Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Herts Belles Clothes Swap

It's all go here at Oh Sew Vintage. I'm working on my last 2 weddings for the year plus a few other Christmas Party outfits.

I'm also in the process of organising a Swishing Evening (clothes swap) with my Womens Institiute Group Herts Belles St. Albans WI. I helped set up the group about 18 months ago and since then we've run several fundraising events. The latest being a Clothes Swap to raise funds for the St Albans Open Door Homeless Charity. I've included a bit more information for you below. It would be great to see you if you can make it.

Herts Belles Presents an Evening of Swishing. Join us for your chance to shop without spending!

Everyone has something in their wardrobe that they just never wear! Bring it along to our swishing event and swap it for something you ARE going to wear!!

Every item you bring with you will earn you one ticket, each item you fall in love with will 'cost' you one ticket - simple!

The cost to attend this event is just £5 with a percentage of proceeds going to the St Albans Open Door Charity.

In addition to a fabulous event the rest of the Hertfordshire Craft Collective will be open for browsing and buying too!

Please spread the word and bring along your friends and family...the more people who attend the 
more amazing 'new' things you can go home with! There are no age or size restrictions and items that can be swapped include jewellery, shoes, handbags as well as clothes. (5 items of Jewellery = 1 ticket)

You can find the Facebook event here so please share with your friends Xx

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Felt Rose Tutorial

Things have been so busy with wedding season that I've completely neglected my blog. Today I've made up a little tutorial for creating your own vintage inspired felt rose brooch. With the colder weather now here is perfect for pinning onto your coat or favorite cardigan.

I've used 2 different coloured pieces of felt and black thread to make it easier to show how it’s put together. This is a really basic tutorial which you can adapt very easily. Bigger circles = bigger roses. Add more petals to make it fuller or even embellish it with a green leaf or beads.

Eeeek.... so here goes my first tutorial.!

You Will Need:

- 1 sheet of felt
- matching thread
- needle
- sharp scissors
- 5cm paper template
- pins
- 1 brooch back (available and all good craft stores)

Step 1
First make your template. Find something aprox 5cm across to draw round. I find 5cm is a good size to make a brooch however you can make the circles larger/smaller depending on what you would like to use them for.

Step 2
Cut out 9 circles using your template. They don’t have to be perfect but pinning the template in place will stop it from slipping and your cutting will be more accurate  

Step 3
Cut 8 of your circles in half leaving one whole (This will become the back)

Step 4
Thread about 1.5 meters of thread through your needle. Tie the ends together so that the thread is doubled

Step 5

Sew a running stitch along the bottom of one half circles. Stop when you come to the middle.

Step 6

Take another half circle and lay it over the first. Making sure that it starts in the centre of the first. Continue the running stitch along the bottom until you get to the centre of the second petal.

Step 7

Over lay a third petal and continue the running stitch.

Step 8

Repeat this until you have used up all of your petals. When you get to the last petal stitch all the way to the end.

Step 9
With the needle and thread still attached – hold onto the end petal and gently pull the thread. This should start to gather the petals. Ease the gathers down until the petals begin to curl up

Step 10

Next you will begin to form the rose. Starting at the end (where your needle and thread is) roll the rose up tightly to create a curl and secure with several stitches.

Step 11
Keep coiling the rose up securing it with little stitches as you go. The tighter you roll the less open your rose will be.

Step 12

Once all the petals are wound and stitched in place tie off with several stitches and cut off loose thread.

Step 13
Next take your final circle. Place over the back of your rose. Trim down to size and carefully stitch round the edge. This will hide the back.

Step 14
Next take your brooch back. Secure in place with several stitches through each of the holes and voila! One pretty rose.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Hertfordshire Craft Collective

Possibly one of my most favorite places... The Hertfordshire Craft Collective is a treasure trove of vintage and handmade gems. Tucked in the beautiful shopping village - Battlers Green Farm it's ideal for getting your vintage fix.

The Craft Collective has gone from strength to strength and has just recently opened up the Faberdashery. A fantastic little emporium stuffed full of yarns, threads, ribbon, fabric and buttons. Alongside this they also run classes in their workshop area. They have courses ranging from crochet to stained glass.

The collective is made up of around 20 traders including Oh Sew Vintage all selling an eclectic mix of handmade products, vintage clothing, homewear, jewellery and furniture.

The stock is ever changing and you never know what you might come across. It's the perfect place for finding unique gifts and pieces for your home.

Over the weekend I had a change around of my unit. Before I had a little dresser which meant I couldn't put many of my dresses over there. After seeing a 1940s wardrobe listed on Freecycle I knew it would make the perfect display. I sell a mix of things including my dresses and original vintage jewellery and homewear.

 Suzanne (owner) is dedicated to keeping the place looking fresh by hand picking unit holders to ensure high quality. If you haven't visited before make sure you call in. There are lots of other independent trades on the farm so why not make an afternoon of it.

For more information please take a look at their website or visit their Facebook Page.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm
Closed on Mondays

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Grand Vintage Fair

On Saturday I spent the day trading at the Grand Vintage Fair in St Albans. It's held 5 times a year in the Jubilee Centre.

