Tuesday, 11 October 2011

We're on the BBC!

I was approached by Jolene last year about the possibility of taking part in a project for the BBC online. I was super excited but slightly nervous about the prospect of being filmed but also hearing the sound of my voice in the finished piece!
When I eventually found out that I'd been chosen as one of the films for the project we had made the move to our new HQ. The date was set for filming and both Jolene and Rich came to Dumfries for the day.
Thrilled that the film is now live on the BBC , take a peek inside my home, studio & shop. I love the end result, although I had to watch it with the sound down initially!

I love buttons, one of my treasured possessions is the button drawer inherited from my granny. It sits in our hall so I can see it every day. The drawers are still full of the original buttons and each drawer is a different colour.

As part of the project a tutorial was created so that you too can make a pretty button heart with your stash of buttons. Happy making!

About time too!

I have come to realise that I'm not that great at this blogging malarkey!!! Its a sad affair when I look to see that my last post was back in October last year. So I thought it was abut time I posted what I have been up to recently. If you do want to keep up to date with our going's on, both work and play then the best way really is to either become a friend or fan on facebook. Just search Leah Halliday or So Sew Pretty and you should find us.

Its been a busy year and at long last my wish to open a shop and move my work out of the house has happened. The perfect property came up for rent and although a very big step, I thought it was time to make the leap. We have moved , way back in March, to a beautiful Georgian town house in the centre of town in Dumfries. Our new Hq is spread over the 1st and 2nd floor. So we have a shop and two spacious workshops rooms with my studio and storage upstairs.
Here are a few before photographs when we'd signed the paperwork and collected the keys!

Our new HQ! Keys collected and paperwork signed.

So Sew Pretty Workshop number two

So after a month of hard work, which I couldn't have dome without Mr.P we officially opened our doors on the 13th March. And what better way to celebrate with a tea party of course. My collection of pressed glass cake stand were laden with cakes and tasty treats, and we served up fizz and cups of tea.

tea party two

Its a wonderful feeling to leave home every morning, and when it's sunny, cycle to work. A feeling I am getting used to at last. 

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Selling & Stitching!

We packed our bags and headed up to Glasgow last weekend to take part in the first Supermercado. Taking place in the city's most famous marketplace, The Barras, Supermercado is the only weekly indie market in Glasgow offering the best pick of thrift, vintage, craft, homestyle, design, fashion, food, art, music, books & lifestyle and more!

This is... Supermercado

Having found our way and at last got ourselves parked we started to unload my wares from the car. Then disaster.........Mr P managed to lose control of the sack bearer and my vintage finds tumbled to the ground, falling out their boxes and spread out across the car park. To make matters worse it had been raining so they landed in puddles too. I lost loads of my stock..... now all smashed and broken. As you can imagine I was rather upset and devastated to be honest, and didn't feel up to taking part.
Still can't believe what pretty things I have lost. I feel a little connection with all my vintage wares and still get a thrill when finding something I can sell. So the day could only get better, it couldn't get any bloomin worse! I decided to soldier on, wipe away the tears and set up shop.

Out and About at the Supermercado

Its was a great day, eventually, the cake and hot chocolate helped. I think this new venture by the MITS gals, Carrie and Clare, can only get better and better. Head on over to their Flickr and take a peek at some photos taken on the day. The market is on every Saturday in the undercover courtyard of the newly refurbished Barras Centre, 54 Calton Entry, Glasgow, G40 2SB. Take a trip out east and discover the market and what it has to offer, their is an ever-changing selection of vendors. We shall be back on the 6th November then the 4th and the 11th December. Keep your peepers peeled for news of their official launch too.

Made in the Shade HQ, Barras, Glasgow

I headed back up to Glasgow on Monday to teach my very first Oh Sew Basic Workshop at the Made in the Shade HQ. I was nervous and excited all at the same time and chuffed to bits that my first class had sold out in a couple of days. I had been up early getting everything prepared, hand stamping notebooks and sewing my crafty aprons for the guests. With my fabric stash packed, all the tools of the trade and supplies in the bag, I was good to go.

