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Tutorial! Vegan leather notebook cover

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the second of four tutorials she’s written for us! Find the first tutorial here.

Take it away Laura…

Vegan Leather Mini Notebook

Make a mini notebook with a faux leather cover to keep it protected in your bag or pocket! These little notebooks are simple to make, and you can easily remove and reuse the leather cover once the notebook is full.

To make the notebook you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* The notebook templates page one and page two – follow the links here and here to download and print the PDFs
* Coloured card (I used one of the blank cards from this pack)
* Plain or scrap paper
Sewing thread to match the card
* 90 cm yarn in a co-ordinating or contrasting colour (I used Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Berry). You could alternatively use embroidery thread or narrow ribbon.
Scissors for cutting paper and card
* A large, sharp sewing needle
* A ruler

To make the notebook:

Use the card cover template to cut a piece of blank card, then fold it in half – or just select a card from the pack I linked to. Then use the page template to cut eight pages from plain or scrap paper and fold these in half as well.

Use a large, sharp needle to poke three holes in the fold of the card, measuring their position with a ruler. Make one hole right in the centre of the fold then one above and one below it, each 3cm from the central hole.

Then poke holes in the pieces of paper (two sheets at a time) in the same positions as on the cover.

Line up the pages and the card cover, and sew them together using a double thickness of sewing thread to match the card. I started in the central hole of the card cover, leaving a length of spare thread hanging loose then returned to the centre after stitching the pages and card together, knotting the two ends of thread together securely then trimming away the excess.

Use the leather cover template to cut out a piece of the synthetic leather. Place the paper template on the back of the leather, trace around it with an air-erasable fabric marker pen or a felt tip then cut out the shape with sewing scissors.

Wrap the cover around the notebook until you’re happy with it, then unfold it and open the notebook to the first page. Use the holes in the card as a guide to pierce three matching holes through the leather.

Cut a 90 cm piece of yarn (or embroidery thread or narrow ribbon). Use the large needle to thread the yarn through the two outer holes as shown, threading it through the leather and the card of the notebook. Pull the yarn through the holes so there is an even length of yarn at each side.

Thread both ends through the central hole, pulling the yarn tight. Knot the yarn to secure the notebook and leather cover together.

Close the notebook and leather cover as shown, wrapping the yarn around it and tying a bow to secure it.

Vegan Leather Mini Notebook

Thanks Laura!

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Tutorial! Vegan leather star headband

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the first of four tutorials she’s written for us! Take it away Laura…

Vegan Leather Star Headband Tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

I’m so excited to share some ideas for using these awesome packs of synthetic leather. I love this stuff (especially the super-cool metallics – they’re so shiny!), it looks great and it’s really easy to cut and sew. There are loads of things you could use this fun faux leather for. Hair clips, bracelets or cuffs, patches, keyrings… you could even use your leftover scraps to add some interesting texture to cards or gift tags.

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for how to make a star headband! Show off the gorgeous metallic faux leather with a star headband! You can add lots of stars to make a super star crown, or just add a couple of stars for a bit of subtle glamour.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

To make the headband you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen
* The headband template sheet – click here to download and print the PDF
* A plastic headband
* Coordinating felt (I used black to match the headband)
* Craft glue
* A glue gun and glue
* A heatproof mat for the glue gun
* Newspaper or scrap paper to protect your workspace

To make the headband:

Use the templates provided to cut out as many stars as you want – I cut one large star and four small stars. Trace the star shapes onto the back of the leather using a pen then cut them out with sewing scissors.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Cut pieces of felt slightly bigger than each star. Turn the stars over and place them on some newspaper or scrap paper. One by one, cover the back of each star with a layer of craft glue and then firmly press a piece of felt on top covering the star completely. Turn the felt and attached stars over and set them aside to dry.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Once the glue has completely dried cut away the excess felt, leaving stars which are leather on one side and felt on the other.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Use a glue gun to stick the stars to a headband. Add a line of glue down the centre of one of the stars, on the felt side. Carefully press the star into position on the headband, holding it in place until the glue has dried enough to stick it firmly. Repeat to add the rest of the stars.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

A huge thank you to September Pictures for taking photos for this post (tutorial photos taken by Laura herself) and to Sophia for her excellent modelling!

