This month, our blog morphs into a creator’s paradise, a hub of innovative DIY marvels, and what better way to celebrate it than with a tutorial using home-spun fabrics. I am unabashedly smitten by American textile titans like Robert Kaufman, but my heart has recently been stolen by a rising British star – Dashwood Studio. A testament to their quality and uniqueness, their fabrics are a hot commodity in my shop, Sew Crafty. Our customers are ecstatic about supporting a British enterprise, championing British designers.

Dashwood’s director, David Sweet (does the name get any cooler?), was gracious enough to share a glimpse into their vibrant company. Dashwood, just over a year young, is positively buzzing with energy. Their reception has been nothing short of heartwarming, filling a gaping hole in the domestic market craving a locally sourced fabric enterprise that yields modern collections. They proudly collaborate solely with UK artists, unlocking a distinct design aesthetic, a refreshing deviation from American fabric conglomerates.

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Sweet, formerly a creative director at a textile company in the States, applied the valuable insights gained there to Dashwood’s ethos. He emphasized the stark contrast in the marketing strategies, designer promotion, and technology incorporation, praising the American professionalism that Dashwood adopted.

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll recall our feature on Dashwood Studio fabrics in Mollie Makes. I’ve utilized their stunning Petit Street collection again for this intriguing project – the Home and Away Cable Cosy. This unique piece solves the universal problem of unruly cables and elusive gadgets that seem to have a mind of their own. Who can relate to the constant mess at the bottom of the bag or the frequent desktop tangle?

No more procrastinating, I decided to tackle this issue head-on during my holiday. Now, let’s create magic with two 1/2 metre pieces of contrasting fabrics, 1/2 metre medium weight iron-on interfacing, a 10” zip, thread, poppers, elastic, a small belt clasp, 30cm of felt, scissors, an iron, sewing machine and pins. A sewing machine isn’t a necessity; hand sewing works just as well.

Begin by fabricating a zip accessories pouch using the same technique from our makeup bag tutorial last year. Two pieces of each of your fabrics are needed, cut into 23cm x15cm. Adhere the interfacing to your chosen lining fabric. Sandwich your zip between the two right-side fabric pieces, with the exterior fabric facing upwards. Sew the zip into position and repeat on the other side.

Following that, draw a line of top stitching to keep the fabrics from interfering with the zip when in use. Half-open the zip. Bring the two exterior and the two lining pieces face-to-face and pin them. Sew them around, leaving a 7cm opening in the lining. Reverse the whole thing, hand-sew the lining’s hole, and tuck the lining into the pouch.

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The cable tidy part of the cosy requires two larger fabric pieces (25cm x 45cm) and some interfacing on the lining fabric for extra body. Arrange two rows of elastic along the longer length and sew them into 2-3cm spacing, varying to accommodate different cable sizes. Fix one side of your popper a third of the way up and about 3cm in.

Attach a small belt clasp to a short elastic strip, and place it at the top edge between your two right-facing fabric pieces. Add a layer of felt for added protection for your cables. Sew all around, leaving about a 5cm gap at the end. Turn it inside out and top-stitch neatly around the outside. Secure the buckle’s other end with more elastic on the cosy’s exterior.

Be mindful of the directional fabric’s orientation when it’s hanging and folded. My preference would have been the opposite, as mine appears upside down when folded. Remember to stitch poppers onto the zip pouch for attachment and detachment convenience.

Voila! You now have a tidy cable and gadget accessories cosy. Fill it up with cables in the elastic section and tiny items like memory cards and plugs in the pouch. Mine now takes pride of place on a contact hook under my desk and snugly fits in my handbag or camera bag while I’m out.

I’m eager to know your favourite British fabric company or designer, your cable situation, and whether you’re planning to make a cosy, maybe even as Christmas gifts (Yes, I dared to say the C-word!). If you do, hashtag #livelovemake and share a photo!

You can download a PDF of this project for future reference.

Have a fabulous weekend,
Sammy xxx

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