Category Archives: Crafting

World Book Day 2017 :: Amelia Jane and Mary Poppins

World Book Day is upon us and this year we have a Mary Poppins and an Amelia Jane.

Charlotte decided early on that she wanted to be Amelia Jane as she really loves those stories. She reads them over and over again. Amelia Jane really is a naughty doll! Charlotte has modelled herself on the most recent incarnation of Amelia Jane. She worked out that she had the right dress and tights in her wardrobe and that all she needed were some red shoes (thank you ebay) and for me to put her hair up in pig tails.

Amelia Jane inspiration for World Book Day 2017

I made her a couple of felt bows for her hair (curse that glue gun) and gave her some rosy cheeks and the apparently very important freckle, placed very specifically on her upper right cheek!

Emily took a little longer to decide on her character of choice, but eventually settled on Mary Poppins. Admittedly she loves Mary Poppins as she has seen the film a gazillion times, but she’s only 6 so I’ll forgive her for not having read the book!

Emily’s costume was also thankfully quite straight forward. She wore a school summer shirt, along with a black skirt and tights. I made her a felt bow tie (curse that glue gun again) and a felt hat headband.

#worldbookday costume for Emily #marypoppins #marypoppinshat #hatheadband #feltbowtie #gluegun

A post shared by Little Black Duck (@victoriapeat) on

The headband was made from three circles of felt, layered with decovil light in the middle for stiffness. I then made a little tube of felt which was topped with a smaller circle of felt. I constructed it partly with some hand stitching and partly with that blasted glue gun (I truly managed to get glue everywhere). The hat was then topped with a ribbon band, a folded bow and a little flower (from the Easter supplies at Wilko). I even managed to squeeze her short hair around a little hair doughnut….just!

They look the part don’t they?

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Sew Before Social :: start your day creating, not consuming

I read an article on The Craft Industry Alliance Blog a while back about starting your day with creating rather than consuming. That is, spend time creating something (anything) before you spend time consuming social media.

I realised that I do indeed spend half an hour every morning whilst lying in bed/waking up scrolling through facebook, instagram and email. Seriously, that’s nearly 3 hours a week totally wasted!

So I have started my own initiative called

Sew Before Social

Every day without fail* I have decided to get myself out of bed when the alarm goes off and go down into my studio and get on with some making.

Sew Before Social

My aim initially is to focus on some of the abandoned projects I unearthed when I tidied my studio over the Christmas break. I figure little by little I will get through all sorts of projects on my list, projects that run the risk of never being finished, all in the time I would normally waste looking at ‘stuff’ online!

I am sharing some of my progress in my facebook group  Little Black Duck: In the Sewing Room and on instagram using #sewbeforesocial

What do you think? Fancy joining me with Sew Before Social?

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*ok, as many mornings as I can, I’m only human

New Pattern :: Facets of the Heart a foundation paper piecing pattern

Facets of the Heart FPP pattern

I’m so pleased to announce the launch of my newest Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern,
‘Facets of the Heart’

I was looking around for a heart fpp pattern but couldn’t find one that was nicely rounded and took my fancy, so I got to work on designing a pattern of my own! I’ve come up with a design that is indeed nicely rounded and allows you to play with colour.

Facets of the Heart Mini Quilt

I’ve made my heart in a rainbow of colours, but I think it would also look great in several shades of the same colour, or in just two colours. What do you think?

Facets of the Heart FPP Colour Suggestions

The ‘Facets of the Heart’ Foundation Paper Piecing pattern makes a 10″ block. The sample I made up was transformed into a mini quilt that is currently hanging up in my studio, trying to cheer up gloomy days.

There aren’t any really tiny pieces so I would recommend this pattern to those who are at an intermediate or confident beginner level when it comes to paper piecing. The trickiest part is planning your colours and getting them in the right order!

Facets of the Heart Mini Quilt

The pdf pattern is presented over 7 pages, 3 of which are the pattern pieces. It features a full colour image of the design, a colouring diagram, a diagram on how to assemble your block as well as tips on how to print your pattern correctly first time around.

All of the pattern pieces have been drafted digitally and have been reversed so that you can more accurately plan and sew up your colours in the right order. I’ve also included a 1/4″ seam allowance around each of the sections to make things as easy as possible for you.

Here’s a flavour of what the pages are like…

Facets of the Heart Sample Pages

Use #facetsoftheheart when you’re uploading pictures of your work on social media so we can all see your great work.

