Eva’s fabric basket tutorial

We love Eva Rose‘s fabric baskets! These are the perfect size to fit our fat quarters (the way we fold them!) most of our sewing patterns (they are the perfect width for Sewaholic, Colette, etc) and look just lovely stuffed full of pretty skeins of yarn. And in Gleeful by Caroline Hulse, they are a bright and cheerful addition to the sewing room. I bet you can’t wait to make your own. Thanks, Eva!

Gleeful by Caroline Hulse

Makes a finished basket measuring 9.5” Long, 6” deep and 6” high.

You will need:

Fabrics (We used Gleeful by Sew Caroline, Art Gallery fabrics)
• 2 Pieces 17”x 10” for the main basket body
• 2 Pieces 17”x 10” for the interior lining
• 2 Pieces 17”x 5” for the exterior pockets
• 2 Pieces 17”x 5” for the pockets lining
• 2 Pieces 10”x 5” for the handles


Fusible Fleece (We used HeatnBond Fusible Fleece Iron on High Loft, Non Woven)
• 2 Pieces 16”x 9” for the main basket body
• 2 Pieces 16”x 9” for the interior lining
• 2 Piecies 10”x 1 1/4” for the handles

• Sewing Machine, Scissors, Pins, Ruler, Pencil, Selection of Matching Threads, Iron


****All seam allowances are ½ inch*****

1) Iron all your fabics and cut them to size. We are using Charms Abloom (pink) for the main body, Springs Breeze (white) for the lining, Preppy Fleurs (blue) for the pockets, Springs Sun (yellow) for the pocket lining and Charms Abloom (pink) for the handles.

2) Cut the fleece to size


3) Place the fleece on the wrong side of the fabic leaving an even border all round. Flip the fabric and fleece over and using the iron fuse the fleece to the fabric following the manufacturer’s recommendation.



4) To make the handles, fold the handles fabric in half wrong sides together and press a crease with the iron

basket 5

5) Get the strip of fusible fleece and place it along the crease

basket 6

basket 7

6) Fold down the fabric around the fleece and press. Fold the other side and press.

basket 8

basket 9

7) Fold again to form a strip and press well. Choose a matching thread to sew around the handles.

basket 10

basket 11

8) Trim the handles to be exactly the same length.

basket 12

9) Mark a line ½ from the edge on each handle. This will be your mark for the final assembly. Put to one side.

basket 13

10) Take a pocket outer fabric and a pocket lining fabric. Place them right sides together and pin both long sides.

basket 14

basket 15

11) Sew along both long sides, locking your seam at the start and finish. Make sure you leave the short sides unstitched. Repeat for the second pocket and lining.

basket 16

basket 17

TIP: To ensure accuracy, stitch only one long side of the second pocket. Then place over the first pocket and mark the stitch line for the other side. This will ensure your pocket pieces are absolutely identical in height and give nice matching seams to the finished project.

12) Iron the pieces from the wrong side well.

basket 18

13) Roll the tube you have made, pressing the seam open with your hand. Iron the open seam down.

basket 19

14) Turn the tube right side out and press those seams open again

basket 20

basket 21

15) Get your ruler and your pencil and mark ½ inch above the seam line. This will create the top edging of the pocket.

basket 22

16) Carefully roll the fabric back and press a crease on the pencil drawn line. Take your time and move the iron slowly. This is what it will look like from both sides.



17) Repeat the process with the other pocket and you will have two nicely pressed pieces.



18) At the sewing machine you will stitch in the ditch between the yellow and blue fabric to stabilise the pocket. Use your ditch foot and a suitable colour thread. If you don’t have this foot, just stitch slowly. I used a yellow thread as I did not want it showing at the back.



19) Place the pocket on your main outer fabric. Make sure you have the edging on the top. Measure 3” ½” from the bottom of the main fabric- this will be where you place the bottom of the pocket. Pin in place.


20) Now you may wish to divide the pocket into compartments. I marked 3” ½” from the left and the right edge, to coincide with the corner of the basket, once it is formed.



21) To mark a centre line, fold the fabric over to find the middle point and press with your finger to form a crease. Using that as a guide mark a line down the centre of the pocket.



22) Choose a suitable thread for the pocket and begin sewing the long bottom side of the pocket. Make sure you do NOT sew the top with the edging. Lock your stitch at both ends.


23) Now sew the vertical lines to divide the pockets. I like to use triple stitch, backstitching a few times at both ends.



24) Use a zig zag stitch at the end of each pocket, to stop any fraying and ensure a neat finish. Repeat for the other main fabric and pocket. Once you finish sewing press well with the iron.



25) Place the main outer pieces right sides together, with the open part of the pocket to the top. Take care to match the top edging and pin the left, bottom and right side.



26) Sew these three sides- do NOT sew the top.


