Summer Time is almost here!! 

Here’s a quick and simple solution to making those awkward centre holes for the great outdoors patio table cloth! All the stitching is done prior to cutting out the shape. The reason why I do it this way is because the shape holds up so much better and looks a lot neater when complete!

You will need,

A pretty tablecloth (or fabric of your choice!)

Approx 10″ square Contrasting fabric for the backing

10″ square medium weight fusible stabiliser

A compass

Sewing machine, thread and scissors

Iron on the fusible interfacing to the back of the contrasting fabric.

Fold the table cloth or hemmed fabric into quarters to find the centre and press lightly to form a cross crease.

Do the same with the smaller contrasting fabric.

Now lay the backing fabric right sides together with the table cloth, lining up the pressed cross lines.

Press flat again and pin backing into place.

Grab your compass (or anything circular will do, just be sure the smaller circle will be closely sized to match the diameter of the patio umbrella post.

Many patio umbrellas measure anything in between 28mm and 70mm. Ours is quite big, but check your sizes before drawing out your shapes. The centre circle is the one that should measure about 5-6mm larger than your umbrella post. Outer circle needs to be approximately 50mm wider all the way around.

Now it’s time to start sewing the centre circle. You will need a short stitch setting. Stitch all the way around the centre circle, following the circle shape that you have drawn. Go slow and keep stopping with needle down so that you can pivot your work without it moving. I usually make a couple stitches then pivot and so on until I reach the end. The slower you go and the more you pivot the neater the circle will be!

Trim the backing fabric following the outer circle guide lines. Take care not to cut the main tablecloth whilst trimming.

Cut out the centre circle leaving approximately 6mm seam allowance.

Grab some sharp scissors and snip all the way around the inside curve. Snip almost up to the stitch line but be careful not to cut into the stitches. Failure to snip the seam will prevent the curve from laying nicely.

Now, if you want to, either zig zag or overlock the backing edge. It can be left without overlocking as you’ve used fusible interfacing which will prevent it from fraying. I just prefer to do it this way.

Now it’s time to pull the backing to the back of the tablecloth.

Lay flat and press.

This is what you will be left with…

You can, if you want, leave it at that but I prefer to top stitch to hold it to the back and give it a neater finish…

That’s it… You’re all done!

Hope you found this simple tutorial helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to help!


Baby Shorts

Be warned… this is very rough but I hope you get the idea! 

I’ve been asked by various peeps, how I attach my elastic to waistbands. So, I’m sharing a full tutorial of how I make them here

I’ve included a rough pattern for you to try. 

First of all you will need to print out the pattern here

If you want to, you can join the two printouts together at A and B (overlapping by half inch if you don’t want the added seam allowance) to eliminate side seams. I have made the pattern this way because it’s easier to scan and also, if you want, the split pattern allows to choose different fabrics for front and back. 

Once you’ve printed and cut your pattern out, it’s time to start sewing. 

Now grab a front and back piece and with right sides facing, sew both side seams. I have used my overlock but if you don’t own an overlock machine, you can use a normal straight stitch on your sewing machine and use either pinking shears to trim afterwards or a zig zag stitch along all raw edges to prevent fraying. 


Now, grab both pieces and join, matching them both together with right sides facing stitch from waistband down to start of gussets. 

Then, keeping shorts inside out, stitch the gusset area together matching front gusset to back gusset. 

Hem shorts leg holes by pressing up half inch and stitching into place. I used my coverstitch to hem these but you could either overlock the edges first and hem or zig zag edges first then turn. If you prefer, you can use a double fold hem but remember when cutting out the pattern to allow for the extra fold length. 

Now it’s time to add the elastic. 

I used a 12 inch length here but just check before adding the elastic that it’s not going to be too tight or too loose for babba. 

Firstly, join your elastic using a zig zag stitch.  Yes, I know, mines not pretty at all but it’s Easter Sunday and I’m trying to multi task between cooking dinner for 8 of us and getting this typed up! (Any excuse!!!) 

