25 May

Appliqué footstool


…a project to transform an old footstool and add a striking shot of colour & pattern…


You will need:


(Roughly) 25cm of felt in turquoise, pink, red and orange (nb: felt can run, so either dry clean or use linen or coloured drill in its place)

White cotton drill measuring the upholstered top (including sides) of your footstool plus 5cm all round

Threads to match all your fabrics

1m iron-on BondaWeb

Sewing machine


Fabric scissors

Paper scissors

Pen or pencil


Herringbone tape (5cm wide x the circumference of your stool plus 10cm)

Jumbo rikrak the circumference of your footstool plus 5cm



Cut your base fabric to size: the length and width of the sides and top of your footstool plus 10cm.



At this point you need to make a decision about the size you will want your pieces and whether you will need more or fewer pieces than I have used here…. Photocopy the templates and cut out. Play around with them on your footstool and work out how many you will need.



Photocopy the templates re-sized if necessary and cut out.



Prepare your coloured felt pieces: spread out your strip of BondaWeb paper size up. With a pen or pencil draw around the orange swirl templates (template a), placing the shapes close together to avoid wasting the BondaWeb. Cut the drawn shapes off in one piece and iron onto the orange felt following the manufacturer’s instructions – generally this will mean a medium hot iron without steam. When the bond is securely fixed, cut the pieces out using paper scissors. Do the same with the ‘star’ pieces (template b) in turquoise and pink.



Finally, draw as many circles as you need (2cm wider in diameter than you have printed template b) on the BondaWeb, iron them on the red felt and cut out.

Lay out your base piece of fabric right side up on your footstool and arrange the pieces as you planned them in step 2. When you are happy with the positioning of the pieces, remove the protective paper backing and use an iron to adhere them to the base fabric, starting with the large circles.



Assemble and iron on all the pieces working methodically and ensuring you don’t iron on the glue side of the felt by mistake.



Thread the sewing machine with threads to match the felt pieces and zigzag around each piece slowly, raising and lowering the foot at sharp turns, and keeping accurately to the edge of the pieces. You can keep white thread in the bobbin throughout this process as long as your machine’s tension is good and you don’t get specks of the bobbin thread pulled through to the front of your work.



Once all the felt pieces are stitched on, turn the base fabric wrong side up and lay it over your footstool. Use pins to shape the corners so that the fabric fits snugly and remove it carefully from the stool ensuring the pins don’t fall out (appliqué.



Stitch along the corners by machine twice for strength, then trim the excess fabric 1cm from the stitch line.



Place the cover over the stool again, right side down and trim all around to the depth your require. Remove from the stool. Fold your herringbone tape in half and tack all the way round your cover encasing the raw edge. As the two ends meet, overlap and trim them to cover the raw ends. Machine close to the edge of the tape on the right side sewing all three layers together.



Tack or pin the jumbo rikrak around the inside of the hem so that half of it protrudes beyond the hem on the right side, overlapping the folding the ends in to avoid fraying. Stitch by machine along the centre of the rikrak using white thread.


Making notes

Reduce or enlarge the templates to suit the size of your stool. The motif is stronger if it is slightly larger than the top surface of your footstool and drapes over the edges.


Add extra interest to your cover by stitching your appliqué onto a striped base fabric, such as ticking.

09 Jan

Soft leather purse

soft leather purse 1 jemima schlee

Microsoft Word - winter 2015 sale images.docx

…soft leather lined with Liberty Lawn, a great way to use up precious scraps of each…


You will need:

15cm x 25cm soft leather 10cm metal zip
13cm x 24cm printed cotton fabric for lining
Thread to match the leather Leather sewing machine needle Sewing machine
Zipper foot
Tissue paper
Rotary cutter (or scalpel), cutting mat and steel ruler


Trim your leather to a rectangle measuring 13cm x 25cm using the rotary cutter or scalpel. From the scraps, cut a rectangle 2cm x 8cm. Cut your lining fabric to 13cm x 24cm.

