12 Makes of Christmas 2018!

Posted on November 01, 2018 by Rae | 0 comments


Here it is - the First Make of Christmas 2018!!


We're starting a little later this year as, with all that hot weather, it just wasn't feeling particularly Christmassy.  But with only 7 weeks left until the big day, we thought we'd bring you not one but two makes a week, so that you've got plenty of sewing inspiration and crafty Christmas projects to make this Christmas the best ever!


Drawstring Bags

These really cute drawstring bags make perfect Christmas gifts but are also the perfect eco wrapping, as they can be used again and again!

Ideal for all your bits and bobs: make-up, PJ's, toiletries, undies when packing for going away, marbles, toys, baked goodies, sweets and anything else you can think of!  

Drawstring bags workshop at Fabric HQ

We've got a fab workshop hosted by the lovely Barbara Orth on Friday 9th November where you can learn how to make her gorgeous version of these lovely bags.  They look so professional with their full lining, silky draw cord and fab wooden bead details.  In the class you'll get to make two bags, meaning you'll have the technique down perfectly by the end of the morning, ready to go home and make a ton more. They can be made with matching or contrasting fabrics, the possibilities are endless.

They are so versatile that I made these for practically everyone on my Christmas list last year (men and women, boys and girls) and they went down an absolute storm.  I tried to make them special by choosing fabrics so they could be customized for each specific recipient and this made them all different and a total pleasure to sew. 

This is the last Drawstring Bag class we're running at Fabric HQ this year, so be sure to bag (ha!) your spot now (click here for more details and to nab your spot now!) and get your Christmas sewing well underway! 

Level: This workshop is perfect for beginners and improvers but must be able to use a rotary cutter and competent on a sewing machine.




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The 12 Makes of Christmas - Back again for 2015!

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Rae | 0 comments

We're really excited to announce that we are bringing back our 12 Makes of Christmas series for the third year running!  If you haven't seen these before, it's definitely worth taking a look back through some of the tutorials and suggestions we put together - they're all still here on the blog if you scroll waaaay back.

This Friday it's ten weeks (eeek!) to the magic day and no-one wants to be whipping up gifts in a frenzy on Christmas Eve. So, we're starting right here and now in October so that you've got plenty of time to get ahead, feel organised and leave the couple of weeks before Christmas to wrapping, partying and nursing overindulged heads.

The first of our 12 makes has to be the 2015 Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar which we are tooootally in love with!

This gorgeous Advent Calendar Panel with a Christmas Tree centre and reindeers, could only be from Bethan Janine’s festive fabric collection, Winter Wonderland for Dashwood Studio. Instructions on how to make the calendar are printed across the top of the fabric...

and it looks beautiful made up.

If you fancy having a go at making this panel you can get hold of it here but if you would like some help putting it together, Karen Chapman is running this as a class here at the Make HQ Studio on Saturday 21st November and you can book a space here.


Whatever you're making, we'd love to see it.  Share your pictures with us on Instagram: @fabrichq Facebook: facebook.com/FabricHQ twitter: twitter.com/FabricHQ and use the hashtag #makeHQ



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On the Tenth Day of Christmas

Posted on December 22, 2014 by Rae | 0 comments

I made for my man, a snood/beanie thingy!



Perfect for a cyclist or any other outdoorsy type, this is another take on the infinity scarf we shared at the beginning of our 12 makes series this year.  This one is a little different and a fantastic introduction to sewing with knit fabrics if you've not tried it yourself already.  Teamed with the more stable fleece lining it glides through the machine so beautifully. I think this makes such a gorgeous present and whips up in no time!


 You will need:



1. Take your knit fabric (we've used the awesome Bikeleidescope from Art Gallery Fabrics.  Art Gallery's knits are super gorgeous with a small amount of elastin so they snap back into shape and never seem to get saggy) and your fleece...


2. Pin them together at the bottom long edge, right sides together ...


3. sew these together using a ball point needle (which stops you catching the knit fabric as you sew) sew a zigzag stitch so that they can still s-t-r-e-t-c-h but make sure you leave a 5cm gap open at one end - you can see it here at the left hand end of the stitched line.


4. Fold your fabric back so that the right sides are facing outwards...


6.  mark a point 2cm from the top of the fleece and 5cm in from the edge ...


7. and sew a buttonhole. Open out the buttonhole very carefully using a seam ripper.  Take your time doing this, starting from one end and cutting to the middle, then flipping the seam ripper over and cutting the other half of the buttonhole outer-edge-in.  This stops you cutting through the stitches.


8.  Repeat on the other end of the fleece so that you have two buttonholes both running parallel with the top edge of the fleece 2cm down and starting 5cm from the side ends of the fleece. They should be positions a bit like this on either end on the top edge of the fleece, like this ...


9. fold the top 2cm excess of knit fleece over the knit fabric and pin.

