Piping – you can do it!

I don’t know about you, but when I see a pattern that says “piping optional” I always think, “good, I’ll just leave it out”. Because what could be more of a hassle than making your own piping, right? But actually, making piping is really simple and well worth the time spent to add that perfect finishing touch. Piping is made of two components: piping cord and bias-cut strips of your accent fabric. The Super Tote calls for piping that is 1/2” finished, so I used 1/4” cord and 1 1/4” bias strips of linen to match the bag gusset. The extra 1/4” width of fabric is needed so that the piping finishes at 1/2” once it is wrapped around the cord. The first thing you need to do is identify the [Read more...]

Prettify your sewing machine! A sewing machine cover tutorial.

  My sewing machine came with a very uninspiring vinyl cover, which is practical but utterly depressing. This tutorial can be used to make a cover that either fits directly over your sewing machine or over the vinyl cover, whichever you prefer. You will need:   About 3/4 yard of outer fabric (I used yarn dyed Essex Linen in Flax) About 3/4 yard of lining fabric (I used Postage Due from Dowry) Batting or fusible fleece Two 6” (finished) patchwork blocks (I made a couple of churn dash blocks in Dowry/True Colors) 6” x w.o.f. for binding. To make the cover:   1. Measure your machine. You need to take three measurements: the circumference of the machine base; the height [Read more...]


It's happened again, that thing where time just keeps moving in spite of my best efforts to slow it down. A whole year. And now you are twelve - a hilarious, brilliant, and (dare I say it) increasingly self-confident almost teenager. Speaking of which, you are getting quite the dab hand at some teenagery characteristics. Sleeping late has suddenly become the most important feature of your weekends. Being embarrassed by your parents is a permanent state of affairs (and I look forward to dancing like a loon at your upcoming Bat Mitzvah). We are not yet at the (no doubt inevitable) door slamming, you-ruined-my-life, stroppy phase, for which I am grateful. You are sweet and kind and funny, [Read more...]

Still alive

Well, that was weird. I'm not sure what happened there but I apparently dropped off the face of the bloggy world for a (long) while. It's not as if I haven't got stuff to show you, I've just been feeling quiet, I guess. That, and Instagram is so quick and easy. In the last few months I have made a lot of clothes, several bee blocks (although not as many as I should have - ahem), started knitting again and finished my Courthouse Steps quilt just in time for Lucy's 12th birthday. I've been ill (missing out on teaching at the Fat Quarterly Retreat - bloody timing), been working at realjob, teaching (loving the sampler quilt class at The Village Haberdashery), fretting about my suddenly ill, [Read more...]

Bee-friendly Courthouse Steps Tutorial

I love being (beeing, geddit?) part of an online quilting bee. It’s so lovely to sew for others and have them make blocks for you. Not to mention, you get access to a whole new range of fabrics that aren’t in your stash. The only fly in the ointment is the understandable and pretty much unavoidable inconsistency in block size that comes from even the tiniest person-to-person variation in seam allowance. It is my turn in Bee a Brit Stingy this month (hello, ladies!), and just to make things difficult for myself and/or everyone else I have decided on courthouse steps blocks, with a (hopefully) accuracy-ensuring method. So here you go – a bee-friendly 12.5” (unfinished) courthouse [Read more...]

Me-Made May

In spite of the absolute lack of photographic evidence, I actually managed to wear me-made clothing every day in May. This was in no small part due to the sweatshop nature of my dressmaking habit. Thanks to my favourite Croydon-based, rainbow geese-obsessed, dirty-minded, photo-taking quilting friend, Kelly, and yesterday's Nintendo Guild meet-up I can now show you what I've been sewing. First up, the Red Velvet dress by Cake patterns. Love the 50s vibe. So wearable in jersey. Goes nicely with buttercups. Next, the Lady Skater, in some unnamed viscose jersey that I picked up at a quilt show. I *love* this dress. It's so comfortable, and skims nicely over my curvy [Read more...]