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Welcome to Charleston! - Brand new collection by Amy Sinibaldi

Charleston by Amy Sinibaldi

We're thrilled to have taken stock of our latest collection - Charleston by Amy Sinibaldi. Get lost in dreamy hues of blue and raspberry and let Charleston transport you with all it's southern hospitality.

Pineapples, umbrellas and barnacles!

What could be more surreal than this daydream inducing collection of summer ready prints. Themes include 'Garden of Dreams' and 'Teacups' and the more intriguing 'Barnacles' (trust us you'll love it).

Chic and fresh

There's something so chic about the simplicity of this collection but it's subtler details aren't to be missed like the delicate bees included in Garden of Dreams or the sprigs of samphire included in Barnacles.

Feeling inspired?

We're overcome by the flexibility of this collection. It brings together an appreciation of geometric shapes and the subtle softness of garden blooms and tea time happiness, meaning it would lend itself to any setting and unlimited projects.

Yours, making a throw for the lounge x

 

 

 

 

Hark the sound of Birdsong! - Our latest collection by Jojo Coco for Dashwood Studio

Birdsong by Dashwood Studio

We're delighted to have taken stock of the latest collection for Dashwood Studio by Joanne Cocker called Birdsong.

About the collection

Birdsong is an enchanting collection comprising of muted tones and calming scenes that blend effortlessly with one another. Birch trees, mountains and raindrops as well as scattered seeds and horizons are represented in the range, adding to it's earthy, laid back feel.

See what you think

We're in love with the fresh, crisp colour combinations and natural feeling we get from this collection. Joanne described the collection as having been inspired by an appreciation for the small things, those we don't always notice but which are beautiful when we stop to enjoy them for a moment.

Take a look for yourself!

Right at home

The collection lends itself effortlessly to homeware because of it's ease to mix and match. Image credit

What will you make with your selections?

Yours, in flight x

Kona Chameleon

Kona Cotton Solids

Be your own designer with our extensive range of Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman. Kona cotton solids are renowned for their high quality 100% cotton construction and allow you to be the creator of your own designs. With over 40 shades available from £8 a metre, you'll be limited only by how daring you feel!

Why plain fabric?

Plain fabric enables you to incorporate, subtly or overtly, an entirely bespoke arrangement of tones without restriction. There is simply no end of colour combinations and no limitations that would otherwise exist when putting printed designs together. We've pulled together some inspiration so you can see what we're talking about!

1. The quilted picture:

How absolutely stunning is this story of cotton reels, simply put together yet intricately adorned with stunning stitch detailing that speaks for itself. Image credit

2. The 'oh my god I have to make one' blanket:

Rich, sumptuous and perfect in every way. Endless appeal. Image credit

3. The muted-tone perfection wall hanging:

This arrangement is so cool and understated it hurts. Apartment chic at it's finest. Image credit

4. The 'not for the fainted hearted' picture project:

What an incredible take on traditional portraiture, drawing with fabric. Image credit

5. The quietly satisfying geometric knock out pillow project:

When colour and form combine effortlessly. Image credit

Tutorials and Free Patterns

For free tutorials and inspiration a plenty, put the kettle on and check out the Queen of quilts. Trust us, you'll be mesmerised and thankful for the tea while time slips away - over at Jeli Quilts 

Are you ready?

Are you ready to take your making to the level of designer? It's easier than it sounds and trust us when we say you really can't go wrong. As in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so let your eye lead you to your perfect colour combinations.

Have fun!

Yours, over the rainbow x

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Did you know Poppies & Polka Dots are the chosen supplier of many makers?

Welcome to part 1 of 'Meet the Makers'.

We're proud to be the chosen supplier to lots of creative business owners. We decided to get to know them a bit better and here are the results.

We discuss why, what and how with apron designer and maker Anna from My Mini Pinny.


Thank you for speaking to us Anna. What made you want to start running your own business?

