Oliver the Owl Pillow – Fun with Fusible Applique

Making an Owl applique cushion. Fun with Fusible Applique.

Have you seen owls have been everywhere the last couple of years.  So I wasn’t surprised when one of the expectant moms-to-be in my circle asked me to make her an owl cushion for her nursery, but not one that was ‘too cutesy’. I’ve dabbled in applique before, and designed a couple of small mug-rug type projects for the Spring Mug Rug and the Nautical Mug Rug. They were really fun to make. But I really was making it up as I went along in terms of my technique, materials and especially my stitching.  For this project, I wanted it to be really special, something I could be proud of for a new baby’s nursery, and I wanted a really good owl applique pattern.  I’d had my eye on a course called Fun with Fusible Applique and remembered that it … Continue reading

The perfect Maxi Skirt pattern

How to make the perfect fitting maxi skirt without it being too flared or too tight.

If you’ve been reading sewing blogs for a while now, no doubt you will have come across tutorials for easy maxi skirts.  Basically, sew a tube of fabric, add in some elastic and you’re good to go.  I’ve read some really funny reviews recently of ladies who did just that and then had to hobble around with tiny little steps because these skirts didn’t have enough room to actually walk properly! Most of us take a stride which is much greater than the width of our hips. Making a tight fitted ‘wiggle’ skirt might be OK for knee length, but make it longer and it will be like a permanent sack race. photo credit: Steve Bowbrick via photopin cc There are basically two types of maxi skirt I think – a low volume skirt that is not gathered and basically … Continue reading

How to make and use piping

How to make your own basic piping and attach it to a pillow or cushion cover

When I sewed my Woven Fabric Pillow, I wanted to make a nice edge to the woven front panel, where it joined to the plain back.  Adding in some piping also helped to give the cover a nice shape and definition.  But the focus of my project was really the woven fabric strips and I rushed the piping, not making a perfect job.  Well, I’m working on another cover this week and want to make some perfect piping.  Let’s see how I get on. Making basic piping How to make and use piping.  Piping can be made ahead of time and stored, just the same way you make bias tape from fabric left-overs and save it for the perfect project.  In fact, piping needs to be made with bias tape, because it needs the fabric to be cut on the … Continue reading

Insulated ‘Keep Warm’ Baby Bottle Cover

I love these for baby shower gifts. Practical but pretty 'keep warm' insulated feeding bottle bags.

I’ve made a few projects with the insulated thermal lining before, the Long Arm Oven Mitts, the Can Cozy and Easy Quilted Pot Holders.  So when Daniela from On the Cutting Floor wrote to me with some more ideas she had, we were inspired to create a couple more projects to share.  See her project at the bottom. With so many of my friends expecting new arrivals to their families, I wanted to make a insulated baby bottle cover that could help to keep a feeding bottle warm.  I thought this could be used while out and about, or for night time feeds.  I did a little online research and many looked difficult to open with round zippers and the like.  With a baby in one arm, who needs complicated so I decided on a simple drawstring version which could … Continue reading

Readers Questions – 2

Readers-Questions-Your-Answers

  Thank you SO much to everyone who took part in the first ever Readers Questions.   I hope you all enjoyed reading through the 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: JESSICA ASKS: SOS – What is so special about twin needles? (Except they break easily..) I have tried sewing with a twin needle twice now. It is so frustrating. I know that twin needle are perfect for knit seems, but I broke both needles very quick each time I give it a try. And as you know, they are quite expensive so my sewing heart broke each time. I kind of developed a great fear about sewing with them and I have the feeling that my sewing machine cannot … Continue reading

HUGE Craftsy Summer Sale – ALL courses on sale

homepage_630x545

  It’s that time of year – the BIG Craftsy Summer Sale.  ALL of their classes are included so whether it’s sewing, quilting, gardening, cooking, art, photography, knitting or more, there is sure to be a class on a subject you would be interested in learning more about. I’ve just bought myself another three: One Pattern, Many Looks – Blouses The Perfect Wrap Dress Sew Sturdy Travel Organisers I don’t know when I’ll get time to watch them, my sewing and my ideas are already WAY backed up more than the time I have available, but at these prices, and the lifetime access, I know they’ll be there waiting for me when I get the chance.   Did you read the earlier article from last week, about How This Site is Funded? I would appreciate your support.  If you are … Continue reading

How to print and assemble a PDF Pattern

Tips on how to print and assemble PDF sewing patterns. Good info here.

