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Tutorial – fabric tassels!

Tutorial – fabric tassels!

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links. It will not cost you any money if you click on them and just means that I get a small commission for recommending it, which helps to keep the blog running. Thank you.

Hello! And a very Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2019 already? Honestly, I have no idea where the time is going! I have lots of things planned for the coming months but as today is the first day the kids are back at school – and I’m desperate to do some sewing – I thought I would kick off the New Year with a tutorial for making a fabric tassel zip pull, as I did for my Not So Little Zippy Pouch!

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I love using zip pulls as, for me, they somehow make a pouch look a bit more finished and a lot nicer to use! Previously, I’ve used colourful zip pulls like these on a sew together bag but didn’t have any left that were the right size or colour. Isn’t that the best thing about making things – you can customise them exactly how you want?! These little zip pulls are a great way of using up any fabric scraps that you have lying around, and only require a little bit of time, so great if you’re after a quick sewing fix!

Fabric Zip Tab Tassel

Materials Needed

  • 1 piece of fabric, 3/4″ wide by 2″ long for zipper pull tab
  • 1 piece of fabric, 4″ wide x 2″ high for fabric tassel
  • Needle & thread

Making the tassel

Taking the zipper pull tab, fold the fabric in half width-ways, wrong sides together. Finger press before folding the outside edges in towards the centre. Finger press again and keep in place with a couple of pins. Place a scrap piece of fabric under your machine needle – we are going to use this to help feed our tiny little zipper pull tab through the machine (these are sometimes called leaders/enders) as the fabric is so narrow it can easily be eaten by the machine/not feed through properly.

Complete a few stitches on the scrap piece of fabric, and stop just before you reach the end of the fabric. Lift the presser foot to place one end of the zipper tab pull under the piece of scrap fabric – I tried to line up the centre of the tab pull with the needle. Place the presser foot back down, and sewing slowly continue stitching – because the zipper tab is quite narrow, you may find that the scrap fabric moves and the zipper tab pull comes out from underneath. If this happens, lift the presser foot and re-arrange.

Take your zipper tab pull, and snipping off the scrap fabric, thread it through the end of your zipper pull. Set aside.

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

To make the tassel, take the remaining piece of fabric, fold one end in (wrong sides together) by 1/4″ to give a neat edge – this will be the end that you see on the tassel. Fold the piece of fabric in half wrong sides together, matching the long edges together. Finger press.

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Using a zig-zag stitch, stitch just in from the folded edge. Secure the stitches by the folded end and snip/bury the threads. Using scissors cut up to – but not through – the stitching line.

With needle and thread (I recommend poly-cotton doubled up as it is more resilient to sewing through all the layers!), press the zipper pull tab together and secure in place with a couple of stitches at the level where you would like to place the tassel – I went about 1/4″ down from the zip pull.

Secure the raw end of the tassel fabric to the zipper tab. To sew the fabric tassel in place, work around the zip tab, stitching every 1/8″ – 1/4″ – I stitch over the zig-zag stitch, going through as many layers as I can to secure them all together.

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Secure the end of the tassel in place. You will likely find that as you’ve been sewing the tassel in place, it will start to fray. You can leave it like this, or if you would like to help it along to looking more frayed, use a seam ripper tease out the threads.

It’s a fun little make, and a great way of using up scraps, but it led me to thinking, what about all the tiny little scraps that are left over?! The scraptastic tassel is stitched together in exactly the same way as the fabric tassel, it just starts off slightly differently!

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Scraptastic Tassel

  • 1 piece of fabric, 5″ wide x 1″ high for fabric tassel band
  • Variety of scraps, at least 4″ long (or double the length of tassel)
  • Needle & thread
  • (optional) Lobster Clasp – you can find similar here and here

Take the tassel band and fold it in half, matching the long edges together and finger press. Open out and place right side down. Taking the fabric scraps, place them on top of the tassel band, roughly centred. It doesn’t matter if they overlap each other, but leave a little of the band uncovered at one end, to fold under as we did for the fabric tassel above.

Stitch along the centre line to keep the fabrics in place. As for the fabric tassel, fold the uncovered end under for a neat finish, fold the fabric in half and zig-zag close to the folded edge (for this version, I wanted more of a band so stitched 1/2″ from the folded edge).

