My Sewing Blog
Looking to dress up your table for Christmas? Our theme of #12WeeksofStitchmas this week is table decor, so we've put together this sweet little scandi project just for you - don't you love it when we make it easy!
How to Make a Simple Scandi Table Runner
Finished size approx. 1.22m x 40cm
You Will Need
- 1.25m plain red cotton fabric for backing
- 0.5m Makower Scandi Trees Red
- 1 fat quarter Makower Scandi Check Red
- 1 fat quarterMakower Scandi Red
- 1 fat quarter Makower Scandi Hearts Red
- 1 fat quarter Makower Scandi Deer Scatter Red
- 1.25m of 2oz Wadding
- Gutermann thread in red
- 3.5m red bias binding
- Quilters curved safety pins
How to Make
- Start by cutting your fabrics. For all your patterned fabric except for the trees and scandi hearts, you will need to cut two strips measuring 14cm x 32cm including a 1cm seam allowances - these will create the strips in the middle of the table runner.
- For the scandi hearts fabric, cut to size of 42cm x 32cm including seam allowances of 1cm. This will form the centre of the table runner.
- Next you will need to cut your trees fabric to create the border. Cut two pieces measuring 40cm x 7cm including 1cm seam allowances, and four pieces measuring 58cm x 7cm including 1cm seam allowances. Make sure the trees sit straight along the long edge on all pieces.
- Start by making the middle of the table runner first. Take your scandi hearts piece and pin a strip of scandi reindeer to both of the short sides, right sides together. Stitch together with the 1cm seam allowance you allocated when cutting.
- Next, pin the red deer scatter strips onto the ends of the scandi reindeer pieces and stitch together as before.
- Continue steps 4 and 5 to attach the checked heart fabric on the ends.
- Now you need to create the border. Start by stitching two of your 58cm x 7cm tree print pieces together, short sides next to each other, to create one long piece 116cm x 6cm. Don't forget about your seam allowance! Repeat for the other two pieces this size.
- Pin these long tree print pieces to either long edge of your table runner middle section, making sure the trees face outwards on each side. Sew with your seam allowance.
- Do the same for the short edges on either end with the remaining pieces of tree fabric, and sew with your seam allowance. You now have the front of your table runner!
- Time to sandwich! Lay your backing fabric out on a flat surface, and use sellotape to stick down the edges, and make the fabric as taut and flat as possible.
- Next, lay your wadding out on top of the backing fabric. Then lay the top section of your table runner on top of the wadding. If your wadding is too big to see the backing fabric, trim it to the same size as your backing fabric.
- Making sure the edges of the runner top are within the space of the backing fabric and wadding, use quilting pins to sandwich and secure all three layers together. Try to place your pins in the main sections of the fabric instead of the joins!
- Remove the sellotape from the backing fabric, and take your sandwich to your machine. Quilt down the long edges of the middle sections and all the way around the inside edge of the border - or add your own quilted design if you prefer.
- Now trim your backing fabric and wadding layers down to size. You want them to be just a couple of millimetres bigger than the size of your quilt top, so they fill the binding.
- Use your red bias binding to edge the table runner. Start on the long side, pinning and attaching your bias binding on the top first. Then tuck under to the back, pin in place and sew in place, but sew on the top so that it catches the binding on the back - this will give you a neater look on the front.
- Bind the remaining edges of your table runner, making sure you neaten the corners, and you are done!
PS. If you need extra guidance, I found these videos from Expert Village on key quilting techniques really useful!
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:
Think it's too complicated to make your own lampshade? Think again! Use this easy video and written instructions to be on your way to a beautifully handmade lampshade in merely a few hours.
How to Make a Nautical Lampshade
For a 20cm lampshade, you will need:
- 20cm lampshade kit
- 0.25m Ahoy Yachts Sky fabric
- Scissors or rotary cutter
- Metal rule (optional)
- Weights (optional)
- Lampshade base
How to make:
- Lay your fabric out flat, right side down.
- Lay the backing paper from your kit onto the fabric and cut around the fabric if necessary to remove excess.
- Next you need to stick the backing paper to the back of your fabric. The easiest way to do this is to weight your fabric down at the far end, and peel away the backing of the paper gradually, using a metal rule to help stick down and remove any air bubbles as you go.
- Trim the fabric to the size of your backing paper.
- Bend along the perforations at the top and bottom of the backing, then tear off these strips.
- Using the double sided tape in the box, cut a strip long enough for one short edge. Stick down onto the edge which you would like to be on top on the finished lampshade.
- Next, use the double sided tape to cover the round edge of the lampshade drum top and bottom. Ensure that they are well covered.
- Peel off the tape covering and align your wire top and bottom at the opposite end to your double sided tape strip, remembering to ensure the bottom one is facing the right way.
- Gently and evenly, roll the wire circles down the length of your fabric, keeping the edges aligned right up against the edges of the paper backing.
- When you get to the other short edge, remove the tape covering on the double sided strip and stick down firmly.
