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50% OFF PATTERNS! See p31


Home&Style Dressmaking MadeEASY With your BONUS patterns


Stitch for you!






Liberty Beginner’s Qui

Make it, share it EMBROIDERED TOKENS


Stitch a Sewing Bee dress Inside! Quick Home Updates



Alterations for all skill levels l Dressmaking advice l Interior trends l Top sewing machine picks l

Feb 2014 Issue 56 £5.99

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1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY Editor Lorraine Luximon

Deputy Editor Steph Durrant Editorial Assistant Rosie Savage Group Editor Lynn Martin 01206 505980 Publishing Director Helen Tudor Advertising Manager Jo Scott 01206 506250 Advertisement Sales Clare Dance 01206 505495 Sarah Collins, Jackie Weddell, Jo Bluck Art Director Phil Dunham Designers Rick Allen, Chris Ashworth, James Tuthill Ad Production Clare Brasier Photography CliQQ Photography Accounts Denise Bubb 01206 505958 Subscription Enquiries/ Back Issues 0844 826 7378 Website Enquiries Newstrade Sales Marketforce 0203 148 3300 Marketing Manager Andrea Turner Promotions Emma Ham Subscriptions Executive Maria Doyle Published By Aceville Publications Ltd 2014 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY © Aceville Publications Ltd 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.

On the cover... Garment: Amy Butler

welcome Welcome to our February issue, which is filled with makes you’ll love to stitch, whether for someone special or yourself! If you’re in the mood for romance, our lavender-filled decs will set hearts aflutter (p46),and in Home this month we have an appliqué quilt to stitch from gorgeous Liberty fabrics (p61), plus cosy heart pillows (p69) to snuggle up with. If you want to try dressmaking, we have a limited edition dress pattern from the makers of The Great British Sewing Bee (p15). Available to download until 14th February, make it in a print of your choice and wear it when the weather warms up (or with Subscribe today! a cardigan right now)! We also Check out our fantastic have a gorgeous no-pattern subscription offer on page 72! dress to stitch by the talented Amy Butler on p32. Our gift to you this month is a fat quarter of our exclusive Tilly fabric, plus bonus project sheet. Don’t forget to show us what Join the world’s busiest online you make! crafting community today! With


Lorraine Luximon, Editor

over 28,000 projects to inspire you, plus more than 9,000 members to meet, there’s loads to discover. Join for FREE at

Get in touch! Join us on Twitter @sewhq, follow us on Pinterest Like us on Facebook or email us at with your comments and pictures. Alternatively, call 01206 505420.

Your FREE gift this month is a 100% Tilly fat quarter plus bonus project sheet.

We love!

Inspirational cross stitch ideas, p96

meetthe sewteam

STEPH DURRANT, Deputy Editor "This month... I am loving Corinne Bradd’s quilt – I adore Liberty prints! (p61)

ROSIE SAVAGE, Editorial Assistant "This month... I am looking forward to stitching a gardening apron for my mum (p80).

meetour experts

LAUREN GUTHRIE Our columnist offers advice on altering patterns to fit your shape. See page 106.

Get online All the templates for this issue can be found on our website – plus video demos, free projects and a friendly forum

ALISON SMITH MBE Dressmaking guru Alison Smith advises on making alterations on p22.



February 2014

contents In Every Issue


66 Click & stitch

03 Welcome

Say hello to the Sew team.

06 The Hot List

Check out the best love-themed websites and finds.

Four pages of the best news, products, shows and events for February.

74 Business bite

10 Dear Sew

106 The busy bee

Take a look at our latest reader makes and find out how you can win stitching goodies.

We chat to Sew Over It’s very own Lisa Comfort. The Sewing Bee’s Lauren Guthrie discusses altering patterns.

72 Subscriptions

92 Giveaways

94 March preview Next month we have a FREE Simplicity 1549 toy pattern for every reader, from which you can make a raccoon, fox, bunny, owl and deer! We also have a gorgeous skirt to make from The Great British Sewing Bee, ideas for the home, plus inspiration for Mother’s Day.

96 Cross stitch Collect and keep our inspirational messages and Valentine’s Day motifs.

15 The Great British Sewing Bee summer dress

Download your FREE The Great British Sewing Bee summer dress pattern. Make up in bright prints for a knock-out look.

31 Reader offer 50% off all Simplicity patterns for every reader. *Just pay postage

Tilly fat quarter and project sheet

Never miss an issue of Sew – subscribe today for exclusive offers, gifts and more. Enter today for your chance to win prizes worth over £1,200!

Free Gift

50% off

Simplicity patterns

Every reader gets a FREE fat quarter of fabric and project book, full of inspiration for getting creative with your new, pretty print.


20 Pattern picks We choose the best day dress patterns.

22 Dressmaking SOS Our experts answer your questions on fitting and alterations.

24 Dressmaking fabric shopping Think pretty with our favourite pink fabric picks.

27 Custom made Add lace to your look for an elegant finish.

28 Laced in history We explore the historic art of lace making.

32 Drawstring dress Create your own pattern with this breezy frock.

36 Machine spotlight We review the best overlocker models on the market.


Cath Kidston buttons when you subscribe. See p72

38 My sewing room We talk to sewing and style blogger, Ami Lowden, a.k.a The Little Tailoress, about stitching her own wardrobe.

97 Essentials Get the practical information and advice you need on all aspects of needlework.

Subscribe to sew at




Tilly fat quarter and project sheet


Be inspired by your bonus project book and discover exciting ways to use your FREE, pretty print. Make a clutch bag, plush toys, a cushion or something of your own design. Everyone loves beautiful fabric and we hope this one gives you plenty of ideas for future projects.

Follow us on Facebook at, @sewhq on Twitter or





Patchwork PROMISE

44 Button jewellery

87 Yo yo bag

52 Home fabric shopping

41 Wedding ring pillow

Give your outfit a flirty, feminine touch with this button necklace.

Make a little girl smile with an embellished tote.

Use cool monochrome in your home for a contemporary aesthetic.

Make someone’s wedding unique with a personal touch.

89 Baby stacking rings

54 Home trends

46 Valentine tokens

Let children learn and play with these colourful toys.

Let your home exude style with a grey and yellow colour palette.

Show your love with these embroidered beauties.

56 Quilter’s corner Get the latest patchwork and quilt news and products.

61 Liberty quilt Show some love with this gorgeous, romantic throw.

64 Flower cushion Explore a new craft technique with our wool felt design.

67 Felt wreath Add some colour to your home with this funky wall hanging.

Coming NEXT MONTH... Get your FREE Simplicity 1549 toy pattern

69 Heart pillows Use pretty prints to create these stylish accessories.

75 Make yourself at home Reinvent your living space with our selection of home update ideas.

80 Pocket apron Make household tasks easy with this practical, pretty pinny.

82 Vintage cushions Add a sophisticated flourish to your abode with these lovely pillows.

85 Cat plush Experiment with your embroidery skills to make this cute feline friend.

mag or call 0844 826 7378

Cosy cushions Handmade from France, these scrumptious cushions are from children’s brand Muusa, which means ‘cosy’ in Swedish. We adore the use of tactile wool felt, leather, linen, and pretty Liberty cotton prints. Visit

Romantic ribbons Give your handmade love tokens an extra-special touch with Berisfords’ Natural Charms Romance ribbon collection. Choose from five designs featuring sentiments including ‘All My Love’ and ‘Under Your Spell’ in contemporary red, cream, grey, and black. Priced from 70p per metre, visit or call 01453 883581.

the hotlist What’s new in the world of stitching

Mid-century modern Dare to be different with the Diva range of fabrics and coordinating wallcoverings by Prestigious Textiles. Inspired by the Pop Art movement and using iconic archive imagery, the vibrant designs vary from distinctive Warhol-style faces to tropical montages. All printed onto 100% cotton, they’re suitable for home décor and accessories. Priced £16.99 per metre, visit or call 01274 688448.

Pattern parade Online sewing store Backstitch has launched a new downloadable sewing pattern category where dressmakers can pick from a fantastic range of digital patterns. Designs by popular brands including Oliver + S, Victory Patterns and Made by Rae can be downloaded as PDFs in seconds meaning you can start stitching straight away, plus you can print them out as many times as you like. 6



Street style



London street artist Malarky has joined forces with organic kidswear brand Boys&Girls to create a limited edition range for spring/summer 2014. The collection has an urban beach theme and consists of two long-sleeve raglan T-shirts (£16), a vest top with contrasting trim (£12), and a hooded sweat top (£28) all featuring eco-friendly prints.

fashion file:

Innovation station The Sew team was very excited to be present at the launch of Brother’s brand-new ScanNCut machine. The innovative machine cuts though varying thicknesses of fabric and features a speedy high resolution scanner, so you can create your own appliqué designs. Ideal for patchwork and quilting, there are also 600 ready-to-use designs including 100 quilt patterns which can be selected and edited on the LCD screen. Available exclusively from

OVER-SIZED COATS Usually known for showing off her curves, here Kim Kardashian works this winter’s hottest, or should we say cosiest, cover-up trend – the oversized coat. In a long length with softly curving shoulders, it’s sure to see you through the last of the big freeze. The reality star gets extra style points by working it in a rich mustard shade too. Burda pattern 7275 features two striking coat designs and is only a level two in difficulty. Similar to Kim’s, Style A has lapped seams and a broad, flowing collar to be sewn in fulled fabrics. Available in sizes 10-24,, 0161 480 8734.

French fancies Do you love our bonus cross stitch motifs on page 96? Dont forget that these, plus a whole host of charts, patterns and project ideas are available for FREE on our website at

For more fantastic product reviews, stitchy gossip and to take a look behind the scenes here at Sew HQ, like us on Facebook at sewhq follow us on Twitter @sewhq or visit

Transform your humble abode into an elegant château with the latest fabric collection from Gütermann. French Cottage is a delectable range of 36 Toile de Jouy designs consisting of numerous coordinating prints to mix and match. Priced from £19.95 per metre. For stockists email gutermann@stockist or call 01453 883581.



DAYbyDAY Our rundown of the best workshops and events...

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts

EvenCity, Manchester 6th - 8th February

As well as access to the latest supplies, ideas and innovation in the crafting world, the Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts show has a plethora of inspiring features on offer. There’s an extensive programme of free workshops, demonstrations and talks by experts including author and previous Sew editor Laura Strutt. Visitors can also view the winning entries for the Madeira Embroidery Competition. Visit for tickets.


Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire 17th - 20th February Take a break at Stitchtopia, a five-day festival which promises to be a craft-lover’s heaven. Delve into the world of stitching and surround yourself with industry experts including The Great British Sewing Bee’s Stuart Hillard who will be running patchwork and appliqué sessions. Set in 350 acres of rural landscape with accommodation in the stylish Willows Hotel, visit to find out more.

Starting out If you’ve got a friend who wants to start sewing, but doesn’t know where to begin, then Seek It Out has come up with a great range of kits to help. Aimed at beginners, the sets are designed by Shropshire couple Frank Wagstaffe and Rosie Beswick and contain everything you need. There are three designs to choose from including a quilted knit pin wrap, a jewellery roll and a sewing set, and each comes packaged in a reusable oilcloth bag.

Exercise book If you’re looking to improve your dressmaking skills then take a look at A Fashion Sewers Notebook by Colleen G Lea. Split into nine chapters, the downloadable notebook guides you through simple yet effective exercises designed to help develop your creative skills and challenge your approach to future sewing projects. Priced £9.95, visit www.fashionsewing

The Corset

School of Sewing, Leicestershire 26th - 27th February On this two-day workshop you will join Alison Smith MBE to make an authentic Victorian corset using an original pattern from around 1860 using authentic fabrics and including a waist stay and spiral boning techniques. You can make the basic corset or those with more experience can choose an alternative pattern. Book now at

Knit & Stitch It Five, Farnborough 28th February - 2nd March

WIN TICKETS! Turn to page 92



Join the South’s largest craft weekend for the Knit & Stitch It show. At the three-day event, visitors will have access to all the latest fabrics and stitching tools, along with a first peek at the new season’s product ranges. There’s also a full programme of workshops including ‘make and takes’ where you can meet like-minded crafters and complete a project to take home. Visit

Sort it out Beads, buttons, needles and pins rattling loose in your sewing box? Get them organised with this set of pretty floral storage tins from Blott. They’re not only practical, but they’re pretty enough to display too. Priced £7.50 per set of three,


3 Simply does it Introducing Simple Sew Patterns, an independent British pattern company with a beautiful range of easy-to-sew designs for all abilities. There are seven styles to choose from including dresses, skirts, a blouse, and classic trousers, all priced at just £7.50 from What’s more, full email support is provided, so if you get stuck or have a question, the Simple Sew team will be happy to help.

of the best...


Sewing essentials for the one you love

Cath Kidston heart pincushion, £8,

His ’n’ hers Get sewing for your señor with Colette Patterns’ new speciality menswear and unisex line, Walden. Prepare for outdoor adventures with Albion, a duffle coat with two variations: a flannel-lined coat and an unlined jacket. Accessorise with Cooper, a versatile bag in three styles and don’t miss Negroni, a retro shirt in sizes XS to XXL. We love the new lay-flat packaging, too!

Heart pin wheel, 75p,


Subscribe to Sew today and receive a Cath Kidston Button Factory kit. See page 72.

Pucker up

Pack of six red heart buttons, £2.95,

Create a unique gift for your Valentine this February 14th with this fun Flaming Lips Chocolate Box sewing pattern from Fairyfox. Available as a downloadable PDF, you can stitch a lip-shaped box with four (almost) good enough to eat chocolates from felt and trimmings. Priced £3.75,




Check us out... on Pinterest at Chat with us... on Facebook at

Facebook profile We asked you what you’ve been making this month, and this is what you told us I’ve been making memory friends for little people and their families to remember those special first outfits. Amanda Barker

I’ve been making felt brooches. Debra Mackenzie

Get together I wanted to share with you my latest project, which is a sewing course for my fabulous Women’s Institute. I started the group as a way to make friends after moving to a new area. Two years later we have produced a like-minded, fun group of girls with approximately 40 members. The majority are young mums embracing the ‘make do and mend’ lifestyle. I have been sewing for over twenty years and it turned out that a huge proportion of our members wanted to develop their skills, so I organised a variety of sewing classes. We meet in a local pub and are working on a variety of different projects. Many members buy your magazine and I’m excited to share a little bit of what we are doing. This is a photo of my current art quilt. Gemma White, via email Your WI sounds like so much fun! Sewing is such a great hobby to do as a group. Keep stitching!

★ ★ ★

Rose tinted Here is some of my homemade bunting. I’ve been sewing for a year now and love it! I’m also just about to start sewing lessons which is very exciting! This is a personalised new baby design for a lucky little girl called Rosie. I’ve used a variety of pink prints, decorated with flowers, buttons and pretty trim. Bekki Tomkins, via email This is beautiful, and we absolutely love the flower embellishments. This make is a particular favourite of Editorial Assistant, Rosie!

I’m stitching clothing sets with hand-sewn appliqué. Perfect for our Queensland, Australian summer. Obbie Dobbie

What’s new on Pinterest? I’ve been quilting!! Wowsie Baldwin



Star Letter

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

Get in touch... on Twitter at @sewhq

Check out our Valentine’s board for lots of inspiration! A handmade present is often seen as more thoughtful than shop-bought and you know your gift will be treasured for years. If you’re struggling to think what to make though, why not visit our Pinterest board for ideas? From fabric roses to romantic cross stitch messages, there’s plenty to get your creative juices flowing.


Twitter feed Your best tweets and latest sewing projects @sallybeemakes @SewHQ I made New Look 6202 for my daughter’s birthday

Stitch idols

Catch up on tweets from your favourite crafters

Get tips from Gabrielle on p78

Gabrielle Blackman @CushionCrisis In my attempt at multi-tasking I have managed to fail at all of my tasks this morning... but I am on the right train

Hear more from Lisa Comfort on p74

Lisa Comfort @sewoverit Our shift kits have apparently run out at John Lewis online!

Lauren Guthrie @GuthrieGhani Note to self... staying up till 1am is a bad idea on a Read week night Lauren’s #addicted column on p106 tosewing

Sweet memories

@trimmyg @SewHQ Just completed this jacket for my daughter, very happy with the result!

I thought you might like to see the quilt I researched, designed and made for my daughter Caity for her 18th birthday. I wanted her to remember every year of her life, just as I have, so each block documents something special to her in that year. I used photo printable fabric for pictures I wanted to include, and I scoured the internet for other embellishments, such as the Vegas badges from America. In all, it took me seven months to complete. She was speechless. Lee-ann Brereton, via email What a fantastic idea! It would be lovely if she added to it every year to commemorate special occasions.

@LauraCapesReed @SewHQ I have a sewing problem

Star Prize

@charlenedg @SewHQ I just finished this tote bag


This month our Star Letter winner will receive a bumper Sew goodie bag worth £50. We also have stitchy gifts worth £10 for the runners up.

Jolly roger I have been super busy the last few months, making cushions and various other accessories for my daughter’s new apartment, and I thought you might like to see! I have also made some bits for my niece, whose 12th birthday is coming up. On top of that, I’m in the process of just finishing off a vintage-style apron, also for my daughter! Yvette Whittaker, via email Your daughter’s very lucky and her apartment’s going to look beautiful! We love these funky oven gloves.

Write in and share your creations, tips and views

Email or write to Dear Sew, Sew Magazine, 1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY.



A New Year and a new

creative you



There’s no better time to enhance your enjoyment of sewing and there’s no better machine to have by your side than a Singer. Our range of contemporary sewing machines draws on 160 years of heritage to help you produce perfect projects every time. Now that’s got to be worth singing about.

10 Built-In Stitches


£149 23 Built-In Stitches



Also available models: 2259 with 19 stitches & 2273 with 23 stitches and 1-step buttonhole

Tradition For further details and information on your nearest stockist, please call 020 7336 7986, email or visit




We’ve got pages of style & inspiration PAGE

32 Stitch an Amy Butler dress




No-pattern Drawstrings Smocking Adding a lining

“Get stitching ahead for summer with your FREE empire-line dress pattern download, which featured on The Great British Sewing Bee. Made up in a gorgeous print, this versatile dress will flatter every figure. Featuring a shaped bodice, pleated skirt and a midriff band, it is best suited to an experienced sewer. We've also got a fabulous no-pattern drawstring dress to try, and we go loopy for lace as we delve into the history of this intricate handmade textile, along with great ways of customising your clothes with lace panels.” Steph Durrant, Sew Deputy Editor

Customise your look with lace







Top summer

dress patterns l 13




• Air Threaded Loopers • Automatic Needle Threader • Produces beautiful sharp curves for necklines and sleeves • Use 2, 3 or 4 threads to produce 7 different finishes including rolled hem • Wide Throat Area gives excellent visibility of the fabric whilst overlocking • Adjustable Differential Feed gives a professional finish even on stretchy or knit fabrics

To find your nearest dealer : or Tel 01206 563955/574758


itedEditio m i

th Februa ry 14

valiableto nA Download PATTERN ONLINE



Put your dressmaking skills to the test with our

summer dress This empire-linedress from Simplicity was made by Stuart Hillard on series one of The Great British Sewing Bee. It features a shaped bodice and a pleated skirt with pockets, making it suited for a more experienced sewer. Cut flatteringly to fit only around the neckline and midriff band, the pleated skirt skims obligingly over the hips and falls to an elegant straight hem.

