I love making useful items for gift giving around this time of year. I wanted to come up with a project for the blog that was sewing themed and would be a great present for a crafty friend…
introducing the DIY scissor pouch!
Lay your chosen scissors onto a piece of paper and leaving a couple of centimetres around the scissors mark a diagonal line.
I have the Fiskars Amplify scissors which are quite big so my height and width measured approx 15.5cm x 30cm for reference.
Use something curved to round off the two bottom corners of the pouch template.
Use your template to cut 2 each of main fabric, lining, and batting. The batting I used was an offcut from a quilt I made and is fairly light weight.
Take a piece of main fabric and batting and quilt them together. I did a simple grid pattern with the lines approx 2cm apart and on a diagonal angle but you can do this however you wish or skip this step altogether if you want.
Do the same for the other piece of main fabric and batting and now you have two complete outer pieces.
Now to add the zip! Place the zip face down on one of the main quilted pieces which should be right side up. Then layer on the lining facing down on the zip and stitch in place using a zipper foot.
Repeat step 5 for the opposite side of the zip and then open out both sides, press, and topstitch through all the layers on each side of the zip.
My zip was much longer than the zipper pouch so at this point I trimmed off the excess zip.
This is an optional step but it makes a handy carrier for the pouch.
Measure a 3″ x 3″ square of fabric. Press a fold down the centre, then open ut and of each side into the centre and press. Topstitch 5mm down each side of the tab and then add on a swivel clip, pin it in place for the next step.
Add the tab to the right side of the pouch approx 1″ down from the zip and pin/ clip in place
Open your zip to the halfway point and then open out the layers of the pouch. Pin together the two lining pieces right sides facing and do the same with the main pieces right sides facing.
Stitch all the way around leaving a gap of about 3″ in the lining fabric to pull the pouch through after it’s stitched.
Clip all the curved edges and then pull the pouch through to the right sides.
Carefully poke out all the corners and give it a press then stitch the opening in the lining closed.
This project is a great stash buster, would make a lovely gift, and would work in all types of woven fabric, you could even try making a faux leather one and omit the lining for a really quick make!
We hope you love this and if you do make one please tag us so we can share it!
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!
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
Use our template to cut out 2 pieces of main fabric and two of lining fabric.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
In this pack of 7 sheets, you get two dark greens, one lime green, one mint, two reds (slightly different shades) and a burgundy, all complementary colours, perfect for festive makes. They’re not super thick but that makes them fine for all of the projects I made. And again, I’ve got some tutorials for you to have a go at home.
Next up is this trio of baubles which I just love! I used the burgundy, rich red and dark green felts and cut out two each of three bauble templates which I drew out myself on some card. Then I took some embroidery floss in greens, reds and gold to sew on simple designs. I put the two layers together and sewed around the outside leaving a small hole to put some stuffing in (if you don’t have stuffing you could cut up some scraps of felt into small pieces or just leave this out entirely) then I closed up the gap. I added a piece of string to hang it and there you have it!
And I don’t know why but I think this one might be my favourite! And it’s super quick, there’s even a time lapse video on my Instagram (@Aliivens) if you fancy checking it out! All you need for this one are a selection of small strips 3cm x 1.5cm and a needle and thread – a great one for using up scrappy bits of felt. Fold a piece of felt in half and put your threaded needle through the centre of the square, pushing it down the thread but not off the end. Repeat this until your heart’s content! But I think I did about 30 pieces, then tied the ends of thread to form a hoop and add a ribbon to hang. Done! You could add a bow or mini bells, whatever you fancy, but I like it simple.
Then, because I had some felt left over (and nobody was stopping me), I made a wreath with some twigs shaped into a small circle and I knotted on strips of felt and matching ribbon from Hobbycraft. Again, you could go crazy with this one, adding sparkly bits, bells, berrys, pom poms etc but I kept it clean. Not a glue stick in sight! How much easier can you get?!
Thanks Sammy for the lovely felt. Happy Christmas, everyone! (OK, too early…)
Easy drawstring gift bag DIY
We are officially on the countdown to Christmas here at Samantha Claridge HQ…we’ve got to have something to look forward to haven’t we!
What better way to spend our spare time over lockdown than some mindful, relaxing sewing and crafting. I am going to make some handmade gifts this year but we really are keeping gifts to a minimum this Chrimbo, everyone is stretched money wise and over the top consumption and needless spending just doesn’t seem appropriate this year. I’ve been enjoying making my own clothes this year which has lead to me shopping less and really the thought of buying something that I could potentially make just seems unnecessary, how about you?
I’ve designed 4 easy tutorials that are Christmas appropriate, but really these would work all year round depending on fabric choice, and are great for using up scraps of fabric. I’ll be popping them on the blog over the next couple of weeks so you’ve got plenty of time to make them before Christmas.
The first project is for reusable drawstring bags which can be made in any size, used year after year, and are much more sustainable for wrapping pressies in! This is a very simple DIY suitable for a beginner..this would also be great to do with kids under supervision.
