Browsing Tag

Crafting ideas

Clothing, Crafting ideas

How to find sewing tutorials online

July 7, 2013

IMG_1733You all know how much I love to sew, right? I think, at my speediest, I’ve been able to draft and sew most of a dress in a day. But it wasn’t always that easy for me and I still feel that there are plenty of better skilled people out there.

When I first started out (and when I want to make something now but am out of ideas), I often looked online for ideas and easy tutorials. This is a great place to start if you’re new at sewing and websites are great places for picking up tips on how to make a circle skirt, or starting a dress. These patterns are often quite easy and, therefore, manageable for the novice and more experienced crafters amongst you and so I’ve compiled a list below of the best (in my opinion) places on the internet to find tutorials. You can thank me later!


I’m going to start with the one website I turned to when I was first getting into sewing and wanted to try everything, which was Craftster. Creations are sorted into categories, ranging from clothing and sewing in general to crafty business advice. Although you have to be a member to post or comment on other people’s work, it’s handy to sign up to the site and I’d highly recommend it, if only for the tips and tricks posted there.


Although you have to pay for some of the patterns on Burdastyle, the website does once again enable its members to post their own projects and versions of the paid-for patterns. Burdastyle is probably a better website than Craftster if you’re looking for professional patterns, but both are equally good if you don’t mind searching through the archives for a handmade gem or unusual project. Burdastyle is also perfect for those of you who are ethically minded, with the option to print at home onto PDF.


This suggestion is a lot more generalised than the above, as I couldn’t possibly choose between different sewing blogs, as there are so many and I just wouldn’t know where to start. Sewing and craft blogs are always great places to find easy tutorials and patterns and with such a vast selection, there’s always something for everyone. Some personal favourites of mine are Tilly and the Buttons, Casey Brown Designs and So, Zo…, but you can often find a tutorial or pattern just by googling ‘How to make an A line skirt’ (or whatever you like!). And remember, all these sewing bloggers started off as beginners too.


Finally, there’s Youtube. The video sharing site is perfect for anyone looking for the basics of sewing, the more intricate techniques and for tutorials, such as this one that I’ve been wanting to make for years. Videos are also better at showing exactly how things should be done, so if you’re ever in doubt, head to Youtube.

I hope that’s helped any of you wanting some inspiration at the moment. I know I often need it. If you feel I haven’t mentioned some other places where you can find tutorials, then please share in the comments. Thanks!

Crafting ideas

Review of The Knitting Book

January 31, 2013

IMG_1307I received this book for Christmas and it has literally changed my life. I would describe it as a knitting bible for both beginners and experienced knitters as it teaches things from different stitches to embellishing your knitting. It even has a section dedicated purely to patterns, some of which are quite easy to do.

I don’t usually post reviews of craft books, as I tend to make up my own rules about crafting (I’m more of a visual learner rather than someone who learns from a book and thus I don’t follow patterns very easily), but even I can follow this book. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s up there with the only other craft book I own, Eithne Farry’s Yeah, I made it myself (aka the book that got me really interested in sewing in 2007).

The Knitting Book includes visual examples of knitting techniques

The Knitting Book includes visual examples of knitting techniques

The book, edited by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore, is divided into sections which range from ‘tools and materials’ to ‘techniques’. The crafter in me loved the visual gallery of different stitches, as this allowed me to decide on a stitch without having to knit it first to see what it looked like.

The book also includes patterns to follow once you have mastered knitting, such as this one above

The book also includes patterns to follow once you have mastered knitting, such as this one above

It includes many pictures to compare with your own knitting and explains the basic and more advanced techniques of knitting in an easy to understand way. I’ve already been recommending it to all my crafty friends and can’t wait to learn some new stitches.

The Knitting Book is available here for £16.00.


Easy DIYs: Making friendship bracelets

September 20, 2012

This is what I’ve been making lately.

Isn’t it odd how making friendship bracelets can really remind you of being young? Many hours of my teenage years were spent making piles of bracelets to wear under my shirt at school, or as presents for best friends.

Rather than giving you a DIY today, I’m simply going to direct you over to Honestly…WTF’s blog where you can be reminded of how to make friendship bracelets once again.

And, if you’re feeling extra crafty, here’s a second tutorial on how to embellish friendship bracelets.

Crafting ideas

Crafting ideas: Where to buy fabric

July 13, 2012

Any newbie crafters out there might be surprised when they find out that the price of fabric from department stores can often be quite pricey. I know I once was. But there are cheaper ways to source your fabric, so for anyone looking for a bargain, here’s my pick of the best places to buy fabric.

1. Number one: Jumble sales/vintage fairs

I’ve often found a great bargain at one of these fairs and, if you look hard enough, so will you. The key is not to go to a fair specifically to buy fabric, but when going along anyway, have a look and you might just be surprised. They may not be a great length, but these kinds of fabrics (offcuts, usually) will do for making homemade bunting and to jazz up existing clothes. Once I even managed to pick up enough fabric offcuts to make a skirt.

The offcuts of a fabric I once found at a vintage fair

2. Number two: Charity shops

Fabric from charity shops isn’t usually dressed up as fabric, so here’s where you can get creative. Any charity shop will do, as most of them sell some ok-ish stuff in the forms of old curtains, bedsheets and pillowcases. Don’t look at them like curtains, sheets or pillowcases, but as potential fabric. For example, an old curtain will make an ideal winter skirt or dress (the extra weight will keep you warm in winter), a sheet gives you enough fabric to make a summer dress and a pillowcase can easily make an A-line skirt.

Incidentally, charity shops are also an ideal place to pick up extras, such as buttons, either on their own (just ask if you don’t see any), or on old, affordable granny cardigans and the like. Seriously, £1.49 for a cardi with some amazing buttons is a bargain!

3. Number three: Ebay

This was where I first ventured when looking for cheaper fabrics and I still manage to find some great bargains now. When I first discovered Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley fabrics, for example, I scoured Ebay for them and found some older stuff for a lot less than in the shops. Ebay shops offer the best selection and one of my absolute favourites (and one I’ve been using for years) is this one. One thing to remember is that if you’re planning on using a lot of fabric, then it might be worthwhile buying a roll. Although it can be expensive, in the long run it actually works out a lot cheaper per metre and you can get some great quality fabric if you look in the right places. For example, I once bought a roll of old Liberty fabric for a steal!

A roll of Liberty fabric I once bought on Ebay