My Fabric Stash

I had a wonderful night and all our happy stitcher's were as pleased as punch with their handmade cushions. The MITS gals have written a rather lovely post on their Blog. You can take a look at some other photos from the night on Flickr.

Oh-Sew-Basic workshop at the Made in the Shade HQ.

Oh-Sew-Basic workshop at the Made in the Shade HQ.

We are pleased to announce that due to popular demand, we will be re-running our Oh-Sew-Basic beginners workshop at the MITS HQ, Glasgow on Monday 18th October.

You too could make a pretty handmade cushion and learn to love the sewing machine! For more info and booking details email: madeintheshadebookings@gmail.com.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Itching to get stitching!

Well it's been a busy week playing catch up since I returned from my travels in London town, I promise to share my adventures in a future post and what I got up to. While I was away I was thrilled to announce news of my brand new venture, So Sew Pretty.
I shall be passing on my skills as both a designer and crafter, teaching you how fun it can be to make your own. From cushions to frocks, bags to bunting there will be laods of lovely things to make and take home while learning a new skill at the same time. Why not come on over to our facebook page and like us. We have details of our new classes, things you can make and lots more sewing treats. We will also be adding lots of crafty goodies, tools of the trade, ribbons & trims to our online shop in the coming months.

So excited as I shall be hosting my first class at the Made in the Shade HQ, Glasgow. We have had a great response so far and Oh Sew Basic, a beginners sewing machine class has now been fully subscribed, I am chuffed to bits and really excited. So I have now put my thinking cap on, so I can put together some other sewing classes to pass on loads of other sewing skills. You'll also make some handmade lovelies while you practice along the way.I would love to know if you took a class what you would like to make and take home at the end of the class.

Make a frock!

I am also hosting a Make a Frock class at the MITS HQ, this is a great introduction to dressmaking. I have chosen a rather lovely 50's inspired dress, that's perfect for the party season and just in time for Christmas! The great thing is it would make a perfect day dress too, and it has pockets. During class we will be using a Vogue commercial pattern that has two variations with sizes from 8 to 22.

If like me you probably have piles of fabric sitting at home waiting to be used. You couldn't resist it at the time and knew it would be perfect one day for that certain project! Well why not make it into a dress. For more information and booking details head on over to the Made in the Shade Blog.

With classes in Glasgow confirmed I am making final tweaks to plans closer to home. Sewing classes will be available in Dumfries too, so keep your peepers peeled for more news soon.

Let's get stitching!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Fond Farewell

Well it's official, my last wedding dress is now finished and was collected last weekend, which was a very weird feeling indeed. As some of you may already know, I have made the hard decision and will no longer be taking on any further bespoke bridal commissions for the foreseeable future.

As you may know I launched my handcrafted gifts & vintage finds late last year. I have been spending more and more of my life working. As much as I 'd love to claim to be a superwoman and do it all, unfortunately somethings got to give. Trying to juggle both my gifts and bridalwear has proven to be more and more difficult. I have been unable to dedicate enough time and energy to either of them.

My decision has also been heavily influenced by the decision to try and move to France, which was my initial reason for launching my handcrafted gifts range, so that I could sell online. I realise that trying to predict the future or planning way too much is a complete waste of time, because you never know what is going to happen. But I am willing to take the chance! So perhaps this will only be a break from designing wedding dresses and not a permanent goodbye.

What I do know for sure is that you can't give up on your dreams. So at last the dream to move to France might actually be possible. So from now on I will be concentrating time on my handcrafted gifts and vintage finds. There are many new ideas in my head and can't wait to start making them. I will also be exhibiting at the Country Living Christmas fair. There are of course some new projects I am planning, which is all very exciting and promise to reveal all very soon. And of course there is a house to sell, packing, moving and organising our move to France.

