January Baby Quilt Club reveal

Our Baby Quilt Club members this month will be receiving these magical bundles. This month’s selection includes not one, not two but three of the beautiful designs from the Rifle Paper Co. Menagerie collection plus two mermaid fabrics from the Neverland and Jetsetter collections! Add co-ordinating Kona Cotton Solids to make this winning bundle! We hope you love it as much as we do. We have a couple of extras this month and you can get your own here.

Baby Quilt Club Subscription

Clockwise from the top this bundle includes:

Neverland Island in Mint by Jill Howarth (Riley Blake)
Kona Cotton Solids – Carnation
Menagerie by Rifle Paper Co.Tapestry in Violet by Rifle Paper Co. / Anna Rifle Bond (Cotton + Steel)
Kona Cotton Solids – Spruce
Menagerie by Rifle Paper Co.Jardin de Paris in Mint by Rifle Paper Co. / Anna Rifle Bond (Cotton + Steel)
Kona Cotton Solids – Limelight
Menagerie by Rifle Paper Co.Watercolour in Multi by Rifle Paper Co. / Anna Rifle Bond (Cotton + Steel)
Kona Cotton Solids – Lemon
Jetsetter Mermaids in Pine (Dear Stella)
Kona Cotton Solids – Stratosphere
Chroma BasicsScallop Dot in Purple (Dear Stella)
Kona Cotton Solids – Gumdrop

Want an awesome bundle of fabric delivered to your letterbox each month? Why not join one of our monthly clubs.

Comments { 0 }

New in stock at The Village Haberdashery

Note: The content of this post is similar to what we shared in this week’s newsletter. If you want updates delivered to your inbox each week, pop your email in the box on the right or sign up here!

Printed stretch cotton jersey from Art Gallery Fabrics
We have the most gorgeous printed stretch jersey in stock that will fill your head with ideas for your next dressmaking project! Big florals, fun botanicals, a southwestern print and more, we have something that will be a perfect fit for everyone!

Take away some aztec inspiration with the Mesa Grande knit designed by April Rhodes.  This fabric has a graphic element with muted desert colours. Find it here.

Mesa Grande in Sand by April Rhodes

Take a walk through a spring garden with this gorgeous botanical Plantae Sunrise knit designed by Katarina Roccella. Plantae Sunrise is an elegant floral print on a lime background with a fun feel. Shop the fabric here.

We have restocked the beautiful vibrant Acqua Di Rose knit from the Fusions Boho collection. You may remember that this fabric was included in a delivery by mistake, and now it’s one of our all-time faves!

Art Gallery Knit Fabrics

We’ve restocked the favourite Nightfall knit designed by Maureen Cracknell.  It features luminous colours, curious creatures and rich fauna perceived as the day fades away. Find it here.

Go on an adventure into the night sky with Keeping Watch knit designed by Bonnie Christine. This starry moon print has a dreamy and quirky feel to it. Find it here.

Art Gallery Knit Fabrics
Take in an exotic elegance with the bold Paparounes in Spices designed by Katarina Roccella. This print has a graphic edge and dreamy feel with monochrome stripes and colourful botanicals. Find it here. We also have Paparounes in Crimson in the shop, another fabric we can’t get enough of! Find it here.

Art Gallery Knit Fabrics

Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris

Slip into serenity through your stitches when you have our in house embroidery teacher Carina Envoldsen-Harris guiding you with her latest book. This Danish born designer has carefully created 24 exquisite, meditative mandalas that you can stitch in a hoop. These kaleidoscope designs will delight and inspire anyone who loves embroidery and making beautiful things. Find her beautiful new book here, our embroidery hoops here and our embroidery floss here.

Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris

Ola Jnr Greeting Cards 

Ola Studio is a British design studio that creates fun stationary collections featuring original prints of graphic illustrations. We love our new greeting cards from their Ola Jnr collection featuring the most quirky ways to wish happy birthday and welcome a newborn! Each card is printed in the UK onto premium British made paper. See the collection from Ola Studio here.

Ola Studio cards

Stretch Velvet

We have added some fabulous colours to our range of stretch velvet fabric! This velvet has the most beautiful drape, making it perfect for dressmaking. We have loved seeing all the gorgeous little numbers made over the festive season and expect even more with these new smashing colours – turquoise, black and charcoal grey! Shop the whole range here.