 10. Sew this seam close to the edge with a zig-zag stitch as before.


11. You will now be left with a rectangular tube.  Fold the two ends of the tube together and align the knit  parts of the fabrics together and begin to pin the two ends, right sides together.  Work your way around the knit half of the scarf end, making sure they are aligned all the way.

12. Sew the two edges of the knit fabric together, again using a zig-zag stitch.


13. continue to sew all the way around your tube.  This will begin to get a bit fiddly as all the scarf will be enclosed within itself.  You'll end up with a scarf that looks like it's been sewn together inside out, like this .... Don't panic though ....


14. It made seem and look odd but it's all going to work out in the end!  Remember that 5cm gap you left when you sewed the fleece and knit fabrics together?  This is where it does its job...  

15. Begin to pull your scarf back through this hole.  Do it gently and with patience so that you don't rip any of your seams.  It feels as if it won't work ....

 16.  but in the end ....

 17. It does!  Note the hole still at the bottom here?  All you need to do is slip stitch this little hole up....


18. Take your stretch cord and attach it to a safety pin ....


19. Insert it into one of your beautiful little button holes and thread it through and out the other. Add your woggle to the end ....


20. Tie a knot in the cord and you're done!!!



Had to get Ripley to try this on for me as obviously couldn't get boy to model as he doesn't know he's getting it for Christmas - and I'm fairly confident he won't read this post now as we've got FAAAR too much to do before the big day.  There is a mountain of pressies for him to wrap while I get on and do the last minute gift and soft furnishing sewing I have to get done.  Nothing like last minute speed stitching, eh? 


 Anyhooo - she does look rather fetching, does she not?  Ready for the great outdoors, eh Rippers???




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On the Eighth Day of Christmas

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Rae | 0 comments

... Katy Jones gave to us ....


A Christmas Stocking!



Well we couldn't do a Christmas crafting series without one, now could we?  Katy very kindly offered this little gem of a tutorial, the perfect stocking for hanging by the fireside if you happen to have one - or at the foot of your bed if, like me, you don't (one day....)  I don't think Santa is fussed either way but he is guaranteed to stop for a second to admire your handiwork if you give this little lovely a go.


Katy is the editor of Quilt Now magazine...blogger and author of 25 Patchwork Quilts volumes I & II, yep that's 50 blocks - which will probably set you up for life, I reckon!  Do go buy... go on with you!




Right-o over to Katy ...

For my Christmas project I decided to make a large Christmas stocking in the shape of Santa's boot sock. It's a really simple design and doesn't need any templates plus it ends up as a nice big stocking - which means more presents from Santa!


I made chevron shapes from half square triangles, my blocks finish at 5.5" (before sewing them into my stocking) - but you could easily use simple patchwork and cut your fabric into 5.5" squares instead of making all those half square triangles. My plan is to make a second version using the same fabrics but squares instead.




You will need;

4 fat quarters of fabric

half metre for the lining

fat quarter for the back of the stocking

a dinner or side plate (for making the curved edges of your stocking)

short length of ribbon (for the hanging loop)


Firstly either cut 14 5.5" squares from your fabrics for a plain patchwork version, or make 14 chevron blocks from half square triangles that will finish at 5.5" (3" half square triangle units - 4 units per chevron block). You can find a really good and thorough tutorial for half square triangles at about quilting.




Lay them out in rows like the picture below....




Sew the rows together and press all of your seams nice and flat. Press the red FQ and layer up underneath the patchwork stocking shape. Cut the half metre of green lining fabric and place that underneath too - so that all of your fabrics are neatly stacked together.


Now take the plate and use the curved edge to round off the heel and the toe section of the stocking. You don't want to make this too severe - just a nice curve. I used a frixion pen that will disappear with a hot iron, but you could use chalk or a pencil. Anything that will disappear.





Carefully cut through all 4 layers of fabric so that your stocking looks like the picture below....




Now pin the back of the stocking to the patchwork front - laying them right sides together, and sew around using a good 1/4"seam allowance making sure you leave the top open (just like a sock!)


Do the same with the lining fabric - but this time leave a hand width gap in the bottom or about half way down one side for turning later.





Using scissors, clip notches into the curved bits. Be careful not to go through the stitches!




Turn your outside stocking right way out and press. You can now add a hanging loop, a short length of ribbon pinned to the top of the stocking. When you pin it, make sure it's pointing downwards - like in the picture!





A close up....




Now carefully place the outside of the stocking into the lining so that right sides are facing. ensure your pinned loop is still pointing down and nice and flat. Poke the toe of the stocking into the toe of the lining (remember your lining is still wrong way out - the stitching is on the outside. The patchwork part of the stocking is right way out but inside the lining!) Pin around the top of the layers, and sew together using a good 1/4" seam allowance.