27) Mark a 3” by 3” square from the sewing line (or 3” ½” from the fabric edge) at both bottom corners. Flip over and do the same on the other side.


28) Stand your project up and push the corner down to form a triangle. Press the seams open with your finger.



29) Looking inside the basket, match the two lines. Walk your fingers slowly on the outside of the basket, matching the lines as you go. Pin in place.



30) You should now have the line you drew before as your guide to sew over.



31) Stitch on the line, locking your stitch. You may want to use triple stitch or go over a couple of times.


32) Trim the excess leaving a ½” seam allowance.


33) Repeat for the other side and your project will look like this. Turn it right side out.



34) To attach the handles lay the basket flat and mark 1” either side of the centre seam.



35) Position the handle using the ½” mark you made earlier as a guide.


36) Pin in place and repeat for the other end of the handle. Do the same for the other side of the basket.


37) Secure the handles to the body using a zig zag stitch. This will ensure they stay in place for the final assembly.



38) To make the lining, get your two lining fabrics.


39) Place right sides together. Pin left, bottom and right sides.



40) Stitch leaving the top side open.


41) Mark just as you did for the outer main part.



42) Stitch along the line to box the corners and trim the excess.




43) You should now have the lining and the basket ready to iron.


44) Iron the seams of the lining flat. It helps if you hook it at the end of the ironing board.



Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron from the fusible fleece.


45) Following the fleece edge and fabric pattern as a guide, turn a ½ edge and press. Continue working all around. Turn an edge for the outer basket too. Use the ruler as a guide if necessary.




This is what both should look like now.

46) Place the lining in the basket. Do not worry if it looks a mess, it will look nice soon!



47) Line up the seams and start pinning. Use lots of pins


48) Sew all round locking the stitch. You may want to increase your stitch length and width now to allow for the bulk of all the layers. I stitched a second line just under the first one, for decoration.


And you are done!




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Fly Away by Phyllida Coroneo now in stock

Phyllida Coroneo‘s second collection for Dashwood Studio, Fly Away, just arrived this morning! It’s a whimsical, nature inspired collection in a refreshing and on-trend palette of lime green, cornflower blue, grey and mint green. Shop the Fly Away collection or build a Fly Away bundle!
Fly Away by Phyllida Coroneo

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Join us for a special event with Cloud9 Fabrics!

Ever wondered what it means to buy organic fabric? Join us on Sunday, 2 November at 2pm to hear Gina Pantastico, co-founder and director of operations for Cloud9 Fabrics, give a talk about the difference between organic and conventional cotton and the impact buying organic has on your health and the environment. Cloud9 is one of the fastest growing organic fabric companies in the industry, and Gina seriously knows her market. Here is an interview I did with Gina way back when, so you can get a taste of what you’re in for!

Michelle and Gina, founders of Cloud9 Fabrics

Michelle and Gina, founders of Cloud9 Fabrics

You’ll also have the rare opportunity to see the very newest Cloud9 collections, which will be revealed for the first time just one week earlier at Quilt Market in Houston! Gina and Michelle keep their launches tightly under wraps until each Quilt Market, so it’s always super exciting to see what’s happening in their booth at the show. Gina will have loads of samples and artwork to share.

Cloud9's booth at Spring Market 2014 in Pittsburgh

Cloud9’s booth at Spring Market 2014 in Pittsburgh

If that’s not enough, we’ll have wine and nibbles for you to enjoy whilst you save 10% off all Cloud9 fabrics! This is a free event at our West Hampstead shop. Please rsvp to annie@thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk if you are planning to attend so we can keep a head count.


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Roisin’s perfect pillowcase tutorial

Making your own pillowcases is such a fun way to liven up your room, whether it’s a bright colour or a fun print, so I was thrilled when Roisin offered to do a tutorial for The Daily Stitch! She chose Nani Iro Painting Check in D for her sample – an amazingly soft brushed cotton/flannel that is absolutely decadent on a pillow. I highly recommend this substrate for the cosiest pillows of your life! Read on for the tutorial, and shop our flannel selection here. Thanks, Roisin!

The fabric I chose for this project is Nano Iro’s Painting Check (108w) in brushed cotton. To make a pair of pillowcases, you will need a little less than 2m. Sometimes it is nice to have a pattern but the paper pattern piece required here would be very large so it’s easiest to just measure directly on to the fabric.

If you’re a fabric recycler, this pillowcase project is an ideal way to recycle the good parts of old sheets that are a bit threadbare. I have a habit of buying 1m of fabric if I see something I like but don’t yet have an idea what I’d like to make. My fabric stash has lots of 1m lengths of fabric. For this project, I started off with 0.8m which meant I cut the width in half and had to sew the two bits together to make the fabric longer. The finished pillowcase has an unseemly seam on one side, however, it’s nice to know this project does work from 1m of fabric! These instructions would be more complicated if I worried about where to position that seam and it’s nicer for a pillowcase to be made from one long length of fabric. So let’s work with a 2m or so length of fabric and meanwhile I can live with the seam on the underside of my pillow!


