Category Archives: Sewing

Feature :: Fringed Faux Leather Shoulder Bag, Love Sewing issue 39

The editor of Love Sewing magazine commissioned me to create a fringed shoulder bag. What an exciting challenge!

I had a bit of a search around online for some fringe and I found this great copper coloured faux leather trim from my fabrics.com. They also sell it in silver and black.

Fringed Shoulder Bag for Love Sewing issue 39

I paired the copper fringing with a beautifully soft faux leatherette from a Rainbow of Stitches. I’m not sure whether Janet has the gold anymore but she has a great range of other colours available.

Somehow it seemed fitting that the bag had a chain rather than a strap so I went for a long chain from u-handbag.

The bag also features a magnetic closure, rather than a zip….so easy to install, have you tried one yet? Here’s one of my work in progress pictures.

Fringed faux leather shoulder bag detail

Love Sewing were kind enough to feature my design on the front cover, how nice of them!

Love Sewing Issue 39 Front Cover

Where to Buy

You can buy your copy of Love Sewing from major newsagents and super markets or online from More Mags

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New Pattern :: Striped Easter Egg a foundation paper piecing pattern

Striped Easter Egg FPP pattern

 

Perhaps a little on the late side, but here’s my latest Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern,
‘Striped Easter Egg’

In our house we don’t go all out on the decoration front when it comes to Easter. I have a few precious hand painted eggs I bought in Prague a few years ago and the girls have some Easter bits and pieces they like to play with. I did however fancy a little Easter decoration for my studio. I am so pleased that the days are getting longer, so I thought it would be nice to add to the cheer with some brighter, fresher colours around the studio!

It’s a relatively simple pattern but there are a few small pieces at the top and bottom of the egg. Take your time and you’ll be fine!

There are three stripes on the egg so you can pick and choose from your stash, use just two colours or go for three, the choice is yours!

The ‘Striped Easter Egg’ Foundation Paper Piecing pattern makes an 8″ block. I turned my 8″ block into a mini quilt that I’ve hung on the door to my studio (I promise I have bound it, but just haven’t had a chance to take a picture yet!)

The pdf pattern is presented over 6 pages, 2 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 I’ve 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…

Striped Easter Egg Sample Pages

Share Your Makes

Use #stripedeasteregg 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!

Where to Buy

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

I hope you love my Striped Easter Egg pattern and enjoy making one of your own!

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Feature :: Pyramid Beanbag, Sew Now issue 6

Sew Now magazine issue 6 features my Pyramid Bean Bag sewing pattern. Perfect for lounging around at weekends (or secretly during the week!)

Pyramid Beanbag for Sew Now magazine

It’s a super simple make. All you need is a large piece of home dec weight fabric, a super long zip and of course lots of beans!

Any home dec weight fabric will do, but how about making it from a more durable/water resistant fabric and make a beanbag for the garden….can you tell I’m hoping for a glorious summer?

You can pick up a copy of Sew Now magazine in your local newsagent, or from the More Mags website

Sew Now issue 6 Front Cover

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Gallery :: Pebble Wash Bag

Have you been tempted to try out my Pebble Wash Bag pattern, but can’t decide which fabric to choose?

I thought I would share with you some Pebble Wash Bag pictures in a gallery for your inspiration. Some of the pictures are my own makes, some are from the fabulous ladies that took part in the testing process and some are from my lovely customers!

As you can see the Pebble Wash bag is great for men or women alike and looks great made in a bright print, tweed or leather (faux or real!)

I hope that these pictures have given you some inspiration!

Get your Pebble Wash Bag Featured

If you have made a Pebble Wash Bag and would like for it to be considered for inclusion in the gallery use #pebblewashbag on social media

Buy the Pebble Wash Bag pdf

If you would like to buy and download a copy of the Pebble Wash Bag it’s available for sale in my Etsy store, on Craftsy or in my webshop

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Pebble Wash Bag pdf Sewing Pattern

Welcome to the Pebble Wash Bag pdf sewing pattern!

The Pebble Wash Bag is a sleek and simple design that is roomy enough to fit in all of your wash bag essentials. It features piping, pull tabs and a nice long zip to give you easy access to your contents.

Pebble Wash Bag pdf sewing pattern

You can make the Pebble Wash Bag all in one colour or add a contrast by changing the colour of the piping or matching your tabs with your lining fabric.

