Tuesday, 30 April 2013

I'm actually getting hooked on free motion embroidery! And apparently there's a name for displaying your work in an embroidery hoop... it's called 'hoop art'! Who knew!

This is a linen bag that I painted then embroidered with the Toyota Oekaki sewing machine, using the free motion foot. I drew the image first with air erasing pen, you can see the purple outline but that will disappear over a few hours... I like the 'sketchy' look, and it's so easy to do!

Friday, 26 April 2013

I printed a photograph of Alfie onto printable fabric, then freehand embroidered with the Toyota Oekaki machine. Took about two hours and quite a few yards of thread! I found the fabric really puckered when sewing but after the whole piece was finished it lay flat. I'm really pleased with he result, the small stitches look furry!

This is Maggie, the 6 year old daughter of one of the guys at Ideal World, sewing a beautiful handbag! She's 6 years old, a budding judge for the GBSB I think!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Turn your back for two minutes and some big ginger dog pinches your seat and starts to sing!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Thank goodness for leather thimbles! These are some of the designs I've been working on over the last few weeks...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The e books just about finished, so I'm starting on the next one... I'm not giving anything away yet but it'll be conductive! I've spent most of my spare time this week cutting shapes with my new Slice machine, it's selling really well and there are a few more shows planned in on Create and Craft over the next couple of weeks.
The first Humphrey sewing kit is being finalised this week so hopefully I'll have time to put my feet up for a while! Or not...

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I've been playing with my new Slice machine and the design card it comes with, Double Dutch. It works just as well on fabric as card, so I've made a few cards, for the first time ever! I love that little machine! It cuts so accurately and it's quite exciting to have new designs...

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

This is a smocked cushion cover made by an American lady called Phylis who followed my instructions on You Tube, the first she'd ever made! It looks so professional!

Well I was going to show you my newly smocked chair but some small dog thought it looked comfy...

Monday, 15 April 2013

This is the bag that Leann Chivers made following my You Tube video! A very talented lady and beautiful fabric!!

And here's the link...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Well I had a lovely day yesterday demonstrating cushion covers at the garden centre in Milton Ernest, I met quite a few of you so thank you for joining me! One lovely kind lady gave me two bags of fabric that she didn't need, and I've smocked a large piece of tartan already. Amber from the garden centre gave me a gorgeous little watering can filled with pansies, it felt like it was my birthday! Then on to work where I spent a fun hour with Jennie Rayment. What a fun day! I'll post pictures of my latest work when I get some time...

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The machine I'm demonstrating at 9 tomorrow morning on Ideal World and ITV3 comes with a few patterns and this is one of them, I'll be showing you how easy they are to make!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Here's the instructions for the make-up bag I made on todays Create and Craft show...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

This was the page in Sew Magazine last month with a cushions project from my cushion cover book, I seem to be making cushion covers every week at the moment! I'm demonstrating sewing cushion covers at Milton Earnest garden centre on Saturday 13th April and the book I'm working on at the moment involves at least 15 covers... our house is well and truly sound-proofed!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Advice from a Singer manual 1949

Please take not of how to get the best from your sewing.... lets make sure we are 'neatly put together'...

Advice from a Singer sewing manual from 1949.

Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do… never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.

Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping shores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. 

When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. 

Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home, and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sarah's hobby horse

This is a hobby horse made by Sarah from Beaders Companion following my demo on You Tube... cute!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Just finished a Father's Day project for Sew Magazine... instructions should be in their next issue...

Hessian door stop instructions

I’ve been asked so many times for these instructions so here we go…

1.       Cut 6 squares of hessian measuring 6” square.

2.       I’ve put some fusible stabiliser on the back as hessian tends to fray and twist.

3.       For the handle, this is a strip of hessian 7” long by 3” wide, folded over lengthwise so the sides overlap in the middle, and pressed. I then stitched a length of ribbon over the raw edge.

4.       I’ve also made a calico bag and filled it with rice to act as a weight.

5.       Now to decorate! I’ve used some of my ribbon scraps, heart applique and the odd button and bow, and I’m just decorating two sides so it doesn’t look too fussy. Hold your applique shapes in place with some Stick and Stay for fabric before sewing.

6.       Sew the four sides together into a ‘tunnel’ shape.

7.       For the top piece, you’ll need to attach the handle, sew the two ends to the edge of the top fabric, as the handle is an inch longer it should bow a little.

