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Our new workroom is complete :-)

joy to make sewing and crochet room

Here is our new workroom!

A lot has gone on in the past year and we decided to relocate from Loughborough town centre to the outskirts. It was for various reasons, parking was one of the issues, and also the area we were in wasn’t quite suitable. We have now created a fabulous workroom which can accommodate our sewing classes and our cosy crochet and knitting evenings.

We did a full refurbishment on the room, having the walls completely re plastered and the ceiling finished off. New electrics were added and better lighting makes the room really bright and visual for all of our lessons. Wooden flooring has also been laid down, this make picking up pins and threads so much easier, no more random pins stuck in the carpet!

We chose harlequin wallpaper for their vibrant butterfly design. the colours in the wallpaper matched our brand and we also wanted to stimulate and provide more colour and make the room more exciting.

Another addition to our room was is our brand new tailors dummy! We are always dressmaking whether it is requests for ballroom dresses, bridesmaid dresses or dressmaking in our sewing classes. Either way this is an invaluable investment and I can’t imagine how we survived without one for so long!

We hope you all enjoy the room, here are some pictures:

As you can see we have already started and had lessons in our new room. People who have attended the lessons have been really positive and we hope to continue teaching and sharing our knowledge of sewing and crochet and of course our main mission of being creative!

If you like what you see and you want to come along to any of our classes then just get in touch, we will be happy to see you.

Thanks,

 

Amy & Joy

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Ballet shoe bag

hand made cupcake ballet shoe bag

This morning I managed to make a ballet shoe bag, in-between all the other jobs that were crying out to be achieved! 

I’ve had the cupcake fabric laying around for a few years now as it wasn’t quite big enough to make anything else with a small bag was perfect so voila! I sewed down both long ends and then folded the top opening over to create a loop for the ribbon to be posted through. The only tricky bit was getting the ribbon through the hole, this is always the part that manages to annoy me! I used a pen to help guide the ribbon through. I finished the ribbon off by hand sewing the ends together (by that point my sewing machine had jammed again!) Once the ribbon is sewn and a loop has been made you can pull the bag shut.

All I need to do now is sew the straps on the shoes and the rest of the jobs that are shouting at me! I’m working from home today with a poorly 2 year old and it’s a juggling act!

I’m quite chuffed with the finished product and I hope my daughter will be as well!

Amy

Here’s a some pictures

cupcake ballet shoe bag hand made cupcake ballet shoe bag

 

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Fish pattern dress

cotton fish pattern material

Making a pattern from a favourite dress

This last few weeks, as a part of a set of sewing lessons, we have been making a dress with a lovely customer who already had the basic skills of sewing but wanted to learn some dressmaking skills.

The pattern was taken from another dress she already had and resigned the pattern to her specifications. Here’s the nearly finished product! We absolutely love the fabric which was left to her from her granny.

fish pattern dress

It was a pleasure working with you, you were our neatest and tidiest dressmaker yet!

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Bunting Making Workshop

BUNTING GALORE!

 

We’ve been making quite a bit of bunting lately, there are so many celebrations going on, what with weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and lots more ‘happenings’ there has been so much to do.

 

So we have given bunting the ‘Joy To Make’ treatment and it looks great, using cottons and cotton mixes which have a fantastic range of colours, they vary in width so you can get quite a lot of triangles out of a small amount of fabric.  We match the colours to either a logo or theme and then vary fabrics with patterns to complement it.

loughborough-ladies-circle-bunting

The letters were bonded to the fabric and then sewn round to keep them in place and finally the top tape was sewn into place.  We try to keep the strings to no more than 3 metres, as if you have a tent to put them up in or around then they should fit ok.

cutting-letters-bunting

We held a great workshop recently where it was all hands on deck to create bunting, we had cutters for the cloth, machinists to sew up, more cutters creating letters and an ironer! It was great fun, a well oiled production line (well with the help of Proseco anyway).

sewing-flags-bunting

So if you need a bunting workshop or just bunting, Joy to Make can help, just give us a call.

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Creative weekend

What a great weekend we have just had! 