Stretch Velvet

Sew your heart out with Charlotte at our Guided Studio Time!

Work on the sewing or quilting project of your choice with the expert guidance of Great British Sewing Bee winner Charlotte Newland! You’re welcome to bring a project at any stage of completion to receive personalised instruction. We’re now offering our Guided Studio Time sessions twice a month on Monday evenings. This class is for you if you:
*Want Charlotte to hold your hand whilst you set sleeves, insert an invisible zip or tackle a fly front
*Feel frustrated that you can’t get your home-sewn garments to fit right and want to learn how to adjust a pattern for your body
*Are interested in trying out reverse appliqué, foundation paper piecing, improv or any other quilting technique *Love the look of one of Charlotte’s classes, but the date doesn’t work for you
*Or just want to hand-stitch your quilt binding and drink tea whilst listening to Charlotte tell rude jokes
Click here to find out more and book a session!

Sale!

This week save 10% on shot cotton yardage! These beautiful, soft, woven fabrics are just right for dressmaking and quilts. Use code SAVEONSHOT at check out to save. Offer ends 23 January. Start shopping here.

Shot Cotton Fabrics

Comments { 0 }

How to knit a gauge swatch (and why you should!)

We’re excited to have Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City writing some yarn-focused blog posts for us to help inspire you with your knitting and crochet projects. This edition is all about swatching, what is is and why it is a good thing to do. Take it away ladies…

how to knit a gauge swatch

Do I really have to swatch?

Who among us hasn’t asked this question at one time or another? You’re in the grips of the excitement of starting a new project, and you just want to get going! But then come those dreaded phrases – “adjust needle size as needed to get gauge”, “please swatch to ensure adequate yarn,” “swatch to avoid disappointment.” Argh!

Even though we are firmly in the camp of Swatching Is Good, we still get frustrated by having to pause in my casting on frenzy to knit a square, block it, wait for it to dry, measure it, and repeat ad infinitum until I get the correct gauge. But it is true that swatching is important, and there is a right way to swatch. There are also a number of factors that play a big role in whether or not your swatch tells the truth.

Why Swatching is a Good Thing by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

Why swatching is important:

You certainly don’t have to swatch – there are no swatching police! But if you want your project to end up the correct size and match the schematic measurements, swatching is a critical part of the process. Don’t do what Rachel did and spend several months in uni knitting an entire cabled sweater without swatching only to discover that the finished object fit her with 40 cm of ease! Particularly if you are starting a project for which fit is essential (jumpers or socks), swatching can save you hours of wasted time, additional expense and considerable heartbreak!

Why Swatching is a Good Thing by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

How to swatch correctly:

There’s no gold standard for how to swatch, but there are some general guidelines. Be sure you make your swatch big enough! The minimum size for a swatch is about 10 x 10 cm, but I’d definitely recommend making one bigger then that if you can stand it.
Work a garter stitch border around your swatch so it will lie flat when it’s finished. For all the swatches pictured below I cast on 26 sts and worked the first and last three stitches of each row in garter stitch, with 6 rows of garter stitch to start and finish.

If your project is knit in the round, you should swatch in the round. You don’t actually have to work a tube – use circular or double pointed needles, cast on and work one row. Slide the work to the other end of the needle and work the next row, leaving a long float across the back of the swatch so there’s plenty of room for it to lay flat when you’re done. Keep going until the swatch is the size you want, bind off, and block. You can cut the floats if you like, but just be sure to fasten them off so that the stitches are even along the edges.

Also make sure to treat your swatch as you are going to treat your finished project. Block the swatch in the same way as the final project, and let it dry before measuring the gauge.

To measure the gauge lay the swatch flat without stretching or pulling. Take a ruler or a measuring tape and lay it across the portion of your swatch between the garter edges. Measure this section and then divide it by the number of sts in the swatch (not counting the edges). Do the same for the row measurement. Then you can extrapolate to sts/rows per inch/cm.
Why Swatching is a Good Thing by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

A word about interpreting measurements: swatches with looser gauge will have fewer stitches or rows per unit measure. Swatches with tighter gauges will have more stitches or rows per unit measure.

OK, let’s take a look at some factors that will affect your gauge and how those factors can be used to your advantage.

Stitch pattern:

This may seem completely obvious, but the stitch pattern that you use for your swatch will affect your gauge dramatically. Case in point: the three swatches below were all knit on the same needles with the same number of stitches cast on and the same number of rows. They were all blocked the same way.

