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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...

5 Spring Sewing Projects You Have to Make

Hen Easter Egg Holder Project Box

Add some fun to your Easter eggs with this cute little guy to pop your choccie eggs in - you can even use for non-edible gifts like plants too!

Hen Easter Egg Holder Project

Spring Bunny Project Box

Make a cute lil bunny to brighten up your home, sit her on your mantel piece to bring a bit of spring inside!

Spring Bunny Project

 

 

Spring Mini Table Runner Project Box

Brighten up your dining table with a pop of spring, with this fresh mini table runner - chick fabric makes it even CUTER!

Spring Table Runner Project

 

Pot Holder Project Box

If you prefer a subtle bit of spring style, why not try this fun pot holder for the kitchen?

Quilted Pot Holder Project

 

Make a cute bucket bag suitable for your Easter Egg hunt but also practical for storage afterwards!

Spring Bucket Bag Project

March 08, 2017 by Amy Gilbert

How to Make a Nautical Lampshade

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:

  1. Lay your fabric out flat, right side down. 
  2. Lay the backing paper from your kit onto the fabric and cut around the fabric if necessary to remove excess.
  3. 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.
  4. Trim the fabric to the size of your backing paper.
  5. Bend along the perforations at the top and bottom of the backing, then tear off these strips.
  6. 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.
  7. Next, use the double sided tape to cover the round edge of the lampshade drum top and bottom. Ensure that they are well covered.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. When you get to the other short edge, remove the tape covering on the double sided strip and stick down firmly. 
  11. Cut notches in the top and bottom areas of fabric where the cross wires are. This will help create a professional finish.
  12. 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.
  13. Using the tool provided in the box, tuck under the remaining ends of the fabric to keep firmly in place.
  14. Trim any frays away, screw onto your lampshade base and voila - one lampshade!

How to Make Nautical Bunting

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:

How to make:

  1. Begin by cutting out all the flags from your bunting panel.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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).
  4. Trim the point carefully using embroidery scissors, being careful not to cut too near your stitching.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.

Shop Nautical

National Quilting Day: Makower Coastal Quilt Pattern

Today is not only St Patrick's day, but also National Quilting Day! And to celebrate, we've nabbed a fantastic pattern by Hilary Gooding for Makower to make up into a coastal themed quilt. Our nautical range of fabrics is our most popular range this month, so what better theme could we pick? Find free instructions below to make your wonderful seaside quilt, and feel free to swap in your favourite nautical themed fabrics for the beach huts.

How to make a Makower Nautical Quilt

Quilt Size 40" x 60" (100 x 150cm)

You will need:

Fabric

Quantity

First Cut

SecondCut

Position

Cream Dimples 1867/L2

2 metres

Cut 5 strips WOF each 21⁄4" wide

Binding

Cut a strip WOF 101⁄2" wide

Trim to 401⁄2" long

Top Border

Cut a strip WOF 121⁄2" wide

Trim to 401⁄2" long

Bottom Border

Cut 2 strips parallel to the selvage each 12" wide

Trim to 381⁄2" long

Side Borders

Cut 2 strips parallel to the selvage each 3" wide

Trim to 381⁄2" long

Vertical Sashings

From remaining fabric:

Cut nine 41⁄2" x 21⁄2" rectangles

Horizontal Sashings

Cut twenty four 21⁄2" squares

Beach Hut Roofs

Red Coastal Village 1160/R

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut two 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangles

Beach Huts

Grey Coastal Village 1160/S

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut one 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangle

Beach Huts

Red Seagulls 1162/R

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut two 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangles

Beach Huts

Blue Seagulls 1162/B

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut two 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangles

Beach Huts

Turquoise Seagulls 1162/T

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut one 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangle

Beach Hut

Grey Coatsal Icons 1163/S

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut two 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangles

Beach Hut

Turquoise Coastal Icons 1163/T

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut one 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangle

Beach Hut

Red Stripe 745/R7

Fat 8th
27 x 50cm

Cut one 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" rectangle

Beach Hut

Blue Coastal Village 1160/B

1.70 m

Backing

WOF = width of fabric (ie from selvedge to selvedge)

How to make your nautical quilt:

All seams are 1⁄4" unless otherwise stated.

