Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Fashion & Embroidery Show 2018

The Fashion & Embroidery Show was held last month at the NEC, Birmingham.  I go every year and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of skill and talent out there that can produce these wondrous textile treasures. Enjoy........ 

 I am a huge fan of Laurel & Hardy so I couldn't resist this one.

3D embroideries on water soluble fabrics by the very talented Claire Muir 

A felting workshop in progress with a very majestic looking Aslan-like Lion supervising the proceedings with his friend the Lamb. 

The Embroiderers' Guild stand was very busy with drop-in workshops and two great exhibitions

The Junior Embroiderers section of the Guild (JETs) is devoted to encouraging and supporting young people who want to take up embroidery and textiles, from those just making their first stitches to students wanting to base their careers on this area of art and design.  This very talented piece was by Jessica in the 9-12 age group from Leamington Spa Embroiderers Guild JETs

The Ruby Squares Exhibition from Solihull Embroiderers was in pride of place this year as they are celebrating 40 years since the group was established.   A little bit of self interest here - this is my square...

The other exhibition on display was called Page 17 - Imagination, Interpretaion, Inspiration a specially created exhibition of textile artistry where each piece takes a book as its inspiration. As an embroiderer and book lover I was blown away by some of the exhibits....

Who didn't have a Ladybird book when they were little? 

Or an Observer Book?  I remember having the Observer Books of Wild Flowers and British Birds. I wished I had kept them now.  This is by talented wildlife textile artist Anne Kelly.

Janet Payne's inspiration was a book on photography - London, A Celebration in Photographs

Amanda Wright's inspiration was The Poetry of Birds by Simon Armitage 

Loved this one from The Monster Family Knitting Book

Dog Training the Mugford Way

Marilyn from Extraordinary Chickens 

I forgot to note down the title and artist of this magnificent artwork.  Maybe a book on fairytales.  I still have my treasured 1966 copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales given to me by my mum and dad and have now passed on to my daughter. I could never resist a fairy tale, one of my favourites being Hans Christian Anderson's The Princess & the Pea.  This always springs to mind whenever I am at Ikea and running the gamut of the various thicknesses of mattresses, mattress protectors and mattress toppers that you get these days.

But who can resist a little bit of Jane Austen!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A Little Top for Summer

Feeling really chuffed with myself about a little top I made recently. For a while now I have wanted to get back into sewing my own clothes because every time I go to the shops to buy or look at clothes I can never see what I want or they are way too expensive.  Don't even get me started on the sad demise of M&S and is it me but I think that shop has seriously lost the plot on fashion!  Frumpy or what?!!!! So I looked through my stash of fabrics and found this lovely pink paisley pattern cotton lawn I had bought at one of the big sewing shows at the NEC a couple of years ago.  

The pattern I used was from Lauren Guthrie from Great British Sewing Bee. Why the BBC cancelled that programme I have no idea?!! I think it was more political than to do with viewing figures. They were running scared after Bake Off was poached by Channel 4 and didn't want egg on their face again, never mind that sewing and crafty pastimes are just as popular as cooking and look how many cookery programmes there are!  Lauren has a fabulous book out called Learn to Sew with Lauren and the pattern is actually the yoke top she is wearing on the front cover. My mum would have called this a sleeveless blouse but I think the word blouse always sounds rather an old-fashioned term to me -  a bit like frock and indeed my mum would always refer to dresses as frocks.     

I haven't done any dressmaking for years but I found the whole process very therapeutic and even though it took me a while to get back into the swing of bias binding, French seams, inter-facing etc. it all came back to me the way my mum had taught me when I was a teenager. 

I used odd buttons from my button jar


Lauren's pattern and instructions were very easy to follow and I will certainly make a couple more for summer from my stash, and even if I do say so myself I think the quality is better than some shop bought clothes (buttons that come off after one wear - Toast!!  Fraying hems M&S!!) and unique to boot!  Happy sewing!!!