Fabric for Father’s Day

 

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More fabulous fabric has been arriving the shop recently and we think this selection would be fantastic for Father’s Day. You’ve still got a whole week and a half before you have to make a fuss of the old man, so why not take a butchers at some of these slightly more masculine prints and have a think about what gifts you could make for him? Or if he’s the sewing sort himself, grab him a fat quarter bundle or treat him to a couple of metres to make a shirt or perhaps a pair of summer shorts.  However you decide to make much of the men in your life, we’ve plenty of inspiration to get you started.

We can summer shorts and funky shirts being made out of these wonky spot and hand drawn cross prints. Teal and slate grey mix nicely with off white for a contemporary look here – transform your dad into an on trend hipster with one of these!

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Got a dad who loves woodwork? Check out the woodgrain designs in teal and cream – perfect for washbags or even a woodworking apron.

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Go mid century modern with these jumbled up squares and rectangles in teal, brown, grey and yellow. Perfect for cushions to cosy up your dad’s favourite chair.

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Science and maths fiends will love the periodic table and equations designs – try out a phone case or maybe a wallet in these funky designs.

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Vintage loving dads will be thrilled with anything created in these gorgeous prints – old style letters and adverts or rulers make for unusual prints that creative dads will really go for. Make a laptop case or perhaps some cushions for the study.

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For fans of cycling, these funky black and white bikes make a nice touch. Try a tie or a casual shirt for some summer riding out with the family.

Father’s Day takes place on Sunday 18th June 2017 – all fabrics available from Emporia, prices ranging from £14.00 – £16.50 per metre. Worried we might sell out? Give us a ring on 01233 612278 and we’ll put some by for you until you can make it into town.

 

 

Interview with Me Made May Creator Zoe – part 2

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This week we bring you the second half of our interview with Zoe Edwards, the mastermind behind Me Made May. Here she talks about what it’s all about, how you can get involved and where you sign up!

Who can participate in MMM? 
Anyone can! Even if you’ve only been making clothes for a week and only have one solitary self-stitched garment or accessory, you can take part by setting a challenging but do-able pledge to wear that thing more than you otherwise would. Hopefully that experience would lead you to figure out how you’d be able to spend your future making time more usefully, and make you feel proud of your achievements.

Do we all need to have a wardrobe full of beautifully stitched, handmade clothing? 
No. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them. For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2017. But you can pledge to do whatever you like, no matter how new you are to sewing or knitting. How about pledging to wear two or more self-made garments a week? Or maybe to try making a new type of garment by the end of the month to wear on the final day? Perhaps you could pledge to finish all your UFO’s (unfinished objects) by 31st May.

Can we see how other people are getting on? Where can I go for some MMM inspiration?
Some participants choose to document their challenge photographically (it’s not compulsory for taking part though) and share them with others on social media. Lots of people choose to write about their challenge of their blogs if they have one, and/or share photos via twitter and instagram. Google searches and hashtag searches (#MMMay17, #memademay) should open up a world of inspiration!

What will your pledge be for this year? Do you have a standard set of self-sewn patterns you go back to for each MMM or do you like to mix it up? What do you wear more of in everyday life, self-drafted, other designer’s pattern or shop–bought clothing? 
I’m still considering how best to set my own pledge specifics for this year. I tend to think about how my lifestyle has evolved since the previous year, and consider what I would like to improve on (like wearing my self-made skirts more, or improving my mix-and-match game) and make a suitable pledge based on that. My current wardrobe is about 90% me-made and refashioned items, with 10% secondhand (often donated from my best friend!). I still buy bras, socks, tights and footwear new, but one day when I’m no longer breastfeeding, I’ll have a go at making bras too.

We're taking part!

Sounds like we’d better get making …
You can but MMM isn’t a reason to make lots of new clothes (unless you want to). This challenge is about wearing the items that you have already created, not about stock-piling more makes. However, if you want to use taking part in the challenge as the kick in the butt you need to finally hem that half-finished skirt, or rework an ill-fitting garment, then great. Remember, this challenge is meant to be fun, and panic-making isn’t fun! So please people, NO PANIC-SEWING/MAKING NECESSARY OR CONDONED!

Where do I sign up?
All you have to do is copy the pledge below and paste it into the comments section of my MMMay’17 post, having adapted it to include your details and the personal specification of your challenge, before 1st May 2017:

 ‘I, (insert name here and blog address/instagram handle if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear………………………………………………… each day for the duration of May 2017.’

