Support Small Saturday- The coven of stitches (part two)

Good afternoon!

I’m back for the second part of today’s Support Small Saturday, you can find the first part including an interview with Sarah & Leilah the fabulous owners of The coven of stitches.

I’ve been struggling for hours to find my TCOS top picks – oh what a hard life I live – I finally managed to whittle it down to my top Three, and here they are:

 

1: Swords and shields.

In their Fairytale fashion,  The coven of stitches has created the perfect accessory for your little ones role play. Their Felt swords are the safest around, completely padded so no injures will occur during battle.  Felt shields start from £18.50 and the Swords £15.

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2: Birthday Crowns.

Imagine every colour, every style, every name and these ladies will make it up, these Bespoke birthday crowns are just a must have for any little prince or princess. Birthday crown prices start from £15.

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3. Fairy sets:

I’m kind of cheating on this one a little, I knew their fairy wings were my number one must buy from The coven of stitches, but to see them paired with their handmade tutus to make a complete outfit really give the full impact of how utterly beautiful these pieces are. Wings start from £35 and the tutus start from £14 and bespoke orders can be made for pretty much all of their products.

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I think by now you’ll completely agree that The coven of stitches is THE place to shop for anything dress up, I’m completely in love with it all! Massive thank you to Sarah & Leilah for letting me showcase their beautiful wares on this weeks Support Small Saturday, and big thank you to all my lovely readers for coming along!

You can shop TCOS over on their Etsy page, and if you just fancy keeping up with all their wonder products they have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.

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Support Small Saturday will be back in two weeks time, with another wonderful small business to you all. Have a lovely weekend!

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Support Small Saturday – The coven of stitches (part one)

Good morning!

I’m back for another Support small after a little break. I’m so so so pleased to showcase the fabulous The coven of stitches today, I just know you’ll love what they do.

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The coven of stitches is run as a partnership from mum and daughter team Sarah & Leilah. Together the two have created a such a magical business.

 

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I first came across The coven of stitches last year, I was – and still am in complete Awe of their work. Started in 2013, TCOS is a completely original concept, creating whimsical accessories for your little ones. From their trademark fairy wings to crowns, wands and everything in-between.

TCOS

I have been lucky enough to grab a few moments out of their busy schedule to interview them, heres what they had to say.

Hi Sarah & Leilah, thanks for being a part of support small. I’ve got so much I want to ask, but first what gave you both the courage to jump in and start your own business?
We are a mum and daughter team both with little ones too! There has always been lots of sewing and making in the house and Leilah has grown up with Sarah making dolls, dressup clothing and a variety of crafts, plus having a Steiner education definately encouraged creativity. We gave a pair of Strawberry wings to one of our childrens friends for her birthday and after the response we had which included requests from other mums for pairs we decided to give the business a go.

You run your business as a partnership. how does that work? who does what?

We are very good friends as well as mum and daughter, we do seem to have our fave makes, Sarah is the tutu lady and Leilah is the crown maker though not exclusively. All our other designs are shared between us, at the moment Sarah does most of the admin as Leilah has little 10 month old Roma to attend to. It works.

Your wings are just beyond beautiful, roughly how many hours does it take to make a set?

Our wings are our most time consuming make we can usually finish a pair between school drop off and collection- roughly 4 hours this depends on the detail and design. The designing is another very much enjoyable process which can take minutes or days!

What would you say are the best things about being your own boss/s?

With the little ones, being our boss is fab as the kids can come along too. Plus they are beginning to join in and hopefully become part of the business one day.

And what would you say has been your personal business high?

It has to be the amazing feedback and gorgeous pics of our happy customers. Some of it has even brought us to tears!!!

There’s an ongoing issue of ‘Copying’ amongst small business owners, particularly within the handmade community. How do you keep your ideas so fresh? Do you have any fail safe tricks to re-boot your creative juices when you’re struggling?

Copying is something we have recently come up against and is upsetting. We design everything we make ourselves from start to finish and our designs are very precious to us. We look for inspiration everywhere, our children, their friends, walks in the woods, childrens books and also our customer requests – so far we have never had a creative block.

And finally where do you hope The coven of stitches will be in a five years time?
Still creating, developing new ideas and still as happy as we are now in what we do. But maybe with a workshop too!.

That sounds incredible!

Thank you so much to both Sarah & Leilah for such a wonderful insight into how you work.

 

You can shop all things TCOS over on their Etsy page. And you can keep up with their goings on over on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

 

I’ll be back later on this afternoon with the second part of todays Support Small Saturday.

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Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

So much to do, so little time.

