We’ve also got notebooks covered with these rather dapper gentlemen – perfect for keeping track of who’s in which round of the World Cup, or taking notes on the beers he likes and doesn’t like from a real ale festival.

dadpatterns

For those that want to get crafting and make their dads a present with their own fair hands, look no further than the vintage patterns box. Check out these cool dudes and their funky flares! Make him a full three piece suit if you are feeling adventurous, or just opt for a crazy tie for him to show off at work. There’s nothing dads like more than strutting their stuff in something made by their creative children, especially in the office – although if he work’s somewhere quite conservative, I would steer clear of some of the more adventurous prints, unless he really likes getting attention.

And if all of those look a bit too much like hard work, you could always make him a sophisticated smoking jacket style dressing gown, or what about a snazzy pair of summer pyjama bottoms from some of our funky fabrics.

plainandmusic

For dads that like to keep things simple, we have a full range of plain coloured cotton at £6.50 a metre, or there are the subtle dice pattern prints from Makower at £12.00 a metre. And for those that like their music, take a look at the guitar and musical note fabrics from Makower at £11.00 a metre.

cassetteandrecord

And if your dad is one to make a statement with his clothing, no matter what time of day or night, these bright and bold prints of glasses and cameras (Michael Miller), cassette tapes and records (Riley Blake) at £14.00 will make some of the funkiest pyjamas around.

glassesandcameras

For inspiration on making your own pattern for Fathers’ Day pyjama bottoms, take a look at this link which talks you through the basics of self design. Or you could always simply make up a pattern from a pair he already owns. Either way he is sure to be touched that you wanted to give him something hand made to tell him how fab he really is.