Wednesday, 17 October 2012

How to share photos with us on Facebook

We absolutely love it when our customers share pictures of their projects with us on the Owl and Sewing Cat Facebook page. However, some people have come to us saying they are not sure how to do this so here is a very quick tutorial.

On our page find this box, up on the top left hand side.

Click Photo / Video and then Attach Photo / Video.

Tell us something about the picture and attach the picture from your computer.

Click post and then your picture and text should come up like this.

When we see your posts on our page we will share them with all of our followers. If you have any trouble leave a comment here or on our page and we will be happy to help.

We can't wait to see what you are making.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tutorial: Simple drawstring bag

We think that this bag is perfect for keeping pumps or trainers in for school but there are so many things that you can use this bag for and it is so easy we make them for everything!


Finished bag size is approximately 13" x 17"


Main fabric 19" x 28" (we used two pieces sewn together as we were using up fabric left over from another project).
Constrast fabric for pocket 7" x7" (if required)
Cord or ribbon
Sewing supplies


If you want to have a pocket on your bag take a square of contrast fabric and fold the top over by half an inch and stitch across. Then iron the other three sides under by quarter of an inch and then stitch in place on the right sides of the main piece of fabric as shown below.

Measure 1.5" down from the top of the bag and make a small snip in the fabric 0.5" long. Then fold the piece of material above the snip over quarter of an inch and then another quarter of an inch and stitch as shown below.

Next place your piece of material right sides down and fold the top over by half an inch and then again by an inch. Press and pin in place and then stitch all along the bottom creating a channel for the cord or ribbon to go through. Make sure you stitch backwards and forwards at the beginning and the end to secure your stitches.

Then fold in half with right sides together and stitch the two open sides together using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Use pinking shears to trim your seams to stop them fraying. Turn your bag right sides out and using a safety pin pass the cord right through the channel you have created and out the other side. Tie the two ends together when it is the preferred length.

Congratulations your bag is finished!

Happy sewing,


Friday, 3 August 2012

Tutorial: Freddie the Frog

Now that the Summer holidays are in full swing I thought that it would be a good idea to repost one of our older projects that we have on the blog. This little fellow is always popular with people that come into the shop and it is a brilliant beginners sewing project and a great present for your friends.

To get the template click on the picture of the frog so it appears in a pop up window and then right click to 'Save as'. You can then open the image up on your computer and print it.

If you make a Freddie we would love to see your finished frogs. You can email a picture to us or post it on the wall of our Facebook page.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

August at the Owl and Sewing Cat

This month we are thinking of summer holidays and things that you and your children can make or do to prepare them for going back to school in August as well as amuse themselves during the holidays. We have a fun beginners project coming up as well as a tutorial for a really handy shoe bag for when they are back at school.

Come and check out our new window display and don't forget that we have the holiday sewing club in the shop for 10 - 16 year olds. We also have Open Sewing Sessions running on different days to usual over the summer holidays so have a look and see if there is one you could come along to.

Back to school projects including: Lunch bag, Covered Notebook, pencil case, crayon / pen roll, 
shoe bag (tutorial next week), painting tabbard, book bag, drawstring rucksack.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Made: Items made in our classes and shop this month

We have been really busy recently, thinking up and trying out new patterns as well as guding our students through making some of our most popular items. We have had a really successful first holiday sewing club and Tracey is trying to plan a new patchwork / quilting class which we are really excited about.

All of these items were made in the shop.

The zip up make up bag was made in our holiday sewing club, isn't it great? I love the bright apron too.

The Penny pleat bag (shown here in the dolls fabric) is one of our new patterns that will be available soon.

Hope this inspires you to make something soon, or join us for a class. Please see the Sewing Workshops section of our website for details.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Focus: Elements beginner patchwork and quilting class

We are regularly being asked about the various classes and workshops that we hold at the Owl and Sewing Cat so 'Focus' is a new series looking at each class in turn. All images are of items that can be made in this class.

What is the name of the class?
Who is it for?
Anyone who would like to learn the basics of patchwork and quilting and make a lovely cushion. The front of the cushion is pieced together and quilted and applique motifs are added. This is then made into a cushion practicing other various techniques on the back (adding a zip etc).

When does it take place?
Our next class is on Tuesday 28th August. The class is either run by the owner of the shop, Tracey, or our tutor Yvonne.

What can you make?
A beautiful cushion for you to take home. The front of the cushion is pieced together and quilted and applique motifs are added. This is then made into a cushion cover practicing other various techniques on the back, adding a zip, buttons etc depending on the design.

How much does it cost?
It is £38 plus fabric costs.

How do I come along? 
Look at the class page for dates and then just give us a call on the number on our website to book your session. If possible we ask that you choose your fabric before you come so we have plenty of time for learning and sewing.

I have not yet decided which class we will feature next month, if there is one you would like to know more about please leave a comment.

Monday, 23 July 2012

New in store: Riley Blake, Moda and more!

We have had loads of great new fabrics in over the past few weeks so I thought I would show you a selection today.

