Blog Hippity Hop!

I was delighted to be nominated by the lovely Michelle from Sewnhenge for the Blog Hop that’s doing the rounds just now. Every Monday, people from creative blogs have been answering a few questions and then nominating other blogs to so the same. This is a fantastic way of finding new blogs to follow, to learn from and to share with. There’s a huge amount of talent floating around on the web these days which deserve a big shout out.

This blog hop involves answering some questions about your creativity and then nominating a favourite blog, or two or three, which you enjoy and think others should know about.

So here goes with my answers to the questions posed, with a few images thrown in of things I’ve made:

“Why do I write?”

I decided to start up my blog not long after starting my home-based sewing business. I wanted to share what I was making, offer tutorials and inspiration to other like-minded people and, of course, social media is very important to most businesses so I also write to promote my sewing patterns and bag-making supplies which I sell from my website at SusieDDesigns

I get a lot of enjoyment from sharing ideas, advice and tutorial with my readers. When I first started writing my blog, I felt so nervous about it. I didn’t know if anyone would find it or if they’d even be interested in what little old me had to say. I received such a lovely warm welcome from others though, much to my delight and surprise, and have ‘virtually’ gotten to know and love some wonderful people.

Simplicity New Look Pattern 6356 View D (1)

“What am I working on?”

I’ve been working on quite a few new projects for Love Sewing magazine and upcoming issues of Sewing World magazine. This is something I love doing. Contributing to magazines and seeing my work in print is such an amazing thrill and privilege. The excitement never wanes, when the magazine drops onto the doormat and I get to see my work alongside the other amazing talented contributors, I feel so proud and even humbled. Yes, I can assure you my feet are kept firmly on the ground.

I’ve also just recently completed going through the page proofs for my new book! It’s due out March next year and I can’t wait. This was such a huge, exciting break for me and I am so looking forward being able to share more about it with you.

Purse Frame Clutch by Susan Dunlop for Love Sewing magazine

“How does my blog differ from others of its genre?”

Hmmm, not too sure as there are so many sewing blogs out there. I try to offer a good mix of interesting things that other keen sewists/crafters might be interested in, such as things I’m working on, new projects, magazine/book reviews, sharing my expertise on bag-making/accessory-making, sharing my learning experiences of dressmaking, sharing sewing advice and free tutorials. I also try to make the blog as user-friendly as possible and always answer comments and if I don’t know the answer to something I will do my utmost to find out, so that I can then help my reader. I like to think that readers can feel comfortable to ask if they need help and feel confident that they’ll get the help they need, either from myself or another reader.

View C Top - New Look sewing pattern 6356

“How does my writing process work?”

I don’t have any set process. I couldn’t set myself goals of having to write every day or even every week as I have a husband, four children (two little ones) and pets to look after and just wouldn’t be able to commit to a set time-table. I work when and as I can, fitting it all in, around the house and kids. I also don’t want to ever get to the stage where I feel that I must blog just for the sake of it. If blogging is a chore then I don’t think anyone should do it. It should be an enjoyable process and I hope that comes across in my writing. I sometimes jot down a few ideas on what I should blog about and then write it when I have the time or when I’m in the mood. Most of the time though, I’ll just suddenly think ”oh, that would be a good thing to blog about” and do it there and then when it’s on my mind. My writing style is also just as a I think about it, like I’m talking to someone face to face (without them interrupting me or getting bored!!).

Daisy Mae Bag Sewing Pattern by Susan Dunlop for Sewing World Magazine

The blogs I’d like to nominate for next week are:

Seamstress Erin who is such a lovely, adorable lady with a lot of talent. I love reading her blog posts which are always interesting and full of really nice imagery. She’s a very talented, down-to-earth person who makes really lovely clothes and also writes for magazines, oh and she’s a Ph.D. scientist too!!

Modflowers is another blog I like to keep up to date with. It’s full of an eclectic mix of sewing/crafting inspiration and the most gorgeous fabrics made into equally gorgeous finished items. Very inspiring blog!

A Stitch to Scratch is my third nominee. This is a brand new blog which is by a lovely young lady who is going to share her ‘learning to sew’ escapades with us and I’m looking forward to following Hayley’s posts. I’m sure you’ll warm to this blog as much as I have.

Well I hope you’ll enjoy visiting the blogs I’ve nominated, if you don’t know of them already. Thank you, Michelle, for nominating me to join the blog hop.

New Dressmaking Project with White Tree Fabrics

I’m delighted to have joined the ‘Blog Team’ for WhiteTree Fabrics. I’m so proud to be a part of this new team of bloggers/sewists, who have the privilege of trying out some of the fantastic sewing products and dressmaking fabrics available from WhiteTree Fabrics.