8.       Keeping the four sewn sides inside out, pin the top in place then sew all the way round, stopping at each corner with the needle down before pivoting to keep the corners sharp.

9.       Do the same now with the bottom, but leave a gap of around 3” to allow you to turn the box and stuff it.
10.   Turn the right sides out, and stuff tightly with wadding.
11.   Before filling completely, push your little bag of rice into the base of the doorstop.
12.   Close the opening with a few hand stitches. A tip here... I pulled out a thread from a piece of hessian and sewed with this, then you don't see your stitching

 And you're done!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Reversible handbag

Here's another easy bag that can be worn two ways!


Instructions for making a little handbag, the dog and cat fabric is from Thimblelane.co.uk.

Monday, 1 April 2013


My blog wouldn't be the same without Alfie making an appearance, he loved my smocked headboard so much he burst into song!

My next book...

This is an e book I'm working on at the moment, covering smocking techniques. Hopefully it will be out by the end of the summer but is taking such a long time to complete as all the designs are stitched by hand. Worth it though!

Sewing machine bag instructions

Sewing machine bag

For my bags I used quite a heavy woven cotton in two patterns, and canvas as thick as I could sew through! The size will fit a standard sized sewing machine with a bit of room to spare, you could adapt the measurements for a larger machine. I used foam board for the base which is sturdy enough but can be cut through, you can buy this from craft shops, or use ply wood or mdf which you will have to saw.
1.       For the sides, cut two rectangles of fabric measuring 17” x 13.5”
2.       Cut two of the same size in canvas.
3.       Apply Heat and Bond with a hot iron to each piece of canvas, peel off the backing and re-iron onto the wrong side of your fabric.
4.       Using a cup or mug as a template, round off the top two corners of each rectangle.

5.       For the pocket, two pieces of fabric measuring 9” square, sewn right sides together top and bottom to make a tube, turned the right way round and pressed. I added a strip of lace to the top, ribbon would be okay too.

6.       For the bottom of the bag, cut a rectangle of fabric 17” x 8”, and Heat and Bond this to a piece of canvas the same size.
7.       For the hard inner base, cut a rectangle of foam board or similar to 7” x 16”.
8.       Cut a piece of your fabric to around 18” x 14” and wrap around the base, gluing to secure.

9.       For the zipped section, you’ll need a 45” length of continuous zip with two sliders that meet in the middle, and four strips of fabric measuring 45” x 4”.
10.   The handle is a piece of upholstery webbing 3 yards long. [There may be a couple of inches left over]

11.   Sew the bottom of each side right sides together to the bag base.

12.   Place the pocket in the centre of the front panel and sew down each side.
13.   Pin the handles in place, starting at the base of the bag, up the front and loop over the top for the handle, and back down the other side. Make sure both sides are equal distance from the sides, and about 7.5” apart, covering the sides of the pocket.

14.   Take the strap around the second side of the bag, keeping the handles the same length.
15.   Sew in place, sew a cross at the top of the handle for strength, and don’t sew the handle too close to the top of the bag to leave room for fitting the zipped section.

16.   To sew in the zip, sew the first edge of the zip face down onto the long strip of fabric. Lay the second strip over the top and sew again. For the confident, you can do this in one movement, sandwiching the zip between the two strips of fabric. Open up and press, then stitch the other side of the zip to the remaining two strips in the same way. Open up and press again.

17.   I sewed all the way around the outside of this panel just to hold its shape.

18.   Lay your bag face up, and pin the zipped panel face down to the base, and sew across the two ends.
19.   Pin the side of the zipped panel all the way around one side of the bag, and sew, leaving the other end open for now.

20.   Pin and sew the other side of the zipped panel to the second side of the bag.
21.   Open the zip enough to turn and finally sew the base of the bag to the other end of the zipped panel. You’ll find that the zip will need trimming by about an inch, I did this to make sure the zip wasn’t too short, it’s easier to shorten the zip than to try and add length to it!

22.   Turn your bag the right way round.

23.   Fold the handles in half where you’ll hold them, then stitch together.

 24.   To stop the zip opening too far, put a dab of glue on the teeth of the zip where you want it to stop.

25.   Push 4 bag feet through the base of the bag, close to each corner, these are affixed in the same way as large brads.



This is a bag made by another Debz, Debbie Walker, following the pattern above...