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Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art Tutorial by Lauren from Molly and Mama


Today’s blog guest is Lauren from Molly and Mama.  She’s sharing with us a brilliant tutorial on how to use Robyn from Obbie Dobbie’s Fairywood Cottage Applique from Issue 6 as a Hoop Art!You can purchase the Fairywood Cottage Applique as a stand alone pattern HERE or as part of Issue 6 HERE.  You can purchase a completed Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art HERE.


Lauren’s passion is sharing the imagination and energy of childhood in gorgeous applique templates, sewing patterns, beautiful clothes, accessories, home décor and more. Staying at home with her two gorgeous cherubs has given her the opportunity to build her business and dream big!Lauren contributed the Miss Miranda & Percy Pineapple appliques to Issue 5 and has lots of brilliant patterns & ready to go items in her store HERE and fantastic free tutorials on her blog HERE

Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art Tutorial
by Lauren from Molly and Mama

Hello lovely One Thimble followers. It’s Lauren here from Molly and Mama . I’ve been stitching up a super cute appliqué design using a lovely pattern in Issue 6 of One Thimble.  So I thought some of you might like to know how to transform it into an adorable hoop art project! This one is perfect for a little girl’s bedroom!

You Will Need
·         Square piece of linen fabric – 36cm / 14”
·         Timber embroidery hoop – 21cm – 8.5” (or choose a size to match your project)
·         Circle of felt the same size as the hoop inner
·         Requirements to create an appliqué or embroidery for your project (as per the instructions in your pattern or tutorial)
·         A water soluble marking pen
·         Needle and sewing thread or cotton to match your felt colour
·         Scissors or pinking shears
·         Ribbon for a bow and hanging loop

Create the Appliqué Art Work
Your first task is to choose a beautiful appliqué or embroidery project for your hoop art. I chose the ‘Fairywood Cottage and Wood Fairy Appliqué Pattern’ created by Robyn from Obbie Dobbie. You can find it in Issue 6 of One Thimble Sewing Magazine. It’s such a cute design!

For this project I’ve used the Fairywood Cottage (toadstool) pattern.  But I’m hoping to make another matching hoop art project with the Wood Fairy template. These two pieces will look lovely hung side by side on the wall!

Create your appliqué according to the instructions included in the pattern. Be sure to sew your design in the middle of your piece of linen or background fabric. I chose some pretty peach and gold shades of cotton to complement my linen background. Also ensure your completed design will fit inside the hoop you have (reduce or enlarge your template if required).


Robyn’s pattern gives fabulous instructions for hand appliqué, and I really love the finish of hand embroidery. However, for this project I machine blanket-stitched my appliqué design. If you’re after more appliqué tips and ideas for a sewing machine finish, you might like the tutorial HERE.


Once your design is complete, and you’ve added any embellishments you’d like, be sure to give your design a good press so it’s ready for the hoop. Be careful of your iron temperature though. Polyester fabrics or threads don’t like a hot heat. And you’d hate to destroy all of that beautiful work. So be sure to keep the iron on a warm setting only.


Frame the Appliqué in the Hoop
Flip your fabric over so that the wrong side is facing up. Place the embroidery hoop over the appliqué design and centre it so that it’s where you’d like it displayed in the hoop. Use your water soluble marker to draw a circle around the outside of the hoop, so you know where to place your design.


Use scissors or pinking shears (the zig zag cutting pattern will stop your fabric from fraying) to trim away the excess fabric. Cut around your design about 4cm  / 1.5” away from your marked circle.


Place your fabric in the hoop using the traced circle as a guide. Lay the fabric over the hoop inner. Take the hoop outer and pop it over the inner (sandwiching the fabric between it) and tighten the screw just enough to keep it all together. Make sure your screw is centred at the top of your project. Take some time to ensure your design is also centred and sitting exactly where you’d like it in the hoop. Tighten the screw of the hoop and pull the fabric taut as you go. Be careful not to stretch it out of shape though!


Now your design is secure, we just have to take care of those messy edges!Finish the Hoop Art

Thread your needle with a long length of ordinary sewing cotton (enough to go around the perimeter of your hoop) and secure it with a knot. I used a bright colour so you could see my stitching, but a colour to match your fabric would be a safer option.Start above the hoop screw and stitch a loose running stitch around the perimeter of the fabric. Stitch a half an inch in from the fabric edge (or 1.5cm). When you reach where you started, draw the cotton taut. It will gather your fabric and bring your overhang under the hoop. Secure your cotton well to keep your fabric out of the way. I pulled both ends firmly and tied a knot.


