Modern Sewing Starts Here Issue 1

Page 1

Edition 1 - November 2018

Modern sewing

starts here...


on fabrics The latest fabrics to use this season



How to use fussy cutting in your patchwork designs

Pick of the

PATTERNS Stylish sewing has never been so easy

KNIT know-how

What you need to know to sew with knits and jerseys The wide-leg trousers featured on the front cover are made using Prima Flora Calma knit fabric from AGF’s Virtuosa by Bari J.


Editor’s Letter Hello Welcome to our first edition of our mini magazine for all those who love textiles and sewing, which we will be publishing every two months. We’ll keep you posted of exciting new and contemporary product launches including sewing patterns and fabric, as well as popular techniques that we know you’ll want to hear about. To make sure you don’t miss the next edition – subscribe free here.

Happy sewing!


IN WIN For a ch ! ance to win one three fa of bulous Art Gall Fabrics ery Co bundles lorMaster box es or we have t – just c lick her o giveaway e to ent Closing date is st er. 31 Decemb er 2018


Products you’re going to love…. Scanfil organic thread This new multi-purpose sewing thread comes in 34 colours. Spun in Holland, this thread is a blend of the longest organic fibres making it smooth and strong. It’s suitable for seams, overlocking, topstitching, and embroidery, and won’t shrink or bleed with washing. To find out more –

click here

ColorMaster from Art Gallery Fabrics Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF) has just extended their range of boxes and bundles. With Christmas not so far away, these are an ideal gift as well as a smart way to buy fabric for everyday projects. AGF has taken some of its best prints to create this selection of colour-coordinated and themed fabrics from its signature cotton. To view the full range –

click here Rose Gold notions from Prym Rose gold is the must-have subtle metallic look for this season. Prym has brought out a range of notions including zip pulls, elastic tape, snap fasteners, cord stops for sweatshirts and bag findings to add to your next sewing project. To view the comprehensive range –

click here

The measure of it Make your measuring fun – these retractable tape measures with crocheted animal designs include this cute little owl shown here. They make great presents for sewing friends and there are 9 designs to choose from. To see the full range available –

click here


Trendsetter How to mix and match colour, fabric and patterns to sew the newest trends

Splash the colour

with 7 seasonal shades

Go for warm bold colours this season including Fuchsia pink, beige, sand and burnt orange, rust and olive green (shown here).

A sense of style Here’s 3 looks that you’re going to want to make this autumn:


Pole position for pattern 3

key styles to embrace - large floral prints on a dark background, geo and graphic designs and bold stripes.

Lenox Shirtdress from Cashmerette Patterns


Aqua Marine stripe jersey from Modelo Fabrics

2 Decadence designed by Katarina Roccella for AGF

Maureen Cracknell’s Autumn Vibes collection for AGF

From left to right: Solid knits from AGF – Strawberry, Amaranth, Sahara and and Burnt Orange

Classic shirt styling

Earn your stripes

Love layering

A shirtdress can be a versatile part of any wardrobe. The perfect shirtdress can take you from work to parties. Make in the latest big floral prints for a bold statement or in one of the ontrend solid colours.

No wardrobe is complete without showing its stripes. Elevate your ‘tee’ style in the Lodo knit dress from True Bias. With its subtle cocoon shape, it’s perfect to sew in new multicoloured stripes!

Whip up an Aurelia Cardigan for a go-to layering piece in the latest colours. This flattering cardigan from Sew Liberated is made with a soft knit. Pair it with a longsleeve T-shirt, throw it over a camisole or cinch it with a belt.

Ogden Cami


True Bias This blouse is perfect for wearing on its own or as an essential layering piece to wear with blazers, kimonos and cardigans.

Matcha Top


Sew Liberated This pattern features a one-of-a-kind shoulder construction, mandarin-inspired neckline, and can be made with or without sleeves. Sew in a cool cotton ikat, double gauze, rayon, silk crepe-de-chine, charmeuse and linen with a good drape.

Capsule e b o r d r a w 5 sewing patterns to make a capsule wardrobe work for you


What is a capsule a wardrobe?

