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Interview with Lisa from two pretty poppets

I first “met” Lisa last year when she contributed an article with tips for establishing a PDF pattern business to Issue 8.  I was so pleased to welcome her back with her The Statement Clutch pattern in Issue 9 and I’m delighted to share here the interview we had recently.

Lisa Ratford - two pretty poppets


Lisa began sewing at a very young age and has dabbled in many different types of sewing and craft projects over the years. She has always had a love of bags, so much so that she decided to start designing her own!

Producing expertly written, easy to follow PDF sewing patterns for practical, everyday bags is what two pretty poppets’ is all about.


Can you tell me a little about how you got into sewing/designing patterns?

My mum actually taught me to sew many, many years ago when I was maybe 8 years old! So a lot of what I know is all thanks to her. I’ve dabbled in lots of different projects over the years, but feel I’ve finally found my calling in bags.

Insulated Lunch Bag


My first pattern, the Insulated Lunch Bag, came about after I went looking for a larger lunch bag to store my daughters’ Tupperware lunch boxes in flat (not tipped on their end) and their drink bottles. I couldn’t find anything suitable and so a friend suggested I design my own! I pondered that idea for awhile and played around with different ideas before settling on the style you know so well. Following that pattern, I kind of just kept going!



What is your best sewing tip or do you have a favourite haby item that you couldn’t live without.

Probably my best sewing tip would have to be to read the instructions FIRST! I know so many of us, including myself, are guilty of glancing at the pictures in a new pattern and zooming ahead with what we think the pattern is telling us to do, not what the pattern is actually telling us to do! I’m not a huge fan of unpicking my work (who is?) and although it takes a little bit longer to pause and read the next few steps, it really does pay off ten fold!!!

Height compensation tool


As for my favourite haby item, well it would most definitely have to be the height compensation tool I got when I bought my Bernina B350 last year! I’ll admit, I had to look in the manual to find out what the heck this three-layered perspex thing was, however once I started using it, I quickly fell in love with it!!! When it comes to making bags, it is SUCH a helpful little tool that it’s never far from my machine!

If you’d like to find out more about using this tool check out this blog post HERE.

What inspires you?

Oh gosh, now you’re asking the hard questions! I think what inspires me most is my customers and the beautiful creations they come up with! I love seeing their fabric combinations and variations of my patterns, and that in turn will often give me ideas for new patterns or pattern hacks etc.

Fabric also inspires me – seeing new collections, and trending colours and prints, and of late different textures as well! It’s great fun to take a piece of glitter vinyl (for example) and play around with coordinating fabric and patterns to find that ‘right fit’, and then be able to share my finished creation with my customers to hopefully inspire them in their own little fabric journeys…

What are you working on at the moment?

I have so much I’m working on at the moment!  However, most excitingly is my upcoming pattern for a beach bag! This is something my customers have requested and I thought it could be fun so decided to give it a go. After surveying my patterns group to find out exactly what they were after in a beach bag, I set to work creating a functional and practical, yet stylish and gorgeous, beach bag pattern which I hope will live up to their expectations! The pattern will be heading out to my testers VERY soon so watch this space for an update once it’s released in February sometime!

Whats something that people might not know about you?

Ooh another hard question! Um… I guess people may not know that deep down I’m a bit of a perfectionist…! I like things just so, well, as much as I can get them anyway.  I think a lot of this flows through into my patterns, the way I write them and the way they’re laid out etc. I can be very particular at times (that’s not necessarily a good thing, LOL!) and like things done just so. Unfortunately at times, this can be the reason it takes me longer to get a new pattern finalised and out to my testers – if I’m not happy with my prototypes, I change things up or even start again, until the pattern is just right and I’m 100% happy with it. Yes, it drives me crazy at times, however it’s just part of who I am so all I can do is embrace it and keep going!


The Statement Clutch Stand Alone Cover You can purchase Lisa’s pattern for The Statement Clutch as a single PDF HERE or visit her website to see more of her sewing patterns HERE or purchase Issue 9 which contains this pattern HERE.

