Pyramid pouch

Easy zip sew.

fabric 10” x 5” with matching lining piece and batting or fleece, zip at least 5” long

optional 4×2” fabric folded lengthwise in quarters and top stitched to make loop


1. fix fleece/batting to outer by fusing or quilting

2. Pin zip between one short end of outer ( pretty side of fabric facing top of zip) and lining fabric  and then sew in place using zipper foot. Repeat other short end to form a tube.

3. turn fabric tube with outer side showing and top stitch either side of zip to keep fabric away from the teeth

4. switch to normal foot, turn tube inside out with zipper positioned half way, if using pin loop inside and sew bottom edge of tube closed then trim seam close – also trimming excess zip – then zig zag over seam edge to tidy

5. twist fabric so zip is the side of tube. Pin or clip remaining raw edge and open the zip (or you won’t be able to turn fabric) then straight stitch, trim seam close to stitch- cutting off zip excess again- then zig zag up to, but not across, zip teeth

6. turn right sides out.



Curved zips and French seams

A learning project.

following the instructions from a borrowed fat quarter project book this was designed to be a pencil case but will now hold sewing notions as it isn’t quite good enough to give

the zip was hand basted to the curved seams and should have been hem stitched but I cheated and top stitched it with my zipper foot, I then put bag inside the lining and attempted to top stitch again over the same line, no joy but it doesn’t show tooo much

the box bottoms were French seamed which makes sense for this sequence of construction – and for the intended pencil case use and abuse of the lining, but can’t see myself abandoning my simpler form of zip bag making permanently

and the fabric was a page from an upholstery samples book that was scavenged for me, if just cotton might have needed quilting or stabilising

Zipping along

A bargain bundle of zips has inspired me to go for it and make a set of zip closed bags in different styles. As long as you remember to put pretty side of outer fabric up, top side of zipper facing it down and pretty side of lining facing down to make the zip sandwich lining it works.

The zipper foot has been out a lot and if I were more particular, reckon I could do them more tidily.

I put tabs on the end of some the zips to make the seams less bulky as I advanced, but these simple quilted make up bags with boxed bottoms are my favourites.


‘It looks shop bought’ beanie hat

Maybe not the most flattering hat but certainly one of the warmest.

made from fleece – that ikea throw seems never ending

loads of tutorials you can follow but it is a simple sew:

essentially draw your pattern as a rectangle with the long side measuring the circumference of the wearers head and the short side being half of the distance measured ear to ear ( plus brim and whatever length of fringe you want)

add seam allowances to long and short sides before cutting a double layer of fleece. I chose to have inner and outer the same fleece but contrast works well

cut the fringe to your chosen length along one long side then sew the other long side together

sew all the short sides together, stop just short of the fringe, to form a tube then turn inside out so the seams are hidden

do a decorative top stitch around the non fringed long side, bear in mind that this is on the brim so the bobbin side of your top stitch will be on display

turn the brim up and stand the hat on a table

gather the fringe in a bunch in your hand as though about to form it in a pony tail and tie a thin off cut of fleece around the bunch. Trim the off cut so it blends into the bunch

wear with panache!


Home milled soap

A simple recipe for gifts with a hand made touch

Grate quality soap into a microwaveable jug. I combined some French milk soap and mini tablets collected from posh hotel stays.

Add a little water (start with a tablespoonful, you can always add more if the mixture is too dry) to soften the mix when you heat it, plus a few drops of almond oil and any dried petals or herbs. 30 seconds max in the microwave and it should almost rise or fluff up so give it a quick stir, then add a couple of drops of essential oil. Stir again before pressing into a silicone tartlet mould.

Leave to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes before unmoulding and wrapping in greaseproof paper.

I added dried lavender harvested in the summer to some of mine, they look very rustic so I made some smart birdhouse boxes on the scan n cut to present them in.

Quick doggy bandana

Just two minutes to make and sooo cute.

Cut a square of fabric so that the diagonal is the same length as your  dog’s collar. Fold the fabric, right sides together, on the diagonal and press. Unfold the fabric and leave right side down.

At either end of the diagonal and fold a triangle about 5cm back to the middle so when you refold on the diagonal you get this shape, albeit inside out

sew the raw edges from just below one side fold round to just below the other and then turn right sides out through one of the gaps

done , just thread the collar from gap to gap and it is ready for wearing

if you want a more tailored finish you can run a line of stitching parallel to the top fold to create a channel for the collar

if you have a friend with a posh sewing machine why not add a little monogram or name as here …