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Hoya Dress Cheetah Pocket Hack by Élégantine

Hi there! This is Valerie from Élégantine! and I am here today to share with you how I hacked the patch pocket of the Hoya dress from Issue 11 into a cheetah pocket!


I originally sewed this dress while testing the pattern last February, when winter was at its peak in Canada! Can you tell that I was dreaming of summer?  Gold fabrics, gold buttons, glitter gold heat transfer and gold sequins! The oversize patch pocket of the design was the perfect scale for a little applique fun. I did cheetah pockets on this dress, but really, the possibilities are infinite!

Photo2 Supplies Elegantine

Fabrics and Supplies: These are the fabrics that I used, but you could substitute all the fabrics to create something completely different and just as fun!

  • You will need all the regular free motion applique supplies:
  • Heat n’ Bond Light (or a sewable spray adhesive such as 505. If you decide not to use Heat n’ Bond Light, you will need to put Fray Check to keep the raw edges from fraying).
  • Free motion foot
  • Medium weight embroidery stabilizer
  • Thread! Basically, free motion sewing is like drawing with thread on a piece of fabric. You will want to choose a color of thread that won’t get lost in the details. Black is the most common used thread color because it resembles a real drawing.
  • Cheetah print Fabric: I used Cheetah Gold Standard/ Simply Sterling designed by Maria Kalinoieski for Kanvas with ©Bernatex, but any cheetah print will do.
  • Lining Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold
  • Contrast Fabrics: scraps of Michael Miller Cotton Couture in White and Black
  • Nose: a scrap of Glitter Iron-on (I used Cricut, but any glitter heat transfer material will do). Alternately, you could also use a piece of fabric for the nose applique.
  • Sequins, seed beads and a beading needle

Photo 4 Elegantine

Pattern Pieces

Download your pocket/applique pattern pieces HERE -> Hoya Dress Cheetah Pocket Hack by Élégantine

Cutting Instructions

The pocket pattern pieces (head and ear) include a ¼ inch seam allowance. The applique templates don’t include a seam allowance and are intended that way.

You will cut:

  • 2x Heads (1 x main fabric and 1 x lining fabric)
  • 2x pairs of ears, mirrored (2 x main fabric and 2 x lining fabric)
  • 1x Jowls
  • 1x nose
  • 2x Eye whites
  • 2x Dark of eyes

Photo3 Cutting Elegantine

Now let’s get started!

Step 1: Iron all the appliques on the main fabric pocket piece to create a Cheetah Face.  Alternatively, you could use a sewable spray adhesive.

Step 1 Elegantine

Step2. Transfer the mouth detail on the face with an erasable fabric marker or chalk.  Free motion sew on all the inner details and inner outlines making sure to leave an ¼ inch blank space all around for the seam allowance.

Step 2 Elegantine

Step 3. Pin both pairs of ears with the ears lining right sides together and stitch using a ¼ seam allowance.  Clip the curve use pinking shears all around the ears.

Step 3 Elegantine

Step 4. Turn right side out and press.

Step 4 Elegantine

Step 5. Make a little snip of about 1/8” long on the raw edges of the ears. This will help match the curve of the rounded pocket and the ears will lay flat once the pocket is assembled.

Step 5 Elegantine

Step 6. Fold the pocket piece in half and press to mark the center.  On the top of the head, 1 inch from each side of the crease, align the raw edges of the ears right side to right side with the head.  Spread the ears following the curve on the head using the little snips at the base of the ears. Stitch using a ¼ seam allowance.

Step 6 Elegantine

Step 7. Place the pocket lining on top, right side to right side, and stitch all around leaving a 1.5 inch gap in the bottom to turn it the right way out.

Step 7 Elegantine

Step 8. Clip into the seam allowance all around the pocket (leaving the unstitched part unclipped) or use pinking shears.

Step 8 Elegantine

Step 9. Turn the pocket right side out.

Step 9. Elegantine

Step 10. Fold the 1.5 inch opening inside following the curve of the pocket and press.

Step 10 Elegantine

Step 11. Topstitch the top of the pocket starting in the middle of an ear to the middle of the other one.

Step 11 Elegantine

Step 12. Pin the head on the side seam of the skirt and finish topstitching all around the pocket.

