Tips for Sewing with Vinyl

Easy tips for sewing with vinyl and how to get great results with this tricky material for excellent bag-making

  It’s been on my mind for a while now because my local fabric store has a selection of vinyl, ideally for the local boating industry, but there’s no reason I couldn’t use it to make some awesome bags.  I’d heard that vinyl was difficult to sew with so I’ve been putting it off until I could assemble the right supplies. Now there is a project on the work-table that I think you’ll love and the pattern for the bag you see above is coming soon.  Before you jump right in, here are a few tips and tricks to make sewing with vinyl and faux leathers nice and simple. Recommended supplies for working with vinyl Non-stick Teflon foot or roller foot Leather needle Wonder Clips Tips for sewing with vinyl Needles - Firstly, vinyl is thicker than cotton so we need to be mindful … Continue reading

Check out the new sewing video tutorials page

New sewing video tutorials page so you can watch all the videos for free sewing patterns,, tips and tricks, and lots of skills and projects to try.

I’ve been trying to carry out a little house-keeping on the site because over time, things can get unruly, out of date or just need to be streamlined as more and more content is added. The video tutorials page was one of those areas so now it has a swanky new look and all of the new videos released should be added to this page automatically.  There’s a great new feature now that all of the videos can be accessed in this one place without having to go to the original blog articles or over to YouTube. Just click on any of the little thumbnails down at the bottom (there are 2 pages of them now), and then the video you want to see will start to play automatically in the large screen at the top of the page. I … Continue reading

Looking to improve your sewing techniques? Offer!

Exclusive offer on So Sew Easy for great savings on all these 'techniques' classes on Craftsy. Limited time offer.

Here is our third (and last) in the series of special offers I’ve negotiated for you from Craftsy.  We previously had the Pattern Drafting Classes and the Sewing with Knits Classes on special offer. [You can still click through to check these out, as although the offers have now expired, some might still be on special from time to time.] Today, a broad range of subjects that should hopefully appeal to a lot of you and maybe you already have some or many of these classes in your wishlist.  From bags, to beginners skills to couture and more, there is always a reason to take a class and improve on your sewing techniques.  All and any of these classes can help with that and turn your sewing from meh to yeah! Learn new sewing techniques with these special offers You … Continue reading

My sewing holiday

Designer Joi's sewing holiday 2015.

I’ve just had the BEST time!  I don’t get to leave Cayman very often, so it was a double treat for me to go on vacation, and it was a sewing vacation too.  I went to Sioux City for the first ever Sewing Holiday organised by Joi Mahon of Designer Joi. Joi got a bunch of the best Craftsy instructors together, along with other leading industry experts and teachers, all in one place at the same time and invited us along to join her and brush up on our sewing and quilting skills.  How could I resist. To many Sioux City might not be the center of the universe, it’s a ‘small’  place, but still has a much larger population than the Cayman Islands.  So put 200 keen sewers and quilters, the instructors and all the support and organisation staff … Continue reading

Pinterest Feature – bias and binding pins

Pick of the best pins for bias, piping and binding tutorials

Do you use Pinterest to save and collect your sewing inspiration?  I love it, but admit I don’t pin as much as I used to.  So much to do, so little time and Pinterest can suck me in until I’ve enjoyed a couple of hours browsing and reading without realising it! I thought you might enjoy checking out a few of my Pinterest Favorites, so here’s my top picks from the Bias Binding Tutorials board.  There are 55+ pins covering all aspects of how to make and use binding, bias binding and piping.  Here are a few of my favorites and some of my own: (Take note of the numbers and scroll down to the bottom for the Pin links) Check out these pins to find great content and repin them to your own Pinterest sewing tutorials boards to save … Continue reading

Make new sewing friends locally with the sewing map

A worldwide sewing map for sewers and fabric stores. Contact a new sewing friend, arrange a sewing meetup or start a new sewing or quilting group locally.

