Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sew Bunting

Sadie and Elise painting bunting for my Sew Bunting book... such lovely girls and talented artists! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bias binding tutorial

I'm asked so many times how I sew bias binding onto my projects, I thought I'd share this tutorial with you. I do understand that quilters may use a different type of binding, but this is the way I cut, fold, press and sew the tape onto my projects.

Hope it helps!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Wallet tutorial

Here you go! Simple wallet, no gusset, with bias binding and mitred corners. Make it a bit bigger and add a little wadding for a clutch bag!
Wallet video tutorial

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Easter bunny basket

I've enjoyed making this little Easter basket, add a bit of wadding if you like, or make a larger one to hold big eggs! I did use a bit of spray starch to give some stability to my cotton. I've made him from a triangle with a narrow opening but he'd look just as good in a square or cube shape!

For the ears I made a template from card, by drawing a rectangle measuring 4" x 2.5" and drew an arch across the top. Cut out four pieces, two of each in contrasting fabrics.

Sew the pieces together in pairs, leaving the bottom open. Trim the hem to about 1/8" from the stitch line.

Turn the right sides out and press.

Fold the bottom corners into the middle and sew across the edges.

Cut a triangle of fabric, 8" across the base and 7" tall, then cut 3" off the top, you'll need four pieces, two of each of contrasting fabrics.

Pin the ears face down to the top of the front of the basket.

I added buttons for eyes, embroidered eyebrows, and the nose and cheeks are pom-poms! Cute!

Just like making a lined bag, sew the two lining pieces to the tops of the outer pieces, sew all the way around but leave a gap in the lining for turning.

Sew across the four corners, about 2" from the points, to square off the base.

Turn the right way out then sew across the opening in the lining, glue on a pom-pom for a bob tail and fill with Easter eggs!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Drawstring duffle bag

Here's a link to the You Tube tutorial...

Hessian wreath

I love this rustic shabby look, frayed edges and string. I also like the contrast of shiny buttons, lace and satin ribbon, it makes for lots of texture! Hessian is messy and smelly, I happen to like the mess and the smell! It's really earthy and natural, although adding a few sticks of cinnamon helped a bit...

Here's the link to the instructions...

Friday, 11 April 2014

Instructions for my drawstring bag

Firstly I cut two pieces of flowery fabric measuring 10" square, two rectangles of red hearts measuring 10" x 4" and cut a wavy line across the bottom, and two pieces of red check measuring 4" x 10".

Sew the wavy line right side down onto a piece of stabiliser.

Trim close to the stitch line, turn the right way out and press.

Top stitch this to the flowery bag fabric.

Attach the checked fabric to the top, right sides together, then open up and press, I top stitched across the seam.

Place the bag handles, mine are 20" long, evenly to the top of the bag, and sew. Make sure they are facing inwards.

Cut two pieces of lining fabric to the size of the outside of the bag, I find it easier to do this at this stage as I can be sure of the size of my bag front now it's all sewn together. Sew the lining to the top of the bag pieces, right sides together. Lay both sides of the bag together and sew all the way round, leaving a gap at the bottom of the lining for turning. 
Turn the right way out, sew over the opening, push the lining into the bag and press. [I'm skirting over this bit as practically every bag I've made is the same at this stage...]

I've used about 20" of bias tape here, pin all the way round the bag, folding in the raw edge at each end. You could use ribbon here. Sew all the way round, top and bottom of the tape, leaving a slight gap where the two ends meet.
I've sewn through the lining too, so that the whole bag gathers when you pull the drawstring.

Take a length of ribbon [or cord], pop a large safety pin on the end and thread your ribbon through the bias tape. 

And then off to the beach?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Drawstring bag

This is the bag I made on air this week, I'll put instructions for one similar here tomorrow so watch this space! Two fat quarters should do it, a little interfacing, ribbon to tie and I've used canvas handles but you could make your own.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sew Magazine

Sew are featuring my sewing room in their May's edition... I tidied the room especially... but is still so messy! As long as my cutting table is free of clutter, I quite like the disorganisation of my room, I know where everything is. I do have a de-clutter every now and again, nothing ends up in the bin, but I do 'file' my scraps in order of colour, and put thread colours together in clear boxes. Actually my loft is full of clear boxes, of all sizes, full of samples for shows and items I've made for the books. When I was over in the States for a USA live show I saw HSN's Darlene's sewing palace, she even had a cafe area! Now that was a bit of craft room envy!

And by the way< I'll try and upload instructions for the drawstring bag I made on C&C today over the next few days...

Magazine projects

In the next issue of Simply Homemade Magazine I'll be showing you in detail how to make a simple roman blind... here's a taster...

Monday, 7 April 2014

Sold out and gone!

After 11 years with Ideal Shopping today I've presented my last show, and was presented with a beautiful bouquet and cards from presenters and crew, and a very large amount of money to spend at Dunelm! Sad to leave the place I've spent 20% of my working life but exciting to start a new chapter.I've got a few projects up my sleeve and I'll keep you all posted...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sew your own Humphrey

I've designed kits for Humphrey, Lottie and Baby Jack, there will be video tutorial on line soon. These kits are not for the beginner, there are 25 pieces to each project, but the results are very accurate to the characters. You can buy on line at, each will be sent recorded delivery. Fabric, pattern pieces, and embroidery thread are included, you'll need to supply the stuffing, and I suggest a walking foot as the fleece fabric can slip a little. The result? Beautifully soft, fleecy Humphrey, cuddly and cute, and worth the time spent to make up these adorable  kits.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Box smocked cushion cover

A smocked, boxes Canadian smocked cushion cover, a simple project as the gingham doesn't need measuring and marking.

Here's the link...

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Kiss the boy...

So, you get in the way of a photo shoot and you get 'Mummied'...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Potted flower project for Simple Homemade

The editor of Simply Homemade magazine spotted my potted flower and asked to feature it in the magazine, and here it is in this months issue! Next month will be my Roman blind project... they're keeping me busy!