Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children
Happy Mother's Day UK

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's finally here! All of the presents are wrapped, family have arrived safely and last minute food prep is taking place. There are. three very excited boys in our house and a number of excited adults too. Wishing evryone a very Merry and relaxing Christmas. xx

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last Minute Finishing Touches

It has been a mad couple of weeks in our home. We have had birthday celebrations, school concerts,  parties, Christmas gatherings with family and friends  and not to mention many frantic Christmas shopping trips.All of this has taken a lot of planning/juggling in amongst the final Hope & Gloria sewing clubs sessions for 2012. As always Christmas is a busy time but also it truly is the most wonderful time of the year and I love it!

When it comes to sewing or crafting of any kind Christmas never fails to bring endless inspiration and with a couple of days to go until the big day I now realise that a few of my planned sewing projects are still unfinished and will have to remain so until next year as there is still a cupboard full of presents waiting to be wrapped.

However, I am pleased that I have managed to cram in two more quick projects for the big day just in the nick of time..

Providing a fabulous setting for a wonderfully cooked Christmas lunch is part and parcel of the festivities in most homes - it certainly is in ours. Dressing the table has a huge role to play in making Christmas Day lunch feel that extra bit special and this year I have combined place settings with napkin rings to creat something personalised and special for our family's Christmas lunch.

The six napkin rings began life as plain wooden rings which I painted using a tester pot of emulsion paint. They were then sealed with Decopatch varnish which gives a light sheen. Each napkin ring is personlised using cross-stitch. I love cross-stitch - it is neat and simple and gives great results and these days there are loads of funky patterns in magazines which are easy to follow. Once our family members names were completed I fixed them to the wooden rings using double sided tape. This proved to be a really simple but effective project and they will look fab with the white table cloth, red table runner and Scandinavian style candle holders I have bought for dressing our table this year.

The white reindeer is something I have wanted to make since I found the pattern for a brown reindeer in a magazine back in October. Mine is white to match the table colour scheme and if I can finally get those presents wrapped in time I shall make a red one to accompany him on the table on Christmas Day!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sweet Smelling Stockings

With only two weeks to go until Christmas Eve I am beginning to feel the panic creeping in - many presents are bought but I am conscious that I still have a long way to go to make sure that there is something for everyone under our tree and that smiley faces will be guaranteed on Christmas morning.

As well as buying gifts for family at Christmas many of us find that we are also in need of a good supply of smaller gifts to be giving as tokens to say "Thank you" or just to let people know that you care - teachers being one of them.  Children love to give gifts to teachers at Christmas and it's a great opportunity to show that you appreciate all of the support and hard work from a favourite teacher that children are given throughout the year.

It can be tricky to come up with something original and this year I have decided not to resort to the usual chocolates which although delicious, teachers receive in abundance at Christmas. This is where my earlier soap project comes in to play.

I have had tonnes of festive fun designing the packaging! The soaps have been wrapped firstly in white greaseproof oven paper to help prevent them from losing the scent and then in lovely brown parcel paper which works brilliantly simpy tied with a cream and red gingham ribbon which matches the colour scheme of the felt stockings that I have made to put them in.

These cute mini stockings cost very little to make and take no time at all. Continuing with my Nordic obsession this Christmas I chose a cream felt and red thread to decorate.  I love pom pom trims - they give a lovely vintage feel to sewing projects and are easily available to buy in most sewing/haberdashery shops. After sewing pom poms around the top I decorated the stocking using simple running stitch, cross stitches with a few stars sewn on for good measure. The edges were sewn up using blanket stitch.

The bar of soap fits perfectly inside the stocking and the boys teachers' gifts are now complete and ready to be taken to school at the end of next week. Another job done.....now on to the next one!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Soap & Gloria

Firstly, apologies for the pun on this blog's name but I felt I just had to use it!

This weekend I have taken a departure from my usual crafting activities and have not used a needle and thread at all. On Friday morning I was very excited to take delivery of soap making supplies which made a pleasant change from the arrival of online orders of Christmas presents that are being delivered at a steady pace at the moment.

Soap making is not something I have ever tried up until now but having visited a number of craft and gift fairs over the past few months I have been inspired by the delicious scents and textures in handmade soaps that I have seen being sold by very clever crafters.

This year I have decided to have a go at making my own to give as Christmas gifts. Yesterday morning with the help of two of my boys I set to work in the kitchen melting the soap base and adding fragrance and colour. My first attempt was to be a straightforward one and I opted for that old favourite - Lavender Soap. We also added some Lavender petals that were left over from some Lavender bags that I made in The late Summer.

This afternoon having left the soap to set for 24 hours (plus a couple of extra to be on the safe side), I gently prised our soap from the mould to find it had set perfectly! The soap was then cut into bars and  I have to say I am absolutely delighted with the results.

Eight beautifully scented bars of Lavender Soap ready to be given as gifts this Christmas. I really think soap making may be addictive and I am looking forward to trying new fragrances and shapes as soon as possible.

Time to move on to the next stage of my plan for these gifts - the packaging which I am looking forward to sharing in a week's time.