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Oven Glove and Pot Holder Tutorial

 

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At the end of last year I noticed that @ute_ig and @sanaeishida on Instagram were hosting their 4th #2017sve – a wonderful secret Valentine exchange opportunity where you submit your details over to them and they secretly let you have the details of someone to make a handmade item for. I have never taken part in this before but as soon as I saw it I was all over it!

When you receive details of your Valentine swap, it is up to you to try to do a bit of detective work to tailor your gift to their taste. I noticed that my partner enjoyed recipe writing, so decided to make her something that she could use in the kitchen.

The oven glove and pot holders were fairly simple to make, and I was pleased with the outcome. My partner had divulged that she liked blues and grey and simple geometric shapes so although the idea of this swap is that you use fabric and items that you already own, I popped to the local fabric shop as I didn’t really have any fabric at home which met her criteria. I chose 3 coordinating pieces of Gutermann fabric from their ‘ring a roses’ range. I pre-washed these fabrics before sewing as I didn’t want any shrinkage after they were made. You will also need some heat resistant wadding for this project rather than regular wadding.

Before I started, I used one of the fabrics to make my own hand made bias binding. I have written a tutorial on how I did this here

The measurements for this project came from me simply measuring my existing oven glove and pot holders. You can of course adjust the sizes as you wish, but I was happy with the size that I was already using.

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To make the Oven Gloves you will need:

 

  • 2 rectangles of pretty fabric measuring 75cm x 20cm
  • 1 rectangle of heat resistant wadding measuring 75cm x 20cm. I used a brand called Insul-bright
  • 4 squares of contrasting pretty fabric each measuring 20cm x 20cm
  • 2 squares of heat resistant wadding measuring 20cm x 20cm.
  • bias binding – approx 3 metres
  • rotary cutter and mat or fabric scissors
  • small plate or something similar
  • Clover Wonder Clips or pins
  • sewing machine and matching thread
  • a walking foot for your machine is useful due to the thickness of this project

I started with the rectangles first. You will need to ’round off’ the corner points of each of your rectangular fabric pieces and your rectangular wadding piece. To do this simply place a small plate or saucer on each corner and mark the curve and cut to shape! Place one of the rectangular fabric pieces right side down on the table, then place the rectangular wadding on top of that. Finally place the other rectangular fabric piece of the top, right side up. Clip in place using your Clover clips or regular pins.

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You will need to machine quilt these layers together. I wanted to keep this simple and just wanted a nice grid of criss cross diamond shapes (there is probably a word for this design in the quilting world that I don’t know about)! So I marked one 45 degree line in the centre of the rectangle in one direction and one 45 degree line in the centre of the rectangle in the other direction. I simply sewed these lines in place on my sewing machine using my walking foot. I then used the L shaped bar attachment that comes with the walking foot as a guide to make sure all my other lines of stitching were equally spaced and parallel. I also think it is a good idea to start in the centre of your project and work outwards.

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This was probably the most time consuming part of the whole project, but very rewarding when you are finished and left with beautiful neat rows of stitching.

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Next we need to repeat what we have just done with our square pieces of fabric. These will ultimately be the ‘gloves’ of the oven glove. Layer up the squares in the same  way as you did for the rectangles. You will have 2 separate squares to quilt this time. Clip or pin them together and use the same plate or saucer to trim 2 of the corners from each square this time – do not round off all 4 corners on these pieces! – just 2 on each square.

Take your square pieces and take them to the sewing machine. Machine quilt in the same way as you did for your rectangular piece.

Next we want to add bias binding to your square pieces along each of the straight edges – i.e the edge between the corner points that you didn’t round off. See pic below for reference. This will be the opening edge of the ‘glove’ of the oven glove that your hand slips through each time you put on your glove.

Open out your bias binding and place the edge of the bias against the edge of the glove piece, right sides together. Pin or clip in place and sew along the crease of the binding.

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Fold the bias binding right over to the other side – you may need to trim your seam allowance a little, and clip/pin in place making sure that the edge of the bias binding covers the line of stitching that you have just sewn.

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Take them back to the machine and ‘stitch in the ditch’ along the seam you have just sewn. You will be left with a neat line of stitches on the back of the binding. Pictured below you can see the front and back of the bias after stitching. Trim the ends of the bias binding neatly in line with the edge of the glove.

