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Machines to WIN!

JUNE 2018 ISS 111 £7.99

The UK’s Best-selling Sewing Mag!

15 Elegant


Easy Styles

Patterns to sew at home! Stitch & fit to suit YOU!

CLASSY BRETON Master Stripes!

trust your free pattern


Sew a Guinea Pig Family!


Hello... June

We’re treating you to two free patterns this month and our issue is packed full of projects for you to explore. Got an occasion on the horizon? Our wrap dress (p26) or gingham shift (p32) are comfy and flattering. For everyday style, our tunic dress (p41), linen top (p48) and paperbag skirt (p22) will also serve you well. Elsewhere, you’ll find fantastic projects from a sweet guinea pig (p71) family, reading cushion (p70), hair scrunchies (p70) and an alphabet game (p71). Or, make a pretty bag (p56), try a cute mermaid (p77), then turn your scraps into a patchwork hoop (p87). This issue we’re shining the spotlight on sewing machines (p35), as well as looking at how we can use our skills in other thrifty ways. We’ve got fantastic ideas for remastering jeans on p50, plus fabulous embroidered espadrilles on p52. Recently I’ve been sewing a bolero with red ribbon roses for my friend Meghann’s wedding, where I’ll be Maid of Honour. Her dress will be red, so sewing has let us add little touches to tie in with it. Going to a wedding this year, as the bridge or a guest? Turn to p30 for expert tips! On a bittersweet note, I’m sad to tell you that I’m heading off for my next adventure. I have worked in the craft department here at Sew HQ for the last five years – our little hub is chock-full of creativity, joy, and much like the sewing world, we all celebrate each other’s amazing work. The stitching community is truly one of the most special I have experienced, and I thank all of you for being part of what makes it so magical. I wish you all the neatest seams, the most perfectly stuffed toys, but most of all, the fun, happiness and rewards that sewing can give you. I hope you enjoy this issue, and all of the great ones to come.


Jenny xx


Jenny Ward, Sew editor

We have FIVE of Janome’s new Sewist 725S sewing machines up for grabs.


FREE pattern! Nominate in the British Sewing Awards and you’ll receive our doggie pattern.


free template download /templates


Could it bee? Yes it could! I’m SO excited The Great British Sewing Bee is due back… yay!

Look out for our FREE templates and patterns, then download and print them at

Get in touch! Share your creations, tips and views




0330 333 0042 sewhq



What will you make first? Twitter @sewhq

Instagram @sewhq

Sew Magazine, 1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY


in your June issue... 71




Meet our mascots! IN EVERY ISSUE


Come and say hello!

Find out how these wonderful craft aids came into being

03 Welcome

06 Who, what, wear

What’s trending in the sewing world

17 Sew social

You’ve been sharing your makes

46 Sew & learn

Our pick of sewing classes and tools

73 Sew wishlist

The team's top picks for June

83 The books we’re loving The latest must-have reads

84 Your sewing guide

Sewing jargon explained!

89 Next month

Our July issue's out on 31st May


35 For the love of sewing machines

50 Four ways to upcycle jeans

Thrifty ideas for your old denim

55 Right on the button See the results of Hobbycraft's latest craft report

90 Style classic: patches Discover the rich history of this fashion staple


71 Reading cushion

70 Alphabet squares

Keep children entertained for hours with this fun project

Stitch a soft pillow, complete with a book pocket

71 Button, Stitch & Bobbin

Learn how to make a guinea pig mum and her babies!


77 Miranda mermaid

Sew a cute aquatic toy



56 Claudia bag

Step up your sewing game with this pretty satchel bag

We love!

70 Hair scrunchies

You'll be tied up with this crafty make!


Jazz up a plain photo frame

Out columnist finds himself inspired by the great outdoors

What has Corinne Bradd got hidden in her stash?

58 Stuart Hillard

60 Upholstered chair Give a seat a new lease of life 04

62 Picture frame 68 Confessions of a sewing addict

87 Patchwork hoop

Make a fun home accessory from spare scraps




Dressmaking pages of fashion,

Use your gifts to create your spring wardrobe!

35 garments & more! 10 Four stylish dresses

26 Clara dress

13 Top & trousers

28 Stitch the look

Choose multiple skirt and sleeve options with your FREE pattern Make a complete outfit with your FREE pattern

20 Luscious linen

Make summer outfits with this fab fabric

22 Patsy skirt

Master sewing a paperbag waist

24 Sewing with Tilly




Create a classic wrap front design Discover the benefits of sewing with faux suede

29 Lauren Guthrie’s top tools


...for repairs and mending

32 Twiggy shift

Sew a retro-inspired dress

38 Debbie Shore's show and tell A foolproof guide to sewing belt loops

Get your head around rouleau loops


32 41 Jane tunic

Take our masterclass to sew a nautical-style top


48 Lily top

Stitch a pretty top with a pleat and sharktooth button

52 Susie Johns' espadrilles

06 20% off Girl Charlee

Use bullion stitch to embellish a pair of shoes

Get your hands on some fabric bargains

20 20% off Dragonfly Fabrics

61 Collar and cuffs

Great bargains on lovely linens!

Add contrast details to a white shirt

54 British Sewing Awards 2018

62 Patch pockets

Perk up a plain top!

Nominate and receive our free dog pattern

65 Drape Front Top

66 Subscribe today

Receive a FREE* fat quarter bundle and thread box

74 Reader survey

Tell us what you think of Sew and you could win a prize!

79 WIN! Bumper giveaways We've got more than £6,430+ worth of prizes

82 Win a Janome Sewist 725S We've got five of these brand-new machines to win!

Subscribe today...




PRIZES TO WIN! Enter online at


SEE PAGE 66 05

Turn two fabric rectangles into something fabulous!



TWO patterns to look forward to!



who what


The sewing world is a hub of excitement – keep up!

Sew for the Ocean

Fancy winning some crafty prizes worth over £400? Enter Let’s Get Crafting’s short story and poem competition! As well as taking home these goodies, the winning entry will also be published in the magazine. Visit

Green with envy

An estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year – that’s a lorry full every minute. Aside from polluting the water, these plastics are harmful to marine wildlife and birds, but there’s a simple way you can help. By sewing your own clothes, you eliminate plastics and packaging used in the manufacture and transportation of mass-produced garments. Visit today to make a difference.

*Valid from 3rd May to 3rd June 2018 on all fabrics except bargain lots or sale items at

The Woolly Writer

This fabulous pattern from True Bias is a musthave for your summer wardrobe. The flattering Lander pants design can be made into trousers or shorts and is a comfortable fit on all body types. The pattern includes front and back patch pockets, as well as belt loops, and is recommended for advanced beginners onwards. Backstitch is the first UK retailer of True Bias patterns, so get them while they’re hot! £16-£18,

20% off

designer fabrics!

We insist you check out the fantastic Girl Charlee website, and get 20% off* their gorgeous fabrics using the code SEWMAG20. You’ll find plenty of top-quality products from some of the industry’s biggest names, as well as exclusive Girl Charlee ranges, all sourced from the US. Visit

Get 20% off * with code SEWMAG20

One and only Looking for inspiration? Check out the unique, high-fashion designs by Hot Patterns. These projects are ideal for those who want to challenge themselves and progress to an intermediate level. Choose from dresses, tops, trousers and more, or if you can’t see what you want – put in a request! Available exclusively at 06

if you buy one pattern...

*Introductory offer until 4th June 2018, after which the RRP is £299.

Few projects are more rewarding than sewing clothes for children, which is why Guthrie & Ghani are so excited to be the first UK shop to stock the Ikatee range– an independent French company that specialises in clothing for babies and children. Shop owner and Sew columnist Lauren Guthrie has selected seven delightful patterns from the collection, which include pyjamas, dresses, sweatshirts and more. From £13,

Sewist 725S, £259*,

want it, need it, BUY IT!

New from Janome, the Sewist 725S is a mechanical machine that’s perfect for beginners and experts alike. Featuring a wealth of advanced settings, as well as handy assets such as the built-in needle threader, you really can’t go wrong! Available at a limited time price of £259* at

Royal appointment

The Duchess of Cambridge has become the first royal patron of the Victoria and Albert museum. Kate Middleton, who has a degree in History of Art from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, is taking on the prestigious role just weeks before she is due to give birth to her third child. The patronage, effective immediately, comes after the Duchess had the honour of opening the museum’s new entrance last June. Visit

Floral frenzy We love the Spring/Summer fabric collection for 2018 at Stof & Stil! Choose from over 200 fabulous prints in bursts of bright colours. Whether you’re working on a gift, an item for the home, or just treating yourself, you’ll find everything you could possibly need for your next creative project at


Stitch it with





Step into spring with a new outfit, hand-stitched in a new fabric. Linen, jersey, cotton or seersucker – the decision is yours! Whatever your skill level, fave material and personal sense of style is, you’re in good hands… this issue you are spoiled for choice. Twiggy shift, p32

Jane tunic, p41

Clara dress, p26

Lily top, p48

Turn the page and get started today!

& get stitching


here to

Linen trousers, p13

your free patterns




Fiona provides the low-down on sewing stretch jersey to perfection!

Going to a wedding this summer? Don’t miss Lisa’s top tips!

The Blue Peter star on why sewing on a button is a skill we all need!

Our embroidery expert shows how to make your own embellished floral plimsolls.







STITCH Stitch ITitWITH with

your free pattern

of your


Discover the



This month, we giving you not one but TWO FREE patterns! First off is your Simplicity pattern, worth £8.95, which features FOUR SPECIAL OCCASION DRESSES ranging from a tailored sheath to a flared number. The summer trends are all about sleeve shapes and this pattern offers three options including a cap sleeve, a full bell sleeve, and even a cold-shoulder version. Try sewing yours in a CRISP CHAMBRAY or something soft and flowing for more drape.

perfect PRINTS

Prym size 70 universal needles, £2.39 for five, and Microtex sharp needles, £2.69 for five,

The shaped seams of the bodice make it impossible to pattern match the fabric on all seams, so choose your material carefully as a busy print can look messy. We selected a fabric with smaller motifs that would lend itself well to the shaping.


If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve a neat finish with a lined bodice that has a concealed zip, this pattern explains simply how it’s done. Use a zipper foot and always make sure to pin and sew the zip to the main bodice only, not the lining.

choose a NEEDLE

Your FREE Simplicity pattern works best in all kinds of lightweight fabrics, so a needle in sizes 60 or 70 would be the most suitable. A universal style is the most versatile, although sharps will help to achieve the neatest results for sewing seams and topstitching.

Boat chambray in blue, £6.99 per metre,

silver LINING

A smooth lining for the bodice and sleeves makes it easier to slip the dress on and off, plus provides a neat finish. An anti-static lining fabric such as a polyester one will ensure that the garment won’t ride up as you move around, plus it’s lightweight enough not to interfere with the drape of your main fabric.

select a THREAD

The thread you choose will make a difference not only to your garment but to your sewing machine. A universal 100% polyester thread is a good all-rounder as it is suitable for all fabrics and processes, plus it won’t fray or break. Choose a colour that’s the nearest to your fabric or a shade darker.

Pink swallows on white chambray, £6.99 per metre,

Invisible zips, from £1.59 each,

light as AIR

We chose a pretty chambray to make up this pattern which provides structure, although a cotton lawn would work just as well. If you’re up for a challenge, try something more luxurious such as voile, charmeuse or silk double georgette for a special occasion dress.



To find out what your second pattern has to offer, turn to page 13

We used Mettler Seralon universal thread in Ice Cap to colour-match our fabric. £1.59 each, 10

STITCH Stitch it ITwith WITH


your free pattern

style selector

dress styles!

style a

COLD SHOULDER The cold shoulder and midi-length flared skirt makes this the perfect dress for a summer wedding or outdoor event.

style B

ALL AFLUTTER If you’d prefer full bell sleeves, this option also features a shorter version of the flared skirt, keeping you cool when the heat is on.

why we made Style D

style c

SPECIAL OCCASION This sheath-style dress provides a more formal look while the bell sleeves soften the silhouette and provide some movement.

This simple version is ideal for those new to dressmaking who want to take it up a level and master princess seams.

style D

STRAIGHT UP Ideal for everyday, the straight skirt and princess seams create a tailored effect, finished off with sweet cap sleeves. Simple but effective!


the perfect


the right

Stitch it with


your free pattern

what’s your size? Remember to use your body measurements to find your pattern size, NOT the ready-to-wear size that you’d buy in high street shops. Visit to find out more about taking accurate measurements and getting the right fit for your shape.

ring that bell If you choose the bell sleeve option, a rolled hem will provide a great finish. It’s quick and easy to sew on finer fabrics, such as lightweight chambrays, cotton lawns, silks and charmeuse, and is designed to weight the bottom so it hangs properly. You’ll need a rolled hem machine foot, which features a small scroll that guides the fabric through and has a slight groove underneath to accommodate the fabric thickness after it’s been sewn.



roll up

Fold a 2.5cm hem to the wrong side and press, then fold and press again. With a rolled hem, you don’t need to pin. Attach the rolled hem foot to your sewing machine and set a straight stitch with a central needle position. Position the fabric under the presser foot and lower the needle into the fabric. Once secure, raise the presser foot and feed the fabric edge up into the scroll at the front of the foot. Lower the presser foot and start sewing slowly. FASHION FORWARD

take it easy

Ideal for any dressmaking project, the Innov-is 1100 offers 140 built-in stitches including 10 one-step buttonholes, plus five lettering styles. The square feed drive system provides optimum stitch quality, while the advanced needle threader and automatic thread cutter will speed up your sewing immensely. £749,

Use your left hand to hold the thread tails taut from the back as you sew and use your right hand to guide the fabric through the scroll. The hem will begin to roll as you sew. As with most techniques, stitching slowly is key, so adjust the speed button on your machine to help control the roll of the fabric into the foot as you go. 12

Stitch it with

with your

get creative free pattern

Your New Look pattern, worth £6.95, offers a three-piece outfit with a SLEEVELESS TOP and wide-legged TROUSERS, plus a jacket with back pleat and flared sleeves. The trousers are perfect for SUMMER LINENS but also suit heavyweight fabrics, while the top suits lightweight materials. As for the jacket, try a jacquard, twill or damask – depending on the season. Prym size 70 universal needles, £2.39 for five, and Prym size 80 universal needles, £2.49 for five,

Prym dressmaker’s chalk slabs, £2.29 for two,

need a NEEDLE

The trousers in your FREE pattern can be made from linen, twill and jacquards, so try a size 80 or 90 universal needle, depending on the weight of the fabric. The pattern also recommends various lightweight fabrics for the top, so a size 70 needle is best used here.


Sew-all threads will have you covered for a wide variety of fabrics, from finer lightweight materials to heavier ones. A medium size 50 cotton thread will also work well for light to medium-weight fabrics such as linen, but for lighter ones, stick with a polyester thread. We used Mettler Seralon universal thread in Tantone for the trousers and White for the top. £1.59 each,

DART about

The trousers in this pattern include two front darts. These are a simple way of shaping the fabric where it is curved to get a good fit, which is so important when sewing a pair of trousers. For the trousers, we used Essex yarn dyed linen in berry, £13 per metre,

Try a print crepe for the top on p15, such as Dee - Light Blue Teal, £12 per metre,

make your MARK

Darts are marked with a tiny circle and dotted lines that form a V-shape. Pin the top of the dart through the pattern piece to the fabric and mark with tailor’s chalk. Make sure you transfer the dart to fabric for your correct size. An easy way to transfer the top of the dart marking is by snipping into the raw edge of the fabric.


Turn your fabric piece over to the wrong side and join up the dart tip with the snips on the raw edge with a chalk marker. Fold the dart in half, lining up the snips at the top and pin the dart in place.


Always start at the base of the dart, stitching towards the tip. Only backstitch at the beginning and when you get to the tip, sew straight off the fabric edge to leave long thread tails which you can tie, then ease the knot down to the base of the dart with a pin. This will avoid any lumps and bumps at the point of your dart. Darts in the front of trousers should always be pressed to the side seam. 13

your free pattern

Stitch it with

style selector


White top, ÂŁ26,

your free pattern



style a

KEEP IT COOL Sleeveless tops like this are great for hotter weather, plus will sit comfortably under a cover-up if the temperature suddenly drops.

style B

RETRO STYLE With its funnel neck, wide sleeves and back pleat, this swish swing jacket will take you from day to night effortlessly.

style c

less Achieve aitslhicak,sisedae m zip! finish w Find a similar Bardot top at



GO WIDE These full-length wide-legged trousers are both comfortable and chic, plus would look great with a casual tee or smart blouse alike.

enes with Behind thde sc Boo an Dottie!


The XR27NT traditional sewing machine features 27 built-in stitches that are ideal for dressmaking and repairs, as well as home furnishing projects. It also offers features that are designed to make sewing quick and easy such as an automatic needle threader, one-step buttonhole and quick set bobbin system. ÂŁ189,


Stitch it with

make it

your way

your free pattern

fitting trousers for the first time?

If like most of us you are a combination size, trousers can be a tricky garment to make. If you haven’t yet found your perfect fit, it’s a good idea to get the correct measurements before you start another pair – a friend will be very helpful here!

measure up Place a tape measure around your natural waist, then measure the waist followed by your hips round the widest point. Now measure from the waist tape to the inside leg seam and compare these measurements to the pattern pieces. Adjust the body length on the marked crotch line if necessary and trace the trouser back and front on tracing paper, following the lines that most closely match your measurements. Taper across lines where you change sizes.

right height

When measuring the hem length, always wear the shoes or boots that you plan to combine with your finished trousers, to ensure the right shape and length.

why we made Style A and C

This sleeveless top is a great introduction to adding pleat details while the trousers (opposite) allow you to work with side zips.

