Category Archives: Welcome

front page of our blog

15 FREE Mini Christmas Sewing Makes Tutorials

It’s that time of year again!  Whether you are sewing for family, friends or craft fairs, we thought we would offer a helping hand with this round up of our favourite free sewing tutorials, perfect for the season!

Circle Zip Pouch – for earphones or small change 🙂


Double Sided Tissue Pouch




Pencil Case – This one is one of ours!


Funky Door Stop Shaped Like a Slouchy Bag (Another one of ours!)

funky handbag door stop free tutorial sewing pattern

Knitting Needle Wrap

knitting needle wrap free sewing pattern tutorial

Fold Fabric Star Christmas Ornament


Drawstring Storage Bag with Viewing Window!


Make Up Brush Roll 


Heart Shaped Oven Mitt


Tooth Fairy Pillow

tooth fairy pillow sewing tutorial free pattern

Collapsible Bowl


Caravan Pin Cushion


Mini Tote Gift Bag


Christmas Tree Bunting


Free Lined Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial

We make this bag at our popular Lined Tote Sewing Class, held here in Witney in Oxfordshire.

The secret to a great finish to use lots of interfacing to give your bag shape.  Its a great make for beginners as it is all straight lines and these bags make great gifts.

If you can make it to Witney we would love to see you at one of our lessons – click here to find out more.


Finished size: approx 42cm at the widest point x 36cm long plus handles!


45cm wide x 47cm long x2 pieces for the lining.

45cm wide x 31.5cm long x 2 pieces for the top section of the bag.

45cm wide x 16.7cm long x 2 pieces for the bottom section of the bag.

13cm wide x 78cm long x2 pieces for the straps.

25cm x 26cm long piece of fabric for the pocket (optional – if your strap fabric is 110cm wide, cut this first, and you will have enough left for the straps too).

45cm x 47cm x 2 pieces of low loft fusible fleece and the same of woven fusible interfacing.

13cm x 78cm x2 pieces of woven fusible interfacing for straps.

25cm x 26cm x1 piece of woven fusible interfacing for the pocket (optional).

14cm x 26cm x1 piece of low loft fusible fleece + the same of flexi-firm (S520) for the base (optional).

You can purchase all the interfacing you need for one bag in a kit at Prints to Polka Dots – Click here.

Step 1 – Make Your Straps

Iron your fusible woven interfacing onto the back of each of your straps.

Fold each of your strap pieces in half lengthways and iron the crease into place.  Open out your straps and fold the raw edges along the long sides, into the crease you have just made in the middle of each strap, and iron once more.  Finally fold your straps in half long ways, using your first crease line, and iron.


Top stitch the long sides of each strap.  We used the edge of our sewing machine foot as a guide for the seam allowance, but switched our needle position to place it closer to the edge of the fabric – START with the open side.


Step 2 – Making Up Your External Fabric Pieces

Sew your lower bag pieces to your upper bag pieces using a 6mm/1/4” seam allowance.  Iron the seam allowance out flat.


Each piece should measure 45cm wide x 47cm long.  If your pieces are too big, trim back, if your pieces are too small, trim your internal fabric pieces to be the same size as your external pieces – the important thing is to get all four pieces measuring the same size.

Iron your fusible fleece onto the back of each of the external pieces.  This is also a good time to fuse your woven interfacing onto the back of your lining pieces.


You now need to cut 7.5cm squares out of each of the bottom corners of your external pieces.


Step 3 – Attaching the Handles

Place one of your main exterior bag fabric pieces in front of you and pin one of the straps to the top edge.  Pin each end 13cm in from the nearest side, with the raw edges of the strap lined up with the top raw edges of the main bag fabric piece and the bulk of the strap resting on the fabric piece.  Sew into place using a 6mm/1/4” seam allowance.

Repeat with the second exterior bag fabric piece and strap.

Step 4 – Making the Bag Part 1

Place your exterior pieces on top of each other, right sides facing each other, taking care to line up on all sides.

