NEW! £5,800 PRIZES · ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE · LUXURIOUS FABRICS
TWO PATTERNS Sizes 8-22
NOV 2018 ISS 117 £7.99
81Festive Ideas Sparkling
PERFECT PARTYWEAR · JOLLY DECS
DRESS TSO! IMPRES
*Size ranges vary per pattern
Sew it today, wear it tomorrow
3-Step Gilet No pattern
Suits-all Shift with pockets!
SIZE* EASY-FOLLOW GUIDES FOR YOU! 8-22
ive Scene t s e aF
With the nights slowly drawing in, I love nothing more than snuggling up under a handmade quilt and planning out my next makes with a hot chocolate by my side. This month’s two enclosed patterns are already on my list! New Look 6524 offers four stunning dresses, featuring D-ring, flared and delicate bow sleeves, while Simplicity 8302 provides a complete collection from a classic coat to a trousers and top combo. This month, we also have a beautiful corduroy skirt with a matching belt on page 28, a cosy ribbed jumper from Fiona Hesford (p37), and a three-step boiled wool gilet that can be made in just two hours (p22)! Our panel of experts have also shared their speedy sewing hacks, just in time as the season starts to get busier with parties and present-planning. Still haven’t started your Christmas stitching yet? No problem! We’ve got a fabulous range of brighly-hued projects that’ll make great presents for friends and family. There’s also an embroidered snow globe hoop, which is sure to sit pride of place on the mantlepiece (p58), and if you’re looking for last-minute stocking filler ideas, turn to p44 for our ultimate stitchy gift guide. Finally, as it is the season of giving, we’ve pulled together more than £4,300 worth of sewing prizes for you to win in our bumper giveaways (p81)! All of our lucky readers will have the chance to win a relaxing spa break for two, a brand-new sewing machine, and not to mention fabric bundles galore! Why not try your luck? Happy sewing!
Lucy Jobber, Sew editor
Project exclusive to
Stitch a Santa on page 75!
Turn to page 52 to win a Brother machine
free template download
Look out for our templates and patterns, then download and print them at sewmag.
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Sew Magazine, 1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY
sew � � � � � � in your November issue... 73
IN EVERY ISSUE 03 Welcome
Come and say hello!
06 Who, what, wear
What’s trending in the sewing world
17 Sew social
You’ve been sharing your makes
86 Your sewing guide Get to grips with sewing jargon
89 Next month
Our December issue’s out on 15th November
is as elaborate as its embellishments
Our columnist delves into new dressmaking projects
44 Merry stitchmas gift guide
Fill your sleigh with sewing goodies
Sew chats to a talented pet portrait embroiderer
Pocket your pressies in a mini circle purse
57 Tea with Michelle Staub
47 Spoonflower project
60 Stuart Hillard
62 Tassel garland
This felt hanging is oh-so festive
62 Gingerbread Kev
Stitch a tasty friend!
48 Sew wishlist
68 British Sewing Awards
49 Habby pin cushion
63 Extravagant wreath
66 Stitch & learn
90 Style story: haute couture
58 Snow globe hoop
64 Christmas trees
November’s top picks are hot off the shelf Our round-up of sewing classes
Cast your vote for the chance to win £1,700 worth of prizes The history of couture
Upcycle Kilner jars into statement storage Susie Johns will shake up your stitching skillset
85 The books we’re loving
The latest must-reads
Add a pop of colour with this make Sew a snowy and starry forest
65 Retro baubles
Spruce up your tree this Christmas
72 Drawstring bag
Stitch festive gift bags
72 Oven gloves
For the Christmas puds and turkey
73 Table decorations
A quick and easy make!
73 Peppermint the Fox
Our mascot was lovingly named by a Sew reader
74 Confessions of a sewing addict
Corinne revives her winter wardrobe 04
FREEBIES & OFFERS
Dressmaking pages of fashion,
EASY PATTERNS THIS MONTH
30 garments & more!
10 Classic dresses
28 Matilda skirt
12 Mix ‘n’ match
30 Sewing SOS
Use your pattern to make a head-turning frock Sew a variety of garments
Kick your sewing skills up a notch with this make
20 Boiled wool
Invaluable expert advice to make your sewing life easier!
22 Darcy gilet
Learn how to sew waistbands
Our picks bring the cosy factor Stitch a pink throw-on
24 Grace tunic
Stand out from the crowd in this printed dress
27 Sewing with Tilly
Tips for easy peasy piping
Use your gifts to wake up your wardrobe and sew sleek dresses
32 Debbie Shore’s show and tell
34 Indie pattern news
Don’t miss out on these independent brand picks
36 Fashion forecast
We’ve hand-selected glorious jacquard fabrics
25% off* the sewing cafe
37 Marion sweater
06 30% OFF* Dragonfly Fabrics Stock up on French
Get prepped for the chilly weather with Fiona Hesford’s masterclass
07 25% OFF* The Sewing Cafe On ALL full price
40 Love your machine
terry and wool blends
Invest in top-quality Janome machines
52 Machine giveaway
42 Nancy dress
Enter for the chance to WIN a Brother machine
This frock certainly has the ‘wow’ factor!
70 Create and Craft special An incredible £12 Christmas fabric offer!
81 WIN! Giveaways
A bumper special worth over £4,300!
84 Reader offer
Save up to 50% OFF* sewing craft books!
Subscribe today... FREE GIFT
Enter online at
SEE PAGE 50 05
FREE NEXT MONTH... 89
FREE* ROCKABILLY DRESS PATTERN IN TWO COLOUR OPTIONS!
STITCHY PRIZES TO WIN!
46 Lauren Guthrie’s top tools... for TLC
MAKES FOR EVERY FIGURE CAPES & DRESSES
d f 1
TO WIN !
The sewing world is a hub of excitement – keep up!
Try your hand at a new craft with the 16 projects found in Emily Dawe’s latest book, Paper Christmas. You’ll find all kinds of festive papercrafting makes, from bunting to decorations, so you can give the holiday season a homemade touch. £9.99, searchpress.com
bear in mind If you’re on the lookout for a fabulous Christmas gift for a little one, then you’ll want to ‘bear’ this cute and cuddly toy in mind! Former fashion designer, Michael Dankwah has founded Londonbased store, Grin & Bear, in which these bespoke toys are handmade using Liberty London’s iconic fabric. Go to page 81 to win one of these cute bears. grinandbear london.com
d cool & casual
Add a staple to your closet with the Sasha Trousers! These cool and casual bottoms feature classic tailored details, a figureflattering mid-rise, contour waistband and a comfortable stretch fit. With this pattern to hand, you’ll be a pro at sewing welt pockets, belt loops and zips in no time! £13.68, store.closetcase patterns.com
Festive fabric Now is the time to get your needle and thread ready to create some gorgeous gifts – but you can’t start making without the right fabric! Introducing this sweet new range from Higgs & Higgs – Christmas Critters. This cotton collection comes as part of a five-piece fat quarter bundle, with prints which are perfect for all of your festive makes. higgsandhiggs.com
* 30% OFF
Exclusive discount in our December issue!
dragonfly fabrics! Stock up your stash with thicker materials in time for the nippy weather with this brilliant offer from Dragonfly Fabrics! Simply use the discount code SEW30 to bag yourself 30% off* all full price French Terry and wool blend fabrics to start sewing some cosy winter makes. dragonflyfabrics.co.uk ^Valid from 18th October 2018 until 15th November 2018. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
If you buy one pattern... The cooler weather doesn’t mean waving goodbye to floaty, figure-flattering dresses! With Simplicity New Look 6574, you can add a gorgeous winter frock to your wardrobe. The pattern features four designs, which can be made up in two different length and sleeve variations. Create this dress in a silky fabric and pair with thick tights, boots and a woolly coat to complete the look. £3.26, simplicity.com
Disney magic! One of the nation’s favourite stores, Cath Kidston has collaborated with Disney to create a brand-new Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs range! The six magical fabric prints in this collection have been inspired by the original illustrations from the classic 1937 animation, featuring soft blues, bright yellows and pops of red. cathkidston.com
Add the Cora Top to your collection this winter. This closet staple is really simple to create and can easily be dressed up and down with tailored trousers or comfy jeans. The design features a V-neck, pleat detailing, shallow side slits and a high-low hem, and is the perfect place to start for anyone wanting to get to grips with lightweight, drapey fabrics. £7.50, sewoverit.co.uk
f 25% off* THE SEWING CAFe! Don’t miss out on this fabulous offer from The Sewing Cafe! Just head over to the website with the 25% off* discount code SEWMAG25, and treat yourself to a range of gorgeous fabrics, from Christmas prints and shiny metallics, to checked wool and patterned bouclé. thesewingcafe.co.uk
*Valid from 18th October 2018 until 30th November 2018. Discount applies to full price fabric only.
As the weather becomes cooler, youâ€™ll need some closet classics you can rely on: enter this monthâ€™s capsule set. Stretch your skillset with jersey jumpers, try your hand at corduroy and crepe classics, before finishing off with our easiest-ever boiled wool gilet.
get stitching with your easy patterns
New Look 6524 is perfect for party season
Make Simplicity 8302 in just two hours!
our pattern PROMISE
All of our patterns are available in sizes 8-20* * Covermounted gifts may vary 08
24 SHIFT Master in-seam pockets with this tunic dress
NO PATTERN NEEDED
SWEATER Follow our photo guide for a chic ribbed jumper
28 SKIRT Cosy up in corduroy with our easy belted pattern
GILET Three steps to a style staple 09
STITCH Stitch ITitWITH with
get stitching with your easy patterns
Expand your capsule collection this month with TWO PATTERNS, which give you the opportunity to create eight essential garments. Start with New Look 6524 and make up FOUR GORGEOUS DRESSES in luxurious materials, from silky crepe to crushed velvet. Each style has unique sleeve detailing attached to a simple, stylish shift; opt for full-length sleeves with D-rings, or shorten them and add an intricate ruffle.
lining the FLOUNCE
If you decide to make variation C and find hemming the ruffles a little tricky, you can always line them instead. This eliminates any need to finish off the hem, but will still create a professional finish. When selecting a lining fabric, there are a few things to consider: if your main fabric is sheer, check how the lining will look Art Gallery Fabrics, The underneath it; ensure the lining is slightly Denim Studio Collection in smaller than the main fabric and that it Painterly Wash Chambray has a good drape; finally, why not be Blue, £23.99 per metre, playful and add a pop of colour? minervacrafts.com
pick your NEEDLE
This beautiful pattern can be made up in an array of fabrics, including soft chambray, Prym size 60 or 70 smooth crepe, textured velvet and universal sewing machine patterned jacquard. To create a sleek finish, needles, £2.49 for five, use either a sharp or universal needle in minervacrafts.com a size 60/8 or 70/10.
top tip on GATHERING
Gathering ruffles can sometimes be challenging. Start by setting the stitch length to the longest it will go, then sew two rows of straight seams along the edge of the fabric where you are going to gather. Now, pull on the two top or bottom threads on either side. By creating a double seam, the gathers should look more even and uniform. It’s also important to note that if you’re gathering on the left side but it’s sliding out on the right, you can tie a knot in the right side to prevent this.
choose a THREAD
Surprisingly, silk thread is not the best choice when it comes to sewing with silk fabric; instead, opt for a lightweight cotton or polycotton thread, as this will be stronger and will prevent the seams from puckering and breaking. For topstitching, you can use an all-purpose embroidery cotton to ensure a polished finish.
working with VELVET
This pattern gives you scope to go all out with luxurious fabrics, one of which is crushed velvet. When working with this type of material, you should ensure the pile of the fabric runs the same way before cutting out the pattern pieces; this is more commonly referred to as the ‘nap’. Prior to cutting, run your hand along the right side of the fabric; the pile will feel smooth if you move in the direction of the nap and rough when you rub against it.
add a FACING
With this pattern, you’ll need to attach both a front and back facing. Floppy facings are a common issue in the dressmaking world, however, there are ways around them. One of the main reasons they roll to the outside of a garment is due to a lack of clipping; by making little cuts made perpendicular to the stitching, it enables the seam allowance to open, giving it flexibility so it can lay flat on the curve.
Choose Mettler Seralon Polyester General Sewing thread in Black and Eggshell for dark or light fabrics, £1.59 for 100m, minervacrafts.com 10
Crushed Velour Dress Fabric in Lilac, £3.99 per metre, minervacrafts.com
to find out what your second pattern has to offer, turn to p12
STITCH Stitch it ITwith WITH
your bonus pattern
STATEMENT STYLE Combine the classic shift dress with a modern flared sleeve design for effortless style. The sidesplit seams and bow-ties are a stylish touch for party season.
e D-rilinl gs Matcuhir njegwth ry w ! give with you a polielshleed look yo
BELLE OF THE BALL Ramp up the frill factor with this three-quarter length design. The gathered bell sleeves add a gorgeous finish to this simple dress.
BOWS & FLOUNCES Make the sleeves a little shorter and add beautiful bow detailing to the gathers. You can even add a splash of colour by creating the bows in a contrasting material.
UNDERSTITCHING This step can be tempting to skip, but it really adds a polished finish to your garments. Before you start, cut the seam allowances, which are on the facing or lining, slightly narrower than the garment seams. This ensures that thereâ€™s less chance of the seams bunching up when understitching.
D-RING DESIGN Keep the flounces and embellish the long sleeves with D-ring ties for a unique finish. Opt for silver or gold and match this to your jewellery for a coordinated look. 11
Stitch it with
creative enclosed pattern
get stitching with your easy patterns
Your Simplicity 8302 pattern, worth £9.50, offers you the opportunity to create mix ‘n’ match collections with a tunic dress, top, coat and trousers. They can be made in a variety of fabrics, from denim and gingham, to crepe and brocade. You can sew the coat with some pretty and practical buttons from your stash, too.
Quickly cut your fabric with the Sew Easy Soft Grip Rotary Cutter, £15.50, hobbycraft.co.uk
perfect that POCKET
With the unlined coat, you’ll be able to practise creating a single welt pocket. These are bound and flat, and are often found on trousers and suit jackets. To get your pocket just right, add fusible interfacing onto the wrong side behind the pocket placement area as this will strengthen it and prevent the fabric from fraying. To ensure you have a perfectly even pocket, tack a line of stitches along the finished edge of the welt.
the finishing LINE
For a professional finish on pattern C, it’s a good idea to encase the seams, facings and hems within double-fold bias tape. To enclose, just insert the raw edge in between the fold of the bias tape, making sure that the wider part of the tape remains on the underside. This will ensure that when it is stitched in place, the underside will be caught in the sewing.
Our dressmaker used Lady McElroy Lorenzo Leaves Cotton Lawn, £7.25 per metre, craftysewandso.com
zip it UP
Designs A, B and D all require you to insert an invisible zip. For many new sewists, making sure that a zip is aligned correctly can be a little difficult the first couple of times. So, to make sure the zip is lined up on both sides when you sew it in place, mark the midway point on the zip tape and both seam allowances.
Try this Boucle Tweed Wool Blend Stretch Jersey Knit in Purple, £8.99 per metre, minervacrafts.com 12
Stitch it with
your bonus pattern
style selector style a
EASY-SEW TUNIC This tunic is perfect for beginners and it’s great for your capsule wardrobe. With the chance to incorporate a lace underlay, you’ll be sporting chic style all year round.
what’s your size? Remember to use your body measurements to find your pattern size, NOT the ready-towear size that you’d buy in high street shops. Visit simplicitynewlook.com to find out more about taking accurate measurements and getting the right fit for your shape.
WARDROBE ESSENTIAL Everyone needs a basic V-neck top in their closet. The split sides and elbowlength sleeves make this a stylish design.
