Handmade quilted coat/ quilted jacket made with Figo fabrics

I’m sure you’ve all seen the wonderful quilted coat trend that has been all over social media for the last year. A US-based company called Psychic outlaw started making them from thrifted quilts and then lots were popping up that were made from scratch. I was keen to make my own as I do love quilting (I’m no expert and my lines can be a little wobbly but that’s half the charm right?!).

I’d been wanting to make something with the Figo Fabrics Moonlit Voyage range for a while and this seemed like the perfect project to showcase this fabulous range!

Some of this range is now sold out but there are still some gorgeous options over in the shop

Taking on a project like this is a labour of love, as so much work goes into each stage, but I was at a point in the year and my sewing when I was looking for a slow sewing project that I could pick up and put down as and when the mood took me…

I started my journey by stalking the #quiltedjacket hashtag on Instagram and was really inspired by Buried Diamond who made her coat from leftover scraps from other projects throughout the year and also Suzy Quilts who uses a sort of ombre technique when organising her colours…I knew this was the technique for me! I’ve been loving rust and ochre colours so wanted to incorporate these into my coat and I had some scraps of ramie linen left from other projects as well as some Ikat fabric that I knew would tie the darker colours from the Figo Fabrics in really well.

Sticking to a colour palette is a great way to get a pulled-together look…but equally these jackets work with a more haphazard pairing of fabrics and colours and look so darn charming!

As this type of coat/ jacket is so busy with pattern it’s a good idea to use a simple shape coat as your base. I went with the Wiksten Haori as I’ve made a few and know it works really well and is super cosy and a bit oversized!

 

 

I started out by cutting about a million(ha!) 4″ x 4″ squares and then playing with the layout using the pattern pieces from the jacket as a base.

I always use a size M for me when making Haori jackets…I’m a size 12 for reference.

I had read somewhere that when making quilted jackets it’s advisable to make the quilt ‘top’ bigger than your pattern pieces as it can shrink once quilted plus you need to think about seam allowance for each square. My back pieces ended up being 10 squares wide by 7 squares high.

I used a backing and quilted in a grid pattern. In hindsight I wish I’d not used a backing and used it as traditional lining separately as you end up with unfinished seams on the inside. You could bind these seams for a really fancy finish. I ended up just overlocking them.

 

Once I had all my quilted pieces I laid the pattern peices on top and cut them out. I then overlocked around each edge. I decided to adapt the pocket and make it curved As I thought It would look good as a contrast to all the squares. I then bound the edges of the pockets and stitched them onto the jacket fronts. When you make the pockets on the Haori according to the pattern you line them and turn them through but as I had raw edges from the quilting and using a backing fabric I knew that binding was the best option for me. I was still keen to pattern match (very unlike me!) so I made sure I used the same fabrics as the body of the jacket where the pocket placement was to match it up nicely.

 

The jacket comes together very quickly and before I knew it I was making the collar! 

 

I went with a block colour for the collar (some left over ikat fabric from another project) as I knew this would give the jacket a nice balance and before sewing it in place I bias bound the whole of the bottom of the coat with black binding.

Once the quilting was done the jacket came together in a few hours, the Haori pattern is really speedy and easy and would be fantastic for a beginner as there are no fastenings.  It’s definitely something I’d like to do again and I might make a mini one for my daughter as I have plenty of squares left! This is such a great stash buster too and the options are endless in terms of sizes of your quilting pieces, colourways, shapes etc…it’s really a wonderful project to undertake and you will end up with a truly unique jacket. There are plenty of hacks for the haori jacket too including making the collar narrower and different length options, I just like the length of this one for the winter months, but, a quilted coat in some bright colours would be fabulous for the spring/ summer…

This is going to keep me nice and cosy for the next couple of months!

What do you think, would you give this a go?

Debbie x

Christmas wreath – Felt craft

I love a bit of Christmas crafting with my daughter to get in a festive mood! We made a hot drink and put on Christmas music this weekend and made this fun felt wreath with some of our craft bits.

This is such a simple and fun craft to do with little ones as there is no stitching involved, we just used a glue gun and plenty of imagination!

All you need is a styro wreath (this one was from Hobby Craft) felt, scissors, glue and any extras you might want to use, we also used pom poms and bells leftover from another project but you could use ribbons/ buttons or glitter to add that festive touch…just go wild!

