Page 1


FREE! Kids’




*Terms & Conditions Apply


Style&Home Any-Size Top

the no-pattern designer drape

AUG 2015 ISSUE 74 £5.99

to maketonight! Stitch your own

Audrey Hepburn


Petite to Plus


withourFREE printablepattern

tips for your best-ever fit

Sew easy

Girl’s Flower Dress

Ages six months to seven years


SewSaturday™ Find out how you can get involved on p61!

sew welcome Body confidence... for everyone! free gift!

Home&Style Editor Lorraine Luximon 01206 505420

Deputy Editor Steph Durrant Editorial Assistant Carolyn Kirkpatrick Group Editor Lynn Martin 01206 505980 Publishing Director Helen Tudor Advertisement Sales Clare Dance 01206 505495 Sarah Collins 01206 506255

Jackie Weddell 01206 506221 Jo Bluck 01206 506253 Art Director Phil Dunham Designer Gemma Eales Ad Production Angela Scrivener Photography CliQQ Photography Accounts Denise Bubb 01206 505958 Subscription Enquiries/ Back Issues 01795 592967 Website Enquiries Newstrade Sales Marketforce 0203 148 3300 Marketing Manager Andrea Turner Subscriptions Executive Fiona Burrows Published By Aceville Publications Ltd 2015 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY © Aceville Publications Ltd


Holiday season is here, and at Sew we think everyone should feel confident in their summer wardrobe! Our columnist and mum-to-be Deborah Simm’s shares this sentiment, and credits sewing with helping her to embrace her shape over the years. To hear all about her journey, see p42. Another creative lady who thanks dressmaking for her own body positivity is Curvy Sewing Collective’s co-founder, Mary Danielson who talks getting the perfect fit and more on p43. This month we have the Wear it Your Way Dress pattern in sizes 12-20. With off the shoulder, strappy and criss-cross back options, the possibilities are limitless, and best of all, it will look great on all figures! Elsewhere we celebrate the little black dress, the ultimate in understated style. Plus, we have a FREE pattern to make your own, based on Audrey Hepburn’s classic style, no less! The designer drape top is definitely on our stitch lists – what’s not to love? It’s great for all sizes, pattern free, and looks fab in bold prints. Get the tutorial on p46! I am also very excited to tell you all about Sew Saturday. We love a fabric store here at HQ, and if you want to thank yours, we have just the event! Put it in your diary and turn to p61 to see how you can get involved. You may also have noticed something different about Sew this issue, we have a brand new look just in time for summer. We love to hear from you, so get in touch in one of the ways below!



Happy stitching!




Lorraine Luximon, Editor

Check o

stic n

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 respons ble 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.

Turn to page 61 to find out more

Get in touch! Write in and share your cre @



01795 592967 sewhq

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Sew Magazine, 1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. In Every Issue 03 Welcome Say hello to the Sew team. 06 Want it now! The best news, products, shows and more. 08 What you're saying We look at what you've been making and sharing this month.

92 Giveaways We have over £1,200 worth of stitching goodies up for grabs! 94 September preview Next month we have a FREE New Look 6035 wardrobe pack, plus quilting and vintage style.

Home 64 Home trends Get luxury style at home with our exotic living trend. 66 Simple machine embroidery Use appliqué to make a sweet pillow with matching bunting.

96 Need to know Get the practical information and advice you need on all aspects of needlework.

68 Recycle lace doilies Achieve a bohemian look for your summer dining table.

82 Handy picnic combo Dining alfresco has never been easier, or more stylish! 84 At home with...Stuart Hillard Stuart tells us all about his summer travels. 100 Sew inspired Drift away to the Greek island of Skopelos, with this new fabric offering.



70 Quilter's corner Find the latest patchwork, quilt news and products.

106 My sewing soom We chat to embroidery artist, Caroline Austin.

73 Block of the month Celebrate simple style with our four part strip block.


76 Love that fabric... The best new releases from Monaluna and Cloud9 Fabrics.

57 Workshops & Courses Our picks to help develop your sewing skills.

85 Forest friends mobile Make a nursery accessory for a new arrival.

78 Cuddly pyjama pouch This cupcake bag for your pjs looks good enough to eat!

61 Introducing... Sew Saturday! Find out what it's all about, plus how to get involved!

91 Reading room The best new sewing titles to add to your bookcase.

88 Felt bunny Stitch your very own bunny companion.

80 Appliqué nautical set Make this quirky set from colourful felt.

98 Templates Find all the templates to make Felt Bunny.

36 Q&A Our experts answer all your stitching questions and queries. 54 Subscriptions Never miss an issue of Sew – subscribe today for exclusive offers, gifts and more.



66 80 04

58 Card wallet Stitch a case for all those important, crafty contacts.

Extras 59 British Sewing Awards nominations Have your say in our awards.


August 2015


pages of fashion, garments&more!



Use this month's FREE pattern to make the perfect summer dress. Choose between different bodice options for a unique look. You can also create a detailed back panel to really customise your dress, ensuring you step out in style!

11 The have it your way dress Tips and advice for using your FREE pattern. 22 FREE book for every reader Get a free* copy of Pattern Cutting for Kids’ Clothing (£12.99, Search Press). *Terms and conditions apply. 28 50% off Simplicity 1112 A multi-pattern pack with shorts, skirt and trouser options. Perfect for floaty, summer style. 1 50% off New Look 6723 Make your own chic little black dress, and wow at your next big event!

11 The have it your way dress Use your FREE gift to make a dress that's sure to wow! 16 Flower collar dress Stitch a pretty frock for a little one. 18 Lauren Guthrie Lauren gives advice for using slippery fabrics.


20 Pattern picks May Martin talks all about beachwear. 23 Fashion forecast We look at colourful sun dresses. 24 Sheer summer skirt Stitch a maxi in gorgeous floaty fabric. 26 Learn with... How to customise using bias binding with Suzannah Hamlin Stanley.


29 The little black dress Learn how this iconic garment has remained a wardrobe essential. 32 Audrey Hepburn Sabrina dress Create your very own little black dress, inspired by Audrey Hepburn.

38 Love that fabric... Channel your inner 48 Patchwork bag Indian princess with & purse our dressmaking prints. Look after your pennies with vintage40 Susie's stitch school style patchwork. Use satin stitch to update a summer 50 Machine shopping blouse. We review the best 42 Deborah Simms This month Deborah talks body confidence. 43 Love your shape! Learn to get the perfect fit and stay body positive.

28 Simplicity style school Discover our pattern of the month and more!

On our cover!

32 05

46 No-pattern top Sew a draped top from just two pattern pieces!


upgrade machines on the market. 53 Indie pattern news We bring you the latest in the pattern world.

FREE NEXT MONTH New Look 6035 multi-pattern.

Want it now!

Things we’re coveting in the world of stitching this month


Make up breezy garments for summer using Zandra Rhodes’ brand-new range of voiles for FreeSpirit. In a more muted colour palette than the designer's trademark vibrant hues, there are 10 fabrics in the Flower Garden collection featuring prints inspired by her mother, including peacock feathers and chain stitch blooms. Priced £8.65 per metre, visit for stockists.

love it!

Bring your kids’ artwork to life



ASTER BLOUS E, £12.50 A fashionable twist on the button up blouse, Aster by Colette Patterns features three different sleeve lengths and two bodice options, so you can create your ideal shirt. Available in sizes 0-26,

Let the kids get creative this summer with Michael Miller's new Color Me fabric collection. Designed by Hayley Crouse, the soft cotton features illustrated designs which can be coloured in using special fabric markers. There are two ranges to choose from, Royal Life and Space Adventures. Your little ones will revel in contributing to their own garment designs, pillows and accessories. For stockists, visit or call 01162 710033. 06

sew shopping !

get the look


hot on the

Fashion brand Oasis has teamed up with the V&A to create a collection featuring hand-painted prints from the museum's archive. This pretty cami dress has thin straps and an elasticated waist, making it just the thing for sunny days, or to pop in your suitcase. McCall's 7156 is a similar style with two hem variations and a jumpsuit option to stitch. Make up in lightweight crêpe, cotton or crêpe de chine for an evening look. Available in sizes US 6-22, visit

6th-9th August

high street


22nd August V&A Smithfield cami dress, £35,


“Wear floral prints straight from the V&A archive”

The American Museum, Bath

28th-31st August CHILTERNS CRAFT & DESIGN SHOW Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames

29th-30th August OXFORD CONFERENCE OF CORSETRY Jesus College, Oxford

PATTERNS IN YOUR POCKET! Megan Nielsen Patterns has launched a volutionary new app hich bridges the gap etween printed patterns d the digital sewing perience. It contains a pplies list, instructions d diagrams, plus ditional features such as ks to handy tutorials for e indie brand's patterns. u'll never be caught ort on a spontaneous haberdashery trip again. Download today at

If you love Sew Me Something's classic, figure-flattering patterns, you can now make oh-socute versions for your small miss with the launch of Sew Me Something Little. Designed for ages three to nine years, you can stitch up Little Bea, a simple pinafore which includes a leggings pattern, or Little Katie, an easy slip-on shift dress. View the range at www.sewme 07

(c) Maddie Flanigan at Madalynne Studi os


Sponsored by Minerva Crafts

What you’re saying...

“It’s so good to hear from you” Carolyn Kirkpatrick Editorial Assistant

Share your crafty makes and stories with us to be in with the chance of winning a fantastic prize!

Join team sew!

Want to share a nifty trick or piece of advice with your fellow stitchers? Join in the fun by sending your comments, tips and a photo of yourself to

THIS MONTH’S READERS I made my very own piggy after spotting him on the Sewing Bee and then in issue 71! I used pretty fabric scraps from my stash and tied ‘sew happy’ ribbon around his tummy. I gave it as a present to one of my nieces, for a special grown up birthday, she was delighted. I was so pleased with how it turned out, I am now making one for myself. I think the magazine is fantastic and I am glued to it as soon as it is out! Sue Mann

“I would never have plucked up the courage without you” Hannah Brooks Helps us with our gorgeous drape top on page 46.

Keri Webster

Shares tips on appliqué makes on page 66.

Christie Fields Gives us advice on sheer fabric on page 24.

I saw a beautiful green, fine cord skirt in a charity shop, and knew I had to upcycle it into a dungarees dress for my daughter. I bought Simplicity 6781 and worked out how to resize it, but also I decided to change the design to line it. The hardest bit was working out how to assemble the pieces of cord and lining fabrics, but luckily I’d read in an issue of Sew about turning a garment out through the bottom of the waistband, and it worked! I’m so pleased with the results, as is my daughter! Thanks for all your inspiration and ideas, and to all the readers for sharing your makes, as I would never have plucked up the courage to try without you! Gill Keene We love that sew has created such an inspiring community of savvy stitchers, great work Gill. 08

“I created my own pattern” My daughter was desperate for a 1950s style dress, like the Minnie dress featured on the front cover of issue 64, but I couldn’t find a suit children’s pattern to make he on Using the cover dress as my inspiration, I created my own and stitched it on my Brother machine. I even made a flouncy tulle petticoat to go underneath it! She is thrilled with the result, as you can see, and I think the Sew mag subscription my husband bought me for my birthday was the best present ever!

Alison Talbot You’re a talented lady Alison, and your daughter looks fab!

sew you

WIN this bumper

selection of fabrics!


This month our Star Letter winner will rece a bumper selection of fabrics from Minerv Crafts worth £50. We also have £10 worth f the runners up. For more stitching goodies visit

Star Letter “My son Adam made a quilt and pillow set for his dog, Buster.”


What we’re pinning right now!


Share your latest stitchy triumphs with sew!

Amanda Sexton I made the no-pattern skirt from June’s issue of Sew. My first attempt at a skirt! Annette Essex I made myself a new top for work.

My five year old son, Adam has been asking to sew something for a couple of months. We finally came up with a floor quilt and matching pillow for our dog, Buster, who Adam adores. This is his first ever sewing project and he worked very hard to have straight lines. It's in our living room so everyone can see his handy work and Buster seems very happy, too. We used a large seam allowance in case of error, but he didn't need it, and also drew ruled lines in pencil, for him to follow. We are very proud of him, maybe we could be a mother and son team on the Sewing Bee one day!

@efpike Finished @SewSimplicity 6184 came with the mag @SewHQ. I lengthened skirt and bodice,

@sarahbuzz66 @SewHQ finished my #60s inspired #Simplicitybloggerchallenge #freehandembroidery #silk

Rose McMullan This is sew sweet! Buster and Adam look like very good friends.

Get in touch Writeinandshareyourcreations,tipsandviews


carolyn.kirkpatrick sewhq

Twitter @sewhq 09

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

Your free gift



38 Pages dressmaking






The Have it Your Way Dress


“Be a head-turner this summer with the essential off the shoulder sun dress” 11

Your free gift 1418


Inspired by Your FREE Simplicity 1418 pattern is inspired by US fashion design series Project Runway and includes a Sketch & Stitch Croquis Kit so you can create your dream dress! The pattern features princess seams to ensure a great fit, plus a choice of bodice finishes including back details. It also has a full skirt, a nipped in waist and inverted pleats.

How to use your Sketch & Stitch Kit


Slide the Croquis Kit underneath a page of vellum (heavy weight tracing paper) and trace elements in desired combinations. To get an idea of how your designs would look on a body, slide your creation over the fashion figure and trace arms, legs and a head as they would appear underneath the garment. Colour in your design to resemble different fabrics. You can mix and match pattern pieces to fabric choices to fit your personal taste.


Croquis is a French word meaning a rough draft or sketch


Designthefrockofyourdreams! A


Style A – back details • Stitch sleeveless style A for


summer with a V front and criss-cross back detail.

• Or dare to bare with a low back variation of style A featuring cap sleeves. 12

HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THE STYLES YOU CAN CREATE Style B – sleeve options • This fit and flare strappy dress in style B is a wardrobe classic.

• Create a variation of

style B with a flattering off the shoulder neckline.

sew style “Princess

Inverted pleats create a directional A-line shape

seamshelpto accommodate afullerbust” Dressmaking expert Wendy Gardiner gives her advice on flattering your form What are princess seams?

Princess seams join two different curved edges to create shaping and provide an easier way to alter the size through the bust, making them perfect for fuller figures.

Seems daunting?

You will have side front and centre front pieces to join together. When you look at them it will seem as if they will not fit together because one will have a longer seamline than the other. However, when this is curved around, matching up notches and any small dots, it will fit.

Quick tricks

One way to help ensure this is to ‘ease stitch’ between the notches on the longer seam edge, just within the seam allowance. To do this, increase the stitch length to at least 4 and stitch about 1.3cm from the seam line. As you fit the two pieces, right sides together and matching the notches, gently pull up the bobbin thread of the ease stitching to help ease the seams together. This stitching will not show when the seam is finished, nor should there be any gathers showing on the garment (if any, they should be on the seam allowance only).

Perfect curves

To iron a princess seam, use a pressing ham if possible, so that you can press in the curve of the seam. If you don’t have one, hold the garment up at the top end and press into the curve.

Essential underpinning


Avoid visible straps with style B

Balconette bra, £28, Boux Avenue

Cinch in your waist with shapewear

Bird print bodyshaper, £38, Fashion World French knicker, £16, Boux Avenue Sheer strap multiway bra, £14, Marks & Spencer

Ultimate curve control

High waisted briefs create a flatter tummy 13

Shaping knickers, £22.50, Marks & Spencer

Your free gift Create with less than 3m of fabric!


Dressmaker Vie Millard road tests Simplicity 1418 • Choose the centre of the print of

your fabric and lay your pattern pieces so the motifs are repeated on the centre front bodice and skirt and, where possible, on the back.

• This is such a versatile pattern, with

multiple bodice designs, it would be unrecognisable in different fabrics and options. Use it over and over again, and let your creativity take off!


• Placing the zip to the top of the

underarm seam might make the garment easier to get on and off, instead of closing the top of the seam as directed in the pattern instructions.

Extend the skirt pattern for an on-trend midi length


Fascinator, £22, BHS Sandals, £25, BHS

Necklace, £10, Oasis

Necklace, £25.95, What About Town?

the haberdashery Make a statement

Keep it casual

We used Flowered Engrams Ornate, from the RECollection range by Art Gallery Fabrics Visit /agf for stockists.

Create a relaxed look by stitching your garment in this denim chambray, £12 per metre, www.plushaddict. 14

Fancy affair For a special occasion, choose a beautiful shot silk, priced £20 per metre from www.truro

sew style

Behind the scenes Model Megan’s hair is styled to show off the shoulders

NEED AN ALTERNATIVE SIZE? If you would like Simplicity 1418 in sizes 4-12, you can purchase it for the special price of £4.05 (RRP £8.15) plus 85p postage by quoting SEW1418D5 at www.simplicity upon checkout. Offer available from 3rd July to 31st July 2015.

NEXT MONTH’S FREE PATTERN Create a great transitional wardrobe with your FREE New Look 6035 pattern. Stitch a stylish blazer, sleeveless top, A-line skirt and tailored trousers – for work and off-duty dressing! On sale 31st July 15

Download pattern online

flower collar dress


• Plain cotton fabric • Green fabric, 30cm square • Contrasting cotton fabric, fat quarter • Fusible webbing, 30cm square • Matching sewing thread • Button Fabric width

6 months – 3 years

3 – 7 years

110cm or 150cm



Your darling bud will adore this quirky frock This adorable dress by Kirsty Hartley lets your little lady look as pretty as a flower! It’s a classic A-line shape, best sewn in a medium weight cotton, twill or canvas to give it a lovely ’60s-inspired shape. Choose colour-popping shades or pretty pastels and small prints – all perfect for a summer party!

Dimensions 6 months to 7 years Size

Length from side neck point


Hem circumference

6-12 months




1-2 years




2-3 years




3-4 years




4-5 years




5-6 years




6-7 years





sew a dress up frock


Download the dress pattern from and print. Trace the front and back pieces to the correct size for your child, using the straight shoulder cutting line, adding a 1cm seam allowance at the sides and edges, and 2cm at the hem. Cut one front and two back pieces from plain cotton fabric. Cut front and back facings in the same fabric or something lighter in weight, either contrasting or matching. Hem the lower straight edges of the facings.


Cut a pocket and overlock or zig zag stitch the seams. Press the edges under by 1cm. Fold the pocket top under twice and press. Sew to secure. Pin the pocket in position on the dress front and stitch. Back stitch the pocket tops to secure.




