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All things Vintage

I am lucky enough to live in an area where we have several fabulous local Vintage Fairs and also the IACF Alexandra Palace Fair.  I absolutely love the thrill of finding something you’ve been on the look out for.  A totally different kind of retail therapy!

My two most recent jaunts have been to the IACF Antiques Fair at Alexandra Palace which is conveniently just down the road. I got there early and was lucky enough to find a lovely lady in the queue who had a ‘buy one get one free’ voucher on the entrance fee and was looking for someone to share it with. So I got in for the bargain price of £3! More cash for treasures!


I have a soft spot for beautiful Ally Pally as a venue, love the Palm Court entrance and am a regular visitor and supporter of the venue in general (this is where I also Ice Skate) It is also great because unlike a lot of the IACF venues it’s indoors! Necessity in this weather! It looks great filled with all the stalls too and I always deliberate over the best strategy to get round all the aisles! There is such a wide range available, from vintage posters, 1950s clothing and home ware, royal daily on figures, china, jewellery and so much more!

I always check out the vintage patterns, fabric and haberdashery

This time I bought this sweet selection of flower embroideries, I think they were from cigarette packets in the 50’s/60’s but am not sure. I’ve got a bit of a botanical theme going on at the mo so these were perfect! 


 

I also visited the North London Vintage Market which is a much smaller local fair held monthly in a local church hall.  It has a charming community feel to it with regular stall holders and the all important cake and tea served through the church hall hatch.  Lovely!

I was delighted to find a vintage Indian Quilt (at the back of the picture) and also these vintage pinking shears and an unusual coloured cotton hanky which I’m thinking would make a great cushion cover front! 

I love the ‘recycled’ element of vintage shopping and love the feel that vintage items bring into a home, much more interesting in terms of textures and colours. I feel like it brings a warmth and coziness in a way that brand new items don’t seem to do! 

That’s all for now, I’ll post the cushion cover upcycle when I get a chance to make it!! 

Mel

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Adorable baby ‘bloomer’ shorts! Simplicity Pattern 1378 

How adorable are these! And who says shorts are just for summer! This little monkey loves to take her socks off, now the weathers is chillier tights are the perfect solution! And what better to go with them then these adorable little shorts. They were so easy to make and really quick too! They are part of a set really with a little sundress tunic but I love them on their own.
I’ve already made two pairs and will absolutely be making more! The pattern only goes up to age 2 I think so will have to find some bigger ones or figure out how to size these up. (any experts in pattern sizing please shout!!)

First pair (above) made in this cute white polka dot on green. It’s called Applebloom by Freespirit Designer Beads and I still have it available in my Etsy store. It’s 100% cotton and is a bargain at £4.10 per metre (I got a great price on it so I’m passing it on to you lovely folk!)  Also available in FQ or half metre.

This is basically all you cut out! Just two pieces… Easy as pie!

Next up is this gorgeous dusky pink ditsy print by Tilda fabrics. This is from the Autumn Tree range (called Ilse Lilac) and again I have plenty still available to buy. Its £15.99 per metre but you can also buy a FQ or half metre as always. These are the 12- 18 month size.

 I’ve just got some lovely needlecord which I might use for my next pair, but more autumnal! 

That’s all for now

Mel

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Varigated yarn projects

I have recently got in to variegated yarn as I am not experienced enough at knitting to do actual Fairisle patterns but I like the look of it.  So it seemed like a good solution.  One of my Knitting Group buddies made a gorgeous pair of socks and they looked fab!

So, I started with a little hat, I am new to knitting in general and this was a very satisfying little make. Also a relief because I don’t like how the yarn looks when crocheted (and I have quite a few balls!)


Let just ignore the face that this little diva won’t actually wear it!!!!

Then I saw this pretty yarn by Hayfield on a trip to Hobbycraft so thought I’d give it a go! I got their pattern for the blankets and thought it would be good practice to do a whole blanket in stocking stitch, especially with the little border too. This was slightly more frustrating to knit up as the little ‘flowers’ don’t seem to match up perfectly, but looking at their own examples online and on the pattern it’s the same so maybe they’re not meant to! I like the overall effect nonetheless.



The colour way is very pretty and nice for a baby without being overly pink and girly! It’s a chunky weight yarn too so works up fairly fast and is brainless enough for me to take to my weekly knitting group ( no counting etc)

I think it has been a good intro to variegated yarns, hopefully I will have the confidence to try a pair of socks someday- maybe for next winter!

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Quick dress upcycle project

I bought this dress in H &M in the summer and have never worn it, I liked the pattern on black background but it was too baggy and ‘swing dress’-y for my liking (ie made me look like I ate all the pies!!!)

I was going to shave a load off each side with my overlocker to try and resize it but despite lots of pinning and fitting couldn’t get it to look right as a dress. So I decided to turn it into a vest!!

I started by tracing round a vest I already own and like the shape and length of:

Then it got the chop!!


A few whizzes through the overlocker and  voila!! A new top that I will actually wear!!! 


Very quick and immensely satisfying! The best kind of sewing project! 

A happy end to a truly bizarre day… 

Mel

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Upcycling Projects Reveal! 

So here is the big reveal for this cute little cabinet I found languishing on a street corner..

Remember how it used to look:

I did consider doing a hot pink or floral/decoupage/something funky but in reality it’s going in my kitchen and will hold the kids art supplies so for now I just wanted functional and for it to be finished fast!

The cupboard is definitely smaller than standard modern units and my kids have a lot of art supplies, sooooo

 

I turned it into a kind of ad hoc Welsh dresser! The shelving top part was also a ‘free find’ on another street corner.

 

And here it is fulfilling its purpose.  I was going to try and do a nice ‘styled’ shot, but lets just keep it real!!  This won’t look even this neat for very long!!

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Really not bad at all for two freebies and left over paint from my kitchen units!  Now I just need to either find a matching original handle for that other drawer (unlikely) or find some cute little ones from Anthropologie or somewhere (much more tempting!)

Love it when something comes out how you imagined it in your head!

Have a great weekend

Mel

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Upcycling projects

This is one of my absolute favourite things to do! I have done quite a few bits of furniture now and I’m truly addicted!!! I know its become a bit cliché in recent years and you can’t swing a cat on ebay without hitting Annie Sloan covered wooden furniture but when you do it yourself it is massively satisfying! My total favourite is when it is something you’ve found on a street corner somewhere and snaffled it up for FREE!!!

Luckily for me I have a very long suffering husband who is now quite used to being sent off somewhere with the car because I’ve spotted something dumped out on the street.

This is my newest find, beautiful little cupboard missing one of its handles. I think its probably 1950’s or 60’s (although I am no expert) The top is tin or aluminium or something like that! If anyone knows more about this type of cupboard please tell me!! 

This one is currently being stripped while I plan what colour to repaint it, I can’t decide right now between just keeping it white or going for a pop of colour. I think I’m going to keep this one so it needs to fit my home colour scheme. It would be great as craft supplies storage (isn’t everything??)
Anyway, watch this space, I’ll do an update as soon as possible! 

Mel

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Centre Parcs

Squeezing in the very last 4 days of the holidays we thought we would introduce my husband to the joys of Centre Parcs.

I have been twice before with my best friend and all our combined  (6)  kids and they were desperate to show Daddy all the fun things. Especially the swimming pool! Our nearest is at Woburn, also the newest location to the CP Family in the UK and the pool IS pretty impressive! My kids are not even very strong swimmers and they love it there! They have a designated area for each age group with a lovely little baby pool all the way up to a mammoth water slide and outdoor rapids.

For me the best part is without a doubt the fact that its heated to tropical temperatures, the lovely staff who will inflate your pool floats for you and the poolside Starbucks. Yes, you read that correctly, you can sip a latte while your kids wear themselves out splashing about. Seriously, what’s not to love? Oh, and also the pool is included in the (eye watering during school holidays) price.

I am very impressed with it generally though, the cabins are really nicely done and the whole place feels very clean and well maintained. The staff are helpful and good with the kids and there is an impressive range of extra activities available. Most of these are however at a fairly steep price if you compare them to similar activities locally. You can easily get away with not spending loads though as there are soft play areas or playgrounds at most (or maybe all) of the restaurants and if you take your own bikes or scooters the kids are happy exploring the forests and paths for hours. There is also a little ‘beach’ area at the edge of the boating lake. This time with baby ducklings! So adorable!

 

 

For the first time I got to try out the Spa facilities too! I incorrectly had very low expectations of the spa because I didn’t see CP as a spa destination type place but Oh My God how wrong was I!!  It is amazing!!  It honestly felt like walking into a 5* Hotel spa (actually better than some of the hotel spa’s I’ve been to!)  The prices are reasonable compared to London and you get the usual fluffy towels and robes included.  My therapist was absolutely lovely and gave me good advice about my back after my treatment.  They do the usual recommending of products but it didn’t feel pushy at all.  I had the Decleor Aromatherapy Massage and didn’t want to leave!!  My husband had the paraffin wax hand treatment (if you’ve never tried it you really should, its wonderful!)  He also had the scalp massage and was very impressed with both.  The pool inside the spa is lovely and split in to different ‘zones’ including an outdoor pool area looking over the forest and lake.  They also had lovely relaxation rooms for after your treatment.  Bliss!  Will definitely be going again!
We squeezed in a lot of activities including pony riding, archery, tennis, boat ride and bowling, plus the biking and exploring of the forest! Phew, busy few days!

Even when the weather was a little on the damp side it doesn’t really matter!  The kids still love it!

 

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I think it really is one of those places that we will just keep going back to!  I wish we had discovered it before our eldest started school, but there you go.  We will probably continue to let them miss the odd day of school and do the long weekend option.

 

If you haven’t been and your kids are not in school yet then I really recommend it!  Go during term time when its cheaper and look out for their special seasonal things, for example Winter Wonderland coming up at the end of November.  There is a pretty strong chance I’ll be popping back then, so watch put for a review of that too!!

 

PS – I am not affiliated or sponsored by Centre Parcs, this is a genuine review!

 

Featherdown Farms

I have been wanting to try out Featherdown for sooo long, mostly because of their amazing video on the website showing beautiful cabin tents. I have a slightly unrealistic dream of living more self sufficiently, or even maybe off grid one day. Unrealistic because I currently live in the middle of London in a pretty non selfsufficient manner.. Anyway, I digress
We finally booked a last minute break at a Featherdown in Wales right on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. The farm is called Cwmberach Uchaf Farm (I still don’t know how to pronounce it) It has been in the current owners family for 3 generations and is just lovely!  It is now run by Sarah and Mark who live there with their two children.

As they have young children themselves and have a great understanding of catering for families.  They do a fabulous Pizza Night twice a week which was delicious! The kids had a great time decorating their pizzas while I had a glass of red wine from the farm honesty shop.

 


This (above) is intended to be your cooking ‘stove’ as well as your heat source. Luckily for me Mark took one look at me arriving at tea time on the Monday by myself with three kids under 6 and promptly went and fetched their own camping stove for me to borrow for the week. This man is a lifesaver. It would have been Jaffa cakes for tea and no morning coffee for me. Seriously people, take a camp stove. This thing took about 2 hours to heat enough water for an almost hot enough coffee. There would have been tears before breakfast (mine) I literally don’t function without a coffee. Sad but true.

The kids loved their cupboard bed, smart choice as it was toasty in there with the two of them snuggled in under their lovely white fluffy duvets.

Marks yummy pizza, served by my other half, and decorated by the kids.


This. This was the point of the expertise. She was waving at the mountains while her older siblings made friends with the other kids staying and played on a tree rope swing.

I mean seriously how beautiful is that sunset? We spent a lot of time in Wales when I was a kid and it was lovely to be able to back there with my own little ones.

Would thoroughly recommend Featherdown as a concept and this farm for the wonderful hosts. Am already planning a return visit..

Getting going again

So this blog has been pretty much redundant for quite a while now and a lot has changed here at SewMakeMe. I am now running the business by myself due to different circumstances and the birth of a few children!

I have taken a while to find my feet again and decide how best to proceed. It is hard sometimes to find the time to even formulate a clear thought, let alone get anything down in writing!

So the business for the time being is predominantly a fabric and haberdashery seller, apart from a few lines that remain popular. Mainly the Christmas stockings (is it too early for the C word?? 

I am also changing the focus of the blog a bit as I was never comfortable having it solely focussed on one aspect of my life only (mostly because it is too restrictive) Also I am a total butterfly mentally and am interested in so many different crafts and ‘things’. I know a lot of you will be in the same boat so I am going to incorporate many different things… watch this space!!!

Top Christmas gift under £10 on WowThankYou

Hi Everyone,

Sew Make Me have recently started supplying Wow Thank You, an online ‘department’ store where everything is handmade on a small scale by local UK designers.  It is a great place to shop and find that unusual gift, something different to all the commercial high-street gifts.

I thought I would put together a collection of Christmas Gifts as, scarily, there are only 90 shopping days until Christmas is upon us once more!

Stocking fillers/Secret Santa Gifts – under £10

1 Lego Crayons (£5.50 on http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/colour-me-fun/products/lego-men-brick-crayons—set-of-8/) would be a fantastic stocking filler for a child, totally charming and unusual!

Lego Crayons – WowThankYou

2  Coin Purse (£9.00 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/beledien-handmade/products/cute-as-a-button-coin-purse-shabby-chic-applique-zipper-pouch-in-pink-and-cream-linen/)

Cute as Button Coin Purse £9.00

3  Cosmetic Toilet Bag ( £8.50 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/the-crafty-little-cottage/products/small-red-gingham-scottie-cosmetic-toilet-bag/)

Small Red Gingham Scottie Cosmetic Toilet Bag £8.50

4 Whipped Organic Shea Butter Souffle (£9.00 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/cebra-ethical-chic/products/whipped-organic-shea-butter-souffl/)

5  Wooden Handpainted Outdoor Plaque £8.00  http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/handcrafted-by-picto/products/wooden-handpainted-outdoor-plaque/

6)  Rocket and Space Notebook £9.00 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/dab-and-a-dash/products/rocket-and-space-notebook-handmade/

7) Chocolate Dipped Cake Balls £9.99 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/the-cake-nest/products/chocolate-dipped-cake-balls/

Wow! who could resist these!

8) Juicy Jungle Cotton and Waffle Bib £6.50 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/pinkyminkys-shop/products/juicy-jungle-cotton-and-waffle-bib/

9) Beach Hut Tote Bag £8.50 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/laura-lee-designs/products/beach-huts-tote-bag/

10) Personalised Baby Boy’s first christmas snowman tree bauble £9.95 http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/truly-for-you/products/personalised-baby-boys-first-christmas-snowman-tree-bauble/

I hope you like my little collection of stocking fillers/ secret santa Christmas gifts.  Wow thank you is a great store and is really worth a visit.