Monthly Archives: December 2015

Mega Fabric Sale Now On!

sale banner facebook
Our annual mega clearance sale is now on, with quilting, patchwork, laminates, home decor weight, knits and flannel fabrics included, together with a range of sewing patterns, ribbons and trim!

Buy online today (click the image above) and save upto 70%! Or visit us at our pop up shop in Witney on the 9th.

pop up shop january sale

Pencil Case Tutorial (Zipper pouch with squared off corners)

pencil-case-zipper-pouch-square-front-image

Finished size: Approx 14cm x 22cm (5.5” x 8.5“)


Requirements:

Fabric

24.5cm x 16cm (9.75” x 6.5”) x2 in your external fabric and x2 in your internal fabric.

2 x 5cm x 7.5cm (2” x 3”) tabs (these appear at each end

Interfacing

This is a matter of personal choice, I wanted a squidgy but smooth feel to the pencil case, so opted to add two layers, the first was medium weight fusible interfacing and the second low loft fusible fleece (H630).

Each piece should be 22cm x 13.5cm (8.75” x 5.5”).

Zipper

1 zip 21.5cm (8 and 5/8ths”) long (you could get a larger one and cut the end off).

 

Instructions

Cut all your fabric and interfacing pieces as indicated above.

Iron your interfacings onto your main fabric pieces.  Each piece of interfacing is smaller than the main fabric pieces.  Place the interfacings centrally onto the back of each of your main pieces and iron into place, you will have an interfacing free border of approx. 12mm (1/2”) on each side.

Take one of your pieces of tab fabric, fold in half lengthways and iron.  Open the fabric out and fold the raw edges, on the left and right into the centre fold line.  Iron.  Fold in half again, along the first crease line and press once more.  Repeat with the second zipper end piece.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-making-tabs

Unfold one of your tabs and place centrally under one end of your zip.  So that you are looking at the front of the fabric and front of the zip.  The end of the zip should be in line with the top raw edge of the tab.  Sew across the top, 6mm (¼”) in from the raw edge (before the first crease line in the fabric piece).

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-attaching tabs

Fold the piece of fabric back up, following the original crease lines, capturing the zip end in the middle (see images below).  Sew across the fabric, close to the folded edge.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-attaching tabs2
MAKE SURE THE ZIPPER PULL is attached to the tape.

Now attach the second tab, line your zip up against one of your fabric panels, you need to leave 1.4cm (1 and 6 8ths of an inch) slightly more than 1.2cm (1/2”) of main panel fabric clear before and after the zip, this is very important as it allows the zip to sit squarely in the finished pouch.

When you are happy that the length of the zip is correct, add the second zipper tab as above.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-finished zipper tape
Take one of your external fabric pieces, place the zip onto top, so that:-

  • you are looking at the back of the zip
  • you are looking at the front of the fabric
  • the long edge of the zipper tape is lined with the top raw edge of the fabric piece.
  • There is approx. 1.4cm (1& 6/8ths”) of the main fabric showing at each end of the zip.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-adding zip

Baste the zip into place 3mm (1/8th”) from the top edge.

Place one of your internal fabric pieces on top of the zip, so that the zip is sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric the right sides of the fabrics are facing each other, and the raw edges are lined up on all sides.  Sew together, so that the sew line is a few mms (2/8th”) from the zipper tape teeth, on the side closest to the raw edges (the top edge).

Fold both the fabric pieces back along the seam lines, so you are looking at the right sides of the fabric and can see the zip, press.

Top stitch along the fabric pieces, approx. 3mm (1/8th”) in from the seam line (this step stops the fabric getting eaten by the zip when in use).

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-side1

Place the remaining main piece on top of the zipper tape, so that:

  • the right sides of the fabric pieces are facing each other.
  • The left and right edges of the top piece line up with the fabric piece underneath.
  • The top is lined up with the top of the zipper tape.

Baste into place.

Turnover and pin your internal fabric piece on top, so that the zip tape is sandwiched between the external and internal fabric pieces.  Ensuring that:

  • the right sides of the fabric pieces are facing each other.
  • The left and right edges of the top piece line up with the fabric piece underneath.
  • The top is lined up with the top of the zipper tape.

Sew together.