Beach Huts

  1. Draw a thin pencil line diagonally across the wrong side of all the cream 21⁄2" squares.
  2. Place a cream 21⁄2" square right sides together in the top left hand corner of one of the 81⁄2" x 41⁄2" beach hut rectangles. Line up the top and left sides. The pencil line should run from the bottom left corner to the top right corner of the square.
  3. Sew along the pencil line. Trim to a seam allowance of 1⁄4". Press seam allowance under beach hut.
  4. Take a second 21⁄2" square and place it right sides together in the top right hand corner of the beach hut rectangle. The pencil line should run from top left corner to bottom right corner of the square. Line up the top and side edges.
  5. Sew along the pencil line. Trim back to a 1⁄4" seam. Press the seam allowance under the beach hut.
  6. Prepare all the beach huts the same way.

Assembly

  1. Lay out all your beach huts in three columns and four rows in an arrangement of the colours that is balanced.

  2. First sew the columns together by sewing a cream 4 1⁄2" x 2 1⁄2" rectangle between the beach huts in each column. Press all the seams.

  3. Now sew the columns together with the two 3" x 38 1⁄2" vertical sashing strips between the columns. Press.

  4. Sew the two 12" x 38 1 ⁄2" side borders to the left and right of the centre panel. Press seams.

  5. Now sew the 10 1⁄2" x 40 1⁄2" top border to the top of the quilt top

  6. Sew the 12 1⁄2" x 40 1⁄2" bottom border to the bottom of the quilt. Press seams.

Quilting

  1. Lay the backing out on a smooth, flat surface with the wrong side facing up.
  2. Spread the batting over the backing smoothing out any wrinkles and bumps.
  3. Lay the quilt top over the batting.
  4. Baste the layers together using your favourite method - safety pins, hand tacking, spray basting or micro-tacking
  5. Quilt as you like by hand or machine.
  6. Trim back the excess backing fabric and batting to the edge of the quilt top. Square up the quilt if necessary.

Binding

  1. Sew all the binding strips together using mitred seams into one long strip. Fold the strip in half along the length with wrong sides together. Press.

  2. Sew the binding onto the quilt front. Turn to the back and hand stitch in place.

 

Don’t forget to label your quilt with your name and the date. Add any other details you might want to remember.

Want to download a PDF of the instructions? Download the free pattern here.

Mother's Day Gifts for Mums Who Sew

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

 

beginners quilting book

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!

Chic Boutique Cross Stitch Kit

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.

love to sew printed grosgrain ribbon

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!

One-Off Deluxe Fabric Box - Floral Romance

One-Off Deluxe Fabric Box - Kiss Me

One-Off Deluxe Fabric Box - Kimono

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.

Trimits Elephant Sewing Kit

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!

Ditsies Fat Quarter Bundle

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...)

Shop Mother's Day Gifts

NEW: Star Stitcher Competition!

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 info@mysewingbox.co.uk 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!

How to Make Valentine's Embroidery Hoop Art

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
  • Scissors
  • Pen & paper
  • Needle

How to make your Valentine's heart embroidery art:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Using the thread, sew one long stitch at either end of the cotton strip to attach. 
  6. 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.

Feel free to comment below with any questions or feedback, and share your pictures of your completed hoop arts!

January 28, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

How to Sew a Simple Cushion Cover

This envelope cushion cover is a really easy project, no putting in zips and if you don’t feel confident in sewing buttonholes, you don’t have to as the back can be left as it is. A great project for beginners to get used to their sewing machines!

How to Sew a Simple Cushion Cover

 

You Will Need

How to Sew

1. Cut a square 40cm x 40cm for the front

2. Cut 2 oblongs 40cm x 28cm.

 

3. On the inside, fold over edges for the back and sew a  1cm hem. Fold over another 3cm and hem. Finish by topstitching along the outside edge.

4. Pin right sides of front piece to right sides of back piece, overlapping the two back pieces and sew all round with 1cm seam.

5. Cut corners on all 4 sides  and press seams, then turn right side out and press before putting in cushion insert.

 

And here it is in our fantastic Makower Nautical Fish fabric, made by a fab friend who wanted to have a go!

January 23, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

The Ultimate Fabric Guide

New to sewing, or just never really learnt what was what when it came to fabrics? Check out this handy guide to fabric types, which helps explain the most common types of fabric and their uses. A great post to have to hand when looking at new projects!

The Ultimate Fabric Guide

Fabric Fibres 

natural cotton fibresNatural Cotton - image source Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts

Cotton is one of the most widely occurring natural fibres in fabrics. It is comfortable against the skin with a breathable quality, and feels soft and smooth to the touch. 

Rayon is a semi-synthetic fibre made from cellulose. It behaves much like a natural fabric despite containing some synthetic elements, and often appears as a lustrous fabric akin to silk. 

Linen is one of the oldest types of fibres used in fabric, and is made from flax. It is very strong and durable, whilst remaining cool and breathable, making it ideal for items like trousers or summer suits. 

Silk has always been associated as a rich and luxury fabric for hundreds of years, mostly due to the intensive manufacturing methods involved in processing silkworm cocoons. Silk fabrics have a lustrous quality to them, and are extremely versatile - they keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, making it a super comfy fabric to wear. It usually comes in a range of fantastic shades as it is one of easiest fabric fibres to hold dye.

Wool tends to be used less often in fabrics nowadays, but was once a staple fibre in fabrics during the Middle Ages! It is made from the hair of sheared animals, spun and woven into strands and then fabric. It's greatest quality is its warmth, and it is also breathable. Wool can come in a variety of textures from a super soft, fine weave like cashmere to a more scratchy and coarse weave.

Synthetic Fibres are often also added in conjunction to these natural fibres to produce similar fabrics at a cheaper cost. One common example of this is polycotton, which is often used in place of 100% cotton fabric as a cheaper alternative that behaves in much the same way as pure cotton would. The most common synthetic fibres are nylon and polyester. 

Common Fabric Types

Quilting Cotton

is one of the most widely available and widely used fabrics. It is very versatile and can be used in a mix of dressmaking, quilting and craft projects. It comes in a wide variety of patterns, designs and colours and ranges in quality.

Chiffon

is a very light and transparent fabric that is often used for a fluid drape to a garment. It can be made from a range of fibres, including rayon, polyester or silk. It has a delicate and soft quality to it which is often desirable for evening or occasion wear. 

Organza

is another light and sheer fabric, but with more stiffness than chiffon. It is often used over lining fabrics for a beautiful sheen over the top, or can also be used as an interfacing or interlining for other light fabrics.

Jersey

is another commonly used fabric for dressmaking, due to its stretch. It is a knitted rather than woven fabric, making it stretch beautifully and accommodate shape well. It is often used for more casual garments or body con style garments. It's often a mix of cotton, wool, silk, rayon, nylon or polyester.

Crepe

is available in a variety of thicknesses, and possesses a wonderful drape, making it great for elegant dressmaking. It is slightly crinkly in texture and usually made from silk, polyester, rayon or wool.

Lawn

is a combed cotton, once again with a light quality. It has a good balance of stiffness and drape, but comes in different weights. Finer lawns can have a silky texture.

Georgette

is sometimes used in place of chiffon, for a heavier weight fabric. It is semi-sheer and often available in a good variety of colours and designs.

Habotai/China Silk

is one of the most beautiful lining fabrics ever! It is so light that it is not usually used to make garments alone, but sits so comfortably against the skin that it is perfect for lining. It is made wholly of silk.

Shirting

is a cotton fabric designed specifically for making shirts due to its medium weight - it is easy to tailor whilst being breathable and comfortable against the skin. It comes in a wide variety of patterns and colours, as well as a wide range of quality. 

Charmeuse

is a woven satin fabric that is crinkly textured on one side and shiny on the other. It flows and drapes well, making it ideal for making dresses. It is often made using silk, rayon or polyester.

Flannel

can be made from either cotton or wool. It is a brushed fabric with a soft surface texture. Lighter flannel is made from cotton and is used for garments like shirts, whereas heavier wool flannel is suitable for garments such as suits.

Taffeta

is a beautiful fabric that is often used for evening and occasion wear due to its luxurious semi-shiny texture. It is reasonably crisp and therefore able to hold some structure, making it ideal for things like party dresses. It can be made using a variety of fibres of varying quality, including silk, rayon, nylon and polyester.

Dupioni

is a fabric made of silk, that uses irregular threads in order to create "slubs" in the fabric texture. It is fairly stiff and crisp, but it tends to fray a bit.

Worsted Wool

is a sturdy fabric made from wool, that is ideal for suiting due to its reasonably stiff and strong qualities. 