Join the world’s busiest online craft community today!



essentials Fabric: cotton, medium weight, printed, 2.8m, at least 115cm wide; cotton, lightweight, plain, 90cm, at least 112cm wide Interfacing, fusible, lightweight, 15cm x 60cm Zip, matching, 35cm long Thread, sewing, matching DIMENSIONS: UK sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, 16

CUTTING GUIDE: Bodice Back, cut two pairs; one in fabric and one in lining Bodice Front, cut one in fabric and one in lining, both on fold Midriff Front, cut one in fabric, one in lining and one in interfacing, on fold Skirt Front, cut one on fold from main fabric Skirt Back, cut one on fold from main fabric


talking techniques Installing a lining Inserting a lapped zip Forming pleats Adding pockets

Pockets, cut two from main fabric Pocket Facings, cut two from main fabric A 1.5cm seam allowance is included on all the pattern pieces, and a 2.5cm hem allowance on the bottom edges of the skirt front and back. Choose either the longer or shorter length when cutting the skirt pieces.

sew a summer dress

Fig. 1


Download the pattern from, print it out and piece together. Press the fabric thoroughly, then follow the cutting guide to cut out the pieces. With right sides together, place the bodice backs to the bodice front at the shoulder seams. Stitch with a 1.5cm seam allowance throughout (Fig. 1). Press the shoulder seams open. Repeat with the front and back bodice lining. Fig. 2




With right sides together, pin the bodice lining to the bodice, matching the shoulder seams and the point of the V-neck. Stitch all along the neck edge and around the armholes. Reinforce the V by re-stitching over the original line of sewing. Trim the seams, clip the curves and into the V, being careful not to cut the stitching (Fig. 2). Turn the lining to the inside by pulling each back through the front at the shoulder seam. Press.


“If using a printed fabric, be sure to choose a centre in the design and repeat this on the bodice centre front and back, midriff panel and skirt as much as possible” Vie Millard, Sew designer


Fig. 3

Open up the whole piece so that you can place the centre back edges right sides together. Pin the seam from the bottom of the lining up, through the seam joining the lining to the bodice at the neck, then down to the hem of the main bodice piece. Stitch and press the seam open. Turn the lining to the inside and press (Fig. 3).


Tack the raw edges of the two layers of the bodice front together along the side and bottom edges. Fold along one solid line at the lower edge of the bodice front and bring the fold to the broken line. Pin, then repeat for the other folds. Tack all along the raw edge through the pleats (Fig. 4).

Necklace, £12, River Island

Fig. 4


Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of the midriff front piece. With right sides together and raw edges aligned, pin the upper edge of the interfaced midriff front to the lower edge of the bodice front, then pin the midriff lining to the other side in the same way. Tack through all layers and stitch. Press the midriff front and lining downwards, and tack them together along the side and bottom edges (Fig. 5).


Fig. 5

Simplify the design of the dress by omitting the pockets. Adapt the pattern by continuing the line of the front skirt piece to match the shape of the back skirt. Join the world’s busiest online craft community today!




With the bodice wrong side out, open out the right side seam edge of the back bodice and wrap it over the right side seam edge on the front bodice, with the right sides of the front and back lining together and the right sides of the front and back bodice together, with the raw edges aligned. Pin and stitch the right side seam through all four layers (Fig. 6). With right sides together, pin the pocket facing to the skirt front. Stitch along the curved skirt edge. Trim the seam and clip the curves. Turn the facing to the inside and press (Fig. 7). Repeat with the other pocket.


Amy Butler fabric In The Great British Sewing Bee, Stuart used this striking Chinese Lanterns print from Amy Butler's Lark range. Priced ÂŁ13 per metre,, 0121 702 2840.



Fig. 6

Care is needed not to catch the top fabric when sewing in the side zip as it disappears into the pocket.

8 Fig. 7

On the inside of the skirt front, with right sides together and raw edges aligned, pin the pocket piece to the pocket facing. Stitch the curved outer edge, leaving the side seam and top edges unstitched. Repeat with the other pocket. Align the top and the side seam raw edges of the pocket and its facing with the skirt front and tack the pockets securely in place along these edges (Fig. 8).

Fig. 8


With right sides together, stitch the skirt back to the skirt front. On the left seam, sew from the lower edge to the notch (where the zip starts), then work a few extra reverse stitches for strength. On the right seam, stitch from the hem to the top (Fig. 9). Press the seams open.

Feather print Sew designer Vie Millard made up this dress in a vibrant printed cotton. Try this similar multi-coloured feather print, ÂŁ8.99 per metre,, 01254 708068.

Fig. 9


Start with one centre front pleat by folding along the solid line to the centre front. Pin, placing them vertically at the folds. Repeat with the other centre front pleat. For the remaining front pleats, fold along the solid lines and bring to the broken lines, pinning as you go. Repeat the whole process on the back of the skirt. Tack across the front and back upper edges of the skirt (Fig. 10). Fig. 10

Simplicity pattern This dress is from Simplicity pattern 2886, which includes further bodice and sleeve variations, and a bolero jacket. Priced ÂŁ8.15, www.simplicitynewlook. com, 0161 480 8734.




STITCH IT... in a bold print


Insert a zip using the lapped method, aligning the top of the teeth with the armhole. Turn the top of the zip tapes under and slip stitch to neaten (Fig. 12). Machine sew or slip stitch a double hem along the lower edge of the skirt.


Fig. 12

Densely woven cotton and cotton blends, lightweight denim, chambray, jacquard, shantung or taffeta

STITCH MORE For this and many more great patterns from the series, check out The Great British Sewing Bee by Tessa Evelegh (ÂŁ20, Quadrille Publishing Ltd).

coming next issue...



With right sides together, pin the skirt to the bodice, matching the right side seams and left opening edges. Tack, then stitch. Press the seam up towards the bodice and finish the raw seam edges with machine zig zag or overlocking stitches (Fig. 11).

The structure of this dress demands a fabric with plenty of body for a flattering fit and to emphasise its elegant shape.

Fig. 11

FREE with next issue we have a fabulous limited edition pencil skirt pattern download from The Great British Sewing Bee suitable for beginners.

On sale 14th February

Turn the page for day dress patterns Join the world’s busiest online craft community today!





Prettify day attire with a casual dress

Dresses don’t just have to be reserved for special occasions – there are lots of relaxed, feminine styles which are ideal for daywear too. Often featuring a longer length and some kind of sleeve, many designs are also easier to construct as they tend to be less fitted than more formal dresses.

Opt for a loose style for comfort

Pattern of the Month

Colette Patterns Macaron Sizes 0-18 Fitted bodice with darts Contrasting top yoke Sleeves and midriff band Pleated skirt with pockets

HOT TIP Many patterns feature international sizes which differ from ready-to-wear sizing. It is essential that you take your exact measurements and compare with the sizing charts on each pattern 20



This casual day dress from La Redoute has loose, comfy style – ideal for popping over leggings or a pair of tights. It has a short length, but features long sleeves and a drawstring waist. The bodice features a button-up front with pretty pin tuck detailing. Printed dress, £49,, 0844 842 2222.


day dresses


We Love

Simplicity Amazing Fit 2247

Sizes 10-18 Princess seams Empire seam below the bust V-neckline and sleeve variations Make up in crêpe back satin, crêpe de chine or lightweight linens

Butterick 5211 is an ideal garment for those new to dressmaking as it doesn’t contain any tricky seams, darts or zips.

HOT TIP Eliza M Wanda dress

As this dress is bias cut, hang it for 24 hours before finishing the hem to allow for any natural drop in the seams.

UK Sizes 10-18 Retro 1950s style Bodice with integral sleeves Bust darts and empire seam V-neckline and A-line skirt

New Look 6093


Sizes 8-24 Loose-fitting tunic style Gathered sleeve variant Optional self belt Stitch in lightweight linen or stable knits


Butterick 5211




Sizes 4-16 Bias cut dress Skirt panels Sleeve variations Sew in soft, floaty fabrics

STOCKIST INFORMATION For Simplicity and New Look patterns, visit, 0161 480 8734. For Butterick, visit, 0844 880 1263. For Eliza M patterns, visit For Colette Patterns, visit, 01787 269366.





Have you got a sewing problem? Our panel of experts will help you resolve it Write in to us at

Meet the experts... Alison Smith is a published author and runs the Alison Victoria School of Sewing. She is also a Mettler thread ambassador and MBE holder. Learn more at Susan Backhouse is the founder of London’s Fashion Antidote fashion school. Find out more at Lisa Comfort is a published author and runs the Sewing Cafe, London. Learn more at

I have made a toile for a garment, how do I go Q Once about identifying any alterations needed and then

transferring those to the paper pattern? Jacqueline James, Isle of Wight Alison Smith:

A toile is a mock-up of the garment you are intending to make. Creating a toile will not only help you to fit the pattern correctly, but provides a good opportunity to check you like the style before cutting into expensive fabric. Try to get a friend to help you if you can as it's difficult to fit a toile yourself. Stand in front of the mirror and look critically at the garment. Start by analysing how it fits at the bust, waist and hip. If the fabric is pulling taut then unpick a few stitches at the side seam or over the bust seam until the material has an easy fit. Measure the gap and make a note of it. However, if the fabric is too loose, pin out the excess at the stitching lines. Next, check the shoulder length. Is it sitting on the shoulder or overhanging the arm? If the shoulder is too long, just add a little tuck to it. Look at the neckline as sometimes this can look too loose. If so, just pinch out 3mm sections at a time to tighten the curve. Finally check the length. Once all this has been done on the calico, remove the garment and measure where you have altered. You can then either add paper underneath the pattern at the seams which need expanding, or pinch out extra fullness on the tissue paper in the corresponding positions.



Most commercial sewing patterns will need to be altered to improve the fit for your body shape


THIS MONTH... alterations

How to... alter princess seams

I struggle to get skirt Q patterns to fit as I have


Find the bust point on the paper pattern. If this is not marked, it will be at the widest part. Mark the positions on the side front. Draw a line parallel to the hem on the centre front and cut along this line.

quite broad hips but a small waist. What is the best way of altering a pattern to get a good fit? Carol Salsbury, Norwich Susan Backhouse:

Start by taking accurate body measurements; tie a piece of thin elastic around the waist to establish the natural waistline and measure around it. To find your hip measurement, the upper hip is from 7.5cm below the waist and the lower hip is measured around the fullest part. Compare your body measurements to the sizes on the back of the pattern envelope. Choose the one corresponding to your larger measurement, in this instance the hip one. If you feel that the hip area fits on the skirt but the waist is too loose, then you can do a simple pattern adaptation. Cut out the skirt pattern in the size corresponding to your hip measurement. Deduct your own waist measurement plus ease from the one on the pattern. This is how much you need to decrease the waist by. Divide this by four to get the amount you need to take from each side seam. Lay out the front and

back pattern pieces and mark the reduction on the waistline. For instance, if you are reducing it by 6cm, dividing this by four equals 1.5cm. Mark a point 1.5cm away from each front and back side seam on the waistline. Draw a line following the curve of the hip from this point down to meet the hip line 6cm to 8cm below the waist. Use a curved ruler to help you draw the new cutting line. Trim away the surplus pattern. The optimum amount of reduction you can do on the side seams without distorting the pattern is around 6cm. If the amount is more, you can additionally reduce the waist measurement by adjusting the size of the darts. Draw new dart lines outside the lines of the existing darts increasing the size of each dart equally so that you reduce the waist measurement when you construct them.

always been tall and struggled Q Itohave get trousers long enough, so I thought I'd make my own. However, commercial patterns still come up too small; is lengthening them just a case of extending the hemline?


Measure the body from shoulder to bust point to waist. Compare this with the measurement on the centre front pattern piece and move the pieces accordingly. Tape the pattern to paper placed below to secure it.


Cut into the seam allowance at the bust point and from there along the seam allowance to the armhole and hem.

Linda Beale, Milton Keynes Lisa Comfort:

How you alter a trouser pattern depends on the style; if they are a straight leg trouser then yes, lengthening the hem is all you need to do. However, if they are tapered or flare then you will need to lengthen from the knee as well as the hem. On a flared trouser, the flare will start from the knee so at this point you should draw a horizontal line, perpendicular to the grainline, and slash the pattern open. Add the extra length to match your hip to thigh measurement. Do this by sticking a piece of paper where you have cut the pattern, making sure it is an even strip all the way across. If you still need to add extra length, you can do this at the hem.



Pivot the two seam allowance pieces at the armhole and hem, moving them apart at the bust point. Move these the same amount as the centre-front pieces.


Measure the body from the side to the centre front horizontally through the bust line. Add the required amount of ease to this measurement and check this against the adjusted pattern pieces (overlap them at the seam allowance when measuring). Smooth out the seams and edges.

For more troubleshooting tips and technical how-tos, take a look at Dressmaking to Flatter Your Shape by Lorna Knight (ÂŁ16.99, Bloomsbury). Sew readers can purchase a copy for the special price of ÂŁ11.99 with free UK postage by calling 01892 510850 and quoting Sew magazine.





As a subtle nod to Valentine's Day , why not stitch up garments in feminine shades of rose, coral, cerise and fuchsia?

Steph Durrant

Rosie Savage

Sew Editorial Assistant

“I would love to make a pretty pair of pyjamas from this dreamily soft cotton lawn”

“This enchanting merry-go-round print reminds me of the fairground scene in Mary Poppins”

Vie Millard Sew designer

“This soft twill would be great for a lightweight jacket to wear as a cover-up on a breezy spring day” 24




Sew Deputy Editor

Lorraine Luximon Sew Editor

“Light and airy, this colourful paisley lawn would make a stunning maxi dress for an exotic excursion”


DRESSMAKING fabric shopping


6 3


2 9





1 Wilmington Prints Carousel Dreams in Toile Pink, £8.90 per metre,, 0845 519 4422. 2 Cotton lawn in Candy, £11.96 per metre,, 01829 770733. 3 Dress It Up Colour Me buttons in Hot Pink, £2.45 per pack, 4 Small floral twill by Kiyohara in Coral, £16 per metre, 5 Briar Rose Strawberry in Pink, £12 per metre,, 020 7794 5635. 6 Medium polka dot silk crêpe de chine, £23.20 per metre,, 01386 881507. 7 Bertie's Bows grosgrain rose print ribbon in Pink, £3.49 per metre, 8 Liberty Lifestyle Stile Collection Lowke Colourway C, £14 per metre,, 01787 269366. 9 Cotton houndstooth in Melon by Bonnie & Camille for Moda, £12 per metre, 10 Cotton print with flowers in Antique Pink, £4.88 per metre, 11 Alexander Henry Regent Peacock cotton lawn, £16.50 per metre,, 0845 519 4354. 12 Printed polycotton check dress fabric in Cerise Pink, £2.99 per metre,, 01254 708068.


10 11



V • Dressmaking mannequins on sale at Valentino’s • Available in Male, Female & Child sizes • UK manufactured • Excellent prices • Free UK delivery 01489 808007 -






Add laceto your look and have all eyes on you

How to...

make a lace sleeve vest top


Beginning approximately 3cm from the end of a lace trim, pin the front of the lace down and along the strap of a vest top.


Cut the excess lace trim away – if desired you can use this to add detail to the hem of your top too.

Wear white lace for a fresh appearance


If you're adding lace to a hem or sleeve, incorporate this Blue Mist ribbon to create a more striking look. Priced £3.75 for three metres,


Hand stitch or machine sew the lace to the strap, and continue all the way round on the armhole.


Overlap one edge of lace over the other, then hand stitch the ends together creating a circle.

the blog... You can pinch the underarms together and add a few stitches or create a dart, but when you wear the top your arms will do this naturally.

Make it! Velvet dream

Turn over for more on lace

This tutorial comes from the wonderful Love Maegan, created by Maegan Tintari. Visit for more fantastic ideas.

Lovely lace Cut-out number Add lace to a cut-out dress to make it more wearable. Priced £55,

We adore this Chantilly-style lace, which comes in this pretty Champagne colour. Priced £13.79 per metre,



n England and across the continent, lace has been a coveted fashion fabric for many centuries, handmade by skilled workers who took numerous hours weaving intricate pieces to adorn the costumes of the rich and powerful. We explore why the preservation of lace making techniques and traditions is so important to our heritage and speak to the people of Britain carrying on the craft today.

We explore the

historic craft of lace making

Laced in • Devon knows Honiton in Devon was the major lace producing town in England during its popularity in the early 17th century. Margaret Lewis from Allhallows Museum tells us more. "Honiton lace is a very fine handmade bobbin lace which, according to records, has been produced since the early 17th century," explains Margaret. "Unlike any other British variety, each motif is worked individually then joined together instead ofbeing made in lengths. Designs traditionally depict flowers and leaves and were used for fine fashion items as opposed to tablecloths or other homeware. "Bobbin lace is created in a miniature weaving process: the loom being the pins placed through a pattern on a barley straw pillow. The very fine thread held on bobbins is woven back and forth to build up the pattern. One square centimetre could take up to five hours to produce, and large pieces such as collars or handkerchiefs could take up to 1,000 hours!

'7f you're interested in learning how to make Honiton lace, there are lots oflace making tutorials online" 28 I

"Lace making was a cottage industry," says Margaret, "with the majority oflace being made in the homes of the workers who were often the wives of poorly paid labourers and fishermen. Today, people still make Honiton lace all over the world as ahobby, butitisnolongermade commercially as people are not prepared to pay a realistic price for the many hours of work that is taken to produce it. "If you're interested in learning how to make Honiton lace, there are lots oflace making tutorials online. You will need to have patience, lots of time, and to use good equipment. At the museum, we also sell starter kits and hold classes on two afternoons and one evening a week for adults." To find out more about what the Allhallows Museum has to offer, visit

[] The Lace Guild Founded in 1976, The Lace Guild is an educational charity dedicated to keeping the knowledge oflace making alive in the UK We spoke to the Hon. Curator ofthe Guild museum, Gwynedd Roberts, to find out more. "I joined The Lace Guild just after it was formed as I was making lace at the time and thought it was a good idea to bring makers together. I feel that preserving its 400 year old history is important. I was brought up in Buckinghamshire, one of the traditional key bob bin lace making areas in England and my mother told me that when I was small, I was fascinated by an old lady who used to sit in her garden and make lace. I find great pleasure in making just for the joy ofit. It is almost creating something out ofnothingyou start with threads wound on a reel and finish with a piece oflace you can wear or display around your home. "The Guild has a lot to offer those interested in lace making, including a comprehensive website, Facebook page and our quarterly magazine gives information on the regular events up and down the country. At the museum located at Stourbridge in the West Midlands, we have many items for visitors to view; we change our displays every quarter. Pieces have been donated by individuals around the country who have found them in their family collections, some are on longtermloan, or we have bought them to fill gaps in our collection. Our earliest samples oflace are from the 16th century, while those from later centuries include collars, cuffs and flounces, which would have been taken on and off the costumes of the well-to-do. At the time it was a must-have decorative fashion fabric worn to demonstrate status. "Unless you have the provenance, it can

be difficult to identify the origin of early pieces of English bobbin lace as they were created to imitate those being made on the continent. Hollie Point needlelace is the

exception to this rule, as it is unique to England. However, once you get in to the 19th century, three distinctive English types emerge, identifiable by the patterns and techniques used.

