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    Entries in sewing (16)


    Tutorial - sew a Kindle/iPad/tech cover


    These make great gifts, and have been one of the most popular items that I have sold at craft fairs. They are super simple to make & can showcase a great fabric. They are slightly padded to protect your gadget. I took photos as I made one and will show you step by step how to make your own.


    Exterior fabric - this is the bit that people see. In these photos I have used an Alexander Henry fabric that initially seems to be a basic camoflage print, until you look closer and realise the shapes are silhouettes of nude ladies.....

    Medium fusible interfacing. I use a woven fusible interfacing on the exterior fabric only. This adds rigidity and stability to the end product. If you are using a reasonably sturdy fabric you can probably miss this out.

    Interior fabric (fleece is ideal, otherwise I use fabric & fusible fleece or wadding to provide a little padding)

    Hair band in a complementary colour. The ones without a metal join are ideal - cut out the metal bits if you get normal hair bands. This makes the closure loop.

    1 Button - again to complement or to contrast with your exterior fabric

    ALL seam allowances are 1cm


    Step 1: find out the size of the thing that you are covering! I have cut out templates for small e-readers, Kindle 3G & Fire (and most 7" tablets) and iPads. If you have the gadget to hand, measure it! If not, the measurements are easily available on the manufacturer's web sites.  

    Step 2:

    Once you have your measurement, add AT LEAST 5 cm to both the width & the height. Cut out 2 rectangles of this size from both the fabrics & the fusible interfacing. If your exterior print is directional, consider how to cut the rectangles so both sides will be right side up. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the exterior fabric.

    Step 3: 

    Attach the hairband to the top short edge of one exterior panel. Fold the panel in half so that both long sides match, fold to find the centre & mark with a pin or disappearing fabric pen. Using a wide zig zag with a very short or zero stitch length, sew the band close to the edge as in the photo above.

    Step 4:

    With Right sides together, attach the top short edges of an exterior & a lining panel. Pin and sew 1 cm in from the edge. Iron, pressing the seam allowances to either side. Repeat with the other panels.

    Step 5:

    Edge stitch either side of the seam to secure the edges.

    Step 6:

    Attach the button to the exterior panel that does not have the elastic band attached. Find the centre line as before. Decide on how far down to place the button by holding the folded panels together, exterior panels out. Fold the band over the front panel and attach the button at the level of the bottom of the loop.

    Step 7:

    Open the panels out and pin together with wrong sides out. Leaving a gap at the base of the lining panels, sew around the outside of the panels as shown. Cut diagonally across the corners being careful not the cut the stitches. This reduces bulk. Trim the edges to around 0.5 cm.

    If you are using a very heavy or thick fabric (like velvet or cord) it can be easier to round the corners. To do this, draw around a cup for a nice round line, sew along that line then clip into the seam allowance approx every cm.

    Step 8:

    Turn the cover right side out by pulling it through the opening in the base. Poke the corners out using a chop stick or similar sticky thing. Sew the base shut carefully by hand of machine. Push the lining into the exterior and.....


    admire your cover!

    Hope you enjoy making  your tech covers. I would love to see photos of any you make xx




    So I did my first workshop on Saturday. Ran it, that is, not attended.

    It was Sewing Machines 101: Master your sewing machine!

    I had 5 attendees (1 had to drop out a couple of days before) which was about the right size and it was an intense 4 hours. My students were wonderful! They all had completely different machines that they had bought, been given or inherited. All different sizes, colours, front-loading & top-loading machines, and the most confident initially was also the youngest - only 8 years old!

    I am very pleased to be able to tell you that by the end, all could take their machines apart to maintain & oil them, they could change needles & wind bobbins, and they all made at least 1 bag. We made a simple tote bag with an optional flat bottom (!) and a drawstring bag. They were FANTASTIC and a complete pleasure to teach.

    Thank you students- you know who you are!!

