Adults Top Ten Sewing gifts 2021

Annnnd finally….. drum roll please….. The Top Ten Christmas sewing gift ideas for Gemma… ahem I mean Adults….. 2021 !

After all , you’ve been sooooo good this year ! CLICK on the photo to visit the shopping link .

( Pssssst – If you are reading this on someone else’s device – the tab may have been left open as HINT – I shall make it clear – ITS A HINT !!!! )


The Prym Patchwork and Quilting starter set is perfect for all levels of sewing ! Including a mat , pen , ruler and rotary cutter it’s the perfect gift for any stitcher 😉


Rainbow dressmaking scissors anyone ? How cool are these !


Recycled Thread is the way forward ! And look at all those pretty colours !


Clip , clip , clip clippy clippy clip clip ! You can NEVER have too many of these wonderclips ! And they make a fab stocking filler 😉


THE marking pencil ! The Prym cartridge chalk pen is great for marking all types of fabric and comes with refillable cartridges in different colours , perfect for any stitcher.


THE most requested link in class …. where do we get our funky coloured self healing mats ? Well here they all are … Blue , Green , Orange , Pink and more !


One of the most useful travel sewing accessories – the A4 multi mat ! Available in a range of colours these fab little mats have

  • Self-healing cutting mat with metric and imperial guidelines
  • Anti-slip layout sheet for placing blocks or pattern pieces
  • Sandpaper pattern marking surface to keep fabrics in place
  • Can be opened up to create a padded ironing mat


You can never have too many organiser boxes… but this ones our favourite ! It’s double sided and has a handle on the top so it’s easy to move around and keep all those precious threads tidy and safe.


Well there had to be a sewing machine in there somewhere right ? This Janome DKS100 SPECIAL EDITION is a fab sewing machine and great for all levels , sturdy and with over 100 computerised stitches you are covered for all types of sewing.


C’mon now…. you know it was coming…. Sewing lessons have got to be number one right ? Use the voucher above to take £5 off any adult workshop in 2022 just for you ! 🙂

Happy shopping 😉

Gems x

Top Ten sewing gifts for Teenagers

Today it’s the turn of the Teenagers ! It can be realllllllllllly difficult knowing what to buy a teen stitcher , after all they are sooo different in tastes ( esp when it comes to fabric eek )

So here is my top Ten gift IDEAS LOL or ya knowwww whatttevverr.

Click on the photos to visit the link 😉

(You can find the children’s list from yesterday HERE)


WONDERCLIPS ! Ahhh these beautiful little clippy clips , great for sewing just about anything without having to stab yourself with a pin anymore hurrah ! Plus they have a handy little seam guide on the back , and are great for flicking across tables or using as a hair clip……….


RECYCLED Poly Thread pack – in rainbow of course ! Save the planet and sew sustainably ❤


Magnetic seam guide ! May your stitch lines never be wonky again with this awesome gadget , great for when you are learning to sew straight, or have your mind on Justin Bieber……………


R…I….PPPPP To the seams you used to seeeee , those dayssss are ovvvverrrrr…….. everyone loves a seam ripper , but this ones a giant…….


ALLLLL THE FABRICS ! The coolest modern dressmaking & cotton fabric online shop ! Frumble Fabrics has something cool for everyone …. and yes I have a Banana top made from this fabric… wait until I finish my dinosaurs RAWR 😉


I erm was going to say … he ain’t heavy , he’s my sewing machine…. but you teens won’t get it. So erm here’s a sewing machine bag , to ummm carry a sewing machine in ? Obvs *eye roll*


In at number 4….. It’s the sewing kits we use in class ! Available in Blue or Pink these Prym kits are an essential sewing item. Just don’t forget to write your name on them or I will get them mixed up….again…..


A little something for our dressmaking fans…. This lovely easy sewing book will guide you through some super easy patterns to make for yourself or others !


In at number 2…… It’s the sewing machine of Beginner dreams ! The John Lewis JL110 ! These lovely machines are available in lot’s of different colours , and come with all the basics you need to get sewing just about anything you like ! Plus this machine is a JANOME in disguise , so all JANOME parts and bobbins are compatible! YAY !


Come on now , you know it already don’t you ? ME !

I have soooooooooo many siickkkk classes coming up ! Am I more excited than the teens to be making a ‘wearable blanket’ 😉 ? Probably…….

Happy Shopping !