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You’ll have to excuse me if i’m slightly less focused on the blog over these next few weeks, i’m (attempting) to write a novel & i’m doing some freelance work for my husbands business – to fund my fabric addiction- so its pretty hectic around here. We will still have the #supportsmall this weekend – i’ve secured the most amazing business to showcase, I know you’ll be in love!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Five minute hair tutorials – The plait bun.

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The last in todays hair tutorials is the Plait Bun.

This isn’t necessarily a five minute tutorial -although that depends entirely on how quick you can plait. You may need a pair of extra hands for this one, a creative partner so to speak. Ideal if your getting ready at a friends house!

 

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First, split hair into two sections, from crown to back of ears. So you have front section and back section. Plait from the nape upto the crown and keep plaiting, tie off with a little elastic. (loom bands work pretty fab too)

 

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Using a soft bristle brush, brush hair from sides and front back towards crown and gather plait and hair in one hand and tie of at roots into a pony tail. All hair should be in one band now!

 

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Twist all hair together (backcombed if necessary!) making sure you show the plait off intertwined in the bun!

 

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Pin into place! And finish with hairspray! … Done!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed todays tutorials.

Lots of love

Kate x

Five minute hair styles – The pony roll.

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I’m back with another five minute hair tutorial, this time The Pony Roll.

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Again this look starts with a tight pony where you want the roll, straight at the back is a beautiful classic look.

 

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Pull your hair band down the hair whilst pushing down on top of hair below the band to create a little ‘pocket’.Keep pulling band until you have about 4 inches of hair left in ponytail. (or a good amount if your hair is a little shorter)

 

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Roll the pony into the pocket and pin into place using your desired pins

 

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Hairspray into place and always add that extra layer for good luck and you have the perfect classic roll. Customise with whatever you want from hairbands to flowers.

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Kate x

Five minute Hair – The shoelace.

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Hey lovelies… Kate here,

Im so excited that this is my first post! I’ve picked the brains of my other half LeeBHairstylist for some quick hair up looks that anyone can try.

This is the Result…

I hope to see some snaps of you trying them out…you can post on twitter/instagram or include your blog links so we can see!

So this one is the first in a series & is called the Shoelace, here’s how you do it.

 

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First put your hair into a ponytail, tight or loose /high or low whichever you fancy and wherever you want to see the main body of the style.

 

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Simply tie the ponytail like you would a shoelace, tie multiple times until you run out of hair to tie.

 

 

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Fold hair over and twist into shape wherever you desire! Pin in with a ‘U’ Pin or Grips… a Geisha Pin is ideal for this style as two will fix even the thickest hair in place! (Let’s be honest we all have a thousand hairgrips scattered in each room, its time to use them)

Finally spray some strong hold hairspray (add an extra good spray if you have little ones who love to poke your hair with polly pocket or trucks ha) – use a shine spray to add extra gloss and shimmer!

Its as easy as that! and this simple look will take you through from day to day mum duties all the way through to friday night drinks.

 

Kate x

Powerballs!

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I decided to cut down on the sugar a few months ago, I’m having a little bit of a gradual lifestyle change and its going well, really well.. I no longer have sugar in my tea, instead switching to a delicious natural honey. The same for most things, if I can find a way to cut down – or even take away all of the sugar content then I will.  The hardest part has been snacking, I am such a chocolate lover – although strangely I won’t eat chocolate ice cream, chocolate mousse or drink chocolate milk shake or hot chocolate –  Actual melt in your mouth chocolate is a major weakness though, so if you saw my recent kinda’ healthy muffin recipe posts ( Here & Here )  you’ll know i’m trying to find some skinny alternatives to relieve my cravings.

I bought Davina’s Sugar free book a while ago, lots of controversy surrounding the ‘Sugar free’ claims – I’d just like to point out she does state on the first couple of pages, this book is for cutting out refined sugars and slowly cutting down on the natural alternatives (honey, maple syrup).

Anyway, Powerballs where my first ‘must make’ although its taken me until now to actually make them, oh my goodness they are so good! I spent last night resisting the urge to eat them as I would a box of chocolates. – There was three left this morning – although the entire house loves them, so i’m not completely to blame!

These are high in protein, great for an pre or post work out energy boost and they have no refined sugar or any artificial crap. A completely natural snack. They’re also perfect to make with the little ones, Mischa loved helping me.

So heres what you’ll need:

100g Crunchy Nut butter,

100g Honey

25g Cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)

50g Desiccated coconut (plus extra for dusting)

50g Oats

 

And heres what you do:

First mix the Nut butter and Honey into a pan and on a low heat until the butter melts and the two combine -dont butrn the butter or it will taste revolting-

Next mix the dry ingredients (Oats, Cocoa powder, Coconut) and set aside to cool.

