Make for Your Man… How to make a bow tie

14

Lots of people don’t believe in Valentines day and the way it has become so commercial, but I think if there is an excuse to tell someone you love them… why not take it!?

Bow Tie

So, just ditch the commercial bit and make something for your man this valentines. Handmade gifts are so thoughtful and he will love it… and look great in it too!

WHAT YOU NEED…

1

Fabric – if you use a thicker fabric your bow tie will be more plump! I have used a blue/grey linen for this example and I am really pleased with the results.

I got my linen from Fabworks in Dewsbury and the floral above from B&M Fabrics in Leeds Market.

CUTTING:

Cut pieces of fabric:
1 x Bow Tie: 12.5cm x 37.5cm
1 x Knot: 9cm x 7.5cm
2 x Band = 54cm x 4cm (Cut this piece to a point at one end)

STITCHING:

1. With right sides together fold the Bow Tie piece in half length ways and press.
Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance around the cut edges, leaving a gap to turn through. Repeat with the knot piece.

Stitch and leave a gap

2. Clip your corners and turn through the gap to the right side showing. Hand stitch the gap with a slip stitch. Repeat on the knot piece.

Slip Stitch

3. Fold in half width ways and measure 6cm from the non-folded end. Then stitch together at 6cm.

Stitch Bow Tie

4. Open out the ends to bring the line of stitching to the centre…

Open Bow Tie

5. Lay flat and ‘stitch in the ditch’ to fasten in this position…

6

6. Pinch the bow tie to make a pleat in the middle.

9

7. Wrap the knot around the bow tie and hand stitch to secure.

10

8. To make the band… with right sides together stitch the 2 band pieces together, leaving an opening at the non-pointed end to turn through…

7

9. Clip the corners, turn through and press. Then hand stitch the open end, closed…

8

10. Thread the bow-tie onto the band and secure with a hand stitch if needed…

11

11. Add a popper at the end to fasten…

13

Tah Dah… You have made a bow tie! Package up in a pretty box and give to your man. I found it easier to leave the popper off until I had given the bow tie to my hubby so I could get the length of the tie fitting perfectly.

Bow Tie

How to make a simple drawstring bag…

Drawstring bags are one of my favourite things to make, one: because they are so easy, and two: because the possibilities are endless. A simple homemade drawstring bag can give any gift the personal touch, or make a messy toy room tidy again. You can use up small pieces of left over fabric, or it is great for Fat Quarters you may have stashed away somewhere. I love these drawstring bags and hope you do to. I would love to hear what you will be putting in yours…

Make a Drawstring bag

Just follow the steps…

Step One…

Cut Fabric Size

 

Step Two…

Hem Top Edges

 

Step Three…

Measure Ribbon Holes

 

Step Four…

Stitch your Seams

 

Step Five…

Press Seams and Turn

 

Step Six…

Stitch Top Channel

 

Step Seven…

Turn and Thread Ribbon

 

Now you have made your drawstring bag!… What will you use yours for? I have decided to give mine as a housewarming gift for my friend. My Dad keeps bees and she just loves his honey so I am going to give her some honey in my homemade drawstring bag… I hope she likes it!Gift with Honey

Our New Studio

After we received the news that the venue we hold our Sewing Classes in Leeds had been sold and we could no longer hold them there, we searched high and low for a suitable place. It was a long search and nothing seemed quite right, or was right… but at the wrong price! What I really wanted was my own place, somewhere I wouldn’t have to rely on anyone else, somewhere I didn’t have to travel to… and that is when the idea of the Sewing Studio was born!

Studio Landscape

We recently moved house to a lovely 1930′s semi-detached house on Rock Lane in Leeds, and although there is a lot of work to be done, I just knew it would be the perfect home for us. At the bottom of the sloped garden was a step down, about 22 foot wide and 10 feet deep. This would be the perfect place to have a studio to hold my classes in. Yes, there was a pond and a massive cherry tree to remove… but hey, I have a husband for that!

Overgrown garden Pond etc

The biggest difficulty was digging the trench for the electrics to run from the house to the garden… 2 feet down and thick clay soil with lots of rockery. Mitchell attacked it with a pick-axe and after a run in with the washing line, it was off to A&E… ouch!

Pick Axe

After clearing the jungle that was the garden (the house had been stood empty for a while, after its hoarding owners had vacated!) it was time to lay the base. 2 tons of hardcore wheel-barrowed down the garden and what seemed like a mountain of concrete later and the Studio had somewhere to sit.

Then on the magically day when the studio is delivered and it is to be erected in all its glory… the skies opened, but hey, we’re british!… We don’t let a bit of water get in our way, oh and did I mention, we are due to have classes in here in a week!?

9 Pictures

And whilst the men worked hard… Mum provided lunch and tea-a-plenty!