Fold both the fabric pieces back, so you are looking at the right sides of the fabric pieces, and press.  Top stitch just below the seam line.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-second-side

NOW MAKE SURE THE ZIP IS HALF UNZIPPED – THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP!

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 facing).  Pin each pair together, taking care around the zip to make sure each set is perfectly lined up.

Sew together LEAVING a turning gap of 5cm (2”) half way up one side of the lining fabric pouch.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-sewing-together
Trim the corners, on the raw side of the seam lines, into triangles (to cut down on the bulk in the seams).  Then turn the pencil case out the right way by pulling the fabric through the gap you left in the lining.

Make sure you push all the corners out, including those around the zip.

Fold the raw edges at the turning point into the gap, iron and then top stitch this section closed, as close to the edge as you feel comfortable.

pencil case tutorial-sewing-zipper-pouch-flat-square-corners-turning-out
Push the internal pouch inside the external one and you’re done!

pencil-case-finished-tutorial-zipper-pouch-uk

Click on tutorials on the menu at the top of the page to download other pouch tutorials, including one with several internal pockets and instructions for adding box corners (to give the pouch a wide base).

This pencil case was made using Riley Blake’s Modern Minis and Kona Solid – both available at www.printstopolkadots.co.uk

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

Quick and Easy Bunting Tutorial

speedy-mini-bunting-sewing-tutorial-by-prints-to-polka-dots
This bunting is so quick and easy to make it almost feels like a cheat!

Scale the bunting up and down to suit your needs!  The first size below makes bunting perfect for decorating a bookcase, fireplace or mirror, and the second is perfect for the Christmas tree!

 

Requirements:

For mini bunting – pairs of 16.5cm (6.5”) squares (each pair will make 4 triangles) – you can buy almost all our fabrics pre-cut into 6.5″ squares, making it even easier!

For micro (Christmas tree bunting) – pairs of 12.5cm (5”) squares (each pair will make 4 triangles) – you can buy almost all our fabrics pre-cut into 5″ squares, making it even easier!

Bunting tape

 

Instructions

Take two squares of your chosen size, and place together, right sides facing, raw edges lined up.

Pin in a couple of places and then fold in half diagonally – from A to D on the image, forming a triangle shape. Iron the crease in.

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-1

Open out so you can see the ironed-in crease. Place your square under your sewing machine foot, so that the right side of the foot lines up with the crease.  Sew across the square (from B to C on the image below), keeping the crease on the right of the foot.

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-2

Turn the square around, placing it back under the sewing machine foot, again with the crease on the right of the foot, the sewn line will appear to the right of that (further away from the foot). Sew across the square as before (keeping the foot lined up with the crease).

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-3

Take your square back to the ironing board, you now need to fold the triangle in half, diagonally, in the opposite direction to last time (from B to C in the image).

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-4

Open out so you can see the ironed-in crease. Place your square under your sewing machine foot, so that the left side of the foot lines up with the crease.  Sew across the square (from D to A on the image below), keeping the crease on the left of the foot.

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-5

Turn the square around, placing it back under the sewing machine foot, again with the crease on the left of the foot, the sewn line will appear to the left of that (further away from the foot). Sew across the square as before (keeping the foot lined up with the crease).

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-6

Cut in half, between the two sewn lines (from A to D on the image below). Now cut these pieces in half, again between the remaining sew lines.  You now have 4 bunting triangles!  Trim the tip of each triangle away (below the sew lines), reducing the bulk.  Turn each triangle out and you will see the top corner seam allowances poking out of the top of each triangle, snip these off.

mini bunting-quick-and-easy-method-step-8

Iron your triangles. Line your triangles up along your bunting tape.  Pin so that the raw edges of each triangle are hidden inside the fold of your tape (don’t forget to allow 20-30cm at each end to tie your bunting up).

Sew along the length of your tape to seal in your triangles.

Finished – how quick was that!

christmas-mini-bunting-sewing-tutorial-quick-and-easy-prints-to-polka-dots-with-title

Want to make full-size bunting?  Download our free guide to planning and making bunting from our blog and visit our main store’s bunting department where you can buy templates, pre-cut triangles, specialist tape, templates and more!

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

Christmas Santa Sacks Tutorial

santa-sacks-sewing-tutorial-image-3-prints-to-polka-dots

Finished size: Approx 66cm long x 52cm wide (26” x 20.5”)

Requirements:

80cm of 110cm (31” x 44”) wide cotton fabric (main external sack).

