Top 5 posts of 2014!

Well readers, it’s been an interesting year! These are the posts published in 2014 which have been viewed time and again… thank you!

Whilst that’s self explanatory, I’d also like to say that the Pattern Free A-Line Skirt Tutorial and Pattern Month Tutorials beat these posts by a Country mile (but were published in 2013, so don’t count) however; this has made me so happy because I shall be concentrating on Pattern Cutting, Drafting and Making Up in the near future as I start to design and sell more Patterns.

I am so excited about this. I’ve got a new computer, new workroom and new passion and drive after a very hard end of the year which had left me questioning pretty much everything. But more of this later… on with the show!

1.

Simple Sewing: How to Make a Patchwork Cushion

cushion43This is a fantastic make for any young or new Sewers out there, and you end up with a pretty fantastic Cushion at the end of the make too… and who doesn’t like a Patchwork Cushion?! You can make this with a couple of Fat Quarters and some backing fabric too so it’s pretty cheap. I love Patchwork for instilling straight lines and perfectly sewn seam allowances, I’m such a dreadful old bore of a teacher!

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See the original Tutorial here.

2.

Corset Month

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Following on from the release of my very first Sewing Pattern- the Eventide Corset Pattern- this March I did a Sew-a-Long for the next month with hints and tips to sew up your very own Eventide! With such a fantastic reception (and despite the evil new VAT regulations)  I shall be releasing more Patterns in 2015, all of which will have a slightly Victorian/Edwardian or unusual flavour. I can’ wait!

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See the first article here which has links to all of the posts.

3.

5 Tips for Product Photography

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Covering tips on Backdrops, placing your Products, Framing, Lighting and Editing Software it’s no wonder this tutorial is so popular! It’s part of an occasional series and was recently followed by 5 Tips for Craft Fairs.

See the original article here.

4.

Notions: Concealed Zips

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The first entry from the Notions Series, which is (or is supposed to be!) a weekly photo tutorial on a specific technique. Lamentably abandoned in recent months, I will be resurrecting it as soon as I can as they are ridiculously popular, and exceptionally useful in class! It is no surprise to me this is the most popular as Concealed Zips are a problem for a lot of Sewers’, I’m just pleased this has helped a little bit!

See the original Tutorial here.

5.

The Sorbetto Top from Colette

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Who else is looking forward to The Great British Sewing Bee in 2015? This is a post I wrote to accompany last years Sewing Bee, when they made a simple top… which covered an awful lot of Sewing Techniques! A lot of my students were left in a spin and I like the Sorbetto for teaching these techniques, whilst making a garment from not much fabric (also known as, if it mucks up, don’t worry it didn’t cost too much!). Covering making Bias Binding and sewing it on, Slip Stitching, Understitching and a couple other techniques this is a most informative little post and the Pattern is still free over at the Coletterie! Wow!!

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See the original Tutorial here. Added bonus, click here to see my Interview with Sarai from Colette!

Well, that was 2014, I didn’t do so bad upon reflection. I am trying hard to think which was my favourite post from 2014 and I think it has to be this one. There’s much to look forward to in 2015, and it all started in that little Studio!

Happy stitching!

Christmas Makes: Stockings

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Quite a few people I know are going to be making gifts this year, and making a Stocking is a wonderful way to present them. Alternatively, if you don’t have very much time or have just started sewing then these are a quick and simple Gift to make up. Stuffed with presents or chocolate and brought out each year for ever more who wouldn’t want one?

Because they use such a small amount of fabric these are a wonderful quick, cost effective make. They can be decorated any way you like, personalized and made as big or as small as needed! Delightful!

You will need:

a large sheet of paper or some pattern paper

half a meter/yard of Fabric for the outside of your stocking

half a meter/yard of Fabric for the inside of your stocking

Ribbon, Felt, Bobble Trim, Sequins or anything else you want to decorate your stocking with

20cm Ribbon for the tag

Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors, Pins

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First, use the paper to draw out your stocking pattern (or click the above image to enlarge and print, then use to scale up as you need). Once you are happy, you will need to add on 5cm/2″ to the top- for the turn down- and Seam Allowance around the rest of the Stocking Template. I use just 1cm/ 3/8″ for small projects like this or I find myself using a lot of fabric… which I then end up cutting off so the Stocking turns out properly!