Sew the two pieces together along the bottom of the bag using a 1.2cm (½”) seam allowance and then press the seam allowance over in one direction.


Turn your fabric over and top stitch a row of stitches 6mm (1/4”) in from the existing seam, on the side you have ironed the seam allowance on to.


Fold your bag up, right sides facing each other, pin together and sew down the left and right edges, using a 12mm (1/2”) seam allowance – DO NOT SEW ROUND THE CUT OUT CORNERS.


Now you need to sew the corners.  Open the left corner out so that you can see inside the bag.  Bring the two sides of the opening with seams on together, lining up the seam lines (from the bottom and left sides) the raw edges should form a straight line.  Pin and sew a 12mm (1/2”) seam allowance across the opening.  Repeat on the right hand side and then turn your bag out the right way.


Step 5 – Optional Pocket

Iron on your fusible interfacing onto the back of your fabric and then fold your pocket fabric in half, right sides facing each other, from the top down to the bottom.

Iron and pin the layers together, then sew around all the open sides using a 6mm/1/4” seam allowance LEAVING a turning gap of 5cm along the bottom edge.  Turn the pocket out the right way and press, folding the raw edges into the turning gap as appropriate.


Now top stitch along the top edge of the pocket using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance or less (we use the edge of the sewing machine foot as our guide but move the needle position to get the stitches closer to the edge).


Fold your pocket in half (left to right) and finger press the fold to create a light crease.  Repeat this with one of your lining pieces (which should already have interfacing ironed onto the back).  Pin your pocket into place, approx. 10cm (4”) down from the top of the lining fabric pieces, lining up the creases to get the pocket in the centre.


Sew the pocket into place around the left, right and bottom edges, as close to the edge of the fabric as you dare! (we used the edge of the sewing machine foot as our guide and moved the needle position to get the stitches closer to the edge).

If you would like to divide the pocket to make space for your phone, or pens etc.. add vertical lines to your pocket at this stage.


Step 6 – Making Your Lining Bag

You are now ready to make a second bag out of your lining pieces.

Start by cutting 7.5cm squares out the bottom corners of your two lining pieces.  Then pin the two pieces together, right sides facing each other, making sure the pieces are lined up on all sides.  Sew down the left and right sides and along the bottom using a 12mm (1/2”) seam allowance – DO NOT sew the cut out corner sections.


Make up the box corners in the same manner as you did with the exterior bag, pulling open the cut out section on one side and lining up the seams from the bottom and side, pinning the two layers together and then sewing a 12mm (1/2”) seam across the opening – repeat on the other side.


Step 7 – Putting the Bag Together

Turn the exterior fabric bag out, so you are looking at the right side of the fabric.  Insert the exterior bag inside the lining, with the right side of the lining bag facing the right side of the external bag.  You will see all the seam on the bag, inside and outside – make sure the straps are poked down between the two layers.

Take a minute to make sure the two bags are properly lined up at the seams, at the raw edges and at the bottom of the bag.  Pin the two bags together and then sew together around the top, leaving a gap of approx. 8-10cm between one of the straps and side seam, on each side (you will be pinning 2 pieces of fabric together at a time, not 4!).  Use a 12mm (1/2”) seam allowance.


Step 8 – Finishing Your Bag

Pull the bag out through the gap you left earlier and then push the lining inside the main bag, all your seams should now be hidden inside the bag.


If You Are Using a Base

Iron your fusible fleece on top of your flexi-firm, fuse it onto the side of the flexi-firm without adhesive.

Then insert your base into your bag by pushing it through the gap you pulled the bag through and line the base up in the bottom of your bag.  Iron through the base to fuse the base to the bottom of the bag or tack the three layers together with a few hand stitches.


With or Without a Base

Iron around the opening of the bag, taking care to get the seam line on the crease, folding the fabric at the turning gap inside the bag.  Top stitch around the top of the bag using a 6mm (¼”) seam allowance.