You can also join Little Black Duck :: In the Sewing Room on facebook and share your pictures there, or ask questions if you are stuck!

If you would like to buy a copy of the ‘Facets of the Heart’ FPP pdf pattern you can get a copy from my shop, my Etsy store or Craftsy for around £3.50-£4.

I hope you love my Facets of the Heart pattern and enjoy making one of your own!

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Tilda Bumblebee Range Blog Hop

Have you seen that Tilda have a new range out? It’s called the Bumblebee range and it’s out now!


Sew and So are  organising a blog hop and they have asked for me to take part again. How nice of them!

I seem to be in good company too….check out their blog post to see the schedule and who is involved. I’m up on Weds 18th Jan, so don’t forget to drop back to see what I make with the new range.

p.s. did you see the hoop art project I designed for the Tilda Cabbage Rose Launch?

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NEW Pattern :: Reindeer Applique

I really love making children’s clothes. I guess it’s because they are small and cute and come together so quickly.  Applique is a great skill and using applique on a t-shirt is a great way of creating something fun and unique.

Applique is a relatively quick and simple skill and if you’ve got a stash like I do, more often than not you’ll have everything you need to get going straight away!

I have designed a Reindeer Applique pattern that is just perfect for a festive T-shirt

Reindeer Applique T-Shirt

The pdf pattern makes a Reindeer head that is about 10″ high and 7″ wide. I have digitally drawn all of the pattern pieces so they are nice, neat and accurate and you are well on your way to getting great results.

Reindeer Applique Sample Pattern Pages

I have included step-by-step instructions and photographs and there is a page of information that talks through some of the stitches that you might like to use to applique your design.

The pdf pattern is a total of 7 pages long, of which the pattern pieces take up just two pages.

If you would like to buy a copy of the pattern it is available from the Little Black Duck Etsy store.

If you are posting pictures of your makes on social media use #reindeerapplique so that we can all see your makes!

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Feature :: Drawstring Bags for Bag Making Essentials

Looking for a quick make in the run up to Christmas? I have designed this simple drawstring bag for Bag Making Essentials issue 3

Drawstring Bags for Bag Making Essentials 3

It’s a simple make that only involves straight line sewing so it’s perfect for confident beginners or those looking for a quick make.

Cloud Print Drawstring Bag

In this edition of Bag Making Essentials I also show you how to print your bags using freezer paper and fabric paints. There are three different templates for you to choose from, a heart, a cloud and a star.

Heart Print Drawstring Bag

You can pick up a copy of Bag Making Essentials from the More Mags website or from larger retailers.

Bag Making Essentials 3 Front Cover

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FREE Pattern :: Reindeer Decoration

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the Free Reindeer Cushion Pattern that I launched not long ago also had a second set of pattern pieces on the download. As a little bonus I have downsized the pattern so that you can make a felt decoration to hang on your tree!

Reindeer Decoration FREE Tutorial


Finished size 3.5″ high x 2.75″ wide

Materials Required

:: Felt in the following colours:
– Light Brown
– Dark Brown
– Red
– White
:: Coordinating embroidery thread
:: 5″ length of 1/4″ wide ribbon
:: Freezer Paper
:: Toy stuffing (optional)

Tools Required

:: Hand sewing needle
:: Small pair of sharp scissors

Download the Pattern

Download your Reindeer Cushion Tiled Pattern Pieces. When you print out your pattern pieces make sure that you print them actual size and don’t scale or fit to page (unless you’re not totally bothered if the decoration is a touch larger or smaller than it’s designed to be). There is a test square on page 1 if you are not sure and want to check before printing the second page. The pattern pages are designed to be printed out on either A4 or US letter. The pattern pieces for the Reindeer Decoration are spread over the two pages.

Cut and Prepare Felt

:: Trace all of the pattern pieces onto the matt side of the freezer paper and roughly cut out.

:: Apply* freezer paper to the felt as follows
– Backing – Light Brown x2
– Head – Dark Brown x 1
– Nose – Red x 1
– Eyes – White x 2

:: Cut out all shapes along the design lines

*For further tips on cutting out freezer paper from felt check out this blog post

Sew the Facial Features

illustrations show stitching in contrast colours as guidance only

:: Using 2 strands of embroidery thread sew the Nose onto the Face, using a running stitch. Sew the Eyes onto the Face using a few short stitches around the edges.

