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Sewabaloo yn Eisteddfod yr Urdd, 2017

This article has been written in Welsh.  It is also available to read in English here.

Roeddwn wrth fy modd ac yn falch iawn cael fy ngofyn i feirniadu cystadlaethau tecstilau’r Urdd eleni.   Roedd y diwrnod beirniadu’n brysur ac afreal – mewn stordy enfawr, yn llawn o arlunwaith gorau pobl ifanc Cymru.  Roedd ansawdd y gwaith cefais i weld yn hynod o uchel.

 

Un o’r tecstiliau edi’u hargraffu oedd yn y pafiliwn. Ni fi wnaeth beirniadu’r cystadleuaeth hon, ond rwy’n dwlu ar y gwaith yma.

Y penwythnos olynol, es i a’r teulu i baentio baledi pren i’w ddefnyddio fel arwyddion ffordd o amgylch y maes.  Roedd y digwyddiad yn agored i bawb ac wedi ei hysbysu ar y cyfryngau cymunedol, roeddwn ni yno am tuag awr, ac wrth i ni adael cyrhaeddodd llwyth o blant arall, roedd yn ddiwrnod mor braf i’w wario’n chwarae gyda phaent yn y cysgod!

Cefais fy ngwahodd, hefyd, i redeg cwpwl o weithdai tecstilau yn y pafiliwn crefftau ar y maes.  Penderfynais ar weithgaredd wehyddu, fel gweithgaredd byddai’n weddol hawdd ei reoli gyda nifer ansicr o blant, felly gwnaethom ni fframia gwehyddu Mistar Urdd, i’w wehyddu yn y lliwiau priodol.   Roedd yn weithgaredd hwylus, mwynhaodd y plant yn fawr, a mwynheais i arwain y sesiynau hefyd.  Byddaf yn hapus iawn cael fy ngwahodd i wneud rhywbeth tebyg i hyn eto!

Sewabaloo at the Urdd Eisteddfod, 2017

I was thrilled and honoured to be asked to adjudicate the Textiles competition at the national Urdd Eisteddfod this year.

The judging day was a crazy, slightly surreal day – a warehouse full of Wales’ young people’s finest arts and crafts, and laid out for us to examine and admire.  The quality of the work submitted was exceptional.

One of the printed textile pieces which made it to the national Urdd Eisteddfod. I didn’t judge this category, but I love this work.

The weekend following the judging, I took the family to paint wooden pallets as ‘road signs’ on the approach to the Eisteddfod field.  The event was open to all and publicised on Facebook, we were there for a little over an hour, and as we left a load more children were arriving, it was such a lovely day for it.

I was also invited to run a couple of textile workshops in the Arts & Crafts pavilion on the field.  Weaving seemed the easiest activity to manage with an unknown number or children, so we (my husband and I) prepared some laser cut looms to a similar shape to Mr Urdd, the Urdd mascot, to be woven in the Urdd colours – green , red and white.

It was a fun activity, the kids all really enjoyed it, and I really enjoyed leading the sessions, I could definitely be persuaded to do this again!

 

 

 

 

Gwersi gwnïo trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg

Am y tro cyntaf, rwy’n cynnig fy ngwersi gwnïo trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg! Go iawn! Wi’n llawn cyffro, yn ecseited bost am y peth – ac yn gobeithio y gwnewch chi ymuno gyda fi.
Gwersi Gwniio

 

Byddai’n dysgu’r sgiliau gwnïo sylfaenol o fy stiwdio yn yModel House, Llantrisant, dros 6 wythnos (sesiynau 3 awr). Byddaf yn dangos i chi sut i baratoi, defnyddio ac edrych ar ôl eich peiriant gwnïo (rhaid dod a pheiriant eich hun i’r gwersi), ac yna’n eich arwain i wnïo pedwar prosiect syml a thrawiadol – bag bach gyda sip, ffedog, clawr technoleg, a bag dros-nos. Bydd gofyn i chi ddod a defnydd eich hunain hefyd, ond cewch gyngor a rhestr defnydd o flaen llaw.

 

6 week sewing class for beginners

 

Dim ond 4 lle sydd ar y cwrs yma, os bydd yn llwyddiannus hoffwn ei redeg eto – felly archebwch eich lle heb oedi, neu os wyddoch am rywun arall byddai gyda diddordeb, rhannwch gyda nhw hefyd. Jiw, rhannwch ‘da pawb! Gobeithio caf eich cwrdd cyn bo hir, mo roi’r tegell ymlaen yn barod i chi.

(I am super excited to offer my first sewing classes through the medium of Welsh from my studio in the Model House, Llantrisant.  The same course is also available in English.)

Sewing lessons for beginners in Llantrisant

New 6 Week Sewing Class for Beginners (also in Welsh!)

