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  1. Make up bags are a  great project, perfect for using up small bits of fabric and quick to make as gifts for Christmas. Here is our step by step guide to making a fully lined zipped bag.

    What you will need: 

    2 x 14cm x 23cm printed cotton fabric - Piece A
    2 x 10m x 23cm Denim or canvas - Piece B

    2 x 21cm x 23cm lining fabric Piece C
    2 x 21cm x 23cm firm fusible interfacing

    20cm zip

    Tape measure 
    Chalk or fabric marker

    Sewing machine with a zipper foot.

    Measure and cut the pieces for your make up bag using the guide above - you now have all you need to get sewing!

    2020-10-06 17.50.14 (1)

    Take your two lining pieces - C and your two canvas pieces - B and  mark two 4cm squares on the bottom long edge of each piece. Cut each marked sqaure out. 


    Cut 4 pieces of interacing to match the 4 outer pieces of fabric.
    Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the outer pieces using a hot iron. Make sure you place a cloth between the iron and the interfacing so as not to melt the interfacing to the iron.


    Take outer piece A and outer piece B and line up  and pin the long edge right sides together.
    Sew together with a 1cm s.a.

    first seam  

     Press the seam open and then press the seam downwards. 

    press seam

    Topstitch the seam down. You can use a contrast thread and lengthen your stitch length to 3 to create more of a feature. Repeat on the other side.

    top stitch

    Take one side of the the outer bag and fold in half to find the centre and mark with a pin along the top edge. Place it on the table right side up. Take the zip and fold to find the centre place on top right sides together and pin together at the centre point. Line up the edge of the zip tape withthe edge of the fabric. 

    centring the zip

    Take lining piece C and place ontop right side down. Make sure all three pieces line up along the top edge and pin together. The zip is sandwiched in the middle. Sew together using a zipper foot, back stitching to th at either end.

    sew zip

    Sewing zip tip: Open up your zipper half way. Sew along the tape until you reach the zip pull. Stop. With your needle down lift up your presser foot so you can easily pull the zip pull the zip pull out of the way. You can then continue to sew along the zipper tape to the end.

    Make sure your zip opens and closed nicely.

    Repeat on other side.

    Press the outer fabric and the lining fabric away from the zip making sure you keep the iron away from the plastic zipper teeth. Top stitch the three layers together. This will hold your fabric in place and stop the lining catching in the zip.

    top stitch 2

    Sew with a zipper foot so you can sew nice and close to your zip.
    Remember do not sew to the end of the tape.

    top stitch 3

    If at this stage your lining and your outer fabrics do not match exactly trim off any excess to make the pieces align.


    Lay your pieces out flat so that the lining pieces are right sides together and the outer pieces are right sides together. When you get to the zip tape fold that in half aswell and make sure the tape sits down towards the lining of the bag.


    Pin all the way around leaving a 8cm gap at the bottom of the lining.

    Sew the four sides with a 1.5cm S.A. back tacking at each end. (do not sew where you have cut out the corners)

    Next we are going to sew the corners which form the base of the bag.  Flatten out each corner section matching the centre seam. Pin along the edge and sew together with a 1cm s.a. back tacking at each end.

    squeeze corner

    Pin this edge together opening up the centre seam to even out the bulk. Sew carefully with a 1cm s.a. back tacking at each end.

    pin corner     sew corner

    It will feel quite thick and a bit awkward as you sew across the seam but don't worry just go slowly. 
    Repeat on your other outer corner and then on the corners of the lining.

    Finally turn your bag all the way through the hole in the lining. You are going to sew up the hole in the lining but before you do make sure you are happy that your bag is sewn together properly and that your zip is working well.

    Once you are happy you can either sew the lining together on the machine or hand sew the hole closed using a slip stitch.

    finished bag







  2. Hello,
    Sabina here with a blogpost for all you Flo-Jo sewers!
    I was inspired by this weeks Great British Sewing Bee theme which was 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' and I jumped on the challenge to transform my scraps into a bomber jacket, much like the one in this weeks episode.
    I am sure that I’m not alone in keeping my offcuts from previous projects without having a plan for them so I hope I can inspire you to take a second look at your scraps. 
    To start with, I decided to go through all of my denim scraps, there is a mix of everything from my dad's old denim shirt to leftovers from skirts I’ve made. Make sure that all of your bits and pieces are of a similar properties of denim as this will make it easier to stitch them together. 
    The pattern I used for this project is the 'Bomber Jacket' from this years Sewing Bee Book 'Sustainable Style'. I altered the sewing pattern to make it slightly shorter than the regular fit but not so cropped that I had to remove the pockets.
    I cut out all of my pieces from 6 different scraps of denim, the zip was leftover from a previous project and I used the navy tubular ribbing from Flo-Jo Fabrics Online shop.
    We've had lots of brilliant jackets and hoodies made in our after school sewing classes pre-lockdown. When the workshop is open I cover how to sew with stretch ribbing in our 'Intro To Sewing with Jersey Class.' Until we re-open I thought I’d share some useful tips with you here! 
    top tips zip
    Sewing the cuffs
    Stretch ribbing is a great way to finish off a sleeve hem, neckband or waistband. There are lots of different colours and patterns available in the shop at the moment here. There are so many ways you can change a simple hoodie by just adding a contrasting cuff or a sporty ribbing with stripes.
     Sewing Cuffing Step By Step
    1/ Make sure the stretch of the cuff is going sideways before cutting out your pieces.  Fold the cuff to match up the short sides right sides together, then pin and sew.
    2/ Press the seam open and fold the cuff in half so that the seam is on the inside.
    3/ Divide the cuff into two by putting a pin where the seam is and then another one on the opposite side.
    4/ Line up the pins together and put another two in to divide the cuff into four. 
    5/ Divide the sleeve edge into four in the same way.
    6/ Put the cuff over the sleeve and match the seams together with the raw edges aligned. You should be able to see three layers of fabric if you’ve got it right.
    7/ Stretch the ribbing to pin it in place and once you’ve got all four matched up you can add some more pins in the gaps in between to ensure an even gathering of the sleeve fabric. It might look like it’s rippled but it’ll be stretched out when it’s sewn.
    8/ If you can fit the sleeve over the machine arm you can stretch the ribbing towards
    yourself as you sew.
    9/ Press the seams into the sleeve and zigzag or overlock the raw edges together.
    10/ This is optional but if you want to make the sleeve look less gathered you can topstitch the seam allowance of the cuff to the sleeve. As you can see in the photo the two sleeves look quite different.
    I hope you've found these tips useful and I would love to know if you have made something from your fabric scraps?