Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Singer Chain Stitch Sewing Machine

This little Singer was a charity shop find from about 5 years ago. 

It's a Children's Chainstitch Sewing Machine, I have no idea how old it is, but it works!

It has been used occasionally by my little man between the ages of 4 and 7, mostly when I had my machine out. 

For the last couple of years it has sat in his wardrobe being eyed up by his sister.

This weekend he finally said she could have it!

So on Sunday when I was trying to finish a kimono cardigan (it still isn't finished!) she decided that she wanted to sew too. Out came the machine and scraps of Merchant and Mills denim (she is spoilt!).

There are now scraps of sewing, straight stitch on top and chain on the bottom. The chains don't always catch each other and it has a habit of undoing when you take it off the machine. But she had fun making "blankets for her toys". 

If you want to see the machine in action, check out the video on my instagram @dressmakerssocial

She now has her mind set on a dress for Bunnywunny and I'm off to draft a pattern for it. I don't think I will ever finish my kimono at this rate!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Me Made May 2015

I'm taking part in "Me Made May 2015" organised by So, Zo... What Do You Know? Check out her blog here.

This is my pledge...
I, Emma of craftyandcake.blogspot.co.uk and dressmakerssocial.blogspot.co.uk, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to continue to wear at least one me made item of clothing each day for the duration of May 2015. In addition I will stop putting off making and wearing the knickers pattern I have had for too long and may even attempt to start the craftsy bra making course I bought six months ago!

I wear at least one me made garment most days so I needed to add a challenging bit. 

I enrolled on this bra making course six months ago and I have two knickers patterns that I received as birthday gifts. I haven't got round to making any of them yet so my challenge is to make and wear them this May.

If you would like to join in too, all you have to do is click here

I'll me posting updates on my progress on instagram as @craftyandcake on twitter as @dressmakersbton and here Facebook using the #mmmay15

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

#sewsolidarity #whomademyclothes #fashrev

I’ll be honest, two years ago when I heard on the news that the Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh had collapsed I thought “that’s sad” as I often do with disasters reported on the news that are so far away. It wasn’t until recently after reading this blogpost by English Girl at Home that I started thinking about who makes the clothes I buy, mostly, for my two children and occasionally for myself as the majority of items in my wardrobe are home sewn.

My kids have grown up wearing lots of H&M clothes, mostly because I like them, but also because they are within our budget. It's only since I started sewing my own clothes that I have come to appreciate the amount time, care and attention needed to produce a garment and that to sell a garment so cheaply must mean that the person who made it must get paid very little for the work they have done.

So, thanks to an Instagram post about #sewsolidarity, Traid’s challenge to home sewers to raise awareness for the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, my awareness of the topic has increased and my eyes have been opened reading about the conditions in which our clothes are made. One I found particulary interesting was this video by on suicide rates amongst cotton farmers. It would be easy to continue ignoring these stories and not think about where some high street clothes come from but I am glad that my eyes have been opened and I now think about “who made the clothes I buy for myself and my children?” and I have made a little pledge to myself, to be more mindful when shopping, to research where the clothes are made and continue to educate myself about who makes my clothes.

In memory of those that died in the Rana Plaza Collapse and to help raise awareness of the conditions in garment factories that produce clothes for the UK high street I am taking part in two awareness challenges.

First is Traid’s #sewsolidarity. Traid are asking home sewists to re-purpose a garment purchased from one of the shops who used the Rana Plaza factory to extend the garment’s life. I am re-fashioning two H&M garments from my son’s wardrobe that no-longer fit him, a plaid shirt and long sleeve T-shirt, into a dress for my daughter. If you would like to join in with the challenge, more details can be found here.

Here are the before and after pictures...

The second challenge is Fashion Revolution’s #whomademyclothes On Friday 24th April 2015. You take a selfie wearing an item of clothing inside out, post the photo on social media, tag the brand and ask the question #whomademyclothes.

There are lots of events on around the world, I’m hoping to pop along to my local one being hosted by Fashion Revolution Brighton at the MyHotel bar at 6pm on Friday April 24th. Details are on their Facebook page.

Have you ever thought about who make’s your clothes before? If not I'd check out Fashion Revolution Brighton and take a look at who makes your clothes. It’s interesting reading, eye opening, thought provoking and it certainly made me think about who make’s my clothes.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Minecraft Party

Our little Man recently turned 9 so we had a Minecraft Party to celebrate...

We started off with invites made using this minecraft block printable to make envelope/boxes and I downloaded the minecraft font from here to type up the invites that I printed in grass block colours.

Next up was the party favours. I bought green t-shirts from Amazon and using a Creeper template I found online, similar to this one, I fabric painted creeper faces on the front. 

Jacob made some Hama Bead Minecraft squares. I love how when ironed they look pixelated. There is Steve, a pig and an Ender Man. I found the template here.

We kept the decorations quite simple as the lounge was also decorated for Hallowe'en. I used the font I had downloaded to make a Happy Birthday banner and drew creeper and zombie faces on green balloons. For the party bags, I bought green paper bags and found a template online to print the creeper faces directly onto the bags. Most of the guests wore their creeper t-shirts for the party. 

Just before we changed into costumes ready for trick or treating, the candles were blown out and the cake was cut....

Two Minecraft blocks in one cake :)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Book Launch for...The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking - Wendy Ward

I've just got home from a lovely evening at the book launch for Wendy Ward's "The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking" at MIY Workshop. As the evening is over I can finally post pictures of the cakes!

A couple of weeks ago my fellow student Croianna text me asking if I would like to make a cake of Wendy's book with her for the book launch. So a few days ago we got together and had fun decorating a cake.

Here it is... Croianna made the clothes and I did the lettering.

With the left over sponge I made a pair of scissors because which dressmaker/seamstress doesn't have a slight obsession with scissors?!

My little assistant Ruby made me some pins for the fondant pin cushion whilst I added gold powder to the bolt on the scissors.

 And here she is... the lady herself... Wendy Ward, cutting her cake!

Congratulations on your awesome book Wendy and everyone else... go buy a copy and learn to how to sew your own clothes!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Christmas Needle Felting Workshop - 21st November 2014 in Brighton

Since I last posted I have joined the fundraising team at Jacob's cub group and we've decided to run  few crafty events that I am very excited about!

I have known Emma Herian from Sew Recycled for years from having stalls next to her at craft fairs and I have long admired her gorgeous needle felted animals and other creations.

So I am very excited to announce that Emma has agreed to run her Christmas Needle Felting Workshop at the 44th Brighton Scout Hut on Friday 21st November 2014.

Tickets are a absolute bargain price of £25 for 3 hours of crafting fun making approx. 2-3 baubles. All materials and non-alcoholic refreshments are included. 
We are having a BYO on the evening if you would like to enjoy a glass a wine.

So come along, tell your friends and join us for an evening of crafting.
Email me @craftyandcake@gmail.com to book a.s.a.p. as spaces are limited.

I can't wait to make one of these cute Christmas puds!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Rainbow Ice Cream Cake

A combination of a late night blog reading session about ice cream cakes, an early morning request from Ruby to bake cakes and Jacob's friend coming for tea today resulted in this...

Rainbow Ice Cream Cake

The blog I was reading last night (I can't remember which one during my bit of summer night insomnia) showed a 2 ingredient ice cream cake using shop bought ice cream and angel cake.

I've not made angel cake before so a quick search later we were adapting a Martha Stewart recipe by splitting the mix into 4 and adding pastel food colouring. We baked the mix in cupcake cases and once they were cooked they were set aside to cool. 

Ruby went off to the theatre for a friend's birthday treat and left Jacob and I to assemble the cake.
We bought a tub of Cornish Ice Cream and left it out to melt a bit. We then uncased the cupcakes and squished them into a springform tin (thank you Kay for lending us one).

Next the ice cream was smeared on top and the tin was popped in the freezer to set. To finish it off we shared out the Smarties (eating the brown ones as we went) and decorated the top.


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