Page 1



SEW the look Midi skirts Sassy sweatshirts


Transcend the seasons with garments to take you into autumn Denim, the hottest fabric this season


tips for looking after the most precious item in your sewing room!

Make your seamwork beautiful and invisible zips made easy


Hello August Firstly, we’d like to say a huge thank you to all of you who took the trouble to download the first issue of The Pattern Pages. We’ve been overwhelmed by the wonderful response. It has now been downloaded more than 7,000 times, reached 12,000 people on Facebook, and 7,000 impressions from our pinned post on Twitter. So what can we say about issue 2? It’s all about the changing of the seasons with patterns and fabrics to see you through. We’re all hoping for more good weather but it’s time to start sewing for the unpredictable season where the in-between garments that we make take us from summer into autumn. The autumn edit does just that, and the patterns we’ve chosen will keep your wardrobe up-to-date too. We’ve tapped into two trends that are going to be big this season – midi skirts and there’s a new class of sweatshirt on the block! We welcome two guest writers this time – Jules Fallon from Sew Me Something shares her tips for making sure your seams are as good on the inside as the outside! And Debbie Shore, author and TV presenter guides us through inserting an invisible zip. Denim is the hottest fabric around at the moment and Kim Collins from Ann Normandy shares her tips on working with this fabric. We also look at patterns perfect for this fabric. This time, we enjoyed talking to Saara and Laura Huhta from Named Clothing and Caroline Smith from Sew la Di Da Vintage – both have some amazing patterns to sew.

Julie Bonnar

Hope you enjoy reading!

Julie and Em

Emily Bonnar ISSUE 2 AUGUST 2017



Wk SE the loo Midi skirts Sassy sweatshirts


with Transcend the seasons into autumn garments to take you this season Denim, the hottest fabric

Techniques beautiful Make your seamwork easy and invisible zips made

tips for looking after the most precious item in your sewing room!

Julie Bonnar Emily Bonnar

FRONT COVER Thanks to Pat Bravo for our wonderful front cover photo. The fabric is IBH-74206 from the Boheme Indie collection from Art Gallery Fabrics, and the maxi dress pattern is from Burda Style pattern. For your local Indie Boheme stockist, CLICK HERE To download the maxi dress pattern, CLICK HERE

PS We’ll be back at the beginning of November with issue 3. PPS Don’t forget this magazine is interactive so you can click on the links to view the patterns, fabrics and websites mentioned.

THE PATTERN PAGES Twitter: @ThePatternPages Pinterest: www.pinterest/thepatternpages Facebook: Instagram:



The Pattern Pages is an independent digital dressmaking magazine that’s full of fashion, dressmaking, style and fun things to make



Julie Bonnar Emily Bonnar

Sarah Barnes




New Look patterns available nationwide. For local stockist information Tel 0161 480 8734 or browse and buy online at

AUTUMN Simplicity 8385

Our favourite pieces to carry you from summer to autumn while keeping your wardrobe up-to-date with the latest trends. We’re praying for an Indian summer!

8058 designed by Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity

LOVE THOSE LAYERS It’s still okay to wear your little summer camisole, just remember to take a jacket with you.

DO IT FOR THE FRILLS SEW WORK CHIC These trousers are a perfect example of a pattern that can take you right through the seasons. There are so many styling choices but pick your fabric colours wisely. This pattern has a skirt option with wonderful waist detailing, how fab!


Spice up your look with these pretty frilly heels, pair with the Sew Different dress and wear from day-to-night. These heels will go with practically every pattern from this edit! Miss Selfridge,

New Look,


AUTUMN edit LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT We’re always in need of that comfy yet stylish dress that you can throw on to go anything. This Mimi G pattern will be your new go-to dress.

Add a splash of pastel colour to your autumn outfit. This cute pink bag is ideal for pepping up basics in your wardrobe.

Sew Different

8334 by Mimi G for Simplicity 8334

AN INDIAN SUMMER 1. Ease your wardrobe into autumn – don’t go for the wardrobe overhaul all at once, you never know, the weather can still be warm!

2. Before sewing, take note of what you already have in your wardrobe and make a list of the items you’re missing that will complement.

FLOAT INTO AUTUMN The perfect dress for the changing season, this tie-belt soft fitting A-line dress will look great on those warmer autumnal days.

3. It’s all about layering up, a plain lightweight jacket with a handy addition to your favourite summer tops.

4. Don’t forget to accessorise! 5. Make the most from your patterns – many of these pieces can be made in different fabrics for both day and night.

PERFECT PLEATS That perfect in-between season top, lightweight and cool but got that extra arm length so you can carry on wearing it right through the autumn. Style with your favourite jeans and pair up with sandals or boots depending on the unpredictable weather to complete the look.

6. Stick to a colour story, and make garments in fabrics from the same colour palette so you can mix and match. Trend Patterns


On our radar Things we thought you might like to know......

Fans of hand embroidery For anyone looking to embrace the embroidery trend, then look no further than these wonderful transfer sheets from the Threaders collection by Crafter’s Companions. Choose from beautiful designs including vintage sewing, florals, nature and vintage tea party themes, each set consists of six sheets of reusable designs featuring borders, sentiments, embellishments and alphabets in both lowercase and uppercase letters, making them ideal for personalising your sewing. The sets are great for beginners as they include an embroidery guide. Embroidery has never been so easy! Embroidery transfer sheets come in sets of four with free stranded cotton for £19.96 from Crafter’s Companion

Plan your next sewing adventure By Hand London has just launched a PDF sewing planner. Choose from 6 silhouettes and 3 different layouts to help you keep track of your favourite fabrics, trims, and tools. There’s also a croquis page where you can design your garment, and create mini mood boards. And because it’s a PDF download you only have to buy it once. Mistakes become no big deal as you can keep reprinting it forever. It costs £7 from the ladies at By Hand London

Sew like a pro! The Atelier series is the latest range of computerised sewing machines from Janome, and have been designed to meet every sewing challenge thrown at them! The contemporary styled, well-illuminated, free arm sewing machines have easy-to-use features, which are perfect to take your sewing to a new level. The larger arm space and feeding system ensure they’re equally suited to both larger projects and precision sewing. There’s an amazing range of stitches and you can enjoy the sewing time saving features such as a one-hand needle threader, automatic thread cutter, easy reverse button, locking stitch button, memorised needle up/down, speed control slider, and a start/stop button for stitching those long seams. The specially designed bobbin case and cover mean there’s no need to pull long thread tails up and through when you first thread the machine. Slip the bobbin thread in the cover plate guide and the built in cutting blades trim the tail to the correct length. After the initial threading, the auto-thread cutter takes care of trimming and re-setting the tails each time. A feature that is a must for dressmakers is that you can remove part of the machine base to reveal the narrow protruding arm under the needle area making it easy to sew cuffs, trouser legs and other tubular objects, and ideal for sewing in hard to reach areas of a project. Using the right tools at the right time is important in dressmaking. When using lightweight fabrics, the straight stitch needle plate makes all the difference. The One Step Plate Converter allows you to easily switch and use the perfect plate for your sewing. The Atelier series of sewing machine can be viewed on the Janome website.