Sizes 4-22

Sizes 8-20

Next month’s FREE patterns 15


Your two FREE patterns are all about the stretch fabrics, with four tops and four dresses!


sew YOU!

You’ve all been busy this month, stitching such beautiful makes! Don’t forget to share what you’re working on, we love seeing your stitchy masterpieces...

I made the Adele skirt from the March issue of Sew in just under an hour with less than a metre of fabric. It’s a great way to use up stretch fabric from other projects, plus it looks and feels great to wear. I think this pattern is a real wardrobe staple – I’m certainly going to sew more of these to add to my me-made wardrobe! Carrie Marshall

I stitched this handy fabric basket to store our puppies’ toys and treats in whilst we are away on holiday in the caravan. Sarah Alder

This is an upcycled top that I made for myself from one of my husband’s old Barbour shirts. It was really easy to make – I used an existing top for a template, then cut out the front and back at the same time. As the shirt was already hemmed, I simply turned in and topstitched the armholes, added contrasting bias binding around the neck, then stitched up the side seams. It took me no more than an hour to make! Emma Howarth Dalzell Kitching


Say Hello to Button,Stitch & Bobbin

It’s amazing what leftover fabric can be used to accessorise with – my bedroom chair and new curtains are all matching nicely now! Jean West garth

I’ve made at least six of these kimonos using the Simplicity pattern K1108 that came free with my Sew magazine, each one in different fabrics and sizes. It is a brilliant pattern! Carol Clancy

chosen by you

Each month on Facebook, we ask you to help us choose a name for our issue’s mascot. “I though Button, Stitch and Bobbin would be great names for your latest mascots – Button and Stitch are actually the names of our own guinea pigs, who are equally cute! Louise Burrage, Sew reader Help us choose a name for next month’s toy at 17

Louise has won a set of Aerofil sew-all threads from

Continued overleaf


Sponsored by Minerva Crafts

Write in and WIN! While hunting unsuccessfully for some suitable curtains, I found a duvet that I liked the look of instead. I bought two of them and used them to make two sets of curtains, plus some matching cushions for my sofa. Sharon Vincent

I had a few scraps of tweed left over from a project – since I don’t like to throw anything away, I used them to make an appliqué cushion with a Scottish cow design, plus a cute owl door stop.

I made this red dress to wear at my nephew’s wedding recently. It was really easy to sew and the finished dress looks lovely when it’s on! Mel Sutton

Sarah Bridger

My Nan taught me to knit, crochet and embroider when I was growing up. When she passed away a few years back, my Grandad let me have all her crafting bits, including her trusty Jones sewing machine. Once our boys settled into school, I decided to take some sewing lessons using another of my Nan’s machines, a little electric Singer. I love sewing and have made some bits and bobs that I am proud of... hopefully my Nan would be too. Emma Mills

I was inspired by a friend’s love of Scottie dogs and Union Flag items to make this bag for her from the pattern featured in the May issue of Sew. I’d spotted a fat quarter bundle with the Scottie dog material in Aldi and snapped up a couple – this was the perfect make to use them for. I just need to make one for myself now! Gerry Savill

on the sew blog...

Discover how 50s fashions are still having an effect on our wardrobes today!

Get the low-down on what we have planned for Sew Saturday on 6th October.

We chat to Ninya Mikhaila, whose amazing creations for A Stitch in Time are on display.

Read all of the latest stitchy news and more at 18

sew YOU! This month our Star Letter winner will receive a bumper selection of fabrics from Minerva Crafts, worth £50.

e r a h s & h c t i t s


! hy triumphs with Sew Share your latest stitc





I made these little bags for my granddaughters – they’re just big enough to hold a small Easter egg! Carol Clancy



Waste not, want not!

I used the New Look 6459 pattern which came free with the February issue of Sew magazine to make a pair of orange corduroy trousers using just under 1m of fabric. They were my first make for the #sewingleftovers challenge that I launched on my blog, which aims to put bits of fabric left over at the end of a project to meaningful use. The aim is to prevent waste, examine pattern layout plans and fabric requirements differentlyand hopefully create a more cohesive wardrobe along the way!

SUPER STRETCH Here’s my version of the Frankie Tee from the new Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch! book. Becki Mutton

CHICKEN LICKEN My Mother Hen, from the April issue of Sew, formed part of my Easter display which gets bigger every year! Jo Donnelly

Shauni Sanderson

WRAP UP WARM Here is a photo of my Dermot the Dinosaur toy, made using the pattern on Sew website. I made him from some scraps of dinosaur-printed material that I had left over from a baby blanket project. I think he looks really cute and he walked straight into the arms of my friend’s little boy to be cuddled and played with!

I recently made this Coco dress from a Tilly and the Buttons pattern, plus a make up bag.

Sarah Sutherland-Booth

I made this coat in readiness for my business trip to the University of Northumbria – very cosy and a simple make too! Lucy Picksley

DINNER TIME Bowl cosies! Kath Harris

Gail Anderson

Share your makes via social media @sewhq or email to 19

luscious LINEN

With its distinctive woven texture and strong yet supple qualities, linen can be used for almost anything, from dressmaking to bedding. 100% linen textiles are woven from flax and are the most expensive, but you can also find blends with cotton or synthetic fibres – these are less prone to creasing. Washed linens are another option, which are pre-washed using enzymes, pigments or stones to soften them and prevent shrinking or fading.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Linen cotton blend in loganberry, £12.90 per metre, Essex yarn dyed linen in ruby with gold metallic, £14 per metre, Tayutou linen canvas in baubles aqua, £22 per metre, Linen cotton blend in magenta, £12.90 per metre, Linen cotton blend in rose, £12.90 per metre, Washed linen in light pink, £12.99 per metre, Sevenberry coral pink, £14 per metre, Washed linen in teal, £12.99 per metre,


If you’re feeling inspired to try linen, Dragonfly Fabrics is offering 20% off* any of the lovely examples on their website using the code SEWLINEN – including the ones on this page! Visit *Valid 3rd May until 30th June on linen fabrics only at Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

3 2

20% off!



20% off! 20% off!


7 8



sew a PAPERBAG SKIRT Get started

• Main fabric , 1.4m (115cm wide), contrast fabric, 0.4m (112cm wide) • Elastic, 50cm (2.5cm wide)

Sizes 8-20

Cutting guide

Front and back: cut two on the fold from main fabric Side panels: cut two pairs from main fabric Waistband casing: cut one on the fold from contrast fabric Pocket: cut one pair from main fabric Pocket lining: cut one pair from contrast fabric, adding 2.5cm to the bottom edge Tie belt: cut two on the fold from main fabric Belt loop: cut one from main fabric 5mm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.


Download and print the pattern from templates. Cut all the pieces according to the cutting guide, then transfer any markings. Pin each pair of side panels right sides together and sew the curved edge. Neaten the seams and press them to one side.


Pin a pocket and pocket lining piece right sides together, stitch across the top of the pocket, then press the seam towards the lining. With right sides together, measure 1cm from the seam onto the pocket lining, fold over the top of the pocket and press in place. Topstitch close to the seam on the right side of the pocket. Repeat to make the second one.


With right sides together, place the unfinished bottom edge of the pocket in line with the placement mark on each side panel, face-down so the top is towards the hem edge. Stitch the pocket to the side panel along the placement line, then press it up towards the waist edge and pin at

Discover how to create a paperbag waist on a

PATSY SKIRT This knee-length skirt by mother and daughter duo Susan and Naomi of Posner & Posner is a great introduction to making a paperbag style waist, so called because it is elasticated to create a gathered effect at the top. There are no fastenings to contend with – just a tie belt with loops, so you can focus on adding patch pockets with a contrast lining that matches the waistband trim. The flattering design is guaranteed to become a wardrobe staple! the sides, making sure that the top-centre is in line with the joined side panel seam. Topstitch 1cm from the bottom pocket seam, then trim any excess fabric so it’s level with the edge of the side panel.


Stitch one long edge of each joined side panel piece, right sides together to one side of the front skirt, then repeat with the back skirt. Neaten the edges of each seam and press to one side. Mark the centre-front and centre-back of the skirt for positioning the waistband casing.


Press the belt loop strip in half lengthwise, open out and press each edge towards the centre, then fold again to enclose the raw edges and press. Stitch close to the edge of the pressed fabric, then cut the belt loop into three equal lengths. Fold each length in half and press. Pin one belt loop at the centre-back so the raw edges are level with the top waist edge. Position the other two belt loops in the same way, level with the front side panel seams. Stitch in place, 5mm from the waistband edge.


Fold the contrast waistband casing in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew the short edges, then press the seam open. Place the centre of the casing at the centre-front of the skirt, right sides together, and the seam at

the centre-back with the edge of the casing level with the top of the skirt. Sew the casing to the waist edge, press it away from the skirt, then press a 1.5cm turning at the other edge of the casing.


Measure 1cm from the waistband seam onto the contrast casing, fold and press to form the contrast waistband trim. Topstitch close to the seam on the right side of the fabric, securing the belt loops in place at the top as you sew. Pin the casing in place and sew the bottom edge between each casing stitch marker, as shown on the pattern, carefully sewing over the bottom edge of the belt loops. Leave the centre of the casing at the front unstitched for now.


Thread the elastic through the casing and pin at the front casing stitch markers. Try on the skirt to check the fit around the waist. The centre of the front skirt is flat with no elastic. Check the elastic is centred within the casing and stitch in place securely at the casing stitch marker. Sew the remaining part of the casing at the front.


SHOPPER ************************

CUT THE MUSTARD We used this Japanese Tottorri Cross seersucker in mustard. £14 per metre,


Join both sections of the tie belt right sides together and press open. Fold the belt in half lengthwise and stitch close to the raw edge, leaving a 4cm gap. Fold the belt ends so that the seam is in the centre and sew across each end. Turn the belt right sides out, then press. Sew the gap closed by hand and pass the belt through the loops. Neaten the hem edge then turn it up, press and stitch in place.


EARN YOUR STRIPES Our contrast fabric is this fine stripe chambray in red. £6.99 per metre, ************************ thank you for shopping!



free pattern download /templates

Project exclusive to





IDEAL FOR DRESSMAKERS With a large 14cm x 31cm work space, Pfaff’s new Performance Icon model is perfect for dressmakers, with handy features like a multitouch tablet screen and large stitch plate through to extra-strong needle power . £4,799,

Sewing with Tilly



ouleau button loops are a pretty yet functional feature that can add the perfect finishing touch to your handmade clothes. Great for those seeking a twist on the ordinary fastener, this alternative to buttonholes can be sewn down the front of blouses, onto cuffs or collars, and are often seen on the back of the most elegant wedding dresses.







Cut a strip on the bias at a 45° angle to the selvedges. To sew a button loop with a 1.5cm seam allowance, make a strip 4.5cm wide by at least 10cm long. To make more loops at the same time, cut a longer piece.

If you want a lightweight, almost flat rouleau loop, trim the seam allowances down close to the seam line. To keep the loop more rounded and padded, trim the seam allowances down by about 5mm instead.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew the long raw edges with a short stitch length (1.5mm-2mm) and a 1.5cm seam allowance, back tacking at each end, and starting 1cm from the end.

Press the rouleau loop to neaten and roll the seam to one side. Pin one end to your ironing board and gently pull it out straight by the other end as you’re pressing. You can press it flat or even steam it for a rounded loop.

Leave a long tail at the end, pass through a bodkin needle, and tie a double knot. Push it all the way through the tube, then pull on the threads as you gently roll the first end of the fabric over itself. Alternatively, use a loop turner.

Cut the fabric to a length that will loop over the button, adding an extra 1.5cm at each end. Fold the loop in half, then pin it in position, matching the raw edges with the fold facing in. Staystitch within the seam allowance.

For patterns, workshops and more from Tilly, pay a visit to 24


Stitch your way to style with the sew

free pattern download /templates

Make a WRAP DRESS Get started

• Jersey fabric, 2m (150cm wide) • Interfacing

Sizes 8-20

Cutting guide

Front bodice: cut one pair Back bodice: cut one on the fold Front facing: cut one pair Back neck binding: cut one 3.5cm x 24cm strip Sleeve: cut one pair Skirt front: cut one pair Skirt back: cut one on the fold Left tie: cut one on the fold Right tie: cut one on the fold Note: adhere interfacing to the front facing pieces, plus the facing of the skirt front pieces

1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.


Download and print the pattern at templates. Cut out all the pieces according to the cutting guide, then transfer any markings. Position the back neck binding on the neckline of the back bodice, right sides together and matching the raw edges, then pin. Stitch in place, fold the binding inside the bodice, then press. Pin, then stitch from the right side.

CLARA DRESS With summer on the horizon, everyone needs a wrap dress in their wardrobe. Combining comfort and style, this lovely design by Amanda Walker features a flattering bodice with sweet cap sleeves and sewn-in waist tie. The project is a great choice for those who want to focus on their stitching technique as it uses jersey and needs no buttons or zips, allowing you to concentrate on achieving a professional finish.


Match the front and back bodice pieces at the shoulders, right sides together, leaving 1.5cm protruding from the front neck edge. Stitch the shoulder seams, neaten the seam allowances, then press them towards the front. Fold each tie in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin then stitch along one angled end and the long raw edge. Trim the corners, turn the tie right sides out through the open end, then press flat.


Lay the front bodice pieces right sides up and stitch. Place the longer tie on the left-hand piece, 2cm from the bottom of the angled edge and matching the raw edges, then pin. Repeat with the right-hand bodice and other tie piece. Pin the front facings in place, sandwiching the ties between and matching the notches, then fold to the inside. Understitch along the long edges of the facings (see Core Skill panel), then slip stitch the tops to the shoulder seams.


Stitch the darts into the front bodice pieces and press them up towards the shoulders. Neaten the edges of the side seams on all of the front and back bodice pieces then stitch together, leaving a gap in the stitching line on the right-hand seam, as indicated on the pattern. Neaten the underarm seam, then sew a row of gathering stitch around the head of the sleeves, starting from the front notch and finishing at the back notches. Match, pin and stitch the underarm sleeve seams, right

Opt for a fabric with a single block colour or small motif, as larger prints will be difficult to pattern match. sides together, press the seams open, then turn the sleeves to the right side. Pull the gathering threads up slightly, then place the sleeve into the armhole. Match the side seams and underarm seam of the sleeve, plus the notch in the

5 26

centre of the sleeve to the one at the end of the shoulder seam, then adjust the gathers to fit the armhole. Pin, stitch, then neaten around the base of the sleeves. Fold the 3cm hem and machine edge stitch in place. Repeat for the second sleeve.


Core skill:


Project exclusive to


After the facing has been attached around the neckline, trim the seam down and push all the seam allowances towards the facing. Sew around the facing, stitching through the seam allowances of both the garment and the facing. Fold the facing down to the inside of the garment and press in place.


Fold in the pleats on the front and back bodice, pin, then stitch across the base of them. Neaten the side edges of the front and back skirt pieces. Match and stitch the side seams together and press open. Fold the pleats in the front and back skirt waistline, then stitch across.


Attach the skirt to the bodice, matching the side seams and pleats of the bodice and the skirt. The corner of the front bodice pieces should be positioned to the folds of the front skirt facing. Fold and press the facing over to the wrong side along the fold line and slip stitch the top of the facing along the waistline seam. Neaten the base of the skirt, then fold and press up 3cm hem and machine edgestitch in place.


SHOPPER ************************

SIMPLE YET LOVELY We used the Light Sprout organic knit in blue from the Field Day range by Cloud 9 Fabrics. For stockist details, visit ************************ thank you for shopping!


Stitch the Look



Synthetic suede is generally available in two weights – one being light, drapey and suited to flowing garments, whilst the other is heavier in weight and better for structured pieces such as jackets, coats and bags. Like velvet and cord, suede types generally have a nap, so beware of this when cutting out your pattern pieces. The fabric can also be quite bulky, so you may want to press your seams open and topstitch down each side of the seam allowance to help them sit flat.




“Our faux suedes are 100% polyester, hard-wearing, and of excellent quality. They’re almost indistinguishable from real suede, with the added benefit of being much more cost effective. These heavyweight versions have a matte finish and are favoured for their lustrous appearance.”


Calico Laine

5 1 Antique blue 2 Aquamarine 3 Ice 4 Flamingo 5 Charcoal

Jacket, £25,

All of the featured fabrics are available for £9.99 per metre at



Lauren Guthrie’s

TOP TOOLS for mending Y

ou don’t have to discard a piece of clothing just because of a hole, tear or frayed edge. With the concept of slow fashion steadily gaining momentum, there are now a lot of readily available products that will help you nurse your clothes back to full health. In the event of not being able to come back from a snag however, fear not – get out your embroidery threads and work some decorative darning!


4 2 3


We’ve all been there - you accidentally snip your fabric when trimming a seam allowance or cutting thread! Fray check is a great little invention for sealing up these little holes and also preventing further fraying – plus it can be used to stabilise buttonholes on fabrics that are more prone to unravelling. £5.10

Make a repair a feature with some decorative sashiko embroidery using some lovely threads! This style of reinforcement stitching is from Japan and is a great way to add something special to your garment.



