Patchwork in the Peaks 14: Part 1


By Judith on September 24, 2018
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So I’m back from my adventures abroad (eventually!), and what a fabulous few days it was!

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

Of course the surroundings were completely spectacular, and my photos simply don’t do justice to the beautiful part of the world that is Morzine, France.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14
Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

But despite gloriously warm temperatures and the clear blue Alpine air, nothing would tempt 8 serious sewers from their missional weekend.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

Patchwork in the Peaks 14
Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

As a guest tutor I was teaching my Denim Applique Bag, and you can see their fabulous results here (don’t get distracted by the awesome backdrop!).

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

For most of the ladies, this was their first time using a twin needle and fusible bias as a decorative quilting technique.

 

The re-purposing fervour continued throughout the weekend, with more bags, baskets, pouches and cushions being produced.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

Of course there were many other projects being worked on too (yes we did sleep and eat during the retreat!).  Each finish was collectively celebrated with the special ‘gong’ of a bell!

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14

 

Elita and Gina work hard at making this bi-annual retreat a fun, productive and inspiring experience for all who attend.

 

Patchwork in the Peaks 14
L-R: Elita, me, Gina

Everyone was so warm, welcoming and sociable (not to mention hilariously funny!).

 

I would highly recommend Patchwork in the Peaks for anyone who enjoys getting away from it all for some dedicated time to quilt, sew, chat, laugh and relax (there’s even a hot tub!).

 

You can read more about Elita’s Alpine Retreats and the other services she provides here.

 

I did manage a few little makes myself – tune in again for a round-up on my Alpine finishes!

 

Happy sewing!

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Autumn Table Projects Part 2


By Judith on September 12, 2018
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Hello there!

 

As promised, I’m back to tell you about the rest of the projects on my Autumn Table!

 

Autumn18 Table Display

 

(you can read all about projects 1-5 here)

 

6. Denim Washbag:

 

Denim Washbag

 

My love of repurposing denim gets everywhere!

 

Unfortunately I don’t have a pattern written up yet for this project, but I’m currently working on a new Denim Pouch Bag, so stay tuned for new ways to upcycle your denim.

 

7. Stacked Coins Cushion

(pattern available here)

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I had so much fun making this cushion for my Scrap Busting Saturday last month.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

I have soooooooo many scraps I was able to ‘stack my coins’ into 10 colourways, 5 in the front and 5 in the back!

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins Cushion

 

The pattern includes a nifty step by step guide on how to put a zipper into your cushion.

 

Scrappy Stacked Coins cushion

 

And don’t worry if you don’t have as many ‘organised’ scraps as me, you can go completely random and throw everything (and the kitchen sink!) in!

 

8. Zippy pouches

(Easy Peasy Pouch pattern available here)

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

(Gracie Pouch pattern available here)

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

Another successful workshop last month was my Zippy Pouches day!

 

This was all about conquering the ‘fear of the zipper’, and adding more fabulous gift making ideas to the repertoire!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

The Easy Peasy Pouch is a great beginner friendly pattern on which to cut your zippy teeth on (2 sizes available)!

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try the roomy Gracie Pouch (also available in 2 sizes).

 

9. Tissue Box Covers

(free tutorial available here)

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

Aren’t these much better looking than cardboard tissue boxes!

 

Tissue Box Cover Tutorial

 

And the great thing about this tutorial is you can cover any size box, with my handy ‘made to measure’ table!

 

10. Hot Water Bottle Cover

(pattern available here)

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

As temperatures are cooling, how cosy would it be to snuggle up in the evening with a soothing hot water bottle and a great read.

 

Hot Water Bottle Cover Pattern

 

This cover fits a standard size hot water bottle, and if you line it with Insul Bright heat resistant wadding, your bottle stays warmer for longer!

 

And a great gift idea, don’t you think!

 

So there we have it!  My Autumn Table Roundup full of ideas and inspiration this new season.

 

Thank you for tuning in!

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‘Wee Coloured Houses’ Birthday Pouch


By Judith on August 14, 2018
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A good friend of mine recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

 

Now this friend is uber creative and talented, especially when it comes to ceramics.

 

Rachel has a workshop in Conway Mill, just 2 floors above me, and makes the most stunning ceramic house pictures and brooches #weecolouredhouses

 

I’m lucky to be the proud owner of 2 such creations!

 

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

'Wee Coloured Houses' by Rachel Julca

 

So from one maker to another, I knew my gift had to be handmade!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)
approx 12″ x 8″

 

My ‘Wee Coloured Houses’ pouch is inspired by Rachel’s adorable little houses. They have been free motion sketched onto Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).  Those tiny windows were a challenge!!

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

I know Rachel loves colour, so I went with a patchworked back and a bright, funky lining.

 

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

Wee Coloured Houses Pouch (birthday gift)

 

So here’s to many more creative years Rachel!

 

 

And if you would like to purchase one of Rachel’s pictures or commission her for a custom order, you can contact her here.