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Nearly done now! Place one ‘glove’ piece at each end of the long rectangular piece and pin/clip in place. To make extra sure these stay in place and do not slip it is a good idea to stitch them in place around the edge using a teeny tiny seam allowance.

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Finally we need to run the bias binding all around the long edge to ‘seal in’ the remaining raw edges and give it a really lovely professional finish. Attach the bias binding to the edge in exactly the same way as you did before and sew in the crease of the binding all the way around the long edge. Start/finish your stitching on a straight edge rather than at a corner. Don’t worry about the corners, the binding will easily stretch around these curves. Fold it over as you did before and ‘stitch in the ditch’ to secure and you are done! Easy!

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To make 2 pot holders you will need:

  • 4 squares of pretty fabric each measuring 20cm x 20cm
  • 2 squares of heat-resistant wadding  each measuring 20cm x 20cm. I used a brand called Insul-bright
  • Bias binding – approx 2.5 metres
  • Rotary cutter and mat or fabric scissors
  • Small plate, saucer or something similar
  • Clover Wonder Clips or pins
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • A walking foot is useful for your machine due to the thickness of the layers of this project

As mentioned in the oven glove tutorial it is important to pre-wash your fabrics. Also if you are making your own bias binding you may like to do this first. I have a tutorial showing how to make your own continuous bias binding here

Firstly you will need to layer up your 2 pot holders. Each piece should have 1 square of pretty fabric at the bottom with the right side facing down, then on top of that goes the heat resistant wadding, finally on the top the other piece of pretty fabric with the right side facing upwards.

Again just as for the main piece of the oven glove you will need to clip or pin these and round off all four corners using your saucer/plate as a guide. Do this with both pot holders.

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Again we will machine quilt this by marking one 45 degree angle in one direction and another 45 degree angle in the opposite direction. Sew along these lines using the walking foot on your machine if you have one and use the L shaped bar attachment that comes with the foot to make sure all further rows are perfectly parallel. It is easier to start in the middle of the squares and work outwards.

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After this you are nearly there! If you want to you can stitch around the entire edge of the squares to keep your edges stable. If you choose to do this use the smallest teeny tiny seam allowance as you don’t want your stitches to show after you have edged with the bias tape.

To edge your pot holders with bias binding tape, simply open up the bias tape and place the edge of the tape against the edge of the pot holder with the right sides facing. Pin or clip in place, and simply stitch all the way around keeping in the crease of the bias tape. It is easy to start/finish along a straight edge. Don’t worry about the curved edges, the bias stretch of the tape will easily accommodate these curves.

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When you are done, simply fold the bias tape all the way over to the other side – you may want to trim your seam allowances to enable it to lay flat, and pin/clip the bias tape on the other side making sure it covers the row of stitching that you have just sewn.

‘Stitch in the ditch’ all the way around, and there you have it! Couldn’t be easier!

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It’s fun to  use different fabrics for each side!
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Ta Dah! 

I thoroughly enjoyed making these items for my #2017sve recipient. I do hope that this may have inspired you to have a go too. They are a fairly simple rewarding make and a great gift idea for all sorts of occasions as well as a treat to yourself.

I think you may like to see the beautiful gift that I received as part of this exchange. This pretty bag which has a super practical waterproof lining was made for me by Ann at http://www.sewwatts.wordpress.com and I love it! Isn’t the floral fabric the cutest? Thank you Ann, you have me down to a tee!

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Let me know how you get on, and if you are going to make these!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Single Fold Continuous Bias Binding Tape Tutorial

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I love a bit of handmade bias. I have made lots and lots of it over the years. Up until recently they were all for dressmaking and accessories. But last week I used some handmade bias to bind the edge of my first handmade quilt – blog to follow. Whilst it is fairly easy to make by just cutting diagonal strips of fabric and sewing them all together, there is an easy way to make a long continuous strip simply with just two seams of sewing and a bit of clever marking out and cutting. Let me show you how!

Firstly, for this method to work, your fabric piece must be perfectly square. So measure carefully as if you are just a little out it just won’t work. My starting square of fabric measured 20″ square. Next step is to make a little mark on each of the four edges of the square. Just a teeny tiny mark that is so small it will stay inside the seam allowances when sewn. I marked a little ‘A’ on both the vertical edges, and a little ‘B’ on the top and bottom horizontal edges.

