Category Archives: Guest

Tilda Zipped Pouch Tutorial with Homebird & Belle


Hi, its Nicki here and I am delighted to have the opportunity to blog here at The Homemakery. Kate’s online shop is our go-to fabric supplier here at homebird and belle – Kate’s taste in all things crafty is faultless and I could spend all of my time and money browsing this super pretty site (and often do).

Today I am sharing a zipped pouch tutorial with a simple patchwork pattern using the gorgeous Tilda Happiness is Handmade collection.

I have made several of these pouches in various sizes.  They are perfect for storing and transporting any WIPs but also brilliant for keeping all kinds of things organised in your handbag, like make-up or those odd bits and pieces that float around at the bottom of your bag, never to be seen again (I’m thinking hand cream, mints, hair bobbles, tissues etc).

So let’s get started!  The pouch I am making here has a finished size of 9” square (23cm).

You will need:


*note, we will be using 1/4” seams throughout, unless otherwise specified*

1. Begin by pressing your fabric well.  I like to use spray starch to get that boxfresh look at the end.

2. Using your rotary cutter and mat, cut 18 3.5” squares from your fabric scraps. 


3. You will be making two outer pieces, each made of 9 squares in a 3×3 formation, so lay them out in a way that you find pleasing. You can use the same layout for the front and back pieces, or have a play around and do each side differently.


4. Now, you will have three columns of three squares.  You want to sew the squares together into columns first.  Starting with column one, put squares A and B right side to right side and sew across the bottom, as straight as you can make it.  Then, put squares B and C right sides facing and sew across the top.

Repeat for the other columns.

5. You then need to press your squares carefully, with the seams in column one pressed upwards, in column two pressed downwards and column three pressed upwards.  You can see how I’ve done this in the photo below.

PIC SEVENPut columns one and two right sides together and make sure that the horizontal seams in each column butt up against each other nicely.  This will make sure that the points of your patchwork are perfectly aligned.  I have tried to demonstrate this in the picture below.


6. Pin the fabric into place and sew carefully along the length of the columns. You will finish with two pieces of fabric, each made up of 9 squares each.  Nicely done!

Want to stop for a cuppa?  You’ve earned a little break!

8. Ok, so now we need to baste the patchwork pieces to a piece of wadding each.  This will make sure that your pouch is nice and thick and holds its shape.  You can either use pins, tack the fabric to the batting with large running stitches (to be pulled out later) or use 505 basting spray (which is, frankly, fabulous).

If you are using basting spray, spray the fabric lightly and evenly with 505 and press carefully onto the wadding, taking care to smooth out any creases as you go.  (I press gently with the iron at this point, just because I’m obsessed with smooth fabric.)

9. Switch to the walking foot on your machine (you can do this with a regular foot too, but go slow) and increase the length of your stitches ever so slightly.  Line up the foot with the ditch of the squares (the seam where they are joined together) and sew a straight line approx 1/4” from the seam line.   I used an 1/8this time as it always feels simpler on my machine.


Complete the process until both outer pieces of fabric have been quilted with vertical and horizontal lines on both sides of the seams.

PIC TEN10. At this point, you might want to embroider or embellish the pouch.  Go ahead! I wrote Claire’s name freehand with a frixion pen (which is removed with heat) and did a simple backstitch with sparkly floss.


11. Now you are ready to insert the zip, if using a larger zip cut off the bottom so that you have approx 1 inch of extra zip on either side of your fabric, then we will pin into place first, as follows:


Lay your outer piece face up and place the zip face down on top of it.

Then, place a lining piece face down on top of that (so your zip is sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric).  Make sure the top edges of all three pieces are neatly aligned and pin.

12. Switching to the zipper foot on your machine, sew as close to the teeth of the zip as you can without sewing into them.  As you can’t see the zip you’ll have to feel for it, but it should be quite obvious.  Take it slowly and get a nice straight edge.  As you get to the bulky slider of the zip, stop sewing, leave the needle in the fabric and lift the foot.  This will allow you to move the zip away into the part of fabric that you just sewed and it will be easier to get nice and close.


