Category Archives: Bambino Bobbins Blog

Batik Shorts Tutorial

Hi, here I am going to show you how easy it is to make a pair of shorts without a pattern. After all summer is just around the corner (it’s actually snowing outside!).

I chose a lovely batik fabric which used to be my grandfathers sarong when he lived in Indonesia and I chose some shorts that fit me nicely.

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I folded the shorts in half and folded the fabric in half as well, laying the folded shorts on the fabric, making sure that the pattern on the fabric is facing the right way. Then I drew around the folded shorts with chalk, adding about one inch seam allowance all the way around, otherwise your shorts will be too small. I then cut around my chalk markings and repeated this once more for the other leg of the shorts.

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Cut a waistband out, this needs to be about 15cm deep and the length needs to long enough to go all the way around the top of the shorts, plus a seam allowance. Then zig zag your fabric. The reason I zig zag is to make sure that the fabric doesn’t fray when it is washed.

Take the two pieces of one leg and lay the fabric good side to good side. Pin the two longest straight sides together and repeat with the other leg.

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Use a straight stitch to stitch the pinned sides together and repeat for the other leg. I used the edge of the fabric with the edge of the sewing machine foot as my guide. Remember to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and the end to secure your stitch.

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Press your seam open using the iron. This means that when you stitch it all together later, you don’t get big bulky bits.

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Turn one leg the right way out and put that inside the other leg which is the wrong way out. Pin the curved edges together matching the seams and sew using a straight stitch. Then turn the shorts the right way around, you should now have something that looks like a pair of shorts without a waistband.

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Get the waistband and put the two short ends together. Pin it and then sew it together using a straight stitch. Take the pins out and then open out the seam using the iron. Fold the waistband in half across the length like in the picture, press.

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Open out the waistband as shown and pin the top edge of the shorts, lining up your back seam. The back of the waistband (where the seam is), needs to be pinned to the back of the shorts. (Just decide which side is nicer to decide which side is the back). Stitch this seam using a straight stitch.

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Press a little seam at the top of the waistband as shown in the picture. Mine is about 1cm long. Fold the waist band over the seam  and then pin it, leaving an inch gap to insert the elastic. I have marked the gap with two pins either side so I don’t forget to stop sewing here.

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Stitch this seam nice and close to the edge where the open side is. This will prevent any flapping bits of fabric on the inside. Then insert the elastic, I used a safety pin to do this. Try them on before you cut the elastic to make sure they fit over your hips. Then tie the elastic with a strong knot and stitch the hole in the waist band together, following the same line of stitches as before.

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Using the iron fold a neat hem line. I folded it over twice so that it looks nice from the inside (it also means I can turn them up on the outside if I want to). Pin and then sew the hem line, keeping your stitching nice and close to the open edge.

Press and wear!

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Bambino Bobbin Tutorial on how to make a bat cushion for Halloween

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Hello today I would like to talk about how to make a Halloween bat cushion. Look on the computer for a template for the bat. There are lots to choose from on the internet.

Cut out two square pieces of fabric. I used purple velvet fabric for the squares and I used black felt for the bats. Position the bats on one of the squares, using pins. Next, with chalk draw a triangle on the bat like I have done in the picture above.

If it is a thin fabric that frays when you cut it then make sure you zig zag your edges before you begin to sew.

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Then sew on the chalk lines, using straight stitch, remember to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and the end.

My mum helped me put the zip in, but she has attached some pictures to show you. This is a fancy zip, called a lace zip, that shows on the top of the cushion at the back.

First I cut the back square in half  (the one without the bats on), and then marked with chalk where the zip started and finished. Using a zipper foot my mum attached the zip.


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After the zip I attached both square pieces together good side together with good side, and pinned all 4 sides together. Make sure you put the pins in like I have shown on the picture then the machine can sew over them instead of you having to take the pins out every time to reach one.