 

Also, keep an eye out for her at Frock Around the Clock Fares and the Fine & Dandy Markets, as well as seeing her stock in The Designerie (Bushmills), Belfast City Airport, The Crafty Barn (Carlingford) and Klover (Hillsborough) to name a few!

 

Happy sewing!

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Zippy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on August 12, 2018
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Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

Yesterday was my Zippy Pouches workshop, a day to conquer the ‘Fear of the Zip’!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18

 

My courageous ladies could choose from a simple but perfectly formed ‘Easy Peasy Pouch’ or the ‘Gracie Pouch’ which included a template and a flange feature.

 

And just look at what they achieved!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18
Easy Peasy Pouches (2 sizes)
Zippy Pouches Workshop Aug18
Gracie Pouches (2 sizes)

 

Aren’t they beautiful!

 

Well done ladies! Your hard work totally paid off!

 

If you would like to have a go at making a zippy pouch, you can get the Easy Peasy Pouch pattern here and the Gracie Pouch pattern here.

 

Happy sewing!

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Toiletry Travel Bag Finishes


By Judith on June 24, 2018
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Two Saturdays ago I held my Toiletry Travel Bag workshop.

 

Travel Washbag

 

The classroom was buzzing as 11 ladies cut, quilted, piped and zippered their way through the workshop!

 

Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18

 

And despite a few new techniques to overcome, these are the amazing bags they produced!

 

Toiletry Travel Bag Workshop June18

 

Aren’t they brilliant!

 

Well done ladies on your fabulous bags!  Time to start dreaming of new places to visit!

 

Travel Washbag

 

And if you’d like to make your own sizeable toiletry bag, you can get the pattern here (includes instructions for the ‘wet bag’).

 

Travel Washbag

 

Happy travels!

 

 

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Easy Peasy Pouches Workshop


By Judith on May 30, 2018
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Next up on my series of Summer Workshop posts are my Easy Peasy Pouches!

 

Zippy Pouches Workshop11th August, 10am-4pm2nd Flr, Conway Mill, Belfast

 

It’s funny how often I come across folks with an inherent fear of zippers!

 

I remember my own fear of them once upon a time. But oh, the wonderful freedom I experienced once I faced my fear, able to make and enjoy many zippered projects and gifts.

 

I want to enable others to experience this freedom and fun, and to embrace their zipper foot once and for all!

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

For the complete ‘Zipper Novice’ I have designed the Easy Peasy Pouch, simple construction without compromising on the little details that matter, like pretty zipper tabs and a boxed corner base.

 

Easy Peasy Zippered Pouch Workshop

 

And for those feeling a little more adventurous, you could try The Gracie Pouch.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

These have the same simple construction as the Easy Peasy Pouch, just with a few added features and a little more quilting.

 

The Gracie Pouch Workshop

 

When I need a handmade gift idea, zippy pouches are my go to project!

 

Bookings for this workshop are now open!  All workshops are £30 (includes a non-refundable £15 deposit). Just drop me an email to justjudedesigns@hotmail.co.uk.

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Spring into Summer Table Projects


By Judith on April 28, 2018
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Hi everyone!

 

My, isn’t April whizzing by too quickly!!  I managed a little sewing this week, despite the chaos of having more work done in my home!  But more on that another day!

 

In the meantime, here is a run through of the projects on my Spring into Summer table.

 

Spring into Summer Classroom Display

 

At the front of my table are 2 little Dumpling Pouches.

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

The original tutorial is for the small size, and I characterised it into a handbag friendly medicine pouch with a little applique!

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

To achieve the larger pouch, simply enlarge the template on a printer and use a longer zipper.

 

Medicine (Dumpling) Pouches

 

Also at the front of the table are my Flex Frame Glasses cases (tutorial available here) and my Travel Toiletry Bag.

 

Travel Washbag

 

I’ll be teaching the Toiletry Bag as a Saturday Workshop on 16th June (pattern available here).

 

Next up is my Beach Bag.

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

This roomy bag is lined with water-resistant Rip-Stop and includes a useful ‘wet bag’ for your soggy swimsuit and lotions!

 

Beach Bag (Pretty Patches Aug16)

 

The pattern is available here!

 

Finally, 3 summer bags!

 

Pineapple Bag for Quilt Now

 

My Pineapple Tote was a fun design for Quilt Now, mixing a little scrappy piecing and foundation paper piecing.  You can read lots more about the features of this tropical tote here!

 

Beach Ball Bag (Sewing World June16)

 

My Beach Ball Bag uses the porthole technique to cleverly turn a square pinwheel block into a round beach ball.

It’s another roomy bag for keeping all your summer shopping secure!  Read more about it here.

 

Summer Flowers Bag (Popular Patchwork Bag special May16)

 

And finally, my Summer Flowers Shopping Bag!

 

I used ‘economy’ squares to showcase the prettiest floral fabric and a sweet stripe border, mitred at the corners (look closely!).  Aren’t they lovely with the Essex linen background!