Great British Sewing Bee contestants lead packed workshop programme

Shows you shouldn’t miss

Talented contestants from The Great British Sewing Bee’s four TV seasons are lining up to share their dressmaking and tailoring skills at The Great British Sewing Bee Live between 21st - 24th September at ExCel London. FROM SEASON 2 Chinelo Bally shares her freehand method of mapping body measurements directly onto fabric, darting and fitting, to create a perfectly fitted bodice. Tamara Melvin makes loungewear with a lazy day oversized sweatshirt, shares her GBSB challenge-winning tie-making technique and upcycles a man’s shirt into a casual top and a T-shirt into a tote bag. FROM SEASON 3 Paul Clarke recreates his elephant ballerina headwear from Children’s Costume week, using polar fleece, toy stuffing and 3D costume making. Paul will also share tailoring techniques, teaching how to insert double welt pockets into any garment. FROM SEASON 4 Jade Earley (GBSB’s youngest ever contestant) makes a child’s PJ set and yoga pants using four-way stretch fabric and shares the secrets of successful sewing with beaded and sequin fabrics. She also talks zips, demonstrating how to insert a centre zip, an invisible zip and a metal chunky zip, and joins Joyce Bellingham to provide tips on sewing with bias binding. Jade Earley FROM SEASON 4 Tracey Symonds explains how to draft a simple trapeze swing top pattern, makes a child’s cotton sundress and demonstrates free motion embroidery. Jamie Kemp shows how to tailor beautiful welt, jetted and flap pockets and teaches canvas interface construction for tailored jackets. Angeline Murphy demonstrates how to add a peplum to a skirt to Angeline Murphy add volume and style and transforms a treasured item of clothing into a keepsake memory bear. A host of top UK sewing tutors including Celia Banks, Claire Tyler, Janice Croft, Jane White, Libby Rose and Wendy Gardiner will also be joining the GBSB contestants for the event’s packed programme of workshops. A full workshop timetable, tutor list and booking details can be found at Tickets for The Great British Sewing Bee Live at

Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts on tour! While we’re all loving draping ourselves in summer fabrics, we know that Christmas is just around the corner – and that’s a season with a lot of dressmaking to be done! Whether you’ll be creating knockout cocktail attire or nativity costumes, you’ll want to make a visit to Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts to discover top trends and ideas, fabric inspiration and all the haberdashery supplies you could dream of. Uncover new products and innovations, watch demonstrations and take part in workshops on a range of techniques to make sure that your next project truly shines! You’ll uncover the latest fabrics, patterns and tools with the industry’s top names to guide you and enjoy exclusive features displays.

STITCHING, SEWING & HOBBYCRAFTS 7th - 9th September at EventCity, Manchester 21st - 24th September at Westpoint, Exeter 26th - 29th October at SEC, Glasgow 2nd - 5th November at NEC, Birmingham




For V&A fans People Tree has been creating beautiful designs whilst respecting both people and planet and its newest endeavour partners with the V&A. The new collection debuts 8-piece capsule collection celebrates the variety and beauty of pattern in the museum’s rich archives. Inspired by the ’30s, the limited edition collection recalls the elegant outfits of the period with a contemporary twist. Key to the collection is romantic long, lean shapes and subtle ruffle details. The two prints are based on dress fabrics originally produced by the Calico Printer’s Association in Manchester, England, now held in the V&A’s archive. To view the garments, visit People Tree

So beautiful and nostalgic, the new cut & sew kit from Sew La Di Da Vintage, includes everything you need to make this sweet girl’s dress. The fabric in the kit features cute country embroidered critters, which has been designed pays homage to the county. Priced at £30 and available from Sew La Di Da Vintage

Take the hassle out of printing PDF patterns Love to be able to download PDF patterns but haven’t got a home printer? We found an online service that will do it for you! Simply upload the copy shop version of your PDF sewing pattern on to the Print Your Patterns website and they’ll print, fold and post your pattern to you and deliver free.

SEWING MACHINE DEBUT Fans of Butterick sewing patterns are going to love the EB6100, the first sewing machine from the pattern company. This computerised sewing machine is perfect for beginners because it has a controllable speed, comprehensive manual and comes with a two-year warranty for peace of mind. The features for dressmakers include a large extension table for supporting lots of fabric, automatic threader, stitch selector giving you 100 stitch types and 7 presser feet including one for buttonholes. It’s currently priced at £599 and makes its debut on Create and Craft channel



the hottest fabric this season We all love our jeans whatever the season, and they’ve become the much-loved go-to garment really since they were invented, but this season we’re seeing denim in a new light. Fabric manufacturers have launched fabric collections of denim with medium and lightweight versions as well as a wider selection of cool colours, which are great for making other garments like dresses, skirts and tops.


A match made in denim A SEAMSTRESS FAVOURITE Ginger skinny jeans Case Closet Patterns

HAPPENING ON THE HIGH STREET Wedge sandals from Dorothy Perkins combine the denim vibe with a natural weave heel,

A BUTTON-LESS TAKE ON THIS SEASON’S SHIRTDRESS Designed by Lisette to showcase your topstitching! Butterick 6482, Sew Direct

Mix up your denim fabrics like this azure check tunic from White Stuff,

Denim holds embroidery designs perfectly. Look how pretty this embroidered pinafore dress look from Evans,

SHORT & SWEET Pattern 8300 icludes how to get the frayed at the edges look Simplicity

A GATHERED SKIRT Deep scoop pockets, gorgeous exposed zip and contoured waistband are some of the stunning options for the Brumby skirt Megan Nielsen


Denim fabrics got interesting – we put the latest colours, prints and weights in the spotlight

PRINTED RETRO DENIM FABRIC £10.30 per metre Empress Mills

MODELO DENIM Available in 12 shades Click here to find your local stockist

MID-BLUE LIGHTWEIGHT Denim with Tencel £10.50 per metre Croft Mill

STUDIO DENIM COLLECTION WITH WONDERFUL PRINTS Art Gallery Fabrics Click here to find a local stockist SLUB DENIM Available in 10 shades £9.90 per metre Empress Mills

TINTED DENIM COLLECTION With 6 pretty pastel shades Cloud9


Digital Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman

Exceptional design and fit

Professionally crafted with classic construction techniques. Comprehensive instructions and photos

Delve into


Kim Collins shares her tips on working with this working class fabric What’s not to love about denim? Its humble beginnings of the workhorse utilitarian textile, and used for work clothes, it has also been a fashion staple for the past 50 years plus.

Having the right tools and preparation of your denim with the following tips will make for a problem free project:

Denim is a great versatile fabric for all kinds of sewing projects but can be a little intimidating.

Pairing denim and pattern You really need to consider the elements of the pattern you’re using to select the correct weight denim to work with:

• Heavier weight types of denim are more suitable for sewing patterns which are simple in design and require structure, and use straight seams such as bags, vests and alike.


• Embellishments or details of the design such as ruffles and the likes, may not be suited for heavy weight denim. • Denim is a twill woven fabric that’s woven on a diagonal and isn’t suitable for obvious diagonals. • It’s always best to follow the lead of the designer’s pattern fabric recommendations. • Use a cotton wrapped polyester, or polyester thread while sewing your project for durability. Use a contrasting thread colour for the topstitching.

Stitching denim

Preparing your fabric

NEEDLES – It’s best to use a fresh needle at the start of the project. Denim needles would be the best pick. Denim will dull a needle quickly so you may need to change out the needle depending on the size of the project.