Using a straight stitch, going forwards and backwards at the beginning and the end (to make sure the stitches don’t fall apart), I sewed all four sides. I sewed the edge of the fabric with the edge of the foot as my guide to make sure I sewed a straight line.

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I hope you like it!  I got the idea from Pinterest, you can find all the links if you search for Dotty Bobbin on Pinterest. If you don’t have anyone to do the zip for you then you could make it as an envelope cushion. I have also done a tutorial on that!

I want to do a tutorial on inserting zips for kids soon, but this time I was being lazy and my Mum did it for me!

How to make a fabric book cover

Hi, its me, Sam and I am going to blog about how to make a fabric book cover. I am making mine for my summer diary.

First you need to measure the length and width of your book. Close the book and use a tape measure to go round the book including the binding. You need to work out how much you want to fold over the edges to hold the book. For an A5 book you would normally fold it over about 6 cms.  Add this to your fabric measurements. Add two more cm to the length and the width to allow for a seam to sew.

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Fold over 1cm on each side of the fabric, press and sew a neat hem with a straight stitch. Start with the two long ends, then do the two shorter ends.

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Finally fold over 6 cm of the fabric on each side, pin in place, and stitch the open edges, trying to keep on top of your previous stitches so that it looks nice. Remember not to sew the opening for your book cover!

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If you would like to add a bookmark then take a piece of ribbon, or I used shoelaces, and secure to the top middle of your cover, making sure the ribbon is long enough to overlap at the bottom so you don’t lose it. If you want to add a pen holder at the side, then add 2/3cm to the length of your fabric before you cut it, depending on how thick your pen is. Then once your book cover is finished just close the cover and sew a straight line from top to bottom down the spine. I hope you have a great result!

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How to make a superhero cape

My mum told me about, who are making super hero capes for sick and disadvantaged children in the UK and the rest of the World. So I thought I would make one too, and show you how to do it, so you can make them at home as well.

I cut the fabric out using this pattern that my mum made, you can use the shape in the picture to make your own from newspaper.

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I put the paper on the fabric, pinned it onto the fabric and cut it out. The black rod is an iron paper weight in case you were wondering. I cut out two pieces of fabric, one for the outside and one for the inside of my cape.

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Once I cut them out, my mum embroidered a dragon on her embroidery machine. You could stitch on a piece of felt or fleece with a design instead, like a lightening bolt and things like that. You can download lots of templates on the internet to use or copy one from a book.

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Lay the fabric pieces together, good side to good side, pin them together like shown, and then stitch together, leaving a 10cm gap to turn it the right way around. Once you have stitched, zig zag both layers together on the edges, so that it doesn’t fray in the wash (remember to leave a 10cm gap with the zig zag as well).

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Turn it the right way around and press the edges flat with an iron and some steam. Turn the edges of the opening in and pin it together. Increase the length of your straight stitch on your machine to 3.5 and topstich all the way round the edge of the cape, staying 0.5mm away from the edge. I topstitched to stop the lining from sliding around and it looks nice too!

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After this I had to make a button hole using the button hole foot. If you don’t have one, you can use velcro instead, or  sew on a hook and eye. Then stitch on the button, on the other side. If you want to use your cape on both sides, then sew a button on both sides to make it look nice.

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Here is my finished cape, I loved it so much, I made another one for me to keep in blue!

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Avril Cosh Sewing Debut

Two weeks ago, my Mum and I made our way down to Hemel Hempstead, from Scotland, leaving straight after school. We arrived at Saskia’s at nine O’Clock. The next day Saskia taught us how to make pin cushions and we sewed squares together. After that we went shopping and I bought some zips, elastic and velcro.

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I have a sewing machine at home but I have only had it since my birthday last month and haven’t had much time to use it yet. On Saturday I went to one of Saskia’s sewing classes. I learned to make hair scrunchies and my Mum made herself a new bag.

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On Sunday, our last day, I made another scrunchie and two handy little make up bags with oilcloth. I learned how to put zips on, which is not too hard. My mum made a bigger bag.

