annual sewing retreat

Just got back from a fabulous weekend at Alston Hall with some of the lovely ladies from my sewing group.  Oh my goodness!  I have literally eaten the equivalent of what would feed a small family this weekend! The food was amazing! Back on the diet tomorrow for sure…. 

Alston Hall

For anyone not familiar with Alston Hall, it is an adult education centre set in a large Victorian House in Longridge, near Preston.  Perfect for a sewing retreat – large rooms, high ceilings and lots of natural daylight streaming in through large windows. There is a lovely relaxed atmosphere in the house, just like home from home really.  I spent the entire time in my slippers and tracksuit and no one batted an eyelid.

Besides eating my own body weight in food and laughing with my friends until my sides hurt, I actually managed to make a little bag for summer.

Phoebe bag

I used the Phoebe Bag pattern by Rebeka Lambert and I love how it has turned out. I’ve cut out another one already and can’t wait to get started!!

But, alas, there are packed lunches to make and clothes to iron and tomorrow’s dinner to think about, because it’s back to work on Monday.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted ….

Hope you all had a great weekend too.  Happy stitching!

thoughtful thursdays

Embroidery and buttons

Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth ‘you owe me!’.  Look what happens with a love like that – it lights the whole sky!

-Hafiz

happy st patrick’s day

……. from me and my wee leprechaun 🙂

Caught this little fella riffling through my button collection! Says his name is Michael Finnigan and he’ll grant me 3 wishes if I let him go.    Mmmm …. what shall I wish for?

Michael Finnigan | © Sewing Room Secrets

…..as this wee character is my own design, I was thinking that I might offer the pattern for sale as a PDF download, if enough people like him!  (Michael Finnigan said he would allow me to do this as one of my three wishes – cheeky monkey!)

Happy Stitching folks!

button love

Buttons6

I don’t know what it is about buttons that makes me want to squirrel them away for a rainy day. I’ve always had a fascination with them – I can’t throw them away, so I cut the spare ones off new clothes – you know, the ones that are sewn to the care label – and I save them in my button bag (is any of this making me sound crazy?!!).  Ironically, I don’t think I’ve ever had to use one of these ‘spare’ buttons, but I always keep them ‘just in case’.

Buttons7

I use buttons quite a bit in my sewing though, so it’s not like they don’t serve a useful purpose 🙂  

Tiny buttons used as flower centres

Tiny buttons used as flower centres

 I like to use them in fun and decorative ways and am always on the look out for unusual or cute buttons.

Buttons2

I spent a couple of hours in my sewing room the other day,  just organizing my button collection. I sorted them all into colours and then placed them in cute little jars that I came across at IKEA.  They are supposed to be spice jars, but what the heck! I use them for buttons!  The jars have a wonderful pot-bellied shape and aren’t too big, which I like.

Buttons5

Even with all these buttons, I still buy more any chance I get!  I mean, just look at these little beauties – who could resist those?

buttons

I featured a little button pouch on my face book page recently and promised to do a tutorial to show you just how easy it is to make one.

Buttonsy

Buttons4

Buttons12

Embroidery and buttons

I promise to write up the tutorial for the little button bag in a day or two, so pop back often – you won’t want to miss it!

In the meantime, have fun and happy stitching!

thoughtful thursdays

Buttons1

I’ve been receiving some lovely comments on my blog and my facebook page recently, which has been so encouraging!                   Thank you all, so much! ♥♥

One lady in America emailed me this lovely message:

“I have no talents nor skills to sew, and yet, your blog  makes me feel that I may want to give it a try”                                                                                

I do hope she does give it a go! It is so encouraging to think that my little adventures in my sewing room might just inspire someone else to pick up a needle and thread and begin their own sewing journey!

I like that thought.

Think I’ll hold on to it for a wee while 🙂

♥♥♥ Happy stitching everyone!  ♥♥♥

mother’s day gifts

I have been wondering what to make with my stack of Suffolk Puffs

Stack of suffolk puffs - sewing room secrets

And, with Mother’s Day just around the corner, I really wanted to use them in a pretty way to make a gift for my Mum.  I had already purchased some delightful novelty pins from Teeny Tiny Vintage (trust me, her pins are even more gorgeous in real life!), but I wanted to give my Mum something else that I had made with my own two hands.

Pins

So ……  I began my usual ritual of ransacking my sewing room, trying to find inspiration from my stash of pretty fabrics, buttons, ribbons, lace and the like.

image

For a while, I drew a blank, but then ‘it’ happened.  You know that moment when you get a picture in your head of ‘it’ – the thing you want to make – and suddenly you become even more frantic in your search for that ‘perfect piece of fabric’.  “I’ll know it when I see it” says the voice in your head and, sure enough, the exact fabric you need turns up… eventually.

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Amidst the mess that was once my tidy sewing room, I have managed to sew a cute wee zipper pouch and two lavender scented sachets.  All in all, I’m really happy with my efforts. All that’s left for me to do is to package it all up in a pretty ribbon, ready for Mother’s Day (after I’ve put my sewing room back together that is :))

Mother's day gifts from sewing room secrets

Mother's day gifts from sewing room secrets

Mother's day gifts from sewing room secrets

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! x

thoughtful thursdays

 

Fabric overload

There is a very fine line between the sheer size of my fabric stash and mental illness

Sewing is my therapy 😉

time to just be me

One of my favourite designers, the talented Kate Popovski (aka LiliPopo), has just released a new embroidery pattern and my copy arrived last week.  I have been itching to get going with it, but there was always something else to do and I’ve not managed to find the time.

Today, with the March sun streaming through an open window, I managed to sit down in my sewing room, just me, and stitch for a few glorious hours. 

lilipopo in progress

Oh! there are few things more satisfying than those precious moments when nothing else requires your attention, other than the needle and thread in your hand and making sure there is tea in the pot!

lilipopo in progress2

I love combining appliqué with embroidery and have done so to great effect in many of my own projects, but I think that these little LiliPopo designs are perfect to showcase just how effective this technique can be.

My glasses case

ipad2

I shall need to carve myself out some sewing time next week in order to make a Mother’s Day gift.  I have some Suffolk Puffs lying around somewhere; I’m sure I can rustle up something lovely with those 😉

First though, I shall need to post this wee glasses case to my aunt in Northern Ireland.

Aunt Hilary's glasses case3

I just love days like today, when you can while away the hours just sewing, nothing else, just that.  Bliss x