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Next, cut your square diagonally making 2 triangles.

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This is where you are glad that you have marked your fabric edges. Place both ‘A’ edges right sides together and pin in place. As always when using triangular pieces you will have a triangular point sticking out at each corner edge. Just place your fabric centrally on top of each other and don’t worry about these little sticky out points (technical term right there).

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Take your fabric to your sewing machine and sew along this edge using a small seam allowance of approx 1/4″. Press this seam open.

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You should now have what my 12 year old son reliably informs me is a parallelogram shape!

Now to decide on how wide you want your binding strip to be. I want to finish up with 1″ single fold bias binding. Therefore I will need to my strip to measure twice this (2″) when first cut.

Measure out your desired width (in my case 2″) and draw lines of this width along the long edge of the parallelogram. Make sure you are doing this on the wrong side of the fabric. See picture below. You will be able to get several rows out of one piece of fabric. Almost certainly you will be left with an excess strip which is not quite wide enough (seen at the bottom of the photo below). This will be a small amount of waste that can’t be used.

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Turn your fabric over now and place the two edges marked ‘B’ together. At this point all the lines should match up perfectly. But not for long!

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Right, this is the tricky bit. You will need to shift your fabric pieces so that the the rows are offset by one. Please refer to the photo below to help you. Basically you will have a sticking out piece of fabric at the top and bottom of your piece now. It doesn’t lay flat nicely now but don’t worry about it – although it feels wrong it is right!

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Pin these two edges right sides together. You are going to sew along this edge using a small 1/4″ seam allowance again so make sure that your lines will still match up when this seam has been sewn. A good way to check if your lines will match up when sewn is to pop a pin in the line on one side at 1/4″ from the edge and see if it come through the line on the other side.

Take it to the sewing machine and sew along your pinned edge using your 1/4″ seam allowance. This can be quite tricky as the fabric will not lay flat, it just feels wrong. Stick with it, it will be o.k!

After you have sewn the seam you will notice that your fabric will lay flat again. Take it to the iron and press the seam open as you did before.

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Now the fun bit! Here you will see why it was important to offset your drawn lines by one. You will now cut along the lines you have drawn in order to get one long continuous piece of bias tape. Take care to only cut one layer of fabric as you go – it’s easy to cut the fabric underneath by mistake.

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Hopefully you can see that shifting your fabric you almost get a spiral effect as you are cutting it. Had you left your lines all matching up and not offset by one you would have just ended up with lots of loops when you cut it out. I hope this makes sense it is a little difficult to explain. I really think the photographs should help more than my waffle!

Out of the 20″ square that I started with I managed to get 200 inches of 2″ wide tape! You could leave it like this of course, or follow the next step to make it into pressed single fold tape.

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In order to make it into 1″ single fold bias tape I ran it through my bias tape maker with the iron and there you have it!

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I hope that you will have a go at making this. Do let me know how you get on! After making this tape I used it to finish off my #2017sve gift. Look out later in the month for a tutorial on the secret handmade gift that I made using this bias!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

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Quilted Fabric Thread Catcher Tutorial

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I’m so pleased to share this make with you all. Such a pretty little fabric basket that could be used for a number of other uses, and as usual with me – fairly quick to make using small pieces of fabric.

You will need:

  • 2  coordinating pieces of  fabric. Out of each piece of fabric you will cut 2 rectangles measuring 8″ x 10″
  • Quilting wadding (batting), or medium to heavy weight interfacing. From this you will cut 2 rectangles measuring 8″ x 10″
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric pen (not essential you could use an ordinary pen or pencil if you are careful).
  • Ruler
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board

Before you start it is always a good idea to iron your fabric. This ensures that your fabric pieces are going to be nice and neat and a perfect size.

Cut out the 2 pieces of fabric which you have chosen to be your outer bag, the 2 pieces of fabric which you have chosen for your lining fabric and the 2 pieces of wadding or interfacing.

To make your quilting stitches neat, you will need to take your 2 pieces of wadding and mark out a diagonal grid pattern. I started by marking this out using a vanishing fabric marker pen, however my lines disappeared more quickly than I wanted so I decided to use a regular pen for this. Take care if you choose this method that your pen lines will not visible through the fabric.

