How to master the art of sewing

Not only is it therapeutic and a way to keep boredom at bay, it’s a chance to learn a new skill.

If you’ve been thinking about taking up sewing, Debbie Shore joins us for a masterclass in the art of sewing, for all ages and abilities.

MEMORY LAP QUILT

Debbie Shore says: This type of quilt can be made in any size you like, from my cuddle quilt to a king sized bed quilt! As the patchwork is off-centre a beginner sewer won’t have to worry about matching points and seams.

I’ve used my great-nieces old PJs for this quilt, but baby clothes, t-shirts or garments from loved ones would work just as well.

MEMORY LAP QUILT

Method

  • Press the garment then cut along the seams

  • Cut the fabric into rectangles each measuring 6” long, any width you like! As t shirt fabric stretches, iron fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of each rectangle to stop it stretching. Sew the rectangles together in rows, as many as you like to make the width of the quilt.

  • Fold the rectangles right sides together along the joins and sew, this way you don’t need to cut out each individual rectangle

  • From the right side you’ll have a row of neat seams

  • Sew the long strips together. Add any buttons and tags you like from the original clothing

  • When you have the size you like, cut a piece of backing fabric to the same size, then sew bias binding around the edge to finish. (There are several ways to do this, take a look on the internet for instructions)

SIMPLE PEG BAG

Debbie Shore says: This easy to make peg bag doubles up as useful storage for scarves and jewellery in your wardrobe! I’ve used a child’s coat hanger, but it can be made to fir any sized hanger you like.

SIMPLE PEG BAG

Materials for a 12” hanger

2 pieces of outer fabric measuring 13.5” x 14”

2 pieces of lining fabric measuring 13.5” x 14”

15” ribbon

Button

12” coat hanger

Method

  • Place your coat hanger over the fabric pieces and draw around the top, ½” away from the hanger.

  • Cut around the line through all four pieces

    Take one lining and one outer piece and cut straight across the centre

  • Sew each of these pieces right sides together, across the bottom of the top piece, and the top of the bottom piece. Turn over and press. Top stitch along the seam.

  • Place the bottom piece over the remaining outer fabric, right sides together. Sew across the bottom.

  • Place the top section over the top of the outer fabric. Place the remaining lining piece right side down over the top, sew all around through all layers but leave a gap of about 4” in the bottom, and a gap at the top of about ½” to fit the hook through.

  • Turn through, sew the opening closed, then turn through again. Push the hanger inside, hand sew the opening around the hook to prevent fraying.

Cut an 8” length of ribbon, fold in half and hand sew to the top of the opening, sew the button to the opposite side of the opening. Use the remaining ribbon to tie a bow around the top of the hanger.

BUNNY SCRUNCHIES

Debbie Shore says: These fun hair scrunchies are the perfect hair accessory for Easter! Simple to make and using small amounts of fabric, these scrunchies would make a great first project for someone learning to sew.

BUNNY SCRUNCHIES

Materials

4” x 18” fabric

8” (1/2” wide) elastic

2 pieces of 2” x 21” Ear fabric

Method

  • Sew the long strip of fabric in half, right sides together, along the long side

  • Turn the right side out. Thread the elastic through the tube. [A safety pin will help!]

  • Trim the elastic if necessary, then sew the ends together

  • Hand sew the ends of the fabric together. Cut the remaining strips of fabric into ear shapes, as in the picture…

  • Sew right sides together leaving a small gap in one side for turning. Turn the right side out and press, sew the opening closed by hand.

  • Tie around the scrunchie and you’re finished!

FELT BUNTING

Debbie Shore says: Felt is a wonderful medium for children to start sewing with, soft on the hand and no fraying! The silly faces are so fun for kids to draw, then simply embroider over the lines with embroidery thread. Make them as long as you like!

FELT BUNTING

Method

  • Cut your felt into triangles measuring 5” across the top and 6” long

  • Draw your face with an erasable ink pen, this one is water erasable

  • Use a stem stitch to make a solid line along the mouth,

  • And a satin stitch to fill in the eyes. Here’s a tip… add a bit of blusher to the cheeks to bring the face to life!

  • Glue the triangles along a piece of ribbon

  • And you’re finished!