Faux fur scarf to complement your winter outfit

fur scarf

I have been traveling recently, so this is a short and sweet tutorial on how to make a cool and practical faux fur scarf to fight off the winter cold.  This scarf will not only keep you warm this winter, but it will also be a stylish and trendy addition to your wardrobe all the way through to spring. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have noticed the statement of the season is a furry “something” hanging from your body or handbag.  I am a practical person, but I do like trends.  They can be fun to follow and if you can make them yourself, you’ll save a bundle and only pay a fraction of the price of buying something trendy in a store. Fur is everywhere this season.  It shows a very feminine touch without being … Continue reading

Easy Gloves Pattern for Your Winter Comfort

easy gloves pattern

Making a pair of fleece winter gloves is not just a matter of tracing your hand on a piece of paper or drawing straight onto the fabric.  Believe me, I have actually tried this before and it makes for very uncomfortable gloves… To save you this exercise in trial and error, here’s an easy gloves pattern and tutorial for a pair of fleece gloves that can be made as a last-minute present or for yourself. The bit you must be careful with is cutting the fabric the right way.  I suggest that you fold the fabric in half so you have the right sides for each hand.  (I was watching a movie while making the first pair of these gloves and it wasn’t until I was about to start sewing that I realized my mistakes.  Fleece does indeed have a right and … Continue reading

Transformable easy cardigan: dressing in layers

easy cardigan

Dressing in layers with an easy cardigan was what was on people’s mind the day I took the survey on our Facebook chat group.  With almost 22,000 members, it’s sometimes hard to find a consensus, but this time, I happened to agree with what the group seemed to be saying. There are a lot of things to like about cardigans.  It can be a very functional garment and suitable for many situations.  It’s also very nice to wear when just hanging around the house.  Wearing a cardigan to protect the lining of a coat is one of the best money saving tips on dry cleaning bills.  Based on the feedback, I decided to design a pattern for a short, easy but transformable cardigan.  I decided to call it Kalinda. I haven’t lived in a cold places for very longtime, but I … Continue reading

Small fur tote, a sweet gift for the holidays.

small fur tote

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a small fur tote.  Christmas is approaching fast and my gift list is looking rather daunting, so I need projects that I can accomplish in a couple of hours rather than a couple of days.  I notice little fur things everywhere –as decorations on the Christmas tree, as trimming on clothes and shoes, scarves, vests.  The possibilities are many and I think a small fur tote would be a great gift and an easy project.  So I came up with this design and pattern that I would like to share with you. If you enjoyed our last project with faux fur making a winter hat, then you’ll enjoy this small fur tote project as well.  This tote is really easy and fast to make.  It is both a perfect accessory and also … Continue reading

Leather and fabric handbag: the perfect mix for beginners

leather and fabric handbag

This leather and fabric handbag is the perfect project for those who are starting to sew with leather and for those who are bored with fabric only handbags.  You can make this with a normal domestic sewing machine so don’t be afraid to give it a try! I am not yet an expert in leather work.  But, I absolutely love the material for its durability and handling.  Furthermore, the shine of the leather will forgive a mistake should you need to unpick a seam, so I suggest to buy a whole hide and not to be afraid of trying.  It won’t go to waste! If you don’t feel like trying with leather, you can also use vinyl, oilcloth, canvas or another heavy fabric.  I just wanted to try with leather and it came out so well, my daughter won’t give it back … Continue reading

Anti pickpocket bag: FREE pattern, tutorial, and video sew-along

anti pickpocket bag

This is my take on an anti pickpocket bag made of fabric with twisted handles.  I’m calling it Helsinki and here’s the backstory to this design: As many of our regular readers know, I was recently away on vacation with my family.  During the break, we managed to visit the Bernina factory in Switzerland, call in on what I’ll argue is the finest fabric shop in the world in Italy, and as a final stop, we went in search of the famous design house, Marimekko, in Finland –all of which I’ll be writing about in the near future. In any case, while we were in Finland, in supposedly one of the safest cities in the world, my teenage daughter was pick pocketed and lost her very, very expensive iPhone.  Needless-to-say, her father was none too happy about this.  The small handbag … Continue reading

