INSPIRE ME – With Seamstar

Inspire Me this week is focusing on Courtney, owner of the wonderful online cutting edge crafts store Seamstar.

As a very keen ( think I may have mentioned this once or twice ! ) dressmaker and quilter, using an online fabric store that not only stocks a huge selection of breathtakingly pretty fabrics, a large array of colourful trims, sewing patterns, a haberdashery with more than you could possibly wish for AND first class, quick service – is really important to me. Everything you need !

When I receive my Seamstar fabrics and other lovely bits in the post they are always wrapped so nicely, it makes it all the more exciting to open the package and start getting crafty.

Here’s a little more about Courtney and Seamstar….

What inspired you to start your business?

The inspiration for starting Seamstar was my baby. Whilst on maternity leave and lucky enough to have been given decent maternity pay, I grasped the opportunity to start a business.

Although it was extremely difficult because I started work on Seamstar at around 8 months pregnant, I had more motivation than I had ever had before. The website finally went live when Coen was around 5 months old. When I look back I’m not sure how I managed to look after a new born baby and start a website. I suspect the lack of sleep stopped me from thinking about it!

I think a lot of people would prefer to work for themselves but it is having the time and opportunity to do it. I remember coming home after working in an office 9 til 6 and just being too exhausted to do anything, let alone make any strides towards starting a business. Now however, I work 7am until 8, 9 or sometimes 10pm and it doesn’t feel like hard work at all. I’ve swapped being told what to do by a boss, to being told what to do by my 3 year old instead ( my 3 year old certainly has better people skills. )

My advice to anyone who gets the tiniest bit of time or even a glimmer of an opportunity to start something is go for it. You probably won’t get rich if that is your motivation for being your own boss. However, if you want to be in control of your life then you won’t regret it and you never know where it may take you.

If you get the chance to sew yourself, what do you like to create ?

As you would expect I have tonnes of fabric in my stash – far too much for one human being. Unfortunately with everything else that I’m doing, I probably only get around an hour or two a week to sew. I am the Queen of unfinished projects. Currently languishing next to my sewing machine (you can often hear a tiny cry of ‘please finish me!’) is a shabby chic rose quilt, some bold bunting which I’m determined to put in an Etsy shop soon, along with a big stack of fabric for some cushion covers. Generally I sew for the home but I am definitely going to start sewing some clothes for me and have lots of Cotton Lawn fabric coming in the shop soon as I’m looking forward to that.

Do you have a Favourite collection ?

Usually the most recent fabric collection is my current favourite. I’m really loving putting the modern prints we sell with linen. We have some great linen blend fabrics in contemporary colours and they work for bags, make up cases, cushions anything really. The linen just adds a modern twist and really makes the prints stand out.

At the moment I’m also really looking forward to getting my hands on Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy collection and Lucie Summers new collection called Summersville. With those I will be making unfinished quilts and unfinished play mats.

Thanks Courtney ! Much admiration to you !

xx

Got me my Pattern Cutter ‘ Wings ‘ :)

skirtHey, it’s Monday Morning already ! Hope you had a great sunny weekend.

I had a really ace Saturday, it was full of energy and I learnt loads about pattern cutting and made myself a cheeky little skirt with a super sweet print all over ! Like it ?
The course was over in Greenwich, South East London with Miss Libby Rose.

Libby runs all kinds of sewing courses from her premises for all sewing abilities , along with selling her own, most fabulous retro style clothing and cute fabrics.

It was so nice wandering through the vibrant market stalls to get to Libby’s studio, to then get to spend a whole day focusing on sewing and learning new techniques with a great teacher and meeting some really interesting people AND in such inspiring surroundings ! I felt really at ease and Libby made me loads of my herbal teas throughout the day :) Thanks Libby !

I took a few pics later in the day of some lovely little shops inside the Market.. Oh, and of the Irish band that rocks up outside the local pub on a weekend. Their celtic sounds were drifting in through the window right next to where I was pattern cutting and I remember thinking.. could this be more perfect ? sew2

The Home Front was rammed customers. I recommend this shop if you’re passing by the market.

This amazing shop is called The Flood Gallery Junior ( the grown up version is next door to them ). It is floor to ceiling, bright and fun, family orientated art prints from some of the best illustrators from around the world. Again, I recommend ! sew3

….and here they are… the high energy Irish band that got me doing little jigs…

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xx

Liberty Lover

          

Liberty store on Regent Street has to be my favourite London store. The buyers have the best taste in my opinion and you can tell they select so carefully. I always head straight for this shop when I’m in London. The perfume department has the most beautiful aroma I have ever had the pleasure of sniffing and the staff almost take you back in time with their old fashioned values on how to treat their customers – and that’s a very good thing.

As I’m laid up in my bed at the moment I thought I would have a browse of their website and found some great items..
The Alex Monroe Flower Ball bird locket is sweet and a perfect Valentine gift.. hint to my new husband (still find it strange saying husband!).

The Moritz Glik Deco ring blows my bed socks off! It’s a really corking stunning Bobby Dazzler and I am going to dream of wearing it tonight :)

Gorgeous, rich jungle colours on the Liberty silk eye catching silk scarf.. don’t ya think?