When you’ve done that, flip both pieces right way round and press well, away from the zip.

13. Still using the zipper foot, top stitch a nice straight line along the top of the outer piece.


14. Complete the same process with the other side of the pouch.  So, lay remaining outer piece up and put the zip face down on top of it (the other side of the zip obviously has the completed pieces attached, try to forget it’s there for now).  Then, place a piece of lining fabric face down on top of the zip, to sandwich it again.  Pin, as before, and stitch as before.
When you have finished, press both pieces away from the zip and top stitch neatly, the same distance from the zip as you did for the first piece.  Snip the ends of the zip flush with the fabric.

You will be left with this:


15. Here’s where we finish off the whole thing.  And where I forgot to take a photo and hastily made a little sketch.


Open out the fabrics and put the matching pieces of fabric right sides together.  So, the two quilted pieces are right side together and the two lining pieces are right side together.  You’ll have a rectangular, inside out piece of fabric with a zip sandwiched in between.  Rather like the sketch below:

Homebird sketchLine up the pieces neatly and try to align the seams of the squares with each other on the two quilted pieces.  Pin carefully and start to sew all the way around the edge of the rectangle (the dotted line), leaving a gap at the top of the lining pieces of approx 2”.  This will allow you to turn the pouch right way round at the end.

When you get to the bulky bits of fabric where the zip is, take care!  It is super bulky here and you need to go slow through the layers to ensure you don’t break a needle.

16. Phew.  Once you have sewn all the way around the edge, clip diagonally across the corners of the pouch and chop some of the bulky zip away taking care not to cut through any of the seam you just made.

Turn the pouch right way round from the inside, using the gap you left in the lining fabric.

Use a pointy tool to poke the corners out nice and square.


It’s a bit of a faff poking the zip out but do your best.  The corners at the top will be slightly rounded.

17. Press the lining fabric and stitch up the gap either by hand or with the sewing machine.  Push the lining neatly into the pouch and then press carefully.

Fill with treats and give to a friend.


I hope you love your new patchwork pouch.  If you have any questions then please let us know.  If you make one, then do tag us on instagram, facebook or twitter so that we can admire your handiwork.

Nicki x

homebird and belle

**A huge thank you to Nicki for her fantastic Tilda pouch tutorial, I’m definitely going to be making one of my own very soon. Nicki is one half of homebird & belle, a handmade home and lifestyle shop/blog which she recently launched with best friend Claire (who was the lucky recipient of this gorgeous pouch).Homebird and belle sew and stitch the prettiest cushions, tablet cases and home accessories which are available in their shopClaire & Nicki both have swoon worthy Instagram accounts and I definitely recommend following them so you can see all their gorgeous makes and cosy cottage homes.  Kate **


Q&A with Prairie designer Rebecca Stoner

Prairie Collection

Today I’m thrilled to be having a Q&A with Rebecca Stoner the latest designer to work with British fabric company Dashwood Studios.

Prairie has just hit the shelves of the Homemakery and I asked Rebecca if she would answer a few of my questions about her collection with Dashwood and where she found the inspiration for her beautiful designs. I hope you enjoy the insight into Rebeccas world!

For those of us new to fabric design can you explain how your fabric collection with Dashwood Studios came about and how you go about designing a range of fabrics?

 Before I actually start designing I’ll do some research on the theme, colours and trends related to the design I want to create.  With Prairie, although I was initially just designing for my own portfolio, rather than a specific client project, I knew I wanted to create a collection for fabric and specifically for quilting fabric.  I also knew that I really wanted to explore the theme of lace and the patterns found within vintage lace, crochet and doilies so I began researching and collecting images for inspiration.  I’m a bit addicted to Pinterest and love building moodboards on there so I created a secret Prairie board which I began pinning to and which I could make public once the collection was finished.

