Washable Bowl cover

Easy project, use lightweight cotton.

Cut a circle around the intended bowl two inches away from the rim. I use pinking shears to avoid fraying

Press over a hem of about an inch (lots of tucks and folds).

Sew around the hem. This creates a channel for the elastic. Leave a gap of a couple of inches.

Cut elastic an inch longer than a snug fit length around the bowl. Stick a safety pin through the elastic and thread it around the channel. Fix the safety pin through the other end of the elastic to check the fit. If ok, Zig zag over the overlapped elastic and finally stitch up the gap in the channel.

Sleep masks

 

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This is a simple pattern to make for yourself and a quick, simple sew too.

Sketch a mask shape on paper, cut it out and hold it over your eyes to check the overall size. Best to make it slightly too big than too small and to have a flattish top and a more marked indent at the bottom where it sits on the bridge of your nose.

Fold the shape in half and trim to make it symmetrical.

Pin your paper on to two pieces of cotton (or fabric suitable to rest on your eyelids) and cut around leaving a 1/2” seam allowance, then pin the paper on some felt (or batting) and cut around that more tightly so your fabric outers are bigger than the felt

Stack the fabric with the two outsides facing and then put the felt on top, I stuck my felt in place lightly with a few dabs of fabric glue

Cut a piece of elastic that is long enough to go round the back of your head from outside eye socket to other outside eye socket. Place the elastic with about an inch sticking out over each side of the fabric stack and pin each end (this is enough to make the elastic stretch without being too tight).

Sew around the mask leaving a gap for turning (I left mine at the flat top), if your elastic is thin it might be worth sewing and reversing at each edge as you go over it.

Turn fabric out and poke out any caught seams before top stitching all the way round- this closes your turning gap and further strengthens the elastic fastening

I decorated mine with exaggerated eyelashes using a pearl pen (don’t think it is waterproof but twas a quick finish)

Snap bags

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‘Snap’ was a local word for packed lunch in Nottingham/ Derbyshire when I was living there many, many years ago. So these lunch bags fastened with Kam snaps had an obvious snappy name.

I used remnants of vinyl from an Amazon job lot which meant cutting front and back panels to use the fabric best. If you have a plasticised tablecloth or even a heavy duty shower curtain to upcycle that would work well.

Because the remnants weren’t squared, one of the sunflower bags has an angled flap which needs three snaps to keep it closed well. But because the colour of the snaps is a positive (there were about 20 sachets of different colour snaps in the beginner set I bought) it makes the end result better in a quirky way.

While the snaps were out I made a small lined bag (angled flap and 3 snaps again) and turned the cuff end of a shirt sleeve (left over from last week’s laundry bag make) into a phone holder to avoid scratches when it is in my bag.

to make: cut vinyl into required shape (back bigger so the flap folds over)

with right sides facing sew round the sides and bottom – use a long stitch length to make as few puncture holes in the vinyl as possible and don’t do too many back stitches at beginning and end or the vinyl will be too holey and might tear when in use.

trim seam allowance and clip the seam really close to the stitches at the corners before turning right sides out – the clipping helps neaten the corners as vinyl is quite bulky.

fold the edges of the flap over and seam these in place, on one of the bags I used zig zag for this to hide a blooper I had made.

position the snaps or you could use Velcro to finish the bag

‘No pill – ache ease’ rice pad

4B6C132C-48C1-43C6-BD82-315CFB9F5A0BA quick and easy sew that is very practical…

1. cut two rectangles of a cotton or fleece, any size that suits you. Hand or forehead size about 4” by 6”, neck size a bit wider, up to 12” by 8” for a big tummy comforter.

2. With right sides facing,  sew along the edges of both long sides and one short side. A small seam allowance is fine as long as you don’t leave any gaps. Start and finish 1” inch from the end to give yourself wriggle room at step 7

3. Turn right sides out and press. Fold in a half inch hem on the remaining raw edge and press.

4. Sew a straight line along the middle of the rectangle from one closed short side to the open short side, again stop 1” from the open end

5. Sew two more lines, each equally spaced between the centre line and edges so you end up with three parallel lines that form four tubes in the fabric.

6. Fill the tubes with rice that is scented with your choice of essential oils. I chose peppermint and lavender but whatever you have that will soothe and relax you. Fill to create a firm pad but don’t fill over the end of your lines. You might want to pin or clip the open end closed to avoid rice spilling out.

