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Archive | Top 10 Picks

Best Press - Favourite Sewing Notions

Mary Ellen's Best Press " the clear starch alternative" Scent Free 499ml (15.9 FL OZ)

We LOVE this spray,  it seriously makes a difference and if you are a maker or quilter, we think you'll love it too.

 

Just shake the bottle, spray onto your fabric and press.

If you are sewing small patchwork pieces, or any sewing that includes triangles, like flying geese, half square triangles etc. you will LOVE this. It dramatically improves your accuracy as the fabric is held very stable - it's our favourite secret patchwork accuracy weapon!

A light spray of Mary Ellen's Best Press, makes the fabric crisp, so it's much easier to rotary cut. Ideal when you are cutting fabric on the bias too, as it stops it from stretching out of shape when sewing. It's perfect if you want to get your seams crisp but not stiff.

Unlike starch, Mary Ellen's Best Press doesn't flake or leave a nasty residue, it's guaranteed to become a staple in your sewing box as it will have a really positive impact on your project.

Let us know what you think, we'd love to have your opinion too 🙂

Best friends forever - Essential sewing paraphernalia

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I was reminded last weekend at a sewing circle, that we all have our sewing essentials that we reach for every time. One woman's trusty seam ripper is another woman's worst enemy.

Sewing for me is synonimous with blissful solitude. But occasionally I like to meet up with others to share my excitement, latest pattern or to just eat cake and be. Inevitably at these sewing circles, someone has an incredible gadget that none of us have ever seen before and so it makes for expensive repercussions afterwards when I rush home and spend the evening tracking down those new fangled must haves!

It's lovely to try out new techniques and short cuts, but what are our top 10 must haves? We'll, I'm glad you asked!

Number 10: Bobbins

Bobbins, spare bobbins and even more bobbins! You can never have enough bobbins because there's nothing worse than all your bobbins being full of the wrong colour thread and there's nothing nicer than sitting down to your project and already having a freshly wound bobbin ready and waiting. Image credit.

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Number 9: Bias Binding Maker

This neat little device allows you to become your own bias binding making factory from the comfort of your own home! No more unsightly, mismatched binding, you simply cut the stated width of fabric on the bias and then iron while passing through the device to create the folds in all the right places. Viola! Image credit.

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Number 8: Small fabric scissors

It's so much easier to tidy up thread ends as you go rather than at the end of a project. For that reason it's ideal to keep a small pair of sharp scissors within arms reach.

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Number 7: French chalk

Whether you like a large hulk of chalk in your hand, a tape measure around your neck and the imagination to pretend your work on Saville Row as you mark (guilty!) or you prefer the chalk pens that wind up for ease, french chalk is a must for pattern markings. Image credit.

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Number 6: Vanishing pen

Occasionally a vanishing pen will have better results than chalk, depending on the fabric that you are working on. Always do a test on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure it vanishes and be sure not to iron over this to avoid setting in. We love vanishing pens for their ease and accuracy and it really is magic when those markings disappear all on their own. We wouldn't be without ours.

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Number 5: A magnet

When you've just sat down and inadvertently knocked over a box of open pins everywhere, a decent sized magnet is great for rounding up all those loose pins. Your feet will thank you the following day! Image credit.

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Number 4: Bodkin

This trusty little tool is fantastic for turning tubes of fabric inside out such as straps and waistbands. It has a rounded end which means that unlike the safety pin method, there is no danger of the fastening opening up and getting wedged inside the tube.

bp80055730-silver-jpg-spotwf-productNumber 3: Ironing gloves

Who knew there was such a thing! Heat resistant gloves mean you can iron in your hem or pleats with dignity rather than looking like you're playing a very hot piano. Genius. Image credit

sbs-487110Number 2: Bobbin holder

We are huge fans of the sacred bobbin holder. Not only does it prevent disastrous tangles but bobbins can be arranged in rainbow order - and that's the part that really make us smile!

