Monthly Archives: March 2014

Riley Blake Preview Now Available

Have you seen Riley Blake’s latest brochure?  I say latest, I think it is their first, it is crammed full of images of the upcoming collections, we have already booked Unicorns and Rainbows, Rocket Age, Vintage Happy, Lazy Days and the new Geekly Chic fabrics.

We don’t have houndstooth or home décor prints, not because they are not great, they are, but due to lack of space.  If you are interested in getting hold of any of these fabrics, please contact us and we will give you a quote for a special order.

rb guide march 2014

Wash Bag / Make Up Bag Free Pattern

Finished Size:
Large 9” tall x max 15” along top (shorter at the bottom)
Small 7.25” tall x 9.5” along the top (shorter at the bottom)


For Large Bag
16” w x 11” l external fabric
16” w x 11” l internal fabric
16” w x 11” l fusible heavy weight or fleece interfacing
16” zip

For Small Bag
10”w x 9”l external fabric
10”w x 9”l internal fabric
10”w x 9”l fusible interfacing
10”w x 9”l zip

For Handles (optional)
2.25” x 21” x2 strips for handles
12” x 2 pieces, size 4 piping cord.


Iron your interfacing on to the back of the external fabric pieces (in this example I used heavy weight interfacing, its fine,but when I make another one I will use fusible fleece as it will make the bag a little stiffer and give it a more luxurious feel).

wash bag 1


Take one length of handle fabric and iron in half along the longest edge (see image 2).  Open up and fold the bottom edge up to the first fold, iron the crease into place (image 3), repeat with the top edge, folding it into the centre and ironing the crease into place (image 4).

wash handle 1

Now fold one end over by ¼”, iron the crease in.  Fold the same end over again, this time folding over 2” (image 2), and iron the crease in.  Sew the layers of fabric together with a simple rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the handle.wash handle with rectangle

Place your piping cord in the middle, it should run between the two sewn tabs.  Fold the fabric over the piping cord and sew into place, starting ¼” – ½” before the first end of the piping cord, and ending ¼” – ½” after the next end of the piping cord, this will ensure that the ends of the tabs and cord are hidden.

wash handle 3

Take your external fabric pieces and mark dots, 2” down from the top, and 5” in from each side.  These dots show you where to line the piping in the handles up to, if you would prefer to line up the bottom of each handle side, measure 4” down from the top.

haldle placement

Sew over the left, right and bottom seams on the rectangles at the each end of the handle.  Repeat with the second handle and external fabric piece.


Lay your zip in front of you, so that the right side is facing you.  Place one of your external fabric pieces over the zip, so that the whole of the zip is covered, with the top of the fabric lined up with the top of the zip tape, and the wrong side of the fabric facing you.  If you have sewn a handle onto your fabric, tuck it out of the way (NOT LIKE IN IMAGE 2 – YOU SHOULD NOT SEW OVER THE HANDLE), then sew the zip and fabric together, along the line shown in the images below. 

attaching zip part 1 wash

Turn the fabric over, so you are looking at the right side of the fabric, with the zip tape sewn on top of it.  Move the handle back out of the way and line one of the internal fabric pieces up with the top of the zip tape and all the sides of the external fabric piece, wrong side facing you (it will look like the second image above).  Pin into place and sew along the same line as before.

Fold the fabrics back along the seam line, so that you can see the right sides of the fabric and iron into place.

You now need to repeat these steps with the internal and external fabric pieces for the other side of the zip.  If you are unsure of how to line up the fabric, start with the empty side of the zip tape at the top of the bag (right side of the zip facing you), making sure the sides already sewn on onto the other side of the tape, are folded back out of the way, line the top of the external fabric piece up with the top of the zip tape, making sure the sides are lined up with the rest of the bag and that you are looking at the wrong side of the fabric, then sew together (along the empty side of the zip).  Turn the bag over, line the internal fabric piece up with the external piece you have just attached (the zip will be sandwiched between two pieces of fabric and you will be looking at the wrong side of the internal fabric).  Sew together over the last seam line.

Fold the fabrics back so you are looking at the right sides of the fabrics, on all sides of the zip, and iron flat.

wash bag sides

The next step is optional but I find it stops the fabric getting caught in the zip.  With the right sides of the fabric showing, after ironing the fabrics flat, sew a top seam each side of the zip.

wash zip

You are now going to sew the sides of the bag together, BEFORE YOU DO THIS you MUST open the zip.

Arrange the fabric pieces so that the internal pieces are on top of each other, and the external pieces are on top of each other (right sides together).