Before pre-washing, sew an overcast or zigzag stitch to prevent fabric fray. Pinking shears can also be used. Raw denim, not sanforized (preshrunk) will shrink anywhere between 2 and 5 per cent. Take that into consideration while measuring your fabric. Prewashing 2 or 3 times in cold water with either like colours or separately is essential before cutting or sewing, as denim will continue to shrink.

TIP: Add white vinegar to the final rinse to eliminate any traces or detergent and to neutralise the PH level. Vinegar will also help retain the colour and prevent premature fading.

Machine dry until the fabric is slightly damp to prevent premature crocking or atari that will cause the dye to bleed in the creases. Press the fabric while slightly damp and lay flat to air dry.

“The rule of thumb is that the heavier the denim weight, the longer the needle is necessary. A sturdier pin may be needed for heavy denim too.” Machine tension – A standard tension setting is typically a 5, but if you’re sewing a thicker denim and using a thicker thread you’ll need a looser tension. Test tensions with scraps of fabric and thread that you’ll be using for your project for the optimal tension. Stitch length – Heavy denim should have roughly ten stitches for every 3mm (1in). Lighter weights twelve stitches/3mm (1in).

Cutting – Using a sharp pair of scissors is essential. I find a rotary cutter works well too but always start with a new blade. Hemming – A 1.27cm (½in) hem is recommended to prevent roll up. Seams - Flat felled seams are the most popular for both durability and to conceal raw edges, as well as a clean finish with a decorative top stitch. Pressing the seams throughout the process will help you achieve a crisply finished seam. Interfacing

Gütermann’s Jeans thread pack is perfect for decorative seams and denim repairs. It includes 5 reels with bi-optical colour tones of ochre, amber and dark blue to blend in with allsorts of denim to give a professional finish. There are two reels of extra strong thread in each pack to work on heavier weight fabrics. The pack is priced at £14.60. To find your local stockist email: gütermann@

When using an interfacing, use a lighter weight fabric to preventing it from being too bulky. A fun contrasting fabric would be a fun touch.

Professional finish Sewn denim just as any heavier woven fabrics is going to have thick layers. Pressing seams flat as well as giving each exposed raw edge a zigzag, overcast stitch or a straight stitch with a trim with pinking shears will give your seams a professional quality finish. As always, take it slow for clean straight stitches and press to set the seam before moving on to the next step.

Kim Collins lives just outside of Detroit, MI, in the US with her husband, 13-yearold son and their St. Bernard, Bode. It doesn’t get any better than to bring together constant lifetime passions to create a women’s apparel sewing pattern collection. Kim Collins’ journey in clothing design started early in life while being taught how to sew by her grandmother. Kim Collins, designer and owner Ann Normandy Design,


Clothkits clothing kits are perfect for beginners to dressmaking and experienced sewers alike. Learn to sew with these unique kits. We also stock a wide range of independent sewing patterns, dressmaking tools and lots of lovely fabrics including Liberty and Japenese fabrics. PAPER PATTERNS - CLOTHKITS

A-line Skirt, £13.50

All Seasons Shift Dress, £13.50

‘50s Vintage Tea Dress, £13.50

Echino Stripe Bustle Skirt Kit , £49

Birdsong Bustle Skirt Kit, £59

Tartan & Liberty Bustle Skirt Kit, £59


Chantilly Summer Dress, £13.50

Zinnia Skirt, £13.50

The Dress Shirt, £13.50

16 The Hornet, Chichester, PO19 7JG

Fabric statement jewellery £64 from Gudbling Christine Hornicke has some inspirational pieces of fabric jewellery in her Etsy shop that certainly will make a statement when you wear them.

Tassel heels £35 from Dorothy Perkins Go the whole hog and splash out on these sandals with tassels and pompoms!

TASSELS Tap into this season’s tassel trend, and add some fringed benefits to your accessories Dip-dyed tassel earrings $23, Kingston Jewellery We love these handmade earrings. They’re are a great statement piece and are very light on the ears too.

Suede bag £69 from La Redoute Add a bit of hippy chic with this luxurious leather tassel bag.

Looped fringing £1.49 per metre from JosyRose A vibrant multi-coloured fringing with pink sequin header that’s perfect for customising garments and accessories. See our blouse project on page 26.


It’s all in the name We catch up with Laura and Saara – the lovely ladies behind the indie sewing pattern company, Named


Head shot photography by Liisa Salonen


Tell us a little bit about yourselves and the Named Clothing brand? Behind the brand, there’s the two of us, Saara & Laura Huhta (sisters) from Helsinki, Finland. We started the indie pattern label in the autumn of 2013. We design and make women’s sewing patterns and sell them on our online webshop, studio shop in Helsinki, and also through a bunch of retailers around the globe.

Why did you decide on the dressmaking path? We’ve both been passionate about sewing and crafts since we were little, and the love for all things DIY was probably inherited from our mother. She’s a seamstress and an upholsterer. Saara is a fashion designer and a patternmaker, and Laura has a degree in shoe design. After graduating from design school, we worked for a while in different companies in the fashion field, before realising it was time for us to take a step further, and start our own business in something that we really love - sewing clothes! The idea of Named came to us somewhat suddenly, we’d never planned having our own pattern label, even though we’d dreamed of running a business together. But as soon as we came up with the


idea of a fashion-forward indie pattern label, we got carried away, and started working towards the launch of the business. In August 2013, a year later, our first pattern collection saw the light of day!

How is it working in a sister team? (We know working with family has its tests!) It’s mostly fun, and very rewarding. It’s great to have a business partner that you can really rely on, and we’ve always been close. But there are definitely hard times too, especially at the stressful periods of the product development process, but nothing we can’t work out together.

Tell us a little bit about the patterns in the collection so far, what made you choose them? We design two collections a year, one for spring/summer and one for autumn/winter. Each collection has been designed around a specific visual theme, which we always find inspirational. Our aim is to design clothes that are stylish yet timeless and classic, and something that you can see yourself wearing for a longer time than just for one season. We like to add a little twist by drafting fun, unusual cuts and

MAKERS in the spotlight

techniques to the mix too. We also pay a lot of attention to the little details.

What do you feel makes you stand out from other independent pattern companies?  Probably our clean and simple Scandinavian aesthetics, but also the fact that we release full collections (or mini collections of 8 to 10 patterns). There are some brands that work the same way as we do, but many also release single patterns. We find by designing a full collection of clothes we can create clothing that’s visually tempting and a complete capsule wardrobes with garments that are easy to combine with each other.

What is your favourite pattern you’ve designed so far? We really love the Reeta dress from our Playground collection. In Reeta, we’ve accomplished a classic and timeless style but added lots of fun details. It’s also a pattern which just calls for experimenting with fun prints and fabrics. We’ve seen so many cool versions of it on Instagram and blogs! It has been such a pleasure seeing what people have made with the pattern.

future brings, so it’s impossible to estimate what will happen for the next five years. Probably something still related to fashion and sewing. It’s a fantastic field to work in, so don’t think we’re ever going to leave it, unless something very drastic happens.

Are there any spoilers you can share? Well, we’ll be releasing our new collection in September! It’s a really cool collection but for now we’ll keep all details under wraps!