"Unless you have the provenance, it can be difficult to identify the origin ofearly pieces of English bobbin lace as they were created to imitate those being made on the continent,, "In this country, lace making is now purely a pastime due to the hours it takes to make. If you costed your time, nobody would be prepared to pay a reasonable rate! When lace making was a commercial craft, children learnt at school aged from around four or five so were much faster. Professional lace makers can still be found in Spain and Portugal, and we have many overseas members who subscribe to our magazine, Lace. "There are groups of amateur lace makers dotted around the UK who get together to share their love oflace. If you're interested in giving it ago then it's certainly a worthwhile hobby. Simply look around for someone to teach you or there are some excellent books available, including some published by the Guild." Learn more about lace making and what the Guild has to offer at

Aroyal . connection The Duchess of Cambridge Designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Kate Middleton's wedding dress is arguably the most talked about garment of the 21st century so far. The ÂŁ25,000 gown featured an intricate lace bodice and a silk tulle veil hand-stitched by seamstresses at the Royal School of Needlework. However, despite the gow n having a rather British feel, the lace used by Sarah Burton was in fact created by the couture lace makers of Caudry, France. Around 2,000 motifs were used to embel lish the gown inspired by Grace Kelly 's wedding dress, which also featured lace from Caudry.

~t~ Queen Victoria In 1839, Queen Victoria boosted the lace industry after its decline following the invention of the net making machine a decade or so previously, by ordering her wedding dress and vei l to be made of Honiton lace. In 1841, she commissioned a christening robe for her first c hild also made from the lace . The one-of-a-kind, white satin gown has since been worn by over 30 roya l newborns including Prince William, Prince Charles and Queen Eli zabeth II. However, following the baptism of Lady Louise Windsor in 2004 , it was deemed too delicat e t o be used again. A replica gown was commissioned and last October Prince George, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was christened in the new-generation hei rloom des igned by the Queen's dressmaker, Angela Kel ly. I 29

Queen and country The East Midlands, in particular Bedfordshire, was another main centre for lace making in Britain. The Aragon Lacemakers is a local group dedicated to keeping the craft alive in the area We spoke to member Barbara Potter to learn more.

Want to learn? Pick up the craft with a class or workshop The Lace Guild Summer School

Allhallows Museum

Learn the art oflace making with The Lace Guild at one of its dedicated courses and workshops including the Summer School. The week-long course will be returning to Alston Hall in Lancashire in 2014 with a number of skilled tutors teaching a variety oflace techniques including English point ground lace and Irish crochet lace. Visit for details.

Keen to keep the tradition ofHoniton lace making alive, The Allhallows Museum holds classes for young people aged between eight and 18 years on Saturday mornings. The cost is ÂŁ8 a term, with all the equipment provided. Learn more at

Discover more about lace GAWTHORPE TEXTILES COLLECTION The Gawthorpe Texti les Collection is one of the finest collections of lace, embroidery and textiles in Europe. Housed at Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire, which belongs to the Nationa l Trust, it is open to the public for 2014 from 29th March. Visitors can take part in regular Contemporary Lace Making afternoons, as well as Lace Exploration Days. Find out more at www.gaw t horpetext iles co llecti o .uk

DO IT YOURSELF! Lace making kit This kit is an ideal introduction to lace making, with clear patterns and tools for creating a selection of pieces including a flower decoration, bookmark and lace edging. Priced ÂŁ20.96,

"The Aragon Lacemakers were formed in 1977 to promote what was once a thriving industry in the Midlands as a hobby," says Barbara. "The group is named after Queen Catherine of Aragon, who is believed to have taught lace making to the villagers of Ampthill while she was imprisoned there for a short time during her divorce from Henry VIII. "Most of the regions in the Midland lace making area had their own characteristics and patterns. The lace was made by the families of agricultural workers primarily for trimming clothes and household linen.

"Sadly, the tradition of handmade lace sold on a commerical basis died out as machines were introduced that could produce it more quickly and cheaply,, Barbara continues, "Sadly, the tradition of handmade lace sold on a commerical basis died out as machines were introduced that could produce it more quickly and cheaply. Today, lace making is purely a hobby for the satisfaction of keeping the tradition alive. The Aragon Lacemakers, as with similar groups in the county, enjoy sharing expertise and learning new techniques. Among our members are lace teachers who teach classes for various institutes, as well as those who 'spread the word' by giving talks to other non-lace groups." Find out more at



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Home Patterns Create cushions, curtains and more for the home

Kids & Accessories Make something for all the family with easy-to-follow patterns

Garment Patterns Choose from a range of styles and sizes for all the family

Visit using voucher code SEW5o14 from 1oth Jan to 14th Feb 2o14.


Create your own pattern to make Amy Butler’s

drawstring dress This patterned rose and cream dress features a drawstring neckline, shoulder slits, and elastic cuffs. Its casual, loose style means that it’s reasonably easy to make with no tricky fitting or zips to master. It looks great when paired with a high-waist belt or worn free.




DECORATE IT... with smocking

essentials Fabric: printed, cotton, 183cm; plain, white, lightweight, 138cm Thread: all-purpose, coordinating; elastic Bobbin, machine Elastic, 6mm wide, 70cm Pen, fabric Safety pin Ruler DIMENSIONS: Small: bust size 34½" (6–8) Medium: bust size 36" (10–12) Large: bust size 39" (14–16)



Use a ruler and a fabric pen or pencil to mark the measurements for your dress size directly onto fabric using Fig. 1. The length of the dress is 117cm with a 2.5cm hem included. Cut two pieces, a dress front and a dress back. DRESS FRONT AND BACK

create the sleeves


Find the centre (halfway) point at the top of the sleeve by folding it in half lengthways and making a snip at the top fold. Open the sleeve flat and, using a ruler and fabric marker, draw a 15.2cm line down from this point, perpendicular to the top edge (Fig. 3). Cut along this line. Repeat on the second sleeve.


(Fig. 1) Lengthways (straight) grain

Sew all seams with right sides together, using a 1.3cm seam allowance, unless otherwise indicated. Back stitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

65cm(S) 69cm(M) 72cm(L)

pieces 2.5cm shorter than the dress along the bottom edge. To lengthen or shorten the dress, make adjustments at the hemline. Visit and download the armhole curve template. Select your size and use it to mark and cut an armhole curve from both top corners of the front and back dress and lining pieces (Fig. 2). Set these aside. DRESS FRONT AND BACK Top Corners

Armhole Curve

81cm(S) 84cm(M) 86cm(L)


Use these pieces as patterns to cut a front and back from lining material. Trim the lining

Cutting Line

(Fig. 2)


Use a ruler and fabric pen or pencil to mark the measurements for your sleeve size directly on the fabric. Cut

two: small – 48.9cm length x 57.1cm width; medium – 49.5cm length x 60.3cm width; large – 50.2cm length x 63.5cm width. Use the template to mark and cut two armhole curves at the top corners of each sleeve (Fig. 3 see below). For the sleeve facings, measure the new width at the top of the sleeve and use a ruler to mark it on the crossways grain of the lining fabric. Add 5cm to this length for added seam allowance. Draw a parallel line of the same length 5.4cm above or below the first line. Draw perpendicular lines at each end. Cut two strips. Fold each strip in half by bringing the short ends together and cut in half. You should now have four pieces 5.4cm x half the top sleeve width measurement. These will be used as sleeve facings. Set them aside.




and press 6mm in along one long edge. Using a fabric pen and ruler, mark a line parallel to and 6mm below the opposite long edge (Fig. 5). Repeat for the other binding.



Top Corners

(Fig. 5) Armhole Curve


Cutting Line




(Fig. 3)


Reinforce the slit with stay stitching 6mm from the cut edge Stay Stitching and tapering down to the bottom. (Fig. 4) Pivot at this point, then stitch back up the other side to within 6mm of the opposite cut edge (Fig. 4). Repeat on the second sleeve. To make two fabric binding pieces, measure and mark a 3.2cm wide (crossways grain) x 30.5cm long (lengthways grain) rectangle directly onto fabric. Cut two. Lay each binding piece on an ironing board wrong side up



Bring the folded long edge (Fig. 7) of the binding over the 6mm seam to the wrong side of the opening and have it SLEEVE extend slightly past the (WS) Binding stitching line. Pin from the right side, then machine stitch in place (Fig. 7). Press smooth. Repeat for the second sleeve. Sew the sleeve seams and press the seam allowance to one side. For the sleeve hems, turn up 1.3cm to the wrong side along the bottom edge of each sleeve. Then, turn up a further 1.6cm to make the casing for the elastic. Stitch around the sleeve bottom 1.3cm away from the folded edge, leaving a small 1.9cm section unstitched as an opening for inserting elastic (Fig. 8).



Spread the 15.2cm slit of one sleeve open and, with right sides together, pin the slit to the marked long edge of one binding strip, aligning the long edges. Position the stay stitching along the slit so it matches the 6mm marked line on the binding piece. Stitch with the slit side facing up, then press (Fig. 6). Binding



1.9cm unstitched


(Fig. 6)


(Fig. 8)

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Use a vanishing pen to draw your pattern directly onto your fabric so it won't permanently mark the material.



Cut two pieces of elastic following these measurements: small – 29cm; medium – 30.5cm; large – 33cm. Using a safety pin attached to one end of elastic, insert it into the opening of the casing and use the safety pin to feed it through. When it comes back through the opening, cross the two elastic ends on top of each other and tack them together. Machine stitch the gap closed. Take the four sleeve facing sections and on one short end of each, turn in 1.3cm to the wrong side and press. With right sides together, pin the sleeve facings to the tops of each sleeve with the folded end of the facing lined up with the finished edge of the bound plackets (slits) at the top of the sleeve, and the other raw end lined up evenly with the top of the armhole curve. Sew the facing to the armhole curve with a 1.3cm seam. Begin 1.3cm in from the end of the armhole curve, take a few stitches, back stitch, then sew across the top of the sleeve until you get to the placket and back stitch again. Start again on the other side of the placket, back stitch and continue sewing until you are 1.3cm from the opposite armhole curve (Fig. 9). Press. Repeat with the remaining sleeve facings on the other sleeve. Then press 6mm of the long, unsewn edge towards the wrong side and stitch in place.


Join facing and lining with 1.3cm seam

Amy Butler chose to use Souvenir in Ivory from her Lark range to create this dress. Priced £13 per metre,, 0121 702 2840.

For this and other sewing and quilting projects created in support of women's heart health, take a look at Sew Red: Sewing & Quilting For Women's Heart Health by Laura Zander (£14.99, Sixth & Spring Books).

(Fig. 10)

(RS) Armhole Curve





(Fig. 9)



Sew the dress and the lining together along the top edges, meeting up at the point where the sleeve facings and the sleeves are stitched together (Fig. 9). Press these seams open. Turn the lining to the inside of the dress, then press it flat along the top edge. Tack the armhole seams of both the lining and the dress together either by hand or by machine. Keep the dress right side out (with the lining inside) and pin again along the top edge of the dress where you just pressed to hold the lining and the dress together and to prepare for making the drawstring casing. Make the drawstring casings at the top of the dress. With the right side of the dress facing up, start stitching around the top of the dress, 1.9cm down from the top edge, beginning at one of the sleeve openings. Stitch across the front of the dress to the other sleeve opening, catching the lining and the sleeve facings in the stitching. Sew a second row of stitching 6mm down from the first row. This should secure the bottom edges of the sleeve facings on the insides of the sleeves (Fig. 11). Repeat on the back of the dress and press.




assemble the dress


Sew the dress front to the back at the side seams. Press the seam allowances to one side. Repeat with the front and back lining pieces. Press the seam allowances to one side. Pin the sleeves to the dress, matching the underarm curves and the side seams of the dress with the sleeve seams. Stitch along the curve, keeping the sleeve facings free from any stitching. With the lining wrong side out and the dress right side out, slip the dress into the lining, matching the top edges of the front and back dress and lining pieces, and pin them together. Before stitching the dress and lining together at the top, turn back the sleeve facings to the right sides of the sleeves and match the short, unstitched ends with the top of the lining at the seam where the dress and sleeve meet. Stitch them together and press the seam allowance towards the lining (Fig. 10).




(Fig. 11)

Drawstring Casing


Marked gathering lines 6mm apart; first line 1.9cm below casing



1.3cm turned in


Amy Butler fabric


1.3cm of sleeve facing unsewn



Using a ruler and marking pen, draw six lines starting 6mm below and parallel to the last stitching line for the casing. The lines


Meet the designer... AMY BUTLER

talking techniques Drawstrings Smocking Adding a lining

Amy Butler contributed to Sew Red: Sewing & Quilting For Women’s Heart Health by Laura Zander (£14.99, Sixth & Spring Books) by creating this vintage-inspired garment, as she lost her grandparents to the silent killer. Amy has been honing her skills in fashion and surface design since she was seven years old, and while she spends much of her time focusing on sewing and designing fabric, she also makes time to take good care of herself through diet, exercise, and managing her mind.

should be drawn 6mm apart on both the front and the back of the dress, starting and stopping at the sleeve seams (Fig. 11). Hand-wind elastic thread onto an empty bobbin, applying a very gentle stretch to the elastic and winding in the same direction as your machine winds your bobbin thread. Put the bobbin in your machine or bobbin case and thread it as usual. Set your machine at a stitch length of 3.0 or longer. Keep your top thread threaded as normal and pull your elastic thread up through the needle plate. With the right side of the dress facing up, back stitch, then slowly sew across the first marked line. The elastic thread will stretch as it sews and create a smocked look across the front of the dress. Back stitch when you reach the end of the line. Repeat with the remaining lines. When you are finished smocking, change back to your regular stitch length and all-purpose thread in your bobbin. To make the two drawstrings, measure and mark two strips 3.2cm (crossways grain) x 137cm (lengthways grain) out of the remaining fabric and cut them out. Fold each strip in half lengthways, wrong sides together, and press a crease along the folded edge. Open each strip, then fold each long edge in towards this centre crease and press. Fold the strips in half again at the centre crease enclosing the raw edges and press. Pin, then edge stitch down both long edges. You will then have two drawstrings approximately 6mm wide x 137cm long. Using a safety pin, feed the drawstrings through the openings in the front and back casings. Make a small knot at the end of each drawstring and tie together at the shoulder. To make the hems on the dress and the lining, turn up 2.5cm along the bottom edges to the wrong sides and press. Tuck the raw edges of the hems into the pressed crease to make a 1.6cm hem. Topstitch close to the top pressed fold.






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machine spotlight Create neat hems with an overlocker


a sewing machine worth £749! Turn to page 92

Finish your projects like a pro with an overlocker model. They cut and sew the edges of your garments so they are neat and secure, all in one easy motion. Most modern models have simple threading systems too, so you can stitch quality garments at home in no time.

JUKI MO-1000 The Juki MO-1000 overlocker helps you finish seams like a pro with ease. It provides effortless threading with the power of air and the needle can be threaded in just three simple steps. Unleash your creativity with numerous stitch patterns including a rolled hem and a decorative frill edge. Other convenient features are the adjustable differential feed and presser foot pressure, an option to deactivate the upper knife, a wide throat area, plus a handy waste collector. l

Air supported threading


Quiet operation


Adjustable differential feed


Wide throat area


Waste collector Price: £995 Contact:, 01206 563955.

British Sewing Awards – vote now!

It’s your last chance to ensure your favourite sewing machine brand places in the British Sewing Awards. Vote now on page 39.



Graphic touch screen

Built-in carry case


AEG 760

The Pfaff Coverlock 4.0 is a handsome machine boasting a range of great features. Access extended information on each of the 25 stitches on the graphic touch screen then, once selected, the machine will set optimum thread tension, differential feed and stitch length. Threading is easy with colour coded thread paths and there’s no need to change the presser foot or needle plate when swapping stitches.

This four thread overlocker has a free arm and a built-in differential feeding mechanism. It automatically neatens and trims fabric as it sews and stitch length can be adjusted on the unique dual dial. The lay-in colour coded threading system and telescopic thread guide make it easy to set up. There’s also a front cover safety power cut out switch.

Stitches: 25 Key features: LCD touch screen, large sewing space, differential feed, memory function, dual LED light sources, safety lock out, five sewing speeds, large variety of stitches. Price: £969 Contact:, 01527 519480.

Stitches: Various Key features: Dual dial selection, differential feed adjustment, free arm, safety feature, easy threading system, adjustable stitch width, telescopic thread guide. Price: £399 Contact:, 01233 625227.




Model of the month

HUSQVARNA VIKING HUSKYLOCK S21 With features that focus on ease of use and professional results, you’ll be impressed by the creative possibilities available with the Huskylock S21. A large sewing surface makes fabric feeding easier and more accurate, and there is an extension table included for major projects. Choose from two, three or four thread overlock stitches, rolled hems and more, then the machine will automatically set the thread tension for you. Stitches: 21 Key features: Threading guide DVD, large sewing space, differential feed, automatic settings including thread tension, chain stitch and cover stitch for seaming and hemming. Price: £679 Contact:, 01527 519480.


Large sewing space

This month the Sew team met Paul Field, owner of Rona Sewing Machines “Rona Sewing Machines is a family run business which has been trading since 1949. Originally making sewing machine cabinets and carry cases, we started manufacturing worktops for industrial sewing machines in the mid 1950s. We opened our first shop in Edmonton, London, in 1969, then moved to Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, where we have been located for the last 39 years. We sell, repair and service most makes of machine and stock a large range of fabrics and haberdashery.” Paul Field, Rona Sewing Machines

What’s on offer? l

Free training and support


Excellent aftersales service


Many machines in stock to try


Wools, fabrics, and haberdashery

Find out more... Visit Rona Sewing Machines, 143a High Street, Waltham Cross, Herts, EN8 7AP. Alternatively, log on to, 01992 640250.




