How To Sew: Rustic Christmas Star Hanging Decoration


We may be creeping ever closer to Christmas, but it’s never too late to add a little more festive cheer to your home. As much as we love our trees, lights and tinsel though, sometimes you want to sew something you can appreciate all year round. So we’ve put ourselves a cute, simple, neutral home decoration together that looks great no matter when you hang it up. These rustic scrap-busting stars are a great addition to your decorating, and are very versatile to boot! While we love the homey naturals in this tutorial, you can make yours as fabulous and festive as you like.

Getting ready


  • Fabrics – we’re using a plain and a patterned, and a fat quarter of each is enough for our star. Up the quantity if you want bigger and switch out neutrals for colour if you want brighter
  • Diamond card template
  • String, twine or ribbon for hanging
  • Stuffing – poly stuffing or wool stuffing work perfectly
  • Medium stiffness iron-on interfacing
  • Any additional decorations
Firstly, you’ll want to make yourself a diamond template. If you’re a quilter you might already have a star-hexie template ready to go. If you don’t, you need to make sure that the top and bottom points of your diamond are at a 60 degree angle, otherwise your pieces won’t all meet along the edges – and you won’t be able to sew your star together!  As long as the angle is correct, you can make the diamond as large or small as you like. We’re using diamonds that are four inches from the top point to bottom point.
Once you have your template ready to go, you need to cut all your pieces – if you’re working to our two fabric colour scheme, you will want six diamonds from each fabric, (remembering to include your 1/4″ seam allowance when cutting around your template) and 12 from your interfacing. Iron your interfacing diamonds onto the wrong sides of your fabric pieces.


Once your fabrics have had the interfacing added, you can begin piecing your star together. It’s easiest to do this by creating half of a star at a time, and then sewing them together through the middle. Group your diamond pieces into threes to create each half – one half of each side will go patternplainpattern, and the other will go plainpatternplain.

Place one of the outer diamonds on top of the middle diamond, right sides facing. Sew with a short straight stitch from corner to corner of one of the edges. Fold the top diamond out, place the second outer diamond in the same way, and sew in the same manner along the other lower edge. Fold out the second out diamond, and you should have one long flat edge at the bottom edge and three star points along the top.

Repeat this process until you have all four half-star pieces sewn together. Open up the seams on the back of the half-star, and press them flat. Trim the excess fabric in the middle, where the three diamond points meet, so that it doesn’t extend over the long bottom edge. Tie off your stitch ends and trim the threads.

Sewing up the Star

Once you have your half-stars prepared, match them up together: one plainpatternplain half with one patternplainpattern half. Place the two halves together right sides facing, and pin along the long straight edge at the bottom. Sew along this edge with a short straight stitch, then unfold your completed star to open and press the seam.

Finish your second star in the same way, then place your two complete stars together, right sides facing. Make sure your patterned and plain sections are correctly aligned before you start sewing! Once you’re certain the plains and patterns are in the right place, pin around the edges. Starting from the tip of one of the points, sew all the way around the outside for 11 edges – leave the final edge open so you can turn your piece right sides out and stuff it.

Pull the star inside out through the opening you’ve left – you may need a blunt implement like a chopstick or pencil to help get the fabric through the opening, and poke out the points of the star. Once your right sides are on the outside and your points have been poked out, you may want to press the star flat for a neater decoration. We’ve left the creases and crumples in here, for a slightly homier look.

Stuffing and finishing

Once the shell of your star is complete, take your stuffing of choice and begin to fill it up. Add your stuffing a small section at a time, pushing it through the hole you left in the seam and then poking it into place with your chopstick or pencil. Make sure to squash your stuffing in tightly for a nice plump star – massage the stuffing around from the outside to even it out in lumpy areas. Once your star is full to the brim of stuffing, hand sew the hole you left in the edge with a basic slip stitch. Once the opening is sewn shut, you can add decorations to your taste – we added a crocheted lace trim around the middle of the star, with a wooden button in the center and a scrap-fabric trim.

To hang, make a loop of twine, ribbon or string and hand stitch a section of it to the the top point of your star. Now you just have to find somewhere to hang it! We’d love to see your finished projects on our Facebook page or Twitter account. Try hanging a whole variety of sizes for a stunning statement display, or make a host of tiny versions for the tree.

Pinning on Pinterest – Helping Overcome “Sewing Block”


Recently we’ve been enjoying posting on Pinterest and seeing all your sewing related pins on there too.


Sew, we thought we’d bring you some of our favourite finds and introduce you to our Toyota Home Sewing pages, and for those unfamiliar with it:  introduce you to the world of Pinterest!!


Pinterest is an online pin board that is used to upload, share and manage photos between users … so for those of us who love to be organised and have a hobby like sewing … IT’S GREAT!!


What makes it so great is that you can create customised themed boards to pin your images, videos etc to and it’s easy to get started. For us, we love the fact that we can divide up our photos into categories and then store all our favourite images in one place on the web that we can refer back to at any time, or any place!! We also love the fact that other users can see and share the images we upload so it helps us offer our Toyota Home Community a bit more in a fun and attractive way!!