Carrying 19 sewing and darning needles in its vibrant blue case, this container’s handy twist-up mechanism and magnetic inner makes it great for safe storage and easy dispensing. They’re great for carrying needles around in your bag for any on-the-go repairs and emergencies. £6.50


This neat pot of powder is great for applying and securing a patch of fabric over a tear or hole in a garment, especially where it would be hard to sew from the back of the fabric. All you need is an iron and you are all set to get repairing! £3.60 per 12g pot


Sometimes you have to embrace mistakes as part of the sewing process. I’ve never made anything without one of these nifty tools and when mending something, chances are that a bit of unpicking is required. They can blunt over time so are worth re-investing in if you’ve had yours for a while. £3.20



SoS Our experts help you create the perfect wedding outfit


I’m getting married in a year and a half, and would like to make my own wedding dress – can you offer any tips? Annabel Yates

Joanna Hope bead trim dress, £180,

Katy says First of all, congratulations! The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to wear in terms of shape. If you are unsure of what suits you, go through the dresses that are already in your wardrobe – you’ll quickly notice that there are particular shapes that you’re drawn to. When hunting for patterns, focus on the line drawings on the back rather than the cover photo. It can be hard to visualise a floral 50’s dress as a wedding gown, but the line drawings give a better idea of the basic shape. Have a look at The Fold Line’s pattern database ( – it lists designs that are currently in print and there are search options to help find what you’re looking for. Once you’ve chosen your pattern, make a mock-up of the dress first in a similar weight fabric to what you plan to use – this will give a proper idea of how it will hang and what alterations, if any, are needed. It also provides a practise run and will make the final version really enjoyable to sew as you’ll know what you are doing. Last but not least, take your time – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!


I’d like to make bridal fascinators for myself and bridesmaids – can you give me some simple ideas? Paula Reynolds

Arianna says

Making your own bridal headpieces can be so enjoyable, whilst creating something beautiful and totally unique. First, consider what you want on the day – be it sparkles, flowers or feathers. Get lots of images together then think about how you are having your hair styled and whether you want your headpiece on a comb, headband or elastic base. There are lots of blank fascinator bases available that you can decorate with your chosen colour and theme. This can be sewn on or, if you’re really short on time, you can use a hot glue gun – it’s not cheating and really effective! If you want a floral fascinator, purchase lots of fake flowers, then with a combination of wire and glue, wrap them


around your comb, slide, or head band and build it up slowly. You can make one for yourself, followed by smaller ones for your bridesmaids in a similar style. Alternatively, if you want to incorporate an heirloom brooch, piece of lace or similar, you can stitch or wire this onto your base and build up around it – hunt for pieces to add to it in vintage and haberdashery shops. Don’t worry about making it perfect – as long as it’s secure and feels good to wear, it will look stunning!

here to




The co-founder of The Fold Line, an innovative online sewing hub with a datbase of patterns, expert tips and stitchy inspiration.

Sewing expert Lisa loves vintage style and it shows in her ever=growing collection of dressmaking patterns!

This expert seamstress and milliner is also the author of Sewing your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe.



top 4


I’m going to a vintagethemed wedding in the summer – can you suggest any patterns for a suitable outfit? Mary Forster

Lisa says

This sounds like my kind of wedding! A vintage theme always promises to be super stylish while still accommodating your own personal taste. Whether it’s the bias cut dresses of the 30s, hourglass silhouettes of the 50s or the flowing boho vibes of the 70s, there’s something that’s bound to suit you and make you feel fabulous. I love vintage and have based much of Sew Over It’s pattern collection around it. My favourite era is the 50s – I find nipped-in waists and big full skirts are so flattering on most people, and they’re incredibly glamorous too. Our Betty and Elsie dress patterns are perfect for this era. If 40’s fashion, with its neat, slimline look and pretty details is more your thing, our 1940’s Wrap Dress and 1940’s Tea Dress patterns are just the ticket. For something slightly in-between, our Vintage Shirt Dress is incredibly flattering – and because the waist isn’t fully cinched in, it’s great for those huge wedding feasts! Even for summer weddings, I like to have a little jacket with me to cover up in the chillier evenings, and my go-to is our Coco Jacket. It stops just below the waist, making it perfect to wear with my favourite vintage outfits.


rouleau button loop fastenings add a decorative details to the back of a bridal gown, see p24 to find out how it's done!

BRIDAL FABRICS Sewing bridal or bridesmaids’ outfits provides an opportunity to work with all kinds of beautiful fabrics, including lace, silky textiles and tulle. They’ll require some careful sewing but the results are worth it!

Wedding veil Crystal diamanté embellished tulle, £29.99 per metre Bargain


Golden glow Satin-backed crepe in gold, £8.99 per metre


Beautiful bridesm

Scalloped edge guipure lace in coral, £41.99 per metre

Blushing bride Society stiff silk organza in ivory, £29.99 per metre FIND ALL OF THESE FABRICS AT MINERVACRAFTS.COM

Got a stitchy question for us? Email us at or message us at and we’ll do our best to answer it! 31

sew a BOXY DRESS Get started

• Fabric, 2m (145cm wide) • Concealed zip, 55.8cm

Sizes 8-20

Be inspired by the sixties and sew our

TWIGGY SHIFT The classic shift dress has been reinvented over and over, flattering boyish frames and curvy figures alike. Here, Amanda Walker creates structured lines with her simple design, which includes shapely darts and practical pockets – perfect for beginners! If using a check fabric, cut out the front dress first, then lay the pockets directly onto it to ensure a perfect pattern match.

Cutting guide

Front: cut one on the fold Back: cut one pair Sleeve: cut one pair Pocket: cut two Neck band: cut one 4cm x 58cm strip on the bias 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.


Download and print the pattern at Cut out the pieces according to the cutting guide, then transfer any markings. Stitch the darts into the front dress from the sides to the points, then press them up towards the shoulders. Neaten the side edges, centre-back edges and shoulders of the front and back pieces.


Fold and press under 1cm, then another 4cm on one of the shorter pocket edges. Fold over onto the right side of the pocket and stitch down each side edge with a 1cm seam allowance. Trim the bulk from the corners, then turn the top part of the pocket back to the wrong side. Press the edges, then continue folding and pressing a 1cm seam along the side edges and base. Pin and edgestitch the pockets onto the front where indicated on the pattern.


Pin the two back pieces right sides together, matching the centre-back seam, then sew as far as the zip notch mark from the base of the dress. Fold and press the seam allowance along both sides of the back opening, then open it out and with right

sides together, place the opened zip face-down, matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance.



Pin and stitch one side of the zip, using a zipper or concealed zipper foot (see Core Skill panel), and leaving 3cm of the base unstitched. Backstitch, then sew the other side of the zip in place. Carefully thread the zip pull through to the right side and close.

free pattern download /templates


Match, pin and stitch each shoulder seam of the front to a back piece, right sides together, then press the seam allowances open. Fold and press in 1cm on both long edges of the bias strip or use a bias binding maker. Open one side of the strip, pin it around the neckline, then stitch along the fold line.


Fold the strip over onto the wrong side of the neckline and position the remaining folded edge over the stitching line. Pin, then edgestitch, sandwiching the raw edge of the neckline inside the bias binding. Trim any excess binding at the centre-back edges, fold back the ends and slip stitch in place by hand.


underarm sleeve seams, right sides together. Press the seams open, then turn the sleeves right sides out. Pull the gathering threads up slightly, then place the sleeve into the armhole.

With right sides together, match the side seams, pin and stitch, then press the seams open. Neaten the underarm edges of the sleeves. Sew a row of gathering stitches around the head of the sleeves, starting from the front notch and finishing at the back. Match, pin and sew the 32


Match the side seams and underarm seam of the sleeve, plus the notch in the

centre of the sleeve to the one at the end of the shoulder seam. Adjust the gathers to fit the armhole of the dress, pin, then sew in place. Neaten around the seam allowances of the armhole. Fold and press in 1cm, then another 3cm around the base of the sleeves, pin, then edgestitch in place.


Core skill:

SEWING CONCEALED ZIPS If using a concealed zipper foot, place the teeth of the zip into the groove before you begin. As you stitch, the foot will uncurl the teeth and the stitching will appear alongside the teeth. If stitching with a normal zipper foot, you will need to uncurl the teeth with your fingertips as you go; sew to the top of the side seam.




EDINBURGH FESTIVAL We used Lady McElroy’s Edinburgh gingham linen in light pink and white. £14.90 per metre, ************************ thank you for shopping!


Style Luxury is in the details Elegance

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For the love of

SEWING MACHINES Words by Jennifer Ward


lothing is something that every culture around the world shares and with that, are the seams that hold each garment together. These, as we know, are sewn together with a needle and thread – and for thousands of years, this was done by hand. Since the Stone Age in fact, civilisations have been using hand-crafted instruments to create items that provide warmth, protect modesty and offer fashion. As time evolved, stricter rules for dress reflected social norms at the time and naturally, clothing was used in its colour, quality and fabric texture to signify social status and wealth. In the 1876 book How to Dress Well on Shilling a Day, the author instructed that ‘poverty must, above all things, avoid the appearance of poverty’. Consequently this involved more time spent stitching, so for women throughout history – who would most often have a husband and numerous children to clothe, as well as a household to stitch for – sewing was a laborious task, yet a necessary one. “Poor women and girls had few respectable

options for earning their own living, and the needle trades – such as dressmaking, shirtmaking and millinery – were often their only resort, despite the appallingly low pay,” explains Danielle Thom, assistant curator at the V&A museum. “Most of it was ‘piece work’, done at home by women and children. The work, which often lasted from dawn until midnight, was injurious to the eyesight and the spine, and the poor pay was compounded by the fact that women had to pay a deposit to their overseer for the materials, repayable upon delivery of goods.” Because of this, the concept of a machine that could absorb at least some of this burden was something of a dream to both the working and middle class woman.


Before the First World War, women didn’t often use machine tools. When sewing machines first became readily available, women generally 35

New Home Sewing Machines was the original trading name of Janome Sewing Machines.

“I have the Janome 2000 CPX. It makes life so much easier for hems.”

weren’t thought capable of operating one. Adverts during the beginning of the industrial revolution reflect this idea, portraying women as silly and apprehensive of new advances. Sewing machines also remained luxury items until the 1900s, when they became more affordable. “It represented modernity, and some women used their ‘traditional’ sewing accomplishments to upset the established social order,” Danielle explains. “From making divided cycling skirts – trousers, really – to sewing protest banners for suffrage organisations and trade unions, sewing could be a political act, and the sewing machine contributed to this.” The accessibility of this new technology transformed the life of the everyday woman, who was also able to hire them. “The sewing machine meant women could stitch to a level that was previously not possible at




tradespeople need to earn a livelihood, and equipping them with the tools they need to get started.” states charity Tools for Self Reliance (, which has been providing equipment and more to African communities since 1979.

Yvonne Abbs home,” says Deborah Shepherd, Creative Director at Janome. “Women have struggled through the years Today, ask anyone who stitches and you’ll often with ‘necessity being the mother of invention’ find their first sewing memory was during school. to raise a family and keep them clothed to a “I was taught hand sewing by a teacher in junior reasonable standard, long before the days of school, then went on to do even more more Primark.” Effectively, the speed offered by this sewing at high school, where I took my CSE new technology meant that women could fulfil exam and passed with a grade 1,” explains Sew their domestic duties whilst devoting more of reader Louise Morton. their time to other endeavours – freeing up their If it wasn’t down to these early experiences, schedule, and their mind. many wouldn’t go on to pursue it later on in life. The advance of machine sewing marked the “I went onto college and got my City and Guilds beginning of mass-produced clothing and the in dressmaking. I loved it,” says Louise. The introduction of women into the workplace. inclusion of textiles on the curriculum has helped Society was reluctant for women to perform raise the profile of techniques relating to sewing, traditionally ‘male’ roles, so this was an important step towards fostering this idea, whilst and steered Higher Education to offer these subjects on a higher level. “School needlework creating a path into it – although the conditions was previously labelled ‘Domestic Science’ and could be dangerous. In fact, the workplace not considered an offered all kinds of injustices for the “The sewing machine meant that academic subject,” explains Janome's working woman and women could fulfil their domestic Deborah Shepherd. “It has in 1968, female sewing machinists at duties but devote more time to other since been connected with Art and Design, which the Ford Motor Co. endeavours, freeing up their progressed the subject to a plant in Dagenham schedule – and their mind.” new level of recognition, went on strike in and terms like ‘Garment Engineering’ are now protest against the 15% gap between their ‘less respected as a highly-valued skill. There are now skilled’ Category B pay packet and the ‘more many avenues for fashion students to pursue.” skilled’ Category C wage that men received. Despite the many benefits and skills that These strikes were central in triggering the subjects such as Textile Science and Design Equal Pay Act that came later in 1970. The Technology (the new names for these subjects!) handmade banners that raised the profile of teach, the national curriculum is generally women’s right to vote, along with the female providing fewer opportunities for children and machinists who striked for equal pay – although teenagers to study these techniques. This has arduous causes – show how the sewing machine inspired the recent Campaign for subtly gave women the means and the platform Creativity in Schools, a petition to fight their corner, playing a vital role in what launched last year on has come to define their collective traits… of by a number of top artists, “I love my Atelier courage, persistence and nerve. craftspeople and designers to Today, sewing machines are still tools of 5, those LED rally support for these empowerment for women across the globe, with lights brighten up charities that provide aid in developing countries vocational subjects. “Pushing any grey day!” creative subjects into afterrecognising the autonomy that they can give to Annie McGee school classes inevitably women. “We specialise in providing the relegates them to the level of vocational skills and business training rural

Mr Yosaku Ose founds the first domestic sewing machine manufacturer in Japan, the PINE Sewing Machine factory. The Janome brand becomes an official trademark.

NUWSS procession on 13 June 1908.



In Koganei, Tokyo, the first mass-production sewing machine factory in Japan is completed. The company name changes to Janome Sewing Machine Co., Ltd. 36




The first overseas factory (Taiwan Janome Sewing Machine Co., Ltd.) opens in Taiwan R.O.C. The 801 emerges as Janome’s 50th anniversary model, a fully automatic ‘zigzag’ sewing machine.


Janome releases a programmable computer sewing machine, the Memory 7. An industry first!

Thai Janome Co., Ltd. is founded, becoming the second overseas factory.


© Sarah.

Perfect for every project, from dressmaking and quilting to bags and toys.

Janome HQ Japan

‘hobby’ and ‘pastime’,” says Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of The Embroiderer’s Guild. “Consequently, they will be low down the list when parents and students make their exam selections. This will eventually signal their death-knell.” With a recent report showing how the creative industries contribute £84.1 billion to the UK economy and employ 1.8 billion people, and the recent announcement of the Sewing Bee’s return to TV, it’s clear that sewing is a skill that people should be nurtured and encouraged. “The many benefits of creativity are now widely recognised as contributing to our well-being, as well as the economy,” explains Deborah Shepherd.

Janome means ‘eye of the snake’ in Japanese. In 1935, the round bobbin system was the most advanced technology – because it looked like a snake’s eye, it became the symbol of the company.

“My Janome Indigo 20 has never let me down!” Sewing machines have forever changed how clothes are made. Above: Fashion Capital’s Stitching Academy factory.

Rhona McGrath

Sew reader Claire Culleton, she acquired her mum’s Janome Memory Craft 8000, which is the same age as her – 28 years old! “I learnt to sew with it and just love it.” says Claire. “I wouldn’t buy another one unless this one broke. It just goes to show that Janome machines really do hold up to the test of time!” The portability of With TV shows dedicated to sewing and fashion sewing machines, along with the host of – such as The Great British Sewing Bee, Project user-friendly features they offer, means that it’s Runway, and Rupaul’s Drag Race – more of us even easier to share your sewing skills with are seeing the connection between sewing and personal style. Along with that, sewing groups are friends and family members – helping to inspire others to take up a hobby that promises a booming and high street haberdasheries have multitude of rewards, skills and mental benefits. seen a massive uplift in workshop bookings, “I have a Janome DC 3050 and adore it. I showing that people of all ages and backgrounds recently bought and delivered the same machine are keen to preserve the skills of the generation to my lovely friend,” says Sew reader Joanna before... and even learn directly from them. “My Austin. “She made her first sewing steps using my Mum taught me to sew. She died in 2012, aged machine, and now she has her own beauty to 95,” says Sew reader Frances Brennan. “It was continue her journey!” With blogging platforms, only then that I realised how much that she had video sites and expert advice available online, taught me. Sewing, smocking, knitting, crochet and above all else, confidence in my abilities.” For there’s now a big community of virtual ‘sewcialists’ who are eager to At the Women’s Coronation help. “With the growth of Procession in 1911. social media, no one need be sewing at home alone!” says Deborah Shepherd.



Of course, the sewing machine has evolved over the years, evolving from manual hand-operated models through to electric, and even computerised versions – providing the stitcher with even more possibilities and better still, choice. “Janome introduced the world’s first programmable sewing machine


Introducing the world’s first computer sewing machine with embroidery functions, meant for home use. A whole new market for hobbyists opens. Connecting to a PC, the Memory Craft 10000 releases and leads the way for connecting via USB.



Janome releases its MC11000, the first embroidery machine with an industrial-grade rolling linear motion guide, along with the MC6600P – a professional-grade computerised sewing machine with an AcuFeed Layered Fabric Feeding System. The Horizon MC12000 releases, with exciting variable zigzag stitch width and software features for quilters. 37


Embroidered and hand-painted suffrage banner, 1908.

in 1979, the Memory 7” Deborah Shepherd tells Sew. A hundred years ago or so, stitchers also had to content with noisy machines. Nowadays however, stitchers can enjoy whisper quiet sewing. “l love my DSK30, which is so quiet my husband can still watch the TV whilst I am sewing,” says Sew reader Sandy Filer. Today, Janome also has a flagship model that uses WiFi and apps – the Janome Quilt Maker MC15000. With machines available for machine embroidery, quilting, to overlocking and all-purpose, the variety available reflects the wide range of disciplines we can master. “Our sewing machines are for everyone and for many people who craft at home, they are a lifeline,” Deborah says. Whatever your abilities, your relationship with your sewing machine is one that not only gives you the freedom to control your own sense of style and unique creations – but one that can be whatever you want it… whether that’s connecting with other like-minded stitchers, learning a new technique you never thought possible, or sharing your skills with the next generation. Whichever paths you follow, take pride in the fact that you’re continuing a tradition that has helped liberate, inspire and empower people all over the world – this time round, we can take pleasure from the machines that have been right besides women, every step of the way in their journey towards equality, freedom and autonomy.