Back green fabric with fusible webbing. Cut several 5cm to 7cm strips for the stem and two leaves using the template. Carefully draw a curved line from neck to hem on the dress front in tailor’s chalk. Remove the paper backing from the green fabric strips and press over this line, gently easing to the shape of the curved line as you apply, and joining together to create a continuous shape. Topstitch in place. Position the leaves in the same way, press and topstitch in place, close to the edge.


Cut two collars from contrasting cotton fabric. Place right sides together and sew along the curved outer edges. Snip into the curves to create a smooth, scalloped edge [1]. Turn out and press, then topstitch 5mm from the outer edge.


Place the front and back of the dress right sides together and sew the shoulder seams using a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seams open. Repeat for the facings. Pin the collar in position around the neck of the dress, right sides together, leaving a 1cm seam allowance at the centre back. Sew into position [2]. 16

sew style


Place the facing onto the dress, right sides together, and sew around the neckline. Repeat for the armholes, taking care not to catch the collar into the seam. Snip into the curves of the neckline and armholes. Turn the dress out and press.


Overlock or zig zag stitch all remaining raw edges. Mark an 8cm back neck opening from the top of the neckline down the centre back of the dress. Place the back pieces right sides together and sew a seam from the hemline to this point. Press the seam open and continue up the neck for the slash neck opening. Repeat for the facing.


Prepare a rouleau loop by cutting a 3cm x 8cm strip of bias cut main fabric. Fold, right sides together, and sew along one edge, leaving a long thread at the end. Thread the loose threads at the end through a large darning needle. Feed the needle back through the inside of the channel, and carefully pull the fabric back.

all sewn up!

As the collar is just for decoration, it doesn't need to be strengthened, however, you can adhe e ghtweight nterfacing to the under colla f desired


The loop should be large enough to comfortably fit around a button. Fold in half and pin in position at the neck opening. Finish the neck opening by pinning the dress and facing together. Topstitch 2mm from the edge, all the way around the opening.


Pin the side seams of the dress and lining together, right sides facing, carefully matching at the armhole seam. Sew and press. Turn and stitch a 1cm double hem. Topstitch around the arm and neck edges, 5mm from the edge. Sew a button into place [3].

the haberdashery

get the book

Flowerpot print This Flowerpot cotton print would be perfect for this make. Priced £12.99 per metre,

For more cute kids’ projects, take a look at Wild Things by Kirsty Hartley (£20, Weidenfeld & Nicolson). Visit 17

sew people

Lauren Guthrie


“My summer dress blog series has really helped motivate me”

’m always looking for ways to vary my handmade wardrobe and change things up a bit. It’s really easy to get into the habit of making similar styles or types of clothes and using the same fabrics just because you are used to them. I like a challenge and as the warmer season is here I have been getting more lightweight and floaty fabrics in stock in the shop such as rayon, viscose and lightweight polyesters. They are perfect for summer clothes and due to the drape and movement they have, these fabrics are just right for summer dresses, beach coverup tunics and sarongs. Despite being gorgeous once sewn up, working with these slippery fabrics can be more challenging than stable cloths, like cotton for example. So here are my top tips for achieving a great result. It’s always worth spending the time to pre-wash the fabric first, especially if it’s rayon, as this type is known to shrink a bit o the first wash. I love the smell of fresh laundered cloth as I work with it anyway! Give the piece an iron and make sure it is on a synthetic setting to avoid the fabric looking shiny. A pressing cloth will help to stop this from happening too. As the fabric has a tendency to move around a lot, try laying a sheet of tissue paper (that you would wrap fragile item in) on the table first, then your material on top then your pattern paper before you start cutting out. Make sure that your scissors and pins are really sharp as the fabric is more likely to snag. Alternatively, you could use pattern weights and a rotary cutter to cut out the fabric. Again make sure that the rotary cutter is nice and sharp too. If you’ve had yours for a while, then you can easily find replacement blades in all good haberdashery shops. When you come to mark the fabric, I’d recommend either using tailor’s tacks or a chalk wheel (I love my Clover Chaco Liner marker for this) to prevent it bunching up as you try to mark out darts. It’s important to have a sharp needle in your sewing machine, too. As these fabrics are so fine, I would recommend

Lauren shares her summer stitching plans and talks trick abrics


busy doing... fabrics you have not used before. Just make sure you have the right tools to hand for slippery types!


Visit 18

a size 70 needle but always check on a scrap first. Once you have sewn the seam it’s important to ensure that the raw edges are finished off properly to avoid fraying as sometimes these fabrics can fray more than others. If you don’t have an overlocker, use an overcast stitch type on the sewing machine. You might just have to play around with the length and width of the stitch to prevent puckering. Otherwise, use a French seam that will conceal all the edges, or some Prym Fray Check, which is almost like a type of glue that will seal the edge and withstand washing. I’ve been working on a summer dress blog series recently to help motivate me to wear more dresses and as a way to share my ideas for the perfect summer dress. I think the Sewaholic Saltspring Dress or the Named Patterns Leni Dress would be great for breezy fabrics, both styles are perfect for sunny days or layering up over your swimsuit on the beach. We are also holding a summer dress event in the shop on Saturday 25th July where you can come along, for free, and get styling and fitting advice on finding your perfect frock for the season – I hope to see you there!

Happy Sewing!

Quick-fire Round Sunny days are best for? Eating ice cream in the park (in my lastest me-made!) Summer nights are spent? Having a BBQ with friends (wearing a handmade apron, of course!) Essential accessory? Sling back Havianas, they go with any summer attire.




Sewing Bee judge May Martinshares her dressmaking secrets

twist in the middle is fect for those conscious of eir tummies and this pattern an be scaled up to any size.


his is the season to make lighter, cooler clothing to wear when the sun shines. Beautiful fine, even spaghetti straps are useful on so many garments, but can be challenging to make. Here are a few clues to ensure the process of producing them is stress free.

Making spaghetti straps

Take a length of piping cord the diameter of the finished straps. Cut a piece of fabric on the bias grain that is wide enough to wrap the cord, plus seam allowance. Wrap the strip around the cord with the right side of the fabric inside. Catch the wrapped fabric to the cord at one end with a few machine stitches. Attach a universal zip or piping foot to your sewing machine. Position the foot against the cord and sew the tube together. You will have a wonderful even strap. Trim the seam allowance if necessary and pull the tube right side out using the cord. Magic!

Simplicity 1100 Sizes XXS-XXL

Tips for rolled hems

It can be difficult making fine fabrics roll neatly to create a rolled hem. Machine sew a row of stitches 6mm from the raw edge. Trim the seam to 3mm. Roll your hem around these stitches. You will find the edge will be much better behaved as it has the row of machining as a guide. Summer garments are often made from lighter weight fabrics and neatening edges can be tricky if you don’t have an overlocker. An overcasting foot will help prevent puckering, as the zig zag or neatening stitch is sewn over bars or brushes.


Sewing on the bias

For patterns cut on the bias grain of the fabric, like McCall’s 6559, I’d suggest hanging the garment for at least 24 hours to allow the fabric to drop before tackling the hem.

Until next month,

May Martin

Why not try? Burda 6934 Sizes 6-20 THREE STYLISH VARIATIONS

For more dressmaking advice, pick up May Martin’s Sewing Bible: 40 Years of Tips and Tricks (£25, HarperCollins). 20


sew style


Multi Knit Pattern The dress skims the body, which is great if you do not have a clearly deďŹ ned waist. Add an unlined jacket to take the look into the evening.

FOR EVERY SHAPE Quick Co-ords Mix and match separates are so versatile for the beach. If you are short, coordinate top and bottom halves to lengthen the body.

New Look 6178 Sizes 8-18

McCall s 6559 Sizes 6-22


STOCKIST INFORMATION For Simplicity, New Look, and Burda patterns, visit, 0161 480 8734. For McCall's patterns, visit, 0844 880 1263.


You may also like McCall's 7158 Sizes 4-20 HEM AND STRAP OPTIONS

Best of the rest Burda 7207 Sizes 6-18 ADD A FEMININE FLOUNCE 21


for every reader worth £12.99! We’re giving away a FREE* copy of Pattern Cutting for Kids’ Clothing to all Sew readers. Pattern Cutting for Kids’ Clothing contains all you need to know about designing, adapting, and customising stitching patterns for children’s garments. Packed with useful advice and practical instruction, Pattern Cutting for Kids’ Clothing is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to design, adapt, or customise sewing patterns for kids’ clothes.




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Switch/Maestro (Issue No.)


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sew style fashion forecast


THE POPPING SUN DRESS A wow dress really is a summer essential, and when making your own, choosing the right fabric is one of the most fun parts. Bold florals and fauna, exotic prints and striking repeats are the order of the day – so get shopping!

Betty Barclay floral stripe dress, £90,

A bold print is a must for summer

Lorraine says...

“Creating a new summer frock is always great fun – and these bold fabrics will ensure you dazzle” 23

1 Fringed Shawl, Midnight, Lace Mountain collection, by Zandra Rhodes 2 Marcella, Green, Lucky Girl collection, by Jennifer Paganelli 3 Lace Mountain, Solar, Lace Mountain collection, by Zandra Rhodes 4 Shoal, Green, by Brandon Mably 5 Echinacea, Outloud by Anna Marie Horner All featured fabrics are available from Cotton Patch from £12.40 per metre,

sheer summer skirt

Essentials • Sheer fabric • Lining fabric • Elastic, 2.5cm wide • Coordinating sewing thread


Draft your own pattern for a summer staple

Custom sized

This no-pattern skirt by Torie Jayne has been made in a gorgeous crêpe de chine borner print to create a light and floaty garment that’s perfect for the warmer weather. Simply use your individual measurements to draft a pattern, and stitch it up in no time.


drafting the pattern



Measure your hips and divide this measurement by four. Add 2cm ease and a 1cm seam allowance to this. Using the diagram as a guide, plot this measurement horizontally from the top left corner of pattern paper.

1/4 hip measurement + 2cm ease + 1cm seam allowance 2cm


Decide the length you'd like your skirt to be, then add a 3cm seam allowance. Plot this vertically from the same top corner. Draw a quarter of your hip measurement x 1.5, plus 1cm seam allowance, parallel to the top line from the lowest point of the length measurment.

length + 3cm seam allowance


Measure 2cm down from the top left corner of the draft, and mark with a pencil. Then draw a curved line from this point to the furthest end of the top waistline. Measure 2cm up from the bottom hem line on the right-hand side and mark the point. Draw a curved line from here to the bottom left corner.

cut on fold


hip measurement x 1.5 + 1cm seam allowance


2 1/2 total skirt length + 3cm seam allowance

For the lining, repeat the process, halving the length measurement and adding 3cm seam allowance. Cut out your pattern pieces and use to cut two outer skirts from sheer fabric on the fold, and two from lining on the fold.


To create the waistband casing, measure 5.5cm down from the top of your outer skirt pattern piece on both edges and follow the curve to draw in a bottom line. Cut two on the fold.


sew your skirt

cut on fold



waistband casing 5.5cm


cut on fold

Pin the skirt outer panels together, right sides facing. Stitch the left side together with a 1cm seam allowance. On the right, starting at the top, stitch the panels together, stopping 43cm from the bottom, where the side split will start. Backstitch to secure, then continue, using tacking stitches. Neaten the raw edges and press the seams open. Turn the skirt out. Edge stitch 5mm around the side split. Carefully remove the tacking stitches [1].


Pin and stitch the lining panels, right sides together, using a 1cm seam allowance, and neaten the raw edges. Press the seams open. Insert the lining into the outer skirt, right side of the lining against the wrong side of the skirt. Match the side seams and pin to secure. Tack the two together at the waist. 24


Place the waistband panels right sides together. Pin and stitch each short end, using a 1cm seam allowance and neaten the raw edges [2]. Press the seams open. Neaten the lower edge of the waistband.


Matching the side seams, insert the skirt and lining into the waistband and pin right sides together [3]. Stitch using a 1cm seam allowance and zig zag or overlock the raw edges together.


Fold the waistband to the inside of the skirt, press, then pin to the lining. Edge stitch around the top of the waistband. Starting at one of the side seams, 3.5cm down from the top edge, topstitch the lower edge of the waistline, leaving an opening of about 5cm.


Cut 2.5cm wide elastic to your waist measurement, plus 2cm. Using a safety pin, thread it through the channel, making sure you hold onto the end [4]. Overlap the ends, and stitch several rows of zig zag stitching to secure [5]. Complete the topstitching, being careful to avoid stitching through the elastic.


Turn the outer skirt hem under by 1cm, and press. Turn up a further 1cm and press again. Pin and stitch in place, using an 8mm seam allowance [6]. Press then repeat for the lining.

sew style



3 Sew reader Christie says... Use a utting urface in a ontrasting olour to help you get the best view of your sheer fabric” Christie Fields



the haberdashery

Sheer fabric We used a beautiful medium weight crêpe de chine titled Fresh Foliage in Flamingo and Grey from Beckford Silk. Priced £24.50 per metre,


Necklace, £8.50, Freedom at Topshop, vest top, £6.99, H&M, sandals, £24.99, TK Maxx


Suzannah Hamlin Stanley

CUSTOMISING WITH BIAS BINDING Turn a long-sleeved blouse into a versatile top, perfect for layering and using year-round by removing the sleeves and binding the raw edges with a coordinating tape. You can also try trimming your garment with a wider, contrasting bias binding for a bold look. Alternatively, make your own trim out of any light or medium weight fabric cut on the bias, or why not be thrifty and make it out of the extra material from the sleeve of the shirt?

Dimensions Custom sized


Carefully trim off the sleeves of a blouse, leaving the overlocked seam allowance on the body of the shirt [1&2]. Open up a length of 1.3cm single fold bias tape and find the slightly narrower half. This will be the right side. Position the right side of the tape against the right side of the blouse. Pin in place around the armhole, starting


at the underarm side seam. Fold the short end of the bias tape over by 9mm to hide the raw edges. Stitch using a 6mm seam allowance through the fold of the tape [3]. Overlap the ends of the binding as you complete the seam. Press the bias binding over the seam allowance and underside of the tape, keeping


the narrower side folded [4]. Fold the bias tape over the raw edges of the armhole along the fold line and pin vertically. The bias tape may not cover the entire width of the overlocked seam but it will not show, and the multiple layers of fabric will ensure that the shirt holds up to the weight of the seam you make through the bias tape [5].






6 26


Topstitch through all layers of the bias tape and blouse. The binding will stretch slightly and curve smoothly along the shape of the armholes [6].

sew tutorial

“If you love customising, then bias binding is your best friend. It’s ideal for concealing and adding a smart touch to the raw edges of necklines, armholes and hems.” Steph Durrant, Sew Deputy Editor

get the book

Learn to refashion your clothes with step-by-step tutorials in DIY Wardrobe Makeovers by Suzannah Hamlin Stanley (£17.99, Stash Books). Visit

next month...

Lisa Comfort’s chic tie top tutorial.

This technique can also be applied when adapting necklines or hems too 27

sew advice


Holiday season requires a new wardrobe, and one which offers numerous style possibilities is essential when travelling light. Our pattern of the month is perfect for just that. Opt for bold geometric and Aztec patterns to really nail this summer's trends, then add a kimono and beach cover up for a case full of new separates that you will want to show off.

Be Festival Ready Kimonos are a big trend again this summer and this Easy pattern has everything to make sure you look great at holidays and festivals. From a high-low style in two lengths, a cropped boho beauty with fringing, plus a dramatic floor length style. £5.95



Be holiday ready with our hot pattern picks

Pattern of the Month Available in two size brackets (4-12 and 1220), this great multi-pattern combo from the easy-to-sew range features pieces to create a sleeveless top with tie neckline, shorts and wide legged trousers, plus a skirt with waterfall hemline. We'll be making the top and trousers in matching fabrics for a faux jumpsuit style! £8.15

50% OFF

“Make in matching fabrics for a faux jumpsuit style”

Look fabulous on those warm summer evenings with Simplicity 1115. Available in sizes 6-24, this Mimi G Style jumpsuit is easy to sew, and can be made with an asymmetric sleeve for added drama! Plus, there's also a cute playsuit option too. £8.15

Buy Simplicity 1112 for £4.05 plus 85p P&P (rrp £8.15). Visit and enter code SEW1112 at the checkout. Offer valid 3rd July to 31st July 2015.

Shop more great patterns at 28


Beach bar chic

sew style


LITTLE Why, when

it comes to style, the LBD is still cutting it


It’s a s aple in many of our wardrobes and over the years has bec me a timeless classic. The little black dress is a stylish and versatile piece, that can be dressed up or down to suit almost any occasion. We delve into the history behind the iconic garment, find the perfect patterns for you to make your own, plus get tips and tricks from dressmaking experts.

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic Sabrina dress

Must-see event!


Daniel Castro 29

As iconic as the little black dress itself, Audrey Hepburn was always immaculately dressed. This summer, 35 photographs from the personal collection of her sons will go on rare UK display in the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibiton will include a behind-the-scenes photograph of Hepburn wearing a stylish black gown, designed by Edith Head for Audrey’s title role in Sabrina. Go along to explore Hepburn’s fascinating life and career as an actress, fashion icon and humanitarian from 2nd July until 18th October. For more information, visit

Daniel Castro A passion for the LITTLE


iss O’Shea

Dolin Bl creator and author Designer, pattern Black Dress to Frocks: The Little us mo Fa make ok bo e penned th yone the chance to t, and to offer ever en lk ta rm to ga r e he th e th wi rat celeb caught up r themsleves. Sew ssic style. cla is th r fo ion the perfect LBD fo ss d pa ion for the book, an about her inspirat

ses The book showcaby iconic dresses inspiredMary Quant figures, such as urn and Audrey Hepb


What made you focus on the little black dress for your book?

Use a baby hem

Why do you think the LBD has remained such a classic garment? The LBD has remained a wardrobe staple in most closets because it is adaptable to many different social functions, depending on your accessories and how you wear it. The idea for the book was born with the versatility of the LBD in mind. I wanted to offer a range of silhouettes and styles inspired by little black dresses, worn by some of the most beloved fashion icons of past and recent decades.

What is your personal favourite? I love different styles and eras of the LBD for different reasons. The 1920s or ’30s versions for their simple austere styles, and the 1950s for the amazing over the top examples of what can be done with some black fabric and imagination.

Do you have any tips or tricks for anyone making their own ? Take cues from current dresses in your wardrobe. What silhouettes do you like and feel comfortable in? Then

Bud Fraker

The LBD is such an amazing, iconic and versatile piece, most women have an ideal version of one in their head that they would love to own. I chose 10 little black dresses that defined a particular era and yet were timeless in their appeal. I began with Coco Chanel’s iconic and pioneering style, something she would have worn herself in the 1930s. Made from a soft and luxurious wool jersey, this dress is meant to be a blank canvas for you to accessorise and showcase your personal style. That is the joy of the little black dress, after all!

find styles and patterns that are similar to those garments. Also, I am a big proponent for making a muslin of a garment to check the fit, before cutting it out of your fashion fabric. I would much rather learn about any alterations that need to be made at that step, rather than after the cutting of valuable yardage!