This is the fun bit - pull the patchwork stocking out through the opening in the bottom or side of the lining, and once it's all out, poke the lining into the stocking and slip stitch or machine stitch the opening closed.


Remove the pin from the hanging loop and if you like, top stitch around the top of the stocking. Give it all a good press



Now you can hang your stocking up and wait for Santa to come and fill it!



Thanks Katy - a really beautiful stocking. Be sure to check out Quilt Now for more quilting delights and to pop back here for the next installation of our Christmas project countdown!

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On the Sixth Day of Christmas

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Rae | 0 comments

I gave myself .... Well actually it ended up as a gift for someone (I still haven't got a picture of you wearing this, KJ!) ...


A fabulous Hostess Apron!

Another of our makes from last year - this really is a gorgeous little indulgence at Christmas time but you could create one that isn't quite so seasonal and wear it all year round - even add that pocket I talked about last year.


Here's the updated version from this year with the pocket on the front.

Not overtly a Christmas pinny but pretty festive none-the-less and this print can be worn all year round as opposed to just for a few weeks each year.

I love these fabrics - the main pocket and ties fabric is Flock and the background and binding is Sharks Tooth Orange by Emily Herrick from her gorgeous new collection Rustique.

To add the pocket onto the front you just need a further piece of fabric (Flock, on this version) which is cut 10cm shorter than the main fabric  (sharks tooth on this version) and is then bound with bias binding along to the top edge and then laid over the top of the backing fabric (shark tooth) before the bias is sewn around the edges.  Once bound I sewed a straight line up the front of the pocket to divide in into two and stop it gaping.

An essential Christmas project for either yourself or the perfect gift for your holiday hostess if you're lucky enough to have someone else do the cooking! This is a really quick make that will get your Christmas sewing projects off to a stylish start.



1. Choose your fabric: For the main part you will need a piece of statement fabric measuring 55cm by 40cm (just under 1 fat quarter unit).  1 fat quarter unit (50cmx55cm) for the binding. 1/2 metre piece (110cm x 50cm) for the ties. 




2. Cut your main piece to the required 55cm wide by 40cm high.




3. take a cup or glass and use the curve to mark the bottom edges of the fabric.




4. cut round the line so you have a curved edge.  Repeat on the other bottom corner.




5. Fold your fabric in half and cut a strip from each of the two outside edges by marking a point 5cm in from the outer edge and then cut off a strip diagonally to the top of the curved edge you have just cut in step 4.




Your fabric will now look like this.




6. Create your bias binding by cutting the fat quarter into diagonal strips 5cm wide.




7. Place the mitred edges together, patterned sides facing as above (make sure they are slightly staggered as above or your bias will come out wonky!) and sew together using a small seam allowance. Repeat until you have created a strip at least a metre and a half long.




8. Iron flat and trim the little bits that overhang the line, shown above here.




9. Then iron the two edges to the centre....




10. ... and fold in half and iron again.  Now you've made your length of  bias binding.




11. Open up your binding...




 12. ...and place it on the side edge of the pinny, patterned sides of the fabric together. Sew all around the pinny making sure you stitch along the first folded edge of the binding (the folded line that appears closest to the edge as pictured above).




13. Flip the binding around your raw edge to encase it.




14. Fold the binding down neatly so that the raw edge is evenly encased with the last fold of the binding tucked in neatly.  Sew this down close to the edge of the binding as above. Be careful when putting the binding around the edges.  It will bend smoothly around the corners if you take your time!




15. You now have the front of your pinny complete!




16. Now onto the ties. Remove the selvedge edges and cut the fabric for the ties into 3 pieces measuring the whole width of the fabric (approx. 110cm) by 16cm deep.  You will end up with 3 very long strips each 16cm deep. Sew these together to form one VERY long strip of fabric 16cm deep.




17. Iron the fabric length ways along the whole strip and then fold the edges to the centre and then in half again as per the binding.




18. Open the strip up again so that you can see the two edges meeting in the middle.




19. Fold a tiny strip over at the edge and press.




20. Fold the two corners in to form a point.




21. Fold the fabric back in half so that you have a lovely mitred end to your tie.

Repeat on the other end.




22. Find the middle of the top edge of your pinny and mark with tailor's chalk.




23. Match up the middle of your pinny with the centre of your tie and enclose the pinny within the tie.




24. Pin along the tie to secure the pinny...




25. ... and out along to the edges of the tie.




26. Start at one mitred end of the tie and stitch all along the edge, attaching the pinny as you go.




 27.Et Voila - you're done!


You could of course add your favourite type of pockets to this to make it practical as well as beautiful but we think the great big bow on the front is statement enough!


Hope this is useful.  Do share any of your own hostess pinny makes by emailing them to hello@fabrichq.co.uk



Have a lovely week, bye for now!

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