Sunday, 10 May 2020


Hi! Right now I should've been in Portugal, getting too hot, eating too much ice cream, and hopefully seeing some flamingos. The holiday is postponed, but at least it's given me a bit of extra time to make my flamingos beach bag. It's huge, but will still fold up inside my shoulder bag :)

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lap Quilts (just in time for summer...)

Hi! I started two quilts for my parents last year, and have only just finished them! Oh, well, just as the weather is getting warmer... Well, they'll be there for winter, anyway ;)

My Mum is animal-obsessed, and particularly loves dogs. She chose the fabrics, and I was surprised that it wasn't all dog fabric!

It's backed with a very soft fleece, and I love the warm colours :)


My Dad is mad on boats and anything nautical, so I took him a collection of fabrics to choose from and he wanted them all! I love how the colours go together.

It's backed with an old curtain that he found in a charity shop and liked because it 'looked watery'. He's used some of it to make cushions for his boat, so it made sense to use the leftover as the backing for his boaty quilt :)

Monday, 4 May 2020

Make-up Bag Tutorial - Using a Fabric Panel

Hi! While trying to stay safe and sane in the lockdown, I've been spending some free time sewing. I've finally started using up my stash of fabric panels by making make-up / storage bags, and I was asked for a pattern for these. I didn't have one, so I wrote it down:

Fabric Panel Make-up Bag Tutorial
By Magic Flying Boots

This tutorial is for a 5.5” square panel with a seam allowance border.

1 5.5” x 5.5” fabric panel, cut with a ¼” border for seam allowance, making it 6” x 6”
2 pieces of main external fabric, 12” wide x 6” high
2 pieces of base fabric, 12” wide x 3.5” high*
2 pieces of lining fabric, 12” wide x 9” high
1 zipper cut down to 10.5”
2 zipper tabs 1.5” x 1.25”
2 pieces of F220 Fusible interfacing or similar, 12” x 9”
2 pieces of H640 fusible fleece or similar, 11.5” x 8.5”
1 piece of F220 interfacing for the fabric panel, 6” x 6” **
Fabric glue (useful for fixing the panel in place before sewing, and for adding the zipper)
Sewing clips and/or pins (don’t use pins on faux leather or cork, as they leave holes)

* I usually use faux leather, denim or cork for the base, so it’s a bit sturdier, but quilting cotton works ok too.
** If the panel fabric is thin, or if the main fabric shows through when the panel is placed on it, add interfacing to the panel. Otherwise, it is not necessary

Making the bag:
1. Cut the pieces out, and fuse the interfacing to the lining pieces. If using interfacing for the panel as well, fuse this now.

2. Make a ¼” fold on both sides of the panel, wrong sides together. Press the folds.

3. Take one of the main external pieces, and centre the fabric panel on it. Clip or pin it in place, or use fabric glue. Top stitch at 1/8” down each side.

4. Place one of the base fabric pieces face down on the main piece, lining it up with the bottom of the main piece. Clip or pin in place. Sew together with a ¼” seam allowance.

5. Push both seams towards the top piece, and top stitch at 1/8”.

Sew the remaining main and base pieces together in the same way, for the back of the bag.

6. Fuse the fleece to both external pieces.

7. Take the 10.5” zipper. If it is open at one end, sew across the end with a few stitches to keep it closed, making the next step easier.

8. Place one of the zipper tabs on one end of the zipper, face down, lined up with the end of the zipper. Stitch at ¼” from the end of the zipper.

Fold the tab back over the end of the zipper and under the other side, folding the raw edge in between the tab and the underneath of the zipper.

Top stitch in place, and trim the sides of the tab so it is flush with the zipper.

9. Repeat with the remaining tab and the other end of the zipper.

 10. Place the front main piece face up, then centre and line up the zipper face down on top, with the pull closing to the left.

Place one of the lining pieces face down on top. Clip all 3 layers in place. With a zipper foot, sew at ¼”.

NOTE: If you hate adding zippers, there are a couple of methods which make it much easier:

a.      Clip or pin the zipper to the main piece first, and baste at 1/8”. Then add the lining piece, and sew at ¼”. It’s much easier to keep 2 layers straight than 3 layers.
b.      Add fabric glue to the top of the main fabric and lining fabric. Place the zipper face down on top of the main fabric, the lining face down on top of that, and clip in place. Leave for a couple of minutes for the glue to dry, and then all 3 layers will stay put while you stitch at ¼”.

11. Carefully press all layers away from the zipper, and top stitch at 1/8”.

12. Place the other side of the zipper face down on the top of the external back piece. Add the remaining lining piece face down on top, and clip in place.

Sew at ¼”, press the layers away from the zipper, and top stitch at 1/8”. 

13. In the bottom corners of the external and lining pieces, measure and cut a 1½” square.

14. Open the zipper most of the way (very important for turning the bag!), and line up the external and lining pieces, right sides together. Clip in place.

15. Measure a 5” turning gap in the bottom of the lining piece, and mark within the seam allowance.

16. Starting by the turning gap, sew with a ¼” seam allowance from the gap marking to the missing square. Back stitch at start and finish. Sew the remaining sections in the same way. Make sure you don’t sew across the turning gap 😉

17. Take one of the corners, open it up and squish it closed in a straight line, matching up the seams.

Sew along the edge at ¼”.

18. Repeat with the remaining corners. Now the bag should look something like this:

19. Carefully turn the bag the right way out through the turning gap, making sure to smooth out the seams and corners.

20. Fold the turning gap seam allowance into the gap, and stitch at 1/8”. (You can hand stitch it closed if you prefer, to make it less visible, but my hand stitching is rubbish, so I always machine stitch it.)

21. Push the lining into the bag, make sure all corners, seams and zipper tabs are pushed out, and admire your lovely new make-up bag! 😊

I hope this is useful. I would love to hear your comments :) 

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Alexander Henry 'The Ghastlies' Panels

Hiya! I finally started using up some of my stash of fabric panels. These are Alexander Henry's 'The Ghastlies' range. The base is metallic faux leather, and the dark red is faux suede.

The faux suede is lovely to use, and makes the bags very sturdy :)