32cm of 110cm (12.75” x 44”) wide cotton fabric for the fold over section at the top.

50cm of 100cm (19.75” x 44”) wide plain cotton for the bottom of the lining (you could cut up a cheap sheet for this piece as it’s hidden inside the sack).

Optional – ready to use applique (available in store) or handmade applique, made with fabric scraps and heat n bond adhesive.

Optional – pom pom trim 110cm (43”) long.



Instructions

  1. Cut your two main external fabric pieces.
  2. Arrange your applique shapes on one of the external pieces, keep in mind that you will lose a little on each side for seams, and about 20cm at the top when the top section is turned over.

APPLIQUE NOTE:

We used ready cut iron on shapes from our store (available in a wide range of shapes and fabrics).   You could make your own with heat n bond adhesive, we have included some templates at the end of this tutorial for Ho Ho Ho and Noel, alternatively draw your own images or find images you like via Google.  Simply trace your shapes on to the paper side of heat n bond ultra (the images need to be back to front), cut out, iron on to the back of your applique fabric and cut out, then continue as below.

When you are happy with the arrangement, peel off the backing paper and iron into place. If you plan on top stitching, do that now.

Place the second external bag on top of the first, right sides facing each other, and sew along the left, bottom and right sides.  Trim the bottom left and right corners by cutting triangles on the raw side of the seams (this reduces the bulk in the corners).  Put the external fabric pieces to one side.
christmas stocking tutorial images sewing external bags

Take one of your plain lining fabric sections, and one of the fold over fabric pieces. Line the raw top edge of the fold over fabric up with the raw top edge of the lining fabric (fabrics facing each other) and sew together.  NOTE:  once sewn and opened up the top section will look like it is upside down, this is correct – it will make sense later!christmas stocking tutorial images adding turn over to stop

Repeat with the second lining and fold over fabric pieces. Double check that both pieces still measure 80cm long and are as wide as the external sack.

Pin the two lining pieces together, right sides facing, making sure they line up on all sides. Sew the left, right and bottom seams LEAVING a turning gap along one side, of approx 10cm.  Trim the bottom corners as before and then turn out.sew and trim lining for christmas sack tutorial

If using pom poms, pin to the top of the sack (onto the right side of the turn over fabric), so that the pom pom tape is approx. 12mm (1/2”) down from the raw edge, pom poms below that, facing towards the main part of the sack. Sew together (use a zipper foot if you have one), working around the whole of the sack (front and back).

christmas stocking tutorial images ADDING POM POMS

Place the internal sack inside the external sack, so that the right sides of the sacks are facing each other and the raw edges are lined up at the top.

Pin the two layers of fabric together all the way around the opening of your sack. Sew together just above the pom pom balls (on the edge of the tape as close to the balls as possible). REMEMBER!  You are sewing two layers of fabric together with the pom poms between, NOT all four layers at the same time.

Turn out the sack through the hole you left in the lining. You should be looking at the outside of both sacks.

christmas stocking tutorial images pulled out sacks

Iron both sacks. Find the turning hole in the lining, fold the raw edges into it, then top stitch this section closed 3mm/6mm from the outside edge (this will be hidden inside the sack).

christmas stocking tutorial images sewing turning out gap

Place the internal sack inside the external one and iron around the top to get the fabric either side of the pom poms to lay flat (away from the pom poms).

OPTIONAL: Top stitch close to the pom poms to hold the fabrics in position.

christmas stocking tutorial images top sewing pom poms

  1. Fold the top of the sack over. If you want to keep the folded over section in place, stitch along the seam lines on each side of the sack, a couple of cms down from the top (1”) will be far enough.
    christmas stocking tutorial images folded over

Time to put your sack out for Santa!

santa-sacks-sewing-tutorial-image-2-prints-to-polka-dots

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

Click here to download the applique templates for Ho, Ho, Ho and Noel.

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

christmas-stocking-sewing-tutorial-prints-to-polka-dots

Approx sizes: medium 35cm (14”) tall, large 45cm (17.75”) tall

Requirements:

MEDIUM

55cm wide x 44cm (21” x 17.5”) main external stocking fabric (assumes you are using the same fabric both sides).

55cm wide x 18cm (21” x 7”) contrasting fabric for the turn over section at the top, the toes and heel on the front.

