Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Morning! Such a lovely day here in Shropshire :) I have been doing my washing and now all my nappies are out drying on the line. I'm probably a bit sad (actually this is really sad, no probably about it!) but I love seeing my nappies drying in the sunshine!

I have been buying fabric this week and am awaiting a few deliveries (stalking my poor postman...) so am very excited about that arriving. I have ordered black fleece for some funky dribble bibs and taggies and have also ordered lots of patterned fat quarters from I was really impressed at the choice of fabrics they had there, including lots of really quirky children's fabric. Can't wait for it all to arrive!

Hope you're all having a great day where you are :)

I blog with BE Write

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hello, testing, testing

Just want to see if this works! I'm using an app to blog so want to see if it works!

I blog with BE Write

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Sewing Machine Feet Continued...

(Image from: Hotter Shoes)

No, not those sort of feet! Do you remember my post about the different sewing machine feet on my machine? Well, whilst learning about those feet, I also came across a few more that I think it might be useful for me to have (one day...)

1/4 inch Foot

This foot has a little guide which is exactly 1/4 of an inch away from the needle when you are sewing, which means that it is easy to get beautifully straight and precise 1/4 inch seams. I think this could be very useful when completing quilting or patchwork projects as you usually have to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. It could also be good for using when topstitching items too.

Darning / Embroidery Foot

This foot allows you to do free motion embroidery on your sewing machine. I have seen a lot of this around on blogs and facebook and really love the effects. I really want to have a bash at this and have got lots of ideas floating around my head for something I would like to do for Little F's nursery. This is definitely top of the list of feet I want to get!

Bias Binding Foot

This foot sews bias binding onto your projects in one easy step. It has an outer section that the bias binding goes into (it looks a lot like a bias binding maker, I thought so anyway!) and there is an inner section that the fabric goes in. As you sew the fabric is automatically enclosed by the bias binding. Magic! I want to make a quilt for Little F, but have been a bit intimidated by the idea of having to bind it, so this foot could be the answer to that for me :)

Rolled Hem (aka Hemmer) Foot

These come in 2mm, 4mm and 6mm and is a very nifty little foot which allows you to make very narrow hems in one easy step. The foot has a little 'feeder' that guides the fabric and turns it under itself so the stitching encloses the hem. I thought this foot would be great to make some really brightly patterned napkins for my dining table.

Gathering Foot

This clever little foot automatically gathers the fabric as it sews, which could be useful when making clothes.

Piping Foot

I like to make cushions for around the house, but have never made any with piping as the stuff I have seen available is a bit boring and the instructions I have seen to make my own seem a bit fiddly. This foot makes it easy to make and attach your own piping cord so you can get EXACTLY the right colour or pattern to match your projects.

I hope to gradually add to my "feet collection" as I think these will make certain jobs a lot easier. Do you have a favourite sewing machine foot? What do you use it for?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Sewing Machine Feet

I have been thinking about sewing machine feet over the last few days as I only ever seem to use the standard foot on my machine but I have a few others sitting sadly in my sewing box, unused because I don't know what to use them for! My husband thinks that it is very sad that I have been pondering this...

My sewing machine is a Janome DC3050 and I love it :)

(photo from the Janome UK website)

I have yet to try to sew anything where it has let me down! It came with 6 feet when I bought it, so I have been reading up on each foot and what they do. I decided to write a blog post on this as I wanted to put all my ideas about this in one place!

I have found out a lot of my information from my trusty Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing I bought in the charity shop for the princely sum of £1.50 a couple of years ago, but have also used the Janome website as well as some tutorials form some blogs (listed below). The manual from my sewing machine was also a lot of help!

When reading about the different sewing machines I kept seeing people saying that a sewing machine was in a particular category and that only feet from the category would fit that machine. I didn't know at first, but some digging about on the Janome website tells me that the DC3050 is a Category B sewing machine (which is good as the feet seem to be very readily available and inexpensive!)

Ok, so what feet have I got?

A Foot - Standard Foot (aka the Zigzag Foot)

This is the foot I use practically ALL THE TIME. It can be used for almost any kind of stitching, which is why I always seems to use it, but there other feet which might make certain jobs easier (which is why I am writing this blog post)

C Foot - Overcast Foot (aka the Overedge or Overlock Foot)

I do use this foot too and find it very useful for finishing off seams. It gives an effect like an overlocker as the stitching wraps around the edge of the fabric to stop it from fraying and it looks pretty professional. Can you see the metal prongs in the middle of the foot? This is to guide the edge of the fabric and helps keep it flat as the overcast stitch goes over the edge of the fabric. The little brush is there for the needle to pass through. It fools the sewing machine into thinking it is sewing through fabric when really it is sewing over the edge of the fabric! Clever stuff :)

It can be used with a normal zigzag stitch, but my machine also has an overcast stitch which is what I usually use. There is also a double overcast stitch which sews two lines of zigzags for extra strength. It can be used for fabrics which would fray a lot otherwise, such as linen.

I have heard that it can also be used to sew knits with, but I haven't tried that yet. Maybe I should?!?

E Foot - Zipper Foot

Does what it says on the box really! This is used when sewing zippers and allows you to get the needle really close to the zipper :) This is something I am not terribly confident with, but I am determined to conquer this fear.

I have found some really good tutorials around describing how to sew zippers so I am going to have a go at making something with a zipper in. Here are a couple of the tutorials I have found:

Sew Mama Sew

Make it Love it (I absolutely love this site, only found it yesterday, you should really check it out!)