 

 

 

While the faux leather handles can be a little tricky to sew-in, they are totally worth it!  I love the finish they give to this sturdy shopper! And here’s where I get them!

 

Well, including previous Spring into Summer posts (here and here), that’s the roundup of the projects currently on my classroom display table.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little more about them!

 

Happy sewing!

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Flex & Framed Purses Workshop


By Judith on March 21, 2018
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Last Saturday we had my first all day workshop at the Mill.

 

Flex & Framed Purses workshop

 

Myself and 9 adventurous ladies settled in a for a St.Paddy’s Day knees-up with a difference!

 

Flex and Framed Purses were the order of the day, with lots of tea, coffee and craic thrown in!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

By lunchtime the ladies had reached the half-way mark by conquering the tricky glue stage on one side of their purse frames!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

Then it was onto the flex frame glasses cases.  Sadly I forgot to take some pictures, so trust me when I say they turned out brilliantly!

 

Saturday Workshop (Flex & Framed Purses) Mar18

 

I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a lot of fun, and now have 2 more handmade gift ideas for next Christmas!

 

 

And if you enjoy a little EPP (English Paper Piecing) but hate all the cutting out, my newly listed Hexie Framed Purse Kits are available again in my Etsy shop.

 

Happy sewing!

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Travel Sewing Pouch Tutorial


By Judith on January 20, 2018
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Happy weekend everyone!

 

I hope you’ve had a good week.

 

How would you fancy another Just Jude Designs tutorial!  It’s been a while so I thought it was time to share one of my handy pouch patterns!

 

 

If you attend regular sewing classes, a Quilting Guild or charity sewing groups, you will know there’s a lot of stuff to remember to bring with you each time!

 

7.5” x 17.5” (19cm x 44.5cm) opened;  7.5” x 9” (19cm x 23cm) closed

 

So a travel sewing pouch might be just the thing you need to keep your essentials compact and portable.

 

 

And there’s a handy little zippered pocket in the back!

 

So before we get started, here are a few essential points:

 

  • Use quarter inch seams throughout
  • Avoid directional prints for the main/outer fabric (it will be upside down when the flap folds over – ask me how I know!!)
  • All cutting instructions are shown width x height

 

Right, let’s go!

 

Materials/Cutting:

For main/outer/flap cut:  1 x (8”/20cm x 17”/43cm)

For front/small pocket cut:  1 x (8”/20cm x 10”/25.5cm)

For lining cut:  1 x (8”/20cm x 17”/43cm)

For medium pocket cut:  1 x (8”/20cm x 13”/33cm)

For large pocket cut:  1 x (8”/20cm x 16”/40.5cm)

For zippered pocket lining cut:  2 x (8”/20cm x 9”/23cm)

From sew-in vilene cut:   1 x (8”/20cm x 17”/43cm)

You will also need:

Elastic hair bobble

Button

Basting Spray (505)

5” plastic zipper

Zipper foot

Non-permanent marking pen/tool

 

Method:

1 Spray baste the vilene to the wrong side of the main/outer fabric.

 

2 Iron all 3 pockets in half widthways, wrong sides together. Top stitch along top/folded edges.

 

 

 

3 Place the small and medium pockets together (aligned at the bottom & side edges). Chalk & sew lines onto the small pocket to create dividers as required. Use a reverse stitch at the top/folded edge. Do not sew a central line through all layers as this will be sewn in the next step.

 

 

4 Place the small and medium pockets on top of the large pocket, again aligning bottom and side edges. Mark a line that runs vertically through the middle of the small and medium pockets only. Sew on this line, through all layers, again using a reverse stitch at the top edge.

 

 

5 Place the pocket section on top of the lining (right side facing) aligning the bottom and side edges. Machine tack together. Put to one side.

 

 

 

6 Make the back/zippered pocket: Hand or machine stitch the open end of the zipper closed to hold in place.

 

 

7 Place one of the zippered pocket linings right sides together with the outer fabric, aligning the bottom and side edges.

Draw a line on the pocket fabric, 2” (5cm) down from the top and 1.5” (4cm) in from each side.

 

 

8 Next draw a line ¼” (6mm) above and below the first line. Join up the sides and draw > shapes ¼” (6mm) in from each side.

 

 

9 Pin the layers together and sew on the outer lines only through both layers. Do not sew on the centre line.

 

 

10 Carefully cut along the centre line and > lines into the corners. You need to cut right into the corners without snipping the stitches.  A small pair of embroidery stitches are useful here.

 

 

11 Push the pocket fabric through the letterbox opening to the back. Press well so no pocket fabric is seen.

 

 

12 Place the zipper into the letterbox opening, so that the ‘teeth’ are showing on the right side. Pin and carefully sew around the opening using 1/8” (3mm) seam allowance.

 

 

13 Pin the remaining pocket lining piece right sides together with the first pocket lining piece. Do not pin through to the main/outer fabric.