35cm x 50cm (14” x 20”) fabric for the lining (we used plain white Kona, you could use fabric offcuts or a pillowcase).

3cm x 10cm (1” x 4”) fabric for hook.

55cm (21”) pom pom trim (optional).

LARGE

55cm long x 70cm wide (21.5” x 27.5) main external stocking fabric (assumes you are using the same fabric both sides).

20cm x 90cm (8” x 35.5”) fabric for the turn over section at the top, the toes and heel on the front.

48cm x 70cm (19” x 27.5”) fabric for the lining (we used plain white Kona, you could use fabric offcuts or a pillowcase).

3cm x 10cm (1” x 4”) for hook.

55cm (21”) pom pom trim (optional).

Instructions

This pattern uses 6mm (1/4”) seam allowances.

Stick together your paper template pieces as directed on the print outs.

Cut your fabric pieces:

  • Toes and ankle x1 of each in your contrasting fabric
  • Leg and foot x 1of each in your main fabric.
  • x 1 of the piece marked stocking in the fabric you have chosen for the back (trace this one back to front).
  • x 2 of the pattern piece marked stocking lining in your lining fabric (one facing each way).
  • x2 of the pattern pieces marked lining topper in your contrasting fabric.
  • x1 3cm x 10cm (1” x 4”) fabric off cut for the hanging loop (optional).

Arrange your toe, ankle, foot and leg pieces in front of you to make a rough stocking shape.  Sew these pieces together – ankle to leg, then foot to leg, finally toes to foot.  Each time, flip the fabric over so that the right side is facing the piece it is being sewn onto, and the raw edges along the sewing edge are lined up (don’t worry about excess fabric appearing either side of the sew line).

christmas-stocking-tutorial-patchwork

Turn your patchwork over and place your stocking template on top.  Trace and cut out your stocking front.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-outside front

Pin the two stocking pieces together, right sides facing, and sew around the stocking LEAVING THE TOP EDGE UNSEWN.  Snip into the curves, this will help the fabric lay flat when you turn the stocking out.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-main together

Take one piece of your lining fabric and place a contrasting turn over piece on top, so that the top of the contrasting fabric in lined up with the top of the lining fabric, pin and sew together (if you are a regular sewer this may not make sense, you would normally line the bottom of the contrasting fabric up with the top of the lining piece – but this is not a mistake – go with it – we want the contrasting fabric to be upside down once this seam has been sewn).

Place your stocking template on top of your lining, it should line up on all sides, but there may be some excess fabric around the top.  Mark the shape of the template and trim as appropriate.  Repeat these steps with the second lining and contrast fabric pieces.  It is worth placing your two lining pieces next to each other before sewing, with the toes facing each other, in this position the seam lines should appear on the same sides.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-lining building

Now make your hanging loop (if using).  Fold your fabric in half long ways, iron and then open out.  Fold the two long raw edges in towards the crease line and iron into place.  Fold the fabric in half again using the original middle crease and press once more.  Sew all the way along the open edge.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-loop1

Fold the loop in half and press.  Take one of your lining pieces and position your loop half way down the contrasting fabric piece, on the same side as the heel.  Place the raw edges of the loop on top of each other so that approx. 12mm (1/2”) is over the raw edge of the stocking, with the rest on the stocking fabric (see image below) baste into place.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-loop2

Pin the two stocking pieces together, right sides facing.  You need to sew around all but the very top opening in the stocking as before, BUT this time you need to leave a turning gap somewhere near the bottom, of 5-10cm (we recommend placing the turning out gap at the top of the toe section, as this section is not visible when you look inside the stocking).

Snip into the curves as you did on the external stocking piece.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-sewing lining stocking

If you are adding pom poms then do that next.  Turn your lining stocking out the right way and pin your pom poms to around the top of the stocking, you will find it easier to do this 6mm (1/2”) away from the raw edges.  The pom poms should be pointing down on to the stocking, with the tape part of the trim closest to the raw edges.  Sew into place.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-pompom

With your external stocking still inside out, and your lining stocking turned out, place the internal stocking inside the external one – taking care to make sure the toes are facing the same way!  The external fabrics of each stocking will be facing each other.  Make sure the raw edges are aligned along the top of the stocking, pin the two stockings together, making sure you can still get inside the stocking (i.e. that you haven’t pinned all 4 layers together) and sew around the top.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-together