Ta dah!


Fabrics used:

Main bag – Riley Blake’s Fresh Market for the top and straps, Flutterberry for the bottom section and Kona Pink for inside.

Sail boats bag – Riley Blake’s Offshore collection for external pieces and Kona seafoam for the lining.

Printer-Friendly Instructions

Click here to download a printer-friendly copy of this tutorial.

We love seeing what you make with our fabrics or using our tutorials – please share pics with us on Facebook or Instagram (#printsotpolkadots).

Tailored Apron with Proper Pockets Free Sewing Tutorial

Finished size: approx 53cm long x 76cm wide (21“ x 30“) plus ties!


80cm wide x 44cm long (31.5” x 17.4”) main apron fabric.

33.5cm wide x 31.5cm long x2 (13.2“ x 12.5“) fabric for the visible part of the pockets.

33.5cm wide x 31.5cm long x2 (13.2” x 12.5”) fabric for the hidden part of the pockets.

240cm (95”) of 18mm (1.5”) bias tape or fabric and bias tape maker to make this.

85cm wide x 13cm long (33.5“ x 5.2“) fabric piece for the waistband.

79cm wide x 9.5cm long x2 (31“ x 3.75“) pieces of fabric for the ties.

Step 1 – Cutting Your Fabric

Make up your paper pattern pieces as directed on the templates DO NOT CUT THE FABRIC UNTIL DIRECTED TO BELOW.

Take you main apron fabric, cut exactly to the size above, and fold it in half, so that the crease appears on the right.  Place the main apron template on top, so that the curve is along the left (open) side of the fabric (the template won’t reach all the way over to the crease on the other side).  Trace the curve on the left side of the template and cut through both layers of fabric.

Place the HIDDEN POCKET template on top of the still folded fabric and trace the curve of the pocket only.  Cut this shape out of both layers of fabric.


Put the main fabric piece to one side and take both pieces of your visible pocket fabric, cut exactly to the size given above.  Place one piece of fabric on top of the other, right sides facing each other, so you are looking at the back of the top piece.

Place the VISIBLE POCKET FABRIC template on top of the fabric, so that the curved edge runs along the left edge (the right side of the template won’t reach the right edge).  Trace the curved shape on the left of the template and cut out, through both layers of fabric.  You will now have two pocket pieces, facing in opposite directions.

Take your hidden pocket fabric pieces and place together, right sides facing, so you are looking at the wrong side of the top piece. Trace the template on all sides and cut out, through both pieces of fabric.  You will now have two pocket pieces, each one facing a different way.


If you haven’t already done so, cut your tie and waistband fabrics. 


Step 2 – The Pockets

Place the visible pocket fabric pieces in front of you, right sides of the fabric facing you, and then place the hidden pocket pieces on top, so that you are looking at the wrong side of the hidden pocket fabric pieces.


Put the left hand pocket to one side.

Sew the right hand pocket pieces together along the two longest straight edges, using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance.  Then trim the seam allowance back by half.


Turn the pocket out and iron, ensuring that the seams run along the creased edges.  Then sew the same two sides, again with a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance.  Turn the pocket out the right way and press – you have just created a French seam!


Repeat these steps with the second pair of pocket pieces.


Step 3 – Bias Tape

If you are using ready-made bias tape jump to step 4.

Take your bias tape fabric and fold in half diagonally, then again in the opposite direction.


Cut a line as close to one of the folded edges as possible (you are aiming to cut the fold off).

In the next set of images I have moved the folded triangle round, so that the top edge in the images above is the diagonal line in the images below, this just made lining the ruler up with the lines on the cutting mat easier J.

Measure along from your first cut, 3.6cm (3”), keeping the ruler parallel with the first cut, cut again, continue repeating this process, moving along the fabric, cutting 3.6cm (3”) strips as you go.