Alberta Street Pencil Skirt Sew House Seven This unlined skirt is a classic slim fitting silhouette and sits just below the knee. Make with the oversized angled patch pockets for a more casual style.

A capsule wardrobe is a set of basic garments that you can rely on through the season, and consists of go-to garments that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.


tips to help you sew a capsule wardrobe:

1. Think about your lifestyle and what clothes you already have in your wardrobe that you currently wear a lot.

2. Select patterns that are fairly simple in design but have lots of sleeve, length and neckline options.

3. Choose three or four colours that complement each other to make all these wardrobe basics in.

4. When choosing fabrics make sure they are easy to wash but also hardwearing.


5. Ask yourself the question – does the colourway work

well with the other garments in my capsule wardrobe? Whatever you sew, make sure it pairs with at least 3 or 4 garments already in your wardrobe.

Ulysses Trench Victory Patterns This relaxed trench mixes class styling such as epaulettes with modern draped elements such as a shawl collar. It’s perfect for when all that’s needed is lightweight coat.

Jenny Trousers Closet Case Patterns This pattern may be the perfect wide-legged trouser for your capsule wardrobe and is ideal for wearing to work every day in neutral colours or for a touch of glamour make in gorgeous velvet or French jacquard shown here.


Focus On Fabrics

Feast your eyes on the latest fabrics


Rayon in a class of its own

Jessica Jones has designed a new rayon for Cloud 9 called Business Class, which is just a little heavier than you might expect from a rayon fabric, but more surprising is, how soft it is to the touch. It comes in 137cm wide, which is excellent for everything from trousers and dresses to tops and jackets. To take a closer look at the fabrics – click here


Centre stage Created by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics inspired by her days working in the theatre – Virtuosa is a beautiful fabric collection of bold floral prints, dispersed with harmonious geometrics. There are two distinct colour palettes – the mysterious romantic and the warmhearted extrovert, and come in knits/rayons as well as cotton. To see more from the collection – click here

Softly Subtle


This organic Oeko-Tex brushed back French Terry from Modelo Fabrics is an exceptional quality fabric that combines the softness of jersey with the everyday practicality of a sweatshirt fabric. There’s a hint of Lycra, which makes sure it retains its shape, and lasts longer meaning lower environmental impact. It comes in a wide range of subtle soft colours with designs that look great for all occasions. To take a look at the full collection – click here


Wearing well This 100 per cent organic barkcloth cotton is a soft and thick. The Homestyle collection designed by Eloise Renouf for Cloud9 features autumnal colours and geo-designs, and is superb for bags, home décor and hardwearing garments such as jackets. To view more colourways for this collection – click here


Wish you were here Memories from an adventure to Hawaii with his daughter Helena, guided Matthew Bordeaux’s (AKA Mister Domestic) creation of the whimsical and vibrant Aura fabric collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. The visuals and feel of this island are captured in colour palettes inspired by swimming with dolphins, and ‘out of this world’ sunsets. The collection features knits, rayons and cottons. For more information – click here


Lets talk


Julie Bonnar sewing expert and editor of The Pattern Pages discusses ways to make sewing with stretch fabrics easier Choosing a fabric The weight of stretch fabric can vary from 114-340gms (lightweight to heavy). Anything under 225gms is usually quite see-through plus lighter weight knits are also harder to sew and stretch easily. Make sure you read your sewing pattern before buying the fabric. A pattern envelope will indicate what type of stretch fabric you will require. The small percentage of Lycra/Spandex within the fabric gives it its recovery with means it holds its shape better. There are two types of knits when it comes to stretch – those with twoway stretch and those with four-way stretch. Two-way stretch fabrics stretch in one direction either lengthwise or crosswise, while four-way stretch fabrics stretch in two directions, crosswise, as well as lengthwise and can stretch sideways as well as along the selvedge.

Take a look at the knits/ jerseys available from Art Gallery Fabrics and Modelo Fabrics here.