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Mash up of Festive Felties and Trapeze Eloise FMA

Today we have a guest blog poster – Alana from Rosie Petal.  Alana contributed the Good Fortune Headwrap to Issue 9 and she’s been our “Ziplines” contributor for the last two issues.

She’s taking part today in the One Thimble Issue 9 blog hop!

So lets hand things over to Alana for her Mash up of the Festive Felties pattern and Trapeze Eloise FMA!

Alana Pritchard - Rosie Petal ROSIE PETAL LOGO








Issue 9 of One Thimble was released before Christmas, and I have finally had chance to have a play with some of the amazing patterns that came in it. I really wanted to try free motion applique by Ric-Rac and Retro and the cute felties by Molly and Mama, so I did a bit of pattern mash.

I adore working print with print, and I love lots of colour. It was very easy to dive into my bag of Jennifer Paganelli scraps and quickly find some fun brights to coordinate with my Tanya Whelan spots and stripes.

Guest Blog post Alana from Rosie Petal

For those who want to play along at home – grab yourself a copy of One Thimble Issue 9. I followed all the same steps for Trapeze Eloise, but used the Festive Felties pieces.

I did not use the cupcake base, as it was not needed in this technique.

It was the first time I had done this style of applique with my darning foot, and boy it was fun!! I had a bit of a revelation about half way around that I realised I didn’t even need to rotate my work, I could just more sideways! So funny.

Looking forward to sprucing up all those plain t-shirts in the girls’ drawers.

                         Rosie Petal pattern mash blog post image 2        Cupcake FMA

Rosie Petal mashup of Festive felties and Trapeze Eloise FMA

Jump on the blog tour and visit some other gals sewing up a storm from issue 9:


Monday, January 11th

Felt With Love Designs // Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 12th

Jody’s Crafty Creations

Wednesday, January 13th

Two Pretty Poppets

Thursday, January 14th

Rosie Petal @ The One Thimble Blog // Molly and Mama

Friday, January 15th

Happy Okapi

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Easy Softie Pattern Hack

Last week Tiffany from Simply Adorable Designs posted this in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts Group: Sewing a Pikachu Friend

“Today is this little mans 10th birthday, but it has been postponed till Friday when daddy is home. So today we used the kids softies pattern from edition 4 and he created his very own pikachu!!! He has changed some of the pieces to create this amazing ‘friend’.”

I was so impressed that I asked whether I could share his work on social media.  He said yes and then very kindly offered to share his tips for pattern hacking Jody’s Crafty Creations Kids Creations Easy Softie pattern (from One Thimble Issue 4) into Pikachu with us.


So if you’re keen to hear how he did it read on:

  • Use the original tail and ear to make custom pieces (use a lead pencil)

Drawing your new ear shapes

  • Use the edge of the sewing machine foot to line up the edge of the fabric and go slow.  (Don’t forget to backstitch or put the foot down.  It’s a mess to unpick).
  • For the tail make custom pieces and use hard interfacing.  Mum helped a lot with this.  Put the outside bits together and stitch one side.

Tail guide

  • Flip it and iron flat.  Now you can slide your interfacing in.  (Remember it, the interfacing, needs to be the same shape but without seam allowance).  This can be tricky.  We used double sided tape to fold the other seam into the middle.  Then topstitch all around.
  • APPLIQUE:  Mum has funny stuff ( a bit like double sided tape) that sticks fabric together.  Then I straight stitched close to the edge.
  • Use buttons for the eyes as this is easier than cutting circles.
  • Draw the nose and mouth with an erasable pen and straight stitch with sewing machine.
  • Don’t overfill arms and legs with stuffing as it makes it hard to sew around the edge.

Tips Image 1 Tips Image 2

Master Simply Adorable Designs

Front of softie   Back of Softie


Well Done Master L! Thanks so very much for sharing your tips and your fabulous project with us!


If you’ve got a project to share be sure to get in touch! 

Happy Sewing.



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