Binding tutorial

Hello peeps! A few of you have asked me to do a binding tutorial, and even though there are quite a few out there, I am happy to oblige! Turns out I have a quilt that needs binding. My colleague has asked me to make a quilt to fit her grand-daughter’s single bed and left me to choose the design and fabrics!

For binding a single quilt you will need:

80cm X1.10cm of fabrics or two fat quarters

sewing equipment

pins or clips

You can either choose to use the same fabric for the whole of the binding or reuse pieces of fabrics left over from the quilt you just made. If there isn’t enough pieces, you can add different fabrics to it. So today I would like to re-use some of the fabrics because I don’t like waste and I think it looks quite nice too! if I don’t have enough scraps I will use a white and pink fabric I sewed with in this quilt.

First, cut strips of 2 3/4″ 

Then sew the strips together on the short end, right sides together, making sure they are all on the right side. Some sewers are doing this differently from me, they sew it so that the hem is diagonal. I guess that is the right way to do it but I find it too time-consuming and waste too much fabrics. 

Press the hem to one side with the iron.

Once all the pieces are assembled together, fold the long strip in half and press with hot iron. 

Now the sewing can begin! Place the row edge of your strip along the edge of the quilt, leaving some unlined strip at the beginning. Pin it in place.


when starting sewing, backstitch and sew a quarter of an inch away from edge.

Before sewing all the way down to the corner of the quilt, you need to stop a quarter of inch away from the end and double back stitch. It is really important to not sew all the way down, you’ll see why in a minute!

Take the quilt off the sewing machine. Snip the threads.

Lay the quilt on a flat surface (I usually use my ironing table) Fold the strip up, so that it is in line with the opposite edge,

fold down again so that now the strip is against the edge of quilt,

you should have this kind of fold now, 

pin it in place

Pin the rest of the strip to the edge of quilt
Sew a quarter of an inch from the top corner and from the side too, to the end of that side of quilt but stop a quarter of an inch away from the end. Don’t forget to backstitch at the start and at the end.

Reapeat the folding procession all three corners (the fourth corner we will sew when we join the end strips together)sewing the edges a quarter of an inch from the side and the top and the bottom.

Once you have sewn all side, you need to join the two end of the strip together. That is the most tricky part. So first fold your corner like the previous time and hold it in place by pining it. You will end up with two strips of binding not pinned.

Then you join the two strips and fold to one side. make sure when they meet they lay nicely flat on the quilt other wiseree won’t be enough strip to end the binding.

I press with the iron to leave a mark where I will s

pin the two strips together above the ironed mark:

sew on the ironed mark:

cut the surplus of fabrics

Pin the last bit of strip onto the quilt and sew in place. You have finished half of the binding!

Turn the binding onto the back side of he quilt, don’t worry about the corners they will follow the fold:

I like to iron the binding so that it stays in place once iIhave turned it to the other side of the quilt, but purist will scream at the thought of ironing a binding… I go for what works for me, otherwise you can pin it like so:

and fold the corner like this:

Repeat on each corner at the back of quilt and using an invisible stitch, sew by hand. Some prefer to sew with the sewing machine in the ditch (where you sew excactly on the same path as where you have previously sewn. I prefer to sew by hand,  I find it relaxing, less noisy and stressful. The reason why i prefer to i the nding into place is because I always end up being pricked by the needles and it just isn’t nice! 

So grab a quilting needle (my preference) and quilting thread (I find it to hold the fabrics better and stronger together) and make a quilting knot:

and this bis how you make an invisible stitch:

Et voilà! I hope this helped! happy binding everyone! 

Happy New Year!

It’s only been a few days since we started this new year and I have already finished two little boy’s quilt. I was commissioned to make a dinosaur quilt and a super hero quilt by my colleague.

It was quite tricky to find the fabrics and they were expensive compare to the other types of fabrics. I hadn’t decided on a design to put the quilt together and just saw as I went along. I wanted the super hero quilt to look like a comic book, so I mixed different sizes of squares. My husband is really jealous this quilt is not going to him! For the dinosaur quilt I had to work around the big panel.

My husband got me for Xmas three dressmaking books and I cannot wait to get started! I just need to go fabric shopping.

He also got me a very pretty ukulele as I love playing!

Hope to come back soon with a tutorial. Happy sewing everyone!

Felt elf skirt tutorial

As promised, here is the felt skirt I made for the elf day at school. I searched on the web but could not find anything related to elf skirts. The web will be much better with a felt elf skirt tutorial, don’t you  agree?

you will need:

1.50 m of red felt

1 m of green felt

50 cm of black felt

a sheet of yellowish felt

7 or 8 green pompoms (but you can use red or gold)

about 4 m of green ric rac

red thread

green thread

black thread

sewing paraphernalia

Start by folding your red felt in half and in half again , same with the green felt:

Your green felt is smaller than the red. Measure the desired length. I decided i wanted my skirt to be 19 1/2″. now for the math bit: you need to measure the radius. measure your waist divide it by PI (3.14), divide the result by 2 and you have your radius. Normally with fabric you would round up the radius for comfort but I would say to not round it up or even round it down as felt stretches quite a lot.

