Faux sherpa fur on-trend tote bag

I loved making faux fur bags back in the ’90s and I’m not mad that the trend is back if I’m honest! They are a fun accessory and are also warm and cosy to hold…comfort is my jam these days!

I’ve put together a simple DIY mixing the black and cream sherpa fur, so let’s get started!

First, start by cutting out two panels of cream fur measuring 10″ x 13″ and then one of black also 10″ x 13″.

Stitch them all together with the right sides facing so that the black panel is in between the two cream panels.

Next, fold this long piece in half and stitch down each side. Create a boxed corner measuring 4″ across. Pin and stitch in place and trim away the point.

Next Cut a lining piece measuring 13″ x 29″. Fold this in half and stitch down each side but remember to leave a gap of about 20cm in one of the sides…I forgot to do this then had to unpick it, gah! (Do as I say not as I do!!)

Box the corners in the same way as you did for the main bag piece.

Next, Cut two lengths of contrast fur measuring 7″ x 30″ but you can make these longer/ shorter depending on your needs! Stitch down the length with right sides together and turn through. Pin these to the bag front and back equidistant from the bag edges.. Tack in place.

Now we are going to place the main bag inside the lining with the right sides facing (wrong side of the lining facing out towards you. and pin all around the top. Stitch in place, pull the tote through the gap you left in the lining (see why that’s so key now!), and Voila!

A trendy, cosy tote perfect for this season! This would make a great Christmas pressie and is super easy to customise with some internal pockets or playing with the size and proportion!

What do you think? Is this trend for you or just too wild?!

Sewing a vintage 1970s pattern with Watercolour sunset blurr

 
 
 
To start this post, I should say that I love viscose, I love to wear it, I love the way it moves and drapes and I love that it often comes in great colours and prints. So I was really excited when Sammy got all these viscose fabrics in. I picked this super pastel rainbow fabric to work with and raided my pattern stash for a suitable pattern.

Now one thing I should say is that I do not always love sewing with viscose as it can be a slippery sucker! This one is less slippery than some and did not slide around when I was cutting it out but did shift when sewing, extensive pinning was needed and a walking foot might have helped. However, I’m a lazy sewist and extra steps are not my bag. I did not use a walking foot or reinforce the zipper or really make any allowances for the fabric at all and despite this I think the dress turned out well, which should indicate that it’s a pretty forgiving fabric.

I picked this 1970s pattern, which I had been wanting to try out for a while. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have realised that I’m a bit obsessed with 70s pattern and style and this fabric seems to fit with the 70s vibe. I love the psychedelic vibes and was excited about floating around in this. However, since summer appears to have forgotten us here in London, I need to work out how to style it for autumn. Black tights are not going to cut it with this rainbow so if you have any ideas, please let me know!

 

I’m off to plan some autumn makes now!

Daisy print statement ruffle bag

Our shelves are full of beautiful bright and joyful cotton florals at the moment and whilst we know these are fabulous for dresses, shirts, PJs, etc I wanted to explore some other projects we can make with them to inspire and maybe spark an idea. Smaller projects are quick and satisfying and they can be a great way to use up scraps…then you can co-ordinate your dress and your bag! 

You might remember I made a ruffle bag a few posts back with some chambray denim. I saw a beautiful round version on Pinterest and really wanted to add that to my collection! This would also be lovely in gingham…just sayin’

I marked out a circle that had a 37cm diameter and then cut across the top of the circle at the 30cm mark to give it a flat shape that will form the top opening of the bag. I then cut the following using this process:

2 x main fabric

2 x lining

2 x lightweight wadding

2 x fusible interfacing

I fused the interfacing to the main fabric then place the wadding onto the back and basted around the edge.

I then cut a strip measuring 130cm x 13cm ( I had to piece this together as I only had a metre of fabric.

Fold over the strip right sides facing and sew down each end. Turn through and press then run two rows of gathering stitch along the raw edge and gather until it fits the bag leaving a gap of about 3cm from the top of the bag. 

Pin the ruffle facing in towards the bag so the frill is sandwiched between the main bag pieces with right sides facing. Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance. Turn through and remove the gathering stitches.

Now add two handles (you can make them out of the same fabric but I had some twill tape which worked well) Cut two lengths, measuring 65cm each and pin them to the top of the bag approx 2.5cm from each end.

Stitch your lining pieces together around the curved edge leaving a gap in one side of about 20cm, this is so you can turn the bag through.

Pop the main bag into the lining (lining still wrong sides out) making sure the handles are tucked in and stitch all the way around the top opening of the bag. Turn it through and stitch the gap in the lining closed. Give it all a press and you are done!

