Pansies Cotton poplin and the perfect Autumn shirt dress

This might be the perfect Autumn shirt dress!

We had some gorgeous cotton poplins delivered a few months ago and I was itching to get going with a sample to show how gorgeous they are…this has surpassed my hopes! The drape is fantastic for a poplin…no crispiness, and the colours are so vibrant!

I wanted to make a shirt dress with a slight nod to the seventies, with a big pointy collar and mini skirt so I used the Tilly and the Buttons Lyra shirt dress pattern to create this look.

I added a bit of length to the collar points and also sandwiched some cotton lace trim between the two collar pieces before stitching them together. I’m loving using trims like this at the moment! There are loads of lovely trims in stock perfect for adding to collars…just sayin’!

It’s going to be an Autumn/ Winter staple layered up with cardi’s, jumpers and tights! Take a look at the fabulous range of florals in stock -they won’t disappoint!

Lyra shirt dress made with Pansies cotton poplin £12 p/m

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

Black Daisy Cotton Lawn Statement Collar Dress

Big collars are everywhere and, although it’s probably a bit of a marmite trend, I for one am loving it!

My love affair with this trend started with the Nina Lee Bakerloo dress, but I started seeing these slightly lowered neckline dresses with big collars and I was in love! 

I looked through all my patterns to see how I could hack this trend and then I stumbled across a post by Coolstitches on Instagram and she used the Viki Sews Sharon dress pattern to achieve this look.

Viki Sews is a Russian pattern company and therefore most of their pattern is written in Russian (they are now launching some in English). It wasn’t the construction I struggled with though it was the sizing so watch out for that, as you purchase one size using the sizing guide. My waist is large compared to my bust and hips but going by my waist measurements but me in a size far too large so you are better going off your bust and grading out.

When Sammy got some daisy cotton lawns in stock I knew it would make the prettiest dress and a bit different from the gingham versions that are all over the high street/ sewing community right now.

I wanted to add either a ruffle or some lace to the collar to make it stand out and decided on the cotton lace trim. Any of the trims that Sammy has in stock would look fabulous, just pin it in between the collar pieces before stitching it together. 

I omitted the waist darts in the front and back bodice and shortedened the bodice by about 3″…I probably wouldn’t make it this short next time (oh yes there will be more of these dresses in my life!) I then used the Tilly button Indigo skirt pattern and added a short ruffle of 7″ to the bottom. I love mixing and matching patterns, it’s such a great way to get a bespoke look!

This is very lightweight soft cotton and I thought it might need lining but actually, it doesn’t. It’s the perfect summer fabric and would make really comfy pajamas or a lovely summery shirt. It comes in a sage green and lilac colourway too…

Do you like daisy print? Check out the fabric section as there are loads of gorgeous new fabrics in stock!

Debbie x

Stationery DIYs with our fabrics and paper!

Why buy when you can DIY!

With the Summer holiday’s in full flow and the Autumn term starting in a month we thought it would be fun to come up with a few easy peasy DIYs to upcycle and breathe new life into plain stationery. 

First up is covered notebooks. This is so simple it really doesn’t require a tutorial. Simply cut a piece of fabric that is 2cm larger than your notebook all the way around and stick the fabric to the front smoothing out the fabric, then do the same for the back. Cut triangles off the corners of the fabric, a slit at the spine and glue the sides and bottom down!

This is great for using up scraps and offcuts of fabric or why not treat yourself to half a metre of one of our new floral fabrics and cover a few notebooks and folders!

We’ve got some gorgeous bright fun prints in stock including tigers, flowers, and naked ladies…oh my!

Shop our cotton fabrics here

Instead of chucking your tin cans in the recycling why not make them into handy pen holders?! We used the Rico Tropical Spring Hot Foil Paper and Card pad. It contains 15 sheets of paper and card perfect for loads of fun craft projects.

Simply measure the depth of the can and cut a strip of paper the right length.  Wrap it around the can and secure it in place with glue or double-sided tape. This is a great project for kids and a good way to make coordinating storage for their bedroom while keeping all their pens in one place…for a little while anyway!

Check out our range of paper packs here

Another great use for offcuts of paper/ card magazines or our amazing paper packs (see what I did there…wink!) is some simple DIY Bookmarks, we used to make these as pressies for our parents when we were kids…I’ll be using this one for my planner!

We hope you all have a fab Summer and we look forward to seeing your makes over on Instagram! Don’t forget to tag us #samanthaclaridgestudio

Three ways with the Sunny faces print cotton…

We love the sunny faces cotton print over here at Samantha Claridge Studio HQ…so we’ve got 3 ideas for ways to use it which we hope you will find inspiring!

It’s also currently half price in the summer sale with code ss2021 at checkout. Grab some while you come and sew up some fun summer pieces!

We made a cute and fun garden-appropriate cushion cover and added some homemade pom-poms to each corner …this is a great way for using up any extra fabric after other projects and they really brighten up our chill-out area! I used the simple envelope method for this cushion so no zips or fastenings which makes it a speedy sew!