Which fabrics are best? This depends on the social situation you are planning on wearing your LBD in. If you want an everyday type of work dress, I would use a cotton pique or a tropical weight wool. But if you want a more formal evening style, then silk crêpe back satin (you can use it on either the right, shiny side or the more matte, wrong side) is a good option. A crisp dupion silk is ideal for a more tailored garment.

Do you have a favourite little black dress of your own? I do have a couple. Years ago, I found a couture Chanel LBD gown in a second-hand shop in Paris. It didn’t fit me, but I had to have it because it was made so beautifully! I also made myself an altered flared version of the Diana dress from my book out of crêpe back satin. I love it, and can wear it in many situations. 30

This is a very narrow hem that is good to use on thin fabric, on a rounded or flared hemline, and on linings. It is simple to do, but does require that you sew around the circumference of the hem a few times. Line your LBD Lining can help make a sheer garment less so, add comfort to a stiff or scratchy item, hide seam allownces and add stability. For some dresses, you may not need to line the entire dress, and just wear a slip underneath. If you want a smooth lightweight lining, Bemberg rayon is a great choice. Try a Hong Kong seam This is a pretty way to finish the seams on a garment. You can even do it in a contrasting fabric colour if you want. They are best used on stable fabric and will add a little bulk to the seam edges, so if you want to use this seam finish on a bulky fabric, pick a lightweight one. Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress by Dolin Bliss O’Shea (£18.99 Chronicle Books) is filled with ideas and patterns for your own LBD, plus all the tips and tricks.

sew style


style advice for the home



The swinging ’60s saw netted detailing and shorter lengths, thanks to Mary Quant’s creation of the mini skirt. The little black dress went perfectly with the pop art era. Try a Peter Pan collar to update a classic look.

e chatted with

Kristiaan Boos, pattern

esigner and reator of Victory , find out her tips and tricks for creating your very own little black dress


Think of it as a blank canvas There’s still something so special about a little black dress. They are classic, mysterious and they can transform along with whatever you’re feeling: elegant or casual, bold or inconspicuous, like no dress of any colour can. Because of this, you can turn a black dress into anything you like, it’s a blank canvas.


Don’t be afraid to mix textures

Broad shoulders, embellishments and the peplum trend were all applied to the little black dress. Get the look with a one shoulder style, to mimick bold ’80s design.

Black doesn’t try too hard and it’s perfectly right for so many occasions. Mostly, you can’t go wrong. Mixing textures is always a great way to work with black. I love combining multiple fabrics in one dress, as this helps to add a greater depth to the design. Make sure that the shades match, as there are many different tones in the shade.

£79, www.houseof

Dress for the occasion


The fabric you choose will have a hand in dictating the occasion that the dress may be worn at. Rayon, cotton or linen will lend itself more to a day dress, and crêpe or silk is great for an evening out, but why save clothes for special occasions? Every day is special!

The little black dress turned ’80s in style again, with bandeau and babydoll designs becoming the most popular. Opt for a tighter fit or sleek overlay. £110, www.houseof

Visit to view the full range of patterns.

Why we love the little black dress! “This fabric was perfect for my LBD!”

“I love the way a beautiful dress can make you feel, and black is so classic” I took a class to learn the basics of altering a commercial pattern to achieve a perfect fit. The result is this, which is perfect for so many occasions, I will wear it time and time again! Chrissie Newson

A few months ago I attended a black tie charity gala and made my dress for the special occasion. I came across this gorgeous pleather floral fabric in my local store, and fell in love with the texture. It was perfect for my LBD! I used a stretch satin underneath. I loved wearing this dress, I felt glamorous but still comfortable! Nicolea Gobbato

Turn over to make your very own little black dress, inspired by Audrey Hepburn! 31

We’ve teamed up with Simplicity to offer you 50% off this classic LBD design. New Look 6723 comes in US sizes 8-18 at just £3 plus 85p postage, (RRP £5.95 plus postage). Head to www.simplicity and enter SEW6723 at the checkout. Offer available from 3rd July until 31st July 2015.

Download pattern online

Audrey Hepburn Sabrina dress

Essentials • Main fabric, 114cm wide, 2.75m or 152cm wide, 2.1m • Lining fabric, 114cm wide, 1m • Zip, 40.5cm • Coordinating sewing thread • Satin ribbon, 1.6cm wide, 1.2m

Stitch an iconic piece of history Audrey Hepburn and the little black dress go hand in hand. This design, created by Dolin Bliss O’Shea, inspired by the frock Audrey wore in Sabrina, epitomises one of the most popular silhouettes of the 1950s. It has a fitted bodice with a full skirt that shows off a narrow waist. Classic yet elegant in style, much like Audrey herself, it features princess seams, a fully lined bodice and bow details at the straps.

Dimensions XS-XL


























A Centre front, cut one on fold from main fabric and lining B Side front, cut two from main fabric and lining C Centre back, cut one on fold from main fabric and lining D Side back, cut two from main fabric and lining E Centre skirt, cut two on fold from main fabric F Side skirt, cut four from main fabric G Strap, cut two from main fabric


Main fabric (152cm wide)


Lining (114cm wide)

Fold Fold




Main fabric (114cm wide)




stitch a Sabrina dress





Visit to download and print the pattern. Piece together then trace the pattern pieces and cut out. Lay them onto fabric and cut out as shown in the cutting diagrams. Transfer all pattern markings. Staystitch at the neckline and armholes of the centre front and centre back pieces, 1.2cm from the raw edge. Staystitch the armholes of the side front and side back pieces. Repeat for the lining.

Fold the strap pieces in half lengthways, aligning the long raw edges, right sides together, and pin. Sew the long edges together using a 6mm seam allowance, then turn out through one of the open ends and press. Join the centre front and side front pieces together to create princess seams. Repeat on the front lining pieces. Join the back, then back lining pieces in the same way; the back pieces don’t have any ease added to the princess seam. 32

sew style all sewn up!

The bodice of this dress is lined to give structure and a ďŹ nshed look to the inside princess seams.

The Sabrina Dress

This dress featured in Audrey Hepburn's 1954 blockbuster, Sabrina. 'The Sabrina dress,' as it would later be coined, was actually quite controversial at the time. Rumours abounded that Givenchy designed all the post-Paris costumes in the movie, while Edith Head took credit and even won an Oscar for the costumes. No one may know for certain who designed it, but either way the dress is truly iconic.


With the front bodice right side up, align the strap ends along the top edge. Place the seamed side of the strap just inside the notch, and pin in place. Tack the straps to the front bodice, 1.2cm from the edge. Then align the opposite strap end along the top edge of the back bodice and repeat for the other side. The two bodice pieces are joined by the two strap pieces [1]. Slip it over your head and check that the strap length is correct. Make adjustments if necessary.

Make up in Silk dupion, shantung, taeta, or duchess satin


Fold over and press the bottom edges of the lining 1.6cm to the wrong side, then unfold, leaving a pressed crease. With the wrong side of the front lining facing up, fold over and press 2.5cm to the wrong side on the right-hand side seam of the piece (this will be the left side seam on the finished garment).


With the wrong side of the back lining facing up, fold over and press 2cm at the left-hand side of the piece (left side seam) to the wrong side. Unfold the pressed edges of the lining, leaving a crease.


Align the front bodice with the front lining along the armholes and the top raw edges, right sides together, with the straps sandwiched between, and pin. Sew together along the armholes and top edge, making sure not to catch the straps in the armhole stitching [2]. 33



The side seams are left unsewn at this time. Grade the seam allowances, trim the corners, and clip the curves. Press the seam allowance along the top edge, towards the lining. Understitch the top edge only between the straps. Turn out and press flat along the armhole and top edge seams. Repeat with the back bodice and back lining, making sure the straps aren’t twisted.


Flip the linings up at the side seams, so that the bottom edges of the linings are positioned above the armholes. With the wrong side of the front pieces facing up and waist edge closest to you, right sides together, align the raw edges of the lining, front, and back bodice pieces along the right-hand side seam raw edges, and pin. Make sure that the armhole seams are matched up, then sew the entire side seam together and press the seam open. Fold the lining to the inside of the bodice and press flat along the armhole seam. Leave the left side seam unsewn at this point.


Align one centre skirt piece with one side skirt piece at the long raw edges, right sides together, matching up the single notches, and pin. Sew together, press the seam open, and finish the raw edges. Repeat on the opposite side of the centre skirt with another side skirt piece. Repeat with the remaining skirt pieces.

Flip the lining up and out of the way, so it is not caught in the side seam or the zip stitching, and don’t sew or tack the lining side seam together. Insert a lapped zip at the left side seam, making sure that the waist and armhole seams are matched up and that the top of the zip teeth is about 3mm below the armhole seam line. Fold the lining to the inside and press flat along the armhole seam.


Fold the wearer’s left lining edges under at the crease made earlier, and slipstitch the folded edges of the lining to the zip tape. Fold the lining waist raw edge under along the crease, and slipstitch the lining to the waist seam allowance. Hem the dress usin a narrow hem.


Cut satin ribbon in half and tie each piece into a bow, then tack into place on each strap with a fe hidden back stitches. Cut off the ribbon ends at an angle so each one forms a shallow 'V' shape to finish.

get the book


Align both joined skirt panels along the side seam raw edges, right sides together. With the bottom edge closest to you, pin together the righthand side seam only. Sew together, press open, and finish the raw edges in your preferred method.


Align the skirt to the bodice along the waist seam raw edges, right sides together, and pin. Make sure to match the princess seams and the side seam. Sew together, then press the seam allowance towards the bodice. Do not catch the waist edge of the lining; leave the lining waist edge loose inside the dress at this time.

PATTERN HACK: Why not stitch a straight skirt variation? See the book for details


Take a look at Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress by Dolin Bliss O'Shea (£18.99, Chronicle Books) for more patterns inspired by fashion icons. Visit

2 the haberdashery Silk dupion This Indian silk dupion in Corn is bright and cheerful, and would add a touch of luxury for a special occasion. Priced £19.96 per metre, 34 15% Off

Summer Offer for SEW Readers Quote ‘SEW’

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

World Wide Shipping - Credit Cards Welcome

One of the finest Dress and Furnishing Silk collections available in the World. Our stunning collection includes but not limited to, Dupion, Chiffon, Crepe, Duchess Satin, Lace and Velvet

01445 712203 35


Colette Patterns Eclair dress,

Whatever your sewing problem, our experts have the answer! Send your queries to


y pattern has curved seamlines. Are there any special handling techniques I need to be aware of? Maggie Cooper

Claire-Louise says

ClaireLouise Hardie

trained as a costume designer and has been the sewing producer on all three series of the Sewing Bee. She also runs workshops at her sewing school The Thrifty Stitcher in Stoke Newington. www.thethrifty

Working with curved seams is really not much harder than working with a regular type. The main difference is that the two sides of the seam may curve in opposite directions. In a princess seam, for example, which is the most common type of curved seam, one half is a convex (outwards) curve and one half is concave (inwards). This means you’ll need to ease or manipulate the two opposing curves together, which can seem a little daunting.

A princess seam is the most common ty f curved sea

It’s the combination of the around the curved seam, and pe, that makes a princess seam work really well over the shaped areas of the body, especially at the bust. If the inwardly curved half of the seam is very extreme, it can help to clip into the seam allowance before pinning the pieces together. Easing a seam means making the slightly longer half fit onto the shorter side without creating pleats or tucks. The best way to machine an eased or curved seam, is to have the bigger eased side underneath, that way when you machine it, the presser foot doesn’t drag and stretch the fuller half of the seam. Remember to match notches and take your time. 36

sew advice


ow do I stitch the perfect darts? Mine always have an unslightly pucker at the point.

Fiona Combes

Elisalex says

Elisalex De Castro Peake is one third of the trio who set up indie pattern label By Hand London. Based in the Capital, she loves the technical side of sewing. Read more at www.byhand

To stitch the perfect dart, first mark the placement from your pattern onto your fabric so that you have a fool-proof guideline to stitch along. Using an air erasable pen or tailor’s chalk, transfer the notches and the dart’s vanishing point from the pattern paper onto your material, then use a ruler to draw the dart lines. Before you start, make sure that you’re using the right sewing machine needle for the type of fabric you’re working with. You will snag delicate or lightweight textiles if you’re not using an appropriately fine needle, for example. Fold the fabric, right sides together, so that the notches meet. Pin the dart into place. Start stitching from the raw e , following your guideline, sew right the way to vanishing point of the dart. Back stitch at the start of your sewing but not at the tip of the dart – this is often what causes that unsightly puckering! Instead, snip the threads and secure your line of stitching at the vanishing point carefully with a double knot. Give the dart a good press using a tailor’s ham so you can really smooth out the point. If your fabric is made from natural fibres such as cotton or linen, use plenty of steam to set and shape.

New Look 6261,

Back stitch at the start of your sewing but not at the tip the dar

Remember thatyour seamwill show on the outside


love the look of lace, but it appears really tricky to work with. Do you have any tips please?

Robyn Bailey

Deborah says When handling lace fabric, be aware that it can be very floaty like chiffon. This means it can get pulled into the machine under your presser foot. To avoid this, try using a walking foot. This has teeth which pull both sides of the fabric through simultaneously. If you do not have access to a walking foot, try using a fairly thin tissue paper underneath your fabric as you stitch, which you can then rip away from your stitches. The type of lace should indicate the type of seam finish used, which fall into two main camps. Stretch lace is often less expensive, and has a flat design. Use a narrow zig zag on the hems, to maintain the fabric's stretch. The other type of lace is embellished; this can have lines of cord highlighting the design, along with sequins and pearls attached. You will often find that there are areas with lots of detail, and areas that look like net. When you are cutting the pieces, try to make sure that those areas with design are paired on either side of the seam. This will aid you in your sewing, as thicker areas will be stitched at the same time. 37

Guest expert

Deborah Simms

Deborah Simms was a contestant on series three of The Great British Sewing Bee and loves to teach. Follow her blog at www.dfabricate.

sew dressmaking

love that

FABRIC Indian summers

“Transform into an Indian princess in rich coloured silks and swirling paisley prints”



Steph Durrant, Sew Deputy Editor







1 Tiger Lily Batiks in Sunrise, £12 per metre,, 01472 600874. 2 Paisley Jungle in Grey by Kaffe Fassett, £13 per metre,, 0845 519 4354. 3 Gold metal buttons, 90p each,, 01403 598014. 4 Cotton Vishnu 1, £11.85 per metre,, 0203 326 5482. 5 Doodles Orange, Daisy Chain by Prints Charming for Kokka, £18 per metre, 6 Fruit Salad Dot Lines, Batavian Batiks, £12 per metre, 7 BS311 silk brocade, £39.50 per metre,, 01252 835781. 8 Paisley patterned bias binding, £1.50 per metre,, 01254 708068. 9 Digital print by John Louden, £10 per metre,, 01472 600874.


8 38

On-line stockists of Liberty fabrics - Including Liberty Tana Lawn, Poplin, needlecord and Lifestyle.

‘Indie’ dressmaking and crafting patterns - Hot Patterns, Colette, Serendipity Studio, Sewaholic, Gather, By Hand, Christine Haynes, Kwik Sew, Bluegingerdoll, Cake, Victory, Vogue, Modkid, Tilly & the Buttons, Simple Sew, Eliza M, Papercut and more ....

For amazing offers go to 39

Download templates online

Susie’ s

STITCH SCHOOL “Use satin stitch to make summer’s ‘it’ top”

Essentials • White linen or coarsely woven cotton fabric • Brightly coloured, six stranded embroidery thread • Crewel needle • White sewing thread • Embroidery hoop • Broderie Anglaise trimming, 100cm (optional) • Erasable marker pen


Sewing a design with satin stitch is like painting with thread, filling areas of a motif so that the fabric beneath does not show through. It's best to use a hoop when working this stitch, to ensure a neat, even result and to prevent puckering. It is also important not to make stitches too long, especially on items that will be handled frequently, as they have a tendency to snag. This Mexican-inspired peasant-style top features a colourful floral motif. We used an easy pattern to create a custom-made garment from linen, but you could look out for a suitable top to buy, with a plain panel or yoke.

Custom sized



Draw the outline of a shape to be filled. Working from right to left, or bottom to top if you find it easier, bring the needle up through the fabric just outside the outline of the shape, then down into the fabric on the opposite side.

stitch a summer top


If using a blouse pattern, trace around the front yoke and cut a template from card. Place this on white linen and draw around it. Flip the template over and draw around it again, to create two front yoke pieces. Cut these out roughly, allowing a good margin of fabric all round. If you have bought a blouse, simply embroider directly onto your chosen section.


Bring the needle back up on the side of the shape where you started, right next to the first stitch, and repeat the process. As you make each stitch, take the needle in and out of the fabric just outside the outline, so that the line is covered by the stitches.


Trace or photocopy the motif located at and tape it to a light box or a window. Place the fabric on top and trace the design, using an erasable marker pen or pencil. Make sure the design fits well within the seam allowance. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop. As you complete each area of the design, reposition it in the hoop.


Thread a crewel needle with two strands of six stranded embroidery thread and, following the instructions for satin stitch, fill in the traced design. Begin with the flower centres, then work outwards, embroidering the stems and leaves. Choose as many bright colours as you wish to complete the pattern.


When the embroidery is finished, remove the fabric from the hoop and press it lightly on the reverse. Cut out along the outline you have drawn. If using a pattern, follow the instructions inside the envelope to complete your blouse. If you wish, add a length of lace trimming each side of the design to finish. 40

sew tutorial

stitch your own

all sewn up!

We used View C of New Look pattern 6027, as it had a plain at panel across the bustline. If you want to buy a blouse, choose a similar design so you have an area suitable for embroidery.

Necklace, ÂŁ12.50, Freedom at Topshop

Stitches should be parallel, with no gaps between them to create a so d area of co ou Keep them short so they do not snag or pull 41

sew people Deborah Simms

“Sewing has done wonders for my confidence”


opefully you will be reading this with a cold drink, feet up in the glorious sunshine. Or maybe instead you are taking a minute before speed sewing your last item of holiday wear before the taxi comes in 10 minutes to take you to the airport. I have mainly managed to stop myself from doing the last minute sew, but holidays always tempt me into it. My day to day wardrobe just isn’t well suited to the sun tanned goddess I imagine myself becoming on holiday. I am a confident person in what I wear, I choose the patterns and designs that I do to reflect my personality, not to enhance my body shape, or to follow fashion. Obviously I want to look good in my clothes, but if I want to wear a tent dress that doesn’t show off a single curve, I’m not going to let ‘the rules’ stop me. Most of the time that means high necklines and knee length skirts. They are practical and easy to wear, and I don’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions.

confidence, as measurements become just numbers, rather than the judgement loaded sizes of high street stores.

