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 · Publishing · Reviews · Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea Blog: Crafting Resolutions

Since the start of the new year I have been so invested in trying to get a new job i .e. Leave my student stage behind and start a ‘career’ – without much success so far. As this can have a rather negative affect on your mental health and attitude. These effects are exasperated by the month joy of hormones.

When my mood is negatively impacted by life I always return to my crafting loves, especially my love of crotchet. I’m not sure if this is something I have ever really discussed on here but I was taught to crotchet by my granny when I was wee, as she looked after me a lot when my parents were working. And since then, following the growth of the Internet & the discovery of a wealth of tutorials and blogs on the topic I have expanded my crotcheting abilities beyond the simple granny squares to include everything from roses to bow headbands (which became quite popular Christmas presents last year).

I know it is late to be discussing resolutions beyond my usual reading resolutions to expand my reading pool & tackle my TBR pile. However I have decided that with the desire to maintain a positive outlook that I will continue to expand upon my crafting skills through the creation of unique and fun items.

As a start of this new resolution I purchased two magazines as inspiration;


Magazine One: Simply Crotchet

Magazine Two: Mollie Makes

I believe that these magazines are published by the same publisher and there is a range of magazines involved including Simply Sew and other crafting magazines. However I think I’ll stick with my crotchet for now…. Although I do have plans to buy a sewing machine because I love my vintage finds and would love to be able to alter them myself therefore widening my options (despite as serious loss in the number of vintage fairs in Northern Ireland compared to Scotland).

What drew my attention to both these magazines was their beautiful design and simply layout. But most importantly their crotchet designs were also extremely exciting and already i have been inspired and have started learning a new skill called Amigurumi – taken from the Japanese terms for cute (Kawaii) and yarn. They are little projects made using continuous circle chains rather than rows. And from what I have seen online the options and creations are endless! I can’t wait to learn more.

These magazines both also came with little craft projects! A little needle holder & like heart crotchet pack (they can be made to look like old school American tattoos).

I am excited to see where I can go with this- what I can learn, what I will create and how it will make me feel. I hope you will share your creative outlets and hopefully a new series will come out of my new crafting resolutions.


Uncategorized · vintage

Frock around the Clock: Northern Ireland’s Vintage Fair

While i am loving being home there is one aspect of Scotland that i have been severely missing, especially at this time as i am receiving so many Facebook notifications  – is the number of opportunities to go to vintage fairs. While this post is late going up, it felt appropriate as there a number of fairs occurring in relation to freshers week at Edinburgh University. However I was very excited to find a vintage and craft fair in Northern Ireland, Frock Around the Clock the first of which i went to with my mum back in July in Malone House, Belfast and the next is coming up in November.

They took over the entirety of the gorgeous Malone manor house, resulting in four rooms full of vintage and crafting treasures as well as a couple squeezed into the hallways.


Rather than discuss the whole fair, the stalls at which are far too numerous for me to truly explain, i am going to highlight a number of stalls and vendors which i enjoyed. Any site links are in the shop titles;

1. The Tea Emporium 

This had to be one of the cutest stalls at the entire fair. They sell;

“All you need for Afternoon Tea”

with these beautifully packaged tea sets and accessories.


2. I of the needle

This is a southern company, but her amazing fabrics and friendly demeanor meant she had to make the list. Also my mum bought the most amazing cow print shopping tote bag from this stall and i am in love with it – if i hadn’t been very poor at the time it would have been mineIMG_3197[1]


3. Molly Ellis – EweSir

Molly’s stall was beautiful. Like most literary nerds i have a love for beautiful stationary and her animal and nature printed cards and notebooks left me stunned. I have since been on her etsy site and i have some favourites set aside for Christmas presents.

You can also see Molly in my photo below in her lovely vintage inspired dress, who hand paints all her own prints as well as creating beautifully textured images using a mixture of needle felting and appliqué. Definitely check her work out.


4. Sam Mercer

Sam Mercer is a St. George’s market regular, stitching quirky and vintage inspired shoe clips, hair bands and accessories.


And finally;

5. Rehinged Furniture

This one is a little different from the stuff i usually talk about, however this little restoration and revamping company produces some of the loveliest furniture from vintage and restored pieces. With a lick of paint and some fabric skills you can see what can be done. The neutral butterfly print below was a personal favourite and i adore the writing desk. Her Facebook page is continually updated with her current projects – so if you decide to check any of her work out please let her know, you saw her work here.


These are only some of the numerous stalls who were present at the fair and i really havent done the full experience justice but trust me, if you get a chance you should really check one of their events out.

