Tag Archives: tutorial

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!


Sew Along – Sewing Date Traveler

Well hello there – I know it’s been a long time since I posted last (March 2015 – oops!), but life pulled me in a new direction for a bit and now I’m a Diploma qualified Childcare Educator – who still loves to sew and share all the fun stuff related to creating. So, how does one jump back into blogging after nearly 12 months off? I’ve been mulling it over for the past few weeks and decided a sew along might be a good start. It will keep me accountable and you can play along too.

Here’s what we’re going to make – the Sewing Date Traveler from Cynthia Frenette. It’s big with loads of pockets and lends itself to so many uses you might just end up making one for every room in your house (or is that just me?) I can see so many uses for this bag – apart from carrying sewing supplies you could use it for paper crafting supplies, your most used journalling or planner decorating supplies or even one for each ongoing project your working on. Maybe your children would like one for their most prized toys?

sew along - sewing date traveler bag

The pattern is available here via the Robert Kaufman website and is available for download for FREE – thank you Cynthia! I like to use the Legacy brand of sew in interfacing – the L-70 Sew-N-Shape to be exact which I buy from Spotlight. You might like to chose a medium weight fabric for the main body of the bag, with something lighter like quilting cotton for the pockets and lining. To this I add an iron on interfacing to give it a crisp finish.

Sew Along details

The sew along will happen on the 28th February and basically I’ll share progress photos on Facebook and Instagram for you to follow along. I’ve already found a few parts of the instructions to be a bit tricky and will show you some simpler methods to get the same result. I’ll share all the info here on the blog as well later that evening in case you can’t sew along on the day.

Have fun shopping for your fabrics and I’ll see you online on the 28th.


how to bind curves Stitching Rules

How to Bind a Curve

At some point in your sewing journey you’re going to want to know how to bind a curve – be it a neckline, armhole, quilt edge or even a seam. Curves can either be concave (like a neckline or armhole) or convex (like a corner or round item) Binding a curve differs from binding a straight edge in that the binding itself needs to be cut on the bias to flex enough to sit flat once finished. If you try to bind a curve with a binding cut on the straight of the grain it will not sit flat and you’ll hate it so much you’ll vow never to try binding again.

Here’s how to do it for a great result every time.  Start by finding the true bias of your fabric.finding true bias

Determine how wide your binding needs to be – keeping in mind that once you cut it the weave will cause the binding to become more narrow than you intended. Some fabrics will be worse than others for this – fabrics with a lot of movement in the weave such as chiffon, rayon or with a lot of drape will need to be cut wider to compensate. The black and white fabric below shows how much a bias strip will stretch once cut.bias stretch

It’s a good idea to trial a short length of bias to make sure its not too wide or narrow for your item. You can use the table below as a guide.

Bias Binding Cutting Guide

How wide to cut your bias strips to achieve a certain binding finish.
Finished width of bindingSturdy fabric
- little movement on bias
Fluid fabric
- lots of stretch on bias
Bulky edges
- when you have many layers creating a thick edge

Join your binding, if needed, on the straight of the grain to distribute the bulk and to create a stronger seam.joining bias

Binding a rounded corner (below) – pin the bias strip along the edge of your work with NO stretching.  The main thing to remember here is to ease the binding onto the edge of the garment – this gives the binding room to stretch over the outer edge.rounded corner

Binding a concave curve (below) – slightly stretch the bias strip onto the edge of your curve. This will help the curve hold its shape and stop it from stretching and distorting.joining to front

There are a few ways you can finish your binding.

Hand stitching – best for when the binding is sewn on the front and turned to the back of the item. Will give a clean finish with no visible stitching.

Top stitched (below) – best for items that will be washed a lot as it’s the strongest finish. Sew the bias strip to the back of the item and fold to the front twice to top stitch. finishing a rounded corner

Stitching in the ditch (below) – no visible stitching on the front, while being a strong finish for washing.stitch in the ditch

Once you’re done a good pressing will get rid of any wrinkles and you’ll be left with beautiful flat binding.

Pop back next week and I’ll show you how I mitre the corners and join ends to create an invisible finish.

Ladies panel skirt

Skirt Sew-Along – The Pattern

So the time has come to download our pattern!

I’ve been working away all day grading it for you since the last time I graded it I forgot to save – d’oh! There are nine sizes – 8-24, and they’re colour coded for ease of use. There are 2 options with the printing

  1. an A1 size paper option where you can save it to a USB stick and take it to a copy shop (like Officeworks in Australia.) It should only cost you a few dollars to print and will save you heaps of time if you hate taping all the A4 pages together.
  2. or the standard A4 pages (12 in total) for you to print at home and tape together.

Here’s a photo of how the tiles fit together. It really isn’t that hard to do, you just need a bit of space and no kids/pets/well meaning partners helpers 😉

pattern layout

As you can see, the first tile has the size checking squares. It’s always a good idea to print off that first page and check those are correct as any discrepancy here will mean your whole pattern will be out.

The first eight tiles are the centre front/centre back panel and the last four are the side panel. I left a space between the pieces so there were less pages to join, in other words 1 – 8 doesn’t need to be joined to 9 – 12.

Here’s the A1 file – Ladies Panel skirt A1

Ladies-Panel-Skirt-8-24 A4 (12 pages)

Very Debra Women size chart 6 – 24

Join the Facebook group here.

So, off you go! Download and print away and please leave a comment below, or send an email, if you have any troubles. Share the fun on Instagram with the hashtag #skirtsewalong and #thesewquiltyworkshop.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a run down of what fabrics are going to work best, and a few you may not have thought of.