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I really enjoyed the weekend sewing and have been doing more sewing since I came home. I am making a pin cushion for my friend at the moment, and hope to do lots more sewing. My Mum has made another bag and took the curtains up in my room. She also plans to make cushion covers.

Avril Cosh x


Patchwork Envelope Cushion Tutorial

Today I am going to show you how to make a patchwork cushion. Firstly you have to cut your squares. All the squares need to be the same size. It doesn’t matter what size square you use so long as they are all the same. I have used a square that is 4 1/2 inches on all sides. Next you need to zig zag all squares that you have cut. I zig zag so that the fabric doesn’t fray when we wash it. You need to try to sew the zig zag stitch close to the edge so that you can’t see it when you put it together.

Once that is done, pin your squares, two at a time, good side to good side, with the pins at a 90 degree angle. I do this so the sewing foot can hop over the pins. Sew with a straight stitch (running stitch), remembering to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and the end. Line up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the foot when you sew.

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Then add your squares together until you have 4 in a row (unless your squares are a different size). Iron out the seams like in the picture, and then attach all your rows together. I used 12 rows. When you put your rows together, line up the corners of the individual squares so that they look nice. Pin your rows good side to good side, and then sew together, lining up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the foot.

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Iron your patchwork flat, before folding the edges down twice at both ends like in the picture. Sew the seam at both ends. Lay out your fabric so that it fits the cushion like the picture. Make sure it is inside out. Pin the edges together and sew the two open side seams, remembering to go forwards and backwards every time you do a straight stitch. Don’t worry if the edges don’t meet up exactly so long as your stitch line is straight and you sew from the narrowest point in a straight line so that there are no holes in your cushion. Turn it the right way around, iron it and then insert your cushion. I hope you like it, my Oma loves this one I made for her. Bambino Bobbin xx

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Bambino Bobbin Hair Scrunchie Blog

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Hello,  my name is Annelies and I am going to show you how to make a hair scrunchie (well I am making two at the same time). Firstly we measure out our fabric. I used the measurements shown above which are: 13cm wide by 50cm. After you have measured it you need to cut it out and zig zag the outside edges.

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Fold the fabric in half lengthways making sure you put the good side of the fabric next to the other good side. Then you pin the fabric together leaving about 6cm unpinned at each end.

Next you need to sew from one side of the pins to the other side using a straight stitch. Don’t forget you need to leave both ends open.

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After that you need to turn it the nice way around by turning it inside out. Then you need to pin the open ends together like shown in the picture.

Sew the two ends together where you have pinned, remembering to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and end. If you don’t go forwards and backwards your stitching will come undone in the washing machine.

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Next you need to thread some elastic on a safety pin and push the safety pin through the fabric carefully until you get to the other end. Here’s a picture of me doing it.

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Tie a knot in the elastic, checking it is the right length for you (how long you want it is up to you). Where you are left with the opening you need to tuck the good sides in and pin them together and sew the hole shut as close to the edge as possible. Ta Da! Your finished scrunchie, well done. Love  Annelies xxxx

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Baby Clothes Peg Bag

From the charity shop or in the loft ask your Mum for the smallest denim dress or dungarees. You can also use baby suits or whatever you fancy.

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With the denim dungarees I first stitched up the trouser leg. I found it too difficult to stitch the popper section so I cut it off and I stitched that as well.

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Then I put it on a hanger that looks nice with the clothing and then I pinned it and stitched it just below the hanger. I stitched it from the middle to the other side just about to the sleeve area.This is so that the hanger won’t fall off.

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With the stripey outfit I stitched the legs the same as the denim outfit. Then I left a gap where the buttons were and just above the top button I inserted a hanger. Once I inserted the hanger I stitched along the first two button holes. If I didn’t stitch it there it might open up when you try to take out a peg and then the hanger would fall off.

