Christmas Fayre goodies!

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Yesterday was my first Christmas market of the season. Hosted my Arnos Vale- which is so beautiful, you should really visit if you can- the Christmas Fayre was very jolly! I had a constant stream of customers, and all of them were very chatty, happy and enthusiastic about my new products! The Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium was much talked about as well- especially since our feature in The Bristol Magazine- and I am hopeful of a good turn out for the day, especially since Picton Street Market will be on just around the corner.

I had made some delicious new Velvet Christmas Stockings which sold like hot cakes, as did my new look Mini Top Hat Kits and Fascinator Kits which made me so happy. I have completely sold out of Christmas Bunting and Festive Bunnies, in fact I sold out of Christmas Bunting about half an hour after we opened!!

20131201_002I shall be stitching more together over the week for my next Christmas Market on Saturday 7th December in Clifton, as well as for the Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium to which you are all of course invited! I am also loading all of my Christmassy products on to Etsy… last shipping for the US of A is … and UK is … so grab a bargain whilst you can if you can’t make the Markets, although it is always lovely to meet you all! As you can see from the pictures, I am also offering 3 for 2 on my Mini Kits (simply buy two on Etsy and Convo me the one you would like free!), as well as my Zines. Both of which make excellent stocking fillers for beginner and advances Seamsters alike- even my Nan said she learnt a couple tricks from them!!

Many things happen at midnight, if you know what I mean. And no, not that creepy belief where lots of things come out during this time, I’m talking about the other stuff. Nowadays, it is usually the time where college student would wake up to do their home works, projects or reports or they would just wake up because the internet is so much faster so they could like play online games.

It is thrilling to sneak out of your house, apartment or dorm during this time in order to go somewhere, like the beach or a field with your friends, your partner or just by yourself and just admire the clear sky above and the moon hovering over you. It is also the ideal time to go to parties or clubs since everyone in your house is most likely asleep, so they won’t know of your escapades. But sometimes, midnight involves activities that only two people would know. No one can disturb you and no one would know since it is dark. Midnight is always the ideal time to keep secrets.

You can read more about things that happen during midnight, just click this link to access the website.

Later on this week I shall me continuing Christmas Month with more tutorials including a Stocking and Gift Bag tutorial, and hopefully start on some Gift tutorials.

Phewph! I love all this hustle and bustle but January is starting to look beautifully calm right now!


Bristol Magazine Feature!!

The Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium has been featured, wonderfully I have to say, in The Bristol Magazine!! I’m so pleased!!

in a magazineI have been eagerly awaiting my copy through the post but in the end couldn’t wait any longer and took a look online (which, if you click the above image is where you’ll go), and I was so shocked and surprised to have been given a mini feature like this! On page 12!! Not even at the back, eek!!

It is a little bizarre to see myself in print like this- and that’s after seeing my name on the big screen many a time as Costume Designer. I am so happy and pleased though, because this should reach a far wider audience than I could have hoped for which means more of you wonderful peeps can come and create! Yay!!

Don’t forget we have a Facebook events page for the Sewing Emporium, so be sure and click ‘going’ to be kept up to date!!

So, don’t forget to write it in your diaries… 14th December, 12-4pm!!

Happy Stitching!

Achieving Higher Rankings With Bought Traffic

If you want to get anywhere with search engine rankings, you are going to need to do more than what everyone else is already doing. You will need to invest more than just your time and effort if you want to see actual returns, which means that you are going to need to buy some traffic. Not just any old traffic though, because you don’t want to end up with terrible quality. You want to make sure that you get human traffic because that's the only kind worth having. Achieve higher rankings!

Achieving higher search engine rankings is incredibly important in making your business sustainable. If you are running a website that needs to be constantly exposed, you are going to want to have your website at the top or near the top for as long as possible with any means available.

Flash Sale!!!

I’ve finally made my 100th sale on Etsy!! I’m so happy I could scream!

It has felt like a long old road to get to this point, and I have learnt so much along the way.

To celebrate I am having a little flash sale over on my Etsy shop! Use code WOOHOO25 for 25% off for the next 24 hours! Enjoy!

Happy stitching xxx

Hand Made Gift Baskets

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Just how adorable are these little Gift Baskets? I recently posted a picture from Pinterest and the Laura After Midnight Facebook page has gone wild for them!! As the original picture didn’t have any make up information I thought I’d post this little Tutorial as part of Christmas Month…

You will need:

Stiff Card in colour of your choice

Something lovely to tie on as a handle- I used waxed string

A pencil, ruler, scissors, a stapler, a hole punch and some glue

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Draw up your pattern using the above, click on the image to enlarge or print. For those of you using Inches a handy converter can be found here.