 

 

14 Clip or pin the outer fabric back out of the way before sewing around all sides of the pocket linings.

 

 

15 Complete the pouch: Machine or hand tack an elastic hair bobble to the top edge of the outer fabric, centred and with the main loop pointing down.

 

 

16 Place the outer piece right sides together with the lining/pockets. Pin and sew around all edges, leaving a 3” (8cm) gap in the top of one of the sides. Carefully snip the corners at an angle to remove the bulk.

 

 

 

17 Turn the pouch right sides out, push the corners well out and press well.

18 Hand stitch the gap closed and sew on a button 2” (5cm) up from the bottom edge and centred.

 

 

Fill with all your sewing essentials!

 

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Lola Pouch Gifts


By Judith on December 27, 2017
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Hello everyone!

 

How did your Christmas go over?  Mine was a peaceful and relaxing time spent with family…. the best kind (though eating my body weight in mince pieces and festive fayre is perhaps overdoing it, a tad!).

 

In all the pre-Christmas madness busyness I past my 7th year blogiversary (20th) and on 10th December I reached 1000 followers on Instagram! Quite the milestone!

 

Now that is call for celebration!  I’m hatching a giveaway plan, so watch this space – details will be coming soon.

 

But for today I’ll show you 2 more gifts I managed to squeeze in before the big day!

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

These are Lola pouches, designed by my very talented friend Svetlana.

I had the privilege of testing the Lola Pouch for Svetlana a couple of years ago, when I made the larger size (which I use to store all my EPP papers and templates).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

This time, I needed a small zippy pouch to ‘carry’ some little gifts, and I immediately thought of the small Lola pouch.

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

Because of Svetlana’s brilliantly written pattern, I had these two run up in no time at all (it took longer choosing fabrics!).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

I love how Svetlana puts fabrics together.  Going for black and white binding may seem like a brave option given the floral Amy Butler fabrics, but I love how Svetlana has used it in the past and I just knew it would work (any excuse to use stripey binding!).

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

I can think of a million uses for these cute little pouches! And so quick and easy to make too!

 

Small Lola Pouch Gift Dec17

 

If you fancy having a go yourself, you can get both sizes in the one pattern here.

 

Small Lola Pouch Gifts Dec17

 

Happy gifting!

 

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Recycled Denim Pouches


By Judith on December 21, 2017
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Hi everyone!

 

Well with only a few more days to go, I hope you are not too stressed!

 

I have only one more commission to complete (tomorrow) and then I am officially off work! Yay!

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

Despite the busyness this week, I did manage to get 2 presents made.  One is a secret santa (which has already been gifted) and one is a thank you gift.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

It’s always ‘playtime’ for me when it comes to re-purposing my denim hoard stash!  But this was my first time trying denim half square triangles.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

I kept the half square triangles fairly big (by patchwork standards) and they worked like a dream. The bags are approximately 11.5″ wide by 9″ tall, lots of room for all the accessories us ladies seem to accumulate!

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

I love the finish of Aurifil 12wt wool thread on denim.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

And some tabs saved from a beloved denim shirt add the perfect finishing touches.

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

And remember, never throw away those broken or unwanted pendants or charms!  You never know when they’ll come in handy!

 

Recycled Denim Pouches

 

Happy recycling!

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Another Sew Together Bag


By Judith on June 12, 2017
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Happy Monday to you all!

 

It’s almost the end of my teaching term here in Belfast.  There has been a hive of activity across my 4 classes and it’s always a joy seeing completed quilts, bags, wallhangings and more.

 

This term, a number of my ladies have been making the Sew Together Bag, by Sew Demented.

 

The first Sew Together Bag I made at Brit Bee Retreat.  While there were a few sections of the pattern which could have been better illustrated, I was able to independently complete the bag (with only a couple of peeks at my friend’s pouch!).

 

 

I’ve designed and made many pouches and bags, but my classes are mixed abilities.  So by way of preparation for teaching this pattern, I knew I needed to make another bag, taking additional notes, tips and improvements for my ladies.

 

 

A while  ago a good friend bought me the cutest little fat quarter bundle from Pretty Fabrics and Trims.

 

I’ve been saving them for just the right project and knew they would work well with some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

However, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for the Sew Together Bag, but some Tilda prints married beautifully with them.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

Now I may have a not so secret stash of vintage lace and trims!

 

Vintage lace & trim

 

What better time to use a delicate piece of textile history to finish off the patchwork panel on my bag.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

Never one to miss a recycling opportunity, the charm from a broken bracelet became my zipper pull.

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

So that’s my 2nd Sew Together Bag!

 

Sew Together Bag June17

 

But I wish you could see the amazing bags my ladies have made!  They are all so different and all beautiful!

 

A satisfying end to the summer term.

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flex Frame Sunglasses Case Tutorial


By Judith on May 15, 2017
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Hello everyone!  I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.

 

With all the sunshine we’ve been having lately, I thought it was time I shared my Sunglasses Case pattern with you.