Who is your biggest sewing inspiration? It has to be our mom. She has made a lot of garments for us (and our dolls) when we were growing up. Today she mostly sews for herself, among with some customer projects once in a while (like right now she’s working on a wedding gown for her cousin). She’s a really talented and resourceful seamstress, who pays a lot of attention to details, and always aims for perfection! Which is something that we can’t help but admire.

How would you best describe your personal style, and what impact has it had on your pattern collections? We both like simple garments, but simple doesn’t mean boring! Our collections reflect our style quite well. Dressing well doesn’t have to be hard – you don’t have to own lots of clothes in your closet, or waste time in planning what to wear. When you have a set of garments that work well together, you know they can’t fail to look good too! An ideal outfit should be effortless and comfortable.

Where do you see yourself in five years? This is a really hard question! We like to live in the moment, and just see what the


Arto Markkanen



Declutter your creative space in style with the Giant Thimble Tidy

Red Candy,


7 tips to make your machine sew like a dream!

REGULAR SERVICE Most of us aren’t very good at having our sewing machines service so when you do, make sure you pick a reputable dealer that knows about your sewing machine brand. Ask on sewing forums for recommendations if you don’t know of one.



If you’ve tried re-threading your machine and changing the needle then the next step should be to clean all the areas that can build up with lint such as the bobbin case and footplate.

Quality first Avoid buying inexpensive, low quality and coated threads, as they’re bad for your sewing machine, and produce extra lint that clog up it up. Over-used or bent needles can cause stitch problems. Make sure you change your needle regularly. Around 10 hours of stitching is a good time to change your needle. Experts say that your sewing machine will have fewer skipped stitches if you use Mircotex needles as they’ve a sharp tip and penetrate the fibre quickly.

LUBRICATE Your sewing machine has lots of moving parts so oiling is essential to keep it running smoothly. Always use good quality fine oil that’s clear so won’t ruin your projects. Your sewing machine manual will tell you exactly where to put the oil – you only need a few drops. Always clean your machine before adding the oil.

We’ve found this oil pen from Madeira that’s perfect for the job! Find for £8.84 on Amazon

LINT-FREE It’s important to give your machine a brush to remove thread dust and lint. Don’t be tempted to use canned air or blow inside your machine as this can add moisture, which makes lint difficult to remove. Use the nylon brush which usually comes with your sewing machine as well as a tiny screwdriver. Doing this regularly will make sure your machine run much quieter too. Of course, always make sure your machine is switched off before doing this! Clean the exterior of the machine with a soft cloth.

It’s a puzzle Only take small parts of your sewing machine apart at a time. Clean and put to back together and move onto the next. It can get very confusing if you have a lot of screws and parts all over your sewing table, and are unsure of where they all go. If in doubt, always refer back to your instruction manual.



It’s a perfect time after a sewing project to give your machine a little TLC. Take a moment to wipe it down with a damp cloth, remove any dust and lint. Your sewing machine will then sew like a dream the next time you use it!


Fringed top Customising and up-cycling garments in your wardrobe can be just as rewarding as making something from scratch. We take a plain Jane top and give it a new lease of life with a funky multi-coloured tassel trim

cy Do you fan our own designing y w at home? fabric to se ou can Well now y ADS Inkjet with THRE abrics. Printable F o We give it g


Materials 1 plain blouse in need of up-cycling 2m x looped fringe trim Seam ripper Zipper foot Thread and bobbin to match Pins Measuring tape Tissue paper or sellotape



Measure the hemline of your blouse. Ours was 96cm and cut a piece of trim to match. Pin the trim in place with pins at right angles to the trim making sure that the trim hangs just below the hemline.

Steps to prepare STEP




Snap on a presser foot – this will help you navigate around the sequin header or any bulky trim header. Secure the trim to the front and sew from the wrong side of the blouse To prevent damage to the sequined header on the trim, we placed tissue paper between the fabric and needle plate. This helps it to feed smoothly under the feed dogs – if you don’t have tissue paper, sellotape works just as well? Take it slow and steady for best results


Decide what you like about the blouse and what you don’t. We unpicked the side seams with a seam ripper to detach the tie belt and then cut and rehemmed the sleeves to a shorter more on-trend length.



Repeat the process for the sleeves and iron using a pressing cloth. And it’s ready to wear!


There are lots of lovely fringing around at the moment. We chose this pretty multi-coloured 28mm looped fringing with pink sparkly sequin header.


Steps to make STEP


Sleeves and the bottom edge of the hem of the blouse are ideal places to add the trim but you could also use around the neckline and pockets too. Measure around the sleeves and around the hem. We used just over 2m so it’s a really inexpensive make.

Where Can I Buy *We’ve used this looped fringe trim from JosyRose


Make your seamwork

beautiful Jules Fallon shares her advice on how to create garment seams that not only do a good job holding it all together but also make everything look beautiful too



Finishing seams The raw edges of the seam need to be finished or neatened in some way that’s both appropriate to the fabric and the circumstance of the seam.

A clean finish This is an excellent way to finish a seam if you don’t possess an overlocker and are using a fairly lightweight fabric.

3 28

1. The seam is stitched and then pressed open. Press under the raw edge of one seam allowance by a 3mm or a scant 1/8in. Remember to use a pressing cloth or piece of card under the seam allowance to prevent the seam marking through to the right side of the garment. 2. The fold is then edge stitched to hold it in place. 3. Repeat this for the other side of the seam allowance.

Zigzagged seam Zigzagging gives a good finish on more stable fabrics such as cotton poplin or linen. It also tends to give a better finish on closed seams as the double layer of fabric also stabilises the zigzag stitch. Sew the seam and press it flat as its been sewn. 1. Set the machine to a medium width and stitch length. You may wish to do some test samples to gauge which is the correct setting for your machine. 2. Line up the seam allowance under the presser foot so the right hand side of the zigzag sews about 3mm away from the edge of the seam allowance. Sew down the length of the seam. 3. Trim back the seam allowance to the line of zigzag stitching. 4. Press the seam to one side.

1 3

2 4 Pinked seam Pinked seams are very easy to create, you just need a pair of pinking shears. Sew the seam and the press it flat as its been stitched. Using the pinking shears trim off about 3mm of the seam allowance to five a nice neat zigzagged edge to the seam. The seam can then be pressed open or to one side as your pattern dictates.

Ovelocked or serged seam

This is the quickest and most convenient way of finishing a seam. After sewing the seam, overlock the seam allowance, trimming off just enough fabric to get a clean finish to the edge. The seam allowances can be overlocked separately, but this can be a bit tricky after the seam has been sewn so more commonly they’re finished closed.

Mock overlocked seam A mock overlock is more of an elaborate zigzag stitch sewn on an ordinary sewing machine. Most modern sewing machines will have a variation of this. It gives the impression of an overlocked seam, but won’t trim any fabric off. It can also be used in place of overlocking when sewing with jersey. As with a normal zigzag, the best finish is obtained by sewing the mock overlock entirely on the seam allowance and trimming back the excess fabric close to the stitching.

The new book Complete Dressmaking – Essential skills and techniques for beginners (ISBN: 978-0-85762-167-2) by Jules Fallon, includes more great sewing techniques and tips. Published by Quarto Press, priced at £16.59. See Hooked on books on page 33.