My life completely changed after I had children. I wasn’t prepared to commute to London anymore. I also found myself very isolated so I started a knitting group. A neighbour over the road soon encouraged me to try sewing which I loved. Far quicker results and more precision for a greater fit! The group went from being a stitch and bitch gathering to a sewing circle. That was 3 years ago and we have been growing ever since. The group gave me the confidence to pursue a career as a maker and also a legitimate reason to hoard more fabric!

How did you get involved with Poppies & Polka Dots?

I was looking for a reliable supplier with lots of choice. I found Poppies & Polka Dots through a friend’s recommendation and I’ve always found the range represents my taste very well and includes all the classics that I rely on as well as all the latest new releases that are relevant to my customers. Service is fantastic and Katrina can always be relied on to offer up helpful suggestions and to answer queries straight away which is something that makes a huge difference to my small business.

Who is your inspiration?
The women at my sewing circle are my inspiration. Everyone supports each other, bakes their own cakes to lovingly share and they all come ready to laugh, create and belong. Every one of them is incredible for different reasons and we all offer unconditional acceptance.

What is your biggest creative challenge?
Last minute orders! Quite often someone will have only just found me and will need something for a birthday the following day. I’m always very happy to do everything I can to make that happen but for a fleeting moment I feel absolutely terrified!

Why do you do it?
I do it for all the customers who write to thank me and tell me how much they love their makes. It means the world to me to hear that. Also that they took the time to write and tell me their stories or send in their photos. And I do it for my children who proudly chat about mummy's pinnies to anyone who will listen!

What do you do when you're not making?
I’m a volunteer counsellor at rape crisis and I spend my time supporting women there. Otherwise I can be found at Kew Gardens soaking up inspiration and eating lemon drizzle cake.

Can we take a peek at your sewing space?
Of course! It’s not quite finished but I’m really looking forward to embellishing it with lots of handmade decorations and arranging my fabric in colour order, swoon.

Favourite quote?
If you have to ask what jazz is you'll never know - Louis Armstrong.

The Poppies & Polka Dots 'Design Wall' feature - Now live!

We're thrilled to announce the launch of our latest tool, the Poppies & Polka Dots Design Wall.

Think of this as your own personal design area where you can organise the fabrics on your wish list, move them around, resize them and find the perfect combinations for your next sewing project!

The Design Wall is a brand new way to draw your projects together. If you're hopping from page or theme, simply press the 'add to design wall' button and all your selections will be saved in once place.

You'll receive a pop up message which confirms that your selection has been saved and you can carry on shopping or designing as you wish!

Furthermore, all of your selections can be re-arranged and enlarged to optimise your fabric shopping experience. The Design Wall  allows you to experiment with different colour and design combinations to your hearts content!

Each product added to the design wall maintains it's product tag so that you can easily retrace your steps and find these again effortlessly or organise items by designers or collection.

At any time in your design journey you can revisit your virtual pin board of ideas at the click of a button, top right of the site as shown here marked 'My Design Wall'.

And when you're done, you can add any that you like in to your basket ready to go.

Have a play and let us know what you think.

Yours, virtual swatching! x

The Makers Retreat. A stylish new way to sew & make!

Love sewing? Then you'll love the newly launched Poppies & Polka Dots 'The Makers Retreat'. A whole day dedicated just to you, your sewing machine, knitting needles or hooks. Sounds like your cup of tea? We've even laid on lunch so that all you need to decide is what to make on the day.

We've included a pop up shop, showcasing all the trinkets and yummy things you love about Poppies & Polka Dots, with lots of items available to buy on the day including new releases.

When is it taking place? The first Makers Retreat will take place on Sunday 19th March 17

Venue: Penn Street Village Hall, Amersham, Buckinghamshire HP7 0PX

Allow yourself to get fully immersed in a project of your choice. Perhaps you just don't have enough time during the day or all those small distractions take the fun away. This will be a unique chance to have uninterrupted crafting time and to really get the most out of your skills, tucked away in the gorgeous village hall in Penn Street, close to Amersham. We literally can't wait.

