Friday 27 July 2018

This week's smiles....week 282

It's been an amazing week here at Sewing by Annie's.  I've made 13 bears in the last 8 days plus I've had bridesmaids dresses, jumpsuits, evening dresses..........the list goes on.  I really love it when I'm busy and thankfully it's been a little cooler the last few days so it's been easier to sew.

I've had so many smiles too so here's a few snaps of what's been making me smile this week...

Shell and the twins have had a few days in the Lake District with some friends and I just love this photo. 

Lexi is obviously practising her gym in this pic.....don't you wish you could?

Amy's three have been having fun in their new jacuzzi.....they are such happy children.

I think we all need a Phoebe [well I know I do!].  Here she is painting her mummy's toenails.

I'm finishing off with a shot of our wild flowers now they are out in full bloom....aren't they gorgeous.  The bees, butterflies and insects are really loving them.

That's all from me for today.  I hope you all have lots to smile about too and will share them by linking up below.
Annie x

Wednesday 25 July 2018


Last week it was all bags, bags and more bags and this week it's bears, bears and yet more bears.  I had many pending orders for school Memory bears and decided to give a 10% discount to the first 10 through my door to encourage some to bring their items of clothing before they got caught up in school holidays.

The first one taking up the offer came through my door the very next morning wanting a School Memory cat quickly followed by the next customer who wanted 9 Memory bears making in memory of her mum....they were for 3 Grandsons, 4 Granddaughters and the 2 daughters!!

That of course meant all 10 offers had gone barely before the ink was dry so I then extended the offer to 15 to catch up the school bears....there's only 3 spaces left now!

It was commented that making the same things over and over again would get boring so I have written a step by step blog post [below if you'd like to read it].....really to record the steps I had to take for myself as a reminder of how you make 9 bears from just 5 items of clothing and also get all 9 of them different as requested!!.....Please believe me it was quite a challenge and there is no fear of me ever getting bored.  :-)

So my pics today are...

The nine different bears for one customer.

This one was to remember a much loved Grandad.

Amy's three children go to a lovely little country school and little Lulu is my very best advertiser by far.  The last day of term the children are allowed to take a favourite toy into school with them and she likes to take the school Memory bear I made for them with her.  Of course she loves to proudly tell everyone that her Nanny Annie makes these little bears and this latest bear was the result of her efforts.

The headmistress from the school asked if I could make it for her to keep in school....I have a feeling there may well be more orders on their way now.  :-)

That's all from me for today.  Please leave me a little comment so I know you've called in and I will do my best to pop over to yours ASAP......Oh and don't forget to check out the post below if you fancy a challenge.
Annie x

Sunday 22 July 2018

Bear challenge....and some say making the same thing all the time must get boring :-)

You all know I love a challenge don’t you? Well, this week I really did have a challenge through my door and all I can say is it’s just as well I was good at maths at school and have wonderful spacial awareness. 
I had announced on my Facebook page that I was offering 10% off for the first 10 Memory bears, rabbits, cats or dogs that came through my door. Well, one of my followers was determined to make the best of my offer. She arrived with 5 items of favourite clothing that had belonged to her much loved mum and asked me to make 9 Memory bears for her. All 9 of them were to have one panel from her favourite purple dressing gown and another panel from her blue jacket. The rest of the panels were to be made from the other three tops she brought. The bears were for 3 grandsons, 4 granddaughters and 2 daughters.

This was my challenge....
  • All 9 bears were to look different.
  • Each bear has 4 panels, 2 front and 2 back, and all 4 for each bear was to be different.
  • The purple dressing down and blue jacket were similar weight fabrics so each bear had to have a purple panel on the right and a blue panel on the left side, front or back.
  • The three tops were of stretchy fabrics so each panel made from them had to be stabilised by backing them with iron on interfacing.
  • When backing the thinner panels you have to be sure you put the interfacing on the backs of each panel but first checking whether it’s a front panel or back panel ( because front and back panels are a different shape) and also whether it’s a right or left panel!
So here we go.....

First I cut out the 9 purple panels, some front panels, some back and some right hand panels and some left.

I cut out the 9 blue panels checking that they would go on the other side of the bears to the purple ones. Then made a start at making sure the other panels were front/back or right/left according to what was needed.

Here I have laid out each bear to make sure they had all four panels and all 9 of them would look different when made.

I then cut out the panels of interfacing hoping that I have cut the right ones to fit the panels they are needed for and then moved over to the ironing board [ this is the telling point!] ....hoping I have got them all correct.