Giveaways Enter online for a chance to win one of these fabulous prizes

Denim Daze These denim threads will make all your denim dreams come true. Gütermanns’ Jeans thread pack is perfect for decorative seams and denim repairs. It includes 5 reels with bi-optical colour tones of ochre, amber and dark blue to blend in with allsorts of denim to give a professional finish. There are two reels of extra strong thread in each pack to work on heavier weight fabrics.

The Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel London UK Visit the Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel London on us! The show organisers boast that it will be the UK’s newest and largest dressmaking and sewing event. Shop, learn and explore at this show and catch up with contestants from all the series and meet the lovely Patrick Grant and Esme Young as well as lots of dressmaking experts to help broaden your sewing knowledge at the same time.


We have 7 fabulous patterns from Sew House Seven to give away! From the quirky Burnside Bib to the comfy Toaster Sweater. These patterns come as a bundle so you’ll have yourself a little capsule wardrobe in no time at all.

Complete Dressmaking

- Essential skills and techniques for beginners This is our new go-to sewing book. Written by one of our experts from this issue, Jules Fallon from Sew Me Something. We have 5 of these amazing books to giveaway thanks to Quarto Press.

Click to subscribe to our FREE digital dressmaking magazine and be entered into our giveaway. *If you have already signed up, you will be automatically entered into the draw – sorry but currently only open to UK residents.

Subscribe HERE


The latest sewing books that you’re going to want to have on your sewing room bookshelf

on books

Complete Dressmaking

– Essential skills and techniques for beginners By Jules Fallon 978-0-85762-167-2 We’re delighted to see that Jules Fallon, owner of the business Sew Me Something, and well-known name in the dressmaking community has just released a book called Complete Dressmaking. Although aimed at beginners, it’s a wonderful book for any sewer who wants to familarise themselves with all elements of dressmaking including learning about sewing patterns, understanding fabrics to mastering techniques such as inserting zips, to applying bias binding. Each technique is explored with carefully curated step-by-step photographs and illustrated artwork. Jules addresses the most common problems that beginner dressmakers encounter and advises on how to tackle them in special ‘help!’ panels throughout the book.

Where to buy Published by Quarto Press, priced at £16.59, and available on Amazon.

Sewing Supplies Handy Pocket Guide

All New Fabric Savvy: How to Choose & Use Fabrics By Sandra Betzina 978-1631868412

by Carla Hegeman Crim 9781617455346 With tons of information in one tiny book, you’ll never be stumped by a sewing dilemma again. This mini book is packed with mega information on common sewing tools, supplies and materials. Carla Crim from the Scientific Seamstress shares 65 plus essential nuggets on everything from sewing machines and cutting tools to pins, elastic and thread. Whether you’re wondering how to use a particular interfacing or which sewing machine needle is best for each kind of fabric, you’ll find yourself turning to these useful charts and infographics again and again.

The essential guide for every sewer just got better! All New Fabric Savvy has been updated to include 107 different fabrics; must-know information on determining fabric content, working with knits, and different types of interfacing, removing stains, and choosing lining materials, as well as recommended tools and notions. There are some great illustrated reference sections on seams, details, closures, and hems; 476 photographs and 110 illustrations. Organised alphabetically, the 107 fabrics include old favourites such a cotton, wool, knits and silks to new options, some of which you might never have heard of.

Where to buy

Where to buy

Published by C&T Publishing, priced at £5.99, and available on Amazon

Published by Taunton Press, available to pre-order (normally £23.99) from Amazon.


Sew the look midi skirts Move into the new season with the latest skirt length

It doesn’t matter what age or shape you are, the midi skirt is a great style to wear. The perfect length to flatter you in all the right places. Here are our top picks to make and sew:

Colette – Seneca Stay cool and casual with this modern take on the midi skirt. Quick and easy to make, it’s perfect for those more laidback afternoons.

Named Clothing – Pulmu A great skirt if you’re looking for something smart and sophisticated. This high-waist pencil skirt features chic wide belt and D-ring fastening.


Simplicity - 8388 Wear summer’s ruffle trend right through the autumn with this tiered elegant skirt.

Tilly and the Buttons – Dominique Designed for beginners, this midi skirt is perfect if you desire something very easy yet flattering, flowing, this is the perfect skirt for you.

Republique Du Chiffon – Ella The Ella, is a longer length midi pleated skirt. Perfect for everyday wear, dress down on the weekends with a T-shirt and trainers, or on a workday pair with a blouse and ankle boots.



TO SAN TROPEZ We talk to Caroline Smith from Sew La Di Da Vintage about her sewing patterns and love for everything vintage Rose

Tell us a bit about you and Sew La Di Da Vintage? As a young girl, I loved to crochet and knit, and eventually when I was seven years old, my legs grew longer enough, and I learnt to sew on a treadle machine! I’m lucky that sewing came naturally to me. My mum sewed everything and taught me, and by the time I was 13 years old I was cutting my own patterns from newspaper!

How did you get into dressmaking? After leaving college I was lucky enough to work in London as a designer. After a few years and deciding to start a family, it led me to having a few shops of my own, making bespoke wedding dresses, occasion wear garments for prom and Mother-of-the- bride. Most of my designs were vintage-inspired in some way or another, so it naturally followed that my workshop and teaching space would be cut from the same cloth! The patterns came about as a problem solving exercise. I was


asked to teach at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) and as I hadn’t used a commercial pattern for a while, I realised that the sizes bore no resemblance to our high street sizes. I set about studying the high street way of sizing and found an average for each size, did a little number crunching and decided to make my own pattern block size. After teaching Rose (still my best selling pattern), I found everyone on the workshop had been pleased with their results, so I set about designing more.

MAKERS in the spotlight


“ Be brave and have fun – after all it’s only a piece of fabric. When you wear your creation your efforts will have been worth,” says Caroline. Betty-Jean

Contact Sew La Di Da Vintage

What has inspired the patterns in your collection so far? I love taking elements from the past and bringing them up-to-date to create a modern vintage look. I love watching old movies, going to exhibitions, reading books and of course going to vintage fairs and travelling. I look at silhouettes and details that are simple enough for complete beginners to rusty returners to sewing. Although the patterns are inspired by the past they can be worn in everyday fabrics such as denim, fancy silks and taffetas making them very versatile. 

Do you have any favourite pattern you’ve designed and why? Oh it’s really hard to choose! I guess Rose and Margo. Rose is an iconic ’50s style frock and she’s one of our bestsellers. Margo is a wonderful unabashed playsuit that’s elegant and will be stylish whether in Surbiton or San Tropez! Both of these sewing patterns I’ve seen made up in a variety of fabrics and seen on all ages from 14 to late bloomers and beyond.

Who is your biggest inspiration to your sewing? My biggest inspiration is history and top-end couture, I really respect the work and you can see the love in every stitch that went into the collections. I put my heart and soul into my work, and I’m really passionate about empowering women to create their own style and stitch themselves fabulous!

Who do your patterns appeal to? Having worked for years with women and girls I have a good knowledge of body shapes and also body issues. I wanted to make patterns that would make people feel good about themselves, with realistic sizing and flattering shapes. My patterns work for all ages and sizes, as really they’re typically classic British designs. I’ve even had a nun in Paris buy the Rose sewing pattern. All my patterns are designed with the sewer’s creativity in mind. I always suggest making the garment up once, and then make again perhaps embellishing with vintage trims and embellishments from your stash. 