Identify two pieces of tape that are long enough to run around the opening of each pocket (each approx. 40cm (16“) long).  Put these to one side.

You now need to join the remaining pieces together to make one long piece to run around the outside edge of the apron (approx. 160cm (63“) long).

For a professional finish the joins in the tape should be diagonal.  In order to do this, place two pieces of top of the each other, at right angles, right sides facing, with the diagonal cut edges lined up.  Fold the diagonal edges over by 12mm (1/2”) and iron the creases into place.


Open out the pieces and move the top piece up so that the top and bottom edges of the folds are directly on top of each other.  Pin and sew along the fold.


Open out the tape and iron the seam flat.  Trim away approx. half of the seam allowance and any excess fabric at the top and bottom of the tape.


Repeat these steps until your tape is long enough to reach around the apron (approx. 160cm (63“) long).

Feed your tape through an 18mm (3/4”) bias tape maker, ironing the creases into the tape as you go (we recommend spraying with starch first).  Then fold the tape in half, trapping the raw edges in the middle, and iron.

It is a good idea to roll the tape up and leave it to set at this point, even if just why you have a cup of tea, it helps the creases firm up and looks really lovely!



Step 4 – Attaching the Pockets

Pin your right-hand pocket to the right side of the main apron piece, lining up the edges of the hidden pocket piece with the main apron fabric.  Baste the hidden pocket piece to the main apron fabric along the curve of the pocket opening (see image below).  REMEMBER – Do not sew through the visible/back pocket piece of fabric.  This line of stitching is to secure these fabrics while you add the bias tape, so the line of stitches should be as close the edge as possible to ensure it ends up hidden under the bias tape.


Repeat these steps with the left-hand pocket piece.


Unfold one side of one of your shorter pieces of bias tape and pin along the basted edge, with the right side of the bias tape facing the back of the hidden pocket piece, lining up the unfolded raw edge of the tape with the raw edges of the pocket.  Sew together using your normal stitch length, in the first fold of the tape.


Fold the tape over the raw edges of the pocket, onto the right side of the apron.  Pull the tape over far enough to cover your last sew line without unfolding the 2nd long edge of the tape, pin and then sew into place, close to the edge of the tape.


Repeat these steps on the second pocket, trimming away any excess tape once pressed.



Step 5 – Finishing the Main Apron Piece

Unfold you remaining bias tape piece along one raw edge and pin onto the back of the apron, lining up the raw edge of the bias tape with the raw edge of the apron, starting at the top of one pocket and running all the way round to the top of the second pocket.  Sew into place, sewing in the ditch (the fold of the tape) as before.


Fold the tape over to the front of the apron, pin into place just past the last sew line, then sew the layers together.  Press and trim away excess tape from the top of the apron.



Step 6 – The Waistband

Iron a 1.2cm (1/2”) seam allowance over along one long side of your waistband.

Now fold the strip in half so that your folded edge meets the raw edge on the other side, wrong sides together.  Iron the fold into place.


Open the last fold back up and line up the unfolded long edge of the waistband with the top raw edge of the main apron, right side of the waistband facing the back of the main apron piece, with an even amount of overhang on each side of the apron.  Sew into place using a 6mm/1/4” seam allowance.


Fold the waistband up above the apron and iron the seamline.  Turn your apron over, so you are looking at the right side of the apron, and iron the seam allowance up, onto the waistband.


Fold the short edges of the waistband in so that they are lined up with the main apron’s sides and iron the creases into place.  Fold the top of the waistband down along the crease you made earlier (the majority of the waistband will sit above the main apron piece.  The raw edge of the folded waistband should meet the raw edge of the main apron piece at the front, inside the waist band (see image below).


Sew the waistband into place using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance, or less if you prefer (we use the side of our sewing machine foot as a guide, but switch the needle position to put it closer to the edge of the waistband).

Sew a second row of top stitches along the top of the waistband, the same distance in from the edge – LEAVE THE SHORT SIDES OPEN!


