SLIDER

Welcome

Hey there! My name is Megan and I'm the sewing, pattern making girl behind Dolly Henry. This is my blog, where I share my own creative adventures and hope to meet fellow fabric enthusiasts. I also design and sell sewing patterns through my online boutique, alongside a beautiful collection of clothing and dolls. Thank you for stopping by!

NEWSLETTER

Friday, 30 October 2015

10 Good Things




10 Good Things I love Right Now

1. The warmer weather...finally Spring has sprung!
 I should be able to throw away the scarf and tissue box now.

2. Baking cakes, one for now and one for the freezer has kept morning tea in supply, 
with a cuppa and slice of cake ready to go when I need a mid-morning pick me up.

3. Crochet Cotton. I started crocheting in Winter with gorgeous merino yarn but I am delighted to be churning out granny squares in delicious, bright cotton!

4. A craft magazine and chocolate. A perfect treat after a busy day at work or when things are a bit stressful. It is definitely a good idea to recharge the batteries, positivity makes positivity.

5. Packing pretty parcels. Oh I know how much a fabric parcel is anticipated...they can never come fast enough and I always savoured the process like I was unwrapping a birthday present. Slowly, layer by layer with a cup of tea. To know that I am sending out happy mail like this to others, 
it's joyful!

6. Finding new people to follow on Instagram. 
There are some very talented ladies out there, that are so inspiring. 

7. This video of the Strawberry Biscuit fabric line by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose fabrics. Oh my gosh! It is so cute, I cannot wait for this range to come in 2016. Yes, Dolly Henry will be stocking this amazing range!


8. Walks in the morning. In shorts! Summer is inching it's way in and I never thought I'd say it because our North Queensland summers are SO SO hot....but I can't wait for the weather to fully warm up. It's just not quite the same without it. I want to wear brights, sundresses, sandals, eat watermelon, mango and stone fruit. Feel the summer/christmas feeling and enjoy running away to air conditioned shopping centres to escape the heat. It's just not the same without it!

9. Pom Poms - aren't they cute? They just add so much fun, a touch of bohemian style and colour to any project. Pom-Poms forever!

10. Weekends! Right now, everything is so busy and hectic, the weekends are just wonderful. A day or two of catching up and not feeling as much pressure......bliss.

What are 10 good things in your world right now?







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Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Peppermint Picnic for Afternoon Tea







Inspired by the fresh summer weather, flowers blooming outside in the garden and the golden afternoons, I have created two new Dolly Mixes bundles!

Peppermint Picnic features a blend pink and mint pastels, with strawberries, vintage stars and tiny florals peeping from the prints. Slice a piece of strawberry shortcake and make some lemonade - this fabric bundle is just perfect for the Spring projects you have planned! Includes prints by designers Tula Pink, Tasha Noel, Verna Mosquera, Art Gallery Fabrics and a Yuwa 30's floral.

Afternoon Tea reminds me of sitting on the veranda, with a hot cuppa in hand, sewing some hexies or flicking through a favourite craft magazine. Featuring bold florals blended with pastels, this sweet set includes prints from Verna Mosquera's Rosewater Collection, Yuwa 30's Collection and Vintage Market by Tasha Noel.

If you could create your perfect Dolly Mixes fabric bundle, what would you call it and what would the colour tones be? I'd really love to know!

Megan xx
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Crafty Goodness - #01




1. Stunning Summer Hoop Art - I love these! They are so bright and cheerful and would add an instant smile to any room.

2. Oh so cute Drawstring Bag tutorial - it really is getting to that festive time of year, with some people in Australia embracing Halloween, summer pool parties in full swing and Christmas around the corner, whip up some of these cute bags to hand out full of party favours, take as treat bags or gift as a cute gift idea for teachers and classmates!

3. Bust your scrap stash with these gorgeous Scrapbusting Hexie Hotpads - cute and useful in the kitchen, these would also make neat little gifts!

4. Pretty Fabric Envelopes - get inspired with these vintage style fabric envelopes - just the thing for popping gift cards and cash in for Christmas if you don't know what to get a fussy teen or a friend that has everything, these will add a handmade touch to your gift!*

5. Crochet Christmas Trees - cute and colourful - need I say more!

*Sponsored by Dolly Henry*


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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

By Hand: Crochet and Hexagons





I can only spend a small amount of time on the sewing machine with my shoulder, so I have finally started some of those things that I have always wanted to either learn or just do, and two of those things include crochet and making little fabric hexagons.