Reindeer Decoration Sew Nose and Eyes

:: Place the Face on one of the Backing pieces and stitch in place with a running stitch around the outside edges of the Face.

Reindeer Decoration Sew Face to Backing

:: Position the completed front over the remaining Backing piece. Sew the layers together around the outside edges with a running stitch, catching a ribbon hanging loop at the top. If you want you could stuff the decoration a little to make him a bit fat and squidgy.

Reindeer Decoration sew front to back


Happy Sewing!

Felt Reindeer Decoration

If you’ve made a decoration and are uploading pictures onto social media use #reindeerdecoration. You’re also more than welcome to join in at Little Black Duck: In the Sewing Room on facebook, we love to see your makes!


Reverse Applique Woven Heart Hoop Art :: Tilda Blog Hop

Today I am sharing with you a tutorial for some Hoop Art using two of the prints from the fabulous Tilda Autumn 2016 Cabbage Rose collection.

Reverse Applique Woven Heart Long Image


Materials Required
Background Fabric (Ikea Linen)
:: 11″ square
:: 7″ square
Iron-on/Fusible interfacing
:: Two 7″ squares
:: One 11″ square
Two Coordinating prints
:: 13″ x 7″ in Tilda Lucille Ginger
:: 11″ x 7″ in Tilda Lucille Teal
Embroidery Thread (DMC #922)

Tools and Notions
8″ Embroidery Hoop
Heart Template
Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Mat
Fabric Scissors
Paper Scissors
Pinking Shears
Fabric Marking Pen
Foam Board
Hand Sewing Needle

Prepare the Heart

From the background fabric cut a 11″ square and a 7″ square. Apply interfacing to the wrong side of each square.

Cut the background fabric

Print and cut out the Heart Template.

Place the heart centrally on the wrong side of the smaller square and trace around the outside edges.

trace the heart

Place the smaller square centrally on the larger square, with right sides facing. Pin in place.

trace the heart

With a slightly shorter than normal stitch length, stitch along the traced outline of the heart. Trim away the centre of the heart and snip into the remaining seam allowance.

trim the heart

Turn the smaller square through to the wrong side of the larger square, pushing out the point at the top of the heart. Press carefully so that the seam sits nicely on the inner edge of the heart.

press the heart

Prepare the Strips

Cut 1″ wide strips following the grain of the fabric (not on the bias). You will need:
:: 13 vertical strips (Lucille Ginger)
:: 11 horizontal strips (Lucille Teal)

Take each strip and lightly spray with some starch on the wrong side. Fold the outer edges so that they meet in the middle and press

press the strips

prepare the strips

Prepare for Weaving

Mark vertical and horizontal lines in the middle of your board to help you keep things nice and straight.

mark board

Place a 7″ square of interfacing bumpy/adhesive side uppermost in the middle of your board and secure in place with a pin in each corner.

secure interfacing


Position the first strip vertically in the middle of the board and pin in place at the top of the strip

place the first strip

Continue placing and pinning the remaining vertical strips.

position all of the vertical strips

Start weaving the horizontal strips through the vertical strips.

:: Strip One goes over one, under one, over one, under one, etc.

:: Strip Two goes under one, over one, under one, over one, etc.

Repeat the above two rows in order with the remaining 9 strips.

weaving complete

Press the strips and adhere to the interfacing. Once stuck, remove the pins, flip over the woven strips and press again from the wrong side.

iron weave to interfacing

Secure the Heart

Position the woven section centrally under the heart opening and pin in place.

Using 3 strands of embroidery thread/floss sew a line of running stitches around the outside of the heart

running stitch around the heart

Turn the panel over and trim away the excess fabric about 3/4″ away from the line of running stitches.

trim the back of the heart

Insert into Hoop and Finish the Back

Place the Woven Heart centrally in the embroidery hoop and tighten the screw. Don’t pull the fabric too tight or it will distort the heart shape.

Mark a line approx 1″ from the outside edge of the hoop and using pinking shears trim away the excess fabric.

trim the back of the heart

Gather in the excess fabric by sewing a line of running stitches around the outside edge.

knot the thread

Sew a line of running stitches

pull in the running stitches and secure

Hang your Reverse Applique Woven Heart Hoop Art with pride!

