• Sew a custom fit lined skirt
  • Easy summer dress
  • Double layer chiffon blouse
  • Summer Drape Top
  • Perfect Wrap Dress - free pattern
  • Sew your own undies
  • Over 100 free skirt patterns
  • Twist Front Top
  • Free dress patterns

National Sewing Month

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September is National Sewing Month – yay.  So I expect you’ll be wanting to hear about all the fun things I’ve got planned.  Er, except I haven’t planned anything special – darn, I am such a blogging loser!  With so many sewing bloggers really pulling out the stops this month I know you’ll not be disappointed with so much great content on offer. I’ll be sharing some of the best content I find online in social media such as Facebook and Pinterest so if you don’t already follow now is the time to do so. Facebook  -oh no, look at that !  I haven’t even changed the header image on the Facebook page since February.  Yikes, makes the place look unloved, but actually I do like the page and use it every day. Naturally I promote my new blog articles on … Continue reading

The perfect Baby Burp Cloth pattern

The perfect baby burp cloth pattern, and how to sew them production line style.

I’m just so excited to be sewing for my 3 friends who are all expecting.  Gives me a chance to knock out lots of small projects from time to time, and take a break from some of the larger projects, pattern designing and fitting issues that clothes sewing gives me. I was pestering one of the moms-to-be – what can I sew you, what do you really need, or don’t have enough of, or really used a lot first time round.  Wait a minute she said and came back with – a rag.  Er, what is that and what did you use it for?  Apparently it’s a burp cloth – something new to me, but she explained she used cloths like this ALL the time and everywhere for mopping up spills, mopping up babies and toddlers, mopping up baby sick, … Continue reading

My first (and last?) quilt is finished

Beginner quilt - my first ever quilt. A jelly roll baby quilt.

I got through it in the end and finished my first ever quilt, but it wasn’t without plenty of errors and snarling along the way.  I started this a couple of weeks back, then got to the point of spray basting it all together, but wasn’t sure how to actually ‘quilt’ it. I’d already made a bit of a problem for myself because I hadn’t thought in advance about what size it was going to be, and you know how one problem often compounds to make a project a disaster?

Oliver the Owl nursery pillow with piping

How to sew this cute owl nursery pillow

Did you see the owl applique I made following the instructions and pattern as one of the projects in the Fun with Fusible Applique course?  He was destined to become a nursery pillow, nothing ‘too cutesy’ by request, but still colorful and fun. But so far he’s just on a plain ivory colored cotton panel so I thought he needed a bit more color.  I wanted to make a patchwork border, but couldn’t face sewing lots of little squares together!  It’s just not me.  Match this fact with my lack of sewing time this week, a raging headache and just being overall in a big rush and he didn’t exactly turn out as I had imagined.  Moral of the story – sewing can’t be rushed if you want to do it properly. Watch out everyone, there’s another sewing failure on … Continue reading

Zipper Top Tote – free bag pattern

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Did you ever see my review of the Craftsy Design your Own Handbag class?  It’s a great class and I wrote 3 articles about it which you can review here (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3).  This bag today is inspired by one of the bags completed as part of the course, and uses some of the techniques and hardware I learned about in the class.  You can get this class at 50% off if you want to learn about how to design your own bag patterns. 50% off Design Your Own Handbag This pattern isn’t for beginners.  I’m calling this an Intermediate pattern and as such it comes with regular pattern-style instructions rather than the full step by step tutorial you might find with beginner patterns.  So some previous experience in sewing bags before and an understanding … Continue reading

How to add a zipper pocket to any purse pattern

Tips and video on how to add a zipper pocket to the inside or outside of a bag pattern.

So you have a basic purse pattern, or have a pattern that includes a basic slip pocket and you would like a zipper pocket.  Not a problem – this sort of thing can usually be added to any bag.  You can add them on the outside like in the Nautical Expanding Tote Bag, or on the inside of the bag in the lining like this example from the Carry All Bag.  Or both if you want lots of pockets and storage.  The exposed zipper can really add a nice pop of color and an interesting design feature to any bag. Here are a few of my tips and tricks to help you insert your first zipper pocket, as part of the My First Bag series of patterns and tutorials. Watch the video Here is an extract from the Nautical Tote … Continue reading

My first quilt – a WIP

My first quilt - a jelly roll quilt for baby - a work in progress.

Did you read the review of the FREE Piece, Patch, Quilt class that I took.  It really did give me all the skills I needed to make my first quilt a success – except I hadn’t really thought it through properly when I ‘designed’ my quilt.  Before we go any further, don’t worry, this is not turning into a quilting site, and the way my first ever quilt is going, I’m not sure there will ever be a second! But sharing things that don’t quite work out is often more fun than those that do…

Readers Questions – 3

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Thank you SO much to everyone who took part in the earlier rounds of Readers Questions.  I love that we can all take advantage of decades of sewing experience and learn from each other. Thank you all for taking the time to share your sewing tips, tricks and resources. I hope you all enjoyed reading through the earlier questions and answers.  Well I have some more sewing teasers and dilemmas for you today. What can help out with experience and advice in these areas: MISHA ASKS: I’m going to be using bias bound seam finishing for a project. Do you think it would be okay if I cheat and apply the bias tape to the edge of the fabric before stitching the seam? LINDA ASKS: I purchased a great sewing machine in 1976.  I just love it.  But it is … Continue reading

Color block dress pattern – POTM

OMG. I just have to make this dress! It's like everything I want in one pattern.

I LOVE this dress!  I can assure you that I am not as slim as this dress makes me appear, but the design, shape, dark side panels and careful shaping to the center panel creates an illusion that makes the wearer look slimmer and smoother.  I’ve combined mine with a border print for the center panel but this dress also looks great in a solid too. This color block dress pattern is Pattern of the Month for August. Make this dress loose and figure skimming or really turn some heads with a figure hugging look and some vibrant colors. Looks best with a patterned or brighter central panel and darker side panels to emphasise your shape. Features: Scooped neckline with binding. Slightly A-Line skirt Center back seam for perfect fitting Princess seams front and back Use dark panels on the outside … Continue reading

Back to school sewing ideas

35+ ideas for Back to School sewing projects. Bags of course, plus lots more.

Hasn’t the summer break been great this year.  For me, I had a great couple of weeks staycation here on Cayman and enjoyed some fabulous scuba diving.  At the time of writing, we’ve not had any hurricanes (fingers crossed) and we’ve still got plenty of summer weather to look forward to yet.  Here’s a look at what I like to do when I’m not sewing. But for some, summer is almost over, and the kids will be soon back to school.  Does that mean you get more sewing time?  Here are a few back to school sewing ideas to try.  As one sewist put it, it’s not just a home-sewn backpack, they’re carrying my love with them. Hover over any of the thumbnails below to see more details and click to go and visit the original page.   Back to … Continue reading

Tips for buying fabric online and fabric GIVEAWAY

Great tip on how to use PicMonkey to mi and match fabrics before buying online

  It’s amazing the wonderful people you meet online, and I think sewing people are the best people.  Is it our creativity?  Our shared love for color and fabric? The way we share all the tips and tricks we learn with each other?  All of the above and more.  So when I started chatting online with Jackie at CV Quiltworks we talked a little about making fabric bundles and she invited me to make up a Blogger Bundle for her with 10 fabrics of my choice from CV Quiltworks. I was delighted!  Then doubt set in.  How was I going to do that?  There are SO many wonderful fabrics in her store from top designers and manufacturers, how could I narrow it down to 10, and how could I put together a bundle online without being able to see the … Continue reading