Joining Piping Ends Tutorial

Piping makes an impressive addition to bags, cushions and sew much more. Some of the patterns I have come across that include the addition of piping, have often given the instruction to overlap the piping cords and sew straight over both, leaving a bulk that, I think, detracts from the overall finish.

For a nice professional finish when joining your piping, here is my go to technique. For this tutorial I had already made my piping with a size 0 cord and fabric strips cut on the bias. This technique will work with any sized piping whether it is pre-made or self made.

With the start of your piping, unpick approximately one inch of stitching. Open out the fabric and trim the piping cord back to the stitching.

Refold the fabric and place on the project you are making. Gently angle the unpicked fabric off the edge (see above) and start sewing the piping cord in place around your project reversing at the start.

Stop when you are close to the start of the piping and reinforce. Overlap the ends of piping and feel where the shortened cord is, which was cut at the start. Place a pin in the piping end at the same point. See middle image. Unpick the stitching on the piping to the pin.

Open out the fabric and cut the cord up to the pin. When the piping end is placed on top of the piping start, the cords should not overlap, but butt up to one another while encased in fabric. This ensures a nice smooth finish.

Angle the fabric ends off the project as shown in the images above and continue to sew these into place. There should be no resistance from overlapped cords and no empty piping leaving a dip.

It should now look like the above image when stitched in place. Trim your fabric ends to remove any bulk from the seam and continue making your project. Your piping is now joined.

Happy Stitching! Kimz Team x

Fabric Scrunchie Tutorial

Fashion trends always repeat and the good old Scrunchie from the 90's has made a massive return. Using scrunchies is also better for your hair than elastic hair bands as they create less friction and breakage on hair.... plus we can make them ourselves in fabric that we love.

We've chosen a super cute Golden Grove Cockatoo fabric available here to make our scrunchie sample. You can use many different types of fabric to create your own one of a kind hair accessory so have fun with different types of textures and colours.

To make one scrunchie, you will need the following: Fabric piece measuring 4" x 18" Elastic 8"-9" (8" for finer hair 9" for thicker hair) Thread that will match the colour of the fabric Sewing machine, pins and scissors Bodkin (optional)

Fold your fabric piece right sides together along the long edge. Measure in from both ends approx. 1" and pin (if you use red headed pins it will make it easier to know when to start and stop). Pin in-between the red headed pins using different coloured pins to keep the raw edges together.

Now at your sewing machine, align the side of the presser foot with the raw edges of the fabric and start sewing at the first red pin ensuring you back-stitch to secure. Remember to take the pins out before you sew over them as this can damage your machine and/or break your needle.

Stop at the last red pin and back-stitch to secure.

Turn the fabric tube right side out. This can be a little fiddly so to make this task easier you could use a Loop Turner or a Turn it All tool.

Take the raw fabric edges from both ends of the tube and align these edges with right sides together. You won't be able to align the whole length of the seam, just the start to begin with will be fine.

This step can be a little awkward. Just go slow and just start at the beginning, working the raw edges together as you sew until you get to the end.

Pull on both sides of the joined tube until the seam you have just sewn slips inside.

Keeping one end of the elastic out of the fabric tube, thread the opposite end through, until both ends of the elastic are coming out of the tube coming from each direction. We've used a

Insert the elastic inside of the fabric tube and tuck the raw edges of the fabric into the opening.

Edge stitch along the folded edge to enclose the raw seams and to close the opening and....

I hope you enjoy making these fabric scrunchies! They really are fun and quick to make and great to teach kids who want to learn how to sew. Please share any that you create with us because we'd love to see them.

Happy Stitching! Kimz Team x

Thread Flower Tutorial

Here is a fun little Thread Flower for you to try.  They are simple, fun and can adorn just about anything you desire.

 You will need the following to make Thread Flowers:

An assortment of threads (variegated and metallic look great)  and if you have one, a Thread Stand will make this task all the more smoother.

A washer and a brooch back.  Your BSR foot for your Bernina machine (for other brands, use your darning foot).
Not shown but required are a Stanley knife, a business card with hole slightly larger than the washer size, sticky tape, your sewing machine and needle and thread to attach the brooch back.

Take your washer in one hand and your threads in the other. 

While holding onto your washer also hold onto the start of your threads you are using.  With your other hand start to wrap the threads around the washer.

Rhonda is super quick at these (I couldn’t get a clear picture as she is lightning fast)

You should have something that looks like this.  

 Tape your flower into the middle of a business card securing your thread ends.  This makes your flower easier to handle under your machine.

Using your BSR foot (or darning foot) decrease your foot pressure and stitch in circular motions securing the threads in the centre of the flower.

Your centre should look similar to this one above.

Now using your Stanley knife, cut the thread around the edge of the washer.  You may like to use two washers instead of one to run the knife in between when cutting the threads. 

Remove your flower.  The washer you use will determine the finished size of your thread flower. 

Now simply attach your brooch back using needle and thread and pin onto anything you like for a gorgeous whimsical look. 
If you have any questions regarding the making of these cute Thread Flowers please don’t hesitate to comment, email, phone or drop into our store.

 Happy Stitching! Kimz Team x

Clover Kanzashi Flower Tutorial

I adore making Kanzashi flowers using the Clover flower makers.  Admittedly I haven’t tried making them without the maker but I’m really happy with how easy they are to make this way.
I demonstrate this a lot at the shop so I thought that I would post it on the blog so more people can see how easy this is to do.  There are many videos on how to do this but I have chosen to show you using images so you can go at your own pace.

There are 5 different styles of flower you can make with the makers and 3 different sizes for each style.

I’m going to show you how to make the round petal but the same method applies to each style of petal.

Fabric, Clover maker, needle, thread and scissors.

On one side of your flower maker there will be numbers and a start and finish.  These indicate the sequence in which you will stitch.  This is the outside of the maker.  Cut a square of fabric larger than the size of your opened maker.

  Ensure your fabric is wrong sides together as you fold it in half and placing inside the maker.  The fold of the fabric should be in the fold of the maker.  The maker will clip together holding the fabric in place.

Using your scissors clip the excess fabric from around the maker.

With your needle threaded and a knot at the end of the thread, put your in at the start position.  I see this as the back of the maker when it is folded so flip is over to the front.

Your needle will come up the number 1 slot on the front.

Find the 2 and put the needle into the slot.

Continue bringing your needle up and down as your go through the numbers in order.

Your needle will exit through the finish on the back of the maker.

Remove the maker from the fabric when you have finished stitching.

 Pull the fabric towards the knot forming a petal.  You may need to manipulate the fabric to form the shape of the petal.  Do not cut your thread, you will continue to make all of the petals on this length of thread.

Leaving space between the petal just formed, commence your next petal.

Remove the maker.

Push down this last petal stitch to the first petal and shape.

Keep going forming each petal.

When you are happy with how many petals you have……

Turn your flower over to the back and insert your needle into the first petal.

Make a knot and cut your thread.

Turn back over and shape your petals into your flower.

Add a button or similar to the centre.
Finish off the back by covering the hole with fabric.  Stitch on a brooch back, hair clip or straight onto your item.  These are gorgeous accessories!
Here is a Pointed petal Kanzashi flower made using all 3 sizes with a button glued in front.

Give it a go.  They are simple, fun and fast to make.  You won’t want to stop at one!

Happy Stitching! Kimz Team x