If you’re keeping your project for yourself, sometimes this type of finish is enough. However, if it’s a gift, or you’d like a neater finish, you can disguise the gathering at the back with some felt.Lay your piece of felt over the back of the hoop. (It should be just the right size to stitch over so it covers the gathered fabric.)


Thread your needle with a long length of doubled over sewing cotton and secure the end with a knot. Begin stitching at the top of the design near the screw. Use a small whip stitch to secure the piece of felt to the gathered linen fabric. Bring your needle down through the felt and out through the linen at the edge of the timber hoop.


Continue stitching around until you reach the beginning. You may need to trim a small amount off your felt as you go (as the felt may stretch as you stitch). You want the felt back to also be taut. Once complete, secure your stitches with a few back-stitches before trimming away the excess cotton.


Now all that is left is to add a bow to the top! Simply tie it around the screw. You can also add a loop of ribbon if you’re planning to hang your art work. Wasn’t that simple? You’ll be hooked now!


Other Tips
– You can embellish your completed appliqué design with hand embroidered features, buttons, bows or other special trims. This will give your hoop art a multidimensional feel that will really add to it’s appeal when it’s hanging on the wall!- Use 100% wool felt for your hoop back if you can. This type of felt is much less likely to warp or pull out of shape.- If you’re pressed for time, you can secure the fabric at the back of your hoop with hot glue instead of gathering it. Trim away extra fabric so that you have just enough to fit inside the rim of the hoop (when the fabric is folded over it). Place a thin short line of hot glue on the inside rim of the hoop and gently stick your excess fabric to it. Continue to add more glue and secure more fabric until you reach the beginning. This is a quick and easy finish that gives the same secure result. It’s just not as pretty as the felt cover.- Instead of stitching an appliqué pattern, you could use an embroidery design instead. There’s a great tutorial on the Molly and Mama blog (HERE) that shows you how to embroider the pineapple design from the Miss Miranda appliqué pattern in One Thimble Issue 5. You could also stitch your children’s artwork or your favourite phrase or saying. The options are endless!

I hope you’ve learned something new here today! If you’d like some more crafty tutorials and sewing ideas, be sure to pop over to the Molly and Mama blog. And if you’re after some more appliqué patterns, you’ll find some lovely designs in previous issues of One Thimble.

Thanks for having me Jen, and happy stitching everyone!

Lauren x

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Interview with Robyn from Obbie Dobbie

Today on the blog we have Robyn from Obbie Dobbie.  One of my favourite things about the hand applique Robyn submitted to Issue 6 is its versatility.  You can handsew it as Robyn shows, or use your machine.  Make it the included size or blow it up bigger to make a real statement piece.  Later in the week we have Lauren from Molly & Mama on the blog with a tutorial for making a Hoop Art with this applique!

Picture Robyn is a wife, Mother and Grandmother and has been sewing and crafting for around 45 years, taught by her Mother who is a beautiful seamstress. Robyn is employed by Queensland DETE as a School Business Services Manager and is making retirement plans to dedicate more time to the craft she loves. She is wanting to replace her Diploma in Government Management for an embroidery machine manual. Obbie Dobbie began in 2010 after requests from family and friends for copies of clothing sewn for her new granddaughter. Her business motto is …for uniqueness…. as Robyn’s creations are often OOAK or no more than 3 identical items so ensure her customers are purchasing a unique creation. Robyn finds hand applique a relaxing and enjoyable form of creativity as the design come to life when laying fabric to create a project.

Tell me how you got into sewing?
I have to give credit to my Mother who is a beautiful seamstress and I often feel bless that she instilled in me my love of sewing at a young age.  Mum did dressmaking from home and would always sew for my three sisters and I.  We were impeccably dressed, sometimes in the identical fabric, maybe a different style, but always with lots of frills and lace.  My Barbie (yes, I only had one) was beautifully dressed although at first her clothes were pinned to her body!  I still have her, the many pin holes still evident of the pain I inflicted on her. I excelled in sewing at school and when I first started working at 15½, I would sew most of my clothes. When we were newlyweds, my husband gave me my first sewing machine (yes, his Mother sewed as well).  I can remember it still – a compact Singer Genie very colourful in orange. I loved it and it taught me to love sewing. Before we had even planned our children, I had sewn several matinee jackets and rompers for my “baby hope chest.”  Our two sons regularly wore my handsewn rompers, often with applique boats, helicopters and cars. After the arrival of our granddaughter in 2009, her pretty outfits with oodles of pink, ribbons and lace were sought after by family and friends.   My love of creating and the many requests led to the creation of Obbie Dobbie.

