Tag Archives: how to

How to: Dashwood Studio’s Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar

And as the Christmas TV ads start playing (our favourite is Sainsbury’s revival of Mog the cat!) and the Christmas DIYs start rolling in, it’s the perfect time to start stitching this year’s Dashwood Studio Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar and fill it up with treats for you and the kids.

The panel is part of our Winter Wonderland collection and is available in many of our stockist’s shops now. The instructions for sewing it are printed on the panel:


…but its always helpful to see how other people have made it, with step by step pictures, so we’ve been on the hunt to find you a detailed DIY. Fortunately, the ladies at Poppies and Polka Dots have a brilliant one on their blog which you can follow.


They’ve edged it with a navy polka dot bias binding to match the panel, but you can make your own using the navy flurry which co-ordinates really nicely with the collection:

FLUR 2000 navy

FLUR 2000 – navy

They also made some looped tabs to run a pole through so you can hang the calendar up, which is a great idea!

Head over to the Poppies and Polka Dots blog to get the full tutorial and pictures.


If you want a hand with stitching your calendar, check out our shops and stockists on the sidebar, because some are running workshops where you can go and make the calendar with sewing assistance.

We want to know in the comments below, what would you fill your calendar with? 

Rain or Shine Deckchair DIY

When we launched our Rain or Shine collection we asked our Facebook fans to tell us what they’d like to make with the fabric in our ‘What Would You Make?’ contest.

The winners of this round was Carol who owns her own sewing and craft shop in Penarth – Sew Lovely. Carol wanted to turn the sunshine and rainbows prints into a fun summery deckchair and with summer upon us, we couldn’t think of a better make!

And, when the photos of the finished deckchair landed in our inbox, we were thrilled to see what a simple and effective make this is.

Deckchair Overview

Carol also used some of the laminate umbrella fabric to make a handsome raincoat for her dog Lucy. Such a great idea if you’ve a pooch that likes to take walks in the rain!

Now, back to the deckchair. Carol has shared photos of each stage of making the cover. You’ll need a deckchair with a plain sling to start with, and Carol suggests you use the sling as your template (as everyone’s deckchairs will be different sizes).

Here’s Carol’s Visual DIY guide to making this cute deckchair:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 8

You can find Carol over at www.sewlovelypenarth.com or on Facebook and Twitter.


DIY ‘Petite Street’ Pencil Case Wrap


It’s a thrill to see what people make with the Dashwood Fabric collections so we thought we’d contribute our own make: a pencil case wrap using Wendy’s Petite Street fabric. We also thought we’d show you how to make your own with a step by step tutorial which you can follow below:

You’ll Need:

* Pink Flurry (PTST 1014 – pink)
* Grey Flurry (PTST 1014 – grey)
* Petite Street Triangles (PTST 1012)
* Tape Measure
* Scissors
* Complimentary thread (we those a light blue)
* Sewing Machine
* Iron and ironing board
* Pins and a sharp needle


You want to choose 3 complimentary fabrics for your pencil case – with similar colours or patterns. We chose the triangles (PTST 1012), grey flurry (PTST 1014 – grey) and pink flurry (PTST 1014 – pink) from our Petite Street Collection.


1. Measure and cut each fabric to the following size:

Pink Flurry – 46cm x 32 cm with a 1cm seam allowance all the way around

Grey Flurry – 4cm x 32cm with a 1cm seam allowance all the way around

Triangles – 14cm x 32cm with a 1cm seam allowance all the way around for the main layer, plus a long thin 80cm x 3cm with a 1 cm seam allowance to create the ties


2. Fold and press each section of the fabric

Pink Flurry – Fold in half lengthways and press the folded edge. Open out and fold and press the 1cm seam all the way around with a hot iron. When everything is pressed, fold back into 2 and you’ll be left with a 23cm x 34cm piece (including the seams). This is the base for the rest of the pencil case.

Grey Flurry – Fold and press the 1cm seam allowance along the longest sides so you are left with a long rectangle strip (see photo below).

Triangles – With the 14cm x 32cm piece, fold and press the 1cm allowance all the way around. With the 80cm x 3cm piece fold in half widthways, patterned sides facing and press down the folded seam to create one long strip.



3. Pin and stitch the Grey Flurry Strip to the base layer

With the Pink Flurry fabric folded in half, measure 12cm from the folded seam. This is where the top of the grey flurry strip will sit. Pin the grey flurry strip to the top layer of the pink flurry.


Open the layers out and using a straight running stitch on your machine, stitch the grey flurry to the pink across both the long edges, about 1/2 cm from the edge. Once secured, remove the pins

4. Measure the pencil spaces 

Before you pin and stitch the larger triangle piece to the base layer, you want to mark out the gaps for the pencils to sit in. We made this case for 10 pens, so divided the width of the fabric (32cm) by 10 and added a 1cm gap each side.


You’ll want to mark out the lines using fabric chalk between the gaps as this is where you’ll stitch later.

Once you’ve done this, sew a running stitch along the top side of the triangle fabric as this will keep it neat despite not being sew to the rest of the layers)

5. Pin and stitch the large triangle piece to the base layer

Pin the larger triangle piece to the base layer (which should still be opened out to avoid stitching through both layers). Make sure the triangle piece sits on the line where the grey flurry strip starts and tuck the seam allowance between the base layers like a sandwich. Sew the triangle layer to the base layer along the sides and bottom edge using a running stitch, leaving the top edge free (as this is where the pens/pencils will slot in).

6. Create the pencil holes

Keeping the base layer opened out, you want to stitch along the marked lines between where the pens will go. Start at the bottom edge and stitch a running stitch to the top of the triangle piece – reverse sew a few stitches when you come to the end then cut, and start on the next line. Trim the loose threads with a sharp pair of scissors.


7. Make the ties

Take the long pice of triangle material and sew 1cm from the folded edge in a straight running stitch, all the way down. Once stitched, cut the long strip in half so you have two identical lengths. Trim the excess fabric off.



Take a safety pin and pin it to the end of on the the strips. Thread the safety pin inside the fabric tube you’ve just created and feed through, pulling the fabric with it. This turns the tube the right way around. Repeat with the other tie. Once they’re both turned the right way around, press with the iron to flatten.


At one end of each tie, fold the fabric in neatly to close the gap and using a needle and thread, slip stitch or blind stitch to seal.

8. Trap in the ties, pin and stitch the whole case together

Take the pink flurry base layer which now has the grey strip and triangles stitched to one side and fold it in half, wrong sides facing one another. Tuck in all the seams and pin each edge together. Trap the ties between the layers, one on each side of the case about half way up. Pin.

Sew around all four edges using a running stitch, about 1/2cm from the edge – ensuring everything is tucked in a neat and that the fabric doesn’t gather up as you sew. Reverse sew the last few stitches and remove from the machine. Trim off the excess threads.


9. Place you pens in the holes and tie up!

Pop your pens/pencils into the gaps and roll up before tying together using the ties. If you want the pencil case to double up as a work belt, make the ties even long so they wrap around your waist.