I love my sewing classes – teaching is just lovely – it’s fun and sociable and I get to introduce new people to a wonderful craft and hobby .  So I’m very exited to share with you my new 6 week sewing class for beginners.

Sewing lessons class course for beginners

I have been aware for a while that there is a large reach between my “Introduction to your Sewing Machine” half day workshop to the “10 Week Dressmaking Course” and have wanted to fill that gap with a project-based course to teach new sewers the basic skills that they will need in order to confidently use their sewing machines at home for home decor and dressmaking projects.  And I’ve finally got round to doing it!

The 6 week course is aimed at beginners and new sewers, in which I will explain and show you basic skills such as show you how to use and troubleshoot your sewing machine, prepare your fabric, finish your seams, sew a straight line, a curve and a corner, through to more advanced techniques such as inserting a zip, making a button hole or applying piping.  All while making simple and stylish projects that you’ll be proud to use at home, and will be able to make over and over again as gifts for your lucky family and friends – including a zipped and lined pouch, an adjustable apron, a tech case and an overnight bag.

6 week sewing class for beginners

 

AND.. (I’m super excited about this bit) I’m offering it through the medium of Welsh as well as English, so if you have any Welsh speaking friends who you think would like to learn to sew, please let them know.

Gwersi Gwniio

 

So, if you’re local to the South Wales area (specifically near Llantrisant, Talbot Green, Cardiff, Pontyclun, Pontypridd or Bridgend), why not come and learn to sew with me?  My sewing lessons are fun and informal, with small class sizes and free-flowing tea, coffee and biscuits.

Open Weekend at the Model House

Come and join us at the Model House on the 19th & 20th November.  Meet the makers, share our nibbles, peruse for some original Christmas presents, and come and sew some felt monogrammed baubles with me.  I will be in my studio (Studio 12 on the third floor) running bauble workshops – just £5 for a kit to make 3 baubles and you can sit with me and sew for no additional charge!

Nadolig Llawen Baubles

 

I will also be running a Christmas Stocking workshop on the afternoon of Sunday 27th November, for just £30 including materials and refreshments.  I feel that Christmassiness will be central to this workshop, so you can expect my Christmas CD and some mince pies – and perhaps even some alcohol free mulled wine (but I shouldn’t promise that until I know I can deliver, so forget I mentioned the mulled wine.  There will definitely be tea/coffee though.  And mince pies.)

Christmas Stocking Workshop

 

And while you’re here, come and see my other Christmassy wares, including tea light lanterns, leather notebooks, key fobs and embroideries.  Perfect for gifting!

Carabaloo and Manlybaloo have been launched!

After months of designing and testing, I’m thrilled to announce that Carabaloo (a-line dress in sizes 1-12) and Manlybaloo (Men’s boxer shorts in sizes XS – 4XL) have been launched!!

Woo! Yaay! *fireworks and celebratory fizzy drinks*

Carabaloo

Carabaloo is a completely lovely a-line summer dress.  Because it’s such a simple style (with just 2 main pattern pieces) I had to work really hard to get the shape right, and the balance between being loose-but-not-baggy and fitted-but-not-tight.  Finally we got there!

Carabaloo was inspired by a Mary Quant dress at the V&A museum, so you need to think of shorter, vintage-length dresses for your girls, just above the knee is perfect, any longer and it could swamp your little girl.

Patterns that grow with your children is a key principle at Sewabaloo, and this applies to Carabaloo too – the loose fir allows growth in the chest, and as your child lengthens you can pair with leggings or shorts and wear it as a tunic top.  Completely gorgeous!

All the seams are enclosed and finished – the method for turning the bodice can seem confusing if you haven’t seen it before, but just trust the instructions and it will all work out, I promise.  And it will turn out like magic – you will love it and want to run around showing everybody, but if they don’t sew they won’t care or understand.  But we do, so come and show us in the Facebook Group, we’ll “Oooh” with you and applaud your cleverness.  Other professional techniques used and explained in the pattern include understitching around the collar and a faced hem, which gives weight and structure to the bottom of the dress.

It’s a very quick and easy sew once you’re familiar with the techniques, so it’s perfect for makers and sellers – you can, of course, sew Sewabaloo patterns to sell.  If you do I’d love it if you attributed the design to Sewabaloo.

Carabaloo A Line Dress pattern, cover

Manlybaloo

Manlybaloo is most likely the only non-child pattern Sewabaloo will produce.  I had been making boxershorts for Mr Sewabaloo for Christmasses, birthdays, Valentines etc. for a few years, and took the step to grade it to different sizes, write and illustrated the instructions, and offer it our for sale.

It’s a  loose fit boxer short pattern for woven fabrics, with a very nice button fly and leg vents.  It’s a simple pattern with just three pattern pieces – Leg Front, Leg Back and Fly.  It’s fairly straightforward to put together although you might need to concentrate a little bit on the fly construction.