Pattern placement and cutting stretch fabrics

Directional stretch Line up the pattern pieces on your fabric so the direction of greatest stretch goes across the body rather than up and down. Use a rotary cutter and mat Use a rotary cutter and cutting mat instead of

How to find the stretch

scissors – you’ll get a more accurate cut.

Sewing with knits

The right stitch Test your stitch on a fabric scrap. A zigzag stitch is best as it allows the stitch to stretch with the fabric. Use a 1.5mm width stitch where the garment needs additonal stretchiness such as necklines, hems and horizontal seams. The correct needle A ballpoint (stretch) needle has a slightly rounded tip that

eliminates snagging and won’t weaken the elastic fibres.

Fold the fabric on the crosswise grain and mark a 4in section on the fold. Keep a ruler along the folded edge and mark where the fabric lies naturally. Gently pull the fabric to see how far it will stretch. This is usually between 4½in - 6in and the further it stretches the more flexible it is.


The perfect presser foot Buying a walking foot is a good investment. The walking foot helps fabric layers from shifting and walks over the fabric as you sew.

Always take your time when sewing knits. With the needle down, you should stop sewing regularly to re-align the fabric.

The best seams Consider using a stay or seam tape within the seam to keep them from stretching out of shape. Vlieseline’s lightweight fusible woven tape is bias cut and is bi-elastic, which is perfect for creating seams in soft stretch fabrics such as jersey, and preventing your fabrics from fraying. Use an extension table for your sewing machine to keep the fabric flat and avoid letting it hang down when sewing. Hem finishes As knits don’t fray, there’s no need to hem but sometimes the raw edges can roll up. For knits that are more prone to this, finish raw edges with a topstitched hem and twin needle or try using binding strips cut from your stretch fabric to encase the raw edges of your garment.

Left to right: canvas, bark cloth and denim.

Choosing fabrics for bag making Debbie von Grabler-Crozier, bag designer, discusses what lifts your bag creation from the dreaded ‘homemade’ to the very coveted ‘handmade’ Bag making is easier than ever before with access to fabric, interfacing and hardware the likes of which our grandmother’s generation could have only dreamed. You could argue that you can make a bag from any fabric at all. What gives your creation a more professional finish is the fabric choices you make and some fabrics yield better results than others.

Here’s some considerations that will give you great results: Buy the best that you can afford Choose recycled fabric very carefully Stick to natural fibres wherever possible Think about how you will use the bag

BUYING THE BEST FABRIC When buying a branded fabric, you have some quality guarantees. Buying inexpensive fabric with uncertain pedigree might seem tempting but it must wash and wear well. Making a bag is a lot of work, and it’s super disappointing if it’s not functional. A bag should be fully washable, useable and designed for the job. Heavier fabrics look and sew better, and your sewing machine will generally prefer to have thicker fabrics to work with. To see the full range of bag patterns – click here

This fantastic Summer tote makes a really useful yet stylish tote and features Cloud9 Fabrics’ Whitehaven Gold Canvas. To download this bag pattern free – click here.

GO FOR NATURAL! If you don’t have any ethical concerns, leather is always better than vinyl. It’s easier to sew, will last longer, and look better with age. It’s the same for fabrics – choose cotton and denim in favour of polyester and mixes. They’re stronger and more durable and combine to make a pretty and practical bag.


Charity shops can be a gold mine if you’re going down the recycled route but choose your fabrics carefully. Look for curtain and light furnishing fabrics as well as leather, denim and tweed. Always go for a washable fabric option if you can and give the item a quick sniff test. Although charity shops are very aware of odours, some can’t be completely eliminated from fabrics.

THE BAG’S PURPOSE Finally, what is the bag going to be used for? Crepe de chine may be gorgeous in a pleated evening clutch but absolutely useless for little Jimmy’s rugby kit bag – an extreme example but important to consider. A bag must be beautiful but it must also be practical. Natural fibres take stitching well and they’re strong – you can use the pockets and open the zips. They can be washed and the straps will take some weight. Anything else is potentially a disappointing waste of time.