What is your best sewing tip?
I have a few…. Practice makes perfect; Take your time; Quality far outweighs quantity and of course the old saying, Measure twice – cut once.

What is your favourite haby item? 
A small razor sharp pair of bird shaped scissors.  They’re light, the pointed tip gets into the tiniest of spaces for snipping that elusive cotton.  I take them everywhere. Also, they are not an item the males in our home would want to be seen using!

What is your favourite pattern and why?
My all time favourite would have to be the peasant dress.  We wore these as children, they were as popular back then as they are now.  (I have a photo of myself in a peasant romper at the age of around 8.) Not only are they comfy to wear, cool in our humid climate, they’re easy to sew, easy for littlies to dress themselves. As the elastic softens and stretches, the dress can be worn for several seasons to eventually be worn as a top, making it very economical as well as pretty.  It is also the first item sold from my Obbie Dobbie page.

What inspires you?
Pretty, dainty and feminine is what Obbie Dobbie is all about and best describes my style. I often visualise a garment soon after spotting a pretty piece of fabric. This colour, texture and pattern in the fabric often dictates to me how it should be sewn.  I am way too practical for my own good at times and constantly consider the safety and comfort of the child as well as designing items that parents can easily launder and care for. I’ve always loved creating, from crochet, knitting, quilting, anything to keep busy with the satisfaction of “I made that”. Of course, my granddaughters inspire me to create gorgeous garments for them so they can feel as loved and pretty as we believe theme to be.  The positive comments from my lovely customers, and the smiles on little ones’ faces when they wear an Obbie Dobbie garment, inspires me to continue to create.

What people don’t know about me?
Goodness, where do I start? What are my secrets? Do I tell you that I am a Royalist…or that I love to op shop, or how much I love vintage, that I love to quilt, that I love anything British or French, that I love to plan and host bridal and baby showers?  No. I will tell you that I have a blog. Yes, back in 2011, I created my blog (see, I am always creating something with my hands). I haven’t posted for ages as now I tend to stay with Facebook and my sewing surpasses my computer skills by miles. I would love to start a webpage to sell my garments, maybe in the near future this will become a reality (with some computer help I might add). Oh yes, I recently featured in the One Thimble magazine, which is a huge honour. To see a tutorial written by oneself is very rewarding.

What has been your biggest challenge and do you have any advice for people in similar situation?
As a Wife, Mother and employee, my biggest challenge has been (and still is) setting aside time to follow my sewing passion and dreams of creating beautiful and functional garments. With working full-time, studying and attending TAFE at night, caring for my family, keeping house, my sewing time was often the last item on the agenda.  I would often feel it was indulgent of me to follow my creative passion and “guilt” would prevent me from hiding away doing what I loved. My prevailing “rule” was to always have an immaculate house, the washing and ironing up to date, meals and school lunches prepared for my family before I could even contemplate sewing. Of course, if I could go back a few years, no doubt I would still do these things but the guilt wouldn’t be so heavy on my mind.  It is important to have an outlet to create or have something special you love, be it going to the gym, painting, walking. You shouldn’t feel guilty to have an interest.  Now that the boys have left the nest, I regularly stay up until the early hours of the morning and then sleep in way too long on a Sunday. We can still be great wives, Mothers and Grandmothers and fulfil that urge to have an outlet just for yourself. No matter what it is, have faith in yourself and your ability to at least try anything new or challenging.

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”
Coco Chanel, Believing in Ourselves: The Wisdom of Women

Picture You can purchase Robyn’s pattern for the Fairywood Cottage and Woodfairy Applique as a single pattern HERE 
or visit Robyn’s website to find out more about her other patterns HERE
or Purchase Issue 6 which contains this pattern
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Interview with Irene from Serger Pepper

Irene’s first contribution to One Thimble was the article on Maintaining your Overlocker in Issue 5.  It was a real hit and I was so pleased when she agreed to contribute a pattern to Issue 6.  I really enjoy getting to know sewists from all around the world and have learned so much about my overlocker from Irene’s blog!

Picture Irene is the Italian creative mind behind Serger Pepper.She has sewn for most of her life and her goal is to design versatile PDF patterns you can easily use to sew cute but practical clothes that fit every day of your life.