Tell us about the people being the scenes at Sew La Di Da Vintage? Sew La Di Da Vintage is a real family affair. My son Alex designed the Mr London waistcoat based on one he saw in the V&A museum. He did a great job and modelled it for me. My daughter Betty models for me too, and she is pictured wearing the Betty-Jean playsuit above. My mum has dementia and is called Jean so I wanted to marry her and my daughter together in this design forever. My team is mainly female, and I really value each of them for their individual skills such as pattern cutting, teaching, sales, writing, IT, and the occasional bit of modelling! It’s important that we communicate well and are honest with each other because those relationships are crucial for a small business. Before starting my sewing school and manufacturing patterns I mainly worked alone but being a very sociable person I really love sharing my time now with students and my team. Flower vector created by Lembrik -


Frocks that Rock! • Sewing School • Indie Pattern Designer • Workshops Year-round • Weekly classes • ‘complete beginners’ to ‘rusty returns’ welcome The Town Mill, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU, T: 01297 443205

10 minutes with... Abi Dyson, Simplicity’s Vintage Ambassador Tell us a bit about your background and how you became Simplicity’s Vintage Ambassador? I graduated with a degree in Contour Fashion four years ago, where I learned to sew lingerie, swimwear and corsets. I did try my hand at making clothes as a hobby in my teens but it wasn’t until I started running my lingerie and nightwear business, My Retro Closet, that I rekindled my love for dressmaking. Last April I started my blog, The Crafty Pinup as I love retro style, predominately fashion from the ’40s through to ’60s. I made lots of patterns in my first year and Simplicity’s were some of the first sewing patterns I ever made. I was asked to review a new season’s retro pattern, and the opportunity of becoming Simplicity’s Vintage Ambassador came up, along with the idea of creating the Stitch By Stitch videos on my YouTube channel. To have the opportunity to sew such a wide range of their vintage reproduction patterns is an honour.     It’s Simplicity’s 90th birthday this year – how are you helping Simplicity to celebrate this momentous occasion? From June until Simplicity’s official 90th birthday towards the end of the year, I’ll be sewing a wide range of Simplicity’s vintage reproduction sewing patterns with a little extra love for my favourite ’50s patterns. There’ll be so much going on to build lots of sewing excitement throughout the year. I’ll be hosting pattern giveaways, creating helpful Stitch By Stitch videos guiding you through each pattern, pattern reviews for each style on my blog, and lots of snaps on my social media, as well as sharing my love for Simplicity’s vintage patterns.  How would you describe your everyday style? My everyday style changes, which I think is reflected in my blog’s varied audience. I’ve sewn an equal amount of Simplicity’s reproduction vintage patterns as I have their modern, fashion


forward patterns. I love the elegant ’40s tea dresses and victory rolls, the ’50s for full skirts and red lips, and the ’60s for comfy and cute lazy style. Working from home, you’ll most likely find me in my pyjamas, which is why I love to get dressed up for my blog shoots! What vintage patterns have you been making recently? My favourite vintage pattern is Simplicity’s 1459 shirt dress, I’ve made one, but can’t wait to find time to make another. It’s everything I love in a sewing pattern – a collar, full skirt, pockets and full ’50s styling. Recently my sewing table has also included some vintage ’60s Butterick patterns, and lots of retro style dresses for summer.   You’ve recently created a lovely run of stepby-step clips showing how to make selected Simplicity vintage patterns - tell us a bit about them and to view? I’ll be sharing a helpful Stitch-By-Stitch video on the first Saturday of each month. Each video includes a handy step-by-step guide on how to sew the pattern, much like a sew-along. I show you each step to creating the finished garment. You can find my YouTube channel by searching for The Crafty Pinup.   Are there any tips you can share about working with vintage style patterns? Don’t be intimidated! Some of the styles are no more complicated than modern patterns, so there’s nothing to fear, and hopefully with my fabric and pattern choices along with my videos, people will feel inspired to start sewing vintage.   Who do you admire most in the sewing industry and why? I’m a huge fan of Tilly and the Buttons and Gertie Hirsch. I really admire their designs, style, businesses and branding, and they spur me on to turn my own sewing dreams into a reality. Instagram is also a huge source of inspiration, I love following sewists on their own dressmaking journeys. 

The Crafty Pinup


60-minute make

The ultimate hair accessory – the headwrap We’ve noticed over the summer that hair accessories are trending. The head-wrap has been seen everywhere from designers such as Miu Miu and Gucci to high street versions. But why pay top dollars when you can make it yourself – with ease we might add! 40

60 minute make


2 strips of fabric* 12cm wide x 52cm long 2 strong elasticated hair ties Sewing machine Pins Chalk pencil Thread and bobbin to match Measuring tape Fabric scissors Iron

Steps to make


3 4

Press the fabric flat.

With right sides together, pin side seams and using a straight stitch, sew along the long edge. We’ve used a jean needle as our woven fabric is quite thick.

Fold your chosen fabric in half with the crease down the long edge. Mark two pieces that measure 12cm wide x 52cm long.


Place your second piece through the first loop to form a chain, and stitch closed the end on the other piece.


Tie the two hair ties together in a knot, as shown. Secure one of the hair tie ends to one end of the hairband, and stitch to secure in place.


Repeat for the other side.

Where can I buy


Cut along the fold so that you now have two pieces – ensuring both pieces are exactly the same size.


*We’ve used fabric from the Tinted Denim collection by Cloud9. For your local stockist, click here Turn fabric the right way round. Press the seam flat and repeat for the other piece.

6 On one of the pieces, stitch the ends together to form a loop.

Headwrap inspiration Wear it over the top of your hair instead of hiding it underneath Use up leftover scraps to make a matching one for an outfit Make in lightweight fabrics and wear on the beach Use them as makeup headbands


Red is this year’s colour for autumn so now it’s time to bring it into your sewing! Leather look luxury The red leather look bag from Prym has class written all over it! It’s compact and practical, and perfect for your sewing equipment as well as being handy for travelling to all those wonderful workshops. It has a lid that unzips, revealing cantilever compartments inside, which are removable so you can get to your sewing tools inside. It also comes with a removable shoulder strap. £75 and available from Sew2go

Quilting edition This sleek red sewing machine is the Necchi Rosso 200. It’s perfect for those who like to quilt as well as sew. The machine comes with a six-piece quilting kit and extension table, and also features 200 stitches, 7 auto one-step buttonholes, speed limiter, automatic needle threader, and LCD illuminated display. £399 and available from Hobbycraft

Sewing style Protect your phone with a customisable case from Sock Monkey. This form-fitting case wraps the back and sides of your iPhone 5C with a flexible plastic shell, while still providing access to all ports and buttons. Designed for the iPhone 5C, this lightweight case is the perfect way to show off your sewing style. £19.55 from from Zazzle

Poppy floral poplin at £7.99 per metre

Corded lace at £14.99 per metre

Scotty dog cotton poplin at £7.99 per metre

Richly red Remnant Kings has a wide choice of fabrics for dressmakers. Three newcomers that have caught our eye include this quirky and cute Scotty dog and floral poppy cotton poplins, and gorgeous corded lace with scalloped edge. Click the fabric descriptions to buy.