We’ve got lots of festive crafting accessories in stock here

We cut leaf shapes and pinched the ends and secured with glue to get a 3D effect. For the flowers, we cut continuous curved petal shape on the round then curl it upon itself and secured with glue.

We also made some gingerbread men, candy canes, and a snowman and filled any white space with pom-poms and bells!

We really just had fun with it and stuck everything on as we went not being too precious and we had such a lovely afternoon!

This is a fairly inexpensive craft which is perfect for filling an afternoon and you could even give these as gifts!

Happy Christmas crafting!

Debbie x

Christmas Crafting! Festive stocking filler purse

Festive purse

We love a quick little sewing project for when you have 5 mins and want to get a quick fix or want to make a handmade gift that doesn’t take too long.

Our quick purse tutorial is perfect for a stocking filler or a unique thoughtful teacher present or secret Santa. It’s a great one for kids or beginners too!

We’ve designed a curved purse but you could easily make this square or oblong, the process is the same.

We used some of the festive fabric we have in stock here

For this project you will need:

Printed out purse template (below)

Main fabric

Lining fabric

7″ zip

Basic sewing kit

Scissors

Step one

Use our template to cut out 2 pieces of main fabric and two of lining fabric.

Step two

Place the zip face down on the right side of the main fabric so the top of the zip lines up with the top edge of the fabric

Step three

Place a lining piece right side down on to the zip so the zip is sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining fabric and pin in place

Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine stitch in place through all the layers.

Open it out, press and then do the same with the other side

Step four

Press both sides and topstitch either side of the zip if you want.

Now open the zip to the halfway point, this is a very important step to help you turn the purse through once it stitched.

Step five

Take the two pieces of main fabric and pin together right sides facing. Do the same with the lining fabric and then stitch all the way around leaving a 2.5″ gap in the lining fabric, at the bottom curved edge, to turn the purse through.

Step six

Turn the purse through the gap you left in the lining and make sure you poke out all the corners,  then stitch the gap closed and give it a final press!

We hope you like our Christmassy projects and we can’t wait to see what you make! Tag us on Instagram if you do make any of these projects or anything with our fabrics!
#samanthaclaridgestudio

Christmas Crafting! Fabric napkins

Re-usable fabric napkins with mitred corners

Fabric napkins look so fancy on the dining table and it’s lovely to have some special table wear for Christmas…or any festive holiday.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you a technique for making mitred corners which gives a fantastic finish and looks really professional.

This works on any woven fabric and would be great if you have some linen off cuts or an old table cloth you can cut up! We love a bit of upcycling!

You can make these any size but I made my squares 16″ x 16″.

You can shop our Christmas fabrics here

For this project you will need:

Cotton or linen fabric I used a mixture of cotton from the shop which are all in the sale

Scissors or a rotary cutter

Ruler

Fabric pen 

Sewing machine

Step one

Decide how many napkins you want and cut that number of squares each measuring 16″ x 16″

Press a 1″ hem all round your napkin square. Use a ruler to make sure you get a precise 1″ hem and folding the fabric in wrong sides facing.

You can play with the proportions of your hem if you want and make it bigger or smaller, but I think a 1″ hem looks neat and modern.

Step two

Take your fabric pen and make a mark at the point that your folded hem corners meet on the wrong side of the fabric and do this on every corner

Step three

Press a 1/4″ hem around all four edges with your iron. 

Step four

Now we need to make a 2″ mark in from each outer corner of the fabric and draw a line matching them up, the dot you made should sit just above this line.

The reason we make a 2″ mark is that this is double the measurement of the hem we pressed in step one. If you make your hem larger than 1″ you will need to adjust this measurement accordingly doubling it.

Step five

Fold your corner with the right sides together and match up the marks you just made. Your fabric will make a point.

Step six

Flip back the 1/4″ crease and then stitch on the line you drew following it to the edge of the fabric. Do the same for each corner.

Step seven

Cut the excess off at about 1/4″

Step eight

Flatten out the seam with your fingers, this will give us a nice flat corner.

Step nine

Flip the corner to the right side. Poke the corners out carefully, you can use something pointy to help. Do this on all four corners and give it a press. It’s exciting to see the neat corners at this point!

