How to Plan Your Christmas Sewing

It's not always easy to find time to fit in all those grand ideas you have of sewing your whole Christmas before Christmas actually rolls around... but it's not impossible. Follow this guide to planning ahead to achieve the handmade Christmas of your dreams!

How to Plan Your Christmas Sewing

Be realistic

Decide how much time you think you can give to sewing every week or month. Don't forget the little things that get in the way, and try not to overestimate your time too much - it won't help if you can't commit to it!

Do the Maths

Once you know roughly how much time you have per week/month on your hands, start doing the maths! Add together the hours to give you a total, which is the limit of what you will be able to make in the time given (e.g. 30 hours). 

Choose Your Projects

Decide which projects you want to do and estimate how long it would take to create each one. Then order them into a list by preference, and starting from the top, add up the hours of each project, continuing down the list, until you reach your total number from above (30 hours). This is the realistic number of projects you will be able to work towards, even if they take a bit longer or a bit less time than you imagined.

Plan Your Time

Make a plan of what you are going to do when - you may not work in order necessarily, starting and finishing one at a time. It may be better to plan them all together, shop for them together, then pin and cut them all together, and sew them separately in order after that. Work out what needs doing first, e.g. advent calendars, so you don't run out of time for specific projects!

What should I make first?

It really depends how complicated your designs are and what you want to make, but we would say in order of first to last:

  1. Quilts & larger quilted projects
  2. Stockings
  3. Advent calendars
  4. Table runners/tableware
  5. Clothing
  6. Smaller projects
  7. Gifts
  8. Gift bags/wrap

You want your least complicated makes to be the nearest to the end when you may have less time and energy!


Got your own tips for making for Christmas? Share them below!

July 31, 2017 by Amy Gilbert

How to Insert Zips

If you've never tried using zips in your sewing projects, don't be scared to give them a go - practice makes perfect in this case, and once you've got the knack of the zipper foot, you'll find you breeze through it in no time! Everyone has a different way of showing you how to do it, so here's our top tutorials from across the web on how to insert different types of zips in different ways.

How to Insert Zips

This comprehensive guide from Make It Love It shows you how to insert both regular and concealed zips - and uses tape to help hold everything in place with concealed zips!


We also love these tutorials from popular pattern designer, Sew Over It - the afficionado's at dressmaking! Lisa shows you how to insert zips on actual garments and offers loads of top tips along the way.




For those who want to try more advanced zip techniques, we also like this lapped zip tutorial from Coats:



Shop All Zips from £1 >>

10 Unicorn Sewing Projects for Magical Makers

We felt inspired by the new Magic Folk Unicorns fabric that came in this week, that we simply had to go looking for projects we could use it on. Add a bit of magic to your day with the mythical creature of the moment!

10 Unicorn Sewing Projects for Magical Makers

unicorn cushion

Style up your home with a little magic, and make an adorable unicorn pillow!

Unicorn Pillow Pattern by Solip and I Shop 


Go one tone and add a mane, for a cuddly cushion a little girl will never let go of!

Unicorn pillow by Miss Joyka

Play the part with some fun felt unicorn headbands!

Felt Unicorn Headband by The How-To Gal 

Go foot loose and fancy free, and add some flowers to your unicorn with some embroidery - this would work perfectly as a cushion too!

Summer Floral Unicorn Hoop Art by Cocoshoopla


Add some subtle styling to any room with this pretty pastel unicorn bunting.

Unicorn bunting by Secret Craft House


Make something to be treasured, and create a unicorn doll with a bit of character!

Unicorn doll by Little Sunshine Shop


Let playtime commence; turn a classic hobby horse into a unicorn!

Unicorn hobby horse by Inspired by Mom


Create something for the new addition to the family, using felt in muted colours.

Felt unicorn mobile by Clooney Crafts


Unicorns aren't just for kids; get adulting in style with this beautiful embroidery hoop art.

Unicorn Hoop Art by Nola and Vi

Hang out with the best in town, and create a fun pennant banner for your walls!

Unicorn banners by Little O and Co


Love these projects?

Try out our new fabric, Magic Folk Unicorns by Michael Miller >>


March 13, 2017 by Amy Gilbert

15 Spring Sewing Projects You Have to Make

Spring is in the air, with lighter days and buds beginning to bloom! So we thought it was about time to turn our hand to some spring and Easter sewing projects...

15 Spring Sewing Projects You Have to Make

felt bunny project
Go pretty with a hand embroidered felt bunny - it's the extra little touches that count. We love his little pompom tail too!


 easter bunting

Decorate your home the way sewers know best, with some bunting - but not just any bunting, bunny bunting!

Bunny Bunting Project by Crafts Beautiful

 freehand embroidered bunny

Embrace your creativity with some freehand embroidery art like this beautiful romantic bunny scene!

Bunny Art by Pootle

fabric bunny toys 

Create something the kids will love, like these fun stuffed bunny toys! The pompom trim on the bottom really finishes them off!

Little Love Bunnies by Jennifer Jangles

felt flower wreath 

Fashion the most beautiful egg hunt bag ever, like this sweet Miffy-inspired bunny bag!

Easter Egg Hunt Bag by Minna's Room

bunny cushion 

If you only want a subtle Easter touch for your home, pick a pretty Easter fabric and create a colourful spring cushion with a fun trim!

Bunny Cushion by Clarabelle Interiors

bunny wreath 

Make something fun to put a smile on the face of all your guest this spring - all you need for this bunny door decoration is some hessian or burlap and a pompom!