From the folded corner measure the radius and mark from one side to the other:

cut on marked line:

Measure 19 1/2″ from the cut arc all the way round (you cannot see it very well on the pic but I have marked it)Now cut it:

you should have a perfect circle with a hole in the middle, put it aside. repeat the same steps with your green felt for the radius:

mark 10 1/2″ (I know picture says otherwise but I changed my mind!) from radius all the way round and cut:

fold it in half to mark the middle:

mark the felt from center to corners:

it should look like that:and cut:

once cut the green felt should look when open like this:

lay it on top of your red skirt, pin and tack:

we’re going to insert the zip. don’t be scared, it’s dead easy! no seam needed as it’s felt!

mark with a pen where the zip end:

mark a line from those two dots:

and cut:

insert the zip and pin it:

sew using a zipper foot all the way round:

pin the green ric-rac at the bottom of the skirt and sew:

Before I did anything else, I checked if the felt skirt was fitting nicely on my hips and it was a bit too large. This is because felt stretches quite a lot. In order to get your skirt fitting nicely I would try it on and pin some darts on the top of the skirt whilst still wearing the skirt. sew in place and check again if it fits you.

Cut a waist band from the black felt. Measure your waist and add 2″. The extra inches will overlap on the other side of waist band to hold it and make it look nice.

Here comes the tricky bit… Pin the black waist band  on the outside of your skirt and sew all the way round except the extra waist band at the end of strap (just don’t do anything yet)

to close the end of waist band fold it in half length way so that the right side of felt are touching:



turn inside out:

repeat process on the other end of waist band on the flapping bit but sew side and under:

now check that waist band is fitting you well. Again, and because I cut (no choice) the waist band and the stretchy grain of felt it was slightly too big so I had to dart on top of waist band and sew in place.

Add decorative felt buckle on the belt,  hand sew some pompoms on the green points  (I did not add a pompom tho the back green triangle for sitting comfortably),hand sew a hook to fasten the waist band and hand sew two red decorative button:

Et voila! you have a elf skirt, very in at the moment, practical for your every day tasks and warm for the cold winter that is coming!

Happy sewing everyone!




I’m a cotton headed ninny muggin!

Yes you would have guessed! It’s dress up time at school again and this time we have to dress up as elves… not sure why but I’m here to indulge and get creative for as little money as possible. Went online to see if I could get something cheap but either it was very tarty which is completely inappropriate for school or it was expensive. I went to Brighton to buy some felt and got creative with the boys.


Here is what you need to make three elf costumes:

2 m of red felt

1 m of green felt

50 cm of black felt

a sheet of yellowish felt

green pompom (but you can use red or gold)

about 4 m of green ric rac

red thread

green thread

black thread

sewing paraphernalia

3 red t-shirt

First grab those tees and lay them flat. lay a piece of paper wide enough to cover the neck, collar and shoulders:

mark with a pen the edge of the collar by feeling with your fingers (don’t worry about being precise as we are working with felt it is quite forgiving):

decide how long you want the green “leaves to hang” we decided it will be the length of the shoulders (depends on your size)

For a mall Tee the length was 3 1/4″ for a bigger one it was 4 ” etc… mark the same length all the way round, make our littl elves work by tracing and cutting:

divide the cut piece in 4 sections like so:

Mark crosses in each section to end up with this:

Cut around and now you have your front colerette pattern. repeat all those steps for the back but you don’t have to make one for the back if you don’t want to. repeat for all three tee-shirts.

Place the patterns on green felt pin and cut around:

insert a piece of cardboard inside the tee-shirts and stick the felt with fabric glue on the tees:

Press quite hard and let it dry.

Now trace on the black felt the buttons: use a 2 p coin to trace around and then cut, use the fabric glue to stick on the Tees. Three per tee is enough but you can add as much or little as you want.

now cut a 3 or 4 ” wide strip of black felt,position it on tee and cut to desired length, stick with fabric glue:

cut a rectangle of the width of the black strip and fold it in half, cut it in that way:

et voila! you now have three elf tees for very cheap!

I will post the felt elf skirt tutorial tomorrow!

See you then!

Vintage books

During half term we went for s stroll to one of my favourite National trust place: Nymans. They have a little hut with a wooden fire where they sell second hand books. I always have a little look and they most of the time haven’t got what I’m looking for. But this time however I found two great vintage dressmaking books, one from 1960 and another one from 1973.

I fell in love with this one just for the cover:

It was published for O level and the content is amazing. There’s so much information in such a little book. It is very precise and to the point. Some stitching I had never heard of and what was asked of the students was intense and time consuming. they most of the time assume you will sew by hand but as they say “you can use a sewing machine”.

The second book was just a I must have it kind of book even though I might never make any project from it. It is so passé it is hilarious!

The photos and pictures and really 70’s and some of the designs are quite sore to the eye. But I still love that book as they have some very interesting point about dressmaking.

One of my favourite page has to be that one:

It is so non PC no wonder feminism exploded. Some of the title were “getting to grips with your figure” followed by “what is your problem”… My problem?? hum… let’s move on

I think I might do this for my 9 and 7year olds:

And might make myself this exquisite quilted skirt: