norfolk · Sewing

The wonderful Norwich Lanes

I spent the day today manning the shop at Norwich Gift Emporium, where I have my bags for sale. Wow, what a talented bunch of people there are exhibiting their things here! Just beautiful, unusual things and all handmade by local artisans.

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The shop is situated in Lower Goat Lane in the Norwich Lanes district. This is a part of Norwich that is full of lovely small shops, cafés, galleries and other independent businesses.  Down the road there is the Birdcage bar, at the top of the lane there is Imelda’s for fabulous shoes, and there are loads of great eateries to offer coffee, cakes and other yummy delights!

The Norwich Lanes offers the chance to escape the mass-produced generic experience on offer on the high street. Here you will not find Primark or Starbucks. It is fun to wander around looking at all the interesting bits & bobs on offer. I love stopping off for a pot of tea and a cheese scone at Biddy’s Tearoom or browsing the unusual books on offer at The Book Hive.IMG_5962IMG_5953 IMG_5952IMG_5944

I thought I’d tempt you with a selection of photos of some of the goodies that the Norwich Gift Emporium has to offer. Come and have a look! While you’re here, explore the rest of the Lanes – Norwich is really lucky to have such a lovely quarter – come and use it!

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norfolk · Sewing

Norwich Gift Emporium

Went this week to see my new bags & bits in-situ in the shop! The Norwich Gift Emporium is one of the gorgeous little shops for which the Norwich Lanes is famous. If you haven’t been to Norwich, you must come! I am not a shopper but I love the interesting and unique little boutiques and eateries & drinkeries, (does that exist?!) that it boasts.

So, anyway, Norwich Gift Emporium is on Lower Goat Lane. It has been open for nearly a year and features handmade goodies from Norfolk artists and makers. As such, it is an eclectic mix of lovely bits and pieces by a bunch of very talented people. I think I might be spending more in there than I make!

So here are a few snaps for you: feast your eyes on the loveliness!

My bags
My bags!
My bits!
My bits!

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A couple of my things have been put in the gorgeous new window display. IMG_5767

You can find the shop on facebook here.

Sewing

Now appearing in a gift emporium near you! (If you live in Norfolk!)

At the end of last post, I said there was soon to be some exciting news! Now I can reveal that as of this week, I will be selling a range of my items at a gorgeous little shop here in Norwich. Yay! So excited!

So this weekend I have been busy making some things. Firstly, some new tote bags with the ubiquitous button detail! (Have I told you how I lurve buttons?!) Also some of my popular little coin purses in some cute fabrics. I am going in today stock up and then we’ll see how it goes! Will post pics as and when I get in there!

Button totes 3 Purses

I also finished the first item on my 2015 To Do list – yippee! It’s a Skater Dress, a Simply Sew pattern that I got free with Love Sewing magazine. It’s advertised as a pattern for an ambitious beginner. Well, I am no expert, but I have made a few dresses now, and the pattern was not the easiest to follow! Very confusing, in fact, and actually if this was your first attempt at making a dress then you’d be stumped, to be honest, and you might give up. What a shame. I found I had to read the thing extremely carefully over and over and it looks like steps have been missed out and some printed in the wrong order! It made me wonder about whether it had been properly tested.

So luckily I used my initiative based on what I’ve learned doing other patterns. The end result is a cute sleeved dress that I chose to make in a dark navy pinstripe wool. I think if I made it again, I would lengthen the bodice by a few inches (I am coming to the conclusion that I am a bit longer in the torso than some people, and might need to learn how to adjust a pattern…boo hoo!) and would also lengthen the skirt by a couple of inches.

That said, I enjoyed wearing it. I did make a bit of a boo-boo with the zip! I bought an invisible one as directed but could only find a longer one. No matter, thought I, I shall just trim it to size. Which I duly did. I stitched in one side of the zip tape,  (unzipped, as directed), then zipped it up, ready to pin in the other tape. I only remembered that it was a cut-down zip at the very moment the pull came off the zip teeth in my right hand with the zip still on the dress. “YOU IDIOT!” quoth I, followed by a chorus of “DAMMIT!”

So I had to improvise, with a regular zip. I decided to make a feature of my cock-up and do it in a contrasting colour (dark red). I like it though. I have already worn it a couple of times. I now think I need to make a shortie bolero type cardi to wear with it, as all mine are a tad long and spoil the shape of the skirt.

My skater dress (minus invisible zip!)
My skater dress (minus invisible zip!)

What have you been up to lately? Any schoolgirl/boy errors in the sewing department?!