[1] Measure an existing pillowcase (or cushion cover etc)
– Right side (pretty side) out, as it would be facing on the bed
– Without a pillow inside

Mine measures 68cm in length and 48cm in width

[2a] We need to write a formula for the correct measurements for cutting the fabric. You can skip this figuring-out step and jump on to the next step, simply using assumptions made on your behalf – but I just know there are some like-minded mathematical heads out there who will appreciate this additional step!

Decide on your hem allowance (h.a.) and seam allowance (s.a.) measurements, and on the overlap (r). The overlap is the fabric at the pillowcase opening which conceals the pillow, put another way the pillow will tuck into this extra fabric. I had been allowing a quarter of the pillow-length but realise that this overlap/tuck is also providing ease and room for the puffiness of the pillow so I am now working with an overlap of one third of the end length, however it doesn’t end up like that when sewn up! In rewriting the formula, you can play with this and experiment depending on the fluffiness of your pillows and your own preferences.

Untitled5My h.a. is 3cm and s.a. is 1.5cm. The overlap is one third so r=3. Remember the length is cut on the fold. Don’t worry, this stuff melts my brain too!

[2] Using these formulas, and replacing L and W with the measurements you took, calculate the size for cutting the fabric on the fold:

Untitled6In my example, I will be cutting 83x51cm

Untitled7[3] Fold the fabric. Measure the length away from the folded edge and the width along the folded edge. Cut.

Untitled8[4a] Overlock the long edges of the fabric, single thickness -This step is optional
[4] Hem the two short ends of the cut fabric. Hem allowance is 3cm (unless you calculated a different formula)

Iron a crease along that line. Fold under the fabric edge and iron again

Then sew, backstitching at start and finish

[5] You will now be folding the fabric, right sides together – measure from one of the hemmed edges the length of the finished pillowcase and fold at that point

In my example, I’m measuring 68cm
[6] Fold the extra piece over, lining it up closely with the edge so that it too measures the finished desired length. (This is the overlap or tuck discussed in the calculation explanation above.)

i.e. 68cm

[7] Sew along the long sides, backstitching at start and end with a seam allowance of 1.5cm (unless you calculated a different s.a. in your own formula).

[8] Turn right-side-out

[9] Insert pillow!


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The Village Haberdashery

Our new Summer-to-Autumn shop window display!

Our little window is a bit eclectic this month! It started as kind of a tribute to Cotton + Steel’s debut collections, and then sort of sprawled, as these things tend to do, and now I can’t really remember how we got to were we are. And so. It’s a little bit Cotton + Steel, a little bit Chambray Union and a lot of Kona Cotton Solids. I absolutely love it. Here is a little more info about our samples.

The Village Haberdashery

I usually go left to right, but let’s start with the quilt first this time since it truly ties our window together. Our quilt is sewn by Charlotte Newland, who is teaching a class on this very pattern at this very moment! The pattern is Simply Sampled by Jeni Baker and it looks really amazing in Kona Cotton Solids. We selected the 20 solids for the front by picking out all the colours of the entire Cotton + Steel rainbow. No, we didn’t write these down. But that would have been a swell idea…

Here is the list of Konas: Ice frappe, Navy, Coral, Ash, Cerise, Candy green, Emerald, Curry, Pewter, Blush Pink, Wasabi, Pond, Petal, Salmon, Spice and Mango. The sashing is PFD Bleached White, the border is Ash and the backing and binding are Navy. Whew!

The Village Haberdashery

The first little outfit is the Oliver + S 2 + 2 Blouse and Pleated Skirt. The top is sewn in September Blue by Susan Driscoll for Dashwood Studio. The trim is in a coordinating Kona Cotton Solids by Robert Kaufman. The little skirt is sewn in Dot Chambray in Indigo from Chambray Union by Robert Kaufman, the one we can barely keep in stock (but we have a new bolt on the shelf at the time of this typing!) Both have pink buttons. This outfit was sewn by Charlotte.

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

The second little outfit is the Oliver + S Book Report Dress in All the States in Aqua from Hatbox by Alexia Abegg for Cotton + Steel and Kona Cotton Solids by Robert Kaufman with light blue buttons. Charlotte made this darling dress too.

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

On our lady we have a Traveler Dress by Lisette sewn by Zoe Edwards, who is going to be teaching a class on this pattern in November. The dress is sewn in Slub Chambray in Indigo from Chambray Union by Robert Kaufman and it fits me, and I love wearing it. Seriously – this is a class worth taking because this is a dress worth having!