Reverse Applique Hanging Heart Hoop Art

It’s a been a great blog hop. Have a look at some of the other projects that have been made using the new Tilda fabrics:

1st August – Stitch Craft Create
2nd August – Stitch Craft Create
3rd August – Vicky Myers Creations
4th August – Strawberry Patch Ramblings
5th August – Charm About You
8th August – Crafting Not Cleaning
9th August – Popular Patchwork
10th August – Dinki Dots
11th August – Little Black Duck
12th August – Tea and a Sewing Machine
15th August – A Saucy Stitch
16th August – Very Berry Handmade
 Reverse Applique Woven Heart Detail

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FREE :: Mini Bunting for Doorway Puppet Theatre

Did you see the Portable Doorway Theatre that I designed for Issue 11 of Love Sewing magazine? I think it’s one of my most favourite things I’ve ever made and the girls certainly love it too!

I have written a tutorial for making a little row of bunting to hang from the top of your Doorway Puppet Theatre, you know, just in case it’s a jolly kind of performance!

Mini Bunting Tutorial

Materials & Equipment Required
:: Several pieces of cotton in a variety of colours (or all one colour if you are feeling lazy prefer)
:: 1m cord
:: Marking pen/chalk
:: Scissors
:: Sewing Machine
:: Thread to match fabrics selected
:: Pinking shears

How to Make

:: Download the Flag Template, print off and cut out.

:: Trace Flag Template onto fabric(s) and cut out. I’ve made 5 flags, but you could make more if you prefer. There’s room for 8 flags if you place them right next to each other.

:: Fold each flag in half with wrong sides together and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance on the two long edges and 3/8″ from the folded edge, as per the diagram below.

Bunting Seam Allowance Guide

Flags Seam Allowances

:: Trim the two long edges with pinking shears.

Pinked Edges of Bunting Flags

:: Thread the flags onto the cord.

:: Make a loop at either end of the cord. If your cord frays dab a bit of fabric glue on the ends or melt them (but only if you can be trusted to be sensible with a match!).

Loops for Doorway Puppet Theatre Buntin

:: You are now ready to hang your bunting onto the tension pole of your Doorway Puppet Theatre.

Bunting for Doorway Puppet Theatre

As usual, let me know if you’ve made a Doorway Puppet Theatre and some Bunting. I love to see your makes…it really does make my day!


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FREE :: Tutorial for a Play Pet Lead

When you sew you get all sorts of requests to sew this or repair that, but my favourite requests are …..‘mum, can you sew me….?’. Now these are requests that I really don’t mind. They tend to be requests for totally daft things and more often than not it’s much more fun than taking up a pair of my husband’s trousers!

This time around it was ‘mum, can you make me a lead for my puppies?’ Emily loves playing with all of her toy puppies and has even decided that when she is older she would like to be a vet (or a hula girl!), so how could I resist making her something special to go with her pets!

So, without further a do, here is my Free tutorial for a PLAY PET LEAD*

Play Pet Lead Tutorial

Materials Required

:: Approx 4″ strip, full width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge)
:: Lobster claw clasp with D-ring attachment
:: Co-ordinating thread

Equipment Needed

:: Rotary Cutter, mat and ruler (optional, but makes life a lot, lot easier)
:: Sewing Machine
:: Edge stitch foot (again, optional but will make life easier)

Sewing Method

:: Measure the inside of the D-ring section of your lobster claw, mine in the picture below was 3/4″.

Lobster claw clasp

:: Using your rotary cutter (or scissors) cut a strip of fabric, straight across the whole width (selvedge to selvedge) 4 times the measurement you took in the first step. Fold and press in half along it’s length.

Press in half

:: Taking each side in turn, press the raw edges into the middle of the strip. You should end up with something that looks like twice folded bias binding.

fold in half twice folded strip

:: Open out each short end and turn in a 1/4″ seam and press. Fold the strip back to how it was before and press again.

fold in the ends

:: Edge stitch all the way down each side of the strip, back stitching at the start and end of each row of stitching.

edge stitch

:: thread one end of the strip through the d-ring section of the lobster claw clasp and pin in place about 1″ from the fold. Stitch in place.

attach lobster claw IMAG0239

:: At the other end of the strip, make a 6″ loop, stitching in place at the base of the loop

make the loop IMAG0241

There you have it, one Play Pet Lead*!

play pet lead

If you make one* let me know, I’d love to hear how you got on!

*please, please, please only make this for or give to an older child. Use your discretion when gifting this Play Pet Lead x


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