The Horizon MC15000, Janome’s flagship model, comes out – the first home sewing model to connect wirelessly to iPads and today, use apps! Janome introduces the latest long arm MC9400QCP and the professionalgrade flat-bed MC6700P.


Adding belt loops to a dress or skirt might be an afterthought when you’re dressmaking, but maybe your favourite outfit could benefit from a tie around the waist – with a few handy fastenings to help keep them in place! There are a couple of ways of doing this. One is making up the belt loops in matching fabric, or even in a contrast one for added interest. Another way is to blanket stitch a length of strong thread in place at each end; crochet thread works well for this, but for a finer loop (on a silk dress, for instance) a sturdy sewing thread is best.

Debbie Shore’s SHOW & TELL fabric loops:





Cut 5cm x 7.5cm strips of fabric, fold each one in half lengthwise, then press.



Fold both long edges to the centre, press, then repeat. Sew along both long sides.

sewn UP

Fold the two short ends under by 5mm, pin, and sew with a narrow zigzag stitch.

thread versions:


thread up


For a thread loop, mark the position, take a doubled thread through from the back, then make a small stitch.


stitch in time

Take the needle under the loop, then pass the thread under the needle before pulling it through to make a small knot.

in the loop

Continue across the loop, keeping the knots tight and close together. At the end, take the needle back through the fabric and knot.

For more great tips from Debbie, visit 38

Suppliers of mail order fabrics for over 40 years we source beautiful fabrics from Britain, Europe and rest of the world.


YOU WILL LEARN: 3 Sewing stretch fabric 3 Making pockets 3 Setting in sleeves 3 Adding a neckband


sew masterclass

Get ship-shape with our


You can never have too many Breton tops in your wardrobe and Fiona Hesford’s long sleeved nautical tunic is versatile enough to wear year-round. It is also quick and simple to make with a neckband and patch pockets, plus there are no fastenings. An overlocker will make light work of the seams but if you don’t have one, a regular sewing machine and a stretch or ballpoint needle will work just as well.

Get started

• Cotton jersey* (160cm wide) • Lightweight stretch fusible jersey interfacing, 20cm x 40cm *Fabric amount required depends on your chosen size: 8-14 = 1.6m, 16-18 = 1.7m

Sizes 8 10 12 14 16 18

Tunic length 86cm 87cm 88cm 89cm 90cm 91cm

Cutting guide Front: cut one on the fold Back: cut one on the fold Neckband: cut one Sleeve: cut one pair Pocket: cut two Note: cut notches in the seam allowance of the sleeve as indicated on the sleeve head. Two notches differentiate the back sleeve from the front.

1cm seam allowance used throughout.


sew a NAUTICAL TUNIC Making the body pieces

Fiona Hesford’s top tips for STITCHING & FINISHING Visit templates to download and print the pattern, then transfer any markings onto your fabric. l Before cutting out, fold your fabric inwards with both selvedges in the centre. Cut out the front and back on the fold, then the neckband on a single layer of fabric. For the sleeves and pockets, fold the fabric in half with the selvedges at one side. l Cut the pockets with the stripes running vertically. l Remember that a 1cm seam allowance is used throughout! l When stitching a stretch fabric, attach a stretch, ballpoint or another needle suited to jersey into your machine. You might also like to switch to a walking foot to prevent one layer ‘growing’ more than the other. l Sew seams with an overlocker or, if you don’t have one, make 1cm seam allowances using a stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine. l


Sew the front and back right sides together at the shoulders. Press the seam allowance towards the back. Sew the sides below the armhole.


Pin the long sides of one of the sleeves, right sides together, then stitch the raw edge seam. Press, then turn right sides out. Repeat for the second one.


Align the notches on each sleeve head with the back piece, then pin the sleeve head to the armhole, right sides together.

Stitching the sleeves


Matching the cross seams, ease the sleeve to fit the armhole, right sides together, then tack in place by hand. Repeat for the other sleeve.


Sew around each sleeve slowly, being careful to avoid puckering the fabric. Once you have finished, remove the tacking stitches, then press.


Make a 2cm hem at the cuff edge of each sleeve. Stitch all around, then press. Pin, then sew a 2cm hem at the bottom of the tunic.

Sewing the neckline


Fold the neckband piece in half lengthwise, right sides together. Fold it in half widthwise then sew together at the short ends. Turn right sides out.


Fold the band in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, matching the raw edges. Pin around the neck edge, matching the seam to a shoulder seam.


Fit the band evenly around the neckline as you pin, then tack. Sew all around, taking care to avoid puckering, then press.

Creating the pockets

Fuse stretch interfacing to the reverse of both pocket pieces


Adhere stretch fusible interfacing to the reverse of each pocket piece. Fold and stitch a 2cm hem at the top of each one.


Fold over a 1cm hem on the remaining three sides of each pocket. Pin to the tunic where indicated on the pattern.



Tack each pocket in place on the front of the tunic. Sew along the sides and base, 3mm from the edge. Remove the tacking stitches.






free pattern download /templates

IN THE NAVY We used this French Breton cotton jersey in navy. £13.99 per metre, ************************ thank you for shopping!

Project exclusive to





PERFECT FINISH The Janome 9300DX is a superb introductory level overlocker, offering great value for money and capable of beautiful finishing, even on fine rolled hems. Whilst it is easy to use, it comes with an instructional DVD to help you use the wide range of stitch options. £269,

! E N I g n i w H e s r C u o y A m r o f M Trans

r u o y e v o L


This new mechanical model is ideal for EXCITING beginners, with 23 NEW built-in stitches including RELEASE utility styles, plus a onestep buttonhole. More experienced sewists will also love the built-in needle threader, the quick-set bobbin and the LED light, which will make your sewing experience even easier. A hard cover and accessories drawer are also provided.

Special offer price: £259 (Usual price: £299)

Add one of these


machines to your sewing arsenal!

Perfect for all skill levels, the 230DC offers handy features that you won’t know how you lived without – including a speed controller, foot pressure adjustment and lock stitch. With 30 built-in stitches, three styles of one-step buttonhole, plus an extra-wide table, this computerised model has you covered for all kinds of projects! Special offer price: £299


(Usual price: £349)



Highly Commended

It’s easy to see why this machine won a British Sewing Award last year! Not only does this user-friendly model boast 100 built-in stitches – there are also 14 large buttons that allow you to select the most popular ones and the automatic buttonholes even quicker. You can also elongate some stitches up to five times without losing density! Price: £529 44


“The new M200 QDC offers more standard features and accessories than the average machine” The M200 QDC is a great mid-range computerised model, making it ideal for a wide range of sewing projects. On top of the 200 builtin stitches, which include 14 styles of buttonhole and an alphabet, this machine has a maximum speed of 820 stitches per minute and provides a superior feed system with a seven-piece feed dog. Other features include a speed control slider, six levels of foot pressure adjustment and a needle threader for ease of use. It also comes with a wide range of standard accessories, including an automatic buttonhole, blind hem foot, overedge and satin stitch foot, plus an extension table and even a cute pincushion! In addition, you’ll get a bonus accessory package that includes a 1/4” seam foot, ditch quilting foot, open toe satin stitch foot, walking foot and quilt guide, and darning foot - what more could you need!

KEY FEATURES: 3 Free arm/flat bed convertible 3 Needle up/down 3 110mm x 170mm arm space 3 LCD display with backlight 3 Scissors button 3 LED lamp Special offer price: £569 (Usual price: £639), 0161 666 6011,



S. Nutt Sewing Machines in Birmingham is a family business that was first established in 1947. It is now run by the third generation, Tony and Richard Nutt, who have been business partners since 1990 – with an excess of 60 years trading knowledge between them. They are agents for Janome, carrying the full range of sewing machines, overlockers and coverstitch machines and accessories, which are all on show ready to try out. You’ll also find a huge selection of industrial machines, plus Adjustoform dressforms on display and in stock. What’s more, the team offers domestic and industrial machine repairs, servicing, accessories and spare parts for most makes.

of the

3 Janome agent 3 Huge range of machines 3 Sewing machine repairs


and servicing

3 Adjustoform dressforms 3 Easily accessible showroom

with on-site parking

Visit S. Nutt Sewing Machines, Unit 55 Cuckoo Road, Birmingham, B7 5SY. Alternatively, call 0121 327 2828 or visit


Another British Sewing Award winner, the Atelier 5 is packed with an impressive 170 stitches including 10 one-step buttonholes, and it performs at up to 1,000 stitches per minute! The knee lifter helps to pivot on corners, plus there’s a remote thread cutter port and a function to memorise stitch and lettering combinations.



Highly Commended

. . . t e r c e s h s a t s my Sew reader Sally Buxton says...

“I’ve always owned a Janome machine – my last one was a My Style model that I used for 17 years and it never let me down once. Then in January this year, my husband bought me the Atelier 7, which I also love as I’m learning lots of new techniques with it.”

Special offer price: £899 (Usual price: £999) 45

Tilly and the Buttons




Whether you’ve never touched a sewing machine before or want to refresh the basics, these friendly and practical video lessons will take you step by step through all the basics. From perfect threading and changing settings, to fixing common issues and looking after your machine, you’ll learn all the essential stitching techniques required to get you started, whilst making an easy scarf project. Price: £25

Sew Your Own Shirt or Shirt Dress

Never sewn a shirt before? Or you have but it didn’t quite turn out as you’d hoped? TIME Never fear – this online video workshop will guide you through every step of the make, using the Rosa sewing pattern (included in the course fee). The classes are taught by Tilly and the Buttons founder Tilly Walnes, and you can re-watch the lessons as many times as you like. Price: from £45






Make Friends with a Sewing Machine

Learn to Sew Jersey Tops

This class is for more experienced stitchers who want to get to grips with sewing stretchy fabrics such as jersey on a regular TIME sewing machine – you won’t need to invest in an overlocker! You’ll learn stress-free tips and tricks for making comfy tops for everyday with the popular Agnes sewing pattern from the Tilly and the Buttons collection (included in the course fee). Price: from £45

Try out dressmaking, pattern designing and more with our latest workshop and resources round-up

Soft Byte Ltd

Visit Fittingly Sew 2 If you’ve experienced the frustration of buying a ready-made pattern that doesn’t fit well, this computer software will allow you to draft your very own made-tomeasure designs before printing them out full size. It has some very powerful tools to start you off, with a set of basic sloper patterns and templates that you can use as a starting point for your original creations. Better yet, you also have the option to draft your own patterns starting from rectangular blocks, just as you would with paper, pencil and a ruler. The on-screen editing and use of the clipboard makes the construction process accurate and simple to do. Fittingly Sew’s emphasis is on freedom to design rather than on ready-made garments. The built-in pattern and body blocks are all women’s, but you can adapt any of them to use for men’s or children’s clothes, or even for dolls. This program also allows you to trace pattern pieces from background images, which may be photos of existing garments, scans of patterns from other sources – and even screen captures from other pattern design software. Price: £159



Janome Training School, Stockport, Manchester JUNE




Visit Feet & Accessories

Half Scale Dressmaking

Get to grips with darted tops, facings and princess line TUE patterns with tutor Celia Banks by making several simple outfits for a previously completed dressform. Students need to bring their half-scale forms and will work with half-scale patterns to produce a simple shell top with facings, a classic straight skirt with zip and waistband, and a princess line dress. Book direct with Celia by calling 07790 036975 or email celia. Price: £70

Spend an exciting day with tutor Ann White, unravelling the mysteries of how to use an array of interesting feet and accessories, whilst creating a sample piece during the day. This can then be made up later into a project of your choice. A kit will also be supplied with everything needed. Book direct with Janome by calling 0161 666 6006 or email Price: £70




Using Decorative Stitches for Fabric Design

TOP Tutor Jayne Emerson has sold DESIGNER her fabric designs TUITION to companies ranging from Calvin Klein to John Lewis for the past 20 years. In this masterclass she will bring her archive of swatches for inspiration and guide you through her techniques to make unique designs, using a variety of decorative machine stitches. Book direct with Jayne by calling 07809 142088 or email Price: £70


Crafty Sew & So, Leicester


Visit JUNE



Make Your Own Handmade Jeans

If you’ve ever wanted to make own jeans but not been SUN your sure how to start, this two-day workshop has got you covered. You will get to choose from two Closet Case Patterns to make up – the Ginger Jeans (skinny or regular fit) or the Morgan Jeans (boyfriend fit). You will then be taught all the techniques to create an authentic look including topstitching, inserting a fly zip, sewing belt loops and adding rivets. Price: £140

Overlocking for Beginners – Make a Cowl Scarf

Learn how to set up an overlocker to sew and finish your makes SAT quickly and professionally. Tutor Sarah Wadey will take you through threading up your machine, setting the tension and differential feed working through a variety of different stretch and woven fabrics. You will then make a cowl scarf to practice your skills and learn how to neatly finish off your overlocking. Everything needed is included in the price. Price: £40



Carry All Bag


In this class you’ll get to make a versatile, fully-lined bag with a sturdy reinforced base, strong woven tape straps, plus inside and outside pockets. Among the techniques covered, you’ll be shown how to cut out fabrics using a template, sewing interfacing, inserting a long zip, adding a lining and making patch pockets. You will need to bring some fabrics and interlining, but everything else that’s required is included in the fee. Price: £60



Stand out from the crowd with this



free pattern download /templates

Get started

• Fabric, 1.2m • Shark tooth button

Sizes 8-20

Cutting guide

Front: cut one on the fold Back: cut one on the fold Pocket: cut one Neck binding: cut one 3.5cm x 84cm strip on the bias Armhole binding: cut two 3.5cm x 54cm strips on the bias Rouleau loop: cut one 4.5cm x 10cm strip on the bias 1.5cm seam allowance used, except for neck and armholes where a 1cm seam allowance is used.

Simple touches can do wonders for a garment, as this lovely top by Amanda Walker demonstrates. Offering a flattering shape with striking design details, it’s a musthave, season-proof addition to your wardrobe. From the handmade bias binding to the rouleau button loop, there are a range of skills to master - perfect for those tackling their first clothing project or others looking for a quick make.


Press and fold the neck binding to the inside of the top, then pin and sew from the right side, ensuring the neatened edge is caught while stitching. Neaten the edge of the remaining front and back shoulder seams, then match, pin and stitch right sides together. Press the seam open, then secure the two ends of the binding to the neckline. Repeat to attach the armhole binding to each armhole.


Neaten the top edge of the pocket, then press the fold line, as indicated. Turn the folded section over to the right side, sew the right-hand side to secure, then turn back to the wrong side. Press the seam allowance on the right-hand edge, then edgestitch the pocket to the right-hand side of the top.



Download and print the pattern at templates. Cut out all of the pieces according to the cutting guide, then transfer any markings. Neaten one front shoulder seam edge and the corresponding back shoulder seam, stitch together, then press open. Neaten one long edge of the neck binding, then with the right side of the neck binding and the front top together, pin and sew the neckline from the unjoined shoulder to the adjacent back shoulder edge.



Pin the side edges of the front and back, right sides together, then stitch. Press the seams open and catch the top part of the seam to ensure it stays open. Press a 1cm hem, then stitch. Fold in the pleat on the front neckline (see Core Skill panel) and pin. Take the rouleau loop strip and make the loop (see p24). Make the cord into a loop and position it at the top between the layers of the pleat. Pinch the layers and the ends of the loop, then stitch to secure. Attach the button to the back of the pleat, adjacent to the loop, and use steam from your iron to set the pleat in place without flattening.

Find a selection of linen fabrics on page 20 48



Fold and pin the pleat on the front of the top where indicated by the pleat line on the pattern piece. Press gently to flatten, then sew the pleat a short distance down the fabric before stitching across the top to secure.




DREAM MACHINE The new Epic 980Q from Husqvarna is the lightest and largest computerised sewing machine available to stitchers. It integrates all the old features together with exciting new ones! ÂŁ4,499,


Remaster Jeans Finding the perfect pair of jeans can sometimes seem like an impossible quest until you finally discover ‘The One’. Comfortable and flattering, they become your go-to garment for every event – until finally that awful day arrives, when you just can’t ignore those threadbare patches any longer. We’ve all been there (more times than we care to count) and it’s heartbreaking, but you don’t have to toss your old friend into the landfill. Instead, upcycle them into something completely new, or breathe new life into them. Here are a few ideas to inspire as you search for your next favourite pair...

dd Designer: Corinne Bra


Simple storage

Cut off a back pocket section and secure in an embroidery hoop, then hang on your wall to keep tools and other items to hand.

Denim fabrics tend to be thick and durable, so be sure to use a sharp jeans needle


Embrace threads!

Get out your embroidery threads and work areas of colourful florals scaling your motif template up and down to suit the area you’re working.


Cut and stitch sections of jeans, adding a cotton lining and handles to form a thrifty tote bag.