 

 

If you are new to the world of ‘flex frames’ don’t worry, they are really easy to insert, and there are lots of pictures to help you along.

 

Of course you can use these handy cases for regular spectacles, they make lovely gifts too!

 

 

But a sunnies case is embracing of the imminent summer season and will get us all in the mood for when the sun comes out again!

 

Good To Know:

There are 2 sizes available.  This is because not all sunglasses fold flat.  If they do, like normal glasses then you need to make the narrower case using a 3.5″ flex frame (available from here).

 

 

However, if your sunglasses are wrap around ones (like mine), you will need to make the wider case using a 5″ flex frame. Now it’s a little more tricky to get hold of these within the UK.  However they are widely available from Hong Kong and China via Ebay (remember, Hong Kong is a country with a pre-paid Import charge agreement with the UK, so no customs charges will apply on your parcel).

The construction method is the same for both sizes.

 

 

So let’s get started.

 

You will need:

First of all, you will need to download the applique glasses template here.

3.5″ or 5″ Flex Frame

Narrow case: 2 x (4″ x 9″) each from outer fabric, lining fabric & sew-in vilene (heavy weight)

Wider case: 2 x (5.5″ x 9″) each from outer fabric, lining fabric & sew-in vilene (heavy weight)

Fabric for applique sunglasses (2.5″ x 5″)

Bondaweb (2.5″ x 5″)

Jewellery pliers or similar

Adjustable zipper foot (this makes sewing in the flex frame easier)

505 Basting spray (optional)

 

Method:

Assume 1/4″ seam allowances 

 

1. Spray baste the vilene to the wrong sides of the outer fabric pieces.  Using the template provided, trace onto the papery side of the bondaweb.

 

2. Iron the bondaweb to the wrong side of the applique glasses fabric. When cooled, cut out on the line.

 

 

3. Remove the paper backing and carefully iron the glasses to the right side of the outer fabric, centred and approx. 2.5cm (1”) up from the bottom edge.

 

 

4. Applique the glasses according to your preferred method. I used raw edge ‘sketch’ applique – for this you need to drop the feed dogs and attach a free motion/darning foot to your machine (you can get more information on how to do this & other machine applique techniques here.)

 

 

5. Put the 2 outer pieces right sides together and mark 6.75cm (2 5/8″) down from both top corners. Sew down both sides and the bottom edge from marker to marker, leaving the top open (this is the flex frame section).

 

 

6. Repeat step 5 for both lining pieces, leaving a 5cm (2”) gap in the middle of the bottom edge (for turning).

 

7. With right sides together, match the outer flaps to the lining flaps.

 

 

8. Carefully pin these sections as shown below, making sure to match the side seams.

 

 

9. Sew around the top unsewn section from pin to pin.  Use a reverse stitch to start and finish and take care not to sew into the existing seams.  Repeat for the other flap.

 

 

10. Carefully snip the corners at an angle to lessen the bulk.

 

 

11. Turn the pouch right side out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners well out and press flat. Hand or machine stitch the gap closed.

 

 

12. Push the lining down into the case. Fold back one of the ‘flaps’, pin and sew close to the outer edge to create a channel (an adjustable zipper foot is useful here).  Start and finish with a reverse stitch. Repeat for the other ‘flap’.

 

 

13. Insert the flex frame into the channels.

 

 

14. Push back the fabric to expose the open ends of the flex frame.  Slot the hinge together, insert the bar fully into the hinge, and then close the ends of the hinge using jewellery pliers.  Resettle the fabric along the flex frame.

 

 

Simples!

 

Pop in your sunglasses and enjoy!

 

 

Happy sewing!

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Sew Together Bag


By Judith on March 4, 2017
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I’m always a little reluctant to jump on band wagons!  Preferring to watch from the sidelines for a bit!

 

When the ‘Sew Together Bag’ band wagon rolled into blog-town I admired the many versions of the pouch that were being created! I got to see some in real life too, and was surprised by how big and roomy they were.

 

Sew Together Bag

 

So the pattern went on the very long ‘bucket list’, that ‘one day I’ll get around to it’ invisible list!

 

Sew Together Bag

 

That ‘one day’ was last weekend at Brit Bee Retreat. I had already prepped various sections of the bag, using some favourite Liberty scraps and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.

 

Despite the odd head scratching moment, and a puzzled brow or two with the pattern, I finally got it finished.  (I only broke one needle, not bad eh?)

 

Sew Together Bag

 

I decided not to make the pin cushion and needle holder. This bag is so roomy, and is now filled with almost the entire contents of my sewing box.  Much easier to transport to sewing ‘together’ venues!

 

Sew Together Bag

 

You can get the pattern here if you fancy having a go.  However I would not grade this as beginner friendly (some experience of sewing zippered pouches (and a healthy dose of patience!) is recommended).

Happy sewing!

 

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Bee Blocks & Secret Santa!


By Judith on January 22, 2017
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After a wee break in December, we were back making bee blocks in January for Siblings Together (Bee 2).