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

The Village Haberdashery

I made the figure 8 cowl our lady is wearing using Window Vine Lawn in Navy from Homebody by Kim Kight for Cotton + Steel and Cambridge lawn in Mango by Robert Kaufman, along with a good helping of mini pom pom trim in aqua. You can find my tutorial for this project here.

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Today! Book signing with Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park at The Village Haberdashery

Today! Book signing with Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park at The Village Haberdashery

Today is the day! Join us in our West Hampstead shop at 7pm tonight for a special event with Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park to celebrate her new book, Screen Printing at Home.

screenprinting at home

Do you love the idea of printing your own fabrics at home but don’t know where to start? This event is for you! In addition to chatting about and signing her new book, Karen will be giving mini screen printing workshops to show just how easy it is to create beautiful, hand printed fabrics at your kitchen table (or in this case, our kitchen table!) Hope to see you there!

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Cotton Chambray Dot by Robert Kaufman now in stock

Our love of chambray knows no bounds. Every time I discover a new chambray, I snap it up for the shop. And it sells super fast. What’s not to love? Classic, comfortable, versatile and easy-to-sew, chambray is the perfect wardrobe basic. And now with so many options – the vibrant colours of our Interweave Chambray selection, the fun variations on traditional indigo in our Chambray Union collection and, now, our fabulous reversible Cotton Chambray Dots – there just might be a chambray for every occasion!

Cotton Chambray Dot

These Cotton Chambray Dots are 145cm / 57 inches wide and weigh 3.98 oz/ sq yard compared to Chambray Union’s 3.39 oz/sq yard. The weave is so cool – you can wear them right side or wrong side out for a totally different look. Here is a snap we took in the shop to show you both sides at once.

Cotton Chambray Dot

What do you think? Will you be wearing chambray this autumn?

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The Village Stash Society Colour of the Month for August: low volume

The Colour of the Month for August is low volume! Now I know low volume is not a colour. But you guys are asking for, buying and stashing low volume fabrics in huge quantities so we decided they had a place in our club. I also know low volume fabrics can have colour. But I thought for this bundle we’d stick with our favourite white on white prints, mostly white prints and the most neutrally neutrals we could find. There is something peaceful about this, no?

Here is this month’s designer bundle:

colour of the month club

Clockwise from top right:

Pearl BraceletsSandbox by Lizzy House (Andover)
Cotton + Steel BasicsDottie in White (Cotton + Steel)
Sun Print – X and Plus in Light Grey by Alison Glass (Andover)
Confetti Dots – Stone (Dear Stella)
Empire – Fishnet in Sandstone by Parson Gray (FreeSpirit)
The Color Collection – Maze in White (Makower)
Botanics – Foliage in Charcoal by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman)
Jungle AveNeighborHoods by Sara Lawson (Art Gallery)
Waterfront ParkFlight in White by Violet Craft (Michael Miller)
Sun Print – Bike Path in White by Alison Glass (Andover)

Organic is a slightly different story to designer this month. We don’t have quite so many fabrics to choose from when it comes to organic fabrics so we couldn’t go fully neutral. But there are more and more low volume designs in the organic category too these days, and we are head over heels with our pretty, colourful selection.

Here is this month’s organic bundle!

colour of the month club

Clockwise from top right:

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Feathers in White by Mo Willems (Cloud9)
Storyboek – Fieldflowers in Cream by Jay-Cyn Designs (Birch)
Yay Day! – Confetti by Emily Isabella (Birch)
Avalon – Avalon Squares by Jay-Cyn Designs (Birch)
Shape of Spring – Petal Print in Twig by Eloise Renouf (Cloud9)
ArcadiaTumbling in Aqua by Sarah Watson (Cloud9)

You have until 10 September (four days away!) to sign up for our Colour of the Month Club and receive your purple bundle!

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Wear a hand-knit poppy for the Poppy Appeal

Through one of our knitting teachers, Camilla Miller, we are working with Knitting for Victory to offer hand-knit poppies for the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal! Knitting groups and individuals from all over the country have sent their poppies to us, and we have them available for a £2 donation in our West Hampstead shop. Aren’t they lovely?

Knitting for Victory poppies

If you aren’t in London, you can get in touch with Knitting for Victory via their Facebook page to find a shop near you that has them, order one directly, or order a kit to knit one yourself! There are lots of free patterns and ideas for knitting your own poppies on the page. You can also look for Knitting for Victory at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace!

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Floriography by Chelsea Anderson now in stock

Pretty, flirty, feminine Floriography by Chelsea Anderson for Riley Blake is now in stock! Our three designs are just right for girly girl dresses, romantic tops and pretty quilts. And since we’ve already looked it up, we’ll tell you: the best Kona matches for the two background colours are Pond and Medium Pink.



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