A seam ripper is essential for taking your garment apart, whatever the project dd Designer: Corinne Bra Denim jacket, direct.a 50

In the bag



sew home

Patchwork board

Measure your frame, adding 10cm to each dimension to work out the size of patchwork you need. Stitch pieces of denim right sides together, opening out and topstitching in gold thread to mimic jeans seams. Add in strips of cotton prints to break up the blue. When the panel is big enough, lay the frame centrally over the top and draw around it with a chalk pencil onto the patchwork. Make a line of pockets by laying a panel of hemmed denim over the patchwork and sewing across the bottom and vertically to form pouches. Add back pockets after unpicking them from the jeans. If you want to use the front pockets, cut enough fabric around the area to fold under for a neat edge. Cut thin strips of leftover denim and fray the edges. Stitch these to the patchwork, making a series of loops to hold pencils and knitting needles. Make longer loops to hold scissors and leather punches, or to fix split rings onto. Decorate the board with ricrac braid sewn across the pockets. Place the patchwork facedown and lay the frame face-down centrally on top. Fold up the bottom edge of the work and staple it to the back of the frame, pulling taut from side to side as you do. Staple the top edge in the same way, pulling it tight from top to bottom. Secure the sides of the board, folding the corners into neat mitres. Trim away any excess fabric and add screw eyes to the back for hanging.

Get started • Denim jeans • Cotton prints • Gold topstitch thread • Ricrac • Brass sequins • Wooden frame • Staple gun • Screw eyes




Combine your denim with pretty cotton prints in contrasting colours.






GIMME THAT BLING! These 40mm four-hole gold sequins would be ideal for embellishing your craft board! £9.14 for 30, ************************ thank you for shopping!

dd Designer: Corinne Bra

Share your upcycled jeans ideas via social media @sewhq 51


Susie Johns’

ROSE ESPADRILLES Get started • Espadrilles soles, one pair • Medium-weight white linen or cotton, 40cm x 55cm • Printed cotton, 20cm x 40cm • Strong dark red linen or cotton thread • Embroidery hoop • Embroidery thread, dark red, scarlet, coral pink, blue, green, yellow • Chalk pencil or erasable marker

Also known as caterpillar, coil, worm and post stitch – or grub knot – bullion stitch forms a wonderfully textured coil that is often used to work raised floral motifs and is particularly good for embroidering small roses. Bullion stitch belongs to the family of knotted stitches and looks striking when combined with French knots. Here it is used to embroider a folk art flower motif on a pair of espadrilles – ours are handmade, but you could embellish a ready-made pair if you prefer.

Prym’s espadrilles soles are es. en’s siz available in in adult and childr /en com prym.

Size Custom-sized

Cutting guide

Shoe front: cut four from white linen or cotton Shoe back: cut two from white linen or cotton and two from printed cotton 12mm seam allowance used, unless otherwise stated.

Embroider the flower motif


Cut out the paper pattern pieces provided with the espadrille soles, making sure you select the correct size. Fold the white linen or cotton in half, then mark out the pieces according to the cutting guide, adding a 12mm seam allowance all around – do not cut out yet as you need to work the embroidery first. Download and print the floral motif at templates, then draw it on two of the shoe fronts with a chalk pencil or erasable marker, positioning it 2cm down from the seam line on the top edge of an espadrille front. Flip the design on the other shoe front so it is reversed. Stretch the fabric in an embroidery hoop. Using six strands of dark red, scarlet or coral pink embroidery thread in a smaller crewel needle, work two bullion knots side by side (see panel opposite) to form a rose centre. Work three longer stitches surrounding the central two,

2 3

followed by further bullion knots surrounding the middle. As you work outwards, the knots will become longer and will require more wraps than the two in the centre. For the leaves, add individual bullion stitches with six strands of green thread where indicated. Repeat to create two more roses in the same way. Using three strands of blue embroidery thread and using the photo as a guide, embroider the stems in stem stitch, then add French knots with three strands of yellow, coral pink, scarlet or dark red where indicated on the template with small dots. Repeat for the second shoe front, reversing the colours so that it mirrors the other.


Make the espadrilles


Once you’ve completed the motifs, remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the reverse. Cut out each piece, following the outer line you have drawn. Pin an embroidered and a plain front piece right sides together then stitch, leaving a 5cm gap on one edge. Clip the corners, trim the seam allowance, turn right sides out and press. Pair each plain shoe back with a printed cotton back piece and stitch together as for the shoe fronts. Fold the long curved edge of a back piece in half to find the centre, then match and pin this to the

2 52

centre back of the sole. Line up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the sole and continue pinning. Repeat for the other shoe. Thread a larger crewel needle with a 110cm length of strong dark red thread, knot the end and pull through at one end of the back piece, near the corner. Take the needle through the rope part of the sole, 3mm from the top edge, then up through the rope and the fabric, 3mm in from the edge. Loop the thread over the needle to form a blanket stitch and pull up tightly. Continue to work blanket stitches 8mm apart all round the lower edge of the fabric piece to secure it firmly to the sole. When you reach the other corner, fasten off the thread firmly. Repeat for the other shoe. When attaching the two front pieces, you’ll need to overlap the front and back. Measure 15mm along the lower edge of the back on both sides, starting from the front edge, and mark with a pin. Place the corner of the front to correspond with this pin on both sides, then pin all round the lower edge of the front. At the toe end of the shoe, ease the fabric slightly to fit then blanket stitch in place. Where the top edge of the front overlaps the back at either side, sew a running stitch through both layers, continuing the line of stitches across the top.



Bullion Stitch


Work the stitch from right to left, or work vertically going upwards, whichever feels more comfortable. Do not coil the thread too tightly around the needle as this will make it more difficult to pull through the fabric. You can draw a line on the fabric the length you want your bullion knot to be as a guide, using an erasable marker.

free template download /templates


Bring the needle out at the beginning of the line (A), back down through the fabric at the end of the line (B), and out again at the beginning of the line. Do not pull the needle right through the fabric.


Wind the thread around the needle – the number of wraps depends on the length of the line between A and B.


Project exclusive to


“It’s important to make the right number of wraps on a bullion stitch; too few will make a thin, untidy stitch and too many result in one that bulges and puckers the fabric” Susie Johns, Sew designer


Hold the wrapped thread while you pull out the needle upwards, until the thread passes right through all the wraps. Take care that they don’t become uncoiled; this can require both hands.


Insert the needle back through B at the end of the line and pull gently until the stitch sits neatly on the surface of the fabric. Do not pull it too tightly.



Nominate your fave sewing machines and Project indie haberdashery shops! exclusive to

sew Awards





ave you got a sewing machine that you love, and a local habby store that’s a stitchy haven? If so, we want to hear all about them! The nominations stage of the British Sewing Awards are upon us once again – fill in our form below, or online at by 27th June 2018, and those with the most nominations

will go through to the voting stage later this year – with more categories to come. As a thank you, you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a bundle of sewing goodies including fabrics, patterns, threads and a one-year Sew subscription, worth £200. In addition, everyone who nominates online or via post will receive our FREE toy pattern to make our lovable dog – Jackie Russell!


Go on... tell us what model has become your new best friend! Best entry-level machine brand ......................................................................... Best all-rounder machine brand ......................................................................... Best quilting machine brand ......................................................................... Best embroidery machine brand .........................................................................


Is there a lovely local haberdashery that has saved your bacon, or fuelled your passion for fabric? Best independent haberdashery shop (tick area then add shop name and location) � Wales � Ireland � Scotland � North of England � South of England � Midlands


YOUR DETAILS Title................Forename...................... Surname............................................... Address................................................. ................................................................. ................................................................. ................................................................ Postcode............................................... Tel number........................................... Email.....................................................

Shop: .........................................................................


Best top-spec machine brand

Town: .........................................................................



� Tick here if you would like to be sent the Jackie Russell pattern and instructions

Best overlocker brand .........................................................................

Please send completed forms to:


Marketing Dept, British Sewing Awards 2018, Aceville Publications Ltd, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, CO2 8JY

TERMS & CONDITIONS: All entries will be entered into the prize draw which is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. Only one entry per household. The prize is a bundle of sewing products worth £200, and cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced with any other item. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules will be disqualified. No responsibility held for entries lost, delayed or damaged. Entries will be selected at random within one week of the closing date. No correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE: 27th June 2018. Winner will be notified by post, phone or email 28 days after closing date. The winner’s name will be available in writing on request from Zoe Charge, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. All postal entrants will receive their printed pattern and instructions for Jackie Russell 28 days after the closing date. Aceville Publications Ltd, (publishers of Sew magazine) will use the data supplied to enter this competition. If you would like to receive further correspondence from Aceville Publications, publishers of Sew magazine by post, phone, email or SMS please agree so we can contact you by ticking the relevant boxes below. Aceville Publications, publishers of Sew magazine will not share your personal data with anyone else. I would like to receive correspondence from Aceville Publications, publishers of Sew magazine and agree to being contacted by: � post � phone � email � SMS

Or enter online at

Right on the



Former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis is teaming up with Hobbycraft for the Great British Button Challenge


osing a button on a garment is so annoying – more often that not, you don’t notice it’s missing until long after it has come off! Fortunately this is an easy fix for our lovely Sew readers – who no doubt have a huge array of replacements in their stash (we’re not judging) and can stitch on a button in no time. However, what would be a simple task for us is proving more of a challenge for other people, and especially the next generation... In February this year, UK retailer Hobbycraft launched its first craft report which surveyed 10,000 adults in the UK on their favourite crafts and skills, revealing with it a rather startling statistic – that one in five people in the UK have no idea how to sew on a button. The reason for this appears to lie in a lack of teaching at an early age. While half of those surveyed aged 44-54 said that they were shown to sew on a button at school, only a third of those aged 25-34 were found to have been taught this skill - whilst 31% of those aged 18-24 admitted that they they hadn’t been shown how. There also seems to be a gender gap in skills as well as a generational one, with nine out of ten UK women being able to sew a button compared to just three quarters of men.

One in five people in the UK have no idea how to sew a button onto their garment

Words by Melissa Hyland


Janet Ellis is encouraging everyone to take part in the Great British Button Challenge!


“Our first craft report reveals what’s trending now and what’s next for the world of crafting. More people than ever are now taking up creative hobbies as a way to relax and escape their busy lives, as well as looking to learn practical craft skills,” Katherine Patterson, Customer Development Director at Hobbycraft tells Sew. “Shockingly, the report has also exposed that one in five people can’t sew on a button and how there is a real need to skill up the ‘missing’ generation who were never taught by their parents to sew.” In Hobbycraft’s craft report, more than 2,000 teachers were also polled to review the state of crafting on the curriculum. 66% felt that crafts of all kinds, including sewing, should be featured more at school and wanted them to receive the same recognition as music and sport. As a result, Hobbycraft has pledged to help them teach their pupils this most basic of stitching skills. “As a result of our report, we’ll soon be launching our Great British Button Challenge, giving free buttons to primary schools across the UK to get kids sewing,” Katherine explains. “On top of this, Hobbycraft will also be offering free sewing machine lessons in all of our stores nationwide. We’re here to create a craft movement, that inspires people to get making and get creative!”

Helping to promote the campaign is former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, who was no stranger to making all kinds of projects during her time on the popular BBC children’s TV show. “It’s exciting to see Hobbycraft launch its Great British Button Challenge to teach kids how to sew,” she says. “Basic skills, such as knowing how to sew on a button, are the foundation to a child’s education and we mustn’t lose these traditional techniques in favour of championing more technology-based knowledge. There must be a balance to help ensure that the old skills aren’t thrown out in replacement of newer ones.” If you have children, grandchildren or other younger relatives and family friends, perhaps you’ll join Janet and the Hobbycraft team in spreading this message? “Hobbycraft’s first craft report makes for an interesting read and I’m thrilled to have been involved in the launch of such an insightful campaign,” Janet adds. “My Blue Peter days showed me how important ‘making’ is for children – using your hands to create all sorts of things to encourage kids to be creative and not be afraid of making a mess!”

Hobbycraft will be supplying free buttons to primary schools around the UK

To see Hobbycraft’s full range, visit 55

Get started


• Fabric: blue denim-linen, 40cm; pink check, 40cm; green check, one fat eighth; floral, one fat eighth; mint floral, 25cm • Foam interfacing, 35cm • Fusible wadding, one fat eighth • Fusible interfacing, one fat quarter • Interfacing tape, 7cm-wide • Mint zip, 18cm • Two silver square rings, 4cm • Silver bag slider, 4cm • Large button • Sew-in magnetic clasp • Plastic snap-fastener • Base mesh

Claudia bag Where would we be without handbags? They go almost everywhere with us and carry some of our most important possessions, so they need to be pretty special! Debbie von Grabler-Crozier’s stylish bag is the ideal project for anyone looking to challenge themselves. Featuring pockets, a zip and five different fabrics, this design covers a wide range of skillsets and is sure to be a rewarding make.


10cm x 23cm x 33cm (excl. strap)

Cutting guide

Front: cut two 6cm x 11cm rectangles from mint floral, one 22cm x 36cm rectangle from blue denim-linen, one 10cm x 36cm rectangle from floral fabric, one 12cm x 17cm rectangle from green check, one 12cm x 17cm rectangle of lining fabric and one 18cm length of flat binding from denim-linen Back: cut one 22cm x 36cm rectangle from denim-linen, one 10cm x 36cm rectangle from floral fabric, one 25cm x 50cm rectangle from pink check, and one 32cm x 36cm rectangle from foam interfacing Strap: cut a 10cm x 1.2m strip from floral fabric and a 1.2m strip of interfacing Tabs: cut two 10cm x 15cm rectangles from floral Lining: cut two 32cm x 36cm rectangles from pink check and one 15cm x 22cm rectangle from green check Base mesh: cut one 9cm x 23cm rectangle

bag-making Stock up on all of the nd essentials at u-ha ba

Stitch a bag SEWING THE BACK Cut out all of the pieces according to the cutting guide. Sew the floral and denim back pieces together along the long edge, right sides together, and press. Find the centre of this piece, measure 3.5cm from the top edge and mark. Draw a 1cm x 18cm zip box centrally along and below this mark, then install the zip. Fold the pink check piece in half widthwise and sew the sides, then join to the top of the zip box to create a pocket. Sew the bag back onto the foam interfacing back piece with a narrow seam and trim. SEWING THE FRONT


Apply fusible wadding to one of the mint floral front pieces. Attach one half of the magnetic snap to the bottom of the interfaced piece. For the tabs, fuse interfacing tape to the centre of each one, fold the raw edges in and fold in half, topstitching five times along the length of each tab

at equal intervals. Sew the two tab pieces around the bottom edge and the long sides, then turn right sides out and topstitch around the outside. Sew the button onto the tab, then tack it onto the centre of the denim piece with a narrow seam. Stitch the floral piece to the denim, then open out and press. Sew the flat binding to the green check pocket, 4cm up from the bottom. Interface the pocket with fusible wadding. Cut 1cm smaller all around, then pin the pocket right sides together to the pocket lining fabric. Sew all around, leaving a gap, and turn



right sides out. Sew the other half of the magnetic strap in the centre, 3cm down from the front edge. Stitch the bag front to a piece of foam interfacing with a narrow seam, trim then topstitch either side of the denim and floral seam. MAKING THE STRAPS & LINING


For the strap, fuse the interfacing tape to the centre of the floral piece on the wrong side, then repeat the process for creating the tabs. Join it to the middle bar of the bag slider. Sew the sides and base of the two lining pieces together, leaving a 15cm gap in

one side. Cut out a 5cm square from the bottom corners and box the corners (see panel). Place the outer bag pieces right sides together and sew the sides and base. Box the corners again and hot glue the base mesh into the base. Attach the tabs to each end of the bag, aligning the raw edges, with a square ring in place on each. Turn the lining wrong sides out and slip the outer bag inside. Sew around the top of the bag, then turn it out through the gap in the lining. Topstitch around the top edge and attach the shoulder strap, then add the snap fastener to the centre of the top edge.


sew gifts

Boxing the corners Boxing the corners helps to add more volume to a bag base. To do this, transfer the corner marks from the template onto the wrong side of the fabric and cut them out. Pinch the corners together so the side bottom seams are on top of each other, pin, then sew across the corner.

get the


Find more beautiful bags in The Bag Boutique by Debbie von GrablerCrozier (Search Press), ÂŁ14.99, 57

Main image: rug, £52,

I love my fellow columnist’s new book, Stretch! Well done, Tilly! £22.50, shop

I can’t wait to reveal my kimono to you, using Simplicity’s 4080 pattern. £6.95,

I have always loved being outside!

At home with...

© Photographed by Rachel Whiting.

STUART HILLARD Just like buses, all of my sewing plans have come at once!

When I was a primary school teacher, like many of my colleagues, I lived for the summer. Whilst the children generally

counted the days till the six-week holiday, I loved the time leading up to it for the chances it gave us to work with the children outside under the shade of a tree... or use the bribe of an afternoon’s cricket tournament to propel them through a morning of maths! Even in Britain’s unpredictable climate, summer is all about swapping the four walls for the endless sky. I have a very busy season ahead of me as I’m currently working on some super-exciting new projects... IN THE SEWING ZONE Yes, I’m just putting the finishing touches to my third book, hurrah! After the success of Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts last year, I’m excited to announce it will be another quilting title. I’ve always loved using the simplest of shapes to create exciting, dynamic and beautiful quilts and textiles, and I’ve poured all of that love into my newest tome. When I’m in the sewing zone I exclude all other distractions. Music, TV and conversation all fall by the wayside. I get my head down and I sew until the job is done. I have a very low boredom threshold and I’ve always cited this as my key motivation in getting things finished quickly. If anything takes me

too long (a quilt typically takes me no more than three days, from start to finish), I grow weary and start thinking of my next, more exciting make. This serves me well, as I have had a huge pile of quilts to make for the new book and time is not my friend! As I write, I’m thinking about packing my bags for a week of photoshoots in London with my publishers. Every shot takes an age to set up and light – sometimes as much as an hour for a single photograph. I remember shooting my last book, where we spent the hottest few days of summer spent inside with all the windows shut and absolutely no fans to prevent the quilts blowing in the breeze and causing blurry images. We found a local shop with ice cream and raided their freezers daily. Because of this, I can’t help but pray that the upcoming weather is unseasonably cold… please don’t hate me!

