Thursday, May 23, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - Corner template

I have not had this long, but it is already coming in handy.  I have several cardboard corner templates that I use to box corners that I cut myself, but rounding is not always as easy.

It had little spots that are supposed to make it grippy

I have acquired several templates, my husband often adds them to my Christmas presents, that are aimed at quilters, but use them all the time with my rotary cutter, which I tend to use most of the time rather than scissors.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - foldback clips

I made a little bag for my 'turners' and hang them from my shelves so that i never lose them.

These paper turn back clips are really useful.  You can use them for

  • holding fabric
  • hooks as seen in the picture
  • cable tidy - clipped to a shelf or desk running the cable through them.
There must be more uses....just can't think of them at the moment!

Friday, May 03, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - point turner

I guess everyone has something for this, I kept misplacing mine, so bought a few different types over the years, and have now found them all.

Have to say the knitting needle is used the most, it is fact enough to have a nice rounded point.

The little metal one is handy with its little red measure, but it is too flimsy to be an effective point turner.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - Turners

These are handy, I tried my own methods, but have to say the pokey tools and 'pipes' do the trick, a lot of the time.  I have also put cord/string/ribbon ready to pull through the end, and this can be good too.

Have to say the 2 in the packet I have yet to use!  It was a Christmas present, so need to try them.

I found a video but can't find one in English!
loop turners

here are the pipes etc
pipes and sticks....

I generally try to avoid making pieces that need turning inside out when a tight turn, as they do get a bit infuriating at times, but these certainly help things along much quick.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - bias makers

I have had these for years, think they were just off Ebay.  I have never actually made proper bias binding, as have not needed it to be on the bias.  So have just cut strips and made a nice edge for  my tissue pouches in the colour of my choosing.

Loads of youtube videos showing you how to use them just pull through and iron as you go.

Definitely worth getting, I have not used the smaller one, so if you just want to get a couple then have a think about what sort of size you will get the most use.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


We went to the museum of Computing history in Cambridge, not sure what I was expecting, but it was more like the museum of gaming with some computing chucked in - and some reading around the walls, was nice to have a wander around - but definitely lots of room for improvement!  Could have done with some video shorts rather than reading - to see some of the things in action such as punched cards, mainframes and tapes, the old NCR machines and a lot more besides.

Had all sorts of reading about program languages, Leo (Lyons computer), Steve Jobs and Bill Gates etc.and loads, and I mean loads, of gaming consoles through the ages!

My purchases - all at £5 a metre
On the plus side we went into Cambridge for a wander around and went to sew knit craft and I managed to get a few bargain metres in there, she has some fab fabrics in there, but nothing I needed, so just went for the bargains!

Fat quarter

I got this tilda fat quarter from Rose green fabrics recently, and I used every scrap, with the addition of some other fabric, ribbons, buttons and snap fasteners.  Pretty fabric. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - little measure template

I love this little thing, they are only a couple of pounds, and gets used loads, you can probably cut your own from card but just not worth doing.

I do have many card triangles for corner boxing - I must do a few and laminate them.

Another template I have made from card is one to place handles on a tote bag.

Does everyone make templates?

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Denim bags

Spotted these kids jeans in a charity shop recently, so pretty.  They just needed to be made into bags.  Added a zip to the second one, this one I might just have to keep for me. :)

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Farrowby Farm, Hinxworth

My things
I have been to the vintage barn at Farrowby Farm today and taken on a few shelves to sell my wares.  What a lovely place, with animals and tea rooms, along with the barn where I have put my things.

They have goats, pigs, rabbits, birds, a cute cat and much more.  Things for kiddies to play on.

Farrowby Farm FB page

Vintage Barn FB page

And here are a few pictures of the barn, and the goats!  Will have to take a few more when I go back.

I know this basket is a bit small, but I can fit in it....

Tuesday, April 02, 2019


Broke into some new fabric this last week, and have little mopeds now on a couple of bags.  Have added a zip, and also wadding to some of them to make a change.

Pleased with the lining as managed to buy it from a charity shop, clearly left over from someones project as pieces missing, lovely quality fabric though.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - bodkins/loop turning

These are another must have in my opinion.  I am not quite sure what they are called, elastic turner/bodkins.

I think I may have got them from here:


I use them for cord, ribbon, elastic, so much easier than the old traditional way of a safety pin.

Get them!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Baskets and bags

I saw these grey baskets (I have 2 more), and when I got home realised that they team up nicely with a couple of 'in tray' baskets that I had in the garage.  So have spray painted them grey to match, makes a change to the boxes and baskets that I use, what a shame I didn't have more. 

Loads of these baskets were being thrown away at work over the years - I saw one for sale in a retro shop for £5 recently, as everywhere is paperless, in trays are very much a thing of the past.

The drawstring bag was made with fabric that I couldn't resist at the Sewing Basket in Dunstable when we went there recently, here you can see the small basket better.

Sheep fabric is from Buttons in Biggleswade

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Another batch of denim bags - part 2

And here are a few more

Little gadgets and notions - Sewing/stitch gauge

I have not actually used this yet, so time will tell if it works. I have tried a magnetic one, but not enough metal on mine to make it useful.