Blog Team for White Tree FabricsSo what’s it all about? Well, in their own words:

“White Tree fabrics are proud to be working with some truly inspirational people, all of who are enthusiastic bloggers who love sewing, fabrics, crafting and creating their own wardrobe. They also happen to be very talented!

Some of our bloggers are fairly new to the world of sewing, bringing their fresh ideas to the team, while others have a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge to offer and share. We’re hoping that whatever stage our bloggers are at, their creations, ideas and sewing projects give you lots of inspiration and information, as well as a good idea of what you can achieve when you have some great fabric and the right crafting tools. Seeing a photograph of a dressmaking material is one thing, watching it transform into a garment is another! This is where we hope to share the creative process with our customers and creative online community.”

WhiteTree Fabrics' Blog Team

WhiteTree Fabrics’ Blog Team

The range of sewing essentials, patterns and fabrics on the newly revamped website at is so appealing. I ended up taking a note of quite a few new dressmaking projects I’d like to attempt and fabrics which I’d like to use. I managed to whittle my list down to choosing some lovely co-ordinating Tilda fabrics in Martine Bluegrey and Jane Blue Grey. I chose a McCall’s Kwik Sew pattern, K3601 – Pull-over Tops. I think this will make a really nice staple addition to my wardrobe and it doesn’t look too difficult to make. (she says!!!)

K3601 McCalls Sewing Pattern – Pull-over Tops

K3601 McCalls Sewing Pattern – Pull-over Tops


Lisa, at WhiteTree Fabrics, sent my parcel containing the gorgeous Tilda fabrics and interfacing, with the pattern and even the sewing thread to follow. Everything I need! How amazing is that! I can’t wait to get started! Now, I just need to make some time for it! I’ll let you know how I get on with making this lovely top.

Tilda Fabrics from WhiteTree Fabrics

New Retail Stockists for my Printed Sewing Patterns

Printed Sewing Patterns for bag-making by Susan Dunlop of SusieDDesigns

Printed patterns now available from retail establishments.

I’m absolutely delighted to announce 5 new UK stockists of my printed sewing patterns. If you can, I’d highly recommend a visit to these lovely fabric and haberdashery establishments:

Millie Moon Haberdashery

Millie Moon Haberdashery in Frome, Wells and Keynsham.

Millie Moon – 24-25 Catherine Hill, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BY Tel: 01373 464650 Millie Moon also has shops at 14a Broad Street, Wells, Somerset and 32 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol Website:

New Forest Fabrics in Southampton

New Forest Fabrics in Southampton

New Forest Fabrics – 14 Shamrock Way, Hythe Marina, Southampton SO45 6DY Tel: 02381 783 386 Website:

Sew Simple Norfolk

Sew Simple Norfolk

Sew Simple (Norfolk) Ltd – Unit 17, Taverham Nursery and Country Shopping Centre, Fir Covert Road, Taverham, Norwich, Norfolk NR8 6HT Tel: 01603 262 870 Website:

Sally's Sewing Box in Princes Risborough

Sally’s Sewing Box in Princes Risborough

Sally’s Sewing Box – 65 High Street, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 0AE Tel: 01844 345 753 Website:

Thistle Quilting in Peebles

Thistle Quilting in Peebles

Thistle Quilting – 34 High Street, Peebles, The Scottish Borders EH45 8SF Tel: 01721 724 111 Website:


Where to get Vilene Interfacing Products in the UK

I have written a few posts now on using interfacing for bag making – Using Interfacing and Interlining When Making Bags and More on Using Interfacing and Interlining in Bag Making. I’ve been asked many times where to buy Vilene products. Due to popular demand I’m now stocking Vilene products at


I won’t say much more about using the actual interfacings here, please see the previous posts above, but I will sing the praises again of Vilene products. They really are an excellent choice and well worth spending a little extra money to get the quality that Vilene provides (really, I should be getting commission from them!) You will not regret trying Vilene, I promise! I will say though, that the USA equivalent to Vilene is Pellon products, which are also very good to use in bag making but mostly just available in the USA. If you’re here in the UK though, I highly recommend Vilene which is widely available here.


Vilene S13 sew-in interfacingThe products I like to use for my bag-making are:

Vilene H250 (Pellon equivalent 808 Craft Fuse) – a medium-weight fusible non-woven interfacing.

Vilene F220 (Pellon equivalent ES114 Easy Shaper) – a light-weight fusible, non-woven interfacing.

