Scissor and craft tool holder

imagehmm, mistake with the gingham fabric, too open weave so lots of hand and over sewing. Still a rustic storage solution for bits I want to keep near the sewing machine.


Method:  use a paper template of a heart to cut two of the heavy weight fabric (denim or upholstery would do) backing pieces and a piece of wadding. Then cut inside the template for a slightly smaller panel piece (mine is the beige). Then fold the template in increasingly smaller sections to gauge the pocket pieces but cut with a one inch high extra on top which you fold over and top stitch to create a neat pocket top.


I did three pocket pieces and when top stitched clipped them on the panel piece and clipped that on one piece of backing. I stitched ric rac to cover the raw edges (at which point the gingham started to unravel like burlap).  Then a line of straight stitches down the middle to create the half pockets.

Finally pin a loop of ribbon (I used the remains of my ric rac) facing loop down and raw edge protruding up a bit. then pin the other backing piece right side together and sew around leaving a gap for turning. Before you turn stick wadding to backing piece. When turned hand sew gap and voila!

Dog coat

imagethe most expensive dog coat turns out to be the easiest pattern to copy, just traced.


to fit Harvey this is 12.5 inches wide, 11.5 inches back to neck, 17 inches back to end of each tab


Method: use pattern to cut two fabric shapes and a 23 inch long four inch wide strip. Quilt wadding to the reverse of one shape then sew shapes wrong side together, leaving a gap to turn. Top stitch the edge, this also seals the turning gap. Iron the strip in half then turn in each edge to make a four ply strip . Top stitch along each edge and fix as on pattern.

once checked on doggie for fit,  affix Velcro tabs on neck and on strip. Now just waiting for the reflective tape to arrive, so his night time walks are warm and safe.



Teapot stand and mug coasters



A simple sew project which I would make again, but with bigger coasters, with coordinating fabrics and in a set of two big mats and six coasters for dinner table rather than tea time use. Lots of web tutorials with variations to inspire you.

Materials:for each square you need five squares of fabric and one of fusible fleece. My teapot stand squares are 8 inches and coasters are four inches, should be five though.

Method: fuse fleece to whar will be your base square and then lay it right side up on your work table. Press remaining squares diagonally then lay then raw sides out to raw side of the base in sequence. The last one needs to be half tucked under the first one then all pieces pinned before you sew with a slim straight seam all the way round the edge. Clip the corners. Turn and poke out your corners so that the base is now showing and press to keep the centre tidy.  I added a decorative top stitch but this isn’t necessary.




thanks to a great you tube tutorial from fabric junction, I have mitred corners on these place mats

imageBy pinning the centres of two proportionate rectangles and carefully marked boxes in the corners of my top fabric, it worked!

now, shall I make some napkins with the  remnant?

don’t  tell my mum, this is the home made part of her present


Bag and purse combo

imagea simple tote with webbing for handles, interfaced and lined with a pocket inside and a decorative bow on the front – thanks to Debbie Shore videos for techniques

when boxing the bottom of the bag I had eight little squares which I turned into a patchwork square (adding another square to make the ninth piece) as the front of a matching zippered purse

too good to give away?

Little dog tie

imageA straight work through the tutorial in Easy to make and fits a small dog. Another gift off the list!

materials, fabric 12 inches King by 6 inches wide , interfacing, cotton and sewing machine

method, cut fabric using shapes from and follow her instructions, I made it a shade smaller as she recommended

Luggage tags

For the travellers on my Christmas list…



Materials: Two scraps of fabric 13×9 cm plus a length of 3cm wide matching fabric about 30 cm long. A piece of batting or wadding 12 x 8 ish, a piece of vinyl 6×8.5 and some elastic 25 cm.

Method:sew a 1/4 inch seam around the fabric squares which should be right sides facing, leaving a gap for turning. Stick the batting to one side the batting with a little fabric glue then turn. Push out the corners then top stitch all the way around the edge of the tag.  Sew a buttonhole at the top of the tag, make it wide enough to thread the elastic through.

cut the strip of fabric to the length of the four vinyl sides. Put a strip face side down, edge flush to the fabric and sew a line , better to peg than pin vinyl.imageimage Flip the top border over and top stitch it , this will be the open edge.  Fold the other border pieces over and clip in place on the base, a bit fiddly, before stitch I got the other three sides in position .

imageThis looks like I have a ladybird theme going on!

If you zig zag you will be sure to catch the hidden edge of the border and the vinyl. Nb people warned me sewing vinyl would be tough but my little Toyota was fine with it.

thread elastic through the buttonhole and zig zag back and forth over the overlapped edges.  All to do now is pop a piece of card with maybe jokey name and address for the recipient.  I tried to size mine to take a business card though.