fabrics-001We’re all a bit guilty of hoarding a bit more fabric and yarn than perhaps we ought to, I know a few ladies who can scarcely confess to their partners the extent of their stash (but will gladly give you a guided tour!). To try and alleviate the guilt, we will be holding another one of our glorious SWISHING! afternoons and you are cordially invited.

Swishing is when you bring a few items you can bear to part with, be they fabric, yarn or haberdashery, and swap it for something you do want. Don’t have anything to bring? That’s fine, just pop a modest donation in the charity jar (this year we are supporting Papworth Hospital Trust).

The date is Sunday 23rd March

Place is 41 North Hill Road, Ipswich

Time is 2-4pm



Getting super neat edges on your sewing

Reproduced with kind permission of MIY Workshops

Do you struggle with getting neatly finished seam allowances??  Try this….


The overcasting foot is also sometimes called an “overlock foot”.  They don’t often come as standard with a new machine (although they do with new Janomes and some Berninas), but you can buy them as an extra attachment for your machine and they’re well worth it.  Once you’ve used one and seen the results you’ll never want to be without it.

They’re a great alternative if you don’t have an overlocker, giving an almost as neat finish.  You can also use them with your machine’s other recommended  ”overcasting” or edge neatening stitches as well as just the standard zigzag stitch.

If you’re going to invest in one, be sure you buy the correct one for your make and model of machine, an incorrect one can lead to broken needles, tangled threads and tears!  If you can’t buy or order one from your local friendly sewing machine shop, have a look online – do a search using overcasting foot (or overlocking foot) + the make and model of your sewing machine and you should come up with some results, they’re usually between £10 – £15.


The Great London Sewing Crawl-26th October

One thing lacking in Suffolk  (only one for a blog should be brief) is a really good place to buy fabric and haberdashery, by which i mean somewhere with a mixture of good quality with bargains with fun fabrics and a really excellent range of haberdashery. It is with this in mind we are holding our first Great London Sewing Crawl to plug the gap.

You are cordially invited to board the sewing bus and come on a magical mystery tour of my favourite London haunts. Those places that sell fabric for 50p a metre and where they pile the ribbons high. We will also be stepping out into some of the more discerning emporiums before finishing with a cheeky drink by the Thames to compare bargains before heading home.

Want to come with? It’s £25 for a seat on the bus and no obligation to buy. Strictly no little people, this is an adult only affair. Sign up here

Just 15 seats available.

bias binding

Making baby slippers

baby slippers

Today’s task has been to make some slippers to show what you can do with the felt I’ve just got in stock. I used the pattern here which was very simple and quick. Although there’s only one size available, it wouldn’t take much common sense to grade them up to a toddler size.

Felt available from our online shop here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231004056999&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

Understanding your yarn stash

One way of determining the weight of an unknown yarn is to use the wrapping method.

Wrap the yarn around a large needle or a ruler. Make sure the yarn lies flat. Push the yarn together so there are no gaps between wraps. Smooth it out so it is neither too loose nor too tight. Measure the number of wraps per inch (2.5 cm). For better accuracy, measure the wraps at the centre of your yarn sample.

Standard Yarn Weight System Yarn Type (US) Ply (UK, NZ, AU)
m/100g Wraps Per Inch (WPI)
0 or Lace Thread, Cobweb and Lace 1 – 3 ply 600-800 18+ wpi
1 or Superfine Fingering 4 ply 400-480 14 wpi
2 or Fine Sport 5 ply 300-400 12 wpi
3 or Light DK 8 ply 240-300 11 wpi
4 or Medium Worsted 10 ply 120-240 9 wpi
5 or Bulky Bulky 12 ply 100-130 7 wpi
6 or Super Bulky Super Bulky Less than 100 5-6 wpi

Sewing a simple pin cushion

I found this really simple tutorial and thought I’d share it. Every sewist needs a pin cushion and this one is rather cute!

It’s very simple to make, so today, I’ll show you how.

Because we’re all about recycling here,
I’m using this old t-shirt.
But go ahead and use fabric scraps.

Cut a rectangle (this one’s 7 ” x 5″) out of the fabric,
fold it in half & sew the ends together.

Sew a running stitch on one end & pull
the thread to “seal” the bottom.
Knot the thread.

Turn the fabric inside out.
Add stuffing.

Close the top with running stitch.
Pull the thread & knot the end.

To make the tomato “ribs”, pass a threaded needle at the “core” to the outside. Do this several times, making the stitches as tight as you want.
Make the “crown” from green felt & stitch this to the top of the tomato.
TADA! Your very own pin cushion!

10 minute gardening gloves sewing project

Recycle your old Winter sweatshirts into useful Spring gardening gloves. It’s super fast and easy, no pattern required!

First grab an old sweatshirt.

Turn it inside out and insert your hand into a sleeve. Stretch out your fingers and pin at the deepest and highest points of your hand shape. You can also use the bottom edge of your sweatshirt to make your gloves. I plan to make 3 pairs from one small sweatshirt. I just started with the sleeves.

Take out your hand and mark your glove shape with a marker/pen using your pins as guides.

Sew along your pattern line.


On to glove #2. I used my already made glove to make a copy by tracing around my trimmed seams and sewing a bit inside  my line. You can do the pin & marker thing again if you want to though.


Turn the gloves right side out and marvel at your awesome free gloves!

These really took only 10 minutes and that included stopping to take pictures. Can’t wait to try them out this weekend in the garden.

Reproduced from http://latelyreconstructed.wordpress.com