Looking first at the external pieces, pin together and sew a seam around the open sides (left, right and bottom – see image 2).

matching sides wash

To make the box corners, hold one of the bottom corners and manipulate the fabrics to get the two seams coming off that corner (side and bottom seam) on top of each other.  I find it easier to do this by looking inside the bag and guiding the side seam on to the top of the bottom seam (see image below) and then iron flat.

Place your ruler across the corner, making a triangle shape, with the visible seam (show in red below) lined up with a line on your ruler.  Now move the ruler back and forth, towards and away from the corner, until you have 1.5” on each side of the red line (see orange lines).  When you are sure that orange lines are both 1.5” and the red line is lined up with the seam, draw you sew line (if you can’t get 1.5” on both sides of the line, then realign your seams inside your bag).

Draw a line across the corner, pin and then sew a seam along that line. Trim the corner away.

box corners sewing wash

Repeat these steps on the other corner.

Now take the internal fabric pieces and pin together, right sides facing each other.  Sew around the three raw edges BUT THIS TIME leave a 4” gap in the middle of the bottom seam, this will be used for turning out.  Then make the box corners as for the external bag.

internal bag construction
Turn the bag out by pulling the fabric through the gap at the bottom of the internal fabric bag, fold the raw edges in (along the turning gap) and sew together. 
turning out

Push the internal bag into the external bag and fill up with your favourite goodies.

cosmetic-make up-wash-bag

Fabrics used: Riley Blake Kensington Collection, Riley Blake Think Pink Collection, Heavy Weight fusible interfacing (but recommend using fusible fleece interfacing).
If using handles you will also need size 4 piping cord.

Click here to view more free patterns and guides.

Click here to download printer friendly instructions.

New Way of Ordering Fabric Bundles – Competition

When new fabrics arrive at Prints to Polka Dots we add them to our website (as you would expect!) but we also look at which fabrics go well with those new fabrics and those suggested combinations are photographed and added to our Pre Cut Fabrics section.

pre cut home page

You can order these bundles as fat quarters, yards, squares (charm packs, layer cakes and more), strips (jelly rolls in a range of widths), triangles, hexagons, bunting, rectangles, apple cores, tumblers and ric rac.  Whilst this range of cuts offers you a wide range to choose from, finding a way to guide you through the purchasing process and explain all the possible cuts, has been a real challenge.

We think (hope) we have now found a way to list these bundles which is less confusing and which will give you the confidence to buy bundles, but we want to know what you think.

The following link (click on the image below) will take you to our current list of bundles (over 170), click on the link, take a look at a bundle or two, selecting different types of pack, seeing how the screen changes and how useful the information is, and then come back and leave us your comments (constructive please!), do you find it easy to understand, are there any cuts which you think would be useful for us to add? 


We really really want to know what you think, as we are planning on rolling out the same way to order across the store, for all our individual fabrics as well as bundles.

To thank you for taking the time to give us the feedback we will be selecting one entry (at random), to win 1000 points to spend in store, and 3 runners up to win 500 points.

Closes 25th April 2014.

Inspiring Free Sewing Projects for Easter

With Mother’s Day almost upon us and Spring in the air, it is time to start planning those Easter makes.  We have pulled together a list of our favourite free patterns and tutorials from across the web, let us know of any hidden gems you love, that we have missed.

From, ubber cute bunnies.  Make sure you click on her tutorials, we also love her fabric wreath.

easter idea1

From a super cute sock bunny.  They also have patterns for sock penguins and owls and over 70 other free patterns/tutorials to browse through.

easter pattern 2 sock bunny

We couldn’t resist just one more easter bunny…  This one is from We also love Melanie’s doorway puppet theatre and charm square quilt tutorial.

Easter Bunny Softie Pattern and Tutorial_thumb[2]

Fabric Eggs, these ones are from Retro Mama, look great on the sideboard all year round, fill them with lavender for a scented version.

fabric eggs

Looking for an Easter basket that is a little bit different?  How about this bunny shaped basket from .  Make sure you click on the holiday tutorials tab at the top of her blog to find tutorials for fabric carrots and a great bunny silhouette cushion.

easter bunny basket tutorial

Its worth making yourself a nice hot drink and grabbing a snack before you delve into the world of The Purl Bee, there are so many wonderful projects to inspire you, beautifully shot, with clear instructions, for Easter we love their bunny hat.


 We really love the fox applique cushion, Dora the Explorer back pack, patchwork pumpkins and  bunny Easter buckets, but wanted to share Amy’s great ruffle t-shirt here, you can use the idea for an Easter themed tee, or use the same technique to make Initials or other images.

ruffled easter egg tee

Fat Hen from – too many adverts, but lots of free patterns too!

fat hen easter sewing project free

We will be adding our own tutorial for a Easter egg basket, Egg Cosies and Easter bunting over the next week so visit again soon!