Come and meet us! Say hello, get comfy and indulge in a day dedicated entirely to your craft. You'll be part of our first ever Retreat and it promises to be a truly indulgent day. We've thought of everything from ironing stations through to afternoon tea so that you don't have to. You've earned it.

Places are limited - follow this link to secure your place and let us know what you'll be making on the day! hello@popppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Make the most of our introductory retreat price of £40 including lunch.

Yours, with sights set on this new Bumblee range for crafting with on the day! x

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Poppy Seeds are coming!

We think a lot about how our sewing space is organised and where things are best placed to be within easy reach, but how often do we think about organising our sewing knowledge in quite the same efficient way?

How would you like to increase your sewing skills and challenge some of the techniques you may have taken for granted?
Whether you’ve been sewing for a week or sewing for years, there’s always something new to be learned, be that the latest textiles, tools or techniques.With that in mind, we’ve created a new weekly feature called ‘Poppy Seeds’ which comprises our top tips and inspiring notions, sent direct to your inbox.

Let 2017 be the year that you take your sewing skills to the next level. Think of it as our way of saying thank you for all your messages, loyalty and the beautiful projects you bring in to this world.

Perhaps you’ve always threaded a needle the way your great Aunt Maude taught you and never given it a second thought. But the world deserves to know Aunt Maude’s time saving secret and all the other wisdom we’ve gleaned from the sewing circle.

Our aim is to give you knowledge and insights that increase your confidence, as well as inspiring solutions that get you thinking about your projects and sewing space from a different stance. Come and join us, there’ll be no looking back.

Let’s do this.

Yours, with an outstretched hand x

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All hail the embroidery hoop. A whole lotta hoopla!

Image Credit

Have you ever considered using the humble embroidery hoop for anything other than humble embroidery?! We're in love with the idea of taking a hoop and covering it with fabric to create a fabulous memo board, and it doesn't stop there. These look fabulous as a collection with different coverings, and we found a couple of other uses for them to share with you too, if you're so inclined. But firstly...

To make your own memo board:

Step 1 - Using cork which can be bought on the roll, lay your hoop on top of the cork and cut around your hoop with approximately a 1 inch allowance the whole way round.

Step 2 - You'll need to cut approximately 8 notches around the edge of the cork to ensure it can be secured without any unsightly bumps.

Step 3 -Then place your desired fabric over the cork and cut to match.

Step 4 -Now place your outer hoop around the inside hoop including fabric and cork and secure the closure. Get pinning!

Here's a collection of other uses we found along the way which we think are equally fabulous. The full collection of embroidery hoops available from Poppies and Polka Dots here.

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Other embroidery hoop uses:

The Dream Catcher - This beautiful hoop is limitless in the adornments that can be added to it and is suitable for big and little people alike. We love the playful pom poms and invoking colour combinations. Image credit.

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The Reinvented Jewellery Box - A great way to store items and actually be able to see them! Image credit.

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The Card Organiser - This is so simple and so incredibly beautiful all at once. We love the idea of this for seasonal displays such as Christmas and birthday's to keep it special but it would work equally well for postcards of inspiration or reminders. Image credit.

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The Calendar - Quite frankly if this isn't the most adorable thing we've ever seen then I don't know what is and you get to show off your embroidery skills to! Image credit.

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The Clock - This is the most charming clock we've ever seen! No craft room is complete without! Image credit.

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Yours, with a now enormous to do craft list! x

 

Lampshade upgrade!

Lampshades

Be your own lampshade designer with our three size drum making kits.
Sometimes it's the smaller changes to a room that can make a big difference.
No need for a complete design overhaul, simply updating table lamp or pendant lampshades can be a really effective transformation for your space and a great excuse for fabric shopping! Statement fabric, co-ordinating fabric or contrasting fabric with other soft furnishings in the room can add a real injection of personality.

lampshade blog 1

Perhaps you've heard about homemade lampshade kits and felt intimidated by the very accurate looking seamless results. Fear not! We are here to answer any questions you may have and to give you an overview of just how easy the process is. And just for fun, we've pulled together some really bold prints that we think would work brilliantly as lampshade coverings. You'll be ready to get started on your very own professional looking lampshades in no time.
There are three different lampshade kits available:
Size small measures 20cm diameter x 18cm high (required fabric needs to be 65cm wide x 22cm drop).
Size medium measures 30cm diameter x 18cm high (required fabric needs to be 97cm wide x 26cm drop).
Size large measures 40cm diameter x 25cm high (required fabric needs to be 129cm wide x 29cm drop).

lampshade blog 2

Step 1 - Ensure your fabric is prepped and ready to go. Any lint should be removed, ironed so it's nice and crisp and easier to work with and this will also ensure a great finish once complete.

Step 2 - Position the adhesive, flat rolled drum over the wrong side of your covering. Don't remove the release paper yet. Ensure this lines up with the pattern repeat as desired and that it is in line with the grain and not slanting off at an angle. Mark the corners with vanishing fabric pen or similar so that you can easily line this up again once you begin revealing the release paper.

Step 3 - Once happy with your positioning, peel back the release paper and stick down the first 10cm, working on a clean, flat surface. You can then tease out the remainder of the roll, slowly unravelling and easing out the roll 10cm at a time to ensure no air bubbles and that your fabric stays flat and smooth. It sounds scary but it's actually very relaxing!

Step 4 -The full length of drum will now be attached and the release paper fully removed. You will need to trim the surplus fabric from your drum with a sharp knife along the panel edges and remove the strip of drum with perforated edges to the upper and lower edges of the drum.

Step 5 - Cover the two lampshade rings with the supplied adhesive tape and roll up along the two edges of your lampshade.

Step 6 - Tuck your edges in using the tool supplied.

workshop1

You will now have a beautifully made lampshade to adorn your home!

If you're not far from us here in Amersham, we are also running Lampshade Making Courses with our sister company Lampshade Parade, which are proving very popular. Spend a lovely afternoon, learning to make a 30cm drum lampshade, we'll teach you some of our top tips and extra little details to give your lampshade a truly professional finish. Enjoy tea & cakes whilst you do it and take home a gorgeous lampshade - handmade by you - at the end!

For more details click this link

As always we love to see your finished makes <3

Here are are a few of the latest ones we made to get you started 🙂

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Now for some fabrics that we think work brilliantly as lampshade coverings, we're feeling the Dashwood Studio love on this one!:

Print
Dashwood Studio - Fablewood - Tall Trees
CAND1156
Dashwood Studio - Cuckoo's Calling - Floral Medallions Mustard
Dashwood Studios - Novelties Cats
Dashwood Studio - Cuckoo's Calling - Clocks Navy
Dashwood Studio - Fablewood - Main
 Dashwood Studio - Cuckoo's Calling - Floral Orange
 Petite Street - Floral
 Yours, feeling like an interior designer x

A gift from us to you - Free Stocking Tutorial with pattern template

stocking-tutorialThe countdown has well and truly begun and we're getting ever so excited by the overwhelming choice of Christmas fabrics available. A really good way to not have to choose between them is to combine contrasting or complimentary patterns and a stocking is a great way to get started. Suitable for all abilities and can be embellished as much or as little as you like. Stockings also make an incredibly thoughtful gift too! If that's not inspired you to become a one person stocking-making factory this Christmas then read on because they really are satisfyingly clever to pull together...

fabric-from-dashwood

Without further ado I present you with your Classic Christmas Stocking with Cuff tutorial, courtesy of Louise Ambrosi of Sew Sofia fame.

First things first...

Stocking Pattern Template:

christmas-stocking-tutorial-2

Stocking Materials:

20 x 23 inch main fabric (this is just over one fat quarter. To make two stockings we used 0.5m of both the Christmas Puddings and Snowflakes and Stars from Festive Friends collection by Dashwood Studio)

20 x 23 inch lining fabric (we used Sunny Kona cotton cotton)

10 x 14.5 inch piece of contrasting fabric for stocking cuff

10 x 3 inch piece of contrasting fabric for hanging loop

16 inches of pompom trim, ribbon or ricrac (optional)

Basic sewing kit

Tailors chalk

Ruler

Iron

Fabric glue (optional for the trim)

Points to note before you start:

Seam allowance, unless otherwise stated: Quarter inch

Finished stocking measures 18 x 7 inches (45cm x 17cm)

RST is right sides together

WST is wrong sides together

SA is seam allowance

Backstitch at the start and finish of any sewing to secure stitching.