- Cut notches in the top and bottom areas of fabric where the cross wires are. This will help create a professional finish.
- Using your hands, roll the fabric in and over the wire circles, trying to stick down firmly and tuck the ends underneath as much as possible.
- Using the tool provided in the box, tuck under the remaining ends of the fabric to keep firmly in place.
- Trim any frays away, screw onto your lampshade base and voila - one lampshade!
It's spring again, which means although there's a few blustery showers about, sunshine is on its way! And when I think sunshine, I think seaside... so I'm super excited to share this lovely nautical project with you! It's so easy to make, which is great for beginners, or those more experienced who just want a quick project to complete!
How to Make Nautical Bunting
You will need:
- Makower Ahoy bunting panel
- Backing fabric in your choice of colour - we used Linen Texture Cream
- Sewing machine
- White or cream thread
- 1.5m bias binding
- Point turner (optional)
How to make:
- Begin by cutting out all the flags from your bunting panel.
- Now lay out your flags onto your backing fabric, and cut out enough to back each flag, using the pre-printed flags as a size guide.
- Pin your flags right sides together, and sew along the seam allowance guides on the two long sides(the white bits down the side of each printed flag).
- Trim the point carefully using embroidery scissors, being careful not to cut too near your stitching.
- Turn the right way out and use a pencil or point turner to create a sharp point at the bottom of the flag. Press flat. Repeat steps 3-5 until you have completed all your flags.
- Now lay out your flags in your preferred order, making sure to leave an equal amount of space between each flag. Pin your bias binding to the top, ensuring that it folds down in the middle over each side of the open end of your flags. Don't forget to leave a bit of bias binding on each end for putting up your bunting!
- Carefully sew along the bias binding to attach the flags, remembering to start at the very ends of the bias binding to create some ends to pin or tie it up easily.
Say hello to our first ever Youtube video! We know that crafting is a lot easier when you can see what you should be doing rather than just reading the words, so we decided it was time to start making some tutorials... And what better project to start on than a lovely lampshade!
How to Make a Lampshade Using a Lampshade Kit
You will need:
So you've seen all the new cute crochet yarns and patterns on our website right? And you've looked at them wistfully, wishing you could create something as lovely as that... well guess what, you can! Although it can seem daunting, crochet is a great needlework to have a go at, and in some ways much simpler than things like knitting - so why not have a go?
It's always hard to learn from written instructions, so we're here to show you the top youtube videos we've found for beginners crochet, to teach you all the tricks and techniques you need to know!
And once you feel like you can give it a go, take advantage of our fab offer - grab yourself a FREE pattern of your choice when you spend £15 on crochet yarn!
Top Videos for Crochet Beginners
How to Crochet a Granny Square for Beginners
First up, here's a great little video that clearly explains how to get you going on a few basic crochet techniques. It's quite a long video (about 25 minutes), but well worth the time as it takes you through step-by-step to create a sweet little granny square. Granny squares are one of the most popular projects for crochet beginners as they are fairly easy to complete and come together reasonably quickly.
Learn to Crochet - Chain Stitch and Single Crochet Stitch
If you've got a little less time on your hands and just want to try out some basic techniques without a specific project in mind, this little 5 minute tutorial on chain stitch and single crochet stitch is great. It's supposed to end up being a crochet dishcloth project but you don't necessarily have to continue all the way to the end. It's handy for showing you how to crochet lines of stitches across and back, and for practising these two stitches.
How to Crochet in a Round - Magic Ring and Chain Stitch
If you're looking to have a go at crocheting things like hats and mittens later down the line, one of the best methods to learn is how to crochet in a round - and this video is great for teaching you two techniques to do so. Once again, it's really only a technique tutorial so you won't get a project out of it but it's great for practising before you start on something new.
How to Crochet a Rose for Beginners
One of the most popular crochet projects out there is how to make a crochet flower, and this tutorial is a fab walk through how to do a pretty little rose. You'll need a standard needle to sew it up a little at the end, but this is a great little crochet project for beginners to get started!
Mother's Day is coming up, and I've been stuck for gift ideas for a while. A bit of research, however, has uncovered some great gifts for mums who stitch, and here's the pick of our products that we reckon mum might like if she's a bit crafty too!
Mother's Day Gifts for Mums Who Make
For a mum looking to explore different sewing techniques further, why not try out Elizabeth Bett's fantastic book, The Beginners Guide to Quilting? With tons of handy tips and tricks, as well as a comprehensive introduction to the basics of quilting, she'll help mum to build on her new skills project-by-project.
If mum wants to try something new, get her one of these fab needle felting kits! Each kit comes in a beautifully packaged box and includes everything you need to learn to felt your own creature. They're perfect for beginners, and needle felting is the latest trendy craft that everyone's keen to try.
Sewing boxes are the classic gift for any stitcher, but don't just get her a boring old plain one - pick up a beautifully designed box in a range of sizes from our range. Choose from glitter finish, embroidered, extra large, small and drawer-style boxes!