I have knitted a little bit, but nothing fancy - mostly just scarves with too many dropped stitches and holes in them. But I have always been drawn to crochet - particularly because so many crocheted items I have seen online have been in such bright, beautiful colours and the designs are often so fun and cheerful. Determined not to be a forever 'one day I will...' person, I have set about teaching myself crochet, starting with granny squares. I really enjoy it, it's so relaxing and it's great to have a craft that is so portable. I can sit outside in the morning with a cup of tea, or on the lounge at night - it's great! I would like to make some of the gorgeous amigurumi toys I see one day, so borrowed the above book from the library to flick through. I really want to get the Tendre Crochet book when I am up to this stage! It's beautiful.



As for the Hexagons, I would love a whole hexi quilt one day. I am aware that will probably take forever, so I am contenting myself with starting a hexie collection. It's like a button collection, except you make them yourself! Like tiny pictures, I make them randomly from scraps and fat quarters and love the making process for the same reason I love crochet - quick, relaxing and portable!

Do you love hand making things? 
Whether it's embroidery, applique, crochet, knitting or making hexagons - what do you like about the by hand process? I'd love to know!


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Vintage Market Bundles




In the stunning colours of Navy Blue, Sweet Pink and Mint, splashed with polka dots and flowers, there is so much to love about the Vintage Market collection. Shop this gorgeous line here >
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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Drawing with Fabric




I have been so used to designing and making little clothes for the past few years, I'll admit it has taken me awhile to find as much satisfaction in trying other things to make. Throughout my childhood years, I had a pencil/pen/paint brush in my hand more often than a needle, always accompanied by a sketchbook full of people - mainly mothers and children, attending various social outings and of course featuring interesting outfits. As much as I liked playing with dolls, I found it more fun to create people in pictures, giving them names and imagining up conversations for them.

The other day, suffering a slight withdrawal from my clothing designing ways (my sister joked that clothing was my natural habitat and I cannot survive in the wild!) and wanting to do something more with a picture I sketched up of a cute little girl, wearing a picture version of an outfit I had sewn, I decided to try turning her into a fabric applique.

It took me quite awhile to trace her out, and piece all the tiny pieces together, but I greatly enjoyed the process of putting together her clothing colours and style. I wasn't sure what exactly I would do with the finished item so I fixed her to a large piece of white cotton, so I would have room to do something later on when I decided - I was just so intent on turning my artwork into a fabric picture, I didn't stop to think what I would do with it when finished.

I decided to stitch her using black thread, I really wanted that raw, sketchy look. I freehanded all the details in and greatly enjoyed the process of seeing her brought to life. You can't really see in the picture, but her hair is all stitched too. I didn't worry if I wobbled with the stitch, I just relaxed and let it happen. I am quite a perfectionist so I'm not always 100% happy when I create something if I think there is room for improvement, but considering I didn't have to get the quick unpick out once doing this and had a rather relaxing time of it, I am pretty chuffed with the result from my first go.

One of my instagram followers suggested the name Tilly Tiptoes, and I think that name is perfect. I plan on turning her into a tutorial for anyone else who'd like to make their own little fabric picture. And I have filled another 5 sheets of paper with more designs - I have found drawing and then stitching quite addictive! Stay tuned..........


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Friday, 16 October 2015

Studio Corner: My Desk









It has been such a week! Getting the website ready to launch left my studio space and desk a rather sorry mess. Once all the little hiccups for the new shop were ironed out, I switched off the devices for the day and got stuck into some Spring cleaning, baked a couple of chocolate cakes to freeze down and worked out something of an organized schedule to make sure I don't feel like a scatter brain all the time. Trying to keep a thousand to do lists in my head is a sure way to end each day utterly exhausted.

I always find it funny how the minute I have everything out of my head onto paper or in the planner, that my list seems at least 50% smaller, and a neat, uncluttered workspace so much more inspiring to be in.

Switching from full time designer mode to fabric shop owner, I knew I had to make an area that was more functional for admin, than sketching up new designs and planning collections. Colour is everything to me, so it was important that my desk was a bright and happy area.

