Christmas is coming…now taking orders.

I’ve just finished my first order of Christmas stockings of the year, and about to start on another…you people are getting organised early!

This recent order, I have to admit, are my favourite stockings to date.

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I made these for the lovely Sarah of Leafy Couture who did the most amazing flowers for our wedding a couple of years ago. She asked me to make these for her two little ones: Lily and Elliot, and nephew Finn.

The main stocking is made from a cream cotton linen fabric, with the toe, heel and cuff in a red spotty linen blend – whilst these fabrics are not on the cheap side, using quality fabrics really makes such a difference in the overall finish, and are sure to be much more longer-lasting.

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They are fully lined and include a wadding inner to make them nice and padded. These stockings measure 51cm in length and 28cm in width (around the top of the stocking) – nice and big for Santa to fill with treats!

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Whilst keeping all the stockings matching in size, basic colours and style, I’ve personalised each with their names (also in cream cotton linen), edged in a hand-sewn running stitch, on the cuff. On the fronts of each, I appliquéd a cute Christmas design in felt and fabric on the front, with additional hand-embroidered elements such as the Gingerbread Man’s bow and icing, and the Angel’s halo, hair ribbons and dress decoration.

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Each have a vintage cream and red gingham loop to hang over the fireplace on Christmas eve.

Word in from Sarah on receipt of the stockings...’Emily you are ridiculously talented, they are beyond perfect, thank you so so so much!’…I think she liked them!

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So, if anyone else is getting organised early, and would like a personalised Christmas stocking like these for your loved one, please do not hesitate to contact me (hello@emilycarlill.com).

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Nothing better than ‘making your own’…right?

You may or may not know that I run another crafty business which, instead of making things for people, I like to think I’m helping people to get into the fab world of sewing and making things for themselves!

Well, a pretty new and exciting part of my business, Love Me Sew, is the launch of ‘Make Your Own’ craft packs…lovely boxes which contain everything you need to make up a complete item; including fabric, thread and other relevant haberdashery items, and a template and instructions designed and written (as well as packaged up!) by yours truly (with the help of my glamorous assistant’s Mr C and Winnie dog).

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photo (58)The packs were officially launched in October 2012 with Love Me Sew being invited to pitch the packs to a panel of John Lewis buyers as part of a Start Up business scheme, where we were selected to be one of 11 finalists from over 400 applicants! (Woweee I did say!)

SONY DSCCurrently, Love Me Sew ‘Make your own’ bunting and ‘Make your own’ phone case are stocked in six lovely retail outlets in Yorkshire and the North East, and are hoping to increase this number over the coming months.

IMG_0672I’ve just finished writing the patterns and instructions for another three packs – two general, one special edition – to be launched in time for Easter, which will also be available to buy from the Love Me Sew online shop (which currently sells lovely fabric if you fancy having a browse!). Here is a sneak preview (even the Love Me Sew blog and Facebook followers have not seen this!).

SONY DSCIf you like sewing and crafts yourself, and fancy keeping up with everything Love Me Sew, please follow the blog (I often post tutorials on here too!) and Facebook as I’ll be posting updates on how the packs are doing, and maybe encourage you to try one too…
(P.S If you do, I’d love to hear some feedback to make sure I’m getting them right for fellow crafters, and suggestions on future packs is always welcome!)

Bridesmaid Bags.

One of my oldest and closest friends, Laura, got married just over a week ago and I was one of eight bridesmaids.

The beautiful bride and her hubby Al.

Being a lovely, out-going, very bubbly and caring person, Laura and her now hubby got married on the banks of the beautiful Loch Lomond in Scotland in front of a massive 170 guests. The colour scheme for the wedding was along the Easter theme of pastel pink, blue, green and blue, complete with personalised egg cups and chocolate eggs.

The bridal party attire was (of course!) kilts for the men, cream lace dresses for the bridesmaids, and Laura’s beautiful Stephanie Allin wedding dress. Topped off with pink, blue and white hydrangers for the flowers.

A little while back, amongst the wedding-organising craziness, Laura asked me to make purses for the bridesmaids as a little surprise gift. We initially were going to go with a pink fabric, but after my other good friend and co-bridemaid Sarah told us she was pregnant and her baby started to grow, we ended up a with a spare bridesmaid dress which I cut up to make the bags.

I got some gorgeous antique-style purse frames which had a decorative flower (that I thought looked appropriately like a thistle!) from Etsy.

From bridesmaid dress...

...to bag!

With one test bag complete and approved by the bride, I got started on the other seven.

With enough fabric left to make another, I decided Laura couldn’t go without, so I made her a surprise bag also with the addition of a little hand-stitched label spelling out the bride and groom’s names and their wedding date – as a little keep sake.

On the morning of the wedding, Laura gave all the bags to her bridesmaids, which she had filled with a whole range of girly goodies including a little mirror, nail file, hand cream, bracellet, flower hair clips and more.

The girls loved their bags which also recevied plenty of nice comments from wedding guests throughout the day.

As well as the bags, I made a few little extra bits and bobs including a ‘Mr and Mrs’ banner and mini cake bunting with ‘hitched’ embroidered on the little flags.

As a thank you for making the bags, Laura gave me a lovely little silver star charm, with my initial. This charm was not only gorgeous, it was super special as it was also hand-made by my equally crafty friend Jane, who has recently starter her own jewellery business: Love Bird Love – please check out her website, it’s worth it!

Cowboy treat for my Texas Pete.

It’s been a little while since I posted anything on my own blog due to the fact that it is coming into wedding season and I am full to bursting with making hessian runners, men’s wedding ties, bunting, bridesmaid bags, banners, cutlery pouches, and cake bunting!

That, and the fact that I am working on getting my partnership business, Love Me Sew, up and running – which I might post about soon when (fingers crossed) our website will be live! Yeahy.

Amongst all the wedding craft craziness, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few extra bits and bobs; two of which have been pressys for my family. Granted, not the most exciting of presents but I enjoyed making them (as they were nice, easy and stress-free!) and, most importantly, they were liked…

The first was a cushion for my mum for Mother’s Day. Not only was it patchwork (which I love of any kind due to its crazy random-ness) but it was a little bit more special as I made the patchwork pieces out of the fabric left over from my wedding bunting.

The second was also a cushion but this time for the hubby. I know it’s a bit of a rubbish present for a man but it’s so difficult to think of a suitable, manly gift that is sewn or hand-crafted (and I made a not-very-strict-resolution to give a hand-made gift at every possible birthday opportunity!). While I also got him some other more interesting gifts, I knew he would like this as it’s made with cowboy print fabric (of the Cath Kidston variety) and anyone who knows Pete knows he has the biggest back catalogue of country music and loves to styles himself on a bit of the American Old West!

Pete, second from right with the appropriately named Hank Williams-style band 'The Lovesick Cowboys'.

I Heart You

Last week I got involved in a fellow crafter’s project: Hide and Seek, by the lovely and very talented Georgina Giles.

The aim was to brighten up someone’s January and banish those post Christmas blues by leaving little gifts for people to find.

Myself and a few other crafters decided to jump on board. You can find out more about the project and the other participants at Georgina’s website: http://georginagiles.wordpress.com/.

I decided to create crafty gifts for this, also with the coming Valentine’s Day in mind. I made simple little fabric hearts with embroidered messages of love and niceties, that were placed in various locations around Leeds…

Find out more about Georgina Giles at her website: http://georginagiles.wordpress.com/ and browse all her lovely items on her Etsy shop.