Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Bunting Tutorial

DIY Appliqued Fabric Banner

I've been stitching up bunting this week ready to pop in the post as Christmas gifts for my lovely family.  I used a cute blue dotty fabric to represent snow, combined with some very sweet snowmen and tasty figgy puddings!

Bunting is such a thoughtful gift to give and you could also use Christmas fabric, without the appliqued images, for an even quicker project.  The shops charge a fortune for fabric banners and bunting but if you can sew in a straight line, then you can whip up a festive garland!   

Christmas Bunting Tutorial

Blue dotty fabric
Blue lining fabric
Scraps of fabric for applique
Fusible web (Bondaweb/Heat N Bond)  
Paper or acetate for template
Bias-binding or ribbon
Small red buttons for holly berries
Bells or pom-poms

Step One
Create a template by drawing an equilateral triangle of 20cms either using Publisher or by hand (Having all sides equal saves worry about which is the ‘top’!).  Cut the template from acetate, salvaged from gift packaging.

Using the template, cut the required number of triangles from both the front and lining fabrics.

Step Two
If you're adding applique draw a suitable image or download one from the internet.  I drew a very simple snowman and figgy pudding with the word 'Noel'.  

Step Three
Trace all of your applique pieces onto the Bondaweb.  Place on fabric, fuse and cut out.

Step Four
Arrange the applique pieces on your flag fronts and, when happy with their placement, fix into position with your iron.

Step Five
Machine stitch around the applique pieces using black thread.  Sew over each line twice and don't worry if you wobble, this is all part of the appeal of free motion embroidery!

Step Six
Pin the fronts and lining pieces together, with right sides facing. Then machine stitch around three sides, leaving the tops open. Trim seams and snip across the bottom point to reduce bulk, then turn through to right side and press carefully.

Almost there!

These triangle flags were stitched, pressed and ready to be attached to the bias binding when I noticed that one of the 'N's' was upside down - I quickly stitched up another one........A bit of a D'oh moment!

Step Seven
Place the flags inside the bias-binding approximately 2cms apart and pin into place.  If you don’t have any bias-binding simply fold some pretty ribbon or tape in half and press.  Remember to allow at least 10cms of tape at both ends of the bunting garland so that it can be tied or hung in its finished position.  Machine stitch using either a zigzag or straight stitch.

Step Eight
Stitch a little bell or pompom to each of the triangle points and then hang in pride of place in your home (or gift to a loved one, if you can bear to part with it!).

See, I told you it was easy!

'We all love figgy pudding, so bring some out here!'

'Let it snow!'

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

SewforSoul Christmas Giveaway

And the winner is.....

So my Christmas giveaway ended last night and the lucky winner of a £25 Cuddly Buddly gift voucher has now been chosen......

......and it's Sharon who blogs over at Granny's Button Box.

Well done Sharon!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Felt Hanging Christmas Ornaments

Stitched Felt Decorations


This month's Cuddly Buddly design team challenge was entitled 'Something for the tree' and I stitched up these cute hanging felt ornaments.  I also included a second free-standing version.

They're really straightforward to make and so the perfect project to get the children involved.

 You can see my tutorial over at the Cuddly Buddly blog, along with lots of other festive makes from my talented team mates.

All of the materials you need to complete the project are available to purchase from Cuddly Buddly and if you enter my Christmas Giveaway, you could win a £25 Cuddly Buddly gift certificate....but hurry the giveaway ends today!

Good luck! 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Christmas Gift Cone Tutorial

Fabric Hanging Cone

Appliqued Linen Cone

With only four weeks to go until Christmas, I thought this would be the perfect time to share a festive tutorial - For a lovely linen gift cone.

Fabric cones are a perfect festive sewing project, not least because they hold much less than a stocking!  They can also be adapted for any occasion, I made 25 personalised ones for Easter 2013, which you can read about here.  They would also make stunning wedding favours, carried by flower girls, and filled with confetti or rose petals.


Fabric Cone Tutorial

Christmas themed fabric or linen
Lining fabric
Iron-on interfacing
Bell or pom-pom
Fusible web (Bondaweb/Steam a seam)


First create a pattern for your cone.  I simply drew around a large serving plate and then trimmed it into a 'large quarter'! If you don't have a suitable plate to hand, paste mine into Publisher or Word and print out so that the sides measure approximately 6.5 inches. 

Prepare your chosen outer fabric by applying iron-on interfacing and then cut one cone piece from both this and the lining fabric.

Now comes the fun bit.......adding the decorations.  I decided on a cute little appliqued 'Christmas Pudding'.  This is a traditional dessert eaten here in England at Christmas and, as these cones are based on a Victorian idea, I thought a plum pudding which even Charles Dickens would recognise, was the perfect design!  