I usually begin any design by doing some sketches in pencil and then once I’m happy with what I’ve drawn I’ll go over it with black ink pen and scan these into the computer. I’ll then use these drawings to build and colour my design on the computer.

Once the Prairie collection was finished I submitted it to Dashwood Studio in the hope that they would like it and want to use it as one of their fabric collections. I’d followed them from when they first started and loved the their fabrics so as you can imagine I was really excited when I got the email saying they loved the collection and wanted to talk to me about it!

Prairie Sketch 3_Rebecca Stoner

Prairie is your first range of fabrics, did designing a fabric range present any new challenges from your typical surface design work?

 I was already used to designing in collections and not just individual designs but this is the first time I’ve designed a collection for quilting fabric and I think it’s the biggest collection of designs I’ve created so far – 8 in total.  As quilting fabrics are typically used altogether, or in groups of a few different designs, I think the biggest challenge was to try and keep each design unique but so that they all still sat well together and had the same style and feel to them.

I think it’s really important to consider balance across the whole collection and that goes for the colours you use and in what amounts, the scale of designs and the type of design, so whether it’s a floral or geometric and whether the design is directional or scattered and more of an all-over layout. David at Dashwood Studio was great though and although the collection was almost there when I submitted it, he really helped with the final tweaks, like colourway changes on a couple of the designs and adjustment of scale.  He has lots of experience in the industry and I’ve learnt a lot from the process which has been great.

Prairie Collection - Dashwood Studios

We love the pretty designs and colour palette for Prairie where did you draw inspiration for it?

 Thank you! I’m so pleased they’re getting such a good response.  As the designs are very delicate and organic I wanted to have a colour palette that reflected this but at the same time wasn’t too soft so the designs didn’t stand out, which is why I included the coral and mustard which I feel really pop against the soft blue and greys.  I like the way the white outlines also help highlight some of the flowers and motifs too.

If you had to pick one fabric from the collection that is your favourite which would it be and why?

Oh this is so hard!  I do love them all but if I had to pick one, it would probably be the Scattered Flowers design (the more organic flowers and leaves on the blue background). I don’t know why exactly but I think it’s the detail in the individual motifs and flowers and the way they feel like they’re dancing around the fabric!

Scattered Flowers dress_Rebecca Stoner

You obviously have a very creative job, do you have a favourite craft you enjoy doing in your spare time?

As I love my work and enjoy what I do so much it does often tend to blend into my spare time and the difference between the two becomes quite blurred at times!  I love to draw and it’s something I’ve really got into more over the last year or so.  A lot of the drawing I do is for my design work but I can still lose myself in it and really enjoy it.  I keep saying I’d love to have a go at printmaking but I just haven’t got round to it yet.

I have been known to sew quite a lot too because I used to have my own range of handmade cushions, bags and home accessories that featured my own fabrics and that I sold at tradeshows but since I’ve been concentrating just on the surface pattern side of my business I’ve not really sewn much at all.  It will be nice to get the sewing machine out again though and just be able to sew for pleasure without the added pressure of making them as products to sell!

Stitchy Ikat bag_Rebecca Stoner

Now that your Prairie fabrics are finally available to play with what are you planning on making with them?

Well I have a list!  However, I will need to enlist the help of my Mum as I’ve never attempted dress making before and she used to make clothes for me when I was little. I’d like to make a pretty summer dress for my little niece out of one of the fabrics and I’d also love to have a go at making the 1930’s style blouse that they made on the Great British Sewing Bee the other week!  I’m really enjoying this series.

I also want to make some new roman blinds for my house but I’m not sure I’ll get away with using my own fabrics everywhere so I might have to settle on just making one to go in my studio!

Ditsty Flowers dress_Rebecca Stoner

A huge thank you to Rebecca for taking the time to answer a few of our questions and give us an insight into her world, if you would like to see more of Rebecca’s work you can find her on her  website, blog, twitter, facebook and pinterest!