The wadding adds some body to the cotton lawn which is very lightweight, and makes a really lovely quality bag! I took it to the shops straight away and it was the perfect size for all my essentials…I’ll be making a face mask with the scraps to match!

What do you think? You could obviously make this without the ruffle and it would be lovely in faux fur or leather for the Autumn/ Winter!

Debbie x

Festive handmade fabric baubles

Slow sewing with Rudy... Christmas baubles!

When trawling the usual Pinterest Christmas boards this bauble came up and I thought it would be a perfect sofa sewing project!

I have been really enjoying sewing sat watching telly sewing my badges onto my Guide blanket and thought this would be the next project to do without much thinking while watching Christmas films!

I thought it would be a great opportunity to test out using my Brother Scan and Cut to cut out all the circles as I knew I’d need lots of them! 

Fabrics used in this project:

Sweet Bee Sweet Blooms Pink Spot

Sweet Bee blenders Pea

Sweet Bee Shades of Grey Flowers

Sweet Bee Blenders Ice Blue

These are currently half price in the cotton sale!

What you’ll need is:

20 middle colour 2″ circles

20 other colour 2″ circles this can be mixed with multiple fabrics

20 1.75 inch circles in medium weight interfacing

20 1.75″ inch circle in iron in batting or felt

Hand sewing thread and needle

Wonder clips are also useful.

If you are using a digital die cutter to cut the fabric, I used freezer paper but please refer to your machine makers on how to cut fabrics. Using Freezer paper, I created a fabric sandwich of fabric wide enough for two circles wide and 5 down. This allowed me to cut the circles in the middle of the mat as I found if you cut too closely to the edge the machine chews up the paper and fabric. It was useful to have a little extra freezer paper either side of the sandwich to create a good seal. I even used the cutter for my interfacing as I stuck the shiny side to the mat and it meant it easily pulled off. The batting I had to cut by hand, and it looks nowhere near as neat! ha!

If you aren’t using a die cutter to cut your fabric you could use a cookie cutter to give you your uniform shape and draw around it giving you your cut-out lines.

Once you have your circles all cut out, iron the interfacing onto the inside circles. The reason the interfacing is slightly smaller is to give you space to hem but it won’t matter if they are the same size. On each of your inside circles cut a small slit for you to pull your circles ride side out once you have sewn them. You can then iron your batting of felt to the outside fabrics. 

You then sew all your circles up, right sides together and then turn them right sides out. 

Iron all the circles nice and flat to make them easier to sew together. You then will be best to mark an equilateral triangle onto your circles to show you where to sew or you will end up with a non-circular bauble. 

With your inside together sew each circle together along one of your triangle lines. You should end up with 3 circles attached. Keep attaching them till you have 5 attached together with the star in the middle. Keep adding your circles till you’ve used all 20 up. You can stuff it with stuffing if you want to give it a firmer shape, but I haven’t on this one. 

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 -handmade felt decorations

Back so soon I hear you cry! Well if you don’t know me you won’t understand my love for all things Christmas and when I saw there were festive projects on our upcoming blog themes list I jumped at the chance! 
 
And, once again, I’m not sewing! What’s wrong with me?! Well, it’s actually been quite refreshing getting crafty again with different materials. In my last post I used papers and this time I’ve gone for felt. Sammy has a few different selections of felt packs in different colour-ways and, while I’d have loved to go ‘neon Christmas’ I decided traditional would be better! 

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.

So let’s start with something simple, a holly decoration. I prepared myself two different sizes of holly template and cut out two of the bigger size in dark green and two smaller in lime green. I cut small red circles for the berrys. I used some matching lime green embroidery floss to sew a line of running stitch down the middle of one large and one small leaf. I then attached them together using red floss and adding the berrys and a hanger. Simple! 
 

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! 

Now this one is a little more time consuming but, I think, worth the time. Just gather your supplies and sit in front of the telly one evening. I’m not sure what to call this bauble but I was inspired by similar ones I’ve seen on Pinterest. You’ll need 8 circles, I used 4 dark green, 2 lime green and 2 mint along with a needle and thread. I stacked them up and sewed a line down the middle through all layers (this would have been better done on a sewing machine but worked ok by hand). Now sit it in front of you and pick up one left piece and one right. Bring them together and sew at the edge in the centre to connect them, finishing with a knot to secure. Now take the next piece on one side and connect it to one of the pieces you’ve just sewn which is next to it but this time above and below the original knot. As you go around you will alternate between one and two connecting points and your end result should be something like this. It’s not difficult, I promise!
If my instructions are not clear I’m sure a quick search on Pinterest will help you find step-by-step instructions with pictures.

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?!