 

STB2 Blocks for Sue

 

Sue was queen bee for January, and set this Tic Tac Toe block, with black on white backgrounds and colourful prints for the rest. (here is the tutorial if you fancy having a go at this easy block)

 

I was queen bee in September, and set the Canvas block.  Last week I managed to get them all sewn together into a sizeable flimsy!

 

Siblings Together Bee 2 (Canvas blocks) Quilt top Jan17

 

I’m taking a 2nd stint as Queen bee, so its my turn again in February!  Watch this space!

 

In September 2015, Brit Bee started our 4th round. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you will know we never stick to the annual schedule! But we are a forgiving and patient lot, forged by longevity and great friendships!

 

By some miracle I have managed to keep up with the schedule (ish!) and earlier this month I made the last block!  Woohoo!

 

Brit Bee R4 block for Katy Jan17

 

This one is for Katy, in her chosen solids, and the block was designed by Hadley.

 

As the first one finished, I’ll try hard not to capitalise on bragging rights at our Brit Bee retreat next month!

 

One of our traditions in Brit Bee is to exchange Secret Santa gifts at Christmas.  In previous years we’ve done things like, cushions, decorations, pin-cushions.

 

This year we went for zippy pouches – you can see what I made for Katy here.

 

And what did I get?

 

My Brit Bee Secret Santa gift!

 

Only this gorgeous package of cuteness from Ange!

 

My Brit Bee Secret Santa gift!

 

Isn’t it adorable!  And I have a feeling it will come in handy for travelling to our retreat!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Denim Pouch!


By Judith on January 11, 2017
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I hope you aren’t tired of seeing my denim pouches!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

I was woefully late getting a birthday present to my friend, but now that she has it I can show it to you!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

This one is a little different from my other denim pouches.  I thought I would keep hexies as the dominant theme this time.

 

Denim EPP pouch
the back

My Sizzix cutting machine makes light work cutting through the denim. And because I enjoying EPP-ing hexies so much, there are more hexies on the back, with just a hint of Aurifil Wool thread featuring in the base (couldn’t resist)!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

Sometimes denim can feel a little masculine, so I made sure to add some feminine touches with the floral lining and pink zip!

 

Denim EPP pouch

 

While this pouch has been made from recycled textiles, I haven’t even made a dent in my hoard!

I guess I’ll just have to think up a few more ways to use denim!

Linking up with Nicky and Leanne’s Scraptastic Tuesday!

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Denim Pouches


By Judith on December 30, 2016
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Some much needed time off in December meant ‘play time’!

And for me, playtime usually involves denim!!

 

 

I love the many different tones that exist in this durable form.

 

 

I started my ‘playtime’ with a little denim EPP (English Paper Piecing) in front of the open fire on chilly December evenings.

 

Pretty soon I had 2 EPP panels made, and before I knew it I had 2 sizeable pouches made!  I even employed The Beast for those particularly thicker features!

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

I was loosely basing these pouches on my denim washbag. I love how Aurifil wool thread holds its own on the thicker textiles.

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

I had 2 people in mind as the recipients for these pouches.

 

Brit Bee Secret Santa Denim Pouch

 

This one went to Katy, who I was making for in our Brit Bee Secret Santa.

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

And this one went to a good friend on her birthday – can you guess what her name is?

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

And I might just have a 3rd EPP Denim project on the go!

 

My name is Judith and I’m addicted to denim!

 

Happy sewing!

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KITS!


By Judith on December 5, 2016
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I don’t mean to worry you, but Christmas is less than 3 weeks away!

 

Eeeeekkkkk!

 

I need to get my ‘Christmas shopping skates’ on!

 

But if you need a few ideas for what to buy a fellow sewist (or yourself!!) then how about a kit?

 

p1130091

 

This is an exciting new feature of my shop and I currently have 2 types to choose from:

 

Hexie Framed Purse Kit:

 

p1080104

 

Framed purses are so versatile and make great gifts.  These hexie purses mean you can indulge in a little hand sewing (English Paper Piecing) as well as machine quilting and construction.

 

p1120850

 

You can choose from a ‘Mixed’ Kit in bright rainbow colours, or a ‘Tilda’ Kit (4 ranges to choose from). Everything you need to make the purse is in the kit, including the pattern and templates. You can see a full list of the kit contents here.

 

Hexie Notebook Cover Kit:

p1120644

 

If you know someone who enjoys journalling, keeping recipes, class notes etc. then a removeable A5 notebook cover could be the perfect gift!

 

Again the techniques combine pre-cut hexies with machine quilting and construction, and you can add in some embroidery details too.

 

p1120732

 

The kits are available as ‘Brights’ (multi coloured hexies with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim) or ‘Tilda’ (with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax).

 

The kit includes everything you need to make the notebook cover, all pre-cut and ready to sew.  You also get the pattern and an A5 spiral notebook.

 

p1130093

 

So that could be one less pressie to think of, right?

 

Happy shopping!