Tweed

is quite well known for its recognisable patterns - often using multiple colours woven in to create a mottled or flecked effect with lots of texture. Made from wool, it is quite sturdy in nature, making it a popular choice for suiting and skirts.

Weaves & Knits

Plain weave is a simple weave in which the threads form a criss cross pattern. It is the most common form of weave for fabrics, including cotton, lawn, taffeta and more.

Twill is a woven fabric with a diagonal pattern, making each side of the fabric look different and therefore creating and right and wrong side. Fabrics such as denim use a twill weave.

Satin weave is used to create a sheen or shiny surface on the fabric. Common examples are duchess satin, sateen, and silk charmeuse.

Knits are made differently to weaves, using a knitting machine to create loops of fabric that interlock and create a stretchier fabric than traditional weaves. Because of this, sewing with knits can be harder and requires more concentration and greater skill, as they are more prone to warping during sewing. Sometimes it is necessary to use more specialist equipment such as different needles for your sewing machine, and special stitches for stretch fabric that can accommodate stretch without breaking. 

Weight

Fabrics come in a variety of weights or thicknesses, from light to heavy. Heavy fabrics are thicker and contain more weight, but can add bulk when used in dressmaking. Light fabrics such as cottons, tend to be thinner to the touch, and even to the eye with a sheerness about them. Consider the weight of the fabric not only in how it will sit or add bulk, but also how heavy it is to wear. Light weight fabrics are more suited to summer, whereas heavy fabrics tend to be more wintery. 

Drape

Drape is a very important factor to consider when purchasing fabrics for dressmaking. The weight of the fabric can affect its drape: for example, heavy fabrics tend to be a bit stiffer, leading to a more structured look. Drape is mostly affected by the stiffness of the fabric - the stiffer the fabric is, the more structured it will look. Lighter fabrics such as chiffon are much more fluid and give a softer drape and flowing feel.

Stretch

The amount of stretch in a fabric depends upon the way it is made and any elastic components in the fabric make-up. There is a certain amount of give or stretch in all fabrics, but often these can be limited in fabrics such as quilting cotton. The fabrics with the most stretch tend to be ones that are knitted rather than woven, and/or incorporate elastic elements such as lycra. 

Shop Dress Fabrics or Shop Cotton Fabrics

January 13, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

How to Do a Basic Hem

Starting to sew clothing projects and other larger projects often involves sewing hems to finish off. Although this may seem daunting at first, it's really not too bad! Check out this quick guide to sewing a basic hem if you need a bit of guidance to get you going.

How to Do a Basic Hem

You will need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Your project
  • Thread, in a complimentary colour 
  • Pins
  • Iron 

How to Make:

  1. Take the project you want to hem and lay it out flat. Iron out any creases in the fabric if necessary - (I have chosen to hem the top of this pocket piece for an apron).

  2. Turn the fabric over so that the right side (patterned side) is against the table surface. Decide how big you want to make your hem - this usually depends on the type of fabric you are using, but the general rule is the heavier the fabric, the larger the hem. Hems usually vary from 0.5cm-2cm wide (I made mine a little wider than normal so it would show up better in the photos).  Fold your fabric up from the edge at your desired width.

  3. At this point, check that you have an equal width all the way along the hem. You may find it easier to press the hem flat at this point, though it is not necessary.
  4. Turn over from the folded edge by the same width once again, so you have no raw edges showing. Pin in place.





  5. Thread your machine up and place your hem underneath the needle, starting at the top edge (or where a seam is if an item of clothing etc). Begin by stitching forward by about 1cm, then use the reverse stitch button on your machine to go back over the stitching you have just done. This strengthens your stitching to give a strong hem that will withstand more wear and tear.

  6. Continue stitching normally down the length of your hem, ensuring that your stitching is straight. You can use the metal plate above the bobbin loader to help guide you - they often have lines etched in at different widths, to help with sewing straight hems.
  7. When you get to the end, reinforce your hem stitching once again by reverse stitching by about 1cm.
  8. Raise your footer and cut the thread. Trim any loose threads on your project (I didn't get around to doing this yet as I had more sewing to do after, but you want it to look neat!). 

  9. Check that the stitching is neat and correct on both sides. If you think you've sewn it too wonky or the thread is all caught up on the underside, you can always unpick it using a seam ripper and try again. Press flat for a neat finish.