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

If there is any excess band fabric below the stitching, you can trim it up to the stitching line (these scissors are excellent for this job as the curved duck-bill blade helps to keep the fabric you don’t want to cut out of the way!!!). Depending on how wide the strips are, you may want to add some extra cuts up to, but not through, the stitching on the band to create a more tassel-y effect.

For this tassel, I also played with not having a zip pull tab in the centre. Instead, I stitch it together in the same way as the fabric tassel, before threading a darning needle with thin ribbon and looping it through a lobster clasp (you can find similar here and here) before threading each end through the centre of the tassel from the top to make it into a keyring. Turn the tassel upside down to knot the ribbon and trim the ends (if it’s a ribbon that frays, you may want to carefully seal the edges with a match!)

I didn’t fray this tassel as much but did use a pin to tease out a few threads along the edge of each strip. I threaded the ribbon through a swivel clip so that I could use this as a bag charm, or you could always make tassels to add to a zip at a later date?!

Tutorial - fabric tassel zip pull or charm by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Oh, and don’t forget, if you’re looking for another type of zipper-pull, then don’t forget to check out my tutorial for using mini macarons here!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial – if you make it, please do tag me in your make as I’d love to see it!

Back soon,

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast and grey

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Zippy Pouch Along – finishing up!

Hello! And welcome to the final post for the #zippypouchalong. There have been some wonderful (Not So) Little Zippy Pouches made over the past couple of weeks and I’ve loved seeing them pop up in my IG feed. 

I’ve been enjoying them so much, I thought you might like to see a little collage of some of them!

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

There are so many gorgeous versions – feature prints, beautiful foundation pieced flowers and lovely hexagons. Some have added handles which look great, and I especially love the double zipper that Lisa added to her pouch!

Finally, I’m really excited to announce that the (randomly selected!) winner of the lovely bundle of goodies from Rose Garden Patchwork is Sue (IG @room_to_sew). Congratulations!

If you’d like to look back over any of the posts, you can find the schedule here;

Thank you so much for following along with the #zippypouchalong – I hope you’ve had fun and been inspired by the lovely pouches that you’ve seen. If you enjoyed making this, please do check out my Etsy shop for more patterns or sign-up to my newsletter if you would like updates and news sent straight to your inbox.

See you soon,

S x

Today’s sky::: mostly grey and raining. Meh!

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 68

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Issue 68

I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally be able to share the Rainbow Twist quilt that I made for Love Patchwork & Quilting back in July!

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Its the biggest quilt I’ve ever made at 85″ square, and I had such fun choosing all the Kona colours to create an ombre effect – I used 27 in total!

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Rainbow Twist is based on a Drunkards Path block (I used my Drunkards Wheel template set, or you can use any 4.5″ set). As the pieces are so big, despite the size of the finished quilt, it does go together quickly. The trickiest bit is making sure that you keep all the colours in the right order! One of the things that I found helpful was to write the colour on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the top piece of each relevant pile (do check your own fabric before doing this to make sure it doesn’t mark – painters tape/washi tape would probably do the same thing!).

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Quilting wise, I had decided early on that I wanted to do 1″ lines in the background. It seemed a good idea, and I love the finished result…….BUT!!! Do you remember that heatwave we had? When it was so ridiculously hot that us Brits struggled to do anything? Yep, that’s when I was buried under this beast of a quilt!!!!! I may have questioned my sanity – and uttered a few unseemly words! – during the quilting process, but I am so glad I persevered! It is quilted entirely with Aurifil 50wt threads – I used the mid-tone of each colour and they blend in beautifully.

Rainbow Twist Quilt, Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 68, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I went for a face (or invisible) binding to finish the quilt. If you’ve never done one before, I can highly recommend Silly BooDilly’s tutorial. I also curved the edges on two corners to mimic the twist of the quilt, I am looking to add a tutorial to the blog for this over the next few days as it was such a fun technique to try and I’d love to share with you how I did this!

Back soon,

S x

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

Zippy Pouch Along – finishing the Zippy Pouch!

Zippy Pouch Along – finishing the Zippy Pouch!

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links. It will not cost you any money if you click on them and just means that I get a small commission for recommending it, which helps to keep the blog running. Thank you.

Hello! Are you ready for the finishing touches on your (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch?! The final step is adding the binding and, if you wish, a zipper pull.

