Saturday, 17 January 2015

Haberdashery Haul

Happy Weekend Guys! I have no new creations to show you this week sadly. This past week has been pretty rough on the old emotions so when I've been getting home I've been hiding in my bed. The bright side of this though has meant that I have been treating myself plenty to bring a little more sunshine to my life. And instead of hitting ASOS I've been hitting the haberdasher's.

I tend to buy my supplies from the local market or from my mum's collection (well I don't buy them from her, I pilfer with puppy dog eyes). But, lately I've discovered a couple of new places in the local area which I have just fallen in love with. If I ever won the lottery I'd just buy them out. So here are a few of the little bits which I've been picking up lately. I don't have anything in mind for any of this stuff, but I think that's what I love about it. I bought it all because I loved them and will make them into other things that I love. 

So I have kind of gotten a little obsessed with fat quarters and fabric samples. I discovered that will give you three free samples with free postage and whilst they're small they will come in handy somewhere. I've also got a couple of big projects in mind which I need lengths of fabric for, so I'm looking at jersey fabrics and tartans. I got them sent to my office however which confused my colleague when he was opening the post on Friday and found three squares of fabric rather than a contract. I found that too amusing.

I bought a couple of fat quarters today from a little place in Halifax called the Faberdashery, which I have proclaimed to be my favourite place in the entire world. The pinky one is covered in vintage baking labels and stuff (baking is another passion of mine) which I think would be cute for an apron or as bunting. The other is quite self explanatory - tape measures. On fabric. I think it may turn into a coin purse or a pin cushion.
I also bought some new berry pins from Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. Because you always need pins.

Ribbons are my weakness. I could have bought them all, but I settled on a metre of tartan (staying true to my roots, innit), some "handmade with love" for mini projects, more tape measure themed just because I think it's adorable, and some travelling inspired ribbon. Yet again, I don't know where they'll end up but I just love having them.

I also got these just because I thought they were adorable! Need I say more?

And finally... I got this free with a sewing magazine. I'm not sure how much I like the turtle neck on it so may leave that out, but the sleeves are flared but the dress is kind of a bodycon which I love. I'm still deciding on fabrics for it. It needs to have a two way stretch so I'm steering towards sweater fabrics. As much as dressmaking doesn't really turn out cheaper than buying new clothes it's much more fun. I've decided to make a few dresses to get a hang of it and then I'm going to start altering old clothes and see if I can refashion things.

So there it is... a haul of new things to fill up my sewing box, now to actually sew something.

I hope everyone's had a good week (or at least one better than mine!). See you next time when I will actually have made something! I hope...

Monday, 12 January 2015

Hello Passport Control!

Hey Craft-lovers! 
January is DRAGGING by for me, my bank balance is making me want to cry and February just seems too damn far away. This may also have something to do with the fact that I'm going on my first foreign holiday in YEARS in February (living in Poland doesn't count).
But this isn't time for Winter Sun. No no. I'm going to the land of minus 30 and frostbite. That's right, I'm going back to Poland for five days and I couldn't be more excited.
My boyfriend and I both want to spend some time travelling around Europe, and have our eyes set on Germany at some point this year, but decided to book a break somewhere familiar to ease into it. As I know Krakow like the back of my hand we've managed to book a cost-friendly mini break and already have most of the trip planned out. Mostly I'm excited by the prospect of actually getting to wear my snow boots in snow. I bought them in Krakow last February after weeks of skating around precariously in Uggs whilst carrying an iPad around with me. However I left Galeria Krakowska after buying them only to find that the snow was beginning to melt and then the temperature hit a balmy 12 degrees. 100zl down and all the pigeon Polish in my vocabulary couldn't have wangled a return on them.
So yeah, you'd better give me snow, Poland, otherwise I want my money back.
Poland... this. I want this. Do this.
So anyway, after a month of trekking around Central America and a few booze-filled holidays my passport has taken a hammering over the past nine years (roll on 2016 for a new picture!). Last time I was at passport control in Leeds I was told it was 'well loved' and didn't look like me at all. Which is a compliment, actually. So I decided to make a new holder for it.
What I actually made started out as a coin purse in the style of an envelope, however it turned out to be too big and floppy (LOL) so it's now my passport holder. Unfortunately I didn't log the making of this one because I got too excited by fat quarters.

