Tag Archives: patterns

Stitchidori DIY tutorial

Tutorial – DIY Stitchidori

It’s tutorial time! Imagine planning your life and creative endeavors all in one neat notebook. With a Midori style notebook like this Stitchidori you can. It starts out as a fabric cover with elastic straps – then you to add your own notebooks, diaries, sketchbooks etc. for instant personalisation. Visit YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram for a mountain of inspiration and tips.

The Stitchidori tutorial here can hold up to five notebooks or combination of folders, zip pouches and diaries. It can be used for keeping track of your online spending, handmade orders, children’s keepsake journals or as a diary – the possibilities are endless.

The trick is to use heavy weight Vilene on the cover and light weight Vilene on the lining. You’ll also need some round elastic which is available in most fabric stores.

Cut a pattern template 23cm x 27cm. Using this template cut

  • 1 main fabric
  • 1 heavy weight Vilene
  • 1 lining fabric
  • 1 light weight Vilene

Also cut binding

  • 100cm x 3cm (can be joined if using fat quarters)

Inner pockets

  • 1 @ 7cm x 23cm fabric and light weight Vilene
  • 1 @ 9cm x 23cm fabric and light weight Vilene


  • 2mm elastic – 2 @ 4cm (inner elastic loops)
  • 2mm elastic – 1 @ 48cm (inner elastics to hold inserts)
  • 3mm elastic – 1 @ 27cm (outer elastic closure)
  • 20mm elastic – 1 @ 4cm (pen holder)

Stitchidori tutorial

Fuse heavy weight Vilene to main fabric OR match up sew-in Vilene to main fabric

Fuse light weight Vilene to lining and matching pocket pieces.

Double neaten one long edge of each pocket. Press with iron. Double neaten pocket edge

Sew narrow pocket to other pocket down the centre. attach small pocket to larger pocket

Stay stitch elastic pieces as shown. 6Elastic placement 5elastic loop placement

Sew the two pockets onto the lining along the outside edges. Left hand side.

With wrong sides together, sew the lining to the main piece around all 4 edges.

7Stay stitch lining to outer Inner elastic placement

Starting on the inside, along the bottom edge, sew the binding with a 6mm seam.  attach binding to inside

Stop and back tack 6mm before the corner. stop and backtack 6mm from corner

Fold the binding as show to create mitred corner.
Fold binding at right angle

Fold binding back onto intself forming the mitreBegin sewing with a back tack 6mm in from the corner and continue around remaining 3 corners. Backtack and sew 6mm in from cornerContinue remaining 3 corners.

Mark where the binding needs to join and add 12mm seam. Cut excess off. mark where the binding will joinAdd 12mm seam and trim excessJoin binding with 6mm seam

Fold the Stitchidori so you can sew the binding ends with the 6mm seam. Fold Stitchidori to sew bindingjoin binding

Finish sewing the binding.

Turn the binding to the outside and fold under twice. When you get to the corners fold as shown. Fold binding under twice to form neat edgeTurn corners to form mitre

Thread the last length of elastic through the loops and tie. Thread elastic as shown

Add your inserts and start planning! Slide the inserts under the elasticFold insert to one side and add another


If you want to make your own inserts, search Etsy or Pinterest for “Midori inserts” and find lots of DIY print at home versions.

You are more than welcome to make and sell Stitchidori’s using this tutorial – but only in quantities less than 20 (ie NOT mass production) and please continue calling them Stitchidori’s. Thanks and good-luck!


Sk01 womens panel skirt now on Craftsy

Free Craftsy Pattern – SK01 – Womens Panel Skirt

It’s here!

It’s here!

It’s here!

Or should I say there – over on Craftsy.  I’ve just listed the SK01 – Womens panel skirt on Craftsy as a freebie so if you were one of the wonderful people who joined our sew-along last month, I’d love it if you could pop over and leave a review. And if you feel so inclined you can also upload your own skirt to the projects section so everyone can see how clever you are.

Click this link to go to my new pattern shop.

Ladies panel skirt

Skirt Sew Along – Variations

Welcome back to the final installment of our skirt sew along. You can find the pattern here, the sizing chart here and the basic tutorial here.

