Tuesday, 22 November 2016

New Home!

Wow! I can't believe how long it is since I have posted. I'm going to try and keep posting but you can find me at my new home over at sewsmilefabrics.blogspot.com! Just over a year ago I started selling Moda fabric over on Etsy and using the business name Sew Smile Fabrics so it made sense to have a blog to go along with it. I have that blog live but as per usual I have not kept it current and I will have to admit that I have not posted since May this year! Oops!
The little man has had his long awaited open heart surgery now and is well on the road to recovery so with that uncertainty in my life finally over I can hopefully get back to blogging along with sewing and Instagram. You can still find me on Instagram under @patchworkmummy for now that will definitely remain the same but as I can only keep one blog going I will concentrate on the one under my business name.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Bessie (Sofia gave the Essex the name!) arrived a few weeks ago from ebay. She was bought because Sofia has been becoming more and more interested in mummy sewing.

She arrived with a broken needle and years of dirt in her gears. I cleaned and oiled her up but was initially stumped with regards to replacing her needle, none of the needles I had would fit as they were all too big. Thankfully after consulting with the gentleman who recently serviced my machine I found out that singer needles have smaller heads and fit perfectly.

Once Bessie was up and running Sofia was desperate to make something. I had a look through my stash and found some sweetie material in my scrap section and some dots to go with it. I even found a piece of red/pink and white gingham to use as backing.

This is Sofia piecing the strips together. A lot of help was needed and it was definitely a joint effort but every stitch was made by Sofia.

Sofia was so proud that she ran through to show Daddy after she finished a row. This is what it looked like after I ironed it.

I decided that because Bessie is a chain stitch machine and Sofia sometimes turns the handle the wrong way it would be best if we used my machine to quilt Sofia's mini. I must admit it was slightly scary because Sofia was in charge of the foot pedal (who wouldn't be - she is only 2!) but about half way through she managed to get the pressure just right and the speed reduced to acceptable.

Once quilted I ironed and trimmed Sofia's quilt. The binding was then put on using Bessie again. Sofia even helped when it came to sewing the binding on by hand (for a few stitches at least!)

Sofia has declaired that she now needs to make a bag!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Strawberries and Fairy Dust!

It must be the time of year but I don't seam to get 5 minutes to sit down and write what I've been up to because I'm so busy doing it. I've also got a serious Instagram addiction at the moment!

I've joined the Strawberry Swap which I saw on (you guessed it!) Instagram. It is such a simple idea for a swap - the theme is Strawberries and all you have to so is make something with the theme in mind. It is a secret swap so you don't know who is making your item and the person who you are making for has no idea who you are. I was so excited about this swap I couldn't wait to get started. I have decided to start with a mini (if I get the time and inspiration I might make more but so far it is just the mini) and I've used Thimble Blossoms mini Spools as a basis.

What do you think so far?

I'm sticking with the nine spools but I'm just not sure about the layout so any suggestions are very welcome.

We had a family day out yesterday at a local event known as Fairy Day! We had no idea what to expect but we headed off with our picnic and enjoyed a looking round. Sofia loved her new fairy outfit and wings but by lunch time she changed into a more comfortable dress but wasn't letting go of the wings. I think her favourite part was meeting Princess Ariel who gave her a cuddle and a seashell!

We have another busy week and we break up for the summer holidays too! In a way I won't miss rushing out to take them to playgroup three times a week but I'm sure going to miss the spare time I had while they were out! I might just have to find a way to make a game out of cleaning the house! 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

It's A Sister Thing Swap

I was browsing instagram the other day and one thing let to another and I found the sign up page for this swap the day it was due to close. So on a whim I signed up!

I woke up this morning to find the details of the person I will be stalking following in my inbox. It is a secret swap so the person I will be sending to won't be the person I will be receiving from. I couldn't get my head around this kind of swap the first time I took part in one because I had always taken part in swaps where I had a partner and could ask questions to get an idea of what someone liked.

Now I thought I would be nice to my sender because even though I post pictures of my makes most are made with other people in mind and it is very rare I make something for me. I thought I would let you have a taste of my taste. To be honest whatever you make I will love because you will of made it for me!

 This pouch was made by Esther at ipatchandquilt in the triple zip pouch swap and I really love it and use it all the time for my go to sewing supplies. (needles, seam ripper, a few threads, thread catcher, scissors and other bits and pieces.) I love the quilting Esther used mainly because it is something I can't dream of being able to do!
 I made this lunch bag for my best friends birthday and cut into some fabric which was given to me by my husband a couple of years ago at Christmas. I was really unsure of it at the time but teamed with some fabrics from my scrap pile I actually really like it. The fabric used for the top and handles was given to me by my now wonderful friend Ellyn who was my partner in my first ever swap. I love this fabric so much and this seamed like the perfect project for it.

I fell in love with this mini when I saw the tutorial on the run up to valentines day. I was going to make it from my fabric scraps but when I found the mini charm pack I knew I had to make it using fabric from the original collection. The fabric is surrounded by love Katie Spain (moda). 

Well my secret stalker I hope that helps a little but I have an instagram addiction at the moment so you can also stalk me here!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

My first apron!

It has been a busy couple of weeks. My mother in law, her fiancee (Gary) and his parents came to stay over a weekend which although very hectic, it was really great to get to know everyone better before the wedding in a few weeks time. We had a shopping mission whilst they were here because we needed to sort out shoes for Sofia because she is a flower girl and find an outfit for James  as he will be carrying the rings on a pillow. A pillow I still have to make! Talk about pressure, the wedding is getting nearer and I'm still waiting for the fabric to make the cushion from.