We know there are people who love to sew everywhere, but did you know there are most probably people who love to sew very locally to you that you don’t even know about.  They might find themselves in the same situation as you are – looking for a fitting buddy, someone to help them measure, or just be looking for a new friend who shares a common interest that they can go fabric shopping with. Or maybe you are looking for the best sewing and fabric shops near you, in a new town, or in a place you’ll be visiting for your next vacation. Or maybe you’d love to arrange a sewing meet-up in your area or even start a new sewing or quilting group with like-minded local people. photo credit: Close-Up, Multiple quilts on display – King of Kings … Continue reading

Interview with the Great British Sewing Bee Winner

Sewing Bee team images courtesy of the BBC

If you are British and enjoy sewing then as soon as I mention the Great British Sewing Bee I’m sure you know all about it.  If you aren’t in the UK, you might not be aware of it – but you need to watch this show! The Great British Sewing Bee is a series on UK TV run by the BBC, where amateur sewing contestants sew or alter projects against the clock each week.  Their garments are then all judged and one at a time the contestants are knocked out and the rest go though to the following round until there are just 3 sewing contestants left in the final – sewing furiously to be crowned the series winner. It’s very tense, sometimes funny, and often there are tears when things just don’t go right.  We’ve all been there. It’s … Continue reading

An introduction to corsets, patterns and fitting

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The corset-theme is widely popular all over the world today, and it’s a pity that not everyone can attend my classes in person. And that is why I have created this website – the Corset Academy. Here you will receive the knowledge and skills required for the creation of wedding dresses, evening gowns and high class haute-couture dresses. These skills and know-how’s will enable you to stand out among others. But remember that you should not focus only on one particular technique of corset garment production. There are plenty of varying techniques for the creation of wedding and evening dresses and I commit myself to teach you to use them. Please don’t forget that theory should be backed up by practice. Without the practice any knowledge soon tends to melt away. You can download my video tutorials to your computer … Continue reading

Learning to sew with knit fabrics – offer

Learn to sew with knit and stretch fabrics. Exclusive discounts off all the knits classes on Craftsy.

Did you take advantage of the Craftsy pattern drafting class offers?  I hope you got all the classes you were interested in and are starting to build up a great library of sewing resources. If you missed it, some of those classes are still on special, so its not too late to make some savings on the pattern drafting classes too. I love to bargain hard with suppliers to try to get you all discounts and specials or prizes for giveaways.  This month, I’ve been working on one of our favorite sewing sites, Craftsy and have come up with a very special exclusive deal I think you will LOVE. I asked the members of our sewing chat group to vote on what classes they were most interested in taking next and reported this list to the Craftsy team, to see what offers … Continue reading

Neat way to fold and organise fabric

Fabric envy! How to fold and organise your fabric stash. Makes things so much easier to find and match. I'm doing it!

I’m lucky or unlucky depending on what way you look at it.  My local fabric store only has about a dozen bolts of quilting cotton, and many of those feature vegetables, so I’m never tempted to buy too much.  That means compared to many, I have quite a modest stash of fabric.  Still, it is easy for it to get out of hand, as I rummage about in the crate, make a mess, and the fabrics get creased and just well, messy. An example of what I mean.  Hmm, messy. That annoys me a lot so I sought advice in our sewing chat group and found the perfect solution.  You can buy these ‘magazine boards’ from Amazon.  They are basically designed for people who collect comics and things like that I think.  It’s a thin but stiff cardboard board, glossy … Continue reading

You’ll love these patterns and a giveaway


You know how sometimes you are just looking for something and then quite by chance you come across something else that catches your eye.  Happens to me all the time – short attention span.  Etsy can be the worst for that and it was while browsing for some trim, that I came across the store for Maria Palito – she makes the most amazing felt toys, patterns and kits. Check out The Pattern Hub on Etsy. You know me well enough by now that when I find something I think you might like, I try to do us a deal.  So I asked Maria if she would create a pattern just for us, and give you the chance to win something from her store.  She said YES to both – what a star!  So enjoy below as she shares with … Continue reading

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