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How I got my craft back

I made very few New Year’s resolutions for 2012 but one I did make was to try and be more crafty this year! Being a WI member and fond of all things twee, many people assume I’m very good with a needle and thread, but the sad truth of it is that since about the age of 13 I have only ever done emergency – ‘this seam is split’ sewing. But this year I was determined that that was all going to change because 2012 is the year Emma gets her craft back.

Gathering supplies

To kickstart my resolution I was given my very first sewing machine (I only ever used my mum’s before) and I bought various craft supplies from eBay and local shops including:

  • Adhesive magnetic backing
  • Felt in various colours
  • Fabric patches
  • Thread in various colours
  • A variety of buttons in different colours and shapes

I also recently discovered a new little sewing supplies shop called ‘The Sewing Box‘ in Beeston. The building looks like it used to be a garage or similar which is a bit strange, but they are really friendly people and there are lots of good craft supplies at decent prices so I bought some large felt squares in different colours for 50p each. I’ll definitely be going back.

I have also raided boxes of old clothes for material I can use – this has been a suprisingly successful endeavour. It’s really hard to accept that you’re not going to be able to wear a top you used to love again but if you can repurpose that material it makes it a lot easier.

Getting started

So the big question is – what have I made so far? Well I’ve started off doing few small and simple projects and practicing my stitching by mending clothes that have been in a box for far too long.

The first project I tried was making felt fridge magnets. I got the tutorial from a brilliant book Nial (my boyfriend) bought me last year called World of Geekcraft. It’s amazing.

Image of World of Geekcraft book

As I love all comic book type things I thought it was the perfect project to get started on. No sewing, just felt and glue. Here’s a picture of the first felt magnet I made:

ZAP! fridge magnet

After being reasonably happy with the felt fridge magnet, I then tackled my next project – decorating a cushion cover. Eventually I want to make the actual case myself too but I’m working up to that! So I bought a cheap cushion cover from Dunelm and a variety of buttons from local charity shops and got started.

Even though it would have made more sense to hand-stich the patch, I really wanted to use my new Sewing Machine. However, I then made a mistake with the heart-shaped patch by accidentally using a zig-zag stitch but I actually really like the effect it produced. The heart-shaped patch of fabric is from one of my old tops.

Decorated cushion cover

None of my projects so far have been wildly ambitious or amazing but I’m just enjoying making things and being more crafty in general.


One of the things I like best about my new craft habit is crafting with friends over tea and LOTS of cake.

A few months ago me and my friend Kerry spent the afternoon crafting together and we had a great time. Just look at the cake!

Crafting supplies

Incidentally, my lovely sewing box in the above picture was made by my really talented friend, Claire who I met through the WI. I think it’s really cute.

During our crafting afternoon, Kerry decorated a cushion cover with a bunting design, which I love and I made another felt fridge magnet.

Pow felt fridge magnet

Kerry crafting

You can read about how to decorate a cushion cover with bunting on Kerry’s blog.

We have taken the group crafting idea to a whole new level now as I regularly meet some of my friends for Crafternoon Tea sessions (trademark – ME!). We catch up, eat delicious food and CRAFT. What could be better?

With another Crafternoon coming up soon, I need to think of a project I can be working on whilst I’m scoffing dainty sandwiches and scones. I can’t decide between continuing to decorate the cushion or whether to try something entirely new. Thoughts?

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