Last Minute Chrtistmas Makes

Only two and a half more sewing and knitting days til Christmas and we hope you’re nearly done with your shopping and gift making. But just in case you’re not, here’s a quick run down of some seriously quick makes that you still have time to complete and wrap before the big day. Ready for some serious fast crafting? Let’s go!

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Simple Gathered Skirt
Here’s our tutorial from a couple of year’s ago on how to make a gathered skirt which you can use for a little girl, using nothing but fabric and elastic – no closures! No problem that this is labeled as a summer skirt – just pop on a pair of leggings and make in a wintery print, and you’re sure to make someone’s day with a handmade skirt in their favourite colour or featuring their favourite animal.

wool week snood

Simple Knit Scarf or Cowl
Grab some super chunky wool – we’ve got Lotte Jamieson 100% Merino or Rowan Big Wool that knit up on 10mm needles, or Red Heart Grande that knits on 15mm needles – and just using the standard knit stitch, you can make a seriously chunky scarf or cowl in an hour or two. Just pick a colour that you know the recipient will love and get knitting. Rowan has some free Big Wool cowl patterns on its site if you need some guidance. For even more gift appeal, wrap the present in plain brown paper and tie with the same wool you knitted it with.


Applique a T-shirt or Jumper
Grab some felt or scraps of material and design something special for someone you love. Clair did this gorgeous reindeer design for her son’s school Christmas jumper day and he loved it. There are plenty of easy pictures you could make, or you can go for something more complicated – the choice is yours! All you need is a pre-bought jumper or top, plus bondaweb.


Drawstring Gift Bag
Check our comprehensive tutorial on how to make this neat little (or large) bag from last week’s blog post. All Christmas fabric is STILL 40% off! Alternatively, you could go with some of other amazing prints including Star Wars, Marvel Avengers, Disney Cars and Princesses, Kaffe Fassett florals, or anything we’ve got on the shelves.

A Bow Belt
Take a tip from Tilly and the Buttons and make a special bow themed belt just in time for the festive period. You only need about half a metre or less of standard width fabric and some interfacing. Someone you know would be delighted to find this, or any of our Tilly & the Buttons sewing patterns under their Christmas tree.


Makeup Bag
Craftsy has a wealth of online inspiration, including this super simple makeup bag tutorial. Easy to sew and very quick, you could sew up two or three of these in an afternoon. Pick some of our gold embellished fabrics and you can make some really glamorous bags for some very special people.

And if you’re wondering if you can still feed your crafting needs over the festive period, here are our Christmas opening hours:

Saturday 23rd December 10am – 5pm
Christmas Eve 10am – 2pm
Christmas Day and Boxing Day – CLOSED
Wednesday 27th December – 10am – 5pm
Thursday 28th December – 10am – 5pm
Friday 29th December – 10am – 5pm
Saturday 30th December 10am – 5pm
Sunday 31st December – CLOSED
Monday 1st January – CLOSED
Tuesday 2nd January – CLOSED
Wednesday 3rd January – 10am – 5pm

And if you’re still planning on sewing up something to wear over Christmas, we’d love to see it! Share your sewing and knitting makes on Emporia Fabric & Craft on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We hope you have a fabulously crafty Christmas!




Sew a Simple Drawstring Gift Bag


Christmas is drawing ever closer, but we’re still selling loads of festive fabric which means lots of you out there must still be making and sewing gifts. With that in mind this week we are sharing with you a tutorial for a lovely drawstring  gift bag that makes a fabulous (and recyclable) alternative to wrapping paper. Or you could make a larger size and gift it to a child as a PE bag; or go even bigger and make a Santa Sack – there are plenty of other creative options. Great for using up scraps, or some of our reduced Christmas fat quarters, you can knock out a few of these in under and hour, whilst eating a mince pie or two.

Take a look at our instructions below and share your own results on our Facebook page or on our Instagram feed – we’d love to see your makes!

Drawstring Gift Bag Instructions


1. Cut a rectangle that is double the width of the bag you would like to make, adding 2cm to the width and 4cm to the length for seam allowance.

2. Fold both side edges over by 1cm, iron and pin in place.


3. Stitch down both sides, close to the edge.


4. Fold the top edge over by 1cm and iron, then fold over again by 2cm, iron and pin in place. Then stitch close to the edge.

5. Fold the bag in half and pin. Sew from the first pin down – if you start sewing at the top, you will seal the tube opening for the drawstring.

6. Sew almost to the bottom of the bag; then (making sure your needle is still down) lift the foot and turn the fabric at right angles, before putting the foot back down and sewing across the bottom of your bag. Make sure you sew inside the first line of stitching or else it will show on the outside of your bag. Turn your bag the right way out and iron.

7. Pin a large safety pin to your ribbon or whatever you want to use as a drawstring. Thread the safety pin through the casing at the top of your bag then cut the ribbon to the length you would like. Unpin the safety pin and tie the two ends of the ribbon in a knot.


Ta da! You’re finished! Fill your gift bag with some lovely treats and spread a little sewing magic at Christmas.

Don’t forget our Christmas fabric is 40% off until Christmas, and we’ve got 20% off all Star Wars fabric until 2pm Sunday 17th December 2017.

Make a Simple Summer Skirt


This week we have decided to go back to basics and show you how to make a simple summer skirt using some of our gorgeous Gutermann extra wide fabric. There’s nothing more satisfying than a quick and easy sewing project that you can pop on and wear within a couple of hours; whether you’ve got an itch to make something new for the weekend, or have a bit of spare time while the kids are otherwise occupied and want to do something just for you, this simple gathered skirt can be whipped up in no time. And if you don’t fancy making one for yourself or a fellow grownup, you can do a smaller one from our standard width fabric and give it to a lucky child!


To make this gathered summer skirt you will need: 75cm of 152cm/60” wide fabric from our Gutermann range – choose from our range of cool pinks, warm greys and sophisticated navies with various subtle floral and nautical style prints; 75cm will cost you just £12.38. You will also need a length of elastic to fit your waist measurement plus 1” extra (£1.50 a metre).


1. Fold the fabric in half and with wrong sides together stitch ½ cm from the edge, turn inside out, and press with the iron. Then stitch ½ cm from the edge with right sides together as this will give you a neat French seam to conceal the edges.

2. Fold the waistband over by 1cm and press, then fold it over again by 2 ½ cm, and press with iron.

3. Stitch along the edge of the waistband at the bottom of the fold, leaving a 2 ½ cm gap (leaving the gap around the vertical join line is best) where you will thread the elastic through.


4. Attach a safety pin to the end of the length of elastic and thread through the waistband, making sure you don’t loose the other end inside the waistband tube. Once you have fed the elastic all the way through, make sure it is lying flat all the way around the waistband. It is a good idea to safety pin both ends of the elastic together at this point and try the skirt on to make sure the elastic is the right length. Got the measurements right? Sew the elastic together by overlapping the ends and sewing back and forth on the same section to reinforce the stitches.

5. Top stitch the fabric edge onto the body of the skirt where you inserted the elastic to close up the gap.

6. Turn up 1/2 cm, and 1/2 cm again on the hem over and press it, before stitching all around the edge.

7. Give the skirt a final press, wear it and look marvelous! (or give it to a friend and receive heaps of praise for your generosity and talent!)


You can even add some super simple patch pockets on the sides to give you somewhere to put your lippy and your phone – make them in a contrast fabric from a fat quarter to add an interesting detail.

Made yourself or a little one a simple skirt from any of our fabrics? Let us know! We do love being nosey. Show us your makes on your blogs by leaving a link in the comments box here or by tagging Emporia Fabric & Crafts on Facebook.