Archive | May, 2014

How to use / upcycle old/odd socks???

22 May

I have tonnes of these. Tonnes.

I’ve never lost a sock when I’ve been the only one involved in the laundry process, but if ever my stuff has been thrown in with the family wash, or when people removed my laundry from the dryer at uni, I’ve found myself with odd socks. 


Has anyone found a good creative use for them? I cannot stand wearing odd socks (though will occasionally hide them under a second, matched, layer of socks when the temperature is low!) but also hate to throw away good fabric!


May The Thoughts Be With You

21 May

I am currently struggling to complete my self-assessment for my appraisal, which is at work tomorrow. I’ve been in the job for six months and am not sure what to expect!

Visit for loads more happy thoughts :)

Visit for loads more happy thoughts :)

Anyway, this led to me seeking out my favourite self-motivating book to flick through, and when I saw this page I had to share it. For so long I didn’t let myself be creative because I wasn’t good enough, as if anyone actually cares if the coaster/purse/hem doesn’t come out perfectly neat! It’s not what matters :-)

You should visit her website at as her stuff is so brilliant, and she has a motivating story to boot.  I met her at her stall in Portobello Market and she signed my copy of her book and is genuinely lovely. She also has twitter and facebook and I love her daily updates.  I want to post more of her work but I don’t want to prevent her site the  traffic she deserves, so please trust me and visit her!

WIP blouse: Lesson learned, don’t cut damp fabric

19 May

I cut this pattern out yesterday after pre washing it. I didn’t realise it was still damp but it must have been as it has now shrunk to smaller than I need for my pattern :-(


Mini sewing kit, a lingerie bag, and more fabric!

18 May
2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_upright

See below for link to tutorial (and the inside!)

I’ve had a busy week! Yesterday I popped down to Ilford lane (a little bus ride from where I live)

I managed to get the below, plus 3 yards of black 0.5″ bias binding and some thread, for £10! 1.5 yards of each fabric, with the big floral pattern being 60″ wide and the others 45″ :)


I think I might make a blouse out of the fabric on the right, and bag of the one on the left. The white is for a quilt but it is more sheer than I thought in the shop (maybe she picked up the wrong roll!) but I’ve found some cream fabric at home which might work anyway.

Well, now my main stash looks like this, but I have just as much again waiting in plastic bags…

2014.05.14 Fabric stash

At gone midnight last night/this morning, I decided to do something about it. I bought those mesh bags to keep my tights in in the wash, however the pack of three have now all broken. I salvaged a zip from one, and  hit my stash to find a fabric I didn’t mind if only I ever see, and in about 30 minutes made the following (including french seams). I rushed as nobody will ever see it apart from this blog, and it is already half full!  The lines are inches, for scale :)

2014.05.17 Lingerie bag

But that used only a little bit of fabric… so today I tried a new project; a mini sewing kit! My boyfriend often asks me to lend him supplies to fix his clothes, so I thought I could give him his own set. There’s a great little tutorial at ‘roseycornercreations‘, which was really easy to follow. I didn’t have any felt so I just used that pink velvety fabric, which does work well but is hard to handle in a machine, resulting in a slightly wonky finish, but not too much I think :)

2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_closed

All I needed was 13″x7″ of one fabric (the tutorial recommends 9″ of one and 4″ of another, but I didn’t have manly coordinating fabrics), 4″x7″ of felt/velvet, a button, and an elastic hairband.

2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_materials

I’ve sewn buttons before, but I’ve never actually followed any method. So today I decided to use the instructions from ‘theartofmanliness‘ which was really easy to follow and has made it really strong with less thread than I usually use, and a lot neater!

Then I loaded up some cardboard pieces with the colours most dominant in his wardrobe (plus a few empty spares), added some pins, needles, and buttons, and it looks nice and full (the lines are cm, for scale):

2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_open

From find the fabric to taking the finished photos took about 1h20mins – I really hope he likes it! I will see him next week to give it to him :) I am clearly loving my new rotary cutter and mat :D

Next up: I am working away on my quilt, hope to make a blouse, I’ll be making some luggage tags, and I am about to finish off my father’s day cross stitch :)


New sewing equipment!

13 May

I’ve bought myself some new treats! These are: Fiskar’s 45mm rotary cutter, Fiskar’s 30.5×45.7cm self-healing cutting mat, a metal ruler, a walking foot for my sewing machine, and this lovely tape to act as tags:


I’ll pick the rotary cutter and mat up from my local Waitrose tomorrow (I love Click and Collect from John Lewis!!) and the rest should arrive in the post soon :D I am really keen to get started on this quilt this weekend! I plan to make the Charm Squares quilt from Oh, Frannson!

Though this is all adding up  – sewing is an expensive hobby!