Sometimes, just like a good writer can get “writer’s block”, we too can admittedly get “sewing block” and find we become in need of a bit of inspiration to spark it all off again, basically a “creative kick”. Pinterest has been unique at helping overcome this obstacle .. it’s just jam-packed with amazing colours, projects, images and talent!!


Sew, if you haven’t yet visited it why not take a little look at our page & categories and see how Pinterest can also help you.


To join any of our Home Sewing Community platforms just click the links below:





(For more information on Pinterest we have found Wikipedia helpful, here’s the link. )


Christmas Already


Can you believe it’s December already?

Have you started getting ready for the festive season?


Christmas Bow

As a country we seem to have some secret guideline to only set up our Christmas decorations 12 days before Christmas, but this never stops me!! I start thinking of my decoration ideas in September/October, visiting gardening centres and flicking craft books for inspiration. So, by the time December comes I have already lined up my Christmas DVD & album collection, and lifted down the decorations from the loft ready to unpack and add this year’s new pieces to.

A beautiful and simple decoration to effectively add to any part of the house, tree, and wreath is a bow!! Whether made from tinsel, fabric, paper or ribbon you can be as creative as you like and it has a perfect and beautiful way of complimenting any room or item!!



  • Determine the size of the bow you wish to make and cut a strip of fabric of your choice (If you want to make a bow with more than one loop on each side make sure you give yourself more fabric) Remember to add a 1cm seam allowance all around.
  • Fold the main piece in half, width ways, with the right sides facing each other.
  • Pin in place to secure, use a ruler to mark a 45 degree line along each end and cut.
  • Use your sewing machine to sew down the edges and the long length (one should be on the fold) but leave a small turning gap in the centre of the long edge.
  • Cut down as much of the excess fabric as you can, especially at the tip of the point.
  • Turn the fabric through to the right side and press.
  • Close the turning gap with a slip stich, (if you want to add stitching detail you can top stitch with your choice of coloured thread – it’s best to get as close to the edge as possible).
  • In your choice of matching fabric, or contrasting, cut out the centre piece (on average between 8 cm -20cm depending on your bow size).
  • Fold the centre piece in half, right sides together, pin in place and stitch a 0.5cm seam down the longer edge.
  • Turn through to right side and twist so that the long seam is in the centre of one side, and hidden.
  • Turn in either side by 0.5cm, or if easier 1cm, and slipstitch to neaten ends. Press.
  • On a flat surface lay the longer main piece of fabric flat and find the centre.
  • Fold both ends behind the centre and get the loop widths correct, when you’re happy pin all the layers together and tack together.

  • Place the centre piece over the fold and wrap around, make sure the seamed side is hidden, and stitch in place to secure (slipstitch or turn the stitch into part of the detail).







How To Make A Drawstring Bag.




This stylish reversible Drawstring Bag is simple to make on a sewing machine. Can be scaled to any size, makes a great sports bag or book bag for Back to School. Alternatively, it can even be used as a gift bag, potpourri bag, iPod or camera case, shoe bag etc. Great for kids and adults alike!!



1. Choose 2 coordinating fabrics and cut out your desired shape from each fabric x 2.
(You should get 4 rectangles in total – all of the same size).


Cut your material











2. Place each pair of fabric together, right sides facing.

3. Use your Sewing Machine to sew a 1cm seam down the lengths and along the bottom of each separate bag (leave the top open).

4. Choose which one will be the exterior bag and turn it right side out, press. (Leave the liner bag inside out).

5. Slip the liner bag over the bag that will be on the exterior when completed (right sides facing). Pin bags together at the top seam.

6. Stitch the liner and exterior bag together with a 1cm seam along the top only, (making sure you only sew 1 layer of exterior and one layer of liner together all the way around).


Sewing the outer edges














7. Use a seam ripper to take out 3cm of the stitching on the bottom seam of your liner bag.

8. Gently pull the exterior fabric through this hole, (right side out).

9. Close the hole in the liner using your Sewing Machine (stitching close to the edge).

10. Took liner into the exterior bag and press.

11. Place the thicker ribbon around the bag about 3cm from the top and pin. (Make sure that the raw edge of the ribbon is tucked directly underneath itself, approx. 1cm, and starts on the side seam of the bag).

12. Slip the bag over the Sewing Machine arm, and place under the presser foot.














13. Stitch along the top edge of the ribbon; stop stitching before reaching the other side seam.

14. Cut the ribbon off at the seam, allow for a 1cm overhang, turn this under, align with side seam and stitch in place. (Back stitch at each side seam for reinforcement).

15. Repeat this method to attach the second piece of ribbon to the other side of the bag.

16. Stitch along the bottom edge of the ribbon (it should remain open/accessible at both ends).

17. Attach a safety pin to the end of the narrow ribbon and draw it through, pull full circle.

18. Join together the ribbon ends, remove safety pin, and tie off to secure.

19. Start at the opposite end and repeat procedure with safety pin and ribbon.



Close drawstring










20. Simply pull on the ribbon ends to tighten and your bag is finished!!