Hessian Bunny Decoration by Sue Starley

mini felt bunny toys 

We adore these mini felt bunny toys that the kids can carry round in their own travel sized carrot pouch!

Mini Bunny Pattern by Molly and Mama

fabric tulips

Have flowers that last all season long, by making them from fabric - these tulips look pretty achievable!

Fabric Tulip Bouquet by Kreatywne Zycie (use Google Translate)

easter egg placemats 

Add a bit of fun to your Easter table with these colourful egg-shaped placemats! Then bring them out every year...

Easter Egg Placemats by Quilting Digest

flower brooches

Make some simple freehand embroidery flowers finished off with buttons, and turn them into whatever you like; magnets, keyrings or brooches!

Fabric Flowers by Mollie Makes 

bunny tea towels 

Add a sprinkle of Spring to your kitchen with these adorable applique tea towels - they double as a great gift for anyone who prefers a chocolate-free Easter!

Bunny Tea Towels by Lolly Jane

chick treat bags

Cute as a... well, a chicken! Make something worthy of all your colourful Easter treats with this easy chick treat pouch project!

Chick Candy Cuties by Pickle Pie Designs

mini egg cosies 

Keep your breakfast nice and toasty with these mini egg cosies - pretty AND functional, now that's what we like!

Mini Egg Cosies by Sew and So

fabric easter basket 

Use all those leftover fabric scraps to create a colourful fabric wrapped basket like this one from Moda!

Fabric Easter Basket by Vanessa Christenson for Moda

March 08, 2017 by Amy Gilbert

10 Ways to Create a Handmade Wedding

With so many couples getting engaged over Christmas and New Year, we figured there's going to be a lot of wedding prep going on right now! If you're looking to add a handmade touch to your wedding, take a look at these ideas for a range of skills and craft types, to add that personal touch!

10 Ways to Create a Handmade Wedding


If you're a dressmaker and have always wanted to do more with your skills, why not make your own bridesmaid, or even bridal, dress? Pick up some beautiful flowing fabric like this Silky Satin in Mink, and a simple evening dress pattern, for easy dresses that won't break the bank and can be made to measure.

For winter weather or more formal wedding themes, a satin-back crepe is a great fabric choice, and you can decide whether to use the shiny satin side or matte crepe side. Either way, it drapes lovely with just a hint more structure than chiffons and silky satin.

If you're the bride and not ambitious enough to take on your own wedding dress (we don't blame you!), why not add a handmade touch by making your own veil? All you need is some veiling tulle and patience - we love this pin spot tulle for something a little more unusual!

For the Groomsmen

Don't let the guys miss out on the special touches - add a quirky touch of fun with some handmade bow ties! Pick a fabric and colour which fits with your theme, then grab yourself a bow tie clip set for everything you need to create your own in no time at all!


Table Decoration

Save some money on your table decor by doing it yourself, and get exactly what you want to match your theme. Why not drape your table in a luxurious fabric like above for a luxe table covering that's less dreary than white tablecloths? 

Or go traditional and make your own table runners from a length of hessian, adorned with a bit of lace ribbon?

If you love the rustic countryside look and feel, continue your hessian and lace theme onto your smaller table decorations - you can wrap this lace-edged hessian or hessian and lace ribbon around vases, candle holders or cutlery for an extra flourish.

You could also finish off your cutlery wraps, vases or holders with a flourish of romantic ribbon like the one below:


Create something truly unique for your guests to take home and remember your special day - we love the idea of these amigurumi birds for every guest, which they can keep and display in their own home! Make in the colours of your theme for ultimate co-ordination.


Even if you can only add one or two handmade elements to your wedding, they'll mean a lot to you and your guests - and your wedding invites are the easiest place to to do this! Pick your favourite ribbons or trims and add to your invites either as a fastening or decoration, for something extra special - we think this delicate sheer heart ribbon is perfect for the occasion, in a romantic shade of deep red.

 Shop Handmade Weddings >>

January 17, 2017 by Amy Gilbert

Open Day - Saturday 18th June

 Join us on Saturday 18th June for a free open day - come down to our offices and take a look at our products first hand! You'll find some unbeatable offers on the day that won't be available elsewhere too!

Open Day - Saturday 18th June


Come down to our offices at Mulberry Court on Saturday 18th June, from 10am to 4pm!

Not only will you get to view our products first hand, but you'll also get the chance to see some product demonstrations and take advantage of some amazing one-day-only offers!

Don't miss out... you'll find this and more on the day:

  • Free goody bags for the first 10 customers
  • Free entry into our prize draw on the day
  • 15% off Makower fat quarter bundles
  • 3 for 2 on Gutermann Sew-All Threads
  • 3 for 2 on DMC crochet yarn
  • 15% off weaving and crochet kits
  • 30% off cross stitch kits
  • £5 gift voucher when you spend over £50 on the day
  • Product demonstrations
  • NEW products including jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters and quick cuts
  • Sale fabrics from £4.50 per metre

If you are looking to make something extra special, we'll also have our James Hare sample booklets available for any bridal or occasion wear fabrics you'd like to order. James Hare supply high quality silks and more, for something that extra bit special when sewing. 

We are based in Christchurch, Dorset. Don't live nearby? Why not come on down for a fun day out - there's plenty to explore in Christchurch, and we're not far from the New Forest or Bournemouth either!

 Sign up to the event on Facebook >>

June 06, 2016 by Amy Gilbert
Tags: news offers