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jumpsuit in SizEs 6-20

MAKE IT!  Party clutch

 Stripe tee  Plaited wreath

5 new OutFits to try TodAy!

Figure-flattering designs for a stylish winter wardrobe HOW TO: Sew pleats

Upcycle jean pockets Patternless wrap

Laid stitch Skirt overlay

Sew Amazing Offers


Innov-is 1800Q

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FRESH IDEAS WITH FABRIC Now is the time for adding finishing touches to your festive table and taking some time out from all the Christmas prep to sew a few treats for yourself (go on, you know you deserve it!). Our stylish jumpsuit is a must for Christmas gettogethers and New Year’s Eve – its elasticated waist is super flattering and mercifully allows room for an extra mince pie, or two! Whip up the pleated clutch to go with it and you have a complete me-made outfit. Or if a stay-cation is on the agenda, sew a jumper pouffe and slippers for snuggly evenings in front of the TV – bliss!

nute Last-moni s, p67 decorati ISSUE THIRTY SEVEN



Sew ou Jumpsur Jenna it, p34


grEat pAtterNs foR you



Treat yourself to a star embellished tote




Learn the technique and make an


embellished linen cushion




Tips, techniques


and a glossary



how To...



Meet The mAkers dreaMing uP ImagiNativE cloThing for Kids


Seasonal reindeer to y s, p81

PatteRn plaY

51 59 to win! SewIng MacHine WorTh £529

We’re escaping the winter chill by stitching up some well-deserved treats for ourselves and our homes thiss month. Our Jenna Jumpsuit is as comfy as it is stylish, and calls for a swoon-worthy print to match – as if we need encouraging! There are decs to sew for your winter table (p20), a pleated clutch (p51), patternless gilet (p42), chic wreath (p67), sweet slippers (p63) and a fun jumper-to-pouffe upcycle (p59). Plus, bag yourself a free Güterman thread set from our pals at Sewing Quarter (p15)!

Nikki Morgan, Acting Editor

We’ve got a must-have machine from Janome to give away! Turn to p17


+ EE y PatTern

Plus Last MinUte Gi Ts + DecOrAtiOns


F er to de ReiN

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the jenna

jumpsuit uit in SizEs 6-20


 Party clutch  Stripe tee  Plaited wreath

5 new OutFits to try TodAy!

Figure-flattering designs for a stylish winter wardrobe HOW TO: Sew pleats

Upcycle jean pockets Patternless wrap

Laid st tch Skirt overlay





A round of applause for these talented makers...


ACTING EDITOR Nikki Morgan ART EDITOR Lisa Jones TECHNICAL EDITOR Rebecca Reid PRODUCTION EDITOR Michelle Grady DIGITAL EDITOR Zoe Williams FEATURES WRITER Judy Darley PHOTOGRAPHY Philip Sowels, Jesse Wild, Dave Caudrey


a younger to inspirte crafting.” t n a w e “W to star generation

“I can’t remember not sewing, and yes, I do need more fabric!”


Paul Torre, Karen Flannigan, Corinne Mellerup


Hannah and Rosie set up The New Craft House in 2013 after struggling to find fresh and exciting craft products, and bring traditional crafts up to date with their contemporary kits. Make their ontrend overlay party skirt update on page 49.


Jessica runs her own business creating everything from hair slides and brooches to bunting and quilts, and is a regular guest on Sewing Quarter on Freeview channel 78. Find her winter dining set on page 20, and denim purses on page 61.





FRONTLINE Call +44 (0)1733 555161


“I’m a certified hoarder of crafty goodies and am not sorry!” SAMANTHA CLARIDGE

Samantha sells fabrics, haberdashery and patterns through her online store www.sewcraftyonline. and blogs about her own craft projects at Sew her plaited door wreath ready for the festive season on page 67.

“I love the easy-going, fem inine, retro styles from the 1970s.”



Kristiann Boos is the founder of Victory Patterns, a sewing pattern company based in Toronto. In 2011 she launched her first line of PDF patterns. Kristiann’s debut book, Boundless Style, came out in 2015. She shares what inspires her on page 54.

THURSDAY 28TH DECEMBER 2017 No gift included? Ask your newsagent. Covergift may be unavailable overseas.

