Whip Up Tutorials

Nicole Mallalieu is a designer-patternmaker and a rather obsessed crafty type. She designs sewing patterns and her business specialises in the patterns and supplies to make purses, handbags and hats. Nicole is dedicated to teaching people to become better and more confident with their sewing skills, while they make fun, fashionable things they’ll want to wear and use. Her book You Sew, Girl! (ABC Books/HarperCollins) is dedicated to the same cause.

Quite a few new babies have arrived in my circle of friends and family in the last month or so, and I’ve been trying to think of gifts that are not my usual hats and bibs. I think my friends and family have seen enough bibs and hats from me. So…. it’s time to expand the repertoire a bit ….although I struggle to get away from using a bias tape maker, quilt basting spray and a tailors awl, it seems. (I find them to be my most-used baby-gift-making tools).

Casting my mind back to the early months of motherhood, I remembered all the weird and wonderful places I was caught without a place to change baby’s nappy (diaper). It’s always good to have a ready-made soft surface to lay baby on, and even better if it can carry spare nappies and wipes, and be machine washable, to boot. I wish I’d been organised enough at the time, to have made something like this for myself!

I made this one using a quilting fabric (Candy Shop by Michael Miller fabrics) and some chenille fabric, simply because they toned in nicely together. You could equally use a towel instead of chenille and/or oilcloth instead of the quilting fabric. You could also carefully measure the pocket divisions to fit specific sized objects (like lotion, a box of wipes, a folded cloth nappy or change-mat liner etc).

I plan to give this one to a new family member, complete with the basic ‘kit’ for a few nappy-changes… with possibly a bib… and a hat.

Download the detailed 4 page PDF with instructions right here.



Guest blogger: Nicole blum from one golden apple

Hello crafty ones. I am so pleased to be a guest here while Kathreen is away. My name is Nicole Blum and I blog about crafting, sewing, and the other stuff of life over at one golden apple.  As a freelance craft developer for magazines, I am lucky enough to be making something on most days, and my etsy shop ensures that some of it is sewing- my absolute favorite way to create. I just finished a sewing book, co-authored by Debra Immergut, which will be hitting the shops in the spring.  It is called Improv Sewing and will contain over 100 projects I’ve designed to inspire and encourage, new and seasoned sewists alike, to be really creative and playful with their sewing machines.

I LOVE to make clothing, and my upcoming book Improv Sewing will map out how to fill your closet without buying a single pattern. Today, however, I want to teach you to make something fun and super cool for your home. Sometimes I find myself wanting to stitch designs on fabric without even knowing what I want the finished project to be.  Pillowcases and tote bags are always a great way to showcase your handiwork, but today I came up with a way to use some tube I had sitting in the studio closet – my man builds things and this tube is a leftover piece from making footings for our barn.  If you don’t have one, they are easy to get at any building supply place.  I have seen similar projects online before, but they are usually painted.  Painting is fun, but sewing is more fun to me so here is my tutorial for a pretty and very useful…

Umbrella Holder

What you’ll need:

  • an 18” length of sonotube* (mine was 10” wide) of course, use what you can get your hands on.
  • fabric you fancy that can wrap around the tube with 2-3” to spare and is 18” tall
  • contrasting thread
  • chalk


Cut fabric to size:  Use a measuring tape to determine the circumference of the tube. I pinned the fabric around the tube to illustrate about how much extra you might want to have.

Draw your designs: I use chalk to draw out designs I am going to stitch over.  Sometimes I use vanishing ink, but sometimes it doesn’t vanish- test it first.  You can can use cookie cutter shapes, trace circles from jar lids, or you can go for it and free hand, which I recommend, because really, what do you have to lose? I drew some flower shapes – I like their imprecise form. I recommend starting with simple and large shapes.  It is easier to sew a good line around gentle curves than tight ones. Please pardon the wrinkles, they will be pressed soon.  The light makes them appear worse than they are, swear. Press yours, ladies.

Stitch your designs: Now comes the fun part. Set your machines so the pressure on the foot is decreased.  The tighter the turns, the more you will need to manipulate the fabric, so the more you want to decrease the pressure.  On these big flowers, I set my foot pressure on 2 and it worked grand. Set your stitch to a regular straight stitch or a straight stretch stitch (which is what I did here for a nice bold line). If this is your first time drawing on fabric with thread, you might want to practice making a curve on a scrap piece of fabric.

Stitch around the shape you drew once or twice and then move on to the next one. My tip for success: Keep the needle moving and gently turn the fabric as you need to.  Use the most pressure you can on that foot while still being able to smoothly turn your fabric. Straight lines should be sewn with full pressure so the feed dogs can grab and move your fabric along. Use your fingertips to push the fabric where it needs to go.

Add some lines along the raw bottom and top edges: Instead of hemming the raw edges, simply stitch lines of straight or zig zag (or any stitch, really) stitches along that edge.  This will stop raveling edges and it defines the edge nicely.

I use my presser foot to space my lines.  Line up the the toe on the right side of the foot with the first line (and it was aligned with the raw edge to start).  I used a straight stitch for speed and I spaced them evenly (mostly, not perfectly).  You could stitch several lines and let them undulate gently too- crossing sometimes even.