For the mum that already has a million sewing gadgets and boxes, it can be hard to find something that she won't already have. But we reckon these sewing machine bags are pretty neat, and not only look lovely, but are also great at protecting her prize possession from dust, moisture and damage!
For a mum who loves a different type of needlework, our cross stitch kits are an excellent idea! This pretty one is ideal for mum to put up in the kitchen or lounge once complete, but you'll also find a ton of other designs, including ones for kids bedrooms too.
There is no more classic gift for a sewer than an expression of their passion in any and all forms. So why not dress up their gift with some Love to Sew ribbon? Whether you get a few metres to give as a gift or tie it round the gift itself, this is one piece of haberdashery that is guaranteed to be loved and re-used!
What self-respecting sewer can resist more fabric? Whether you get a couple of metres to really indulge her fabric addiction, or a fat quarter, she'll love seeing her stash increase! Our one-off fabric boxes are a great idea, including a selection of fabrics with co-ordinating habby for a beautiful gift to wow her.
If mum has only just started sewing, or wants to tackle her first project, pick up a sewing kit for beginners that she can get stuck into right away. We have a great selection of different projects that she'll love!
And if one fabric alone isn't enough, what about a fat quarter bundle? These are especially great for quilters or those who enjoy having a variety of fabrics to hand for their next project (or to stroke while they sip their cup of tea, surrounded by 10 cats...)
Want to get your hands on the hottest thing in crafting right now? Poms are all the rage at the moment, especially with easter coming up and pretty pastels and soft textures becoming a star attraction for spring! Find out more about this fantastic product...
NEW IN: The Multipom Pompom Maker
So, what's all the hype about?
What it does
The multipom is a unique tool developed to enable you to make up to 20 pom poms in one go - impressive, right! The tool is designed so that you can use any type of yarn, of any thickness, fluffiness or colour, to make your own unique pom poms in larger batches. It's a massive time saver for projects that require a lot of poms, and even better, means that each pompom you make will be the same size and thickness.
Included in the pack is your fantastic Multipom frame, a set of easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to use the Multipom, and also a handy help sheet for tips, tricks and ideas. The help sheet shows you how to make multicoloured poms, trim them into cool shapes, and how to make them into a cord.
What to make
The possibilities are endless when it comes to using your finished product! Multipom recommends making them up into trim to use in sewing projects, sewing them onto a cushion for a fun touch to your homewares, or making them up into pretty pieces to hang about the house. How about this fun union jack flag made out of poms?
For more project ideas, check out the Multipom blog at www.multipom.com
introductory offer - only £12 (RRP £12.99)
Want to show off your fab sewing projects AND be in with a chance to win some goodies from our website? Read on...
NEW: Star Stitcher Competition!
From 1st February, we will be launching our new Star Stitcher competition. Every month, we will be giving away a £10 gift voucher for our products to the project we think deserves to win.
Some months there may be a theme, others we will leave it open to you!
We'll be accepting entries from all abilities and will pick based on originality, design and execution according to your skill level - so beginners, don't be put off!
You can enter once a month, by sending in photos of your projects with a short description and your contact details (name, email address and/or postal address). Please email in your entries to email@example.com or share with and tag us on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #starstitcher
Entries will close at midnight on the last day of each month, and we'll pick a winner within 7 days. If you're the winner, we'll be in contact within a week via email.
Don't forget to share this post on your social media accounts so everyone can have a chance at winning!
Happy sewing - we look forward to your entries!
Want to make something pretty to hang up and share the love on Valentine's day? Try out our embroidery hoop art project - it's a great one for beginners, using simple sewing and shapes to good effect! And once the big day is over, you could hang it up in a child's bedroom or leave it up as a reminder of the love shared in your house.
How to Make Valentine's Embroidery Hoop Art
You will need:
- Embroidery hoop of your chosen size
- Fat quarter of your chosen fabric - we've used Spot on Raspberry
- White felt
- A strip of white cotton
- Contrasting embroidery thread
- Stamps or fabric pen
- Pen & paper
How to make your Valentine's heart embroidery art:
- Unscrew your embroidery hoop and place your fabric over the inner ring. Push the outer ring over the top and screw the top to hold in place, making sure the fabric is taught.
- Using a pen and paper, draw a template for your felt heart. Cut out and pin to your felt, then cut around the template on the felt to create your heart.
- Thread up your needle with the embroidery thread and using a reasonably long running stitch, stitch the heart to your fabric in the centre of the hoop.
- Decide what you want to write in the middle of your heart and stamp or write your message onto the strip of cotton fabric, then cut to size. Make sure to leave a cm or two at either side to sew it on.
- Using the thread, sew one long stitch at either end of the cotton strip to attach.
- To hang - attach some ribbon or string to the top of the hoop and hang from a picture hook, or if your picture hook is small enough, hang the hoop straight on the hook using the gap under the screw.