And if your interested in any of the sellers shown, as i mentioned all links are in the store title/number and please share with them that you found them here – thank you.

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Reviews · Tea Blog

New and Coming Book Releases

So there are number of books coming out this month which i am simply dying to read – and ill throw this out early – there is alot of romance this month. These aren’t exactly helping with my procrastination – simply aiding my distracted mind from focusing on my dissertation. 😉

First book is:

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: July 7th (UK)

St. Martins Press

Adult Fiction



Rainbow Rowell and her books have become a obsession since i recently finished Fangirl, one of her young adult (YA) publications and has inspired me to use her book as a case study for my MSC publishing dissertation, focusing on the use of social media in marketing of YA  books. This also lead to my recent purchase of Eleanor and Park another of her YA which i have heard nothing but amazing reviews about.

In comparison to her other books i have read, Landline has a slight sci-fi twist from what i have gauged so far – as the plot is centered around a young couple in a struggling relationship, whose relationship is offer a second chance by the discovery of a magical telephone. Now as i haven’t read the book i don’t know too much but this is intriguing already and I’m excited to see her write for an older demographic as i haven’t had a chance to read her other adult work, Attachments.

Finally, this might be a dorky (wannbe) publisher  trait but i am in love with the design of these covers, especially the light blue version. I really appeals to my personally with my love of vintage with the classic telephone but also its clean and easily read design. The Yellow also makes such a statement i thinks its going to be really eye catching in stores.

Im also really jealous she is coming to England/Scotland when im stuck back in Ireland. Publishers don’t tease me and say ‘UK’ when that doesn’t include me in Northern Ireland- its so close, please come visit.

Next is:

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Released: July 1st (UK)

Atria Press

Adult Fiction (this is an 18+ kind of book)

beautiful obliv

This is the next book in the Maddox Brothers series. Beautiful Oblivion follows Beautiful Disaster which introduced us to Travis and Abby – and i got completely sucked into their world and their romance. Jamie McGuire’s books have a level of reality and grittiness rarely found in ‘New Adult’ books. Its university/college setting resonated with my personal life allowing me to mentally delve into their world and i feel it would do the same for others look back on this confusing and often turbulent  age. While my university life hasn’t been a third as wild as theirs its such a fun read! And i would honestly recommend it to anyone. Even guys as Travis is no soft touch, as an underground fighter (without the tacky cliches), except maybe when it comes to Abby.

As for this new book we are introduced to Trent, Travis’s older brother and his new found love, Cami. I have been so excited about this book as Ms. McGuire (who i love- she has the most amazing instagram & she’s friends with Abbi Glines!)  is amazing on her various social media (all can be found on her blog linked in the titles). She has been talking and dropping teasers for some time now. This book is very high on my too read list – if i could just get my hands on it! Soon….

The perfect description for Jamie McGuire’s works:

Not your mothers romance


Rogue by Katy Evans

Release date: July 29th (UK)

Gallery Books

Adult Fiction (this is an 18+ kind of book)


Again – another much awaited novel! I feel in love with Katy Evans when i read her first book Real, which was actually recommended to me because of how much i loved Beautiful Disaster. As this book in many ways is the ‘adult’ version – neither book is exactly pg13, however Remy and Brook are slightly older character in comparison and it produces an entirely different dynamic, alongside Remys difficulties in this series. My heart weep alongside theirs and i felt myself going with them on their roller coaster of highs and lows. The covers also give this away a lot i feel…amazing books but i really dislike naked covers – how am i supposed to read this in public? The savior that is eBooks even though i prefer paperbacks and always want to support authors that way.

However beware: as this series will take over your playlist! 🙂 She used so many songs i knew and loved and some i hadn’t listened to in an age that created feelings and brought up memories which only drag you further into Remys world – i had no hope of escaping and i now have a ‘Remy’ playlist on my iphone…sigh… 😉

After three books based on Remy and Brooke. This book focuses on Brookes best friend Melanie who has been involved throughout the series and a new character Greyson King. The plot (link in title) is all very excited and i love the caption;

What do you do when your Prince Charming has gone Rogue?


Overall i am really excited for the month of july and all the reading it has in store…

while writing my dissertation….sigh….

But these will be my treats! For every so many thousand words i will read 0ne…book 😉


Are you excited about any of these books? Or any others i should know about?


I own none of the images presented in this post. All Copy Right is with their associated publishers, authors and artists. These images are used only for review purposes.

Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea Blog: Vintage Hair trials & tribulations

My Masters degree is currently taking over my life. If I am not researching some current project, working on a IT programme or looking on publishing developments I feel like I have the energy to do nothing but sleep. But thankfully I should be in the middle of a quiet spell until my next assignment is due but I am gonna try & get it handed in early so I have more time off when I fly home for Christmas.