When you are happy with your template you will need to start cutting out your fabric. If you would like to check your Stocking- if you need it to be a particular size for instance- simply make up a sample from some Calico or scrap Fabric.

Fold your Fabric, Right Sides Together, and pin your Template on. Remember if you have a Directional Pattern on your Fabric to Pin the Template the right way up! Folding your Fabric helps you to cut a left and a right side. I have seen too many people cut two lefts or two rights!!

Repeat for the Lining so you have two outside Stocking pieces, and two inside Stocking pieces as above. With Right Sides Together, Pin a Lining piece to an Outside piece as illustrated, then sew using your chosen Seam Allowance.

At this point, if you would like to decorate your Stocking, you need to do it before you start to stitching it up. Remember your Seam Allowance and don’t stitch anything too close to the edges! Also, and this is a little odd but I promise it’s right!, any decoration sewn on around the top edge of the Stocking which will be seen when the top is turned down needs to be sewn on to the Lining and upside down. This means it will be the right way up when the Stocking is made up and the top is turned down.

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When you have sewn both, lie flat and Iron your Seams ‘out’ as illustrated. Then, with Right Sides Together, pin both Stocking pieces together which should match the two outer pieces and two lining pieces on either side.

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Fold the piece of Ribbon in half and Pin. On the Lining side, tuck in as illustrated about 5cm/2″  and -using the same Pin- Pin on the the Stocking. This will mean your Tag is sewn in as you sew the Stocking up which is very neat and tidy!

Starting on the Lining side (and remembering to reverse stich a little to anchor), start to sew just below the Ribbon Tag as shown. Continue to sew all around the Stocking, remembering your Seam Allowance, until you are just above the heel on the Lining side. Stop and reverse stitch to anchor again leaving a gap in the stitching in the Lining to turn the Stocking out.

Clip your threads, then clip all of your curves. This is really important as your Stocking will not turn out nicely!

Turn the Stocking out, then push the Lining in to the outside of the Stocking. You may need a ruler or pencil to help you push the Lining all the way down in to the outside. Turn the top down about 5cm/2″ and stuff full of chocolates, or other goodies and hang up!

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As ever it would be lovely to see your makes! Kristen C tweeted me the below from my Jewel Bird Tutorial. Kristen made these stunning Birds as gifts last year, aren’t they delightful? I adore the blue one, and I am loving all of the different colour choices, which were so different from mine. The White were made as a Gift in traditional Dutch colours for her Grandmother.

       

Share your makes via Twitter (@MidnightLaura), on Facebook or here! You can join me for my Christmas Workshops or at the Royal York Crescent Christmas Fair in Clifton, Bristol on the 30th November to buy Stocking Fillers, Christmas Bunting, Gifts or a cheeky pair of Christmas Knickers or Boxer Shorts… see you there!

Happy stitching!

Le Petit Théâtre Dior

I have just stumbled upon these stunning, awe inspiring Short Films showing the work- in miniature- carried out by the Couturiers at The House of Dior. The glimpses in to the way they work are my favourite- I am definitely going to have to look into how they sew sequins on that quickly!- and the finished products are simply stunning.

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Le Petit Théâtre Dior – The Exhibition

The size they are working in looks teeny tiny however; it’s actually only half scale and making miniatures is common practice in Haute Couture as it is a way to test the design before making any expensive and time consuming mistakes… this stuff aint cheap! These have been made for exhibition, and are quite, quite stunning.

Happy stitching!

Delightful new products in the shop!

Ohmygosh you guys! I am head over heels in love with these super cute little darlings! Introducing the 1940s Style Strawberry Pin Cushion… …

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I have had ‘flu over the last week, and needed something little to be getting along with. Trawling through my lovely Vintage Sewing Books, I came across the Strawberry Pin Cushion. They’re super easy to stitch up, and look delightful in the workroom so I have spent a couple days cheering myself up by illustrating the instructions and searching my Liberty Tana Lawn stash for the perfect fabric to make the Kits from.

