Tote bag tutorial

I always think a tote bag or book bag makes a great gift, and they are so quick and easy to make.An even better gift is a tote bag with something inside it! I am making lots of these bags in all sorts of sizes for my nieces for Christmas this year, all with a surprise inside. Shhh, don’t tell them!!

Tote bag making 028I used an A4 file as a template for the large book bag and cut out 2 piece of the main fabric Village Trees and 2 pieces of the lining fabric Village Flowers

Tote bag making 015Pin and sew up the side, bottom and then the other side of both the main bag and the lining, neaten the edges with pinking shears or zig-zag stitch,

Tote bag making 016

I like to use my trusty Fiskar pinking shears, they are so sharp and reliable, which reminds me, here is my facebook post from today:

Pinking shearsTurn the main fabric piece the right way round and insert the lining so that the wrong sides are together

Tote bag making 017With this bag I wanted to show the lovely lining so I turned the top over to the outside rather than the inside, fold over twice to get a neat edge pin and sew in place.

Tote bag making 018This bag is to go over the shoulder so I made long handles, so I cut 2 strips of fabric to the length I required and folded them in half lengthways sewing and neatening with my pinking shears

Tote bag making 020My special trick for turning the handle the right way around is to put a safety pin at the top and pull it through the tube like when you thread elastic

Tote bag making 022Iron the handle and pin inside the bag, sew on securely

Tote bag making 023Now, what shall I put inside this one?

Tote bag making 026The fabric I used on the mini version is an oil cloth called Field Study and I used a red spotty fabric for the lining.

Tote bag making 001Happy Sewing!


Memory Photo Xmas Decorations

I got the idea for these personalised christmas decorations from a post that I made for Mothers day,  fabric photographic memory albums, you can see the tutorial here

xmas decorations 016These funky Michael Miller Christmas fabrics are available from TrixieLixie

Cut some 10cm squares, 2 of each style of fabricxmas decorations 001For the photographs I used Iron on fabric transfer paper, don’t forget to flip your photo’s when you are printing them off so that when you iron them onto the fabric they are the right way around, iron them onto some plain white fabric.

xmas decorations 020I used some medium weight wadding to pad out the photo and then I zig-zag stitched it to one of the the pieces of fabric

xmas decorations 009Next I sandwiched a piece of heavier weight wdding between both pieces of fabric

xmas decorations 012Put a piece of ribbon in the top so that you can hang it on the tree

xmas decorations 013They are so quick and easy to make, I made these 4 in half an hour! I think I will be making them for every single member of my family, I’m sure I can find plenty of embarrassing Xmas photos of them all!

xmas decorations 017Happy Sewing!


Quick & easy Bunting tutorial

I have a big birthday celebration coming up and I want to decorate the church hall for my party so I am making lots and lots of bunting. I have done a bunting tutorial before but somebody told me about this quick and easy way of using charm packs for making it so I thought I would give it a go and pass it on.

bunting 018I used the Moda Comma Charm pack

moda-comma-by-zenchic-charm-pack-1064-p[ekm]285x288[ekm]bunting 003All you have to do is fold the pieces corner to corner right sides together and sew along one edge;

bunting 005Then trim the bottom corner, turn right side out and iron flat in a kite shape;

bunting 007Fold the top into the body of the fabric;

bunting 008Then attach folded over bias binding to the top;

bunting 009Make lots of bunting flags and attach them to the bias binding in one go so that you have a long string of bunting, I used half the charm pack for this 4.5m string.

bunting 017bunting 019It was so quick to make, I am going to do the other half of the charm pack tomorrow.


Pyjama Bottom Tutorial

I make lots of Pyjama bottoms, they are a quick and easy gift to make, I usually make all the family a pair for Christmas. I wanted to do a tutorial but I haven’t had time to write a detailed pattern so I scoured the net for a good free pattern and found this excellent one on the Simplicity Creative website here

You can print off a FREE pattern and very good instructions, they are unisex and very easy to make!

Here is a pair I made using this tutorial

pyjama bottoms I love this Michael Miller fabric: Trailer Travel its so kitsch!

michael-miller-trailer-travel-1108-pAnother pair:

pyjama bottoms This jersey fabric is very soft, my daughter says these are really comfy pyjama’s

forget-me-not-jersey-520-pThis is the pair I made for my son in the summer using Michael Millers Lil’ Dino’s fabric;

pyjama's Lil Dino's

michael-miller-lil-dinos-fabric-1121-pI am going to make some in this Michael Miller Many Mini Gnomes fabric for my daughter for Christmas this year

michael-miller-many-mini-gnomes-fabric-1302-pHappy Sewing!

sewingpattern, dressmaking fabric