I hope you liked these ideas. I quite like giving people who I wouldn’t buy gifts for a handmade tree ornament with their Christmas cards, it’s just a special little gesture. A few years ago I crocheted quite a few sprouts adorned with googly eyes to give out! But I love these projects and think the rich colours would make them really stand out on a tree. Now I can’t wait to get mine up and decorate it with my new me-mades!
 
Thanks Sammy for the lovely felt. Happy Christmas, everyone! (OK, too early…)

Christmas Crafting! Re-usable gift bags

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!

For this project you will need:

Fabric  12″ x 28″ ( I used Jingle polar bears which is now only £2.33 per half metre)

Ribbon or cord for the drawstring approx 26″ long ( I used glitter ribbon)

Scissors

Sewing machine

Step one

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. 

Step two

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.

Step three

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.

Step four

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!

Handmade Christmas cards and tags

Christmas papercrafting!

Hi all, I’m back again with another blog post but wait for it… this one doesn’t involve sewing! I know! Shocked faces all around! But Sam doesn’t just sell fabrics you know! The website is a true treasure trove of crafty potential! So this time I got one of her paper and card packs to make some Christmas cards and tags… yes people, hold on tight we’re getting festive!
 
I’ve dabbled with paper crafts in the past and I like clean, modern designs so when I saw this pack of greens, reds and monochromes with gold and silver foil I couldn’t help but see them as some very funky Christmas cards. What I’ve got here for you is a little tutorial on how to make your own using this pack of papers and some basic supplies which you can easily find on your high street or already in your craft cupboard. So let’s dive in!

First we have what might be my favourite card in the set and I’m calling it ‘Golden Stag’! I used a square card blank, two of the paper designs, some peel-offs and a glittery gold stag which was in a pack from The Works. I cut out a square of each paper just slightly smaller than the card then I cut them in half diagonally. One of each of these triangles got glued to the card and I used a gold strip from a peel-off sheet to cover the seam. I put the gold stag topper in the middle and finished it off with a peel-off greeting. How cute is this?! Very simple and quick.

Next up is this ‘bauble’ wreath card which I made using four different papers and a circle template. I started by covering the card with a green square, again, just slightly smaller than the card. I cut out all my circles and places them on to check the layout, then I glued them on in a circle. I finished it with a ribbon and a peel-off greeting.
 

Here we have another bauble themed card. For this one you need a card blank, 3 circles in different papers, string or ribbon, gold pen and greeting. I used three different foiled papers which I thought looked great together and cut out my circles. I stuck them down with foam pads to raise them a little but glue would be fine. I used green ribbon for the bauble string (although I was originally planning on twine) and stuck a little gold paper square to the top of each bauble. I drew a gold box around the edge and added a greeting at the bottom. And it’s done – clean and festive!

Now this one might not be for everyone but I couldn’t help but use this monochrome paper for a tree themed card. This paper has silver foil accents amongst the white, black and grey and I simply used the triangular shapes to cut out three different sizes of triangles or trees. I glued the large to the centre of a square card blank then used foam pads to stick the two others down on top. Then I added silver stars from a pack from The Works. I drew a silver line around the edge of the card and finished it off with a black glittery greeting. This one is super modern, but I love it!

For my final card I used a piece of A5 green card folded in half. I cut out a triangle from the spotted paper and then cut it horizontally into strips which were glued to the card front. I used some thin silver ribbon, made into a bow, to top the tree and I randomly placed some silver gems which were the same size as the dots on the paper. I put a greeting at the bottom and more gems in the corners and, voila, another one finished!

I also made some tags with some scraps of the papers by cutting out simple boxes, triangles and circles to make presents, trees and baubles. I think I made the circle template from drawing around the lid of a glue stick. Again, a really simple and effective idea.

 

The problem is once I’d started I couldn’t stop! So I also made a paper bauble from 6 circles of card. I have a circle punch but you can draw around a glass or something similar and make your own template. I then folded them in half and glued one half to another and so on. I finished by glueing the string down the centre before glueing the last circles together.

This simple heart is made with two different papers and a bit of string. I cut two lengths of each paper 22 x 2cm and 2 other lengths of each in 13 x 2cm. I stuck two different designs of paper together to make 2 long and 2 short and then layered them long, short, short, long. Hold one end and fold the outside pairs into the middle and staple. 

I hope you’ve found some inspiration here and will give it a go yourself. These are absolutely gorgeous quality papers and I have plenty left for more crafty goodness, both Christmas and otherwise! For all of these projects I wanted the paper designs to be the focal point. I’ve kept them super simple, which may not be for everyone, but you can easily jazz them up as you fancy, just have a play!
 
Thanks Sammy for the card and paper pack, I really enjoyed prepping for this post! Roll on Christmas!
 
 

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!