21 Feb

Brooklyn General Store Workshop 16 March 2017

I’m thrilled to have been invited to run a workshop at the wonderful

Brooklyn General Stores

on 16 March 

tea towel sewing machine mat - jemima schleeTTT_SewingRm_04tea towel knitting needle roll - jemima schlee

I’ll be making a sewing machine cover from my first book ‘take a tea towel’ and am really looking forward to meeting and making with folk – Do check out the website at https://www.brooklyngeneral.com/store and come along if you’re going to be in NYC.



09 Jan

quick embroidered tartan blanket

simple tartan embroidered blanket 1 - jemima schleesimple embroidered tartan blanket 2 - jemima schlee

… a classic tartan pattern in simple running stitch transforms a plain blanket  for cosy nights and story telling …

You will need

Wool blanket
Scraps of thick wool yarns (in 4 or 5 different colours)
Mattress needle

Measuring tape


Step 1
Lay out your blanket and decide the scale of your tartan; it is completely up to you what size you’d like it to be. Find the centre of two opposing edges of your blanket and mark with pins. Lay a length of yarn between these centre points to dissect your blanket in half. Mark this line using pins. With your first choice of yarn, cut a length the same measurement as the width of your blanket plus 25cm. Using the mattress needle, sew in running stitch across the centre of the blanket following your marker pins.
simple embroidered tartan blanket 3 - jemima schlee


Step 2

With a contrasting yarn, run a second row of stitching 1cm from the first.

Repeating steps 1 & 2, do the same with the length of your blanket, thus dividing it into quarters.


Step 3

At this point you can slowly build up your tartan stitching across the whole of your blanket by measuring away from the central rows of sewing.

simple embroidered tartan blanket 7 - jemima schlee


Step 4

Finish off your yarn ends by running your mattress needle through the blanket’s hem and cut flush.

simple embroidered tartan blanket 6 - jemima schlee


Use safety pins rather than sewing pins if you are going to leave this as an on-going project.

Finish your ends off only once you have completed the project, so that if your lines of running stitch have puckered the blanket, you can ease and loosen them off.


25 Oct

Make a punched soft leather & felt purse

punched leather & felt purse 8 jemima schlee

…a punched soft leather purse with contrasting felt lining…

you will need:
soft leather: 32cm x 14cm
contrasting felt: 32cm x 14cm plus 2cm square
3mm hole punch
7mm curved lino cutter
magnetic snap fastener
sharp scissors
pinking shears
masking tape
steel ruler and scalpel (optional)
sewing machine & threads
fabric glue

Print out the template and cut it out. Using small strips of masking tape, attach it to the right side of your strip of leather and firstly punch out the dots with a 3mm leather punch, then use two cuts with the lino tool to cut out the petal shapes.
Use sharp scissors or a scalpel and steel ruler to cut the leather around the edge of the template.

step 1


Attach the two halves of the magnetic fastener to the leather 8cm from the straight end, and the felt 2cm from one end.

step 2


Use fabric glue to cover the back of the magnetic fastener with a 2cm square of felt.

step 3

Attach your leather strip, right side down, centred on the felt, with small strips of masking tape. Stitch along the top edge, 2mm from the edge of the leather. Finish the thread ends off using a needle. Trim the felt along the stitched edge with the pinking shears. With sharp scissors, cut the felt flush to the edge of the leather to a point 10.5cm down each side from the stitched edge.

step 4

With the leather side down, fold the bottom section up 10.5cm and attach along the pinked edge using strips of masking tape.

step 5


At this point, take care that you have folded accurately so that the front and back of the leather side edges align.


Turn your work over and carefully stitch through all four layers from one bottom (folded) corner, up to the point and down the other side, 2mm from the edge of the leather. Finish off the ends by hand with a needle and finally trim all the felt with the pinking shears.