soft leather purse 3 jemima schlee


Place one short end of the leather right side up on a strip of tissue paper. Position the zip centrally along the short edge and sew by machine using a zipper foot.

soft leather purse 4 jemima schlee


Tear the tissue away and, folding the other short end of the leather around to line up with the other side of the zip. With the wrong side out, stitch the zip to the leather, again backing it with tissue to help it move smoothly through the machine. You now have a tube of leather joined by a zip.

soft leather purse j5 emima schlee


With the leather ‘tube’ inside out and the zip open, position the lining rectangle right side down over the zip and leather so that the three short edges align. Stitch in place by machine through all layers.

soft leather purse 6 jemima schlee

Take the other short edge of the lining rectangle and align it with the other side of the zip and stitch by machine.

Now pin the folded long edges of the lining fabric, right sides facing, and sew one side from zip end to folded end
by machine. Do the same with the other side, but just half way down from the zip to the fold – this will leave you a gap for turning out. You will end up with what looks like two separate tubes.

Take the small leather rectangle and stitch a couple of millimetres in from either long edge to help it hold its shape. Stitch the full length of the two sides of the leather, from the zip to the fold, inserting the folded leather rectangle in one seam 1.5cm below the zip (make sure you do this with the zip at least half open).


Stitch at 90° across the bottom corners of the leather, 2cm from the point.

soft leather purse 7 jemima schlee

Do the same with the bottom corners of the lining.


Turn the purse through the gap in the lining so that it is leather side out and use slip stitch to close the gap in the lining seam.

soft leather purse 8 jemima schlee



18 Jun


hammock 1 jemima schleehammock 2 jemima schlee

…make yourself a colourful hammock for lazy days in the summer sunshine…


You will need:

2.5m of fabric A

2.5m of fabric B

10m of 10mm rope

2 stainless steel rings

30 beads


Measuring tape

Sewing machine





First, make your bunting trim. Cut 30 pieces of bunting from each of fabrics A and B (60 in all) using the template.

Make your bunting by placing one piece of fabric A right to one piece of fabric B right sides together and stitch a seam 5mm from the raw edges by machine, leaving the short top edge open.

hammock photo 1


Turn the right way out and press with a hot iron. Top stitch 2mm from the edge by machine.

hammock photo 2


Cut two rectangles, one from fabric A and one from fabric B, 1m x 2.5m in size. Lay fabric A out on a table or floor, right side up.

Find the centre of one of the long sides by folding the rectangle in half and opening it out again. Centre one piece of bunting at this point with fabric A facing you.

hammock photo 3


Pin seven pieces of bunting along the edge of your hammock, either side of this central piece, measuring a 5cm gap between each piece. Stitch the bunting in place 1cm in from the raw edges.

Repeat step 4 on the opposite long edge of fabric A. Now lay your rectangle of fabric B over the top right side down (so that the bunting is sandwiched between the two sides of your hammock). Stitch a 1cm seam along both sides by machine.

Turn your hammock right side out, press the edges with a hot iron and pin or tack before top-stitching twice by machine 1cm and 2cm from the edge.

 hammock photo 4


Trim the fabric at both short ends to level up your edges. Fold both edges in 2cm and again 7cm. Top stitch with three rows of stitching, reinforcing by backstitching several times at both ends.

 hammock photo 5


Stitch beads onto the tips of each bunting flag with coordinating thread. 
 Cut a 140cm length from your rope. Thread it through one of the hammock channels and tie a tight knot. Reposition the knot by pulling the rope through the channel, so that it is hidden inside the fabric.

hammock photo 7


Repeat with the other end of the hammock. Loop a stainless steel ring to each end.

hammock photo 8


Cut your remaining rope in half and loop onto each ring.

 hammock photo 9


Now hang your hammock and take a well-earned rest in it! Ideally your hammock will hang between trees five paces apart.

hammock 3 jemima schleehammock 5 jemima schlee

Machine or hand embroider the knot best used for hanging onto a fabric label as a reminder for tying your hammock safely.Use the same knot as before to attach your ropes.

hammock photo 10


Ideally, your hammock should measure 60cm longer than the tallest person using it.