I made a table cloth quickly using these gorgeous polka dots - wide enough for the table that is my desk, I only had to hem the ends and used the finished selvedge as the front! I purchased a shadow box shelf from K-Mart to house my crochet yarn. The rest of the space is filled with books - second to fabric, I love books! - and my planner, which I purchased from Kikki.K late last year - it's been so much easier having my diary, calendar and all my notes, sketches and lists in one handy place. Perfect for someone who isn't naturally very organized!

Photography by Sarah of Say! Little Hen



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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Woodland Fabric Bundle


This is my kind of christmas wreath.
The Woodland Floral bundle has just been added to the shop!
15 gorgeous designer fat quarters - includes 1 free!

The Dolly Mixes Bundle includes 15x designer fat quarters (shown) from designers Tanya Whelan Sunshine Roses, YUWA Japanese florals, Riley Blake, Verna Mosquera Rosewater, Flower Sugar Lecien, Free Spirit Solids and Jennifer Paganelli Maggie.

Get yours here!



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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Wings



She took a leap of faith and built her wings on the way down...
That's one of my favourites.

So many things can change so quickly. So many things can change in just one year. If someone had told me I would be opening my own fabric shop this time last year, I would have laughed and shaken my head. In October 2014, I was knee deep in a pop up shop and struggling to fulfill orders for my girls clothing label in my home studio. And therefore, my success became my undoing and half way through 2015 I crumbled and didn't quite realise that it was the beginning of the end. I had burnt out my drive and my health through pushing myself too hard.

By July, I realised that I could no longer do the extensive hours of making. I was past it. Visually and design wise, I still had the ideas coming but I physically ran out of steam and there was no money to pay someone to help me. I decided one day that I had better destash some fabric and things just kind of happened from there. I might not be able to be a one woman garment factory any more but I could inspire others to be creative and try making some things for themselves.

Being creative was what got me through the slump that followed my business end. Creativity, I believe, is therapeutic. When there is no pressure, no reason other than to just potter around for fun. I'm not alone in this way of thinking - look at the new wave of grown up colouring books. We're all so uptight, stressed and worn out, people have discovered getting in touch with their creative side can be relaxing and soothing. I've never found a four year old obsessing over their drawing, wondering why it's not good enough. They draw, they believe their work is beautiful. And it is.

Up until a few days ago, I had a mother like grip on my new business. Fussing over it and worrying to no end that I wasn't doing the right thing. Was this going to work? I was stepping off the ledge into the unknown. I was constricting myself with worries and rules - rules to make sure I didn't make the same mistakes again. I kept wanting to go back to the safety net of the past but when I looked over my shoulder, the net was gone. My family members identified that the pressure of my previous business had been so high, I was having trouble adjusting to the more normal pace of the new business. I'd gotten so used to being so stressed all the time, I thought I mustn't be working if I was feeling a little relaxed.

Then incidentally someone online made a casual remark about herself and her own new venture that shook it all into perspective for me. She said "I am determined to live life without regret and if we fail, then at least we tried." I don't think she will realise how much I needed to hear those words right then. Suddenly, I let it all go. I shrugged my shoulders and let the weight slide off them. I too am determined to live life without regret and if I fail, it won't be because I didn't do my best.

So I am taking my leap of faith, jumping out into the unknown. It is scary and it is exciting. And from past experience, I know the beginning is always the most fun. You don't know it at the time but you always look back and realise that. I'm realising now instead of waiting, and I am going to enjoy it, no matter what comes. I am building my wings on the way down.

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Lazy Weekend







The past few weeks have been so hectic, it was a must that this weekend be spent a little more slowly. The weather here is unseasonably cold for October, with scarves and jumpers still being thrown on whenever we venture outside. The skies are grey and cloudy and it was a no-brainer that this weekend would be an inside one. 

On Saturday we drove out to Mungalli Dairy and sat in a cosy corner in their little farmhouse cafe catching up and simply relaxing, while the rain painted drops on the windows outside as we sipped hot chocolates and ate a locally produced farm style lunch. Sunday was spent pottering around, tidying up a few things, playing with crochet, hexagons and generally lounging as that seemed to be all I had the energy for. 

Hopefully taking a slower couple of days and enjoying the extra day the long weekend has tossed us, will have me recharged for the week ahead. It's good to just stop sometimes and take a deep breath. (And maybe an afternoon nap or two!)






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