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Number 1: Seam ripper

Okay, so I know you've probably got one but have you got a sharp one? A sharp seam ripper can take dreaded seam ripping from dreaded to not quite so dreaded. Slightly. And they even make bejewelled and gold ones too, if you're stuck for Christmas list ideas that is!

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What are your sewing bff's? hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Yours, feeling November-eee x

 

 

Understated, Beautiful and Pure - Celebrating Crisp, Clean Classics

flowers jar - blogJust as Oscar Wilde said "the truth is rarely pure and never simple" the same could be said of something understated, that is, classic and never plain.

Sometimes when you take all the noise away, you're left with something so beautiful that you wonder why you couldn't see it in the first place.

Really fine crafting details require an unfussy backdrop to let fine skills speak for themselves. This lets each individual sewing detail sing out in it's own right and with our selection of beautifully understated and pure white backdrop fabrics that embrace everything we love about the spirit of a summer's evening, you'll be well on your way.

The first fabric in our collection is the minimal Bella Schooner Tipu, a lovely, light and playful repeat that has a Scandinavian charm to its simplicity with it's crown adorned bird and gorgeous rich aqua tones.

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Country Girls by Tasha Noel is undeniably charming. It depicts such delicate observations as feeding the ducks with a sprinkling of blueberries and wild flowers among silver birches. It is quintessentially innocent and country loving.

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Sommer Sundborn, Blossom by Sarah Jane is a beautifully illustration which needs no other colours. Available in peach and china blue, we love the brush strokes that are visible in these hopping illustrations as well as the blooms and overall symmetrical pattern that occurs, cocooning each picture.

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Enchant Floral White from Riley Blake is muted coloured posies somersaulting hastily and is a breathe of fresh air.

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Wonderland in Labyrinth Gold by Melissa Mortenson is a stunning geometric ode to grown up design of the highest order. We would love to hear what you make of it.

Riley Blake - Wonderland - Geometric Labyrinth in Gold

And so there you have it. Everything that you could possibly need for your sewing machine skills to do the talking in a manner that says you take sewing in your stride!

Yours with a scented candle, bowl of cherries and blouse darts to sew... x

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One new 'Poppy Field' & Summer Top 10 Hits

f3fd32a7f38b4849c707d1a11d29044cWe've moved!

We've been inundated with new deliveries here at Poppies & Polka Dots HQ as well as settling in to our new light and airy premises. As part of the unpacking process, we stumbled over a few classics that deserve a shout out as well as our new releases, and so we've compiled a list of our top 10 summer hits! Inspiration is a plenty, the sweet peas are gaining height and even the need for the seam ripper isn't taking that smile off our faces.

In at number 10.... Strawberries by Sevenberry. This fabric has got Wendy house curtains written all over it!

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9) Nature Trail - Flowers & Bees by Dashwood Studio. We think this would make the most beautiful lampshade covering ever. If we could wallpaper Poppies & Polka Dots HQ in this, we just might.

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8) Chloe by Tanya Whelan. I don't know about you but I'm making a peter pan collar blouse with mine!

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7) Picnic by Melody Miller This is the perfect summer tote excuse - permission granted!

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6) Zephyr by Rashida Coleman-Hale. We adore the carefree illustrations of this print with metallic detailing in a choice of two beautifully retro reminiscent tones. Children's attire anyone?

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5) Cuckoo's calling by Dashwood Studio. Playsuit please!

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4) Tulip Tangled by Sarah Jane. An absolute must have for any purpose, just don't miss out or you'll never forgive yourself (it's one of those).

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3) Blueberries by Tasha Noel. Because no one should be without blueberry culottes in their life.

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2) Park Life by cloud 9. Camper van curtains, basket lining, table runner, dolls house furnishings, the list is endless for this cheeky wayward snails fabric.

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Which means the number 1 spot goes to...  Flower Sugar by Lecien. Patchwork quilt or vintage reproduction dress, the options are endless for this sugary sweet collection with a huge choice of complimentary tones and prints.