Why Swatching is a Good Thing by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

You can see that the cables pull the fabric in dramatically, while lace patterns open the fabric up and give fewer stitches per cm.

Tools:

The type of needles you use couldimpact your gauge. The four swatches below were all knit with 5.0 mm needles of different materials. One swatch was knit on metal needles, one was knit on plastic needles, and two were knitwith wooden needles – one set smooth and polished, the other set rough. All swatches were worked over the same number of stitches for the same number of rows, and were blocked the same way.

Why Swatching is a Good Thing by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

Here’s how the gauge came out: Metal needles: 16 sts/22 rows per 10 cm; plastic needles 22 sts/23 rows per 10 cm, smooth wooden needles: 18 sts/25 rows per 10 cm; rough wooden needles: 16 sts/ 24 rows per 10 cm.
The plastic needles gave the tightest stitch gauge, while the metal and rough wooden needles gave the loosest stitch gauge. Metal and plastic needles gave similar row gauges, while wooden needles had looser row gauges. Generally speaking, smoother needles will give tighter gauges, while rougher needles will hold on to the yarn and give a looser fabric at the same needle size.
The take home message from this experiment is that if you are swatching and having trouble getting correct gauge, but changing needle size is too much of a difference, try a different type of needle.

Yarn choice:

The yarn you choose for your project plays an integral role in how successful you’ll be. The first thing to consider is the yarn weight – all knitting patterns should indicate the weight of the yarn used. Sometimes that will be explicit and sometimes you need to do a bit of digging, particularly if you are going substitut a different yarn. If the weight isn’t given in the pattern, look up the yarn called for on Ravelry, which will tell you the yarn weight.

Another clue is the gauge: if there are more stitches listed in the gauge over 4 inches/10 cm, the yarn is finer. For example, a project worked at a gauge of 32 sts over 4 inches/10 cm (a 4-ply gauge) uses a finer yarn than a project worked at 12 sts over 4 inches/10 cm (super chunky gauge).

On other thing to keep in mind: the terms used to indicate yarn weights vary regionally, and the name for a particular weight of yarn in one part of the world may refer to a completely different weight of yarn somewhere else! To help you navigate this tricky area, we’ve included a table comparing US, UK and Australian names for different weights of yarn, along with the approximate stitch gauges for each weight.

US UK Australia Gauge over 4 inches/10 cm
Laceweight 1 ply
2 ply 2 ply 32-40 sts on 1.5 – 2.25 mm needles
Fingering 4 ply 3 ply 27 -32 sts on 2.25 – 3.25 mm needles
Sport – 5 ply 24-27 sts on 3.25 – 3.75 mm needles
DK/Light worsted DK 8 ply 21-24 sts on 3.75 – 4mm needles
Worsted Aran 10 ply 16-20 sts on 4.5-5.5 mm
Bulky Chunky 12 ply 12-16 sts on 5.5 -8 mm needles
Super Bulky Super Chunky 14 ply Anything less than 12 sts per 4 inches/10 cm

Finally, your fibre choice can affect your project, particularly if you are substituting yarns. A general rule of thumb is to try and match the fibre content (I.e. wool for wool, cotton for cotton) and the meterage.

Be aware that some fibres change more after blocking than others, particularly superwash wools, which can grow dramatically after they get wet, leading to much looser gauges than you want or need! The swatches below were all knit out of the same superwash wool, but were blocked differently: the left swatch wasn’t left unblocked, the middle swatch was wet blocked and air dried and the right swatch was wet blocked and tumble dried. Air drying resulted in a larger swatch than the unblocked version, while tumble drying produced a smaller swatch.

Why Swatching is a Good Thing by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!

Hopefully these tips are enough to get you started on your swatching adventures. Happy knitting!

Thanks Ladies!

Comments { 0 }

Tutorial! Vegan leather necklace

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the final of four tutorials she’s written for us! Find all of the tutorials in the series here.

Take it away Laura…

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Use a chain from an old necklace, or a length of ribbon, to make a bold geometric necklace. Use the templates provided or get creative and draw your own design!