OTHER CONTRIBUTORS Bobbi Brown, Jo Carter, Charlotte Denn, The Fold Line, Taryn Gillespie, Debbie von Grabler-Crozier, Kirsty Hartley, Mollie Johanson, Jennie Jones, Sally Kendall, Portia Lawrie, Clémentine Lubin, Zoe Patching, Angela Umpleby, Hannah Waring, Claire Youngs Special thanks to: Carolyn Bunt


COMPETITION RULES By taking part in one of our Competitions, you agree to be bound by these Competition Rules. Late or incomplete entries will be disqualified. Proof of posting (if relevant) shall not be deemed proof of delivery. Entries must be submitted by an individual (not via any agency or similar) and, unless otherwise stated, are limited to one per household. The Company reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute any prize with cash or a prize of comparable value. Unless otherwise stated, the Competition is open to all GB residents of 18 years and over, except employees of Immediate Media Company and any party involved in the competition or their households. By entering a Competition you give permission to use your name, likeness and personal information in connection with the Competition and for promotional purposes. All entries will become the property of the Company upon receipt and will not be returned. You warrant that the Competition entry is entirely your own work and not copied or adapted from any other source. If you are a winner, you may have to provide additional information. Details of winners will be available on request within three months of the closing date. If you are a winner, receipt by you of any prize is conditional upon you complying with (among other things) the Competition Rules. You acknowledge and agree that neither the Company nor any associated third parties shall have any liability to you in connection with your use and/or possession of your prize. Competition open 30 November - 4 January 2017.


Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited (company number 05715415) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited is at Vineyard House, 44 Brook Green, London W6 7BT. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk. Although every care is taken, neither Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited nor its employees agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.



Just £8.99!


The team behind Mollie Makes bring you a collection of contemporary crochet patterns for enthusiasts of all levels. Our easy-to-follow projects created by top crochet designers will inspire you to hook clothes, gifts, home accessories and more. Plus there’s a handy beginner’s guide so you can start right away!

Call 03330 162 138 AND QUOTE ‘MOLLIE MAKES CROCHET 2018 PRINT 1’ Online WWW.BUYSUBSCRIPTIONS.COM/CRAFTSPECIAL Lines open weekdays 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. Overseas please call +44 (0) 3330 162 138. * EUR price £11.99, ROW price £12.49. All prices include P&P. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.








One of Disney’s most beloved characters is popping up amongst Cath Kidston’s classic florals in these fun new designs for the Disney x Cath Kidston collection, starring Mickey Mouse and his pals Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck. On our wish list is the Mickey and Minnie Bouquet print, featuring the iconic Spitalfields Rose design as a backdrop for 1920s illustrations of Minnie and Mickey. See the range at Subscribe at


Pinboard CUTEAS ABUTTON With cosy knits and W

Girl FriDay Velvet is our fail-safe party fabric, so we'll be taking inspo from Friday Pattern Company’s Lucida Dress and making ours in a stretch velvet for a super-glam, super-comfy NYE look. It's all for a good cause, too – 5% of the pattern proceeds will be donated to charity. PDF £9,

luxurious wools on our to-sew list, this might just be our favourite time of year for dressmaking – after all, it gives us the perfect excuse to stock up on sewing tools for cutting out all those gorgeous seasonal fabrics, starting with these pattern weights cast individually in iron. They can even double up as pencil holders when you're not cutting out, too. Approx £21 each, www.handson



se beautiful vintage fabrics to brighten up your space with these handmade cushions by Nichollette Yardley-Moore. Fashion and accessories designer Nichollette has sourced a range of original fabrics over the years and given them a new lease of life by transforming them into an eclectic cushions collection. It’s like having a piece of art for your sofa! From £40 each,


We’re clearing our diaries and adding home makes to the top of our project pile – gorgeous new Liberty fabrics have just hit the shelves and we can’t wait to sew with them! This special quilting cotton collection, titled The English Garden, features 23 traditional floral designs from the 1900s in a pastoral colour palette of delicate pinks, purples, blues and greens. We’re planning simple patchwork projects and cushions for a quick home update (although we might just save a couple of metres for a pretty cotton frock for summer, too!). Browse at www.sewing and watch on Freeview 78 and


Add winter blooms to your stash with traditional Liberty florals from Sewing Quarter.


A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO OVERLOCKERS, SERGERS & COVERLOCKERS Clémentine Lubin (£12.99, Search Press) Demystify overlockers, sergers and coverlockers with this comprehensive guide, with practical advice, 50 step-by-steps to get you started and 15 projects with full-size patterns. Psst! Feeling inspired to get your machine out? See page 39 for a project from the book.