Once its cooled, place the mixture in the fridge to firm. – around 10 minutes will do the trick.

Then, pull a bit of the mixture out, roll into a ball using the palm of your hands, this will warm it slightly, its then that you can roll in  the extra Coconut or Cocoa.

Done!

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You can find more delicious, healthy sugar free recipes in Davina’s 5 weeks to Sugar free.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

A little love, goes a long way.

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Self care, an alien term for most women.

This week I decided to spend a bit more time on me, and the crazy thing is, its made absolutely no difference to the rest of my responsibilities, the kids have still been fed, the house cleaned. I even spent the entire day binge reading a novel. Which begs the question, why do so many of us put our needs last on the list?

It started a few weeks ago, tired of always looking tired. I’m 23, and although I live as though i’m 43, I was kind of annoyed at myself for not giving myself more time. I’ve never been a big lover of make-up, preferring the light covering of a tinted moisturiser to foundations, my only necessity is mascara. But Fashion has always been an obsession. Until I became a mum of two, when I switched beautiful prints & quirky combinations for plain black leggings & vest tops. I was having a look through my wardrobe when I realised I had stopped wearing so much simply because it wasn’t plain enough. Last week I decided to try something new.

Instead of trying to wake up slowly with a cup of tea in the morning, I instead spent those twenty minutes choosing something nice to wear & applying a little make- up. That in itself has made all the difference! and honestly most days i’ve changed half way through the day – partly because of the typical great british weather, but also because my mood/vibe – or whatever had changed. And after all, fashion is more that just clothes. Its a part of life, the costume to represent your personality, to assist you in who you want to be that day.

Theres so much more to this than just vanity though, every day we gives much for others, rarely giving even 5% of that to ourselves. It’s about giving yourself what you deserve, about giving yourself some time to relax and re-boot. Taking care of your mind, body & spirit – after all a happy mother/wife/girlfriend/woman makes for a happy household.

This week i’ve listened to music at full volume, regardless of who else could hear,  i’ve scoffed a mound of chocolate – just because I wanted to, I bought pricey concert tickets on a whim – no usual “But I could buy the kids something” or “it could go something for the house”, I’ve laid out in the sun, day dreaming instead of doing housework. And for every time i’ve done what I wanted, instead of what I ‘should’ I feel a million times better. More free, more relaxed and in the end more creative – which is all I pretty much ask for in life.

So as you sit this evening, planning out what you need to do this new week, think of yourself as well.  Just twenty minutes a day of making yourself feel lovely, doing something you want instead of the boring job you ‘have to do’ – isn’t that after all one of the perks of being an adult?

 Hopefully by this time next week you’ll feel refreshed and ready instead of dreading monday morning.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

DIY: Kimono tutorial.

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I’ve had this tutorial planned for what feels like forever! But finally here it is! There are a few ways to make a kimono, but i’ve gone for the easiest. I love how flowy (?) this version is, the perfect throw over on a sunny day.

So heres what you’ll need:

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-Fabric (we’ll discuss how much you’ll need in the first step.)

-Fabric shears

– Tape measure

– Dress makers pins

– Trim, this is completely optional. But I like the added weight a trim gives to the sleeves of a kimono.

 

Now lets get started.

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First up, we need to figure out how much fabric you’ll need.  This particular one was made up for Mischa (Age 4-5) but the great thing about using this tutorial is that it fits izzy (2-3) and would fit someone bigger. The easiest way to figure out how much you’ll need is to simply use your tape measure. You want the length from shoulder to how long you want it (Mischas was 22″) and the width from middle of the neck to mid arm – you can easily adapt you your style, so no arm or full arm if you wish. (Mischas was 12″)

So i’ve doubled the length. – we need a front and a back. and doubled the width.

Easy as that.

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Next, fold your fabric in half (Length ways –  so it will now be a piece of fabric 24″ x 22″).

There isn’t any specific formula to working out your sleeve width, but of course you want it baggy, its a kimono not a fitted garment. I decided to half it (11″) but that seemed slightly too much, so I took a little bit off and went with 10″. Anywhere between 1/4 &  1/2 of the length measurement will work perfectly.

 

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So now we’ve done that, you’ll need to pin, and then pin downwards towards the open end of the fabric. I’m using a piece of fabric that works either way. But if you are using a fabric thats only one sided, you need to fold it, with pattern on the inside.

 

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Once you’ve pinned, you can sew. REMEMBER to stop once you’ve reached your last pin, many of times i’ve let my mind wander and ended up sewing the entire side closed. You don’t want to do that. Its a pain to unpick.

If you have an overlocker, use it to finish your seam, if not you can read here on how to finish using just your sewing machine.

 

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Now you need to fold your fabric again, width wise this time. So you’ll have a piece of fabric 12″ x 22″ .