Step 7 – The Ties

Take one of your tie strips and iron in half along the longest side.  Then fold one of the short ends into a triangle and iron the creases into place (see images below).

Sew along the long open side and down the diagonal crease line – the second short end should be left unsewn.  After sewing, trim the excess fabric from the pointed end.


Turn your tie out, taking care to make sure the point is pushed out.  Iron the tie and then top stitch around all the sides EXCEPT the short side you turned the tie through.


Repeat these steps to make your second tie.

Insert a tie at each end of the waistband, making sure the pointy ends of the ties are both facing the same way!  We recommend inserting them approx. 2.5cm (1”) into the waistband. Pin into place and sew down the waistband to secure the ties and complete the top stitching.


Congratulations, you have finished your apron!


Fabrics used in this tutorial: Riley Blake Dutch Treat – click here to view in store.

Click here to download a printer friendly version of this tutorial.

Click here to download the templates.


Spooktacular Free Halloween Sewing Patterns and Tutorials

Apologies for the pun but we couldn’t resist!

With the children back a school the next main event on our calendar is Halloween – here is our pick of the makes from across the internet – all free patterns or sewing tutorials…

Spooky Cushion Free Sewing Tutorial – Kirs, Driven by Decor Blog


Monster Legs Free Tutorial – Hallmark Blog


Glove Monster – Handimania Blog


Bat Wings Halloween Costume Tutorial – Etsy Blog


Dragon Wings Halloween Costume Free Tutorial – Feelincrafty Blog


Trick or Treat Tote Bag Free Sewing Tutorial – Blog


Fox Tail Free Tutorial – Bitsfashion Blog (this one is no sew but could be made easier by sewing!)


Green Fairy Costume Free Tutorial – The blog


Mermaid Tail Free Sewing Tutorial – blog


Skeleton Costume Free Tutorial (sew and no sew options) – Blog


Superhero Costumes Free Tutorial – Lia Blog


Visit our Pinterest board dedicated to all things Halloween for lots more inspiration!

View our range of Halloween and spooky fabrics in store today by clicking here.


Dashwood Studio’s 2016 Christmas Fabrics Now In Stock!

Have you seen Dashwood Studio’s Festive Friends fabric collection yet?

It combines modern sensibilities with more than a nod and a wink to 1950s glamour – happy Christmas puddings and cats enjoying their Christmas party – what is there not to like!

dashwood studio festive friends christmas fabric collection long banner

Click on the image above to view in store.

If you are looking a pattern to use these fab fabrics with – check out or range in store (click here) and our free tutorials (click here).

Please tag us in to your makes in Instagram or send us images below or on Facebook, we love sharing your images 🙂

Christmas in August!

With Selfridges unveiling their Christmas shop in London this week we thought it was high time we unveiled ours!  Full to the brim with Christmas fabrics, designed to suit all tastes and styles, from the fab Studio E Love Joy Peace, traditional, Scandinavian collection, to Riley Blake Design’s Pixie Noel with more than a hint of 1950s glamour, and Santa Express brimming over with fun – and who could forget Michael Miller’s Christmas gnomes!

Save 10% on all these fabrics until Sunday 14th August by using discount code yoyoyo in your basket before you go to the checkout!

Click here to view all or Christmas fabrics in one place 🙂

Studio E – Joy, Peace Love

A Scandinavian inspired treat of a Christmas fabric collection, in lush reds, crisp white and teal.

Suitable for: quilting, dressmaking, home decor projects, crafts.

100% cotton, 110cm (44″) wide.

studio e-joy-love-peace-christmas-fabric-collection

Riley Blake – Pixie Noel

Tasha Noel has created a beautiful Christmas fabric collection for Riley Blake, reminiscent of the 1950s Babycham deer, cocktail dresses and classic Chrismas movies!