See you tomorrow for the final part of the series….. Gift Ideas for Gemma ! ….. hahah JOKES ….. It’s adults honestly 😉

Will stop being crinnnnnge now. Laters :p

Children’s Christmas Sewing Gift ideas 2021

It’s nearly that time of year when father Christmas slides down the chimney and leaves lot’s of lovely sewing goodies under the tree 😉

It can be tricky knowing what to buy for someone who sews , so if you are reading this… take note ! It’s been left open on the device for you to see 😉

Click on the photo to visit the link to purchase.


Also known as Stitch Bridgend’s children’s sewing club !

In at NUMBER 10….

Yep it’s everyone’s favourite in the sewing class boxes…… The classic Prym Tomato pin cushion !


In at number 9 we have the most requested sewing class of all time… sewing clothes for Barbie ! This Fab book gives you all the pattern know how to make sure your Barbie is fashionably clothed for all events 😉


One of my favourite sewing kits for kids EVER ! This fab felt scrapbook is perfect for getting to know your sewing machine or hand sewing needles 🙂


Make your own sock hedgehog ! He’s so cute !


Everyone needs a sewing bag to carry all those lovely fabrics and machine to class right ?


Sew all thread pack ! This coats moon rainbow thread pack means you have all the colours you need in a handy 1000 yard reel pack Bargain !


FABBBBBRIIIIICCCC ! Well it had to be rainbow didn’t it ?


Yep it’s the sewing kits we use in class ! Also available in pink ❤


The latest in children’s sewing machines… this Janome mini sewing machine is the same as our class John Lewis ones… but without it’s disguise ! Add stickers for the full on personalised look…


That’s right folks…. Number one has to be……..

ME !

Sewing classes , lessons and online sewing patterns for all ! YAY !


I will be back with the Teen club & Adult club list soon… so stay tuned !

And happy shopping !

DIY Halloween chair cover

It’s spooky time already ! Can you believe it ? ……

We have a lovely little play kitchen area called the cauldron cafe in our house for the toddler boy to get creative in … he LOVES halloween , making potions and….. wait for it…. SPIDERS ! :O ….. So I made him a little chair cover ( he ‘helped’) and I thought you might like to make one too ….


You will need ,

  • Let’s get sewing ! First up let’s measure your chair , wrap your measuring tape around and add an inch.

    Fold your felt in half and cut ( It helps lot’s if you hold the felt around the chair to get an idea of fit BEFORE you cut it ! )

    Now let’s make our spider .

    We are going to applique the spider onto the back of the orange felt using FUSE A WEB . This sticky iron on glue sheet is a staple when doing any type of sewing applique.

    On the PAPER side ( not the rough bumpy glue side ! ) trace the spider from your template using a pencil. Then cut ROUGHLY around the spider , and place it GLUE SIDE DOWN …..iron it onto the black felt.

    Now cut your spider out exactly through the felt and the paper , peel the paper away… can you see how when you peel the paper back the glue is now stuck to the felt ? Put the spider GLUE SIDE DOWN onto the orange felt and iron until it sticks firm.

    SEW ! I have used a small zig zag to sew around the spider and create a pattern on the centre , but a straight stitch will work just as well.

    Can you see the pattern on the back ? I did a few swirls for the spiders main body. Now add the googly eyes using strong glue and stitch a smile using a tight zig zag .. and we have a spider !

    To finish your chair cover , fold the felt in half and stitch along the top and side edge using a straight stitch to make it into a pocket , and pop it on your chair !

    Lovely quick , easy little project and great spoooky fun …

    Happy Halloween everyone have a spoooky one !

    Gems x


    DIY JuJu Hat

    The latest in home decor…. introducing…. the Ju Ju Hat !

    Juju hats, or Tyn hats, were worn by royal dancers during Bamileke tribal ceremonies. They symbolised prosperity and were created from natural or dyed chicken and wild bird feathers , they have recently become very fashionable wall decor and as always I have champagne tastes and a lemonade budget !

    JuJu hats can cost around £100-£300 each ! So I made a DIY version costing just £25 !

    juju hat above the bed

    If you would like to make your own you will need :


    3 metres of STRUNG FEATHERS (You can use any type of feather , I have used turkey feathers for a super fluffy look – don’t try this with individual feathers it won’t work – you will need those on a ribbon or strung)

    NEEDLE AND THREAD (Don’t be tempted to hot glue – it will stick to the feathers and make a right old mess)

    woven placemat and feather trim

    Let’s get sewing ! Pin the trim around the outside of the placemat , the feathers have a natural curve so you can place them in or out depending on the fullness you would like the finished piece to be , I alternated mine.

