Pop Up Wedding Beauty Parlour

by Helen on June 27, 2014

I’ve turned my workroom into a pop-up beauty parlour all ready for the bride and her attendants tomorrow (eeek – tomorrow – how can this be?!).  The sewing machines have been tastefully draped with fabric and used to prop up some large mirrors (oooo … the indignity of it!).  I found the mirrors in local charity shops and simply repainted their frames in pastel colours – tres chic – but not too expensive …..

Then a few tacks, some floral fabrics and fairy lights transformed the wall behind the mirror (please excuse the pic of me in my PJs!).  I also had what I thought was a bit of a snazzy idea using vintage images and embroidery hoops (there’s a bit of an embroidery hoop theme going on in our decorations – will be able to show you more next week) ….

I found some vintage beauty adverts online, including one with a bride ….

A bit of photoshopping was needed, after which I printed them onto plain white cotton using inkjet transfer paper.  Then I simply stitched them onto some pretty floral background fabric – just as a patch with a line of machine stitching around the edge, and mounted them in a painted hoop.  The cheap ones you get from Hobbycraft and similar outlets are perfect for this ….

Then threaded some white cotton through the screw and pinned them to the background fabric.  And they’ll be great mementos of the day too – if Rosie doesn’t snaffle them all then I’ll definitely hang one or two here at Coombe Leigh.

Meanwhile …. please keep your fingers crossed for a sunny day tomorrow!





Not forgotten …

by Helen on June 9, 2014

I am afraid that for the next couple of weeks I might not be around as much as usual.  This doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten – simply that there’s now only just over two weeks until the BIG DAY and, as well as all the busy-ness that involves, I also have to finish off the July issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine  (there’s a lot I want to pack into this issue!)   This means that blogging time is in short supply which makes me sad, because there’s so much I want to show you. Our excitement is building and Rosie’s Handmade Wedding vision is becoming reality.  We have placenames …..

All the names are handstitched in a mixture of stem and satin stitch onto vintage linen sheet, hemmed at the top and mounted in a 7″ hoop.  Rosie chose an assortment of pretty pastels in blues for the boys and pinks/lilacs for the girls to back the hoops.  We produced the menus on Photoshop and they were printed by Vistaprint.  We’re still working on the tablenames – just waiting for the hoops to arrive (spot the theme going on here!)

I just hope I don’t discover I urgently need a pink button for another project as Rosie has snaffled them all!  Then one of my favourite projects didn’t involve sewing at all…..

Yes, granny’s vintage teacups and an old five-arm candlestick.  I can’t take credit for the idea though, I spotted it in the French magazine, Marie-Claire Idées.  We’ve made one each as they’ll make a great centrepiece when we’re entertaining friends.  But amongst all the wedding projects, I have found time to finish off my latest Rosie and Bear project – Princess and the Pea ….

In which a very rumpled looking Princess Rosie, who has clearly spent a most uncomfortable night is being given no sympathy by Bear who slept very well.  He’s suggesting she’s too fussy and needs a magnifying glass to discover whatever is causing her discomfort!  This was inspired by all the pretty vintage-y fabrics I’ve been using for wedding makes and I do hope you like it.  The pattern will be in the July Magazine.


Vintage Bluebirds for you

by Helen on April 26, 2014

Earlier this month I was enjoying a particularly satisfying rummage in my inherited box of vintage embroidery transfers when I discovered a lovely sheet of bluebirds.  “Aha!” I thought, perfect for some spring projects, and in fact I went on to use them twice in the May magazine. You may have spotted  Miss Mabel Fox embroidering them ….

and they also appeared on my Sunshine Sweetheart Pouch ….

Then Rosie saw – and fell in love with – them and asked for an embroidered pendant……

Today I selected my floss (always an exciting moment!) …

And began on my first project for the June issue of the Magazine – which will feature more of these little bluebirds …..

If you’d like to stitch a couple of these vintage bluebird designs then here they are ….

Vintage Bluebirds

 Please just click on the image above and you’ll be taken to my Flickr account where you can download a larger, printable version.  

Hope you like them! 


Some hexie loveliness …

by Helen on April 19, 2014

I’ve really enjoyed my hexies project using up all the lovely tiny scraps of fabric in my box that are too small for anything else.  I have cut and stitched over a hundred little hexies to create a lovely little pouch for toiletries.  And there’s more .. some vintage stitchery too.  I thought very hard about this, and as my pouch is likely to be used at the beginning and end of the day, combined the phrases “Good morning sunshine” and “Goodnight sweetheart” with some beautiful vintage bluebirds.

When photographing my pouch I decided that I needed some little models to enhance the pictures, and chose the French Hens for the morning side of the pouch, and Lovebirds for the evening.  

They all gathered round to receive some words of advice from Mr & Mrs Mouse who, after all, were professionally photographed for their cover appearance not so very long ago.  Then first it was the turn of the French Hens …..

Who did rather well.  The Lovebirds were a little nervous, but quickly got into the swing of things ….

Though Mrs Lovebird got so excited she nearly fell off her perch!  The pattern for my Sunshine Sweetheart pouch (as well as a little more about English paper piecing) will be in the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out on Thursday.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you – it was soooo funny!  I was sitting on the sofa handstitching my hexagons – or was I tacking them to the papers – I can’t quite remember.  Anyway, I threaded my needle and held it up in front of me to straighten out the thread when …. along came that naughty Miss Daisy – caught the end of thread in her flubbery mouth and sucked it – right out of my needle and down to goodness knows where – it vanished completely into her insides!  I was left threadless – and speechless too.