Monday, 27 May 2013

DIY Simple Swarovski Earrings

These are possibly the simplest earrings you can make, once you have mastered the art of making the loop at the top you can make them in seconds!

I used Rebecca's tutorial at My Girlish Whims to learn how to do the loop at the top, it is a great tutorial and there are many more, I highly recommend having a look! There are also loads of tutorials on you tube if you prefer seeing it being done!

Anyway, here is how you make them.

You will need,
any Swarovski* elements that you want to use (I use bicone crystals and pearls for most of the jewellery),


Now you have a new pair of earrings in next to no time! I am slightly addicted to making these, the possibilities are endless!

* I always use genuine Swarovski elements as they are ethically made in Austria. The equivalents from China are almost certainly made in less than ideal situations (given that the minimum wage in certain areas is as low as $0.30 per hour). Unfortunately I have not found a place to get ethical non sterling silver findings so for all the jewellery I make and sell I only use Sterling Silver, made in the UK, findings which increases costs but is better for the conscience!!

Linking to some of these fab linky parties!

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Big E: Enjoying some sunshine!

Little e :  Scooting with hand bag of course!

Joining up with Jodi again this week for 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Friday, 24 May 2013

Book Review: Mastering the Art of Embroidery

As I said in my last review post, I was contacted a month or so ago by The Aurum Publishing Group asking if I would  be interested in doing a couple of book reviews, this is review number 2, Mastering the Art of Embroidery by Sophie Long.

This book is beautiful, the pictures are gorgeous and it is clearly set out.

The book is split in to two sections, hand embroidery and machine embroidery. The Hand Embroidery section covers loads of different types of embroidery, from surface embroidery to 3D embroidery (including smocking and quilting) and everything in between! The Machine Embroidery section covers Free Motion Embroidery and Digital Embroidery.

Each chapter starts with some pictures of embroidery using the chapter technique with some history of the technique then instructions on each stitch. The instructions are fantastic, an A4 page for each stitch with an extremely clear tutorial.

There are also helpful tips dotted all over the book which are fantastic.

Feeling spurred on by the gorgeous pictures of embroidered things in this book I had a wee go..

Not exactly a masterpiece but I can see how this could become addictive! The next thing I am going to try is the smocking!

This book is really fantastic, I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially those who already embroider but want to try some fancier techniques!

 If you want a copy then you can order it: 
To order Mastering the Art of Embroidery (9781906417956) for £24.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 and quote offer code JS205. Or send a cheque made payable to: Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3TG. Please quote the offer code JS205 and include your name and address details. *UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

Linking to some of these fab linky parties!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Sewing for your body shape & 2 FO's!

I have been feeling inspired by all the 'Me Made May' posts so have been looking at my wardrobe to see where the 'gaps' are. It is definitely trousers and non jersey tops so I bought these two Vogue patterns to fill the gap.


I got to work immediately on the trousers using some stash material. I cut a 14, graded to a 16 at the waist, they went together smoothly, instructions for the fly were brilliant, but when I tried them on they looked awful...

I couldn't even bear to take a photo with them on...!

After a little (lot) of sulking I got on the computer to do a bit more investigations on how to dress your body shape, I keep going wrong when sewing for myself and a fed up!

I know roughly what suits my shape but have never really felt that I fitted in to one of the shape categories. The crazy thing is that when buying clothes I am picky about the shape but when sewing I tend to just sew what looks nice in the pictures and what looks good on other bloggers!

During my investigations I came across this fantastic web site which was a revelation! I realised that I am not an 'apple' and you don't have to be skinny to be a 'rectangle', which, it turn out, I am (although this site calls the shapes by letters so I am an H on this site). And if you need proof...

I also discovered I have a short waist (the gap between my rib cage and hips is about 2 inches) no wonder I have no waist there is no room for one, my ribcage takes up all the space! I didn't realise how little I knew about my body shape and have been making clothes that are entirely the wrong shape!

I have never felt comfy with things tucked in and one of the rules for rectangles is not to tuck in as it makes you look short and dumpy, well if you need proof here is some..

Oooh it pains me to look at this... I was 9lb heaver than I am now but how short and dumpy do I look?!!

And another... at least I am a bit slimmer :) This was only taken to show the skirt, I would never wear it like this!

Anyway, I looked out another Vogue trouser pattern that was narrower than the ones I had made and remade the trousers.

They are now perfectly reasonable summer trousers that don't add extra volume to my non existent waist!

Feeling spurred on by the trousers I decided to scrap the blouse pattern I had bought as it draws too much attention to the waist and make a top from my Sew Serendipity book. I made a tunic before but, having shrunk, it is now too big so an almost exact but slightly shorter replica was made.

Not the most flattering photo but I was distracted by the hens pecking at my feet!!

I am really pleased with it, it has an empire line so attention is not drawn to my waist and is long enough to hit on my thigh as it narrows. I am now in search for patterns to flatter and I think ebay will be swamped with my not so flattering patterns!

Anyone else got an odd body shape that is hard to dress??

Linking to some of these fab linky parties!

Sunday, 19 May 2013


little e - sleeping
Big E - sleeping! I didn't want the flash to wake him so it is blurry!

Joining up with Jodi again this week for 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Great Vintage Pattern Stash Bust!

I bought a large box of vintage patterns on ebay ages ago and I really really don't need 40 odd patterns so I thought I would see if anyone would like them. I don't want to do a giveaway and would ask that you paid the postage but the patterns are free to a good home.

I can't guarantee that all pattern pieces are there and they have a musty smell to them, take them at your own risk :)

If you would like any of them then comment (leave your email address if you are no reply) and I will send you a paypal invoice for the postage. First comment requesting the pattern will get it and feel free to share this on your blogs to spread the word!

Postage Costs:

£1.10 for UK
£3.50 for Europe
£4.50 for USA
£4.70 for Australia

Simplicity 8540 - Size 14, bust 36 , tatty!
Ok here goes...
Simplicity 9215 - Size 14, bust 92cm

See & Sew (Butterick) 6633 - Size 14

Style 3275 - Child size 4

Family Circle No 9 - Size 14, bust 36

Style 1352 - Size 12, bust 34

Pin point patterns - uncut I think, sizes 10-16 (bust 32.5 - 38)

Simplicity 8396 - Size 16, bust 38
Simplicity 4696 - Medium

Style 3353 Maternity - Cut at size 14
Kids Sew Easy Pattern H - Multi Size 2-6

Simplicity 7310 - Size 12, Bust 34
Woman's Realm L195 - Size 36

Simplicity 5799 - Size 14, bust 36

Butterick 2907 - Size 16, bust 36

Sunday, 12 May 2013


Little e: silly faces today, this is the only one that wasn't blurry!

Big E: Enjoying the jelly he made himself, he looks so old!

Joining up with Jodi again this week for 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."