F Foot - Satin Stich Foot

This looks a bit like the zigzag foot, except it is made of clear plastic and has a more open toe. It can be used for applique sewing and makes things easier because you can see where you are sewing a bit better. There is also a little bevelled groove on the underneath of this foot which allows the stitches to pass underneath the foot nice and smoothly. According to the manual that came with my machine this foot can also be used for sewing buttons on, smocking stitch, fagoting and cross stitch. It seems like this is a really versatile foot. To my shame, I don't think it has ever been on my machine....

I am planning to make some little drawstring bags to keep Little F's bits and bobs in so I will use this foot to add some simple appliqued shapes to the front of them.

G Foot - Blind Hem Foot

Have you ever noticed on curtains or trousers that you can't see the hem on the right side of the material? That's because they have been given a blind hem, so called because the stitching doesn't show through on the right side of the fabric, it only just catches the fabric with a tiny stitch. Usually blind hems are best done by hand, but many sewing machines have a foot that allows you to recreate this effect in a fraction of the time using your machine :) Can you see the white plastic bit? This is adjustable (by turning the little metal screw) to let you get the right length hem that you need.

I bought some curtains last week in Primark (!) which were reduced down from £35 to just £10. They are a beige colour with a band of floral material near the top and I think they will look great in our bedroom. They are lined with a 90" drop and that is too long for the window where I want to put them so I will need to take them up. As they are lined, I have read that it is easiest to unpick the curtain heading tape and shorten the top of the curtain and then resew the heading tape bac on. This way you don't need to worry about hems etc. HOWEVER, these curtains are eyelet curtains so I can't do that. Instead I am going to use my blind hem foot for the first time using Make it Love it's tutorial to help me :)

R Foot - Automatic Buttonhole Foot

My machine has 3 different styles of automatic buttonholes. This foot is very clever because you put the button into a holder on it and the machine senses how big the button is and makes the buttonhole the right size automatically :) This foot can also be used for darning on my machine, which could be quite useful as Mr P is forever snagging his clothes at work!

So, these are the feet that I already have. I am determined to use them as from what I have learnt over the last few days, it seems that using the right feet for the job could make my sewing easier and more professional looking.

Whilst learning about all these feet, I have also come across more feet that I would like to add my collection, but I will save that post for another day :)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Jubilee Weekend Celebrations

Just wanted to share with you a few photographs of the Jubilee Weekend Celebrations in our village :)

First up was the village pram race. I think there were about 10 teams that took part, with each team having 3 participants. All the teams dressed up and there were lots of different costumes.

Like this Jubilee pram. You can't see, but the girl in the pram had a mask on of the Queen!

Some of the boys in the village decided to enter at the last minute on a pimped up wheelie bin. Unfortunately for them, the wheels fell off halfway through!

Here's a picture of my husband a very grumpy looking Little F...

Most of the pram race participants posed for a picture after the race. Can you see Batman and Robin? lol :)

After the pram race, everyone went to the playing fields for a game of rounders. Mr P joined in whilst me and Little F watched (and in my case ate cake :) lol). It was lovely as people of all ages joined in. There was also a BBQ and a party at the village pub where prize giving took place for the pram race. All the children in the village also received a commemorative Jubilee mug, which I thought was a lovely gesture and hopefully will be something that Little F can keep for when he's older.

Later in the evening the village took part in a Beacon Bonfire along with hundreds of other villages across the country.

There were fireworks too (I love fireworks!)

Little F had gone to bed, but we had woke him up and brought him with us. He loved all the attention he got but was a little bemused by the fire. We thought as a one off it wouldn't matter if he was up late and luckily for us, he went straight back to sleep when we got home :)

There was a luminous full moon. I tried to capture it, but this picture really doesn't show how big it looked.

The bit of the village where the bonfire was is a little higher than the rest of the village so we could see other beacons in the surrounding area. You can just see a few of them on this picture. I counted 9 from where I was standing and it really gave a sense of reaching out to other communities.

I have had a few things going on at home recently, which is why I haven't been around much, but I hope to be back blogging more regularly from now on :)

Gem xxx

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Making some changes!

Just had a bit of a nasty shock when I tried to come on here as I got a message from Google Chrome saying that I couldn't access my site as there was a chance of malware because of the shabby blogs backgrounds I had used on here :( A quick google showed that this has happened to a LOT of blogs recently and the only way to fix it is to remove all shabby blogs content from your blogs.

Needless to say I have deleted all background content from shabby blogs and will not be using them again!

My apologies if you have tried to visit me but been unable to access my page xxx

Now I just need to get my blog looking pretty again so please bear with me...

Monday, 28 May 2012

My first stall at a fair

I had a stall at a local school fair at the weekend. I only found out about it the week before it took place so had to get everything I was taking done in one week! It was a pretty busy week as Mr P was working so I had to do everything whilst looking after Little F too :)

I took cards and flower corsages but in hindsight I don't think they were really the right sort of things to take as most of the people there were children who had about 50p to spend! 

It wasn't a financial success as I only made back the money for the stall (just!) but I think I learned a lot about what I should do for next time and the logistics of doing something like this, so it was time well spent :) For example the fair was outside and I spent ages setting up my stall and arranging my cards so all the male birthday were together and so on. However, it was a bit breezy and I spent a lot of time running up the field after my cards when they blew away! In the end I sent my husband to home bargains to buy some little plastic crates to put them in. I have little wicker baskets at home so next time I will take them. I also have a lot of ideas about different types of things I can take with me and I am going to spend some time over the next few weeks building up my stock so the next time I do something like this I have a lot of stuff to take with me.

I forgot to take my camera to the fair so I have no pictures :( I need to photograph my cards etc as I want to put them up on my facebook page: here so I will share them all with you next time. In the meantime, here is a little picture of Little F enjoying his ball pit during the warm weather. He keeps trying to eat the balls :-/ (please ignore the rather rampant nettle patch in the background... would you believe there is actually a little herb garden underneath that lot?)

Gem xxx