 

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Free Storage Caddy Pattern


By Judith on November 30, 2016
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Hi everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Can you believe it’s December tomorrow?!

 

And you know what that means!!

 

p1130050

 

Giveaway time!  I’ll be announcing the winner of my Tula Pink giveaway tomorrow evening, so if you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.

And 18 fat quarters aren’t the only free items I’m giving away!

How about a free pattern?

 

p1090379

 

This is my Storage Caddy, as seen in Pretty Patches Magazine.

 

It is 7″ tall with 7″ diameter and can be used to keep lots of bits and bobs in order.  You could use it in the sewing room, the nursery, the bathroom, even on your bedroom dressing table!

 

P1030831

 

This pattern will give you a flavour of how I structure and present all my patterns.

 

So if you fancy having a go at this ‘beginner friendly’ pattern it is available for free download here.

 

(If you have trouble downloading the pattern, please let me know and I will email the pattern to you.  We have been having a few teething problems on the new site, but are working hard to get you a fully functional service!)

 

At the start of my patterns, you get a ‘Good to Know’ section (you can see this section before purchasing). This is where you can get all the essential information e.g. if a zipper foot is required, main techniques, best fabrics to use etc.

 

presentation2

 

The rest of the pattern is then made up of the following headings:

 

presentation1

 

There are step by step colour photos throughout the Make It section, and all templates have been professionally art-worked.

 

I have worked hard to ensure that my patterns are as easy to follow as I can make them.  It is my desire that you can use a pattern confidently at home, without needing a teacher on hand to make sense of it!!

 

 

But I’m always up for constructive feedback!  Let me know what you think of the Storage Caddy pattern, or any others.

 

Happy Sewing!

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6 Free Back to School Tutorials


By Judith on September 1, 2016
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School’s back in session! (I can hear all the parents cheering from here!)
When my kids were younger, we all enjoyed the ‘stationery shop’, filling up new pencil cases with brightly coloured pencils, funky shaped sharpeners and rubbers, new files and bendy rulers!
But most of all I enjoyed making them items they could use for school.
 6 Free Back to School Tutorials

Here are 6 of my ‘back to school’ projects to keep your kids equipped (& the envy of their friends!).

And there’s even more temptation inspiration here on my ‘Back to School’ Pinterest board.

Happy sewing!

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‘Back to School’ Pouch


By Judith on August 6, 2016
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Here in N.Ireland we have really loooooooong school summer holidays.  They start off slowly at the end of June, but seem to really speed up in August as we hurtle towards September!

We are already in the throws of school uniform buying in the Hollies’ household!

So my ‘Back to School’ Pencil case in this month’s issue of Quilt Now is quite timely!

Back to School Pouch (Quilt Now)
I love these colours on the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (denim).
And on the other side ……
Back to School Pouch (Quilt Now)
If you want to banish your fear of zippers, this is a lovely project to get in some practise. The pattern will talk you through how to insert the zipper, and how to make covered zip ends to get a lovely finish to your pouch.
ABC Pouch for Quilt Now (Aug16)

 

This is a really roomy pouch, so no excuses for forgetting school supplies!!
And if you’d like to get some of this quality linen/cotton mix, you can find it here in my shop.
Happy sewing!
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Mori Girl Travel Pouch


By Judith on July 11, 2016
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Travel Washbag

If you are lucky enough to be heading off on your travels this summer, you might need a giant pouch to keep all those toiletries and suncreams in!!

Travel Washbag

The lovely peeps at Quilt Now sent me the cutest fabrics by Dashwood Studios called Mori Girl!

Travel Washbag
As you can see, this pouch has stacks of room, with a zipper inserted along the top finished edge.
Additional features are a narrow piping trim on the outside and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your toothbrush and cloth.
Travel Washbag
The ‘wet bag’ is lined with Rip-stop nylon, a sturdy wipeable and machine washable fabric. You could easily line the travel pouch with Rip-stop too and turn it into a wash bag.
The pattern for this travel pouch is in the July issue of Quilt Now, in the shops now!
Happy travels!
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Travel Sewing Pouch


By Judith on June 26, 2016
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A few years ago I made a travel sewing pouch and ran a class teaching it. It proved really popular because a) it was easy to make and b) people saw a variety of uses for it!

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)


Pretty Patches Magazine really liked it too, and have published it in their July issue!

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)


This is a great pouch for bringing all your essential sewing equipment away on holiday.

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)
The pockets can be customised to suit your equipment, and there’s a handy zippered pocket in the back too!
Of course, you could translate this pouch into a travel art supplies case, beauty supplies, or for keeping electronic devises safe.

Travel Sewing Pouch (Pretty Patches July16)

They also make great presents for sewing buddies!
So where are you heading off to this summer?

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Flex Frame Sunnies Case!


By Richard Bleakley on June 3, 2016
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Apologies to my bloggy friends living in the East of England, but it has been full-on sunny here …. all week!  ALL WEEK!

And more to come!  Squeeee!