Stocking Instructions:

Print out the PDF stocking pattern pieces at “actual size” use the 1 cm square to check you have printed the correct size. Tape the stocking pieces together by overlapping the pieces as per the diagram on the pattern.

tape-pattern-pieces

Lay stocking pattern onto your main fabric, trace and cut then FLIP over the pattern piece to cut out the other side of your stocking. Repeat with the lining fabric so that you have four stocking pieces.

flip-pattern-piece-over-to-mirror-stocking

Hanging loop

Fold the 10 x 3 inch rectangle in half lengthwise and press to make a centre crease. Now fold the two long edges to the centre and press. Fold again to have a 10 x three quarter inch piece with no raw edges showing. Pin and stitch to close the open edge, then stitch along the other long edge. Set aside.

hanging-loop

Sew the Stocking

Pin the main stocking pieces right sides together (RST). Stitch down one long side, slowly follow the curve of the foot and toe, then up the other long side with a quarter inch seam allowance (SA). The top short edge is left open. Cut tiny slits on the curved part of the stocking, turn the stocking right side out and press well.

clip-curves

 

Repeat with the two lining pieces, leaving a 6 inch gap on one long edge. When you get to the foot and toe of the stocking, increase the seam allowance to ½ inch. This will prevent a baggy lining inside the stocking later! Trim seam allowance to one eight of an inch and leave the lining stocking wrong side out.

leave-gap-in-lining

Sew the Stocking Cuff

Fold the 10 x 14.5 inch piece in half RST matching the shorter edges. Pin the short edges together and stitch, then press open the seam allowance. Turn this tube right side out and press again. Tuck half of the tube inside itself and press again.

press-open-seam-on-cuff

If you are planning to decorate your cuff, this is a good time to do this. I added a cute red pom pom trim to the FOLDED edge of the stocking (the raw edge of the cuff will be disappearing soon!). The pom pom trim is quite elastic and fiddly to pin, so I stuck it in place with a thin strip of fabric glue before sewing it on with a zipper foot, this can also be sewn on by hand but be sure to tuck in the edges that join around the cuff.

decorate-cuff-add-loop

Fold the hanging loop in half to make the short edges meet and pin to the top raw edge of the cuff piece about half an inch in from the side seam and with a quarter SA. Backstitch a few times to secure.

 Add the cuff to the main stocking

Take your finished cuff piece and slip over the top of the main stocking so that the side seams match and pin in place. The hanging loop needs to be pinned down flat on the cuff and on the ‘heel’ side i.e. the opposite side to the toe! Sew all around the top edge with a quarter inch SA.

stitch-cuff-to-stocking

Final assembly

Now slip the whole stocking still right side out inside the lining which is wrong side out. Match the side seams, pin in place making sure that the hanging loop is still down between the layers and that the main stocking toe is pushed into the lining toe! Stitch all around at a half inch SA.

slip-stocking-into-lining

Pull the main stocking through the gap in the lining. Fold and press the seam of the lining gap and stitch closed.

pull-stocking-through-gap-in-lining

Tuck the lining into the main stocking, press well and edge stitch the top of the cuff to finish it off. Now all you need to do is get, or make, some stocking fillers!

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Variations:

Personalise your stocking by adding a name or initial with embroidery or applique to the front stocking piece or cuff piece before assembly.

Make a patchwork effect by cutting different fabrics for the toe piece and shaft piece adding half inch to the seam allowance to sew them together.

Add a cute pocket in contrasting fabric to the front of the stocking.

We hope that's got you focused if you were wondering where to start. Happy Christmas Crafting everyone!

Yours, by the fire x