Deborah on stitching her holiday wardrobe, and body confidence

These wardrobe choices do mean however, that when I go away and I maybe want to bare more (not all… just more) my wardrobe is a bit lacking. So, when I went to Croatia recently I decided to try and make the By Hand London Flora with the faux wrap over. I was hoping it would fit better than other versions of this style I’ve had before, becau I’d be making it myself, and I’d have p time to make adjustments to the fit… ri Inevitably, I was still sewing minutes be I left, so this beautiful design didn’t reall the fitting it deserved. Now that I’m back needs some work to stop the wrap over fro revealing all, and I think I could do with a slightly slimmer fit in the bust. However, it’s nice to have something in my wardrobe that isn’t quite so cover all, especially as I’m gettin warmer as bump gets bigger. I’m really enjoying having a bump, and how I look in my clothes. I occasionally have had times of doubt about my shape, especially when I was buying more ready-towear clothing. It’s amazing how not finding your size in a shop can really deflate your self-esteem. Sewing has done wonders for my

One of the first and most important lessons that I learned when sewing was that the sizes on the back of the pattern envelope bear no correlation to your shop size. Prior to this I had been making disastrously small or large clothes with no idea of why. Once you base your sewing on your measurements, you become not large or small, but short with a sway back, or tall with a full bust. You can see your body for what it is, and use your sewing to make the silhouette you want. I know not everyone feels confident while pregnant, and I’ve been really lucky because I haven’t bloated up like a balloon, or got stretch marks. My general health has been really good. I think all of these things go towards helping me feel confident in my new shape, so I can feel happy in my (evershrinking) wardrobe. I hope you manage to get away this summer, and that when you do, you feel confident in whatever you choose to wear.

Love Deborah xx

Staycation or exotic getaway? Exotic getaway Ice cream or sorbet? Ice cream! Neons or Pastels? Neons Flora pattern download, £9 www.byhand

Machine or hand sewing? Machine Maxi or full-skirted frock? Full-skirted frock

For more from Deborah, follow her blog at 42

sew style


shape! We speak to the new wave of bloggers who are inspiring stitchers to be body confident One of the primary reasons many stitchers are drawn to making their own clothes is to create garments to fit their bodies, something which is often hard to achieve with most high street clothing being made for ‘average’ figures, which many of us do not conform to. Whatever your size, sewing allows you to address common fitting problems head on and opens up possibilities of exploring new styles. We caught up with plus sized blogger Georgina Horne and the founders of the Curvy Sewing Collective for their advice on finding body confidence through dressmaking. Plus, we have pattern picks for women of all shapes and sizes.


Getting the perfect fit:

THE BASICS One of the joys of sewing is making clothes that fit you perfectly. But if a sewing pattern isn’t in your size range, there are a couple of adjustments you can use to make a pattern larger overall, or in a specific place. Our new guest blogger, Jenny Rushmore, gives her advice.


Always compare your measurements to the ‘finished garment measurements’ of a pattern (they are written on the packaging, or on the tissue pieces) rather than the ‘body measurements’. These show the actual size of the garment, and sometimes you’ll find you fit in a different size than you thought!


If you fit a pattern except for one part, there are a number of adjustments you can do. Most patterns are drafted for a B or C cup bra, so if you need to expand this area, the Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) will be your new best friend! If your waist, tummy or hips are larger than the pattern, you can also adjust just those pieces.


A lot of patterns don’t go into plus sizes, so sometimes you may need to grade up the entire design. You can use proportional grading, or shift grading techniques. You will find step-by-step tutorials on how to do this, and all the adjustments mentioned above, at Hear more from Jenny at and

Sew Plus is a brand-new pattern hub for curvy stitchers. Visit and click on Sew Plus under the Sewing Patterns tab. “Larger size ranges seem to be the latest

trend in sewing, which is good for us all!”

We caught up with blogger and Curvy Sewing Collective (CSC) co-founder, Mary Danielson to learn the true value of the online sewing community for stitchers of all sizes “I began my blog, Id e anc , as a way to meet other sewists and share my projects. The CSC came about after a string of emails between Jenny (of Cashmerette) and myself. We wanted to give plus size and curvy sewists a place where they could share inspiration, pattern reviews, and tutorials specific to their needs. So, we teamed up with some of our own favourite sewing bloggers, and CSC was born! “I think the CSC, and curvy bloggers in general, do a vitally important service for the stitching community, by increasing the visibility of body diversity. The more sewing bloggers a woman sees that look like her, the more likely she is to sew herself! “I firmly believe that garment sewing is great for women of every figure type. Ready-to-wear sizes are trying to fit the most women possible, which means that they don’t work for many of us at all. Whatever style you want or new fashion you’d like to try, sewing gives you that. “I feel curvy stitchers should sew with whatever colours and fabrics make her happiest! The limitations of ready-to-wear are why so many of us begin sewing in the first

place. Sewing lets a woman throw out the rule book. Confidence is what looks best on a woman, no matter her size. “These days, plus size sewists have a large range of pattern lines to choose from. Larger size ranges seem to be the latest trend in sewing, which is good for us all! If you trend towards the vintage end of style BlueGingerDoll has some of the cutest, retro-inspired designs out there, including h Violet dress, which is my favourite knit dress pattern. If your tastes skew towards the fashion forward, StyleArc is a really great option as patterns go up to a bust size of 148cm. “Every woman’s body is different, but almost any fit issue can be solved in sewing. Most adjustments are straight forward, a simple matter of adding or taking away room at the correct place. With the advent of the internet, sewists have these resources at the tip of their fingers! Chances are, if you’re having a fitting problem, some helpful blogger out there has detailed a fix already.”


“Confidence is what looks best on a woman, no matter her size”

For more from Mary, visit or



suit your shape!

Petite fashion brand Jeetly gives top tips for women under 5ft 3in.


I Petite women come in all shapes and sizes as the term refers to stature and not weight. If you are tall, but have narrow shoulders, a short torso or legs, choosing petite separates can help you achieve a better fit. I Three-quarter length sleeves have a lengthening effect on arms, while shorter sleeves which show off arms create the appearance A stiffened of longer limbs. A dress in peplum creates a single colour elongates curves and is petites and form-fitting an ideal choice garments with no ruffles for petites or heavy excess fabric will avoid overwhelming a petite frame.


New Look 6124, £5.95 www.simplicity

Long Tall Sally offers fashion advice for women who are 5ft 8in and above.

Simply Be shares expertise on dressing for a fuller figure. I For anyone conscious A smock shape about their arms this doesn’t cling to summer, choose a the body and garment with short, provides a flattering loose sleeves. A kneestyle length hem will also give you the confidence to wear a dress without being too revealing. I A smock dress is a versatile staple for summer. A gathered waist adds definition without being too fitted and skims the hips. Layer over leggings for a boho feel, or simply throw on over a bikini for a beach-ready vibe.

the look

IF YOU’RE TALL Davina dress, £95


the look Chelsea Dress by Christine Haynes, £15, 44

Tie dye smock dress, £30

I Maxi dresses and this season’s flares are a tall woman’s best friend and look fantastic on longer legs. If you’re tall, make sure that the length fits, but also that all of the parts of the garment fall properly in the right positions, proportionally for your figure. I Being tall means you can carry off large prints as they won’t overwhelm you. Some tall women tend to shy away from brighter colours, but if you are tall you are naturally going to stand out, so embrace it!

sew style


Georgina Horne, blogger, model and star of Channel 4’s recent show, Plus Sized Wars, discusses what it means to be ‘body positive’

I was contacted by the team after they started to make the documentary on plus size brands and discovered the world of blogging! It was fun, but slightly scary, as of course there was no knowing what would make the final edit - but I was pretty pleased with the result.

On your blog you say it’s important to ‘dress for you’. How do you recommend women best find what works for them? I think the biggest key is not to imitate others, and try to find your own personal style. Being inspired is one thing, but it’s important that you find your own comfort zone and looks that work for you and your personality.

How did you come to be ‘body positive’? Was there any epiphany moment? I think it was a gradual thing. I’ve always been very confident and I made peace with my ody a few years ago. There’s some question about whether body ositivity can

encompass those wanting to lose weight (like me), but I had to get to this place to be able to do it.

What advice would you give women who are not so body confident? Take the time to focus on the parts you love, don’t compare yourself to others and don’t berate yourself. Slowly try to incorporate slightly more daring outfits into your wardrobe, be surrounded with body positive messages and you’ll get there!

You’re passionate about lingerie and bra fitting. How important is choosing the right underwear to work with an outfit?


How did Plus Sized Wars come about?

You cannot rock an outfit properly without the correct foundation garments – it’s essential to wear properly fitting lingerie. Get fitted every six months and hell yes to wearing matching undies every so often! I love Maidenform’s high waisted shorts. They are very true to size and smooth me out beautifully. Rago shapewear is amazing for more heavy duty sucking in, and for full-on shaping, I love the Morticia from What Katie Did.

How does it feel to know you’ve inspired so many women to become more body confident? It’s kind of crazy, but they’ve inspired me right back! I’d be nothing without my fantastic readers. It still doesn’t feel real at times.

Jumpsuits are very flattering on a tall frame and make dressing so easy

You have a Stitching Corner on your blog. Have you dabbled in much sewing or customising?

My sewing is crude but functional! I can repair holes in things and shorten or move bra or dress straps. I sometimes sew up buttons at the bust, and it’s quite common for me to close the slits in dresses if they’re super high and flash my shapewear.

What’s next for Georgina Horne?


the look

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit, £14,

Check print jumpsuit, £65

Well I’m getting married in a month! So there’s that, more clothing line action and, of course, world domination! Follow Georgina’s blog at 45

Shop Georgina’s clothing range at www.lady

no-pattern top

Essentials • Printed fabric, 150cm wide, 140cm • Bias binding

Get summer style in no time, one size fits all!

Dimensions The dimensions for this top are made to fit a UK size 14 – 16. Increase or reduce the measurements to suit your size, using an exisiting pattern to guide you.

This beautiful top couldn't be easier to stitch up, and creates a flattering sillouhette. Made from a floaty fabric it drapes beautifully, and can be accessorised to suit any occasion. Make it in any colour or print you choose and get ready to wow! If you fancy adding a belt, create large buttonholes at the stitched sides to thread it through.

stitch a drape top


Cut 70cm x 120cm from floaty fabric, then fold the rectangle in half widthways, matching the two selvedge edges together. Draw points for the front neckline, 12cm across from the folded corner and 12cm down from the top edge. Connect the two marks with a curved line in pencil [1].


Repeat for the back section, with a shallower curve for the neckline, measuring 3cm down from the folded corner, and 12cm across from the top. Join the two points with a curved line in pencil [2].


Open out the folded pieces. Lay the front piece on top of the back, right sides facing. Match and pin one of the shoulder seams together, and stitch with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Neaten the seam by either zig zag stitching or overlocking.


Open out one side of bias binding and stitch it to the right side of the fabric on the neckline. Fold the binding over to the wrong side of the top and edge stitch in place around the entire neckline.


Match the remaining shoulder seam and stitch with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Neaten the seam by zig zag stitching or overlocking. Make a machine rolled hem around all four edges of the top and press.


With the front facing you, match the edges of the front and back pieces together. Draw a line with a pencil, 23cm from the outer edge, 23cm down from the top edge, and 19cm from the bottom on both sides [3]. Pin and stitch along these lines, through both layers. Press the top to finish.


2 3cm





BACK 23cm






60cm 46

sew style On our cover!

Only two pattern pieces –great for a first time stitcher!

Sew reader Hannah says... “Keep in mind that different types and weights of fabric behave very differently when draped. So use a muslin in a similar weight.” Hannah Brooks

Jeggings £22.50, shoes £25, bracelets £8, M&S

the haberdashery

Tulip Poppy This gorgeous rayon print is by Joel Dewberry. Priced £14 a metre, www.dragon 47

Download templates online Essentials

patchwork bag & purse

• Red and blue patchwork prints, 50cm of each • Cream floral print, 25cm • Five coordinating prints, 25cm square • Wadding • Brass bag clasp, 1.8cm • Antique brass purse frame, 1.1cm • Narrow green ric rac • Fusible interfacing • Red embroidery thread • Blue button

Exude country style with this pretty set


Bag: 30cm x 32cm (excluding handles) Purse: 13cm x 14cm

This charming set is perfect for packing your essentials for a summer picnic. Designer Ellen Kharade has chosen whimsical floral fabrics to stitch a padded tote with a heart-shaped reverse appliqué detail, and a quilted patchwork purse with an attractive antique brass clasp.

stitch a tote bag


Go to and download the templates for the bag and heart motif. Print and cut them out. Mark a variety of different fabric prints until you end up with 25, 5cm squares.


Place the fabric prints onto a cutting mat and accurately cut out the squares using a rotary cutter and quilter's rule. With right sides facing, and using a 7mm seam allowance, machine stitch two squares together. Continue until you have five strips each containing five squares. Open up the seams and iron flat.

PA K WOR se promi


With right sides facing, pin two strips together and machine stitch, matching up the seams as you do so. Continue sewing together the remaining strips in the same way to make a block of patchwork, and press all seams open.


Cut a 22.5cm x 40cm rectangle from cream floral fabric, and two 27cm x 40cm rectangles from blue patchwork print. Pin the long edges of the cream fabric and the blue design together, and machine stitch using a 1cm seam allowance. Repeat by sewing the remaining blue piece to the other edge of the cream fabric and press all seams open.


Fold the resulting fabric piece in half widthways. Place the template on top with the fold line as indicated. Pin together, matching up the fabric change as indicated on the template, and cut out the shape.


Apply a little adhesive to the heart aperture template and centre it on the back of one of the blue bag sections. Measuring 1cm in from the edge of the shape, draw a smaller heart on the back of the template. Cut out the centre of the heart up to the newly drawn line.


Using small embroidery scissors, clip away the seam allowance around the heart in small notches. Clip up to the paper template and press the notches flat against it. Remove the template and iron on both sides to achieve a crisp heart shape.


Place the patchwork square behind the heart aperture and pin into place. Using small stitches, sew around the shape to secure the piece into position. Press and trim the excess patchwork from the back of the work. Using three strands of embroidery thread, work blanket stitch around the aperture of the

heart. Hand sew ric rac around the outer edge of the blanket stitch and sew a blue button to the top of the motif.


Cut wadding 1cm smaller than the overall size of the bag template. Using large stitches and a contrasting thread, tack the wadding to the wrong side of the bag. Divide the bag into vertical 4cm divisions using an erasable pen and machine stitch down the length of each to quilt. Unpick the tacking stitches. Fold the bag in half with right sides together and stitch up the sides. Fold the open 48

corners at the base of the bag to make a gusset, pin and machine stitch.


Cut two 8cm x 48cm strips of blue fabric. This will give finished handles measuring 3cm x 45cm long. You can make them shorter or longer if you wish. Iron a strip of interfacing to the back. Fold and press a 1cm hem down both long edges, then fold in half down the centre. Pin together and stitch.


Make a second handle in the same way. Fold over a 1cm hem at the top of the bag and press. Pin the handles to the inside of the

sew style all sewn up!

bag and edge stitch all around the top. Pin red patchwork print fabric to the bag template and cut one on the fold for the lining. Fold and press a 1cm hem at the top edge of the bag.

The heart motif and pu se s perfect for us ng up remnants of fabric from your sewing bo


Iron a 5cm square of interfacing to the inside centre back and front of the lining to give extra stability to the clasp. With right sides of the fabric facing, place a washer in position where the clasp is to be fitted and mark with a pencil. Using a scalpel, carefully make a slit at the pencil marks through both pieces of fabric.


From the right side, push the clasp through the slits in the front piece and fold down the prongs. Attach the other part in the same way. Sew up the sides of the lining, then the gusset as for the bag. Push the lining into the bag, wrong sides together, Pin and hand sew into place using neat whip stitches.

make a purse


Cut 40, 5cm squares from various fabric prints and stitch together in five rows of eight. Pin the template for the purse to the patchwork piece and cut out the shape. Trim wadding 1cm smaller than the template and tack it to the back of the patchwork piece.


Quilt diagonal lines through the layers and unpick the tacking stitches. With right sides facing, machine stitch the sides of the purse to where the purse frame starts as indicated on the pattern. Then sew the gusset.


Pin the template to lining fabric, and cut out the shape. Sew up the lining as for the main body. Push the lining into the purse and tack both sections together at the curve with running stitches.


Push one half of the patchwork into the purse frame and using two strands of embroidery thread, sew the fabric in place. Stitch the other side of the patchwork into the frame in the same way to finish.

Playsuit, ÂŁ12.99, H&M

the haberdashery Blue ribbon roses

Blue roses on cream

Large floral on red

A charming patchwork design.

Perfect for a country home.

A bold floral in red. 49 MACHINEshopping Take your sewing to the next level Selecting your very first sewing machine can be a little daunting, but once you’ve got to grips with all the basic features and functions, you may feel it’s time to expand your creativity and upgrad to a model with a high specification. We’v picked five excell machines that ar Upgrade ideal for suppor your sewing you in the next machine chapter of your stitching journey.

For more machine reviews, see

£529 £599*





Stitching enthusiasts are sure to aspire to this entry level 3 Series Bernina machine. As innovative as it is attractive, the 330 features an ultra-high contrast LCD display, plus direct selection buttons for quick and easy operation. Alphabets and decorative stitches let you express your individuality, with an extension table and freehand system for quilting. Save time while still achieving professional results with the start/stop button and slide speed control, semi-automatic needle threader, automatic buttonhole and securing stitch function.

This fun model would be a great choice to build your stitching confidence. It has 20 stitches, including two one-step buttonholes, with an easy to view stitch library and four direct stitch selection keys. The LCD screen displays the chosen stitch’s length and width. The Elna Star boasts a number of time saving functions such as a built-in needle threader, up/down needle position, start/stop and auto lock stitch keys. The speed is adjustable, and it offers a convertible free arm and drop feed dog lever.