You can buy the Kit, to make up yourself, or you can simply buy a Strawberry Pin Cushion lovingly hand stitched by me here at Midnight Heights!

At £3.50 and £3.75 respectively, these make really pretty gifts, and even better Mothers Day gifts! Click on any of the above pictures or here to buy.

Right, I’m off to carry on stitching up my Sorbetto Top!

Happy stitching!

Notions: Hand Made Button Loops

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As seen on this weeks Great British Sewing Bee, this lovely hand finishing detail is time consuming but excellent for finishing delicate fabrics and lingerie. It is a useful technique to accomplish as it can be used for Button Loops- as illustrated- the ‘eye’ for a Hook and Eye fastening, delicate Belt Loops, and even swing tacks for petticoats and linings!

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Start by lining up the top edges of your garment, then placing the Button where it is destined to be sewn. Place a Pin underneath the Button to mark its position, and put the Button to one side.

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 Thread your Needle (I’ve used double thread however; single is fine), and stitch through the edge of the Fabric from Front to Back where the bottom of the Loop should be (above left). Anchor securely. Where the top of the Loop should be, stitch from Back to Front (above middle). To clearly see where the Loop should lie, place the edges of your garment together, and wrap the second stitch around the marker Pin. Pull gently and if the tops of your Garment remain in line the Button Loop is balanced (above right).

I also like to make the loop slightly shallower then the Button itself- I think it makes it a little tidier and less likely to gape. To do this I place the Button next to the second stitch and make sure it is slightly lower (middle picture above).

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Anchor the stitch again (by either taking a couple of stitches on the spot or tying a knot), then thread the Needle from back to front through the Loop. Before pulling too tightly, thread the Needle through the back of the stick. Pull tight so that a small knot forms. Repeat all the way around the Button Loop. If you become tangled, un-thread the Needle and smooth out the thread. Sometimes running a little Beeswax over the Thread helps- an old Quilting technique- as it enables the Thread to pass smoothly through the Fabric.

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 Wrap your beautiful Button Loop around the marker Pin again to check the tops of your Garment are still in line. If they are not, sometimes you can adjust the positioning of the marker Pin (which is why we do not sew the Button on first!) however; you may have to unpick your work and re-make the Button Loop if they are still misaligned.

Finish by sewing your Button on!

As I am having to work quickly to fit The Great British Sewing Bee in to my schedule, I am utilising other blogs too! Find a similar Button Loop Tutorial over at Oliver & S, with a slightly different Crochet technique, and another at Pattern Scissors Cloth.

I am nearly done making the alterations needed to make up my sure to be gorgeous Tunic Top-Colette’s Sorbetto– which I hope to be making up tomorrow. I am so pleased that The Sewing Bee has inspired me to make some clothes for me again!

Don’t forget to join me on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest!

Happy stitching!

5 Tips for Product Photography

A couple days ago I was asked to provide some Product images for a Craft Magazine and  I used it to light a fire under my bum and get my new Bunting Kit finally finished! It is something I have been illustrating ever since my Mini Bunting Kit’s started selling so well, and with the success of my Hand Made Christmas Bunting over Christmas I decided it was the first Kit to be released in 2014.

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Running alongside this, I have started a Branding and Zine conversion which is fairly epic… all products are to be re-branded with my new logo (you may have noticed it above! I’m so super chuffed!!), and all Kits and Zines are to be available as a PDF Download… soon! So, having someone contact me for Product Images was as good excuse as any to finish the Kit, with the new Branding.

It’s been a little manic but… mission accomplished! The Kits will be released a little later in the week and today I thought I’d share a little about what goes on behind the scenes when I am organising Product Photos. Quite a bit goes in to the organization, the Pictures them selves and even more in Post-Production… especially when you are re-branding!!

The best piece of advise I have ever read on this subject is: you want to sell a ‘lifestyle’. In my case, I want customers to look at my Product Images and think ‘ooh, yummy’!