Vilene G700 (Pellon equivalent SF101 Shape-flex Woven) – a medium-weight fusible, woven cotton interfacing (my favourite! I’ll have this in stock soon)

Vilene H630 and Vilene H640 (Pellon equivalent 987F Fusible Fleece and TP971F Fusible Thermolam) – low / medium / high loft fusible fleece.

Vilene M12 and Vilene S13 (Pellon equivalent 930 Sew-in / Pellon 40 and Pellon 50) – medium and heavy-weight sew-in interfacing / interlining.

New Year’s Day Craft Blogs Roundup

Happy New Year! I hope 2013 has been a good year for everyone. I’d like to mark the beginning of 2014 with my new monthly roundup of some of my favourite craft blogs and shops. If you missed the first crafty roundup, back in November, please see my previous post.

First up is Isabel’s Needleworks. Isabel is a fabric artist indulging in her hobbies of knitting, sewing and embellishing her handy work with machine embroidery. She shares all her lovely makes on her blog and also includes some really interesting craft related articles with some background history. I particularly enjoyed reading Isabel’s recent post on Penny Rugs. Included in the post are some of the handcrafted items which Isabel has made, having been inspired by the Penny Rug techniques. Gorgeous work!

Isabels Needleworks

Another favourite blogger of mind is Michelle of SewnHenge. I really enjoyed reading Michelle’s blog when I came across it some time ago and I love all the sewing and quilting projects that she shares with us, including a fab collection of sewing tutorials. One of my favourite tutorials has to be The Stargazer Dress, it’s so pretty!


Yet another inspiring craft blogger, Esther of Make My Day Creative. Esther’s blog is full of tutorials, including crochet patterns and cooking recipes. She shares what she’s been making and tells us how to make it too! A very generous blogger, who makes gorgeous accessories. I love the crocheted Textured Cowl with matching Fingerless Gloves (see image below) which Esther shares the patterns for. Aren’t they lovely?

Make My Day Creative

A Daisy Garden is another inspirational craft blog to say the least and is full of sewing and quilting delights. A recent post of Daisy’s about a shoebox exchange really caught my attention. The participating crafters and quilters spend all year collecting fat quarters in the colors which their “secret quilter” has requested; two each month. They also add fun little items such as a pin cushion, ornament, sewing needles, and …chocolate! Such a wonderful idea and what a box of treats Daisy received!

A Daisy Garden

Well, I’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg so far with all the wonderful craft bloggers I have the privilege to follow but I will be rounding up more in about a month’s time. If you already follow the ones above, you’ll know how lovely they are but, if you don’t, I urge you to pay them a visit.

Happy New Year to all!

Susie 🙂

Thanksgiving Weekend Roundup

I thought seeing as it’s Thanksgiving weekend , I’d feature some of my fellow craft workers’ online shops and sewing or craft blogs today. I’m always so grateful to everyone who offers me so much support, kindness and friendliness, so here’s my little roundup of some fab people that I’d like to show my appreciation of. I’ve only listed a small handful of the many people I admire, there’s just so many of you! But I’m going to try make this a regular monthly thing, so that I can slowly (but surely) share all the lovely crafting people I have the privelige to blog alongside.

First up is Lizzie Rose Jewelry, owned by Cath, who makes the most exquisite jewelery and has a lovely selection for sale in her Etsy shop. She’s also offering free worldwide shipping until Tues, 3rd Dec with the coupon code FREESHIPPING You can find Cath blogging here…

Lizzie Rose Jewelry shop on Etsy

Next up is a favourite blogger of mine, Katherine from Pillows a-la-mode. Katherine is an education writer who loves to do things with her family and friends and makes pillows and other crafty items. Her blog is always full of interesting makes and all the fantastic crafting ventures she gets up to with her family. Such an inspirational person!

Pillow a-la-mode

Next on my list today is Anny, who blogs over at It’s Sew Anny where you can read all about her crafting ventures and she shares the most delicious cooking recipes, yummm! Anny also runs an Etsy shop, where you’ll find some of her gorgeous handmade bags and sewing patterns to download.

Its Sew Anny

Rachel of Is it Fitting? is another sewing blogger who I admire very much. Her blog is full of ‘Stuff Rachel’s Made’ and you can follow all the lovely sewing projects she embarks on…

sewing blog by Rachel of Is it Fitting

Lastly, for today (but by no means least) is Louise, who blogs over at Sew Sensational who shares lovely sewing projects, patterns, tutorials and recipes. I’m sure you’ll love her blog too, if you’re not already a regular!

Sew Sensational

Look out, at the end of December, for more sewing and craft blogs and shops that I love and admire. I hope you like this weekend’s little roundup. Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating.