Monday, 18 November 2013

Crafty parties

Christmas is a time for celebration and parties, but with all that planning and preparing it can be hard to think ahead to  the new year. So if you have an occasion to celebrate in 2014 why not give yourself a well earned break and leave it to the Crafty Ladies party planners. 

Crafty Ladies parties are a great way to enjoy quality time with friends creating and making in a fun party atmosphere! Choose from a wide range of activities for all ages... Make fun fascinators before a day at the races, decorate your own plates and mugs or ice delicious cupcakes before enjoying a yummy afternoon tea, sew cute felt pincushions, sparkle at a princess party making glittery tiaras, wands and wings, get dolled up 50s style for a fab photo shoot then decorate a gorgeous frame for your retro piccie. Plus many more ideas for crafty fun available! 

Booking now for 2014! For more info contact me at

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Look what was made at today's "Start as you mean to sew on" beginners sewing class...

4 fabulous crafty ladies joined me this Sunday to learn the key basics of sewing at my first "Start as you mean to sew on" group class. They learnt how to set up and maintain their machine, practiced essential sewing skills and picked up some great tips along the way. 

They made handy stitch sampler needle cases- a practical sewing kit essential which doubles up as a handy reminder of all the interesting stitches their machines can create. 

They then chose from a range of high quality canvas and linen fabrics from which they made a lovely envelope cushion cover embellished with lace, bias binding or ric rac trim and a selection of co-ordinating buttons. 

Here are their fabulous cushion covers with their proud new owners 

I can't wait to see what they will use their new sewing skills to make next! 

If you want to "Start as you mean to sew on" too I offer a range of classes so get in touch! 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Start as you mean to to sew on...

It's always a good time to learn to sew! The creative possibilities are endless once you have the basic skills and the confidence to pick up some fabric and make something you'll love.

I have put together a couple of great value sewing courses to introduce you to sewing. All are available to book now at a time to suit you, most evenings and weekends.

My learn to sew course is a great way to learn all the basics of sewing in the comfort and convenience of your own home. The course is taught in 4 bite size 2 hour sessions spread over 4 dates to suit you. 

Lesson 1. Learn how to set up and maintain your machine. Run through the variety of stitches available and different ways to use these. Make a stitch sampler needle book.

Lesson 2. Make a lovely envelope cushion- learn how to finish seams neatly, create a bound trimmed edge, make button holes and add buttons

Lesson 3. Make a zipped lined bag- learn how to neatly insert a zip and insert a lining

Lesson 4. Alter or customise a garment- bring your own garment and we will look at different ways to alter, customise or re-purpose it.

1to1 Private course - £100
Group course for 2 or more - £60 per person
All materials are provided

My Dressmaking for beginners course is a great way to learn the key essentials of dressmaking in the comfort and convenience of your own home. The course is taught in 4 bite size 2 hour sessions spread over 4 dates to suit you. 

Through this course you can learn to make a lined skirt, simple dress or top.
If you would prefer to make a different garment please let me know and I would be happy to discuss other options.

Lesson 1.
Reading a sewing pattern- from the outside in
Measuring up
Prepping your pattern inc basic adjustments
Choosing your fabric
The benefits of interlining and how to use it

Lesson 2.
Cutting your fabric
Getting ready to sew- setting up your machine and dressmaking workspace
Test run- why this is so important
Sewing straight seams and finishing seams

Lesson 3:
Depending on garment:
- binding edges
- Inserting a zip
- buttonholes and buttons
- hems
- linings

Lesson 4:
Finishing the garment
Embellishments and/or matching accessories
- shoe clips
- hair accessories
- bag
- adding ribbons, embroidery or other embellishments of your choice

1to1 Private course - £100
Group course for 2 or more - £60 per person
Some materials are provided. Students are required to provide their own fabric after lesson 1- suppliers can be advised or I can source fabric for you if required.

Private lessons offer you 1to1 or small group teaching in the following subjects

Dress making
Choose from a selection of simple projects or bring your own pattern. 
If you have a particular design you would like to make you can send your pattern and measurements to me ahead of the session and I will prep it (cut it to the right size and familiarise myself with the make-up details) and advise you of all the materials and notions you will need so that in the session you can get sewing straight away (min 3 hr session to be booked for this service) 

Soft furnishings and home decor
If you have a particular project in mind let me know and I will find and prep a pattern ready for our session

Private 1to1 lessons are £15 p/h or 3 hrs for £40, covering any subject you want to learn about.
Prior to the lesson we will discuss what you want to achieve and learn and I will bring relevant materials and information to the session.  
Small group lessons are the same price as long as you are working on the same project or skills - so why not bring a friend! 

Please provide your own sewing machine for all sewing sessions and please let me know what machine you will be using when booking so I can do my homework!

If you have any questions or enquiries please get in touch with me at

And start as you mean to sew on...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

What's NEW...Wintery Crafty workshops

Leicester's Crafty Ladies have been enjoying some new sewing workshops for Autumn and Winter at our Lovely NEW venue, The Rothley Centre. 

The Venue is just off Mountsorrel Lane, the main road running through Rothley, so is nice and easy to find if you come off the A6 exit for Rothley. There is plenty of parking and great facilities so I can make you all lots of cuppas whilst you craft away! But best of all there is no time limit to the sessions. So most sessions will now be around 3 hours to allowing us plenty of crafting a socialising time with out any time pressures. Of course, if you can only spare a few hours, you are more than welcome to stay for just a short time but this flexibility will allow us to relax and craft to our hearts content! 

Last Tuesday night we were making cute bow belts, an idea kindly shared by Tilly Walnes at

This great little accessory will instantly transform a plain dress into something really special. We learnt how to use interfacing to create a professional finish, how to add a popper fastening and the bow technique can also be used to make hair accessories, broaches and adornments for all number of garments and homewares. 

Here are some of the lovely belts made 

Love the Instant vintage cuteness! 

And on Sunday we huddled away from the cold and rain to make glamourous envelope evening bags in a range if lovely posh fabrics

With the party season just around the corner we were getting started nice and early! The crafty ladies loved making these gorgeous envelope evening bag in a choice of luxurious fabrics including satin, taffeta and mock-silk. 

They learnt how to add a magnetic fastening to keep evening essentials safe. Embellishments were available to personalise the bags with a choice of trims or there was the option to add a cute bow feature to the flap to really stand out from the crowd. 

Here's Lin's lovely bag with a clever bead strap attached to the side. 

Both of these items will make fab presents and with a bit of practice the ladies can whizz them up in no time at all using the take away patterns included along with workshop notes.  

More workshops just like these are coming up soon so check the meet up site for all the details at

We’re also planning a group trip to the NEC Hobby crafts show. It's a huge show full of great ideas and inspiration with materials, kits and equipment, expert advice and mini make and take workshops. Go to the meet up group to book your tickets. We will also be offering transport so please state in your booking if you will require this. For more info on the show go to

I also wanted to say a big thanks to all of you who post on the Facebook group page, this active page constantly keeps me entertained and inspired and I hope you all enjoy it too! 
Any comments, suggestions or ideas are always welcome either through the Facebook group or meet up page or email me at

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Clever crafty recycling

I am terrible for hoarding things. I always see opportunity in otherwise discarded objects and think one day I will look at them in a new light and repurpose, recycle or reuse, despite the fact that I can't leave my house for the jam jar baracade I've created!

So I have made it my mission to reuse and USE UP some - no… most - of my stash of potentially amazing objects. Here's a little project to do just that... 

Loo roll tube gift pouches- now bare with me... these actually look really nice and rustic and beat spending out on something that will just get thrown away again!

Pretty sweet hey?! 

You can use Christmas paper and twine or ribbons to jazz up this simple gift pouch for festive gift giving.
To have a go at this and more great resourceful and bargainous ideas for Christmas gifts and decorations come to the Crafty Ladies Workshops throughout November and December.

Now… what to do with those jam jars…! 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Cosy Crafting

As the nights draw in and the winds blow a little cooler these Autumn days, I am more inclined to stay in cosy crafting with nice big glass of red on a soggy and blustery night rather than sipping a cool cider in a beer garden.

It might be a tiny bit more of a trek out to come and join me at one of the upcoming winter workshops but at our new more comfortable venue, The Rothley Centre, you’ll feel welcomed and warm.

Here’s a list of the upcoming workshops you can choose from:

Fabric bow Belt - THIS TUESDAY 8th October! 7.30-10pm *
Envelope bag - Sunday 13th October - 2-5pm *
Heirloom Advent Calendar - Sunday 3rd November - 1-6pm *
Christmas mens tie - Tuesday 19th November - 7.30-10pm *
Christmas Decorations - Tuesday 26th November - 7-10pm
Christmas painted wine glasses - Tuesday 3rd December - 7-10pm
Christmas stocking - Sunday 8th December - 2-5pm*
Christmas flower arrangement - Sunday 22nd December - 2-5pm

Workshops include ALL materials but please bring your own sewing machine and sewing kit to the workshops marked with an *

And of course all workshops are served with tea, biscuits, inspiration and smiles :)

Go to for more info and to sign up

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Love at first leaf

Uh-oh, I think I've found another craft I'm in love with! The crafty ladies have just spent a fab afternoon creating lovely contemporary displays with the inspirational floristry expert Nichola Ward from
Nichola started by showing us how to prepare the oasis base...

…and then build the arrangement starting with foliage and adding on flowers and berries to create a gorgeous finished arrangement

We learnt about which flowers and foliage last longest in oasis and how to mix and match your colours to get a good balanced display which doesn't look too formulaic

We were all pretty chuffed with the results...

(The main pic is Nichola's of course!)

Nichola uses hedgerow and garden materials to complement shop bought flowers and this gives her work a lovely unique style

I've asked Nichola to come back and do a Christmas arrangement workshop for us so if you are interested in joining in go to for more info.