Tasha has a way with combining sugary colors with rich colors to create an amazing palette. This holiday collection is no exception. The sweet pinks and aquas are paired with Christmas red and navy blue to create a very modern Christmas collection. Bottle Brush Trees and adorable rabbits are paired with pixies in candy-striped tights in this whimsical collection with a modern twist.


Riley Blake Designs Santa Express

All aboard the Santa Express – a non-stop ride to a wintery wonderland of holiday delight by Doodlebug Design!

Join Santa and his friends in a collection so festive you’ll be giddy with creativity and delight. In classic Christmas shades and cheery winter icons these fabrics are perfect for crafting a unique gift or creating some seasonal home decor. So pack up some treats and grab a friend, cuz Santa Express is comin’ round the bend!


Don’t forget to share pics of your makes with us, we love seeing what you talented bunch do with these fab fabrics!

A Simple Girl’s Skirt For All Seasons – Sewing Tutorial


This pattern for a simple elasticated girl’s skirt is a true classic, with its origins lost in the mist of time!

My mum used to make these skirts for me in the 1970s and many of our customers still make them today for their own daughters, granddaughters, nieces, family and friends.

They are super easy to make, including cutting out they will take you around 30 minutes to make, and they don’t break the bank, typically using less than half a mtr of fabric and under a mtr of 25mm (1”) elastic.


We have listed the requirements for standard sizes below, but as we all know children don’t come in standard sizes! If you want to make your skirt ‘made to measure’ it couldn’t be simpler….

Fabric width = waist measurement x2 *

Fabric length = measure from the waist to preferred length + 57mm (2.25”)

Elastic = waist measurement (buy 25mm/1” elastic)

Standard Sizes



* If the fabric you want to use isn’t wide enough, or if you want to use a border print, you could sew two pieces of fabric together to get the desired fabric width. To work out the size of each piece of fabric simply divide the width figure in the chart by 2 and then add 12mm (1/2”) for the extra seam created when you join the two pieces together.

** Nothing is written in stone with this pattern, if you fabric is not as wide as you need, but buying extra fabric to make a join will leave you with a large off cut, you could just use a piece of fabric which is not as wide as directed above, your skirt will just have less fullness/gathers.

*** If your fabric is not wide enough, cut two smaller pieces and sew them together. Each piece should be half the width figure shown PLUS 12mm (1/2”) for the extra seam.

If you are planning on finishing your seams with an overlocker/serger you can get away with 25mm (1”) less on the length of your fabric pieces.

A Note About Using Border Prints

We have used two ‘border print fabrics’ in this tutorial as they work particularly well in this situation, the first is from Michael Miller’s Sommer fabric collection and is double border, with the same print running along both sides of the fabric. The second is Michael Miller’s Gnomeville Christmas print (this one has the border running down one side only).

When working out your fabric requirements, for most fabrics (with or without a clear direction) you would use the width of the fabric for the width of the skirt, and buy a piece large enough to give you your desired length. However if you are using a fabric with a border print, this would result in the border being on the sides of your skirt instead of the bottom. To get the border to run around the bottom of the skirt, you need to:

  1. Buy a piece long enough for the width of your skirt – you will have a large off cut for another project or your stash.
  2. Or if your fabric has a double border, or a single border but you are happy to have the border only on the front of the skirt, buy a piece of fabric half the width of the skirt piece plus 12mm (1/2”).


Step 1

‘Rough cut’ your fabrics by cutting slightly more than you need for your skirt. Then wash, dry and iron your fabrics before measuring and cutting out your pattern pieces (the fabrics will shrink in the first wash by approx. 3%).

Step 2 – For those of you using 2 pieces of fabric (if not you skip to step 3)

If you are using two pieces of fabric you will need to join your pieces together. Place one piece of fabric on top of the other, wrong sides facing each other (you will see the right side of the fabric). Sew a 6mm (1/4”) seam down one side and then trim the seam allowance back by approx. half (see images below).


Now turn the fabric out, so that you are looking at the back of the fabric, and iron the seam, making sure the seam line runs along the crease.