The tunic dress pattern will need to have both bust and waist darts. To prevent a ‘bubble’ forming at the point of the darts, make the last few stitches on the fold, leave the thread ends long enough to tie a knot and don’t backstitch. Next, press the dart along the stitching to ‘blend’ it into the sewing, then press the bust darts down and the waist and trouser ones towards the centre.
creating a collar
SIMPLE STYLE This unlined coat is easy to sew and will have you practising with buttonholes, collars and welt pockets.
It’s time to up your collar game with this helpful hint! One of the most important things to do when creating a collar is to invest in a tailor’s ham; this will ensure that your garment is finished off with the right amount of curve. Simply arrange the collar as if the ham is a neck, then pin in place. Now, take the iron and steam it so the heat gives it a curve then, once it’s fully pressed, leave it to cool on the ham.
STRAIGHT-LEG STAPLE These straightleg trousers are a wardrobe essential as they can be paired with a variety of outfits, from a simple top for a casual look, to a blouse for work.
When it comes to necklines and collars, the right kind of interfacing is crucial to its construction. The best rule of thumb to remember if you’re working with linen or cotton is to use fusible interfacing and make sure that it is sturdy, or even slightly more so than the main fabric. With wool or silk material, it’s often a good idea to use sew-in interfacing instead; for example, for silk or rayon, silk organza is an ideal option, but hair canvas is more suited for wool.
Stitch it with
machines 3 party£899 ready dresses
ENTER TO WIN on p52
printsls Pairmboplld n e with sin sewingeuyotruar whe llection co
INNOV-IS M280D Sewing and Embroidery
Necklace, £17.50, Marks & Spencer; shoes, £22.99, New Look; bag, £15.99, New Look; bracelet, model’s own
This model is perfect for a wide range of stitching projects, from dressmaking and quilting, to embroidery and home furnishings. With an easy-lower drop feed for free motion sewing, which is useful when repairing or quilting with an array of fabric weights,your and a free armfree for sewing trickier areas, you’ll be whipping up pattern Christmas presents in no time!
As well as having a quick-set bobbin and LED light, this model also has a large clear display screen that shows you which stitch width and length is needed and the type of presser foot required to make it ideal for newbie sewers. This machine also includes a presser foot levelling button to ensure smooth stitching and a free arm which can easily accommodate for tubular sewing areas, such as sleeves.
Visit brothersewing.co.uk Sizes
Sizes XS-XL (US)
Next month’s 2 FREE patterns 14
CELEBRATE IN STYLE
Complete your winter wardrobe with a fits-all party dress and top it off with a cosy cape.
I couldn’t find anything I liked on the highstreet to wear to a wedding, so I stitched this McCall’s 6953 dipped hem dress for myself and a Simplicity 1506 waistcoat for my husband.
We’ve been itching to see what you’ve been stitching this month – here are some of our favourites!
We think both of you look amazing, Gail!
I made this fabric wreath a couple of months ago – I’m not sure if I’m late for last Christmas or early for this year!
My friend is a teacher and she wanted to show the cultural heritage of Wales to her pupils, so I made her these cushions out of Welsh dragon material. I’ve made cushions before but this was my first attempt at adding a zip – I’m chuffed to bits with it! Nia McIntosh
This dress was created with a bargain £2 fabric buy! I took this picture outside my parents’ home a couple of days before they moved – I’m going to miss the house and making stitchy memories there. Lucy Picksley
I attended the garment making course in Warrington with the aim of leaving the workshop with a flattering swimming costume – I’m so pleased with the result! Louise Critchley
You should be so proud of yourself, it’s fantastic, Louise!
chosen by you Find Peppermint Each month on Facebook, we ask you to help us choose on a name for our issue’s mascot.
Say Hello to Peppermint!
“I chose Peppermint as the name for your fox because the red and white fabric reminds me of peppermint candy canes, which also happens to be one of my favourite flavours of tea to enjoy in the winter!” Maryanne Lucas, Sew reader Help us to choose a name for next month’s mascot at facebook.com/sewhq 17
I’ve been sewing for just over two years now, so I thought I’d be adventurous and make the McCall’s Cosplay M2021 tailed jacket for my husband. All my hard work paid off, and he wore it to the Whitby Steampunk Festival! Helen Steven
Maryanne has won a set of Aerofil sew-all threads from madeira.co.uk
Sponsored by Minerva Crafts
Write in and WIN! After being inspired by my visit to the Festival of Quilts, I made an alphabet cot blanket for a new arrival. Sarah Whittaker
Your make is very sweet, Sarah!
I made these cute bags for the three bridesmaids at my son’s wedding. Alyson Warwick
I made this Makower UK Sundance fabric banner using iron-on transfer and ombré pom-pom trim. I think it adds a lovely splash of colour to my white walls. Amy Gilbert
Perfect for brightening your sewing room!
My friend who works in a nursery asked me to stitch this cushion for her; she wanted the chick logo to look a little more grown-up, so I turned it into the sun. Karen King
I found this cute material in my local fabric shop and just had to make it into a top! My son loves Lilo and Stitch, so he encouraged me to sew it. Being a sewing newbie, I usually stitch bags, so it was nice to make something I can actually wear. Laura Hargreaves
on the sew blog...
Move over New Year, this month is where our resolutions are taking place from now on!
I stitched an entire wardrobe of garments while anxiously waiting for the newest member of our family to be born. This was supposed to be her first outfit, but she arrived early and only weighed 5lbs, so nothing I made fitted her! Clair Foskett
Don’t miss out on the chance to vote for your stitchy favourites in the British Sewing Awards!
The Crafts Channel has provided you with sewing wisdom for 11 years and, in appreciation, here are our favourite Corinne creations!
Read all of the latest stitchy news and more at sewmag.co.uk/blog 18
e r a h s & h c t i st
This month our Star Letter winner will receive a bumper selection of fabrics from Minerva Crafts, worth £50. minervacrafts.com
! hy triumphs with Sew Share your latest stitc A GOOD CAUSE
I stitched this little girl’s dress for charity. Christine Liken
SEW THE RAINBOW
I made this lovely colour block dress from a Sew Different pattern. I stitched it using Liberty and Avoca fabric left over from previous dressmaking projects. This was a great frock to wear in the summer.
I created these Christmas gift bags for my friends. Gail Mcknight Anderson
SO STYLISH I made this bag for my sewing class but now I want to keep it for myself! Tanya Van Wyk
We think you’ve done a fantastic job stitching this dress, Carol!
MAGICAL A unicorn pencil case I whipped up for my niece. Stephanie Marsh
My friend loves all things ghostly and ghoulish, so I created this wearable delight for her. I’m so chuffed with the end product that I might make one for myself, too. Claire Dolby
I took my granddaughter to the fabric shop to choose her favourite material and trim to make into this lovely kimono top. She absolutely loved going to the fabric store – a sewer in the making! Brill Stepshort
HO-HO-HO Last Christmas, I sewed 20 gift bags for my colleagues using transfer paper, calico and ribbon. Robyn Nicoll
Share your makes via social media @sewhq or email to email@example.com 19
let’s get layering with
WONDERFUL WOOLENS Our favourite material this month? Boiled wool! It’s often stitched into berets and jackets, and is created in the most fascinating way: a process using water shrinks knitted or woven wool into a tighter, felt-like product, then it is boiled to condense the fabric even further. The end result encompasses everything the Sew team look for in dressmaking fabric: it’s slightly stretchy, drapes wonderfully and comes in an array of colours! Who can resist stitching outerwear in these playful pinks and bold hues?
1 2 3 4 5 6
Go to p6 for 30% off!
Boiled wool in Deep Cherise, £29.80 per metre, dragonflyfabrics.co.uk Boiled wool in Yellow Ochre, £29.80 per metre, dragonflyfabrics.co.uk Boiled wool in Turquoise, £29.80 per metre, dragonflyfabrics.co.uk Coat fabric in Emerald Green, £38.99 per metre, minervacrafts.com Heavy coat fabric in Orange, £38.99 per metre, minervacrafts.com Boiled wool coating in Lavender, £29.80 per metre, backstitch.co.uk
Layer up for winter with the
free TEMPLATE download sewmag.co.uk /templates
Get ready to master one of the quickest garments you’ll ever lay your eyes upon. From drafting the pattern to completing the last stitch, Amanda Walker’s stylish waterfall gilet can be ready to wear in under two hours! Boiled wool is an ideal fabric choice for this type of garment as it doesn’t fray, meaning you’ll save plenty of time by leaving the edges raw. Don’t forget to turn to page 20 for more colour options.
Project exclusive to
• Fabric, 1.5m* (150cm)
Front: Cut one pair Back: Cut one on the fold *If you change the dimensions, you will need to review the amount. 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout unless otherwise stated.
Download, print and cut out the diagrams from sewmag.co.uk. To alter the dimensions, take your measurements while wearing a vest top. Measure from the edge of one armhole to the other and across the widest part of your back above your bra line.
Measure the shoulder from the edge of your neck to just beyond your bra strap. Cut the front parts to create a waterfall effect; this can be altered by extending the width across the front piece.
Cut out the front and back pieces and draft the dimensions onto paper to adjust. Check your cross measurement and, if you need to change the size, add or reduce half of the amount. Match the front and back shoulders, right sides together, then the side seams. Pin and stitch, pressing the seams open. 22
Core skill: FABRIC FOCUS
Choose a double-sided fabric, as the waterfall front pieces will reveal the wrong side. If you’ve got a fabric that does fray, you can roll-hem around the outer edges, bind them with bias strips cut from the same fabric, or add contrast binding. If you are worried about the back neck stretching under the weight of the fabric, machine-stitch in matching thread, 5mm from the edge of the neckline.
BOILED BEAUTY This special form of wool is so simple to sew with; it’s perfect for lined or unlined garments, as well as warm skirts and accessories. From £18 per metre, dragonflyfabrics.co.uk ************************ thank you for shopping!
free pattern download sewmag.co.uk /templates
Embrace crepe with our
DRAPED TUNIC Get started
Ladies, this dress from Amanda Walker just proves that you can be comfortable and stylish at the same time. Made from a beautifully light crepe fabric, this tent tunic is ideal for a multitude of occasions, and looks great teamed with tights in the winter – it’s a winner in our eyes! Amanda’s versatile pattern is wonderful to use with a whole selection of fabrics so you can create a tunic for all four seasons.
• Fabric, 2m (150cm) • Concealed zip, 22in • Fusible interfacing, 30cm
Neaten across the shoulder edges of the front and back dress, then pin and stitch. Press the seam allowance open. Fuse the interfacing to the front and back neck facings. Sew the shoulder edges together, then neaten the outer. With right sides together, match the neck facing around that of the dress, matching the shoulder seams. Sew, clip and understitch around the edge of the seam on the right side.
Front: cut one on the fold Back: cut one pair Sleeve: cut two pairs Pocket: cut two pairs Back neck facing: cut one pair in fabric and one pair in interfacing Front neck facing: cut one on the fold in fabric and one on the fold in interfacing
Match the side seams of the front and back, and around the edges of the pockets, then pin and stitch. Neaten the seam allowances from the under armhole, around the pockets to the base of the dress, pressing towards the front. Sew the underarm sleeve seams, right sides facing on both pairs. Press open, then turn one pair to the right side and place these inside the unturned pair.
1.5cm seam allowances used throughout, except around the base of the sleeves where 1cm is needed.
Download and cut out the pattern from sewmag.co.uk. Stitch darts into the front dress from the sides of the darts to the points. Press them upwards towards the shoulders. With right sides together, match one pair of pockets to the position indicated on the side seam of the pattern, then pin and stitch. Neaten this and the edge of the pocket. Repeat, positioning the remaining pair of pockets to the back pieces.
Position the underarm seams together, then sew the two sleeves around the base with a 1cm seam allowance. Clip, then take the unturned sleeve out so that you are looking at the right side of both. Press the seam allowance up into one of them to make the sleeve lining, then understitch. Repeat the process on the remaining pair, finishing with one set of lined sleeves.
Neaten the edges of the centre back seam, then stitch as far as the zip notch from the base of the dress. Sew the concealed zip into the back opening, then press the seam allowance along the two sides. Turn out and, with the right side facing, place the opened zip face down matching the teeth to the crease line. Stitch along one side, leaving 3cm unstitched. Backstitch, then sew the other side. Thread the zip pull to the right side at the top and close.
Sew a row of gathering stitch around the head of the sleeves, starting from the front notch and finishing at the back. Pull the gathering threads up slightly and place the sleeve into the armhole. Match the side seams and
the underarm seam of the sleeve. Position the notch in the sleeve centre to the one at the end of the shoulder seam, then adjust the gathers to fit the armhole. Pin and stitch in place, then neaten.
Project exclusive to
Tidy the base of the dress, then fold and press the 3cm hem before handstitching. Turn in the edges of the back neck facing in line with the edge of the zip, then hand slipstitch in place. Secure the edge of the facing to the shoulder seams again with slipstitches.
Lay your fabric, wrong side facing up, on an ironing board, then place the interfacing on top with the fusible side down. Lay a damp pressing cloth or old dish towel on top of the interfacing, ensuring that all of it is covered. Press the iron down for 10-15 seconds. If you need to apply heat to another area, lift the iron and set it down; if you glide it, the fabric and interfacing may shift and stick to the ironing board cover. Leave to cool completely before moving so that the glue has time to set and stick to the fabric.
PEACHSKIN CHRYSANTHEMUM We adore the crepe GI Comfort fabric that we used in this project, however for a similar alternative, try this equally lightweight material â€“ it will ensure the perfect drape. ÂŁ13 per metre, sewoverit.co.uk ************************ thank you for shopping!
www.gillybee.co.uk • Gorgeous fabrics and sewing supplies for quilters, dressmakers and crafters. • Great customer service with buckets of inspiration & advice. • Stylecraft yarns and patterns. Toft Amigurumi kits and workshops. • Sewing workshops, GillyBee Absolute Beginners Dressmaking course & Sewing Café.
Use code SEW18NOV for a 10% discount online and in the shop with this advert. Sign up to our newsletter for latest news & offers. Visit our shop to join our loyalty scheme.
Shop open Tues-Sat 9.00-5.30 2 Cucumber Lane, Brundall, Norwich NR13 5QY Tel: 01603 716140 Located just outside Norwich a stone’s throw from the A47/Broadland Northway junction. We offer free parking next to the shop.
Sewing with Tilly
EASY PEASY PIPING IN JUST SIX STEPS
dding piping to the seams of your handmade clothes can highlight interesting details and make them look more professional. You can create piping by cutting a strip of fabric on the bias, wrapping it around some cord and sewing it in place – it’s as simple as that! Sit back and relax, as Tilly talks you through the steps of piping a seam with a corner.
When sewing, ensure that the piping is a little longer than the seam you’re sewing it to. If the seam allowance on it is smaller than 15mm, then trim the fabric seam allowances. For example, if the piping allowance is 10mm, cut 5mm off the material.
Place the needle next to the edge of the piping or adjustable zip foot, then use a longer stitch length, between 4mm to 5mm, and tack the fabric part of the piping within the seam allowance to each edge of the collar.
Pin the piping to the right side of one of the seams, with the cord running along the stitching line, and match the piping and fabric raw edges. If you didn’t trim the material, make sure the line between the cord and the piping seam allowance is matched with the seam line.
Snip any notches on the fabric edges which are hidden by the piping. Pin the fabric pieces together with the piping sandwiched between them. Using your chosen foot, stitch the seams together while pushing the piping cord up against the edge of the presser foot.
Once you’ve pinned one side of the collar or yoke, clip into the piping seam allowance at the point where it will join the corner; this will let you bend and pin it to the remaining edge. Secure a piping or adjustable zip foot to your sewing machine.
Turn the seam right sides out, making sure the tacking and piping tape are invisible. If your first attempt at stitching wasn’t close enough to the piping cord, turn it wrong sides out and sew another line a bit closer – you don’t even need to unpick the previous attempt!