Ironing done and I can proudly say I cut front panels where front panels were needed and back panels where back panels were needed and they were also correctly a right or left panel too.

A bear production line on my sewing machine.

All 9 bears sewn together and waiting patiently in the stuffing line.

All limbs stuffed and they are now waiting sewing in place before the heads and bodies can be stuffed.

Stuffing all done and they are just waiting for faces, ribbons and little extras to finish them all off.

Ta da.... 9 little completed bears....every one different to the others and I have one very happy customer.

Friday 20 July 2018

This week's smiles....week 281

What a week it's been here at Sewing by Annie's.  I've had lots to smile about so here's my share for this week.....

Sunday afternoon we went to watch Lexi take part in her Gymnastics competition and here she is proudly wearing the first and third medals she was given..... it's so special to share these milestones and achievements with them all.

Monday night Steve was awarded his first belt in his kickboxing.
It's so lovely to see how pleased he was.  They are all growing up so quickly and growing in Independence and's very special to watch.

Whilst enjoying our afternoon of fun on Tuesday little Theo proudly showed me what he could make with the play dough and that he can count ten little worms on his table!!  He's not two until September!!

You all know just how much I love making my little Memory bears so will know just how much it made me smile when a lady walked through my door yesterday wanting me to make 9 Memory bears out of her much loved mum's clothing for 4 Granddaughters, 3 Grandsons and 2 daughters to remember her by.  This was her favourite purple dressing gown and all 9 have to have one panel made out of it but I plan to make all 9 bears look different using the other items of clothing she brought me.

I hope at least something I'm sharing makes you smile and you will now link up to your smiles below.  Have a wonderful weekend and keep smiling.
Annie x

Wednesday 18 July 2018


I know it's not what's on my desk but I'm starting off with this photo today...

From left to right at, Shaz, Doug and 
on the front [my much older sister] Jo and her daughter Maxine.

Not on my desk, no but if we didn't link up each Wednesday this group of friends would never have met. [So, many thanks Julia for hosting the group each week].  I feel like I've know Doug and Shaz for years but this was our first meet in real life.  They came to support Maxine at her craft fair in Shrewsbury on Saturday so it was by far too good an opportunity to miss so my hubby and I arranged to meet them there [my hubby is taking the photo but I'm guessing he will be in a similar photo on Shaz's post that Doug took].  I must say that both Shaz and Doug were just as lovely as I imagined they would be and we are now looking forward to meeting them again at the crop in September.

This is the little Memory bear I've made this week and he has now arrived in Wales.... so that's another country conquered.

He was made for a Grandma to give to her Grandson and at a later date she is wanting me to make 5 more bears out of her wedding dress to give to her 5 Granddaughters......happy days.

The demand for sewing has eased a little so far this week so....

On my desk today is a production line of bag making to give to Margaret for her charity.

There's a pile of orange straps completed on the right of the pic waiting for the pile of bags on the left of the pic to be made for them to be stitched on before lining.

On my cutting table is a pile of bags waiting to be lined and a pile of linings cut out ready to me made up and fitted into the bags.

 There's even a pile of 7 bags completed and waiting to be pressed before packing them up in a box with others I've made....I plan to take them all with me to the crop in September so by then there may be a few more to take with me.

That's all from me for today so just leave me a little comment so I know you've called by and I will do my best to pay you a return visit as soon as I can.
Annie x

Friday 13 July 2018

This week's smiles....week 280

I've just been checking back and do you know that I've been writing smiley posts since January 2013?  What a lot of smiles it's been, the numbers of those joining in have gone up and down over the years but even still that's an amazing amount of smiles....keep up the good work folk.  There's more than enough bad news in the world so lets do our little bit of spreading some happiness between us.

My smiles today.....

This gorgeous photo of my darling hubby with our youngest grandson, Theo.  As you can see there's a lot of love between them both and I simply love this photo.

Here's our eldest two granddaughters, Phoebe and Lulu at their Brownie camp treat for the end of the term sitting around the camp fire.

And finally for this week here's a collection of photos of the flowers in our little wild flower area that we planted for the bees and insects....and although you can't see them in the pics there has been many enjoying the blooms....these photos were taken yesterday when the temperatures had dropped a little and we even had a little rain in the could almost hear the plants sucking up every drop that fell.

That's all from me for today.  Please leave me a little message and do you best to share a few smiles too by linking them below.
Annie x

Wednesday 11 July 2018


What a week!  I think the word is out there that I'm here and I sew to my heart's content cos my little sewing business has never been so busy....and I'm loving it.

