Thursday, 2 December 2010

Winter issue of UK Handmade

The Winter edition of the UK Handmade magazine is now available. It's got a Scandinavian theme and lots of lovely festive goodies - including a tutorial by yours truly for this Scandinavian inspired cosmetics pouch. Check it out here:

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Made by Loulabelle... made by you

So, here is an exciting development... I've just completed my first batch of patterns for the trapeze sling tote that I designed for the bag workshop.

They'll be available for sale in the next few days from Darn it and Stitch in Oxford and I'll also be listing them in my online shops.

Fly my pretties, fly...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Vintage glitz and a Christmas Fix

I had a stall at the Woodstock Town Hall craft fair last Sunday. It was a pretty slow one, so I would have felt a bit downhearted were it not for the lovely ladies on the stalls around me.

I've decided to build up a collection of special Christmas tree decorations - one a year - and this glass angel is the first. I wish I had the name of the lady who made them so I could link to her website, but we were so busy chatting that I forgot to ask.

And, my extra special treat was this ever-so-glam vintage brooch which was donated to me, in the spirit of good karma. There's a couple of stones missing and the catch is broken, but it'll still be fabulous-dahling on my winter coat.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fill your Boots!

Selected Made by Loulabelle bags are now available on, alongside her own clothing line. I'm so pleased to be involved in this great new ethical fashion label - all Charlie Boots pieces are limited to 10 per design and use ethically sourced materials wherever possible (organic, sustainable, fair trade or vintage).

And, as an added bonus, 2 of my Lola bags have now taken part in a proper fashion shoot - with real models and everything! Check them out...

Oh, how I wish I could do a 'London look' like that - I just end up appearing vaguely lobotomised!

Monday, 8 November 2010

UK Handmade craft profile post

The third of my craft profile series features decoupage - check it out on the UK Handmade blog. (forgot to mention it earlier, so the moment may have passed slightly!)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Mona' s Marvellous Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake recipe is a family favourite. I don't know where it comes from originally, but it was always credited to great aunt Mona. The marvellous bit comes from the fact that it's super super easy and always comes out deliciously moist - seriously, you can't fail! If I'm just making one to have at home then I don't always bother with icing, but you can't beat a cocoa buttercream or ganache topping for extra indulgence.

I'd got a spare one in the freezer which I took into work today - okay, so the decoration leaves a lot bit to be desired, but it was 6.30am and I'd not had coffee yet!

5oz self raising flour
6 oz caster sugar
6 oz soft margerine or softened butter
3 oz drinking chocolate
3 large eggs
3 tblsp boiling water

Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F

Grease and line a 7" cake tin.

Mix all ingredients together until pale and fluffy. Pour into the cake tin. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Yum yum!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday

A new batch of upholstery fabric scraps came my way recently, so this week I'm working on a set of mini chain purses with the pieces that immediately caught my eye. I like working on this style - there's a fair bit of hand tacking to be done with the bias binding so I can cosy up on the sofa with the TV and still be industrious!

Autumn feels well and truly underway now - perfect for crocheting something snuggly. Here's a sneaky peak of a secret project I'm working on... ssssh, it's a gift, so don't tell!

Tutorial Tuesday: Mobile Phone Pocket

I am officially rubbish at mobile phones. I can’t do text speak, I can’t work out how to send a photo and until recently, I was constantly missing calls while I scrabbled round in the bottom of my bag trying to find my phone amongst the jungle of tissues, receipts and baby snacks. So, I decided to take matters in hand and add a mobile phone pocket to the next bag I made. There are a number of different ways to do this, but I think this is the simplest method.

These instructions are for a pocket that will fit a mobile phone up to 2” 1/8 / 55mm wide, but could easily be adapted if your phone is a different size.

You will need to make your pocket and attach it to one of the bag lining pieces before constructing your bag

Step 1: Cut out an oblong of fabric 5 3/4 “/48mm tall and 4 1/2 “/115mm wide to coordinate or contrast with your bag lining.

Step 2: Turn under and press 1/4”/6mm on all 4 sides of the oblong. To make this super quick, use this brilliant tip from Florence of Flossie Teacakes and use a piece of card with lines drawn at 1/4"/6mm intervals as a pressing guide.

Step 3: Turn under and press a further ¼”/6mm on one of the narrower edges of the oblong and top stitch or zigzag the turning in place. This is now the top edge of your pocket.

Step 4: Measure and mark a line ¾”/20mm in from each long edge.

Step 5: Fold and press along these lines so that the long edges are now folded under at the back of the pocket.

Step 6: Carefully stitch a line of topstitching about 1/8”/3mm from the folded edges you have just made along each long side.

You have now created a permanent “crease” in the pocket as shown in the picture below.

Step 7: Now for the fiddly bit: Work out the desired position of your pocket on one of your bag lining pieces. Keeping the long creased edges of your pocket folded under, place the pocket on your lining piece in the desired position. Mark the position of the long creased edges by placing a pin at the top and bottom – as per the picture.