To make this necklace you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen
* The necklace template sheet – click here to download and print the PDF
* Matching felt (I used baby blue) and sewing thread
* A necklace chain or a length of ribbon

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

 

To make the necklace:

Use the templates provided to cut out pieces A to F from the synthetic leather. Place the paper templates on the back of the leather, trace around them using an air-erasable fabric marker or a felt tip pen then cut out the shape using sewing scissors.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Sew the pieces together using whip stitch and matching sewing thread (I used blue thread throughout). Start with the smallest pieces, sewing piece A to piece B then piece B to piece C and so on, so you’re only stitching through two layers of the leather at a time.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Once you’ve sewn all the pieces together, use the leather shape as a template to cut out a matching piece of felt for the back of the necklace.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Place the felt and leather together then use sewing thread (in the same colour as before) to sew along the top edge, joining the layers together. Place the middle of your necklace chain (or ribbon) between the two layers, so it will be held in place when you sew around the rest of the necklace shape. Make sure there are even lengths of chain (or ribbon) sticking out from each side of the necklace.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Blanket stitch around the rest of the necklace – making sure you don’t let the chain or ribbon slip out as you sew.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Comments { 0 }

10 ways to get creative this year!

Do you have a list of things you want to sew, make, try, learn, do this year? We do! And here is a list of ideas for you:

1. Improve your handwriting game. We have classes for calligraphy, brush lettering and watercolour brush lettering so whether you want to handwrite your wedding invites or create beautiful hand lettered quotes for your wall or instagram, we have the class for you! Perfect for beginners, relaxed, creative and fun, we have daytime and evening classes to suit every schedule!

2. Overcome your fear of sewing jersey. If you’re like most of us, you wear tops, t-shirts and dresses made of jersey fabric more often than anything else! We have two dressmaking classes with Charlotte that will have you sewing knits like a boss and wearing something new in just one day! Make a cute dress in our super popular Moneta Dress class or sew up your new favourite top in our brand new Agnes Top class which is coming up this Sunday!

Sew a jersey top

3. Get a little messy. Don an apron and try two of our newest classes, Shibori and linocut printing! Our Shibori teacher, Rob Jones, studied his craft in Japan and will teach you these beautiful, centuries-old techniques with a modern spin. Our linocut teacher, Kate Guy of Cardabelle Designs was one of your favourite makers in our Makers Market, and she’ll teach you how to cut, carve, stamp and create your own art print!

4. Learn to make a patchwork quilt. Oh, how we love quilts! Such a canvas for creativity and expression, not to mention the loveliest thing to snuggle under. If this is the year you want to learn how to make a quilt, we are here for you! Our two-day quilt class will take you through every step of the process, from cutting to binding, while you create your first baby or lap size quilt. Or, learn many of the techniques for making a patchwork quilt in our one-day quilted cushion class. Or, if you already know the basics check out one of our wonderful patchwork technique classes!

Learn to make a quilt

5. Decorate your home, handmade style. We love a handmade home! And we have some classes for you to create beautiful things to adorn your space. Try the peaceful art of hand weaving while you make a wall hanging, learn to sew a lovely rope bowl or try rag rugging. Each of these classes will have you walking out with new skills and a finished project!

Sew a rope bowl

6. Sew your own jeans. Yes, you can. And you’ll be so glad you did! Sewing your own jeans sounds intimidating to so many home dressmakers, but in our three-day intensive class Charlotte will hold your hand every step of the way! You’ll finish with a great fitting pair of jeans and so much confidence.

Sew a pair of Ginger Jeans

7. Slow down with a new handcraft. Handwork can be so relaxing and cosy this time of year! It’s lovely to cuddle under a blanket with a project on your lap. So whether you’re interested in knitting, crochet, cross stitch or embroidery, we can get your started on a new hobby to get you through the winter months!

Learn to crochet

8. Bind a book. We are thrilled to have Joe Dixon in our studio in February to teach us how to bind a book! You will learn everything you will need to get going on this fascinating pastime and create a beautiful book to keep or use as a gift.

9. Learn how to freestyle on your sewing machine. Learn how to use your sewing machine to create art! We have super popular classes for freehand machine embroidery and free motion quilting, two ways to use your home sewing machine to make any design you can imagine in your sewing or quilting project.

Learn to freestyle on your machine

10. Sew zips like a boss. This is the year you put a zip in your cushion! One evening in our zip pouch class and you will be fearless. Plus, you’ll have a cute zip pouch to show for it.

Sew a zip pouch

To find all of these classes and so many more, visit our website!

Comments { 0 }