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How to sew . . . a shirt sleeve cuff

How to sew a shirt sleeve cuff

Toni-Maree from Bobbins & Co is back today to share an alternate method for sewing the cuff on the Archie Shirt (by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns from Issue 6 of One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine).

This method can also be used to sew cuffs on other shirts.

Sewing cuffs is one of those techniques that once you find the method that works for you you’ll be all set! Sometimes it takes trying out a few different tutes/patterns to find the one that’s right for you.  So in the hopes that this method is the one that gives you your “eureka” moment lets jump right in!

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 1

  1. Iron your cuff piece in half and then on one side, pre-iron the 1cm seam allowance to the wrong side.

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 2

2. Sew the un-ironed side of the cuff, right sides together, to the bottom of the sleeve.

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 3

3.  Fold the cuff in half, the wrong way, so that the right sides of the cuff are facing.

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 4

4. Sew the ends of the cuff shut. Make sure your seam aligns with the edge of the placket.

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 5

5. Turn the cuff right side out, press. Secure the unsewn part in place with glue or pins.

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 6

6. Top stitch the cuff from the right side.

Alternate cuff method for the Archie Shirt 7

7.Finished 🙂

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How to sew . . . A Two Piece Collar

How to sew a two piece collar

Toni-Maree from Bobbins & Co is back today to share an alternate method for sewing the collar on the Archie Shirt (by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns from Issue 6 of One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine).

This method can also be used to sew two piece collars on other shirts.

Sewing two piece collars is one of those techniques that once you find the method that works for you you’ll be all set! Sometimes it takes trying out a few different tutes/patterns to find the one that’s right for you.  So in the hopes that this method is the one that gives you your “eureka” moment lets jump right in!

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 1

1. Follow the Archie Shirt pattern up to step 25 to partially assemble your shirt. Interface your collar pieces ready to sew. As in step 25 of the Archie pattern, make sure you have trimmed the under collar piece.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 2

2. Align one short end of the collar and sew.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 3

3. Realign the other end of the collar and sew the second short end. The collar will buckle slightly on one side due to the difference in lengths.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 4

4. Fold the two seam allowances to the inside and press.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 5

5. Sew the top seam of the collar, and trim the corners.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 6

6. Turn right sides out and press. Top stitch the collar.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 7

7. Take your outer collar stand and align right sides together with the neck of your shirt. The seam allowance should stick out at both ends.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 8

8. Sew to the neck of the shirt. This is the trickiest part and I find it easier to sew with the shirt on top, slowly realigning the seam as you go.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 9

9. Take your collar and baste the unsewn edge to the top of the outer collar stand, making sure the right side is facing up as shown in the picture. Check that the collar is evenly placed on each side of the stand.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 10

10. Once you have finished basting, double check that the under collar is facing the right way.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 11

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 12

11. Align the inner collar stand piece on top of the outer collar stand, right sides together, sandwiching the collar inside.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 13

12. Sew the top seam of the collar stand together. At the beginning and end, make sure to fold up the seam allowance at the bottom of the stand to match the other side. You can sew directionally as in step 34 of the pattern if you like. Use the edges of the button stand as a guide to ensure the collar stand curve finishes in the right place.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 14

13. Trim and clip the seam allowances, especially at the curves. Turn the collar stand right sides out and press. Press the final edge of the inner collar stand under to just cover the neck seam line. Glue, pin or hand baste in place.

Alternative Collar Method for the Archie Shirt 15

14. Top stitch the collar stand in place from the right side of the shirt to close the final neck seam.

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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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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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A Refashion Primer

Today’s blog guest is Irene from Serger Pepper.  She’s sharing with us a beginners guide to the Refashion Movement! On Wednesday we’ll have an interview with Irene and then on Friday she’ll be back sharing with us a Refashioned version of the One Cardigan!

If you love to sew (and, if you’re reading this, you probably do!), you know how costly this “hobby” can be: you start with a trip to the fabric store “just to grab that half a metre of fabric I need to finish my project” and you come out with a ton of cuts labelled “for sale” or “by weight” that you *REALLY* couldn’t leave there, real bargains… and a much lighter wallet (sometimes without even finding the original half metre you were searching for…). Let alone all those trims, and pom-pom, ric-racs, too-cute-buttons…. oooh! I can’t leave this shop without a handful of lacey exposed zippers! (I know you can figure it out!) Now: do we really need that? Short answer is no. Really? I *NEED* to sew cute things! But hubby is right: we can’t afford a fabric shop bill higher than the groceries one! We must do something!

Enter: Refashion!

When you have a tight budget, like me, you start looking at things from a different perspective, if you still want to be able to do what you really love: sewing. Serger Pepper - A Refashion Primer You start looking at different fabric sources and you think that, maybe, even haberdashery items can be found elsewhere than that cuuute shop right down the street. Ok, but where?

First place to look into is your closet

If you are like me, you are actually wearing half (who am I kidding? More likely 1/4) of your garments.The other ones are

  • too short
  • too long
  • too wide
  • the right colour but the wrong shape
  • the right shape but an awful print
  • … I think you get it!

Ask relatives and friends

See above! Their closets will certainly contain the same amount of “wrong” and unused clothes… Do raid them!

Thrifty shops / garage sales

Another great source for great pieces you can re-use. You can usually get vintage fabrics there, but also curtains, bed sheets and table-clothes, usually hidden because “no one really wants them!”… you’ll get them for a fraction of their original cost 😉 But, if you want to go one step further, you may want to “shop” your thrifty clothes not only for their fabric, but for details too. Let me elaborate, before you think I’m crazy: if you find an awesome XXL coat, full of wonderful buttons, and/or zippers and, maybe, a colourful lining and a warm underlining… wouldn’t you think you won the thrifty-shop lottery? Or maybe you spot a threadbare bag, with holes in the pockets, but still with perfect leather handles and completely un-damaged hardware… can you spot the deal? Grab the seam ripper! Sometimes you can find a huge jersey maxi-dress, with the fullest skirt you’ve ever seen: would you wear it? Probably not! Would you rip it and reuse all that hem? I know I would do that right now! There’s nothing like jersey already hemmed! You know: every little detail can save yourself some work, your wallet some money and Mother Earth some trash… it all helps 😉

Since I’m a great fan of the refashion movement, I’d love to share with you some of my favorite creations refashions, all blogged at Serger Pepper:

Serger Pepper - Posh Beach Robe - FREE pattern in 6 sizes serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY Serger Pepper - Refashion Tutorial - Bubble Romper - Title Serger-Pepper-Black-Cat-Hat-sewing-FREE-pattern (29) Lovely Panties

If you are Pinterest addicted appreciate Pinterest like me, you may want to pin with us at the “Refashion Obsession Mood Board”.

That’s it for today, see you later this week, when I will share with you a refashioned version of the OneCardigan!

Hugs from Italy, Irene Serger Pepper

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