Designing wedding dresses has allowed me to indulge in my passion for attention to detail and my love of vintage clothing, especially the fifties. It's been an amazing experience and I have had the pleasure of working with some wonderful bridal suppliers and lovely clients over the years, some have even remained friends. I have been lucky enough to to be part of the special day. I have even been privy to secrets of unborn babies, working my magic to conceal the bumps!

But it's not all been easy, it's had it's ups and it's downs and many a late night working. So although I'm a little sad to say farewell to making wedding dresses. I'm so looking forward to getting a bit of my life back, spending some time with my family and starting this next adventure!

A big thank you for all the support, interest and enthusiasm over the years.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Let's get sowing!

There is nothing like a couple of sunny days, especially in Scotland, to get you out in the garden if your that way inclined. We had a couple of days when it has been glorious outside and there was lots of jobs on my to do list that needed ticking off. So I decided to turn my days upside down, during the day I would spend time in the garden and at night work in the studio. So P and I have now managed to get most of our seeds planted so far, there were quite a few to be planted. We went a bit crazy in the garden centre and bought a bit too many!!!!! But this year I am going all out with flowers, and have the whole of the back border to fill with wonderful bright and cheery flowers.

It's been all go as we have a new edition to the kitchen garden.........our very own greenhouse. My mum and I had been out for a jaunt a couple of weeks ago and I came back to a very happy husband. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Our neighbours were turning part of their garden into a car park and no longer had any need for their greenhouse. It had been destined for the dump until P rescued it. Along with a rather nice 50's cabinet with formica top. We had wanted a greenhouse for a while and had always made a point of scanning the classifieds in our local newspaper. Every time we called a number for one for sale, the bloomin things had gone already so we had given up on the idea. So it was a very good day indeed!!!!!

P spent most of his evenings digging a big hole and building the footings for our new greenhouse. But with lots of hard work we, well mostly P if I'm honest, managed to get the green house up and ready in just over a week. We also have a lovely path inside and we were able to use some old paving bricks that we had salvaged from when workmen had dug up the pavement from outside my granny's house and these were the original pavement underneath the concrete slabs.
So although it was pouring down outside we were now able to pot up our seeds in our very own greenhouse. We were quite cosy inside, although we were wrapped up warm with lots of layers. I had the radio installed for the afternoon and we had cups of tea. And despite the rain, we had a lovely afternoon pottering about.

I love the garden, its my little place to get away when I have been working in the studio all day. It can feel like a proper break if I get out the house and sit outside, even if it's just for half an hour. So happy gardening everyone and let's hope, you to, have been able to get outside. What does your garden grow??? I would love to know. Leahx

Friday, 23 April 2010

Springtime Jamboree!

We were out and about last weekend to take part in the Made in the Shade Springtime Jamboree. We got up bright and early to pack all my handmade lovelies and vintage finds into the car. Here are some photos of my stall. I didn't get a chance to snap some photo's of the other stalls, but if you head over to Made in the Shades flickr page you'll see some more photos from the day. It was a great event and lovely to meet some facebook fans, familiar faces and some new customers face to face.

I was trying so hard to save my pennies, which is always so so hard as there are such lovely things for sale. I was tempted by a lovely fabric rose brooch by Angharad Jefferson. I also bought my mum this lovely book mark by Susie Maroon. It's a little something for her birthday next month. If you were there on the day would love to hear what tempted you???

I also managed to sneak off, P watched the stall, to pop into the new Cath Kidston pop in shop which is now in Glasgow. No P&P to pay, whoop whoop. I was trying to contain myself as we had to be quick and get back to my stall, I was suppose to be working after all. I had been lusting after the pretty flower plimsolls, and what luck the last pair in stock were a size 5, it was meant to be, my size. Also bought Lauren, my daughter, another bag to add to her collection, she takes after her mother!!!!. It was a thank you for helping me on the stall all day.

We then had to get back as we had an hour left till the end of the day. After our drive back down the road, we cycled round to tesco for rose wine and some ice cream, a perfect end to the day!!!!
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