MY SEWING ROOM Sewing and style blogger, Ami Lowden ‘The Little Tailoress’, tells us what she loves about creating her own wardrobe

I learnt to sew from my mother when I was a little girl, and started to dabble in making my own clothes when I was a teenager. I remember the first self-made garment I wore out was a bright green, lace, boned bodice based on something Jennifer Aniston wore in the film Picture Perfect. An ‘interesting’ style choice, with very questionable finishing on the inside! But it stayed in one piece and I have never been one to shy away from diving in at the deep end. After university, I took several short courses in professional finishing techniques, pattern cutting and tailoring at London College of Fashion and have been developing my skills ever since. My mother is a very creative and practical person and my childhood in many ways affirmed the phrase ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. I grew up in a house full of patchwork quilts, rag dollies and handmade dresses; my mother always used her sewing and craft skills to make the most out of what we had, and taught me the benefit and the pleasure of creating things. She has definitely been a huge inspiration to me. I started my blog, The Little Tailoress, as a way of recording the things I was making. When you sew and wear your own clothes it is easy for them to just become a working part of your wardrobe and

“Sewing has given me a wonderful outlet for my creativity and allowed me to express myself in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise” it is nice to have the blog as a way of capturing the process, before they are worn and wellloved. At the risk of sounding dramatic, sewing has changed my life! It has given me a wonderful outlet for my creativity and allowed me to express myself in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I think it's a great shame that sewing and related skills fell out of favour for so long and that the design and manufacture of clothes has been

outsourced from the UK to such a degree. I would love to see a return of proper sewing classes at schools and more opportunities being created for young people to develop their sewing as a hobby or career. My style is very classic; I adore the fashions of the 1920s to 1960s and think this comes through in most of the things I make and wear. I love the care that went into making clothing in the past, and I would jump at the chance to become involved in

Find more from Ami at 38


some period costume work should the opportunity ever present itself. As well as sewing, I am addicted to knitting and I own more yarn than I care to admit. I also love to bake, paint, and, of course, go vintage shopping! I love what I do so much. It's been fantastic connecting with other people who get excited by the same things I do. I like the fact that taking time to make my own clothing means that I really value and look after my possessions. One of my absolute favourite things about sewing is the ability to recreate the classic styles I love, and making up a vintage pattern really gives me a feeling of being connected with a past era.

Vote now at


Sewing Awards

Vote now! Give recognitionto your H favouritesewing shop,


H Three easy steps to vote...


Vote in each category on the form overleaf


personality, machine and more in the British Sewing Awards 2013 H

Thank you for all your nominations for the upcoming British Sewing Awards. We asked you to name all of your best-loved sewing products, brands and resources and had an overwhelming response. Those with the most nominations have made it through to the voting stage. You can now place your final votes and make sure your favourites feel your support. Simply complete the form overleaf or visit Not only will you have the opportunity to have your opinion heard, but you will also be in with the chance of winning a bumper prize contributed by our nominees. Get voting!

Complete your contact details




Send it to us at

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

Or visit to vote online now!





Not only can your favourite sewers and brands win, but so can you! By voting, you are entered into a prize draw and could win a stash of stitching goodies!

Items pictured for illustrative purposes only



Vote now at PRODUCTS: Best thread brand ❑ Madeira ❑ Aurifil ❑ Gütermann ❑ Mettler ❑ Coats


Best brand of haberdashery tools ❑ Hemline ❑ Fiskars ❑ Clover


Best fabric brand ❑ Moda ❑ Makower ❑ Michael Miller ❑ Liberty ❑ Tilda


Best new product 2013 ❑ Downton Abbey fabrics ❑ Creative Grids Diamond and

Lone Star Bias Ruler ❑ Magical Teepee by Just For Tiny People Other................................................

SEWING MACHINES: Best user-friendly sewing machine brand ❑ Janome ❑ Singer ❑ Husqvarna ❑ Brother ❑ Bernina

Best sewing blog ❑ Plush Addict ❑ Minerva Crafts ❑ Sew, Mama, Sew! ❑ Craftsy

Best pattern house

Best website for sewing resources

❑ Simplicity ❑ Butterick ❑ Vogue ❑ McCall’s ❑ Burda

❑ The Sewing Directory ❑ Minerva Crafts ❑ Plush Addict ❑ The Cotton Patch ❑ Lady Sew & Sew


RETAILERS: Best UK chain store ❑ John Lewis ❑ Dunelm Mill ❑ Abakhan Fabrics, Hobby

& Home ❑ Fabric Land ❑ Hobbycraft Other................................................

Best independent haberdashery shop WALES... ❑ Lee Mill Fabrics, Swansea ❑ Venn School of Sewing,

Cardiff ❑ Calico Kate, Lampeter Other................................................


❑ Mandors, Glasgow

Edinburgh Linlithgow


❑ Leon’s Fabrics, Chorlton ❑ Minerva Craft Centre,

Most desirable sewing machine

❑ Patchwork Parade, Oldham

40 l


RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES: Favourite sewing personality ❑ Tilly Walnes ❑ Kaffe Fassett ❑ Jennie Rayment ❑ Kirstie Allsopp ❑ Jo Colwill


by Tessa Evelegh (Quadrille Publishing) ❑ The Sewing Book by Alison Smith (Dorling Kindersley) ❑ Sew by Cath Kidston (Quadrille Publishing Ltd.) ❑ Vogue Sewing by Crystal McDonald (Sixth and Spring Books) Other................................................

Best for sewing workshops/courses ❑ Cowslip Workshops, Launceston ❑ Craftsy ❑ MIY, Brighton ❑ Lady Sew & Sew, Marlow


Best exhibition/show experience 2013 ❑ The Festival of Quilts ❑ The Knitting & Stitching Show,



❑ The Knitting & Stitching Show,

Alexandra Palace ❑ Spring Quilt Festival, Malvern Other................................................



Ballymena Other................................................

❑ Pfaff ❑ Brother ❑ Husqvarna ❑ Janome ❑ Bernina


❑ Plush Addict ❑ Minerva Crafts ❑ John Lewis ❑ Lady Sew & Sew ❑ Frumble

to Sewing (Reader’s Digest) ❑ The Great British Sewing Bee


Kilroot ❑ Quilters Quest, Belfast ❑ Fiddlesticks Fabrics,

❑ Purely Patchwork,

❑ Lady Sew & Sew ❑ Plush Addict ❑ Minerva Crafts ❑ The Cotton Patch ❑ Frumble

Best for customer service

❑ Reader’s Digest Complete Guide


❑ Craftswoman Fabrics,

Best quilting/embroidery sewing machine brand

ONLINE: Best online retailer


Best sewing book

Please complete your details Title: ........................Forename: ............................................................... Surname: .................................................................................................. Address: .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................... Postcode: .................................................................................................. Contact number: ...................................................................................... Email: ......................................................................................................... Date of Birth: DD/MM/YY.................../......................./......................... Signature: .................................................................................................. Date: ............................../................................./.......................................


❑ Edinburgh Fabrics,


Birmingham ❑ The Bramble Patch, Weedon Other................................................



❑ Janome 525S ❑ Brother Innov-is V5 ❑ Janome Memory Craft 9900

❑ Totally Patched, Bewdley ❑ The Cotton Patch,

Voting H H form

Darwen Other................................................

SOUTH OF ENGLAND... ❑ Cowslip Workshops,

Launceston ❑ Lady Sew & Sew, Marlow ❑ Ditto Fabrics, Brighton

Send your completed voting form to: Marketing Department, British Sewing Awards, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, C02 8JY. Conditions of entry All entries must be received by 14/02/14. The competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies & their families. One entry per household. Prizes will be given to the first entrants drawn at random on 15/02/14. Entries must be made at or on the coupon provided (no purchase necessary). Photocopies are NOT accepted. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules will be disqualified. No responsibility for entries lost, delayed or damaged in the post. Proof of posting is not proof of delivery. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winner’s name and county will be available by sending an SAE marked British Sewing Awards to Andrea Turner, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY.


MIDLANDS... ❑ Fred’s Haberdashery,

Chesterfield ❑ Guthrie and Ghani,


Your details will be processed by Aceville Publications Ltd. in full accordance with data protection legislation. Aceville Publications Ltd. and sister companies may wish to contact you with information of other services and publications we provide which may be of interest. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post❑ Phone ❑ Email ❑ SMS ❑. From time to time Aceville Publications Ltd. will share details with other reputable companies who provide products and services that may be of interest to you. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post ❑ Phone ❑ Email ❑ SMS ❑.


Give your wedding day a personal touch with Sandra Hamilton’s

wedding ring pillow The dove is a traditional symbol of peace and love, which is why we’ve used it on this charming ring pillow. Perfect for any wedding day, the design is made using freshly-coloured felt and embroidery in ocean blue and gold. It is placed onto soft wool felt and decorated with a border of stitches and seed beads. Simply tie the rings onto the ribbon and give it a starring role on the big day.


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FILL IT... with dried lavender

Dried lavender Create a beautiful aroma by inserting a smattering of dried lavender into your pillow. Priced £3.50 for 50g,, 0845 900 3833.

Turn to p99 for an explanation of couching

Wool felt: mint, A4 sheet; turquoise, 19cm x 20.5cm Felt: white; light green; dark green; purple, scraps Seed beads of each Ribbon, blue, 40cm Line your pillow with cerulean blue seed Thread: embroidery, beads. Priced £2 for 8g, pearlised, blue; green;, yellow; gold; sewing, white 01376 570022. Beads, seed, blue Paper, tissue Fibre filling Dried lavender (optional) DIMENSIONS: 19cm x 20.5cm

stitch a wedding ring pillow


To download and print the templates, visit Cut out the body and wing of the dove twice, then place the two wing layers together and arrange the two body layers on top over Gold thread mint-coloured wool felt. Stitch Add just a touch of sparkle in place using white thread and with shimmering gold embroidery thread. Priced tiny whip stitches. Trace the arabesque £2.49 for 100 metres,, pattern onto tissue paper, 0844 848 5692. then place it over the dove and pin in place. Using two strands




of blue embroidery thread and split stitch, sew through the tissue paper over the pattern. For the eye, create a multi-spoke star and stitch a blue seed bead to the centre. Fill the beak with small pieces of gold thread, then use couching to secure the thread ends to the pillow on the reverse. Repeat for the bird’s legs. Once finished, carefully tear the tissue paper away. Using the template, cut out the following: five roses and three calla lilies from white felt; five rose leaves from dark green felt; three calla lilies from purple felt; three calla lilies, two calla lily leaves and one bouquet backing from light green felt. Tightly roll up the roses and stitch to secure. Curve the square ends of the calla lilies around a small piece of gold thread and secure. Arrange the flowers and leaves as desired, then stitch to the bouquet backing before securing to the mint felt, just below the bird. Create the stems of the bouquet using either stem or split stitch with two strands



of green embroidery thread, ensuring they cover the ends of the dove’s legs. Fold blue ribbon in half and stitch securely to the pillow where the dove’s feet would be. Cut out the mint felt measuring 19cm x 20.5cm, making sure to centre the bird and bouquet design. Place turquoise wool felt of the same size on the back. Use two strands of white embroidery thread and small running stitches to sew around the felt pieces, 2cm from the edge, sliding a seed bead onto the thread on every alternate stitch. Leave a gap, add a small amount of stuffing and lavender if desired, then sew closed.



“This ring pillow would be a beautiful addition to any wedding day, and makes a great memento for the bride”




Sandra Hamilton, Sew designer

As an alternative to tissue paper, use a transfer pencil to trace the arabesque design onto the bird.

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Give your look a feminine touch with Lisa Steed Davey’s

Collar necklaces are the trend du jour, which is why we’ve designed one that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any romantic occasion. Made simply from felt and adorned with pretty pearl buttons and cube beads, you’ll find this accessory to be a real crowd-pleaser. You can even make a ring and earrings to match.



Dress, £19.99, New Look

button jewellery


ADORN IT... with pearl buttons


Shell buttons Mix things up with a variety of different shell buttons – we adore these daisy shapes from Josy Rose. Priced 75p each,

Make &Do essentials Felt: purple, 3mm thick; pink, 5mm thick Buttons, shell hearts, assorted sizes: pink; purple Beads, cube, pink Fusible webbing Thread, silk: pink; purple Necklace chain Necklace clasp Jump rings, 10mm, two Earring sieve Beading needle Hole punch, small Pliers, flat-nosed Ring blank


DIMENSIONS: Necklace: 9cm x 15.5cm

When making the ring, ensure the ring blank sticks to the felt by squeezing them together with bulldog clips.

make a necklace


Go to www.sewmag to download and print the bib template. Trace it onto pink and purple felt, then cut out. Stitch a number of pink and purple heart shell buttons to the pink felt using thread in the opposing colour. Sew pink cube beads between the hearts using a beading needle. Fix the purple felt to the back of the necklace with fusible webbing. Using a small punch, make a hole at each end of the collar. Connect a 10mm jump ring to both ends using flat-nosed pliers, then connect chain to either side, to the desired length. Add a necklace clasp to finish.


create matching earrings


Cut out two circles from pink felt to cover the width of an earring sieve. Using the

Create an accompanying ring by attaching pink felt adorned with three buttons to a ring blank.

sieve findings, sew the felt circle to it. Attach a large pink heart to the felt using pink thread, then fix a slightly smaller purple heart on top.

Necklace chain Change up the look of the necklace with the colour of the chain. Visit Beads Direct for a huge selection in all shapes and sizes,, 01509 218028.

LOVE CREATING JEWELLERY? ...get your hands on our sister title Make & Sell Jewellery. The February issue is on sale now!

Brightly-coloured felt Lisa’s used feminine shades of pink and purple felt, but you could always mix things up with another bright colour. Priced from £3.50 per sheet,, 01245 471690.

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Show someone how much you love them with Susie Johns’

Valentine tokens What better way to share your love than with a project you’ve put your heart and soul into? With several embroidery designs, you can either choose your favourite or mix and match to create your own variation. The stitches used on the hearts are satin, chain and split stitch, all of which are quick and easy to do. Embroidery is a timeless art, meaning these hearts can be treasured for years to come. Use scraps from your work basket, and make a beautiful gift without breaking the bank.





MAKE IT... with vintage linen

essentials Fabric, cotton, assorted plain and prints, scraps Linen napkins and traycloths, vintage, scraps 25cm square Thread, embroidery, Anchor, Lavender; Wineberry; Thistle; Denim; Peony; Beauty Rose; Surf Blue, 8m skein of each; sewing, white Ribbon, embroidery, dark pink; light pink, 4mm wide; green, 2mm wide Embroidery hoop Erasable pen or pencil Needle, crewel; sewing Fibre filling Dried lavender (optional) Key DIMENSIONS: Rose heart: 16cm x 19cm Moustache heart: 16cm x 19cm Personal heart: 15cm x 17cm Key heart: 13cm square

make a rose heart

Go to www.sewmag, download the templates and print out. Trace the large heart shape and wording ‘To my Valentine’ onto a vintage napkin or similar piece of linen, trying to incorporate any existing embroidery on the fabric within the boundaries of the design. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in satin stitch, using three strands of thread: use Lavender for the words ‘To my’ and the small diamond on the ‘V’, and use Wineberry for the word ‘Valentine’. To make the lettering really sumptuous, use padded satin stitch. Create ribbon roses following the panel opposite in dark pink for the lower two flowers and lighter pink for the remaining one. For the stems and leaves, use




green ribbon: stitch a straight stitch below the largest rose, to form a short stem, then sew two more straight stitches, joining this rose to each of the other two. Add detached chain, also known as lazy daisy, stitches to form leaves, using the photograph of the finished heart as a guide. Remove the fabric from the hoop, place face down, and press lightly on the reverse with a hot iron, taking care not to flatten the embroidery stitches. Cut out the heart shape, following the line you transferred in step 1. Place the embroidered heart shape face down on a piece of plain or patterned fabric, pin and stitch the two fabrics together 1cm from the cut edge using back stitch (or a sewing machine). Cut away the excess backing fabric and snip into the seam allowance on all curved edges. Turn right side out and stuff using fibre filling, dried lavender, or a



Make your own... ribbon roses


Thread your needle with two strands of embroidery thread in a colour which closely matches the ribbon you’re using. Work a fly stitch to create three spokes, then do two further straight stitches, so that you have five straight stitches radiating out from a central point. Fasten off the thread at the back of the work. Thread your needle with ribbon, knot the end and bring the needle up to the front, close to the centre of the five spokes. Take the needle under one of the spokes then, working anti-clockwise, take it over the next spoke, under the next, over the next and so on, working outwards from the centre and twisting the ribbon from time to time. Continue until you have gone round about three or four times and reached the outer edge of the five spokes. Then take the needle through to the back of the work and fasten off.

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WHAT TO BUY... “Make one of these fabric hearts for a loved one, to remind them of you. Fill it with dried lavender and they can store it in a drawer, to fragrance their clothes and keep the moths away!”

Embroidery thread Don’t skimp when it comes to embroidery thread. Always use good quality like these skeins from Anchor, as it will be stronger and give a lasting effect. Priced 68p per skein,, 0800 013 0150.

Susie Johns, Sew designer

Cherry print Use prints and plain fabrics of your choice for the back of the hearts. This little pink number would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Priced £12.40 per metre,, 07791 639896.

mixture of both. Turn in the raw edges by 1cm on the opening, and slip stitch the folded edges together.

the writing and moustache are central. Add a fabric back to the heart as before.


heart is mine’ and the small heart motif onto a vintage napkin or similar piece of linen, trying to incorporate any existing embroidery on the fabric. It doesn’t matter if the piece of linen is smaller than the medium-sized heart template, as it will be mounted onto a backing fabric. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in satin stitch or padded satin stitch, using three strands of Peony thread. Complete the heart shape using two strands of Beauty Rose and split stitch. Remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the reverse. Place the embroidered piece face up on top of a piece of plain, coloured fabric measuring at least 18cm x 20cm and pin the two pieces together. Trace the medium heart shape onto a piece of card, cut out and use as a template. Place it on your embroidery and draw around the edge, making sure the writing and heart are central.

embroider a stitch a personal heart moustache heart Trace the wording ‘Your Trace the wording ‘Love me, love my’ and the moustache motif from the template onto a piece of plain white linen. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in split stitch, using two strands of Thistle thread, then fill in the moustache shape using two strands of Denim. Remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the reverse. Trim the fabric to within 2.5cm of the lower edge of the moustache and the same distance above the lettering. Cut two strips of patterned fabric, each measuring 5cm x 18cm. With right sides facing, join one strip to the upper edge of the embroidered fabric and one strip to the lower edge, with a seam allowance of 1cm. Press the seams to one side, towards the patterned fabric. Place the joined fabric face down. Trace the large heart shape onto a piece of card, cut out and use as a template. Place it on your embroidery, draw around the edge and cut out, making sure


Candy hearts Why not decorate your make with cute heart buttons to really show someone how much you love them? These ones are sweet as sugar! Priced £2.97 per pack,, 01634 375706.







