Crafty swap: With Bells On


I have something a bit bit different for you all this Wednesday. With Bells On is a new crafting and lifestyle blog written by my friend Emily, fellow biologist who I met while doing my PhD, and her mum. Alongside their many and varied crafting adventures, from needle-felting to stained glass to dressmaking, they share recipes, upcycling old furniture and day to day life snippets. Emily and I put our crafty heads together and decided to do a post swap, a little peek at some of our favourite crafty bits and bobs. So without further ado I’ll hand the show here over to Emily, and don’t forget to head on over to With Bells On next for a look at my top five sewing essentials!

It was a little while ago that Liz approached me and asked if I fancied doing a blog swap with her. Must admit I was pretty nervous at the prospect of swapping with blog veteran! The crafty/food blog that my mum and I started last year “With Bells On” is still very much in its infancy. However, Liz, as the good friend she is, has been so supportive in these early stages that I could just not say no.

We had a little chat about what type of things might interest both of our readers and decided upon the top 5 things that we couldn’t do without in our sewing kits. I’ve been really looking forwards to seeing what we have both come up with – is there any essential items that we share and what do you consider to be sewing your essentials?

Here are my Top 5….


Number 1 – Scissors

These are at the top of my list for a reason, in order to make anything from material you are going to need to cut it up, and what’s the point if you don’t have the right kit do it. These scissors are only and I mean ONLY ever used to cut material never anything else (no wrapping paper is allowed near them!). This keeps them in top working order for cutting through any type of fabric. The first pair do just plain straight cutting, and the second are pinking scissors that cuts on an angle with a triangle effect and stops material from fraying. Both have their use, straight scissors uses are pretty obvious but the pinking scissors are great for hidden hems on clothes and material you are going to quilt with.


Number 2 – Quilting pins

Although these are technically quilting pins I use them for all of my sewing projects. I am definitely one of those people who always managed to forget to take out a pin somewhere and end up stabbing myself with it. These brightly coloured ends mean I avoid that.


Number 3 – Dress Makers Pencil

I believe I was given this pencil whilst learning textiles at school. The 15 year old me really couldn’t get to grips with a sewing machine and I had no interest in making my own clothes. The 20-year of me started to think very differently about this and now at 25 I use this pencil to make out patterns on nearly everything I make!


Number 4 – A needle threader

As I mentioned before, no matter how careful I am when working with pins I’m a little accident-prone. I don’t need to remind the frequent sewers amongst you how painful a pin under the nail bed is! This little device helps reduce these pin issues and whilst also making threading even the smallest pin very quick.


Number 5 – A variety of fat quarters

I find having a selection of fat quarters lying around very useful, they can be used for patching clothes that need a bit of TLC and are perfect for creating varieties of coloured bunting. They can be picked up online or in local haberdasheries often at a discounted price and a bit cheaper than buying roles of fabric.

So that’s it, my top 5 sewing essentials and the end of the first “What Lizzy Said” and “With Bells On” blog swap, lets hope for lots more in the future!

Until next time


What do you think?