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Hand-sewing “First Timers” Sew Along

I have a confession …

. . . I sew most of the samples for our photo shoots . . . BUT if its a hand sewing sample you can guarantee I haven’t sewn it!

I like the IDEA of hand sewing …

. . . Sewing you can do at netball practice

or while waiting for school pick-ups

or while watching Frozen for the 4 billionth time

or while you’re on holidays and away from your sewing machine, what’s not to love?!

But somewhere between recognising its a good idea and actually completing a project I chicken out!

Which brings me to this challenge . . .

Join us for a handsewing first timers sew along

Alicia from Felt with Love Designs hand sews the most amazing things! She’s offered to help me through sewing the Pretend Play Adventure Kit!

If you’ve been planning to give hand-sewing a go “someday”, or always wanted to complete the Pretend Play Adventure Kit but needed a little hand-holding I would absolutely LOVE to have you join me!  We can learn together!

If you’re a hand sewing aficionado who gets excited about mentoring newbies through their first hand sewing project, we’d love to have you along too!

How will it work?
1) Join the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts group on facebook.
2) Get your copy of the Pretend Play Adventure Kit as a stand alone here or in Issue 10 here.
3) Drop by the group each day to see which steps we’re doing, read Alicia’s extra tips/explanation for beginners, ask questions and share your WIP.  Search the #pretendplaysewalong

When is it?
Things will kick off “officially” on Thursday 21st April, but there’ll be some preparatory information tomorrow to help you with choosing and cutting your felt.

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask – either comment below or send me an email.  I’m a big fan of questions because they help me learn too!

Hope to see you there.

Happy Sewing


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How to add a zipper pull to continuous zipper tape

how to add a zipper pull to continuous zipper tape

Today’s blog post is a quick one.  Sarah from Hunting for Ladybugs is sharing with us the “How to” for adding a zipper pull to continuous zipper tape.  Click below to watch her video!


You’ll use this when sewing the Clubhouse Cushion pattern in Issue 10.

It’d also be handy if you wanted to make your own zippers custom length or custom colour using continuous zipper tape!


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Trouble shooting Knit with Nikki from Bubby and me

Nikki Marsh - Bubby & Me Designs

Today we have a guest blogger – Nikki from Bubby and Me Creations.  Nikki has contributed the Willow Dress to Issue 10.  Nikki also contributed the Penny dress to Issue 6 and guest blogged about sewing a facing to a sleeveless bodice back in 2015.  Today Nikki is going to share her troubleshooting tips for sewing with knit fabric.


Sewing with knit fabric - troubleshooting skipped stitches-01

I am definitely no expert when it comes to sewing with knit fabric.  I feel I learn something new with every garment I make and it’s usually through trial and error!  But it’s not just using knit fabric it’s also learning how my sewing machine handles knit fabric.

I have a sewing/embroidery machine and up to this point, it’s been amazing.  Can’t complain.  But once I started to make items using knit fabric I started to experience some issues that have made me realize that I can’t just turn my machine on and expect it to sew perfectly.

So here a few tips that I have learned that work for me and hopefully, will work for you too!

I have found that it’s really important to use good quality thread especially when using a stretch stitch.  In my experience, my machine shreds the cheapy thread causing it to break constantly.  I use Gutermann but I also know many people recommend Rasant as well.

Another issue that has driven me bananas is skipped stitching particularly when twin needle stitching.  To date, I have not been able to get this right on my whiz bang sewing machine, but it’s no issue on my good ol’ trusty back up machine which is as basic as basic comes.  But I’ve also experienced skipped stitches when sewing with the stretch stitch and when using a gathering stitch (which you need in STEP 1 of the Willow Dress pattern).

To fix the skipped stitches on the stretch stitch setting, I make sure I am using good quality thread including in my bobbin.  Make sure you are using the correct size sewing needle (obviously a stretch needle) and then I slow my stitching right down.  It might take a little longer, but I find this works best for me.

And for the issue of skipped gathering stitches, I found this worked a treat.  In STEP 1 of making the Willow Dress, you need to stitch a gathering stitch along the edge of the ruffles.  But my gathering stitch kept skipping.  So after a quick Google search, I found the issue I was having was referred to as “fabric flagging” which is the fabric bouncing up and down as you sew.  There are a couple of ways to fix this and this one worked for me.

My machine needle is automatically set to the centre of the sewing foot.  When the needle goes through the fabric, it’s causing the fabric to “bounce” and the stitching is skipping.

Troubleshooting knit sewing image 1

By moving the needle position to the far left, which gave it a bit more stability, my stitching worked and there was no skipping.

Troubleshooting knit sewing image 2

So that’s what worked for me.  If you’ve experienced these issues, hopefully these suggestions might work for you too.