You will also notice that I marked out these lines using an 45 degree angle. Do not just draw them corner to corner as this will result in uneven and wonky diamond shapes when you stitch it. I marked one line first and then used the width of my ruler to make even parallel rows of lines thereafter.

If you are using iron on interfacing, you will not need to do this. Simply iron your interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric pieces which are going to be the outer bag pieces.

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Take one of the wadding pieces and place it on top of the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces which will be the outside bag. Pin in place. Repeat for the other wadding piece and outside bag piece.

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Take these pieces to your machine and stitch along all of these lines. Take care not to miss any out!

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Continuing with these pieces, place them right sides together and stitch around both sides and along the bottom edge (leaving the top edge open). I used a 3/8″ seam allowance. Take care if you are using a directional fabric that you are sewing it the right way up!

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Press the seams open as well as you can. This is a bit awkward and I used my tailors ham/sleeve pressing roll for this. Next you need to pinch the bottom corners in order to make your bag stand up nicely. Pinch each bottom corner to make a triangular shape and pin. Measure 1.5″ from the point and draw a line across at this point. Repeat this for the other corner. This is hard to explain, I hope the photographs help you to understand this.

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Take to the sewing machine and sew along the lines you have marked. Cut away the excess, leaving a small seam allowance.

 

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Great! Then you can turn the bag right sides out.

To make the lining bag, place the two lining pieces right sides together and sew along both sides and along the bottom edge – but this time leave a gap of approximately 3″ along the bottom edge. This gap should be large enough for you to pull your bag through at the end. Again be careful if your fabric is directional – think about how it will lay when it is made up and which way up it will sit when the lining is rolled over to the outside, and choose what will be your top edge and bottom edge accordingly. If your fabric has no directional print you don’t need to worry about this.

When you have done this you need to pinch both bottom corners just like you did with the outer bag, pin, stitch and trim excess. Again if you can press the seams open at this stage it will look neater when it is finished.

Place the outer bag inside the lining bag. The right sides of each bag should be facing each other. Pin all the way around the top edge and take it to the machine and stitch all the way around this edge.

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Turn the bag over and you will see the 3″ gap that you left open when you made the lining bag. Gently turn the bag ‘right side out’ by pulling the outer bag through this hole.

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Now it’s time to close the opening in the lining bag. Pin the opening closed and either machine stitch the opening as close to the edge as you can, or hand sew it closed. I chose to machine sew it because I was feeling lazy however this will create a little ‘ridge’ along where you have sewn. It is not particularly noticeable but if you want a neater finish I would suggest you hand sew it using a ladder/slip stitch.

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Push the lining bag inside the outer bag now and you’re almost there. Pin all the way around the top edge and machine stitch all around this edge. This will stop your outer or inner bag slipping and looking messy. This is the finishing touch and as well as serving a purpose it really gives the bag a professional finish.

There you go, you’re all done! You can leave it as it is or roll the top over to expose the pretty lining fabric which is what I will do with mine.

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I made this basket from 2 fat quarters. There is enough left to make another basket, so if you were using 2 fat quarters maybe you could make one for yourself and one for a friend – after all it doesn’t have to be used for threads only!

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Thanks for reading! I would love to know if you are going to have a go at making one of these, and what you are going to use it for.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Fabric Coffee Cup Cozy Sleeve Tutorial

Happy New Year!

I ate too much chocolate this Christmas. It’s a fact. This January, therefore, I shall be walking lots and lots. There is nothing better when you come in from the cold outside than a great big cup of steaming hot coffee.

Now that many coffee shops will charge you less for your coffee if you provide your own reusable cup, I reckon we can cut down on paper waste even more by making our own fabric sleeves too! So much prettier than the cardboard version and environmentally friendly too. You will need a sewing machine to make this but it is super simple so is a rewarding project for an experienced sewist, but at the same time very satisfying for a beginner sewist too.

