Seersucker summer shorts!

I decided to whip up some shorts for Harvey to get through this heat wave. Breakers Seersucker from Robert Kaufman was an obvious choice – it’s so summery and playful! Plus, seersucker has a unique slack-tension weave which creates puckers all over the fabric that hold small pockets of air next to your skin to keep you cool in hot weather. Cool, right?


I downloaded the Kid Shorts pattern from Dana at Made and decided to make two pairs at once. It’s quicker that way! I also chose this fun plaid from the Planet Buzz collection.


The basic pattern is pretty quick. I sewed up two pairs in a morning. I love sewing two things at once, assembly line style!


I kept them a bit longer than the pattern intends so that when he falls on his knees, he’ll be covered. He’s been walking for a couple of months now but he still stumbles sometimes!


I made the 18 month size and they fit right now, although I had to reinforce the bum seams after Harvey split them in both pairs! He could use just a bit more room for those nappies. But they’ll get us through the rest of the summer and that’s all that really matters.


It’s hard to get good pictures of this little guy on the move!


We have a great play area right behind our building. We’ve been heading down to the sand pit every chance we get! The mornings are especially nice because it’s shady and cool.


These photos are a mix of Ed’s profesh looking ones and my phone – but I wanted to share some of both pairs.


I highly recommend this pattern and love these cute shorts!

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Booksigning! Screen Printing at Home by Karen Lewis

Do you love the idea of printing your own fabrics at home but don’t know where to start? In her comprehensive new guide to screen printing, Screen Printing at Home, textile designer Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park shows just how easy it is to create beautiful, hand printed fabrics at your kitchen table.

screenprinting at home

Save the date for a special talk, demo and book signing with Karen at 7pm on Monday, 8 September at our West Hampstead shop!

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New Kona colours are here!

Robert Kaufman have added 32 new colours of Kona Cotton Solids for a total of 303! Madness! We took stock of these new colours last week and you can find them all in the shop.

new kona cotton solids

My favourites include Nectarine and Creamsickle (I’m a sucker for peachy-pinky oranges) and Limelight (ditto for lime greens). What are yours?

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The Village Stash Society Colour of the Month for July: Teal

The Colour of the Month for July is teal! I have heard so many customers name teal as one of their favourites so I really hope I’ve done you proud with these bundles.


Oval Elements – Blue Lagoon (Art Gallery)
Stitch Floral Circle - Teal (Michael Miller)
Urban Classics - Sparkle Punch in Teal by Nancy Mahoney (P&B Textiles)
Squared Elements - Teal (Art Gallery)
SphereSphere in Teal by Zen Chic (Moda)
Mixed Bag – Quote This in Teal by Studio M (Moda)
HennaPop in Blue by Beth Studley (Makower)
Sun Print - X and Plus in Indigo by Alison Glass (Andover)
Sun Print - Feathers in Indigo by Alison Glass (Andover)
DottieSmall Dots in Lagoon (Moda)

Here is this month’s organic bundle!


Clockwise from top right:

Mod Basics – Ellies in Teal (Birch)
Set Sail – Set Sail in Teal (Birch)
MonacoDouble Dot in Teal (Monaluna)
ZoofariAnimal Words in Blue by Doodlebug Designs (Riley Blake)
Shape of Spring - Full Circle in Blue Jay by Eloise Renouf (Cloud9)
Ipanema – Main in Teal by Dennis Bennett (Birch)

You have until 10 August to sign up for our Colour of the Month Club and receive your low volume bundle!

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We now stock Papercut sewing patterns!

We now stock sewing patterns from New Zealand-based Papercut! Papercut’s modern patterns offer a fabulous mix of stylish wardrobe basics like the Ooh La Leggings and Ensis Tee and dressier garments with an edge, like the Bellatrix Blazer and Sigma Dress. Every design comes multisized from size XXS – L for you to make your one of a kind handcrafted masterpiece.

Papercut patterns

papercut patterns papercut patterns papercut patterns

The design and packaging have workroom look and are made with 100% recycled and recyclable products. Each package contains the pattern ready for you to cut out, easy to follow instructions, a lovely image of your garment, a tie to hang up the pattern, and the envelope transforms into the hanger to hang it from.

papercut patterns

We’re also thrilled that we now have another wonderful independent pattern range for classes! On Saturday, 30 August, Rachel Pinhiero will be teaching the Coppélia wrap top class! For more information and to reserve a place, click here.


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Nathalie’s Lace Ladder Scarf

When Nathalie volunteered to knit up some shop samples I was delighted! She’s an amazing knitter and I couldn’t wait to see what she’d whip up with some of our favourite yarns. The first sample she knitted is this Ladder Scarf using Malabrigo Sock in Playa and it is so beautiful that everyone who comes near our knitting section wants to make one. We’ve been selling the yarn like crazy!


Nathalie auditioned a few different lace patterns to find the perfect match for this yarn. She wanted a fairly linear pattern and something that would happily lay flat and not curl up when you wear it. The winner was the Garter Stitch Lace Ladder pattern, which has been adapted from a famous stitch dictionary, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker.