I am a huge fan of Riley Blake fabrics and these are no exception. I love the bright colours and patterns. Perfect for summer. I think my favourite is the spot, I just love those little apples that are scattered here and there.

The Petit Odile collection by Moda has always been popular in store and we have refilled our shelves with six different prints from this collection. I can't decide which of these is my favourite, I think those buttons are so cute but I really like the muted colours of the floral 'Amelia'.

Something that is very light and summery is this 'Penelope' collection for Lakehouse fabrics. Now that the sun has come out I can picture garden parties. I love the traditional French feel to some of these designs. The black and white text style prints are always popular and this includes a particularly lovely one.

Finally, my favourite fabrics we have in store are these two from Kokka in Japan. The typewriters are from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Shining and the birds are an Echino print. I think the typewriters are destined to be a lampshade in my bedroom. I just love everything about this fabric!

I would love to know which of these is your favourite and what you could imagine making from them. Dreaming up new projects for all these fabrics is the best bit of this job!

All fabrics are available for sale in the shop and in the designer fabric section of our website.

Happy sewing,


Giveaway Winner: Owl and Sewing Cat sewing pattern

The winner of the exclusive Owl and Sewing Cat sewing pattern is...

...Kelly Staniland.

Congratulations Kelly. You will receive an email from us shortly.

If you didn't win then all our patterns are available to purchase in the shop and in the sewing patterns section of our website.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Introducing: Tracey

Tracey is the owner of the Owl and Sewing Cat. She was inspired to open a fabric shop when her teenage daughter started to show an interest in sewing but they struggled to find fun and interesting fabrics that would be easy for her to sew with. She has the enviable job of picking all the fabric, notions and yarn for the shop. She also teaches a number of classes and workshops as well as managing the shop and developing the Owl and Sewing Cat range of patterns. With a family to look after too she is one very busy lady indeed.

When did your love of sewing begin? 
From a very young age. As long as I can remember I would always play with my nan’s ribbon and buttons boxes, as my mum was often sewing. I remember loving going through the fabric boxes and then seeing that fabric transformed into soft toys or clothing.

Do you have a favourite thing to make? 
I love making bags, cushions and bunting, because you can never have too many of them around the house. I wish I had kept a count of how many metres of bunting have been made in our workshops since we began running them.

What inspires you? 
The fabrics and yarns themselves are very inspiring. We can look at all the new collections and buy those that jump out at us, and usually the prints or colours inspire us to make either bags, or a skirt, etc. We also get inspiration from our customers sometimes, as they often have requests for patterns, or like to share their tips and ideas.

What do you like most about sewing? 
Sewing and knitting are very therapeutic; they’re a great hobby to have. There is nothing like hand-making a unique gift as a present. It is lovely to take that bit of ‘me time’ in our busy lives and create something lovely.

Any future plans or aspirations? 
In October, we opened our new shop, offering quality wool, yarn and a new larger area for all our workshops. My long-term aim was that we would be able to expand our teaching program, and in October, much earlier that I had originally thought, we began a large variety of classes, including knitting, patchwork, beginners sewing, dressmaking, crochet, cup cake decorating, making Christmas decorations, a children’s club, and many more. We hope to find even more tutors locally who can come along and share their skills. I will always aspire to get as many people as possible in Eastbourne sewing or knitting.

Tracey is in the shop most days and along with the lovely shop assistants is always happy to give help and advice on picking fabric and different projects you can make.

Happy sewing,


Monday, 16 July 2012

Featured: Shop of the month

We are very excited that we are Shop of the Month on the Country days blog this month. Country days is written by the editor and team behind Country Homes and Interiors magazine. What a lovely surprise on a wet and windy Monday morning.

Shop of the Month... Owl and Sewing Cat

Friday, 13 July 2012

Giveaway: Owl and Sewing Cat Pattern

We are very excited to be able to tell you that we have the first of our new exclusive Owl and Sewing Cat patterns available in store and in our online fabric shop. Each pattern pack contains a requirements list, easy to follow step by step instructions with pictures, and full size pattern pieces ready for cutting and using. No tracing or enlarging required, allowing you to get making straight away.

Example pattern sheet

At present we have four pattern packs available and more in the creation stages. We are loving making these and hope that they will be perfect for people who cannot come along to our sewing sessions.

At present we have two bags and two of our kitchen patterns available. The Bryony Bag is spacious and stylish and a firm favourite of people that come into the shop. Our beach bag is big and brilliant and just right for chucking all your bits and pieces in on holiday.
For the kitchen we have the Poppy Pinny - the pack comes with both adult and child size patterns. This is a really pretty gathered pinny with adjustable straps. And to help you get organised we have a Hanging Organiser and Bag Tidy - two patterns in one.

All of these patterns can be seen in more detail on Patterns and Sewing Kits page on our website.

Today we are giving away a pattern of your choice from those listed above. All you need to do to enter is join our mailing list and then have a look at the patterns and decide which is your favourite. Then complete the form below to register your entry. You automatically get two entries for completing those steps.