“I have always loved being outside and taking my work out there with me” AND MORE NEWS… I’m also busily making projects to showcase my new fabric line for The Craft Cotton Company. Eeek! It’s called Kimono and I was inspired by the indigo garments worn by the working men of yesteryear Japan. My new range has more than a dozen cotton prints in various shades of indigo, cyan blue and white – perfect for quilting, crafts

Charlie (my husband!) has decided to learn how to bake. Just a large slice for me, please.

and home decor projects – plus, a further five prints will be available in jersey for dressmaking! I’ve long been fascinated by the East, having first read a book about China and Japan when I was around eight years old. The culture, architecture, food and of course, art, have always been a great source of inspiration to me and I’ve visited China many times. Japan is still on my to-do list and I’m desperate to visit the famous quilting expo in Tokyo. My last book, Make 100 Quilts, comes out in Spanish very soon and I’ll be visiting Spain to promote it in the late summer. I just need a Japanese edition and I’ll have the perfect excuse to visit the land of the rising sun! With my new fabrics I’m planning on making a kimono using Simplicity’s 4080 pattern, and in anticipation have been reading up on the traditions of this unique garment. Kimonos are always wrapped around the body, left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial) and are secured by a sash or Obi… Simplicity’s pattern includes these details and so I can’t wait to reveal it to you! I’m also making lots of projects with the cotton prints and perhaps a garment or two in jersey. My fellow Sew columnist and Sewing Bee alumni, Tilly, may well be called upon for advice on sewing with jersey. I love her new book, Stretch – if you haven’t got your copy yet, snap one up!

Stuart x

You can check in with Stuart on channels Virgin 748, Freeview 23, Freesat 813 and Sky 674, or visit 58


your essential guide to


If you're the sort of person who can't bear to throw things out – no matter how worn they look – then the following five projects will be just up your street! Upcycling and customising are still trending hugely as an antidote to our throwaway culture, and so we've got some great ideas to inspire you. Try giving an old chair a makeover with new covers, or perk up a photo frame with some pretty textiles. Add interesting details to a plain garment with contrast prints, or create a drape top with just two rectangles of fabric – vintage scarves would be great for this!

Share your makes with us on social media @sewHQ




Get started • Old office chair • Fabric • Curtain lining • Carbon or printer paper • Staple gun and remover • Hammer • Pliers

Upholster a chair


Unbolt the seat, back and arm rests from the metal frame of your chair. If the foam and wadding on the back and seat are still in good condition, these can be used again. Unpick one side of the cover to create paper templates from, and leave the opposite side intact to assist with the assembly of

and stitch these together using the old cover as a guide, then attach them. Turn the cover right sides out. Press flat from the right side and stitch a row all the way around the edge of the cover to add detail. Pull the cover onto the chair. Start with the top of the back first, threading the anchoring strip through the gap, pulling tight and attaching with a staple gun to the back. Pull on the rest of the back cover, then lay the seat piece over the foam. Thread the seat anchoring strip through to the back and staple in place. Turn the chair upside down to enable the under

the new pieces. Draw the templates onto folded paper, to ensure they're symmetrical. The original cover on our chair had a seam running horizontally across the back and seat to enable a piece of fabric to be sandwiched into the seam. Pass the sandwiched strip of fabric through the gap in the seam and staple to the underside of the seat and back rest frame. This will help anchor the fabric. Disassemble the back of the chair – our example was made of two pieces and the seat featured a top piece and three strips for the seat underside. Cut anchoring strips from curtain lining




strips of the seat part of the cover to be stretched and stapled into place. Cut a fresh piece of lining and turn the edges in. Staple onto the underside of the seat to cover and neaten the underside. Cover the two armrests with fabric and staple on, taking care not to cover the bolt holes. Re-attach to the metal frame.


Designer: Amanda Walker




Get started • White shirt with two-piece collar • Printed corduroy

Size Custom-sized 5mm seam allowance used throughout.

Add a new collar & cuffs


Unpick the top part of the collar from a plain shirt. Work around the edge of the collar, separating the two pieces. Do the same around the cuffs, then unfold. Cut away the underside of each cuff. Use the collar as a template to cut a new one from printed corduroy. Pin the new and original collar pieces right sides together, then sew around the outer edge. Turn out, press, then topstitch 5mm from the edge. Position the raw part of the new collar inside the shirt, pin and re-stitch. Use the original cuff pieces as templates to cut new cuffs from printed corduroy. Neaten the bottom edges with overlocking or zigzag stitching. Position and pin them right sides together around the outside of the remaining shirt cuffs, raw edges aligned. Stitch the edge, turn to the inside and press. Sew around the top of the cuff to secure the previously neatened edge on the inside. Re-stitch and neaten the sleeve seams to finish.

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SHOPPER ************************




This model from Janome's new M Series is perfect for adding your collar and cuffs, and more besides! It offers more standard features and accessories than the average machine, including 1/4” seam, ditch quilting, open toe satin and darning feet, plus a walking foot and quilt guide. It even has a cute pincushion that attaches to the machine!

We used Liberty's Rossmore Kaylie Sunshine needlecord to embellish the shirt collar and cuffs. £18 per metre, ************************ thank you for shopping!

M100QDC £579,




Get started • Plain T-shirt or top • Printed cotton

Sizes Custom-sized

Cutting Guide Pockets: cut two 13cm x 15cm rectangles from printed cotton 1cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.

Create colourful pockets

Designer: Corinne Bradd

A wide picture frame works best for this project so you can show off your fabric!


Snip off two corners on the short edge of one of the rectangles for the base of the pocket. Fold and press 5mm along the top 13cm edge, then another 2cm. Edgestitch in place, then make another stitching line 5mm above the first. Fold and press 1cm around the remaining three edges and across the cut-off corners. Sew a stitching line 6cm in from the folded edges to secure the folds in place. Pin the pocket on the front of the garment and edgestitch in place. Repeat to create a second pocket.


Get started • Plain picture frame • Printed cotton, one fat quarter • Lightweight quilt wadding • Double-sided tape

Size Custom-sized

Cover a picture frame


Remove the glass and backing board from the picture frame. Cut a piece of quilt wadding 2cm larger than the frame and fix it to the front with small pieces of double-sided tape. Snip out the centre opening.

Designer: Amanda Walker





Press the printed cotton, then lay it right side down and place the padded frame face-down on top. Trim away any excess fabric, leaving a 5cm border all round. Mark the frame aperture on the reverse of the fabric, then cut an 'X' in the centre diagonally from corner to corner. Place the frame back on top, fold the cut edges of the fabric over the sides of the opening and secure with double-sided tape. Pull and tape the outer edges of the fabric to the back of the frame, ensuring it is fairly taut and the corners are mitred neatly. Trim away any excess fabric and replace the glass and backing board.


Get started

Designer: Amanda Walker

• Fabric or lightweight scarves, 2m

Size Custom-sized

Stitch a drape vest


To calculate the dimensions of the vest, which is made up of two rectangles, wrap a tape measure loosely around the back of your neck, under each arm and around to the base of your back and note the measurement. Halve this for the shorter edge of the rectangles. For the longer edge, measure from the centre of the back of your neck and over your shoulder. Select a measurement that suits where you would like the longest point of the draping to reach. Add 4cm to each of these measurements, then use them to cut out two rectangles of fabric. Fold and press in a double 1cm hem around all the edges of each rectangle, then edgestitch them in place. Lay the two rectangles alongside each other with the wrong sides of the hems facing up. Cross the top two corners over each other, as shown in the diagram below, and stitch in place. Repeat on the remaining lower two corners. To wear, place the top joined corners at the back of your neck then pass your arms through the gap, creating the effect of a halter-necked, backless top.

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STITCHING GUIDE Follow this guide for help on sewing your fabric rectangles together.

Large vintage scarves would also work well for this top



Bring a storybook favourite to life with Create and Craft’s

PETER RABBIT FABRICS ‘Once upon a time there were four little rabbits and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.’ Who could forget the famous opening lines of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, read to us by our parents when we were little? We were all captivated by this naughty little bunny who tries to steal vegetables from Mr McGregor’s garden, with many of us growing up and sharing the story with our own kids! Unsurprisingly, the book is one of the best-loved in the history of children’s literature, with beautiful watercolour illustrations that have inspired all kinds of heirloom memorabilia. Now, Peter Rabbit is behind an exciting collection of fabrics from Create and Craft – perfect for indulging in some serious nostalgia!

Celebrate your love of Peter Rabbit with a themed party, complete with bunting!

Story time Now over 150 years old, Peter Rabbit is just as popular with youngsters today as he was in 1893, when Beatrix first wrote about him for the five-year-old son of her former governess, Annie Moore. The boy, Noel, was ill at the time so she sent him the illustrated story in a letter to cheer him up – the main character was named after her childhood pet rabbit, Peter Piper. Noel enjoyed the tale so much that Beatrix wrote more letters for him and his siblings over the following years. In 1900 at Annie’s suggestion, Beatrix decided to turn these stories into children’s books and expanded her original Peter Rabbit story. Unable to find a buyer at first, she decided to publish 250 copies herself in December 1901 for friends and family. The book came to the attention of publisher Frederick Warne & Co, who saw its potential and agreed to publish 5,000 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit in October 1902. The first print run sold out immediately and 20,000 copies were purchased during that year alone!

Love that bunny Beatrix went on to write and illustrate 22 more children’s stories, introducing characters such as Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. The entire series has remained in print around the world to this day and adapted for film, television and even a ballet production. Although all of Beatrix’s characters are wellloved, little Peter is the most popular – he even has a theme park dedicated to him in Nagashima, Japan! You can also buy all kinds of Peter Rabbit merchandise but it’s more fun to make your own, using Create and Craft’s Peter Rabbit fat quarters. Made from 100% cotton, there are six pretty designs in pink, blue and yellow. They are perfect for all kinds of projects – what’s more, Create and Craft is offering an exclusive discount to Sew readers (see opposite). Why not use your fabrics to make a child’s quilt, or perhaps some bunting, napkins and a table runner for a celebratory party? Here’s to another 150 successful years Peter – just don’t let Mr. McGregor catch you!

Why not use your fat quarters to make a cute zipped bag?

A first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit

For more inspiration, join Create and Craft Live every day from 8am-10pm on Sky 674, Freeview 23, Virgin 748, Freesat 813, Apple TV and Amazon Fire, or visit 64

! u o y r o f t s ju


Get the Peter Rabbit Fat Quarters Pack For Just £10 *

Create and Craft is offering Sew readers this pack of six fat quarters for just £10 (usually £12.99) with free postage and packing. Visit to order your Fat Quarters Pack or call 0330 041 5683 and quote the code 446355.

Six different designs included!

WOW! Only £10 plus FREE P&P

Visit to order your Fat Quarters Pack or call 0330 041 5683 and quote the code 446355. The offer is valid on orders placed with createandcraft between 00:01 BST on 3rd May 2018 and 23:59 BST on 31st May 2018. This offer will expire on 31st May 2018 at 23:59. The offer is available to all Create and Craft customers. The offer can be purchased via the Create and Craft website, on the mobile app, the IVR and by phone. Ideal Shopping Direct Limited reserves the right from time to time and at any time to cancel, discontinue, temporarily or permanently, or amend the promotion or these rules, with or without prior notice (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud).


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Confessions of a sewing addict Although Corinne’s craft stash is ever-growing, she always finds a use for everything... eventually

“I’m very much a ‘repair and recycle’ person, despite the groaning shelves of new fabrics that find their way into my possession” My daughter has been on a rampage through the house recently – as in, one of those “Mum, do you really need all of this fabric/paper/washi tape/ furniture?” rampages. These invariably

end up with half of our home looking stylish and only mildly eclectic, and my bedroom filled with everything that didn’t fit into her vision. This time, all of this turmoil is because she rescued a chair from a bonfire (she’s her mother’s daughter all right!) and needed a space to put it in. In fairness she does have a point. Only when the evidence is thrust in front of me do I realise that maybe my hoarding is a bit excessive. That’s what happens when your parents grew up in the war and taught you to never throw anything out. I am very much a ‘repair and recycle’ kind of person, despite the groaning shelves of new fabrics that find their way into my possession. AN OLD OFFICE CHAIR CAN BE REVAMPED WITH A NEW COVER

Reuse and recycle I’m also the kind of person that saves the seat cushions from other peoples’ thrown out sofas because wadding is expensive you know, and that sofa was barely three years old! You would be surprised if you realised how much reused material is hidden in the projects I’ve made for Sew magazine. I must have cut up a hotel’s worth of old sheets over the past few years to use as backing for quilts, cushions and wall hangings. I also use the leftover pieces to make dummy runs of my soft toys to check they don’t look weird when they’re stuffed. Scraps that are really too small to get under the foot of the sewing machine are used to fill the denim bone toy I made for my dog. He then spends hours ripping them out through the holes and eventually they reach the bin. I also have an impressive stack of folded blankets, the pile of which has very

‘Never throw anything away’ is Corinne’s motto

almost reached toppling point. There are some bl**dy awful creations in there but I can’t bear to get rid of them. As a child I would spend hours unravelling second-hand jumpers for my Nan so she could crochet them into enormous granny squares for our beds (it was the 70s – we didn’t have decent heating). The horrible colours didn’t matter when it was dark, but it seems they do when they’re in the living room. Then there’s the thick cotton throws that I need to disguise the grubby sofa that’s too large to get out of the house since I had a new front door put in (I have to keep it because I can’t get a new one in the house now for the same reason). There’s always one throw in place but I seem to have acquired seven more – maybe I should just sew them all together and make a proper loose cover. But then, could I bear to throw out the old one?





sew gifts



Lemon Tree The beautiful Lemon Tree collection from Tilda caused quite a stir when it first arrived at Sew HQ. Inspired by warm Mediterranean countries, these fabrics really make a splash – combining bright pinks, blues, greens and orange with floral motifs and mosaic-inspired patterns. Sew designer Corinne Bradd has used them to create a set of alphabet match-up squares for kids, plus floral hair scrunchies, a pretty cushion with a pocket for your latest book, and everybody’s guaranteed favourite... an adorable family of guinea pigs!

Projects exclusive to


Get started • Assorted printed and plain cottons • Quilt wadding • Felt: white, green, bright and pale blue, turquoise, bright and pale pink, red, grey • Elastic cord • Six 12mm black buttons • Toy stuffing • Pink embroidery thread • 45cm cushion pad 5mm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.

To find your nearest Tilda stockist, email 69

Make up a cushion in a youngsters fave colours or print to encourage reading!

Create a reading cushion

Stitch flower scrunchies

Size: 44cm x 46cm

Size: 14cm diameter


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secure everything in place with a zigzag stitch around the edges. Cut two 30cm x 45cm rectangles of plain cotton and hem one long edge on each piece. Place the rectangles over the cushion front, right sides together, with the hemmed edges overlapping to make an envelope back. Stitch all around the cushion cover, clip the corners and turn out through the overlap. Press the cover and topstitch the edges 5mm in from the original seam to create a border. Fit a 45cm cushion pad inside, working in the corners and smoothing the overlapping edges neatly.

Use the template (right) to trace four petals onto the reverse of three different cotton prints, leaving at least 1cm between each one. Pin the pieces face-down onto coordinating plain cotton. Stitch around each petal pair, leaving a gap where indicated on the template. Cut out the shapes 5mm from the stitched line, clip the curves and angles, then turn right sides out. Fold in the raw edges of the gaps, press each shape, then oversew or glue the gaps closed. Stack the petals in a pile, alternating the order. Take a length of round elastic cord and fold the first petal pair over it, patterned side facing outwards. Secure 1cm from the fold, making sure not to catch the elastic. Add the remaining petals in the same way. Slide all the petals to 5cm from one end of the elastic so they are touching each other. Tie the elastic into a ring with a tight knot, taking care not to stretch it. Trim the ends and slide one petal over the knot to cover it.








Scrunchie template

p Ga

Cut eight 12cm squares from printed cottons, sew right sides together to make a 2 x 4 rectangle and press. Cut a 25cm x 45cm rectangle of coordinating plain cotton and sew to the long edge of the patchwork. Fold the plain fabric right sides out to create a narrow piping line across the top of the patchwork. Cut a 23cm x 45cm rectangle of wadding and pin between the patchwork and plain fabrics. Use a coordinating thread to topstitch along the top piping line and seams. Add lines of diagonal topstitching across each square. Cut one plain 10cm diameter fabric circle and another from printed cotton with a central motif. Trim an 8cm circle of felt and place behind the motif disc. Fold the edges of the motif over the felt and tack before oversewing to the centre of the plain disc. Remove the tacking and appliquĂŠ the circles to one side of the patchwork with a small, closely spaced zigzag stitch. Cut a 45cm square of printed cotton and pin it to a matching sized wadding square. Place the patchwork panel along the bottom edge and

sew kids Thanks to Louise Burrage for helping us name our mascots! We hope you enjoy your prize – a set of for Madeira threads! Help us with suggestions next month’s toy at


free template download /templates

Make alphabet squares

Meet Button, Stitch & Bobbin!