So if you’re feeling inspired to get making or show off what you’ve already made, sign up here! And don’t forget if you’ve made anything with our fabric, you can enter our super duper Me Made May competition for a chance to win some fabulous sewing prizes. For more information, click here to see how to enter, and if you want to see how our own MMM wardrobes are working out, you can find us on Instagram under @emporiafabricandcraft and @lottejamiesoncrafts.

Lampshades by Weird + Gilly Made to Order

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Last week we took a lovely little delivery of some gorgeous new lampshades made by Weird + Gilly using some of our amazing fabrics. Bright and funky, and perfect for kids’ bedrooms, these lovelies are now gracing our shelves to advertise a brand new service at Emporia. As of now you can place an order for a Weird + Gilly lampshade using any of our fabrics!

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Giving you the chance to choose from our fabulous range of beautiful prints, featuring all kinds of designs from mid century modern shapes and geometric patterns, to fairies and castles, dinosaurs and eggs, wild creatures and farmyard animals, you can pick something to match your room, or to use your lampshade as inspiration to kick off your interior design ideas. Whether you want something plain, subtle or in a ginormously bright and obvious print, we have hundreds of fabrics to choose from that will all make amazing lampshades.

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Order time is between 10 and 14 days depending on how busy the Weird + Gilly ladies are, so you won’t have to wait too long before your lampshade is ready. Simply choose your fabric, pick whether you want a standard lamp or a hanging lamp, and decide what size you want. Prices start from £25.00 for a 20cm lamp, and go up to £35.00 for a 30cm lamp. We can’t wait to see what kinds of prints people choose.

For more information on ordering a lampshade with your choice of fabric, pop into the shop for a chat with us or give us a ring on 01233 612778.

Easter Events and Opening Times

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This week we’re all set to take part in the Ashford town centre Easter Egg hunt, pop on our hand decorated bonnets ready for the parade and then sit back and consume plenty of chocolate – and maybe find some time for a little bit of sewing on the side. How about you?

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If you have small people off school this week then you might be keen to know that we still have spaces on our Easter kid’s classes. Make a rabbit on Monday, sew a drawstring bag on Tuesday, create an applique Easter cushion on Wednesday, sew a simple skirt on Thursday, or decorate an Easter egg hunting bag on Friday – there’s something for everyone in the run up to Easter itself. For full information, times, dates and prices, click on the Classes link at the top of the page and get in touch if you would like to book your little nippers into any of our sessions.

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Emporia is also taking part in the Ashford town centre Easter trail from Monday 10th to Saturday 15th April 2017. All you need to do is pop into the shop, collect your Easter Trail form and then visit the various shops that are taking part to find the relevant letters and write then down on your sheet. Prizes will be handed out from the Love Ashford gazebo from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday 15th April.

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And if you’re in town on that Saturday to collect your Easter treats, then why not take part in the Easter Bonnet Parade too? Kicking off from 2pm at the Love Ashford gazebo, you can really show off your creative skills with a hand made bonnet, decorated just how you like. And there will be prizes for the best ones, so there’s even more opportunity to win Easter chocs!

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Our Easter opening hours will be:
10am – 5pm from Monday 10th to Thursday 13th April
1am – 2pm Good Friday 14th April
10am – 5pm Saturday 15th April
Closed Easter Sunday 16th April
Closed Easter Monday 17th April
Open as normal again from Tuesday 18th April onwards.

We hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend and enjoy plenty of time to eat chocolate and do some relaxing craft!

 

Me Made May 2017 is Coming

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Once again Me Made May is just around the corner and we are getting very excited about what we’re going to make and wear. Not only will the weather be a bit warmer (hopefully) but we will also get to try out some of our lovely new poplins and cotton lawns for ourselves. Plus we will be running our annual MMM competition, and it’s even bigger and more exciting than ever before!

For those that are new to the whole MMM phenomenon, very simply put, it’s a whole month of celebrating all kinds of sewing, knitting, crochet and general upcycling of clothing. Whether you have been sewing since you were four years old and have a wardrobe fit to burst with self-sewn garments, or you struggled to make a simple skirt or pair of pyjama bottoms as your very first makes, you can still take part. Me Made May is all about feeling proud of your creative skills, making the most of garments you have made yourself and challenging yourself just a little bit, to maybe push yourself a bit harder to make more or adapt things to fit you properly.

