Wednesday, 23 April 2014

New in the shop....

I've been restocking both my Folksy and Etsy shops over the past week and you can now get your hands on the following....

On Etsy, I have fat quarters (which are in stock and ready to dispatch) - currently sold out of South Bank in Turquoise though.

Scrap packs are also back for the first time in about a year, at the lower price of £5 including postage. They all contain at least two pieces of my fabrics plus a full fat quarter of something else and more smaller scraps. Perfect for all those little projects!

My Folksy shop now contains my new Cushion Cover Kits....

And Covered Button Brooch Kits....

This is also the final week of my sale in my Folksy shop - it ends on 30 April. So, last chance to get my lavender bags (now just £2 each) or felt and fabric brooches which range from £1 to £1.50 each!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sewing Coco

It's only really been through watching this last series of the Great British Sewing Bee that I've realised just how many different dressmaking techniques I learnt at college. Now this would stand me in very good stead now for making my own clothes (or even making them for other people) if only I'd continued making them. Four tailored suits in my final year, and they weren't bad at all...sure I could do it now but it'd take me an age and would involve a lot of swearing!

The Bee has however made me want to do a little more than the soft furnishings which have become my make of choice in recent years, so I'd been keeping my eye out for a suitable dress pattern. I was after something simple, but that I'd actually wear. 

Tilly Walnes (from series 1 of the Sewing Bee) came to the rescue with Coco....

Everyone said it would be easy but I wasn't sure I believed them! Therefore I bought the rather fetching (and exceptionally cheap) pink knit fabric you see here so I could have a go (a toile if you like) before splashing out on something more expensive.

Coco is a rather lovely (and yes, simple) pattern which is very easy to customise. As you can see from the image above there are different options in the pattern itself, although changing it further is pretty simple. I knew I was after a dress, and decided to make a sleeveless version as I tend to live in sleeveless dresses all year at the moment (long sleeved t-shirt underneath in the winter, on it's own in the summer).

Other than leaving the sleeves off, I pretty much followed the instructions (which are very clear and well photographed) and finished the arm holes off in the same way as the neckline. Some of you will have seen the finished article before, but here it is again...

Afraid I was without a photographer that day! I'm really pleased with it and like the way it hangs. It looked very shapeless before I put it on and I thought it might end up being a bit sack like but actually fits really nicely. My only criticism is of the fabric (but then it was very very cheap) - it's a bit too thin and a little see through. Next time I will definitely go for something more substantial. 

I really enjoyed making it so there will be a next time (I've seen that several people have made 4 or 5 of them!). I'd like another sleeveless dress version for the summer and fancy making one as a top too (I actually have a tutorial planned for you which is using this pattern for some shaping - keep an eye out in the next week or so!). 

If anyone can recommend some great fabric to make my next one from let me know! I am thinking of getting hold of a knit version of one of my fabrics (one with a smaller print like Office) for a dress, but we'll see....

You can get hold of the Coco pattern in the Tilly and the Buttons shop - I've also got my eye on her other patterns, and the book. One for the birthday list perhaps!!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Bright Bazaar Book Launch

I had a lovely time on Wednesday evening at the new (ish) West Elm store in London for the launch of Will Taylor's first book, Bright Bazaar.

Will's blog (which, I am sure many of you will know, is also called Bright Bazaar) was one of the first blogs I started reading. I was a little late to the game! I've always had an interest in interiors but it was really the overall colourful look, and the way that Will's personality shone through in every post which got me hooked. No doubt you can imagine how pleased I was to hear that he had a book coming out! 

Here are some pictures of the evening. 

Now onto the book itself. It reminds me (in a good way) of the interiors books my Mum had when I was little and I used to spend hours pouring over. Clearly not in a design way as it's very much 2014 and not 1981, but I have the same feeling about it. So, this means that Mr M can expect some changes around here, and I'll be thumbing through this book for the next 20 years.....

I've just started to think more about sorting the "new" house out (we've only been here for nearly 4 years, can only blame a certain small boy for so long etc etc) and I think this book will really help give me the kick start I need.