Irene describes herself as a refashion addicted, overlocker fanatic and she’s got some awesome treats for you during One Cardigan week!

Can you tell me a little about how you got into sewing / designing patterns?
Sewing is been part of my life from the very beginning: my mom decided to quit her day job when she knew she was expecting me. She has been a SAHM until I have been 5 years old.
She had previously learnt to sew from her cousin, who was a tailor, and she has sewn most of my wardrobe (my grandma knitted the rest of it!).

In my early days, the average evening at home was:
mom: tracing a pattern on the sewing table;
dad: unpicking a seam or a basting, sitting on the rolling chair;
me: waiting for scraps of fabric falling off the table, to create doll clothes.
I’ve been probably allowed to sew (under adult supervision) with my mom’s Singer at the age of 5, more or less.

Designing my own patterns has been the answer to the big companies ill fitting patterns! When I was 18, I designed a friend’s wedding dress… sadly I have no photographic evidence of it!

What is your best sewing tip ?
My best tip for sewing is to rethread your sewing machine (or serger) when it looks like it’s not properly sewing: most of the times, the problem is there!Check also My 15 Top Tips on Serger Pepper
15 Top Beginner's Sewing Tips from Serger Pepper

What inspires you?
… almost everything! I work at the front office, on a swimming pool, so I see a lot of people everyday. I often find myself looking at their clothes, trying to figure out how can I mimic design details, instead of listening to them!

Another font of inspiration for me are fashion magazines (You know: Marie Claire, Elle, Vogue…) and… Pinterest! I may say I’m addicted to it! (PS: you may want to follow me at )

What is your favourite pattern and why
I think my favourite pattern is the OneCardigan, at the moment, because of its versatility.
I’ve seen it sewn in so many versions and each one looks like it’s made using a different pattern! I think this is the way to go, for my next patterns: lots of options to mix and match, for added convenience!

What’s something people might not know about you (that you’d like to share)?
I am addicted to coffee, I am a soapmaker (I create my laundry soaps and hand soap/shampoo using olive oil, lye and essential oil), I eat Paleo and I hate surprises (I tend to plan everything in detail, and try to stick to my plans!): this is (more or less) me!

What is your biggest challenge and do you have any advice for someone else in a similar situation?
At the moment, I’m struggling with time management: as a working mom, I’m outside home for most of the day.

I would need to double the hours/day to be able to fit in my passions (sewing/blogging) and some family time in my “spare time”!

The worst part is that I feel like a bad mom when I try to cut out some “me time”, so I don’t think I have advices to give away! I know that too soon my daughter will grow up and I will regret I didn’t spend more time with her… but, in the other side, sometimes I only want to open my Illustrator and start drafting: am I that mean?

See you on Serger Pepper, if you like!

Picture You can purchase Irene’s pattern for the One Cardigan as a single pattern HERE 
or visit Irene’s website to find out more about her other patterns HERE
or Purchase Issue 6 which contains this pattern HERE
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Seeking contributors for Issue 8.


Are you keen to submit a pattern to Issue 8 (14th August 2015 release date) of One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine?
Submissions are now open!

To make a “pitch” email me for a copy of the “Pitch Inspiration Kit”and then send through your pitch no later than 28th March 2015.

Some patterns can be made to “fit”the theme by fabric choice – so if your idea is independent to a theme please don’t be put off applying.  I’m trialling doing it this way as taking submissions at the same time makes it easier to choose patterns that will work well together.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.


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Refashioned One Cardigan!

Irene from Serger Pepper Today’s blog guest is Irene from Serger Pepper.  She’s sharing with us a tutorial for how to refashion your One Cardigan for a whole new look!You can get a copy of the One Cardigan either as a single PDF HERE or as part of Issue 6 HERE.

Today I’m here to show you how you can make the OneCardigan with a slightly ruffled collar and refashioned set-in sleeves.


As always, when refashioning, you won’t probably find the exact garments I’m using.
And this is good, because you’re going to end with a one-of-a-kind creation!

I have used a black and gold knitted long sleeved shirt and a pair of drawstring sweatshirt pants (+ scraps of a black T-shirt for the back bodice lining).
My shirt had a fun-shaped collar, so I decided to keep it as part of the final design; if you want to recreate it, fold the fabric and cut out the following shape:


To mix up things, I decided to skip the petal skirt portion, lengthening the bodice parts until they hit right below the waistline (in size 5 I have added 16 cm, which are around 6 1/4”).
You can decide to make it longer, to the hips, or maybe make it short like a shrug, cutting the bodice pieces to their original length and leaving out the petal skirt pieces.

