Monday, 7 December 2015

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Pom Pom Wreath DIY

To celebrate our NEW wreath making workshop we've got a super easy DIY for you. The nights are drawing in and you need a bit of colour around the house to distract from the grey outside your window. Our Pom Pom Wreath is perfect, an all year round decoration all you need is a spare hour and some left over yarn!

We used pom pom makers to make our pom poms but if you don't have them then Mr Printables has great Pom Pom tutorials as well as how to make your own Pom Pom maker with cardboard and bulldog clips. So, let's make a pom pom wreath!

You will need:

Pom Pom maker
Yarn for pom poms (this is a great way to use up old bits of leftover yarn)
1 metre of 1mm wire

What to do:

First of all make your Pom Poms - follow the instructions of your pom pom maker to do this. You can make them all one size or different sizes as I have.

 Lay them out as you go along to get an idea of the shape.

When you are happy with your pom pom arrangement cut 1 metre of wire.

Thread the pom poms on to the wire, you need to be careful doing this as it may push some of the yarn out of the centre of the pom pom - don't worry if it does!

Another thing to look out for is where you push the wire into the pom pom, you want to be as close to the centre as possible, they may look a little higgley piggledy if the wire goes in slightly off centre, just re-thread if you are unhappy with the placement of the pom pom.

When all the pom poms are threaded and you're happy with them cross the wires over each over and pull them until the wreath forms a circle. Twist the wire around itself to secure in place and cut off any remaining length.

 Cut a length of ribbon (up to you how long you want it) and tie it around the wire. Push the pom pom's up towards it to cover any gaps.

Now test hang it to make sure you're happy with it and don't be afraid to give it a bit of a faff if the shape isn't what you want!

You've done it! How easy was that!

Monday, 2 November 2015

#Ministrymakes Winner - October

We had a record number of entries for this months  #ministrymakes and it was tough picking a winner. In the end we were won over by this cute little girls dress by Kim;

'I attended the "Sew a little girls dress" class a couple of months back, and managed to make another dress for my friends daughter, Maisie - she loves it!'

We can see why, we love it too! 

How great is it to be able to hand make your own presents for friends and family, well done Kim! 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Crochet Dress Up by Emma Friedlander-Collins

Halloween is fast approaching and if you're stuck for costume ideas we've got the book for you! Crochet Dress-Up by Emma Friedlander Collins has loads of great ideas for dressing up the kiddywinks. 

I had already decided on my own costume this year (you'll have to wait for the big reveal on that!) but by lucky coincidence the book had a little inspiration on how to make it a reality. I followed the pattern for the cobweb necklace and adapted it to make it a little bit bigger. The pattern was easy to follow and my cobweb was suitably spooky!
Cobweb necklace in the book

My spooky adaptation
And that's really the test of a good crochet book - easy to follow patterns and great ideas! This book has both and it also has a bonus beard pattern! What more could you want?

Well why not have a go at one of the patterns for FREE! Click here for the excellent witches hat pattern.

*GIVEAWAY* Head over to Facebook TODAY (14 October) for our giveaway of this fantastic book! 

©CICO Books, taken from Crochet Dress-Up by Emma Friedlander-Collins, photography by Terry Benson, published by CICO Books

Friday, 9 October 2015

Knit the Rainbow!

 We've been going a bit Decoupage mad recently at HQ. Between Minecraft necklaces and glittered baubles nothing's safe from out glue and paper!

And since nothing is safe it led us to use the brilliant art of decoupage to brighten up our knitting needles. It always baffles me that it's so hard to get hold of colourful knitting needles.

I didn't attempt this with any of my plastic or metal needles as I'm not sure they would look as good as the wooden ones but I think you'll agree that it's a nice little touch to a bamboo needle.

Have a go yourself and if you need a bit of direct, don't forget about our fantastic Decoupage workshop.

Monday, 5 October 2015

#Ministrymakes Winner - September

This months winner is the lovely Sandra, who was so motivated by attending our Made to Measure: Skirt Pattern workshop that she went home and made the skirt the very next day!

