Sewing projects

I’ve had a bit of a craft block of late and not even Pinterest could offer up any inspiration. Even my little sister, Amy (I call her little but she’s actually in her thirties, too) called me up and said she thought I hadn’t ‘made’ enough on the blog recently. So, this week I spread out my magazine stash and craft books on the floor and sifted through them until something struck a chord.

One of my favourite sewing books is Made At Home by Lisa Stickley (now Lisa Levis). It is full of simple home projects, wonderfully clear instructions and beautifully styled pictures – what more can you ask for?

Made At Home sewing book | Apartment Apothecary

Beautifully styled pictures, which make each project so tempting. I watched Lisa do this pin tucking technique at our Crafting the Seasons afternoon at Liberty and she made it look so easy.

The sewing project that I have just completed, using the book, has a rather funny story. I decided to make the draught excluder (Sebastian the snake) because we’ve got a problem at home, and it’s certainly not a draught problem with our triple glazed windows. Just before Christmas, Otto, our Golden Retriever, got an eviction notice. Yes, an eviction notice! To sum up a long story, the owners of the freehold of our apartment block aren’t massively keen on pets (ok, we’re not allowed pets) and the person who cleans the communal hallways complained that there was dog hair on the carpet outside our flat. Now, being the clean freak that I am, I would dispute that claim but anyhow the complaint was the made, the eviction notice served and we were given four weeks to find Otto a new home. Ha! Floods of tears, a plan to chain myself and Otto to the balcony so they couldn’t remove him and a quick phone call later and everything was smoothed over and Otto is allowed to stay BUT we have to stop any dog hair drifting from our flat out into the communal hallway. Hello Sebastian the draught excluder snake…

Draught excluder from Made At Home sewing book | Apartment Apothecary

This is the draught excluder that I made, Sebastian the snake. I used a piece of old velvet for the body and Phoebe Liberty print for the mouth and button eyes. I wanted him to be quite old school looking, the kind of thing that you have for years that moves from one house to the next with you, which is why I chose the velvet. It is yellow to match the cushion and flowers in my hallway.

Made At Home sewing book | Apartment Apothecary

The instructions are clear and easy to understand with simple diagrams to follow. There are also explanations of basic techniques at the front of the book and templates at the back.

Draught excluder from Made At Home sewing book | Apartment Apothecary

This is after a muddy Otto attacked the new draught excluder instead of thanking it for saving him from eviction 😉

Made At Home sewing book | Apartment Apothecary

Made at Home by Lisa Stickley is available from Amazon.

I’m excited to get sewing over the next few weeks as I’ve got a number of commissions lined up for Love Sewing magazine. Did you see the fabric buckets I made for this month’s edition? You should definitely take a look as it’s a great magazine.

Happy sewing everyone!

Katy x





  1. 27th January 2015 / 2:55 pm

    Hello Katy, just found your blog. Love your draught excluder and am tempted to make one myself, I too have a bit of velvet tucked away in a fabric stash somewhere in the house, perfect use for it! Also, think I’ll get that lovely little book as a birthday gift for my sister who has just found sewing 🙂 What did you fill Sebastian with? I suspect if I fill it with rice like some do, my dog may eat it! lol x

    • katy
      27th January 2015 / 9:11 pm

      Hi Kate! Welcome to the blog. The book will make a perfect pressie. I actually followed Lisa’s advice in the book and stuffed it with fabric scraps and old clothes/socks. It’s the perfect weight and dog friendly 🙂 x

  2. 7th February 2015 / 11:12 am

    Great, thanks! It’s on this week’s project list 🙂

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