For patterns, workshops and more from Tilly, pay a visit to tillyandthebuttons.com 27
Be confident in colour with the
MATILDA SKIRT sew an
Well hello nippy weather, we meet again! Before you’re tempted to succumb to an allblack safety net of closet classics, we have Amanda Walker’s latest design to shake up your wardrobe this winter! This A-line skirt is oh-so flattering and the pocket flaps are a sweet touch. Not only that, but this make will kick your sewing skills up a notch as you’ll need to add a belt, waistband and concealed zip to complete the garment – are you up for the challenge?
Project exclusive to
• Fabric, 1.5m • Concealed zip, 30cm • Fusible interfacing, medium weight • Fusible curtain buckram • Metal eyelet kit
Front skirt: cut one on the fold Back skirt: cut one pair Flaps: cut two pairs Waistband: cut two on the fold: one in fabric and one in fusible interfacing Belt loops: cut a strip, 4cm x 32cm Belt: cut one strip in fabric, 11cm x 95cm; cut one strip in fusible buckram, 4cm x 90cm. Cut an arrow head at one end on both strips. Add an extra 4cm for each size increase.
Overlock the front skirt side edges, then match the front and back pieces together along the side edges. Pin and stitch in place. Overlock one long edge of the belt loop and fold the raw edge towards the centre of the strip, then fold the overlocked edge over the top, pin and edgestitch on each side to secure. Cut into four equal pieces and position as indicated on the front and back skirt pieces, then pin and stitch.
1.5cm seam allowance used throughout unless otherwise stated.
Fuse interfacing to the waistband and overlock one of the long edges. Position the waistband along the skirt waistline, raw edges together and the centre back edges of the waistband running in line with the centre edges of the gap left for the zip, then pin and stitch. One end of the belt loops will be sandwiched in between the waistband and skirt.
Download and print the pattern at sewmag.co.uk, then cut according to the cutting guide. Overlock the side and centre edges of the back skirt. Fold and stitch the darts in place using the notches on the top of the pattern, then press towards the centre back. Match the pieces together through the centre back, right sides facing. Pin and stitch from the base of the skirt up to the zip notch.
open. Trim the seam allowance close to the seam line, then turn the flaps right sides out, teasing out the curves, then press and overlock the edges. Position the flaps where marked on the front skirt and stitch in place; the neatened edges should sit between the dots, and the curved ones should point towards the waistline. Press the flaps down towards the skirt base and stitch a button in each to secure.
Use a standard or concealed zipper foot to stitch the zip into the centre back opening and half of the waistband. Fold and press the seam allowance along the open
Lay the flaps together, then stitch around the curved edges leaving the top straight edges 28
free pattern download sewmag.co.uk /templates two sides. Open out the seam allowance and, with right sides facing, place the opened zip face down, matching the teeth to the seam allowance crease line, then pin.
Stitch the zip to the waistband fold line: if you’re using a concealed zipper foot, place the teeth into the groove and the foot will uncurl it. If you’re using a standard zipper foot, you have to uncurl manually. Backstitch, then sew the other side of the zip in place. Thread the zip pull through to the right side and close it.
PUNCHY POMEGRANATE Looking for a stylish material suitable for winter? Look no further than this fabulous corduroy fabric from Dashwood Studios! £18 per metre, fabrichq.co.uk
Fold the waistband in half lengthways inside the skirt, and the centre back seam allowances over the edge of the zip, then hand-stitch in place. Pin alongside the waistband on the right side of the skirt then, edgestitch to secure. Fold the belt loops onto the waistband, turn in the raw end, pin and edgestitch along the top edge of the waistband to secure the belt loops. Add a hook and eye.
************************ thank you for shopping!
Overlock the base of the skirt, then press a 4cm hem to the inside. Machine-stitch along the top of the hem, then sew another row 1cm below this. Fuse a buckram strip to the wrong side belt piece and position it 1.5cm away from one of the long edges, leaving 1.5cm around the buckram point. Press both spaces over onto the buckram, and fold the fabric over and around the point.
At some point we’ve all struggled to keep belt loops in the right position while we sew! There are a few key things to remember when creating the perfect loops: if your fabric is heavy, either face the fabric with a lighter weight material or use a contrasting one. Plus, skirts often appear more flattering if the belt loops are positioned a few inches apart on either side of the centre front and back – but keep the location of your zipper in mind.
Fold the remaining side of the fabric over, turning in the raw edge and aligning it with the opposite edge. Press all of the edges firmly and edgestitch around the belt, then stitch another row 1cm below, as before, and trim the straight end of the belt. Make a hole in the centre and 5cm away from the straight raw end of the belt. Thread on a buckle and push the prong through the hole.
Fold the raw end back into the belt and machine-stitch across to secure. Position one eyelet on the belt to suit your waist measurement, and one on each side 3cm apart. Thread the belt through the loops to finish.
Bag £29.50; top £25; shoes £29.50, marksandspencer.com
SoS Invaluable advice for making your sewing quick, easy and professional
I’m creating a dress made out of chiffon to wear to a ball, and I’m finding the material an absolute nightmare to sew! Do you have any tips for making chiffon easier to work with?
Mastering chiffon can be a challenge, but this soft fabric’s beautiful drape is worth the hassle! Luckily, I’ve gathered a list of top tips to ease the process: firstly, you need tissue paper. Place the chiffon between the pattern and paper to keep the fabric from shifting, and use weights for extra support. It’s important to cut one layer of chiffon at a time and with sharp scissors or a brand new blade, and remember to hold the pieces together with fine pins – you don’t want big holes in the fabric! Like with the blade, you should begin sewing with a new needle and use a straight stitch needle plate to prevent the material from getting trapped. To finish the garment, use a French seam, then overlock the fringe of the fabric using the same colour thread you’ve been sewing with throughout and roll the edge towards the inside and topstitch to hem – this is the cleanest way to join edges. If you do Little Mistress Multi Floral Midi, all of this, you’re sure to be the belle of the ball! £70, little-mistress.com
i’m fairly new to dressmaking, How can I make the garments I sew look more professional and polished?
First things first, the key to making your garment look refined is to ensure that it’s well made. This means you should spend more time cutting out and trying not to rush the construction of the garment – the straighter those stitches are, the better! The main thing is to take your time. As a rule, I tend to cut out my garment on a different day to when I make it; this means that I arrive at the sewing machine fresh and raring to go. Also, remember to read the instructions carefully before you start making your outfit so you have an idea of how many steps there are and if it’s realistic to get it done in a certain time frame. I’ve learnt this the hard way and had run out the door with my dress unhemmed on the way to a wedding – it was stressful to say the least! Leather label, visit prym.com for stockists Petite Occasionwear Dress, £95 dorothy perkins .com
Silk satin blouse, £130, purecollection.com 30
The creative stylist and Instagram extraordinaire’s talents also include crafty skills, such as weaving, stitching and embroidery.
The creative director of Art Gallery Fabrics aims to bring a chic and modern perspective to the world of textiles.
Kate is the co-founder of The Fold Line: an online sewing resource with pattern reviews, essential advice and sew-alongs.
I’m attending a wedding in a month and I’ve created Sew Over It’s Florence dress in a silky, satin fabric, but I’m not sure how to accessorise my outfit – please help!
top 3 thefoldline.com
We’ve cherry-picked some of the best tools for making your sewing quick, easy and professional, without breaking the bank!
My advice is to buy a satin bomber and 1m of Aida fabric, and transform them both into gorgeous, embellished creations! For the jacket, sequin flowers – peonies, poppies and daisies – can bloom across the shoulders and back of your jacket. Simply choose where you want the flowers to appear on the jacket and use an embroidery hoop and strong thread to sew them on. Next, a bag! Create a handembroidered clutch adorned with camellias, forget-me-nots and daffodils by sketching a bouquet design onto Aida fabric, then mount your material into an embroidery hoop and begin sewing. Next, turn the embroidered piece into a dazzling clutch – you can follow the instructions in my book, Flowerbomb! (pavilionbooks.com) if you’re unsure on how to do this – and add a sweet, gold chain to finish.
For fine materials
Silver pins, 0.6 x 14mm
For clean cuts
Tailor’s scissors, 25cm
For extra ease
Photographs by Tiffany Mumford
Magnetic pin tray
Florence Dress pattern, £7.50, sewoverit.co.uk
ALL TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES ARE FROM PRYM – VISIT PRYM.COM FOR STOCKISTS.
Got a stitchy question for us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us at facebook.com/sewhq and we’ll do our best to answer it! 31
Whether you’re stitching a skirt or a pair of chic culottes, there are many different waistband styles to choose from: grown-on, elasticated and corded are just a few you can get started with. Here I’m going to show you a classic overlapping waistband, using interfacing to give a crisp, professional finish. If you’re following a pattern, make sure that you cut the notches and transfer any markings to your fabric; many designs can also be adapted to make the waistband wider or narrower if you prefer. Finally, as always, it’s important to press your garment as you go to ensure it lays flat.
Debbie Shore’s SHOW & TELL
SEWING WAISTBANDS 1
IRON IT ON
Finish as far as the seams, darts and zips. Cut the waistband, fold in half, then fuse interfacing to the wrong side of one half.
TURN IT OUT
PIN AND STITCH
Fold the long edge of the side without interfacing by the seam allowance. Pin the opposite side, right sides together, to the top.
Fold the waistband ends wrong sides together, then stitch along the short ends. Turn right sides out and push into the corners.
Overlap the waistband end over the zip by the width of the seam allowance, then sew around the top.
Fold the waistband over the seam and press, with the top of the skirt inside. Machine-stitch the bottom of the band, sandwiching the skirt top.
Add your closure, which will either be a button or hook and eye fastening, and you’ve finished your waistband!
For more great tips from Debbie, visit halfyardsewingclub.com 32
S T FR O M I N
D E SI G N E R S
NDIE pattern T
Christina Skirt by Seamwork Difficulty: Few garments are as enduring as the pencil skirt, as the Christina pattern proves. This wardrobe classic, sitting just above the knee, is freshened up with subtle modern details like a faced back split. Make this skirt in a neutral
twill for a workwear staple, or be daring in faux leather. You’ll also find bonus hacks, including side seam pockets, available on the website, along with handy tips and tricks to make it. From £10.70, seamwork.com
E S 4 6-2
Picasso Top and Pants
Luzerne Trench Coat
by The Sewing Workshop Difficulty:
Introducing the ultimate comfy combo: the Picasso Top and Pants. The loose-fitting top offers a jewel neckline and square-inset long tapered sleeves, and there’s a special overlapping seam technique included in the instructions. Inside this pack, you’ll also find a pair of lantern pants with front, side and back panels finished with tapered bottom wedges. Make both in stretch knits or switch the bottoms for cotton or silk.
Difficulty: With the weather turning nippier by the day, it’s time to stitch yourself a classic, tailored coat. The Luzerne pattern is perfect for stitchers looking for a new challenge: it’s a double-breasted trench design with princess seams, pleats at the front and back, diagonal welt pockets, and two-piece sleeves. Stitch in a medium weight twill or gabardine coated fabric to keep it snug and long-lasting. From £10, deer-and-doe.com
From £17, sewingworkshop.com 34
Difficulty: Who says shirts are just for the office? The Kalle pattern is the ultimate in easy dressing with a loose, body-skimming silhouette and a number of interchangeable features. Version A is cropped with a wide faced hem, View B is a tunic length shirt, inspired by classic men’s Oxfords, and View C is a stylish dress with a high-low hem. All versions feature a subtly curved yoke, and kimono sleeves with arm cuffs. Personalise yours with an optional breast pocket, too.
From £13.50, closetcasepatterns.com £11.70, namedclothing.com
by Closet Case Patterns
Difficulty: Drafted with hourglass silhouettes in mind, Deer&Doe patterns are designed to be timeless and figure-flattering. This winter sees the new launch of Magnolia, a mock-wrap dress which effortlessly transitions from day to night. Version A has a spectacular neckline, long sleeves, and a maxi skirt with a slit that will surely turn heads! Version B has a more modest neckline, a short skirt, and breezy butterfly sleeves. Both versions feature a sash to tie in the back to showcase the waistline. From £12.50, deer-and-doe.com
30% off!* ZE
*Valid for six weeks from 18th October. One use only.
Carla Jumpsuit by Schnittchen Patterns Difficulty: Every capsule collection needs a fun throw-on piece for casual days, and the Carla jumpsuit is just the ticket. It’s a loose design with wide cropped legs, a V-neck on the front and back and an elasticated waist casing. Draw inspiration from our model with a bright pop of pink, or go muted with a neutralcoloured linen or light denim. Schnittchen Patterns has also offered every Sew reader a 30% discount off all PDF patterns on the website with code sewyourstyle.* From £7, schnittchen.com 35
Stitch the Look
WHY NOT TRY? 1
This decorative woven fabric is ideal for stitchers embarking on a quest to create couture or ornate garments. When brocade was first manufactured in China during 475BC, the material was used for upholstery, drapery and formal clothing as its raised design, resembling embroidery, was the epitome of elegance and luxury. Now, 2018 sees brocade being woven on a jacquard loom to create complex, tapestry-like designs on a twill, satin or plain weave base. Dressmakers, why not use this fabric to inject added luxe into your evening wear?
“Brocade fabrics are truly wonderful – they’re perfect for sewing one-of-a-kind garments to wear on special occasions to provide that wow factor. This woven material is relatively easy to sew, and is ideal for creating big skirts, beautiful bags, fitted jackets and, not forgetting, stunning dresses!”
1 Dragon brocade in Royal Blue, £7.99 per metre 2 Oriental weave in Pink, £8.99 per metre 3 Blossom brocade in Kingfisher, £7.99 per metre 4 Oriental weave in Emerald, £8.99 per metre 5 Blossom brocade in Red, £7.99 per metre
Vicki Herron, Minerva Crafts
All of the featured fabrics are available from minervacrafts.com
Brocade dress, £75, monsoon. co.uk 36
YOU WILL LEARN: 3 Stitching with knits 3 Making sleeves and cuffs 3 Creating a neckband
Stretch your jersey skills with the
MARION SWEATER Is there anything better than snuggling up in your favourite sweater during the chilly months? We think every winter wardrobe should contain at least one comfy jumper, which is why Fiona Hesford has created this stylish ensemble! The sweater will help you get to grips with knit fabrics and contrasting cuffs and neckbands in no time. Plus, this loose-fitting design can be combined with a variety of outfits; tuck it into a skirt for a smart look, or pair with jeans to channel casual style.
â€˘ Fabric, 1.5m (150cm) â€˘ Sweatshirt ribbing, 5cm wide * Ribbing length required depends on your chosen size: 8-10, neckband 60cm, cuffs 20cm; 12-14, neckband 60.5cm, cuffs 21cm; 16-18, neckband 61cm, cuffs 22cm
Cutting guide Front: cut one on the fold Back: cut two Sleeves: cut two 1cm seam allowance used throughout unless otherwise stated.
Project exclusive to
stitch a RIBBED SWEATER Sewing the front, back and sleeve pieces
Fiona Hesford’s top tips for STITCHING & FINISHING l Visit sewmag.co.uk/ templates to download and print the pattern, then transfer any markings onto your fabric. l When stitching with knits, remember to insert a jersey needle in your machine and use a triple stretch stitch setting or a small zig zag stitch for best results. l At the cutting stage, nick the notches on the sleeve pattern pieces. This will indicate the back section on the sleeve head. l If the raw edges fray, finish them off with an overlocker or zig zag stitch.
Finish the centre back raw edges of the back pieces, then pin right sides together at the centre back edge. Sew and press the seam open. Pin the sleeve at the slanted side edges to the back piece, matching the notches with right sides facing.