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You will need:

  • Some pretty fabric for the outside and inside of the sleeve
  • Wadding, fleece, batting or fusing to give the sleeve some padding
  • Cardboard coffee sleeve to use as a template
  • Pen, paper and paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Button
  • Elastic hair tie
  • Needle and thread
  • Point turner or something similar like a knitting needle or chopstick

Before you start you need to make sure that the cardboard coffee sleeve that you have picked up to use as a template fits the cup that you are making it for.coffee2

This is a perfect fit. You will then need to peel open the cardboard sleeve and lay it on some paper and draw around it to make a template. I drew around mine and also added a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around. Just to mention that this sleeve had no overlap so I knew that my finished fabric sleeve would meet edge to edge. I prefer this as there is no bulky lump of fabric where it overlaps a little, but if you prefer an overlap go ahead and simply add a little more length when you are cutting out. You can now cut around the line you have drawn using paper scissors.coffee-4

Now that we have a template we can cut out our fabrics and wadding. Make sure your fabrics are pressed and free from any creases.  I pinned and cut out two matching pieces of pretty cotton fabric for the outside and inside of the sleeve. If you prefer you could use a different fabric for the inside piece, making it reversible. As I was using a directional print I was careful to place the template so that it was not upside down!  It is also important to flip over the template when you are cutting your second piece so that it is exactly opposite to the first one. I also pinned and cut one piece of wadding from this template.

Time to make a fabric sandwich! Place the wadding on the bottom, then place both pieces of pretty fabric on top of that – the pretty fabrics need to be placed right sides together. Pin this in place. coffee6

Before we sew this together we need to insert the button loop (hair tie). Measure how large the loop needs to be by slipping it around the button and either sew a few stitches in it to keep it in place or wrap a thread around it a few times and tie it off. You need to do this or the hair tie won’t stay closed when you are sewing it together and it will look untidy. coffee5

In my case, the smaller loop will be the loop which goes around the button. Remove a pin or two from one end of the fabrics which you just pinned together and insert the hair tie with the loop that is needed to go around the button inside the two layers of pretty fabrics. In my case the larger loop that is not needed will be sticking out. Also remember that the stitches where you have kept the hair tie closed together need to lie along the line of your seam allowance. As I am using a 1/4″ seam allowance I was careful to place the threads of my hand stitching on the hair tie 1/4″ in from the edge of the fabric.coffee8

Re-pin this edge closed again and we are ready to take it to the machine. In order that we can turn it right side out again when we have finished sewing around the edges I will leave  a gap of approx 2″ along the bottom edge of the sleeve. coffee7

Simply sew around the edges (leaving a 2″ gap along the bottom edge) using your chosen seam allowance (in my case 1/4″). Back stitch a few stitches at the start and finish so that your seam doesn’t pull open when you are turning it right side out. Stitch slowly when going over the hair tie. You may also like to backstitch over this area for extra strength. Snip all 4 corner points to make it less bulky – don’t clip too close to your stitches though! You can also trim back the hair elastic (not shown on this picture) so that you aren’t left with this bulk inside your sleeve.coffee9

Turn the sleeve right side out now. Use your point turner, knitting needle,chopstick or similar to push into the corners to make the points sharp. Take to the ironing board and give it a good press ensuring the raw edges of the opening are turned neatly inside.

Again take to the sewing machine and neatly sew a line of stitching 1/4″ all the way around all four edges. This should catch in the opening that you had at the bottom so that the sleeve is totally enclosed now. If you have quilting skills now is the time to show them and go ahead and make those fancy free motion patterns that I so admire. I, however, do not possess such skills and therefore chose to sew a couple of neat horizontal lines following the curves of the long edges. At this point you will want to give your sleeve another good press.

Place the sleeve around the cup and work out where you need your button placement to be. Hand stitch this in place. That’s it, you’re done! So easy and so so quick.

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Do you have a ‘coffeeholic’ in your life that you could make this for? Or would you treat yourself to this? It is a great unisex gift idea – you could really personalise your gift with fabric relevant to the recipient, maybe it could be a little extra present to give along with a coffee gift card?

If you were wondering, the coffee cup here is from http://www.lauraashley.com  (a couple of years back), and the pretty fabric used was from a fat quarter bundle purchased from http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk a couple of months ago.

I do hope you have enjoyed this quick tutorial. As always I would love to hear if you have made one of these.