Mexican mandala Part of the Travel Summer range from Korbond’s Creations range, the Mexican Twist sewing basket feature beautiful crochet mandala designs. Each box has a luxury lining with a hand pocket for storing those loose bits and bobs, as well as removable accessory trays. £32.99 (extra large basket) from Korbond

Have a heart

Red and unrentless The exclusive red tipped needle from Janome is especially designed for those with Janome sewing machines. It provides the extra strength and durability needed for all your embroidery projects and also coping with thicker fabrics. This size 14 needle has a larger eye, which helps to prevent thread breakages that can occur when working with tricky threads like metallics. £4.99 for pack of 5 from Janome

We love the sewing wheel of extra long 5.5cm pins with pink and red heart heads. The extra length is perfect for securing multiple layers of fabric together. £1.95 per pack and available from Higgs and Higgs

Moomin mania Add a bit of fun to your cutting with the Moomin design stainless steel scissors from Fiskars. They measure 21cm in length, and the ergonomic patented handles give extra comfort and control while cutting. The screw on the blades can be adjusted to improve cutting performance and come apart for easy cleaning. £20 and available from Royal Design


Mexican mandala Part of the Travel Summer range from Korbond’s Creations range, the Mexican Twist sewing basket feature beautiful crochet mandala designs. Each box has a luxury lining with a hand pocket for storing those loose bits and bobs, as well as removable accessory trays. £32.99 (extra large basket) from Korbond

Have a heart

Red and unrentless The exclusive red tipped needle from Janome is especially designed for those with Janome sewing machines. It provides the extra strength and durability needed for all your embroidery projects and also coping with thicker fabrics. This size 14 needle has a larger eye, which helps to prevent thread breakages that can occur when working with tricky threads like metallics. £4.99 for pack of 5 from Janome

We love the sewing wheel of extra long 5.5cm pins with pink and red heart heads. The extra length is perfect for securing multiple layers of fabric together. £1.95 per pack and available from Higgs and Higgs

Moomin mania Add a bit of fun to your cutting with the Moomin design stainless steel scissors from Fiskars. They measure 21cm in length, and the ergonomic patented handles give extra comfort and control while cutting. The screw on the blades can be adjusted to improve cutting performance and come apart for easy cleaning. £20 and available from Royal Design


Pattern Finder

Tap or Click

The Very Best Indie Sewing Patterns‌ ďŹ lter by Fabric Type | Garment Type | Brand then choose a stockist to purchase from!

New sewing patterns hot off the press

SALUT MA JOLIE! Another one of our absoloute favourites is Celeste from French indie company I am Patterns. It’s all about the detail with the ‘love’ talisman on the back and front heartshaped neckline. The dress comes from the ‘I am in Africa’ collection of patterns, which are crying out to made in bold prints fabrics!

Marta skirt, Schnittchen Patterns Celeste, I am Patterns

A-LIST SKIRT We love this wonderful A-lined skirt pattern, which includes slanted patch pockets, a centrefront fastening and button facing. The PDF pattern comes in sizes 34 - 46.

Betty Jean, Sew La Di Da Vintage

READY TO ROCK! Loving this versatile catsuit. It’s playful and you can make the rules! Sew in a ¾ length, cheeky shorts or add a halterneck – the choice is up to you. The pattern comes in sizes 4 - 20.


Penny Dress, Sew Over It

SEW-EASY TO WEAR Stylish, wearable and flattering for so many body shapes, the Penny dress from Sew Over It is a wardrobe staple and available as a downloadable pattern only. Shirtdresses can often be fiddly to make, but this dress makes for a refreshingly simple sew and has no darts, zips or collar stands to contend with!

Matilda, Megan Nielsen

UTILITARIAN DRESSING This modern style shirtdress from Megan Nielsen includes classic tailoring techniques such as princess seams, drop shoulders, pleated breast pockets, and an A-line skirt with roomy statement pockets, collar and stand. The pattern includes all the sizes from xs-xl.

Shift Dress, The Avid Seamstress

SHIFT SHAPERS You can’t go wrong with a shift dress. This one from The Avid Seamstress is so elegant and will make the most of your shape with a fitted bodice and sleeves and flattering waist pleats at the back. Available in size 6-22 and perfect for light and medium weight fabrics.


Burnside Bibs, Sew House Seven

WORKING GIRL Burnside Bibs is a feminine take and brings the traditional overalls bang upto-date. The pattern offers two versions with a variety of features that can be mixed up for different looks. What we like about the pattern, there’s lots of different ways to tie them too!

EQS PRESENTS 3 NEW COLLECTIONS FROM RILEY BLAKE AND MICHAEL MILLER Michael Miller’s Cat’s Cradle Add the sparkle back into your step with this celestial collection of charming designs. Mix and match and make magical garments!


to view more of the Cat’s Cradle designs

Riley Blake’s Comfort & Joy This is this year’s Christmas collection from Riley Blake, and consists of five feature prints and three complementary co-ordinate prints. Designed by Dani Mogstad, and inspired by her children, each colour palette is a mix of traditional reds and greens and modern blacks and mint greens. “My name is Dani, I’m a work at-home mother of two feisty red heads, who are my absolute joy and inspiration. I’ve always loved graphic design and I’m so thrilled to be working with Riley Blake to bring my designs to life in an exciting way and hope that they’ll inspire your creativity too!” To find out more about Comfort & Joy collection


Riley Blake’s Blue Carolina Designed by Christopher Thompson, The Tattooed Quilter, Blue Carolina is an artistic floral collection with three colour options, each a variation of blue. Christopher is a New York City based quilt designer in the fashion industry who puts his own creative spin on style, and where colour and print is the critical foundation of every design. He loves finding the balance between print scales and mixing it with complementary or contrasting solid colours. To see more of the Blue Carolina fun floral collection –


Fabrics are all 100 per cent cotton, and 45in wide To find a stockist near you visit the EQS website or call 0116 271 0033.



A free spirit Indie Boheme is one of the latest Art Gallery Fabrics designed by the talented Pat Bravo. The collection is heavy influenced by Pat’s love for faraway places and bohemian style, and is a medley of romantic and eclectic designs highlighted by colour palettes of soft pink, bleached sand, laurel green, vintage blue and burnt coral – all perfect companions for autumn. For your local stockist, click here

Update on some of the latest fabrics

From the lifestyle collection

Love Liberty

Art Nouveau design from seasonal Tana Lawn range


Liberty Art Fabrics are one of the finest quality cottons that you can buy. The cottons are soft and versatile and come with a great British heritage, and are perfect for dressmaking. Clothkits has a wide selection of Liberty fabrics including Liberty jersey, sweatshirting and haberdashery too. View the Liberty Art Fabrics at Clothkits

Fashion-focused fabrics Modelo Fabrics are now available in the UK. This company is known for its fashion-conscious fabrics, and definitely knows what’s on-trend. To find out more click here

Stretch jersey with green and blue peacock feather design, £17.95pm

Multi-coloured floral & paisley polyester satin, £7.50pm

Earn your stripes Modelo jerseys have a fantastic feel, and are Oeko-tex certified so not only are they better for us but also they’re kinder to the environment. The jersey is made from 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent Lycra, and comes in a range of colours including blends of chambray, heathered, maritime, speckled jerseys. These also include a wide selection of on-trend striped options including multi-coloured and classic black and white designs.