Draw a simple pudding shape onto fusible web and then, using your iron, apply to scraps of coloured fabric.

Position the pudding applique into place on your cone front and iron firmly.  Using black thread, machine stitch around the design at least twice - Don't worry about any wobbles, the aim is to produce a lovely 'sketch' like feel.  Add a little red button for the holly berry.

An equally lovely, and even quicker, decoration would be Suffolk Puffs (yo-yos), another traditional craft, perfect for Christmas.  As they are so easy to make, they're also a great way to get the children involved. The cone below is for George's teacher and he made the yo-yo himself, it's not quite circular, but I know she will really appreciate the effort!

Once your chosen embellishment is complete, fold both fabric pieces in half to create your cone shapes.  Pin and machine stitch then press seams open for a neat finish.

Remember to leave a small gap in the lining seam so that you can turn the completed cone through to the right side!

Place the lining inside the outer cone piece, right sides together.  Pin into place, also securing the hanging ribbon on either side.  Machine stitch and then turn the cone through to the right side, using the gap in the lining seam.  Push the lining inside the cone, leaving approximately a quarter of an inch showing at the top.  Stitch a little bell or pom-pom to the point and finally slip stitch the gap closed and that's it....All done!   

Now all that's left to do is hang the cone by the fire and wait for Santa to pay a visit!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Christmas Giveaway for a very lovely £25 Cuddly Buddly gift certificate. It's open to readers worldwide!

Good luck! 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Happy Hanukkah Bunting

Appliqued Fabric Banner

This year I was delighted to start my seasonal sewing with a very special Hanukkah banner, which is now about to start its journey over the pond to some friends in America.

The backing fabric is from a pair of upcycled 'Mamas and Papas' nursery curtains and I always enjoy using it as the material is a lovely weight pure cotton canvas.  The dotty background also lends itself to almost any decor, which is perfect when I don't know the colour of the room where the finished banner will be hung!   It is also ideal for make-up pouches and pencil cases and you can read about this cute little Volkswagen Bug car here.

I created the Hanukkah bunting using raw edge applique, one of my favourite techniques.  I normally drop the feed dogs on my machine and free motion embroider around shapes when appliqueing, but as the flame on the candle was so small, I instead decided to simply straight stitch around it using an open-toed foot with a reduced stitch length.  Although this takes longer, it also gives me greater control when completing small scale designs.

I had originally intended stitching up the banner with the wording 'Happy Hanukkah', but as the festival has a number of different spellings I went with the somewhat safer 'Miracle'.  In retrospect I actually prefer this, as it makes a closer link to the meaning of Hanukkah.

At either end of the banner I stitched a Star of David with a candle, another reflection of the original story which tells the miracle of the Hanukkah oil. I stuck with a traditional blue for the main colour scheme but used a jaunty yellow bias-binding for the header tape, which really picks out the yellow of the candle flame.

Next stop Christmas!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Happy Christmas - £25 Crafting Voucher Giveaway!

SewforSoul Magazine Feature and Giveaway!

Christmas is just six weeks away, which in creative tasking terms, is waaay too soon!  I now really ought to start thinking about some serious festive crafting and having an article published in Reloved Magazine's Christmas issue was just the thing to put me into a festive frame of mind!

Regular SewforSoul visitors will recognise the project from this blog post.

I based the adorable Father Christmas applique on this digital stamp by Cuddly Buddly.

Digital stamps are perfect for applique, as they're so easy to re-size and manipulate.  Cuddly Buddly have a huge selection and, as well as digital items, they also stock a wide range of physical crafting products for card making, scrapbooking, sewing, decoupage and painting to name but a few! 

If you haven't yet visited Cuddly Buddly, you've been missing out on a fantastic crafting experience and as it's 'nearly' Christmas I'm holding a giveaway for a lovely £25 gift certificate and, with over 12,000 items held in stock, they really do have something for everyone.

To be in with a chance of winning simply leave a comment on this post and then pop over to to start following SewforSoul.  The winner will be drawn at random on 1 December, just in time for a little Christmas shopping!

Good luck!

Friday, 7 November 2014

'Reloved Magazine' Halloween Feature

DIY Gothic Cloche Article - Better late than never!

Wow, time has really flown by and it's hard to believe that Halloween was only this time last week!  There were so many pictures I wanted to take and share, but just didn't manage.  I even forgot to blog this Reloved Magazine article featuring my 'Gothic Bell Jar Tutorial'.

It looked lovely in print, although the bloodstained and rusty saw was a somewhat macabre touch on the editor's part!

I am now more than happy to start turning my thoughts to Christmas projects, only seven weeks to go!