You can use a festive-themed fabric (as I have done and you can buy it here) or a plain calico or hessian would work really well jazzed up with some pretty ribbon or ric rac…the creative possibilities are endless!
Hem the two long edges of the fabric strip. I did this using my overlocker and a narrow 1/4″ hem but if you don’t have an overlocker you could either use a zig zag stitch or simply fold the hem twice, press and stitch.
Fold the short end in by 1/4″, press the fold then fold over again by another 1/4″, press then fold down by 1″ and press.
Top stitch close to the edge of the folded hem.
Repeat this process for the other end of the fabric.
This process creates the channels you will thread your ribbon or cord through for the drawstring.
Fold the fabric in half with right sides together and stitch down the side seams starting below the top channels for the drawstrings you made leaving them open.
Finally, attach a safety pin to one end of your ribbon or drawstring and thread this through the top channel of your bag and tie in a knot at one end…et Voila!
Over the next couple of weeks, we will share the following tutorials…an easy bottle bag, coin purse, and festive fabric napkins which we hope you will love
Let us know if there are any other DIYs you would like us to feature!
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!
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)
Press the strip so the seam is in the centre and then sew the short edges
Turn through the opening you left when sewing and press
Place the hairband in the middle of the fabric strip and tie a knot.
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.
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!
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?
Alexa's Sew Over It Alex Shirt dress
Hi All! After a bit of a break, I’m back with the Samantha Claridge design team and here to provide you with a very vibrant return.
This summer I’ve been fully embracing my love of colour and pattern and it’s been great. So for my first project back with the Samantha Claridge design team, I wanted to make something that fit this bill. With this in mind, this rainbow striped cotton basically screamed ‘pick me’ at me!
I have a number of Sew Over It Alex shirts, from their capsule wardrobe e-book, in steady rotation in my wardrobe. I love a shirtdress but the only one of the Alex shirtdresses I made was too big and long and I just didn’t love it and ended up donating it to a friend. I thought that it might be time to revisit it.
This Robert Kaufman cotton is a gorgeous weight and was dreamy to cut out and sew. I had fun playing with the stripes on the yoke and collar. I cut out some sleeves but thought that a dress this bright is really going to be worn mainly in the sunshine so decided against adding them. I think this works really well as a sleeveless dress though.
Embracing the kitch-ness of my outfit, I used these super cute heart buttons. I was a little concerned that due to the unusual shape, they would open unexpectedly but I have had no problems with them.
It’s a shame the weather has taken a decidedly autumnal turn so I’m not sure how much wear I’ll get out of this dress this year. However, if pride festivities return next year, I have my outfit sorted!
Sally's me made knit cardi
Hey All! Sally here aka The Yorkshire Sewist.
I don’t know about you guys but I lack me made cardigans in my wardrobe and when I came across the Lulu Cardigan by Pattern Scout via my fellow blogger Carol, I had to make it!
I fell in love with the peplum style of this and thought it would make a cute addition to my many dresses.
The Pattern calls for Medium to heavyweight knit fabric, such as double knit, ponte or scuba knit. So I had a look through Sammy’s shop and came across this fabulous Leopard Ponte Roma Jersey MP5125PE (which is unfortunately is out of stock at the moment but others available here) I knew I had to have it!
Now, I’ve not sewn much with jersey and buttonholes, so for a change I went for these beautiful heart shaped snaps that would set this cardigan off a treat.
As with Sammy’s parcels they come beautifully packaged and had all my materials at hand to make a start with my project.
I do quite like taping PDF Patterns together and with this cardi with different cup sizes it was really good to let you know which pages needed to be printed rather than wasting half a tree!
Armed with my Sewing Journal I was able to make sure I noted any adjustments and made sure I cut all out all the required pattern pieces.
According to my measurements I went for Size 12 and D Cup and was taking a risk by not toiling this! I made the usual adjustment by taking 1.5” off the sleeve length.
I used my frixion pen for pattern markings as it is easier to use on jersey fabric.
The pattern asked for a strip of knit interfacing for where the buttonholes/snaps go but I had some Vilene Knit stabiliser tape which was just the right width and used that instead and worked a treat.
This was a really quick sew to say I had to make the peplum and gather with dental floss, it makes gathering so much easier as you set your sewing machine to a wide zig stitch and place the floss in the middle so that the needle on your machine goes either side of it. Make sure you leave an inch or so at the start and end of where you want the gathering stitiching. Then all you do is pull and it just glides! So much easier than using two rows of stitching as I can never gather that way!
But with ‘cheating’ with snaps it made the whole process a lot easier and no getting angry at Mr Singer for not chewing up the fabric, he has a nasty habit of that when it comes to jerseys but this was great to sew with.
Of course no memade garment is complete without adding in a label. I used this one by CraftyPinUp and the gold glitter and black just suits it so well.
Oh aye not forgetting the copious amounts of topstitching involved but it was well worth the effort as the end result just looks so professional. As usual I tested out the stitch length to make sure I had it at the right tension.
So here is my completed Lulu!
Head over to Sammy’s Instagram stories to see the cardi in action!