Now pin the join just off centre to the back seam to eliminate bulk then pin the opposite side of elastic to front seam of shorts. You are going to attach the elastic to the inside waist edge of shorts. You will need to stretch and pull on the elastic in front of your needle and pull from behind to help feed both elastic and waist edge of shorts through the machine. I sometimes use my overlock machine with knife turned off but in this tutorial, I’m using the sewing machine to attach it. 

If you want, now is a good time to trim all those frayed edges. Of course, if you do use the overlock machine, it will look a lot neater than mine! Now, using either a wide zig zag or your coverstitch machine, fold down waist edge so that the elastic is facing the wrong side of fabric and stitch into place. Remember to pull front and back as you feed them through your machine. If you find that you need to stop to adjust hand placement, be sure to stop with your needles down to prevent over stretching your stitches. If using the coverstitch machine, stitch from the right side just so that the edge of the elastic and waist edge is encased in the coverstitch underneath. It may be easier to use a post it or painters tape on your machine bed to help guide your work through at the correct width. 

And that’s it, you’re done!

 Simple aren’t they? And just in time for summer!

These shorts should be suitable for 3-6 months but you can easily adjust the pattern to fit. 

Happy sewing! 

Lazy Suzanne… not so lazy! 

This is just a quick type and run post.

I wanted to share with you a quick diy project that has helped me out with so many small makes.

I use rotary cutters for cutting my fabric. Occasionally I use my fabric shears, but mostly, I prefer to use my rotary cutters. The problem is with some small patterns, be it a quilt block or cutting out a teeny baby shoe pattern, is that, the patterns can be so small and awkward to cut. I’ve come close to slicing through my left hand before as I try holding/rotating with my leg hand and slicing through my layers of fabric with a rather lethal looking piece of thin, sharp circular disc!

That’s where my wonderful lazy Suzanne came to the rescue!

I’d had it hanging around the house for a few months but, it was always too cumbersome to use at the dining table.

So, after grabbing my tin snips, yep… tin snips work great for cutting out cutting mats, I drew around the shape of the lazy Suzanne, cut it out and grabbed some rubber cement and glued it to the lazy Suzanne top.

It works a treat and now I don’t live in fear of slicing through my hand!

I tweaked it a little here and there. My hubs and I are both cobblers by trade and so to get a real smooth edge I took it to work to scour the edge smooth. You can do this by hand using a fine grade sheet of sandpaper.

Try it… you’ll love it!

My little haven! 

After my threadtastic post, I thought I’d share with you a little glance into my ‘happy’ space!

Although often cluttered, the pics you see would have been taken at my rooms very best, please don’t be fooled that I’m as organised as these pics make me look!!

My little room (and it’s very small compared to many beautiful sewing rooms that I see on the net!) is my own little happy place and it appears that it’s also a happy place for many of my friends and family that come to visit, they always say how much they love the room which of course… makes me even happier!

As you walk into the room, the first thing you see is my beloved workstation that my hubs built for me. It is essentially made up of three small kallax units from Ikea that are then sandwiched between two thick sheets of ply and mounted on chunky locking casters. The casters raise the workbench just so that it’s a perfect height to prevent back strain!

It stores all of my embroidery stabilisers and ufo’s along with all my pattern making tools in the front drawers.

It is my favourite piece of furniture in the room!

My sewing area, although compact, works great for me. My main sewing machine, a Janome MC6600 is sunken so that the bed is level with my work surface. The work surface was created using a length of kitchen worktop from Ikea. I purchased two lengths, enough to create an upright end piece and also to wedge the shelf between the end piece and the malm drawers. It was lowered just enough to allow my machine bed to be level with my work top once the machine was mounted into the aperture that my hubs cut out for my machine.

My other machines are a Brother PE 750e standalone embroidery machine, a Singer 14SH754 overlocker which I bought for an absolute steal from Lidl for just £119 and a Brother 1034d overlocker which although less features compared to the Singer, was my first domestic overlock machine and a true workhorse! I also own many other machines, some of which are now really just used for decorative purposes but are all in perfect working order.

