Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Ruby and Carmel

topsy turvy3

My granny used to knit and crochet all the time and at some point she knitted two topsy turvy dolls. One for me and the other to sit on her sofa. I re-found one of them the other day and she was in quite a state with loose threads and matted hair. Then I had a brainwave. I decided to make my own topsy turvy doll but rather than knitting it (beacause that is not a skill I posess) I decide to hand sew one. My creation resulted in Ruby and Carmel!

They are approximately 18cm high. Ruby is the brunette. Carmel is the blonde. Carmel is wearing a Liberty print top with a blue cotton skirt and a gold cumberband. Ruby is also wearing a Liberty Top with Black net details. She is also wearing a cotton skirt but hers is black with a net overlay. I don’t know why but Ruby reminds me of Kate Winslet in Tiatanic. Don’t ask why I’m not sure myself! Their hair is made from wool which I applied in the traditional method sewing onto a bias strip. I embroidered their faces.

I was really chuffed with the final result. Theses are some of the most adorable toys I think I have made to date but I’m really annoyed because I never made a pattern!


I think I am gong to make another pair but this time with a steampunk theme.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - November 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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A Dandy Rabbit

I spent this afternoon making this gorgeous Dandy Rabbit.

The pattern for him is from the craft book: Everything Alice. I have made loads of crafts from this book now and the Rabbit has to be my favourite. The book is so beautifully presented, and it has easy, simple instructions. The only thing I would say against it is the patterns in the back don’t appear to be that accurate.

My bunny is wearing a red wool suit lined with liberty fabric and a contrasting cravat. I am pondering whether to give him a monocle, and what his name should be.

Please suggest some names, so far people have suggested Hugo, Quentin and Ronald, What do you think?



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - May 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

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Embroidery Costume

Hello reader,

sorry I haven’t uploaded a post recently I have been crafting non-stop!

Here is one of the many things I have made over the last month and a bit.

It is an embroidered costume. It is based on the sort of outfits I could imagine one of Henry the 8ths wives would have worn.


The beige part of the dress is made from cotton, the ‘tummy bit’ is made from red velvet. The arms and the inserts in the skirt are burgundy cotton and the gold¬† is this sort of stretchy-man-made fabric.


I was wondering whether to add some embroidered patterns to the burgundy panels in the skirt and also whether to make a kind of ruff round the neck. Or possibly some beadwork on the dress. What do you think, please leave some suggestions in the comments!


See you again soon,

Bea ūüôā

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm

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As a Christmas present I got some water dissolvable fabric for hand and machine embroidery. So that very afternoon I sat down and had a go and now I am addicted I¬†haven’t¬†stopped making cotton flowers!

The flowers are made by using a free arm to stitch (running stitch)back and forth across a picture or design. I created them on our Bernina Activa 240. Then you cut out the flowers and dissolve the fabric in water!!!

This craft has quick results and you can do it easily on a wooden frame, used upside down.

A disadvantage is that this craft sucks up cotton like its going out of fashion. I have started using cheap reels of cotton from the¬†rag market¬†in¬†Birmingham¬†where they cost about a quarter of the price. I¬†wouldn’t¬†recommend using¬†really¬†expensive cotton because its not worth it.

Next I am going to try and make some¬†butterfly’s¬†or maybe zoo animals, such as giraffes, penguins or elephants.

And knowing my obsession  maybe I should make some of them into badges/brooches?



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - December 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

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Review Janome Sewist 525S

When we bought the Janome Sewist we already owned a computerised Bernina. As well as the price being much less, the Janome Sewist is much simpler to use and in many ways better.


We bought the Bernina about 5 years ago for about £600  (we have since been told to replace it would the more current version would cost over £1000.)  After about 4 years of regular but not constant use it started to have trouble with the tension puckering on stretch or fine fabrics and refusing to sew or tangling on many layers of fabric or very thick fabrics. We sent it in for a service and it is now working as well as when we first bought it, however we decided to look for a second machine in case it should fail again.


After much online searching we found the Janome sewist 525S which was said to deal well with heavier fabrics. We got the Janome Sewist for about £220 a third of what we paid for he Bernina. The Janome Sewist lives up to expectations and sews all fabrics easily and without a struggle. It is very simple to use with instructive diagrams (on how to thread the machine and bobbin) actually printed on the plastic casing of the machine. Although it has less stitches it still has all the main stitches anyone would need for basic sewing. The Janome is a good working machine which can cope with heavy, fine and stretch fabrics.


The Janome isn’t as sophisticated or as aesthetically pleasing as the Bernina. For example the Janome has a crudely made¬† and awkward compartment for the bobbins and accessories. Also on the Janome the threading of a new bobbin can prove to be difficult because you have to thread the cotton through a small hole in the top of the bobbin, then hold the thread at exactly the right tension whilst the machine winds the cotton on. This would not be practical for someone regularly winding bobbins such as for someone doing machine embroidery. Unlike the Bernina there is no function to use for intricate embroidery stitches, you cannot set the machine to half speed or tell it to leave the needle in the fabric.


Despite the lack of these features I think the Janome Sewist is a great machine and in comparison it easily stands up to the Bernina, however when in full working condition the Bernina might just have the edge on it. When you consider the price, well I know which one I would choose.



The Janome Sewist 525S is available at:


Sewing Machine Sales


Frank Nutt:

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - at 1:04 pm

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