    Stitch the first row down – DON’T use glue , it will stick to your feathers !

    pin the feathers down

    Make sure to cut the feather trim when you complete the circle – DON’T spiral it will cause bunching. Stitch each row in one complete circle , and keep going until you reach the centre.

    stitched to the centre
    the middle

    Now before you make the final centre , pull the feathers upwards towards the centre , snapping them and fluffing them up.

    Take some leftover trim and roll it around itself adding stitches here and there , then sew into the middle of the hat.

    Give the whole hat a good fluff , add in some more feathers if you have areas that need it by sellotaping some loose feathers together at the bottom and then stitching in. Add a string of thread to the back to hang ….

    And you are done ! I added a few loose blue feathers into this one to match my bedroom decor.

    Happy sewing !

    Gems x

    Sewing for beginners ! The Mandy Boat Tee .

    Hey everyone ! Hope you are all staying safe and not going tooo bonkers being inside all the time.

    Over the past few weeks I have had sooo many enquiries about when classes will be starting again. I wish I could say adult & children’s classes were starting again soon , but I really just don’t know when it will be. Here in South wales we are in one of the Covid Hotspots and I can’t see venues being able to open any time soon , I promise as soon as I know , you will , and I will be adding as many classes as I can to catch everyone up.

    We have had so many complete beginner workshop requests , it seems lot’s of you lovely people have had a sewing machine for christmas and are eager to get sewing , I love beginners classes they are so much fun , every sewing machine is slightly different and there’s nothing quite like showing someone what all those buttons and levers do. Sadly while I can’t teach you via zoom at the moment I thought maybe we could have a little sew a long at home via the blog instead .


    The Mandy Boat Tee !

    This beginner friendly sewing pattern is a FREE pattern by Tessuti Fabrics and is suitable for all ages , and all more importantly all sizes . It has NO darts , and NO complicated seams. Hooray !

    I don’t know about you but long comfy T shirts and leggings have become my lockdown mum uniform and these tops are so easy to make I just had to share one of my all time favourite sewing patterns with you.

    So if you would like to make one of these pop onto the pattern website and download your pattern


    This fab free pattern includes a lovely booklet on how to stitch it together – so I won’t go over any of those details but I will give you some of my top tips for beginners that you may not know.



    • This pattern requires jersey fabric , I highly recommend a cotton jersey for your first time , its much less slippy. I’ve also made this pattern in sweatshirt fabric by going a size up on the pattern.
    • You will need a BALLPOINT NEEDLE when sewing stretchy fabrics make sure to use a 80/12 if you can. Twin needles are great for hems , but you don’t need them.
    • You can sew this pattern on a regular sewing machine using a stretch stitch – Overlockers are great if you have one , but I rarely use mine as baby rainbow hates the noise so all of mine have been made on a regular machine.

    LETS SEW !

    WASH AND DRY YOUR FABRIC – Always wash and dry your fabric as you would the finished item of clothing , fabrics usually shrink a little in a washing machine or tumble drier and you don’t want to end up with a top too small !

    • Measure yourself and decide on your size , This top is very floaty and boxy , so go by your bust measurement unless your hips are wider than the hip measurement , in which case go by that. Stick the paper together as shown in the PDF booklet and Cut out your paper pattern . Lay your fabric out on the table and fold one side inwards , shuffle it around a bit and pin your largest pieces first , then your sleeve pieces .
    My little doughnuts are paper weights ! I pin the pattern on so it doesn’t shift – Jersey is slippy !
    • When cutting your fabric always pin your pattern piece and cut with the blade of your scissors on the table , if you lift the fabric up you will under or over cut. If you find it’s too slippy and hard to cut try spraying it with a little spray starch ( available in supermarkets in a can ) to stiffen the fabric. If you are using stripes , try and get the pattern pieces on the fabric evenly – so if the bottom of the pattern is on an orange stripe , make sure the other pattern piece is also on the bottom of an orange stripe.
    • Ok pieces cut ? Let’s sew ! Remember to use a ballpoint needle and use a stretch stitch – If you use a regular straight stitch the stitches WILL SNAP when you wear it. Follow the PDF booklet and make sure to PRESS YOUR SEAMS with a steam iron when you are finished – setting the seams is so important when you make your own clothing . Use wonder clips if you struggle with pins and NEVER sew over pins on a domestic sewing machine ! .
    Try and match your stripes if you are using stripe fabric wonder clips are great for holding seams while you sew, and they are very cheap to buy online.