Sewing Level

The Pebble Wash Bag pattern is suitable for someone with Intermediate sewing skills. As with all sewing there is a need for accuracy with cutting out and assembling your Pebble Wash Bag. It can be a bit tricky when attaching the gusset to the main/sides of the bag so I would not suggest this pattern for a complete beginner.

Approximate Finished Size of Pebble Wash Bag

  • 17cm high x 29cm wide x 8cm deep

Pebble Wash Bag Side View

 

Pattern Features

  • All of the pattern pieces have been digitally drawn
  • Pattern pages have been tiled and can be printed on A4 or US letter paper
  • There are 4 rectangular pieces that can be printed out or cut directly from the measurements provided
  • Step by step digitally drawn illustrated instructions

If you would like guidance on assembling your Pebble Wash Bag pdf pattern then have a read of my blog post How to Assemble pdf Sewing Patterns.

My testers did a really fabulous job and I really appreciate all of the help and feedback. Some of their pictures are featured in the pdf pattern instructions and some of them will feature in the Pebble Wash Bag gallery which will be live soon on the blog.

Heron Print Pebble Wash Bag Lining Detail by Susan Hewitt

by Susan Hewitt

Where to Buy

The Pebble Wash Bag pdf sewing pattern is available from my Etsy store, on Craftsy and from my own online store

Blue Floral Pebble Wash Bag by Ilse Lemmens

by Ilse Lemmens

Share Your Makes of the Pebble Wash Bag

If you are sharing your makes on social media use #pebblewashbag so that we can see how you have got on!

You can also share your makes in the facebook group Little Black Duck :: In the Sewing Room

Thank You!

Thank you for all of your support, I really do appreciate every sale, I love seeing your makes and I love your feedback and comments!

Feature :: Giant Pom-Pom trimmed Cushion, Sew Now issue 5

I designed this cushion with giant Pom-Pom trim for Sew Now issue 5. I love changing the look of a room with some new cushions and even more so when they have big fat pom-poms on them! That’s the great thing about having sewing skills, you can change the look of your home so easily and to your own exacting requirements!

Giant Pom-Pom Cushion Sew Now issue 5

When I was shopping for a zip for the pom-pom cushion I happened to see the birdy/floral fabric in Dunelm and couldn’t resist it! I thought the colours worked so well with the giant pom-pom cushion fabric and trim.

I therefore decided to make a complimentary cushion with jumbo piping. Why have one cushion when you can have two!

If you fancy trying out jumbo piping check out my tutorial for making your own piping!

Giant Pom-pom cushion

You can pick up a copy of Sew Now at major newsagents or you can buy a copy online at moremags

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Tutorial :: How to Make Your Own Piping

Adding piping to a project can really set off what you are making. It’s great for defining the edges on cushions and bags and can add a nice touch when dressmaking.

You can of course using pre-made bias binding, but it’s so much nicer to make your own to either completely blend in, or even better to totally contrast the what you are making.

Make Your Own Piping Tutorial

You may also want to use a really fine or really chunky piping cord and the difference in circumference will have an impact on how much of the pre-bought bias binding is left for the seam allowance. It can be too much when using thin piping cord and not enough when using jumbo cord, either way it can be a bit of a pain when figuring out where to place the piping on your project.

So the best option is to make your own piping. I have written this step-by-step tutorial so that you can make your own!

Tools Required

Tool for making your own piping

You will need the following to make your own piping:

– chosen width of piping cord (pre-washed or steamed to pre-shrink)
– approx 1FQ of your chosen fabric
– scissors
– a marking tool
– pins
– a measuring tool
– zipper foot

Step 1 – Measure Piping Cord

Take a strip of your chosen fabric and wrap it around the piping cord. Secure with a pin as close to the cord as ‘comfortable’, don’t wrap it too tightly.

Wrap strip and pin

Step 2 – Mark the Seam Allowance

Take your measuring tool and mark the strip with your desired seam allowance. In this instance I am using a 5/8″ seam allowance as this piping was being used on a cushion where I was inserting a lapped zip and I like to use a larger than ‘standard’ seam allowance. You may only want to use a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Mark the Seam Allowance

Step 3 – Trim to Size

Snip off the excess fabric along the line.

Trim Strip

Step 4 – Measure the Fabric Strip

Remove the pin and lay the fabric strip flat and measure. This will give you the width you need for cutting your fabric strips.