Willow Dress Stand Alone Cover from One Thimble Issue 10 You can purchase Nikki’s pattern for the Willow Dress as a single pattern HERE  or Purchase Issue 10 which contains this pattern HERE.

If you want to find out more about Nikki you can read my interview with her HERE or visit Nikki’s website to find out more about her other patterns HERE.

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How to install push locks

You’re looking forward to sewing a new bag pattern.  You can even imagine how wonderful the finished project is going to look, but then you see the hardware requirements.

Push Locks and you get scared …

Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia

But there’s no need to pack up your interfacing and fabric scissors Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia is guest blogging for us today and sharing a brilliant “How to for installing Push Locks”.

Push Locks are also known as Thumb Locks or Tongue Locks.


How to install Push Locks Guest Blog Post by Handbag Hardware Australia

How to Install Push Locks
Anatomy of a pushlock Requirements:
Push Lock kit
Sharp ended scissors
Hammer & 2mm hole punch
Marking Pen
Phillips Head Screw Driver – small

Mark your Push Lock Placement

Step 1: Using the pattern as your placement guide mark the four prongs of the backing plate onto the fabric.  Then using your sharp ended scissors or quick unpick cut along these lines to create prong slits.

Insert your Push Lock

Step 2: Insert the backing plate prongs through the slits created.

Fold the backing plate prongs into place

Step 3: Fold the backing plate prongs over the mesh/washer to secure.

Position and mark your push lock

Step 4: Place your push lock into position and mark where the screw holes are.  Using your 2mm hole punch or sharp point scissors create the holes ready to attach your push lock into place.

Secure the pushlock in place

Step 5: Using your Phillips Head screwdriver secure the push lock onto the fabric.

Completed Push Lock Installation

Congratulations – you’ve installed your Push Lock!

Adventure Case Stand Alone Cover from One Thimble issue 10

Keen to try out your new Push Lock skills?

Check out the Adventure Case pattern by Emkie Designs in One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine Issue 10.

Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia offers a hardware kit for this pattern that you can find HERE.

And for all your Handbag Hardware needs be sure to visit Kylie at Handbag Hardware Australia.

Handbag Hardware Australia

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Edge Stitching feet

Do you ever look at finished garments and think, “How the heck did you get that topstitching so straight”?

… If you don’t ever think that, then you probably already own one of these feet!

Tips & Techniques - Using special feet to help you sew straight


I’m lucky enough to have two sewing machines.  

my sewing machines

Bernie (Bernina activa 230 PE) on the left and Jan (Janome DC2050) my new back up machine on the right.  I got Jan at the start of the year when Bernie was in for a service.  Issue 6 was about to come out and the thought of being without a sewing machine that close to a release was giving me palpitations!  

This blog post will cover the feet I use for topstitching on these two machines.


I’m a bit of a sewing machine foot addict! When I first started sewing I brought a heap of extra feet for my sewing machine.

Some I never use – sorry Ruffler, but others like my rolled hem foot and edge stitch foot I use almost every time I sew.

Bernina Foot 5

My #5 foot for my Bernina is my #1 favourite sewing machine foot ever!!!!  I LOVE this foot!

I’ve been calling this foot my “Edge Stitch Foot”, but when I was researching this blog post I discovered that its actually called a “Blindstitch foot”.

The funniest thing about that is, I’ve never thought to use it when sewing a blindstitch hem – I’ll have to give it a go!

#5 and #10 Bernina Feet and the difference

***EDIT – Brooke from Bug and Miss has both the #5 (Blindstitch Foot) and #10 (Actual Edge Stitch Foot) – she very helpfully sent me through a picture of the two and now I definitely need a #10 foot for my birthday – it looks even better than #5 for edge stitching …





Bernina foot 5 in action

I sort of assumed everyone knew about this foot until I posted the picture above on social media and had a heap of people ask me what foot it was and how to use it!

It is seriously the easiest thing in the world to use this foot for topstitching.

  1. Butt the blade that runs down the centre of the foot up against the edge of the fabric.
  2. Move the needle position to the left or the right depending on where you’d like your topstitching to be.
  3. Sew your line of stitching while keeping the fabric butted up against that blade.
  4. Done!

Janome Edge Guide Foot

The first extra foot I got to go with my Janome was the “Edge Guide Foot”.

It’s really easy to use too!

  1. Use the little screw on the right of the foot to move the position of the plastic guide.
  2. Butt the plastic guide up against your fabric.
  3. Sew your line of stitching while keeping the fabric butted up against that blade.
  4. Done!


If you have a Bernina or a Janome sewing machine and don’t own one of these feet, then I highly recommend that you buy one.  They’ll make topstitching so much easier!

Have you got a different machine?  Do you have a different edgestitching foot you use?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on using special feet to help you sew straight!


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