It makes a great gift for the man in your life (we’re just in time for Father’s Day!) and requires just 1m of fabric to make any of the sizes, from XS to 4XL.  It’s also great for making sleeping shorts for ladies, and advice is included to help select the correct size for a lady.

Sewing pattern cover
Introductory Offer

For one week only, until Monday 13th June, both Carabaloo and Manlybaloo will enjoy a massive 25% discount!  Sewabaloo isn’t in the habit of offering discounts, to grab them at this price while you’re able.

Sewabaloo Affiliates

Become a Sewabaloo Affiliate and earn 20% commission on any patterns sold through your affiliate link!

Sewabaloo has an affiliates scheme!

Yes, it’s true – we’ve become all grown up and joined the big kids with an affiliate scheme – we’re so excited!

Would you like to join us?  It will be great!

Affiliates IG

Basically, any pattern sales generated through your affiliate link will earn you a fantastic 20% commission (which will be paid monthly).  And you can even earn a commission on patterns that you buy for yourself!

The idea is, of course, that you sew our patterns, love our patterns and share our patterns all over social media and amongst your friends, with your affiliates link, so we can sell more patterns and reward you for supporting and helping us.

Do you want to join us?  For all the information visit the new Affiliate Area on the website, where you can sign up, grab a banner and a link, and get sharing and earning.

Come and join our team!

Sewabaloo Classes

The first series of classes is coming to an end and it has been a triumph!  My wonderful ladies have got to grips with their sewing machines, learnt to sew, made boxer shorts, made lampshades and, those who are still in the 6 week course, are making lovely a-lined skirts for themselves.

A new schedule of classes has just been published in the shop, for classes and workshops starting in June.  If you are in the South Wales area and would like to join us in the Model House, Llantrisant, please book a space!  Places are very limited so you can be sure of lots of attention and guidance from me!  An excellent selection of biscuits is offered, too.

April Update

Ha! I am never again making any grand promises about how often I’m going to blog and send out newsletter – epic fail, can you believe I haven’t blogged sine January!  Sadly, blogging does takes a lot of time, and as I only have a limited amount of time in the studio it tends to get a bit neglected.  My bad.  Sorry.  I will continue to do my best to keep you updated and to keep in touch, and I will try to do better than a quarterly blog.

Studio, you Say?

Sewabaloo Studio

Oh yes – unless you follow me on social media you probably don’t know that I’ve moved into a gorgeous new studio space at The Model House Arts & Crafts Centre in Llantrisant (South Wales).  (Squee!)

This was my big aspiration last year, and now I’m in it feels just amazing.  I’m able to completely focus on my work (instead of being distracted by laundry, dishes, and long lunches in front of the telly), I don’t have to clear up at the end of the day, and I’m able to focus much more on my family when I’m at home.  It’s even better than I thought it would be.

I am in the studio on Mondays 9-5 (although the building is closed to the public on Mondays), Tuesdays 9-3, Wednesdays 9-3 and Saturdays 1-5.  Please pop along to say hello if you’re in the area.

New Services and Classes

With a new space comes new opportunities – and I’m excited to be able to offer a clothing alteration service and classes/workshops in my lovely new studio.  If you are local to Llantrisant / Cardiff, why not join me for a learn to sew class, a Boxer Short making workshop, or lampshade making?  My space is limited so the class sizes are going to be very small, so I will be able to give a lot of individual attention.  The first of my classes is on Saturday and there are still a couple of space left if you’re quick.

Pattern News

So where does all this leave the sewing patterns?  Yes, I know I’ve been promising the launch of Carabaloo, my A-line girls dress, for ages, but I keep tinkering with it – for some reason I’m finding it really hard to let go.  It’s being tested again now, so stand by for its launch – sometime in the next few weeks.

Carabaloo A Line Dress pattern, cover

Manlybaloo, the men’s boxer shorts pattern that I made available for free for Santes Dwynwen / Valentines Day has been graded for sizes XS – XXXL, and will shortly begin the testing process.  If you would like to be considered for testing the pattern please send me an email and I will contact you when the call for testers goes out.
Free Boxer Shorts Sewing Pattern men
On publication of the new graded pattern the free pattern will no longer be available – so grab it while you can!  This pattern will form the basis of one of my sewing workshops.

 

The next pattern, an as yet unnamed unisex pattern, has been successfully drafted, tweaked and numerous prototypes sewn.  I will be grading the pattern soon and preparing the supporting instructions and illustrations. (No photos of this as yet – I’m keeping this one hush-hush just for now).
So, even though you haven’t heard anything from me for far too long, things have been moving forward and I expect to have three new patterns available in the near future.  But I’m not making any promises on timescales!  ;0)

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful and peaceful Christmas break and managed to squeeze some sewing in.  I spent my time planning my projects and new designs, and am excited by what’s to come, I can’t wait to unveil my new projects over the coming year.  I’m going to be busy!

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