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Archive | November, 2015

Nature Trail Tote - by Katy Cameron - The Littlest Thistle

Nature-trail-toteAbout Me For SidebarDesigned and made by Katy Cameron


Finished size: 11.5inch x 13.5inch

Seam allowance, unless otherwise stated: 1/2inch



Dashwood - Double Border Nature TrailMaterials:

1/2 m Double Border print from Nature Trail by Dashwood Studios

1/2 m Bunnies print from Nature Trail by Dashwood Studios

1/2 m Fusible Woven Interfacing

1 m Cream Mini Pompom Braid 

1 m Orange Ricrac 

Basic sewing supplies

Cutting Instructions:

Cut the following pieces from the outer fabric:

2 front/back pieces, 12.5in x 14.5in (if using the double border print, fussy cut the borders between the duck and the hedgehog, and do not cut the selvage off)

Cut the following pieces from the lining fabric:

2 front and back pieces, 12.5in x 14.5in

2 handles 4in x 21in

Cut the following from the fusible woven interfacing:

2 front and back pieces, 12.5in x 14.5in

Cut the following pieces from each of the trims:

2 pieces 12.5in long

Preparing the pieces:

Step 2-3 1. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the woven interfacing to the back of the outer fabric pieces.

2. Sew the mini pompom trim to the outer bag pieces, 4in from the top of the 12.5in edge, parallel to the edge.

3. Sew the ricrac to the outer bag pieces, 1.5in from the bottom of the 12.5in edge, parallel to the edge.

 How To Make The Tote:

4. Take one front and one lining pieces and place right sides together, matching top edge. Stitch together along the top edge, then open out and press seams open. Repeat with the remaining outer and lining piece.

Step 5 5. Place the 2 pieces from step 4 right sides together, matching all edges and seams. Stitch all the way around, leaving a 4in turning gap in the bottom of the lining, then press the seam allowances open (you can do this by pressing one side at a time towards the body of the tote)

Step 6

6. Clip the corners of the outer and lining as per the photo and turn through the turning gap using a small pointed object, such as a chopstick, to push the corners square, and tucking the seam allowance from the turning gap inside.

7. Sew the turning gap closed, then tuck the lining inside the bag and press. Topstitch 1/8in from the top edge all the way around.

Step 88. Take one of the handles and fold in half, matching long edges, and press. Open out and fold the long edges in to the centre fold and press again. Fold along original fold line and press again.

Step 9a9. Open out along the original fold line so that the short ends are right sides together, as per the photo.

Step 9bUsing a 1/4in seam allowance, sew the short ends only, then clip the corners as you did in step 6. Turn the handle right sides out, so that the short seams are now on the inside, folding it along the original fold line.

10. Top stitch all the way round the handle 1/8in from edge.

11. Repeat steps 8 -10 with the other handle.



Step 1212. At each end of the 2 handles mark a box using a removable pen as per the photo, 1in up from the end.

13. Step 13Pin the handle ends to the bag so that the end of the handle is 2.5inch in from the side and 1.5inch down from the top, catching both the front and back of the bag with the pin. Stitch in place by sewing around the box twice, including the diagonals.




14. Step back and admire your new tote bag

About the pattern:

When I first saw this print I knew it would be perfect for a little girl who would be needing a present soon. The Nature Trail prints are so cute, and the wee trims just added a little extra something to the tote.



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Remembrance Day Poppies.....get your hook out!

Remembrance Day PoppiesIt isn't too late to create one of these lovely crocheted Poppies for this weekend's Remembrance Sunday. We used a pattern from HappyBerryCrochet.

However there are loads to choose from depending on the style you prefer....check out this link for ideas:

You Tube - Crochet a Poppy Ideas

Here's the red & black yarn that we used, happy crocheting!



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Introducing Katy Cameron - AKA - The Littlest Thistle

About Me For SidebarWe stumbled across Katy's blog some time ago and have loved reading about her wonderful makes, including gorgeous quilts, patchwork and the most scrumptious of totes, ever since.

If you haven't come across her yet, you'll find her blog here and she is also a regular contributor in 'Quilt Now magazine'.

If you like to sew and are especially keen on bags or quilting, then Katy's work and tutorials are definitely worth checking out!