Your rope should have twice the working load of the heaviest user (ask advice when buying).



Fabrics (Zosa 120128 in biscuit, ruby, peony, zest & Irma 120113 in berry, violet, aqua, lime): www.harlequin.uk.com

Beads: www.beadsunlimited.co.uk

Stainless steel rings and rope (10mm Maffioli classic rope): www.sussexyachts.co.uk




03 Apr

Easter Bunting

Making Magazine; March 2015 Edition; Hove flat, Brighton; 9th January 2015. © Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.uk

…cheery floral spring bunting with soft fringed edges – a perfect project for using up scraps…

For 16 flags you will need:

25cm in each of four fabrics
7m – 8m of fringed/loop trim
7m of rope trim
pins & thread
sewing machine
sharp scissors


Cut two pattern pieces from the pattern template for each flag. Take one piece and first pin, then tack a length of trim along the two long, curved sides. Lay the loop trim down with the looped fringe facing inwards and make a careful tuck at the central bottom tip to avoid catching the loops in the seam.

bunting 1 jemima schlee


Place your piece from step 1 on top of your second piece, aligning the raw edges. Pin in position.

bunting 2 jemima schlee


Sew the long side seams, leaving the short top edge open. Use the tacking line from step1 as your stitching line for the side seams.


Turn your flag right side out and press with a hot iron. Topstitch along the two side seams a couple of millimetres to the fabric side of the seam. Trim the top edge to make the two sides of your flag even. repeat steps 1–4 to make all your flags.

bunting 3 jemima schlee


Decide the order you want your flags to be in and lay the first one along the centre of your rope trim, 30cm from one end. Zigzag stitch along its raw edges. Place the next one 10cm to 12cm further along and attach it to the rope trim with zigzag stitch. repeat with all your flags.

bunting 4 jemima schlee


Trim the far end of your rope trim to 30cm. Zigzag stitch back and forth along both raw ends to prevent fraying.

bunting 5 jemima schlee


Fold the top of the rope trim over to cover and encase the zig-zagged top raw edge of the first flag. Starting a couple of centimetres before the flag, sew in straight stitch along the centre of the folded trim. Work all the way along the length of your bunting, folding the rope trim over as you go.

bunting 6 jemima schlee

Reverse stitch at the beginning and end for extra strength.


18 Mar

silk lined embroidered scarf

silk lined scarf 2 - jemima schleesilk lined scarf 1 - jemima schlee

…silk and wool make the perfect combination for a stylish scarf, embellished by little embroidered flowers along the hems…

you will need

35cm wool or tweed fabric (150cm wide) for outer 34cm x 150cm contrasting silk fabric for lining Sewing thread to match your lining fabric
Sewing needle

4 colours of Coats Perle embroidery thread

Sharp embroidery needle
Sewing machine


Step 1

Press both short ends of your silk up 2cm with an iron. With right sides facing, lay your silk over your outer fabric and, aligning one long raw edge, sew a 1cm seam by machine. Align the raw edges of the other sides and machine a 1cm seam.

silk lined scarf 3 - jemima schlee

Step 2

Turn right side out and press with a cool iron – the lining is slightly narrower than the outer and should finish a couple of millimetres short of the edges.

silk lined scarf 4 - jemima schlee

Step 3

Fold up the bottom raw edges of the outer fabric 4cm and tuck under the fold of the silk lining. Tack along all edges through all layers to hold in place.

Step 4

Using a needle and thread, make small running stitches along the two long edges securing the silk to the seam allowance beneath. This will help to hold the folded edges – take care not to stitch through all layers, you don’t want your stitches to go through to the front of the scarf.

Step 5

Embroider along the ends of your scarf, securing the lining to the outer fabric using the stitch shown (images 3–5), and then adding French knots

silk lined scarf 8 - jemima schlee

silk lined scarf 5 - jemima schlee

silk lined scarf 6 - jemima schlee

silk lined scarf 7 - jemima schlee