This attractive model is full of top features. Take advantage of the large sewing space and integrated dual feed, which ensures even feeding from the top and bottom – ideal for quilters. There are 110 stitches to utilise, including one step buttonholes, decorative and quilt stitches. An alphabet in two different font styles expands creativity. For free motion sewing, there’s an external feed dog drop and the presser foot pressure and thread tension can be adjusted. There are 29 needle positions, perfect for topstitching, inserting zips and more.

KEY FEATURES:  40 stitches and alphabet  Start/stop button  Automatic memory buttonhole  LED lighting  Knee lifter

KEY FEATURES:  20 stitches  LCD screen  Auto lock stitch  Needle up/down  Drop feed dog lever

KEY FEATURES:  110 stitch patterns  Integrated dual feed  Large sewing space  Alphabets  One step buttonhole, 0207 549 7849., 01527 519480.

*Limited time only. Normal price £649 50

sew shopping MODEL MONTH of the

My machine and I... By Hand London’s Elisalex tells us about her sewing machine “My Alfa 1722 sewing machine and I have been inseparable since 2005. I still remember the first time I ever laid eyes on her, with her pink trim and lilac control panel. She was the cheapest ex-display machine for sale in a soon-to-be-extinct haberdashery department flogging the last of its wares. Together we’ve made everything from shoes to wedding dresses, and a million party dresses in between.”


HUSQVARNA VIKING OPAL 670 The Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 offers an exclusive Sewing Advisor feature which instantly selects the optimum settings for the fabric and technique you’ve chosen. There’s a monochrome touch screen with a stylus, so you can easily navigate various screens for sewing and programming. Save stitch programmes in eight memories using the 200 stitches and four sewing fonts available. You’ll wonder how you worked without the bobbin thread sensor, automatic thread cutter, 29 needle positions and electronic self-adjusting thread tension! KEY FEATURES:  200 stitches  Exclusive Sewing Advisor  Automatic thread cutter  Bobbin thread sensor  Touch screen


JANOME ATELIER 3 Treat yourself to the Janome Atelier 3, a top quality model with a wealth of fantastic features. There are 120 built in stitches, including seven styles of one-step buttonhole and block alphabets, numbers and symbols to broaden your creativity. Make stitching even more of a joy with the simple top loading bobbin, automatic thread tension and one-hand needle threader. The needle up/down means you can change the needle position at the touch of a button, and there are 71 to choose from on select stitches. The auto lock stitch will secure your sewing and the thread cutter finishes the process with ease. If you don’t want to use the foot pedal, the start/stop button will come in handy, and you can easily control the maximum speed. It also comes with an instruction manual and DVD, plus seven standard feet and accessories.

“A top quality model with a wealth of fantastic features” KEY FEATURES:  120 built-in stitches  Top loading bobbin  Automatic thread tension  Easy-set bobbin  One-hand needle threader PRICE: £799, 0161 666 6011.

SHOP of the MONTH “Hobkirk Sewing Machines Ltd was established in 1903 and stocks a range of domestic sewing machines from Brother, Janome, Pfaff, Husqvarna and more, plus industrial and embroidery models. We offer an in-house repair service and run sewing classes on the premises. There’s also a selection of Horn sewing furniture on display, along with over 1,200 fabrics, haberdashery, machine parts, and patterns. Free parking is available to visitors at the rear.” Mark Hobkirk, Hobkirk Sewing Machines Ltd 51


 Domestic, industrial and embroidery machines

 Horn sewing furniture  In-house repairs and servicing  Sewing classes FIND OUT MORE… Visit Hobkirk Sewing Machines Ltd, 120-128 Darwen Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 2AJ. Alternatively, log on to or call 01254 693555.

Cliffords Sewing Machines Ltd 154 WESTERN STREET, SWANSEA SA1 3JY Est over 70 yrs, suppliers of Janome, Brother, Juki, Bernina, Elna, Husqvarna. New and reconditioned overlockers, embroidery machines, threads and accessories, we also provide service and repair to most makes. Our customers include domestic and commercial as well as major schools and colleges in the area. UK service centre for ELNAPRESS no matter how old or condition. Mail order service available....... Tel 01792 655928 | Fax 01792 410743 e mail web

Redgewell Sewing Machine Repair Shop is your local, family run business established in the 1960’s. Friendly and reliable service. We are specialists in repairs with fully trained engineers in our on-site workshop. We also offer a free collection/delivery service in the local area.


MAIN AGENTS FOR: JANOME. SINGER, TOYOTA and SILVER. 123 Central Road, Worcester Park. Surrey KT4 8DY

Suppliers of mail order fabrics for over 40 years we source beauful fabrics from Britain, Europe and rest of the world. 1st Place Best Independent Northern Retailer 3rd Place Best Online Retailer


sew style


The latest sewing pattern from Tilly and the Buttons is destined to become a wardrobe staple. Agnes is a close fitting jersey top, which is speedy to sew. Choose from long or cropped, plain or ruched sleeves, and a flattering scoop or ruched neckline.

iNDIE pattern

Agnes, £12.50,

Why not sign up to Tilly and the Buttons’ online workshop, Learn to Sew Jersey Tops? No overlocker required!

Photography, Fanni Williams


Theindependents rockingourworld



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Designer Pauline creates feminine sewing patterns for everyday life, with just a touch of retro. From the classic Carme Blouse with its pleated yoke, to high waisted Sorell Trousers, they are perfect to build a stylish me-made wardrobe. We’re currently crushing on the Turia Dungarees for effortless summer dressing. Shop the range at Turia features flat-fell seams. See the Pauline Alice blog for a step-by-step tutorial.

NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK! Hantex who also distributes Art Gallery Fabrics has recently taken on Liesl + Co. Patterns, meaning they are even easier to now find in the UK! Designer Liesl Gibson’s line for women is classic and contemporary, and she’s certainly earned her fashion stripes as chief designer of the Oliver + S, Lisette, and Straight Stitch Society brands of sewing patterns too! For stockists, visit 53

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The Start of Something YOU

sew learning WORKSHOPS & COURSES Sign up to a class to expand your stitching knowledge

workshop of the month LEARN LEATHER WORK Discover how to stitch with leather in this one-day course at the Abreption School based in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Taught by Jason Stocks-Young of Diamond Awl, you’ll be shown a wealth of skills, including designing and planning, marking and cutting leather, working saddle stitch and inserting rivet settings. There will be an initial health and safety briefing, followed by an introduction to leather and the tools of the trade. You will then begin with a test piece to practise the skills required for your make. Following lunch, you will use what you learned in the morning session to make either a card holder, belt, bi-fold wallet, journal holder, mobile phone case, passport cover or a coin holder. After a break for afternoon tea, you will leave with a quality keepsake or a special handcrafted gift for a loved one. There are a number of dates available for this course throughout August and the class size is limited to six.


25% off

this course using code AM25

SMALL LEATHER GOODS Abreption School, Lincolnshire Price: £150

Why book?  Learn key leather cutting techniques  Acquire safety, design and planning skills  Make a quality project to take home

To book, visit, or 0207 801 9620.





In this absolute beginners’ class, Sew columnist Lauren Guthrie will show you how to make an easy envelope cushion. You’ll learn the basics of using a paper pattern, cutting fabric, and using a sewing machine. You’ll leave with a delightful pillow, plus a signed copy of Learn to Sew with Lauren, worth £25. Priced £50, the next class is on 20th August. Visit or call 0121 449 8419.

In this three-hour workshop you will tackle a realm of notoriously tricky dressmaking techniques including zips, hems, darts and buttonholes. Some sewing experience is required and all materials are included. The next course is 14th August, priced £40, and is also available at The Makery in John Lewis, Oxford Street. Visit for more information or call 01225 581888.

Guthrie & Ghani, Birmingham

The Makery, Bath 57

If you have a special garment you’d love to copy, try Sew Over It’s Clone Your Clothes course. Aimed specifically for knitted fabrics, bring your favourite items, and tutor Sue Suma will guide you through making a pattern to sew your own. The class is priced £99 and consists of two three-hour sessions on 15th and 22nd September. For more details or to book a place, visit or call 0207 326 0376.

lunchtime make

card wallet Promote on the go with a trusty card to hand

Whether you sell your makes on Etsy or on a larger scale, this neat little maker card wallet by Lucinda Ganderton will always come in handy. After all, you never know when a business opportunity may present itself!

Essentials • Main fabric, 12cm x 32cm • Contrast fabric, 12cm x 32cm • Lightweight fusible interfacing • Ribbon • Press stud


Iron 12cm x 32cm of interfacing to the wrong side of the main fabric. Pin to the same size of contrast fabric with right sides together. Machine stitch around three sides, using a 6mm seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press, then turn under 1cm around the short open edge. Pin, then machine stitch closed.


Press the wallet in half widthways with the right side facing outwards. Turn back 7cm for the right pocket. Fold 10cm of ribbon in half and pin it to the top edge, 10cm in from the right-hand corner. Pin and tack in place. Press back 7cm for the left pocket.


all sewn up!

Sew along the top and bottom edges, through all the layers to secure. Fix the two sides of a press stud centrally to the inside of the pockets, 1cm in from the side edges.

Personalise further by embroidering your company ogo




the haberdashery I’m a Maker We used the aptly named I’m a Maker from the Maker range by Art Gallery Fabrics. See agf for stockists. 58





May Martin: Best Haberdashery Brand

This year The Great British Sewing Bee judge and Sew columnist May Martin will be taking to our prestigious panel for a second year and will be nominating the Best Haberdashery Brand.

Matt Chapple: Best Cutting Tool Brand We’re pleased to be welcoming The Great British Sewing Bee series three winner, Matt Chapple to the team to judge new category, Best Cutting Tool Brand to recognise which product range is a cut above when it comes to precision and ease of use!

We’re pleased to announce the return of the British Sewing Awards for 2015 and we want you to nominate the people, places and products that enhance your hobby. Whether it’s a blog or book that’s taught you new techniques, or your local haberdashery shop you’d like to give a special mention, now’s your chance! Those with the most nominations will then be

GIVE YOUR FAVOURITE STITCHING BRANDS, PERSONALITIES AND HABERDASHERS THE RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE IN THE BRITISH SEWING AWARDS 2015 AND YOU COULD WIN A BUNDLE OF PRIZES! put through to our voting stage, where you will have the opportunity to place your final votes. Simply complete the form overleaf, or visit Not only will your favourites be in with a chance of winning an award, but you’ll be entered into our prize draw to win a stash of sewing goodies worth £250. Have your say now!








Marketing Department, British Sewing Awards, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY

Or go online Visit







Image for illustration purposes only 59


Main form overleaf


Send your completed form to: Marketing Department, British Sewing Awards, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, C02 8JY.

your nominations PRODUCTS: Best thread brand ..................................................................... .................................................................... Best fabric brand ..................................................................... .................................................................... Best new product 2015 ..................................................................... ....................................................................

Best independent haberdashery shop (please tick area then add shop name and town/village)  Wales  Ireland  Scotland

SEWING MACHINES: Best entry level sewing machine brand ..................................................................... ....................................................................

 North of England

Best quilting sewing machine brand ..................................................................... ....................................................................

Best pattern house ..................................................................... ....................................................................

Best embroidery sewing machine brand ..................................................................... .................................................................... Most desirable sewing machine Brand: ...................................................... Model: .................................................... ONLINE: Best sewing blog ..................................................................... .................................................................... Best online retailer ..................................................................... .................................................................... RETAILERS: Best UK chain store ..................................................................... ....................................................................

 South of England  Midlands

Shop: ........................................................ Town: .......................................................

Please complete your details in BLOCK CAPITALS Title: ......................Forename:........................................................... Surname: .............................................................................................. Address: ................................................................................................ ..................................................................................................................... ........................................................Postcode:........................................

Best for customer service ..................................................................... ....................................................................

Contact number: ..............................................................................

RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES: Favourite sewing personality ..................................................................... ....................................................................

Signature: ...............................................Date:........./.........../...........

Best sewing book 2015 ..................................................................... .................................................................... Best for sewing workshops/courses ..................................................................... .................................................................... Best exhibition/event experience 2015 ..................................................................... ....................................................................

Email: ...................................................................................................... Date of Birth: DD/MM/YY................../..................../..................


Send your completed nomination form to: Marketing Department, British Sewing Awards, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, C02 8JY. Terms & conditions of entry and data protection All entries must be received by 02/08/15. The competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies & their families. One entry per household. Prizes will be given to the first entrants drawn at random by 28/08/15. Entrants must be made at or on the coupon provided (no purchase necessary). Photocopies are NOT accepted. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules will be disqualified. No responsibility for entries lost, delayed or damaged in the post, proof of posting is not proof of delivery. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winner’s name and county will be available by sending an SAE marked British Sewing Awards to Marketing Department, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, CO2 8JY. Your details will be processed by Aceville Publications Ltd (publishers of Sew) in full accordance with data protection legislation. Aceville Publications Ltd. and sister companies may wish to contact you with information of other services and publications we provide which may be of interest. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post  Phone  Email  SMS  . From time to time Aceville Publications Ltd. will share details with other reputable companies who provide products and services that maybe of interest to you. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post  Phone  Email  SMS  . 60

sew events


SEW SATURDAY! Showsomeloveforyourlocal fabricstoreon17thOctober!

Fabric stores, sewing cafés and haberdasheries are so much more than a place to stock up on fabrics and supplies. They are hubs of creativity, places to swap ideas and meet like-minded fabric fans, and of course, a space to learn a new skill. And we wanted to celebrate their fabulousness, by honouring them with their very own day, Sew Saturday!

What is Sew Saturday? Sew Saturday takes place on the 17th October. A celebration of the independent fabric store and haberdasher, it’s a way of showing some love for your local bricks and mortar stores. There’s set to be a wide range of special events happening including star appearances from leading names in the industry to workshops, make & takes, discounts and competitions.

Is my local shop taking part in Sew Saturday? SEW SATURDAY IS A GREAT EXCUSE TO GET SHOPPING!

You can find out whether your nearest store is taking place by visiting and clicking on the Sew Saturday link.

I own a local store and I want to be involved! If you run a sewing store and want to take part, email for more information and your introductory starter pack, which includes FREE projects you can download for make & takes, such as Aly Owl Mascot!

How do I find out more? Keep an eye on our website, plus Facebook and Twitter @sewhq for upcoming news and information!

Sew Saturday is supported by

See p28 and p31 for great discounts!


Sew Saturday Ambassadors! “I’m a big fan of the bricks and mortar style of shop. Fabric stores have the sort of passion, inspiration, expertise and warmth that’s hard to replicate anywhere else and if we support our local shops they do the same back!”

“Fabric and haberdashery are in a league of their own when it comes to stimulating the senses. For me, being in a fabric shop is like being in a sweet shop without the problem of those calories! So join us on Sew Saturday by visiting your local fabric shop, and have fun choosing all that you need for your next project!”

Stuart Hillard

May Martin 61

Turn over to see the shops involved! In association with

Supported by





Cotton Moon, 9 East Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 7DT 01258 453278

46 Sandy Park Rd, Brislington BS4 3PF

Stockists of:

Mon - Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm Sat 9am - 5pm

Open 9.30-4 Monday to Friday and 9.30-1 Saturday

0117 977 8216 BRISTOL




Bristol’s patchwork fabric and quilting shop

• Fabrics - Makower, Moda & more • Workshops and classes • Friendly, helpful advice Open: Mon-Sat. 9.30am - 4.00pm Closed Wednesday

Bournemouth's leading upholstery and fabric shop 9am - 5pm Mon - Sat

Tel: 01202 422811

07900 927279 email:

71 Westbury Hill Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol BS9 3AD




We will be having a Demo day on the 17th October. Quilting - cutting and piecing techniques and Brother Sewing machine basics. 61 Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge SK15 2JN. 0161 478 8236



fabric, ribbons, buttons... 83 Sandy Park Road, Brislington, Bristol

3 Cloughlan Rd Armagh BT61 8RF 028 3887 1637

21 Kensington Gardens Brighton BN1 4AL 01273 757286 GLASGOW

Studios 12 - 14, Craft & Design Centre Weyhill, Andover, Hants SP11 0QN Come and take part in our Sew Saturday events – workshops, refreshments & crafting fun!


Hythe Marina, Southampton SO45 6DY

02381 783386

Stockist for: Patchwork and Dress Making Fabrics plus much more… New Arrivals Weekly



FRANKLINS 16 Duke Street Settle North Yorkshire BD24 9DN

01252 444220

Tel: 01729 822946

Branksomewood Road • Fleet • Hampshire • GU51 4JS



20‐22 Lavant Street, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3EW 01730 858020

We offer workshops and courses for children and adults. A wide range of haberdashery and fabricks. Stockists of Simplicity, New Look, Butterick and McCall Patterns. Follow us on facebook, twitter Instagram 01623 232242 / 07969681709 Burnaby House Church Street Mansfield Woodhouse NG19 8AH



Janome •Juki • Brother • Pfaff • Bernina • Alfa Britannia • RMF sewing tables & cabinets COLCHESTER CHELMSFORD 13-15 St Botolphs Street 201 Moulsham Street CO2 7DU CM2 0LG 01206 563955 01245 346300 SALISBURY IPSWICH 48 Fisherton Street 1-3 St Matthews Street SP2 7RB IP1 3EL 01722 554406 01473 221188 PRICES BETTER THAN SHOPPING ONLINE!!

Largest |Europes needlecraft store STAFFORDSHIRE


The Corner Patch Catherine Hill, Frome, Somerset.

New in Kent! Convenient High Street Location Beautiful fabrics & fun classes! Mon – Sat 10 - 5 Hythe Kent CT21 5AJ 01303 261329


Fabrics & Workshops

a little corner of patchwork heaven Opening Hours: Tues – Sat 10 – 5 Late Night Wednesday until 8

Fabric,Wadding,Threads and Haberdashery Workshop & Classes for all Abilities


Telephone: 01785 859360 STIRLING CENTRAL

PEMBERTONS OF STIRLING We stock Haberdashery, Craft fabric, Threads, Ribbons, Craft essentials and sew much more!

68 Berry Lane, Longridge, Preston, Lancs PR3 3WH

01772 780883 @ItsOhSewCrafty on Twitter

21 - 25 Friars Street, Stirling FK8 1HA Tel: 01786 462993


68 High Street, Wickham Market, Suffolk IP13 0QU 01728 746275

Visit us and see what we’ve got in store for Sew Saturday SURREY

HOME TRENDS Create a luxurious setting with these tropical fabrics and trims With rich colours, textures and patterns, this month’s trend is all about creating a warm and welcoming space with an adventurous edge. Pair big bold prints with luxe fabrics such as silk or velvet, and combine on-trend flamingos and tropical palms with deep shades to add colourful accents. This opulent style is sure to transform any room into the perfect retreat.