 

A lovely afternoon with Annie and her friends celebrating her 40th birthday on Saturday, they chose to do creative textiles instead of partying in a club, because they knew that was what she would prefer, so thoughtful of them.  They decided to create a wall hanging for Annie’s daughter, each working on a piece which eventually would be sewn together and framed for the bedroom wall.

 

They worked out a plan and then delved into my boxes of bits to find fabrics to work with, then buttons and ribbons that would brighten it up.  Hand sewing, machining and gluing into place all the elements which made up this lovely picture, which when finished they will be very proud of.

 

 

On Sunday we were at Barrow on Soar street market.  We have never been there before and it was a last minute decision we were lucky to get a space.  We arrived at 8.30am with a car full of stuff, Amy got out to find our space which was perfectly placed in the middle of the market, next to the WI, their cakes looked, and tasted great, what a lunchtime treat!  After disgorging everything onto the pavement our friend arrived with his gazebo, we set to and erected it with all the wools, hooks, samples and everything, we were very pleased with the stall it looked great.

 

The market began at 10am and I was surprised how many people were wandering around looking at the stalls, our guessing game certainly had people wondering at how many metres of DMC’s Natura XL there were in the bag I had crocheted, there were some really wild guesses which caused great hilarity. The winner of the competition was Sharon Lewis! She guess right with 435m!

crochet bag pouff stitch natura xl just cotton

There was such an amazing amount of interest in learning new skills, crocheting particularly, and the more seasoned knitters rifled through the vintage patterns we bought along, they were very popular.

 

The weather held up nicely it was warm, even sunny at one point, then as the afternoon wore on the wind got up and nearly blew over the stall opposite us, (we tied ours to some railings!) It was at that point we decided it had been a lovely day, meeting lots of very friendly people, but it was time to pack up and go home.

 

We will definitely do it again next year, and well done to Ophelia for all her hard work in organising the market, which was a great success.

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Stripy Summer Crochet Bag

Stripy Crochet Summer Bag DMC Natura XL Just Cotton

We have a new bag on the block! 

It’s our Stripy Summer Crochet Bag made with gorgeous, soft DMC Natura XL Just Cotton. 

Fancy having a small bag you can throw a couple of items in and pop out to the shops or for a drink? Then this is the bag for you!

It’s easy to make, using a size 7.0mm crochet hook, you should be able to finish the bag in 1 or 2 sittings, depending on your capability and time constraints! You can finish off you bag with any buttons and add some lining on the inside to make it more secure.  Natura XL is lovely and soft but because it’s a cotton it also has the durability and makes it perfect to make into bags!

We have a link to buy the wool and pattern here for only £15

When you have finished you bag, share it on our Facebook or Twitter, we love to see you work!

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Creative Textiles Workshop

creative textiles workshop sailing boats

Creative Textiles Workshop

 

I love fabric, its tactile, versatile, you can do almost anything with it, shape it, mould it, sew it, whatever.  I am so very fortunate to have a fantastic array of different fabrics, different weights, different colours, from fabulous silks to gorgeous upholstery fabrics , braids, ribbons, buttons, cottons.  With these our creative textiles workshop is unique.

What can you do with ‘creative textiles’ I am often asked this, well pictures, wall hangings, cushions, bedspreads whatever you like really.

The workshop we did recently  was interesting in that one lady said she had the sewing skills but lacked creativity.  Up until that point I would probably have ‘themed’ the workshop but I decided that to get creative you needed to be stimulated and therefore a blank canvas was the starting point, and lots of pictures, magazines, cards with different themes on them, and a wall hanging which was done earlier created by 15 people who had never done anything like this before, each tackled their ‘square’ in a different way and all very colourful, lively and effective.  One little square with birds on it, started the theme off for our lady and was developed from there.

Creative textiles workshop wall hanging
Creative textiles workshop wall hanging

Another saw an impressionist painting of boats, this sparked her imagination.  They delved into the boxes of fabric to find scraps to develop their themes with, each had a piece of beige cotton/linen (curtain weight) to develop their pictures.  Hand sewing with silks, cottons and wool, and machining with different stitches with a little help and nurturing, the creations were developed.

creative textiles workshop sailing boats
creative textiles workshop sailing boats

The final results were great, one was made into a wall hanging and put on the bathroom wall, the other was to be stretched onto canvas to create a picture.