Step 12 Elegantine

Step 13. Sequins: Starting at the base of an ear, pull your thread through the back, sew on a sequin from the back, through a seed bead, back into the sequin and into the fabric. The seed bead will hold the sequin in place on the ear. Continue to sew sequins every ¼ inch this way all around the ear.

Step 13

Note: Step 12 shows a photo of the pocket with the sequins already sewn on. But the sequins were sewed after topstitching. I did not sew a complete new garment for this tutorial since the dress still fits my daughter perfectly! I used the finished garment for some photos.

Sequins are of course optional, but they add a little glam to the garment that my kid loves… and let’s face it, I love it too!!

Photo 5 Elegantine

Valerie from Élégantine!

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Crafty Mamas Fabrics and One Thimble – Design an outfit competition

I’m so excited to have joined with Crafty Mamas Fabric for a super fun design competition.  Get your thinking caps on and your creative juices flowing for your chance to win one of three prizes from Crafty Mamas Fabrics and One Thimble.

To enter all you need to do is show, or tell us, your dream outfit using a One Thimble pattern and a Crafty Mamas Fabrics fabric.

One Thimble and Crafty Mamas Design Competition Flyer-01

The Prizes:

First Prize:
$100 Happy Happy Joy Joy fabric pack from Crafty Mamas Fabrics AND a 12 month subscription to One Thimble.

Second Prize:
$100 Happy Happy Joy Joy fabric pack from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.

Third Prize:
6 month subscription to One Thimble.

The Fine Print:

  1. Entry only open to Australian residents.
  2. Your entry must include a pattern from any issue of One Thimble and a fabric stocked by Crafty Mamas Fabrics.
  3. You can choose to “show” (eg draw / collage / be creative) or “tell” (eg write a story / poem / describe) us which pattern (from One Thimble) and which fabric (from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) you’d use in your dream outfit.
  4. Your entry must be your own original work.
  5. You may enter as many times as you like.
  6. Email your entry (Attach a photograph or include text in the email body) to by 8am QLD time 24th June 2016.
  7. Entries will be displayed in an album on the One Thimble facebook page.  They may also be shared on other social media platforms by One Thimble and Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  By entering you give permission for your entry to be shared.
  8. The winner will be chosen by a judging panel.  The most creative entry as chosen by the judging panel will win.  The judging panel’s decision is final.  Chance plays no part in this competition.
  9. The winners will be advised by email by 27th June 2016.


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Upcycling fabrics

Have you ever wandered round and round the fabric store and not found the perfect fabric for a project . . . only to have the ideal fabric pretty much jump out at you somewhere unexpected?

This was me looking for the fabric for the Marty Hoodie for the cover of Issue 11.  In the end I sewed this Marty Hoodie using some knit I had on hand, an extra large mans tee, a pair of baby leggings and a toddler shirt!

Upcycling practical tip

Frankensteined Marty Hoodie

I’m definitely no expert at upcycling but I had so much fun doing it.  I wanted to share a few practical tips for sewing with upcycled clothing.  For plenty more ideas you definitely need to check out the article by Candice Ayala from issue 11 or this blog post by Irene from Serger Pepper.

Practical tips for upcycling:

  • When you’re combining different knit fabrics in a garment it’s important to check that the stretch of them is similar.  If you don’t do this you can end up with a finished garment that is too tight in some places and too loose in other places.  With the upcycled mans shirt I found there was a large variation in stretch between the ones I had.  I ended up using a different shirt to that I’d intended, as the stretch of the first shirt was so much more than the other pieces.
  • If you’re cutting pattern pieces in new spots (eg I cut the arm pieces in half) don’t forget to add your seam allowance to both sides of your new pieces.  For this hoodie I split the sleeves so I could have two different fabrics in them.  I added an extra 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance to the bottom of the top sleeve piece and an extra 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance to the top of the bottom sleeve piece.
  • I’m not great at visualising things, so I found it really helpful to lay out my hoodie and move the pieces around till I got the look I was happy with.

If you decide to upcycle some fabrics for your sewing projects I’d love to see! Come show me in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts group on Facebook!