Dashwood - Double Border Nature TrailSo you can understand our delight, when having got in touch with the lovely Katy she agreed to become part of the Poppies & Polka Dots Blog team! Yeaaaay! And have we got a treat for you this month... Katy has been busy creating an irresistible tote for you using this little package of yumminess, which includes the lovely double border print from the Nature Trail collection. Think, perfect gift for someone (or yourself!), so be sure to check this out over the coming days.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little more with you about Katy, so here's some questions we recently put to her.....(and some pictures of her makes!) Enjoy x

Have you always been a fan of making and sewing? When did it all begin?

I am what my mum would call a ‘fidget’. I swear I spent half my childhood listening to her saying ‘will you sit at peace!’ so I made things to keep me occupied and when I left home, woah, there was no-one shouting and I had so much more space to make things! I’ve meandered through a number of crafts, having learned to embroider when I was very small, hijacked my mum’s unused sewing machine in my teens, wandered past glass painting, watercolour, scrapbooking, jewelery making and teddy bear making before settling on bags and quilts.

IMG_6726What was the catalyst to starting your blog?

I used to make my one of a kind artist teddy bears to sell, so I started the blog    after encouragement from fellow artists as a place to show progress in the making and maybe even sell. That never really happened, but when I stumbled across Sew Mama Sew giveaway day in 2011 while looking for dolls’ clothing patterns, I both found a whole new area of things to sew (quilts) and a set of things to focus my blog on (initially clothes and bags, then quilts).

Where do you find inspiration for your makes?

IMG_2167All over! I carry a sketch book in my bag, and especially when I’m travelling you can see me sitting in train stations and airports furtively sketching bag shapes and design features. The women at work also provide all sorts of ideas with their handbags. I’ve never copied a whole bag, but I’ve certainly noted down what I consider to be ingenious ways of doing things. There’s one girl who was sitting in front of me at a company meeting recently, and there was an adjustable bit at the top of her bag that I’m dying to use somewhere!

p19eho46odgf2enc1qs7t55vdi9How would you describe your style?

Practical, for the most part. I’m not good at girly and pretty, and until very recently I didn’t even use handbags, preferring to shove everything in my coat pockets, but then someone pointed out that the handbags might be a good marketing tool if I actually used them! My mum has received most of my smaller bags over the years, but the bigger ones are usually ones I make to fulfil a need when travelling.

Can you explain the ‘bear’ thing?

See previous answers :o) I used to make and sell one of a kind artist teddy bears out of mohair. The bear that is my blog avatar was my very first design, and the one that is my Facebook avatar was a finalist in the British Bear Artists Awards.

In terms of sewing, is there anyone in particular that inspires you or someone we should be looking out for / reading their blog?

These days I’m all about the eye candy on Instagram. I’m quite selective about who I follow because I don’t have a lot of time to spend, but recently the #beesewcial bee have been making some fantastic quilt blocks, lots of great improv and interesting inspiration.

IMG_3715We’ve seen that your patterns have featured in various magazines, how did your first feature come about?

My first feature was in a one off bag making magazine. My friend Jo from My Bearpaw happened to know the editor and was making something herself and suggested I send in a pattern. I’m a regular in Quilt Now magazine after one of my patterns was successful in an open call to submit for the first 3 issues magazines. I’ve been in almost every issue since.

What was the last thing that you made for yourself?

Ummm, well I’ve got 2/3 of a ‘My Small World’ supersized quilt top made, which will be for me, does that count?

Are you planning any Christmas makes? If so, what are you most looking forward to getting started on?My family demands homemade every year. My mum has requested a bag, and has specifications, so that will be my favourite as I won’t have to imagine the whole thing from scratch ;o)

IMG_8119What are you most looking forward to in 2016 in terms of sewing & any upcoming projects?I’m most looking forward to Sew Brit Bag Camp, a weekend bag making retreat that I’m running with my friend Samantha from Patterns By Mrs H, which will be in March. It’s a lot of work, but should be such a fun event!

If you want to learn more about Katy and her latest tutorials, patterns and much more, be sure to head over to The Littlest Thistle

Don't forget, her latest tote and 'how to instructions' for the lovely Nature Trail double border fabric, will be available here at Poppies & Polka Dots in the next couple of days..... be sure not to miss it!




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