The End of a Chapter

A note written by Rose Henderson on

So I’ve finally done it (well, I did it two weeks ago, I’ve only just got round to writing this post). I’ve closed my business officially with the tax office. Red & Rosy no longer sells creative, bespoke handmade gifts and can no longer make any money of any sort. It’s quite refreshing to be honest, I thought I would be really upset but I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I’m not going to lie to you — it’s been a tough few years. I’ve only had a handful of negative experiences, but I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting many lovely crafters and customers and I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure.

So — for those of you who didn’t know we are off on a big, new adventure. My husband has a new job based in San Francisco and we are moving to Marin, which is just over the Golden Gate Bridge. I will eventually get Ed (the Web Superhero) to amend my website to make it less "selling" and more "family adventure". We are still in the UK, and still visa-less for the moment but we have finally sold our house after 16 months and four buyers having to pull out, and we are almost ready to go. Our home is slowly getting emptier, and in the next month or so we will be leaving our home and moving into temporary accommodation until we leave.

It would be lovely you would like to follow our adventure — in addition to (trying) to Blog more you can also find me on Twitter (@redandrosyhq), Facebook and if you are on Instagram come and say hi, you can find me at @redandrosy. Right now my Instagram is full of pictures of the kids and our “final visit” to places around Edinburgh & East Lothian, but soon it should be full of San Francisco, Marin and our many new adventures (Disneyland is the first promised place to vacation to!)

Thanks again to everyone who have left comments, interacted and purchased items from me and here’s to my family’s big new adventure!

Rose

Teeny tiny sewing machine

A note written by Rose Henderson on

Way back at the start of April, my lovely, trusty, 18 month old sewing machine decided to give up on me. On the weekend I ran a promotion for my Name Banners, meaning I had 38 to make.

It just wouldn’t work — the hand wheel was very stiff to turn, the needle kept sticking and an error message kept coming up on screen that indicated that the bobbin was tangled, when there was no problem with it at all. I spent four hours trying to figure out how to fix it — I cleaned out the bobbin case, I was only able to remove part of the needle plate to clean underneath, I switched it off and back on again (after all, it’s computerised and isn’t that how you fix computers?) and nothing. All the Name Banners were cut out and piled up neatly on my dining table and I had nothing to sew them with.

I was about to send my husband to Argos to pick up a spare machine for £150 when my lovely Facebook friend Lyndsey suggested the little Hobbycraft Machine, which was for sale at £24.99. Desperate, Hubby was sent there instead and came back with this:

Hobbycraft machine v’s brother machine

So yeah, it’s tiny. Teeny weeny. And reading the one review on the Hobbycraft website, it really wasn’t going to cut it. But I gave it a go and instantly hit a problem — you made it stitch by switching it on and off. There is a pedal, but like the machine itself its weeny and it didn’t really matter what pressure you put on it, the machine had two speeds, slow and slightly less slow. So to stitch, you hit on and to stop, you hit off. Which is great for Jack (but more on that later), but for me, urgh! It really did take some getting used to, for those of you who machine sew out there you will know that you get to know your machine, you know exactly what pressure to apply to the pedal for the speed you require without even thinking about it. Getting used to a new machine takes time, and I just didn’t have time with this, I wanted my old machine back!

I eventually managed to get the Name Banners done, and fortunately my machine broke at a time where I was planning to have some time off from work anyway, as Ed was in San Francisco for a week. So I popped my old machine on my desk and tried to put it out of my mind for a few days.

Having the little machine in our house was wonderful though, because (I am sad to say) the boys don’t get to touch my sewing machine. For one thing, reaching the pedal is a problem for them all. And it goes really fast — too fast for little hands. But the little machine meant that all three of them were able to use it, and make something entirely on their own. And that’s for tomorrow’s Blog post.

I did eventually brave going into a small, independent sewing machine repair shop a few miles from where I live who told me the machine could be fixed by just putting oil inside the holes located over your sewing machine and that would fix the problem — DON'T DO THIS! I didn’t, it just didn’t seem right, and having read a bit online it just wouldn’t have worked. No, what I did was manage to take off the whole of the needle plate with a little more patience and I was amazed at the amount of fluff under it. I gave the bobbin mechanism a little oil and things appear to be back to working order again, hoorah!

However, if your thinking of taking up sewing and don’t want to fork out £100+ on a machine, it really wouldn’t hurt you to give the little Hobbycraft one a try. It is frustrating when your used to a full sized machine, but it really does do basic stitching perfectly.

Bunting Tutorial

A tutorial written by Rose Henderson on

So there are hundreds of “how to make your own bunting” tutorials online and plenty of ready made kits that you can buy to help you along the way, but I figured I was making bunting for my dining room so why not write a tutorial while I did it!

Materials required are:

  • Fabric (I decided to use red, white, red gingham and red spot fabric)
  • Bias Binding — I used 18mm gingham available from Crafty Ribbons
  • Scissors
  • Chalk / Water erasable pen or whatever you have to draw on the fabric
  • Bunting Template (cut out of an old cereal box — this one measured 5.5inches wide and seven inches long)
  • Sewing Machine!

Bunting materials required

First, fold your fabric in half right sides together. As you can see in the photograph’s to follow, I didn’t do that! This way will save you a little time.

Fabric folded, draw your template on the fabric leaving a 15mm (or more if you prefer) seam allowance.

draw round template

I cut out six of each fabric (technically 12 of each as I didn’t fold my fabric first!), which gave me 1.5 metres of bunting

Bunting before sewing

Now we are ready to sew! Make sure that you have two pieces of the same fabric, right sides together with the side you drew the template on facing up.

Ready to sew!

All you do is sew down the two long sides, I was able to just run them all through the sewing machine in one go by lining up the next flag just before the first one was finished.

MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE TOP OF THE FLAG OPEN (sorry I felt the need to shout that but it is quite important)

Keep the top of the flag open

Trim round the edges.

bunting tutorial

And turn the right way out, using a skewer to poke the corner out to a point.

bunting tutorial

Now you will have a pile of flags looking a little like this:

bunting tutorial

and the next step is to iron them all flat.

bunting tutorial

My most hated job of all!

When they are all lovely and ironed, take the Bias Binding and fold in half, and about an inch along place the first flag into the folded Bias Binding. Place into the sewing machine and stitch along the edge as shown.

bunting tutorial

Keep feeding the Bias Binding through the machine, inserting a flag as you go along until all the flags are used.

bunting tutorial

Once all of the flags are sewn, sew the remaining Bias Binding back on itself to make a loop, then go back to the start of the bunting and repeat on that end.

bunting tutorial

Then your finished! All your left to do is hang it somewhere that need’s to be made pretty — in my case my bare dining room wall.

Hope this makes sense, please feel free to ask any questions should you have any.

I would love to see any items you make using this Tutorial, please either share on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using hashtag #redandrosy or email them to me, so I can share them too!

I would love you to share this, but please link back to this post rather than copy and paste my text. Thank you for respecting the time and effort that goes into creating, photographing and writing my tutorials by crediting me when sharing, or pinning this Tutorial.