I also made my own thread racks from scraps of wood and you can read about that here.

On the opposite side of my machines is where I keep my sons piano (he’s left home but hadn’t got round to taking it yet!) and a larger kallax unit that houses all my fabrics.

I’d love to have my fabrics on show but I just don’t like the fact that they can get dusty and too much sunlight! Besides… they’d never stay tidy!! The magazine boxes above are where I keep all my… well, magazines! Oh and instructions to my sewing machines and receipts as well as templates and sewing patterns. Sewing books and craft books are kept at the bottom.

Next to that and continuing around the corner into the doorway is the ‘techy’ section. A place to do all my digitizing (I use Embird for that!) and to design and print all my patterns.

I still need to get some pretty pictures up, the walls are very plain but I just haven’t got round to it. It’s been like this for almost two years… maybe this year I’ll get around to doing it, who knows!

That’s about it…

I love my oh sew modest room, it serves me well and it’s such a lovely place to lock myself away in!

Hope you like it as much as I do…

Happy sewing!!!


A couple of peeps in a sewing group that I belong to have asked about my sewing thread racks. I make mostly everything myself for my sewing room. This ensures that my room fits around me and how I like to do things. 

Here’s a rough plan of how I created my thread holders, but you could adapt it to suit you whether you want it smaller or larger dependant on how many threads you have. I actually have hundreds of different spools of thread including woolly nylon cones and embroidery threads but I do prefer to keep my walls minimal and clutter free. I work better when my room is less cluttered! 

I used smooth planed timber (84mm x 18mm) for the side panels and 70mm x 15mm for the top panel and 5 x 28mm x 18mm timbers each with 9 6mm dowels sunken into each strip (dowel holes need to be drilled slightly smaller in diameter to the dowel to make them tight and don’t drill the hole all the way through as they need a stop point to keep them from falling through if the holes ever loosen) each of the spool holder bars are screwed in from the side panels and are left slightly at an angle so as to get to the spools easily. I counter sunk the screws and filled them with wood filler before painting the rack. 
Oh and the bottom pots were from Ikea (99p) each and are hung from a piece of wide dowelling. 

I made a similar one for my embroidery threads but as of yet (I made it well over a year ago!), I still have yet to paint it white! 

You can see on the embroidery thread holder that I didn’t counter sink the screws but will do before I paint it. 
I hope that helps! 

Glossybox January 2017 box review (spoilers)

Miss Fine Beauty

This months Glossybox promised to be good enough to eat (please don’t actually ) and it delivered. This box is in collaboration with Bella Younger, more commonly known as Deliciously Stella.


  • Price of the box –£13.25 including p+p. This is based on a monthly payment, you can pay multiple months in advance to lower the price slightly.
  • Items in the box- 5
  • Value-over £30

Unani Illuminate Milk Cleanser (Full Size) – RRP £14

img_2225Not tested on animals

This is a gentle cleansing milk which helps to remove makeup and impurities from your skin. When I first read cleansing milk I was worried its consistency would be like water, however this is the perfect balance between not too thick or not too runny!

I couldn’t wait to try this product out and it did not disappoint, it felt very natural on the face and left my skin feeling fresh…

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Look Fantastic January 2017 box review (spoilers) 

Because… some (beautifully written) reviews are just worth sharing!

Miss Fine Beauty

This months box is filled with a generous amount of makeup and skincare goodies to overhaul your beauty regimes for the New Year. It includes some classic brands such as Pixi and also some new beauty discoveries with Jelly Pong Pong.


  • Price of the box – £15 with free delivery. This is based on a monthly recurring subscription, prices do lower slightly if you opt for a longer contract.
  • Items in the box – 6
  • Value – Over £50

Pixi by Petra Brow Tamer (Full Size) – RRP £12

img_2185Not tested on animals.

It’s always exciting to find a product from a brand you know and love, so I was delighted to see this Brow Tamer from Pixi in my box.

This Brow Tamer is a new release as part of her collaboration with four leading beauty and lifestyle guru’s. This particular product is in collab with Beauty blogger and…

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