I prefer a narrow binding of 2″ but if you like a thicker binding please alter to your own measurements. When attached the binding, it is important to remember that we are using a width of fabric strip around corners, so we need to ease the fabric in to get a nice smooth binding. I have found that the best way to do this, is by pinning the binding on from the front. Normally, I will pin in the centre of the curve first (where we marked for joining the front/zip band together) and then either side for the rest of the curve. 

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

To sew the binding in position, I will sew from the zip band side. This means that as I work my way around the corner I can stop, lift the presser foot and rearrange the fabric as I go to stop any bunching. When it comes to sewing across the bottom of the pouch, make sure to push the zip band/pouch down flat. Due to all the layers in the centre of the zip band, it is worth going slowly to achieve good stitching and save your machine needle! 

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

Fold the binding up and over towards the zip band. If you have added pockets, you may find it helps to trim some of the bulk out from the seams before wrapping the binding over. I slip stitch the binding in place, as I would for a quilt. 

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

And Ta-Dah! You’re all done! If you would like, you can check out my Mini Macaron Zip Pull Tutorial or check out this tutorial for the fabric tassel that I added to this Not So Little Zippy Pouch. I’m even been looking at a few enamel pins which I think I’ll be adding to my Christmas wish list to put on the front, the bat is my favourite so far!!!! (click pics to find the makers!).

Enamel Pin ideas for quilters by fabricandflowers

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sew along and I can’t wait to see all your finished pouches. I have adjusted the timings slightly – all pictures posted by Midnight on the 4th December GMT using the hashtag #zippypouchalong will be eligible for the lovely prize from Rose Garden Patchwork, with the winner being announced on 5th December.

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! If you are looking for a copy of the pattern, check out my Etsy shop here. And please do sign-up to my newsletter if you would like any updates or news sent straight to your inbox.

S x

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

Zippy Pouch Along – Joining the Pouch Together

Zippy Pouch Along – Joining the Pouch Together

Hello there and welcome back to the second part in the sew-along! By now, you should have all the different pieces of the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch (pattern available here) interfaced, quilted and pockets all made. Now, we’re going to join the zip band to the pocket/lining before sewing the two layers together.

Zippy Pouch Along - joining the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch together, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Adding the Pocket Sides to the Zip Pocket

When I attach the pocket side, I always like to start stitching at the bottom, working up towards the top.

I stitch until the needle runs off the end of the fabric, and then stitch forwards/backwards a couple of times. As the zip sits lower than the pocket side, it means that the zip is fitted very securely, the ends are completely hidden and everything is neat and tidy.

Joining the Zip Band to the Lining and Pockets

Sewing the pocket side to the zip band from the bottom of the piece will give better results. As the pocket side piece is angled, the first side sits nice and flat but the second piece will be a little bit bouncy! Pin in place – again starting at the bottom – before sewing to help keep everything in position!

Zippy Pouch Along - joining the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch together, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Sewing the bag together

This is probably the trickiest bit of the pattern to visualise – how do we bring it all together?! I did some videos on Instagram, some of which I have added below – click right to see – and will hopefully make it all seem a lot clearer!

If you would like to see all the video’s, then please check out the highlights ‘Zippy Pouch’ on my Instagram profile page @fabricandflowers.

Sewing the sides in positions

After basting the sides/pockets in place, we need to shape the corners. I trim around the template with a rotary cutter. Starting on one side, join the pouch together by matching corner mark with the corresponding mark on the zip band. Pinning from the front of the pouch will help to ensure that the fabric isn’t bunching up. Once the corners are in place, pin the rest of the seam in place.

When sewing together, I sew from the zip band side, to make sure that none of the fabric bunches on this side either! Take it slowly sewing around the corner, stopping to lift the presser foot and rearrange the fabric if needed, helps to give a smooth finish to the corner.

Zippy Pouch Along - joining the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch together, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

And that’s it for today! Come back next time when I’ll share my tips for adding and stitching the binding!

Zippy Pouch Along timings

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! If you are looking for a copy of the pattern, check out my Etsy shop here. And please do sign-up to my newsletter if you would like any updates or news sent straight to your inbox.

Let me know if you have any questions – have a great weekend sewing!

S x

Today’s sky::: grey and cold. Brrrrrr!