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A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the October wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her super cute Cat Lady wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here! Take it away, Laura!

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

This month’s wreath is all about cosiness: curling up with a colourful blanket, like this cute sleeping kitty!

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

I’ve stitched a grey cat but you could easily customise this wreath and make a cat that looks like your own pet – switch the felt colour, add some felt patches, and use embroidery thread to add stripes or other markings. You could also sew the sleeping kitty onto other things (maybe a bag or a cushion?) or use the cat’s head templates to sew a cute cat brooch.

You will need

*The template sheets provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Purple, Wisteria, Baby Blue, Silver Grey, White, and Cotton Candy
*Black and white embroidery thread
*Pink and grey sewing thread (to match the felt)
*Toy stuffing
*Sewing needle and pins
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors for cutting out small shapes
*An air erasable fabric marker pen (optional but very helpful!)
*A ruler and pen/pencil
*Fabric glue or other strong craft glue
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips

To make the wreath:

1. Use the rectangular template provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath: 12 purple, six wisteria, and six baby blue (24 strips in total).

2. Lay the strips on top of the wreath in colour order, as shown (every other strip should be purple, with wisteria and baby blue alternating between the purple strips), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position then turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath inserting pins to hold the felt in place.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

3. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt down into position.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

4. Use the templates provided to cut out the cat pieces from felt: two body shapes, two head shapes, two pink ears and one pink nose.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

5. Sew the ears and nose onto one of the cat head shapes, sewing them with whip stitch and matching pink sewing thread.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

6. Cut a length of black embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, for six-stranded thread just use three strands). Use the black thread to backstitch the cat’s eyes and smile, then add three very small stitches on each of its cheeks.

I used an air erasable fabric marker pen to draw the markings onto the felt first then followed the ink lines when stitching. If you don’t have an air erasable marker, just sew freehand using the photos as a guide.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

7. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to add the whiskers. Sew the whiskers with backstitch, using the air erasable marker (if you have one) to draw guide lines for your stitching.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

8. Place both cat head pieces together (so the decorated side is facing upwards) and sew them together with grey sewing thread and either blanket stitch or whip stitch. Then place both cat body pieces together and sew them as well.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

9. Use the templates provided to cut out six Zs from white felt (one of each size). Using embroidery scissors will help you cut out the small shapes more precisely. You can hold the paper templates to the felt as you cut around them, or use an air erasable fabric marker to draw around the templates then cut along the ink lines.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

10. Cut four felt rectangles measuring 7 x 2.5cm and two felt squares measuring 2.5 x 2.5cm. Use a ruler and an air erasable fabric marker to draw straight onto the felt, or use a ruler and pen/pencil to draw paper templates. I cut these pieces from silver grey felt but you could use any colour you have spare as they will be hidden behind the cat in the finished wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

11. Sew the felt pieces together to form a box. Use whip stitch and matching sewing thread to join the long edges of the rectangles then add the squares on each end. When you’ve sewn three sides of the final square, stuff the shape firmly with toy stuffing then sew up the gap.

Tip: add small pieces of stuffing at a time, pressing it down into the shape with your finger.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

The finished shape will look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

12. Use the glue gun to attach the shape to the bottom of the wreath, as shown. Add plenty of glue to one of the long edges then press it into position on the wreath. You’ll be using this shape to support the cat, so make sure it’s positioned towards the front of the wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

13. Arrange the cat pieces and the Zs on the wreath, as shown, with the Zs getting larger as you move up the side of the wreath. When you’re happy with the position of all the pieces, pin them in place.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

14. Carefully glue all the pieces into position, removing the pins as you work. Use the glue gun to stick the cat to the wreath base and the stuffed felt shape. Then use fabric or other strong craft glue to attach the Zs (these are a bit too small for using the glue gun!).