 

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And now we need to cut the neck hole. This is the only tricky bit, if you cut too much, your kimono will be a pain to wear, it will constantly slip off. So start small, taking off more in small amounts if you need to. Cut at the fold and curve upwards towards the top fold. I’ve cut at 5″ inwards. it doesn’t sound like a lot, but once you open it will actually be a 10″ hole.

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Once you open your fabric out, it should look like this. essentially you now have a poncho.

 

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Now, you need to fold your fabric back, like before and VERY carefully cut up the length of only one piece. if your a bit shaky with scissors, you can cut it opened out. simply measure and pin so you have a straight line up to the neck hole and cut that way. You only cut one piece of the fabric. This is the front. if you cut both, your cutting into the back and you’ll have to start again.

 

 

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Now, you can turn your kimono out the correct way. Up by the neck hole, there are two triangles that will need to be cut off, nothing too harsh, just cut a gradual decline like above. (Open yours out & compare to mine and you’ll see what I mean.)

 

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Now you can finish the edge with your machine. I have used my overlocker, then folded inwards and top stitched. Again if you don’t have an overlocker you can use THIS method. you want to start down at the bottom, work your way up, around the neckline and back down to the other side. If your using netting, you don’t actually need to do this, it won’t fray, but it gives a much nicer finish. You can also use a bias binding or even a trim if you want to make it a bit fancier – this is all up to your individual creativity.

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Now do the same along the bottom. This is a great place to use a trim, I decided against it on this one because I have chosen quite a bold trim, one that could quite easily become tacky if overused.

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Now you can finish your sleeve. You don’t have to use a trim here either if you dint want, but this is where I like the extra weight that the added fabric gives. Simply, pin around your sleeve hole, cut once you’ve come back to the beginning and finally sew on. So easy. And that can be done to anything. T-shirts, dresses, kimonos. this is such a cheap and easy way to up-cycle any of your wardrobe.

 

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And thats it, your kimono is finished!

Mischa was so happy with it…

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And… This is her half an hour later, she just loves to dress up – although I’ve absolutely no idea what she’s dressing up as! Ha.

 

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There are a million and one combinations for these, this is a perfect way to have a play around and really grow your creativity. For this particular kimono tutorial I like to use very lightweight fabrics, net, chiffon. ect. It’s a very drape-y fabric and exactly what you need for this. anything thicker and you’ll have something very stiff & almost hospital gown like. – not a good look!

 

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I made this one for myself a couple of weeks ago and with this beautiful weather we’ve been having I’ve finally had a chance to wear it! Mine is actually made from an old net curtain!! its the  perfect fabric to use, cost nothing seen as almost everyone has some of it stored away, and if you want you can always dye it aswell!

Hope you can get some use from this tutorial, if you’ve any questions about the steps or get a bit stuck feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, or you can email me at info@thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

New blogger.

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Good morning, and happy monday! Today i’m so excited to finally announce TLWP will be having a brand new blogger hop aboard!

I’ve managed to bag the amazing Kate Metcalf to come and do a couple of guests posts, hopefully she’ll love our little community so much she’ll stay with me forever!! ha.  We’ve been in talks for a few weeks & I can promise you she’s going to bring some fab stuff to the table, lots of Fashion, tutorials, hair & beauty things.

 

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As well as having a super cool instagram, Kate also runs Prinny Pinny. A small handmade business, specialising in bespoke  pinafores (amongst other things).

 

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I asked Kate for a few facts, so you can get to know her a little better. Heres what she shared.

– She has a 4 year old little boy Ralph,who loves to help her sew and get crafty whenever he can.

 – She lives in a little village called Mumbles (In Wales) with Ralph and her other half  Lee. They’re surrounded by stunning beaches.

– In her own words ‘I’m a bit of a bore and would choose a cup of tea (with biscuits of course) over a glass of wine.’

– She dropped out of her university fashion course as she thought she wasn’t creative enough at 18.

–  She would much rather rummage in a charity shop or jumble sale over the Highstreet.

– She has a slight love for My Little Pony and pink hair and the smell of cabbage patch dolls.

 

So thats Kate!

I’ve been searching for what seems like forever for a blogging partner, in fact one of my biggest regrets of when I first started with TLWP as a shop, was that I didn’t have a business partner. Someone to share the experience with, someone to bounce ideas around with. Well The little woman pretends may have changed into a blog, but now I get to do that. Kate is super crafty and I just know she’ll be a perfect fit. So expect more posts, more tutorials and way more craftiness.

I’m so excited to see Kate’s blog posts, I just know you’ll all love them!

You can find more of Kates work over on her Facebook, or Instagram page.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.