Monday, 31 December 2012

The new year to come

For many the time just after Christmas is a time for relaxation. Not for us however, we have a sale on! Whilst the shop floor staff are being kept busy with the sale our management team are hard at work plotting the course for the coming year. These plans also include exciting new tutorials for the blog, everything from lining your own curtains to making your own baby clothes. But this blog isn't just about us. What do you want to see in the next year?

We wish you all a happy and contented new year, and look forward to sharing 2013 with you.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Our thoughts at the end of the year.

Of late these blogs have mainly been tutorials for sewing projects. However when they  began they also included views from and of the  textile world. This entry is our little wrap up of the year.

Gathered around a Christmas meal organized by our newly promoted manager,  we took stock of the last 12 months. We also spoke about how much we enjoy our work, and why we enjoy it. Good workmates obviously help, as does creative management. But there is also something inherently good about working in our field, mean people tend not to sew or knit. All of our customers are -by the very nature of requiring supplies form us- creative and imaginative. They all have a wonderful drive to create, to fashion something new into this world. This is why we changed the name of the shop 3 years ago. We used to be "The Remnant Shop" and under this name we carried similar  stock to what we have now, but we were well known for having a LOT of remnants. But we came to realize that what we stocked wasn't as important as what we enable people to do, and that is simply to create. Hence the new name Fabric8, we sell fabric to help you fabricate new things into our world.

  In the last 12 months our customers have been as creative as ever, and we've adapted to help them. We now stock much more knitting wool and knitting tools for instance. We've held sales and maintain a clearance section on our website to help people try out new ideas without so much financial risk. We now carry more woolen fabrics for the reenactors who visit  us.  For those who come to us to make smaller craft projects like fascinators and hats we have added more clips, feathers glues to our range.

We even stock daylight simulating work lights and magnifiers to make it easier to work where ever you wish.

  However this blog isn't just about our wonderful little shop, the shop each and every staff member is determined to make into the best fabric and haberdashery shop in the world. It is about you. This blog is read by people from all over the world, people who can't visit us in person. Some still visit our website, but you  don't need to order from us to use this blog. We're excited by the idea of people near and far becoming more creative and we see it as our mission to inspire and help them in every way. And so as Christmas comes near and the year draws to a close we ask this, how can we help? Feel free to ask for help with  your projects, if you're struggling others may be too. And please share the information in the blogs. And thank you for visiting us, whether it would be the website, the shops out there in the real world, our Twitter feed or our Facebook, we really do appreciate it.
Merry Christmas to you all, or winter festival of your choice, and a happy new year.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A simple Hot Water Bottle Cover

As it happens the snow is pelting down as I write this. I've been focusing on making things that could make suitable presents or useful in the colder weather, so the weather is quit fitting.  I've kept the design of this cover very simple for a reason. The cover has no fasteners at all, so there are no buttons  Velcro or ties to irritate the skin or to risk catching on your hands. Thus this hot water cosy is perfect for those with sensitive skin.

You will need;
Fleece (around 90cm by 25cm)
Thread Snips

I've made this particular cover out of blue fleece I happened to have at hand. For a more stylish cover you could use a patterned fleece .
You will need a strip of fleece a little wider than half the circumference of the hot water bottle when filled (measure with a tap measure and not a ruler). In this case my hot water bottle is 44 cm wide, I've added 2 cm for ease, and then a seam allowance (5/8 of an inch on either side). The strip should be twice the length of the bottle plus an extra half length.

Hem both of the shorter sides. To do this place the fabric right side down on a table and then turn over 5/8 of an inch to the wrong side, and then roll again so the raw edge is tucked away. Pin in place and top stitch.
Believe it or not you've almost finished.

Place the strip right side up and pop the water bottle on top. Line the bottle up so the bottom of the fleece folds up to the neck of the bottle. Mark on the fleece where the fold is. Then fold the top down over the top of the bottle giving it a little room (around 2 cm). Again mark where the fold is.

Your fleece should be marked like this.

Fold the top top part of the fleece over (right sides together) Using the mark as a guide to where to fold.

Now fold the bottom up, using the mark as a guide.

Check the dimensions by popping your water on top of the cover.

If everything fits pin the sides in place. You will notice there is a large area of over lap. This is what holds the cover in place when it is folded right side out. Stitch along the long sides.

Turn the cover right side out. You effectively have a little fleece envelop with a flap to open to slide your water bottle into.

And there you have it. One fleece cover with no fastenings to catch yourself with. WARNING time! DO NOT FILL YOUR BOTTLE WITH BOILING WATER. Bottles can leak, so don't use water hot enough to scald yourself! This may seem like a very simple cover, but I still believe it's the best. Brighten it up with some festive fleece or other fancy patterns.