Creative Textiles workshop
Creative Textiles workshop sailing boats
creative textiles workshop bird collage
creative textiles workshop bird collage

Why not come and join us for a workshop and unlock your creative side, its great fun 🙂

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Learn to crochet workshop

crochet-workshop-shop

Another lovely crochet workshop filled with lots of tea, giggles and learning the art of crochet!

If you missed out on the workshop here’s a few pictures of the evening where we learnt all the basics of holding the wool and hook, making a chain stitch, double crochet stitch, and half treble stitch, not to mention starting a round! All in the space of two hours!

I hope the ladies who came enjoyed the evening, and took home their knowledge so they can start creating!

 

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Easy Peasy Crochet Teapot Stand and Coasters

crochet teapot stand and coasters

Easy Peasy Crochet Teapot Stand and Coasters

 

I crocheted this teapot stand and 8 coasters in less than an hour.

Materials

1 ball Hoooked Zpagetti and a 10mm hook.

 

 

Teapot Stand

R1        C4 then slip stitch into the first loop to form a ring.

R2        C2, then 10HT into the ring, SS into the second chain to form ring

R3        C2, *1HT into next stitch, C1.  Repeat from * to end then SS into 2nd

chain to form ring.

R4        C2, *1HT into next stitch, C1.  Repeat from * in all stitches to end then

SS into 2nd chain to form ring and finish off.

Easy peasy teapot stand and coasters

 

Coasters (make 8)

R1        C4 then slip stitch into the first loop to form a ring.

R2        C2, then 10HT into the ring, SS into the second chain to form ring

R3        C2, *1HT into next stitch, C1.  Repeat from * to end then SS into 2nd

chain to form ring. Finish off.

crochet teapot stand and coasters

Abbreviations

C          =          Chain

HT        =          Half Treble – loop yarn around hook, insert into stitch, pull a loop through                        (3 loops on hook), then pull another loop through all three

SS         =          Slip stitch

To download the full pattern click here Easy Peasy Crochet Teapot Stand with pic

Copyright Joy To Make

 
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Beautiful crochet tote bag

crochet bag pouff stitch natura xl just cotton

 

 

Oooh I loved the pattern as soon as I saw it, gorgeous burnt orange a  real zinga for the summer….  And different too.

 

It’s a crocheted tote bag, I used Natura XL  the colour was perfect, and the weight of the cotton just right for the bag.  Using a 5mm hook I started at the top of the bag creating a simple ribbed look with double crochet into the back of each stitch.  The main body of the bag was all done in a ‘bobble’ stitch, which I adapted slightly from the pattern as I felt it was too bulky and would make the bag too heavy.

 

The bobble stitch was fairly easy to do, with the yarn over the hook first and inserting the hook, yarn over again and pulling the loop through about 2.5mm (1”) repeating that so that you have 7 loops on the hook before pulling a final yarn over through all of them to tighten the bobble at the top. That is repeated along the row and when you get to the end you find you have twice as many stitches so you have to turn and do a double crochet into every other stitch to get back to the right amount.

crochet bobble stitch

 

Its very effective and finished the body of the bag really stylishly.  The base of the bag was made quite sturdy by crocheting into the stitch below each time.  The whole process apart from the base was repeated for the other side of the bag.  I then used a crochet slip stitch to attach the pieces together.

 

To line the bag I used a blue cotton fabric, did a French seam to join it and I bound the bottom section so that no frayed edges would be seen then slip stitched it into place inside the body of the bag.  For the long handles I used a pretty woven ribbon which I sewed back to back and then attached to the inside of the bag where the main body joined the rim.

 

All in all I am very pleased with the final result and will enjoy using it in all summer long.  I used about 6 balls to make this fabulous bag.

 

We have some great colours of Natura XL in stock, and apart from bags which it is great for you can make cushions, mats, tops in fact all sorts of things.