Sew seam to create the sleeve: When your decorating is all done the way you like it, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and stitch your tube up.  Draw a line with chalk at the correct distance- you want it to fit snuggly. Stitch one line with a regular straight stitch and then try it on the tube for size.  If it isn’t tight enough, your next line of stitches can make it a little tighter.

Continue stitching the way you desire- meandering lines, a new stitch type for each line, whatever.  I made straight, evenly spaced lines for this project and then pinked the edges.

Slip it over your tube and you have a really nice little holder for whatever is tall and doesn’t fit in the usual places.  I could have one of these just for the swords that my 6 year old makes.  It would be a great place for roles of colored art paper- nice and protected- or to display branches for a winter bouquet. I ended up painting the tube yellow because the fabric was a little short- measure twice, cut once.  Oh well.

*Sonotube: Round, large cardboard tubes designed to hold wet concrete in place until it hardens – found in hardware stores.


Lisa and Sarah are the mother and daughter duo behind A Spoonful of Sugar. They aim to Live Creatively and share lots of crafty tutorials and recipes on their blog. They spend their time sewing, baking, and dabbling in a wide range of crafts. Lisa publishes her sewing designs in a number of sewing, craft, quilting magazines in both the USA and Australia. 

Hello Whipup.net readers. We love to bake for our family and friends, and enjoy sharing our weekend baking recipes on our blog each week . Today we wanted to share with you our tutorial for making some fabric cupcake flags which are easily made from your fabric scraps.

Fabric Cupcake Flags

Transform your fabric scraps into sweet cupcake flags to add to add a fun home made touch to your next celebration or high tea.

  • Fabric scraps
  • fusible appliqué webbing such as vliesofix or steam a seam
  • wooden toothpicks
  • buttons
  • ribbon
  1. Cut the fabric and the fusible webbing into strips measuring 1 1/4 inches x 4 inches. (3 x 10cm)
  2. Using your iron, adhere the fusible webbing to the wrong side of the fabric. Remove the paper backing on the fusible webbing.
  3. Position the fabric strips with the wrong side facing up. Position a toothpick in the middle of the fabric strip. Fold the fabric strip in half, sandwiching the toothpick in the middle. Press with an iron to adhere both ends of the fabric together.
  4. Trim the flag into the desired shape. Embellish flag with buttons or lace as desired.
  5. Insert the flags into decorated cupcakes to add a whimsical home made touch.

Bon Appétit!


Guest blogger: Cam from CurlyPops

Well, hello there dear Whipup.net readers, my name is Cam and I have a little crafty blog named CurlyPops. I’m super chuffed to be guest blogging here today.

My sister recently bought me an e-Reader, and so I desperately need to make a padded pouch so that I can throw it in my handbag without worrying about it getting scratched or damaged. I thought that whipping up a little crafty project for myself presented the perfect opportunity for sharing a tutorial so that you can also make your own.

I’m currently testing out some samples from my new fabric range, and so I’m using my granny square fabric as a feature in this project. Enjoy!

Download the 4 page PDF tutorial here.


Jorth is written by Leisl, who lives in Melbourne and loves to knit, sew, cook, read and generally create whilst living a green life. You can visit her site at her blog Jorth.

Hi, my name is Leisl from Jorth, and I have created a super easy tutorial for a cute clutch purse. You can use it as a purse, as a make up bag, a travelling jewellery case – anything! They are quick to make, and make excellent gifts. Keep them in mind for Christmas and birthdays – or maybe just make up a whole bunch for yourself!

Things you will need:

  • One piece of fabric measuring 25 x 30cm (9 x 12 inches) (in this case a print from Ink and Spindle was used.
  • One piece of lining fabric measuring 25 x 30cm (9 x 12 inches)
  • One piece of medium weight iron-on fusing measuring 23 x 28cm (9 x 11 inches)
  • One metre/yard of ribbon
  • Threads, to match

Note: seam allowances are 1cm, unless otherwise specified.

Step 1: Cut out fabric according to dimensions, then fuse the iron-on fusing onto the wrong side of the lining fabric, leaving a 1cm (.4 inch) border around all edges. This border will be your seam allowance.

Step 2: Fold your outside fabric piece into in equal thirds at 9cm (3.5inches) from the top and 20cm (8inches) from the top. Press the fold lines.

Step 3: Place the centre of your ribbon into the centre of the middle outside fabric folded section. Stitch the ribbon to this section only, sewing as close to the ribbon edge as possible.

Step 4: Place the outside fabric and lining fabric together, right sides facing, carefully tucking in the ribbon so you don’t sew over it. Sew the side seams and top seam, clipping corners. Turn right side out, and press.

Step 5: Fold down the 1cm seam allowance of the bottom seam, so the seam allowance is hidden inside. Press, then sew the seam closed. Press.

Step 6: Fold the bottom section of the clutch so it meets the top fold. Starting from the bottom left hand corner, sew the sides of the clutch together, continuing along the top side and top edge of the clutch, then down along the right side, using a 0.7cm seam allowance.


Fold over the top flap of your clutch, tie your ribbon and voila! One finished clutch!