Pick of the

PATTERNS Sewing pattern releases to sew this season Asymmetrical shaping is a must! The Floreat pattern from Megan Nielsen features a beautiful irregular hem on the dress and blouse, which can be made from woven or knit fabrics, and features clean lines, facings options, inseam pockets, as well as sleeve and hem length choices. The other sewing patterns within Megan Nielsen’s new collection include the Jarrah Sweater, Dawn Jeans and Wattle Skirt. To find out more about the new mini collection of patterns – click here

Coco classic jacket now in print The Coco Jacket is one of Sew Over It’s best-loved PDF patterns, and now it’s available as a printed pattern. It comes with a beautiful newly designed cover and fully illustrated booklet. The Coco was inspired by the classic Chanel boucle tweed jacket, and is stylish and flattering and guaranteed to never go out of style so will be a key piece in your wardrobe for years to come. To view this pattern from Sew Over it – click here

It’s all in the detail This semi-fitted blouse looks stunning sewn with contrasting fabrics or with lace or sheer fabric for the inset stripe. The pattern eliminates the shoulder seam so the sleeves are easy to sew, and the inset panel forms a pretty chevron over the bracelet-length flounce sleeves. The back features a keyhole button-and-loop closure, and there are separate pieces for A/B, C, and D bust cups to get the best fit. To look at this pattern and other new releases from the pattern label Liesl & Co – click here Check out the free-to-use resource listing of the very best Indie patterns and filter by fabric, garment, brand or skill level by visiting


Perfectly pieced Fussy cutting isn’t a new phenomenon to the quilting world – Naomi Clarke textile specialist explains how to incorporate this technique into your patchwork designs What is fussy cutting? Fussy cutting refers to taking a specific motif or pattern on a fabric and cutting it in a way that highlights it as opposed to cutting the fabric adhoc. There are many ways to fussy cut including selecting a whole motif (such as a flower) so that it’s centrally placed within your patchwork, pattern matching a motif so that when your patchwork comes together the original motif has been re-created in a way that flows from one shape to the next, or choosing to only fussy cut a section of a motif (so the original motif is no longer distinguishable) in order to create a whole new design.

Can it work for modern patchworkers? Fussy cutting is not a new patchworking technique, and I’ve recently been fortunate enough to see some fussy cutting patchwork pieces from the 1800s within the collections of two UK museums. So what has made fussy cutting remain a popular patchwork technique for more than 200 years? Why, when fussy cutting can prevent you from being economical with your fabric, and is it a technique that’s worth mastering? Well, the answer lies in the visuals! The development of clear acrylic templates with grid lines and seam

The fabric used here comes from the Little Clementine Fabric collection from AGF

allowances to help when cutting, the wide variety of templates (both paper and acrylic) available, plus the everlasting inspiration from new Art Gallery Fabrics collections and the high thread count within these collections make English Paper Piecing so much easier. This has opened up a whole new world of fussy cutting which enables stitchers to explore, enjoy, create and play like never before.

which part of the motif I want to highlight. In this case, I wanted to focus on placing the flower centrally within my diamond with the stem flowing towards the centre. Working from the fabric’s right side allows you to line the motif up within the acrylic template before using the rotary cutter for the precision cut. While time consuming, this helps to ensure you maintain the precise placement of the flower centrally within the final shape.

Here’s how to make it work for you Let me show you how it can work with a shape that never fails to inspire - the six-point diamond. By placing the paper piece acrylic template onto the Art Gallery Fabrics fabric, I’m able to select

Go on to repeat this six times to create each of the points for my six-point

For more paper piecing ideas – click here

diamond star. But, before sewing them together, it’s important to play with placement. Rotating the diamonds by 180° (so that the flower head is nearest to the centre as opposed to the stem) provides a whole new effect to the final star. To finish off these stars, use the paper piece acrylic template to fussy-cut an Art Gallery Fabrics lined print making sure that all the lines are travelling in the same direction. When placed around the star to create an almost ‘framed’ effect! Then, the choice is up to the maker as to what to do next! They can be appliquéd onto a project such as a tote bag, pouch or needlecase, or you can continue making the stars to create a cushion or even a quilt! The possibilities are endless!