Pin the two layers together and then sew a seam 6mm (1/4”) in from the existing seam line, this will trap all the loose threads and raw edges inside the seam allowance.

Turn your fabric out, so you are looking at the right side of the fabric, and iron the seam once more. You can now treat your fabric as one piece.




Step 3 – For those of you using an overlocker/serger (if not you skip to step 4)

If you are using an overlocker/serger, finish your top and bottom raw edges now.


Step 4

Fold your fabric in half (from left to right), with the wrong sides facing each other – you will be looking at the right side of the fabric (see the next image).  Line up the raw edges and pin together along the vertical open side.

Sew the sides together using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance, trim the seam allowance back by half and then press the seam.


Turn your skirt out, so you are looking at the back of the fabric, and iron the seam you have just sewn, making sure the seam line is on the crease.

Pin the two layers of fabric together and then sew a new seam down the same side, 6mm (1/4”) in from the seam you have just sewn. You have just created a French seam, trapping all the raw edges inside – doesn’t it look lovely 🙂

Turn your skirt out the right way and iron along the seam line.



Step 5

Turn your skirt out the wrong way. Fold the top of the skirt over by 12mm (1/2”) and iron the crease into place (if you have overlocked your seams you can skip this step).


Step 6

Fold the top of the skirt over, onto the back, by 30mm (1.25”) and iron the crease into place. This will be the elastic casing.

Sew along the bottom of the casing using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance – make sure the gap between the sew line and the top of the skirt is at least 2.5cm (1”) to accommodate the elastic.
LEAVE a gap of approx. 7.5cm (3”) on the back of the skirt, to one side, to feed the elastic through later.



Step 7

Now feed the elastic through the gap you left earlier.

Pull the elastic clear of the skirt and sew the two ends of the elastic together using a zig zag stitch. Trim back the seam allowance and push the elastic back into the casing.


Step 8

Close the gap up left for the elastic.


Step 9

Finish the bottom seam by folding the raw edge up 6mm (1/4”) ironing the crease in,  Fold the fabric up again by the same amount, hiding all the raw edges, and iron once again. Then top stitch or hand sew the hem.

NOTE: If you have used a serger/overlocker to finish your seams you can get away with only folding the fabric over once before hemming.


How pretty!


We love seeing your makes, so encourage you to share pictures of your skirts with us below, on Facebook or tag us in on Instagram (#printstopolkadots) 🙂

Materials Used: Michael Miller’s Christmas Print – Jolly Holly Gnomesville, Michael Miller’s Sommer Collection Double Border Print. 25mm (1″) wide elastic.

Click here to download a printer-friendly version of this pattern

Quirky Quilting Terms With Their Definitions


Image reproduced under license from Flickr, Linda

Image reproduced under license from Flickr, Linda

We are currently compiling a quilters dictionary and came across the following fun acronyms which will bring a smile to any committed fabric addict…

STASH – (Special Treasure All Secretly Hidden)

S.E.X (Stash Enhancing eXperiences) committed sewers can’t get enough of this!

SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) – of course no sewer aims to create a SABLE, we all think we will eventually use every scrap 🙂

Sewing with Double Gauze – Hints and Tips


Have you Discovered Double Gauze Fabric Yet?

Whilst it isn’t a new type of fabric, it has, until recently, been something of secret amongst sewers, with just a handful of manufacturers making this super soft and breathable fabric.  This year however,  it has exploded onto the scene with many of the top design houses producing their own ranges, including Riley Blake, Robert Kaufman and Michael Miller.

Double gauze originated in Japan where dressmakers were looking for a lightweight, breathable fabric to make clothes from, which would work well in hot weather.  A single layer of gauze, like that used in bandages, was seen as the ideal weight for summer clothes and with a loose weave sewers recognised that the fabric would allow the air to flow around their skin, keeping them cool.  The problem was that when used in a single layer it lacked any weight at all and so did not drape in a pleasing way, due to the loose weave it stretched out of shape easily and it was often very see through.

