I work with Copyright by day and Craft by night ....

Marguerite Designs is now a registered trademark for fashion and homewares.

Join my blog as I experiment with colour, pattern and textile arts ...

I love photography, drawing, painting, working with fabrics/yarn and anything vintage ...

Friday, 2 December 2016

Sewvember and the future ....

This past November I took part in both #sewvember at Mood Fabrics and #bpsewvember over at Bimble and Pimble.  The idea was to publish a photograph for each day of November on a specific theme.  I didn't really follow the rules about timing and used photographs from a lot of different sewing projects done over the years ...

My main reason for having a go was to do a kind of review over all the work I'd done so far and see if it led me to any kind of conclusion about the projects I like to do and want to continue with, as well as boost my Instagram account which I've just opened at #margueritedesigns ...  I was amazed that I should have enough material to cover all of the days and I can see that my sewing has some kind of 'arts and crafts' basis to it which I suppose comes from my artistic background.  It's not just straightforward making up of patterns ....  There has to be some sort of craft element involved such as applique, tie dye or felting for instance, or else an interesting print, probably with a historical background.  So I can see that this is what I'll continue with.  But I also ended up both challenges with a photograph of one of my textile designs ...  I've come kind of full circle in life and ended up where I started out as a career but didn't follow ...  It seems like a natural conclusion and it's my plan to carry on at Make It in Design for now.  I've enrolled for the Winter School in January and then Module 2 in February.  I finished Module 1 and the Summer School earlier on this year.  I hope I become a serial course taker but there's no harm in being prepared as much as possible and these courses seem to carry on where I left off all those years ago - preparing for the business world.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Girl with the Cherry Smile

Lots of things have been going on in my life since finishing my hand knitting City & Guilds.  Working working full-time and getting married!  This dress has been on the go for some time now. Plans first formulated in my head during international pattern swap at The Monthly Stitch, when I received the Sew Over It 1940’s Teadress pattern, as explained in an earlier post.  I wasn’t sure that the shape of the dress was going to suit me at first but I thought I’d give it a try as my first sewing project for a long time.  I’d seen the perfect fabric for it at Croft Mill but couldn’t get my hands on it first time round.  I was lucky when they re-stocked -  it’s called, ‘The Girl with the Cherry Smile’ and works really well with the pattern.  My new sewing companion likes it too ... 


To ease myself back into sewing, I took my time and decided to enjoy the whole process rather than rushing anything, hence the tea and cake. 

The pattern cover said that the dress was a close fit and as I’m between sizes at the moment I made the larger one.  This was a mistake for me – the bodice did look a bit loose on my new dress form, but as I hadn’t used the form before, then I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
When it came to actually trying it on though, it was huge …  I actually ended up having to re-make the whole of the top section.  That was tiresome and tricky but I stuck with it and it was worthwhile in the end.  The second learning curve was the insertion of an invisible zip which I’ve never done before.

I found the zip in the right colour and length and was ready to sew it in with an invisible machine foot I’d been given when I found the foot wasn’t compatible with my machine.  Aaargh!  My patience (and dress!) was nearly in tatters at this point …  I had to do an internet search and managed to find one for a couple of pounds that would fit my trusty 1980’s New Home.  I nervously fitted it when it arrived and my heart did a little dance when it worked!  I was very proud of my first attempt at sewing the zip in.
The rest of the dress went together comparatively smoothly, apart from forgetting to sew rear darts in the skirt section in my haste to get it finished.  I did unpick the skirt and included them though it was tempting not to.
A couple of months had passed and I was still doing the handstitching at the beginning of October on the facings and hem.  I had a feeling of triumph at finishing and persevering!
I wore the dress on my honeymoon on the Norfolk coast.  The weather was great for this time of year.
I am confident enough to make another of these dresses now, but I think I’ll try something simpler in the meantime to get my sewjo going again ….

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Signs of Christmas

In the little town in Norfolk where I live, we are fortunate to have a sewing shop - a fairly large one in comparison to all the other surrounding stores.  It is now under new management and has undergone a lot of changes, making it contemporary and fresh.  Now named The Sewing Room, there is a Christmas window under construction.  I went for a short walk yesterday evening and stumbled upon it ... it's very inspiring ...

