Zippy Pouch Along – are you in?!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

So, when I launched the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch, I asked if there would be interested in a sew-along and there were lots of ‘Yes’s’! It’s always fun to sew with others, isn’t it?!

So many of you loved the little macaron zip pull I made that I spoke with the lovely Lisa at Rose Garden Patchwork and she has very kindly agreed to sponsor the sew-along with a fantastic bundle of fabrics, pincushion and tulip needles, all pictured below. It’s a fabulous prize! The winner will be picked at random and announced on the 4th December. To be eligible you must follow @rosegardenpatchwork on Instagram and have sewn a pouch since the pattern launch in October.

So, how will the Zippy Pouch Along work?

You will need to get yourself a copy of the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch pattern, decide which size pouch you would like to make and then chose fabrics and zips. You will also need some interfacing and (fusible) wadding. However, if you don’t have any fusible wadding to hand, I have found that if you interface the fabric for the front of the pouch and then quilt it, it will have the same structure. Other handy notions to have are a fabric pen, wonder clips, ruler and pins.

(Not So) Little Zippy Pouch Along, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I will be making a zippy pouch with you, guiding you through the steps which can be a bit tricky and also passing on some tips. The instructions are the same for each bag, so you can make either size (or two, if you’re feeling particularly productive!), maybe a good way of getting some Christmas presents done?! To follow along with everyone’s progress, I have created a new hashtag for this sew-along on Instagram – the #zippypouchalong.

We will start putting the bag together next week, which gives you the weekend to start choosing fabrics and cutting out the pieces! The pattern includes instructions for the measurements needed to make a contrast pouch base. However, you could use some precious scraps to make a patchwork version, add a feature strip across the side or even add applique……so many options! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Zippy Pouch Along Timings;

You can pick up a copy of the pattern here, and don’t forget to follow @fabricandflowers and @rosegardenpatchwork and use the hashtag #zippypouchalong so that I can see all the fabulous pouches that you’re making!

Looking forward to sewing along with you over the next couple of weeks!

S x

Today’s sky::: grey and miserable. Again!

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To check out my quilt and accessories patterns, visit my Pattern shop.

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New Pattern – The Little Zippy Pouch

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

Hellooooo! Well, that was a slightly longer than intended break! We had an early half term and since then I’ve been working away on my next pattern and I’m so excited to finally share it with you today!

If you’ve followed me for any time, you may remember that I designed the Little Zippy Pouch a few years back for Quilt Now, and then went on to tweak it slightly by showing you how to add zipper tabs. It’s been one of my most used pouches as it’s the perfect size to carry just enough hand-sewing around with me.

Over the years, people have asked if I would look to release the pattern and, after lots of testing and thinking about tweaks, I set too!

The Little Zippy Pouch pattern is now available and has been completely re-written. It includes more step-by-step pictures, how to add zipper tabs, an optional slip-pocket and also a bigger size (the Not So Little Zippy Pouch!) – two pouches in one pattern!

  • The Little Zippy Pouch                 8”    wide x 5” high x 3” deep
  • The Not So Little Zippy Pouch     9.5” wide x 7” high x 4” deep
New PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

It would make a great project bag for sewing, knitting or crochet. For one of my samples, I added a little lobster clip – ideal for keeping stitch markers to hand! And if waterproof fabrics were used, it could make a great make-up/toiletries bag in either size!

The pattern calls for fusible wadding for the outer panel – this is both for ease and also structure. However, if  you don’t have any to hand (I ran out from making all the samples!) I found that you can achieve exactly the same effect by ironing interfacing to the wrong side of the bag panel, and then layer it with wadding and quilt as normal.

PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

There are lots of options for playing with colour on these pouches – you can use a piece of feature fabric, applique or patchwork for the outside and then co-ordinating/fun fabric combinations on the inside for the lining and pockets. A great stash buster.

PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

You will need a couple of zips for this project – I can highly recommend this shop as they do a great range of colours in lots of different sizes (they used to send a colour code card through with your order) – the shipping is a bit pricey if you’re in the UK but I went half with a friend a few years back, bought a huge bundle of zips in lots of different colours and they’re only just starting to run out, so it worked out good value in the end!!!

New PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I really hope you enjoy making this – you can get the pattern here and if you would like some extra hints and tips then do check out the Zippy Pouch Along posts.