Pull the internal stocking out, find the turning gap and pull the whole stocking out through the gap.  Iron both sides of the stocking, folding the raw edges around the turning gap into the gap.  Pin the fabrics together around the gap and top stitch approx. 3mm (1/8th”) from the outside edge.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-closing gap

Feed the internal stocking into the external stocking.  Once you are sure everything is lined up, press.  Top stitch around the top of the stocking, just below the pom pom trim, this will keep the seam line crisp.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-top stitch pom poms

Fold the top of the stocking over. If you want to make sure the stocking top doesn’t move, top stitch along the side seams on the turnover.  A couple of cms (1”) on each side will be enough.

christmas-stocking-tutorial-tack top

Hang your stocking for Santa!

 

christmas stockings 2015 together

Click here to open a printer-friendly version of this tutorial.

Click here to download the medium stocking templates.

Click here to download the large stocking templates.

 

Shabby Chic Christmas Decorations

christmas decorations main image

Requirements:

Fabric scraps.
Fusible Fleece (H640) or wadding.
Ribbon for hanging your decorations.

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the decoration pattern pieces attached.
  2. Cut your fabric scraps into strips no more than 5-7cm deep, ideally these all different sizes, with some tapering off at one end.
  3. Sew your strips together, this is best done in a truly random manner, just sit next to the sewing machine, with a pile of fabric pieces, and start patching them together, use 6mm (1/4”) seams.
  4. Stop every now and again to see if your patchwork is large enough for your pattern, if you are planning on making lots of decorations you will find it easier to make a large patchwork piece and then cut all your shapes out – remember, you need 2 cut outs for each decoration (one for the front and one for the back).
  5. When you are happy with your patchwork give it a good iron, and ideally a light spray of starch.
  6. Now you can start tracing your templates onto your fabric. For each shape you need to cut:
  • one piece of fabric in the shape of your chosen template,
  • one piece of fabric larger than this on all sides, it doesn’t have to any particular shape, as long as there is at least a cm or so spare on each side of the shape.
  • 2 pieces of fusible fleece (or 1 piece of wadding) approx. 6mm (1/4”) smaller than your template on each side.
  1. Build your decoration by first positioning your fusible fleece (H640) or wadding centrally on the back of the main cut out shape, you should have a border running around the outside of the shape with no wadding or fleece on it. If you are using fusible fleece, iron to secure it to the fabric, then add your second piece of fleece on top of that one, and press again.
  2. Place the piece of patchwork you cut larger than the template in front of you, so you are looking at the back. Place on top of this your main piece with the fusible fleece attached, so that you are looking at the fabric’s front (if you are using wadding put this in position first, then the top piece of fabric).  Pin together.
  3. Cut a piece of ribbon to create the loop for the top of the decoration (approx. 10-12cm long). Fold in half to create a loop and insert the cut edges between the fabric layers, securing it with a pin or tacking stitch.
  4. Sew around the whole of your decoration, using a stitch of your choice (we liked using a small zig zag). Depending how big you want your finished decoration, sew 3-6mm (1/8th to ¼”) in from the outside edge of the properly cut out shape.
  5. Finish by trimming any loose cotton tails, and cutting around the outside of the decoration, with straight scissors or pinking shears, close to the sew line.

 

VARIATIONS

  • Once you have mastered the basics you can go onto create any number of shapes – you could spell out Merry Christmas or Ho Ho Ho!
  • Fill shapes with lavender or add a small amount of toy filler for a puffier finish.
  • String the shapes onto ribbon or between fairy lights to create alternative bunting or festive garlands.
  • If you don’t like the raw edges being visible, you can use the same templates to create decorations with no raw edges, follow the instructions above until you get to the point where you build the decoration, here you want to place the fabrics so that the right sides are facing each other and you are looking at the wadding or fleece, place the ribbon so that the loop is inside the decoration and just the raw edges are visible, poking out of the top, and sew around the decoration LEAVING a gap to turn the shape out the right way. After turning out hand stitch the gap up, or fold the raw edges into the gap and top stitch around the whole of the decoration.

decorations christmas shabby chic tutorial shorter

Click here to download a printer-friendly version of our tutorial.