Sew, finish the raw edges and press. Pin the sleeve at the front side slanted edges onto the front piece, matching the notches with right sides facing. Sew, finish the raw edges and press the seams towards the sleeve.
Pin the front to the back, matching the longest side edges and sleeves, with right sides together. Sew, finish the edges and press. Sew the neckband together at the short ends with a seam allowance, then finish and press.
Creating the neckband, cuffs and hem
Pin the raw edge of the ribbed piece to the neckline, matching the seam line to the notch at the top of one side of the sleeve. Evenly distribute the fabric and stretch the ribbing out as you go. Hand-tack, sew and finish the raw edge.
Remove the tacking, press the neckband upwards with the seam allowance towards the body on the wrong side, and iron out any puckers on the right side. Extend the stitch length to 2.8 and topstitch 4mm from the edge on the body side.
Join the cuffs at the short edges with a small seam allowance. Pin the rib at the raw edge to the sleeve raw edge, extending the ribbing as you go. Hand-tack, sew, then press. Topstitch the cuff 4mm from the seam line. Finish the lower raw edge and make a single fold 2cm hem.
sew SHOPPER To create the sweater without the contrasting neckband and sleeves, finish off the seams and leave out the ribbing stage
ARTISAN ALLURE This French Terry fabric in Teal Melange is a lightweight polycotton jersey, which is ideal for keeping you warm throughout the winter months. £6.90, dragonflyfabrics.co.uk
EARN YOUR STRIPES Add a stylish contrast to your sweater with this striped navy, turquoise and green French Jansson ribbing. £7.75, merchantandmills.com
free pattern download sewmag.co.uk /templates
Turn to p30 for `our expert tips on getting a pro finish!
TOPSTITCHING This is a line of machine stitch which is worked on the right side of a garment. It is often used on necklines and hems to keep facings in place and to create a crisp edge. A functional topstitch is sewn using a slightly longer straight stitch and matching thread, but for a decorative effect, you can always try a fancier thread, such as a metallic.
! E N I g n i w H e s r C u o y A m r o f M Trans
r u o y e v o L
With 23 built-in stitches, a one-step buttonhole and LED a simple-to-use quilting LIGHTING guide, the Sewist 725S is perfect for all of your upcoming projects. The model also includes: LED lighting, which makes it easy on the eyes when working with dark fabrics; six types of feet, from blind hem stitch to zipper; and a drop feed for free motion embroidery. Special offer: £259 (Usual price: £299)
The Sewist 780DC has 80 built-in stitches, an automatic one-step BUILT-IN buttonhole in three STITCHES styles and an easy-set bobbin to make your sewing experience as smooth as possible. The machine also features 20 direct pattern selection keys, snap-on feet and a protective hard cover.
Indulge yourself with a
Special offer: £499 (Usual price: £559)
JANOME M100 QDC
The Janome M100 QDC model not only includes 100 builtin stitches and seven buttonhole styles, but also has an automatic needle threader, cutter and declutch bobbin winder. To top it off, this machine has a drop-in bobbin, a foot pressure adjustment function, and an instructional DVD which will walk you through how to make the most of this simple model.
Special offer: £519 (Usual price: £579) 40
KEY FEATURES: 3 3 3 3 3 3
100 built-in stitches LED lamp Auto-declutch bobbin winder Soft vinyl cover Snap-on feet LCD display screen
BARGAIN CHRISTMAS BUY!
Treat yourself this Christmas to the Janome GD8100 machine! This computerised model has 100 built-in stitches, three buttonhole styles, an LED lamp, and a drop feed to ensure a professional finish. The machine also includes a satin stitch foot which is perfect for all of your decorative designs, and a seven-point feed system so that the fabric can be guided through evenly. Janome is celebrating its 50th anniversary with this 100-stitch special purchase model – but hurry! It’s only available while stocks last. Janome GD8100, special offer £299. Find your local stockist at janome.co.uk
OUR EDITOR’S PICK!
COVER PRO 2000CPX
It’s easy to see why this cover stitch model is our editor’s pick! With a simple-to-use chain loop for threading, a free arm with plenty of space for sewing around sleeves and cuffs, and its very own accessory box so you can store away all of your sewing bits and bobs, you’ll be stitching up a storm in no time! This machine also comes with LED lighting and a hemming and seam guide, which is ideal for newbie stitchers. Special offer: £449 (Usual price: £499)
“New year, new machine! Treat yourself to the Janome GD8100 this Christmas”
SHOP of the
Sew Creative is situated in the heart of the historic Norwich Lanes and has been established for over 40 years. The store stocks a huge variety of sewing machines, suitable for all abilities, along with accessories to accompany them. The shop also has a vast range of craft materials, including 100% cotton fabric which is ideal for patchwork and quilting, as well as a number of yarns from various well-known brands. Feel free to pop along anytime for machine repairs, a free demonstration, or a fun-filled one-day workshop. 41
WHAT’S ON OFFER? 3H uge selection of Janome machines 3 Machine accessories available 3 One-day workshops 3 Fabric and yarn ranges 3 Free machine demonstrations 3 Servicing and repairs Visit Sew Creative, 11 St. Giles Street, Norwich, NR2 1JL. Alternatively, visit sewcreative.co.uk or call 01603 305888.
free pattern download sewmag.co.uk /templates
Get wrap-and-go style with the
stitch a WRAP DRESS
Put your sewing skills into practise with Julia Claridge’s gorgeous wrap dress! With the help of this simple step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be able to add facings, darts, pleats and bias binding to this stunning frock. Not only will this design develop your technical sewing, it will also provide you with a figure-hugging garment – perfect for the cooler months when layered with a woolly coat.
• Fabric, 2.1m (150cm) • Lightweight iron-on interfacing • Narrow bias binding
Front: cut one pair Back: cut one on the fold Front neck facing: cut one pair Back neck facing: cut one on the fold Skirt front: cut one pair Skirt back: cut one on the fold Skirt facing: cut one pair Belt: cut one full length and one to cutting line 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout unless otherwise stated.
With right sides together, pin and sew the back and fronts at the shoulder seam, then with raw edges matched, pin the bias binding along the armhole edge. Stitch in the fold line, then turn and press the bias tape to the inside before sewing it close to the inner edge.
Download the template at sewmag.co.uk, print out and follow the cutting guide. Apply interfacing onto the front and back neck and skirt facings. Following the pattern markings, create darts in the back bodice. Pin the pleats, marked on the front bodice, at the shoulder seam and lower front edge, then stay-stitch to secure.
Join the bodice side seams, right sides facing, then join the full side seam on the left. On the right side, leave a 4cm gap above the waist edge and backstitch. With right sides together and side seams matched, pin the bodice to the skirt, stitch, neaten the edges and press the seams open. Topstitch around the gap at the waist.
With right sides together, pin the back neck facing towards the lower edge of the front neck and skirt facings. Stitch and press the seams open, then neaten the raw internal edge by using an overlocker or zig zag stitch. Pin each belt piece together across the length and shaped end, right sides facing.
Place the short belt, right sides facing and raw edges matched, at the left front edge and centre it over the waist seam. Pin the long belt at the right front edge seam, then stitch. With seams matched and right sides together, pin the facing around the neck edge and the skirt front with the belt pieces facing inwards towards the dress. Stitch, trim and clip the back neck curve.
Carefully stitch leaving the short straight end open, then trim, turn and press. With right sides together, join the skirt side seams, then pin and sew the left side seam. Pin the right side seam evenly, leaving a 4cm gap at the upper waist edge, backstitching at the start and neatening the raw edges.
Press a 1.5cm double-turned hem at the lower edge. Fold the lower edge of the facing back, right sides together. Pin in line with the hemline fold, stitch, and turn to the right side. Understitch the facing edge, starting and finishing as close as you can to the hem. Stitch along the inner pressed edge of the hem, starting at the facing edge.
Project exclusive to
This is a row of regular straight stitch, made just inside the seam allowance on areas that you don’t want to stretch out of shape while you’re working on them. You generally need to staystitch pieces that are cut on the bias, such as necklines and curved princess seams.
DAINTY FLORALS We’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous Lady McElroy Meadow Melody 100% cotton! It’s lightweight, soft-to-the-touch and ideal for all seasons. £16 per metre, bobbinsnbuttons.co.uk ************************ thank you for shopping!
Only Super Storage
Hands up if you struggle to keep your craft room tidy! While a little bit of mess is all well and good for us creatives, sometimes a tidy up is helpful now and then. So why not have a go at making these origami storage boxes? They’re both pretty and practical, plus they’d make a great Christmas Eve gift, too. Visit sewmag.co.uk for your easy guide.
Pin & Tuck
Award a stunning sewer with a fabulous purple and gold badge. The sewing machine is our favourite design, but there are also tool kit and knitting needle versions to choose from, which are great for any multi-talented crafters. £7 each, sewcraftyonline.co.uk
In recent years, Christmas Eve boxes have become a staple part of gifting before the big day – not sure what to fill yours with? Have no fear, we’ve created a handy gift guide suitable for stitchaholics, including presents which can all be bought and made for £15 and under!
Let it Sew!
Online shop, Not On The High Street, is full of these cute little boxes packed full of stitching fun! They make the perfect stocking filler for sewists of all abilities, and each kit comes complete with a neat storage box, felt, stuffing, ribbon, buttons and mini brads. At Sew HQ, our favourite is this Christmas tree decoration kit, but there’s plenty of other designs to choose from! £5, notonthehighstreet.com
Fill your sleigh with sewing
Great stocking filler!
Multipurpose present Pretty & Practical Whip up this little pair of tortoises for a loved one this Christmas. These cute creatures can be used as pattern weights or handy pin cushions, and are ideal for practising your patchwork, too. To have a go at creating your own, visit sewmag.co.uk and download your template.
Fun & Funky
Wear your sewing on your sleeve – quite literally! These temporary tattoos, otherwise known as ‘crafttoos’, contain a pack of six illustrations, from embroidery hoops and scissors, to bobbins and thread – they’re fantastic fun for crafters of all ages! £6, notonthehighstreet.com
Sewing Room Swoon
What better way to spruce up a sewer’s craft room than with a stitchy print? We’ve fallen in love with this cheery sewing motto and the shiny metallic foil design. But you don’t just have to go with gold; there’s also some beautiful pink and turquoise prints to choose from. £12.95, notonthehighstreet.com
Time for Tea
We don’t know about you, but the Sew team all love a hot cuppa while crafting, so what could be better than a beautifully-illustrated mug with a stitchy saying on the side? The range at JillyJilly doesn’t just stop at cups though; check out the personalised prints, jewellery and badges, too. £10, etsy.com/uk/shop/jillyjillydesign
goodies for the holiday season Make Your Mark
Any avid sewist will appreciate a gift which enables them to stock up on stitchy staples. Head over to The Makery and bag these tasty tape measures, inspired by strawberry, pistachio and spearmint macarons and decorated with a shiny gold foil finish. £6.95, themakery.co.uk
Neat & Tidy
Add a dash of pizazz to someone’s sewing space with these shiny silver and gold giant thimble storage pots. They’re ideal for housing all kinds of stitchy essentials, from scissors and tailor’s chalk, to rulers and pencils. £10, themakery.co.uk
Know of any stitchers who love to read? Then this make is perfect for them! Follow this tutorial to learn how to create a quick and easy tasselled bookmark; all you need is a piece of card and a length of embroidery thread – it really is that simple! Head over to youtube.com/user/TheCraftsChannel to get started.
button up Every crafter loves to collect buttons for their stitchy stash – are we right, sewers? That's why we think this beautiful box of wooden and plastic pick and mix buttons is the perfect stocking filler gift. £6.95, themakery.co.uk
TOP TOOLS for TLC Hold the sharpener in one hand, insert the blades into the slots and work back and forth until the scissors are sharpened
henever I have a serious sewing session and I’m lost in the moment of creating a project, I’ll often look up to find that my tools and equipment are everywhere! So, every now and then, I like to tidy them all together and check in with my most prized and used items – my scissors, my sewing machine and my iron in particular! The notions I’ve recommended below are my ultimate go-tos for keeping everything in tip-top condition.
There is nothing more satisfying than cutting into a piece of fabric – it’s like a knife going through butter – so to help keep your scissors in great condition, be sure to have this Fiskars scissor sharpener handy. £16, guthrie-ghani.co.uk
2 IRON CLEANER
These brush bristles are made of fine nylon threads, which can easily be washed and freed from oil residues
When pressing, don’t be caught out by dirty smudges transferring onto your precious fabric. A Prym iron cleaner will dissolve any burn and scorch marks on your iron, making it as good as new. £3.60, guthrie-ghani.co.uk
LESS THAN £5
3 REVERSIBLE TWEEZERS
As well as being ideal for appliqué and needlework, Prym’s reversible tweezers are perfect for reaching into those hard-to-reach places and pulling out threads – after all, a clean machine is a clean mind! £9.90, guthrie-ghani.co.uk 46
4 FRUITY PINCUSHION
This Prym tomato pincushion has a tiny strawberry shape hanging off the side of it, which contains a special grit that will clean and sharpen the point of your needles – genius! £2.65, guthrie-ghani.co.uk
5 CLEANING SET
Getting the fluff out of your machine is easy to forget about but it’s worth doing, especially if you’ve sewn with fabric that frays. Why not invest in a three-piece cleaning set from Prym? It includes a nylon brush and two screwdrivers. £4.95, johnlewis.com
POCKET YOUR PRESSIES IN A
mini circle purse
Get started • Cotton fabric, 20cm • Zip, 25cm • Bias binding, 2.5cm x 7.5cm, in the same colour as the zip; 1.3cm x 61cm, in any colour • Fusible interfacing
Stitch a tiny purse
Cut out four 10cm circles from fabric. Trim a 4cm piece of bias binding, then open it out and place right side down on the back of one end of the zip. Stitch 1cm from the raw edges, then flip the zipper around and repeat on the opposite end. With the zip right side out, fold it in half to line up the two ends of the opened bias binding. Stitch the binding ends together along the double fold, or directly down the middle. Refold the bias binding around the zip ends, then with the zip open, topstitch 0.6cm from the folded edge. Cut two 9cm circles from fusible interfacing. Sandwich one of the interfacing circles in between two of the fabric circles, right sides out, then loosely tack
With just one small square of fabric, a zip and a piece of bias binding, you can create this sweet little purse from The Spoonflower Quick-sew Project Book. For this quick and easy make, use this fruit-inspired cotton poplin print by Little Arrow Design, or choose a festive fabric and add bright, contrasting binding for a fun and unique make.
with long stitches around the perimeter. Repeat with the remaining piece of interfacing and fabric circles. Open the zip and pin the perimeter of one tacked fabric circle to the edge of the right side of one zip half, then pin the second tacked circle onto the other half of the open zip. Tug the tacking gently and gather the fabric to make it fit. Tack both circles near the edge of the zip with a machine zipper foot. Cover the inner seam with bias tape by unfolding one side and pinning it to the right side around the perimeter of the tacked circle. This should have about a 1.3cm overlap from where you began. Stitch a 1cm seam using the zipper foot. Wrap around the bias tape and fold back under to cover the raw edges of the circle, then topstitch 1cm around it.
Once you’ve backstitched at the end, you’ll have a neat circle of bias tape covering the inside seams. Repeat with
book For more speedy projects, check out The Spoonflower Quick-sew Project Book by Stephen Fraser (£20.99, Abrams). Photography by Zoë Noble.
the other half, then flip the pouch right side out and zip it up.
The team’s top picks for November
Wish is t Wreath wonders
The run up to Christmas is officially the stitchiest time of the year! Take a peek at our selection of top picks to give, sew and maybe keep for yourself. Here, you’ll find something for everyone: cool embroidery for a special friend, funky scarf kits to surprise a loved one, and a whole host of gorgeous buys selected especially for you!