Essentially what I did though was open an envelope out flat and laid it out onto two different patterns and cut round. I had to make sure I cut the outer fabric on the right side and the lining on the wrong side, if that makes any sense. I then sewed both pieces together inside out and turned them back to the right sides facing out. Then I simply placed the envelope template on top and folded the square so it was an envelope again.
At this point I should have ironed it, but I hate ironing and couldn't be bothered to get up, so I scored along the edges with my thumbnail and sewed it in place.

I decided to make my first ever button hole which was horrible and used a button I got for 50p at a local haberdashery, completed it with 'Look at this handmade thing' bragging ribbon and voila! It's a little rough around the edges but that's what you get when you lose your patience with hand sewing!

Kitten not included
It'll keep my passport from getting more tatty and will always be easy to find in my bag (as I lose my passport about 5 times every time I go anywhere!)

Fat quarters: 6 for £5 from HobbyCraft
Button: 50p from Ribbon Circus, Hebden Bridge
Ribbon: £1.50 per metre from Ribbon Circus, Hebden Bridge

Now I need a new mini project to start and fabric for my next big one!

'Til next time lovely people, keep on crafting :)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Keeping the Tradition Alive

Happy New Year Friends and Crafters! If you celebrate Christmas I hope you all had a wonderful season and are sufficiently stuffed full of turkey. If you don't celebrate Christmas... well I hope the same thing really.

My mum truly cashed in on my sewing obsession this Christmas by buying me a beautiful sewing basket, something which I have never had before. Don't get me wrong, I chose it and carried it most of the way home from Leeds, but then I had to wait the painful 4 weeks before I could open it and start organising my sewing tools (which I was keeping in a pile on my coffee table, and therefore now have coffee stained white thread).

Sewing Basket from HobbyCraft
I'm going to do a full post about this later, along with my sewing essentials. As today's post is about two amazing things which I inherited last night. But first, I need to tell you about my Grandma Lisek.

Zofia Kwoka moved to Britain from Poland after the Second World War, during those safe couple of years of freedom. She arrived in London and quickly met and fell in love with Adam Lisek, my grandfather. From there they moved to Halifax, where many Eastern European immigrants were living at the time, settled in and had a family. Zofia worked in a factory, sewing and creating for good old M&S; Adam was an engineer. From the stories which my mum has told I know that she was a talented seamstress who passed her knowledge down to her youngest daughter, very much as my mum has done for me. Sadly, she passed away in 1989, three months before I was born. Yet even though I have never known her or met her I feel like she makes up a large part of who I am. Which is why I cried last night when I was handed her sewing basket. 

I haven't had a chance to investigate it fully, as I have a day job, but I had a wee look through it last night. Many of the threads are industrial standard as they came home from her work. There's also some haberdashery gems from the 60's and 70's, including this...

In my head everything used to cost 2 and 6 pence back in the day...
As well as her sewing basket I was also gifted her old button box, which is probably where my first memories of sewing came from...

Apparently it was originally a present from Santa for my auntie, but became my grandma's button box. The majority of these are from outfits bought between the 50s and 80s and are pretty weathered. They're what vintage means in my eyes. So yeah, if anyone wants a rustic button look no further.

I've always heard stories about my mum making her own clothes with my grandma, and I imagine it all started with these boxes. I'm proud to have taken after them. Between my obsession with Poland and my sewing 'talent' (albeit however little there may be of that...) I feel more like a Lisek than ever.

So there you are... my new toys. I'm currently working on a mini project which is keeping me out of trouble during my skint January and will have my first travel post in the next month ('cause I'ma going on holiday next month! :D)

Please let me know if you found this interesting and until next time lovelies!
Kat, over and out.