More Linus Blankets…

We have a lovely set of blankets for –

We will be continuing with making log patchwork this Saturday and you are welcome to bring your own project or an item that you wish to mend.


I manage to grab a photo of an Apron that was made for our fabulous hosts, L’Arche London UK members to wear in their creative craft making workshops 🙂



Don’t forget there is The Stitch Facebook page & a Facebook group: The Stitch, West Norwood – Like and join! (it gets updated a lot more than this website!)

See you at our 2017 venue (until L’Arche have finished their refurbishments)

The Garden Workshop
Gothic Lodge
21 Idmiston Road,
West Norwood,
SE27 9GH

Aprons and more…

Last Saturday’s session we made Aprons – Carla showed us how and several people even managed to finish the entire apron!

Tomorrow’s session 26th September is Aprons continued – so if you started then you can add the finishing touches or if you missed lasts weeks you can start yours – or just bring your own project.. something to mend/adjust and need tips? or Knit/crochet or anything you like 🙂

Please note that The Stitch session on the 3rd October has been cancelled as L’Arche have a candle making workshop.

We are all welcome to join… But we must book in advance at

L'Arche London UK Candle Making Workshop 3rd October 2015

I took some photos of their candles and the equipment they use to make them and got a little carried away… turned into a little poster 🙂

(click to see a larger version – opens in new tab)

Photos of various candles and equipment for the candle making workshop at L'Arche

The Stitch Needle Session Felted Cat 080815 001

Stabbing Little Kittens (gargh!)

Saturdays session of the Stitch featured stabbing at speed at little cute cats bodies, heads and ears… sounds evil! Well, relax we were making needle felted cat bracelets – Madoka had made her own and we were knocked over by it’s fab/cool/cute factor so we decided to have a go our selves! This is Madoka’s cat bracelets (click on the images to see larger versions and descriptions)

Madoka Angel's Needle Felted Cat bracelet Here’s a few pics from Saturday’s session…

You can keep up with Madoka’s creations via her Madoka Angel facebook page and Madoka Angel Instagram Elaine from Bunting and Pops (also a member of Rock Paper Scissors London) had never heard of dry needle felting and couldn’t figure out how a lump of wool roving turned into this fab little cat but she gave it a go… and then annoyed everyone by making this…. how cute it this little guy! (gargh… mine is still a blue lump and in bits)

scroll down for links to start needle felting for yourself!

Finished Fascinator!

Begona – one of the co-hosts at the Stitch brought in her finished Fascinator. locally sourced elements too – literally, she found the feathers at her local park 😀

Needle Felting supplies:

You can get kits but you can buy each element separately – all you need to get started is a set of needles, a sponge (from the pound shop!) and some roving tops (it’s like wool before being spun into yarn balls!)

As needle felting has become popular you can now find some of the bits you need in craft shops but online tends to be easier in finding it all in one go.


Needles: the important bit!

I got a mixed pack of needles but find that I’m using a medium most of the time (red tipped)

The Little Grasshopper on Etsy – Chester UK – (click image to visit shop) 10 needles – £3.65 + 68p)

you will need a pack of needles as it’s easy to break them when you first start!

TheLittleGrasshopper on Etsy - Needle Felting supplies

Just a Day Dream – Wales UK – Etsy shop – 10 medium needles in container £6.50 + 1.20 p&p)

some info I found on my search around the web about needle gauges and what to use them for – I think most people that I’ve met use a medium and fine… but that’s why I would buy a mixed set to start with – so you can try them out and ‘gauge’ it yourself! 😉

Course Needles

  • The 32 Gauge Triangular has 3 barbs a side – coarse fibres and starting 
  • The 36 Gauge Triangular has 3 barbs a side – starting and shaping 
  • The 36 Gauge Star has 2 barbs a side – faster starting and working 

Medium Needles

  • The 38 Gauge Triangular has 2 barbs a side – shaping and working (red tip)
  • The 38 Gauge Star has 2 barbs a side – Faster working and shaping 
  • The 38 Gauge Twisted needle has 2 barbs a side – even felting and smoothing 

Fine Needles

  • The 40 Gauge Twisted needle has 2 barbs a side – even felting, smoothing 
  • The 40 Gauge Triangular has 2 barbs a side – working and detail
  • The 42 Gauge Triangular has 1 barb a side – fine detail 
  • The 40 Gauge Reverse / Inverted has 1 barbs a side – fluffing surfaces 

You don’t need a needle holder – I have tried the wood holders that you can buy but I either just use the needle on it’s own or (more recently) I’ve started using the plastic pen type of holder which is actually quite good – you can use 3 needles at once – useful when you first start stabbing large bits of roving into a base shape – then you can change to a single needle which is far better for smaller/detailed elements. (click image to visit the Amazon page)

Clover Pen style needle Felting tool


Heidi Feathers – Cheltenham UK – £25 (there’s another kit for £13,99 that looks cool too!)

This looks good if it’s a gift (for you or someone else!) as it comes in a nice box, instructions, finger guards (not totally necessary), mat, selection of Merino tops in lots of colours, needles in various sizes (which is good if you don’t know what you are doing!) – click image to visit her ebay shop – she is on Amazon as well – Heidi Feathers Amazon shop and sells each element separately

Heidifeathers Needle Felting Starter Kit


Another starter kit by MaxExpress4U on Ebay – Bristol UK – £16.99

maxexpress4u Needle Felting kit on ebay


TryToGet0 – Newton Aycliffe, Durham UK – £10.00

Try To Get0 ebay shop


If you don’t want to buy a kit and you want to just the basics (which the above to cover but some bits are unnecessary)


I did buy a pack of these from Amazon – £3.95 + 1.75 delivery from the Wool Barn – UK and they sell them in different colour tones and a mix selection too – I would recommend getting a mix of colours for your first go.