Measure the Fabric Strip

Step 5 – Cut the Bias Strips

Work out how much piping you will need and cut out enough strips on the bias to make up this length, plus approximately 10″. This will allow you plenty extra for joining the strips. Cutting on the bias makes it possible to get around curves and corners.

Step 6 – Join the Bias Strips

Overlap two strips with right sides together, leaving 1/4″ extending on each short edge. Mark a 45 degree line between the points where the strips meet. Sew and trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Press seam open.

Make Bias Strips

Step 7 – Wrap the bias strips around the piping cord so that the raw edges meet and secure with pins.

Wrap bias around piping cord

Step 8 – Put your zipper foot on your sewing machine and baste in place along the length of the piping as close to the cord as possible, without pulling the fabric too tight. Don’t pull or stretch the piping cord as you sew as it will only spring back and twist once you are done basting.

Baste bias around cord

So there you have it, beautiful, self-made piping, perfect for using on all sorts of projects. I’ve used the jumbo piping in this tutorial on the cushion below.

Cushion with jumbo piping

Piping also looks great on clothing. I used it on this fox dress that I designed for Crafty magazine a few years back.

Fox Pocket on Orange Dress

Piping also looks great to define shapes on bags like on my Oval Wash Bag (pdf pattern coming soon!)

Oval Wash Bag Piping Detail

So, give it a go, make some piping and transform your next project. Let me know how you get on…

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Feature :: Fold Over Clutch for Bag Making Essentials 4

I love bag designing so I was delighted when the editor of Bag Making Essentials asked me to come up with something  for a forthcoming issue. I love cross body bags as they are just so convenient so I set to work designing something that I thought everyone might like.

Cross Body Fold Over Clutch Portrait

I spent some time looking around online for some suitable materials and found this fabulous Feathers on Sand print by Lewis and Irene from their To Catch a Dream range. The rest of the bag is made with some faux leather from Fabric-Online. I used it when I made the crossbody rucksack that I designed for Love Sewing, so I knew it was perfect for the job.

Fold Over Cross Body Clutch photo from BME4

The bag has an internal slip pocket and under that flap is a zip to keep your contents nice and secure. I used a pre-made bag strap from Bag-Clasps, they come in a great range of colours…check out the purple!

Let me know, what do you think of my cross body fold over clutch? Think you might try making one?

Bag Making Essentials issue 4 Front Cover

Pick up a copy of Bag Making Essentials from larger newsagents or through the More Mags website

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Inaugural Sit & Sew

This week saw the very first Sit & Sew session held at my house. The best news was that I didn’t attend it on my own! People actually booked on and actually turned up!

Sit and Sew with Victoria Peat

I had three rather lovely ladies turn up for some social sewing, chat, tea and biscuits. I even managed to get some sewing done (but not much).

Sit & Sew Feb 2017

One lady did some hand sewing, another was working on a Tilly and The Buttons Cleo Pinafore dress (from some gorgeous needle cord) and the other was making some cushions…..her second ever sewing project!


I’ve decided that I will use the Sit & Sew sessions to work on the Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studios. I’ve gone for view A as being a pear shape I’m not sure I can withstand too much extra bulk around the lower half!

Alder Shirtdress
I had a really great time and the others seemed to as well. I’ve got a lot on my plate over the next few weeks, but I’ll be planning another session for the not too distant future. Keep your eyes on the facebook page for the next date.

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Feature :: Geometric Coasters for Love Sewing issue 36

I got the chance to work with some fab prints for my latest project for Love Sewing Magazine, what a treat!

Geometric Pieced Coasters for Love Sewing issue 36

There were so many prints to choose from, I was like a child in a sweet shop! This is a great project for using up scraps as it only needs small amounts for each section.

Pieced Fabric Coaster for Love Sewing issue 36

These geometric coasters are also a great project for practicing your precise stitching skills. Sew super straight and stop in the right place for perfect results!

To give a nice firm result I used an extra thick felt that I sourced from the Wool Felt Company

Love Sewing issue 36

If you are looking for a copy of Love Sewing you can pick it up in most news outlets or you can order a copy through the More Mags website

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Come and join the facebook group Little Black Duck: In the Sewing Room
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The newsletter is a great way to keep up to date with new patterns and sewing tips, sign up here
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