I’ve been coveting the amazing dungarees over at Lucy & Yak with their bold prints and fun designs so as soon as I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for a pair of L&Y-inspired overalls! I used the Waves and Wild Heyday dungaree pattern and they are so cool and comfy! They are obviously more lightweight as they are in a cotton poplin but these are going to be amazing when the weather heats up! It sews up and pressed like a dream so would be amazing for loads of dressmaking projects. I shirt would be fabulous…

…and finally the sunhat! You’ve seen this one in a previous post, but I used the free sunhat pattern from Rosery Apparel and I made the brim a little more shallow…it’s the perfect sunhat for kids!

What would you make with this fun print?!

Accessories and homeware with bold print cotton

Have you ever seen a bold print fabric and thought ‘I love that, but what would I make?’

Well, we wanted to give you some sewing inspiration for those fun bold prints and larger fabric scraps that you may have in your stash…

DIY lampshades are a fabulous way of really adding some personality to your home furnishings. We bought a lampshade-making kit and used the Tiger Star print fabric which has such a luxe feel especially paired with my jazzy pineapple lamp base!

These kits are really easy to follow…fairly fiddly but oh sew worth it! (No sewing involved by the way…I just can’t resist a sewing pun!) You don’t need a thick fabric as you are sticking the fabric to a pre-cut plastic base so these lightweight cottons work perfectly.

Shop the Tiger Star Fabric here 

Bucket hats are a huge trend this summer and obviously very necessary for keeping that hot summer sun from burning you!

The Sunny Faces fabric is so cute and works perfectly for a kid’s…or adults sun hat!  

We used the free tutorial from Rosery Apparel and made the brim slightly smaller

We love this fried egg print, so fun and quirky and perfect for kitchen accessories.

We found a free tutorial for this lunch box on YouTube and this egg print works perfectly to give a modern and fun food-themed bag!

This fabric would also make some beautiful picnic napkins, oven gloves, and pot holders for your kitchen. 

We hope this has given you some ideas and inspired you to make some cool accessories!

Which fabric is your favourite?

 

DIY Ruffle and daisy denim chambray tote bag tutorial

I can’t resist a ruffle and what better way to pimp a tote than with a ruffle…and daisies!

Here are the instructions so you can make your own.

You can use any cotton fabric but remember the heavier weight the fabric, the thicker the ruffles will be and it will make it harder to sew through the layers, but if you have a hardy machine you will be fine!

I used:

Cotton Denim Chambray £4.50 per half metre

Daisy trim £4.85 per metre

Iron-on interfacing – Light £2.95 per half metre

Cut the following:

Main bag cut two 16″ x 16″

Straps cut two 3″ x 30″

Ruffle cut one 6″ x 80″ (you might have to cut this from shorter pieces and stitch together to get the length you need. I cut two 6″ x 40″ ad stitched them together.

Interface the straps and press the long edges in by 1/4″ 

Fold in half and topstitch down either side of the strap a few millimeters away from the edge.

The ends are left raw as they will be encased in the bag hem in the next step.

Fold the top hem of each main bag piece by 1cm then again by 1″ and press.

Tuck the raw ends of the bag straps under this hem, 3″ away from the edge of the bag on either side and topstitch in place along the top of the bag and also a few mm away from the folded edge.

You will now have a front and back piece with nice neat handles stitched into the hem!

Let’s make our ruffle!

Fold the length of ruffle fabric in half and stitch down the short ends, turn them through and press.

 

Do two rows of gathering stitch 0.5cm away from each other along the open side of the ruffle and start to gather.

Pull and gather the ruffles until they fit the main tote. I started my ruffle just under the hem of the tote.

Pin in place and stay stitch 1cm from the edge.

Now we are going to make a chambray sandwich!

Take the other tote bag piece and lay it on top of the side with the ruffle, right sides facing. Pin, and stitch in place 1.5cm away from the edge making trapping your ruffle neatly inside!

Turn your bag through and check you haven’t got any bits if ruffle trapped and remove any visible gathering stitches. Give it a press.

I then stitched on these pretty daisies randomly on one side of the tote for extra cuteness!

I love this bag and can see myself making some more…gingham would be gorgeous!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Debbie x

Gift Wrapping ideas with Rico Paper Poetry hot foil tropical pack

I love giving gifts, nothing gives me more joy than choosing something to give someone which I know they will love. Wrapping it beautifully just adds to the excitement don’t you think? I’ve been having a play with the Rico Paper Poetry pads we have in the shop and getting inspired!

These pads have 30 pages so that’s plenty of paper for wrapping lots pf small gift and making tags and even bunting to go with it!

I’ve got a few pretty paper punches which I often use for making gift tags and with the addition of some pretty twine you can be gift ready in minutes!

This paper bauble was made by stitching together 6 circles on my sewing machine straight down the middle and then folding out each leaf of paper, this would make a really fancy gift tag for a wedding or anniversary gift!

These papers are so pretty that I’m sure whoever receives the gift will want to keep it and re-use it too…my Gran always used to joke about ironing wrapping paper and using it again…but I bet she did, and why not! Re-use and recycle is always best!

This pretty garland would be perfect for a birthday party or table decoration like this. It was really simple to make and I simply used a glue stick to sandwich some pretty twine between two pieces of card.

We’ve got lots of fun paper packs and stickers/ washi tape in stock.
Click here to shop!
DIY gift wrap Samantha Claridge Studio