Size: 7.5cm square

Size: mummy 17cm x 25cm, baby 8cm x 13cm


Cut 26 matching pairs of 8cm squares from printed cottons and 26 6cm squares of wadding, then put aside. Draw a 4cm square grid on paper, sketch thick upper and lower case letters to fit within these squares, and cut out each one. Flip the letter templates over and trace around each one onto the reverse of coloured felt, keeping the upper and lower case of each letter the same colour. Cut out, turn the letters right side up,



then pin and oversew each one onto a cotton square that the felt letter will be visible on, keeping the same letter on the same pattern. Mix up the squares and pair each upper case letter with a different lower case one. Sandwich a wadding square between each set of letters with right sides facing out, pin, then topstitch all around, 1cm from the edge. Trim the edges of each alphabet square with pinking shears.

Download and print the templates at templates. Trace the head, middle, bottom and gusset pieces for the mummy guinea pig onto the reverse of printed cotton and cut out, adding a 5mm seam allowance as you do so. Tack the sections right sides together and sew from C to E, and D to F, easing around the curves. Remove the tacking and press the seams to one side. Pin and tack the gusset to the lower edge of the body, starting at A and working down to B. Sew both sides of the gusset and remove the tacking. Pin and stitch the top of the head and back together, leaving a 5cm gap in the centre of the middle section. Clip the curves and turn right sides out. Firmly stuff before turning in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitching closed. Cut out a patch with a 5mm seam allowance. Fold under and tack the edges before slip stitching over the guinea pig’s back to cover the closure. Cut a pair of ear pieces each from felt and fabric. Pair right sides together



“‘Encourage your child to match up the upper and lower case of each letter using the colours and patterns to help” Corinne Bradd, sew designer


4 71

and stitch around the curved part. Fold the felt layer in half and stitch a dart as indicated on the template. Turn right sides out, fold under the lower raw edges and slip stitch to the head. Cut eight felt feet and pair up. Sew around the edges with running stitch, pushing a little wadding into each one before sewing closed. Secure the feet to the underside of the toy, as you would a button, with several stitches using doubled thread. Sew black buttons to either side of the head, passing the needle from one side to the other and tightening as you do so to squeeze the head in a little. Use three strands of pink embroidery thread to work the nose and mouth below the eyes. The baby guinea pigs are made in the same way as the mummy but have a solid body section rather than three pieces.



Safety first If making these toys for a very young child, omit the buttons and embroider the eyes instead.



Wish Lis t

The team’s top picks for June Now that the warmer weather has arrived, we’re enjoying some quality sewing time and trying out some new software whilst we’re at it. This month, it’s all about floaty styles, pops of colour and feminine florals – oh, and a feisty badge or two!

Prac tial !

Cu t e !

Fittingly Sew 2 is the latest version of the innovative computer aided pattern drafting software, with new features that let you design your own fabric, and even trace pattern pieces from images of garments!

l a r o l F & b Fa

What better way to express yourself than with an enamel pin? The Sew team’s faves are… ‘Cat Hair Don’t Care’, ‘Rabid Feminist’, and ‘Not smiling until the patriarchy has been overthrown’. From £4,

Top up your stash from the great selection at Sew Over It... We’ve got our beady eye on this rainforest chiffon! £14 per metre,

For a great selection of sequins, visit sequins

So o o Chic !

Sized especially for pear-shapes – a smaller bust and waist, and larger hips – the Nicola dress by Sewaholic is a classic choice for summer! £13 (paper pattern),

Lo vely ...

If you liked the paperbag skirt on p22, designed by mother and daughter duo Susan and Naomi of Posner and Posner, you’ll enjoy their online shop. We love this screen-printed pouch! posnerandposner.

Find lots of fabric bargains at online-fabrics

Tell us your favourite products by emailing 73



Tell us what you think of Sew and you could win one of three Aabelard craft aprons We’d love to hear what you enjoy about the magazine and what you’d like to see more of in Sew. Simply complete our online questionnaire at or fill in this form and post it back to us by 31st May 2018. Everyone who takes part will be entered into a prize draw, and three lucky readers will win a gorgeous personalised Heritage craft apron in cornflower blue from Aabelard – worth more than £125 each! Aabelard aprons are hand-crafted in Lincolnshire using waxed cotton, soft Italian leather, and beautiful brass buckles. The Heritage apron is a deep wrap-around design with large pockets at the front. Each apron can also be personalised with up to three letters on the leather trim (£5 per letter), and are ideal for men and women alike. To see the entire collection, visit

HOW OFTEN DO YOU BUY SEW MAGAZINE? ❑ I subscribe ❑ Every issue/most issues ❑ Several times a year ❑ A couple of times a year ❑ Rarely ❑ This is my first issue

WHAT INFLUENCES YOU TO BUY IT? ❑ The cover ❑ The free gift ❑ The price ❑T  he ‘preview’ page in the previous issue ❑ I always buy it when I see it on sale ❑ I subscribe

HOW DO YOU RATE THE CONTENT OF SEW MAGAZINE? EXCELLENT VERY GOOD GOOD FAIR POOR Projects ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ News pages ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Reader interaction ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ In-depth features ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Masterclasses ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Designer profiles ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Expert contributors ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Layout ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ Photography ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ HOW DO YOU FEEL THE CONTENT OF SEW COULD BE IMPROVED? LIKE MORE OF Free pattern ❑ Projects ❑ Female garments ❑ Male garments ❑ Children’s garments ❑ Homeware projects ❑ Toys ❑ Accessory projects ❑ Quilting & patchwork ❑ Embroidery ❑ In-depth features ❑ Designer profiles ❑ Expert contributors ❑


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WHAT WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO SUBSCRIBE TO SEW? ❑ Low price offer ❑ Free patterns ❑ Free fabric ❑ Free books ❑ Free tools ❑ Free accessories HOW DO YOU READ SEW?

❑ Printed copy ❑ Digital copy HOW WOULD YOU RATE SEW MAGAZINE’S VALUE FOR MONEY? ❑ Excellent ❑ Good ❑ Reasonable ❑ Poor

HAVE YOU EVER BOUGHT A PRODUCT YOU’VE SEEN ADVERTISED IN SEW? ❑ Yes ❑ No HAVE YOU EVER USED YOUR FREE SEW PATTERN? ❑ Always ❑ Sometimes ❑ Rarely ❑ Never WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BRAND OF SEWING PATTERN? ❑ New Look ❑ Simplicity ❑ Burda ❑ Other..........................................

HOW OFTEN DO YOU VISIT OUR WEBSITE, SEWMAG.CO.UK TO VIEW... NEVER OCCASIONALLY REGULARLY Template downloads ❑ ❑ ❑ Free sewing patterns ❑ ❑ ❑ Blog posts ❑ ❑ ❑ Giveaways ❑ ❑ ❑ Tutorials ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ I do not have access to a computer 74






ARE YOU? ❑ Female ❑ Male ❑ Other/prefer not to say WHAT IS YOUR AGE? Under 20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61+

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SEWING SKILL LEVEL? ❑ Beginner ❑ Intermediate ❑ Advanced

ON AVERAGE, WHAT SIZE DRESS PATTERNS DO YOU SEW (UK)? ❑ 6-8 ❑ 10-12 ❑ 14-16 ❑ 18-20 ❑ 22+ ❑ Prefer not to say


Female garments Male garments Children’s garments Baby garments Toys Homewares Quilts & patchwork Accessories

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Bag/accessory patterns Toy patterns Fabric bundles Project books Sewing kits Patchwork kits



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Dress patterns Skirt patterns Trouser patterns Shirt/blouse patterns Multi-garment patterns Children’s patterns Fancy dress patterns Home patterns

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WHICH OTHER MAGAZINES DO YOU BUY REGULARLY? ❑ Simply Sewing ❑ Mollie Makes ❑ Love Sewing ❑ Other (please detail)

WHERE DO YOU SHOP FOR YOUR SEWING SUPPLIES? ❑ Independent retailer ❑ Online ❑L  arge chain stores (e.g. HobbyCraft) ❑ Craft fairs/shows ❑ Other (please detail)





HOW MUCH WOULD YOU SPEND ON A NEW SEWING MACHINE? ❑ Up to £100 ❑ £101-£300 ❑ £301-£500 ❑ £501-£1,000 ❑ Over £1,000

Title:.......................Forename:................................................ Address:..................................................................................... ......................................................................................................... ........................................................Postcode:........................... Contact number:.................................................................... Email:............................................................................................ Date of Birth: DD/MM/YY............../.............../................ Signature:.........................................Date:......./........./.......... CLOSING DATE: 31st May 2018

Send your completed voting form to: Sew Reader Survey, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY


Terms & conditions of entry and data preferences All entries will be entered into the prize draw which is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. Only one entry per household. The prizes are three Aabelard Heritage craft aprons worth £125+ each, and cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced with any other item. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules will be disqualified. No responsibility held for entries lost, delayed or damaged. By entering this survey, you are agreeing to Aceville Publications Ltd and sister companies being able to contact you. Entries will be selected at random within one week of the closing date. No correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE: 31st May 2018. Winner will be notified by post, phone or email 28 days after closing date. The winner’s name will be available in writing on request from Holly Rayner, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY.

........................................................ ........................................................ .........................................................



Penny the Pig Stitch Kit! This cute companion could be used as a stylish pin cushion, friendly toy or even a doorstop if you add sand!


Piggy template l Polka dot print fabric l Coloured felt sheets l Buttons l Colourful ribbons l Needle and thread l




Simply enter discount code PENNY in your shopping basket

OR CALL 0800 9233 005


Pay only £4.99 when you enter discount code VINTAGE50 in your shopping basket VISIT CRAFTSTOREUK.COM/VINTAGE OR CALL US ON 0800 9233 005


HOW TO ORDER Simply complete the coupon below and either fill in your credit card details or send a cheque or postal order for the correct amount (made payable to Aceville Publications Ltd) to Office 5 & 6 Amphenol Building, Rutherford Drive, Wellingborough, NN8 3LR








Penny The Pig Stitch Kit


Contact tel no.

Sew Style Vintage







*£3.99 £

Terms and conditions and your data protection preferences: *UK postage costs £3.99. Orders must be received by 9th June 2018. Postal orders must be submitted with a completed coupon and a cheque or postal order for the correct amount to cover postage. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer subject to availability. While stocks last, we reserve the right to send an alternative fabric. We can only provide refunds for damaged or faulty goods. Open to UK residents only. Please allow 28 days for delivery. If paying by cheque, delivery will be delayed until cheque is cleared. Aceville Publications Ltd, (publishers of Sew magazine) will use the data supplied to fulfil your reader offer request.We will use your information to communicate other relevant information in regard to this reader offer with you. If you would like to receive correspondence from Aceville Publications about other services and publications we provide which may be of interest, please agree to us contacting you by ticking the relevant boxes. Post Phone Email SMS Aceville Publications Ltd will NOT share your personal details with anyone else.



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sew kids

Get started • Fabric: skin tone, 35cm x 40cm, patterned orange, 25cm x 50cm, patterned green, 35cm x 45cm • Felt: black, 5cm x 5cm, red, 10cm x 15cm • Fusible webbing, 10cm x 20cm • Stuffing

Sizes Height: approx. 50cm

Cutting Guide Head: cut one each from skin tone and orange fabric Torso: cut one pair from skin tone fabric Arm: cut two pairs from skin tone fabric Tail: cut one pair from patterned green fabric Eye: cut two from black felt Mouth: cut one from red felt Starfish: cut two from red felt Ponytail: cut one pair from patterned orange fabric Hairband: cut one from red felt 1cm seam allowance used throughout.

Sew a mermaid


Download and print the templates at templates. Cut out all the pieces according to the cutting guide. Apply webbing to the reverse of orange fabric, then trace the fringe template and cut out. Fuse the fringe onto the skin tone head piece, then sew in place using a straight or zigzag stitch. Stitch the eyes and mouth onto the face of the same head piece, then sew the starfishes onto the upper front torso. Pair the arms right sides together and stitch around, leaving the top edge open. Trim the seam allowance, turn the arms right side out and stuff. Repeat for the ponytail. Pin the front torso and head at the neck edge, right sides together, then stitch. Repeat for the back torso and orange head pieces. Pin a tail to the bottom of each torso piece, then sew the waist seam, leaving a small gap in one. Pin the front and back mermaid pieces right sides together, then sew around, leaving openings for the arms and ponytail. Place these into the gaps, then stitch securely. Trim the seam allowances, then turn right sides out. Starting at the tail, stuff the mermaid, then sew the gap in the waistline closed. Fold the felt hairband around the hair, then hand stitch in place.


Miranda mermaid Now that summer's well on its way, Miranda the mermaid goes on a voyage of discovery every day, exploring the most mysterious places under the sea and on land, finding beautiful shells for her friends! Here, you can make your very own toy plush with Mariska Vos-Bolman's simple design.


free template download /templates

2 3


get the


Find more creative projects in Sew Cute Creatures by Mariska Vos-Bolman, £10.99,

? Want to add some sparkle at re mo and s uin Find seq 77


On-line stockists of Liberty fabrics - Including Liberty Tana Lawn, Needlecord, Jersey and Lantana.

‘Indie’ dressmaking and crafting patterns - Hot Patterns, Colette, Serendipity Studio, Sewaholic, Gather, By Hand, Papercut Christine Haynes, Cashmerette, Rosie & Me, and more ...

25% discount for Sew readers

The greatest selection of true vintage sewing patterns, from 1920s flapper dresses, to 1970s jumpsuits.

World Wide Shipping - Credit Cards Welcome

Tel: 0121 327 2828 • Sewing Machines • Haberdashery - Sales & Repairs • Accessories • Overlockers • Industrial Sewing • Dressforms Machines

388-394 Foleshill Road, Coventry, West Midlands CV6 5AN

Find us on Facebook

Tel: 02476 687776 | Email:

Unit 55, Cuckoo Road, Birmingham, B7 5SY


O 6 CT th 20 18






Can you imagine what receiving £500 worth of dressmaking fabrics would be like? Our friends at Minerva Crafts are going to make that dream a reality for one lucky reader. Fabrics will be hand-picked from the latest collection right before you get them, so you know they’ll be gorgeous! Plan your ideal haul at We have one £500 fabric bundle to give away. To enter, tick MINERVA


£500! BUTTERICK EB6100

The Butterick EB6100 computerised sewing machine allows you to professionally stitch, alter and customise a range of textiles, using 100 utility and decorative stitches plus time-saving features like the automatic needle threader. From the beginner-friendly speed control to an heirloom stitch that quilters will adore, this machine has something for everyone! Read the full specification at We have one Butterick EB6100 to give away. To enter, tick CREATE & CRAFT

Bumper Giveaways £6,430+ OF GLORIOUS GOODIES FOR YOU!


Cottage Garden by Threaders features soft shades of pink and blue with dainty floral motifs on 100% cotton we love it! Crafter’s Companion is offering a metre each of all nine prints in the collection plus a coordinating set of cotton threads, worth £124! Shop the range at We have four bundles to give away. To enter, tick COTTAGE GARDEN


This indispensable cruelty-free skin protection set from herbal beauty specialist Martha Hill includes 150ml Evening Primrose Cleansing Lotion, 50ml Evening Primrose Daytime Moisturiser, 50ml Nourishing Night Cream, 100ml Gardener’s Hand Cream and 100ml Foot Treatment Cream. For more natural health and beauty products visit



We have eight sets to give away. To enter, tick BEAUTY NATURALS


This must-have tome by Nicole Claire Mallalieu will help you transform your patterns, one small detail at a time until they are exactly as you like them. Add or remove pockets, adjust the neckline, or swap a zippered back to a button front, with the help of step-by-step instructions, clear illustrations and how-to photos! C&T Publishing, £24.99,

9 m fabric!

We have eight books to give away. To enter, tick SAVVY 79



More overleaf! >>

enter online at

5 to win!




This is the ultimate starter: Hemline’s deluxe sewing kit, worth £28, includes all of the accessories you’ll need packed into a sturdy plastic storage box, then adding three needle threaders and hand sewing needles from Pony, plus a too-cute machine-shaped USB pen from Sew Easy to keep all your PDF patterns on! Email groves@


Gütermann’s new Circus collection is a dazzling big top for princesses, courageous beasts of prey, talented gymnasts and skilled jugglers. The fabric is ideal for soft furnishings, clothing and toys in soft pastel shades of pink, blue and beige. Each winner will receive a metre of one design, plus a pair of Milward 24cm dressmaking scissors. Email gutermann@stockist and groves@

We have five packed kits to give away. To enter, tick GROVES

We have six bundles to give away. To enter, tick CIRCUS

DRAGONFLY RAYON When you’re ready to take your dressmaking up a level, viscose rayon is the perfect fabric choice because it has plenty of drape and looks gorgeous. We love the new range at Dragonfly Fabrics – and you could get three 1.5m lengths to get started! Check out the designs available at We have six bundles to give away. To enter, tick DRAGONFLY


We have more than

£6,430 WORTH OF

4.5m fabric!



Clover is always on hand to make your dressmaking experience easier with innovative tools. This collection contains the regular and long Hot Hemmers, the Iron Finger, Roll and Press, Precision Stiletto and Point 2 Point Turner, which will be your go-tos when pressing, holding, folding and turning! Find more information at


as a treat for all our lovely readers!


We have three bundles to give away. To enter, tick CLOVER

Stitch an


Vlieseline offers a range of products that help you achieve professional dressmaking results, like the Stitch-n-Tear non-stretch embroidery stabiliser, garment-durability increasing Edge Tape, the indispensable Bundfix for creating crisp waistbands and Perfect Hem T40. For more information, visit


We have 15 bundles to give away. To enter, tick VLIESELINE


Jennifer Lauren is one of our all-time favourite indie pattern designers – just look at the brandnew Ostara top, a sweet classic and comfortable dressy T-shirt that’s the perfect base layer for any outfit. We’d pair it with Cressida, a flowing semi-circle skirt with a button placket, sweet belt tabs and in-seam pockets. A match made in heaven! Check out

to win!

