Sewisfaction and Holme Grange Craft Village

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the bricks and mortar shop – Sewisfaction. Since I discovered my love of sewing I have also discovered several independent fabric and haberdashery shops and this is one of my favourites. Unfortunately it is not local to me so I have only every purchased on line before therefore I was really excited when I discovered that it was fairly close by on a recent short break.

https://www.sewisfaction.co.uk/

I discovered Sewisfaction last year not long after I started to sew, in fact I think that Shoena opened her shop around the same time as I started sewing. Not only does she sell fabric and habedashery both online and direct she also offers sewing classes and does a great vlog and blog which I always look forward to watching or reading.

Sewisfaction is set in a lovely Craft Village called Holme Grange, it is in a great location with lots of independent shops that sell a variety of items from jewellery, crafts, furniture and the perfect shop for my husband – ‘Beyond the Download’ a record shop that sells a huge selection of vinyl records both old and new.

https://holmegrangecraftvillage.co.uk/

When we visited there were also some children’s summer holiday activities – pony rides the day we were there but I think it varies from day to day and if that wasn’t enough for the children then you can visit the Brickies Club where you can get creative with Lego.

So on to my purchases: first up was a pattern that I have had my eye on for a while, Closet Case Kalle, I had also spotted some fabric on the website which I had in mind for this pattern but when I arrived and started to browse another fabric jumped out at me, it wasn’t on the website so as possibly just arrived. It is a lovely brushed cotton which feels so soft and I just couldn’t resist it.

Next up was a gorgeous Ponte fabric called Tulip Stamp which is a turquoise tulip print on a pink background, I am thinking of making another Nina Lee Southbank Sweater Dress with this, I made a couple last year and they were by most frequently worn outfits over the autumn/winter and even into spring.

When I got home I realised there was a bit of a theme going on with the fabrics I had picked – lots of pink, blue and red tones so unsurprisingly the next fabric is cerise pink – it is called gilded cage and is a Japanese cotton, as soon as I saw it I knew what I would make. One of my first makes when I started sewing was the Tilly and the Buttons Delphine Skirt which can be found in the book ‘Love at First Stitch’, I now own about 6 of these skirts, several of them in bold prints. It is a really easy make and I think it look great paired with thick tights and a plain jumpers in the colder months, it’s a great way to add a bit of colour to a gloomy winters day.

My final purchase was this black jersey with a bit of sparkle called Midnight Shimmer, again I can’t see it on the website so it is possibly sold out or not yet listed. I haven’t quite decided what to make with it yet but it would make a lovely dress for the festive season.

If you should find yourself in the Wokingham area then I would certainly recommend a visit to the Craft Village, you could easily spend a couple of hours browsing and then I forgot to mention earlier but there is a lovely cafe where you can enjoy a drink and a delicious piece of homemade cake.

Tilly and the Buttons Stevie Tunic

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I recently had the opportunity to write my first blog post for Minerva Crafts with a review of one of the latest Tilly and the Buttons patterns – The Stevie Tunic.

My full review of the pattern can be found at the link below:

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/projects/dotty-about-stevie

All I will say here is that I loved the pattern so much that I had a second one on my cutting table straight after the first.

My second tunic was made with some lovely Ikat fabric from Lamazi Fabrics which as the time of writing is still available, I have put a link below:

John Louden – Ikat – Ivory on Delph – Colour Woven Cotton

The Gentleman’s Wardrobe

I decided to take a little time away from sewing for myself (I am acquiring far too many clothes – this sewing lark is addictive!) and make my husband a shirt for his birthday. The fabric was chosen by him a few months ago when we visited Doughty Bros in Hereford.

https://www.doughtysonline.co.uk/

Personally I find coming by good men’s sewing patterns difficult – if anyone knows where to find them please enlighten me? I did however have a book given me for Christmas called ‘The Gentleman’s Wardrobe’ by Vanessa Mooncie. The book contains a good selection of patterns including shirts, trousers, boxer shorts, slippers and even a bag. I did make a long sleeved formal shirt earlier in the year but this time he wanted something a little more casual and the short sleeved summer shirt in the book looked just the job.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gentlemans-Wardrobe-Vintage-Style-Projects-Modern/dp/1861087470

Having already made the formal/long sleeved shirt in the book I only needed to trace and cut out the pattern piece for the sleeves so that saved some time. I would call myself an advanced beginner now when it comes to following patterns and I found the instructions easier to follow this time although I still turned to YouTube for the yoke and followed the burrito method. I still haven’t quite perfected joining the collar to the shirt and had to fiddle about with the stitching on the edges to make it fit – not perfect but I was happy with it in the end.

My husband wanted a button down collar but I wasn’t confident adding buttonholes to the edge of the collar so instead I just sewed the buttons down to the shirt which I think looks fine, another adjustment I made was on the sleeves, when he tried it on we decided they looked a little too long so I adjusted them by adding a turn up and just stitching them in place.

I am pleased with how it turned out although I do find myself to be very critical on myself when I make anything. My husband (and the cat) on the other hand are delighted with the result and that’s what matters.

Cotswolds Break

This post isn’t sewing related although I did take my me made outfits with me if that counts😀

I have just returned from a short break with family. We went to a village called Sibford Ferris in the Cotswolds, (the nearest large town is Banbury). What a glorious place it was – we stayed in a house called Holmby House which was absolutely idealic.

http://www.holmbyhouse.co.uk/

The group consisted of myself and my husband along with our 3 boys who are late teens/early 20s and their girlfriends. We couldn’t have picked a better spot. The house had 4 lovely bedrooms all with ensuite with a lounge, dining room and kitchen and the gardens where beautiful. We had a lovely heated outdoor pool which was definitely the hub of the break, tennis court and croquet lawn (we made up the rules as we played 😂) and wonderful gardens, there were so many different seating areas dotted around the gardens that I lost count.

My husband and I are keen walkers and the area is perfect for that with stunning views and beautiful Cotswold stone cottages.

There was a pub within a short walk of our accommodation called The Wykham Arms which I would highly recommend if you fancy an evening out, (it is well worth ringing up and booking a table if there are a few of you).

http://wykhamarms.co.uk/

There is a good selection of meals on the menu which are very well presented as well as being delicious and if you have room left for pudding then you are in for a treat: tiramisu, chocolate teardrops and sticky toffee pudding were just a few of the tempting dishes to choose from when we visited.

With the glorious weather that we are currently enjoying we couldn’t of asked for a better family break and it is somewhere I would be very happy to visit again.