The Eternal Maker Crafts

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

For People without Pockets!

It's that time of year again - when we up sticks and take half our shop and half our staff up to the NEC, Birmingham for the first major show of the season "Festival Of Quilts".With the show running from 11th -14th August, preparations are in full swing, and as a treat to ourselves we thought we all needed new money belts, partly to keep our pennies safe but mainly because we are always looking for excuses to make up things in the lovely "Melody Miller" and "Echino" ranges!

Now with all you wheeler dealers out there (and you gardeners /crafters /painters /decorators/people-without-pockets, out there) we often get asked how to make up our mini aprons...... So with our brilliant work experience girl Emily on hand to do all the stitching we've decided to do a quick "how-to" for you all....

All you'll need is half a metre of fabric (112cm/44" wide), enough tape to tie around you, a sewing machine, thread and a couple of pins.

Step 1
Cut the half metre of fabric into two pieces of approximately 50cm x 55cm each. (If your fabric was originally folded on a bolt when you bought it just cut down that centre crease.) Trim off the selvedge edges.

Step 2

You now need to re-join the two pieces of fabric along the 55cm side. Place the two fabric pieces with the right sides facing each other and stitch along one of the 55cm sides. You need to make sure that when they are joined together the direction of the pattern will go the same way on both portions of your apron.

Step 3

Keeping the right sides of the fabrics facing for the moment - sew along both 50cm edges joining the fabric to make a pocket with one of the 55cm side left open. Clip the excess fabric from the corners of your stitching and turn the pocket right side out.

Step 4

Give the pocket of fabric a quick iron. Now it's time to think about the pocket front - fold the stitched bottom edge of your pocket of fabric up to create what will become the pocketed section of your apron.

If you want to add a secret pocket to the reverse of your apron, mark the bottom fold and the top edge of this folded fabric with a couple of pins and unfold and then follow step 5. (If you don't want a secret pocket skip to step 6)

Step 5 (secret pocket)

Use a scrap of fabric and cut it to the size you want your pocket to be. Iron around all the edges of your secret pocket folding in the raw edges as you go. Stitch along the top edge of your secret pocket to make a hem (this is the top of your secret pocket). Now pin your secret pocket in place on the reverse side of your apron and stitch around the other three sides (left, bottom and right side edges) to form your pocket. (Remember to check your positioning - You don't want it to be positioned above the top edge of your front pocket compartments as you will see your stitching on the front, and you don't want it positioned below the fold line (marked with pins) of your main pocket compartments or else it will show on the front of your apron.)

Step 6

Now stitch up the sides of the folded pocket section to join them to the back of the apron. To divide your pocket into different compartments stitch a couple of lines of stitching that run vertically up the pocket section dividing the compartments.

Step 7

Now it's time to attach your tape. Fold it in half to find the centre and mark this with a pin. Take your apron front and lay it on a table with the main pocket compartments facing down onto the table. You will have some raw edge of your fabric at the top of your apron. Fold the raw edges over towards the back side of the apron (The side with the secret pocket if you have made one) make this fold slightly less wide than the tape you are going to use - and then iron the fold in place.

Step 8

Your tape is then sewn onto the back of the apron (use your pin marker to centre the tape) - stitch along both edges of the tape enclosing the raw edges of the apron under the tape.

Fold in and sew along the two ends of your tape to stop the ends fraying and you're all finished!

Time to get gardening, crafting, or wheeler dealering!

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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Focus On Organic Fabrics Day -23rd July 2011

Focus on Organic fabrics Day (or FOOF day as we now call it in store!) is fast approaching so I just had to show you these gorgeous coasters that are going to be one of our make and take projects. Using the "Pots and Jugs" print from Cloud 9's "Cut Out & Keep" range these really are lovely - great for presents or a mini kitchen make-over - and so easy to make!

So make sure you come along on Saturday 23rd of July between 10am and 4pm for the chance to have a go at making all sorts from stitching to glueing and sticking - there will be projects suitable for all the family and even children's skirt, short and bib making - so something for all the little ones as well as the big ones!