Once the studio was up it time for the technical bits… electricity and lights. Then… my favourite part of all… making it pretty!

Inside the Studio Photos

I cannot thank my Dad and my Husband enough for all the hard work they put into making my dream come true. We have now held 2 classes in the new studio and it seems people love it. A few more decorations needed to brighten it up, but I guess that comes with time.

Inside the Studio

It just goes to show that if you have a vision, and a Husband and Dad with a bit of muscle, you can achieve your dreams.

the perfect setting

We look forward to sewing with you in our new Studio soon x

(…remember… it’s not a shed!)

Pressing Flowers

If you have received some flowers today and like me love them when they are in bloom but wish they would stay that way forever… pressing flowers is for you. Its a true vintage hobby, with pressed flowers found in antique books… and it can become addictive.

Remember, its only good to press flowers which are in full bloom, but sacrificing a few heads from a bouquet is worth it.

Flower Pressing 2

 

Snip the head off one of your flowers. Open a heavy book and cover the pages with some blotting paper or kitchen roll and place the flower head inside the book. You can add some leaves in too if you like.Flower Pressing 6 Flower Pressing 4Flower Pressing 5

Close the book and rest more heavy books on top. Leave it for about 4 weeks or more and then your flower will be pressed.

All we need to do now is wait 4 weeks to find great ways to use pressed flowers…

Vintage Sewing Patterns

 

I just spent the whole afternoon looking at MaddieMod patterns on Etsy. It started with a request from a friend for a backless maxi-dress and finished with the realisation the whole afternoon had disappeared and my green tea had gone cold, but it was worth it.

il_570xN.328483637

Just looking through the images of vintage sewing patterns makes me fall in love, I love the style of them. The way the models have their hair and make-up done… big eyelashes, beehives and bendy waists. I am not sure people will look back on the sewing patterns of today with such fondness. They seem to have the same feel, even though just drawn, as models in a magazine and I just adore them…

Simplicity 8153

 

Of course… the fact I can actually make the item of clothing shown just completes the package. I have a particular love for 1960′s patterns, not just the pattern envelopes, the style of the clothes suit my body shape and I find the clothes are easy to wear but still look stylish. The 1960′s shapes are so classic and flattering I think they will always be fashionable. The shift dress patterns made in modern fabrics translate really well into clothes for today.

Butterick 4692McCalls 8755

 

If you are thinking of buying vintage patterns to make then remember… sizing from any era will be different from today, so always check the size measurements rather than just the number. If a dress is fitted on the bust (like the ones above) then go by the bust size. If you are making a skirt or trousers fitted on the hips go by your hip size.

Try to imagine how the dress will look in modern fabric. I always concentrate on the shape of the dress and the way it hangs. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know an item of clothing has been made from a vintage pattern, except I think it has a more individual, designer feel to it, far superior to buying vintage clothes. It’s the ultimate… vintage cuts, in modern fabrics.

Polynesian Pattern Lokelani 162Simplicity 6510

 

…and then there are the patterns where you can’t ignore the vintage fabrics, the ones you buy, but haven’t quite plucked up the courage to make in bright yellow fabric or orange and purple crochet…and it would be sacrilege not to. Sometimes these are the ones I collect just because I love the eccentricity of them.

Polynesian Pattern Kanani 121 Golden Hands Pattern

 

and each pattern I find just reminds me to never throw out a pattern… ever.

Have you made a vintage pattern? Whats your favorite era?

 

Green Fingers… Sowing not Sewing

Now its February this is the time when I start to think about spring coming and getting ready to work towards my dream of growing my own vegetables. Its been about 2 years since I have been interested in growing my own, but they haven’t been 2 years of successful growing… that’s for sure. I tend to always have 1 really successful crop and the rest I either forget about or have sown too late to get good fruit. So this year I am sowing early… although its not really early, its on time for most gardeners but early for me! This year I am determined to be a success…

Green Fingers Title

I have started by sowing Tomato, Sweet Pepper and Chilli…

Empty Tray

 

I have decided to sow more seeds than I require, for the chilli plants I thought that even if I have too many I can always give them to people as gifts.

I have also sown several varieties of tomato, I love the look of a salad with yellow and red tomatoes in, so I have decided to grow both.

Fill with soilWater

 

To get the seeds to germinate I have popped them in the airing cupboard as it can be a bit cold on the window sill, but as soon as they are starting to grow through the soil I will put them on the window sill.

 

Pop on the window sill

 

I have also started chitting my potatoes. I have never grown potatoes before but have read a few blogs and some really good books and they advise chitting for 6 weeks before planting them so here goes…

Chitting PotatoesChitting Potatoes sill

 

Wish me luck with my veggies… and I will let you know how I get on x

Chinese New Year… Invitations

February 9th sees us entering the year of the snake in the Chinese calendar. I have never celebrated Chinese new year but this year I have decided to go all out. I will be inviting friends round for a meal with some festive touches to make it special.