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Zoe Edwards is the creator of the MMM movement and she’s been running for it every May for eight years; she started it to encourage people to get more creative with their clothing and in their approach to wearing self-sewn or hand created garments. Hosting the annual celebration every year from her blog So Zo, she bigs up all the sewers, knitters, crocheters, upcyclers and recyclers in her celebration of all things me-made. All you need to do to take part is sign up on her blog post with your pledge of how many MM garments you will be wearing during May this year. Then you can share your progress on Instagram or Facebook, and see what others are making and wearing too. From those who can pretty much kit out themselves head to foot, including underwear, in self-created clothing (much like Zoe) to those of us who may want to pledge to wear something for a certain number of days per week, the idea is to challenge yourself just enough to get creative, but not so much that you feel panicked by a sudden and enormous sewing To Do list.

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In fact Zoe specifically states on her blog that she does not condone panic sewing whatsoever, and neither do we. Don’t treat MMM like homework that you have to do – just set yourself a creative challenge that might make you finish off some nearly-done dresses, or maybe make you finally hem those trousers you started last year; perhaps you have been meaning to make some summer tops for ages, but just haven’t got around to it yet. Maybe you have a pile of clothes that you never wear and could easily be upcycling and transformed into something else? Well, MMM is the time to do it! Give yourself a bit of a push to sit back down at the sewing machine or pick up those needles and make something for yourself that you really want to make – all in the name of Me Made May!

We will be running our MMM competition again this year, and for 2017 it’s going to be bigger and better – more details on that to come soon! But if you have bought any fabric from us in recent months and are planning on making a garment for yourself from it, then we suggest you crack on with it now, because by the end of May it could be winning you a lovely prize!

In the meantime, for more information on the whole concept and to sign up with your pledge for MMMay2017, click here to visit Zoe’s blog. And don’t forget to click back throughout April and May for more information on the competition and plenty of MMM inspiration.

New Classes for the Spring

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Now that spring is well and truly on its way we have started to spend much more of our time planning our warmer weather wardrobe. With the trees and plants in bud and fresh green leaves springing up all over the place, we are starting to feel like it wouldn’t be too silly to start imagining what we might look like in some strappy dresses or even a short sleeved t shirt would be good! If you feel like spring is making you want to unleash some new skills on your sewing wardrobe, then look no further as we introduce two brand new classes for the coming months.

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Beginner’s Overlocker Classes
Many, many sewers all over the country rushed out and bought some overlockers that were on sale from a sueprmarket (which shall remain nameless) last year and have since only got the machine out of the box once or twice, and just generally panicked at the noise it makes. Either that, or they very much wanted to buy an overlocker, but were too scared at the prospect of the fact that it cuts off the excess material leaving no room for error. Well, fear not Wannabe Overlocker Sewers – we have the class for you!

Melissa will take you gently by the hand and show you how to master your own overlocker, or you can borrow one of ours and learn all the secrets of these marvelous (but temperamental) machines. Learn all about how to thread and re-thread all four cones; see what kind of stitches you can sew with; and get to grips with sewing up stretchy material to create either a pair of child’s harem trousers or an adult’s t-shirt. Choose from our funky stretch jersey fabrics and go home, not just with a brand new item of clothing made by your very own hands, but also the skills with which to tame the overlocker all by yourself!

Special offer! If you buy one of our overlockers during April or May, you can get a half price overlocker class! Pop into the shop to test drive our overlocker machines today.

10.30am – 1.30pm Saturday 29th April 2017
10.30am – 1.30pm Saturday 24th June 2017

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Sew a Child’s Shirred Dress
Shirring is a fantastic way of gathering material and can create a fitted form on dresses, skirts, tops and trousers. Shirring is done by using elastic on your bobbin and standard thread on your spool, thereby creating a series of tight gathers across your chosen material, whilst showing only the thread on the top layer, ensuring a professional looking finish.

In this class you will learn the basic techniques of threading your machine with elastic and sewing the shirring effect on a child’s dress. Choose from a lovely selection of light weight cottons with fabulous and funky prints, to make a gorgeous summer dress for your little one. Please bring relevant measurements with you to the class to ensure your dress fits it’s desired model – see a member of staff for details.

10.30am – 1.30pm Saturday 27th May 2017
10.30am – 1.30pm Wednesday 28th June 2017

Coming soon …
Melissa is working on a shirred adult top class for the summer, so click back soon for more details on when these classes will take place.

For full details on all classes and workshops, please see the Classes page at the top of the blog. Or pop into the shop and have a chat with us in person. You can also ring us on 01233 612278 for more info. Please note that all classes require a 50% booking fee to confirm your place, and places cannot be cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.