    Finished top ? Hurrah !

    Now you’ve made your first one , try it on and have a look if there are any adjustments you would like to make in future , could the hem be longer ? Add a few inches to the bottom , sleeves too long ? alter your pattern by taking a few inches off on the pattern where it says to alter and stitch the bottom of the sleeve back on. Hem too baggy ? Slide some elastic through the bottom to make a bubble hem top instead.

    Maybe embroider the front , add some iron on vinyl or even make a longer version for a comfy dress ! You could also print the pattern at 50% instead and make a children’s version .

    This pattern is so versatile and beginner friendly.

    If you are on instagram …

    1. Why are you not following me yet ? and 2. try searching the hashtag mandyboattee for hundreds of cool ideas and hacks , there is so much you can do with this sewing pattern.


    Happy sewing ! Don’t forget to share those photos ❤

    Stay Safe x

    CHOP CHOP ! Let’s talk about sewing scissors

    Hey everyone ! I hope you’ve all had a lovely christmas and a wonderful if not quiet new year 🙂

    I thought we would kick off the year with another in my series of equipment blog posts… And today it’s the turn of the most useful item of sewing equipment – SCISSORS !


    I will be honest , and hold my hands up…. I have wayyyyy too many pairs of scissors !

    ( I’m talking over a hundred 😮 )

    Some are used in my adult sewing classes , some in the children’s school classes and some… well some sit in the tin and look pretty !

    My scissors range from a few weeks old to my heirloom great grandmothers metal scissors now over 100 years old … and they all work ! Taking care of scissors is really quick and easy if you do it every few months.

    When you first start sewing it’s important to know that you don’t actually need dressmaking or sewing scissors *shock* 😮

    All you need is a BRAND NEW pair – That will only be used for fabric.

    You should always have one pair for cutting paper , one for cutting fabric and I like to keep one pair for cutting appliqué as technically you are cutting both paper and fabric. That’s it !

    I will say however that using dressmaking scissors , shears , embroidery scissors and patchwork scissors make life soooo much easier in reality.

    I use a lot of scissors everyday teaching and making patterns , let alone my evening hand sewing. These are MY favourites.


    These are for general use , there are many brands out there , but my favourite at the moment are the PRYM LOVE series. They have lovely comfy handles , angled blades and are super easy to keep clean and sharp. I use these everyday and have them in many colours.


    I love my heavier scissors too , I use these almost exclusively when cutting dressmaking fabrics , heavier fabric like denim or corduroy or even several layers of quilting cotton.


    Bit of an all rounder these , I use lovely sharp PRYM patchwork scissors as they have the strongest blades , small but very very mighty.


    Always handy to have a few around ! I use a mixture of sizes from kitchen scissors to children’s size left and right handed school scissors.


    I only use these for dressmaking fabrics where the weight is heavier than cotton , but many people use them for all sorts .


    These lovely little scissors are one of my favourites. If you have ever been to a sewing class with me you’ll notice I always keep a gold pair of straight nose stork scissors on a lanyard or chain around my neck !

    I use both small straight scissors and the famous stork scissors when doing any embroidery , english paper piecing or hand sewing , mainly as they fit nicely in a little box and are light and easy to snip with.


    It’s so important to give your scissors a little clean up every now and then , they do work pretty hard for us !

    I like to clean mine with a lint free cloth like a baby muslin and sharpen them with a blade restorer like these FISKARS brand sharpeners.

    Now , nothing and I mean nothing , compares to having them sharpened by a professional , but I find the blade restorers keep them going in the meantime.


    You can hang them , put them in a drawer , leave them on your desk …. It’s up to you ! But whatever you do , put a padlock on the top of your best sewing scissors , esp around christmas !

    I keep my bigger scissors in my great grandmothers biscuit tin , and my desk ones in my desk organiser.

    Where do you keep yours ?

    Happy Sewing ,

    GEMS 🙂

    Halloween Street Play Set

    It’s almost halloween !

    This year I made baby rainbow a little play set with some wooden houses , a bit of paint and some peg dolls 🙂

    He loves it ! and it was so simple to make …

    All you need is some wooden blocks , some acrylic paint , mod lodge to seal them and some imagination !

    I found my blocks on ETSY HERE

    And used some left over paint from other projects.

    I painted the blocks first in halloween colours , after they were dry I drew some designs on both sides with pencil and then painted the finer details.