Once you have drawn up your pattern cut out from card. Starting with the bottom left hand corner, start to ‘pleat’ the Tabs behind the central Triangle. Do not worry if some of the Tab pokes out of the top, make sure the Tabs are lying flat, and the top is parallel with the bottom, then trim any excess away to make the top neat.

When you are happy, staple in place. Repeat with the other sides. Finally, cut a circle approx 4cm wide from the card, fold in half and glue accross the top to strengthen and hide the staples.

Punch a hole through the middle and thread on your handle!


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Now, how darling are they?! I am going to make quite a few for display on my market stalls, and for the Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium! Think of all the lovely things they could hold… cookies and home made goodies, little makes like my festive Jewel Birds and the Doe Eyed Deer or even a hand made piece of Jewellery… oh I am sure the list is endless!

Don’t forget to share a pic if you make some up.

Happy stitching!

Christmas Pyjamas!!

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Who wouldn’t want a gorgeous, hand made pair of Pyjamas this Christmas? I know I shall be whipping up a few pairs to give as gifts, so I thought I’d share how to make up Pyjamas, without having to buy a Pattern!

I have sorted out the following, super simple printables for you all to follow, which illustrate how to make up your own pattern (from just two simple measurements!), how to cut them out and then full instructions at the bottom to sew the Pyjamas up… all you really need to worry about is which fabric you’re going to choose first!!

Click on the images to enlarge, and print.

Pyjama Pattern Page 1

Pyjama Pattern Page 2

Pyjama Instruction Sheet

Wasn’t so difficult was it?! I like to simply buy nice, plain t-shirts and tank tops to match the fabrics I have chosen to serve as Pyjama tops, which can be great fun if you are making for someone else!!

For all my old school followers the conversion of inches to centimeters is 1″:2.5cm, but there is a handy conversion calculator here.

When choosing fabric for your Pyjamas, remember that they should be soft and lovely so fabrics like Cotton Flannel, Brushed Cotton and Wyncette are perfect, as are printed cottons. Anything silkier or satin-y can prove a little to static inducing for my liking, and fleece a little heavy and hot. Why not have a trawl through the wonderful world of Spoonflower for something truly unique… or even design your own?!

Remember that it’s Christmas Month until 7th December here on Laura After Midnight, feel free to share your Christmas makes and tutorials too!!

Happy stitching!

Christmas Presents: Pot Pinchers & Oven Gloves!

How is this for a useful gift? As I have said before I really like to make Christmas Gifts for everyone each year however; I also like to make them useful which can sometimes be a challenge!

A couple years ago I discovered that Thermal Wadding is on the market- for a very reasonable price- which meant that that year I made everyone Pot Pinchers. These fabulous items are like mini Oven Gloves but they can also be laid flat on any work surface and used a Pot Stand to protect the surface from hot trays and dishes! How cool?

I was going to write up a whole Tutorial for how I did mine however; upon looking I have found the below Tutorials from various Blogs across the ether which show just how diverse this gift can be. They also illustrate some nifty techniques- like the Quilting. You honestly don’t need to spend much on the component parts either so this is the ideal Hand Made gift- thrifty, interesting, useful and pretty! Voila!


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Click on the pictures above to be taken to the Tutorials. The first in courtesy of Adrianne from On the Windy Side. I just love her fabric choice! The Tutorial comes with a free PDF Pattern, and uses Fat Quarters. There are also some super tips on Quilting and preparing for Quilting which made this a very interesting read. If you have been wanting to get in to Machine Quilting this would be an ideal project to get a feel for it.

That darling little Heart Pot Pincher comes from Sew We Quilt. This is a great, straight forward Tutorial to make something pretty, and even comes with a free Patterns and Machine Embroidery template! I adore these little things, they use up larger pieces of scrap material very well, don’t take too much time to make up and look so cheerful in the Kitchen! As you can see you can lay them flat as illustrated, or us the pockets to ‘pinch’ and take things out of the Oven. These make up relatively small so you can skip the Quilting if you would like a simple make.

The last Tutorial comes from Skip to my Lou, and makes up this pretty swish Oven Glove! In this Tutorial, you Quilt the fabric, then cut the Pattern out which is a lovely, simple way of making up and the cuff is a nice finishing touch.