Have fun learning how to get the best from these gorgeous fabrics - how exciting!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Hi Rachael here - I know that maybe the weather isn't up to much as yet, but don't you just love summer! And my favourite thing about summer?..... It's all the day's out. Whether it's off to the beach, school fete or festival, weekends in the summer just seem to have so much more potential.

This Sunday I went off to Hampton Court Flower Show with my Mum and had a fabulous time wandering around the stands - coming up with fanciful ideas for my pitifully ignored back garden. It was all just so inspiring.

These were my two favourite gardens. I don't think I fancy mowing the lawn in the first garden - a bit tricky perhaps and may involve waders or even a boat! But how about the second one with it's checkerboard heather hedge - apparently this is "easily" done with wall mounted modules which I find quite exciting.

There was definitely a trend for planting in vertical spaces, and I guess with a lot of us living in more compact spaces, this really does make sense. As I was admiring another beautifully planted wall mounted display (this time made with fabric made from recycled plastic bottles) who should I meet but one of our lovely papercraft tutors Debs Winrow!

Now I had known that the reason we hadn't seen Debs in store for a while was because she was off doing something incredibly interesting, but I didn't quite know exactly what she was up to, so it was so exciting to see all the products, designers and artists she was promoting as part of her company Garden House Design. (

Other highlights of the day included the Sixties themed floral display. It was great to see Chichester College flying the flag for West Sussex - check out their yellow submarine garden complete with octopus below!

And of course I couldn't complete the day with out taking lots and lots of random vegetable pictures in the Edible Garden section. I'll spare you the whole album and just show you my finest cabbage patch pic!

So yes, there's all sorts going on out there. From major shows to small events - get out and about and I can guarantee you'll come away in awe and itching to get started on something.

And while we're talking about days out....... the next event at The Eternal Maker to add to your diary (if I'm allowed to pop a tiny plug in here) is Focus On Organic Fabrics Day on Saturday 23rd July. Pop along any time between 10am and 4pm for drop in make and take sessions using our lovely Organic fabrics from "Cloud 9" and "Birch". There will be projects suitable for all the family so come along and be inspired!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Promenade Sunday at Petworth House

So how are you this fine sunny monday morning? I hope its as lovely where you are as here. Did you have a good weekend? Over at the eternal maker we had an official working sunday - but if only all work was as fun as this... We headed on over to Petworth House's Promenade Sunday, a day they had organised to celebrate all things vintage. You could buy vintage clothes, get your hair and make up done, listen to the band, eat a cream tea and drink Pimms. Yum. That's me and Rachael in our finery up there. We're modelling some vintage specs that had lenses that were just a little bit too thick, and made us feel like we had partaken of a little too much Pimms.
Here's our stall. Yeah, okay, we're not vintage. But I like to think of what we do as creating future vintage. The stuff that will last - not the disposable items you can buy in the shops today. This is the stuff that is created with love, given with love, kept with love, and handed down to future generations with love. Future vintage.
The man on the left hand side fiddling with buttons is someone you may have heard me talk about, or may have met in store. But as an official introduction, meet Paul. He works in the shop Monday - Wednesday, and packs orders and answers the phone and is generally a very helpful individual. And fun to have around, too!

On to other things. This is a present for a friend. Made with the new echino London fabric - oh my, how gorgeous is this? So gorgeous, in fact, that I couldn't bear to cut it up and made my first whole cloth quilt. Maybe a little less extravagant than some of the other whole cloth quilts that I have seen in my time.
Backed in a lovely lime essex linen, and bound in the echino natural purple. So simple, it took about 3 hours from start to finish.
I left the selvedge on, partly because I love a good echino selvedge, and partly because it says London on it, and I liked that it sort of named the quilt too, that way.
And I did my favourite sort of quilting too - hand sewn big stitches, bold colours. Simple.
Anyway, that's all on this lovely Monday. See you soon!
a x