Category Archives: Reviews

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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My favourite snips

I’ve had all sorts of scissors and snips for trimming thread over the years – I’ve used nail scissors, embroidery scissors, small Ikea scissors, crafting snips and fancy branded snips.  They’ve all done the job (well, most of them – one pair of snips had to be immediately returned to Hobbycraft in disgust for failing to cut sewing thread), some better than others, and until a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have expressed any real preference in my thread cutting tools.

But then I discovered these beauties.  I first discovered them when I attended a dressmaking class locally and fell immediately in love with them.

Thread snips, thread cutters

They’re basic, cheap, unbranded (really, I have no idea who makes them) and I bought mine for something like a pound.  They are a pure joy to use and I have several pairs dotted throughout my sewing areas.

Light, robust and very sharp, they have a very satisfying, definite snipping action, finishing their snip with purpose, a little ‘full stop’ at the end of the motion.  I use them to cut notches and clips out of my fabric, too, and they fit snugly in my sewing machine accessories drawer with my seam ripper, another essential tool.

The final reason that these are my favourite snips is because they look ‘proper’ – I love that they’re made  completely of metal and painted blue with bits of the paint flaking off, it makes them look industrial and hard-core.  Which in turn makes me feel like a tough, no-nonsense kind of a sewer. Which I love.

Do you have favourite sewing tools?

Tell me about your favourites in the comments

Penbanc Fabrics

You might have noticed that I didn’t blog on time this week.  I was on holiday with my lovely family and didn’t take my laptop with me, nor did I take my sewing machine.  I didn’t even take any embroidery for the evenings, and it was lovely to be able to focus all of my attention on my children and husband for a full week.

We were in Pembrokeshire, possibly my favourite part of the world, and home to several woollen mills, which is what I thought I would blog to you about on my return.

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Book Review: Playful

I came across this beautiful book in the V&A museum in London last week, and just had to have it.  I’m a sucker for beautiful crafting books.  Rather than keep it all to myself I thought I might share some of the loveliness contained within with you, too, in the form a review.

PlayfulIt’s called Playful and is written by Merrilee Liddiard with wonderful photography by Nicole Hill Gerulat. Published by Stewart Tabori & Chang in 2014, it retails at £15.99, US $24.95, CAN $27.95.

This is a collection of projects to make for or with your children and includes sewn toys, some basic woodworked toys and painting / crafting projects, all with a feel of Scandi-chic about them and beautifully photographed in soft, natural lighting.

In the idyllic-sounding story of her formative years, Liddiard tells us how her parents were always making and creating for her and her eight siblings, and how she developed a love for creating.

“When you set the stage for the art of play in your home and learning environment, you are opening up a very special world for your little ones.” she says.  Bravo, well said, say I.

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