Don’t forget to check out my Bias Binding Tutorial! It takes you through all the steps to create your own Bias Binding to match, or contrast beautifully with makes like these!

Why not make a couple up this Christmas for that difficult to buy for relative, they even make excellent Gifts for Men! Wrapped up with a new Pie Plate, Casserole Dish or even some beautiful utilitarian wooden spoons (maybe decorated like this?!), they also make a pretty amazing Hand Made statement. For the ten or so sets I made my Family I chose to use Fat Quarters I had stashed, with a little add in here and there for the linings. For mine, I literally wasn’t allowed to go buy any fabric because they were the ‘samples’… … I had to patch together Bias Binding which I now think adds to the charm! I Quilted a different pattern on each side- for the Mustache fabric I only Quilted on the pocket side and whilst this looks fine I think I would always Quilt both sides in the future as I think it makes them a little more durable. I also used a little Costuming technique for the Bias Binding! I first sewed it on plain, then used a fancy stitch to set in place! I do this all the time now for Bunting and I really think it adds a little something, especially when done in a contrast colour.



Easy! As ever, I would love to hear if you have made any of the Tutorial I have posted for Christmas Month! Share here, on the Christmas Month page or on Facebook!

My Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium is in full swing and is happening on the 14th December!! I’m so excited!! Click here for all of the details, and do join us if you can! Watch out for more exciting Present makes all week.

Happy stitching!

Making your own Christmas Cards

bauble2Making your own Christmas Cards is a very satisfying experience! For years I have grabbed a couple potatoes and happily stamped away however; for this tutorial I have updated the technique slightly to produce permanent stamps which can be re-used again and again.

You will need:

Sticky Back Foam (click here to buy)

Acrylic Blocks (Click here to buy)




Stamp Pad and Acrylic Paints

Blank Cards (Ebay is an excellent resource to buy these in bulk, cheaply)

Paint Brushes, Pencils, Pens and Paper

Firstly, use the Pens, Pencils and Paper to sketch out a couple Designs. You should keep them super simple to start, and just have a little fun before refining your technique. As I am an avid fan of different printing techniques- I love Lino Cuts and have been producing them since I was a child- I wanted to attempt the most Christmassy of things… Vintage style Baubles!


Having sketched out a couple designs, I liked the 3rd the best. It’s not overly complicated but it will look good in silhouette as a stamp.

Once you have chosen a Design, draw it on to the Foam. Proceed to use the Scalpel and Scissors to cut the Design from the Foam. Loosely cut around, then cut the finer details out until it is finished. Lastly, you will need to neaten up the edges

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Peel the back of the Sticky Back Foam away, and stick to one of the Acrylic Blocks. This enables you see where you are Stamping the image, and hold on to it properly.

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Press your beautiful new Stamp on to the Stamp Pad, rock slightly then move and stamp and rock again to properly cover the Stamp with Ink.

Gently press the Stamp on to your Card, and press down in each corner to make sure the Stamp prints properly.

I will stamp a couple of practice runs to make sure I am happy with the result before I stamp the final cards. I also like to mix in different coloured paints to make the result you can see in the far right picture above.

Squeeze out some paint on to some card, and using a paint brush spread it out as evenly and thinly as possible in a large enough area to cover the Stamp. Gently press the Stamp in to the paint, then in to the Stamp Pad to cover with Ink (this works best if the Stamp Pad is a Gold, Silver or shiny colour), then stamp on to your Card.

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So, what do you think of mine? Shown above are some of the Bauble Stamps I have cut, my paint trials and a finished Card. I think I like these best in a single colour, and I am going to do some in Hot Pink, Teal and Purple with Gold. They will be available on my Market Stalls, and through my Etsy store soon.

Of course, you could use these stamps to make Gift Tags, Wrapping Paper or even purchase some Fabric Paint and make your very own Christmas Fabric!

Christmas Month continues with Presents!!

Happy stitching!

Wordless Wednesday: Presents


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I have blogged about Vivid, Please before however; their tutorials are well worth checking out. From the top we have DIY Washi Tape Feathers- a most ingenious way of decorating your gifts, and I am sure with a little imagination they could be changed up to be Holly or any number of other things!- a Retro Lady Neck Tie, a lovely gift for the fashionista in the family, DIY Scratch Cards which I think would compliment home made crackers fantastically!, and Decorated Ceramics.

Now, aren’t you all inspired to start making up those Christmas gifts? Click on the images to see the Tutorials.

Happy Christmas!