Hope & Gloria - Sewing Inspiration for Children

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas for me began back in September when I finalised the designs for our school sewing clubs Christmas projects. It continued with kit preparation for all of the Hope & Gloria Team with the help of Sarah our production assistant. At the beginning of November we began making our Christmas gift bags and tree decorations in our clubs.

In December we visited Christmas Fairs to run make and take sessions and things began to feel a little more festive. My birthday was celebrated and so was my son's 11th birthday. Once these celebrations were finished our tree went up and so did the decorations - a grown up tree in the lounge and a children's tree in the corridor near the boys bedroom, with various bits and pieces everywhere else in our home.

In amongst all of this there has been frantic Christmas shopping and online ordering to ensure happy smiley faces on Christmas morning. We have already had family visits and lunches and many more to follow over the next week or so. I am delighted to say that all of the presents are wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree, and a turkey has taken up temporary residence in our fridge!

I am really pleased to have found the time for one last quick sewing project which has been at the back of my mind for the past few weeks. I adore reindeer and made this quick and easy project last night in honour of the adorable creatures that will be pulling Santa's sleigh later this evening.

So now after many months of planning Christmas Eve has arrived - Hooray! Time to relax and enjoy a lovely Christmas with my wonderful family.....the most wonderful time of the year. 

Wishing you a fabulous and very Merry Christmas 
and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chocolate Heaven - A Christmas Treat!

This morning the Hope & Gloria team downed their tools and got together for some festive fun in the form of a chocolate workshop at The Chocolate Factory in Windsor.

We swapped our usual needles, thread and fabric for chocolate moulds and lots of tasty ingredients to make three deliciously decorated bars of chocolate and divine chocolate truffles.

The team at the Chocolate Factory were hugely welcoming and encouraging to our team of chocolatier novices and a really lovely time was had by all. We all left laden with tasty treats - take a look at our creative morning....

kitted out with our hats, aprons and moulds - ready to go...

pouring the liquid chocolate into a mould - so tempted to dip fingers in!

beautifully decorated chocolate bars - yum!

bagged and labelled - ready for giving!

A huge Thank you to the lovely team who made our morning so enjoyable. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Festive Felt Hearts & Stars - A Christmas Decoration Tutorial

For the past half term at our sewing clubs we have been making Christmas decorations. When it comes to the festive season there are three colours that shout out "Christmas!) - yes that's right, red, green and white and we have used them in abundance in our sewing clubs.

As you can imagine we have quite a few scraps left over and this adorable project is an ideal way to make use of them. It is an easy and simple and will look great on a tree, draped across a window or doorway and also looks good along the edge of a shelf. As with last year I am still in love with the whole Nordic theme when it comes to Christmas decorations and these fab hearts and stars will look great with many of the decorations I have scattered around the house from last year.

Here's how to make them...

All you need are two felt heart or star shapes, some contrasting thread, a small amount of stuffing and brightly coloured ribbon. I cut the shapes out using pinking shears to give a zig zag edge. They are approximately 8cm in width and depth.

Step one

Use the contrasting thread to decorate using star stitches.

Step two

Pin the two felt hearts together and sew around the edge of the heart using running stitch. Leave a gap of aprrox. 3cm on one side.

Step three

Add a small amount of stuffing - just enough to give the heart some depth and sew up the remaining hole.

Step four

Now your first little Nordic-style heart is complete. They also look great as individual decorations to hang on the tree. If you decide to do this simply thread a loop through the top and it's ready to hang.

If you plan to make a bunting style decoration like mine you will need nine decorations to fill a 2m length of ribbon. I used 5 hearts and 4 stars.

The stars are made in exactly the same way. I chose to add an embroidered heart to two of mine with a red star stitch on the other two.

Again these pretty stars can be used as individual decorations or sewn on to ribbon in a bunting style just pin in place and secure with a couple of stitches at the back.

Sew the rest of your hearts and stars in to place and all you need to do now is decide where to hang your gorgeous Festive Felt Decoration - Happy Christmas!

Christmas Fairs & Craft Kits - A Very Busy Weekend!

The It's A Hoot Fab Fabric Frame from our new Craft Kit Collection

Last weekend was a very busy one for the Hope & Gloria Team. We added three new designs to our newly launched craft kit range and were delighted to debut them at the St Jude's and St Cuthbert's Christmas Fairs.

Both were lovely events fuelled by the brilliant enthusiasm of the schools' parent associations along with the excitement of the children.

The Hope & Gloria stalls with their "Make & Take" sessions at both schools were a hub of activity from start to finish and there were many adorable polar pals made and taken home to adorn Christmas trees on that day. We also sold lots of our craft kits and it is always rewarding to discover that children and adults alike love what we have to offer and are inspired to make Hope & Gloria Designs at home.

Our fab stall at St Jude's complete with my treasured antique sewing machine.

In addition to the It's a Hoot Fab Fabric Frame featured at the top of the page, we have also added the following kits to the range:

Fab Fabric Frame - Cute Cupcake

It's A Hoot Baby Owl Brooch (available in blue or pink)

As you know, feedback on what we do at Hope & Gloria is always gratefully received and we were delighted to see the results from one of our new kits at one of our sewing clubs last week. I am pleased to report that Isabella found the It's A Hoot Fab Fabric Frame really easy to make and that the instructions were easy to follow - excellent news and a huge "Well Done" to Isabella!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Festive Polar Pals

We are now firmly right in the heart of the Christmas Fair season. I love Christmas Fairs - as a child and since having children of my own they are a huge part of the lovely build up to the big day on 25th December.

Tomorrow Hope & Gloria will be running two stalls at local Christmas Fairs and for the first time we'll be offering "Make & Take" sessions. Christmas is the perfect time to find craft inspiration and tomorrow visitors to the fairs will have the opportunity to make one of these gorgeous little chaps that I am really rather proud of....

...Hope & Gloria Polar Pals. The polar bear was the first decoration that came along - I adore polar bears and hope that one day I shall get to see one if not face to face then certainly at close range. I appreciate that penguins come from the south pole and not strictly associated with Christmas but they are from one of the poles and look adorable so I decided to add one to the range. Finally because three is the magic number I added a cute sea lion balancing a red ball on his nose.

They are hung on colourful patterned ribbon as I try to use patterned fabric in most of my designs and would look great hanging on a tree or as a festive keyring.

15% of all money raised will be donated to the school parent association - so fingers crossed for fabulous, festive and successful school Fairs.