1. Think about your surface, backdrop or setting.

You may have noticed the trend for pure white backdrops recently, which is lovely if your products suit this. I happen to think that sewing needs a little bit more of a tactile backdrop so I compromise. I use a Vintage White Lace edged table cloth, which adds texture but will not look out of place or too different when placed next to other products from other shops on-line, or in a magazine. Don’t be scared to try different backgrounds, at this point you’ll only stand out!

2. To Prop, or not to Prop?

It’s funny, I used to think Props were too messy, that people would think they were included with the product or even just too distracting. I’m pretty sure I was wrong, I love my newer Product Photos, which sell the idea of gathering equipment and notions around you to get ready to use the Kit. The use of Props can also bring in carefully placed elements of colour which can lift the whole picture. They can also add in a Vintage feel, or suggest things to the buyer within a theme which can be a useful tool.

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 As you can see, I started with an image in mind that was very different from the final picture! All of the Props disappeared to make way for one glorious Prop- one of my Vintage Glass Dish Pincushions (which is a cheeky way of getting another Product in the Pic!). It’s less cluttered but I feel still sells the Kit well. 

LauraAfterMidnight_Image01_lowThe final Product Photo, ready for both the Magazine and Etsy! None of the complicated filters have been used, it’s clear, concise and looks great!

3. Products

The most important thing about this whole process! I always make the best product I can, or select the nicest version to be photographed. They’re like peaches in a supermarket! I’ll freshly iron, check for threads, make sure none of the packaging is bent, anything to make sure everything is at its best.

4. Framing and lighting

This is personal taste, I prefer to show as much of the product as possible, photographed head on as simply as possible with nothing in front of it or obstructing the view! Of course, I also try to sell the ‘lifestyle’ with the aforementioned props however; the main focus should always be the product. Because I sell on Etsy and Folksy, I also need to take in to consideration the fact that my wonderful picture will probably be first viewed as a thumbnail. This means I will need to be able to crop it without loosing any of the detail, and intent.  Lighting doesn’t need to be anything more complicated than an Anglepoise Lamp with a daylight bulb in (blue light rather than yellow as it’s easier to edit with). I used to tape a sheet of heavy tracing paper to my Anglepoise to diffuse the light so my shadows weren’t as hard too. Bright, white light will always make your Products look awesome because the colours will pop!

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 Same Product, different ways! In each photograph I have tried something a little different however; each displays the Kit, and the finished Kit. Because of my Re-Branding you may have noticed I am trying some filters however; my favourite layout is the far left. The snippet of Vintage cloth, the fact that you can see the reverse instructions (but not too much, have to pique their interest!), and the final made up Kit just really works for me. Clear lighting and close framing help to see this picture even when it is a thumbnail. 

5. Photoshop or editing software.

I am incredibly lucky because Fella is a Film-maker and Photographer (which makes me feel like I am cheating a little bit) and means I have access to a couple things I probably wouldn’t have normally. Well, one thing at least: Photoshop. I know that there are many other Photo Editing programmes out there, many of which are either free or at least very cost effective (see a good list of available optionshere) however; Photoshop is just glorious! Also, and this is a very valuable lesson, stick with the software you like and can use efficiently, Photoshop works and makes sense to me but if it had felt tricky and awkward I would have tried another. I try not to follow ‘trends’ for things like this… just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work better than your tried and trusted programme!

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 On the left are the Photoshopped images, on the right the filtered images using a free downloaded Programme to my Phone called Repix which is kind of wonderful for a quick edit on the go! I still love the bright, clear imagery I get from Photoshop which I think works well for my on-line shop.

You may have noticed throughout this post I have been trying out some Instagram style filters. This is in response to my new Packaging. Because it is brown paper and string, Vintage style I felt it was important to try a more tactile photographic technique. I’m not sure I like it as it is a little too generic however; I shall continue to play with it as I continue this process.

Well, those are my top tips, I shall be taking many more photos over the next few days as I slowly work through the re-branding of all my products! Wish me luck.

What are your Top Tips for taking awesome droolworthy Photos? I’d love to hear!

Happy stitching!

Best Tips, Notions and Tutorials of 2013

Roll up!, Roll up! The first Laura After Midnight retrospective is upon us!