With white sewing thread, work a tacking stitch just within the line you have drawn, through both fabrics. As decoration and still using white thread, use running stitch around the heart shape, again through both fabrics. Add further lines of running stitch along any embroidered areas already on the fabric and the edges. Cut out along the outline of the heart shape, add the back and complete as before.


create a key heart


Trace the small heart template, the wording ‘The key to my’, the flowers, and the heart motif onto the centre of a piece of plain, coloured cotton or linen fabric. Place the material in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in split stitch, using two strands of Beauty Rose thread. Outline the heart shape with chain stitch using three strands of Lavender. Change to Peony and embroider the flower petals in detached chain stitch and the flower centres in satin stitch, or use French knots if you prefer. Switch to Surf Blue and embroider the stems in stem stitch and leaves in lazy daisy stitch. Remove the fabric from the hoop, place face down and press lightly on the reverse with a hot iron, taking care not to flatten the embroidery stitches. Then cut out the heart shape, following the line you made in step 1. Add the back and complete as before. Make a plait using six lengths of embroidery thread (two each of three colours), knotting each end of the plait, to prevent unraveling. Fold in half, then push the loop through the ring at the top of a key, and stitch the two knotted ends to the back of the heart, at the top. Add a small ribbon bow, sewn in place at the front of the heart.

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savvy Keep in touch with your favourite magazine wherever your stitching takes you Digital edition Sew magazine is now available as a digital edition on the Apple and Kindle newsstands, meaning you can enjoy your favourite stitching monthly in a whole new format.

From only


per issue!

Released monthly, the app version contains all the fantastic projects and informative features you’ll find in your regular magazine. Better still, it will be stored in your phone or tablet so you can read it whenever you like. The Sew magazine app can be purchased either as a single digital issue, priced £3.99 each, or as a full digital


subscription* starting from £2.99 per month, so you’ll always have the latest news, fabric shopping and projects at your fingertips. l To subscribe, visit the Apple or Kindle Newsstand and search for Sew magazine. l Compatible with Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX, Barnes & Noble Nook, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.


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Facebook & Twitter Visit SEWHQ to share your latest makes or keep in touch by following us on Twitter @SewHQ for stitching news, gossip and exclusive giveaways.

Website Register online for an abundance of FREE projects and patterns, video demos of essential techniques, along with exciting competitions. You’ll also find all your templates and patterns from the main magazine to download and print.

Busymitts Join our sister crafting community at where you can check out what fellow stitchers having been making, or why not share your own creations?

New look

Forum Meet like-minded crafters and share your makes by logging on to our new-look online forum at



Magazine Packed with projects for all interests and skill levels, expert stitching advice and the most coveted fabrics and products, pick up your copy of the latest Sew today from your nearest supermarket or newsagent.



We’ve got pages of home style, projects & inspiration


Modernity rules

“This issue we’re mixing old with new. Our very own Corinne Bradd has made a set of cushions with a distinct retro feel, yet the traditional wreath is given a modern makeover with different coloured felts. We have classic designs including a heart motif quilt made from Liberty fabrics, and a floral print pocket apron that’s perfect for the garden. On the other end of the scale, we explore this season’s penchant for all things grey and yellow, offering your living space a contemporary twist. We’ve also got an abundance of ideas this month on how you can give your home a quick update. Make your own lampshade, dip-dye your bedding, stitch patchwork curtains and more.”

Grey and yellow décor Top tips for a dual-tone home Myleene Klass’ bed linen range Computer screen cover tutorial Bird cross stitch design



Rosie Savage, Sew Editorial Assistant

Stitch a retro cushion





Make a colourful felt wreath l 51



Deck your home in black and white for a cool and collected look

Rosie Savage

Steph Durrant

“Everyone at Sew knows I’m cat-obsessed – I’m going to stitch a bed for my kitten Nola with this purrfect print”

“I love incorporating history throughout my home, so this digital restoration of the Brantford Expositior from May 1898 is ideal”

Sew Deputy Editor

Corinne Bradd Sew designer

“The narrative nature of this design allows for so many different opportunities – make a set of cushions or create a wall art series” 52




Sew Editorial Assistant

Rebecca Drury MissPrint Director

“This pattern is a classic and the monochrome colourway works well as it fits in with everything, from brights to pastels or neutrals”



fabric shopping 5

3 4

6 2 7




1 Little Trees fabric in Monochrome, £72.50 per metre, 2 Typewriter lower-case alphabet wooden stamp set by Inkadoo, £9.50, 3 Cool Cats by Prestigious Textiles, £14.40 per metre, 4 Emily and Anne Bronte’s Diary by Peacoquette Designs, from $10.50 per fat quarter, 5 Love City by Alexander Henry, £12 per metre, 6 Royal gingham in black, £4 per half metre, 7 Brantford Expositior Page by Calliope Rose Handcar Jones, from $10.50 per fat quarter, 8 Home Sweet Home ribbon, 65p per metre, 9 Pianoforte Keyboard Life-Sized by Sef, from $10.50 per fat quarter, 10 Geisha curtain fabric in Graphite, £8.99 per metre, 11 Uma in Ebony, visit for stockists. 12 Monaluna polka dots, £7.60 per half metre,


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Let your home exude this modern aesthetic

Prism embroidery thread, visit or call 0116 275 4000 for stockists.

Leaf print wooden buttons, £1.99 for 10, www.beadandbutton

Iron on schnauzer motif, £1 each,

Fresh stripe ribbon in yellow and grey, 41p per metre,

fabric 1

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Uptown Windows Yellow by Robert Kaufman, £12 per metre, Bold Floral Round Flowers in Metal Grey and Dandelion, £13 per metre, Passing Clouds in Gold by Eloise Renouf, £13.60 per metre,

top tips HOT TIP





Sew Editorial Assistant Rosie Savage on introducing yellow and grey into your abode

● It’s easy to incorporate this two-tone scheme into your home – work on a room that acts as a blank canvas and go to town with accessories like grey and yellow bedding, stand-out wall art or a gigantic rug. ● When creating a grey and yellowthemed room, it’s best to take the When sewing a geometric route. Opt for bold shapes like wrap, make suretriangles, and try to keep things modern. that the bias cut


Nature Study cross stitch kit, £19.80,


Home trends


● If you like to include a vintage touch, design and make your own grey cushions and place them on a retro yellow Chesterfield sofa for an old-meets-new look. ● Create a feature wall with yellow wallpaper and apply a fashionable grey wall sticker on top to further encourage a striking aesthetic.

● Design a yellow and grey artificial flower arrangement and place it on your mantelpiece or coffee table to create the perfect finishing touch. Update your coasters and mugs for a coordinated feel.

Share your yellow and grey home makes with us on Facebook ( and Twitter @sewhq.

Myleene Klass has created the Mousai bed linen range. With tribal influences, this vibrant design has flashes of chartreuse combined with geometric monochrome shapes. For stockists, visit


yellow and grey stripe; plain for lining ● Basic sewing kit


To work out the fabric width, measure horizontally across your screen and add 2.5cm for the seam allowance, plus the depth. For the height, measure vertically and add 5cm, then double it. Cut one piece from printed material and another from lining fabric. Fold the outer piece in half lengthways, right sides together. Pin, then stitch



Create a computer screen cover each side using a 12mm seam. Repeat with the lining fabric. Press the seams open. To make a gusset, flatten the side seam at the folded end and pinch the layers together to form a triangle. Stitch across the triangle where it’s 12mm wider than the screen depth. Repeat on the other side. Trim away the tips. Repeat with the lining. Turn the outer piece right side out, leaving the lining wrong side out. Slip the lining inside the outer piece, aligning the seams. Turn over a 2.5cm hem inside the outer and lining pieces and pin. Topstitch and press.





For more retro makes read Home Sewn Home by Sally Walton (£14.99, GMC Books).





Get the latestpatchwork and quilting newswith Corinne Bradd Make a quilt block and raise money for The Leukaemia Foundation at

I tend to make quilts up as I go along, adding more and more patches until the piece becomes almost too big to handle, then I stop. They’ve always come out pretty well, touch wood, but I sometimes feel that I should work to a more prescribed method. To overcome my ‘slapdash’ process (which applies to everything from wallpapering to cooking, decorating and quilt making) I’ve got plans to make a series of motif blocks to use in my designs. I've never felt quite so organised. Armed with freezer paper, I shall attempt to create perfect pictures and, if I’m really lucky, they might even resemble what they’re supposed to! Don't miss out on next month's Sew to see how I get on – I'm even going to create a Mother's Day make, which I'm sure you're going to love. Stay tuned!



Corinne loves... Zakka Japanese linen fabric stash bundle, £19.50,, 01273 747112.

Show in focus:

The West Country Quilt Show The West Country Quilt Show was a roaring success in November. There was an excellent array of contributors and traders including world-renowned artists such as Kaffe Fassett, Tula Pink and Alicia Merret. This year also saw creations from Stuart Hillard, who took part in demonstrations and signed copies of The Great British Sewing Bee book. “I was thrilled and honoured to be asked to attend the second West Country Quilt Show and be given exhibition space to show 10 of my quilts,” exclaims Stuart Hillard. “Between teaching workshops and demonstrating hand appliqué, I met many wonderful quilters, sewing enthusiasts and interested visitors. I even managed to stock up on some rather lovely reproduction fabrics and spent a fascinating half an hour chatting with exhibitors from the Tent Makers of Cairo. This show is already in my diary for 2014!” Event organiser Nigel Stevens says, “I am so pleased at the way the show turned out, with some of the best quilts in the country on display and entries from overseas for the first time.” The overall winner was ‘Inner Circle – Flower of Scotland’ by Kay Bell of the Scottish Borders who also won Best Large Wall Hanging, Best Surface Texture/Embellishment, and Visitors' Choice! The 2014 exhibition takes place from 13th to 15th November at the Exhibition Centre, University of the West of England. See or call 0117 907 1000 for more details.



“Simon Haskins was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in June and wants to raise awareness and money with quilt blocks being made all around the world!”

Inner Circle – Flower of Scotland

Keep Calm and Quilt On spiral notebook, £11.95,

We Love

Road 15 charm pack by Moda, £9.95,, 0121 702 2840.


Online quilt shop stocking hundreds of fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics, Moda, Makower and more, as well as a full range of quilting tools, wadding, and bag making supplies.

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Show some love with

Corinne Bradd’s

Liberty quilt


If home is where the heart is, this quilt is perfect. Combine bright, beautiful prints with patchwork hearts to create this gorgeous design. It looks wonderfully intricate, but is easy to make. The size and square shape of the quilt means that it is the ideal throw for a chair. Use the Liberty prints listed or scraps from your work basket.

Patchwork PROMISE

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Fabric: Liberty Bloomsbury collection, Virginia (D); Dance (A); Woolf (D); Copeland (A); Leonard (D); Catherine (A); Charles (A), fat quarter of each; cotton sheeting, white, 120cm x 240cm Vilene iron-on quilt wadding, medium-weight, 40cm square Quilt wadding, 2oz, 120cm square DIMENSIONS: 110cm square

make a heart quilt


Take seven printed fabrics, and cut 10, 5.5cm squares from each. Mix up the squares and stitch them together into three by three blocks with a 5mm seam allowance, making sure no two prints of the same are touching. Press each block and cut into quarters measuring 7.25cm square. Mix up the squares and turn them all so the small square sits in the bottom right corner. To make a heart, you will need seven squares. Cut one in half diagonally from the bottom right to the top left. Then stitch the pieces together to make a rough heart shape (Fig.1). Press the seams flat. Repeat this three more times to end up with four hearts. Go to www.sewmag, download the heart template and print out. Cut four hearts from iron-on



Fig.1 62


quilt wadding. Lay them on the wrong side of the patchwork panels leaving a border all round and press into place. Trim the excess fabric to 1cm from the wadding, clip curves and corners, fold in and tack. Cut a 120cm square of cotton sheeting and place to one side, as this will be the back of the quilt. From the excess sheeting, cut four 24cm squares. Pin a heart to the centre of each square and oversew in place. Remove the tacking stitches. Cut a 4cm x 55cm strip from each of the seven prints. Sew these together on the long sides and press the seams to make a panel 22cm x 55cm. Cut across the panel to make 15, 3.5cm strips. Join these end to end to make one continuous strip of blocks. Take two heart squares and join them using a




strip eight blocks long, then repeat with the other two heart squares. Join the two pairs and form a square using a length seventeen blocks long. Use the remaining strip as a border around the heart squares. Tear two 4cm x 120cm strips from spare white sheeting. Use this to add a border with overlapped corners around the patchwork. Cut 11, 10cm squares from each of the seven prints. Take 32 of these squares and make two strips seven squares long and two strips nine squares long. Stitch the shorter strips to the sides of the patchwork then add the longer ones to the top and bottom, matching up the seam lines neatly. Add a second 4cm wide white border as before, joining strips if necessary to


8 9



When choosing wadding for your quilt, think about the season. Thicker wadding will be more suitable for the colder months, and polyester is often warmer than other types.


LAYER IT... using appliqué

achieve the length needed. Use 44 of the remaining squares to make two strips 10 squares long and two strips 12 squares long. Stitch these to the edges of the quilt as before. Press the entire quilt top and the square of white backing fabric. Lay the backing fabric on a flat surface, place the wadding centrally on top and add the quilt top face up over this. Pin the three layers together working from the centre out in all directions. There should be excess wadding and backing fabric all round. Topstitch the quilt along the seam lines starting from the centre and working out to eliminate




“When using a sewing machine, it’s important that it has a long arm so the quilt fits properly. I love the Janome Horizon 8900QCP because there’s plenty of space to work” Corinne Bradd, Sew designer creases in the backing fabric. Either use a long machine stitch or running stitch if quilting by hand. Once the outer border has been quilted, the excess fabric from the underneath layers can be trimmed away. Bind the edges of the quilt by tearing the


leftover white sheeting into 4cm wide strips and joining end to end to make one continuous piece. Stitch the strips to the sides of the quilt and then the top and bottom to make an overlapped border as before. Turn the quilt over and turn under 5mm on the raw edge of the binding strip. Fold the strip over the raw edge of the quilt, mitring the corners as you do so, and slip stitch to the back of the quilt.

Dance (A) The collection was inspired by Bloomsbury Gardens, London, seen in the beautiful florals.

Woolf (D) This geometric print complements the patchwork design perfectly.

Leonard (D) Use ditsy prints alongside large ones for a dynamic look.

All the prints used for this project are from the Liberty Bloomsbury collection. Visit or call 01787 269366.

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Explore a different craft technique with Ellen Kharade's

flower cushion Paper cutting, as the name suggests, is usually associated with cutting intricate patterns from paper to make decorative cards and pictures. We've been inspired by this technique to create this pretty flower cushion. The motif has been hand-embroidered in complementary colours and embellished with buttons.







with wool felt


“Contrasting fabrics will work well for this project, so you could use a dark base fabric with a light motif as we have, or reverse it instead”

Fabric: wool, white, 1m; wool felt, ecru, 41cm square Cushion pad, 41cm square Fabric dye, Dylon, Ocean Fusible webbing, 41cm square Thread, embroidery: red; orange; turquoise; lavender Ellen Kharade, Sew designer Ric rac, purple, 5mm Buttons, small: blue, two; lavender, two; turquoise, webbing onto the back. Glue stitches to the flower stems. Work whipped five; flower, three the back of the paper flower back stitch along the central flower in red and DIMENSIONS: 41cm square

stitch a cushion


Cut white wool into three smaller pieces measuring 30cm x 45cm, 35cm x 45cm, and 45cm square. Colour each piece with blue fabric dye, following the manufacturer's instructions. Once the desired colour is achieved, rinse until the water runs clear and spin on a short cycle. Leave to dry fully, then press all pieces. Visit www.sewmag to download and print the templates for this project. Cut the shape out so you are left with the flower motif. Cut a 41cm square of ecru wool felt and iron fusible


motif to the fusible webbing, then use a sharp pair of scissors or scalpel to carefully cut out the motif. From the largest piece of dyed fabric, cut a 41cm square. Peel the backing paper from the motif and place it centrally on it. Lay cotton over the fabric, taking care not to move the motif, and press until the felt is securely in place. Using matching thread, machine stitch around the design, staying close to the edge. Embroider the tulip-shaped flowers with blanket stitch, chain stitch, and running stitch in lavender and turquoise embroidery thread, then work whipped back stitch along the flower stem, following the shape of the flower as you do so. Add buttons and star



orange thread and embellish with buttons. Add French knots to decorate. From the smaller dyed fabrics, cut a lower back measuring 30cm x 41cm and an upper back piece of 24cm x 41cm. Sew zig zag stitches across the long edge of the lower back section. Fold over a 1.5cm hem at the zig zag edge, then pin and machine stitch into place. Repeat for the upper back section and machine stitch the hem. Sew purple ric rac to the lower back piece, 6cm from the bottom. Measure the position for the buttonholes, 3.5cm up from the hemmed edge. Mark the centre of the cushion cover, then measure 10.5cm either side. Stitch buttonholes at these three points, then carefully open them using a seam ripper. Lay the two back fabric pieces on top of the front. Mark the positions for the buttons and stitch on. With right sides facing and raw edges aligned, pin the three pieces together and machine stitch around the cover using a 1.3cm seam allowance. Snip the corners, turn out, press under cotton fabric, then insert a cushion pad.

Use the best fabrics money can buy, as this will be reflected in your work. Pure wool felt is luxurious, will last a long time, and will resist bobbling.



Fabric dye Ellen used this rich Ocean Blue shade from Dylon, priced £6.06, to dye the wool felt. Visit for stockists.



Embroidery thread Decorate the flowers with a variety of blue threads. Priced £1.10 per skein,

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Click &





of the

Month “Little Winter became a place to get lost in the world of a man, woman and their cat, Runkle. It details and appreciates the smaller things in life like the simple pleasures of taking a tub of Ben & Jerry's to bed and, alongside our love for fairy lights and heart-shaped plates, tells the tale of two little people working their way through an average life. With a desire for a perfect home, a love for fashion and some baking thrown in for good measure, this is somewhere to escape, accompanied with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. We've actually just moved home, Follow Katy and plan on giving it the same and her Little Winter touch that we did family’s with the last one – visit us to adventures see how we get on and, of course, to see my obsession with ice-cream and marshmallows get out of control.” Katy McPhedran, one half of the blogging duo

The websites keeping us busy this month... If you're planning a wedding, this site is perfect for you. With plenty of money-saving DIY ideas and more, you'll come away feeling very inspired. Do you want to head off into the sunset with your other half this Valentine's Day? Combine it with your love of sewing at the gorgeous Bedruthan Spa and Hotel in Cornwall. Love is in the air, so why not make our cross stitch pencil case with a pair of darling dogs and heart? You could incorporate the design onto anything you like!