The fair starts at 10 and runs till 4. Set about 5 minutes walk from the town centre it's perfect for calling in for a wander and a slice of cake.

This small but perfectly formed fair is made up of local vintage traders and crafts people. Debbie the lady who runs the fair picks the traders so there aren't too many of the same stalls.

There's a lovely selection of traders including Vintage Vi. She creates cameo jewelery and can even turn your own picture into a piece of wearable art.

Also trading was Bec from The Rocking Cow. She's the lady in charge of our trade table at my WI (Herts Belles WI). You can find her at the Alley Cats Emporium in Fleetville. 

Divinely Vintage were also there with a £5 sale of lots of their dresses. They specialise in vintage and second hand curtains. You can find them on Facebook.

So many lovely things to purchase. I came back with some beautiful vintage fabrics and some new earrings from All That Glitters. The fabrics came from a lady who was clearing out her Nans loft. She had some beautiful pieces. Can't wait to make something up in these.

Here are a few pictures of the day. There was even a pop up parlor.

I had to stop myself going home with more patterns!!
A few of the dresses I had for sale on the day.

Next fair for me is Moore Vintage at the Royal Masonic Girls School in Rickmansworth on Sunday 16th March. Over 40 traders, live entertainment and tea room. This fair is one of the biggest in the area and not to be missed. Free entry and parking too!!

Hopefully see some of you there, Emma Xx

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Goldhawk Road - Fabric Shops

I often get asked where I get my fabrics from so though I would share. I buy my fabrics from all over the place but my primary source is Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush. There are about 12 fabric shops along the main road and more stalls and shops along Shepherds Bush Market.

It's easy to access with a tube station at either end of the market. There is a small amount of on street parking and side roads with pay and display meters.

The selection of fabrics on offer is amazing. There's everything from brocade to sequins and everything else in between. Most of the shops are rammed with rolls and rolls of fabric. It's quite overwhelming the first time you visit, some of them even have basements with more packed in!

You'll be able to find fabrics for every price range. I would say that the prices are very fair for what you are getting but take your time to look round all the shops before buying as you might be able to find the same thing for a little bit less.

I buy a lot of my floral printed cottons here which are about £3.50 - £4.50 a meter. If I were to buy these online they would be £6 + .

Prices range from £1 a meter for lining fabrics to beautiful beaded and embellished lace for £100's! There's something for every budget so keep looking and you're bound to find the perfect thing.

The fabric you choose doesn't have to cost the earth. For example... I made this dress up for myself for an event I was going to (all the fabric is from Goldhawk Road) The flocked leopard print net only cost £4 a meter and the chiffon overlay only £1.99 a meter. If you see something you like buy it as it might not be there again! Their stock is always changing, I've looked for the leopard print net on numerous occasions but haven't been able to get it again :(

It's a dressmakers and crafters paradise so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to look round!!

A few things to point out if you're thinking of visiting... some shops won't give out samples (you can take pictures though) and there are also a few shops that only accept cash but there is a free cash machine along the road.

My top tip is to take a small suitcase/bag on wheels. There's nothing worse than trying to carry lots of heavy carrier bags on the train!

Happy Fabric Shopping!! Emma Xx

Thursday, 27 February 2014

My First Post

I've been asked on a few occasions whether I would be interested in starting a blog. I’ve always declined due to time (or lack of it) but decided that I would give it ago and share some of my sewing adventures with you.

So what will I be talking about? A bit about me, my sewing, love of all things vintage and maybe a few tutorials if I get the time. I’d love to hear your thoughts about my blog so if you've got anything you’d like me to write about please let me know. 
I thought I’d start off with a little bit about how Oh Sew Vintage started....

My name is Emma and I am the owner of Oh Sew Vintage. OSV is a ‘one girl show’ I answer all your emails, source all the fabric and design and make the dresses. I first set up the company when I was 18. Four years down the line and with the support of my family and customers I have managed to turn it into my full time job!

Age 16 I decided that sixth form wasn't for me so chose to focus on my 1 interest (sewing of course) and continued it at college. It was whilst at college that I developed a passion for all things vintage. I was lucky enough to visit the Golden Age of Couture exhibition at the V&A. A one off exhibition showcasing designer outfits from 1947-1957. It was the inspiration from this that prompted me to start my own company.

At my first ever fair I started off with a few charity shop finds and items given to me by my Nan. All of my profit from the first few fairs went back into the business to buy better stock. Everything I bought was pre 1960 and always in good condition. As ‘vintage’ became more and more popular prices were pushed up so high it was becoming impossible to find stock I could afford. I was then that I decided to start making reproduction clothing.

I invested in a few vintage fabrics and patterns and made them up for my next fair. Little did I know how well they would go down! From one tiny half filled rail I now take over 60 handmade dresses to each fair. All my dresses are one offs or very limited edition.

I absolutely love my job and there’s no better reward when someone comes back to me telling me about all the compliments they received. I’m hoping that this year will be the best yet for Oh Sew Vintage with the launch of my new ready to wear range.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Emma Xx