2013 has been quite the whirlwind! Here are my favourite Blog posts from each month… so without further ado, and not a whiff of preamble take my hand and follow me down the yellow stitched road!

January   Book Review: The Handmade Marketplace by Cari Chapin

As Fella tells it, I just ‘had it one day’; and to be honest I can’t remember where I found out about it, or heard about it or even saw a copy. I really did just have it one day and I haven’t looked back since! I strongly advocate a read if you are in the first stages of starting a business- hand made or otherwise!- or if you find yourself in a rut as following Cari Chapin’s words of wisdom has helped me through more than once!

February   Notions: Measuring Yourself for a Perfect Fit

WELDONS The Correct Way to Take Measurements          TAPE MEASURE          MODERN NEEDLECRAFT How to Measure Yourself

So, you’ve picked out the perfect Pattern, you’ve chosen your fabric & are generally wildly excited about learning how to make your own clothes, but where to start? With accurate measurements of course! Using beautiful Vintage Illustrations like the above and sage advice from my collection of Vintage Sewing Books this post illustrates exactly how to take your measurements, which ones to take and how to do so accurately.

March   Notions: Herringbone Stitch

Quite literally my all time favourite stitch, ever! I use Herringbone Stitch for stunning invisible hems and this Tutorial will take you through the steps. March also saw my popular article on The Best Haberdashery Shops in London, which is well worth a read too.

April   How to Make a Simple Pattern Free Skirt

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In April I hosted my first Sew-a-Long… only I didn’t know then that’s what they were called! The Patternless A-Line Skirt is a technique I teach many Beginner Sewers’ and these Tutorials take you through each stage of creating your very own, fitted A-Line Skirt. Watch out for my soon to be released Skirts Zine too, which will take you through adapting the Pattern you draft in this Tutorial to make different styles such as a Circle Skirt, Pleated Skirt and more. Click each picture above for each stage.

May   Notions: How to Pin

Continuing my ever popular ‘Notions’ series this is a handy little Tutorial for an oft asked about technique.

June   My first Zine…

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High excitement was in the air as I researched, designed, hand illustrated (no Wacum Tablet back then!) and put in to production the first Zine in the Notions Series. Understanding Vintage and Modern Patterns has been updated and reprinted and has sold out again, and again much to my absolute joy. More have since joined the first and what started out as a bit of a personal challenge has now turned in to one of the true Laura After Midnight pleasures. Many more are planned and I can’t wait to release the first colour one! Click here to buy.

July   Notions: Fan Darts

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A lovely technique to make alterations or hand made dresses unique.

August   Notions: Concealed Zips

Fully illustrates guide to insert these tricky little buggers!

September   Pattern Month!

What a month September was! Pattern Month was a huge, rip roaring, smash of a success with competitions, tutorials on Drafting PatternsRe-Sizing Vintage Patterns and more, interviews with independent Pattern Companies like the gorgeous Gals’ over at Colette, with all sorts of additional hintstips and tricks it has to have been the most fun one girl can have Blogging! Planning the next one has started already…

October   Techniques and Tutorials

Finally, slightly exhausted after September I’m not gonna lie!, I organized myself and designed the now familiar Vintage Techniques and Tutorials Page. Here you can find all of the Tutorials I have written, projects and very much more. Enjoy, and don’t forget to make a request!

November   Hand Made Gift Baskets

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Prompted by an image I shared on Facebook, I whipped up this little Tutorial as part of the many Christmas Tutorials I did throughout November and December. From Stockings, to Pyjamas I had your Hand Made Christmas covered and they’re well worth a look through!

December   How to Make a Mans Tie inc. Pattern

Throughout December I was rained on… lots!, made over 100 meters of Bunting for sale on my (rainy!) Market Stalls, worked harder than I had all year, managed an (almost) completely Hand Made Christmas, hosted a Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium and posted some Christmas Makes in amongst the madness! It was a satisfying end to a year which has been incredibly interesting to live/survive through.

