Crafting · D.I.Y Projects · Made by Maebhe · Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Craftie: Sewing for beginners


So i mentioned in a recent post that i had signed up for a beginners sewing class in Belfast, inspired by my recent sewing machine purchase. I have always loved crafting but sewing is something i have only ever made the MOST basic attempts at i.e sewing on a button or sewing up a rip. However i love vintage clothes, and part of the shopping for vintage clothes is keeping an eye out for a great find rather than shopping for a size.

So far the idea of altering a piece of clothing has been daunting. Now, i do have a few pieces i’ve purchased that didn’t fit and paid someone to alter for me, often paying more than the purchase price to have it altered. My favourite vintage find is a gorgeous real silk, Chinese style dress which still had the tags on it which i found in a charity shop in Antrim of all places, for a fiver (£5)!! Then paying a small fortune to have it altered from a UK size 14 to a UK size 8 but i adore it, although totally haven’t been able to find the right venue to show it off at yet.

I know altering clothes is a long way off but I had to start somewhere and this class really did set a good foundation to learn from.

The Class

The class was at Lizzie Agnew’s studio on Queens Street Belfast. She is an award winning bridal designer from Northern Ireland, creating gorgeous vintage inspired gowns. I discovered The Lizzie Agnew School of Dressmaking through an evening of google hunting for some local basic sewing classes.

Lizzie was lovely, and there were only 4 girls in the class (myself included) which meant that we were able to get the personal time and assistance necessary when learning a new skill. Even though in the class i was working on a much older, industrial model of a sewing machine i was able to develop a basic understanding of sewing machines. So when it came to starting up my machine, for example threading the bobbin, even when i came across difficulties i was able to take me time and fix the problem rather than panic.

  In the class we were taught how to hand sew buttons and hems, basic machine use, machine hemming, and reverse stitch. Using the reverse stitch was honestly the most difficult part and demonstrated something i didn’t know was such a necessary skill for any basic sewing project.

  Lizzie Agnew’s School of Dressmaking offers a ranging of sewing classes from this one day course, to 8 week foundation dressmaking courses through to a bridal dressmaking course for sewing pros at varying prices. Anything beyond the absolute beginners class is a bit pricey for me right now, but maybe in the future once I’ve had some practice. I have made some basic sewing attempts on my machine now, but I am going to make a separate update post 

  More sewing updates to come soon.

Maebhe x

Crafting · D.I.Y Projects · Made by Maebhe · Uncategorized

MadeByMaebhe: Terrarium or Fairy Garden

So as seems to be the course of my life at present – I have been sent another curve ball, although this one is a little more positive, I got a new job – not exactly where i want to be career-wise yet. Its a nice progression but it has been an adjustment and the cause of my most recent leave if absence.

However during this down time i have discovered a new love….Gardening. It has been fun to get a little green fingered and create something living. And now i have a little green spot in my room which makes me ridiculously happy.

So i thought i would share my little creation with you and show you how easy it is to make one for yourself.

Here is my glorious little terrarium:

 Its quite a small terrarium on the overall scale of things, although i have already purchased the bowl for my next littl world, but it suits my room and i love it.

Here are all the things you will need to make your own:

  •   Some mini plants – The little potted succulents shown below, I purchased from a local gardening shop for a pound a plant and the little loose plants are from my parents garden (if taking plants for outdoors just make sure to wash the roots well before planting to remove any bugs etc). However there is a wide array of plants to choose from both succulents and cacti so be adventurous!
  • A glass jar or container of your choosing – glass is best and a jar with some depth is easiest.
  • Pebbles/Stones – I choose ornamental glass stones in purple. These are very important as they are necessary for drainage as your container wont have any.
  • Soil – Normal potting soil is perfect.
  • Decoration – Optional – there are some great examples online where some very talented people have used tiny doll house furniture to make miniature gardens etc so get creative.


After you have collected everything you will need it is just a matter of assembly.