This last weekend my husband was away for the stag do which meant I was home with the children and no car for the whole weekend. I was so surprised when I realised that I actually got more done when I was by myself. I got a few extra meals made and some jobs done I had been trying to get round to for a while and I even found time to make my sister her long awaited apron. My little sister asked for an apron over a year ago and finally after quite a lot of procrastinating I finally managed to make a reversible apron.

I picked up the fabric last week on a trip over to Newcastle and this is the end result. My very first apron.

I really enjoyed making this apron and it as a bit of making it up as you go along, although taking these photos was not an easy challenge because the wind kept catching it.

Have you tried anything new and out of your comfort zone recently?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Sadie Tote!

Earlier in the month I was lucky enough to pattern test for Clover &Violet. I went into the test thinking what am I going to use a tote for? I wonder who I could give it to. How wrong could I be! I love it and I mean I really love it!

I've been using since I finished it. It is such a great size. It's not too big and having two pockets is extra handy. I took my children on a school outing yesterday and was able to fit all that I needed into it. My children had a great time and loved the giant sandpit!

The outside pocket is big enough to keep those frequently used items in without them getting lost. Yesterday I kept some tissues, hand gel as well as a pen and a packet of wet wipes. My inside pocket held items I wanted to find fast but keep safe like my wallet and mobile. The inside space was big enough to hold our lunch, a change of clothes for the children, a couple of nappies, 3 water bottles, an apple each and more.

The shoulder pad is a great idea because it kept the straps together so when I had to search through to find things.

The fact that it is reversible is really handy. James decided to grab hold of it with chocolate fingers a couple of days after I started using it and I was just about to go out so I reversed it which meant the mark was on the inside. When I got back in I simply machine washed it and it dried in the afternoon on the washing line.

So if you need a new tote I would definitely recommend the Sadie tote from Clover & Violet, the pattern is a combination of photos and clear instructions which are easy to follow.

If you are looking for some fabric combination ideas please take a look at the release post over at Clover & Violet  - they are also running a giveaway too!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Making friends

If my blog had feelings it would definitely be feeling rejected. It is so long since I have had the time or energy to sit down and tell you what has been happening.

My two littlies finally got better. Although on hospital instructions I had to take James to the doctors to confirm that he actually had chicken pox and I came away still not knowing, so next time someone has chicken pox I have to try and get my two infected just in case!

When I first got back into sewing and started quilting I looked to the internet for ideas and guidance. I stumbled across Clover & Violet and started following them on Facebook. I can't believe it hasn't even been a year since Jennie over at Clover & Violet put out a request for pattern testers for a new bag pattern that had to be done in a hurry. Not having a clue what I was getting myself into and never having made a bag before or followed a pattern, I volunteered and threw myself into it. I only had a very limited stash (although my current stash isn't much better at the moment - I never have enough of the right yardage!) so my fabric choices were based on what I had in and what would go with it and on this occasion it had to include scraps (quite a lot of the time it includes scraps with me as that is what most of my stash is - someone else's scraps!). I even had to substitute the interfacing and called for batting with polyester batting as that is all I had in at the time that was suitable. The covered button though was my biggest make do and mend. I searched through my button stash and found an old already used button and covered it by sewing the material round, I promised that I would change it when I could get a replacement but I never have.

The bag in question is the Lucy hobo and here is a picture of my finished bag. It is a dreadful picture and was taken at some unearthly hour with poor lighting but it is the best I have.

Anyway I have gone off point. I LOVED it and I mean seriously LOVED it. I loved every aspect from making the bag to going through the pattern with a fine toothed comb and seeing if there was a full stop in the wrong place. I was completely energised after that test and even went on to make another Lucy hobo as a present but I only used two colours. I think it worked well and the recipient loved it.

Anyway I must have done a decent job as a pattern tester because I got an email from Jennie a couple of months later to test the Penelope bag and I jumped at the chance. No sooner had I accepted, I ended up in hospital with James for over 3 weeks. As you can imagine and may know hospital days can be very long and not wanting to let Jennie down and desperate for something to do when I wasn't needed I explained my situation to Jennie and offered to do my best not knowing at that time what as wrong with my son. Jennie agreed that I could continue and even if I didn't make the bag I could give feedback on the pattern. My lovely husband was the go between for the first week as I had no internet access in our local hospital. After the first week and a lot of blood taken from my son they diagnosed suspected endocarditis and we were transferred to the heart unit we know as a second home for IV antibiotics for a minimum of 2 weeks. I bought internet access so that I could keep my mum updated as she was taking care of Sofia. Because my husband and I took it in turns at the quiet times I was able to borrow a machine from my aunt, get a few supplies and try to make up the bag. Well I did make it but I 'm afraid I'm not sharing it. I made a complete mess at the end and when I (if I) get the inclination I might go back and fix it but until then it is staying in the drawer hidden from view.

Anyway I kept in touch with Jennie and look at the wonderful bundle of goodies that arrived in the post the other week. I might have been jumping around the room a bit when it came as along with the amazing scraps that she sent and the sewing hardware D rings etc she sent a spool of Aurifil!!!! I have heard so much about this thread but haven't been able to get my hands on any. I'm so excited but delaying using it until I have a project worthy of it.

In these last couple of weeks I have done another pattern test for the Sadie tote and love it (I'm already using it) but I'm going to keep my bag under wraps until it is released which will hopefully be soon.

Anyhow little did I know that commenting on a Facebook post 11 months ago would mean that I have a new friend, a love of bags and an addiction to pattern testing!

So if you fancy making yourself a bag, head over to Clover & Violet and try and decide between all their great patterns. If you want to start with something smaller they have a free pattern the Bella clutch. I made this pattern lots leading up to Christmas (when we weren't in hospital) and gave them as presents this last year and everyone loved them. this is photo of one I made. (I didn't put a strap on this one.)

Hopefully I won't leave it so long until my next post!