Wishing you all a very happy new year, stay warm and enjoy your coffee!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Fabric Wine Bottle Bag Tutorial

Don’t panic, it’s nearly Christmas and you’re looking for a quick last minute gift idea –  I’ve got your back. This is such a pretty and thoughtful way to gift a bottle of wine, it takes very little time to whip up and you may well have enough fabric in your left over stash pile without buying any more. I have made it with 2 fat quarters of Makower Christmas fabric from their Scandi collection but it is perfect using any fabric you like for whatever occasion you need a bottle of wine for!

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You will need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 6 1/2″ x 15″ for the outside of the bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 6 1/2″ x 16″ for the lining of the bag – note this is slightly longer than the outside pieces which allows for the ‘turnover’ at the top of the bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 5″ x 2″ for the casing which the ribbons thread through – use the same fabric that you have used for the lining
  • ribbon – the ribbon I used is 1/2″ wide, and I used 2 x 24″ pieces
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter and board, pins, coordinating thread, sewing machine, tape measure or ruler
  • needle

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Firstly take your 2 small pieces of fabric which are going to be the casing which the ribbon is threaded through and press a 1/4″ hem all the way around on the wrong side of the fabric. You’ll need to do this with both pieces.

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Pin one of the casings on to the right side of one of the outside fabric pieces. I placed it so that the top of the casing was about 2 1/2″ below the top edge of the fabric piece. Repeat for the other casing on the remaining outside fabric piece.

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Take both of your fabric pieces to the sewing machine and sew along the top and bottom long edges of the casings, leaving the short ends open so that the ribbon may be threaded through later.

Next place the two outside fabric pieces with the right sides together, pin, and starting at the top, stitch down one long edge, along the bottom, and up the other long edge. The top edge should remain open. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance for this. Take care if you are using a directional fabric that it is laying in the right direction!

Repeat this step with the lining fabric pieces. Pin them with the right sides together and stitch from the top down one long edge, along one short edge and back up the other long edge. Again you should have one short edge left unstitched. If your fabric isn’t directional then it doesn’t matter which way up it is when you stitch it, but if it has a directional pattern like mine then you will need to stitch the three edges so that when it is attached to the outside bag and pulled through,the turnover  will be the right way up. This only applies to the lining bag – it almost feels like you are sewing it upside down – but trust me when it is finished the one inch band at the top will be the correct way up!

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Although not the best photo, above shows both outside and inside bag stitched around three edges. Although the wrong sides of the bags are shown you may notice that the lining bag (with the little heart pattern) is ‘upside down’. As explained  this means that when it is stitched to the outer bag and turned through the pattern will show the right way up!wine-bottle-bag-6

The next step is to give the bottom of the bags some shape so that they will sit nicely. Pinch open one end of the bottom of one of the bags so that you have a triangular shape. Measure down 1 1/2″ from the point and draw a line across with a pen or pencil. Pin it in place, and repeat with the other 3 corners. Take your bags to the sewing machine and stitch along the lines you have just drawn.wine-bottle-bag-7

When all 4 points have been sewn, trim the edges. The bottom of both bags should now have a bit of shape.wine-bottle-bag-8

This is the fun bit. Turn the lining bag right sides out now. Place it inside the outside bag so that the bags are inside each other with their right sides together. Make sure you match up the side seams. Pin into place. Again using a 1/2″ seam allowance stitch around this open edge leaving a gap of approx 2″ so that you can turn it through to the right side. You will probably need to remove the extension table on your sewing machine and just use the free arm as this opening is quite small.

When you have done this turn it inside out through the opening you have left and take it to the ironing board and give it a good press. You should be left with a neat little 1″ band around the top of the bag. If you feel that topstitching the top of the bag will help keep it’s shape then go for it! Thread your needle and sew the little opening closed with neat small stitches.wine-bottle-bag-10

Time to thread the ribbon, starting from the right side of the bag thread the ribbon through the casing to the left side, take it around to the back and thread through the casing back through to the right side of the bag again. Repeat with the other piece of ribbon but starting at the left side of the bag and threading it the opposite way around to what you did before. I used my fancy new ‘elastic glides’ from Hemline for this but you could simply attach a safety pin and thread it through using that too. Take care not to twist the ribbon, it will look much better if it lays flat in the casing.wine-bottle-bag-11

Tie the ends together and slide the ribbon around so that the knot is hidden inside the casing and Voila! You are done. Pop your bottle inside, draw the ribbon tight and there you have a beautiful fabric wine bottle bag – so much prettier than those bottle bags you can buy from the shops

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Made for each other..