Clockwise from bottom left: 1 Kasuku Jungle in Black by Alexander Henry, £12 per metre, 2 Vienna round head tie back in Wine, £3.80, 3 Blueberry Batik by Robert Kaufman, £10.40 per metre 4 Moonshine Strawberry Lantern by Tula Pink, £13 per metre, 5 Silk Organza in Yellow, £9 per metre, 6 Watermelon print, £6.87 per fat quarter, 7 Floral Flowers, Charmville collection by Art Gallery Fabrics, £8 per metre 8 Pineapple print, £6.87 per fat quarter, 9 Vienna round head tie back in Brick, £3.80, 10 Cheetahs on White by Sevenberry Fabrics, £12 per metre, 11 Oasis Stand Tall in Apricot by Michael Miller, £12 per metre, 12 Silk organza in Dusty Rose, £9 per metre, 64

sew home

Stitch soft furnishings from luxury fabrics like silk and satin 65

Use exotic bird and tropical plant prints

Download templates online Simple machine embroidery Brighten any room with whimsical motifs

Instead of waiting for summer sunshine, bring some inside with this hot air balloon cushion and delightful bunting set by Carolyn Letten. Using simple machine embroidery and appliquĂŠ techniques, this make is easy to stitch and sure to make you smile. Use whismical prints and pretty scraps or a mixture of your favourite colours. Gift them to someone special, or accessorise your space with this cheerful duo. 66

sew home

Essentials • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

all sewn up!

Cotton, blue, white Nursery print fabric Green floral print Blue and white felt Assorted printed fabrics, scraps White broderie anglaise Lightweight fusible interfacing Pelmet interfacing Coordinating sewing thread Cushion pad, 30cm x 50cm Large button, one Chevron print ribbon, 170cm Green ric rac Acid-free glue

Instead of using broderie anglaise, you could use white lace instead.


Pillow: 30cm x 50cm Bunting: 150cm

Sew reader Keri says....

“Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron ou can make one from a heavier weight cotton or buy one from most haberdashers.”

make a picture cushion


Go to to download and print the templates. Cut 32cm x 52cm from blue cotton. Cut a piece of green floral fabric 6cm at the left-hand edge, 13cm at the right and 32cm wide. Pin it across the bottom of the blue cotton, so that all edges match, and stitch across where they meet. Cover the join with a piece of green ric rac. Iron on the reverse.


Use the template to trace the biggest hot air balloon. Cut a complete balloon from printed fabric, then cut two vertical strips from a contrasting colour or design. Back all the pieces with interfacing, pin in place and stitch to secure. Snip a basket from another print, securing it in the same way. Repeat this for the smaller balloon. Iron on the reverse.


Use the cloud templates to cut two big and two small ones from white cotton. Back all with lightweight interfacing. Cut two pieces of white broderie anglaise to cover the bigger clouds, and one piece to cover a smaller one. Pin and stitch with white thread to secure. For the larger clouds, stitch a smaller white felt shape over the top. Sew seven birds using the picture as a guide.

Keri Webster


Cut 32cm x 40cm from blue cotton and turn one short end over twice by 1cm. Hem and set aside. Cut two more pieces, 23cm x 32cm and 16cm x 32cm. Pin together, right sides facing, across the width. Mark the middle and insert a 16cm loop of ribbon, in between the fabric, so the raw ends stick out. Stitch a 1cm seam across and press open. Hem the remaining raw edge of the smaller piece, fold wrong sides together along the looped hem, iron and topstitch 2mm from the fold.


Lay the appliquéd front right side up. Place the back piece with the loop, wrong side up, overlapping the top of the cushion and the remaining back section over the bottom end of the pillow, wrong side up. Pin and stitch 1cm from the edge all the way around. Clip the corners and turn out. Attach a large button for the ribbon loop to go over.

the haberdashery Nursery prints This fat quarter bundle is filled with retro designs. Priced £15.75, www.prettyfabrics, 07770 047836.

stitch balloon bunting


Use the template to cut out 10 clouds from white felt, plus four slightly smaller, and two from broderie anglaise. Cut out six pieces of pelmet interfacing that are larger than the template.


Use acid-free glue to stick six larger felt clouds to the interfacing. Stick the broderie anglaise over two of them and the four smaller shapes into the middle of the remaining clouds. Once dry, stitch just in from the edge of each cloud in white thread. Trim away the excess interfacing to 3mm from the felt edge. Set aside.


Cut five complete balloon and basket shapes from blue felt, 5mm bigger than the template all the way around, plus five pieces of pelmet interfacing that are at least 2cm bigger than the felt ones. Glue these together, then topstitch just inside the edge in coordinating thread.


Little Monster Stars in Red A cute contrasting print is perfect for this make. Priced £11 per metre, www.plushaddict. 67

Use the template to cut the coloured balloon top and contrast sections, back with interfacing, and stitch to each of the blue felt pieces. Cut five small baskets from printed fabric, stick in place and stitch to secure. Cut away the excess interfacing.


Mark the middle of 150cm of chevron woven ribbon. Lay the centre balloon onto it and stitch in place at the edges of the blue felt. Leaving a 1cm gap in between each cloud and balloon, arrange and stitch until complete.

Essentials • Crochet doilies • Plain cotton, selection • White cotton • Wadding recycle lace


Dimensions Custom sized

Make a statement with a bright and breezy table centrepiece This charming table topper by Corinne Bradd is simple to make but so effective, for a bohemian look with a splash of colour. The mats are just as useful left as single circles and can be displayed on side tables, vanity units or hung on a wall with the addition of a loop of ribbon.

make a table runner


Wash and press a number of doilies, adding spray starch to the more flimsy pieces, to make them easier to work with. Arrange on a dark background in your preferred layout and take a photo. Choose four or five coordinating solid cotton fabrics, press and decide which doilies will be backed with which colours.


Create a template for each doily using a compass or use a circular object, such as a plate or embroidery hoop that is the same

size. Draw around the outline onto a solid colour and cut out with a 5mm seam allowance. Cut a circle of white cotton and wadding slightly larger.


Place the white cotton circle on top of the wadding and use a ruler and craft knife to cut a 7cm slit in the centre of both. Place the coloured circle, marked side up, on top of the stack and stitch all around the edge using the pencil line as a guide.


Trim the seam allowance back to 3mm before turning the stack out through the 68

slit in the back. Fold in the raw edges and neatly sew closed. Press the padded disc lightly.


Centre a doily on the coloured side of the padded circle and pin in place. Sew with tiny hand stitches around the edge. Remove the pins and quilt the pad from the centre out in a spoke design, following the pattern of the crochet as much as possible.


When all doilies have been quilted, arrange the mats in the original layout. Join with a 2cm length of slip stitching where each circle touches the next.

sew home

“These mats are just as useful left as single circles to be displayed on side tables�

the haberdashery Citrus colours Back your doilies in citrus fresh cottons, such as this Lemonade shade from Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements range. Visit for stockists. 69 Quilter’s Corner

“Ifyouseeamadwoman wrappedinaquilt,dosayhello”



Corinne goes camping in style and talks summer stitching

sleeping bags, and the lighting comes from ’ve just realised, it’s summer and I haven’t battery operated fairy lights that have been even mentioned my other favourite thing jazzed up with coloured net flowers. The extra to you, despite having already done it thrice this year. Camping! I really do love it. comfort comes from my quilts, most of which you’ll have seen in past issues of Sew. Before It’s not the pleasure of sleeping three inches off the floor on a deflating mattress, nor is we pack the car, my daughter and I take it the joy of running across a dark, wet field in my turns picking a quilt or three from the neatly folded stacks in the bookcase. Then we throw pj’s when I’ve forgotten my torch. I love camping because it means I can set up my own little home in a couple of crochet blankets and pretty cushions for good from home, and fill it with Keep your tent organised with this measure. The all manner of pretty tutorial featured in the August overloaded car things, making it the envy issue of Crafts Beautiful, out now! would imply that of all my fellow female we’re off for a campers (men just tend month, whereas to criticise my lack of it’s three days at sewn in groundsheet.) the most, fitted The tent itself cannot between be described as deadlines, school inconspicuous, the and other sunshine yellow panels commitments. make sure of that, so why Once we’re not make the interior a there, pitched, riot of colour? To this end, unpacked and I’ve re-covered cool bags decorated, we can with vivid oilcloth, spray kick back and painted and decorated relax in the old tins, upcycled folding beautiful Suffolk tables with spots, stripes countryside. While and floral fabrics, and I’m my daughter working on a way to Amy hangs out reupholster the with the local fantastically comfy kids, I can sit folding chairs we treated outside my ourselves to last year. temporary palace, They’re a very dull green, happily paper as is most camping stuff, piecing. So if and I’d really like them to you see a mad woman wrapped in a quilt be shades of pink, turquoise and orange. doing some kind of needlework this summer, The spacious bedrooms are the best part come and say hello.” though. Basic warmth is provided by the 1970s

i love... How could you not fall in love with this unusual pincushion? They come in other quirky shapes and are as useful as they are adorable! Priced £1.85, clover@stockist 01453 883581.

The Festival of Quilts

Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting show returns to the NEC Birmingham for another exciting year! With over 300 exhibitors, including international artists, a display of over 1,000 competition quilts and plenty of stalls for essential supplies, it’s the ultimate quilting experience! Take part in workshops and stock up on tools and fabric from 6th to 9th August.

For tickets and enquiries for The Festival of Quilts, visit 70 Inside Pride & Joy The Old Bakery Aldermaston Road Sherborne St John RG24 9LA

We stock: modern & quirky quilting cottons • natural waddings • dressmaking and soft furnishing fabrics • beautiful ribbons, trims and buttons • dressmaking patterns from independent designers • Auriful threads • haberdashery and much much more ~ visit us online at: email: 71 213 Oxford Street, Swansea SA1 3BG

01792 468504

At Lee Mill Fabrics we pride ourselves on our ability to source quality fabrics at low prices. We have OVER 10,000 FABRICS to choose from, making us one of the largest fabric stores BEST INDEPENDENT HABERDASHERY STORE in South Wales. Call us today and prepare to be dazzled! IN WALES

Best of Morris

Christmas Star

Make a Christmas Wish



3rd Place

sew home



four part strip block

PATCH WORK se promi

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring! By using strips and large squares of fabric, you can really show off your choices in this month’s quilt. Plus, we’ve used a big, bold print for the backing, so it’s reversible, too. Featuring the Petal and Plume range by Bari J. for Art Gallery Fabrics, this is the perfect throw for summer, with bright colours and warm accents. Brighten up your bedspread with coordinating prints and shades, and admire the beauty of simplicity. 73 4 We show you how! 1 1 1

create a block

make a quilt

Cut one bold fabric into a 16cm square, and three smaller prints into three 6cm x 16cm strips each [1].

Create two more blocks, then a further nine in three different design combinations. Arrange them in a staggered pattern and sew them together, to make a quilt top of three blocks by four. Press well.


Cut 9cm wide strips from a border print. Stitch these along the long edges of the quilt top first, joining the strips end to end where necessary, and trimming in line with the short sides.



Sew together a strip of each pattern with a 5mm seam allowance, to make a 16cm square [2]. Do the same with the remaining six strips [3].


Press the three striped squares and one plain square, and arrange into a block, so that the stripes radiate out from the centre. Follow the picture for guidance.



Sew the squares together in pairs, then into a block, matching up the centre seams.



Add strips to the short edges in the same way, to make an overlapped border. Press the quilt top and backing fabric.

Lay the backing fabric wrong side up on a flat surface, place wadding on top then the quilt top right side up over this, ensuring the patchwork is central and there is excess backing fabric at all four edges. Pin the layers together at regular intervals. Quilt all three layers by topstitching along the main seam lines, starting from the centre and working out in all directions, to keep the backing fabric smooth. Quilt along the seam of the border.

Trim the wadding to the edge of the border. Fold up 5mm of the excess backing fabric, then fold over the edge of the quilt, mitring the corners and pinning to make a 5mm bordered edge. Topstitch 2mm from the inner fold.

“Create a reversible style by using a print for your backing fabric”


Essentials • Fat quarters, 16 • Border print, 50cm • Backing fabric • Coordinating sewing thread • 4oz wadding, 105cm x 145cm

Dimensions Block: 30cm square Quilt: 104cm x 135cm Note: Use a 5mm otherwise stat

Use different shades of the same colour in each block to create a rainbow effect 74

sew home

Coming next month


the haberdashery Hyperflora Twee

Illusionist Vine

A gorgeous floral repeat in orange and pink.

Delicate vines and birds on a deep blue.

Nib and Pluck Ursina Paisley flowers and feathers in bright shades.

We used the detailed Petal and Plume range by Bari J. for Art Gallery Fabrics. For stockists, visit 75 love that


This month’s collections are all about simplicity and fun. Avril Loreti’s Let’s Have a Party! collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, is filled with inviting colours, and geometric shapes. With her use of bright and crisp shades and modern design, Avril creates fabrics that bring art into anything you decide to make with them. Haiku for Monaluna features delicate, painterly prints in a romantic scheme, accented with pops of metallic stamping.



pretty paint slashes



“Haiku began as a series of paintings, in an attempt to capture the essence of my spring garden. I was experimenting with combining watercolour and stamping.”



Jennifer Moore, Monaluna

For Monaluna fabrics, visit 76

sew shopping

we love!



ESCAPADE For Cloud9 Fabrics, visit

bright strobe light effect



“In Let’s Have a Party! I wanted to celebrate friendship, getting all dressed up, and coming together to have some fun! It’s designed to make you sway and twirl when you’re out with your girlfriends!”


Avril Loreti, Cloud9 Fabrics

THIS MONTH’S PANTONE COLOURS August’s shades are bright and crisp.




The colours displayed on the Pantone swatches may be limited to CMYK printing process.

Download templates online cuddly

pyjama pouch

Essentials • Cream fabric, 50cm • Pink fabric, fat quarter • Floral print, fat quarter • Selection of felt colours, scraps • PVA glue • Heavyweight wadding • White concealed zip, 25cm • Green and blue pom poms, 1.5cm • Pink and blue large ric rac, 1m of each • Pink herringbone ribbon, 10cm

Kids will love this yummy-looking nightdress case in the shape of a cupcake Children won’t need nagging to put away their night clothes with this delightful, lined nightdress case in the shape of a yummy cupcake. Felt and pom poms represent sweeties, whilst oversized ric rac is a great substitute for piped icing. Easy to whip up, you’ll have a tasty treat in no time.

all sewn up! f gift ng to a sma child, omit the pom poms

stitch a nightdress case


Go online to and download the templates. Cut out the following fabric pieces: one floral base, one pink top, two top and two bottom backs, and one cream front lining.


Pin and stitch the long edges of the floral base and the pink upper together with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seams flat so they lie against the floral fabric. Cut wadding a little larger than the front panel. Pin and stitch the padding to the wrong side as near to the edge of the fabric as possible and trim the edges close to the stitching.


Use a tape measure and erasable pen to mark lines on the floral fabric, approximately 2cm apart. Topstitch in contrasting thread to create a quilted effect. Pin and sew pink ric rac along the fabric join

between the base and top. Add two lengths of blue trim to the upper section slightly curving each piece.


To embellish the upper section, cut four 1.5cm x 3.5cm rectangles each from yellow, dark pink and light green felt. Position the strips with a few dots of PVA glue and, once dry, secure with small machine stitches using matching thread. Draw around a coin to make small felt circles in aqua and pale green; three of each colour. Glue a pom pom to each disc, and dot randomly around the top between the ric rac. Stitch in place. Cut a large red felt cherry shape and a white scrap to represent a reflection. Machine stitch near the top of the cupcake using our picture to guide you.


Lay the back pieces together. Top lining and facing together, then the bottom lining 78

and facing together. Press, and stitch each piece together using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Insert a concealed zip between the upper and lower back sections. Begin by stitching the two pieces together in a contrasting thread, using large tacking stitches. With a machine zip foot, tack in the zip to prevent it moving. Reduce the stitch size and sew close to the zip's teeth. Use a regular machine foot to sew either side of the zip to the end of the fabric. Remove the tacking stitches.


Layer the pieces of the cupcake together. Decorated front right side up, back with zip piece right side down, then the front lining right side down. Position a length of pink ribbon at the top front, facing inwards. Pin and stitch the layers together leaving a small gap at the bottom for turning through. Clip the curves, turn out, then hand sew the gap closed.

sew kids the haberdashery Ditsy print Choose a pretty floral print, such as this Red/Pink Ditsy Floral polycotton. Priced ÂŁ2.99 per metre, 79

Download templates online Essentials • Coloured felt, selection • Mount board or cardboard • Small buttons, selection • Pom pom trim • PVA glue • Glue stick • Coordinating sewing thread appliqué

nautical set


Beach hut: 12.5cm x 19cm Felt dolly: 10cm x 16cm

Jaunty stripes dress this beach hut caddy that’s perfect for a bathing belle

stitch a beach hut


Go online to and download the templates. Copy the beach hut front, side and roof onto tracing paper. On a large piece of thick card, draw around the hut side template (vertically), place the hut front template beside it so they almost touch and trace, repeat with another side, followed by a hut back (same as front), creating a flat four sided pattern. Check each outline is level across the bottom and cut the template out.

Bring the seaside in with this quirky felt beach hut complete with beach babe. It’s made using a cardboard inner wrapped in felt and topped off with machine appliqué and embroidery. The roof lifts off to store the doll or your knick-knacks and the nautical accessories really add to the three-dimensional effect.


Score heavily down the three vertical lines between each hut section, so the model will fold easily into a three-dimensional shape, taking care not to cut straight through the card. Separately, draw around the roof templates onto cardboard, and set aside.


Use the hut front paper pattern to cut two blue felt shapes, allowing an extra 2mm down both sides. Trim four white stripes, two short and two long. Cut the door in dark blue felt. Stick the white strips lightly in place onto the blue felt front with acid-free glue, allow to dry and place on scrap paper. Machine stitch both sides of each white panel to secure, and edge them in dark blue running stitch. Position the door and add detail as shown. Tear the paper away. Cut the bunting pieces; position and stitch centrally across the hut, as shown. Set aside.


To assemble the life buoy motif, cut one complete shape from white felt and four small red felt pieces. Place the white circle onto thin paper and machine stitch around it in navy thread, add the red bands as shown. Tear away the paper and set the décor aside. Use the same paper technique to create the oar and starfish. Cut two hut sides from blue felt. Make enough white stripes for each remaining face and a blue circular port hole using the buoy template. Assemble the sides in the same way as for the front. Position the window two-thirds of the way up the back and add the strips around it. Set aside.