Darling discoveries Green Grass

Red Bird Makes

“I'm definitely a hopeless romantic, so I love getting custom orders for loving gifts,” explains designer Liz Muller. “The idea for my Mr and Mrs passport covers was suggested by a customer looking for a wedding gift, though it would make a great Valentine's Day or anniversary present too!” Mr and Mrs passport covers, £29.70,

“I absolutely love the idea of these fab cushions sitting side by side on the bed,” exclaims Etsy seller Joanna Kang. “They'd be a perfect wedding gift or house warming present, and make a pretty quirky statement. I love that they provide a modern, fun twist to romance.” His & Hers felt cushions, £56.23,

Heart and Parcel “This handmade noticeboard is perfect for the kitchen, bedroom, study or a teen's room,” notes designer Karenza Maynard. “With its cream background and tiny pink flowers, it would suit any colour scheme. I love creating designs with a heart motif; it's in the name of my company!” Floral padded heart noticeboard, £25, 66



Add a splash of colour with this fun

felt wreath This funky wall hanging is simple to make and would be a welcome addition to any home. A rainbow-coloured wreath is suitable all year round, or you can choose shades of your choice to suit your colour scheme or to celebrate different occasions. This make involves very few materials, so it's also a great way to use up scraps from your work basket!

turn over for more! Join the world’s busiest online craft community today!




MAKE IT... with bright felt

Funky felt Blooming Felt offer a huge range of colours. They also provide pre-cut shapes such as hearts, so this project couldn't be easier. Visit or call 01245 471690.

TIPS FOR FELT ● Thin felt will need a stiffener or some backing to make it stand up nicely. ● Felt doesn't fray, so there's no need to hem. ● Make sure to cut out shapes using a sharp craft knife or scissors for a clean edge without pulling fibres. ● Use good quality felt: it tends to be sturdier and less likely to tear. ● Use a mediumweight needle when stitching with felt so that it passes through the thickness easily but doesn't leave large holes. ● Iron felt using a low, wool setting, making sure to keep the iron moving.


This project was taken from Felt Fantastic by Sarah Tremelling with projects by Morven Jones, (£14.99, David & Charles).

Make your own felt


Take some merino wool top fibres and select your choice of colour. Arrange as desired.

2 essentials Felt, thick, assorted colours, 25cm squares, 11 Thread, sewing, coordinating Coat hanger, wire Fibre filling Cord

make a felt wreath


Untwist a coat hanger at the join, using pliers if necessary, then reshape into a circle, leaving the hook at the top. Take a 25cm square of felt, and cut it into approximately 20 irregular shapes. Fold each shape in half and snip a very small




Wet with hot water, place a layer of muslin over the top and rub with soap to lock the fibres together.

slit in the centre. Repeat for all the squares. Arrange the piles of felt into a circle of rainbow colours, as shown in the diagram. Placing pieces from each pile with its adjacent colour will give a gradual shading effect. Thread the pieces onto the wire, following the pattern arranged on the circle. When the wire is full, re-twist the coat hanger and bend the hook into a closed loop. As an extra detail, hang a padded felt heart in the centre of the wreath. Cut two hearts from pink felt (or use pre-cut ones). Stuff lightly, and stitch together using running stitch. Attach a cord or thin strip of felt to the heart and hang from the top of the wreath.



Roll the fibres in a bamboo mat, creating further friction to thicken, harden and shrink the materials.


You can find all the supplies to make your own felt at


Use Art Gallery Fabrics’ Poetica range to make Corinne Bradd’s

heart pillows Create perfect harmony in your living space with these feminine cushions. Made using printed cottons in serene greens, blues, pinks and purples, Corinne has created two coordinated styles; a 3-D pillow with a pretty pleated frill, plus a coordinating cushion with padded appliqué.


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Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics, Poetica range, Sweet Melody Aqua; Spirited Verse Azure, fat quarter of each; Love Notes Mint; Rhythmic Lilac; cotton, white, 50cm of each Fibre filling Cushion pad, 40cm square DIMENSIONS: Heart cushion: 40cm x 47cm Square cushion: 42cm square

sew a heartshaped cushion


Visit www.sewmag and print the large heart template. Pin it to two floral fat quarters and cut out with a 5mm seam allowance. Measure the perimeter of the heart shape. Cut six 6cm wide strips from striped fabric ensuring you cut across the pattern. Sew the pieces end to end to make one continuous length approximately 3m long. Fold in half lengthways, right side out, and press. Stitch along the raw edge through both layers with a long, straight stitch. Do not fasten the ends of the threads, instead pull the top thread to gather up the folded fabric into a ruffle. Alternatively, sew running



stitch by hand and gather up to the measurement of the heart perimeter, plus 5cm. Fold in the ends of the gathered strip and slip stitch. Tack the ruffle to the edges of one heart, right side up, starting at the top indentation and easing it around the curves. Overlap the ends of the ruffle. Cut enough 6cm strips of lilac fabric to measure the perimeter of the heart when sewn end to end. Pin this gusset strip face down over the ruffle, leaving a 1cm seam allowance on the end and starting from the bottom point of the heart. Once pinned in place, trim the other end of the gusset to a 1cm seam allowance. Stitch the gusset and ruffle in place. Remove the tacking threads. Place the




Make &Do To create an alternative design, why not patchwork your heart cushion.



two 1cm seam allowances of the gusset right sides together and sew down to join. Pin and tack the second heart to the gusset. Sew around the perimeter leaving a 10cm gap on one straight edge for turning. Clip all curves and corners before turning out. Fluff up fibre filling well and stuff into the cushion a little at a time to prevent lumps forming. Use sufficient stuffing to give the cushion a smooth, rounded finish. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitch closed.


make an appliquĂŠ pillow


Visit and print the small heart template. Draw around the



Use a contrasting thread colour when working tacking stitches. This will make them easier to see when removing them later on and will hopefully help you avoid cutting through the real stitching.

APPLIQUÉ IT... with hearts



Love Notes Mint This is reminiscent of a serene meadow in spring.

Rhythmic Lilac Passionate and moody, this is ideal for a Valentine’sinspired project.

“I have used a contrasting fabric strip as a gusset to make the heart cushion 3-D so it’s extra plush. The ruffle then gives it even more dimension” Corinne Bradd, Sew designer template nine times onto the reverse of lilac fabric, leaving at least a 1cm border around each one. Top and tail them if necessary to avoid waste. Pin the lilac fabric face down onto plain white cotton and stitch around all the hearts leaving no gap in the outline. Cut out the double layered hearts, clip all curves and corners before

2 3

snipping a 4cm wide slit in the centre of the white layer only. Turn the hearts out through this gap and press. Stuff each heart very lightly with fibre filling to give it a little puff. Cut a 45cm square of floral fabric and crease to find the centre. Pin one heart to the middle, lilac side up. Pin the remaining hearts around this leaving at least


a 4cm border at the edges. Oversew the hearts to the square of fabric with small stitches. From the remaining white fabric, cut two 30cm x 45cm rectangles. Hem one long edge on each piece before pinning to the cushion front, right sides together with the hemmed edges overlapping. Stitch around the whole cushion and turn out through the overlap. Press and topstitch 5mm in from the edges. Insert a cushion pad through the gap.



Sweet Melody Aqua A bold floral print incorporating pink, purple and blue tones.

Corinne used prints in the Seafoam Symphony colourway from Art Gallery Fabrics’ Poetica range to create our heart cushions. For stockists visit

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BUSINESS BITE We speak to Sew Over It’s very own Lisa Comfort

Sew Over It has gone from strength to strength since it opened in 2011. So how do you run a successful sewing café, design patterns, teach and write a book all at once? We find out how Lisa Comfort does it all.

Lost art I started Sew Over It for a number of reasons. I was working for bridal couture designer, Phillipa Lepley, and teaching sewing on the side. I quickly realised that I was enjoying the teaching more than my primary job. I also worried that sewing was in danger of becoming a lost art, as it’s omitted from the school curriculum, and high street stores offer clothing so cheaply that the impetus to create your own is lost. I’d always known that I wanted to start my own business one day, so I decided to open a sewing café!

Living the dream One of my favourite things about what I do is designing the classes. I also really enjoy the teaching; it’s so rewarding and I love meeting the customers and finding out what they are sewing. It helps to keep me

Coming next month: Gordana’s House of Sewing

“The sewing café was borne out of a desire to reinvigorate people’s passions, and make sewing accessible, fun and relevant to people’s lifestyles today” close to the business, knowing what works and what people like. I enjoy developing the business into new areas, coming up with ideas and following through on them. Everything inspires me! From sitting on the tube to visiting an art gallery. At the moment I’m reading a biography on Marilyn Monroe; I love her style and think I will have to design something Marilyn-inspired now! I am very lucky to enjoy what I do so much.

Branching out The business has grown so much since we started. The sewing café was borne out of a desire to

reinvigorate people’s passions, make sewing accessible to all and most importantly, make it fun and relevant to people’s lifestyles today. We now teach over 12 classes a week compared to six in the beginning, and we add at least three new ones every few months based on customer feedback and emerging trends. The team has grown a lot too, and we have developed further off-shoots of the business.

Recovery time As a consequence of running my own business, I am extremely busy most of the time. But I have a great team behind me, which allows me to take on new opportunities and projects whilst ensuring the business continues to run smoothly.

A lot’s happened over the years. I’m very proud of my book, Sew Over It (£15, Ebury Press), and getting the contract with Selfridges was amazing. I just need to find a way of getting a few more hours in the day!

Lisa’s Advice Make sure you are ready to spend most of your day not doing sewing-related things. I spend 75% of my time doing business tasks such as website maintenance and accounts. ●

● Word of mouth is often the best promotion, so make sure customers leave happy! ● Work out your strengths and weaknesses early on and enlist help for the latter. You can’t be good at everything, so don’t try.

For more information, visit 74



Make yAoTuHrOsMeElf

Reinvent your living space with our selection of home update ideas

cing up a room othing quite beats the feeling of spru ng in there deri in your home; you find yourself wan not it’s But just to have another look around. ry eve hen or kitc practical to overhaul your living room tle sub with de r abo month. Instead, why not provide you ch are whi s, idea of nce updates? Turn the page for an abunda Sew re sha We also quick and purse-friendly all at once. vent a room, and rein to do to like you t wha reader tips on rielle Blackman who catch up with DIY SOS designer Gab ion. shares her story and update inspirat




From stitching to dyeing, faux upholstering and more, there really is something for everyone...


IDEAS Notebook

Dabble in dip-dyeing

Interior stylist Emma Morton-Turner teamed up with Dylon to create this visually stunning bed cover set. Why don’t you give it a go? It couldn’t be easier, and you’ll end up with a complete transformation. Visit for inspiration.

2 Rejuvenate with pretty patchwork We adore these patchwork curtains from Woolworths, which will completely revamp a room. Why not give it a go yourself with a selection of ditsy prints?



Mark Scott Photography

MAKE IT... Dylon machine dye in Navy Blue

2 Free Spirit Tanya Whelan

£6.06, visit

£3 per fat quarter,

Sweetie Rose Pink


£3.25 per fat quarter,

3 Sunshine Rose blue gingham £3.50 per fat quarter,

Make your own lampshade Customising a tired-looking lampshade is another great way to add a lease of life to a room, especially if you can match the fabric to a set of cushions, blinds or similar. Visit for a variety of different lampshade making kits: choose from small 20cm versions up to supersized 70cm styles, then decide on a shape from the modern drum to the classic candle design. They’re so good, in fact, that the wonderful Cath Kidston hosts regular lampshade making workshops nationwide using these very kits! 76


1 Hanky Panky




Coordinate your prints

Have you ever been in a room that is pink in colour everywhere you look, or doused in luminous green? It’s not pleasant. You don’t have to make everything match in an extreme way; simply work a toning palette of colours or type of fabric throughout a room in your home for a more cohesive look.


Create an original time piece This one-of-a-kind design will get everyone talking. Why not place this clock embroidery hoop in your study?

essentials Fabric, coordinating patterns, four Interfacing, fusible, heavyweight Embroidery hoop, 20cm Card, thick Clock movement Wooden numbers Tape, double-sided

4 Wall art can make a striking focal point. To create, simply cut fabric to size and staple to a blank canvas!

Pull up a chair If your kitchen chairs are looking a little tired but you don’t want the expense of buying a whole new set, then freshen them up with fabric to offer a new lease of life. We show you how with a pretty Laura Ashley print and ric rac at – go and check it out!


STITCH IT... Wallace Natural/Multi Dual Purpose Fabric £22.40 per metre,

OVER TO YOU We asked you for your home update advice on Facebook

Carole Johnson Pretty duvet covers make cheap and stylish matching curtains, and are economical because the two sides of the duvet make the pair. A headboard can also be made by covering a cheap rectangle of foam with fabric and applying tab tops – then hang behind the bed on a


Hoop-laby Kirsty Neale (£14.99, David and Charles) is chock- full of embroidery hoop ideas.


Cut four 15cm squares of fabric and join together to make a large patchwork square. Iron heavyweight interfacing onto the back and stretch into an embroidery hoop. Snip through a few of the stitches in the centre of the patchwork to make a small hole. Trim thick card to fit into the recess at the back of the hoop. Make a hole in the middle for the spindle of a clock movement to fit through.




curtain pole to match your window drapes.

Becky Little Update old cushion covers by adding ribbons or tassels. The possibilities are endless!

Sam Cragg Recycle, recycle, recycle! I love reusing denim to make


cushions, bunting and more. It’s a great medium to work with, and is easy to bleach and dye too. You can find some great pieces in charity shops.

Louise Horler Make your own lampshades. You can buy kits and the small ones only use half a metre of fabric or wallpaper.

Stick to the back of the fabric using double-sided tape. Place the clock movement at the back of the hoop and push the spindle through to the front. Screw the washers and hands into place, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Glue wooden numbers together in layers of two or three. Fix to the clock face, positioning them over the seams in the fabric to mark the four quarters of an hour.



Pamela Benn Use Freegle or Freecycle. I’ve got my hands on rolls of fabric from people and colleges getting rid of old stock, and have made all sorts including some really lovely quilts. Visit us at www.facebook. com/sewhq to share your ideas!





Gabrielle Blackman, an interior designer on the BBC’s DIY SOS and Channel 5’s Cowboy Builders, believes in creating beautiful and functional interiors for everyone “I’ve always been interiors-obsessed,” explains Gabrielle Blackman. “Growing up in a B&B run by my mother, I was always helping her to dress rooms for guests and moving furniture around. I was also very lucky that my parents gave me a lot of confidence early on, allowing me to decorate my own room – I was ripping up carpets and painting floorboards at the age of 12. Looking back, that really was incredibly brave – or bonkers – of them, but it seemed quite normal at the time. “Later on I trained as an artist, but it felt too introspective and isolated for me. I wanted a career where I could apply my artistic abilities, so interior design seemed the natural choice. I was very lucky to start my career working for some truly inspirational and talented women: the iconic Mary Fox Linton who designed the award-winning One Aldwych hotel in London, as well as luxury interior designer Nina Campbell. “I’m inspired by art and photography. I also love museums and country houses – I’m constantly dragging my family around National Trust properties, flea markets and exhibitions. That’s why my personal style is all about curating and blending. I have lots of cabinets full of objects that are special to me. I love grouping paintings and photographs that tell a story, and use a lot of vintage furniture. I always draw from different sources and never dress a house from just one shop; cookie cutter design is something I despise, so I strive to create interiors with personality.”

Gabrielle enjoys creating colourful rooms for children

Layer exciting prints with plain white cotton

Many of her designs have a vintage touch

Revamp Your Bedroom ON A BUDGET

Gabrielle shares how you can dress a bedroom very easily with a little sewing and some clever tweaks Make a simple headboard cover. Cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover both sides and the depth of your headboard, allowing for a decent hem on all sides. Press and hem all four sides. Drape over the headboard. Trim six 30cm lengths of grosgrain ribbon in a punchy colour. Create ribbon ties and pin them in place, equally spaced apart on either side of your headboard. Fix Velcro to the back of the headboard and cover to prevent the cover moving. ● Create contrast layering. I often use plain sheets in good colours as throws layered with more expensive blankets, but I ●



enjoy incorporating pattern with a basic throw too. Cut fabric to the size required and line it with something interesting like ticking stripe or a strong shade. ● Quick-make cushions. Envelope covers are ideal for pillows or cushions on your bed. Create them from three clashing patterns for fun – use one print for the front of the cover and two overlapping fabrics for the envelope back. Visit www.gabrielle for more interior design inspiration, and catch the new series of Cowboy Builders on Channel 5 this spring.


Funky Felt Supplies - Handmade with Love


We are the main Art Gallery Fabric Stockist. Also available Moda Vin du Jour, English Diary Sweet Serenade and Tanya Whelan Fabrics. We stock an extensive range of Patterns, Books, Kits Waddings and Extra Wide Fabrics. Regular Workshops, Authorised Brother & Husqvarna Sewing Machine Dealers, Authorised Horn Furniture Specialists. Shop Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10am-4pm. Tel: 01207 565728

5 Chopwell Road, Blackhall Mill, Newcastle upon Tyne NE17 7TN



Oilcloth, Fabric & Vintage Textiles

A fine Selection of oilcloths available please visit our extensive website or call us to discuss your requirements

Great Range of Felt-based Sewing & Craft Supplies! Felt Beads, Balls and String - great for making funky jewellery Felt & Crocheted Flowers, Felt Shapes, 100% Wool Felt Sheets Remnant Silk Sari Ribbon, Spotty, Striped, Grosgrain and Embroidered Ribbon, Ric-Rac and lots of bias binding. Huge selection of Buttons including spotty, flower shaped, hearts, squares and lots of giant buttons. Plus: Jewellery findings, Needle felting supplies, Needle Felting Kits, Wool Roving, Felt Purses and Gadget Cases, Jingle Bells, DMC Soft Cotton Thread, Glues...and much more!

Come and see us on Stand M13 at The Knitting & Stitching Show, London - 10-13 October

Check out our NEW range of Felt Gadget Cases and 2-Tone Felt! - Tel: 01263 768237




Make daily tasks a doddle with Debbie Shore’s

pocket apron

This useful apron will keep your gardening tools in order and leave your hands free for tending the plants, plus it can easily be adapted for the painter, cleaner and certainly the stitcher! This design has been made with a variety of feminine prints, bias binding and tape – it's so simple, and will definitely come in handy.





with practical oilcloth


Floral oilcloth


Create your apron with the English Rose Sage oilcloth from Norfolk Textiles for a hard-wearing yet pretty alternative. Priced £13 per metre,

For more thrifty makes, read Half Yard Heaven by Debbie Shore (£9.99, Search Press).

Red ribbon

essentials Fabric, cotton or oilcloth, two prints: 23cm x 46cm; 15cm x 46cm Interfacing, fusible (optional) Bias binding, 190cm Ribbon tape, 140cm Fabric pen, disappearing DIMENSIONS: 23cm x 46cm

stitch an apron

in half and mark the fold line with a disappearing fabric pen, then fold again and mark the quarters. Place the pocket, right side up, across the lower part of the apron piece and pin the edges together. If the pocket is slightly larger than the apron, cut off the excess fabric so they are exactly the same size. Sew down both sides and across the bottom of the pocket, quite close to the edge



so the stitches will be concealed under the bias tape. Topstitch the individual pockets along the marked lines. Curve the bottom two corners to make binding easier, then sew bias binding around three sides of the apron, excluding the top. Fold 140cm of ribbon tape in half widthways and mark the centre point with a pin. Lay it across the top of the apron, aligning this point with the centre top of the apron. Pin in place. Make sure the top edge of the ribbon is aligned with the top of the apron and sew along the top of the ribbon to attach it. Sew across the bottom to secure it.

