Advent Trees: layering ricrac

Use layers of overlapping ricrac in different sizes to create this tree decoration.

This is just a quick variation on the advent tree from ribbons and other trim, this time using ricrac. I wanted to make it a separate post to include a few more steps. The waviness of the ricrac brings to mind the branches, so I wanted to use that idea and layer the different rows, rather than put them side by side.

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Reindeer candy canes

reindeer-candycane

You’d think I’d have noticed by my age that Christmas always falls on the 25th. But once again, it’s taken me by surprise, so I was looking around for something quick and easy to make to satisfy that festive urge. Last year I made candy cane mice which were very popular. But this year I fancied something a bit different, so I came up with these reindeer candy canes, which are equally easy.

You can hand or machine sew them, and they just use a few scraps of felt. Here’s how to make them.

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Advent Trees: using ribbons and trim

Make these simple tree decorations using rows of ribbon and other trim.

Last year, I made a series of advent tree Christmas decorations, with different ideas for decorating the trees (you can see all the different versions at the end of this post). I thought it was time to update it, and add another variation. This year, it’s time to look at using some of those gorgeous ribbons and trims you’ve got stashed away.

There’s no real technique to learn here – we’re just going to be picking out ribbons and sewing them onto the tree. Since it depends so much on the ribbons you have available, everyone’s tree will look different, so as well as showing you mine, I’ll add a few tips on choosing ribbons to make your own.

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Doll’s mini suitcase tutorial

Make a mini suitcase from laminated cotton for Barbie, or other toys in this quick sewing project.

This mini suitcase is perfect for a Barbie or other toy to pack a few essentials for a trip away!
This is intentionally a quick project – the suitcase in unlined and uses laminated cotton so you don’t need to worry about frayed edges.

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Free appliqué template: monster

Free applique template: click through to download a free monster applique template

This monster applique template is a fun way to personalise all sorts of items. I made this sample with scraps of fun fur for a hairy monster look with a mop of unruly hair – any resemblance to politicians on either side of the Atlantic is purely coincidental!

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7 tips for appliqueing with multiple fabrics

Here's a list of tips for applque designs with different layers - including dealing with colour run, bulky layers and see-through.

All but the simplest of applique designs use multiple pieces to build up the design. The most common design is to apply fabric shapes in layers, so pieces overlap those below.

In this post I’ll talk about some of the things to think about when appliqueing with multiple fabrics, and in particular when trying to layer them.

But first, I’ll just explain what I mean by layering fabrics, and how that differs from building a design in separate pieces.

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Tutorial: make a quick and easy sunglasses pouch

Make this quick and easy sunglasses pouch; there's no turning, no fancy closures, just some pretty fabric and a bit of bias binding.

Here's a really quick and easy project for the summer – a sunglasses pouch. Even quicker that the previous sunglasses case I made, there's no turning, no fancy closures, just some pretty fabric and a bit of bias binding.

This is a good project to practise applying bias binding; the pouch is an unusual shape with both concave and convex curves and a corner.

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Free appliqué template: umbrella

Free applique template: click through to download a free umbrella applique template

To accompany my recent posts on appliqué, here’s another free template for you to use. You can use this template with my tutorial on how to appliqué with fusible web.

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Tutorial: Appliquéd Mini Tote Bag

This mini tote bag is the perfect project to showcase your favourite appliqué design.

I’ve talked a lot about appliquéing recently, so here’s a quick and easy project to showcase your favourite designs. This is a great mini tote bag for whatever your kids are into – I made one for A and each of The Cousins and popped a few goodies inside to keep them occupied on the plane for our holiday in a few weeks (I know my sister reads this blog, so for the record, I’m not taking credit for this idea – goodies on the plane is completely her idea, and has become something of a family tradition now!).

So here’s how to make a mini tote bag with an appliqué pocket – use any appliqué design of your choice (or use one of mine).

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Free appliqué template: sun

Free appliqué template: click through to download a free sun appliqué template

This week’s free template brings a much-needed touch of summer. You can use this template with my tutorial on how to appliqué with fusible web.

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