My sewing machine and I have both had a good work out and I've been drinking a lot of water to get me through the day....I bought two of these new drink bottles so I don't knock them over in my sewing room and I keep the one filled in the fridge ready.

I have a big floor fan running while I'm working in the heat and if you look at my rail you will see just how much I did on Monday...
  • shortened 3 dresses
  • took in 2 dresses
  • tapered the legs on 4 pair of trousers
  • shortened 5 pair of trousers and 
  • took in another pair of trousers on the waist
Quite a work out eh?

I shortened a black lacy evening dress at the end of my day on Friday and I think this pic says it all!! 
Can you tell just how tired I was?
Can you see the deliberate mistake?
Yes, I had changed the top thread but failed to change the bobbin and didn't notice my mistake until I had very nearly gone all round the hem!!
Just as well I love unpicking and of course it wasn't hard to see the thread needing undoing!!

 These were the two more bears I made last week.....yes that meant I had 7 bears to make last week!
The one on the left is for a teacher's leaving gift cos the little country school is closing and the one on the right was to remember a young man that decided to end his own life far too soon.
I have many school bears ordered for when the term finishes and at least 3 more to arrive this week.
I'm so thrilled that they are proving to be very popular....I really love making each one cos they are all so different.

That's all from me for today.  If you leave me a little message I will do my best to pop over to catch up with you later.  Hope you all have a great week.
Annie x

Friday 6 July 2018

This week's smiles....week 279

Hello all.  Here we are at my Friday round up of smiles for the week.  It's been a scorcher this week and everyone seems to need their sewing doing yesterday still so I've had my fans on and my sewing machine [and me] have had a good work out.  I love it when I'm busy and enjoy the challenges that come through my door each day.  I'm not the only one buzzing this week though.  The garden seems full or bees of every description ...... you can see there's plenty of new blooms for the bees, butterflies and insects to enjoy too.

We have planted and new little area of our garden with wild flowers specially for the bees and I've noticed this gorgeous flower growing yesterday....does anyone know what it is?

The twins sent me this photo this week....I think they are shower hats they are wearing but they never fails to make me chuckle.

Little Theo has been at a local pick your own farm with two of his little friends and their mummies picking strawberries and as you can see he's pretty good at picking them....but kept saying 'Nanny says wash wash' so was happy to wait tile he got home before eating them.....what a good boy.  :-)

Theo came to play with me Tuesday afternoon while his mummy was working and we had lots of fun in the kitchen with a bowl of floor got a good washing too.  :-)

I have also had two wonderful nights at the theatre in Shrewsbury watching Amy's two girls but we weren't allowed to take photos for obvious reasons.  
  • Monday night Lulu joined about 200 other children from local schools to play her ukulele on the stage.  They played and sang for about an hour.
  • Phoebe joined about 150 children on stage to play her flute.  Others played other woodwind instruments and they entertained us for about an hour.
We really enjoyed both nights and are full of pride seeing our little granddaughters having the confidence to take part in such events. 

I hope you have enjoyed sharing my smiles for the week and will leave me a little message before linking up to your smiles below.
Annie x

Wednesday 4 July 2018


Hello all.  The weather is still hot hot hot here and the pressure of work is still intense here at Sewing by Annie's.  Everyone seems to be leaving their sewing to the last minute and I'm getting myself know as the lady who will save the day.

On my desk this week are just a few of the jobs I've done since Monday morning and what I have to do [so far] this week....


This little Memory bear has initials monogrammed on the pocket on his front to remember a much loved husband and is now winging his way to his new home in Leicestershire....he's just one of my many bears being ordered from another part of the country and each one make me smile to think that I'm conquering another place.

From 6 different shirts I've made these 4 different little bears and then I made the bunting to match....cute or what?

I also had a fitting for this gorgeous prom dress on Monday morning and plan to shorten it at some point today....this customer's own seamstress let her down at the last minute so she brought the dress to me to do before Thursday!!

Monday afternoon I had a wedding dress fitting.  The bride had previously been to me with another dress which I shortened for her but since then she says she has put weight on and wasn't happy with it so had bought another one so I now have to shorten this one last minute before her wedding.....another job for later today!!

Isn't the lacy detail on the bodice just gorgeous?

I also have..
  • Jeans to shorten
  • work trousers to repair
  • 2 pair of shorts to take in
  • 2 tops to shorten the sleeves on
....and that's just until the next customer comes through my door!!!

So that's all from me for today.  The fans on and the sewing machine and I will be getting a good work out today.  I will catch up on as many desks as I can in my coffee breaks but if I fail to get round you all please forgive me.
Annie x