Hang the finished wreath with a matching piece of yarn or ribbon, or directly from a hook or nail.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

Thanks Laura!

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Tutorial! Cross-body bag with adjustable strap by Kym

We shared the details of our ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ Vignette with you all the other week and promised the tutorial to make your own cross-body bag so here we go…!

Cross body bag tutorial

Cross Body Bag Tutorial

Cross Body Bag Tutorial

What you will need:

*50cm of medium-heavy weight woven fabric for the outside of the bag (I used Essex Yarn Dyed MetallicSand)
*50cm of fabric for the lining (I used Kona Cotton SolidsEggshell)
*Medium weight fusible interfacing
*Paper to make your pattern
*This downloadable pattern guide sheet
*Magnetic snap fastener
*Strap slider
*2 x D-rings
*2m webbing
*Matching thread
*General sewing supplies

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

PLEASE NOTE: Seam allowances are 1.5cm unless otherwise stated.

1. Draw out your paper pattern using the pattern guide sheets.

2. Using your paper pattern cut out your fabric. See the pattern pieces for how many pieces you need in the main fabric, interfacing and lining and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the main fabric pieces. Remember the rough side is the glue side and use a dry iron. Mark on the snap placement marks.

3. Cut 4 extra pieces of interfacing approx. 8cm x 8cm.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

4. Fuse these extra pieces of interfacing to the centre top of pieces B main, C main and E just inside the seam allowance as shown below. This is to add extra strength to the fastening and strap.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

5. Cut a two 10cm pieces of webbing and slide a D-ring on each piece. Fold the webbing ends in so they meet in the middle.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

6. Place them 4cm from the top of each of the bag sides piece (C main) on the right side where the extra interfacing is in the centre. Stitch a box with a cross in it to hold them in place. Go slow on the machine as it is a thick piece of fabric.

7. They should now look like this…

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

8. Attach the magnetic snap fastener to the pieces as shown on the pattern pieces.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

9. Place pieces A and E right sides together lining up the sides and  front flap edges.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

10. Pin and sew around the top and side edges, pivoting at the corners and back stitching at either end.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

11. Clip corners and turn to right side. Press with the lining rolled in to the inside slightly.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

12. Hem the top edges of your side pieces (C main), and main front (B main) by folding them 1.5cm to the wrong side and stitching.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

13. With right sides together pin one side (C) to your back/flap (A) piece align the bottom raw edges and the hem on the C piece should be in line with the raw edge of the flap lining (E).

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

14. Stitch taking care not to catch the flap lining making sure you lock stitch at each end.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

15. Repeat with other side and press seams towards bag back.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

16. With right sides together pin the bag front (B) to one of the sides (C) aligning the top hem and bottom raw edges. Stitch.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

17. Repeat with the other side and press seams towards the bag front.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

18. With right sides together pin the bottom piece (D) to the bottom of your bag.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

19. Stitch, pivoting at the corners and being sure not to catch any of the bag up in the seam.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

20. As best as possible, press the seams toward the bottom of the bag. Under-stitch along the two long sides as much as is possible. This will help to strengthen base of the bag.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

21. Turn to the right side and push out the bottom corners.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

22. Place your lining side (C) pieces right sides together with one of the lining front pieces. Pin and stitch.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

23. Place the other lining front piece right sides together with the other side of the lining side (C) piece. Pin and stitch. Press all the seams towards the bag sides. You should now have a tube.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

24. Pin the lining bottom piece in place and stitch as you did with the main bag pieces in step 19.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

25. Fold the top edge of your lining 1.5cm to the wrong side and press.

26. Turn the bag lining so wrong sides are facing out. Place the right side of the fold you made in step 25 so it is sitting on the flap lining about 4mm away from the raw edge. The rest of the bag lining should be lying between this side and the bag flap. Without shifting the placement, unfold the edge of the bag ling and pin down through all layers of the bag.

Red line is where the raw edge of flap lining is. Blue line is the fold line on bag lining.