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, I think it makes that boring bottle of wine so much more special. Let me know if you give it a go!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Christmas Tree Bunting Garland Tutorial

December is here, which means it is time to think about putting the Christmas tree up and decorating the house. Several years ago I wanted to make some bunting to decorate our staircase, but didn’t want regular triangular bunting so I made some in the shape of Christmas trees. Each year they come out and I love them, and as this is the first Christmas that I have been writing my blog I thought I would share with you how to make them. They are very quick and easy to make. If you can sew a straight line on a machine then you are good to go!

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You will need:

  • A Christmas tree template. Print off from the internet or sketch your own. Mine is approx 18cm tall
  • Scraps of pretty fabric for the ‘front’ of the trees, these need to be slightly bigger than the size of the tree template
  • Interfacing or polyester wadding to give the trees some structure. I chose to use the polyester wadding as I think it bulks it out just enough to give the trees a bit of body
  • Plain fabric for the ‘back’ of the trees
  • Bias binding or cotton twill tape
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Pinking shears or fabric scissors
  • Star shaped buttons, needle and thread

Directions:

Firstly cut out your Christmas tree template. Roughly cut out a scrap of pretty fabric, some wadding and backing fabric just a little bigger than the size of the tree. Layer them so that the backing fabric is on the bottom, the wadding is in the middle and the pretty fabric is on the top. Finally place your Christmas tree template on the top and pin in place.dsc04599

Take your fabric to the machine and carefully sew around the edge of the tree, sewing as close to the paper edge of the template as you can. This just requires a straight stitch on the machine – when you change direction remember to leave your needle in the down position so that your fabric doesn’t slip.dsc04601

Unpin and remove the template. Your fabric should now look like this.dsc04602

Now you need to cut around the outside edge of the stitching using pinking shears or regular fabric scissors. I use pinking shears because I like the effect this gives. Take care not to accidentally snip your stitches.dsc04603

Repeat this with as many trees as you like!dsc04604

If you haven’t already, decide on the length of the bunting you want and cut your tape or binding to this length. I am using bias binding to hang my trees from so I folded it in half along its length and machined it together, encasing the tops of the trees inside the tape at regular intervals as I went. I also sewed little loops at each end to make hanging easier.dsc04607

If you are using a thicker tape that doesn’t require folding in half then simply attach your trees with a few hand stitches through the top of the trees. When all your trees are attached to the tape finish them off by sewing a pretty star shaped button to the top.Perfect!dsc04624

You’re all done! Now all you need to do is hang your garland and enjoy it! You could embellish your trees with buttons, sequins or ric rac if you wish – let your imagination go wild!dsc04620

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I hope you have enjoyed this and will have a go at making them yourself. Let me know how you get on, I would love to hear from you.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Handmade Fabric Pocket Hand Warmers

Now that November is here it really is feeling cold outside. Last weekend after watching my youngest son play football on a very cold field in Leicester, I couldn’t feel my fingers and decided to do something about it.

These cute hand warmers are super quick and simple to make, and use very little fabric so are great for using up those little scraps of fabric we all have lying around. They heat up in the microwave in no time at all so are perfect to grab on your way out in the cold.

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Supplies needed:

  • For each pair of hand warmers you will need 4 squares of fabric. I cut mine 4″ x 4″ Any fabric that you have will do but snuggle or flannel would be extra cosy
  • White rice
  • Sewing Machine and thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Funnel or a tube made from paper
  • Needle
  • Point turner or something similar (knitting needle/chop stick) for nice sharp corners when turning the right side out

Start by cutting your fabric into squares. I used a rotary cutter and mat but if you don’t have this just carefully mark out your square on the reverse side of the fabric and cut out. For each pair of hand warmers you will need 4 squares.