Making Mag Shoot; Wallet - Nov 2013 Edition; Manor Farmhouse, South Heighton, E Sussex. 20th August 2013. © Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.uk

step 7

Making Mag Shoot; Wallet - Nov 2013 Edition; Manor Farmhouse, South Heighton, E Sussex. 20th August 2013. © Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.uk

25 Oct

Vintage silk scarf cushions

silk scarf cushions 2 jemima schleevintage silk scarf cushions jemima schlee

nostalgic… vintage… kitsch …

you will need:

a vintage scarf

backing fabric the same dimensions as the scarf

trim (the length of the circumference of your scarf + 2 cm)

sewing needle, threads and pins

sewing machine

sharp scissors


Iron the headscarf with a cool iron. Cut the backing fabric to the same size as the scarf. Turn a 1cm hem all the way around the scarf and tack.

silk scarf cuahions a

step 1


Tack your chosen trim to all four sides of the back of the scarf.

silk scarf cushions b

step 2


Decide which is the bottom of your cushion (this may depend on the fabric design) and machine carefully, joining the trim to the scarf close to the edge, within 4cm of either end of the corners. These two hems (front and back) create the opening of your cushion.
Tack a hem on all edges of the backing fabric by 1cm and machine along one edge in the same way.

silk scarf cushions c

step 3


Now place the scarf with trim on top of the backing fabric, right sides facing outwards.

silk scarf cushions d

step 4


Tack through all layers (front, trim and backing) making sure the corners meet neatly and adjusting as necessary. Using sewing thread which either matches or blends with the edge of the scarf, machine from the front, close to the edge, starting and slightly overlapping the cushion opening hem you have already stitched.

silk scarf cushions e

step 5


Reverse stitch at the beginning and end of this stitching to reinforce the opening when you put the cushion pad in. Put in the pad and close the opening with slipstitch.

silk scarf cushions f

step 6

if your scarf is thin
(as the orange one pictured here is)
it is a good idea to back it:

Cut a square of fabric exactly the same size as your scarf and tack them together before starting to make your cushion.

silk scarf cushions 2

25 Oct

Braided rag rug

braided rag rug 1 jemima schlee braided rag rug 2 jemima schlee


…use up old shirts and sheets
to make an oval rag rug…

You will need:

scraps of cotton fabrics
(choose old shirting, shirts, sheets:
the longer strips you use the quicker it will be)

thread, sewing needle & sharp scissors

sewing machine (optional)


Cut or tear your fabrics into 10cm wide strips. Using an iron, fold a strip in half lengthways and press. Open up the fold out and press two more seams by folding the long edges to meet the centre fold line…

braided rag rug 3 jemima schlee

Step 1



Now fold along the central line to encase the raw edges.

braided rag rug 4 jemima schlee

step 2



Repeat this with twenty or so more lengths of fabric to start with

– more if you’re on a roll.

Pile three strips on top of each other, align at one short end and stitch together by machine (or by hand), through all layers.

Start braiding your three strips of fabric. As you near the end of each strip, join further ironed and folded strips on with a running stitch seam by hand (or by machine).

braided rag rug 5 jemima schlee

step 3


To start constructing your rug, take your braided fabric and, with the braid lying flat, twist it 360° to fold it back on itself 15cm from the stitched end. Use doubled thread and over stitch to join the edges of the plaits lying alongside each other.

All your stitching is on the reverse of your rug.

braided rag rug 6 jemima schlee

step 4



Continue wrapping your braided ‘rope’ around and stitching it on.  Keep pressing, folding, adding on and braiding
strips of fabric as you go.

Be warned:
… as your rug gets bigger it grows more and more slowly!

braided rag rug 7 jemima schlee

step 5


To finish off your rug, when your are 15cm from the end, gradually position the braid of fabric so that it curls behind the edge it is being stitched to, to create a smooth contour.

turn your work right side up – hurrah! finished!

braided rag rug 8 jemima schlee

step 6

making tips
Don’t try to braid lengths of more than 1m at a time,
they will get knotted and twisted together

When sewing doubled thread knots easily, so keep your thread short too, again no more than about 1m.


Striped fabrics create soft speckles.
Try braiding different fabrics together.
This is a great project for using up fabrics you don’t like! once braided and mixed with other fabrics, they take on a whole new life.


Use a thimble if your cotton is quite thick, to save sore fingers.

If your rug doesn’t lay flat, spray it lightly with water to make it damp (but not wet) and leave between flat surfaces overnight