    They were kind enough to give me some feedback too;

    'I had a great time on Saturday. Your Sewing Workshop was excellent; well run and very informative and I was especially impressed with ‘French Seaming’ and ‘Flat Bottoms’ and feel a lot more confident using my sewing machine…I’m looking forward to your next Sewing Workshop.'         

    'Fab, easy to understand, worry free & fun xx'

    'Good to be able to do adhoc stuff ie cleaning. Very enjoyable afternoon'


    I will be doing this course again - I plan to do another at Tomatojack Arts in the New Year. I would be happy to offer this at other venues too - if you have any suggestions, let me know!

    Next up: Get your granny on - crochet a granny square. This is at Tomatojack on the 6th October. There are still a couple of places available. This one should be lots of fun :)


    Jun262012 like the wind!

    Aprons! 11 of them, designed & made for Scrumptious Tearooms, opening soon in Gt Dunmow, Essex. Near Stansted Airport.

    3 basic designs with a 5 variations in total, 2 prints and various trims. It's taken a full and very long solid week, and hopefully they have been made well enough to see them through all the washing and ironing they will see.

    My friend Jane is opening the Tearooms - it's her dream. And she has had the guts to go for it. I admire that so much. The food is delicious, the teas have been carefully selected. The building is listed and is being sympathetically and glamorously decorated. The staff have been interviewed, selected and are ready to go. Details have been considered and effort put into making a visit to the tearooms a delightful experience. Sure, it would have been easier to buy white linen aprons. But that's not what Jane wanted. 

    Want to see what these look like on? The photos were taken on a very gloomy day, and on my phone so they are not very good I'm afraid. But they are all I've got, and the aprons head off to Essex tomorrow, so..

    I am considerably wider than either Jane or her staff, so at least I know that the aprons should fit!
    I am especially pleased with the scalloped bottom on the half apron, and some of the little details;
    I added a tea towel loop and crochet trim to the full apron
    and bias trim with the ruffles.

    Now I've got to get on with knitting the other 2 magazine commissions that are due in by 1st July.

    Knit, knit like the wind!!


    Where has the week gone?

    I have no idea what has happened to this week. Well, I do......I've been busy! Sorry to neglect the blog, but when I have a custom sewing order and 3 knitting patterns due by July 1st, something's gotta give!

    The sewing has been the priority this week - while I've been waiting for the yarn to arrive for the magazine stuff. I can't wait to show you the aprons I've designed for a friend's business. Jane is opening Scrumptious Tearooms in Gt Dunmow, Essex, and is working her magic with some vintage glamour! I'm making their aprons, and it's taken up the past week.

    I'll show you photos of the aprons, and the pattern coming out in Knit Now 10 in a couple of days. In the meantime, here's a Special Ryan.....

    Oh Ryan! We both know I don't, but I appreciate the thought!

    There's no Special Needs Ryan because Sunday over at extremeparenthood who hosts SN Ryan is having a rough time at the moment and her attention is, quite rightly, elsewhere. 
    I hope things improve for her really fast.

    See you soon xx


    Works in progress...

    Sorry for the radio silence here for the last week or so. I have been busy knitting, crocheting, swatching, designing, and socialising!

    We had a lovely family & friends weekend, with lots of wine and great food. Our friends are in the process of opening a tea rooms, and they are doing a brilliant job of paying attention to details. The delicious organic wholegrain bread and mature cheddar full of flavour that will be on their menu. The teapots that look lovely and more importantly brew whole leaf tea perfectly. The colour scheme, the vintage crockery. Lovely.

    I came back with 2 different 100% cotton fabrics (and yes, I will wash & iron them before I use them),

    some rather scrappy sketches and notes, and plans to make 9 aprons!

    And in exchange, I get to replace my second hand, much loved but quite crappy bike, which has about 2.5 gears on a good day (out of supposedly 18), with a sit-up-and-beg type bike. It has 3 working gears, a front basket and rear panniers, and a large comfy seat. And we are getting a new dining table. 

    It's a win-win thing :)