Use this polka dot ribbon for the ties in your design. Priced £1 for two metres,, 01258 455889.

5 6



Cut 23cm x 46cm from printed fabric for the apron, then 15cm x 46cm from a coordinating print for the pocket. If you're using a lightweight cotton fabric, back it with interfacing to add weight. Sew bias binding across the top of the 46cm length of pocket. Divide the pocket into four equal sections: fold it


Strawberry print We think this good-enough-to-eat design is an ideal choice for a whimsical look. Priced £13 per metre, www.fabric

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Use pretty pastel prints to make these

vintage cushions

These coordinating cushions in

nostalgic prints are ideal for piling onto a comfy sofa to sink into with a good book or your latest sewing project. Made using Gütermann’s Ring a Roses Summer Loft range of 100% cotton fabrics, the geometric and floral designs in spring-fresh pastels are sure to lift any room.


essentials Fabric: Ring a Roses by Gütermann, Summer Loft range, Polka dot, blue, 40cm; Shamrock, pink and green, 20cm; Teapot, blue, scrap; netting, light blue, 12cm x 40cm Thread, sew-all, coordinating Bias binding, pink, 130cm Lace, bobbin, light green, 1cm wide, 130cm Trim, pom pom, jade green, 80cm Button: cover, 4cm; small, shirt Fibre filling Fusible webbing DIMENSIONS: 36cm x 48cm

Oval cushion

Knotted cushion

sew an oval cushion


Download the templates from and print out. Use folded paper to draw two full oval shapes: one outer, one inner. Use the outer oval template to cut two shapes from blue Polka dot fabric, adding a 1cm seam allowance. Use the inner oval template to cut one piece from Shamrock material. Iron fusible webbing onto the wrong side of the inner oval. Neaten the edges with zig zag or overlock stitch. Pin it to the centre of the outer cushion with pom pom ribbon over the edge; topstitch to secure them into place. Lay the front and back of the cushion wrong sides facing and stitch together with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving 10cm open for turning. Turn out and stuff loosely. Sew the gap closed. Unfold bias binding and pin it right sides facing on the outer edges of the oval. Stitch securely along the crease all the way around. Then fold the binding over to the other side, enclosing the cushion edge, pin and sew. Pin bobbin lace over the seam and stitch in place. Cover a button with teapot fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold strips of net lace in half lengthways, gather the open edges with hand stitches and draw them tightly together. Knot the threads. Stitch the net lace in the centre of the



Rose cushion






MAKE IT... with floral prints

cushion by hand. Place the covered button on top in the centre, and sew it securely in place with a small button as a stay button on the back of the cushion, through all the layers.

Make &Do


Make more cushions from coordinating fabrics using an assortment of trims such as velvet ribbon and cotton cord.

essentials Fabric: Ring a Roses by Gütermann, Summer Loft range, Ornament, blue, 40cm; Teapot, blue, 30cm; Meander, green, 70cm Thread, sew-all, coordinating Ribbon, satin, light green, 5mm wide, 150cm Lace, bobbin, pale pink, 1.5cm wide, 120cm Interfacing, fusible, 30cm x 90cm Cushion pad, 30cm square

Rose Rose is a kitsch floral print on a ditsy polka dot background.

DIMENSIONS: 50cm square

make a knotted cushion


For the cushion front, cut a 37cm square from blue Ornament fabric. Cut two 31cm x 37cm pieces for the back. Cut a 27cm square from blue Teapot fabric and iron fusible interfacing to the reverse. Neaten the edges with overlock or zig zag stitch. Topstitch the outlines of the teapots with straight stitch. Pin the piece with the teapots centrally on the cushion front and sew all around, 5mm from the edge. Lay pale pink lace along the edge of the teapot centrepiece and pin so that it hides the edge beneath. Place the lace in small folds at the corners. Pin satin ribbon over the top of the lace edge, starting from the lower right corner, leaving the ends projecting an equal distance. Make sure the corners slant by folding the ribbon at a 45o angle around the corner. Secure the satin ribbon and lace with a topstitch. Tie the satin ribbon in a bow, cutting off the ends to equal lengths. On each long edge of the cushion backs, press a 1cm hem and stitch down close to the edge. Pin the back pieces right side facing to the front



with raw edges aligned. Stitch all around with a 1cm seam, allowance. Press, then turn the cushion to the right side through the closure. Ease the edges into shape and press. For the ties, cut four 18cm x 92cm strips from green Meander fabric. Fold them in half lengthways, right sides together, and mark a 45o angle at each end. Stitch the ties starting from the centre of the long edges leaving a 6cm gap for turning. Trim seam allowances and clip the corners. Press and turn out. Pin the ties 5mm from the outer edges of the cushion from corner to corner and tack, leaving the ends projecting at equal lengths. Stitch on the right side, at the same time sewing the turning gap closed. Loosely knot the ties at the corners.



essentials Fabric: Ring a Roses by Gütermann, Summer Loft range, Rose, pink and white, 55cm; Ornament, green, 55cm Thread, sew-all, coordinating Bias binding, pale pink, 110cm Lace, bobbin, pale pink,

1cm wide, 110cm Fibre filling DIMENSIONS: 50cm square

create a rose cushion


For the outer cushion cut 52cm x 104cm of Rose fabric. From green Ornament fabric, cut 52cm x 102cm for the inner. Cut four ties each measuring 6cm x 42cm. Fold the ties in half lengthways right sides facing and stitch 1cm along the long edge, sewing one end to taper at an angle. Trim the seam allowances and clip the corners at an angle. Turn out and press. Pin the ties onto the right side of the cushion outer short edges, 16cm down from the corners. Unfold bias binding and pin it right side down over the ties and stitch in the fold along the seam line. Then lay the bias binding, with the seam allowance folded in, around the edge and pin. Iron, then stitch on the right side close to the edge. Fold the short sides with the bias binding to a width of 3.5cm on the wrong side and press. Slide bobbin lace beneath the ironed edge and stitch securing the lace and the ties to the fold. Fold the cushion cover in half right sides together and stitch 1cm from the side edges. Turn out and press. Next, fold the inner cushion piece in half widthways with right sides together, stitch all around 1cm from the edges, leaving a 10cm gap for turning. Press and turn out. Stuff with fibre filling and sew the gap closed. Place the cushion in the cover and secure the ties.

Shamrock Mix it up with Shamrock, a geometric repeat available in three colourways.



Flower Keep it simple with Flower, a circular design reminiscent of daisy heads.


These lovely cushions are made using Gütermann’s Ring a Roses Summer Loft range. For stockists email Gutermann@stockist or call 01453 883581.

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JANUARY SALE TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY 3 issues of any magazine from just £6*! From knitting to gardening to cookery, there’s something for everyone!

Visit our website below to see our full range


( 0844 844 0381 QUOTE JAN14 Lines are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-1pm

*Terms and Conditions apply, see online for full details. This is a limited offer and may be withdrawn at anytime


Show off your

embroidery skills with Lillie Cockrell’s

cat plush Add a quirky touch to your sofa with this adorable feline cushion. Decorated with an array of embroidery stitches, this is a great opportunity to practise and experiment with stitching. This cushion is easy to make and the difficulty of the embroidery design is up to you, so you can make it as simple or intricate as you like.


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STITCH IT... with colourful embroidery

Embroidery thread Experiment with different colours to make your embroidery interesting and dynamic. Use strong, good quality thread to ensure a pleasing finish. Priced 68p per skein,, 0800 056 7811.

essentials Fabric, wool, grey, 40cm x 60cm Needle, embroidery; sewing Thread, embroidery, assorted colours Embroidery hoop Fibre filling Buttons, two

Rough red Lillie has used a grey, wool fabric. For a colourful alternative, why not try this red by Basicgrey for Moda. Priced £12.40 per metre,, 07791 639896.

DIMENSIONS: 20cm x 31cm

make a cat plush


Go to www.sewmag, download the template and print out. Transfer to a piece of fabric measuring at least 20cm x 30cm, and place in an embroidery hoop. Using two strands of embroidery thread throughout and working away from the edge, begin by sewing around the whole outline of the cat in running stitch, using orange thread. Continue with the face, outlining the lower edge in running stitch, using orange thread, then fill in the Sea shells Use shell buttons to create triangular nose in satin stitch, the glinting effect of a cat’s using black. Use back stitch for eye. Try yellow or orange the whiskers and mouth, and for a realistic look, or work French knots for the dots, piercing blue for a pretty also in black. Fill in the ear kitty. Priced 15p each, centres in satin stitch, using, 01403 598014. yellow, then outline these with several rows of running stitch




in different colours, following the triangular shape. Using the remaining lines of the design as guidelines, experiment with your choice of colours to add decorative detail to the cat including a tail. Use the photograph as a guide: all the stitches used are variants of running stitch, sewn in straight lines, curves, circles, spirals and zig zags, with straight stitches radiating out from some of the circles. Then sew two buttons in place as eyes. When the embroidery is finished, remove from the hoop and press the work lightly on the reverse. Then pin it, wrong side up, to another piece of the same fabric and cut out, going through both thicknesses, 1.5cm outside the running stitch outline. Stitch the two pieces together with a 1.2cm seam, leaving a gap of 5cm in one of the straight sides for turning. Snip into the seam allowance on all the curved edges, taking care not to cut through the stitching, then turn right side out. Fill the cushion with stuffing, then turn in the seam allowance on the open edges and sew closed using slip stitch.


On the high street Create a whole menagerie of friends for your little cat with these cuties.

Organic blue whale stuffie, £10,



Sleeping fox cushion, £15.99,

Plum & Ashby Bertie cushion, £25, www.cotswold

Monochrome owl cushion, £14.99,



Make your little one smile with Ellen Kharade’s

yo yo bag This eye-catching bag would make a great birthday gift for any little girl. It’s practical and pretty, made from sturdy corduroy fabric with handy side pockets, and decorated with ric rac and yo yo flowers. The bag is lined in cute pink and white gingham and the black handles give it a sophisticated look. It has been designed in an attractive basket shape with a round bottom so it can hold a hostof goodies.

essentials Fabric: corduroy, red, 50cm x 65cm; pink, 15cm square; gingham, pink and white, 50cm x 65cm; cotton, red, 30cm square; cotton, assorted red and pink prints, 15cm square, seven Felt, pink, scraps Buttons, vintage, white, assorted sizes, seven Ric rac, assorted shades of pink, 20cm of each Ribbon, pink, 26cm Bag handles, black, acrylic Fusible webbing Clover yo yo maker, extra large DIMENSIONS: 25cm x 30cm

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Place the pocket piece behind one angled edge on the front of the bag, aligning it with the top and sides of the bag and pin into place. Measure 1cm in from the ribbon trim at the top and the side of the bag. Go vertically down from the top point and horizontally from the side point until these lines meet. You should have created a right angle. Mark this on the bag with a fabric pen or pencil, then topstitch the right angle incorporating the pocket piece beneath as you sew. Make and insert the other pocket piece in the same way. Arrange the yo yos across the bag as shown. Place and pin ric rac beneath to make flower stems, trimming it to size. Move the yo yos to one side and machine stitch the ric rac into place. Iron fusible webbing onto a scrap of pink felt and cut out four leaf shapes. Position the leaves on the front of the bag and press to secure, then machine stitch around them using coordinating thread. Put the yo yos back in place, pin and hand sew with small slip stitches around each one. Sew white buttons to the centre of each. With right sides facing, pin the sides of the front and back pieces together and machine stitch into place. Pin the base of the bag in place and machine stitch. Press all seams open. Repeat with the lining pieces, making sure that it fits well. Press all seams open. Press down a 2cm hem at the open edge of the bag and the lining and put to one side. To make the handle tabs cut a 3.5cm x 32cm strip of red corduroy fabric. Fold and press down 1cm on both long sides and then fold in the middle for the sides to meet. Pin and machine stitch up the length. Cut this into four 8cm sections. Thread the tabs through bag handles and pin to the top of the bag and machine stitch into place. Push the lining into the bag, matching up the side seams as you do so and pin, then hand sew the lining into the bag using neat whip stitches.



stitch a yo yo bag



Go to, download the templates and print out. Create seven yo yos from assorted red and pink prints, and put to one side. Cut the front, back and base shapes from red corduroy fabric. Then cut out two backs and one base shape from pink and white gingham for the lining. At one angled edge on the top of the bag front, turn over a 1cm hem and machine stitch. Pin pink ribbon trim across the angled edge and sew into place, trimming the ends


Yo-yo maker Using a yo yo maker means that this make is quick and easy. They come in a range of sizes so you can make big or small ones. Ellen used the extra large model from Clover. Priced ÂŁ4.30,, 01822 810877.

of the ribbon to size. Cut out two triangular shapes using the template, one from pink corduroy and one from red cotton. With right sides facing, attach the two together by pinning the long edges together and machine stitching into place, so you end up with a rough square shape. Cut out a piece of red cotton the same size. With wrong sides facing, pin the two pieces together and machine stitch around the outer edges to hold the fabrics together and create the pocket piece.

Make your own... yo yos




Draw circles onto the wrong side of a piece of fabric, using a template such as a glass. Note that the finished yo yo will be roughly half the size of the circle. Cut out. Sew a running stitch around the edge of the circle using coordinating thread. When you reach the start of your stitches, pull on the thread to gather the circle. Continue until the edges of the circle meet one another in the middle.



Bag handles Keep your bag sturdy and practical with strong handles. These shiny black ones add a sophisticated touch. Priced ÂŁ4.85,, 01253 590188.


Find this and other handy tutorials at Check out Georgina’s online shop at


Adjust the yo yo so that it lies flat and the fabric is evenly distributed around the circle. Once you are happy with the overall shape, work a few stitches across the middle, from one side of the fabric to the other, so that the shape stays put. Stitch a button into place in the middle of your gathered circle, using the thread that is still attached to your work. This will make your finished yo yo both strong and neat.



Little ones can learn and play with Sandra Hamilton’s


baby stacking rings Stacking rings are a classic toy for toddlers and what little one could resist this rosy-cheeked bunny, poking its head out of a colourful burrow? These doughnut-shaped rings are a great way of busting your stash using an array of jolly fabrics.

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essentials Fabric, cotton: printed, 25cm, four; 35cm, one; plain, yellow, 10cm Interfacing: lightweight, 1m; heavy, 25cm Thread, embroidery Toy stuffing Cotton bud Blush (for cheeks) DIMENSIONS: 22cm x 36cm

sew baby stacking rings


Download the templates from and print. Use them to cut out two of each ring from fabric

and lightweight interfacing. Tack the interfacing to the wrong sides of the rings and using a light box or window, mark the inner circle, both circular lines of stitching (indicated by the dotted line), crosses and notches on the interfacing. Cut out the small circle in the centre of each ring, then clip out to the stitching line around it. Make cuts approximately 1cm apart around the outside of each ring, down to the stitching line. Cut out the inner gussets for each ring. Mark the

2 3

crosses. With right sides together, fold each gusset in half and sew into a ring with a 1cm seam allowance. Clip both edges approximately 1cm apart and 1cm deep. Turn right side out. Repeat for the outer gussets, marking the notches. With right sides facing, slide the inner gusset, into the hole in the centre of a ring, aligning the crosses on both sides. Pin and tack so the gusset sits evenly inside the ring, then sew together using small back stitches. Fold over 1cm on the unsewn edge of the inner gusset and tack.


“These rings may seem a bit tricky at first, so you may want to have a practice go. If your toddler prefers a different animal topper, this head is fairly adaptable - just change the ears!� Sandra Hamilton, Sew designer




With right sides facing, and aligning the marks and notches, pin and tack the outer gusset to the ring. Sew all the way around. Pin, tack and sew the remaining ring to the other edge of the outer gusset. Fold in the clipped centre circle and tack. Turn the fabric right side out. You should have a drum shape with a chimney on top. Stuff the drum through the small centre hole, pushing the filling out to the sides to create a smooth, rounded shape. When the drum is almost completely stuffed, poke your finger through the centre of the filling to allow the inner gusset to be pulled through the middle of the drum. Pin the two tacked edges together, ensuring the inner gusset is not twisted, and slip stitch closed. Repeat for the other rings.



MAKE IT... in fun prints


Cute fabric Sandra used a range of colourful cottons to make our rings. Kids are sure to love this Creative Thursday Float Away print featuring adorable bunnies and balloons, priced £2.99 per fat quarter,, 01829 770733.

Alphabet print


Letterpress: Mint by Patty Young, £3 per fat quarter,

make a base


Cut out the pole template from collar stiffening fabric or heavyweight interfacing, and printed cotton fabric. Fold the fabric over the top and sides of the interfacing, smooth, pin and sew 1cm from the edge. Fold the edge of the fabric covered interfacing over to form a narrow cone and whip stitch in place. Sew the top shut and stuff well. Fold the fabric at the bottom of the pole under 1cm, then make long stitches to gather. Pull tight and stitch

closed. If desired, sew the pole to the largest ring to create a base.

create a bunny topper


Cut out the pieces for the bunny’s head using the templates provided. Centre the inner ear pieces on the right sides of the ears, then sew in place using zig zag or buttonhole stitch. With right sides facing, sew around the ear pieces leaving the bottom plus 2cm open, and turn right side

out. Fold the edges at the bottom of the ears over each other and stitch down. With right sides facing, pin the curved edges of the back of the bunny’s head together, and stitch. With right sides facing, pin the gusset from the tip of the nose to the top of the face on both sides, and sew. Then, pin and sew the face pieces together from the tip of the nose down to the bottom of the neck. Place the front of the ears against the face so



Why not add extra embellishments by sewing loops of ribbon into the seams of the rings?

that the stitches securing the fold over at the base of the ears are above the top of the head. Place the back of the head, right side down, over the face and ears, aligning the edges. Pin and sew. Turn the bunny head right side out, stuff, but leave a space the size of your thumb for the pole to fit snugly into the head. Fold under the neck edge by 1cm, make long stitches close to the folded edge, pull together and stitch closed. Push the neck fabric up inside the bunny head. Using the images as a guide, embroider a triangular shaped nose in the base of the gusset, a smile and star spoked eyes. Using a cotton bud, pick up a very small amount of powdered blush, and gently rub it in a circular motion onto the bunny’s cheeks.


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giveaways Enter now for your chance to win these amazing prizes!

Craft show


The Creative Crafts Show heads to Belfast from 10th to 12th April offering supplies, workshops, make and takes, demonstrations and more. As well as sewing, cross stitching and quilting, there will also be a whole host of other crafts on offer too. We love the idea of learning how to fuse fabrics, as seen below. There are 10 pairs of tickets on offer, worth £16 per pair. To enter, tick ‘CRAFT’. To find out more about the Creative Craft Shows taking place across the UK, visit or call 01822 614671.