Photogenic prints Digital printing on fabric has come a long way in the last 10 years, the process allows for bigger, bolder and innumerable colours in the prints along with niche designs that would be too risky to print huge traditionally printed runs with. We fell in love with these two from Stone Fabrics.

NEW SHOP OPENS FOR HOME LOVERS Lighter than denim Modelo Chambray is also superior and soft, and a lighter fabric than denim to work with and is perfect for making shirts, dresses and skirts. The range comes in a wide selection of 100 per cent cotton in a range of classic colours.

How lucky are you if you live near Glasgow and love home furnishings! Remnant Kings has opened its new flagship store at 150 Howard Street in Glasgow back in June.The shop boasts an experienced and knowledgable team ready to advise and inspire. The shop offers quality fabric and haberdashery sourced from around the globe with a focus on interior fabric, made to measure curtain and blinds service with more than 800 rolls of fabric available as well as many designer books and hangers. There’s also a voyage ‘shop-in-shop’ area with many of their designs by the metre and the Maison range of home accessories. Since the company’s beginnings in 1946, there has always been a passion for exceptional service, which lies at the heart of what they do. All the team are there to support and advise our customers for all their projects from measuring through to fitting and their motto is “We Make. We Measure. We Fit.” Remnant Kings dressmaking store is two minutes away from the new shop so you can visit both on the same day or you can shop online for everything on the Remnant Kings website.


Sew the look

REINVENT the sweatshirt There’s a new class of sweatshirt on the block. Sew yours with stylish stitch and quality fabrics

Lola is a spin-off of a classic crewneck sweater with raglan sleeves, ribbed hem bands, front neckline ‘V’ detail, and oversized wrap around pockets. The curved seams give a relaxed, and feminine fit and you can make as a dress too. Click here to find your local stockist for Victory Patterns


Sirius looks stylish from the front but features a wonderful pleated detailing for a lace, voile or organza insert at the back. Pop on over to I am Patterns as they have more stylish sweatshirt patterns to choose from. I am Patterns

Dare to bare with Pattern 1014, with different ways to wear. Wear the cowl around your shoulders, neck or as a hood – just add sumptuous fabrics! Simplicity

Take the humble sweatshirt and make it into something special – chic athleisure style has taken over!

Pattern 6519 is a mix and match separates including generous tie front dress that would make a gorgeous sweatshirt in a modern print. Simplicity

Kyoto Sweater is from Papercut Patterns’ latest Sakura collection. It’s a ruffle sleeve sweater with relaxed fit, and includes drop shoulders and hem/cuff bands. This pattern loves soft knits so choose a lightto medium-weight stretch fabric. Papercut Patterns

There’s a colour for everyone with the latest collection of fleece and terry sweatshirt fabrics from Modelo Fabrics. All you need now is a neat trim! Click here to find your local Modelo stockist and search on Fabric


Behind the seams We tackle the invisible zip

Zip anatomy Elias Howe invented the first zip in 1851, but it didn’t really become popular until ’30s. It was originally called the ‘hookless fastener’. 1. STOP (TOP) This is the small bracket at the top of the zip that stops the zip pull/slider from coming off the tape. 2. ZIP SLIDER OR ZIP PULL This small pull operates the zip, and makes the teeth come together to close or come apart to open.

Zips are probably the most common closure but also one of the most feared to insert! Choosing the right zip can be tricky as they come in variety of colours, lengths and types. An invisible zip looks different from other zips, the teeth are on the reverse side and only the zip pull can be seen from the front.

Tips for choosing and using a zip A pattern will usually specify which length of zip you should buy. If you can’t buy one the right size, always pick one slightly longer, which you can shorten. Choose a zip that matches your fabric. When buying, make sure the zip pulls up and down smoothly – you don’t want to get home and find it doesn’t. Always close the zipper and press the creases out before inserting If using a cotton-tape zip, wash and pre-shrink it first to avoid puckering Consider the weight of the zip with the weight of your fabric – if the zip is too heavy for the fabric, it will cause the garment to sag and not hang right. Applying basting tape to the right side of the zip can help keep your zip from moving while stitching.


3. TAPE This is the woven fabric strip, which the teeth are secured to, and it’s this that’s sewn to the garment. 4. TEETH This is the part of the zip that locks together and can be made from nylon or polyester. 5. STOP (BOTTOM) This is the bracket that the slider/pull rests on at the bottom of the zip.

Most machines will either come with its own invisible zip foot or you will be able to buy one for your brand of sewing machine.

Janome concealed zip foot shown here

How to shorten a zip Measure the correct length from the top of the zip Mark with a pin While zip is closed and zip coil facing down, machine zigzag using a stitch width 5.0 and length 0.5 across the zip teeth several times to secure Cut off the unwanted zip part of the zip about 25mm below the stitching and use as instructed.

“I find invisible zips to be the easiest zips to insert. All the stitching is behind the seam, so nothing shows from the right side apart from the slider. Always insert the zip before you sew the seam, it makes this task much easier,” says Debbie

Debbie Shore shows how to insert an invisible zip in no time at all!


Firstly open the zip, and uncurl the teeth, and iron lightly, pressing them away from the tape.


Place the zip over the left hand piece of fabric right sides together so that the slider faces the printed side of the fabric, and pin in place.

TIP: Make sure that the zip sits inline with the seam allowance.



Pop your invisible zipper foot on your machine. The zip teeth will sit neatly under the left hand groove of the foot. With the zip open, sew all the way down from the top of the zip to the bottom. The machine will stop when the foot hits the zip pull. Finish by backstitching a couple of stitches to secure.

Flip the fabric over, and pin the remaining side of the zip to the opposite piece of fabric, again with right sides together.

5 6 7

With zip still open, place the zip teeth under the right hand groove of the zipper foot and sew.

Press and pull the zip closed and the zip should disappear

To sew the rest of the seam up, fold the fabric in half right sides together. Stitch the seam from the bottom of the hem up to the point where your stitches meet the zip. Move the end of the zip out of the way as you sew. And you’re done!

About Debbie I’ve always sewn and my mum had a sewing room with cupboards full of wonderful fabrics, old biscuit tins full of buttons and threads, and drawers full of ribbons and lace. She’d encourage me to make dolls clothes before moving on to making clothes for myself. A big fan of up-cycling even back in ’60s, mum taught me how to repair and alter my wardrobe from shortening a skirt or making the flared legs of my loons even more flared by adding triangular flashes of paisley fabric to the side seams - after all it was the sixties! Throughout a long career in television, sewing has always been my relaxation and pastime, which was until I wrote my first sewing book with Search Press some four years ago. Becoming an author has become quite a full-time job. I now have 12 books published, and three more in the pipeline! I’m also very proud to be part of the development of the first-ever sewing machine from Butterick, sold exclusively on Create and Craft. I still sew to relax, and I like to share my ideas and projects on YouTube, where I now have over 140,000 followers and sewers from all over the world! Debbie Shore You Tube channel


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The pattern Pages - Issue 2  
The pattern Pages - Issue 2  

Issue 2 of the first digital magazine just for dressmakers. For more visit