Me Made May is fast approaching once more and so we are gearing ourselves up for another month of sewing and making inspiration all courtesy of the amazing Zoe of So Zo What Do You Know!
Celebrating all things handmade and wearable, Me Made Me is exactly what we need to welcome in spring and the chance to get out our more summery me made’s out of the wardrobe. And of course it is the perfect opportunity to finish off the those projects that have been languishing in our work areas, waiting to be worn and loved – you know the ones, that dress you couldn’t be bothered to hem, the skirt that needs a zip inserting, or the trousers that you somehow managed to sew both legs the same and you couldn’t face unpicking them and redoing it. Now’s the time to get your sewing mojo back on and sort out your UFOs (unfinished objects) so that you can wear them with pride in May.
Of course, Me Made May isn’t about rushing out and buying loads more fabric and patterns just so you can create an entirely new wardrobe for just one month; it’s about wearing and enjoying wearing your own handmade creations, be they sewn, knitted, crocheted or upcycled. So if you find that you haven’t been wearing many of the your me made makes for the past couple of months, it gives you the opportunity to find out why. Is it simply that it’s been tool cold and most of your handmade garments are for the summer season? Maybe it’s time to try out sewing with warmer and heavier weight fabrics – perhaps you could look at working with wool or sweatshirting. Do you struggle to get the fit right on your sewing? Why not try out sewing with jersey or look at patterns that have more easily adjustable closures, like wrap dresses or skirts or, anything with a belt tie that you can pull into fit your body. Do you only sew things for special occasions and then feel they’re too fancy for everyday wear? Maybe you should let yourself dress up a bit every now and then! Or look at making more comfortable and casual things in the future – Tilly’s new book contains patterns for a hoody, and you can’t get more comfortable and casual than that!
Or maybe you’re simply you haven’t sewn or made anything in a while and you’re in need of inspiration. And if that’s the case, then look no further than our window, which showcases our patterns in a fantastically simple colour blocked series.
You can also follow a global network of sewists taking part in Me Made May 2018 by following the hashtag mmmay18 on social medial sites like Instagram. Head over to Zoe’s blog here to read all about how she started off the movement and to sign up with your pledge to wear a certain number of me made makes for however many days of the month that you want to. Clair and Lotte will certainly be taking part once again this year, possibly with a seven day a week pledge to showcase our self made garments – it’s a challenge we’re happy to rise to! So now it’s your turn – what do you think? We say, Get involved and be inspired! #MMMay2018 here we come!
Inspiration takes many forms so feel free to pop into the shop, browse our patterns and fabrics, or if you can’t do it in person, head to our lovely new website and see what we inspire you to make there.
After many months in the planning and weeks in the making, we are very excited to announce that our brand, spanking www.emporia-fabric.co.uk is now live and kicking! Selling all our fabulous dress patterns and a range of our gorgeous fabrics, the website is now open for you to browse and buy if you can’t get into the town centre to see us in person.
The website launched last week and since then we’ve been tweaking and sorting out various bits and bobs before today, and now we’re sharing it with you today. There’s still some work to be done (and plenty of fabrics added to the online shelves!) so pleased be patient with us while we get on top of it – technology doesn’t always come naturally to us so we’re having help from some friendly web engineers. But we are still up and running, so if you see something you want to buy online, then you are good to go!
The best bit about having a website is that we can now sell our patterns all over the country – and all over the world! So we’ve included loads of lovely photos of the various different designs so that you can see precisely how they will turn out once you’ve made them – which is something we know that sewists find really helpful. Using different fabrics and showing off the different styles you can make from the same pattern, we’ve showcased the lot of some of our most favourite people so you see just what you will be making.
We’re also planning on selling our sewing machines through the website, so if you know what you’re after there, we can arrange shipment direct to your house for free (for some models). And if you’re after a little sewing themed treat, you can get your hands on our exclusively designed sewing and knitting themed jewellery online too – what more could you want? (More fabric? We’ve got that covered!)
Having said all that, Clair and I are still in the shop all day Monday to Saturday and we’d be very sad if you abandoned us to shop solely online, so do make sure you pop in and say hello too! New fabrics will be arrived in the store and online very soon, so keep your eyes peeled and if you need to get hold of us in a rush, give us a bell on 01233 612278.
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.
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 doing her thing
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 www.thephotography.company.
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!
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.
A team effort
Keep your eyes peeled for all our exciting news coming soon!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.