Thursday, 27 August 2015

Doodles on a Cushion Cover

One of the good things about embroidering a ready made cushion cover is that when you take a break, you can put all the thread, scissors etc. inside, zip it up and it turns into a work bag!

At the beginning of this project, all I knew was that I wanted it to be colourful so I started in the middle, and just decided what to do next as I went along. Much of it was experimental, but I'm happy with the way it has turned out. I enjoyed throwing every stitch I could think of into this and the beauty of the finished project is as much in the textures as the bright clashing colours. My baby son enjoys feeling the French knots.

French knots in red

Detail of whipped stem stitch

Bright colours worked informally

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Handmade Wedding...

...and barely any of it made by my own fair hand!

Almost two months ago now was the most magical day I've ever experienced - our wedding day. Our plan was to have as many personal and hand made touches as possible. However, I didn't intend to to too much of the hand-making myself. My big project for the wedding was to embroider a waistcoat for my husband - pictures of that are at the bottom of this post. First I want to show you all the other lovely touches made by friends and acquaintances of mine.

My bridesmaids were mismatched, so I wanted to make sure the accessories pulled the look together.

I think we did ok!

The gorgeous fascinators were made by Lauren of Lauren Sophie Creations you should check out her work, I think the fascinators were a slight deviation from her usual stock but I think that shows off the extent of her talents!

You can also see that the girls are wearing bracelets to match the colours of their dresses. These were made by my lovely friend Mel from Singapore who makes jewellery as a hobby, she was so kind to take on the job even though she has recently had a baby. I can't tell you how lovely it was to open the parcel all the way from the other side of the world to see those exquisite charm bracelets inside.

Even the finishing touch of an upgrade to the buttons on those cardigans was done for me by Bridesmaid Nicky.

The flowers were arranged by Lauren's Mum, Belinda who did an amazing job. The flowers looked totally professional, and her interpretation of what I wanted was spot on, she really has a talent.

The charming wedding favours (boiled sweets in brown paper bags) were put together by my brother and sister-in-law. They made a perfect final touch to the reception decorations.

Even my wedding dress was a bespoke creation by Lily and Louie

I  have been telling everyone how pleased I was with my dress. I enjoyed the whole process from the preliminary discussions and pictures to the final touches. Jay, the dress designer/maker was so good at listening to what I was after and let me change my mind as many times as I needed to! I totally recommend to any bride getting a bespoke dress, you really get exactly what you want, you can expect great quality and it can even come out costing less than one from a shop.

Other credits go to Mother-in-law Nicki who made the cake, Jonny and Peter who took the photographs (all photographs in this post by Jonny Bryant) and everyone who helped to decorate the venue, procure bits and pieces or cook puddings for us. 

And here is my contribution:

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Another stitch

...and here's another work in progress shot of my very special project. I embroidered the leaf during the last episode of Great British Sewing Bee - I love that programme!

Love, Naomi

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The beginning...

this is the first flower of a very special project which I'll be working on this year...

I started with a lily
Just noticed that I'm doing satin stitch on satin. That makes me happy!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Epiphany Stitches

Happy Feast of the Epiphany!

I haven't posted for a while because my sewing time has been taken up by Christmas presents, so I didn't want to put up pictures and have my gifts published too much before the recipients had seen them.

So this is my Christmas project:

Christmas decoration project
I drew block figures to represent Mary, Joseph and the Child Jesus, added a bible verse that meant a lot to me this advent and decorated the border with creative stitches.

I used chain stitch to fill in the figures, inspired by eastern embroidery methods that I have seen at the V&A. I felt that this gave a texture that compliments the abstract look of the piece.

It was good fun to experiment with different stitches and colours for the border, but it was a challenge to balance everything with the picture.

Finally, I have mounted the pieces - I used blank CDs as the base for this (as it works out a lot less hassle than sacrificing an embroidery hoop each time). One CD formed the base for the fabric to be pulled around, and the other, covered with festive paper, made the back. A ribbon around the edge, and a loop at the top completes the piece, turning it into a hanging decoration.

I personally enjoyed giving these to the people I love this year, and hope that they might appear out of the Christmas box next year and bring a smile to someone's face!

One last Merry Christmas to all, on the twelfth day!


Saturday, 6 October 2012

One of Two

This little guy has been a long time in the pipeline but as of today he's done...only thing is, he's just one of a pair!

My first Goldcrest of two
You might have guessed that I'm really enjoying embroidering on this striped fabric, I think it adds a little quirkiness to the designs.

I have plans for these birds, which you'll see when the second one is done (it might take a while!)

God bless,


Sunday, 30 September 2012

Moving In

I have just moved in to a new place, it feels a little bit more grown up than anywhere I have lived before, just because I am no longer a student and I am starting my first full-time job tomorrow!

The house is really lovely, but since I was so disorganised dealing with my move, first from where I was in Watford back home, then up to my aunt's place and now here to my new house in Newcastle, there are a few things that I didn't have sorted, so I used all my innovation to make things nice here.

Firstly was the coat hanger crisis.... well I realised that I needed some coat hangers.

I wanted them to be pretty, but for two reasons I bought very cheap ugly ones. Firstly on the day I went to get them, I couldn't seem to find a coat hanger anywhere, so once I finally found two options in Morrisons, I had to choose one of them. Secondly, I don't like parting with my money very much, especially since I probably won't get paid for a little while, so I went for the 'cheap, lots of ' option.

I did have an idea though to make them more attractive....

Like a true girl guide I used a ball of string and some knots to customise my hangers...

You pretty much just wrap string around, but pass it through the loop on your way round. This makes a half hitch on each go, so produces the little bump or line along the bottom that you can see in this picture. As long as you go the same way each time it stays even.

This is my new 'Rachel Berry' dress that I bought in Oxfam for a fiver :)

Here it is with my nice new dress  on! It's quite time consuming so I have only actually completed five of the ten that I am going to do, but I probably could complete one an evening just sitting in front of the TV.

The other thing that I was missing was a way to hang my pictures up. I can't fix anything to the walls without permission, and I wanted to find a creative way to hang things so that I could still see them and without having to resort to the devil blu-tak.

So I devised my photo-bunting. I have done this with post-its before when I was revising Russian vocabulary, but the photos and post cards are much more jolly than random Russian words.

I hope you like my little ideas for making dull things more pretty!

Love and God Bless