The solution was to weave two separate layers of gauze at the same time, weaving them together at regular intervals to create a single fabric.  The resulting double gauze fabric is:

  • still very lightweight, but has just enough weight to drape softly,
  • very cool to wear, with the loose weave still allowing the air to circulate,
  • very, very soft – with a touch me and cuddle me quality,
  • a fabric which is no longer very see through.

The image below shows you a close up of the back of Michael Miller’s double gauze, you can see the criss cross pattern created by the weaving process.  Depending on your fabric’s colour and pattern, this is more or less visible on the front side (it is never more than on the back).  Once sewn into a blanket, garment or quilt, this criss cross pattern is not visible to the eye – the main image at the top of this post is the right side of the fabric below, if you look very closely you can make out the criss cross pattern, but you have to look very closely.

double gauze weave

How Easy is it to Sew With Double Gauze?

Prepare it correctly and you can treat double gauze pretty much as regular cotton.  The drape is looser so if you like very crisp corners when quilting then this won’t be the fabric for you, but with the right treatment and where appropriate interfacing, it can be used for any sewing project, dressmaking, quilting, even curtains and blinds!

Follow our top tips for sewing with double gauze below, and you will have no issues, and we are sure you will be delighted with the results – the look and feel!

Top Tips

  • Don’t forget to prewash your fabrics, just as with regular cotton.
  • If you are using interfacing iron the interfacing onto the fabric BEFORE tracing and cutting your pattern shapes. The loose weave of the fabric coupled with the action of ironing can lead to fabrics losing their shape, attaching the interfacing first will remove this possibility and instantly stabilize your fabric.
  • If you are not using interfacing, spray your fabrics with starch first, this will temporarily stiffen the fabrics, stopping them from stretching out of shape.
  • Once you have cut your pattern pieces stay stitch everything! Until you have finished sewing your item the fabric will remain fragile and will easily pull out of shape.  Running around the edges of your fabric pieces with a basting stitch close to the edge will stabilize the fabrics and almost completely eliminate this problem.  Once I have stay stitched I start breathing again!  From this point on I know it will be difficult to pull the fabrics out of shape.
  • Do not iron your fabrics from left to right (before they are sewn together) as this will stretch the fabrics, instead press the fabrics, by lifting the iron up and down, moving across the fabric as you go.
  • Don’t pull the fabrics through your sewing machine, just gently guide them, again avoiding stretching.
  • Use a longer stitch length, size 3-3.5 is ideal, this will reduce the risk of stretching and if you have to unpick you will be less likely to stress the fabric.
  • If you are dressmaking and some parts of the garment are going to have interfacing attached and some not (apart from just collars and cuffs), for example if the facing has interfacing attached, we recommend attaching interfacing to everything.  We recently made a tank top with facing from the shoulders half way down the bust, when on, particularly in the evening, you could see the line between the interfaced section and parts without interfacing.  If you are worried that adding the interfacing all over the fabric will take away all that is beautiful about double gauze, don’t be, the fabric remained super soft, like a second skin, and if anything the interfacing improved the overall finish.
  • If you have large darts in your garment, cut them open and iron the dart’s seam allowance open, half on each side of the dart.  We found that large darts, ironed in one direction, add enough weight to slightly pull the garment down and sag at the seam (we are being particularly picky, but this is so easy to avoid!).

I hope this list hasn’t scared you, as long as you follow these steps this fabric will come together as planned and we are sure you will be pleased with the results.  If you have had your fingers burnt sewing with knits and are worried that you will get to the end of piece A only to find it no longer lines up with piece B, don’t be, double gauze is sooo much easier to work with than knits!

Please do share your dos and don’ts with us – we love to hear about your experiences 🙂 and visit our Pinterest board (click on the image below) for links to lots of free patterns and inspiring images.