Brick stitch brilliance
From the imagination of Tove Jansson comes a book that is packed with an array of crafty techniques. With beautiful designs and stunning photography throughout, The Moomin Craft Book features activities suitable for young children and experienced crafters alike. £25, panmacmillan.com © Moomin Characters™
Drop Dead Threads’ contemporary creations are quirky, current and downright cool! This one-of-akind shop includes a vast selection of designs from beautiful plant hoops to popular culture scenes, but if the ready-made hoops don’t tickle your fancy, you can order a customised one instead. Prices vary, etsy.com/shop/dropdeadthreadesigns
Sew in the city
We can’t get enough of Mad Fun Creative’s lovely cushions and Christmas delights! The shop boasts exclusive creations, as well as personalised makes like this stunning wreath, which would be a wonderful gift for a loved one if you can bear to part with it. Various prices, etsy.com/uk/shop/MadFunCreative
Save the planet
Make your own practical drawstring bag whilst helping the environment! The-Stitchery’s new kit lets you make a lined and reversible shopping carryall in less than four hours – and that’s not all, this pack contains everything you need to get started: coordinating polycotton fabrics, interfacing, cord and cord stop. £4.95, the-stitchery.co.uk
Cool & cuddly Wool and the Gang are here to make your DIY dreams come true! If you fancy a break from sewing, why not try your hand at knitting? It is winter, after all! This Foxy Roxy scarf in lipstick red is just one of the exciting new kits from Wool and the Gang’s Christmas collection. £110, woolandthegang.com
Inspired by the wardrobe of Carrie Bradshaw comes Sew Over It’s Carrie trousers! This floaty and comfortable garment is the perfect make to pair with chunky knits, although it works just as well when dressed up with heels. The pattern is fantastic for newbie sewers who want to get to grips with construction, as there are no tricky fastenings! £7.50, shop.sewoverit.co.uk
of the month
For dressmaking, curtain and patchwork fabrics, head over to the fantastic mandors.co.uk
Tell us your favourite products by emailing email@example.com 48
UPCYCLE KILNER JARS INTO
Statement Storage Jars are incredibly versatile and easy to upcycle, that’s why Sew designer Corinne Bradd has created these multi-purpose storage pots, so you can pack away your haberdashery bits and bobs, and use the lid to sink your pins into. This DIY project is a great one for beginner stitchers; with just a few scraps of fabric and the super-easy running stitch, you can whip up three of these in under an hour. They make great gifts for Christmas, too!
Get started • Kilner jar, with separate sealing disc and screw band • Fabric: patterned, plain • Fibre filling • Felt
Stitch a pincushion
Disassemble the Kilner jar and measure the diameter of the sealing disc. Cut two circles twice this size, one from patterned fabric and another from plain. Sew running stitch around the circumference of the plain circle, 5mm in from the edge. Gather up slightly, stuff
firmly with filling and tighten the gathers to make a ball. Fasten off and set aside. Sew running stitch around the edge of the patterned circle in the same way as the plain, then gather up slightly to make a pouch. Slip the padded ball inside and place the sealing disc on top with the underside facing you. Pull the gathers taut around the edge of the sealing disc and fasten securely.
Cut a circle of thin felt, the same diameter as the sealing disc, then oversew to the folded edge of the patterned fabric to conceal the raw edges for a neat finish. Place the covered disc back inside the screw band, ensuring the stuffed ball sits in the centre of the ring and allows the band to screw back onto the jar securely.
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The Innov-is M280D Sewing and Embroidery machine is perfect for an array of stitching projects, including dressmaking, quilting, embroidery and home furnishings. With an easy-lower drop feed for free motion sewing, which is useful when repairing or quilting with a range of fabric weights, and a free arm for sewing with trickier areas such as sleeves, you’ll be whipping up Christmas presents in no time! It also features 181 built-in stitches, a presser foot levelling button to ensure smooth stitching, and a one-step buttonhole with ten different styles. So, no matter what kind of creations you’re planning on making for the festive season, this will be your go-to gadget!
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I’ve created over “600 embroidered portraits!”
Meet Michelle Staub, the Instagram star with a passion for pets
Words by Laura Wybrow
t was the autumn of 2014 when Michelle Staub, founder of custom embroidery shop Stitching Sabbatical, decided to sew a portrait of her cat Purrl, after being shocked to discover that no one else offered this customising service already. This was the first of many pet portraits - in fact, Michelle now has over 600 hoops to her name! So, how did it all start? “To be perfectly honest, I only started learning embroidery to escape getting a summer job!” laughs Michelle. “I dabbled in hand sewing as a child but never picked it up again until I needed a way to pay rent Thankfully, I had a popular Tumblr blog which I sold my hoops through that definitely helped to kickstart my shop. I’ve tried a lot of different forms of art over the years but embroidery has been the only one I’ve stuck with. Something about it is just perfect for me!”
ARE YOU FUR REAL?
As well as Purrl, Michelle also has another cat, Háma, and a chiweenie named Pip, who keep Stitching Sabbatical full of inspiration: “For the most part, my pets leave me alone while I work, but I do have to lint roll their fur off all of my pieces! It’s actually very useful to have them to look at when I’m creating the portraits; if I get stuck with direction, I just study my pets to see how animals look and move in real life.” Michelle also notes how important it is to capture an animal’s personality in the initial sketch: “I could stitch 100 black cats and they would all look incredibly different because of their individual personalities. If your pup always has perked up ears
The Stitching Sabbatical owner boosts her business with social media
“My cat, Háma always bothers me during sewing live streams. The moment I start filming he’s all over me, knocking everything off my desk!”
send me stories about how they came to adopt their pet, and I’ve had a few people who ordered memorial portraits, which they’ve said has helped with the healing process.” When it comes to building connections, Michelle also turns to the power of social media: “Including a hint of your personal life allows customers to see you as a real person, not just a brand that’s trying to sell them something. I achieve this by uploading weekly live streams onto my Instagram where my followers watch as I embroider – it’s so cool for pet owners to see me working on their piece!”
and a happy personality, then it’s good to send me a photo that reflects this. I focus on the little details in the eyes, ears and facial expressions to make up the portrait.”
A couple of Michelle’s 600 hoops!
JUST DO IT
In 2015, the Ohio-based artist was working in a retail job, and found herself turning down embroidery commissions because she didn’t have the time to complete orders. So, she took the leap, quit her job and never looked back! The risk paid off as Michelle now gets to do what she enjoys every day: “I love it when people order a portrait as a gift, then send me a message with a story about how it was received – it fills my heart knowing that my work has evoked such strong emotions. My favourite part of my job is connecting with the customers. Sometimes they
However, her videos aren’t without their mishaps. “My cat, Háma always bothers me during live streams. He doesn’t care that I’m around all day, but the moment I start filming he’s all over me, knocking everything off my desk!” For Stitching Sabbatical, the next step is to keep sewing pet portraits while growing the brand: “I hope to expand the products I offer and help others Find to embark on their Michelle’s top own sewing journey, embroidery too. I’m so excited tips online at to share the new sewmag.co.uk plans I’ve been working on!”
For custom-made hoops and behind-the-scenes shots, pay a visit to stitchingsabbatical.com and follow Michelle on Instagram at @stitchingsabbatical 57
SHAKE UP YOUR STITCHING SKILLSET WITH
Get started • Fine weave cotton or linen, 15cm square • Cotton lining, 34cm x 75cm • Felt: green, light green, red • Cotton tape, 10mm x 1.2m • Six-stranded embroidery thread, one skein of each colour: green, white, brown, light, green, black, yellow, blue, grey, pink • Embroidery hoop, 10cm • Embroidery needle • Wooden beads, three
WINTER SNOW GLOBE SCENE
For years, these little souvenirs have enchanted adults and children alike, so why not create your own embroidered version to help celebrate the festive season? This unique Christmas gift showcases several stitches: satin and stem stitch filling, plus French knots for the delicate snowflakes. Don’t forget to top it off with a felt holly for decoration.
Embroider a Christmas hoop
Thread your needle with two strands of your chosen colour, unless otherwise stated
Download the template at sewmag.co.uk. Attach one end of the tape to the outer ring of the hoop, close to the brass screw. Fix the tape to the ring by wrapping and stitching, then transfer the design to the fabric centre using a pencil or erasable marker. Stretch the fabric onto the embroidery hoop, making sure it is in the centre and the screw is at the top. Thread the needle with two strands of green thread, then fill in the tree shape using horizontal bands of satin stitch. Repeat for the house walls using two strands of brown, then finish the chimney in grey, the windows in yellow and the door in blue. Thread the needle with two strands of white and fill in the snowman shape with satin stitch, then for his scarf use pink and repeat with black for the hat. With a single strand of black, embroider the eyes and buttons with French knots, then straight stitch across the centre of each window. Thread the needle with white thread, then fill in the roof and the lower section of the circle with split stitch. Repeat to add bands of split stitch on the tree and the top of the chimney. With brown, embroider fences using straight stitches; each vertical fence post comprises of two parallel stitches. Finish by adding a branch to the snowman. Thread the needle with white thread and embroider French knots over the top-half of the circle, then add a few to the house, tree and snowy ground. Trim away excess fabric at the back of the hoop, sew a running stitch around the edge of the fabric and pull up to gather before fastening off.
Cut two leaf shapes from green felt. Place each one on a slightly larger scrap of light green felt. Embroider leaf veins in split stitch using light green thread. Trim the light green felt to form a narrow border. Trim circles of red felt and wrap around the beads. Gather the edge of each one with small running stitches, then secure the holly to the screw at the top of the hoop. 58
“Embroidered pictures displayed in hoops are such a popular gift – and it’s easy to see why. Why not recreate your own favourite festive scene for a loved one? ” Susie Johns, Sew designer
Project exclusive to
free template download
French knots can be spaced out or worked together in a cluster. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the position of the knot, then hold the thread taut between your finger and thumb.
Take the needle under the thread and wrap it around three times. While holding the thread taut, take the needle through the starting place and pull to the back.
Once you have a small knot on the surface, take the needle back up through the fabric at the position of the next knot and repeat the process.
I’ve had great fun playing with Tilda’s new range Bird Pond, available from sewandso.co.uk
Glorious retro hues are just the ticket for this year’s Christmas makes
I used my New Look 6397 pattern to create a cosy waterfall jacket
At home with...
© Photographed by Rachel Whiting.
STUART HILLARD The Sewing Bee star heads back to his roots with a new dressmaking venture
I don’t need any excuses to get out my sewing machine and begin working on a fresh project, but this month I’ve had them all: new house, new fabric and a new baby! The house and fabric are
mine, the baby belongs to a dear friend, and I simply couldn’t wait to get started on a quilt to welcome her little girl into the world. After a bit of a hiatus, I’ve also returned to dressmaking this month and I’ve rather enjoyed rediscovering my ‘inner bee’. Speaking of which, the word on the street is that filming has finished and The Great British Sewing Bee will be back on our screens in the New Year – hoorah! I can’t wait to see what Patrick, Esme and the team have in store for this season’s sewers. I’d love to see some challenges that involve upcycling, particularly more unusual things, such as a supermarket Bag for Life. The re-purpose challenge was actually my favourite to do and I love to watch it, too. I can almost hear the cogs whirring as everyone comes up with a plan – it’s amazing what ideas come through when the pressure is on! AWARDS SEASON It’s been a huge honour to once again find myself nominated as ‘Most Inspirational Sewing Personality’ in the British Sewing Awards. I think
it’s a fantastic way to recognise the work that’s being done in our sewing community, the brilliant online and bricks-and-mortar presence, the teaching that continues to inspire, and the people who motivate everything we are working to achieve. Working as an ambassador for some of the
“After three hours of sewing, I was swishing around the house like it was a day spa, clad in my new robe and a clay mask” biggest sewing and knitting brands in the world is a huge honour, but my favourite role is to champion a love of sewing, and to encourage people to enjoy and learn this wonderfully diverse and inspiring craft. I’m also judging in the British Sewing Awards this year, too and I can’t tell you how buoyed I am by the quality of the innovations and products I have seen so far. There’s been no shortage of innovations by many of our best-loved brands – the future is certainly looking bright!
Who doesn’t love a pamper every now and then!
FABRIC FINESSE Back in my sewing studio I’ve been having a fine old time stitching up some lovely pieces. I’ve been playing with Tilda’s new winter range called Bird Pond. It’s gloriously hued and a little retro, with plenty of blooms and ditsy florals – it’s sure to keep fans happy into the new year. I’ve also been busily making some garments with my recentlylaunched Kimono fabrics. This time around, we ventured into cotton jersey, as well as the more traditional quilt-weight cotton. I used a recent pattern from Sew magazine, New Look 6397, and my Kimono Dragonflies in Navy to make a beautiful waterfall jacket. Jersey is relatively easy to work with and produces gorgeous flowing garments that are comfortable to wear and even easier to fit. Just remember to cut your pattern pieces without stretching the fabric: use a ballpoint or stretch needle and a stitch which has some stretch in it. I also couldn’t resist making myself a new dressing gown, so I used some of the cotton print, Kimono Splash in White, and Simplicity pattern 5314. Within three hours I was swishing around the house like it was a day spa, clad in my new robe and a clay mask. Who doesn’t love a little pampering every now and then!
You can check in with Stuart on createandcraft.com, channels Virgin 748, Freeview 23, Freesat 813 and Sky 683, or visit @stuarthillardsews on Instagram 60
• CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL •
your essential guide to a
COLOUR POP CHRISTMAS Mad about colour? These super-easy decorations are ideal for sprucing up your home this holiday season. All you need is felt, pinking shears and a lot of festive cheer – so what are you waiting for? Dip into your crafty stash to create designs by Ruth Oliver and Lucinda Ganderton, including an eye-popping wreath, a vibrant garland and so much more! But first, say 'hello' to your new friend, Gingerbread Kev, over the page.
Share your makes with us on social media @sewHQ
• CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL •
• Felt, various colours • Glitter fabric • Wool
Gather a garland
Cut strips of felt, 5mm x 20cm, then take ten of the strips in a selection of colours and hold them together with the ends evenly placed.
Fold in half over a pencil and wrap the wool around the strips to secure into a tassel. Trim the tassel so that the ends are even, and wrap a small strip of
glitter fabric around the string. Continue to cut the tassels, then thread them onto a piece of wool with a large-eyed needle to create a garland.
Use a pencil to push the wadding into the edges of your decorations
Get started • Felt, various colours • Mini black brads • Ric rac • Toy stuffing
Stitch Gingerbread Kev
Snip two felt gingerbread shapes. On one piece, secure brads for eyes, a mouth, pink cheeks and a line of buttons down the body. Trim small holly leaves and red berries, then stitch them onto the right of the body and add a bow tie at the neck. Sew ric rac onto the hands and feet. Pin the front to the back and stitch all around the edge, leaving a 2cm gap to lightly stuff, then close afterwards. Add a loop of ribbon at the top for hanging up.
• CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL •
Get started • Felt, mixed colours • Glitter fabric • Wool, mixed colours • Pom-poms, various sizes • Wadding • Polystyrene wreath
free template download
folded side, then roll it up and stitch at regular intervals to secure. Trim two gingerbread man templates from brown felt and one piece of wadding slightly smaller. Stitch on a mouth, brads for eyes, glitter fabric buttons and a bow tie. Pin the front and back piece together with the wadding in between, and stitch around the outside in a contrasting thread. Cut out two candy cane templates and one piece of wadding slightly smaller. Sandwich the wadding in between the felt pieces and sew around, then glue on thin strips of
Create an wreath
Download and print the template from sewmag. co.uk. Take long lengths of white wool and wrap around a polystyrene wreath. To create pom-poms, take a length of wool and wrap it around the prongs of a fork 30 times. Use a smaller piece of wool to thread through the middle of the fork, then tie tightly. Slide it off the fork and cut the looped sides, leaving a 13cm gap. To create tassels, cut a felt rectangle, 8cm x 15cm, and fold lengthways. Snip into the
glitter fabric to create stripes. Snip two trees from green felt and one pot from pink. Stitch the pot over the base of one of the trees. Enclose a smaller piece of wadding in between the trees and sew around the outside. Stitch on small confetti and add a star on top. Pin the pom-poms and tassels on the left of the wreath, then sew to secure. Fill in any gaps with individual pom-poms, then work these around the whole wreath. Fix the festive decorations in place to finish.
• CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL •
Get started • Felt, green, white and yellow • Ric rac • Polyester filling • Wooden dowel • Wooden spool
Make a snowy tree
Download and print the template from sewmag. co.uk. Cut six snow patches and two trees, one from green felt and one from white. Following the template, glue the
snow shapes in place on the green tree, then sew around the edges with white thread and secure the buttons in place. Cut a strip of white felt, 6mm x 30mm, fold it in half and stitch the ends to the wrong side of the tree at the tip. Pin the two main pieces, right sides together, and blanket stitch to join the sides, leaving the bottom open. Stuff wadding into the tree, then blanket stitch the gap closed. Insert a wooden dowel into the bottom of the tree, pushing it in between two stitches and leaving 3cm exposed. Push onto a wooden spool to complete.
Sew a star tree
Download and print the template from sewmag. co.uk. Cut two triangular shapes, one from green felt and one from white. Trim red ribbon, 12cm long, and stitch it across the bottom of the green shape using red thread. Fold the ends to the back and add 10cm of ric rac just above it. Following the template, cut four stars from yellow felt: one small and three large. Glue the small one to the top of the tree and fix the others to the front, then sew a pink button in the middle of each large star.
Fold a length of red ribbon, 6cm, in half and sew to the top back of the tree. Sew a yellow button to the centre of the small star. Join front and back pieces together, stuff and mount on a spool as before.
The secret to success is to be generous with the wadding!
free template download
• CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL • CHRISTMAS SPECIAL •
Create retro baubles
Download and print the template from sewmag. co.uk, and cut two pieces of each shape from navy, pink and purple felt. Make centre bands from pink, green and purple felt, and three strips of white felt, 1.5cm x 4cm, for the toppers. Trim the edge of each cap with pinking shears. For the navy bauble, cut two narrow pink strips and trim one edge of each with pinking shears. Glue, then oversew the purple band and pink panels, and add ric rac along the central band, tucking the ends to the back. Pin the two baubles together and oversew the outside edges, leaving the top open. Repeat for the pink bauble, omitting the pink strips. For the purple bauble, cut two thin strips from green felt and scallop one edge of each. Glue, then oversew the pink centre band and green strips. Use six pistil stitches as each of the three stars, then join the front and back pieces together as before. Stuff the baubles with wadding. Fold a length of cord, 6cm, in half and secure the ends to the top edge of each decoration. Wrap the white sheared strips around the bauble tops, with the seam at the centre back. Sew the top edges together on either side of the loop and join the back edges.
free template download sewmag.co.uk /templates
Stitch a Christmas pudding
Snip two circles from thin paper and two, 1cm larger in diameter, from Scandi fabric. Pin the paper templates to the back of the fabric circles, then sew a line of running stitches around the edge of the template and draw up to enclose. With wrong sides facing, pin the two fabric shapes together and oversew the outside edge, leaving a 3cm gap at the top. Stuff with wadding and close the opening. Fold a length of satin ribbon, 6cm, in half and stitch it to the top edge with its ends facing the pudding. Cut two semi circles from white felt, then snip a wavy edge and fix it to the front of the decoration, covering the ribbon ends. Oversew the edge of the white section into position. Cut three leaves from green felt and three berries from red, then join them to the centre top.
Find these Carnaby lights online at sewmag.co.uk
Crafty Sew and So, Leicester Visit craftysewandso.com NOV
Christmas Advent Calendar
Create an advent calendar which a little one will treasure for years to come! In this festive workshop, you’ll be able to choose from a colourful selection of materials and learn how to cut pocket and panel pieces, work with small seam allowances, create a lining with wadding and fabric, plus make handy hanging tabs. Price: £45
This workshop is run by experts from craft shop, Ragged Life, and is designed to provide you with the skills you need to know SAT to be able to create everything from a living room mat to a comfy cushion. In the lesson, you’ll learn how to work with hessian, choose and prepare materials and use a variety of rag rug techniques. Price: £70
Develop your stitchy skillset with our selection of workshops
Stitch Studio, Cambridgeshire Visit stitchstudio.co.uk NOV
Beginners Pattern Cutting
Do you struggle to find the perfect fit with shop-bought patterns? Or simply want to learn how to design and create your own? If so, then this workshop is for you! This one-day course will teach you the basics of creating a skirt or trouser pattern tailored to your size, by making up a toile. Price: £60
Needle Felted Christmas Trio The festive season is closing in and what better way to celebrate than with this trio of Christmas characters? The class will be taught by experts from the Felt and Dandy craft shop, in which you’ll learn the basics of needle felting, from making 3D shapes and blending colours, to adding contour details and attaching embellishments. Price: £60
Christmas Stocking & Bunting
This one-day workshop will teach you all you need to know about making that all-essential Christmas stocking and bunting! You’ll have the chance to choose your own fabric from a range of designs and embellish with lace, ribbon, beads and sparkly trim. To top it off, you’ll also learn about how to sew machine embroidery and appliqué. Price: £60
Visit cowslipworkshops.co.uk NOV
Cosy Christmas Wall Hanging
Invite the festive feeling into your home and have a FRI go at making this Yuletide wall hanging. In the lesson, you’ll find out how to create patchwork, add Crimbo motifs to each square, as well as learn how to master free-hand embroidery for lettering and fine details. Price: £47.50
This little angel is designed to keep your sewing bits and neat and tidy, plus you can MON bobs pop her on top of your tree at Christmas. In this workshop, you’ll discover how to add pockets onto her frock, and will have free reign when it comes to customising her with embellishments. Price: £60
Needle Felting Christmas Workshop
Get into the Christmas spirit and stitch up a storm with this fun-filled needle felting workshop! The tutorial is ideal for all sewing abilities, and will teach you how to create sweet festive creatures to decorate your home with for the holiday season. Price: £47.50
I Can Make Shoes, London
Visit icanmakeshoes.com DEC
Your Future in Footwear
Discover all you need to know about creating your own footwear with this three-day workshop. Day one will take you through design methods, shoe components and pattern-making; day two will focus on everything from insoles to linings; and day three will show you how to attach heels and add the finishing touches. Price: £500
Everyone needs a flat pair of shoes in their wardrobe, so why not learn to SUN make your own? With this two-day beginners class, you’ll discover how to create your shoes from start to finish, learning all about covering insoles, lasting the lining, inserting stiffeners, choosing leather and adding embellishments. Price: £350
Creating Leather Bags
This course will take you through the process of SUN constructing one of three types of bag, including a tote, backpack or handbag. You’ll learn how to select and cut leather, add a lining if needed and use a variety of tools required to make this stylish accessory. Price: £195
HAVE YOUR SAY AT SEWMAG.CO.UK/AWARDS
H VOTE FOR
YOUR SEWING FAVOURITES!
ou’ve been nominating your go-tos from sewing machines to independent stores, and after totting up the scores, we’re thrilled to reveal the leading lights that you’ve been loving and using. Why not show your support and vote for your winners in each category? You can post the form below or head over to sewmag. co.uk/awards to vote. There’s fantastic prizes worth £1,700 from Create and Craft up for grabs, too!
This year, we’re delighted to welcome a panel of expert judges to the British Sewing Awards. Each personality will be invited to choose a winner in one category, relevant to their individual expertise.
Place your votes... FAVE SEWING MACHINES
Entry-level sewing machine ❑ Bernina ❑ Brother ❑ Janome ❑ Pfaff ❑ Singer All-round sewing machine ❑ Bernina ❑ Brother ❑ Janome ❑ Pfaff ❑ Singer
Quilting sewing machine ❑ Bernina ❑ Brother ❑ Janome ❑ Pfaff ❑ Singer Embroidery sewing machine ❑ Bernina ❑ Brother ❑ Husqvarna ❑ Janome ❑ Singer Overlocker sewing machine
❑ Baby Lock ❑ Bernina
WOW £1,700 PRIZES ❑ Brother ❑ Janome ❑ Singer Top-spec sewing machine
❑ Bernina ❑ Brother ❑ Janome ❑ Pfaff ❑ Singer
BEST INDEPENDENT RETAILERS
Wales ❑ J & B Sewing Machines, Cardiff
❑ Calico Kate, Lampeter ❑ Lee Mill Fabrics, Swansea ❑ Wheeler Fabrics, Machynlleth ❑ White Gecko Craft Lounge, Dinas Powys
Ireland ❑ CLOTH, Dublin ❑ Sew Unique Fabrics, Bangor ❑ Fiddlesticks Fabrics, Ballymena ❑ Windmill Fabrics, Saintfield Co Down ❑ Love Stitching, Annahilt Scotland
❑ Buttons and Blethers, Dunfermline ❑ Kaleidoscope, Glasgow
OUR JUDGING PANEL Each judge will pick a winner from the categories, highlighted in yellow
Independent pattern designer and founder of The Maker’s Atelier.
Stylist, keen Instagrammer and best-selling author of Flowerbomb!
The Great British Sewing Bee star and regular Sew columnist. 68
WAYNE HEMINGWAY MBE
Award-winning designer and founding member of The Festival of Making.
HAVE YOUR SAY AT SEWMAG.CO.UK/AWARDS ❑ Mandors Fabric Store, Glasgow ❑ No.29, Fochabers ❑ The Peacock and the Tortoise, Perth North of England ❑ BST Fabrics, South Shields ❑ Dolly's Haberdashery & Sewing School, Warrington ❑ Leven Crafts, Guisborough ❑ Oh Sew Sweet Shop @ The Hut, Wombwell ❑ Sewcute Fabrics, Doncaster South of England
❑ Crafty Baba, Ipswich ❑ Eclectic Maker, Worthing ❑ Fabric HQ, Stoke Mandeville ❑ Lady Sew and Sew, Henley-on-Thames ❑ Sewisfaction, Wokingham Midlands
❑ The Cotton Patch, Birmingham ❑ Crafty Sew & So, Leicester ❑ Guthrie & Ghani, Birmingham ❑ Hollies Haberdashery, Newcastle under-Lyme ❑ The Sewing Cafe, Hinckley
Best new product for 2018 Cricut Easy Press Korbond House of Textures range Vlieseline Stretch Fix Tape Sew Easy Foldable Mat Hantex Organic Sewing Thread Best thread brand ❑ Mettler ❑ Madeira ❑ Gütermann ❑ DMC ❑ Threaders by Crafter's Companion Best fabric brand Lewis & Irene Stoff & Stil Lady McElroy Art Gallery Fabrics Liberty London Best major pattern house ❑ Simplicity ❑ New Look ❑ Butterick ❑ Vogue ❑ McCall's Best independent pattern house ❑ Jennifer Lauren Handmade ❑ Closet Case Patterns ❑ Sew Over It ❑ Tilly and the Buttons ❑ Crafty Sew & So
Sewing with Knitted Fabrics – Wendy Ward Sew Your Own Active Wear – Melissa Fehr
Best sewing software brand ❑ Husqvarna ❑ Fittingly Sew (Soft Byte) ❑ Brother ❑ Bernina ❑ Viking ❑ Pfaff ❑ Singer ❑ Janome
Top sewing workshops/courses ❑ Ministry of Craft ❑ GillyBee Designs ❑ The Sewing Cafe ❑ Crafty Sew and So ❑ Craftsy
Best fabric cutting machine
❑ AccuQuilt GO! ❑ Gemini by Crafter’s Companion ❑ Brother ScanNcut ❑ Silhouette Cameo ❑ Cricut Maker
❑ The Knitting and Stitching Show ❑ Festival of Quilts ❑ The Creative Craft Show ❑ Stitching, Sewing and
Best UK chain
❑ Hobbycraft ❑ The Range ❑ John Lewis ❑ Sew Over It ❑ Abakhan Fabrics
Most outstanding Sew Saturday event 2017 ❑ Calico Kate ❑ Sew Creative ❑ Sew Busy ❑ Gather N Sew ❑ Sewing Room ❑ Sewing Machines Direct
Best online retailer ❑ Minerva Crafts ❑ Create and Craft ❑ Online Fabrics ❑ Girl Charlee ❑ Sew Box
YOUR DETAILS Title................Forename..........................
In association with
WIN! WIN! WIN!
Once you've voted, you'll be entered to win one of five fabulous prizes, worth £1,700!
• A day at Create and Craft with one of its sewing experts • A Butterick EB6100 computerised machine • A sewing bundle worth more than £500 • A computerised Singer model • Plus £100 credited to your Create and Craft account
Best sewing blog
❑ The Fold Line ❑ Rachel Pinheiro ❑ Tilly and the Buttons ❑ Mimi G ❑ Lucky Lucille
......................................................................... Postcode...................................................... Tel number................................................... Email..............................................................
Best Instagram Rachel Pinheiro @houseofpinheiro Tilly Walnes @tillybuttons Lisa Comfort @sewoveritlondon Art Gallery Fabrics @artgalleryfabrics Portia Lawrie @portialawrie
❑ Tick this box to be entered into the prize draw
CLOSING DATE: 15th November 2018 FOR VOTES TERMS & CONDITIONS: All entries will be entered into the prize draw which is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. Only one entry per person. The prizes are a day at Create & Craft with one of its sewing experts , £100 credited to your account, plus a Butterick and Singer sewing machine and a sewing bundle worth over £500. These cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced with any other item. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by these terms and conditions will be disqualified. No responsibility will be held for entries lost, delayed or damaged. At Aceville we don’t do spam. We want to keep in touch, but only if you want to hear from us. So we can let you know about what’s going, including our great offers and special deals please agree to receiving emails from us by ticking this box � Aceville Publications, in this instance only, would like to share your information with our competition partner (Create & Craft). If you are happy for Create & Craft to contact you about other products or services they provide that maybe of interest, please agree below by ticking this box � We promise we won't share your information with anyone else and you can manage what we send you at any time by following the link to our preference center at the bottom of any of our emails. Entries will be selected at random within 28 days of the closing date. No correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE: 15th November 2018. Winner will be notified by post, phone or email. The winners’ names will be available on request from Zoe Charge, 21/23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY.
RESOURCES & ACTIVITIES Most inspirational sewing personality ❑ Debbie Shore ❑ Stuart Hillard ❑ Lauren Guthrie ❑ Tilly Walnes ❑ Lisa Comfort
Favourite sewing book 2017-18 Tilda Sunshine Sewing – Tone Finnager Half Yard Bags and Purses – Debbie Shore Stretch – Tilly and the Buttons
Please send completed forms to:
Marketing Dept, British Sewing Awards 2018, Aceville Publications Ltd, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, CO2 8JY 69
CREATE AND CRAFT SPECIAL
WOW! £12 XMAS FABRIC OFFER
Celebrate the holiday season with Create and Craft’s fabulous Me to You Christmas fat quarter bundle! Each Sew reader can get their hands on this 12-piece pack for just £12 (usually £21.99), plus free postage and packaging. The prints feature the much-loved Me to You character, Tatty Teddy, perfect for all of your festive makes. To claim your discounted fat quarters, just visit createandcraft.com/sewmag, or call 0330 041 5683 and quote the code 457954.
