sewing tutorial

Button-up Cup Cosy

This cute and cheerful cup cosy would make a great gift, or else you might like to make a few to brighten up your tea set for when guests visit.


  • 2x Scrap of fabric approx 30 x 15 cm / 12 6 inches
  • Small piece of thin elastic (an elastic hair band will be perfect)
  • Button
  • Needle and thread
  • Pen and paper

Step 1. Make your pattern 

  • – Grab your favourite mug or cup and lay it down on your piece of paper, resting it against the handle. While rolling the cup from end to the other, trace the base and then the top of your mug. Draw a joining line at the ends. After you have cut out the pattern, check it is symmetrical. Do this for each of the cups you wish to make a cosy for.

 Step 2: Sew together

  • – Place your 2 pieces of fabric right sides together and then pin your pattern on top of your double layer of fabric, and cut it out exactly without adding any seam allowance. Then sew around three of the outside edges, leaving one short end open.

Step 3: Add the tie & button

  • – Turn the sewn piece right side out, and press flat. Press the seam allowances on the open end under. Then take your piece of elastic and fold it in half and pin it inside this open edge. Then sew this edge closed, enclosing the elastic, sew over the elastic a couple of times to strengthen it. Sew a top stitch around the perimeter.
  • – Sew a bright button on the opposite side of the cup cosy piece and you are done!



How to make a Chef’s Hat

Kids and adults and everyone in between will love wearing this chef’s hat in the kitchen, it can be made in all kinds of fabric combinations and sizes and it is practical for keeping your hair out of the food too.


  1. Strip of fun fabric for band – approx 20 x 60cm / 8 x 25 inches
  2. Square of white fabric for top – approx 60 x 60cm / 8 x 25 inches


  1. Sewing machine and thread
  2. Scissors, pins, pencil and measuring tape
  3. Iron

Step 1: Making the band

  • – Measure the chef’s head circumference (approx 54-56 cm / 21-22 inches for child, or 60-64 cm / 24-25 inches for adult).
  • – Cut the band fabric to this length and 20 cm / 8 inches wide. Press it in half lengthways with wrong sides together.
  • – Open it back up and place the short ends right sides together, pin and sew. Then press this seam open.
  • – Fold it back along the pressing line to form a ring with the wrong sides together. Put this aside.

Step 2. Making the top

  • – Cut your square of fabric into a circle, to help with this fold your square of fabric on the diagonal – first in half, then quarters then eighths. Mark the corners as shown with a pencil and cut off these corners to form your circle.
  • – Sew a line of stitches around the perimeter of the circle with a large loose straight stitch, don’t backstitch at the beginning or end. Pull the threads gently to gather the stitches until the circle circumference is the same as the band.

Step 3. Putting the chef’s hat together

  • – Pin the raw edges of the band and the top of the hat together – rights sides facing. Adjust the gathers if you need it to be bigger or smaller to fit the band properly.
  • – Sew together with a straight stitch, then sew the edges with a zigzag stitch to tidy the raw edges. And hey presto you are done!


How to make a sleep mask


  1. 2 x small scraps of fabric 27 x 12 cm / 11 x 5 inches
  2. 1 x piece of cotton batting 27 x 12 cm / 11 x 5 inches
  3. Piece of thin elastic 25 cm / 10 inches long


  1. Sewing machine
  2. Scissors
  3. Paper
  4. Pins
  5. Needle and thread
  6. Iron

Step 1: Make a template from paper in an oval shape with one straight edge – like the one pictured top left, 13cm long x 10cm wide. Fold your two pieces of fabric in half length-ways and place the straight edge of your template against the folded edge of your fabric, trace around it and cut out. Do the same for your batting.

Step 2: Once you have cut out your fabric and batting you can embellish the front piece. Sew on fake eyes with scraps of felt, attach a ribbon, or stamp or embroider a message like ‘do not disturb’. Then sew each end of the elastic onto the right side of each end of your front fabric piece.

Step 3: Layer your 3 pieces, place the piece with the elastic attached face up on your bench, the back piece facing down over this and the batting on the top, pin these pieces together. As the elastic is slightly shorter than the length of your fabric, this may scrunch up, just do your best to pin it evenly around. Then sew all around the outside perimeter, leaving a 5cm gap un-stitched. Trim your seams to 1cm wide.

Step 4: Turn your sleep mask right side out through the gap you left and press it flat, be careful not to iron over the elastic. Use your needle and thread to hand sew the gap closed. You are done. Now go and make a few more, they make terrific last minute gifts.


oh my! I LOVE this idea – reusing a springy insides from those springy throwaway $2 shop springy thingys. Anyway bad skirt has an awesome tutorial to show you how.

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September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

Today I am happy to introduce Alisa Burke to Whip Up. You might recognise Alisa from her lantern lights tutorial using paper cups, or her driftwood city or even her altered flip-flops.

Hi I am Alisa and I am a freelance painter, and mixed media artist, I studied fine art at Portland State University with a major in painting and printmaking. With a background in painting and a desire to explore and push materials, I am always looking for new ways to break the rules and redefine art. It is not uncommon to find me digging through the trash in hopes of finding something unique use in my artwork! My paintings have been exhibited in a variety of galleries and featured in several publications. In addition to making art, I also teach workshops nationwide and have appeared as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Craft Lab and Quilting Arts TV on PBS. I work as a Bernina Artisan and my book Canvas Remix was released spring 2008.

Monster Lunch Sack Tutorial

It is time to go back to school and while I don’t have kids, I have plenty of friends with little ones and a husband who acts like a kid! What better way to send your kiddos off with their lunches than in a fun monster lunch sack!

I stared with two pieces of fabric cut into a rectangle for the front and back. For the front I used a plain piece of canvas and for the back I used a piece of messy canvas painted with fabric paint. Optional – extra fabric to line the lunch sack if you want.

Next, I cut out simple shapes from fabric scraps to create a monster face on the front of the bag.

I used a darning foot to sew the shapes to the surface, using messy stitches to create lines, texture and details.

When the monster face was all sewn down, I sewed the sides and the bottom together with a straight stitch. While the bag was inside out, I folded the corners into triangles and sewed them down with a straight stitch.

Last, I used sticky back velcro and attached to the top and bottom of the bag.