The bralette, perfect undergarment for summer

bralette

It is warm –so warm that the heat sometimes almost knocks the wind out me.  I am blaming my bra for it.  I want to burn my bra! It is the right fit, but it is so hot here and I feel I should be walking around in a swimsuit.  When I walked back home from the train, it feels like I spread butter under my armpits, (too much info I know..). Seriously, it is warm and humid and I was walking under a dreadful sun on a shopping street called Orchard Road back from you guessed it, buying fabric.  I decided to go back and buy some stretchable lace to make myself a bralette.  I am not looking for extra support, just a bit of support and some modesty. I have made the pattern for the following chest measurements … Continue reading

Small Fringed Bag Tutorial

Small Fringed Bag

Small bags are really “in” at the moment and a small fringed bag like this one is particularly fun and easy to make. A small fringed bag for me represents freedom from the overwhelming amount of things I end up carrying around inside my normal bag.  I was in a restaurant recently and my bag fell off the chair and you can imagine all the things that spilled out onto the floor.  How embarrassing!  With a bag of this size, I will only be taking the essentials –which is fine for a night out or lunch with the girls. A small bag like this is really a key part of anyone’s wardrobe.  This pattern will give you the choice of making a clutch or to hang it over your shoulder so you have some flexibility. This is a self-lined small bag which means we’re using the same … Continue reading

Culottes tutorial for summer time glamour

culottes tutorial

Culottes, one of the most trendy styles of the 50’s and 60’s, are back!  Culottes are flared pants or shorts that can often look like a skirt or a dress when you’re wearing them.  I have been trying to help you build a warm weather wardrobe that is both easy and practical  –and that is easy to make.  Here is another free pattern to add to your collection of projects for the summer. “Culotte” is a French word that means the lower part of a garment or knee breeches.  They have been fashionable since Henry III made them popular at court in France in the latter part of the 1500’s and were worn mostly by the upper class.  Later, in the time leading up to the French revolution in 18th century, the lower classes who wouldn’t have worn culottes became … Continue reading

Baby Kimono Onesie – Free Sewing Pattern and Tutorial

Free Baby Kimono Onesie Sewing Pattern: Make this cute kimono style onesie for your little one or as a lovely baby shower gift.

If you’ve ever dressed a little baby, you’ll know how much they like to wiggle; making it really difficult to put any clothes on them. Any item of clothing which needs to go over the baby’s head, or has lots of fiddly buttons can be especially cumbersome. That’s why I love baby clothes with a front opening, such as this baby kimono onesie. My baby girl, Umi, has been wearing a kimono as her pyjamas ever since she was born. She’s recently grown out of the kimono I bought for her in Japan, so I decided to make my own baby kimono in a bigger size. The Sewing Pattern This baby kimono onesie sewing pattern comes in two sizes, 3-6 and 6-9 months. Umi is 7 months old and she is wearing the 6-9 months size.  Make sure you print the … Continue reading

Bali the Reversible Skirt

reversible skirt

I’ve had so much fun working with Batik fabric since my recent trip to Indonesia.  This is another in the series of projects featuring Batik.  If you missed any of the prior articles, please have a look at The Ancient Art of Batik Printing for an introduction to Batik as well as our first project, a Folded Shopping Bag from Batik Fabric for more background and a neat beginner project.  Given that spring is well and truly on the way now, I thought it would be good to make a tropical-themed skirt for those warm summer evenings out.  I’ve used Batik fabric for both sides of this reversible skirt.  You can, of course, use other fabrics of similar weight and texture, but I like the exotic look of Batik. This is a very pretty reversible skirt, made out of cotton and silk … Continue reading