I work with Copyright by day and Craft by night ....

Marguerite Designs is now a registered trademark for fashion and homewares.

Join my blog as I experiment with colour, pattern and textile arts ...

I love photography, drawing, painting, working with fabrics/yarn and anything vintage ...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Skirt's on ...

Well I've got the skirt on now ... that was very straightforward, just a matter of matching up the side seams and the bodice and skirt pleats.  I just made a minor grading alteration to cope with my apple shape and there looks to be plenty of room to fit me in!  It's a short bodice but that is flattering on a shape like mine.

I neatened the join with some matching bias binding which should also give it some extra strength.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Sewing Progress ....

I am so enjoying working with this Liberty fabric.  It is beautifully soft and runs through my machine like a dream.  There have been no snags or hold ups.

This description is from the Liberty website: 

Taking its name from Lake Tana in East Africa where the original cotton grew, Tana Lawn cotton is unique. Made from specially selected ultra-fine long staple cotton and finished without the use of crease-resisting chemicals or irritating allergens, the result is a famous masterpiece of fabric technology: fine, cool, comfortable and durable, with brilliant reproduction of colours and prints. 

I've finished the bodice section which was simple enough to construct, with some gathers at the shoulders and sewn down pleats around the waist - no darts.  The shoulder seam extends over from the back piece.  

The skirt is going on next.....

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

On My Sewing Table

Yes, (loud fanfare!)  There is something afoot ....  I am off to an airshow in a couple of weeks time and badly want a dress made out of this fabric which I bought in the Liberty Sale at Christmas.  It's perfect!  I want a shirtdress and although I already have patterns I want to try out the SewOverIt version so that's what I'm going for.

Will be doing updates on progress.  I've already cut out all the pieces (with help from Oscar of course ....).  More posts to come ....

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Some decisions ...

From now on, I've decided that this blog, margueritedesigns, will be dedicated purely to my crafting and sewing activities only. This will include my sewing, knitting and dressmaking.

My surface pattern designs and illustrations will be seen in my professional capacity over at my companion site, www.hudson-sharpe.com

This should then distinguish the two activities clearly and not disappoint any of my sewing, knitting and crafting audience still hanging in after all this time!  Thank you for still being here  😊

And on a more serious note ... this is a photo I took last time I was in my home town of Manchester, the busy bee symbol.  A city still close to my heart and even more so in these troubled times.  It will always stay with me and I don't have words to describe my feelings .... stay safe and strong everyone.


Monday, 22 May 2017

Make It In Design


Another reason for being quiet on the blogging front is that I've been following Make It In Design, Module 2, 'Creating Your Professional Identity'.  I've loved doing this course and am still creating my logo and business stationery for it.  It's made me do a bit of soul searching about where I want to go with my designing ...  It's a fabulous course for helping you get to the nitty gritty of who you really are as an individual.  I've been able to take up where I left off at art school years ago ... it was all about drawing and creating then, which is ok but not so hot for preparing you for the business world! This course and the preceding one 'Designing Your Way' which I took last year are great for this.  I am planning to do the next instalment, Module 3, 'Monetising Your Designs' next year.  In the meantime, I have lots of time to practice, get proficient with Photoshop and organise my portfolios. I'm glad that I've kept all the art I've every done over the years ...  This photobook was created using some of it as well as more recent work. I've learned how to mock up my ideas on to products which really brings the work to life and shows how it can be used commercially.  The company that made the book is Saal Digital. I took advantage of an Instagram offer to create the book and thought it would be a good way of having a go at making a 'Look Book'.  I'm really pleased with the quality of it and wouldn't hesitate to use them again.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Keeping Busy ...

I have been quietly crafting away in the background ... I've ventured into bag making and have entered a competition with one - I'll show it you once the winners are announced - I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  There's also another one underway as my second venture into Product Testing for Minerva, which should be finished after the weekend and you'll be able to see it on their blog soon. I've also made a brave stab at gardening - I take the Botanical Gardens near where I work as my inspiration and have just seen these lovelies on a lunchtime walk ...