1. Gently wash your container and stones with water and a little soap. Rinse well to remove all detergents and dry before planting.
2. Place a layer of stones along the base of the container for drainage.
3. Then add your layer of soil, maybe two inches worth to create a foundation for your foliage.
4. Now the fun bit! Arrange and plant your succulents, cacti etc.I found it easiest to remove my plants from their pots and set them in my glass jar to arrange them first before planting them, so i was happy with the overall appearance.
5. My chosen stones included some large purple bubble like stones which i used as decoration. However you can be as as adventurous as you like, these little gardens are lovely just as they are.
6. And your Done!!! Spray your terrarium once a week, dont over water them as it will drown the root system. so just keep the soil moist.

A little extra gardening just to brighten up the page: I got a little distracted while shopping for my terrarium supplies and ended up buying two trays of violas which have now been distributed artfully around my parents garden.

If you decide to give these little terrariums a go or if you own one already i would love to see them! It truly is lovely bringing a little bit of nature inside.

Maebhe x

Crafting · Made by Maebhe · Uncategorized

Made by Maebhe: Crotchet Creations

All this crafting inspiration has inspired me to start a new series: Made by Maebhe.

I’m not sure exactly how regular (regularity being an issue that i already need to work on) a contribution this series will be to my blog. However i wanted an opportunity to share my creations and share new skills i am learning.

The discovery of  my current favourite magazines, Mollie Makes and Simply Crotchet, has truly been sources of inspiration, fueling the need to buy some new wool so i can try out some of the new skills they talk about and replicate some of their ideas.

However before i get too ambitious i thought i would share some of my little creations to date. So far i haven’t taken on many large projects, however below you will be able to see two blankets i have made – however the first (red & white) took a ridiculously long time to complete since these big projects are something i tend to start and when i put it away for the evening i can forget to pull out again for quite sometime.

Giant Granny Square Blanket with scalloped edge

I am embarrassed to admit that this blanket has to be one of the slowest creations i have ever worked on. My Granny taught me how to crotchet when i was about 11 years old and this was one of the first projects i ever took on. I never liked joining the little squares together so for my first blanket i would just make a GIANT square. Simple but time consuming and therefore made it a lot less appealing a project to pull out whenever the crotchet cravings kicked in.

However 11 years later it is finally finished although i probably should have made it a little bigger if i wanted it to be a true blanket. I think its just a throw more than anything now, prettily adorning the end of my bed.

Crotchet Bows

This is one of my favourite little projects to make and i now have them in an assortment of colours and sizes. Below i have two examples in turquoise. I love putting them on clips for my hair or safety pins for coats etc. Can be made in about an 20 mins, really satisfying little project.Granny Squares and Hexagons

I crocheted these while living in Edinburgh completing my Masters. I have a box full of granny squares – many of which are a little funny as i have some difficulty with maintaining the same level of tension. There were many evenings after uni- or work when it was too abysmal to go outside or i was simply too tired to deal with people, i would turn to netflix and crotchet to pass the time and relax.

The hexagons i saw on my favourite crotchet blog – Attic24. Lucy, the crafter and creator of this blog makes some amazing and beautiful things with crotchet. I really cant recommend her blog enough! she is one of the few written tutorial i can easily understand and follow and she really has some beautiful tutorials. The rest of this post are all projects i learnt how to do from her site.

She made a beautiful Hexagon Blanket and i was in love. So i spent an evening learning how to make them. I didn’t have enough wool or colours to do them justice, however i have ambitions to return to this project with some good quality and brightly coloured wool.

Hearts and Roses

These last little projects are a few of the ones i had at hand but like my granny squares i have more in storage, especially the flowers which i can now make a couple of different kinds of flowers.

These are really cute little projects which can be added to clothing or other projects. I also made a number of bow headbands at Christmas for friends and family so i can find my own at the moment. However i made a few plain straight headbands and added these little flowers to decorate.—————————————————————————————————————————

I really hope to expand my skills this year and take on a number of new projects. I have already learned how to make a magic circle as a start for most amigurumi which is my most resent love and i am trying to learn.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little post and i would love to hear about your crafting ambitions or any useful learning resources.