Speak soon, 

S x

Today’s sky::: raining and grey. And did I mention the rain?! Horrible weather!

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To check out my quilt and accessories patterns, visit my Pattern shop.

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New Pattern – The Flexi Tote

It’s taken a while, but I’m really excited to launch my latest pattern, the Flexi Tote!

PDF Sewing Pattern for DIY Small Tote. Add pockets or make with patchwork to make it your own. The Flexi Tote!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

I first made this bag last year as a Christmas present – my in-laws have a farm shop nearby that they pop too quite regularly for a few bits and pieces, and I wanted to make them something which would be tough, durable, reusable and not too big!

The first version I made (or the standard version, as I’ve called it in the pattern) is made using a heavy-weight fabric such as canvas, denim or upholstery weight fabric.

As a result, you don’t need to worry about adding interfacing for extra stability, making the tote that much quicker to make (always a good thing, in my eyes!), yet still tough and durable. And because there are only six pieces to the pattern it comes together really quickly!

The Flexi Tote PDF sewing pattern - a small tote that can be used for lunch, shopping or craft projects. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

As I worked on the pattern though, it struck me just how many different ways it could be adapted – the perfect bag to DIY: make a patchwork version with lining,  add slip pockets on the inside, a contrast hem or even include a zip top – in combination with Insulbrite wadding, it would make a great lunch bag!

My personal favourite combination so far is a denim/heavyweight fabric for the gusset and patchwork sides…….linings and pockets a bonus depending on what I want to use it for!!!

The Flexi Tote PDF sewing pattern - a small tote that can be adapted to use for lunch, shopping or craft projects. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

The finished bag measures 10.5″ wide x 9″ tall (excluding handles) x 6.5″ deep – a good size for carrying the essentials, or even making it a great project bag for whatever knitting or crochet you happen to be working on!

The Flexi Tote PDF sewing pattern - a small tote that can be adapted to use for lunch, shopping or craft projects. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I’ve worked really hard to make the pattern easy to follow and adapt to make YOUR perfect bag and have been blown away by the different versions that my testers have made!

The Flexi Tote PDF sewing pattern - a small tote that can be used for lunch, shopping or craft projects. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
The Flexi Tote PDF sewing pattern - a small tote that can be used for lunch, shopping or craft projects. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Flexi Tote Pattern Details

  • Finished Size: 10.5″ wide x 9″ tall (excluding handles) x 6.5″ deep.
  • Fabric Requirements: 1/2m for the standard version.
  • Pattern: available as a PDF instant download with 23 pages and over 50 step-by-step instructions to create 3 different versions of the tote.

If you’d like to make your own Flexi Tote, please visit my pattern shop to find the pattern and let me know if you make one. Use the tag #flexitote so that I can find it on Instagram, I’d love to see how you adapt it!

Thanks for popping by,

S x

Today’s sky::: bright blue with a chill in the air and gorgeous coloured leaves on the trees. I love autumn!

If you would like monthly news and updates, please sign-up to my newsletter.
To check out my quilt and accessories patterns, visit my Pattern shop.

For my favourite sewing equipment and tools, visit my Amazon store.

The Flexi Tote PDF sewing pattern - a small tote that can be used for lunch, shopping or craft projects. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

New Pattern – Big Pocket Advent Calendar

Today I thought it would be good fun to share my Big Pocket Advent Calendar sewing pattern with you……talking about it in September seems a little soon, but I’ve seen Christmas Cards in the shop so I guess that almost makes it okay?!

The Big Pocket Advent Calendar sewing pattern with pockets big enough to hold treats for the whole family by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

This pattern had been simmering in my mind for a little while to be honest. For years, I’ve been looking at the advent calendar panels that you can buy – they’re all so lovely and they look like the start of a fun family tradition….. But! I never fancied making three. Let alone have the wall space to hang them all!

The pockets were never quite big enough to squeeze enough in to get away with making just the one and as Boy 1 is allergic to dairy, I wanted to be able to squeeze in alternative treats too – the only option was to DIY my own Advent Calendar!

The Big Pocket Advent Calendar sewing pattern with pockets big enough to hold treats for the whole family by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Last year, I finally managed to carve out some time to create a pattern and so the Big Pocket Advent Calendar was born!