Note that refashioning sleeves you will save yourself a lot of time and troubles! Before you go on and cut them out of the fabric, you need to consider:
1) there’s no need of hem allowance
2) there’s no need of underarm seam allowances
→ You need to cut off 1 cm (3/8”) from hem and underarm lines from the paper pattern piece!

If you plan to sew your OneCardigan again in this size, I would suggest you trace your sleeve pieces into a second piece of paper, so you won’t make a mess the next time you’re sewing it from regular fabric (not upcycling).

Alternatively, you can just re-print the sleeve piece, using the practical print chart included in the OneCardigan pattern, that will tell you exactly which pages you need to print for your sleeve in your size!


To make pieces A and B longer, place them above the fabric//shirt and measure the length you decide to add from the bottom edge of the pattern piece toward the bottom of the fabric//shirt.

Instead of the tie or the ribbon originally included in the OneCardigan pattern, I used the drawstring that came with the sweatshirt pants: “use what you’ve got” is my mantra!
Treat the drawstring exactly as you would do with a ribbon, following the original pattern instructions.


Mark down (onto the paper pattern piece) the length you are adding, so you’re sure to make them even (you need to add the same length to the 4 front bodice pieces and top the back pieces, on both lining and main fabrics, parallel to the bottom edge of the pattern piece).


To get more fabric out of my recycled pants, I prefer to start cutting them along crotch seams and inside leg seams.
Laying them flat above the sewing table allows me to better judge how much fabric I have and I can better control grainlines (which are important also when refashioning).


Place paper pattern pieces on top of the pants. Remember to add length at the bottom and to cut 2 mirrored pieces !


If you, like me, don’t have enough fabric to cut the back bodice piece on fold, cut it in two pieces! But remember to add 1 cm (3/8”) along the center back seam!

As you can see I had to include a small graphic into one of the back pieces: I was able to keep it into the seam allowances, so it won’t show into the outside of the finished OneCardigan!


This is what you should have now:


The collar I am reusing was slightly longer than the neckline.
I decided to gently ruffly it to add interest.
To do that I ran a basting stitch along the opened curved side (see the dotted red line?), then gathered, pulling the bobbin thread.


To attach it to the bodice, I followed the pattern instructions given for the hooded version, aligning the collar ends to the ends of the neckline instead of to the center front markings.


Here’s the collar fully basted to the outside layer of the bodice:


Add the lining along the neckline and vertical front seam, following the original pattern instructions.
To hem the OneCardigan without the petal skirt, simply run a seam along the bottom hem of the bodice pieces, placing main and lining fabrics right sides facing.
When you’re done, trim off the corner on front to reduce bulk when you turn it right side out. Reduce seam allowances around the upper rounded corner and clip any other curves.



Having a black and gold lining, I thought it was fun if I let it peek out, for a faux piping effect. Do so that I left it out just a smidge toward the outside, along the edges, then I steam pressed (using a press cloth and a clapper) them in place, to have a crisp and sharp edge.

It’s starting to look like a real cardigan, isn’t it?


Close one of the side seams, right sides together, in one only long seam starting from the lining underarm, ending to the outside fabric underarm, matching the seam you’ll meet around the half-point.

Take it slowly, stop and re-align the fabric if you need to: it will be perfect, at the end!
Just double check you’re not catching your tie/string into your seams!
Press seam open, then press the bottom hem. Repeat for the other side seam.



I would suggest you baste together the two layers of fabrics around each armhole, wrong sides together, to ensure you catch all the layers when you attach the sleeves in the last step.
To do that, align the raw edges and stitch them inside the seam allowances.


Take one sleeve and place it next to one of the armholes, exactly where it will be once stitched in place.


Slip your hand inside the armhole, from the inside of the cardigan. Grab the sleeve and place it inside the armhole, matching:
–    shoulder seams (on both layers) to center of the sleeve head
–    underarm seam to side seams (on both layers)

Align the raw edges and stitch together, then finish the edges with a zig-zag stitch or a serger.


And you’re done!


Now that you’ve learned how to hack your OneCardigan, you should try shopping in your closet searching for a couple of garments to be refashioned…

Give a new life to your pre-loved clothes, it’s fun, it costs nothing and can be a great way to try a pattern style before you cut precious fabric, just to see if you like it.

We did it for this refashioned OneCardigan and we’re absolutely loving the result!

Hugs from Italy, Irene


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