We love this fabric, it makes a really lovely skirt that seems to match the season, bringing a bit of brightness to the darkening days.

Well done Sandra!

If you fancy making your own A-Line Skirt then why not join us for our Sew an A-line or pencil skirt in a day workshop 10th October.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Guest Blog Post: Learn to Long Arm Quilt at Breightmet Quilting Studio

This week our friends over at Breightmet Long Arm Quilting Studio tell us about their special machines that takes your quilting to another level!

So, what is a long arm quilting machine?  It is basically a “fancy” sewing machine that is mounted on a quilt frame.   Our studio uses a semi-industrial sewing machine and a super-king size frame, which holds the layers in place while you sew.  It's amazing!

 You can finish a large quilt with ease or explore free motion embroidery on a large scale.

Despite the growing popularity of sewing and quilting, these machines are relatively few and far between.  Part of our vision is to provide access to a machine that is out of most people’s budget and is too large to store in one’s home or studio space. 

We offer classes on using the machine as well as regular quilt clubs:  First Friday of the month 1-3pm and third Wednesday of the month 6:30-8:30.  We also offer a quilt finishing service and allow people to rent our machine.

Just mention Ministry of Craft and you will receive 15% off.

Get in contact with the Quilting Studio below:

Facebook:      Breightmet Long Arm Quilting Studio
Twitter:                      Alongarmquilter
Mobile:                       07872 342 718         (Jennifer Gilmour)
                                    01204 329710           (Linda Jones)

Continue building on the skills you’ve learned on Ministry of Craft’s Patchwork Workshops.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Knit Parade!

The temperature's dropping and the wool's are coming out! I love autumn - big woolly jumpers, knitted socks and hot drinks a plenty! So for you here's a few of our favourite winter warmers!

Shoulder Button Cable Knit Jumper, Marks & Spencer, £29.50

Aztec Coatigan, Oasis, £50

Raised Dot Sweater, & Other Stories, £55

 If you fancy having a go at making your own winter wardrobe then, as always, we are on hand. Our *NEW* Sew Your Own Cosy Coatigan will furnish you with a sleek, chic, go-to coatigan.

At only £29.50 can you resist making your own? may take a little bit longer but why not learn to knit? You'll need something to occupy your hands, spending all those nights watching TV and supping hot chocolate! Our Knit 123 course starts on the 22nd September and you'll learn everything you need to get going at home on scarves, wooly blankets and may be even a jumper!  


Friday, 11 September 2015


Head on over to our Facebook page for a chance to win this fabulous book by Fiona Goble.

Knitted Animal scarves, mitts and socks has patterns for everything from penguin socks to koala scarves. They're cute and warm and just what you need to get knitting for this coming winter.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Ministry Makes - August Winner

Another Month of fantastic makes from our talented customers. This month was another super difficult decision - you really do give us pause for thought! In the end it was Louise and her beautiful chair cushions.

We love the fabric and how it compliments and gives new life to this stylish chair. Nice work Louise!

Special Mention goes to Xanthe and her fabulous embroidery and applique piece. It's beautifully made and you can check out Xanthe's other work here - it's all beautiful!

Thank you to everyone who entered this month, you continue to inspire us with your fantastic makes. We can't wait to see what lovelies September bring!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Get into shape with Decoupage

If you're anything like us at Ministry then you have a little stash of things that you can't throw away because they are just too pretty. Birthday cards, wrapping paper, out of date calendars, sometimes it's hard to part with things even though their purpose has been served. If only there was a way to immortalize these precious scraps and elevate them to the level they deserve! Well there is and it's called decoupage. 

Chairs, tables, vases, bangles and anything else you can imagine can be covered in your favourite prints and made into beautiful keepsakes that no one will ever question!

Our decoupage workshop remains one of our most popular but that doesn't stop us from improving it! We now have some fabulous new shapes for you to get carried away with, so everything from earrings to key rings can be covered and coveted.

If you fancy getting creative with your own paper stash then join us for Decoupage Jewellery, 5 September

Monday, 3 August 2015

Ministry Makes - July Winner

We have a winner!