Malabrigo Sock comes in 100 gram/400 metre skeins. This project requires only one skein to make a long scarf. It’s wrapped around twice in the picture below!


Ladder Scarf
Cast on 52 stitches on 4mm needles 
Row 1: (RS)  *K2tog, yo, yo, ssk; rep from *
Row 2: *K1, (K1, P1) into the double yo, K1 *
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you are nearly out of yarn.
Cast off loosely (using a larger needle if necessary)
Block severely!
ladder scarf blocked
Nathalie’s pattern notes: In row one there is a double yarn over. This means that you bring the yarn forward on the needle twice so that you are creating a larger space equivalent to 2 stitches. On Row 2 you need to K1 into the first yo then be careful to drop only one yo. You then bring your yarn forward and P1 into the second one. This feels a bit strange at first but you get the hang of it quickly.
This scarf doesn’t look like much until you block it to within an inch of its life. Malabrigo sock yarn blocks very well but you will need a long space to pin it down. Blocking wires are very useful for this type of blocking.
Thank you, Nathalie!


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Learn something new! Classes in our West Hampstead shop the week of 21 & 28 July

Want to learn to sew or learn to knit? We have some great sewing, knitting, crochet and craft classes coming up in our West Hampstead shop! Read on to find out what you could learn next week. And remember – if you book two places, either in two classes or for you and a friend in one class, you save 10% with code STITCH2.

Sew a Beach Bag with Judith Dahmen – £45
Tuesday, 22 July, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

In this class you’ll learn to sew a simple tote bag that can be used as a shopping tote or beach bag! You’ll learn to sew a bag with a lining or french seams (your choice!), how to box corners and how to make and attach bag straps and will leave with a fun and handy tote bag. If you’d like to make your tote water-resistant for beach adventures, why not try our iron-on vinyl? This bag is fun to customise! For more information and to reserve a place, click here.

Sew a Beach Bag

Learn to Knit with Natalie Selles – £75
Tuesday, 29 July, 7pm – 9pm (first of a three-part class)

This class is for total beginners and knitters who haven’t picked up their needles in years and want a refresher. Over three evenings, you’ll learn how to choose yarn for a project, cast on, knit and purl, follow a pattern, cast off and weave in ends. In short, everything you need to know to get started knitting this autumn! For more information and to reserve a place, click here.

Natalie Teaching

Learn to Crochet with Elisalex de Castro Peake – £25
Wednesday, 30 July, 7pm – 9pm

Take part in our monthly crochet workshop to refresh your skills, learn a new technique or tackle a complex project with the guidance of our experienced instructor! This month’s featured project is pineapple party bunting, a perfect project for beginners. For more information and to reserve a place, click here.

crochet pineapple bunting

Make an Embroidery Hoop Organiser with Marilyn Lewin – £35
Saturday, 2 August 10am – 12pm

Keep your sewing notions (or other bits and bobs) tidy in this handy embroidery hoop sewing organiser! For more information and to reserve a place, click here.


Sew a Renfrew Top with Zoe Edwards – £55
Saturday, 2 August 1pm – 4:30pm

The Sewaholic Renfrew is a perfect women’s basic tee! In this class you’ll learn how to sew with knit fabrics whilst making your own semi-fitted t-shirt. With the guidance of experienced teacher Zoe Edwards you’ll leave class with a great new top and the confidence to tackle any knit pattern you’ve been coveting! For more information and to reserve a place, click here.

Sew a Renfrew Top with Zoe Edwards

Sew a Schoolhouse Tunic with Zoe Edwards – £65
Sunday, 3 August 10am – 3pm

In this class we’ll sew the popular Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic! You’ll learn to sewing facings, make pleats and set sleeves, and leave with a finished top or tunic. The Schoolhouse Tunic looks beautiful in quilting cotton, double gauze or voile and fits American sizes 2-20. It’s a great first pattern for aspiring dressmakers. For more information and to reserve a place, click here.


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The Myrtle by Colette Patterns now in stock

The newest dress pattern from Colette Patterns is the Myrtle! This pattern is designed to work with knits, but the company has also offered a free downloadable guide to sewing it with wovens. Fabulous!

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

From Coletterie: As many of you have discovered in sewing Moneta and Mabel, the very best thing about knits is that you feel like you’re wearing secret pajamas. And when your clothes feel that good, you actually end up wearing them.

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

Myrtle offers a different look to add to your knits wardrobe, one with more drape and ease but plenty of shape.

The draped neckline can look classic (like a greek goddess), vintage (like a cocktail dress from the 1960s), or completely modern (in simple black or white). Wide encased elastic defines the waist for a silhouette that’s flattering on a huge variety of body types.

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

Version 1 falls just below the knee. Version 2 is a little shorter and hits right above the knee, and includes button-on adjustable shoulder tabs that gather the shoulders a little more. Both feature in-seam pockets, a gorgeous draped neckline, and a flowing skirt gathered at the waist with comfortable elastic.