Take the cardboard hut you cut earlier, fold it into shape and secure with masking tape. Make a card panel for the base and fix in place with tape on the inside. Cover the cardboard sides with glue and carefully position the finished felt panels. Trim any excess felt. Repeat for the back and then the front, the slight extra width should be enough to cover the cut end of the sides but trim away any excess.


Use small dots of PVA to attach the buoy, oar and starfish to the front. Fix a few small pearly buttons around the starfish to resemble shells. Allow to dry. Trim around the top of the hut to neaten the edges and glue mini pom pom trim to cover the cardboard. Set aside.


For the roof, take a piece of red felt and lay the two cardboard templates you cut earlier onto it, with a central 2mm gap between them. Cut the red felt slightly larger and set aside the card. Back the felt with paper, and machine stitch several rows of white scallop stitching, starting just below the middle. Remove the paper. Place the felt, embroidered side down, and use PVA to fix the card pieces in place, leaving a central gap to allow the roof to fold. Tuck the edges under. Once the glue is dry, line the exposed cardboard panels with a panel of red felt.

make a felt dolly


Use the template to cut the following pieces from felt: one complete doll from skin coloured; a dark blue swimming cap and a swimsuit in bright pink. Using the paper technique, pin the swimsuit in place on the 80

body and lay it onto scrap paper, stitch around it in matching thread, then add a little stitched flower. Pin the swimming cap to the head and stitch to secure. Sew a chin line across the neck in skin coloured thread and add the eyes and mouth, as shown. Tear the paper away.


Lay the finished dolly front onto a larger piece of skin coloured felt and stitch around it just inside the edge. As you work your way round, starting at one side of the head, add small amounts of stuffing into each section to give shape as you go, ensure you stitch the swimsuit sides and shoulders in pink thread, to match. Trim away the excess felt on the back so that it matches the front. Decorate the swimming cap with tiny circles of yellow felt and cut smaller spheres in pale pink to fix in the middle. Secure each with a single hand stitch and fasten off the last thread.

sew home all sewn up!

If desired, line you hut with fe This is easier done before folding the caddy into shape

the haberdashery Felt sheers Make yours in colourful wool felt, see for stockists. 81

Essentials • Large floral prints, seven fat quarters • Plain, spots or stripe fabrics, four fat quarters • Lightweight wadding, 2m • White cotton, 2m

handy picnic combo


Picnic blanket: 105cm square Picnic tote: 30cm x 45cm x 15cm deep

Get set for lunch in the sun with our alfresco throw and tote set

Summer is all about picnics in the park and days on the beach, and Corinne Bradd’s quick sew patchwork blanket and tote bag will ensure you’re ready to go whenever the sun shines. It’s easy to patch together, too, using off-cuts from other projects, or a handful of fat quarters!

make a picnic throw Cut seven large floral print fabrics into 13cm squares. Trim four plain, striped or spotted prints into 4cm wide strips x width of fabric. Refer to the layout guide for quantities (colours indicate the plains, spots or stripes and numbers indicate the patterned pieces).


Create 16cm square blocks by sewing a strip along one vertical side of a square using a 5mm seam allowance, and trimming the edges, before sewing a second strip along one horizontal side, overlapping the end of the first seam and trimming to the edge.


Sew the completed blocks into rows, following the layout. Stitch together into a large patchwork piece, matching the seams neatly. Press the patchwork panel and pin onto quilt wadding. Trim the wadding to the same size. Lay both onto plain cotton and re-pin. Trim the cotton to 2cm bigger than the patchwork all round.

Top, £28, Miss Selfridge



Quilt the pinned layers together by top stitching along the seam lines to make a concentric squares pattern. Leave the outer edge of the blanket unstitched. Turn under 5mm along the outer edge of the patchwork and pin. Repeat around all edges, mitring the corners neatly. Fold the backing fabric up over the wadding, and pin the two together. Top stitch 2mm from the fold.

stitch a picnic tote


Using the layout guide and method for the blanket, create a panel eight squares wide by two squares deep, avoiding using the same pattern at either end. To make the straps, cut two 8cm x 50cm strips. Fold in 5mm on each long edge, bring the two edges together, then top stitch 1mm from the fold and press.


Working on one side, select two upper blocks a square apart. Use a stitch ripper to carefully cut the centres of the seam where the strips above the patterned squares meet. Repeat with the other handle, a further square away.


Thread the ends of the straps into the slits, to make two handles, and re-stitch securely along the original seam line. Pin the panel to lightweight wadding trimmed to the same size. Fold the patchwork panel, right sides together, and sew down the side seam to make a tube. Zig zag stitch the wadding to the lower edge of the tube.


Cut 31cm x 121cm of lining fabric, fold it in half and sew down the side to make a second tube. Pin to the right side of the top of the patchwork tube and sew together, securing the wadding as you go, and avoiding trapping the handles in the seam.


Layer 16cm x 46cm of fabric onto wadding and zig zag stitch around the edges to hold in place. Stitch the rectangle to the base of the bag, right sides together, sewing the long sides first, then the short sides.


Cut 16cm x 46cm of lining, stitch to the open end of the main lining, leaving a 10cm gap along one long edge. Turn out through the gap, fold in the raw edges and slip stitch. Push the lining inside the bag. 82


















































Colours indicate the plains, spots or stripes: numbers indicate patterned pieces

sew home

PATCH WORK se promi

the haberdashery Pineapple in Blue

Damask in Blue

Monarch in Teal

Bold blue and orange tones colour this floral scene.

A striking classical repeat in contrasting blue tones.

Beautiful butterflies sitting on brightly coloured blooms. 83

sew people

at home with... STUART HILLARD


“I love to see how other people style their homes”

am a huge fan of Britain in the summertime, especially when the sun is shining. It seems to transform everything and everyone seems brighter and happier. Our gardens become places to sit and drink fizz and eat barbecued food, (or is that just me?) Parks become mini oases for office workers on their lunch breaks and everyone seems to smile more and be in a better mood. I’ve been travelling all over the country recently, teaching lots of workshops and giving talks about my work as a quilt and home décor designer, and of course, my time on a certain TV show! I spent a few days down in Fowey in Cornwall recently, I was speaking at their annual festival of words and music and signing copies of my book, Sew Fabulous. The sky was clear blue and endless, the sea shimmered and I met so many lovely people, including many other crafters, as I walked around the town’s Art Trail. I felt transported to another world, especially as I had left behind a particularly grey and cloudy Manchester airport, it really was wonderful! I’ve also been in Cambridge, London, Salisbury and Harrogate, and it certainly helps to remind me what a diverse and wonderful country this is. Trips away from home are always a fantastic opportunity to get inspiration for a home or craft project, whether it’s the landscape or the architecture, the people or the local handicrafts. Confession time, I’m a little tinker for peeking through open front doors and windows on early evening walks around a place I’m visiting. I love to see how other people style their homes and it’s a great way to see how different people tackle decorating and furnishing. If you should ever see me peering through your windows, please don’t be alarmed! Grab a bottle of fizz and two glasses and invite me in. Here’s hoping!

Stuart x


Our favourite home stitcher is on the road this month

Revamping your patio furniture isn’t hard to do, can give it a brand new lease of life, and gives you the perfect excuse to spend more time in the garden! Use spray paint on rattan and woven fibres, and for wooden furniture, a light rub down and a little oil works wonders. The real transformation comes when you make some tie-on cushions for the chairs and add a simple runner. I like to make my cushions with cotton drill on one side and thin, water-resistant oilcloth on the other for a practical, wipe clean surface. If you’re sewing oilcloth, make sure you use a Teflon or non-stick foot on your sewing machine, and avoid pins. For an easy table runner, cut a length of cotton drill, varying the width to suit your table. Fold the corners under to form a pointed end and sew in place. Add a tassel at each end, and you’re done. Add hurricane lanterns with coloured church candles and you’re all set for a summer of entertaining!

Style Advice

“Revamping your patio furniture can give it a new lease of life”

Sunshine is wonderful, but can bleach the colour out of fabrics, and ruin them in a matter of weeks, particularly if the room is south facing. Protect your soft furnishings during the summer by drawing curtains or investing in blinds, which can be closed when the sun’s at its strongest. Turn quilts regularly, so that any fading is even and less noticeable. If fabrics are bleached beyond the pale you have two choices: overdye or paint the upholstery with something darker, or embrace the faded look and call it shabby chic!

Stuart’s Stash I know this is a strange one, but white vinegar or distilled malt vinegar really can help to keep colours from fading. Soak new fabrics in neat vinegar, then prewash with mild colour safe detergent. Fabrics which have become dull can be brightened by adding half a cup of vinegar to your usual wash cycle. Always test fabrics first, though!

Find out more at 84

sew kids

Forest Friends Mobile

Make a sweet nursery accessory with printed fabrics

Inspired by a circus big top, adorable forest animals adorn the hanging decorations on this nursery accessory, by Jane Kharade. You can customise this make for a baby girl or boy, or use your favourite colour scheme. Choose pre-printed fabrics and get cracking making a thoughtful gift for a new arrival, and a treasured family keepsake. 85

Download templates online all sewn up!

Use masking tape to secure the ribbon to the front of the hanging decorations when making them up, to stop t becom ng tang ed or caught up in the st tch ng

Essentials • Coordinating fabrics, five • Lightweight fusible interfacing • Coordinating ribbon, ric rac, and pom pom trim, one metre of each • Coordinating thread • Toy stuffing

Dimensions 28cm x 53cm

sew a character mobile


Go to to download and print the templates. Use these to cut out five triangular shapes from different printed fabrics for the outer cone, and five outer band strips from a coordinating print. Iron lightweight interfacing to all the pieces. Pin and stitch the five triangular sections together to create a cone shape, using a 5mm seam allowance. Set aside.


Sew the five band sections together, with a 5mm seam allowance, to create one long loop. Attach lengths of ribbon, ric rac and pom pom trim to the centre of the band using coordinating thread. Pin and stitch the band to the cone, with right sides facing using a 5mm seam allowance. Make up the lining in the same way as the outer shell, omitting the interfacing, in coordinating prints.


Cut out five, 10.5cm diameter circles for the hanging decorations, with the animal motifs positioned centrally, and five backs from coordinating prints. Place a back and front together, with right sides facing and insert a 21cm length of ribbon in between the pieces, matching the raw edges. Stitch around the decoration, leaving a small gap for turning. Turn out and fill with toy stuffing. Hand stitch the opening closed with small stitches. Repeat for the remaining decorations.


Tack each hanging decoration in place on the right side of the outer shell's band, matching the ribbon end and the raw edges, with the animal motif facing down. Pin the lining and outer shell, right sides facing, and stitch around the edge, leaving a gap for turning. Turn out and tuck the lining inside the outer shell, then press. Top stitch along the band, 2mm up from the bottom edge. To finish, stitch a 3.5cm loop of ribbon to the top point of the mobile, covering the stitch with a single pom pom.

the haberdashery Firefly Sigh Tiny dots on a calming green

Wildwood Nectar

Oh Hello Meadow

A pretty peach wood effect

Adorable woodland creatures in this design 86

Making great things from your fabric since 1968 Top designers come to us because our quality is superb, our turnaround time is exceptionally fast and we have a passion for what we do we speak your language!

Harlequin, Shop Road, Little Bromley, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2PZ

01206 396167 @coveredbuttons 87

See page 98 for templates Essentials • Taupe felt, 21cm x 30cm • Pink felt, scrap • Pink perlé embroidery thread • Strong thread • White merino wool • Toy stuffing • Black glass eyes, 6mm • Fishing line • Cotter pins, 10mm, four sets • Cotter pins, 15mm, one set • Medium felting needle • Darning needle • Mini gingham fabric, 30cm • Grey fine knit jersey, 20cm • White cotton fabric, 12cm • Small white buttons, three • Small grey buttons, two • Hook and loop tape

felt bunny

Go back to school with our adorable rabbit These young rabbits are ready for school, dressed smartly in their uniforms. Here designer Sue Quinn shows you how to create a little schoolgirl bunny with a pretty summer dress and jersey cardigan. Why not stitch yours using colours of a particular school in mind? This project also shows you how to needle felt in order to make a fluffy tail. You’ll soon have a whole class of felt friends.

make a felt rabbit


Visit to download and print the templates. Cut out all the body pieces from taupe felt, plus two further ears from pink. Place a pink ear on top of a taupe one and machine stitch them together, leaving the straight edge open, working close to the edges. Turn the ear out using fine pliers. Make a second ear in the same way.


Stitch the two head pieces together from the point of the nose down to the neck opening. Fold each ear in half and sew the straight edges closed to form a cupped shape. Making sure you are working on the outside of the head, stitch one ear to the top of each side of the head. The pink part of each ear should face forward towards the joined point of the nose [1].


Place the rounded edge of the gusset on top of the outside of the head, making sure it sits on the point of the nose. Working from the point of the nose, towards the back of the head and over the ear, sew the gusset to the head on the left-hand side down to the neck opening. Carefully sew the gusset to the other side of the head, working from the point of the nose down to the neck opening on the other side. Turn out.


Fold the front body piece in half and stitch the darts. Place one side back piece on top of the other and sew from the point at the top to the one at the bottom, leaving a gap in the middle. Open the piece up and place it on top of the front body piece, making sure the seams on both face outwards. Sew around the edge [2]. Turn out by easing it through the hole in the back.


Fold one of the leg pieces in half and sew round the edge. Pinch each side of the front of the foot to pull it flat, then stitch across the top. Repeat for the second leg. Cut a short slit in the inside of the first leg, using embroidery scissors, then cut on the opposite side on the other leg [3]. Turn the legs out through the slits.


Fold an arm piece in half and machine round the edge. Cut a slit near the top as for the legs, then repeat on the other arm.

Turn both arms out. Fill and shape the legs, arms and head using toy stuffing.


Add cotter pins to each piece, then close the slits using ladder stitch [4]. Attach the head to the body with a second washer and hardboard disc, twisting the cotter pin to secure. Next, use an awl to make a hole in the right-hand side of the body, 1cm below the neck.


Attach the right arm, in the same way as the head, making sure the seam faces backwards. Attach the other arm on the other side of the body, and the legs 2.5cm up the 88

sides from the central bottom part of the body. Fill the body with stuffing and close the seam using ladder stitch.


Place a small amount of loose merino wool over the rabbit’s bottom, at about the same level as the tops of the legs. Lightly jab a felting needle repeatedly through the wool to secure it in place as a tail. Use a darning needle and pink thread to add a mouth and nose to the face. Work short lines on the ends of the arms and legs to mark fingers and toes. Use fishing line to add whiskers and black glass eyes to finish.


sew kids

2 3

4 5 6

all sewn up! You can sew the parts of the bunny together, but adding joints allows for her to be fully posable.

make a schoolgirl’s summer dress


Using the templates, cut two dress sleeves, one back, two fronts, one skirt and one tie belt from mini gingham fabric; two cuffs and one collar from white cotton; and one cardigan from grey jersey.

Fold 2.5cm of the front piece now on the left-hand side over on the right side, then fold it over again by a further 5mm, to create a thicker pad. Topstitch down this side. Fold the collar piece in half lengthways, fold 2.5cm in from each end, then place it against the wrong side of the dress and sew it in place starting from the stitching.

Place both dress front pieces on the dress back, right side spacing and stitch the shoulder seams. Fold 5mm of the front piece on the left-hand side over on the wrong side. Stitch down, then turn the piece out.

Cut 5mm x 2.5cm of hook and loop tape and sew it in place on the wrong side of the left-hand side of the dress (this is the side that was folded over only once). Sew the other part of the fastening onto the right side


2 89

4 of the right-hand side of the dress (this is the side that was folded over twice).

all sewn up!


Fold one of the cuff pieces in half lengthways and place, with all raw edges together, on top of one of the sleeve pieces, with points touching on one end. Sew the cuff in place, easing in the sleeve to create a few tiny pleats; and ensure the cuff pieces reach from end to end of the sleeve.

When stuffing, add small pieces of filling at a time to create a firm shape without distorting the felt.


Repeat on the other sleeve, then stitch both to the dress, again creating a few slight pleats by easing in. Next, fold each sleeve over on itself and sew from the cuffs down to the dress body, then continue down to the waist of the dress.



Win a copy of this title. See p92

Place the bottom of the dress skirt piece in line with the bottom of the top piece, right sides together, then wrap the short edge around the front edge of the dress top piece. Hold this in place as you sew along the waist, creating pleats as you work by easing in more fabric from the skirt.


Stitch along to the other end of the waist. Next, leaving enough fabric to wrap around the hook and loop fastening on the other side, trim away the excess fabric from the dress skirt piece. Fold the fabric over the hook and loop fastening and stitch it down. Fold the short sides of the skirt together, then stitch on the wrong side, stopping 2.5cm from the waist [5].


Starting at the back of the skirt, fold in 5mm of fabric from the bottom then stitch along the hem. Fold the long sides of the tie belt into the centre to hide the raw edges, then fold it in half lengthways and stitch it closed. Sew three small white buttons onto the front of the dress.

get the book

sew a school cardigan


To create the cardigan, fold each sleeve of the jersey piece in by 5mm and stitch down the edge. Fold the piece in half and sew the seams of the sleeves, working down to the bottom of the cardigan [6]. Fold the bottom in and sew to create a hem. Do the same on the neck and both front pieces.


Sew two small grey buttons onto the right-hand front of the cardigan. On the left-hand side of the front, cut two short slits using embroidery scissors and stitch over the edges to make buttonholes. Fold in the back of the cardigan below the collar and stitch to hold in place.

the haberdashery Stitch your rabbit in soft felt, priced 70p per 30cm square sheet from

For bear making supplies including cotter pins, visit 90

Make a whole collection of woodland creatures in cute outfits with How to Sew Little Felt Animals by Sue Quinn (ÂŁ12.99, Search Press). Visit READING ROOM Our favourite new sewing books, plus what’s on the Sew blog

meet the author 5 minutes with... Lisa Comfort Vintage lover Lisa Comfort launched her first Sew Over It! sewing café in Clapham in 2011, with her Islington store opening last year. Her second book Sew Over It Vintage is a brand new collection of fabulous projects from the sewing expert. Inspired by Lisa’s love of vintage style and fashion, the stylish projects each have a nostalgic twist but still retain the modern style. Why will we love this book? Sew Over It Vintage offers a wide variety of home and fashion projects, of varying lengths and levels. It introduces vintage in an approachable, everyday kind of way! Featuring 25 projects, ranging from jewellery, hats, tops, dresses and bags, to cushions, lampshades, placemats, lanterns and even a luxury chair pouffe, there are ideas for those who want to quickly create an accessory on a lazy afternoon, as well as suggestions for those who want to invest their time in a large and impressive project.

