Posted in sewing

Crafty Gifts

I originally thought that my newfound sewing skills would mean spending less on gifts for occasions. Alas, if you’re like me, you’ll just end up buying swish fabric which will wind up costing the same as a shop-bought item (but you’ll do it anyway!).  Here are some gift ideas which have gone down really well with my friends…

Using this Whitney Sews YouTube tutorial, I whipped up a lined tote in a lovely watermelon fabric, purchased on eBay.


I definitely need to order more of this great fabric. Another friend received this zipped pencil case/makeup bag…


Now I’m not saying my friends are Beyonce-obsessed (they are) and that they love anything emblazoned with watermelons and lemons (they do), but I made this top for a friend’s birthday.

Really easy-to-follow tutorial from one of my favourite blogs, A Pair and a Spare.

Fabric from Minerva Crafts.


A super easy one, this was my first self-taught project (and a gift to myself – the best kind of gift). I had this great vintage fabric, which I *think* was old curtain material.

One rectangle of laptop/tablet width and height +3cm top and side
A second rectangle, double the first size +3cm top and side
With the right sides together, sew the small piece to the large piece with the bottom edges lined up (don’t stitch the top edge – that’s where your laptop/tablet goes in)
Clip the corners, turn right sides out, add some velcro and voila!


This one has to be my favourite. Tell me, who in the world doesn’t want Kim Kardashian’s face on their home furnishings?!

I ordered custom-printed fabric from a wonderful site called Print Me Pretty. Be prepared to wait at least a week for your fabric, so make sure you order with time to spare, especially if it’s a gift.


I made an envelope cushion, and there are a million tutorials online as you know, but the sky’s the limit with this fabric – maybe a dress next?!



Posted in Uncategorized

Sewing Bettine

I found Tilly & the Buttons’ Bettine the perfect first foray into the world of patterns. A simple dress, with a round neck, short sleeves, elasticated waistband and tulip-style skirt.  It may not be the perfect shape for me personally but it’s a great garment to kick-off with.

I made the plain version, which is easy-peasy and super-customisable. I love the pocket version but didn’t want them to draw attention to my hips (the bane of my life), especially with a tulip-style skirt.


I found the instructions simple and the sizing correct (phew).  I did take a bit of a risk using a slinky jersey knit on my first attempt at following a pattern – eek. It was also my first attempt at sewing with stretch (fabric courtesy of Mermaid Fabrics, Hackney), so my stitching did go awry on occasion, but the colour hid a multitude of sins.

With a couple of hiccups and 8 hours (!) later, I had my finished product…