We have ten pairs of PDF patterns to give away. To enter, tick JENNIFER LAUREN 80

enter online at




£138! PRYM STORE AND TRAVEL Prym’s new machine bag and trolley in eye-catching denim, complete with padding and waterproof lining, is the most convenient way to store and transport your sewing machine. Both are generously sized with extra outer pockets, whilst the trolley features a stable handle and smoothrunning double castors. Find out more from

SINGER 7465 CONFIDENCE What an apt name – confidence is exactly what you’ll have with Singer’s beginner-friendly computerised machine. From the drop-and-sew bobbin system and automatic optimum stitch settings to the six-second threading and two automatic one-step buttonholes, this machine will give any new sewist the confidence to do more! £220,

We have three sets to give away. To enter, tick PRYM

We have one Singer 7465 Confidence to give away. To enter, tick DUNELM




Boost your pattern stash with a selection of ten printed patterns from Simplicity and New Look, plus Simplicity’s Craft Store It Away divided container and a cute tote bag from their fab vintage range! Browse patterns and craft products at

You know when a pattern company just gets you, and you wish you could have every single one of their patterns? For any By Hand London lovers out there, this might just be your lucky day – one of you will be getting all 18 of their PDF patterns delivered straight to your inbox! Pictured is the Orsola dress, check out the full range at



We have three bundles to give away. To enter, tick SIMPLICITY

We have one bundle of 18 PDF patterns to give away. To enter, tick BY HAND LONDON


Just tick the boxes to win!

To enter our giveaways, just tick the box that corresponds with the prizes you want to win and send your entry to us no later than 13.06.2018. Mark your envelope: Sew May and June Giveaways, PO Box 443, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8WG.





















Postcode Daytime phone Mobile

Turn to p82 to find out more about the brand new Janome Sewist 725S – we have FIVE to give away! To enter, tick JANOME

Email Date of birth Only one entry per household. Terms and conditions can be found online at


e siv clu ok! Ex lo

enter online at

WIN a mechanical

Prizes worth



Janome has just released the brand new Sewist 725S, and we are so excited to have an exclusive giveaway of FIVE machines for lucky Sew readers!

5 to


“Janome has come up with a classic and enduring new machine in the Sewist 725S. I love the easy-to-use accessories drawer at the front, the daylight-simulating LED light and the streamlined modern design. Whilst this machine is perfect for beginners, it includes enough features for more advanced stitchers too. I can’t wait to introduce this machine to my students!” CLAIRE-LOUISE HARDIE, OWNER OF THE THRIFTY STITCHER PLUS SEWING PRODUCER AND MASTERMIND FOR THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE

This mechanical machine will be your trusty steed for all manner of sewing projects, from repairs and furnishings to dressmaking and embroidery. It features a great range of stitches plus time and effort-saving functions like the built-in needle threader and auto-declutch bobbin winding. Whether you’re a complete beginner or experienced sewist, this model will serve you well! Oops – we made a boo-boo last issue and told you the wrong features! Well nobody’s perfect... Here are the


3 23 Stitches including 3 1-step buttonhole 3 Jam proof drop in bobbin 3 Built-in needle threader 3 Extra-high presser foot lift 3 Foot pressure adjustment 3 Drop feed for free motion embroidery 3 Auto-declutch bobbin winding 3 LED lighting 3 Hard cover

Sewist 725S, £259*,

To enter, turn to p81 or hEAD to The competition closes on 13th June 2018.


*Introductory offer until 4th June 2018, after which the RRP is £299.

the BOOKS we’re loving...


Our favourite titles to unwind with this month

Happy Hexies by Boutique-Sha

From the author of Sew Dolled Up comes a new craft extravaganza. This book focuses primarily on sewing hexagon patterns by hand and takes you through popular techniques and top tips to create beautiful, detailed pieces. The pattern potentials for hexagons are endless, so you’re guaranteed to wind up with more than just a quilt! Search Press, £9.99,

Azzaro: Fifty Sparkling Years by Serge Gleizes

His gowns have adorned some of the world’s most beautiful women, but who is the designer behind the dresses? Over the course of 190 pages, you’ll lift the veil on one of the clothing industry’s most iconic and innovative figures, Loris Azzaro. Discover the sculptural, sensual and inimitable style which revolutionised the face of fashion. Abrams, £40,

All New Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina

A worthwhile investment for any sewing enthusiast, this in-depth manual is the holy grail of textile inventories. Featuring an A-Z list of fabric types in an easy-todigest format, you’ll learn all sorts of useful facts and hints about each one so you can master any fabric you could dream of. It’s sure to become a handy companion for any future project. Taunton, £23.99,

Loome Party

by Vilasinee Bunnag Good crafters never put all their kit in one box! Prepare to be enticed by all manner of irresistible and tiny projectsusing only your yarn stash and

a loom tool (included with the book). Try your hand at over 20 cute creations including pom-poms, tassels, jewellery and friendship bracelets. Time is looming, so keep calm and weave your way forwards. Abrams, £20.99,

Stitch and Pattern by Jean Draper

Delve into the rich history and cultural significance of decorative motifs in this beautifully illustrated book. It demonstrates how inspiration is all around us, particularly in nature, and how stitching lends itself to realising these complex patterns that surround us. An enlightening read for crafters and non-crafters alike. Pavilion Books, £22.95,

Makes for Mini Folk by Lisa Stickley

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent or friend, this delightful book is bursting with magical projects for the youngsters in your life. The easyto-follow guides are accompanied by helpful illustrations and cover a range of difficulty levels, ensuring there is something for everyone. Grab a craft kit, find a little helper and you’ll have hours of fun. Pavilion Books, £14.99,

Be More Unicorn by Joanna Gray

Your eye can’t help but be drawn to this glossy little book. The unicorn craze is taking us by storm and if you still don’t know how to find your inner sparkle – you’d better catch on quick! These colourful pages are packed full of inspirational quotes and fanciful guides that promise to whisk you away to a world of whimsy. Quadrille Publishing, £7.99,

Unleash your inner sparkle!


who does what... Editor, Jennifer Ward 01206 505420 Deputy Editor, Melissa Hyland 01206 505423 Contributors: Emma Thompson, Ellie Boland Publishing Director, Helen Tudor Group Editor, Lynn Martin Advertisement Sales Hannah Suttling 01206 505495 Anna Spilsbury 01206 505932 Sarah Collins 01206 506255 Jackie Weddell 01206 506221 Jo Bluck 01206 506253 Art Director, Phil Dunham Designers Gemma Eales, Cat Morton, Fiona Palmer Ad Production, Angela Scrivener Photography CliQQ Photography, Models Abbie L, Gingersnap, Colette, Rachel Haddon, Anastasia, Lauren, Nevs Fashion stylist, Boo Hill Hair and Make up, Dottie Monaghan Accounts, Denise Bubb 01206 505958 Subscription Enquiries/Back Issues 0330 333 0042 Website Enquiries



Get to grips with the dressmaking basics! THE PERFECT FIT

The key to successful fitting is taking accurate body measurements to ensure you get the right size for you. Pattern sizes aren’t the same as high street clothing sizes, so don’t be tempted to skip this stage. Once you’ve taken your measurements, compare them to those on the pattern envelope. You can then make any alterations that are necessary. Cut out the tissue paper according to the size closest to the measurements you have selected, choosing the best fit (for dresses, blouses and jackets) in the bust and shoulder, as this area is harder to adjust. If your waist or hip measurements are out of proportion according to the standard pattern size, then simply graduate in or out to reach the relevant waist or hip lines to your size.

l Measure yourself in your underwear, preferably in the bra you will be wearing. l Use a new tape measure as they can distort out of shape over time. l Ask a friend to help you, especially with tricky measurements such as your back-neck to waist, and height. l Be honest with your measurements and remember that pattern sizes are totally different to ready-to-wear high street sizing. l Use your measurements to help you adjust the pattern to fit your shape, not forgetting to take the required amount of ease into account.

Find this Liberty print blouse for FREE at

Newstrade Sales Marketforce 0203 148 3300 Marketing Manager, Andrea Turner


Subscriptions Executive Jo Gould

HIGH BUST FULL BUST Published By Aceville Publications Ltd 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY © Aceville Publications Ltd. 2018 Toy safety: please note that toys with small parts are not suitable for children under three years of age. If making a toy for a very young child omit any buttons and embroider the details instead. Babies should be supervised when playing with toys. All projects from this issue and the FREE online patterns are for personal home use only and cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes. All patterns that are featured in Sew are reproduced in good faith that they do not infringe any copyright. The publishers are not responsible for any safety issues arising from any items created from projects contained within Sew magazine. While all possible care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all projects, we are not responsible for printing errors or the way in which individual work varies. Please read instructions carefully before starting construction.


Measure while wearing the usual underwear you will be wearing and hold the tape measure comfortably snug, but avoid pulling tight.

HEIGHT Standing against a flat wall without wearing shoes, measure from the floor to the top of your head. HIGH BUST Measure directly under the arms, straight across the back and above the bust. FULL BUST Take the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust and straight across the back. WAIST Tie a length of narrow elastic around the waist and let it settle naturally at your waistline, then measure over it. Keep the elastic handy for future garments. HIPS Measure around the body at the fullest part. This is usually 18-23cm below the waist. 84


wear with


‘Ease’ is the amount required in a garment so you can move readily. Consider the fit you want – are you looking for a loose or close-fitting garment? “Cotton lawn is a lightweight fabric that is great for summer dresses, skirts and blouses. I’d recommend using a size 70 microtex needle to avoid leaving large holes in the fabric.” CAROLINE BOARDWELL REID, CROFT MILL


Your pattern pieces can easily become crumpled when stored in the envelope, so it’s a good idea to give them a press before starting. This can be done as individual pieces or as one big sheet before cutting out. Use a cool setting on your iron, being careful not to burn the paper. Pressing the pattern will help ensure your fabric pieces are accurately cut.




MULTIPLE SIZE CUTTING LINES These lines indicate dress sizes. Highlighting yours can help with cutting.

BUST/HIP INDICATORS Located at the bust and hip points on the pattern – make any necessary adjustments if yours don’t fall there.

TUCKS AND GATHERS Bring these lines together before stitching.

GRAINLINE Align this mark with the grain of the fabric i.e. parallel to the warp (see below).

.LENGTHEN/SHORTEN HERE This is an opportunity to customise the pattern to your preferences.

BUTTON / BUTTONHOLE PLACEMENTS These indicate where buttonholes should be made on a garment.

FOLD LINE This mark indicates that the pattern piece should be positioned along the fold of the fabric, creating a larger ‘mirrored’ piece.

MISCELLANEOUS MARKINGS These come in a range of sizes and are used as points of reference on a pattern to indicate where pieces should be placed.

NOTCHES Match two pieces of fabric together at these points.

“Neatening edges on fine cotton can be challenging, as they pucker when zigzagged with a normal machine foot. It’s worth investing in an overcasting foot, which has either a bar or a bar and a brush. Position the bar on the raw edge and work a zigzag, three step zigzag, over-edge or overcasting stitch – the neatened edge will stay completely flat. An over-edge or overcasting stitch looks just as good as those produced by an overlocker.” MAY MARTIN, SEWING PERSONALITY



Getting to grips with your fabric is a fundamental part of sewing. Before you start, familiarise yourself with:

With the paper pattern pieces facing up, place them onto the fabric. Some pieces will need to be placed on the fold of the fabric (where it’s folded in half, giving you a mirrored piece), which will be indicated on the individual pattern pieces themselves. Most patterns offer stitchers a layout guide for the placement, according to the width of your fabric. This helps you get the most from your fabric, and avoids wastage. Tissue paper patterns allow the motifs of the fabric to show through, which helps with pattern matching so you can adjust if necessary. Pattern pieces that are not indicated to be placed on the fold need to be placed on the material with the grainline arrow running parallel to the selvedge. Measure the distance from one end of the arrow to the selvedge, repeat for the other side of the arrow, and move the pattern piece slightly until both measurements are the same. Once you’re happy with the placement of your pattern pieces, carefully pin to secure.

WARP These are the yarns that run the length of the fabric. They are stronger than weft yarns and less likely to stretch.

WEFT These run over and under the warp threads across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge. BIAS The bias grain runs 45° to the warp and weft of the fabric. Cutting garments on the bias creates a finished piece that will follow the contours of the body. SELVEDGE The non-fraying, woven edges that run parallel to the warp grain is the selvedge.


Before you begin to cut out pattern pieces, it’s a good idea to wash your fabric first. This means that you will know how the material reacts and also reduces the chance of shrinkage in your completed garment. Once the fabric has been washed, press it with an iron using a suitable heat setting. After, lay out your fabric on a large surface, ready to begin pinning and cutting.


The basic markings you will find on commercial dressmaking patterns are important to familiarise yourself with. These marks indicate various techniques or steps and are best transferred onto your fabric pieces once you’ve cut them.

Regency cotton lawn in Kyoto blue, £11.50 per metre,




directory FABRICS & SEWING MACHINES Willoughby Street, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 2LT 07966 515619


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embroidery hoop

• Cotton fabric scraps • Plain backing fabric • Embroidery hoop, 26cm diameter • Acrylic paint

Size 26cm diameter

Cutting guide Backing fabric: cut one 32cm square 5mm seam allowance used throughout.

Ever find yourself agonizing over fabric scraps? You don't want to throw them out but there's nothing they can really be used for... until now! This innovative project by Corinne Bradd will see your leftovers transformed into an eye-catching decoration for your home. You'll need a steady hand and plenty of patience for this intricate make, but it's worth it to see your fabric scraps brought to life!

For a wonderful selection of fabrics, go to

Patch up an embroidery hoop


Paint the outer edge of an embroidery hoop with two coats of acrylic paint, then leave to dry. Lay out your fabric scraps face-up, then sew two of the smallest scraps right sides together along one edge.


Open out the fabric and press the seam to one side. Using a perspex ruler and rotary cutter, square up one edge of the new piece, then place a third fabric scrap face-down. Sew on the squared up side, open out, then press. Trim the end of the third piece in line with the rest of the block. Continue adding



scraps in this way, stitching small pieces end-to-end to make a larger section that fits the side of the ever-increasing block, until it at least measures 10cm square. Begin making other blocks in the same way until you have enough to cover the 32cm backing square. Ensure the edges of the blocks are square, then sew together to create one


panel. Press the panel then place onto the backing fabric. Trim the panel to the same size as the backing fabric, pin the two pieces together, then zigzag stitch around all of the edges. Secure the fabric in the embroidery hoop, then fold the excess fabric to the reverse and tack it to the backing fabric.


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Traditional patches meant people could get more wear out of their clothes.

Patches are often brightly coloured and eye-catching. £125,

Nima shell and disc necklace, £29,


THE PATCH From rags to riches

Modern patches add a unique decorative touch to everyday garments

Words by Ellie Boland

The Swinging Sixties was one of Britain’s most defining decades, not least for its impact on fashion. All of a sudden, women

were ditching the formal, ladylike attire of the 1950s in favour of a new, radically different style. Polka dots and poodle skirts gave way to peace signs and colourful patches, the latter of which was reinvented from that moment on. Historically, patches were a symbol of poverty; a silent confession to the world that you could not afford new clothes. In Tudor England, fools and court jesters were also known as patches (Henry VIII himself had a fool named Patch) as they wore the shabbiest clothes – often darned and repaired – for which they were cruelly ridiculed. This stigma continued, instantly ‘giving away’ the state of your finances; that is, until the dawn of ‘shabby chic’ in the mid-sixties, which brought with it a wave of new attitudes towards clothing and self-expression.

How to patch

Position the patch on the inside of your garment, covering the tear, and pin. Starting from the inside, work whip stitch around the edges, ensuring the stitches run perpendicular to the seam, or a running stitch that is paralell with each edge. Trim the patch to size – allowing it to fray without coming loose.


Whilst patching clothes has been widely used as a practical way of prolonging the life of a garment essential during wartime and a key part of the Make Do and Mend movement - embroidered patches undoubtedly became the most popular variation. Originating in 3rd century BC China and gradually making their way across the globe, by the early 19th century the military had begun using embroidered patches on their uniforms to signify rank; a trend which would later be adopted by hippies, who bought second-hand military clothing and embellished them with colourful cloth badges. Hippies became the pioneers of the patch and were largely responsible for subverting its negative image. Whereas before people had patched up their clothing out of necessity, it became fashionable to do so as a cultural or political statement. Youths would display fabrics of varying colours, textures and patterns on a single garment to represent diversity and togetherness – which reflected their message of peace and love. People became walking collages, wearing motifs of all shapes and sizes as emblematic declarations of their beliefs. In a remarkably short space of time, the long-held notion of clothing being conservative and designed to protect a person’s modesty (especially for women) went out of the window - instead, the emphasis shifted to celebrating individuality.


The patch look gained momentum throughout the seventies and eighties and remains a staple of high fashion today, frequently appearing on the runway. Given the insatiable demand for mass-produced garments, both consumers and designers are constantly seeking ways to inject unique 90

touches into their clothing, which has led to the rejuvenation of patches. Nowadays, most modern versions can be ironed onto existing garments in a matter of minutes, so it’s now quicker and easier than ever to tap into current trends and give items a personal twist. And let’s not forget the original purpose of the patch; with clothing prices creeping up all the time, why throw something away if it tears when you could cover it up and make a feature of it?

Embroidered patch denim jackets have remained popular year after year. £65,

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