Step ten

Edgestich all around the napkin hem approx 1/4″ away from the fold with a longer stitch length ( I set mine at 3 on my Janome) and a matching or contrasting thread depending on what you fancy!

Keep your needle down in the fabric when you go around the corners and turn the fabric keeping your line as straight as possible.

Et Voila! These take a little time but it’s so worth it for the fancy finish!
A set of these would make a lovely gift and is a great way of using up fabric scraps or old sheets/ pillowcases too! You could even whip up a tablecloth now you have this technique in your stable!

Christmas Crafting! Re-usable bottle gift bag

10 Minute reversible fabric bottle bag!

Gifting wine or a bottle of something yummy this year? Forget about buying gift bags that are hard to recycle and make a quick and festive fabric bag that will add something extra special to your gift and can be re-used for years to come! I love the idea of this bottle bag doing the rounds between family and friends!

I used this penguin print matched with a black and white star print fabric for a fun look but raid your stash and get creative…you could use a plain fabric and jazz it up with some fun trimmings, make a patchwork version or use metallic fabric for some extra sparkly goodness!

If you are interested in some other sustainable ways of wrapping gifts you should also check out Christine Leech’s new book ‘Zero Waste Gift Wrap’

“Embrace zero waste living with this collection of sustainable gift wrap solutions including furoshiki, the traditional Japanese technique of fabric knotting. What could be nicer than receiving a present AND the beautiful scarf it’s wrapped in!
Whether you use a vintage silk scarf or create your own fabric with patchwork, piecing and dyeing techniques, or reuse unwanted items to make quirky gift wraps – this collection is packed full of ideas for reducing waste.”

 

For this project you will need:

Outer fabric – 12″ x 16″

Lining fabric – 12″ x 16″

16″ piece of ribbon or string to tie the bag

 

Step one

Fold each piece of fabric right sides together longways so that each piece measures 6 x 16 inches. Then sew down the long raw edge and the bottom raw (making an L-shape) using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step two

Next, we are going to ‘box’ the corners on each side of the bottom of the bag. With the sewn fabric still right sides together use both hands to pinch and pull apart the corner. As you pull the fabric will begin to form a little peak with the corner point at the top and the seam lines running down the middle of the front and back. Align these side and bottom seams. Place a pin in it to hold it together and measure 1.5″ down from the point and mark a line and stitch. Do the same for the other side and the lining.

Step three

Clip off the excess on the corners making sure you don’t cut your stitching. Do this on both the main fabric and the lining.

Step four

Now turn the main fabric right side out and keep the lining inside out.

Step five

Iron a 1cm hem on both bags, ironing the hem inwards on the main fabric and outwards on the lining so when you put the lining inside the main fabric bag the hems are facing.

Step six

Place the inner fabric bag inside the outer fabric bag making sure the seams match up. Pin around the top and topstitch in place using a 1/4″ seam

Now all you need to do is give it a press, pop a bottle inside and tie it up with some pretty ribbon!
We hope you enjoyed this quick fun tutorial! Next time it’s fancy festive fabric napkins!

DIY Statement fabric headband

Hairbands and hair accessories are still a huge trend this winter and they are super easy to make with fabric scraps!
In this DIY I will show you a simple way of making a knotted fabric hairband. I used the Ruby Star Society fabric in Spark Mustard  (which is half price in our sale
You could also embellish your hairband with beads or pearls for a fabulous party look and these would also make great stocking fillers!

You will need:

A plain hairband ( I got mine a few years ago from eBay)

A strip of fabric

Glue gun or fabric glue, if you don’t want to use glue you can hand stitch instead.

Basic sewing kit

Lets get started!

Step 1

Cut a rectangle of fabric measuring 21” x 7”. Fold fabric in half right sides together and sew down the long edge leaving a gap of 2” in the middle (to turn through)

Step 2

Press the strip so the seam is in the centre and then sew the short edges

Step 3

Turn through the opening you left when sewing and press

Step 4

Place the hairband in the middle of the fabric strip and tie a knot.

Step 5

Arrange the knot so you are happy with it and that is nice and centred making sure the rest of the fabric reaches the ends of the hairband.

Step 6

Fold in and hot glue the bottom sides down starting one side and folding over the other side.

Let us know if you make this hairband, we love seeing your makes!

Autumn /Winter fashion trends

Blimey, it’s suddenly got cold! I’m sat typing this with a long sleeved top, cardigan and my me-made Haori jacket on and I’m still freezing!

But, despite being tool cold it’s a lovely sunny day and I’m excited to start planning my Autumn/ Winter makes and add some useful staples to my wardrobe. I made lots of lovely dresses this summer and want to make sure that I can wear these items through the winter months too paired with chunky knits, cosy coats and practical shirts.

I’ve been looking at high street trends to get some ideas and as always Instagram and other makers are a massive source of inspiration.

Here are a few of my favorite Autumn/ Winter trends and some fabric and pattern pairings to get the look for yourself…

Velvet…

Velvet tops are always a Winter winner, they look luxurious, are great for social events …probably less relevant this Winter, unfortunately, but sometimes it’s still nice to be fancy at home! It can be dressed up or down easily with denim and is lovely and cosy!

Some patterns we would recommend are:

Pinnacle Top/ Sweater by Papercut Patterns

The Ilford Jacket – Friday Pattern Company ( I made one in velvet earlier this year and left off the buttons so it’s like a fancy cardi!)

Cashmerette – Dartmouth top (great for a stretch velvet)

Corduroy…

Cord is back in again…in fact, I don’t think it went away! Such a warm and versatile fabric. Perfect for menswear…I’m definitely planning on doing more un-selfish sewing and making a few things for my husband!

Again, the Ilford Jacket is great as it’s unisex 

I would also recommend the following:

Mimi G Jean Jacket Simplicity 8845

Simplicity 8475

Thread Theory Designs – Fairfield Button-up shirt

Luxe fabrics…

Simple elastic waist midi skirts are really easy to make and made with a luxe fabric are perfect for Autumn/ Winter teamed with a band tee and chunky boots.

We’ve got some lovely plisse fabrics and chiffons in stock so you can get the look.

Patterns to try:

Sew Liberated Gypsum skirt

Sewaholic easy skirt pattern

Also, have a look on You Tube for a free tutorial! All you need is some fabric, a sewing machine and elastic for the waistband.

Shop the pleated sparkling jersey here

Coat fabrics…

I’ve made a Wiksten Haori already for Autumn (Which is fabulous by the way and I would totally recommend making one in denim or quilting cotton for a lighter transitional jacket) but think I’ll need something a bit more substantial for Winter. 

Checks, teddy and borg are all in again. The trend for oversized coats and chore style coats is big for Winter and we’ve got some lovely wool mix and teddy coating in stock.

Here are a few great patterns you could try pairing with our fabric range:

Stacker Jacket – Papercut Patterns

Sapporo Coat – Papercut Patterns

The Coat – The Avid Seamstress

Opium Coat – Deer and Doe

Cascade Duffle Coat – Grainline Studio

Let us know what your sewing plans are for Autumn/ Winter.

 

What key pieces will you be adding to your wardrobe this season?

How to upcycle fabric scraps into a quilted tote

With sustainability at the forefront of our minds it’s really important to think of ways we can reduce our impact on the environment. Using our fabric offcuts is a small way we can reduce waste and landfill and make something beautiful that we can use for years to come.

As sewists we all have a few (bags of) fabric scraps! 

I’ve been using lots of Ruby Star Society fabrics this year for various projects and collected every little scrap to be used at some point. 

I was going to make a scrappy quilt or cushion cover with all the off cuts, but then I changed my mind and actually a decent sized tote bag would be more…handy!

I cut up all my bits of fabric and just randomly sewed them up just enjoying the process and not really planning how it would look. That’s the thing with scraps they tend to be haphazard!

I used some left over batting from another quilt project and some larger pieces of fabric from my stash for a lining. My pieces ended up measuring approx 14″ x 13″. I used my machine to stitch some quilting lines throughout the bag pieces. I then stitched the sides and bottom on the bag together.

I made box corners on the inside at 2.5″ up from the corner, trimmed them and turned the bag right sides through. At this point you can bind your unfinished edges if your machine can cope with the layers. I finished the top edge of the bag with bias binding which I turned to the inside of the bag and top stitched.

I had some faux leather bag handles in my stash which were just the perfect match and stitched them on with some strong thread.

I love how this bag looks, it will be perfect for popping to the shops or for a sewing project bag and the fabrics are so fun! I can’t imagine throwing away such gorgeous fabrics, my scrap bag is still growing and I may tackle a quilted jacket at some point!

How do you use your scraps?

Autumn Wilder Gown with only 2m of fabric!

Now that we are rapidly heaing into Autumn/ Winter I’m looking to add some versatlie dresses to my me-made wardrobe that can be layered with knitwear and worn with boots or trainers.

I decided to give the Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company a go. It’s been such a popular pattern in the sewing comminty but I wasn’t sure it was quite my style earlier this year, but I’ve seen some great styling of it lately and I thought it would probably be a useful pattern for the Autumn/ Winter months so I gave it a try and wasn’t disappointed!

 

Anyone who has made the Wilder Gown knows it comes together really quickly, but it can be quite fabric hungry so I wanted to see If I could squeeze a mini version out of 2m of fabric…I only went and did it…and with hacked full sleeves too!

I don’t know about you but I have a few bits of 2M fabric in my stash and not quite sure what to do with them so this hack is a great one to get the look of a gathered smock dress but maximising fabric use

This is how I did it!..

Firstly, picking a wide fabric is key to squeezing this dress out of 2M! I used the black and white pea spot georgette which is 150cm wide along with some black velvet ribbon for the neck tie for added prettiness and saving time and fabric!

 

If polka dots arent your thing Sammy has some other beautiful fabrics that would work brilliantly, these are all 150cm wide and have beautiful drape so are perfet for the Wilder Gown…

From left to right:

Navy flower garden viscose £3.75 per 0.5m

Autumn floral print viscose £3.75 per 0.5m

Ochre crinkle Georgette £3.50 per 0.5m

Aubergine Georgette £4.75 per 0.5m

 

So, onto construction!

I cut the top as instructed and then used the width of the fabric to make one long skirt panel, this is obviously narrower than the pattern and makes for a slightly less full skirt. I then cut two narrower strips for the bottom ruffle and stitched them together end to end.

I wanted a full sleeve that I could add a shirred cuff to so I used th slash and spread method on the sleeve and cut 2 on the fold using the whole width of the fabric.

This pattern gives you the option to make a neck tie with matching fabric or use ribbon. I chose velvet ribbon for two reasons, firstly it saves on fabric! and secondly I thought a neck tie in this polka dot print would be too much and the velvet ribbon breaks it up a bit and adds a touch of luxury!

Georgette is a fairly ‘bouncy’ fabric and doesn’t take well to pressing so I opted to top stitch the waist seam and ruffle seam. This is a feature that is used in the Myosotis dress and I’ve adpoted for a few of my dresses now…It helps to keep the seams flat and I love a bit of top stitching, it’s so satisfying!

I shirred the cuff of the sleeves 1.5″ up from the hem of the cuff to add some volume which is oh so popular at the moment and I have to say I’m loving it! 

I’m so pleased I managed this mini dress hack with just 2m of fabric and the outcome is lovely! Next time I would add pockets though! This should see me through the winter months with tights, boots and a biker jacket!

Would you give this a go? What are you making for the change of season?

Trimmings inspiration

I’m always drawn to sparkly, pretty trims but rarely use them. I think that’s because traditionally trims are used on occasion wear and I don’t have many ‘occasions’ to go to – ha!

We’ve got so many beautiful trims in stock and I am keen to try and find more ways to use them which are a ‘everyday’ friendly. With my fashion backgroud I naturally love looking at Pinterest for dressmaking inspiration and at beautiful embelished clothes so here are a few ways to dress them down!

We have just had some gorgeous daisy trim in two sizes delivered. I love the idea of cutting the individual daisy’s off the chain and adding them to a plain dress for a retro feel. This dress by Miss Patina uses this trim both on the collar edge and individually on the flower print on the actual dress to highlight the daisy print…so lovely!!

Adding some lace trim to the sleeves of an old t-shirt or vest top is a great way of jazzing up an old top that would otherwise end up in the charity bag…

Sew on or iron on motifs are a great way of giving new life to an old shirt and can add a feminine look to an upcycled men’s shirt…

Lace trims added to simple t-shirts are a great every day look. They smarten up a plain tee for work and look a bit more put together with jeans and simple sandals…

I hope this has give you a bit of inspiration for your latest make or upcycle!
 
Do you like trims, have you added any to makes this year or do you feel it’s more a partywear thing?

 

Next time I’ll talk about all the bling!

 

Debbie x