FREE P&P! 4 Great Reasons to Spoil Yourself l Sew with six different designs,
including Tatty Teddy
l Ideal for quilting, appliqué and
patchwork projects l Made from 100% cotton which is both soft and durable l Get creative and try cutting with Christmas-themed dies
Make our Christmas projects over the page
To claim your discounted fat quarters, visit createandcraft.com/sewmag, or call 0330 041 5683 and quote the code 457954. The offer is valid on orders placed with Create and Craft between 00:01 BST on 18th October 2018 and 23:59 BST on 15th November 2018. This offer will expire on 15th November 2018 at 23:59. The offer is available to all Create and Craft customers. The offer can be purchased via the Create and Craft website createandcraft.com, on the mobile app, the IVR and by phone. Ideal Shopping Direct Limited reserves the right from time to time and at any time to cancel, discontinue, temporarily or permanently, or amend the promotion or these rules, with or without prior notice (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud).
sew sewhome gifts
FOUR WAYS WITH THE
Me to You collection What better way to kick off the Christmas cheer than with a fabulous fat quarter offer? These sweet Tatty Teddy prints have been transformed into a pretty and practical pair of oven gloves, drawstring gift bags, Santainspired table decorations and this month’s mascot – Peppermint the Fox! So what are you waiting for? Find our reader offer on page 70, use the discount code and get creative with these cotton quarters for just £12!
Get started • Fabric: Me to You fat quarters; white, pink and black cotton • Felt: black, white • Cotton quilt wadding • Satin cord, 2.5mm x 45cm • Ric rac • Buttons, 5mm • Pom-poms, pink and white
free template download sewmag.co.uk /templates
No Christmas is complete without a festive pair of oven mitts!
Create a drawstring bag
Stitch oven gloves
Download and print the template from sewmag.co.uk. Cut the bag shapes from patterned and plain cotton, then trim one pocket and two channel pieces from a contrasting print. Fold the pocket in half, right sides together, and sew around the three edges, leaving a 4cm gap in the centre of one. Clip the corners, turn right sides out and press the raw edges in. Topstitch along the seamless top edge of the pocket. Pin it to the centre of one patterned bag piece and topstitch in place along the other three sides. Take the two channel pieces, fold in 5mm at each end and glue down. Fold in half lengthways, right sides out, and place along the centre top on the right side of each patterned bag piece. Lay the plain lining over this and pin, sandwiching the
Download and print the template from sewmag. co.uk. Cut 80 pieces of fabric from several different prints, 7cm square. Arrange in an 8 x 10 grid, then sew the squares right sides together in pairs with a 5mm seam allowance. Matching the seams, sew the pairs into blocks, then stitch them together to make up the patchwork design until the panel is complete. Cut white cotton, 50cm x 62cm, and lay wadding over this to the same measurements. Pin the patchwork over the layers and topstitch diagonally, sewing the lines through the corners of each square in both directions. Trim the wadding and backing to the same size as the patchwork. Trace four glove shapes onto the back of the work with a soft pencil, remembering to flip two of the shapes. Cut out each glove and bind the edges with a wide zig zag stitch. Pair up the gloves, right sides together, and stitch with a 5mm seam
channels. Sew along the top edges and turn out. Pair the fabric and lining of the bag, right sides together, matching up the top edge seam. Sew around the edges, omitting the cut-out corners and leaving a 5cm gap in the base of the lining for turning. Sew the corners of both the fabric and the lining by matching up the bottom and side seams, then stitch across the straight edge to create a flat base. Turn the bag out through the gap, fold in the raw edges and topstitch closed before pushing the lining into the bag. Topstitch around the top edge, 3mm below the channel. Take two 45cm lengths of satin cord and thread both through the channels, knotting at the end. Move the knots so they sit inside one of the channels. Pull the loops at both ends to close.
“‘These little drawstring bags are perfect for giving Christmas gifts to your loved ones, plus they’re an eco-friendly alternative to wrapping paper, too!”
Corinne Bradd, sew designer 72
allowance, leaving the wrist-end open. Clip the curve at the base of the thumb and turn right sides out. Cut two strips of fabric, 4cm x 36cm, and another two, 4cm x 18cm. With both of the shorter pieces, fold in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew down the long edge. Turn out and flatten before folding in half to make a loop. Tack the raw ends of the loop to the side of the glove, matching up the raw edges. Use the longer strip of fabric to bind the wrist of each glove, sewing the strip to the outside edge first, securing the loop as you do so. Fold under 5mm of the raw edge and slip-stitch to the inside of the glove.
sew home name our mascot! Thanks to Maryanne Lucas for helping us ira threads! Help us with We hope you enjoy your prize – a set of Made ook.com/sewhq faceb suggestions for next month’s toy at
Make Santa table decs
Download and print the template from sewmag.co.uk. Cut plain pink cotton, 7cm square, and add 2.5cm wide strips of striped fabric around the edges, overlapping the borders at the corners. Add a border of black cotton, 2cm wide, in the same way, then attach a border of reindeer patterned strips, 5cm wide. The block should measure around 19cm square. Press, then cut in half diagonally. Cut plaid fabric, 19cm square, in half diagonally then, with right sides together, match up the long diagonals to the two halves of the block. Stitch and open out. Mount the half and half block onto a 20cm square wadding backed with plain cotton, and pin in place. Topstitch along the seam lines before trimming away the excess fabric. Hand-stitch white ric rac along the long edge of the plaid.
Sew Peppermint the Fox
Cut several 3cm wide pieces of stripy fabric, then sew them together to create a continuous strip. Use this to bind the edges of the block. Use the template and cut a white beard shape from felt, then sew to the pink block to create the face, adding two small black buttons for eyes and a tiny pink pom-pom for a nose. Fold Santa in half diagonally, then sew up the plaid edge so that the block creates a cone. Fix a small white pom-pom to the plaid point and flatten the cone so the face is in the centre.
Download and print the template from sewmag. co.uk. Cut 12 strips of stripy fabric, 2.5cm x 12cm. Fold in half widthways, right sides together, then sew down both long edges with a 5mm seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn each strip out to make the tags. Create four ear shapes from striped fabric and sew right sides together in pairs, leaving the bottom edge open. Turn out and press. Make a small pleat in the open edge of each and tack. Cut two body pieces from plaid fabric, a mask shape from white felt, and two eyes and a nose from black felt. Hand-stitch the features to the mask and place it on the right side of one body piece, then topstitch. Tack the ears to the top of the body, matching the raw edges. Tack the tags to the bottom edge of the body in the same way, ensuring there is a 1cm allowance at each end. Pin the remaining body piece over the first, right sides together.
“‘Add festive cheer to your table with these sweet Santa decorations. They can also double up as bottle toppers!” Corinne Bradd, sew designer 73
Sew around the shape, leaving a 5cm gap on one side. Turn the fox right sides out and remove any visible tacking stitches from the ears and tags. Stuff the fox by working the filling into the curve and corners. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip-stitch closed.
free template download sewmag.co.uk /templates
Confessions of a sewing addict
Corinne revives her winter wardrobe just in time for party season!
“This time of year means party season is fast approaching, so I need to look a little more dressed up than usual!” The cooler weather has, once again, forced me to re-evaluate the contents of my wardrobe. I’ve had to delve beneath all of
my summer staples – mainly consisting of piles of floaty shirts and shorts – to find my cosier clothes. This time of year means party season is fast approaching, so I need to look a little more dressed up than usual! When it comes to parties, I often worry that my ‘dressed for the occasion’ look will be more of a mutton/lamb combo, which includes impossible-to-walk-in heels. My dressmaking experience, although sound, is limited. In the eighties, I made a lot of my own clothes by simply drawing around existing garments; shapes were a lot easier then – batwing and drop-waist tops, boxy jackets and slim leg trousers were all the rage. No remnant of curtain was safe from me, and I had a beautiful pair of satin
trousers in white bridal material which I wore proudly with white stilettos. These days I’d rather have something which fits well and can still look elegant when teamed with flat pumps. Body shaping underwear has been a revolution for me and, while it makes going to the loo a bit of a trial, it does hold everything in, meaning that a simple, off-the-peg, shift is less school pinafore and more like a Chanel little black dress! I always avoid wearing belts – I don’t have a waist, so I never see the point. That particular quick-fix is perfect for someone with an hourglass figure, but all it does for me is restrict the amount of Christmas dinner I can eat! Instead, I’d rather wear a kimono; they’re so simple to whip up in an evening, and all you need is a couple of metres of fabric and a bit of
Corinne preps for the festivities! braiding or jacquard ribbon trim. If you don’t want to make a second garment to dress up the first, then there’s always the option to add a few designer details. Embellish with a scattering of hand-stitched crystals around a neckline or hem; this can be time-consuming, but ultimately adds glamour and sparkle to an otherwise plain outfit. Pom-poms, tassel trims and fringing are also easily removable after a fun event, so they’re great for jazzing up a garment and equally, dressing it down. I can’t wait to get started on my festive party outfit this year – bring on the prosecco!
IN NEED OF SOME PARTY DRESS INSPIRATION? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THIS FIERY RED, FITS-ALL SHIFT PATTERN, SEWMAG.CO.UK
ADD A QUIRKY TOUCH WITH A POM-POM TRIM. £1.50 PER METRE, ABAKHAN.CO.UK
JAZZ UP THE SLEEVES OR HEM OF A DRESS WITH GOLD TASSELS FROM STOFFSTIL.CO.UK
FOLLOW IN CORINNE’S FOOTSTEPS AND SLIP ON A KIMONO, JDWILLIAMS.CO.UK
SEE CORINNE IN ACTION AT YOUTUBE.COM/THECRAFTSCHANNEL 74
Sew Saturday 6th October, 2018
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Your award-winning craft superstore! Papercraft, Knit & Stitch, Classes & Demonstrations!
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Bobbin Sewing School The Stables, The Vine, High Street, Stockbridge, Hampshire SO20 6HF E: email@example.com
Our warm and friendly charity runs a sewing cafe four times a month, as well as courses taught by a qualified teacher. CLP Sewing Cafe
Tel: 07771 99 28 95 HERTFORDSHIRE 142 Cotterells Hemel Hempstead Herts, HP1 1JQ 01442 245383
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Get in touch today! • Sewing Machine Sales • Servicing • Repairs • Haberdashery Supplies • Clothing Repairs and Alterations
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One of Hertfordshire’s largest stockists for wools, fabrics, haberdashery and crafts www.needlecraftstore.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
The home of Modern Couture, Fitting, Tailoring, the Sewing Retreat and so much more
Capitol Centre, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 4AW (behind Dunelm Mill) OPEN: MONDAY - SATURDAY; 10AM - 5.30PM SUNDAY; 11AM - 4PM
Tel: 01772 880852 www.inspirationscraft.co.uk LEICESTERSHIRE
71 Market Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1AH
Tel: 01530 416300 /schoolofsewing @sewalison
@sewwardrobe Sew Wardrobe
www.schoolofsewing.co.uk & www.sewwardrobe.co.uk
Sew Saturday 6th October, 2018
Proudly sponsored by:
A new shop for modern and beautiful fabrics and haberdashery for Patchwork and Quilting Fabrics, Haberdashery & Wool! Stockists of Tilda Fabrics, Gutterman Fabrics & Threads, Butterick, McCalls and Kwik Sew patterns. Tel: 01472 357800 www.friarystitch.co.uk
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for dressmakers and quilters Sewing patterns, Stylecraft yarn, Craft kits 2 Cucumber Lane, Brundall, Norwich NR13 5QY
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• Sewing workshops from ages 9+ • Silver Sewing Machine Stockists • Fabrics, Haberdashery & Alterations
Thank you for joining us on Sew Saturday!
Enjoy professional tuition – where you’ll sew amongst enthusiasts! Join our fun ‘Sewing Bee’ workshops and short courses for garment technique specific projects. We can arrange one to one tuition to suit you. Official supplier of Elna and Baby Lock sewing machines and overlockers
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5 MARKET PLACE, BRACKLEY, NN13 7AB
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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
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Sew Saturday 6th October, 2018
Proudly sponsored by:
SEWING MACHINES & SERVICING - SEWING CLASSES - FABRICS & HABERDASHERY “WE’RE ALL THINGS SEWING” • Brother, Husqvarna & Pfaff sewing machines and overlockers. • Sole UK stockist of “Screw B Do” screwdrivers. • Fun sewing classes for all abilities. • Fabulous fabrics for quilting, dressmaking, sewing & crafts.
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Suppliers of mail order fabrics for over 40 years we source beautiful fabrics from Britain, Europe and rest of the world.
Fill out the form or visit sewmag.co.uk/giveaways to win big today!
UNMISSABLE CRAFTING SHOW We've secured 10 pairs of tickets, for you and a like-minded crafty friend, to attend the Craft4Crafters show in Exeter! This three-day event will feature a whole host of artistic delights, including textile displays, demonstrations, workshops and over 170 national and local craft businesses selling supplies. Available at craft4crafters.co.uk We have ten pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, tick CRAFTERS
£430! IN FULL BLOOM
EQS has one of the most extensive collections of fabric in the UK, including incredible brands such as Michael Miller and Riley Blake. Luckily for you, they are offering you the chance to win Miller's Kasmir Gardens bundle! The collection is adorned with traditional floral motifs, and each piece is highly decorative, and full of colour and pattern! Available at eqsuk.com
Bumper Giveaways We have one bundle to give away. To enter, tick EQSUK
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TO DIE FOR
Get your hands on the extraordinary Gemini Junior twin-function machine! Perfectly complementing the Gemini in size and style, the Junior is a portable diecutting and embossing machine. To top it off, we also have four Miniature Friends to give away: these versatile 1.5mm-thick multi-media dies come in the shape of cute foxes, owls, deer and hedgehogs. Available at crafterscompanion.co.uk We have one bundle to give away. To enter, tick GEMINI
1 Bundle to win!
Relax, unwind and refresh with a spa break for two. The voucher is available for a selection of hand-picked hotels, and comes with dinner, an overnight stay and one treatment for you and a friend; enjoy a soak in the jacuzzi and some downtime in the sauna before heading off for a rejuvenating facial – we feel relaxed just thinking about it! Available at buyagift.co.uk
We have one voucher to give away. To enter, tick SPA
REPLENISH YOUR STASH
Kawaii Fabrics houses thousands of stunning materials from world-renowned designers. Enter today to get your hands on a fabric bundle full of all kinds of colours, weights and types – it's suitable for just about every sewing project you can think of! Kawaii Fabrics also offer free shipping on all orders over £55. Available at kawaiifabric.com We have ten bundles to give away. To enter, tick KAWAII
More overleaf! >>
enter online at sewmag.co.uk/giveaways
If you're ready to take your fabric stash up a notch, then this amazing prize from Higgs & Higgs is the way to do it! Win a bundle including quilted cotton and cable knit jersey, as well as three prints from the brand-new Magique collection in glorious colours and on-trend patterns. Available at higgsandhiggs.com
We have one bundle to give away. To enter, tick HIGGS
GRIN AND BEAR
Grin & Bear is a leading British teddy company which create the ultimate heirloom gifts for little ones and those of you who are young at heart. The manufacturer has teamed up with Liberty London to produce two handmade teddies in Christmas fabric, and you have the chance to win one of these limited-edition bears! Available at grinandbearlondon.com and libertylondon.com
1 Bundle to win!
STITCH ALONG Hands up if you like to have the music on while you're sewing – us too! This CD, newly-released by Naxos Records on 14th September, is jampacked with tunes from various classical artists to listen to as you're stitching. Available at naxos.com We have 21 CDs to give away. To enter, tick CD
21 to win! TRANQUIL RETREAT
We have one teddy to give away. To enter, tick BEAR
We have more than
MAKE YOUR MARK Contrado is giving away a voucher to print any design on custommade clothing, a choice of 105 fabrics or over 250 lifestyle products. With the services of this store, you can create something unique to you. Plus, your final product will be ready for you just two days after purchase. Available at contrado.co.uk
£4,300 WORTH OF PRIZES
as a treat for all our lovely readers!
