Introducing: Kate Marsden ♥

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Joining us today, is Kate Marsden. A textile designer and fibre artist. I stumbled across her blog and instantly wanted to know more! I love textile art and SO wish I could do it myself.
I hope you enjoy her interview with us this week and like me, can’t wait for her new designs and collections!

✎ Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a textile designer based in far South London. My designs are inspired by life in the city and in particular mid-century architecture and textile design.

✎ Where did your love for fabric and textiles come from? Do you have any upcoming Projects?

I can’t really remember when it started, but my love of fashion (which led me to study Fashion & Textiles at college) started at primary school when I first tried making clothes, and use to make fashion zines for my friends and generally drive them crazy with it!
I’m currently preparing for Thread Festival of Textiles at Farnham Maltings (26-27 September) and looking to apply for some fairs and markets on the run up to Christmas. I’m also working on some new designs and ideas for products.

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✎ Whats a typical working day for you?

I tend to spend most of my time at the computer! Up until now I’ve had three nice long working days each week, while my son has been at nursery, but he starts school in September so I’m going to have to work around that (which could be fun!). I wrote a day in the life post for my blog in July, so you can see what my days (used to) look like there! http://madebymrsm.co.uk/2014/07/28/day-in-the-life-me/.

✎ For you, whats the best part of working in the craft industry?

Having the opportunity to do something I love. I’m so grateful for this after so many years working in the City and often dreading it. I don’t love every element of what I do now (still plenty of admin, spreadsheets and the like) but it feels totally different when you’re doing it for yourself.
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✎ You’ve been featured on many blogs, recently including UK Handmade. Is there a dream collaboration or blog you’d love to work with?

My dream collaboration would probably be Liberty. I’ve already used their fabrics alongside mine in products, and I would love to be able to do more of this. A slot on their craft blog would be a dream too!

And finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting in the creative field?  

Make sure you’re really passionate about what you do before you take the leap. It is really hard work and it can be easy to become discouraged if business is slow/things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like. It’s also helpful if you can learn to accept rejection and not take it too personally (easier said than done!). Oh, and don’t expect to be designing and making all day, as I said, I tend to spend most of my time on the computer, and although part of my design process takes place there, most of the time I’m doing admin or writing!

Join Kate on Thursday 14th August to catch her tutorial on making a vintage fabric cushion. Feel free to check out more of Kates work on her blog or her Etsy Shop (she will be moving her shop to Folksy beginning of September)! You can also take a mooch on her Facebook, Twitter: @madebymrsm, Instagram: @madebymrsm and Pinterest

Tutorial Thursday: Getting Started with Embroidery ♥

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There is a slight change of plan this week. Emily, who shared her interview with us on Tuesday, couldn’t do a tutorial for us today due to spending some time away. However, I didn’t want to leave you lovely readers without a project.

I can’t say I thought about this project for weeks. It was definitely a last minute idea, but a sweet one at that. Also, how fitting is it, what with Great British Bake Off last night?
As Emilys interview was about her life as an embroidery artist, I thought it only appropriate to carry that theme on this week. Today, I am sharing with you how to do a simple but cute embroidery project. Some people are instantly put off embroidery as its fiddly or time consuming or ‘what do you even stitch?!’. Well, I hope after this today, you will be inspired to pick up a sewing needle, grab some thread and do some sewing!

tutorial supplies 

For this you shall need these following supplies:
Fabric
Embroidery thread (I use Anchor)
Hoop (mine is 6inch)
Needles
A design to sew onto the fabric
Pencil/fabric pen

measuring fabric

Completely lay out your fabric onto a flat surface and place your hoop in the corner. I suggest the corner as you then have the rest of your fabric to use, for other projects. You want to make sure that you have enough fabric for the hoop to work with, as when the fabric is placed in the hoop, the fabric will bunch. Always cut a little more than you think you will need. My fabric is roughly 9 x 8 inches for a 5/6 inch hoop. If unsure, always put the hoop together before you cut your fabric, to give you an idea of how much you need. Also, when you take the hoop off, you’re left with crease marks as a guideline.

tracing design

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Once your fabric is cut, grap the design you wish to use and find the right placement. This really is a ‘should it go here? or should it go there?’ step. Once you are happy, place the design under your fabric and trace. I used a pencil, as my fabric is quite thin and didn’t want it to leak through. If what you are using is nice and thick, go ahead and use a washable fabric pen!

sewing the design

When you’re ready, put your hoop in place. You want the bigger hoop to be at the top of your fabric, and the smaller hoop underneath. However, I have seen it the other way around if that works better for you.
Now, begin stitching! For a neater stitch, I find that a backstitch works best. This way you have no gaps in between the stitches and it follows your work nicely.

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As I finished sewing the delicious looking biscuits, I felt it was lacking something. So, I added some text to go with it. This is freehand, but can always trace another design.

biscuit anyone?

And ta-dah! There you have a one of a kind embroidery project! Something like this would look perfect in the kitchen as a decoration or if you know someone who has a bit of a biscuit addiction, it would make a perfect gift!

Thank you for joining me today and if you wish to see Emilys interview, you can click here. Next Tuesday, we will have Kate Marsden, who is a textile designer and fibre artist.

Until then, happy dunkin’!

Tutorial Tuesday: Summer Bunting! ♥

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Summer is on its way with a heatwave this weekend! So, whats the best way to make the most of the sun? Garden parties, BBQ’s and good ole’ fun! Today, I’m going to show you how to create a simple bunting to give your garden that summer pick me up!

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For this you shall need as many fabrics as you wish! (A perfect way of using up scrap fabrics). Ribbon or lace to place your triangles on and a bunting template.

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Place your template on fold of your fabric, and pin. By placing the template on the fold, when you cut you shall get a lovely folded triangle, which you will need to keep it in place once hanged.

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Cut carefully around your template.
Do this step and the previous for all your fabrics. You can cut using straight scissors of funk it up a bit by using patterned shears! Give it a bump effect or a pointy effect!

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Once you have cut all your triangles, you need to start putting your ribbon/lace in the middle of each triangle. Be sure to measure the space in between each triangle to get a even finish. Pin down the ribbon.

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Time to start sewing! Simply start from the top of the edge of the triangle and sew round. Do this for each of your triangles and they will all be safely kept in place.

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And there you have a beautiful bunting, perfect for all your garden occasions and looking wonderful in the sunshine!

If you wanted to personalise, you could add letters to each bunting, creating a name or word. You could embellish it a bit more with pegs and hang photos/decorations off of it or for the night time, wrap little fairy lights around it – giving your garden a summery glow!

paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Two Tutorials :: No-Sew Collar and a Floral Scrapbook Page

yellow ribbon collar

The ‘No-Sew Collar’ was the second project I did for shimelle.com. For ages  I had been seeing loads of DIY collars, in magazines, Pinterest, fashion blogs and even in shops! However, none of them were suitable for people without the sewing utensils ie. sewing machine. Not only is it great for that, it is also a lovely ‘outfit update’ or a cute handmade gift for someone.

paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Two Tutorials :: No-Sew Collar and a Floral Scrapbook Page