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania do sparkly clothes so well and the fit of this style of top/dress is sooo flattering. Great for going out or dinners at home (this is starting to sound like an Ebay listing!) Lovet he colourway too. Being a top Westwood fan, I could list everything of hers on the site but I’m sure you get the drift.

Love the Emily Peacock tapestry kit  – she comes up with ace ideas and a brill Mothers Day gift (not far off now..)

The “Knit your own Perfect Boyfriend” made me laugh and all the more because it is currently “Sold out”….

And the Liberty Print letters are cute and a good idea for a quilt or cushion. Just starting a new quilt for a friends baby and think these would be perfect.

Oh, and also.. I just saw that it’s £30 off if you spend over £150 until Feb 29th 2012 so defo worth a look.

Over and Out x

Stocking Fillers part 2 – quirky gifts for young and old ( er ! )

                            

                 Here a few things i found whilst snooping around the internet. Some great stocking fillers I think. The Moshi Moshi handset that plugs into all mobile phones with the appropriate adaptor and apparetnly dramatically reduces the radiation from your phone. I found on www.conranshop.co.uk – there is a slightly more expensive bling version too in gold. What an awesome present!

The cute Russian Doll mug, the book rest lamp ( how cool  !? ) and little gnome candles are from Berryred.co.uk and they come as garden flares too.

The sewing girls kit, Space race Pinball and the Kids star Gazer kit are all from www.grahamandgreen.co.uk – I am defo ordering some of these for the kiddies.

Being a chocaholic ( currently trying hard not to be due to upcoming wedding ) I found this chocolate pizza made by the Gourmet chocolatepizzacompany.co.uk and it comes in loads of different flavours …. YUM YUM YUM!

This kitsch cute, Snow Baby snow globe is from the brilliant Lapinandme.bigcartel.com and they have dozens of great items but I really love this cookie tin.

I could go and on but I have a wedding to attend to and judging by the fact I nearly washed my face with toothpaste this morning due to being pre-occupied – must focus, focus, focus….. :)

Stocking filler ideas for the crafty… PART 1

     

Chrimbo is drawing closer lovely people so if you are stuck for something to buy for the crafty person in your life then I have a few books here that might help you along …
Meet me at Mikes is a really fun book, full of 26 craft projects such as how to make a “cute as a button clutch bag” or “baby yoga pants” – loads of things ! All the patterns are in a little folder in the front and Pip Lincolne has written the book in a really easy to grasp way   ( was very useful for me, I can tell you ! )                                                                                                                                                 Sew by Cath Kidston is another book with patterns and there is all you need to make a bag, like the one on the front cover. I bought this for my Mum recently and I think most people who are fairly new to sewing would love this.                                                                                                                                                           I’ve added  the Butler and Wison  ” 40 years ” book because it is totally shimmery, full of dazzling costume jewellery pieces from the last forty years and tells the story of the designers Nicki Butler and Simon Wilson – Very inspirational!                                                                                                                                                 This “how to make jewellery” by cult brand Tatty Devine looks fantastic. The book comes signed by Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine, Tatty Devine’s founders. Full of “everything you need to know to transform any object into a new accessory”. Lots of techniques to get you started and get you in the mood. I definitely want this book – I love Tatty Devine alot !

Another great artist to add to the kitsch mix…

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I must have art on the brain today. Another great  website called EyeCandy by freelance Lisa Ashcroft is on my radar.

Lisa is a versatile artist and also works with tattoo artists by designing artwork for them.

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Do you ever get that tummy flip when you see a painting with all the colours that you love ? Her work does that to me.

Paintings that you can study for hours are my favourite.

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Lisa Ashcroft uses textiles and lots of hand stitching so it’s a blend of textures and wow, the colours are gorgeously bright and intense. Inspired by her own tattoo work and kitsch, street art..

What do you think of her work ?

Lucy x

Retro 60s style Stove

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 19.43.07 Just because you live in the countryside doesn’t mean you can’t have a retro house with all the trimmings ….. i’ve fallen in love with this 1960s inspired cast iron stove by Dovre. It’s Eco – friendly too. Ooh yer bang ! Who needs a TV when you can chill and watch the flames.

Eiffel Tower 70s Skirt

photo2My boyfriend has just been in Paris which reminded me of a skirt I made recently. Michael Miller “Eiffel Tower” fabric and McCall’s M5856 pattern. The fabric was from Fabric Inspirations – another brill fabric website. The print comes in various colours. It’s kind of whimsical? The skirt shape is  70s and it looks really fab on!

I have just bought the fabric for my wedding dress and am so excited about it :) 8 metres of lace and satin. I have 3 1/2 months to make the dress and three bridesmaid dresses… Yikes!

Hopefully the sense of satisfaction at the end, will outweigh the moments of insanity along the way! :)

Have a good day xx

 

 

1st Blog entry – Hello Vintage Lovers !

                

The first entry for my blog !  Just finished a couple of dresses for my sister..  It’s a Serendipity Studio pattern from sewbox.co.uk and a retro design with modern elements to it. Love it so !
I was in Brighton Lanes when this gorgeous floral fabric jumped out at me. Perfectly
suited to the style of the dress. I actually added a lining so I could put some netting in. The second dress, I have just finished and fancied a bit of leopard print and pink so just added some ric rac and a flower corsage to finish it off.
Hope you likey !