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

Like most knits, Myrtle is a quick sew (and it’s pretty fast in a woven too). With only four main pattern pieces (plus pockets), cutting time is minimal. Just like Mabel and Moneta, you can whip this baby up in a matter of hours. Myrtle has a clever self-lined front bodice that is cut all in one piece, folded, and sewn to help give a clean finish inside.

Myrtle is available in a wide range of sizes, from XS to 3X. You can find it in the shop here!

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

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Far Far Away by Heather Ross now in stock

Far Far Away is here! Heather Ross‘s beloved collection, originally released in 2009 by Kokka is now being released by Windham on quilting cotton! Whimsical and sweet, Far Far Away features magical unicorns, charming frogs, lush meadows and one adorable sleepless princess. Perfect for all things little girl (and lots of fun for playful princesses who are all grown up, too!)

Shop the entire Far Far Away collection or build a Far Far Away bundle. Or come see it in person on Friday at our all day sale and late night shopping event!

Heather Ross Far Far Away

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Kelly’s Lucky quilt tutorial (an Irish Chain quilt)

Another beautiful quilt from Kelly of Jeliquilts! Kelly likes a creative challenge so for this quilt, Charlotte and I picked out a stack of fabrics to co-ordinate with the palette we chose for the garments we wanted to feature in the latest shop window display. Then I sent it off to Kelly and let her work her magic. The result is a gorgeous Irish Chain quilt that is fresh and bright and so inviting.


This quilt has been on display in the shop for a couple of weeks now and has received so many compliments! I’m thrilled to finally share Kelly’s tutorial with you.

Fabric requirements

• 10 fat quarters in two colour groups (I used five blue and five green)
• 2 m background fabric (I used Kona bleached white)
• Lap sized wadding (56” x 67”)
• 1.75 m of 108” wide or 3 m of 42” wide fabric for backing
• 0.5 m for binding or make scrappy binding from the fat quarters

Annie’s note: we’ve created a very similar bundle to the one Kelly used and you can find it in the shop here.



• Finished block size 10.5”
• Finished quilt size 52” x 67”
• Seam allowance is ¼” unless stated otherwise
• WOF = width of fabric

Cutting & preparation

Green FQs
Cut (5) 2”x WOF strips from each FQ and sub cut into (42) 2” squares per set, for a total of 210 squares.

Blue FQs
Cut (4) 2” x WOF strips from each FQ and sub cut into (36) 2” squares per set, for a total of 180 squares.

Background fabric
Cut (18) 2” x WOF strips and sub cut into (360) 2” squares.
Cut (15) 3.5” x WOF strips and sub cut into (120) 3.5” x 5” strips.

Binding fabric
For scrappy binding cut 2.5” x WOF strips from the left over FQs. You will need about 234”.

Backing fabric
For 42”-44” wide fabric – cut the 3m in half and sew together using a 3/8” seam allowance. Press the seam open. Backing needs to be 56” x 67”.

Making the mini blocks

NB: Press the seams well after each stage.

Make 2-patch blocks


Sort (24) 2” squares from each of the 10 designs and sew together with 2” background square. Chain stitching will make this process go an awful lot faster!

You will end up with (120) green 2-patch blocks and (120) blue 2-patch blocks. Press seams well.

Make 4-patch blocks


Sort the (120) green blocks into pairs and sew together to make (60) 4-patch blocks. Again, chain stitching will speed things up.

Repeat with the Blue 2-patch blocks to make (60) 4-patch blocks. Press seams well.

Make 9-patch blocks


From the remaining 2” green squares, sort six of each design.

Sew a 2” background square to either side to make 30 blocks.

Sort all the remaining squares (12 of each design for both colours) of both colours into pairs (one green, one blue). Sew these either side of a 2” background square to make a total of 60 blocks.

Sort strips to avoid too many repeats in design and sew into (30) 9-patch blocks. Chain piecing really is your best friend here ;-) . Press seams well.

Assembling the Irish chain block

Refer to the assembly diagram.

Figure 4 (Medium)

The fabrics that I used were non-directional, if you are using directional prints I suggest you carefully consider your layout before sewing.

Assembling the quilt top

Refer to layout diagram.

Figure 5 (Medium)

There should be a green square in the top left corner of each block as you lay them out.

Sew rows 1 – 5 together and press seams.

Sew rows A – F together and press seams.

Press the quilt top really well and remove any loose threads from the back.

Basting & quilting

Make the quilt sandwich, basting using your preferred method. Quilt as desired. I quilted a wonky wavy design with my walking foot, using an off-white 50wt Aurifil thread (#2021). This gave a lovely texture to the quilt but didn’t detract from the quilt design.

Cut away excess wadding and backing and square the quilt up.


For scrappy binding, join the strips cut from the leftover FQs end to end until you have about 234”. Alternatively, cut (6) 2.5” x WOF strips from a single fabric and join end to end. Fold binding in half lengthwise and press well.

Attach binding by machine using a 1/4” seam and then finish by hand or machine.

Sit back and admire!




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