How to make a double sided cutting & pressing mat

Today I’d like to show you how to make a double-sided cutting & pressing mat.  These are handy to have if you are undertaking a small sewing project with lots of small pieces that need regular pressing.  No need to keep getting up and ironing between stitching a seam.

There is a video tutorial linked on our YouTube channel showing you each step.

You will need:

Plywood or cardboard, Duck tape, Staple gun, staples, hot glue gun, glue sticks, cutting mat of any size, quilting cotton, lightweight iron-on interfacing, wadding, toy stuffing (optional).

  1. Cut a piece of plywood or 2-3 pieces of card that measure 1/2″ less all round to the size of your mat


2. Cut a piece of wadding 1.5″ larger all round than the size of your card or wood

3. Wrap your card or wood with polyester wadding or a layer of toy stuffing and a lightweight wadding

4. Secure with duck tape

5. Cut a piece of quilting cotton 3″ larger all round than your mat.

6. Interface the back of your quilting cotton

7. Wrap your fabric around the padded board and staple gun in place

8. Secure the stapled edges with more duck tape

9. Hot glue your mat onto the back of the padded board


Claires #2018makenine

The #2018makenine hashtag has become a bit of a thing in the crafting world in recent years (obviously the prefix changes each time). It started with Dressmaking but in more recent years has been used for knitting, crochet and crafts in general.

Most often seen on instagram, makers share 9 items they want t make in the coming year and set themselves the challenge of completing them all.

So here is my dressmaking make nine for 2018.

This year I realised that I didn’t wear many handmade garments on a day to day basis during the winter and Autumn, this is mainly because I tended to make cotton dresses or Cami style tops and that wasn’t particularly practical all year round.

So this year its all about super simple separates, lots of jersey and a random posh jumpsuit that I quite fancy!

I’ve already got a head start on my plans with most of these patterns printed off and ready for a mammoth fabric buying trip to the Goldhawk Road tomorrow.

With a few days off between Christmas and New year and a fairly slow start to the New Year I should make some headway on this list fairly quickly.

My Makes: Top to bottom left to right

  1. Mathilde by Tilly & The Buttons
  2. Mcalls M6760 – Jumpsuit
  3. Sew over it Mia jeans
  4. Kitschy Coo Barrie Pants
  5. Threadcount 1502 Faux wrap dress
  6. Sew over it Molly dress
  7. Trifecta Top by Kitschy Coo
  8. Rivage raglan by Blank Slate patterns
  9. Sew over it Heather dress

If you would like to learn to make your own clothes with m e this year then we have some fantastic classes already listed for the New Year from total beginners to more advanced seamstress.

Check them all out HERE

I wanna hold your haaaaaaand. I wanna hold you hand.

Go on admit it………..who sung the title of this post?

Seriously though, sometimes my job is all about holding hands.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many classes you take, the confidence to go it alone just isn’t there yet.

That’s why I always have an open door policy at the studio.  If you want to come in and make something under the watchful eye of someone who professes to know what they are doing then you can.

Meet Suzy.  Suzy has done a few classes with me, but when it came to making a roman blind for her daughters bedroom she didn’t have the confidence to fly solo.

Roman blinds are actually really easy to make, you only need to sew a few straight lines, but the maths and cutting out can be quite confusing if you don’t know where to begin.

Under my watchful eye with just a few pointers Suzy managed to make a wonderful blind that looks amazing.  She didn’t really need me all day, but knowing I was on hand if she got stuck gave her the confidence to go it alone.

If you would like some ‘hand holding’ then do get in contact.  We have a very reasonable hourly rate for helping you out with most of your sewing dilemmas or you could come along to our Sewing Club, where you have full use of all the facilities and equipment and help on tap if you get stuck or have a question.

Never let a lack of confidence stop you from being creative, we have options to suit all your needs, just drop us a line and see how we can help.



BTHQ Beautiful Pupils December 2016

I thought it would be nice to introduce you to a couple of our fabulous pupils.  During the month of December I have received 2 lovely emails from our clever crafters.

First up is Kim.  Kim has been to a few of our sewing classes during the year, but her last one was our lovely quilt as you go stocking.  As you can see she has gone on to make more.

kim sewing class testimonial

Hi Claire,
Following on from the Christmas stocking class, I thought you might like to see my efforts. I have made two more! I just wanted to say thank you for all your help and encouragement to get me sewing in 2016. I have definitely found a new hobby that I really enjoy. I look forward to learning some new skills in your classes during 2017!
Wishing you and your family a joyous Christmas  and a very happy, healthy new year.
Love Kim Gavan x

Next up is Karen who has taken our beginner and intermediate online crochet courses.  She has made these beautiful poncho sets

crochet classes left handed pupil essexcrochet poncho class essex

Hi Claire,
I just wanted to let you know and show you the results of me doing your online courses.  
I have really got the crocheting bug, having done sewing and knitting for years I have just picked up the crochet hook thanks to your courses.
Once I had finishes the courses I really wanted the poncho you were wearing but living in Colchester it was too far to come to your classes when I work so I found the pattern and you can see by the photos I went a bit mad…  making up gloves and wrist warmers to go with them.
Thanks again, Happy new year, Karen Hills
If you would like to feature on our new monthly posts then do get in touch, send us some pictures and a word or two and we will include you. You don’t have to have taken one of our classes necessarily but you could have been inspired by something we posted on social media.  We would love to welcome you into the BTHQ fold.
In the meantime, happy crafting!