However I have managed to squeeze in some fun & I will definitely be getting into the Christmas spirit this weekend as my mum is flying in to visit me this weekend with my aunt. And Edinburgh is in full Christmas mode! the Christmas lights are up and the Christmas markets are in full swing!
Half my diet now consists of Costa’s Gingerbread and cream latte which comes with golden star sparkles and an adorable gingerbread man on top. As I have now began to realise that Scotland is scarily cold. And while I thought I was prepared for the weather coming from Ireland. And these little gingerbread men are helping me survive the walk home from university on these late evenings when its pitch black & freezing before I have a finished class or escaped work.

So in between essays and presentations I have managed to fit in 2 fun things. The first being an interview for a vintage hairdressers/clothing store here in Edinburgh called Miss Dixiebelles. I was called to do a hair trial just over a week ago now and it ended up going very well. On my volunteer hair model who was extremely nice I pin curled her hair & then put her hair up – with a barrel roll in the front and then two victory rolls down the sides. As well as brushing out the curls to create that 1940’s feel. In all honesty I am completely self trained, practising on myself and friends only. So this was my first experience in a real salon outside my mothers salon back home – who I always have to believe is gonna be a little biased in my favour.
However what I was most impressed with on this day was how well my own hair lasted. As it not only survived so well in a rather windy Edinburgh, all through uni and even after my trial my victory rolls which I had done at seven thirty in the morning survived all through the day until I took them out after ten at night.
This is them at the end of my day:
But this is them & the outfit I wore to my trial:
I am going to do a tutorial on how to do victory rolls on my new blog coming soon called:
Which will focus on vintage hair styles, fashion and crafty things 🙂

As I want to give it, its own post. Up next will be my vintage fair adventures at LouLou’s Vintage Fair which came to Edinburgh last week & a tiny haul!!


Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea Blog: Halloween!!

Halloween was a blast! I feel my costume turned out well even if some people didn’t understand or think it qualified as a proper costume – I loved it!!

So I went as a gothic Rosie the Riveter! WW11 We Can Do It! Poster woman.
If I wasn’t doing the pose which I know is the wrong way round in this photo, people assumed I was a biker moll like from Sons on Anarchy. And inspired some of our photos I’ll show later on.
(My gosh that wall is making me look really tan when in reality im so pale i make Casper jealous! lol)

The hair was a lot harder to do than it normally is since I’d just had my full fringe cut back in les than 2weeks ago during my visit home to Ireland. So I didn’t have a whole lot of hair to work with & I had to improvise a little. A Barrel roll is fairly easy to do – separate your fringe in a u-shape from temple point-to-temple point and pull the rest of your hair into a high ponytail. The hair you have separated curl the hair with a curling tong in the direction you want the roll to go, so i wanted my roll to face my parting so i curled my hair that direction. You then backcomb the inside of your curled hair – so since mine curled into my parting – i backcombed the side of the hair closest to the parting & leave the outside so the it can be smoothed over the top of your roll. Gently roll your hair in the direction you want, gently brush the end of your hair to combine the curls and just roll them up into the roll. The best youtube video is definitely Cherrydollface’s because her directions are really clear and simple to understand.

But the girls in my flat had a blast making the most of what might be there only Halloween, but id have to ask to show their photos but ill see if they want to share.
halloween '13 1
Back to Halloween – ended up at the Three Sisters Bar in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. Which is Edinburgh Napers associated nightclub. And while Lizzie turned up at my flat before so we could walk up together.
halloween '13 7
We ended up meeting a lot of our fellow Publishing girls and having a good night and a giggle with everyone.
But there was one seriously creepy clown floating bout the nightclub, inspiring thoughts like Stephan King’s IT (one of the scariest books ever in my opinion) and you could hear girls screams moving across the club as he did. He was so freakn rude & annoying but we refused to allow him to ruin our night.

So it ended up being a great night but we walked home with very sore feet from all the dancing 🙂

A sister site was also christened just before Halloween – this is;
This is a blog focusing on me and my friend lizzie’s tea adventures in Edinburgh, She is a friend I have made since starting at Edinburgh Napier. And we share a love for tea (& food) 🙂 And this seemed the perfect outlet & excuse to visit as many tea shops as possible and be able to say its “work” and experience for hopefully a career in Publishing.

So id love for you’s to check it out, its still very early on but we hope to update more often as the craziness of the moment passes, and let me know what you think of it. 🙂
Now back to uni work… sigh 😉