    I Decided on :

    A hotel , A church , A Hospital , Bakery , Dog House , Caspers house , Draculas House , Mummy pharmacy & pumpkin shop.

    (Some are on the back sides)

    I also made some cute peg dolls to go with the houses

    Super easy and super fun ! Why not give it a go 🙂

    The Rainbow House Garden

    Hey everyone !

    I have a confession to make……

    I make hundreds of things , from painting to sewing , cooking to gardening I am always beavering away … and I NEVER remember to blog any of them ! I am terrible at it…. I had no idea how many things I haven’t shared in the past few months , until I had lot’s of comments on a social media photo , and I realised I haven’t shared any of my lockdown projects…. and there are a LOT of them !

    So , I am turning over a new leaf … while they are starting to fall off the trees anyhoo !

    Introducing…… The Rainbow Garden !

    I love Gardening , I’ve been growing my own veg for years now , but this year I decided to take on a little cut flower patch for use in the new house.

    We moved in August 2019 , and the back garden was… well… brown…. My least favourite colour in the whole world….

    So in lockdown I slapped a rainbow on it… ! Getting hold of paint in lockdown was tricky so with a little careful mixing here and there I managed to get a pastel coloured fence rainbow that I could paint over if need be when we leave here. There’s still some painting to do , but the weathers so hit and miss !

    I made a rainbow heart hanging from some chopped wood I found in the woodland behind and left over paint.

    So easy ! Just bleach your wood so it doesn’t split , then cut to a template , paint and string it onto a top piece. It’s held up so well over summer and through all the recent storms.

    I painted these super cute tin planters I found on amazon , lined them with cardboard so not to burn the plant roots in the hot sun , and planted them with my favourite lavenders I use for making heat bags in the winter 🙂

    Have you been out in the garden this year ?


    Hey lovely people in my computer !

    I’m back with yet another home decor DIY ( I will get round to sewing again soon , promise ! these face coverings are keeping my machine too busy these days ! )

    I fell in love with an amazing boho circle shelf online , but gah ! it was so far out of my budget I just couldn’t justify it. ( £125 FOR A SHELF ! EEEK ! )

    So in true DIY style I decided to make one ! .

    I used a plain black shelf from the range for just £15 and some raffia I had left over from my mirror project (HERE)


    I am so so pleased with the way it turned out , you can’t even tell it’s homemade ! hurrah !

    Wanna know how to make it…..


    You will need :

    A CIRCLE SHELF FRAME – I used a super cheap one from the range.

    RAFFIA – I used about 500grams and had a little left over , you can get it online or from a florist.


    That’s it !

    Ok , so let’s take a look at the frame. It’s very basic , but sturdy enough. I jumped right in and went ahead with the weaving , and then realised you would still see the black wires in the middle section… gah ! So I undid it and wrapped the centre wires first.

    I used my trusty glue gun to seal each end , and wrapped two strands of raffia around the middle poles – I did this roughly as I knew it would be enough under the weaving.

    Then , I started the weaving , in and out , over and under. It get’s tricky at some points where the shelves meet , but a little bodge with some glue here and there and it’s not noticeable at all.

    Just keep weaving ! It’s fab to do in front of a box set…. Every time I got to the end of the raffia I glued it to the back side ring , and started again. I tried lot’s of different weaving in , slipknot joins etc but they all left lot’s of small flyaway strands I knew would drive me crazy , so glue gun to the rescue !

    I could have left it there , to be honest , but the black wire stood out too much for me. I wrapped the centre vertical poles in raffia and glued it on.

    I didn’t like the shelf edges , they were cheap unfinished MDF. So I plaited some raffia , and glued it on to the front and side edge of the shelf part.


    A few snips of flyaway bits , a little more glue and ta da ! done !

    I did debate adding some cane fabric to the back of the shelf , to add a little more detail , but it’s on a blank white wall so I thought it was ok as it was.


    Such a simple little upgrade , but so fun !

    It’s the perfect place to stash my new favourite candles too…

    A few weeks ago I asked a lovely group of mum friends about what candles they use . I love Yankee but they make my nose itch and leave black marks alll over my white walls. A friend suggested I try thornbush hill and oh my word ! I am converted …They are not only vegetable wax , but beautifully scented … they are my new secret pleasure !

    (My own opinions – not an ad … but ya know if you wanted to send me some others to try out….. 😉 ….. hehehe )

    Til next time….

    Tea & jammy dodgers ,

    Gems x