Photos: Sew Your Own Dolls by Louise Kelly, published by CICO Books (£12.99); Photography by Geoff Dann © CICO Books

mini profile LOUISE KELLY Some of our most treasured childhood memories are of playing with our favourite dolls, and Louise Kelly’s sweet hand-stitched designs instantly transport us back to that imaginary world. The irresistible charm of Louise’s creations is all in the thoughtful details she adds to each one, with enviably stylish outfits complete with tiny accessories, from bunny slippers to rockabilly tattoos. A creative home life inspired Louise's love for arts and crafts from a very young age. "My Dad is an artist and he and my Mum really encouraged my creativity as a child. Dad was very generous with his painting supplies and Mum supplied me with beautiful books." Louise went on to study at art school and "had notions of becoming an illustrator, but life takes us on unexpected journeys. Fast forward a few years and I found myself working in a picturesque quilt shop, and suddenly I am bewitched by the wonders of patchwork!" It was at this shop that her first doll design came about by chance. "I taught a children's sewing class, and a simple request to have a doll-making class had me making all sorts of samples and researching techniques, and that was it really – I've hardly stopped thinking about, or making, dolls since!" Ideas can spring from "everywhere and anywhere. It could be a movie or someone I saw wearing a beautiful coat whilst I was

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grocery shopping." All of her dolls start out as a sketch. "Everything I make evolves from my sketchbooks. Sometimes a character could be lounging around on those pages for months or years and sometimes I have barely made a drawing and I have already started making." She also credits a childhood favourite for her dolls' sense of style: "I think my aesthetic is heavily influenced by the beloved paper doll books my Mum would give me. I also make clothes that I'd like to have in my wardrobe!" Every doll Louise makes is special to her, although she does have a few favourites. "A custom-order Wizard of Oz Dorothy doll was a delight. I got to make ruby slippers!" And the dolls from her book, Sew Your Own Dolls, are "named after my cousins’ daughters, so they all have a special place in my heart." With a sketchbook filled with ideas, Louise has plenty of exciting plans in the pipeline. "I'm working on patterns and kits, a Youtube channel, and hopefully another book soon! Follow @loulovesthis on Instagram and Facebook to find out what I am up to!" See more at

Louise's hand-stitched dolls are inspired by "beloved paper doll books" from her childhood.

MANDALAS TO EMBROIDER Carina Envoldsen-Harris (£9.99, Search Press) Enjoy a moment of calm and a spot of mindful stitching with 24 beautiful mandalas to embroider. There are 12 large and 12 smaller projects to try, with simple how-to diagrams to follow and ideas for using your new-found stitching skills to create hoop art and embellish clothing, homewares and accessories.

HANDMADE GETAWAY Karyn Valino and Jacqueline Sava (£23.99, Lucky Spool Media) Discover the joys of social sewing with this book of 14 individual projects and seven group activities for sewing sessions with crafty pals. Learn how to organise a handmade getaway with tips for sharing resources and planning short and longerterm sewing retreats.

SOUTHWEST MODERN Kristi Schroeder (£24.99, Lucky Spool Media) Take a trip to the American Southwest through fabric with this book of 15 quilt patterns that celebrate the open spaces and beautiful vistas of West Texas and culture of New Mexico. The large quilt patterns and three smaller projects are a contemporary, graphic interpretation of the landscape, with simple piecing designed to appeal to both beginners and more experienced quilters.


Pinboard TOULOUSE ADVENTURE Our New Year's W

resolution for 2018 is one we're definitely going to keep: to explore the sights and beautiful textiles of Toulouse, France (and do some quilting along the way) on the Quilting in Toulouse Trip with Arena Travel on 1st-6th June. The itinerary includes discovering the blue woad dyeing process, fabric shopping and Toulouse-inspired quilting workshops with Janice Gunner. Visit www.arena and quote IMM18.