I am not entirely sure I enjoyed all of 2013, but I am damn certain it has taught me valuable lessons, encouraged me to work harder in 2014 and given me a firm grounding with which to take Laura After Midnight to the next level. In my plans for next year I have more Pop Up Sewing Emporiums, Kits for some pretty exciting and super cool makes and patterns, Zines a plenty and so very much more!

Happy 2013, Happy New Year, and here’s to 2014… each and every one if you!!

Happy stitching!

An (almost completely) Hand Made Christmas

This Christmas I decided to make as many of my gifts as I could! I have to say I am really rather pleased with myself however; I only remembered to take pictures of a couple… boo!

Making Christmas presents requires quite a lot of planning, organization and lists… lots of lists! I  started with many plans which slowly got whittled down to just a few. I have found that it is really important to have a little think to decide if what you want to make will be truly liked and appreciated by the person you are making it for. There is nothing more upsetting than a Hand Made gift going unappreciated and this more often than not happens when you have created something the receiver may not want or like. Because of this I choose fabric very carefully, and think about the persons lifestyle… which meant that this year I made Hand Warmers, Bath Tub Tea Bags, very pretty Scallop Bunting, Baby Kerchief Bibs and Pyjamas.

I also had some Festive Bunnies left over from my Market Stalls which I tucked in as little extra gifts.

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Having access to Photoshop really helps sometimes, I just love the labels I made up for the Bath Tub Tea Bags and Hand Warmers. and how cute do the finished Gift Bags look? I made the Hand Warmers for some friends who live in a barn with only a Wood Burner for heat. Because they are made from Man Made Fleece they can be popped on top of the Wood Burner to warm up, I was so proud of myself when I found out that snippet of information!

I made the Bath Tub Tea Bags using Thyme Bath Salts, Lavender, Organic Blue Poppy Seeds and Green Tea for a relaxing de-stress soak.

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I was very lucky to find some of the fabrics I used for the scallop Bunting in my stash, but I bought more to make sure each set would look as pretty as possible. I just love the added in Ric-Rac and Lace Edging I sewed on the Bias Binding which I think really added a lovely touch.

My very last commission of the year was personalized Stockings, and I am amazed with how wonderfully they turned out. I printed the letters out, then cut out and used them as a pattern to cut Green Felt out which I then Stab Stitched on to the Red Velvet Stocking.

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I heartily encourage Hand Made presents of all kinds, and I found all of the ideas for my Gifts on-line with very simple searches. There are a host of Free Patterns and ideas (I’ve pinned a few to my Christmas Pinterest Board), which is where I found the Kerchief Bibs and Baby Pyjama Patterns which were, I think, the cutest gift this Christmas!

I made three sets of Pyjamas, two sets of Ladies Pyjamas and one set Mens. The Ladies Pyjamas turned out beautifully, trimmed with Broderie Anglaise on the matching patch pockets and hem. For the Mens set I added hidden side pockets and a button fly and they looked damn smart if I say so myself! It was with the excess Mens Pyjama fabric that I made matching Baby Pyjamas for a little joke!

After all this I fear however; that I will never have a completely Hand Made Christmas as I always spy some little goody I simply have to buy for someone, or add in a little chocolatey treat! But all in all I was very happy with my efforts!

Oh, and I whipped up this awesome, cool and down right fricking sweet Star Wars cushion for Fella…

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Happy stitching!

Make Christmas Stockings

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For a last minute gift idea, these cannot be beaten! If you are stuck what to get someone, a hand made stocking stuffed with a  few choccies is absolutely the answer, and will be brought out each year to decorate their tree for ever more.

Because they use such a small amount of fabric these are a wonderful quick, cost effective make. They can be decorated any way you like, personalized and made as big or as small as needed! Delightful!

You will need:

a large sheet of paper or some pattern paper

half a meter/yard of Fabric for the outside of your stocking

half a meter/yard of Fabric for the inside of your stocking

Ribbon, Felt, Bobble Trim, Sequins or anything else you want to decorate your stocking with

20cm Ribbon for the tag

Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors, Pins

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First, use the paper to draw out your stocking pattern (or click the above image to enlarge and print, then use to scale up as you need). Once you are happy, you will need to add on 5cm/2″ to the top- for the turn down- and Seam Allowance around the rest of the Stocking Template. I use just 1cm/ 3/8″ for small projects like this or I find myself using a lot of fabric… which I then end up cutting off so the Stocking turns out properly!