So, Will is lovely and the book is beautiful. Probably all you need to know! Go grab a copy now.

Bright Bazaar - Embracing colour for make-you-smile style  is published by Jacqui Small and is available now. 

You can find Will's blog here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Crafty Fox Market

So the golden rule (of everything) is of course great photographs.... Afraid I had such a good time at Crafty Fox Market in Peckham on Sunday that I forgot to take more than four photos all day and it was rather sunny (excuses, excuses). Anyway, here's a little (four photo) montage of my first time at the market.....

I really did have a fantastic time. The event is so well organised and publicised - it was nice and busy (shot of the room above was taken during one of the very short lulls - I think there were two in total!). As you'll no doubt be aware, the standard of work on sale at Crafty Fox Markets is always very high and I was so excited to be selected. Again, my most popular items were the fabrics so it looks like I'm heading in the right direction.

The new cushion and button brooch kits which I launched at the market are now available in my Folksy shop - please take a look!

The next Crafty Fox Markets are being held in Brixton on 26 and 27 April - there will be lots more new vendors so well worth a visit whether you made it to Peckham last weekend or not.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Visible Mending Exhibition

Last month I submitted a piece for Carol Parker's Visible Mending Exhibition. The brief was to make a stitched, darned or altered postcard of your local area. Here's mine (I couldn't find a good card for Wallington so I went for neighbouring Croydon circa 1974!):

I thought it needed some more sunshine, greenery and flowers!

You can see all of the cards which Carol has received on her Pinterest board here.

Friday, 11 April 2014

New for Crafty Fox Market!

As most of you will know by now, I'm rather excited to be taking my first ever stall at the wonderful Crafty Fox Market in Peckham on Sunday. I am pleased to announce that I will have some new products available at the market - make your own kits for my cushions and covered button brooches!

The cushion kits contain enough fabric to make either one of my large cushions or two of my small ones, and come complete with an optional zip, thread and full instructions....

The button brooch kits contain materials for two covered button brooches in your choice of a Mrs M designed fabric or Liberty print:

I plan to make the kits available online after the market, so you should be able to get hold of them soon - alternatively come and see me in Peckham on Sunday (details here) and pick up one of the original ones! 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Life Drawing Part II

I completed my short life drawing course a couple of weeks ago. It was very short (only 5 weeks) and we all felt we could've used longer. I really enjoyed it though (always good to have an opportunity to draw and paint with others) and I tried out a new painting technique I hadn't used before. I'm eager to have another go and will hopefully get to try something else later in the year. 

Anyway, as promised (and as you were so kind last time!) I'm going to share my progress with you....

The image above is just a bit of skin colour mixing practice - I didn't want to waste time in the class trying to get this right - I quite like the way it looks though!

You can see my drawing from the first week on my earlier post here. Unfortunately in the second week we were without a model, so we had the pleasure of drawing Malcolm:

The stuff of nightmares for some perhaps! He certainly was from a drawing point of view though, and I really wasn't happy with what I produced.

In week 3, our model returned. I started with a pencil drawing and then added grey tones in acrylics. This is the start of the new technique (for me at least!).

Again not that happy with this - but trying to keep an open mind as there were 2 more weeks to go.

In week 4, I started to add colour, and this is where I felt it really went wrong. Initially I was pleased (I liked the way you can see her leg through the semi transparent trousers)...

But then as I added more colour it seemed to go a bit awry (I was assured that I'd be able to "bring it back" the following week).

Hmm. So I went into the 5th and final session a little unsure as to what I'd come away with. Here's the final picture (which could use more work but as it was the last day, it'll be staying like this!).

This is supposed to be in the style of Matisse (the bright colours are, not so sure about the rest!). I am actually reasonably pleased with it as a first attempt in so many years, and I think I'd benefit from another course. I could do with getting some practice in but not sure where I'll find a willing model!

We also did some quick drawings and were encouraged to copy some images the tutor provided as homework each week to help us along. Here are some of my better efforts.

My 5 week life drawing class was held at my local adult education college in Sutton - you can find similar courses across the country.