Once you’ve mastered the basic skirt you might want to consider making a few variations to get the most from you pattern. There are a LOT of things you can do to make the skirt unique to your style and I’m going to show you two simple ideas to create totally new looks from the one pattern.yellow full skirt

Our first skirt is created by cutting each pattern piece twice to give it the fullness of a twirly skirt. This one is made from a vintage sheet so the softness is amazing.  To help the elastic stay in place I sewed across the casing at each panel seam. The photo below indicates how long my row of stitching needed to be. sewing elastic across casing

You could also achieve this look with a voile fabric or even soft bridal tulle for a fun tutu skirt. It will work for quilting cottons, but keep in mind there’s a lot of fabric bunched up in that elastic.


A video posted by @verydebra on

The second skirt I made was from denim with a simple raw edge applique. The seams are top stitched in a contrasting colour to match the kitty panel and I used HeatNBond to secure the panel before stitching around it twice. The denim is quite heavy for the elastic, so you might like to use a stronger elastic. I figured I could get away with an elasticated waist for this denim skirt since I’ll always wear a top to cover it. denim kitty skirt  

  A video posted by @verydebra on

The kitty panel is from Cat and Vee and is printed on a beautiful linen fabric. The denim is from E&M Greenfield  denim kitty skirt detailYes I prewashed my denim.

Here’s a few more ideas you might like to try.

Thanks for sewing along and don’t forget, if you’re sharing on Instagram, to use #skirtsewalong and #thesewquiltyworkshop so I can see what you’ve created.


Ladies panel skirt

Skirt Sew Along – The Tutorial

Welcome back to part three of the Panel Skirt sew along.  Part one and two are here if you want to catch up. Today we’re making the basic design with loads of photos and instructions. If you’re feeling confident then skim over the directions and make it up how you feel comfortable. There’s always more than one way to do something – this is how I do it.

Points to note

  • all panel seams are 1cm
  • I’ve overlocked my edges, but you can get away with zigzagging over the edges to stop them fraying
  • elastic is 2.5cm wide and cut to suit your comfort. I like to wrap the elastic around my waist to check it’s not too loose
  • You can still download the pattern here
Cut pieces laid out the correct way ready for sewing.

Cut pieces laid out the correct way ready for sewing.

I’ve chosen some nifty green quilting cotton with some jaunty cups and plates. It’s non directional – meaning the design has no right way up – and will be perfect for this skirt since I like to be economical when I cut. This means I can have the centre front/back panel one way, and have the side panel upside down next to it to fit across the fabric with minimal wastage. If your fabric has a nap – a one way design – then all your pieces will need to be sitting all in the same direction.

Side panel + side panel + centre front/back

Side panel + side panel + centre front/back


Join your side seams, then join one of the centre front/back panels to one side. Repeat this step with the other pieces. Lay your two sewn parts together with right sides facing. Sew the last two panel seams.

Arrange the two pieces right sides together.

Arrange the two pieces right sides together.

Overlock or neaten the seams along with the hem and top edges. Your skirt should now be in one piece and ready for a press.

Neaten all edges and seams

Neaten all edges and seams

Join your elastic to make a loop. Read ahead to the next step to see if this is how you want to proceed. Add any labels or ribbons to indicate the back.

Add labels at centre back and sew elastic

Add labels at centre back and sew elastic

Next we’re inserting the elastic in the casing IN ONE STEP. Feel free to sew your casing first then thread your elastic if you prefer. With the elastic laying on the wrong side of the skirt, turn over the casing 3.5cm, then turn under the edge 6mm (or the width of the overlocking.) Sew close to this folded edge being careful not to catch the elastic as you go.

Sewing the casing and inserting the elastic in one step.

Sewing the casing and inserting the elastic in one step.

Pull the elastic and ease fabric around to make it easier for you to sew.

Pull the elastic through to make it easier to sew

Pull the elastic through to make it easier to sew

Once you’ve stitched around, manipulate the fabric so it’s even around the waist. I like to sew a second row of stitching to stop the elastic spinning around within the casing.

Sew a second row of stitching to secure elastic

Sew a second row of stitching to secure elastic

Turn up a 4cm hem making sure your seams are straight. Doing this will ensure your hem edge eases in neatly around the slight curve of the hem. Sew on the inner edge of the overlocking to make it stronger during washing.

Match those panel seams to make sure your hem sits flat

Match those panel seams to make sure your hem sits flat

Give your skirt a final press and admire your handiwork. You may even feel inclined to make a short video like I did –

Next week I’ll show you some ways to adapt the skirt pattern to get a few different looks. Please let me know if you have any troubles and be sure to use the hashtag #skirtsewalong and #thesewquiltyworkshop so I can check out your creations.