I do love having a garden of my own, even though I don't have as much time as I like to tend to it.  It's perfect gardening weather at the moment - sunshine with regular showers - just got the plants in in time! 

Friday, 7 April 2017

Minerva Product Testing - Prym Ergonomic Knitting Needles

I was delighted to find out a few weeks ago that I had been selected to be a Product Tester for Minerva - they have the biggest selection of fabric, knitting, haberdashery and crafts products in the UK.  Have a look at their website here for all kinds of crafting goodies.  I will be notified at intervals about new arrivals there and I can select a product I'd like to try from a list.  To start with, I've received two sets of Prym Ergonomic knitting needles.  I first came across the term ergonomic in my Open University days as being a description for something that can be used safely and easily with optimum productivity and where form follows function.  It’s something I wouldn’t normally associate with knitting needles…. surely a knitting needle is a knitting needle and that's it?  I was intrigued to find out what could be different, especially as a left hander – would I be able to cope with them?    

They are beautifully packaged and would make a lovely present.

The needles arrived in boxes with window fronts.  I could see why when I handled them - they are very lightweight and need some kind of support around them for a point of sale area.

My current knitting project is the Central Park Hoodie by Heather Lodinsky.  It can be found all over the web and was first was printed in the Autumn edition of the 2006 Knitscene magazine.  You can buy a downloadable pattern at the Knitting Daily store here.

Photograph copyright http://www.interweave.com/store/central-park-hoodie Reproduced here for the purposes of criticism and review only  

The yarn I'm using was bought for me as a birthday present and I am just commencing knitting again after all the busy events of last year!  Hopefully, I should be finished in time for autumn and winter this time round.  I have already had to undo the project once as the size I chose was coming up too small – I am using Lion Brand Wool Ease in Denim Twist, a wool and acrylic blend in a lovely mottled denim effect which knits up beautifully but is not the recommended 100% wool yarn for the pattern which would have knitted up bulkier.  Anyway, I've now finished the back, which gives you an idea of the cabling detail.  This was knitted on regular needles.

 I have since started a sleeve using my 4mm Prym needles.  

I have 4mm and 3mm needles to try and this rib was done on the 4mm.  The texture and tension of my knitting is the same as when using a regular needle.

You can see this by comparing with the rib of the finished back piece.

Needles are light alabaster coloured – good for knitting while watching tv in minimal light and when used in conjunction with dark coloured yarns such as this one.  They are also flexible and bendy – if you like that from a needle – therefore commuter friendly if you like to knit while you travel like me.  The larger size has the needle size printed on the body which is handy for identification.  They are triangular shaped which makes them comfortable to hold and use and I had no trouble with the needles in conjunction with my left handedness!  The Prym website explains that the triangle shape helps the stitches to glide easily.  

needle size printed on the body

The needles have a drop shaped tip too which, as Prym explain, has been done to help with picking up and guiding of yarn.

The grooved bobble end allows for clicking the other needle into place when not in use.

They are made from a high performance synthetic material which doesn’t get sticky in use from your hands.

This is me using the needles at our work craft club which meets each Wednesday lunchtime.  We try out any kind of crafting as an oasis from the work environment.  I find knitting or patchwork to be the most portable.

I love, love how the needles click together when not in use to stop stitches falling off.
However ... take note and make sure your work is well hidden in your bag when travelling.  The needles are so lightweight that one of them made the journey on its own to Kings Cross, as it must have pinged off and then out of my bag when I gathered up my things to alight at Cambridge.  I looked everywhere for it and came to the conclusion that the train was the only place where I could have lost it ...

Everything has been thought of with this product.  Priced at £5.99 per pair, that is quite reasonable and I liked using them, though given the light nature of these needles I think I would like to try out yarns such as laceweight with them.  Overall, an enjoyable experience for my first outing as a Product Tester!