The Wool Barn Merino Wool Roving Tops


Video tutorials – free ones.

This is very good on how to even plan your needle felted item… in this case cute animals. (doesn’t show closeup though)

Baby Alpaca tutorial – cute!

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 15.36.10

Needle Felting 101 – gives info on lots of needle felting equipment and roving… and even tips on wet felting – we tried that on Saturday and it really does speed things up!!! (just a bowl of water and a little soap – I thought it was far more complicated but it really isn’t!)

  • maybe we can get Madoka to add her thoughts on needle felting 🙂

ps: just found this on Etsy – tutorial pdf of a spat cat bookmark – made me laugh 😀

splat cat needle felted bookmark tutorial pdf pattern



Fascinating Fascinators!

ok – I apologise for the heading but it’s hard coming up with titles 🙂

Tara made a sea themed fascinator – and another Stitchee made a fab piece and we found it hard to believe that she has never done this before! Amazing

Some of the other Stitchee’s mended and enhanced old clothing – one said that her wardrobe has increased somewhat since joining the group 😀

One was making a skirt that she loved but was far too short and decided to extend the length with lovely rich colour banding.

Bunting, bunting and even more bunting!

Crikey, there was a lot of bunting at todays Stitch session.

I’ve even have some next to my keyboard as I write this… seriously… bunting EVERYWHERE!

The sewing kits were all done as well – love hearts and rocket ships plus one of the Stitchees made a million cool bags that go with them. I have a feeling that a lot of sales will be to all the Stitchee’s – we will try to keep some for customers at The Feast on the 7th June 😛

There was a rebel in our mists … these are definitely not bunting!

That's not bunting!

That’s not bunting!

That's not bunting!

awwwww cute!

Have a Serger?

One of our co-hosts lent her Serger to The Stitch and we were at a loss at how to thread the needle (it has four reels gargh!!!!).

Thankfully a few new local members popped in and fixed it for us – hopefully they will become regulars but if they don’t then we need to bookmark this video at Creative Bug!

Creativebug video on threading a Serger

Creativebug video on threading a Serger

Creativebug have lots of free lessons on various subjects from sewing, jewellery making, mixed media and more so go check them out.

Skirts ahoy!

Well, our fingers have finally recovered from the mammoth stitch session of last Saturday! Didn’t the banner look great? I was so proud to see our work hanging up at Feast and enjoyed planting some sunflower seeds for the WN Bzz Garage.

This coming week it will be creative mending – bring your worn out and unravelling clothing and household stuff and fix them up.

Looking ahead to Saturday 18th and 25th April we’ll be making SKIRTS. We thought that it would be good to give a bit more notice for those who’d like to join in this project as you’ll need to get a few supplies.

We’ll make either this skirt or this one – depending your level of skill. (Thanks to those two talented bloggers whose work I’m sharing here.)

If you are a beginner, or want to be sure to finish in two weeks, I recommend the first one which has a simple elasticated waist. If you can sew a straight seam on a machine you can make this! There’s no pattern – you measure your body to get it right for you and mark out straight onto the fabric. If we felt ambitious we could even add a pocket or embellish the hem. I’ll be making this skirt – I hope to find a wild 1970s curtain or tablecloth for this project!

The other skirt is more complicated to make but lovely to wear. You start by tracing the pattern onto your own paper, to your size, then cut your fabric. I made a similar skirt from the book just before Easter and it worked beautifully. (NB The largest pattern is a small-ish UK 14.) It does take longer though (about 5-6 hours for me and I am a fairly experienced sewer) and you might not finish it within the two Stitch sessions. This would be a good project for someone who has sewn a simple garment before and wants to move onto the next stage of following a pattern and inserting a zip.

If you want to join in, here’s what you need:

1m – 1.5m of 45″ wide fabric (depending how long you want your skirt) for Skirt 1 or 2m of 45″ wide fabric for Skirt 2. You can buy dress fabric (check out the links on our site for local shops and other sites with good recommendations) Even better (and cheaper!) you could repurpose some charity shop curtains, bedlinen or a tablecloth. The fabric should not be a stretchy knit or jersey. This design will work best in a cotton/linen fabric – and that’s also great for beginners (and our aged sewing machines).

Thread to match your fabric. I always buy two reels for a project like this. Choose a decent quality poly-cotton thread – I find cheap thread always snaps and is a false economy.

For Skirt 1 you will need a length of elastic 3cm wide and long enough to go around  your waist.

For Skirt 2 you will need an 18cm invisible zipper.

For Skirt 2 you’ll also need some tissue paper or pattern paper to trace the pattern.

If you can bring your own scissors, pins, tailors chalk and tape measure that’s great although we do have those things for you to borrow if you don’t have them already.

Happy mending on Saturday and looking forward to seeing us all twirling in our new skirts by the end of April!

~ Rachel ~

How cool is this hat - you wouldn't know it was a jumper!

Old to New… Hats!

February was all about creating new from old. Up-cycling old jumpers, either from your own wardrobe or from a charity shop that you have spotted that has cool stripes or even garish patterns is a quick way to create a cool hat.

This is a fast project which is great for beginners upwards – everyone created a wearable hat within a couple of hours.

‘Cats in Pants’ pattern testing…

Each week we try to plan a ‘theme’ or useful project that the group come up with but we are very open to ideas and suggestions – plus people do not have to join in with this as they can bring their own project, fix or mend a favourite piece of clothing or just ask questions and eat choccy biscuits 🙂

In January we decided to do a fun project that only needed small pieces of fabric, was quick to make and cute!

Lenny asked the Stitchers to test her pattern ‘Cats in Pants’ the kitten versions – there is a large cat but we thought we would start with the cutest of the two.

The pattern comes with the choice of underpants or pants.