7. Sew closed the remaining edge closed.

I keep my rice pads in sealed bags until needed and then pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds bursts until warm then hug until aches are soothed.

quick and simple hot water bottle cover

So quick yet makes such a difference…

I laid the bottle on the fabric, traced round it leaving a half inch seam allowance then cut out a matching pair of fabric pieces.

With wrong sides facing, I sewed the sides from neck to bottom before flipping fabric right sides out and sliding in the bottle.

On one version I hand stitched the bottle in permanently, on the pictured version I used kam snaps to close up the bottom. With IKEA fleece I don’t have to worry about hemming the exposed edges.

This is a huge success as it keeps the bottle water hot for longer and is nice and cuddly too. Great return on the time spent on this one.

custom pillow case

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I am ridiculously proud of this make as it really is better than bought

I couldn’t find pillowcases to go with a bargain duvet cover As I had some dotty fat quarters that would complement my purchase I decided to make a trim for some custom pillowcases.

I recycled a retired duvet cover rather than buy sheeting as this was an experiment, gosh it worked out well as the duvet was good quality cotton. I made the trim by combining strips from fat quarters, the new blade in my Rotary cutter made short work of this stage.

I followed the magic pillowcase aka sausage pillow case aka burrito pillow case technique. This sandwiches a 24″ x 40″ panel and a 12″ x 40″ panel around the 2″ x 40″ trim and encloses all the seams to make it a really nice, clean make.

The folding seems ridiculous but it does work. I watched an old Crafty Gemini video as she explains the steps most clearly to me.

 

 

Shower soap pockets

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A neat way to use soaps without getting the shower scummy.

Have you lots of soaps in the house although you use shower gel these days? Here is a quick sew to help use them up…

Cut a strip of towelling (or flannel) that is two inches wider than the soap bars you have to use up and three times longer. I cut my towelling so that one edge was ready hemmed, otherwise sew a rolled hem along one width.

Now fold the towel strip in thirds and then ease the folds out to make an envelope shape just bigger than a soap bar. The hemmed edge should be inside the overlap, ready for sewing

Next cut a length of cord to form a hanging loop. Fold the cord in half with the ends sticking outside one side and pin the loop inside so it doesn’t get caught up in your seam sewing

Sew  both open sides with a quarter inch seam allowance,  then turn the envelope inside out so the hemmed fold is now outside and the hanging  loop is showing and you have a little packet to tuck your soap bar in…

After a few showers when the soap has been dispersed and the towel is nicely soapy you can launder and/or tuck in another soap bar … you might even use up those hotel soaps you keep collecting!

Pyramid pouch

Easy zip sew.

fabric 10” x 5” with matching lining piece and batting or fleece, zip at least 5” long

optional 4×2” fabric folded lengthwise in quarters and top stitched to make loop

method;

1. fix fleece/batting to outer by fusing or quilting

2. Pin zip between one short end of outer ( pretty side of fabric facing top of zip) and lining fabric  and then sew in place using zipper foot. Repeat other short end to form a tube.

3. turn fabric tube with outer side showing and top stitch either side of zip to keep fabric away from the teeth

4. switch to normal foot, turn tube inside out with zipper positioned half way, if using pin loop inside and sew bottom edge of tube closed then trim seam close – also trimming excess zip – then zig zag over seam edge to tidy

5. twist fabric so zip is the side of tube. Pin or clip remaining raw edge and open the zip (or you won’t be able to turn fabric) then straight stitch, trim seam close to stitch- cutting off zip excess again- then zig zag up to, but not across, zip teeth

6. turn right sides out.

Done!

Curved zips and French seams

A learning project.

following the instructions from a borrowed fat quarter project book this was designed to be a pencil case but will now hold sewing notions as it isn’t quite good enough to give

the zip was hand basted to the curved seams and should have been hem stitched but I cheated and top stitched it with my zipper foot, I then put bag inside the lining and attempted to top stitch again over the same line, no joy but it doesn’t show tooo much

the box bottoms were French seamed which makes sense for this sequence of construction – and for the intended pencil case use and abuse of the lining, but can’t see myself abandoning my simpler form of zip bag making permanently

and the fabric was a page from an upholstery samples book that was scavenged for me, if just cotton might have needed quilting or stabilising