Sew loves... Handmade Interiors Make your home uniquely yours with this guide to creating your own bespoke soft furnishings. The contemporary title guides you through everything from cushion covers and lampshades to blinds and curtains, all in fabulously modern fabrics. Every aspect of making your own stunning homewares is covered in illustrated easy to follow steps. And the Putting it All Together section gives advice on how to use your soft furnishings for max impact, with ideas for small spaces, growing families and defining your style. Handmade Interiors, £20, DK Publishing

on the Sew blog

Make sure you check out our latest posts from guest blogger Jenny Rushmore of the Curvy Sewing Collective. With expert advice for curvy girls on pattern picks, fit advice and more, it’s not to be missed!

“I love sketching out new

You’re a big vintage fan, but what’s your favourite era? The ’50s and ’60s for sure! However, the book spans the 1920s up to the ’70s with influences from all of these great eras.


Is it suitable for dressmaking newbies? Yes absolutely, it has some easier projects and some trickier ones so there is plenty in there for all levels.


What’s your favourite piece from the book? It changes! But I think the 1950s Sailor Blouse is up there at the top, followed by the 1950s Box-Pleat Skirt hich I already have made in lots of fabrics, and am wearing all the time! Sew Over It Vintage by Lisa Comfort, £15, Ebury Press. 91

You can enter online at


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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 14.08.2015. Mark your envelope: Sew August Giveaways, PO Box 443, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8WG.


Enternowforyourchance to win these amazing prizes!




What made you buy this month’s Sew? FREE Simplicity 1418 dress pattern FREE* book offer *T&C apply I subscribe Other ......................................................................................................... What’s your favourite project this issue? Forest friends mobile Felt bunny

No-pattern top

Appliqué nautical set

Other .........................................................................................................

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Other.......................................... Name............................................................................... ................................................ Addres ........................................................................... ............................................................................................ ............................................................................................ Postcode.......................................... Daytime phone..........................................................

Belle & Boo goodies This British brand creates gorgeous products, designed to embody all that we love about traditional, old-fashioned story telling. We have a selection of goodies for one lucky winner, including a sewing tin and metre of sweet ballet fabric and Boo print. Plus, two runners up will get a set of Jennie Maizel ironon patches. To enter, tick the 'BELLE & BOO' box. Visit



The UK's largest textiles and crafting show is coming to Alexandra Palace from October 7th–11th and we have five pairs of tickets up for grabs*. Featuring exhibitors, talks and workshops, this is a great opportunity to meet other craft enthusiasts and stock up on essentials! Tick the 'KNITTING & STITCHING' box to enter. Visit



Email................................................................................ Date of birth.................................

bundles to win!

Only one entry per household please. This competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. One entry per person. The prizes detailed in each competition cannot be exchanged for goods, or towards the purchase of goods at any retail outlet. Entries must be on the coupon provided. It cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced if lost or damaged. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by these terms and conditions will be disqualified. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE 14.08.2015 Winners will be notified after the cover dated month, a list of winners will be available in writing on request from Rachel Tudor, 21/23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. *Just pay £3.99 postage. Data Protection Your details will be processed by Aceville Publications Ltd (publishers of Sew) in full accordance with data protection legislation. All entries become the property of Aceville Publications Ltd, publishers of Sew. Aceville Publications Ltd and sister companies may wish to contact you with information of other services and publications we provide which may be of interest. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post Phone Email SMS . From time to time Aceville Publications Limited will share details with other reputable companies who provide products and services that may be of interest to you. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post Phone Email SMS .

*These tickets cannot be used before 3pm on Thursday 8th October or all day Saturday 10th October.

CLOVER BUNDLES Get the latest must-have crafting tools from Clover, including a double tracing wheel, quilting needles, appliqué needles and a large bow maker. Plus a hobby gift basket to store all your supplies in. We have three bundles, worth £50 to give away. Tick the 'CLOVER' box to enter. For more information email: or 92

sew shopping

Jane Farnham tote bags

15 Stitching, sewing & Hobbycrafts tickets pairs to win!

We've teamed up with the organisers of the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show to offer 15 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets. Choose between Manchester 10th-12th September or Exeter from 24th-27th September. The show will feature more than 100 exhibitors offering the latest craft inspiration and advice. For the Manchester show, tick the 'MANCHESTER' box, for the Exeter show, tick the 'EXETER' box. Visit

There's plenty of room for your sewing stash, or latest haberdashery stock-up in this fun, screen printed tote by Jane Farnham. Made from sturdy canvas, it's perfect for swinging over your shoulder. We have four to give away, each worth £27. To enter, tick the 'TOTE BAG' box. Visit www.notonthehigh


to win!

Sew Girl patterns

more than


worth of prizes!

With easy to follow instructions and in a range of sizes, the Agnes Tunic from Sew Girl is a classic piece for you to stitch in any colour or fabric you fancy. Team it with the Get Ready For Summer hat, bag and purse, and you're in for a whole new look! We have four sets of Agnes Tunic patterns and Get Ready For Summer patterns for you to win. To enter, tick the 'SEW GIRL' box. To view the full range, visit

Sewing & craft books Full of tutorials, pictures and step-by-step guides, these books will have you itching to be at your sewing machine! We have a copy of the following titles from Search Press for two reader to win: Sew Useful (£9.99), Love to Sew: Vintage-Style Gifts for the Home (£7.99), How to Sew Little Felt Animals (£12.99), How to Sew Beautiful Aprons (£9.99), A-Z of Heirloom Sewing (£12.99), Modern Prairie Sewing (£16.99), Sew Modern Baby (£15.99), Handmade Hostess (£17.99). To enter, tick the 'BOOKS' box. Visit


sets to win! 93 Next month in  We delve into the Cath Kidston archive  Dressmaking advice for novices  Quilting forthemodern sewer


Retro dolly to love

Free handbook

Machine shopping buyer’s guide

art s Easy sew


yle 1950s stn test! o pattern

fort top Lisa Com 94 Your new hero jacket!


r you!





NEW LOOK 6035 The ultimate wardrobe pack

The trophy blazer  Wear anywhere blouse  Sassy A-line skirt  Tailored trousers 


All features are subject to change


“Create a wear anywhere transitional wardrobe!” September issue on sale 31st July 95

Need to know Wendy’s wisdom





How to sew self lined pockets 1 To determine how big to make your pocket, consider the ratio of the garment, along with your hand width. Cut a paper template the finished pocket size and try it out. Once satisfied, add a 1cm seam allowance all the way round and re-cut. 2 To create rounded corners for the bottom of the pocket, fold the template in half widthways. Use a cup or plate positioned on the low open corner of the folded template and draw a small curve [1]. Cut away the excess and open out. 3 Fold fabric right sides together so that the pocket height is in line with the selvedges. Place the template on the fabric with the top straight edge along the fold. Pin and cut out.

Machine foot

Use the same template to cut interfacing the same size, then trim away 1cm from the side and bottom edges. Centre and fuse this to the lower half of the back of the pocket fabric [2]. 4 Fold the pocket with right sides together and stitch around the lower three edges using a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an 8cm gap for turning in the centre of the bottom edge [3]. Clip the corners and snip into the curves before turning the pocket out. Press, tucking in the raw edges of the opening to the inside. Stitch


This nifty foot helps attach bias binding to cover raw edges in one pass. The foot has a scroll of metal on the front through which the bias binding is fed, while the fabric edge is inserted from the left, neatly slipping between the folded binding. As both reach the needle, the binding wraps around the edge of the fabric and you stitch through all the layers together. Work slowly to feed both fabric and binding evenly.

Essential stitches

across the pocket top, 1cm from the edge. 5 Position the pocket on the garment and pin or tack in place. Align the right-hand pocket edge with the presser foot edge on your sewing machine. Move the needle to the right using the stitch width button and stitch 2mm to 3mm from the edge. Sew the pocket in place, reinforcing the top edges by backstitching and also sewing up the gap as you go [4]. Press and repeat for a second pocket, if desired.

WHICH STITCH? You can use a simple straight or a decorative one with a bias binding foot. Try a blanket stitch with the straight part along the inner edge of the binding and the sideways element stitching to the right. This foot is very useful to add binding to single layers of fabric such as at armholes, neck edges, or to neaten the edges of simple jackets and boleros.

Use these stitches in everyday sewing

BACK STITCH Strong hand stitches with a neat finish


Secure the thread on the wrong side of the fabric and bring the needle through to the surface to start the first stitch. Move a stitch length backwards along the sewing line, take the needle back through the fabric, then bring it to the surface at the end position of this stitch. Moving back along the stitching line, take the needle down through the same hole as the previous thread. Bring it to the surface for the end position of the stitch. Repeat along the sewing line to create even stitches.



Similar to buttonhole stitch, used for reinforcing the edge of thick materials

1 2

Secure the thread and working along the edge, bring the needle to the surface of the fabric. Take the needle through from the back of the fabric to the surface on the stitching line. Loop the end of the thread under the needle and pull through to adjust so that the stitch lies along the edge of the fabric. Repeat to create evenly spaced stitches along the fabric edge, maintain an even tension to avoid distorting the fabric.

3 96

RUNNING STITCH A simple row of stitches that creates a dotted line of thread

1 2

Secure the thread on the wrong side of the fabric, then bring the needle through to the surface to start the first stitch. Moving forward, take the needle back down through the fabric, then bring it up again. Keep the distance between the gaps and the stitches the same size and continue along the stitching line.

sew advice


1 Bust

The key to successful fitting is taking accurate body measurements and comparing them to those on the pattern envelope in order to make appropriate alterations.


Back-neck to waist length .......................... .......................................


These basic markings are found on most commercial patterns and may need to be transferred to your fabric.

Multi-size cutting lines Grainline

Around the smallest part of your waist.

4 Hip

Around the fullest part of your hips.

5 Back-neck to waist length

From the base of the neck to the natural waistline.

Ease is the difference between the body measurement and the finished garment’s measurement at the same body part.

Pattern symbols

3 Waist



Waist ............................

Around the chest, above the bust and under the arms.



Bust ..............................

2 High bust



My measurements

Hip ................................


Be honest with your measurements and remember pattern sizes are totally different to ready-to-wear high street sizes. G Use your measurements to help you adjust the pattern to fit your shape, not forgetting to take the required ease into account.




STEPS TO SUCCESS Measure yourself in your underwear, preferably in the bra you will be wearing with your garment. G Use a new tape measure as they can distort out of shape over time. G Ask a friend to help you, especially with tricky measurements such as your back-neck to waist and height.

Around the fullest part of the bust.

6 Height

Measure standing against a wall.

Appliqué tips • Carefully press your fabric pieces before stitching for a neat finish. • Use a variety of machine or hand stitches to achieve different effects. • Back the fabrics with fusible webbing to secure them to the work and prevent edges from fraying. • For really neat edges, use felt to create your designs.

Place on fold line Lengthen or shorten line Dart Bust point or hipline Notches Button and buttonhole placement Construction detail

Machine needle sizes Choose the right needle to suit your fabric Metric 60 70 75 80-90 100-120 Ballpoint Twin

Imperial 8 10 11 12-14 16-20

Fabric type Very fine – synthetics and cottons Fine – silk, chiffon Lightweight to medium – cotton, linen and polyester Medium weight – cotton, linen and polyester Heavyweight – cord, denim, leather and heavy suiting Knit fabrics – jersey, interlock Decorative sewing and pintucks 97

templates To download more templates, visit


FELT BUNNY Designer: Sue Quinn Page: 88 Shown at 100% SCHOOL DRESS COLLAR Cut one



All templates include a 5mm seam allowance




SCHOOL DRESS SKIRT Cut one on fold

sew templates



RABBIT EAR Cut two from pink Cut two from taupe





Š Aceville Publications Ltd. All projects, templates and patterns are for personal home use only and cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes.


sew shopping




Inspired by the Greek island of Skopelos, this bold fabric range by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics is an exotic and elegant collection with a graphic edge. The palette of sea blues, poppy pink and chalk white make it great for summery quilts and home dĂŠcor, but also super gorgeous for sun dresses, separates and accessories. With cotton, knits and voiles in the range, just think of what you can make! Check out the LookBook under the Inspiration tab at

For stockists of the range, visit www.hantex. 100


The essential A-Z for all your sewing needs



To see our full range & find a stockist, please visit our website:

Patchwork & Quilting Fabrics inc Jelly Rolls, Fat Quarters, Charm Packs etc. Daywear and Bridal Fabric, Large Range of Haberdashery, Knitting Wool & Patterns, Sewing Patterns


19 Badminton Road, Downend, Bristol, BS16 6BB Tel: 0117 3293857

Belle Fabrics For Bridal, Dress, Craft & Furnishing Fabrics Stockists of Butterick, Vogue, McCalls & Simplicity Dress Patterns EXTENSIVE RANGE OF HABERDASHERY ‘AN ENORMOUS RANGE OF FABRICS’ STOCKISTS OF STYLECRAFT AND BERGERE DE FRANCE WOOL Everything from Craft Cottons, through Polar Fleece to Lycra

Dress, curtain, and patchwork fabrics. Haberdashery, buttons and quilting notions. And much, much, more.

tel: 01425 461444

TEL 01702 474115 4-12 Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 1SN OPEN MON-SAT 9am-5.30pm

Create Escape Contemporary interiors, fabrics & workshops Fisherton Mill, Fisherton St, Salisbury

134 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6ST


Online fabric shop for unique European fabrics from Hilco, Stenzo, Swafing, Lillestoff and Polytex. Farbenmix and Mamu design patterns and the popular OTTOBRE design sewing magazine for women and kids. If you want something a little bit different th i it t

419 Barlow Moor Rd Chorlton Manchester M21 8ER Tel: 0161 881 7960


1 Moseley St Digbeth Birmingham B5 6JX Tel: 0121 622 6102

1000s of Rolls at Realistic Prices!

For all your Patchwork & Quilting needs

Marshland Fabrics Marshland House, Middle Drove, Wisbech,Cambs PE14 8JT visits by prior arrangement - Tel – 01945 430515

Stockists of all kinds of • Fashion Fabrics • Woolens • Worsteds • Polywools • Polyesters • Cotton • Dance Wear • Linings • Bridal Wear • Satins • Suiting • Lycra and much, much more!

Beautiful Fabric Collections 14 Shamrock Way, Hythe Marina, Southampton SO45 6DY

02381 783386 Only Oilcloths 01772 790017 Calico Kate 36 High Street, Lampeter, SA48 7BB 01570 422866 Linton Tweeds sign an w a fabric for the world's most exclusive fashion houses buy yours online today

If you would like to advertise on these pages, please call Clare on 01206 505495

Material Needs


Tel: 01278 794751 Simplicity, Butterick and Kwik Sew Patterns





Wide range of water resistant fabrics for clothing, covers, bags etc. Microfleece, sweatshirting and T-shirting, also buckles, webbing and zips etc.


Tel: 01524 263377 HABERDASHERY


21 - 25 Friars Street, Stirling FK8 1HA Tel: 01786 462993

Utterly Delightful Fabric Emporium


Cross Patch-specialising in our own unique designs and Australian BOM’s & stitcheries See us & our designs on Create & Craft TV 01559 371018 Blaen Bran, Velindre, Llandysul SA44 5XT ‘If we’re here we’re open’!


If you would like to advertise on these pages, please call Clare on 01206 505495

If you would like your company included in our essential A-Z, please call 01206 506255 164 pages of colouring

pleasure for adults




Relax and take time out of your day with the new Creative Art Therapy book, full of creative images for you to enjoy the simple pleasure of colouring in. The therapeutic benefits of putting pen to paper to conjure up beautiful images is truly rewarding, and the great news is that you don’t need any artistic skill to get real enjoyment. We’ve selected a variety of styles – some simple, some more intricate – and arranged them into four themes: butterflies and birds, animals, flowers and trees, and patterns. So however much time you have and no matter your level of concentration, there is something to enjoy.


* £2 postage cost included

Lines are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-1pm

sew people



This talented designer captures memories and moments through her embroidered and appliquéd artwork

our years ago my husband bought me a sewing machine to help me through a difficult time. As soon as it arrived, I could not wait to get started, and luckily my mother in law taught me how to thread it, as I had forgotten! I signed up for a local sewing class and from my first project, a pair of baby shoes for my little boy, the teacher could see that I enjoyed designing myself, rather than following a pattern. She suggested I look at freehand embroidery. I had no idea what this was, but the thought of being able to actually draw with a sewing machine thrilled me! I studied Art & Design at Glasgow University, and have always been creative, even as a child. When I was just five years old, my mother and father were called to the school, and I thought I was in real trouble. My teacher just wanted to inform them that she had never seen such an artistic child, and asked them to embrace and encourage this! My parents have supported me throughout my life and always tell me how gifted I am. Because of them, I now do the same with my eight year old, Finlay, as he has inherited my artistic traits! My style is influenced by children, both my own and my friends’. I will grab my sketchbook from my bag and capture what I see. I tend to define the details of my work later. I aim to portray a moment in time, so anyone looking at the art can see their daughter, son, or even themselves as a child. I hope that beautiful memories come flooding back to them. That is why I do not stitch a face on most of my pieces, so they can take on whatever memory someone wishes. I love being able to offer a service that is both unique and personal. Whether it be stitching a


photograph of a couple on their wedding day, or a child in their mother's arms, seconds after they came into this world. It is a special job, and I feel very lucky and blessed that my artwork can create such beautiful gifts. I work from my cottage, overlooking a beautiful meadow full of sheep. My work is always close by, as I have a sketchbook in my bag and at my bedside. As soon as I have design in my head, I need to get it down onto paper. Then I watch my ideas come alive in Liberty of London fabrics, Harris tweed (my nod to my much loved home of Scotland), lace, leather and any other interesting fabrics I can get hold of. I am always jumping between designs as I have more notebooks on my work table full of drawings, ready to be stitched! Every day I struggle with balancing doing my own thing and stitching memories for a client. I make lampshades and cushions with some of my designs as well, so it is always mayhem in the studio! My children, Harris and Finlay, are my priority when I am not in front of the machine, although they regularly fall asleep to the sound of me sewing. Other mothers sing lullabys, I sew! In the future, I hope to have my designs printed on ceramics, stationery and fabric. I would love to take part in design shows and have my work displayed in more retail spaces. I teach in the local Arts Centre and the classes are always in demand, so I would enjoy having more time and space for teaching. It is so satisfying watching people become inspired. I'd also love to write a freehand embroidery book one day.

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