We have five £30 vouchers to give away. To enter, tick PRINT
DECK THE BUNDLES
5 to win!
Put a personal spin on Christmas this year with a signed copy of Corinne Lapierre's bestselling book and a coordinating craft bundle. The prize includes soft wool mix felt, ribbon and thread, as well as a quirky llama kit – make your crafty creations into gifts which will be cherished for years to come. Available at corinnelapierre.com We have five books and kits to give away. To enter, tick DECORATION
Sally's Cottages is an award-winning holiday letting agency with over 470 retreat cottages in the Lake District and Cumbria, and it's offering you a voucher so you can stay in any one of the incredible cottages! Will you head off to the peaceful hills or opt for a quaint town? Wherever you stay, it's guaranteed to be picturesque. Valid for 12 months from issue, subject to availability. Available at sallyscottages.co.uk
5 to win!
We have three £100 vouchers to give away. To enter, tick COTTAGE 82
enter online at sewmag.co.uk/giveaways
BAG A BARGAIN
If you're new to dressmaking, then we have just the prize for you! Hemline's deluxe sewing kit is a real treasure-trove of tools and accessories, and we've secured all of the necessary equipment you need for your projects, including a sewing machine bag, Bondaweb, Framilastic tape and so much more – you'll never be short of supplies again! Gütermann available at firstname.lastname@example.org and Vlieseline available at ladysewandsew.co.uk
Sew have secured three one-month memberships to Debbie Shore's exclusive club, Half Yard Sewing, as well as a copies of her bestselling book, Occasion Bags. The club showcases special monthly projects with patterns and video tutorials, not to mention the online feedback sessions with Debbie herself! Available at searchpress.com and halfyardsewingclub.com We have three one-month memberships and ten booksto give away. To enter, tick DEBBIE
We have five bundles to give away. To enter, tick BUNDLE
OH-SEW LOVELY One lucky reader is going to win the brand-new Sew Lovely collection – the exciting addition to the Sara Signature set at Crafter's Companion! This coordinating range features everything you need to create beautiful projects, from mixed media and home décor items, to faux leather and essential haberdashery. Available at crafterscompanion.co.uk
Who doesn't love Art Gallery Fabrics' stunning selection of timeless prints and bold materials? We know we do! Its fabric collections are well-known for exceptional quality with unparalleled weave and thread count; that's why we've hand-picked a bundle of the most exciting materials just for you! Available at artgalleryfabrics.com We have one bundle to give away. To enter, tick ART
1 Bundle to win!
We have one collection to give away. To enter, tick SARA
Just tick the boxes to win!
To enter our giveaways, just tick the box that corresponds with the prizes you want to win and send your entry to us no later than 27.12.2018. Mark your envelope: Sew November and December Giveaways, PO Box 443, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8WG.
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Turn to p52 to find out more about the brand-new Brother Innov-is M280D Sewing and Embroidery – we have ONE to give away! To enter, tick BROTHER
Mobile Email Date of birth Only one entry per household. Terms and conditions can be found online at sewmag.co.uk
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we’re loving... You’ll be spoilt for choice with our selection of craft titles
The Moomin Craft Book by Tove Jansson
What could be better than a sewing book filled with Tove Jansson’s stories as inspiration? Each project is influenced by the wonderful world of Moominvalley, with its snowy winters and blossoming springs. This lovely edition is jam-packed with top tips and helpful advice for stitchers, knitters and papercrafters, making it ideal for Moomin fans of all abilities! Macmillan, £25, panmacmillan.com
The Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book by Anda Corrie
Stitch up a storm with over 34 stash-busting ideas! Spoonflower is known for its must-have fabric designs, and now it presents to you a collection of speedy-sew projects along with designer interviews and brand-new creations, such as a lovely garland, stylish tote and children’s tent. You can find the quick circle purse tutorial on page 47. Abrams, £20.99, abramsbooks.com
by Katrina Rodabaugh Stitch, patch and repair your much-loved denim, effortlessly! Mending Matters includes more than 20 hands-on projects based on four simple techniques, including weaving and slowstitching, which showcase current trends in visible mending. The unique book also addresses how mending leads to a more mindful relationship with wellbeing through essays by author Katrina. Abrams, £18.99, abramsbooks.com
Turn to p83 to win a Half Yard Sewing Club membership!
This is Home by Christiana Coop and Aimee Lagos
This book was born out of the authors’ connection to the Danish concept of hygge which, in a nutshell, means cosying up your home! This is Home takes a peek inside 20 houses designed to promote feelings of comfort, from a snug apartment in San Francisco to a welcoming log cabin in Wyoming – it’s sure to provide you with inspiration for winter. Chronicle Books, £26, chroniclebooks.com
Diary in Stitches by Minki Kim
Minki Kim’s charming book is inspired by the cute doodles we love to scribble on our notepads. Sew 65 creative motifs and six projects including a machine cover, mini quilt and so much more, or appliqué little gifts for a loved one with Minki’s signature illustrated style. Stash Books, £19.90, ctpub.com
To Build a Bag Book: Tote Bags by Debbie Shore
New from Debbie Shore, who brought you the Half Yard Series and Love to Sew collections, comes this wonderful book! Create 15 unique tote bags that are durable, wipeable and come with easy-to-use templates and step-by-step photos. We’ll start by stitching a simple tote or maybe a crafty organiser, no wait – a purse... Search Press, £15.99, searchpress.com
Sneak peek project on p47!
who does what... Editor, Lucy Jobber email@example.com 01206 505420 Deputy Editor, Sophie Demetriades firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant, Laura Wybrow email@example.com Publishing Director, Helen Tudor Group Editor, Lynn Martin Advertisement Sales Hannah Suttling firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 505495 Anna Spilsbury email@example.com 01206 505932 Sarah Collins firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 506255 Jackie Weddell email@example.com 01206 506221 Jo Bluck firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 506253 Art Director, Phil Dunham Designers Gemma Eales, Cat Morton, Fiona Palmer, Louise Warner & Ben Hepton Ad Production, Angela Scrivener Photography CliQQ Photography, cliqq.co.uk Models Colette, Ariana, Ianthe, Nevs; Chloe H, Gingersnap Fashion stylist, Boo Hill Hair and Make up, Dottie Monaghan Accounts, Denise Bubb 01206 505958 Subscription Enquiries/Back Issues 0330 333 0042 Website Enquiries email@example.com
Get to grips with the dressmaking basics! THE PERFECT FIT
The key to successful fitting is taking accurate body measurements to ensure you get the right size. Pattern sizes aren’t the same as high street clothing sizes, so don’t be tempted to skip this stage. Once you’ve taken your measurements, compare them to those on the pattern envelope or Size It Up panel over the page, then you can make any necessary alterations. Cut out the paper according to the size closest to the measurements you have selected, choosing the best fit (for dresses, blouses and jackets) in the bust and shoulder, as this area is harder to adjust. If your waist or hip measurements are out of proportion according to the standard pattern size, then simply graduate in or out to reach the relevant waist or hip lines to your size.
Newstrade Sales Marketforce 0203 148 3300 Marketing Manager, Andrea Turner
TAKING YOUR MEASUREMENTS
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HIGH BUST Published by Aceville Publications Ltd 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY © Aceville Publications Ltd. 2018 Toy safety: please note that toys with small parts are not suitable for children under three years of age. If making a toy for a very young child omit any buttons and embroider the details instead. Babies should be supervised when playing with toys. All projects from this issue and the FREE online patterns are for personal home use only and cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes. All patterns that are featured in Sew are reproduced in good faith that they do not infringe any copyright. The publishers are not responsible for any safety issues arising from any items created from projects contained within Sew magazine. While all possible care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all projects, we are not responsible for printing errors or the way in which individual work varies. Please read instructions carefully before starting construction.
l Measure yourself in your underwear, preferably in the bra you will be wearing. l Use a new tape measure as they can distort out of shape over time. l Ask a friend to help you, especially with tricky measurements such as your back-neck to waist and height. l Be honest with your measurements and remember that pattern sizes are totally different to ready-to-wear high street sizing. l Use your measurements to help you adjust the pattern to fit your shape, not forgetting to take the required amount of ease into account.
Measure while in the underwear you will be wearing and hold the tape measure comfortably snug, but avoid pulling tight.
HEIGHT Standing against a flat wall without wearing shoes, measure from the floor to the top of your head. HIGH BUST Measure directly under the arms, straight across the back and above the bust. FULL BUST Take the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust and straight across the back. WAIST Tie a length of narrow elastic around the waist and let it settle naturally at your waistline, then measure over it. Keep the elastic handy for future garments. HIPS Measure around the body at the fullest part. This is usually 18-23cm below the waist. 86
Use our FREE pattern to create this upcycled throw at sewmag.co.uk!
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
SIZE it up
Once you have your body measurements, choose the closest size from the chart below. Remember, there will be variations depending on which fabric and pattern you choose, so always make a toile first.
For size 8:
Bust - 78cm Waist - 59cm Hip - 83cm Back neck to waist - 36cm
For size 10:
Bust - 83cm Waist - 64cm Hip - 88cm Back neck to waist - 41cm
For size 12:
Bust - 88cm Waist - 69cm Hip - 93cm Back neck to waist - 46cm
For size 14:
Bust - 93cm Waist - 74cm Hip - 98cm Back neck to waist - 51cm
READING A PATTERN
The basic markings you will find on commercial dressmaking patterns are important to familiarise yourself with. These marks indicate various techniques or steps and are best transferred onto your fabric pieces once you’ve cut them.
MULTIPLE SIZE CUTTING LINES These lines indicate dress sizes. Highlighting yours can help with cutting.
BUST/HIP INDICATORS Located at the bust and hip points on the pattern – make any necessary adjustments if yours don’t fall there.
TUCKS AND GATHERS Bring these lines together before stitching.
GRAINLINE Align this mark with the grain of the fabric i.e. parallel to the warp (see below).
LENGTHEN/SHORTEN HERE This is an opportunity to customise the pattern to your preferences.
BUTTON / BUTTONHOLE PLACEMENTS These indicate where buttonholes should be made on a garment.
FOLD LINE This mark indicates that the pattern piece should be positioned along the fold of the fabric, creating a larger ‘mirrored’ piece.
MISCELLANEOUS MARKINGS These come in a range of sizes and are used as points of reference on a pattern to indicate where pieces should be placed.
NOTCHES Match two pieces of fabric together at these points.
“If you’re upcycling a garment, remember that you can combine material from elsewhere in order to give the finished product contrasting textures and a unique edge. If you do this, make sure you check the care instructions on each piece and test for compatibility by cutting measured squares and washing in warm water first. Once dry, measure them again and ensure that there is no shrinkage to the fabrics before you repurpose them.” MAY MARTIN, SEWING PERSONALITY
For size 16:
Bust - 98cm Waist - 79cm Hip - 103cm Back neck to waist - 56cm
For size 18:
Bust - 103cm Waist - 84cm Hip - 108cm Back neck to waist - 61cm
For size 20:
“This 100% wool fabric is on-trend for this season’s coats and jackets. It comes in a bold country check in harmonious shades of brown, beige, rust and black.”
With the paper pattern pieces facing up, place them onto the fabric. Some will need to be placed on the fold of the fabric (where it’s folded in half, giving you a mirrored piece), which will be indicated on the individual pattern pieces. Most patterns offer a layout guide for the placement, according to the width of your fabric. This helps you get the most from your fabric, and avoids wastage. Pattern pieces that are not indicated to be placed on the fold need to be put on the material with the grainline arrow running parallel to the selvedge. Measure the distance from one end of the arrow to the selvedge, repeat for the other side of the arrow, and move the pattern piece until both measurements are the same.
Getting to grips with your fabric is a fundamental part of sewing. Before you start, familiarise yourself with:
WARP These are the yarns that run the length of the fabric. They are stronger than weft yarns and less likely to stretch.
WEFT These run over and under the warp threads across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge. BIAS The bias grain runs 45° to the warp and weft of the fabric. Cutting garments on the bias creates a finished piece that will follow the contours of the body. SELVEDGE The non-fraying, woven edges that run parallel to the warp grain is the selvedge.
Bust - 108cm Waist - 89cm Hip - 113cm Back neck to waist - 66cm
UNDERSTAND YOUR FABRIC
PLACING YOUR PIECES
Counting Sheep – Rusty Brown Beige Checked Wool, £29 per metre, croftmill.co.uk
CAROLINE BOARDWELL REID, CROFT MILL 87
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STAY TUNED! OUR DECEMBER ISSUE IS ON SALE 15TH NOVEMBER 2018 89
With accessories like these, you’ll be the talk of any soirée. £15, marksandspencer.com
This full-length gown channels couture elegance. txmaxx.com
Recreate high-fashion garments at home!
Photography: FashionStock.com / Shutterstock.com
Nima shell and disc necklace, £29, east.co.uk
Amp up the glam factor with this stylish clutch! £45, accessorize.com
Nothing says haute couture quite like sequins and beads
HIGH-END FINESSE IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING Words by LAURA WYBROW
As the curtain falls on London Fashion Week, it’s time to take a look at one of the most extravagant parts of the dressmaking world: haute couture. This is a tradition that delivers
bespoke creations, where every inch of their construction is made with artisan techniques. Since the 19th century, haute couture, which translates as ‘high dressmaking’, has been the pride of France, despite the concept actually originating in Britain. In 1868, Englishman, Charles Frederick Worth was responsible for transforming it into a recognised practice when he invented the Chambre Syndicale: an association that regulates which fashion houses are true to haute couture, and prevents designers’ work being copied. Flash-forward to 2018, and these stunning collections are still presented in runway shows, notably at Couture Fashion Week: an event which celebrates show-stopping garments and breathtaking accessories in all of their glory. If you find yourself attending one of these elaborate shows, expect to see veils of sequins, mesh ruffled skirts and embroidered evening gloves. Invite lost in the post? You can also pop along to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris to witness the firstever couture boutique.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Couture garments are often created in Parisian ateliers and, if you’re lucky enough to
take a peek inside, you’ll see they’re divided into two divisions: one devoted to dressmaking and the other to tailoring. But, whether it’s a cluster of beads or a crisp pleat, the embellishments are actually added by other sources outside of the atelier. Aneka Truman, founder of Made to Sew – a company that blends home sewing with chic runway designs – explains further: “Couture outfits are embellished using time-intensive techniques by skilled artisans. Hours of work can go into the creation of one garment, meaning that its price point is out of reach for most of us!” However, it’s sill possible to achieve this luxe look for less.
“Haute couture is unique to the individual who wears it, and that person is about to be you!” SEW YOUR FANTASY FROCK
Couture is unique to the individual who wears it, and that person is about to be you! First things first – the fabric. The material you choose will determine the shape, structure and overall style of your chosen piece. So, take the time to find the perfect drape, texture and colour that will allow you to create your dream gown, and pick high-quality fabric which will stand the test of time. The best 90
way to ensure a flawless fit is to create a toile in an inexpensive fabric first so you can make alterations without wasting the coutureworthy material. When it comes to embellishing, Aneka suggests the following: “Add layers of beading, feathers and handmade flowers to transform an ordinary garment into a couture one.” Use a fine betweens needle for this, and a sharps needle for buttonholes. If you’re working with tweed or wool, inject a timeless look into the garment by adding a braided trim to the edge of the sleeves and pockets – very Chanel! Finally, for a professional finish, use French seams and figure of eight stitches to produce a strong but flexible hem. Et voilà! Your sewing room is well on the way to being on par with a Parisian parlour.
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