The Big Pocket Advent Calendar sewing pattern with pockets big enough to hold treats for the whole family by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

The pockets are big enough to fit three packets of Haribo! It’s designed so that the sides of the pockets expand which means you can fit some generous size chocolates or small gifts, if you so wish (last year I managed to squeeze in three pairs of socks, but it was quite tight and seeing that my kids feet keep on growing, I don’t think that will be happening this year!!!).

The bit I love about making my own advent calendar is personalising it. I used a couple of different coloured sets of iron-on felt numbers with a glittery felt background and some hand stitching.

There are so many different options though! Would you like to see some of the lovely things I found?! For something completely different, how about these Metal Number Tokens which I think would look amazing sewn on to each pocket for a vintage/steampunk look.

The iron-on luggage labels are an alternative to normal numbers and I especially love those wooden tags for a more shabby-chic style advent calendar – I think they would look fab sewn to the front of each pocket. Or you could hand embroider or applique the numbers or pictures on. The possibilities are endless!

The Big Pocket Advent Calendar sewing pattern with pockets big enough to hold treats for the whole family by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

The advent calendar finishes at 20″ wide by 44″ deep. I included tabs so that it could be hung from a thin branch of some sort – I was definitely going for a Scandi look when I made this version! – and it hangs nicely on the back of the under-cupboard stairs door that we have.

The Big Pocket Advent Calendar sewing pattern with pockets big enough to hold treats for the whole family by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Here’s another version of the calendar that Rebecca at Green & Bell made – I love how she has made it so bright and modern and added more trees at the top! You could even add different pictures, ‘Merry Christmas’ or your family name?!

If you would like to make your own version of the advent calendar, please visit my shop here to buy a download of the pattern. And if you do make one, don’t forget to tag it #bigpocketadventcalendar so that I can see it!

Back soon, 

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast and grey. Meh!

If you would like monthly news and updates, please sign-up to my newsletter.
To check out my quilt and accessories patterns, visit my Pattern shop.

For my favourite sewing equipment and tools, visit my Amazon store.

Make a Big Pocket Advent Calendar for the whole family - sewing pattern that can be personalised and used year after year

Candy Swirls quilt and mini

A while ago now I finished a quilt which I’ve been itching to show to you, and today is finally the day!

Candy Swirls quilt in Love, Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 64 by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

A few years ago, I made a cushion for Fat Quarterly magazine using Gardenvale fabrics. Trying to channel my inner Jen Kingwell (!) and with the theme being curves, I played around with Drunkards Path block, splitting the quarter circle with a curve and called it the Drunkards Wheel. I had lots of fun making the cushion, and playing with how the block could be tessellated in different ways to create new patterns but then…..life! It’s been in the back of my mind for a while now and earlier this year, I decided to pick it back up and Do Something With It.

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I found a lovely UK based company who could make the templates for me – which makes the whole cutting process soooooo much easier! – and set about writing instructions, finding packaging and everything. It was quite confusing and exhausting at times!

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

The templates are a transparent blue to help you locate them on your desk (or maybe it’s just me that loses them?!) but still fussy-cut fabric if you desire. There are five pieces – the traditional Drunkards Path pieces, and the Drunkards Wheel sections as well as a little cut-out for making applique circles (these pieces can create fabulous flowers!). They come in a cardboard box – which will arrive with you in a cardboard envelope – so that you have somewhere to keep and store your templates together when they are not in use. The sets can be purchased in my Etsy shop here.

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I really believe that everyone can sew curves – it seems scary, but I promise it’s really not! There are so many different techniques to try to find the ones that work best for you……before you know it, you’ll be sewing curves without thinking about it!

To help with this, I have included a number of tips to help you find what technique works best for you – there are so many and I would love to hear from anyone who has any others!

Within the instruction leaflet, I have included some of the different ways in which the templates can be arranged. I have also created a downloadable booklet with larger layouts so that you can plan which size quilt you would like to make and calculate fabric quantities.

If you would like to make your own Candy Swirls Quilt – or experiment with sewing curves – there is a special offer in Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 64 for a discount on the template set, which you can buy here.

Drunkards Path & Drunkards Wheel template set by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I’m looking forward to sharing more projects with you over the coming months, every time I sit down to play with the layout drawings I come up with lots of different patterns. It’s never ending!

And finally, I’ve been wondering if anyone would be interested in a sew along for the Drunkards Wheel? If there’s enough interest then I could look to put something together, although it probably wouldn’t be until September when the kids are back at school!

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast, grey and raining. Yuk!