If you would like extra entries there are three other things you can do - follow us on Twitter, like our page on Facebook and tweet about the giveaway if you wish.

Small print:
A winner will be drawn using Rafflecopter when the competition closes in a week on 20th July 2012.
UK entries only as the pattern will be sent to you by post.
We will contact the winner by email after the competition has closed. 
The prize is for one of our exclusive Owl and Sewing Cat patterns, no other prize will be substituted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Inspiration: Teacher's Gifts

Suddenly the end of term is upon us and it is the perfect time to make a little something to say thank you to your or your children's teachers.

We have some brilliant ideas for simple gifts to make. I have added a link to all of the tutorials that we have on our blog.

Envelope cushion - brilliant quick make, just one piece of fabric and four straight lines of stitching.

Two fat quarter cushion - very similar to the above but made with two fat quarters.

Tote bag - something for your teacher to take all her other gifts home in.

Bunting - really easy to make and everyone loves a bit of bunting to cheer up a room.

All of these items were made in our Open Sewing Session from fabric bought from our shop. We have lots of new fabrics in the Owl and Sewing Cat online store that would be perfect for these.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Tutorial: Embellished Tea Towels

To tie in with our kitchen theme this month we have a great tutorial for you. Really simple to make but a lovely present for someone or perfect for making tea towels to match your kitchen decor. We chose apples and polka dots to go with the rest of the items in our kitchen display.

Plain tea towels
Chosen fabric - 11" x width of tea towel plus 1/2"
Ribbon or tape for hanging 7"
Other ribbon or trim as required.

1.Take your tea towel and measure the width at the bottom hem as shown and add 1/2" to this measurement and this will be the width for your cutting.

2. Cut your fabric using the width measurement from step 1 and cutting the length to 11".

3. Fold the cut fabric in half matching the two long sides and with right sides facing and press. Then take 7" of hanging tape or ribbon and fold in half. Open up the fabric and pin the folded tape just below the pressed line as shown.

4. Fold the fabric back in half and then stitch using 1/4" seam allowance, along both the short edges.

5. Turn right sides out and press. Tuck the bottom end of the tea towel inside the fabric sleeve just made. 

6. Pin the tea towel right to the top of the fabric and stitch along to hold tea towel in place.

7. Turn under the bottom edge of the fabric by 1/2" and press. Then pin the bottom edge flat to the tea towel and stitch along that edge.

8. Add trim as required.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

New kitchen window display

July seems to be as wet as June was and so our thoughts are still on our home and we have been busy putting together a special window display to show off our new range of kitchen patterns.

To celebrate we have some kitchen themed blog posts planned and a competition to win one of our new patterns as well.

Happy Sewing,

Kelly x

Technical information, please ignore:

Friday, 29 June 2012

Made: Items made in our classes this month

Here are some of the items that have been made in store this month. There are some gorgeous items and lots and lots of bunting, a brilliant project for beginners. As always have a look on the Owl and Sewing Cat website for details on our classes and workshops.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Focus: Bag Making Workshop

We are regularly being asked about the various classes and workshops that we hold at the Owl and Sewing Cat so 'Focus' is a new series looking at each class in turn. All images are of items that can be made in this class.

What is the name of the class?
Bag Making Workshop

Who is it for?
Anyone that would like to have a go at making a bag and learning some tips and techniques at the same time. Some experience of using a sewing machine is required. If you wanted to do this course but needed to pick up the basics (or have a refresher) then coming along to one of our Open Sewing Sessions first might be useful.

When does it take place?
Our next class is on Friday 27th from 10am - 4pm. The class is run by the owner of the shop, Tracey.

What can you make?
One of our lovely bags! We have lots of different patterns and designs to choose from. From a new handbag to a useful beach bag we have something to suit everybody. I have included a few pictures here but there are many possibilities. We will talk you through the entire process from cutting fabric right through to finishing your bag. Tracey will also talk you through how to adjust the size and shape of a bag so that you can make your own patterns in the future. Make one for yourself or as a present for someone.

How much does it cost?
It is £38 plus fabric costs.

How do I come along? 
Look at the class page for dates and then just give us a call on the number on our website to book your session. If possible we ask that you choose your project and fabric before you come.

Next month we will be looking at our Elements patchwork & quilting course.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Coming soon: Holiday Sewing Club

We now have details of classes running throughout the summer on our website. One of the ever popular sessions we will be running is our Sewing Club for 10-16 year olds.

If you are (or know someone who is) a young person interested in learning to use a sewing machine come along to one of our sessions and you can learn to make something special. We have a new project each session and Tracey takes you through the whole process from start to finish.

The dates and projects are listed below. Sessions cost £20 and include all the fabrics you need.

10th July - Pencil case
24th July - Apron
7th August - Bag with decoration
21st August - Monster cushion made from felt - design your own

Please contact us by telephone or pop into the shop if you are interested in booking one of the classes.

Happy sewing,

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