27. Using the fold as your stitching line, stitch along the flap from side seam to side seam. Make sure you don’t catch in the rest of the lining. You may find it helpful to place it under the free arm on the machine to keep it out of the way.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

28. Push the lining into the bag so wrong sides are together.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

29. Pin the folded edge of the remaining three sides to the top hem of the bag and pin in place matching the side seams.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

30. Stitch together by hand using a slip stitch. When you get to the corners with seam allowances make sure you only catch the outside of the bag in your stitches and the seam allowance will slip between and be hidden.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

31. To make the adjustable carry handle slide the slider through the webbing like this (over the centre bar)…

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

32. Then thread it through one of the d-rings on the bag so the slider faces the right way.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

33. Thread it back through the middle bar on the slider like this…

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

34. Fold over the raw edge and stitch using the box shape used before.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

35. To attach the other side simply pass the other end of the webbing through the other d ring taking care not to twist it, fold the raw edge under and stitch in the same way.

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Ta da!! Enjoy using your new bag… everyone will want one!

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

Cross-Body Bag Tutorial

Cross-Body Bag Tutorial

Cross-body bag tutorial by Kym

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Tutorial: Patchwork Rainbow Cloud wall hanging

Earlier this week we posted the images of our Great British Summer Outing shop display and as promised, here is the tutorial for how to make the patchwork cloud that features in it.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

I have to admit, when I was making this I was just kind of making it up as I went along! As this is a project you can make in any size I have not given and exact measurements.

What you will need:
A plain grey fabric for the background and the backing. (I used Manchester Yarn Dyes – Steel)
Long strips of fabric in rainbow colours (skinny quarters of Kona Cotton Solids work great for this)
Co-ordinating thread
Wadding or Toy Filling (whichever you prefer)
General sewing supplies

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

1. Draw your shape out on a piece of paper making sure it is about half an inch larger than you want the finished cloud to be to allow for seam allowances.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

2. Cut out your shape. This is now your template.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

3. Draw 8 evenly spaced lines out to mark out where your rainbow stripes will go.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

4. Cut out long strips of the coloured fabrics twice as wide as the rainbow stripes, plus 1 inch. Don’t worry too much about the length, just make sure they are a bit longer than the lines you have drawn on your template. Then iron these strips in half longways. This automatically finished one of their edges.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

5. Find matching threads for each of your colours. (It is up to you how fussy you want to be about how well they match).

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

6. One at a time, layer your stripes by overlapping them in ‘rainbow order’. You are aiming for the visible parts of the stripes to be the same width as the lines you drew on the template.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

7. Top stitch them together 1/4inch from the fold of the top piece. I used the 1/4inch seam foot on my machine to help with this.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

8. You should end up with a block of coloured stripes with a neat fold at one side and raw edges at the other.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

9. Cut half of your main cloud front fabric in half diagonally so you have a piece for either side of the cloud. (Make sure you leave enough for the backing). Overlap the bottom side of the rainbow over the corresponding diagonal main cloud front piece.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

10. Top stitch 1/4inch from the fold to join them.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

11. Place the raw edge of the rainbow right sides together with the other corresponding diagonal side of the main cloud fabric. Stitch with a 1/2inch seam and press the seam towards the cloud.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

12. Your should now have something that looks something like this…

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

13. Place your paper cloud template on top and pin it down.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

14. Cut around your template to get your final shape.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

15. Cut out a second cloud shape from your cloud backing fabric. Place your cloud backing and cloud front right sides together and pin. Sew all the way around with a 1/2inch seam allowance leaving a gap for turning and stuffing. You will need to pivot at the corners.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

16. Clip the curves and snip into the troughs and turn right sides out. Press.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

17. Fill with toy stuffing or wadding and sew up the gap. You can also top stitch around the whole shape if you like or even quilt it.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

18.You can then hang up your cloud with invisible thread if you wish or use it as something else… a cushion perhaps?

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

The sun and the raindrops are made simply by cutting out two of each shape, placing them right sides together, sewing around them leaving a gap and then turning to the right side and finishing. Easy!

We would love to see your versions of our rainbow cloud. Share your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery.

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