This took me 20 minutes to make 2 and I am going to give them to my Auntie and my Nanny.  Let me know how you get on making your own peg bag. Annelies x

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My Oma gave me a really good sewing tip to share with you all……….in your sewing box you should always keep some dental floss, as it makes a really good strong thread for repairing denim.

How to make an envelope cushion by Annelies, aged 7

photo 3 photo 1 (3) Hello, this week I am going to show you how I made my lovely envelope cushion for my bedroom. Firstly put the cushion on top of the fabric. You need to measure the width of the cushion  and add an extra 4cm to get a 2cm seam allowance on each side. Measure the length by wrapping the fabric around the cushion (or use a ruler),  leaving a big overlap.

Zig zag the fabric to stop it fraying in the wash. (If you ask your mum to wash it before you cut the fabric that stops it from shrinking when you wash it too.)

On each short end you need to fold it over twice and pin, so the fold is about 1cm. Stitch in a staight stitch, remembering to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and ends, to stop it coming undone. Lay out the fabric and fold it into an envelope like the picture. Make sure it is the same size as the cushion.

photo 3 (1) photo 2Pin the sides and stitch with a straight stitch. Turn it the right way around and push out the corners with a knitting needle. Iron it, and insert  your cushion. FINISHED, now you know how to make envelope cushions.

Annelies, Aged 7.

photo 2 (4) photo 3 (2)I have shown you the rest of my bedroom which my mum did, so you can see how it all looks together! If you like it, send me a comment please.


Boys Camouflage Waterproof Poncho

Hello Sam here, with my second blog. This week I have made a waterproof, camouflage poncho. It even doubles up as a waterproof blanket to sit on when you have your picnic.  It is very simple to make, all I used were two identical squares of fabric, one was waterproof, the other was camouflage. I used a plate to draw a circle in the centre of the square for my head. Then with both fabrics good side to good side, I stitched the hole first, then stitched another parallel line along the hole, leaving a gap for elastic. I inserted the elastic with a safety pin. Then I went over the elastic hole with the machine. Then I folded in all the four edges of the square, this time with the fabric the right way around, and tucked the folds inwards so it can’t be seen. Then I did a nice neat top stitch on all four edges of the square. Ta Da! Do you like it? Now, if you want you can try it yourself!   My top sewing tip for this week is: you don’t have to take the pins out when you are sewing. You should use thin dressmakers pins to sew and always pin them in at a 90 degree angle, leaving the pin 1cm out of the fabric.                                 jan14 071                          jan14 070


Bambino Blog 9th January 2014


Hello my name is Annelies. I am 7 years old and I love sewing. My favourite thing to sew is dolls clothes. I have got lots of ideas to sew and share which is why I am doing a blog. Today I am going to give you an idea to get you started on your machine. sausage-cushionFrom those old trousers you can make a sausage cushion that looks a bit like a sweety. I have attached a photo for you. You cut the leg off some old jeans, pin and sew some lace onto each end and tie the ends with some ribbon like a sweety. In the picture I have embroidered my name in a running stitch in different coloured threads.

Annelies x



Hello, my name is Sam and I am 9 years old and I’m blogging to you about sewing. I started sewing on a machine about two years ago with my mum. First I learnt to zigzag squares before sewing the squares together. Then I started sewing pencil cases, Christmas stockings etc.

Last week my mum gave me a sewing machine to put in my room that she got from Freecycle. She paid for a new engine and now it’s as good as new.sam1

A few days ago I made a waistcoat from guess what…? AN OLD CURTAIN AND A FLEECE BLANKET!!! I’m wearing it in the picture. It took me about four hours to make. Each week starting now I will give you a top tip. This week’s top tip is: fleece is good for beginners sewing because it doesn’t fray and it is a bit stretchy so if your cutting is not perfect you can stretch it to fit! Another tip is to download patterns from Etsy or Pinterest. They are cheaper than buying in the shops and you can use them again and again. Sometimes you can get free ones on Pinterest!

Happy Sewing Sam x