Lecien flower sugar tea party - blue

Speaking of new spaces, we've been organising the way we do things at HQ and would love to hear from you if you have any sewing storage solutions or top tips that we can share. Please send us a picture to hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Until the next time, blossomy billowy blessings x

Photo credit - We've moved stationary

Inspiration fit for a Queen!

With the advent of a weekend's worth of official celebrations to honour her majesty, the Queen of England's 90th Birthday no less, we have been scanning the internet for some of our favourite Royal themed design, crafts and all things yummy!

We've pulled together this board of inspiration to recreate some of the regal excitement of the weekend and general British summer fun ahead!

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Picture credits / links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

If on the other hand you've just made a cup of tea, check out the complete collection we've gathered here

What do you think, feeling inspired?

Or have you already been crafting away in preparation for an upcoming street party to mark this occasion? Are you and yours celebrating in style? We'd love to see what you've been up to, so why not drop us a line and send some of your photos for us to marvel at - hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk.

Or get in touch via our Facebook page

Is there someone in your life who'd jump for joy at one of these regally themed designs? Or perhaps you are the worthiest Queen you know? In which case peruse this arrangement of suitably royal fabric selections, at your service. Grab yourself a Ferrero Roche, put your feet up and enjoy, your highness! x

Brand new from Lecien:

Lecien flower sugar trellis - redLecien flower sugar trellis - blueLecien flower sugar trellis - whiteLecien flower sugar tea party - blueLecien flower sugar tea party - whiteLecien flower sugar - blueLecien sugar flower large polka dot - red

 

 

Lecien flower sugar - red on white

 

 

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Some of our Red / White & Blue Bias Binding:

Bias Binding - Navy Blue Polka Dots on White Navy Gingham Bias Binding Red Gingham Bias Binding

Red Polka Dot Bias BindingNavy Polka Dots Bias Binding

 

 

 

 

Bias Binding - Red Stripe

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Sevenberry Red, White & Blue...

Sevenberry Gingham Red Sevenberry Medium Spot - Royal Blue Sevenberry Stripe RedSevenberry Gingham BeigeSevenberry Stripe BlueSevenberry Red Small Spot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lace Zip anyone?

 

Lace Zip - RedLace Zip - White Lace Zip - Navy

 

 

Sewing Bee Glee - Monday is the new Friday! - Chevrons Galore

We've waited all year and it's finally here, the BBC Sewing Bee has begun! Gracing our screens last night, we were delighted to see chevron inspiration a plenty. Here's some chevrons we thought were worth a mention.

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What did you take away from last night and hands up who is missing the lovely May but thinks that Esme is a worthy replacement? Talk to us about your favourite Sewing Bee moments hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

Roll on next Monday!

Picture credits / links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

For more chevron sewing inspiration check out our Chevrons Rock Pinterest board and our selection of stripes & chevron fabrics here.

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Life is beautiful - enjoy the ride! Bicycle inspired crafts......

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This week at Poppies & Polka Dots we've been getting excited about the Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place from the 29th April - 1st May 16. Fingers crossed the recent promising weather continues for the weekend, making it a great event for all those cyclists and spectators involved!

It's got us thinking about some of the fun bike themed makes out there; from bicycle basket crochet through to bicycle bell covers! Above is our 'Top 10 Bicycle themed craft picks', but for more details and fun inspiration, check out our Tour de Yorkshire Pinterest board.

In the meantime, as we can't get enough of bicycles and the sense of freedom first felt when our stabilisers came off (!) we've pulled together some of our bicycle themed fabrics for your enjoyment. Cast your eye over these adorable prints and I'm sure you'll agree they do justice to that which is the universal symbol of summer fun!

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1. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Aqua - more info

2. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Bicycle White - more info

3. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Red - more info

4. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Main White - more info

5. Star Spangled - Bike Stripe Blue - more info

6. Vintage Market by Tasha Noel - Main Mint - more info

7. The British are Coming - more info

Tell us about your bicycle memories or any bicycle themed craft projects you've been working on : hello@poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk or share on our Facebook

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