One of the comments/questions from the recent survey was about PDF patterns.  I forget of course that there are a lot of people out there who haven’t used many PDF’s – since I only started sewing recently PDF patterns were already common and I’ve used far more home-print patterns than tissue paper ones.  I very much prefer them, but understand they can be confusing. There are a lot of things you have to get right, and in the right order, for your pattern to be correct.  Let’s have a look at all the steps and I’ll try to answer all of your questions I’ve had. What’s so good about PDF print-at-home patterns? Usually all the sizes come in the same file to make grading easier If you tear it, cut the wrong size, the dog eats it, or you spill … Continue reading

30 minute easy skirt pattern

I like this tutorial better than most others because it includes proper shaping between waist and hips, not just a tube.

  While I was learning to sew with stretch fabrics and taking the excellent Sewing with Knits class (see the class review here and 25% discount), I got lots of knit remnants to practice on, and one day I simply sewed up a tube, added a fold over waist and made a skirt.  It all took no more than 30 minutes from opening the door to my sewing room and leaving wearing my new skirt.  In truth, I never did wear it a lot because I’d made it rather too tight, the fabric was very thin and it showed a VPL in the rear.  But the theory was good. Today, I’m having another go and refining my sizing to make a skirt that is the same principle, a 30 minutes easy skirt, but this time with a more everyday fit. … Continue reading

How this site is funded

Thank_you-Thank_you_fridge_magnets

I’ve been so surprised and delighted that this site has grown and grown.  When I first started, and wrote about my first ever sewing project, it was only ever intended as my online personal diary and I didn’t think anyone would ever even find it or read it.  Now I love the sewing community we have here, and all of your comments and advice, to me and to other readers as part of the Readers Questions series. I don’t know if you’ve ever read my ‘About Me‘ page, but I briefly explain how I got into sewing in the first place, after I’d had a stroke, lost a lot of my memory and other abilities, lost my job and my insurance and needed a hobby to help me rehabilitate and concentrate again, on an island with no neurologist and no … Continue reading

Who wants some free zippers?

Giveaway to win vouchers for credit at Zipper Shop - free zippers, buttons and accessories

I order almost all of my zippers online to make sure I can get the best selection.  And my favorite store is K & C Supplies on Etsy, recently renamed Zipper Shop.  Irina is an absolute darling and always makes sure I get exactly what I need for my projects (and my stash!).  The range in her store is second to none, the prices fabulous and combine it with her first rate customer service and she is an all-round winner! So when I placed my last order I wanted to share with you all, so I was cheeky and asked if she would let me have some zips for a giveaway – and she said yes! Let’s take a look at just a little bit of what’s on offer at her store: As well as the fabulous range of zippers … Continue reading

Make a handy mesh shower caddy

Use mesh fabric to sew this shower caddy or organiser

Did you see the mesh lingerie bags I sewed?  I had bought a yard of the mesh fabric and even after several bags, I still had a good size piece left over.  What to do?  Well I thought about the properties of the mesh fabric.  It’s pretty hard wearing, its breathable and lets water drain right through.  Washable, you can see through it and its a bit stretchy in one direction. I was in the shower wondering about how to use the left overs when I realised my husband had used the last of the shampoo. Grr, I hate having to drip water all over the bathroom floor to go and get a new bottle. If only we had room for more bottles and all my beauty goodies without cluttering up all around the bath.  Light bulb moment – we … Continue reading