Take 2 of the squares and pin them together with the right sides of the fabric facing together.dsc04546

Take this to your sewing machine and stitch around 4 sides remembering to leave a gap on one of the sides of about 1.5″ so that you can turn it through to the right side. I used a seam allowance of about 1/4″ Make sure that you backstitch a couple of stitches at the opening that you have made so that it is nice and strong and your stitches won’t rip.dsc04548

Snip all 4 corners diagonally. Not too close to the stitching.dsc04552

Turn your bag the right side out now. Gently push the corners out so that they are nice and sharp – you can use a point turner for this or if you don’t have one you could use a knitting needle, chopstick, or something similar. I like to give it a press with the iron too as this helps when you are closing up the opening later.dsc04557

Now it’s time to fill with rice. I would suggest to fill it about 3/4 full. I used a little funnel that I had already but you could use a funnel that you have made yourself using rolled up paper.dsc04559

Time to close the opening now. I decided to hand sew mine closed using ladder stitch (slip stitch). I know this takes a little more effort and time but I love the invisible finish it gives and I think it looks much neater. You can of course use your machine to close up your bag, simply sew your edges together as close to the edge as you can. Take care not to catch any of the rice grains as you go as they may snap your needle!dsc04562

There you have it! To warm them up just pop them into your microwave for 30-45 seconds and you’re good to go! I love how easy and quick these are to make, it’s difficult to stop at just one pair. Perhaps you could add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to your rice? You could also make them up in larger sizes and use them for your neck or feet.

If you want to use them as a cool bag simply place inside a freezer safe ziplock bag and freeze.

They are a great unisex gift idea maybe for a teacher or a dog walker, neighbour, friend or just to slip in your childs pocket on the way to school.

I hope you like these sweet little hand warmers. Let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you. Have you made or received some hand warmers like these?

Take care, keep warm, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy xdsc04573

 

 

 

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Autumn Fall Felt Leaf Garland Tutorial

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Autumn is well and truly here now, and whilst it is sad to see the end of Summer the beautiful display of glorious colours outside inspired me to create something to reflect such an amazing Season. I think Autumn is far to pretty to be left outdoors don’t you think? Let’s bring a little bit of it inside..

I love a nice garland, and this one is just so quick and easy to make. I whipped this up in a morning, accompanied by a cinnamon candle and a hot chocolate It really was a rewarding little project and a good stress buster too!

Materials

  • Autumn coloured felt pieces – the heavier weight the better.
  • Leaf Templates – search the internet or sketch your own!
  • Neutral coloured thread.
  • Fabric Scissors.
  • Sewing Machine – this is optional, you can string your leaves together by hand if you prefer.

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I decided to make templates for about 4 or 5 different leaf styles/sizes, I also made up an acorn template and for good measure some small circles with my leftovers representing berries. My leaf sizes ranged from 2.5″ – 4″ but you can choose whatever sizes you like.

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As the finished garland will be made with a chain of thread which could move about and be visible from both sides I decided to make the acorns with a neat felt ‘cap’ which would be pretty whichever side is showing. So before I got around to making up the garland I decided to encase the acorn ‘nut’ with 2 ‘cap’ pieces, and machine stitch them securely.

 

So once you have all your leaves, berries and acorns cut out and prepared it is time for the fun bit! Simply run them through the sewing machine in a random order one after another forming a long chain. I used a long length stitch setting as this make the ‘vein’ of the leaf look better and also made the garland come together quicker too.

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In no time at all you will end up with a long length of pretty garland which you can either keep in one length, or snip to whatever lengths you like! So quick and easy. I have decided to decorate my staircase, but they would look amazing hanging vertically at a window, or draped around a plant. I think they would pretty decorating a bed headboard too. The possibilities are endless!

Although I cut my leaf shapes by hand, I’m pretty sure it would be possible to purchase pre-cut shapes if you prefer, or use a die cutting machine.

I left my garland pretty simple, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t embroider your leaves, or machine stitch more detail onto each leaf. If you are including the children in this activity then they could draw ‘veins’ on each leaf with a Sharpie. I also think layering different sizes and colours on top of each other would be stunning too.dsc04516

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I hope you love these garlands as much as I do, and are inspired to create your own! You can cut your felt to whatever shape and size you like. A string of pumpkins would be cute. Maybe Christmas trees or snowmen would be a great idea for the Christmas season – the possibilities are endless. You also do not need to have access to a sewing machine for this project, you could just as easily hand sew them using a running stitch using a sturdy thread.

Oh and finally, a word of warning – they do tangle easily if you’re not careful so I would recommend to store them you should wrap carefully around a large flat piece of cardboard, or use the cardboard tube found inside some rolls of wrapping paper.

Happy Autumn everyone, do let me know how you get on! Be back soon xx