When you are happy with your template you will need to start cutting out your fabric. If you would like to check your Stocking- if you need it to be a particular size for instance- simply make up a sample from some Calico or scrap Fabric.

Fold your Fabric, Right Sides Together, and pin your Template on. Remember if you have a Directional Pattern on your Fabric to Pin the Template the right way up! Folding your Fabric helps you to cut a left and a right side. I have seen too many people cut two lefts or two rights!!

Repeat for the Lining so you have two outside Stocking pieces, and two inside Stocking pieces as above. With Right Sides Together, Pin a Lining piece to an Outside piece as illustrated, then sew using your chosen Seam Allowance.

At this point, if you would like to decorate your Stocking, you need to do it before you start to stitching it up. Remember your Seam Allowance and don’t stitch anything too close to the edges! Also, and this is a little odd but I promise it’s right!, any decoration sewn on around the top edge of the Stocking which will be seen when the top is turned down needs to be sewn on to the Lining and upside down. This means it will be the right way up when the Stocking is made up and the top is turned down.

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When you have sewn both, lie flat and Iron your Seams ‘out’ as illustrated. Then, with Right Sides Together, pin both Stocking pieces together which should match the two outer pieces and two lining pieces on either side.

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Fold the piece of Ribbon in half and Pin. On the Lining side, tuck in as illustrated about 5cm/2″  and -using the same Pin- Pin on the the Stocking. This will mean your Tag is sewn in as you sew the Stocking up which is very neat and tidy!

Starting on the Lining side (and remembering to reverse stich a little to anchor), start to sew just below the Ribbon Tag as shown. Continue to sew all around the Stocking, remembering your Seam Allowance, until you are just above the heel on the Lining side. Stop and reverse stitch to anchor again leaving a gap in the stitching in the Lining to turn the Stocking out.

Clip your threads, then clip all of your curves. This is really important as your Stocking will not turn out nicely!

Turn the Stocking out, then push the Lining in to the outside of the Stocking. You may need a ruler or pencil to help you push the Lining all the way down in to the outside. Turn the top down about 5cm/2″ and stuff full of chocolates, or other goodies and hang up!

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As ever it would be lovely to see your makes! Kristen C has been Tweeting me the below from my Jewel Bird Tutorial. Kristen is making them as gifts, aren’t they delightful? I adore the blue one, and I am loving all of the different colour choices, which are so different from mine. The White ones have been made as a Gift in traditional Dutch colours for her Grandmother.

       

Share your makes via Twitter (@MidnightLaura), on Facebook or here!

Happy stitching!

Clifton Royal York Crescent Market

I thought I would just share a couple pictures from last weeks Christmas Market. It rained a little however; I was not to be thwarted and made a healthy profit… I think through sheer willpower and Bunting sales!! I don’t know if you remember, but I made over 200 individual ‘bunts’ back in the Summer and I was so pleased to have that hard work pay off! I have just one set left, which I have hung up above our fireplace… indeed they sold so well I can entirely pay my rent this month in Bunting sales alone, and I shall definitely be starting early next year to make more!!

I was particularly pleased with this Market Stall as I unearthed a mini Christmas Tree and made my very own Christmas Decorations for it…

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How delicious are they? I particularly love how the red stands out!

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I was quite early to set up, so I look a little lonely here but a more stalls joined me by opening time. In fact, I bought a sprinkling of stocking fillers including some lovely Ceramic Robin Tree decorations from them! All of the items you can see here are available through my Virtual Facebook Market or my Etsy store.

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As I said, it rained so I returned home a little damp and had to dry everything out… no mean feat this week as our boiler has been declared officially dead and we are awaiting a replacement one! I particularly love the Festive Bunny bums up at the top… I am sure they twinkled their toes at me as they aired out!

Don’t forget to check out my Pop Up Sewing shop this weekend!! For anyone local it promises to be a wicked fun day of Christmassy makes with lovely hand made things to make and buy!!

Happy stitching!