We had so many fantastic entries this month it was super hard to choose. But choose we must and we are please to say that the fabulous Emma and her fantastic floral dress have taken the coveted prize.

Well done Emma, this is such a lovely garment and we're sure you're going to look gorgeous in it!

Emma attended our popular Sewing Patterns Decoded workshop and was then able to take those super skills and sew a simply sumptuous dress!

Coincidentally we also used this fabric recently on a Kimono top...It's obviously popular!

If you've been working hard and want to enter  #MinistryMakes then you should! This month we have a EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS PRIZE!

You could be in with a chance of winning 2 tickets to The Handmade Fair - which is coming to Manchester in November!

Can't wait to see your entries! Happy Making!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Guest Blog Post: Weekend Doris by Lazy Seamstress Jeanette Archer

This weeks blog post comes from the eminently talented Jeanette Archer of Lazy Seamstress. Jeanette has been tutoring at Ministry of Craft for over a year and this October sees her debuting another fabulous workshop...
The Weekend Doris dress and sweater pattern is a retro inspired quick and easy sewing project, ideal for a weekend project to wear on easy weekends…or indeed any other time!
I’m the kind of person that doesn’t really do lounge wear, but I still like to relax a little on weekends, be able to throw on a classic, simple and comfortable outfit that can take me from lounging to outing.
I call it my "Weekend Doris" look because my husband has frequently found me doing housework in heels and a pinny during the week, sighed and said "Oh dear you are having a Doris Day moment again", so at the weekend when I dress down a little, either in a comfy dress or cigarette pants and a top, I like to think I'm having a weekend Doris moment! (And now you all know way too much about the general state of my mind!)

Designed to be sewn up in stretch fabric, either on a sewing machine or overlocker, the Weekend Doris is a very satisfying project for beginners and the more experienced sewist.
I’m looking forward to teaching this class at Ministry of Craft in October.
 If you would like to join Jeanette and create your own 'lounging to outing' outfit then join us on 31 October and Sew your own Weekend Doris.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Summer Crafts with Kids

Whether you're home for the whole six weeks or just having a low key 'holiday' at home we've scoured the interweb for the best craftivities to entertain you and the kids this summer.

Painted Rocks

 Homemade dominoes, purely decorative or even your own stone village, source some pebbles and let the painting commence. Cheap and easy this keep those little ones occupied the whole summer long!

Finger Knitting

 Put those little fingers to use and get them winding yarn, it's easy to learn and once you have a bundle of it you can make anything from a cushion to some animal ears!!

Felt Badges, bags, bunting

 Felt is a kid crafters dream, easy to hand sew and no fraying, the sky's the limit. Why not design and sew your own family crest or a mini badge of their favourite animal. A felt bag will keep the more ambition of your nippers quiet, whilst felt bunting can be fun for all the family.

Hama Heaven 

Oh the endless possibilities of Hama beads. Let them run wild with their own designs or find some templates on pinterest, they can spend hours arranging these little beads of loveliness.
Plastic Bags

What house doesn't have a bag of bags? Well now is the time to put the to use, get your little ones twisting and weaving and recycle at the same time! This fab tutorial will tell you all you need and you can use your new baskets to go blackberry picking in the autumn.

Happy Making!!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Superior Sofas

It's no secret that we LOVE Fabric but did you know we sell it?

For a few weeks now we've been procuring the tastiest textiles in the land for all your fabric needs.

This weekend you can join us on Beginners Sewing: Zip and Buttonhole Cushions and to give you some inspiration here are our top picks of fancy fabrics that will make an sofa swoon. There really is no better way to show off a fabric than with a good old cushion. 

Fabrics from top left: Cotton Small Gathering in Azelea, Cotton Tulip in Eucalyptus, 
Cotton Town Centre in Crush, Cotton Abacus in Eucalyptus


if you can't make it this weekend then order your fave fabric and make like our pals over at Humilde Folk; have a go at this easy cushion tutorial!