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Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester

If you mentioned the words creative and crafty to any of my friends and family, they would definitely point to me. I have been a massive lover of any form of craft that I can use to express my creativity. From drawing, cross stitching, painting and making things, I absolutely love nothing more than spending an afternoon where I can let my creative juices flowing. I had the most perfect afternoon just before Christmas in which I spent my time at Rosy Lee in Manchester making Christmas gift boxes and bows and used a sewing machine for the first time since school. The Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester was a perfect way to get into the Festive spirit.

Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester (14)

When I walked into the upstairs lounge of RosyLee, the first thing that I saw were the rows of sewing machines. I haven’t used a sewing machine in forever so I was immediately nervous. I decided to go to the table where the gift boxes were being made instead as this was definitely more my thing. I remember making boxes when I was a girl, which involved cutting and glueing, however the boxes we were to make were origami style boxes with minimal scissor work. I was really looking forward to this, and after learning how to make them, I could also make them at home. We used Laura Ashley wallpaper as the thickness of the paper was great for the stiffness of the boxes once made up.

Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester

Making up the boxes was so therapeutic. Folding and creasing the paper instantly relaxed me. Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most mundane things can chill you out. Once I’d made my box, which was so easy to do, we made the luxe bows to place on top. The bows were a little more difficult to do, and take a bit more practice to make them perfect but now I know how to do them, everyone will be having hand made bows on their presents.

Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester

Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester (17)

Lunch was served in the form of mini yorkshire puddings filled with beef and horseradish, mini cheese and chive tartlets and bruschetta with copius amounts of tea and a box of biscuits. After our mini pit stop, it was time to move over to the sewing table ready to battle my nerves and make a drawstring bag using Laura Ashley fabrics.

Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester

Laura Ashley Craft workshop with Ministry of Craft Manchester (23)

Now, I want to tell myself off here because I was panicking for absolutely no reason. As soon as I got the hang of using the machine, I can’t tell you just how much I loved it. It was so relaxing to watch the needle work its way across the ribbon as I sewed the mini flags across the fabric. After I had made my bag, I even considered getting my own sewing machine and making all my own clothes in the future. Ah, I love how carried away I get.

When I have decorated my lounge, in Laura Ashley wallpaper of course, I will be keeping any off cuts and whipping up some giftboxes for decorative purposes. I had such a good day with the Ministry of Craft Manchester, I will be looking into some more crafting afternoons with them. Have a look at the Laura Ashley Blog page as well!

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