The backs are tacky, and you can wash then and it becomes tacky again, clearly not tested that either!  I was just going to stick tape on for various hems, but this seems to be a good solution in theory, I got it from Amazon - Quilted Bear.

I do use the 1/4 inch foot from time to time if I am trying to be accurate!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - Iron and ironing board

As I am a small project sewist, (prefer that to sewer!), I found that leaving my sewing room and going to the ironing board was a real time waster, and a general faff.  I didn't need a big ironing board.  So a couple of years ago I set myself up with a mini ironing board bought from Dunelm, entitled a "table top", IKEA also do one, and numerous ones around.  (I think I paid around £7).

The cover was a bit thinly padded, so I took it off an added a tea towel under it and it is just fine.

My first 'travel' iron was rubbish, and it eventually broke, so I bought Swan travel iron - now if you like a handle then don't get this.  But having looked at a few travel irons the handles were flimsy and that is what broke on the last.  This is like holding a large computer mouse - I like it, but have had mixed results with the steam, and the water leaking out.  I tend to use a spray water or spray starch anyway, so not so bothered.

I do also have a sleeve board, I think that was Dunelm too, and again bulked it up with a teatowel under the cover.  Both of them fold flat and I can hang them out of the way.  But that rarely happens now, as every time I sew I iron!

The final must have gadget was the silicon iron tidy, can't do with out this.

silicon mat

I did have to buy a table to put it on, and got one of those fold up TV tables from Argos, I note that someone has made the whole thing into an ironing table, am quite taken with the idea, and I think I will do this one day, and complement it with the sleeve board.

this is my table TV dinner table - there are loads out there, this one seems to be sturdy enough

make an ironing table

Another idea:
roll up ironing table

I use spray starch sometimes and like this:
Lakeland spray starch

I also have one of these, that I was given years ago for the kitchen and use it all the time to spray water for difficult creases, bit fancy!
mist sprayer

I think mine is a bit like this - I know I paid around £7 for it
sleeve board

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Another batch of denim bags - part 1

I got a batch of kids jeans from a charity shop in Ampthill, and have been gradually re-purposing them into bags....

Added a zip to this one - and was quite successful - so will do this to a few more next time

this one I started before and was from a bigger pair of jeans.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Re-use and Re-purpose - Large hamper

I walked into town a couple of weeks back and there was a skip parked on the route.....and in it was this lovely basket.  To be honest there was a lot of other good stuff in there, but couldn't resist the basket, but didn;t have the nerve to sort through everything else!

I did knock on the door of the owners, and they were not in.  I spoke to a near neighbour and decided it was OK to take.  I have never taken anything from a skip before....but feel it needed liberating.

I have no idea what to do with it!  Gave it a wash and dried in the sunshine, it has the strap missing that holds it closed, but apart from that it all seems fine and dandy.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - Iron hem gauge

I have seen these being used on a few you tube videos so thought I would give it a go.

This one I got from china, not sure if they are available in the UK I didn't really look.

The idea is that you fold the fabric over and iron so that you get a nice even fold.  I do a lot of things in inches, so would have loved this to be CMs one side and inches the other, but it is just CMs.

Seems to work a treat, but guess better for small projects rather than dressmaking.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

My Little Vintage - Olney

Swapped the basket at MLV last week, and put some new things out, a few more things with that vintage feel, like other items in the shop.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - pokey tool

I am not quite sure what this is called if you try and find one in the UK, but I got it from aliexpress it is invaluable for using instead of putting my finger near the needle, I use this to hold things in place.

I first spotted someone using it on a YouTube video, and thought was a great idea.

I reckon it has prevented several accidents, and keeps things in place.

You all need one.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Shoppers or hobby bags, or anything goes bag

I went to Stony Stratford for the first time ever - I have no idea why I have not been before.  Lovely little place, and some nice shops in the High Street, trying to make it interesting.  Sadly an interiors  shop was closing down that had been there for many years.  I popped in as she had piles of fabric off cuts, and came away with 4 pieces.  I just couldn't resist!

This fishy fabric was a lovely large piece and is perfect for a tote.  I added a zipped pocket inside, and all lined.

I left one at Country Matters Hexton, plan to make a few more.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Little gadgets and notions - Bobbin tidy

I have so many little 'gadgets' I thought I would tak about them on my blog over the coming weeks.

I discovered these on AliExpress when I was looking for something else, and I am loving the fact that I can stop my bobbins unravelling and can match them up with the spools they came from.

The pink and the blue things go on the top of you reel/spool and you pop the bobbin on top.  The orange thing is a little peg (bobbin clamp) that you put on bobbin and it doesn't unravel.

Simple but clever.  Gradually tidying up and putting them on this holder, but can't fit on any more - need a bigger holder now.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Kids Jeans

Finally got around to finishing these denim bags, I have got a load more kiddies jeans ready to make a few more so watch this space, fun bags for the summer.

I add a magnetic closure and a slip pocket to each, and of course a pom pom.