Pardon my excitement, but it only happens once a millennia here!

Timely then for my Flex Frame Sunglasses Cases to be published in Popular Patchwork this week.

Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

The flex frames I use come in 2 sizes, 3.5″ and 5″.  My wraparound sunnies don’t fold flat, so if you have glasses like mine you will need to make the 5″ case.
Sunnies Cases (Popular Patchwork June16)

 

Some fun sketch applique on the front, easy assembly and you’ll have a sunnies case quicker than you can say ‘still can’t believe the weather we are getting!’
Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

I love how these bright prints pop against the Essex yarn dyed (Denim) linen (more listed in my Etsy shop here).
Flex Frame Sunnies Pouch

 

So if you’ve still got some summer sewing prep to do, I promise these won’t take long!  Popular Patchwork (June) is in the shops now!
Sunnies Cases (Popular Patchwork June16)

 

Happy sunning!
Jude xo


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Garden Shed Tidy!


By Judith on April 26, 2016
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Despite the chill factor, the sunny skies we’ve been having recently mean it is gardening weather once again!

Have you got your summer seeds ready yet?  I’ve already planted some beetroot and sunflowers, and am trying purple carrots for the first time this year!

So here’s a wee project for all you keen gardeners (& sewers) out there!

Garden Shed Tidy (Pretty Patches May16)
Photo courtesy of Pretty Patches


This is my Garden Shed Tidy, in the May issue of Pretty Patches.

Garden Shed Tidy

Handy see through pockets mean you can easily keep an eye on all those seed packets and smaller knick-knacks!  Don’t worry, sewing with pvc isn’t as tricky as you might think!

Garden Shed Tidy

 

And you can keep your scissors and string handy on the clip-on key fobs!

You could easily adapt this tidy to suit a bathroom or bedroom, or even keeping stray envelopes and stamps in order!

Whatever you decide to tidy, enjoy the process and the results!

Happy gardening!

Jude xo

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Easter Egg Zippy Pouches Tutorial!


By Judith on March 18, 2016
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Thank you to everyone who has been following along with my Easter mini series!

You can find previous tutorials here:

Easter Bunny Bags
Easter Baby Bibs
Carrot Cornets

Apologies if you have had trouble downloading the PDF templates.  I have amended the ‘sharing’ settings within GoogleDocs so I hope from now on you will find it a little easier.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch otherwise.

One final bit of housekeeping before we move on to another Easter tutorial.  I’m always grateful to folks who take the time to leave a comment here on my blog.  I will ALWAYS reply to comments, so if you don’t get a response from me, it’s because your email address doesn’t register with your comment.  In blogging terms you are known as a ‘no reply comment’ blogger. If this is you, I would love to be able to connect and chat with you more, so here and here are some tips you can try to fix your settings.  Alternatively, just leave me your email address with your comment (especially important when entering giveaways!).

On to our next Easter Tutorial!

Easter Egg Zippy pouches tutorial

Easter Egg Zippy Pouches!

This one is for older (or grown up) kids! As you can see, this is a fun way to gift money or vouchers!

And here’s how to make them:

What you need:

Front:
From outer and lining fabrics & sew-in vilene (med/heavy) cut 2 x (5″ wide by 3.5″ tall)
Back:
From outer and lining fabrics & sew-in vilene (med/heavy) cut 2 x (5″ wide by 6″ tall)
5″ plastic zipper (or longer)
1.25″ wide key fob
Basting spray 505
Zipper foot

Assume 1/4″ seams

Download the ‘Egg’ template here.

1. Spray baste the vilene to the wrong sides of the corresponding outer pieces.

2. Place the zipper right sides together along the top edge of a 5″  x  3.5″ outer/front piece.

3. Pin a corresponding lining piece on top, right sides together with the outer fabric.

4. Using the zipper foot, sew through all layers.

5. Flip the lining over to the back and press away from the zipper.  From the front side, sew 1/8″ finishing seam beside the zipper.

6. Now lay the other outer (front) piece on the table, right side facing.  Place the zippered piece right sides together with the zipper aligned at the top edge.

7. Pin the remaining corresponding lining piece on top, right sides together with the attached lining piece.  Sew through all layers as before.

8. Again flip the lining to the back side, press and sew a finishing seam 1/8″ away from the zipper.  Your pouch front should look something like this.

9. Place the template onto the lining side and draw around with a pencil.  Before cutting out on the line, bring the zipper pull inside the pouch and sew a few stitches across the zipper (just inside the line) to secure.

10. Place the outer/vilene back piece WRONG sides together with the corresponding lining piece.

11.  Place right sides together with the egg front.  Pin and sew 1/4″ inside the edge.

12. Trim away the excess and zigzag the raw edges.

13. Turn the pouch right side out through the zipper and press well.

14. Attach the keyfob & ring to the top of the ‘egg’.

Stuff with money, goodies (or diamonds!) and gift to your favourite big person!!

Easter Egg Zippy pouches tutorial

Happy Zipping!

Jude xo

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