Knitted Easter Ducks with Leanne from Knit Me A Cake

Knitted Easter Ducks

Hello crafters, I’m Leanne and you’ll find me blogging over at Knit Me A Cake. I was delighted to be asked by Kate to share an Easter knitting project, and this pattern for ducks is one of my Nan’s favourites. It’s a really easy knitting project, so whether you’re new or an old hat at knitting, pick up your knitting needles and give this a go this spring.


To make the ducks you will need:


Begin this project by knitting each duck. The pattern is as follows:

  • Cast on 36 stitches.
  • Knit 12 rows in garter stitch (garter stitch basically means working every row using knit stitch, no purling is needed making it perfect for beginners!)
  • Cast on 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 6 rows (42 stitches).
  • Cast off 11 stitches of the beginning of the next 2 rows (20 stitches) so you’d go down from 42 to 31 in the first row, and then 31 to 20 in the second row.
  • Knit 11 rows.

Now break off the wool and using the yarn needle thread it through the remaining 20 stitches on your needle. The duck will look something like this at this point.

Knit your ducks

You’ll now need to sew the duck together.  Start with the top of the head and then sew down the neck stopping at the back. Then sew from the bottom of the duck up to the top of the tail.

Knitted Ducks

Once you’ve got your duck sewn together you’ll need to add some facial features and stuff the head. Start by cutting out a diamond shaped piece of orange felt for the beak. The piece will measure at around a centimetre.

Ducks knitted up

Eyes will also be needed, and you can add these by sewing on some eyes, or by using eyelets.

Completed Easter Ducks

The ducks are now ready to be filled with Easter eggs. The best part! I added approximately 6 to each duck.

Finished Knitted Ducks

And there you go your Easter Ducks are finished! Happy Easter crafters!

A huge thank you to Leanne for her adorable tutorial. You can find Leanne on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and of course her blog Knit Me A Cake

DIY No Sew Fabric Wreath For Christmas

Hello craft lovelies! I’m Claire otherwise known as Claireabellemakes. Like Kate, I’m a multi crafter and love to indulge in crochet, knitting, sewing, paper and glue gun crafts. Today I am sharing an easy tutorial to make this DIY No Sew Fabric Wreath for Christmas.

DIY-No-Sew-Fabric-Christmas-Wreath-Claireabellemakes-The Homemakery

All the supplies to make the wreath can be found in The Homemakery store. So let’s get started…

You will need:

Estimated time: 30-40 minutes


Begin by cutting your fabric into 2 inch wide strips.


You can use a selection of complimentary fabrics or just one pattern, it’s up to you!


Next, fold in and iron the long sides of the fabric strips to conceal the raw edges.


On the flat side of the polystyrene wreath, pin the end of the first fabric strip. Be sure to push the pins diagonally into the wreath to ensure they do not stick out the other side.


Carefully wrap the fabric strip around the wreath, smoothing it flat as you go. Ensure the folded edges are tucked in.


Pin the other end of the fabric strip to the back of the wreath.



Continue with the fabric strips, pinning and wrapping each one around the wreath. The back of the wreath will not be seen, so do not worry about gaps here.


Remember to look at your wreath from a distance as you go along, so you can see the wrapping is even!


Continue around the wreath with all fabric strips.


Once the entire wreath is covered in fabric, cut a length of ribbon from which to hang it. Wrap the ribbon around the wreath once and pin into place. Fold a long end back down to create a large loop and pin once again.


Add some decorations to your wreath and hang! You could add real holly or mistletoe to give it a more festive feel.


I hope you have enjoyed my DIY! I’d love to see any wreaths you make this holiday season, so feel free to share them with me on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #TheHomemakery!

Kate has kindly offered my blog readers 10% off any purchases made at The Homemakery before 1st December. Come on over to see more crafty posts, subscribe and to nab the coupon code. Thanks for having me on The Homemakery blog today Kate!