It’s important to be as careful and accurate as possible here, or you may end up with a wonky pocket – and no one wants that!

Step 7, Part 2: Now, carefully unfold the creased edges of the pocket, keeping the pin markers in place. Align the long edges of the unfolded pocket with the pin markers and pin in place. Repeat on the other side. You should now have something that looks like this:

Step 8: Carefully stitch the long sides of the pocket in place about 2/8”/6mm from the edges.

Step 9: Nearly there! Now, to finish the bottom of the pocket, line up the creased edges so that they sit exactly on top of the long edges you have just stitched to the lining. Pin in place. You will need to create a sort of pleat with the sides of the pocket folding inside the pocket itself.

Step 10: Carefully stitch the bottom of the pocket in place – about 2/8”/6mm from the edge.

Now slip your phone into the pocket and marvel at how cosy it looks all snuggled up in its own little handy home!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

What a find!

oh oh oh - I've just discovered the most AMAZING online vintage shop - H is for Home.

It's got all I lust after most in the world: vintage crockery...

funky alarm clocks...

and lots and lots of lovely textiles...

I'm so excited that I've had to take emergency measures and stick my credit card in a bowl of water in the freezer!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The workshop

Why have I been so quiet lately? Well, a few reasons, but perhaps the best is that I was preparing for my role as tutor teaching my first bag making workshop which was yesterday at Darn it and Stitch in Oxford.

These are the samples of the bag that I designed for the session...

..and here are some action shots of the workshop in progress.

I'm more than a little relieved to say that I think it went really well. Granted, we did run over by about 2 hours (!) but everyone left with a finished bag and even better, they all said that they'd learnt something. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience - it was great to spend the day with such a lovely group of ladies, the workshop space at Darn it and Stitch has a great atmosphere, and it was really fabulous to see everyone's bags coming together.

I was on such a massive high last night that for the first time, I didn't cry during X-Factor - no, not one single tear was shed!

Friday, 1 October 2010

UK Handmade blog news

The second of my craft profile series was published on the UKhandmade blog yesterday. This time it's about needle felting.

I'm really enjoying finding out about different crafts - I was completely unaware of needle felting before starting the research for this blog. I hope you like it!

Friday, 17 September 2010

The baby's new clothes (again)

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now - in fact, the baby in question is close to outgrowing these clothes already (must be all those bananas)! Anyway, here are the latest fruits of my baby clothes addiction.

I used the same pattern as before, but this time, I added a bias binding edging.

For this version, I made my own bias tape. It's the first time I've made bias tape using a bias tape maker - a nifty little tool that I definitely recommend. Prudent Baby has a great tutorial that's worth a read.

I had a break from knitting over the summer so it took longer than usual to finish this little cardigan, but it's a great pattern (Sirdar 1802) and the different textures were fun to knit. This is already a bit snug so the poor child has been wearing it a LOT to get that cost-per-wear figure down! Hopefully the other babies at playgroup haven't noticed!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

UK Handmade blog news

I didn't want to say anything until it was all live and definitely going to happen (you should see me with magpies and ladders) but I can now announce that I've joined the writing team for the UK Handmade blog*. Hurray!

I'm writing a series of Focus posts looking at different craft disciplines - the first is about mosaic and you can read the post here.

I loved finding out about mosaic - the artists I spoke to were so lovely and their work is amazing. I'm still more proud than I ought to be about my mosaic flower pot attempt, but am now dying to give it a real try and am makig BIG hints to Mr Made by Loulabelle about a Christmas workshop gift!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the post - I'd love to hear suggestions for other crafts you would like to know more about.

*UK Handmade is a fab design led online magazine, blog and members forum committed to showcasing and promoting the best creative talent the UK has to offer.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Autumn issue of UK Handmade

The autumn issue of the UK Handmade online magazine came out today and it almost makes up for the summer being over!

As well as lots of Halloween goodies, this edition brings a flavour of Japan, with recipes including Japanese-inspired cup cakes, a fabric 'Furoshiki' gift-wrapping tutorial, how to make your very own 'Amigurumi' crochet Woodland Bunny, and screen-printing. Check it out here:

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Workshop news

As you can probably tell by the gaps between recent posts, things have been getting busy in Made by Loulabelle land. There's a few different schemes a-cooking, but I'm really excited to be able to announce that I am soon going to be tutoring my first ever bag-making workshop!

It's hard to believe it's possible in a civilised society, but Oxford had long been lacking a haberdashery/fabric shop until the lovely Jo recently opened Darn it and Stitch. She's created a fabulous space with a gorgeous mix of new and vintage trims and buttons, wool, fabric and haberdashery essentials. And, even more excitingly, she has turned the upstairs into a venue for crafting workshops. On the list are beginner’s classes in knitting, crochet, sock knitting, patchwork, smocking, bobbin lace making, corsetry, embroidery and felting. And now... bag making!

The workshop will be held on 9th October and we'll be making a trapeze tote which designed especially for the occasion. Here are the samples, currently residing in the shop:

More details to follow soon - I'll keep you posted!


Related Posts with Thumbnails