 

Sew Along Bella Butterfly Soft Toy from Melly & Me and Riley Blake’s Flutterberry Collection

This great panel, part of the Flutterberry collection designed by Melly and Me and produced by Riley Blake, includes all the parts you need to make a cute butterfly called Bella.

The panel is available in Red, Pink or Blue, and all you need to make your butterfly is a panel, 6″ x 6″ of fusible fleece and toy stuffing.  All the instructions you need are printed on the panel, but we thought we would make this sew along tutorial to complement the instructions – and show you how simple it is to make on of these super cute butterflies!

flutterberry bugs
Posts

Finished size:  Approx 31.5cm (12.5″) tall.

Requirements:

1 x Bella butterfly panel (click to buy in store)

6″ x 6″ of low loft fusible fleece (click to buy in store)

Good quality toy filler.

Instructions:

This pattern uses a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

  1. Cut all the printed pattern pieces out of your panel, the seam allowance has been included in each piece, so cut along the printed edges.  IMPORTANT: When you get to the Front Wing pieces (4 in total) we recommend attaching the fusible fleece before cutting out (see below).
    attaching interfacing flutterberry bella butterfly
  2. Pin the front & back upper wing pieces together, and front and back lower wing pieces together, right sides facing, and sew around the curved sides, leaving the bottom edges unsewn.  Turn out and press.bella-butterfly-wings-sew-along-melly-me-riley-blake
  3. Pin 2 of your arm pieces together, right sides facing, and sew around the curved edges, leaving the straight edge unsewn.  Turn the piece out and iron.  Repeat with the second set of arm pieces.
    arms-sew-along-bella-butterfly-melly-and-me
  4. Pin 2 leg pieces together, one with a shoe buckle, one without, right sides facing.  Sew down the curved edges, leaving the top of the leg unsewn.  Turn out and press.  Repeat with the remaining two leg pieces.
    flutterberry sew along images-legs
  5. Pin two antenna together, right sides facing.  Sew around the curved edges, leaving the straight edge unsewn.  Turn out and press.  Repeat with the remaining two antenna pieces.
    flutterberry sew along images antenna
  6. Stuff your antenna, arm and leg pieces, leaving the top 2cm (3/4″) unstuffed – don’t be tempted to over stuff, you won’t get them under the sewing machine foot!  Baste the tops of each body part by sewing across 3mm (1/8th”) from the top of the opening, using your longest sewing machine stitch.
    stuffed and tacked pieces sew along bella butterfly
  7. Take the front body piece and head.  Place the head on top of the body, so that the neck edges are lined up and right sides are facing each other.  Sew  JUST 1cm together on the left side.
    bella-butterfly-attaching-head1-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
  8. Open out and pin the arms into place.  The raw edges of the arms should line up with the top of the body, and the centre of each arm should be over the line between the flowery part of the fabric and the stripey part.  Baste into place.
  9. bella-butterfly-attaching-arms-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
    Place the head piece back on top of the body, right sides facing, so that the neck edges are lined up at the top.  Sew together – we started at the opposite side to the one we had  already sewn, and pulled the fabric gently in between as we sewed the pieces together.
    bella-butterfly-attaching-head2-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
  10. Place the back of the head on top of the back body piece, right sides facing,  neck edges lined up, BUT this time only sew up to the black lines from each edge – leaving a large gap in the middle.  Iron the seam flat.
    bella-butterfly-backpieces-antenna-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
  11. Taking your front piece, position one large wing just below the seam between the body and the head with the raw edges lined up.  Place the smaller wing below this wing, so that they overlap approx 6mm (1/4″) with the smaller wing under the larger one (see below).  Baste into place. Repeat on the other side.
    bella-butterfly-attaching-wings-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
  12. Place your ‘butterfly back’ on top of the front and pin together, start at the neck, then line up the black marks on the head, then fill the gaps between with pins. Sew together LEAVING THE FOLLOWING GAPS – leave the bottom of the butterfly unsewn, and leave gaps at the top where shown on the panel, for the antenna. Snip into the curves at the neck and around the head to help the fabric lay flat when you turn it out (take care not to cut into the seam line!).
    bella-butterfly-back-to-front-sew-along-melly-and-me-tutorial
  13. Insert your antenna.  Place above your butterfly to check their position, then fold down to see their sewing position.  Take one and feed it up inside the butterfly, poking the raw edge out of the antenna gap you left earlier, lining up the raw edges.  With the antenna sandwiched between the front and back pieces, sew across the gap. Repeat with the other antenna on the other side.
    bella-butterfly-attaching-antenna-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
  14. Place your butterfly in front of you, so that the back of the butterfly is facing you.  Place the legs at the bottom, so that you can see the shoe buckles.  Fold the legs up into the body, placing them on top of the front piece of the butterfly, so that they are on the stripey tummy panel, baste into place on the front piece only.
  15. bella-butterfly-legs-attaching-flutterberry-melly-and-me
    Making sure the legs are still facing up into the butterfly, pin the butterfly base around the opening at the bottom of the butterfly (see below).  We recommend starting by pinning the side seams, then the middle of each long side.  Sew together (we did the long edges with the sewing machine, but the short sides with a hand sewing needle as turning under the sewing machine foot was a challenge!).
    bella-butterfly-attaching-base-melly-me-flutterberry-uk
    Turn the butterfly out through the hole in the neckline and press.  Its best to pull the stuffed parts out first, the fabric only sections will easily follow.
  16. bella-butterfly-turning-out-melly-me-riley-blake-flutterberry
    Stuff your butterfly and close up the gap using ladder stitch.
    bella-butterfly-stuffing-riley-blake-melly-me-sew-along
    bella butterfly sewing gap on back riley blake melly and me