It all starts with an invitation…

Chinese New Year Invitations

Now… I know what you’re thinking… isn’t an origami crane Japanese? Well yes, you are right but they look so cool and unique I couldn’t resist.

I got some origami paper packs on ebay and looked up this tutorial and folded away.

Origami Crane

Using some clear jewellery thread I threaded through the crane’s back, tying a knot at the bottom and top so the crane doesn’t slip down the line.

I used a parcel tag at the bottom as the invitation card and tried my hand at writing ‘New Year’ in Chinese to add a festive touch.

Origami Invitation with Tag

The perfect invitation people can hang in their window and get excited about the  party to come.

Final

Borough Market, London

A few weekends ago I was invited to London to a civil partnership of my Brother-in-Law and took the opportunity to take a peek at Borough Market. I was so pleased I did. If you ever get the chance head down at lunch-time and eat your way round!…

Where you are

Everywhere I turned there was something to indulge my senses, a new flavour to indulge in… and I did…

PretzelsOlives

GameIt was great to see old fashioned techniques still being used today and sellers passionate about their trade, the atmosphere was amazing. Just when I thought I had soaked in as much as I could, a splash of vibrant colour lifted me to another level… and we sipped on Prosecco and soaked it all in!

Marias Market

Prosecco

Good food, good drink and good company… just the ingredients I need.

Thank you for visiting

thesewingsessions:

It was great to be a part of such a great shoot with Margaurita Photography and Our Munch… Here’s Margaurita Photography’s finished product of our wonderful Alfresco Dining…

Originally posted on Margaurita Photography:

You know by now that I myself read blogs and find so much inspiration from them. When I first came across Alfresco Dining via  Oh Happy Day I knew that I wanted to do it. An open space simply dressed with good food and great company? Yes please. So I started putting the feelers out and it didn’t take long to have a dream team who wanted to try it to. Myself along with Jess from The Sewing Sessions and Billie and Mitch from Our Munch put our heads together, created a pintest board  and started planning.

We wanted it to be close by so we walked through the woods near where we live and we when we walked across a certain blank canvas we both started pouring with ideas. Sharing a creative vision with some one is so much fun when you are on the same page. Below is the…

View original 379 more words

Make your own Ingredients… Fish & Chips

You would be forgiven for thinking Fish & Chips is a classic UK meal for by the seaside, well you are right but not just for the UK… Its one of New Zealand and South Africa’s favourite and most popular dishes.  When I was growing up you could easily feed a family of 4 for 2 quid!… here’s the Our Munch version for you to bring it up to date…

 

You will need;

  • Pieces of white fish (any white fish will do so pick your fave)
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • 300ml Beer – a golden beer is best
  • Water (just incase its too thick!)
  • Paprika – Just a pinch
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt, Pepper & a wedge of lemon for seasoning
  • Potatoes for chips – 1 per person (Maris Piper or Desiree are best)

 

Whisk together the flour, beer, paprika, baking powder and beer together in a bowl until smooth and lump free! Add some water if too thick.

Leave to rest in the fridge for 1/2 an hour

Preheat the oven to 80 degrees

Now its time to make those chips… Cut into thick wedges and pop them straight into a pan of salted cold water. Don’t be tempted to rush the process by banging them straight in boiling water – if you raise the temperature of the water to boiling, with the potatoes in they will cook evenly and will give your chips the best flavour. You don’t want potatoes which are mushy on the outside and raw in the middle!

 

Leave to simmer for 10-15 mins, until the outside is softened but the shape still holds. Strain & pat dry with kitchen roll.

Get the oil hot in a pan… (ideally 175 degrees) Fry the chips for 3-4mins and strain on kitchen towel. Pop in the oven to keep warm whilst you make your fish.

Top Tip: If you drop a piece of corn in your oil whilst it heats… when the corn pops into popcorn your oil is ready!

Put some flour in one bowl and your homemade beer batter in another.

 

Coat your fish in flour and then dip in the batter. Hold the fish by one end and sink into the hot oil (keeping hold of the tail) swim the fish around in the oil for a few seconds. This makes a seal in the batter and stops your fish sticking to the bottom.

 

Cooking your fish usually takes about 10mins depending on the size. You will be able to tell when it is cooked as the fish will turn a golden brown, flip over to the other side half way through. Serve with a wedge of lemon and some tartar sauce (recipe for sauces coming up later!)

Serve in newspaper for the authentic look!

We’d love to know what you think of our ‘Make your own ingredients’ series with Our Munch… so please leave a comment…