Happy Holiday Sewing!

In the run up to Christmas I have been so busy with craft fair preparation, present shopping, vast amounts of food and wine shopping, house decorating, house cleaning ready for guests, cooking, wrapping, eating… That I haven’t had time for any self indulgent sewing. But now that the turkey has been demolished and gale force winds are still blowing outside, and I have 6 more glorious days off work (yippeeeeeee!!) I intend to spend large amounts of time holed up in my sewing room.

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Santa (aka Mama Coconut and my amazing sister) clearly thought I had been a very good girl this year and filled a beautiful vintage suitcase with sewing goodies that I can’t stop opening up and oooohing at whilst trying to decide what to make first! Elisalex pattern, Mollie Makes subscription, buttons, ric-rac, ribbons, sausage dog fabric, vintage ladies fabric, Gutermann threads in every possible colour… Seriously I can’t stop ooooooohing and aaaaaaahhing!

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And check out the notebook covers Mama Coconut made! Possibly my favourite bit as you can’t beat handmade presents. Especially when they are so perfect!! I can’t wait to fill the one with sewing fabric on with all my projects and plans.

Feeling very inspired and very loved! :)
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My First Christmas Fair

I did my first fair at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall yesterday. A massive thank you to all the lovely people that came along! I met some lovely fellow traders too so I hope to see them again soon at other events.

For anyone that I spoke to about commission pieces please drop me an email and also check back here soon as I am working on getting my Etsy shop set up this week :)

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Clutch Bags £25

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Make Up Bags £15

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All set up and ready to go!

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Clip Frame Purses £10

My Lovely New Melissa Smith Pinboard

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Check out my beautiful new pinboard that I was amazingly lucky enough to win in a giveaway by Melissa of Melissa Smith Textiles on her facebook page! This is already getting settled in it’s new home behind my sewing machine where it is being put to good use to pin trims and things to whilst I work to hopefully save me from scrabbling round on the table under pieces of pattern paper and fabric every few minutes when I can’t find something! Thanks Melissa!!

Finally Finished Clutches

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These have been sitting around all stitched up and waiting patiently for their trims to be added for a few weeks now so I finally got around to it on Saturday evening (whilst pretending that yes of course I was paying attention and very interested in the Benfica game that Mr Coconut insisted we watch). In need of a bit of stuffing and some much better photos than the one below but they are the first finished clutches of hopefully many more being made for the fairs that I have booked… Yes I have bitten the bullet and booked up a couple of craft fairs so I can see what people think of my Coconut wares (and hopefully sell a few too!). I decided I needed a deadline to keep me motivated and up the pace a bit so the next 5 weeks are looking like they will be a blur of cutting and stitching – I can’t wait!! :)
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Lisbon Lovelies!

I’m feeling very guilty for neglecting my blog for the last month but happily my excuse is I’ve been off exploring and having fun in the sun! Amongst my adventures I saw a lot of beautiful new places, some favourite old places, eaten yummy Portuguese food til I nearly popped (seriously I put on 7lbs in 2 weeks!! Thankfully 4 of them have fallen off again after being home for a week so I only have 3 more to declare war on!) and have discovered the only water sport I am not afraid of – I am in love with Stand Up Paddle Boarding!!

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Whilst in Lisbon I did find time to sneak in a little sewing related shopping too. Mr Coconut had denied all knowledge of where the fabric shops of Lisbon might be located and ‘forgot’ to ask his mother (who happens to be a dab hand at dressmaking) as I think he feared losing hours of vitamin D time to my fabric musings. However, fate was clearly on my side and my sixth sewing sense guided us down a road off the main avenue and low and behold there were 6 or 7 little haberdashery shops in a row! They were beautiful old fashioned shops wall to wall with wooden cabinets and drawers full of treasures. If you’re ever in Lisbon seek out Rua Da Conceicao – just to give fate a helping hand.

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I managed to be quite restrained and just bought some buttons. They did set me back about €30 (oops) but they are truly beautiful glass buttons and I will love and treasure them forever. The large ones with diamante stars look kind of art deco like to me. I was planning to use them for a swing jacket but I might have to research something more Great Gatsby inspired now that I have that in mind.

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New Fabric Makes Me Very Happy!

As mentioned in my post from Wednesday here is a little peak at what I purchased at the Fancy Silk Store. I used to love coming to this shop when I was at Uni (back then I was usually looking for plains to print on) so am very happy to be back within regular shopping distance. From the outside it is a pretty unassuming looking place but once inside you could lose yourself for hours amongst the 4 floors of fabric loveliness – especially if you are having an indecisive day! The pic below is just one corner of the ground floor so you will see what I mean when I say I was spoilt for choice…

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…it is literally packed floor to ceiling. Now imagine that corner x 4 on the ground floor (which holds mostly dressmaking fabrics) and multiply that by another 4 floors (one for furnishing fabrics, another for bridal and occassion and the 4th I can’t even remember as I usually get side tracked before making it that far!).

I only had a few mins to spare of my lunch break on Wednesday so had to make some pretty snap decisions. First up I went for a blue batique cotton with my forthcoming holiday in mind that I plan to make into a second Hazel. My next choice was this floral which I am planning to use for my first ever Laurel. It was a bit more expensive than the batique but I fell in love.
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As you can see I was obviously having a bit of a blue day! Now the only decision is which one to start on first this weekend?? Any tips for a Laurel first timer would be much appreciated! :)

Birmingham Antiques Market Treasures!

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I had the best day today that I have had in a very long time. I have not stopped babbling away with a happy grin on my face since I got home 5 hours ago! I woke up early and the sun was shining as I headed off to the antiques market that is held once a month on a Wednesday morning at Birmingham’s Rag Market and Outdoor Market (the usual markets are every Tues, Fri and Sat where you can find a wealth of fabrics and haberdashery amongst most other things you could ever possibly want!). The antiques market is advertised as being from 7.30 to 1.30 but in reality by 10.30 some of the traders were already packing up so if you arrived much after 11 it would be slim pickings! I found some amazing things and fell in love with an old dentists wooden carry case with loads of little drawers just crying out to be filled with trims but alas it was beyond my budget. Here a few of the pics I took to give you a flavour of what was on offer…

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You will see a poor old sad and very dusty Singer sewing machine in a bucket amongst that lot which I was very tempted to rescue! I also saw an amazing 1950′s dress with a little lace overlaid piece that buttoned up at the back over the top of the main dress which I am hoping to use as inspiration one day for a dress when my skills are up to scratch!

So that was what I didn’t buy (sadly I had to be sensible about my budget)… but here is what I did buy (hooray!). The buckle clasps were £5 for all 3! They’re so pretty I can’t wait to put them on something! The patterns were 50p each – I’m hoping all of the pieces are there but not a great loss if not. I got the 2 short necklaces and the brass hands bangle all for £10 and splashed out £18 on the longer necklace as I fell in love with it (as I often do, hence my large collection of costume jewellery!)

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My early morning market stint was followed by a very productive comp shop for work, a cheeky lunchtime dash into the Fancy Silk Store (more on that in my next post!) and an afternoon putting some awesome samples together in the office. I am one happy little coconut today!! :) Let’s hope tomorrow is just as good… I see the forecast says rain but I live in hope!