I love these little bags ...

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Cake for a Cause

Here in the UK there is an annual event, The World's Biggest Coffee Morning, which occurs each September.  It is in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.  We held our own event at work last week and several of us baked cakes, biscuits, sausage rolls, cheese straws, to name just a few things, which we then sold.  We did really well ... and I enjoyed dusting off my cake tins once again.  I made choc chip cookies and cupcakes ...

I am happy to have come second with my dairy free lemon cupcakes in the Best Baker competition! There was such a buzz around the office on the day and it really brought everyone together.

Tatty Devine have also designed a brooch, earrings and keyring for the charity - they have a a kind of handcrafted sewing feel to them.


I think we'll make this an annual event ...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Stitchy Giveaway - It's yours Charlotte!

I'm so glad to give this to Charlotte - we've been friends since Sew Weekly in 2012 when I first attempted online sewing and started this blog as a result.  Charlotte also suggested the first ever Sew Weekly meet up in London.  We've met up since for fabric shopping and she also guest posted for me in a Virtual Meet Up a couple of years ago when she modelled this lovely cord jacket she made.  We are still in touch on Facebook - thanks for sticking around Charlotte!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Stitchy Giveaway

To celebrate my return to sewing I thought I'd have a giveaway on the blog as it's something I've not done for some time.  I'm also amazed to learn that I'm nearing 100,000 hits - amazed because I started out as a sewing blog and veered off in other directions over the past couple of years or so. 

So, I have this 'fox in a scarf' pincushion and a Great British Sewing Bee Sewing Apron for the lucky winner.  The fox is ironic in that one of my most popular posts is of me in a fox scarf, albeit a knitted one.  The apron is quite snazzy - it's in a half apron style with pockets in the front to store scissors etc while you're sewing.  I think the GBSB series has actually inspired me to start sewing again.

So if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning, just tell me what's the longest time you've ever gone without sewing?  Please leave me a comment and I'll pick an answer at random in about a fortnight.  I'll also need a contact email.  Good luck!  

Sunday, 24 July 2016

New Dress!

I am actually sewing ... yes, you did read that correctly!  It isn't that I haven't been thinking about it ... oh, I've read all the blogs and magazines, have all the pattern giveaways and have watched the latest series of Sewing Bee.  I even took part in an international pattern swap at The Monthly Stitch.  I think that having a break has done me good though - seriously.  When I did Sew Weekly in 2012, although the experience was enjoyable to start with, I did start to feel a bit jaded towards the end of that year and 50 makes.  I was starting to 'throw things together'.  My sewing started to decrease gradually in the following years until I stopped completely for a while and concentrated my energies on other things.  I now find I am taking my time, making sure I do things properly and it's becoming fun again!  

As we are experiencing the rarity of a heatwave here in the UK at the moment, I've found that my wardrobe is lacking in some summer basics - dresses for work and home.  Actually, the dress currently on my sewing table is one for my honeymoon in October, though it might have an outing or two before then if it turns out OK.  I am using the 'Sew Over It' 1940's Tea Dress pattern that I received in the swap during Indie Pattern month at Monthly Stitch.

I found the cherry print fabric at Croft Mill.  I've always wanted some 'proper' cherry fabric after seeing all the retro dresses on various blogs and when I saw this in the current catalogue (they still have it! - sadly no longer, all sold out since end July) I ordered some straight away.  As you can see, I don't sew solo any more ... I have my little 'helper'.  Although Oscar has a whole house to wander around, there is nowhere quite like the area where I am working ...


I think I may have been influenced in my choice of dress style by a 1940's day I went to here in Norfolk about a week or so ago.  A gloriously sunny day where individuals wandered around King's Lynn in 1940's dress - I took loads of photos.

They all looked so smart and such a contrast to current day dress.  I hope to achieve something similar ... I have a whole week off work at home next week and sewing is high on my list of priorities.  More dresses I think!