Fabric paint Colouricious is the only stockist of these fantastic fabric paints. They have a really long shelf life, they’re water-based so they won’t clog up any stamps and are easily washable, heat fixable, and are just the right consistency. There’s a great selection of colours and finishes on offer too. We have three sets up for grabs for three lucky winners. Win either the Rainbow, Metallic or Scrumptious version, priced at £32 each. To be in with a chance, tick the ‘PAINT’ box. Visit or call 01494 721471 for more exciting products, as well as sewing holidays.

Stitch it

Polymer clay

Running from 28th February to 2nd March, Knit & Stitch It is not to be missed. Needle crafters can enjoy a dedicated exhibition showcasing all aspects of needlecraft, stitch craft and wool craft all under one roof in Farnborough, Hampshire. STITCHING We have five pairs of tickets to give away, EXHIBITION worth £24 for the pair. To win, tick the ‘STITCH’ box. Visit to see who’s exhibiting.

FIMO Classic workshop boxes contain everything you need to master one of six different polymer clay techniques. They include four blocks of FIMO Classic; the ovenhardening polymer clay preferred by professional and advanced users. Just follow the instructions to master an advanced modelling technique and create a lasting work of art. There are six boxes in the series – Kaleidoscope, Paisley, Blending, Millefiori, Mokume Nendo and Geometrics. We have 10 boxes to give away to 10 winners, worth £11.95 each. To enter, tick the ‘FIMO’ box. For more details about the FIMO range and to find your nearest stockist, visit, 01656 778668.






l Extra needle

penetration power l Jam-proof drop-in

bobbin system l Stop/start button

– no need to use foot control l Seven-piece feed dogs for

superb fabric control

Powerful machine

l Stitch elongation up

The Elna 660EX is a fantastic sewing machine for quilts or accessories for the home, as well as everyday projects. Designed with ease of use in mind, this model is just great for those bigger projects because it’s supplied with an ergonomically-shaped extension table, which lets the fabric flow freely when sewing. Featuring 200 stitches including 12 styles for automatic one-step buttonholes, this machine allows you to truly personalise your sewing style. We have one Elna 660EX to give away, worth £749. To win, tick the ‘ELNA’ box below. For more details, visit or call 0161 666 6011.

just tick the boxes!




To enter our giveaways, just tick the box that corresponds with the prizes you want to win and send your entry to us, to arrive no later than 14.02.2014. Mark your envelope: Sew February Giveaways, PO Box 443, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8WG.




Only one entry per household please. This competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. One entry per person. The prizes detailed in each competition cannot be exchanged for goods, or towards the purchase of goods at any retail outlet. Entries must be on the coupon provided. It cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced if lost or damaged. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by these terms and conditions will be disqualified. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE 14.02.2014 Winners will be notified after the cover dated month, a list of winners will be available in writing on request from Andrea Turner, 21/23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. Data Protection Your details will be processed by Aceville Publications Ltd (publishers of Sew) in full accordance with data protection legislation. All entries become the property of Aceville Publications Ltd, publishers of Sew. Aceville Publications Ltd and sister companies may wish to contact you with information of other services and publications we provide which may be of interest. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post Phone Email SMS . From time to time Aceville Publications Limited will share details with other reputable companies who provide products and services that may be of interest to you. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post Phone Email SMS .

to five times standard l Feed dogs drop for

free motion sewing l Dual measurements

on needle plate l Three storage areas

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Simplicity toy pattern, The Great British Sewing Bee pencil skirt download, plus home and style updates for you and the family

British t a e r G e h FREE! T Sewing Bee Pencil Skirt Pattern

Stitch a pencil skirt Make up in tweed

Limite Editiond Down load!

PLUS… Embellish cute pumps

Upholster a cat bed 94


Stitch pretty bathroom storage









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Collect&Keep Cross Stitch Library With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s important to find the perfect, thoughtful gift. A piece of stitching you’ve put your heart and soul into is the ideal solution and will be treasured by your loved one for years to come. We’ve also included some inspirational messages, which would be great hanging on the wall as a daily reminder to smile and be happy.




sew kids

the essentials Start sewing today with these basic stitches and techniques


technique with one piece of fabric stitched on top of another. BACK STITCH: A hand stitch made by inserting the needle at the mid-point of a preceeding stitch so that the stitches overlap by half lengths. A strong stitch used for outlining and seams. BACK TACK: Set the machine to reverse and work back over a couple of stitches to secure. BIAS BINDING: Narrow strips of fabric cut on the bias and used to create neat finishes to hems and edgings.

BOBBIN: Removable spool

RAW EDGE: The cut edge

underneath the needle plate on a sewing machine where the lower thread is wound. DART: A tapered fold used to give garments shape around the body’s contours. GRAIN: The lengthways and crossways directions of the threads in a fabric.

of fabric. This can be finished with zig zag machine stitch to prevent fraying. REVERSE STITCH: A sewing machine setting that allows you to work back over a row of stitches to secure. RIGHT SIDE: This is the side of the fabric that will be on show when the project is completed. When given the instruction right sides facing, place the fabric right sides together.


fabric allowed for turning to make a hem or seam. INTERFACING: Fabric placed between the main materials to give an item structure. It comes in a range of weights. PLEAT: Even folds of fabric stitched to create shaping or for decoration. PRESSER FOOT: Part of the sewing machine that is lowered over the fabric to hold in place while stitching.

Shopping list Keep these essential tools handy in your sewing kit • Dressmaking shears • Embroidery scissors • Pins • Various sized needles • A selection of threads • Tape measure • Tailor's chalk • Seam ripper


Using the same material as a lining. SELVEDGE: The finished edges of woven fabrics. STAY STITCH: Straight machine stitch worked just inside a seam allowance to strengthen it and prevent fraying. TACKING STITCH: A hand sewn temporary stitch used to hold fabrics together, or as a guide before stitching. TOPSTITCH: A machine straight stitch used on the right side of an item. Often used in contrasting colour for decorative effect. WARP: The lengthways threads on woven fabrics, the edges of which form the selvedge. WEFT: The widthways threads that run across the warp on a woven fabric. WRONG SIDE: The reverse side of the fabric, which will be the inside of the completed garment or project. YOKE: The top section of a garment from which the rest of the skirt, or dress hangs.

HOW TO... TRANSFER A MOTIF Method one Trace or photocopy the pattern sheet onto thin layout paper or typing paper. Turn the paper over and work over the design with a transfer pen or pencil. Position the motif on your fabric and press with a hot, dry iron (no steam) for about 10 seconds, until the design has transferred. Method two Trace or photocopy the motif from the pattern sheet onto paper (any type). Tape the paper to a light box or window pane. Position the fabric right side up on the design and tape edges to prevent it moving, then trace the design onto the fabric using an erasable pen or pencil.


A machine stitch used to secure raw edges of fabric and for decoration, used in a variety of sizes.

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in stitches

BLANKET STITCH Also known as buttonhole stitch, used for reinforcing the edge of thick materials

Thread facts

You should select a thread that meets your specific sewing needs. Your fabric will have an influence on the type of thread you select. As a rule the fibre content of your thread should be the same or similar to the fabric. ● Heavyweight fabrics require a thicker thread and lightweight versions require a finer thread. Very lightweight or sheer fabrics are best sewn with a very fine needle and an extra fine thread. ● Using the correct thread thickness may help reduce puckering, a problem frequently encountered when sewing lightweight fabrics. ● Don’t forget to consider the care requirements of your thread choice. They should be compatible with the fabric care recommendations.


Moving back along the stitching line, take the needle down through the same hole as the previous thread. Bring it to the surface for the end position of the stitch. Repeat along the sewing line to create even stitches.


This decorative stitch requires parallel lines of thread to make a design. These can be worked horizontally, vertically or at an angle


Start with the secure end on the wrong side of the work. Pull the needle through to the surface on the base of the outline to be filled. Take the needle to the outline on the opposite side and push the needle back through to form a long, straight stitch.

Satin stitch is ideal for filling in shapes


Take the needle down next to the end of the first stitch and under the work, bringing it back through at the start of the previous stitch, forming a parallel line of thread. Repeat this process until the desired area is filled.



through to adjust so that the stitch lies along the edge of the fabric. Repeat to create evenly spaced stitches along the fabric edge, maintain an even tension to avoid distorting the fabric.


Small stitches used for hemming or sewing up projects after stuffing

Strong hand stitches with a neat finish


Secure the thread and working along the edge, bring the needle to the surface of the fabric. Take the needle through from the back of the fabric to the surface on the stitching line. Loop the end of the thread under the needle and pull



Secure the thread on the wrong side of the fabric and bring the needle through to the surface to start the first stitch. Move a stitch length backwards along the sewing line, take the needle back through the fabric, then bring it to the surface at the end position of this stitch.

1 2


Working on the fold in the fabric, secure the thread with a double stitch. Pick up two threads of the fabric with the needle tip, then slip the needle through the fold of the hem. Bring the needle out 5mm along, then pick up two


more threads of fabric before returning through the fold of the hem. Pull the thread lightly as you work to tighten the stitches, being careful not to distort the fabric which makes the stitches visible.


COUCHING A decorative stitch where a thicker thread is positioned on fabric and a thinner thread is stitched over it to hold it in place


Secure the thread at the back of the work and bring the needle up to the surface at the start of the design. Place a thread or cord along the sewing line and take the needle over it and down through the fabric on the other side. Continue making stitches over the cord to secure in place along the length.



Diagonal stitches that create textured outlines


Working from left to right, bring the needle up to the surface of the sewing line to start. Take the needle down, a stitch width to the right. Bring it up half way


along and above the previous stitch. Make another stitch to the right, bringing the needle back up above the previous stitch as before.

Continue working in this way along the stitching line to create a line of diagonal stitches.




These are raised stitches formed into little knots

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


Bring the thread to the surface at the position for the knot. Wrap the thread around the needle tip twice and take the needle back through the fabric where it came up.


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



Ease the knot onto the surface of the fabric, holding it steady while pulling the needle through to the wrong side. Stitch to secure or return to the surface for the next French knot.


Create chain like stitches to add dimension to an embroidered line


Take the needle back down, close to where it came up through the loop and bring it back up at the end position of the next stitch.

3 1

Bring the needle to the surface at the start of the sewing line. Take it back down very close to where it came up, then return it to the surface at the end position of the first stitch.

Continue working along the stitching line, repeating the steps to create a chain of links. Finish by catching the final loop with a small stitch to secure.

SPLIT STITCH A simple stitch used to fill shapes or emroider lines Secure embroidery thread on the wrong side of the fabric, then bring the needle through to the surface. Take it back down about 1mm to 2mm ahead to complete the first stitch. Bring the needle to the surface again through the centre of this stitch and come down as before. Repeat to create an outline of stitching.





pattern perfection Follow this guide to working your way around a

dressmaking pattern

● Most commercial patterns are printed on dressmaker’s tissue paper and have cutting marks for more than one size. Each size is identified by a different style of marking for the cutting line. When only one line is visible this indicates that this is a common cut line for all sizes.

choose to do this before you cut the individual pieces required and iron the entire sheet as a whole, or after they have been cut. ● Unfold the tissue paper and with an iron on its coolest setting – taking care not to burn the paper – gently smooth out the creases, so that all the folds are pressed flat.

● Many patterns are available with a series of variations on a garment, which allows you to select different elements to suit your style. These are indicated on the pattern, with alteration lines for different lengths.

● By ironing them you will ensure that the pieces lie flush with the fabrics when pinned and will result in cleaner, sharper lines when cutting. The thin tissue can be ironed on a cool to medium setting – if in doubt, press a blank section of the paper first.

FABRIC PREPARATION ● It is advisable to launder

the fabric, as you would the completed item, before you start cutting. This ensures that you will know how the fabric reacts and reduces the possibility of shrinkage in the completed garment. ● Press the fabric with an iron on a suitable setting, and lay out in a large space ready for pinning the pattern pieces to it. ● Fabric is usually folded selvedge to selvedge. With the material folded, the pattern is pinned to the top. Once cut, the opened fabric will be twice the size of the paper pattern piece. If your fabric is patterned it is advisable to place the design outermost so that you can lay the pieces in a pleasing manner to suit the printed motif.

PLACING PATTERN PIECES ● Place the pattern on the

fabric with the printed tissue side uppermost,

some pieces will need to be placed on the fold, this is indicated on each specific part. The tissue paper used for dressmaking patterns means that you can see through to the design of the fabrics. This is essential when working with patterned materials, allowing you to adjust the placement of the pieces to ensure continuity in the motif can be achieved over joins in the garment pieces. ● The ‘To fold’ symbol means that the piece should be placed to the folded edge of the fabric for pinning. This will create both sides when the cut piece is opened, for example two sides of a top will be cut at once. ● The other pieces should be placed on the fabric with the grain arrow running parallel to the selvedge. Measure the distance from one end of the arrow to the parallel selvedge, repeat at the other end and move the piece slightly until



to fold

cut on the fold

cut two

grain grain


selvedge 100

When you see this symbol on a project, you will need to log on to to download and print your free patterns and Download TEMPLATES templates.



● In addition to starting with your fabrics laundered and pressed, it is also advisable to press out your paper pattern pieces. You can either

both the measurements are the same. Once you are happy with the finalised placement, pin carefully in place using as many pins as is necessary to secure. ● Most patterns offer a layout guide for the placement of the pieces onto the fabric (see below). This ensures that you lay out the pieces in the most efficient manner for cutting with the least wastage of fabric.

symbol savvy

We demistify the markings on paper patterns GRAIN LINES

The double pointed arrow indicating the placement of the pattern piece on the fabric. Ensure that the line of the arrow runs parallel to the lengthwise grain of the material.




Multi-sized patterns feature a series of different cutting lines, one for each size.

Includes 1.5cm seam allowance Cut two in fabric Cut two in lining Dress A & B Top C


The symbols to help you accurately match seams. All pieces that require joining will have corresponding notches.



This arrow indicates the placement of the pattern piece on the fold of the material. Aligning this to the fold means you will have a finished cut piece twice the size of the paper pattern without having to add in a joining seam.

This indicates which garment from the variations of design that the pattern piece corresponds to. It also instructs how many times you need to cut the piece from the fabric.


Includes 1.5cm seam allowance and 1cm allowance for centre shaping

Centre front fold

Cut one on fold in fabric Cut one on fold in lining Dress A & B Top C


When cut and sewn together, darts shape your garments to fit the curves of the body.

FABRIC KNOW-HOW It is important to cut the fabric on the correct grains as this will produce finished items that hang in a more pleasing manner. Taking a critical look at the composition of the material will help you to ascertain the best techniques to use. BIAS: The bias grain is the diagonal line running 45° to the warp and the weft of the fabric. Cutting garments on the bias creates a finished piece that follows the contours of the body.

SELVEDGE: These are the non-fraying, woven edges that run parallel to the warp grain. WARP: These are the yarns that run the length of the fabric. They are stronger than weft yarns and are less likely to stretch. WEFT: These run over and under the warp yarns across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge. As these yarns double back, they fix the weave of the selvedge. SELVEDGE






Careful, smooth cuts around the pattern pieces are what you are trying to achieve. This will help the pieces fit together when you are making them up. Always aim to cut on a flat, smooth surface, and ensure that the scissors you are using are sharp. Use the full blade for the long, straight edges and work with smaller cuts around the curves. If you are right-handed, place your left hand on the pattern piece and fabric to keep it secure. Holding the scissor blades at right angles to the fabric, begin cutting cleanly around each section.

2 3

Reverse this if you are left-handed. You will sometimes be faced with a pattern point where the lines for a number of sizes appear to merge. When this happens, you should set the outer point of the scissor blade towards the line that you want to end on. By carefully working the blades shut towards the final line you want to achieve you will create a smooth, clean cut that relates to your size. Repeat for all required pattern pieces making sure to take your time – it’s better to go slow than make a mistake.





and sew on

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THE BUSY BEE Our new columnist, The Great British Sewing Bee’s Lauren Guthrie, shares her tips on adjusting patterns

The great thing about making your own clothes is that you can create garments to perfectly fit your body shape. Making adjustments to sewing patterns, or even existing clothes, honestly isn’t as scary as it may seem. The most important thing when making your own garments is to measure yourself at the bust, waist and hips. Whatever you do, don’t just make up the size you think you are! People are different sizes in high street shops and every pattern company will label measurements with different numbers. So it is completely normal for your measurements not to fit just one size; they may even span three sizes! Some independent pattern companies tailor their designs towards certain body shapes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make those designs if you have a different body shape. The style and how the garment is constructed will affect how easy it is to adjust the pattern. For example, if it’s a simple shift style top or dress, the adaptation may be as simple as adjusting the side seams to fit the contours of your body. Sometimes alterations may have to be more involved like a small or large bust adjustment, but there are lots of great tutorials online that really break it down. I would recommend practising on some muslin or leftover fabric first until you get the fit right. I’ve never made a garment without making some sort of

so perfect for a chilly winter when worn with some thick tights and boots. If you’re not confident to go chopping up a pattern yourself, we are running several classes at Guthrie & Ghani to help you out, including drafting your own pattern from a favourite garment, drafting a custom top and skirt block, plus we have a one-day alteration workshop too. I hope you’re inspired to give adapting a pattern a go. We’ve all made mistakes before, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work out perfectly first time, it’s always worth it in the end... Happy Sewing!

Lauren loves... Style tip I often wear a thin belt right on my waistline to break up a top or dress and give more definition to looser fitting clothes.

Victory Patterns Chloe dress

“We’ve all made mistakes before, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work out perfectly first time” adjustment. My most common tweaks are shortening the length of straps, taking in the side seam at the hips, lowering a neckline, and taking in the waist. Just bear in mind that if you take in a garment at the waist and it runs into the armhole, this can then affect how a sleeve would fit, so you’d need to increase the size of the armhole. One of my recent makes was the Chloe dress by Victory Patterns. The shaping of this is very flattering as it has bust darts as well as vertical princess seam lines, giving the impression of height and slenderness. It has pockets – which I love – that are hidden in the front seam lines and an invisible zip in

the centre back seam. I made up the size 4 (watch out as the pattern is from Canada so it’s sized the North American way) and had to take the side seams in at the hips by a fraction, as well as shorten the length of the dress by about 4cm. Look out for the two lines that show where to shorten and lengthen the pattern as you are cutting it out; it’s not always OK to just take a chunk off the bottom edge at the end as it can affect the shape of the garment. I used a dark navy wool and viscose mix fabric and lined it with regular non-static lining. I used an embroidered tulle for the sleeves which is a contrast to the wool, but I’m so pleased with how it turned out! It’s super cosy;

Hobby (besides sewing) I really enjoy running – I ran a marathon last year and would love to do another one!

Food and drink I love Thai food and sushi, and would never say no to cake – especially mint choc chip.

Find out more visit or follow me on Twitter @guthrieghani 106



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Sew february 2014 uk  
Sew february 2014 uk