Marty Hoody Stand Alone Cover You can purchase the pattern for The Marty Hoodie as a single PDF HERE or purchase Issue 11 which contains this pattern HERE.

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Make your own pre-quilted fabric

Have you ever looked at clothing made with pre-quilted fabric and thought … WOW … I’d love to get some pre-quilted fabric to play with!!!

… and then ended up getting distracted before it made it from your shopping cart to your sewing machine?

If you have, then this blog post is for you!

Make your own pre-quilted knit fabric


When I was playing with design ideas for the Marty Hoodie I tried out some ways to pre-quilt knit fabric and retain some stretch, using fabrics I had on hand.  This blog post will show you what I did and hopefully inspire you to bring some pre-quilted awesome into your next winter sewing project!

What fabrics to use:

The two fabrics I had, that I thought might be pretty good for this project were fleece (fluffy on both sides) and sweatshirt fleece (fluffy on one side).

I tried:

  • 2 layers of sweatshirt fleece – fluffy sides together
  • 1 layer of sweatshirt fleece – fluffy side against a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie
  • 1 layer of sweatshirt fleece – fluffy side away from a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.
  • 1 layer of fleece with a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.
  • 1 layer of fleece between two layers of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.

kt and the quilted pocket By far my favourite was the layer of fleece with a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.  Kt loves that it makes the inside of her kanga pocket fluffy and soft.






How to:

I used the same technique for all my combinations.  If you’ve got different fabrics to try, I’d still give this method a go.

Practice on scraps of your fabrics.  You need to find out whether your pre-quilted fabric will “shrink” after quilting and also how quilting will effect the stretch if you’re needing to retain the stretch.  This will help you choose what size pieces to start with.

  1. Place your layers wrong sides together.  If using 3 layers have the fluffiest layer in the middle.  You can pin or use wonderclips or basting spray as your would with a regular quilt if you would like.  I found that the pieces I was using kind of “stuck” together so I didn’t need to. Quilt your fabric image-01
  2. Mark stitching lines with chalk or fading pen on the right side of the jersey.  I had my lines about 25mm (1″) apart.
  3. Increase your stitch length (I increased mine to 4).  If you have a walking foot be sure to use it.
  4. Sew along the centre diagonal first – corner to corner then sew the other lines working from the centre out.
  5. When you’ve sewn all the lines in one direction turn your fabric around and do the ones that cross them.  Again start at the centre and work outwards.
  6. Cut your pattern piece from your pre-quilted fabric.  It might be a good idea to baste around the edges after cutting out your pattern piece.

Rag quilt sewn using the Threading Rainbows tutorial from issue 11

I’d really love to have a play to see if this same method would work with regular quilting fabrics (with no stretch).  I used fleece in my rag quilt (woven fabrics on either side with a layer of fleece in between) and it worked beautifully so I think fleece in the middle should work with woven fabrics also to make woven quilted fabric.

(Side note: I used the Threading Rainbow’s tutorial for making the Rag Quilt from issue 11 to make my Rag Quilt.  They also included a tutorial for using rag quilt panels in clothing in this issue – which is well worth a look!)

When researching this blog post, the other tutes I found for DIY pre-quilted fabric, used a layer of batting between two layers of cotton fabric.  So if fleece doesn’t give you the result you’re looking for then be sure to give batting a go.  If using batting you’d use the same method I have here.

Happy Sewing



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OT11 sneak peek

Not long now till you can get your hands on One Thimble Issue 11.  If you’d like to look inside One Thimble Issue 11 check out this flipbook!

New to One Thimble and wondering how it works?

One Thimble is a digital sewing magazine (e-zine).  It is delivered as a PDF file and you can flip through it like a magazine on your computer or tablet device.  Patterns can be printed out on a regular home computer and assembled as you would with a regular PDF pattern.

Purchasing an issue of One Thimble will get you two download links.  One is the link to the E-zine – it has the articles at the front and all the patterns and pattern pieces at the back.  You can print your pattern pieces from here and also follow the tutorials from here.  The second link is to a ZIP file with the stand alone patterns all seperate.  Some people prefer to only have a single pattern open when they’re sewing.  If that’s you then this is the download you’ll want when sewing.

If you have any other questions just send me through an email to

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