We hope you enjoyed making your butterfly, please do send us your pics and top tips!

sew along melly and me bella butterfly riley blake made

Click here for a printer friendly version of this pattern!

Fat Quarter Gift Bag/Mini Tote Tutorial

mini-tote-tutorial-fat-quarter-gift-bag-french-seams
Size: Approx 21.5cm x 21.5cm (8.5″ x 8.5″) excluding handles

With Christmas around the corner our thoughts are turning to Xmas sewing tutorials. We have a number on the way but thought we would start with a few mini bag ideas, first is our speedy gift bag, made out of a fat quarter of fabric – buy smart and you can make a whole heap of these nifty little bags for less than the cardboard ones in the supermarket 🙂

We have used Riley Blake’s Little Flyers Collection for this make – click here to view in store.

Requirements

2 x main bag pieces 25.5cm x 26.75cm (10″ wide x 10.5″)
2 x strap pieces 5cm x 54cm (2″ x 21″)

Instructions

Step 1 – The Straps

Iron 12mm (1/2″) seam allowances onto the back of each strap piece, along both long edges.

Place the two strap pieces on top of each other, wrong sides facing each other, and pin together.

Top stitch, 3mm (1/8th”) in from the outside edge, along both long sides.

Fold the strap in half and cut into two.

min-tote-strap-construction-tutorial-fat-quarter-gift-bag

Step 2 – Attaching the Handles

Pin one of your handles to the top of one of the main bag pieces.  The raw edges of the handle should be lined up with the raw edges of the main bag fabric and the handle ends should be 7.5cm (3″) in from the nearest side of the main bag fabric piece.

Sew the handle ends into place, using a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

mini-tote-attach handles-2-tutorial-fat-quarter-gift-bag-french-seams
Turn your fabric over and fold the top of the fabric down by 12mm (1/2″), iron into place.

Turn the top over again by 12mm (1/2″).  All the raw edges will now be hidden.  Iron.

Pin the fabric into place, folding the handles up onto the folded over fabric, so that the handle sticks up over the top.  Make sure the straps are straight and pin into place.

mini-tote-top-tutorial-fat-quarter-gift-bag-french-seams
Top sew the folded over fabric, 3mm (1/8″) in from each long edge, taking care when going over the handles.

mini-tote-top-of-bag-tutorial-stitching-lines

Repeat these steps with the second side and handle pieces.

 

Step 3 – Sewing the Bag Together

Pin the two bag piece together, WRONG sides facing each other, and sew the left, right and bottom edges together, using a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowances back close to the sew line.

Turn the bag inside out, iron to ensure the seams are along the edge on each side. Pin and sew a 12mm (1/2″) seam along the left, right and bottom edges.

mini-tote-sides-together-tutorial-fat-quarter-gift-bag-french-seams

Turn back out – FINISHED!

mini-tote-finished-little-flyer-riley-blake-gift-bag-sewing-tutorial-fat-quarter

We have used Riley Blake’s Little Flyers Collection for this make.

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