Wild at HeaRt

Take a walk on the wild side with French pattern label I AM’s latest designs, featuring wearable staples with a twist inspired by nature and the wilderness. Our picks are the Libellule, or dragonfly, an update on a classic shirt that can be made in two lengths and worn open for a wing-like swish, and the Lion, a cosy sweatshirt with mane-style puff sleeves. I am a sewist, hear me roar! £15,

3 of the best STAR QUALITY

We don’t need to read this month’s horoscope to predict that these twinkly finds will be our style superstars this festive season (and beyond). 1. Add twirl power to your party look with this swishy star-motif midi skirt. We’ll be pairing it with a snuggly jumper for daywear, too. £89, 2. Channel your inner rock chick with this star clutch, which comes with both wrist and crossbody straps, perfect for keeping your hands free while you dance the night away! £125, 3. ‘Tis the season for all things glittery, so glitz up your everyday style and swap your usual crossbody strap for this metallic number. £25,




here’s no need to destash if your fabric collection is overflowing – just whip up a new storage basket in an afternoon with this simple and speedy DIY project from DaWanda. The sturdy design is made by weaving rope together with jersey yarn or wool using a bobby pin. Made in a smaller size, it’d be perfect for storing cotton reels and other crafty bits and bobs, too. Find the full tutorial at

Pinboard Feline fine

Get your paws on these purrfect kitty designs for your home and wardrobe.

SEW SOPHISTICATED Add a touch of elegance to your me-made wardrobe with the new Asymmetric Gather Dress pattern from The Maker's Atelier. Don't be fooled by its unique asymmetric gathers and beautiful fluid drape – this chic little number is deceptively simple to make. Pick a slinky crepe or satin, or make a cosy version in wool. Sewing kit £30-£40, printed pattern £22.50 from

waLl candY Keep your crafting desk clutter-free (and give your sewing room an ontrend spruce-up) with this Art Decovibe geometric wall organiser in a luxe metallic gold finish. We’ll be hanging a couple next to our cutting table for keeping all the inspiration, notes, sketches, instructions sheets and pattern pieces we need for our next stitching project together in one handy spot (as well as the latest copy of our favourite sewing magazine, of course!). £26.95, Trending now! Tick off two trends in one with geometric metallics.

SOFT KITTY, WARM KITTY No need to pick a favourite puss – this cosy wool-silk blend scarf celebrates kitties of all kinds. £45, PURR PEEKABOO Take a cat nap on this reversible cotton cushion featuring a curious cat on both sides. £35, www.donna

out & about

SKILLS, SHOWS & EVENTS 10 DECEMBER Learn free machine embroidery. The Makery, Bath. Learn the art of free machine embroidery and stitch your own machineembroidered sampler.

CRESCENT CUTIE Wear your cat-lady status with pride with this crescent crossbody bag lined in leopard print, £48, www.


BY A WHISKER Up the cute factor at bath time with this tactile cotton towel with 3D cat ears and stitched whiskers. £34, www.themodern

Hollow Drawing & Fabric Manipulation. The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford. Create art with drawing and embroidery at this one-day workshop.

UNTIL 31 DECEMBER Street Fans. The Fan Museum, Greenwich. Traditional fan-making meets street art with this display by street artists and fan-maker Sylvain Le Guen.

UNTIL 28 JANUARY 2018 May Morris: Art & Life. William Morris Gallery, London. An exhibition exploring the life and work of Arts and Crafts artist May Morris, with over 80 pieces.

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CATS' CHORUS Accessorise your me-mades with a necklace of handpainted feline faces laser-cut in acrylic. £25, www.finest


Pinboard PASTELPINS Upgrade your W

sewing kit with these so-Instagrammable marble-headed pins in a rainbow of pastel hues. These will not only look pretty on your sewing table, but are practical too thanks to the glass heads, which won’t melt under a hot iron. Also in the range is a quick-sew pin cushion kit to make for your collection. For stockists email clover@stockist


Your CouTure

We’re dreaming of sewing a whole wardrobe of chic tailored dresses thanks to Colette’s Claudette pattern with swoon-worthy details to play with. Mix and match an elegant cowl neckline, flounce sleeves and French darts for a custom frock. Pattern approx £14, PDF approx £11,

liberty corner


The Kemptown Jacket by indie label Pier & Palace is a feminine twist on the timeless biker jacket with flattering curved seaming and a cropped length. It can be made in any midweight material, so get creative with your fabric choice – this sunny yellow textured silk version is perfect for pepping up a black dress. PDF pattern £12 from 14 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

Say it with flowers (of the Liberty variety) with these handmade cards made from Liberty fabrics by Alice of Ellis and Eliza. From her small studio in the Cumbrian countryside, Alice creates handmade textiles and paper goods for pretty gifting, with an embroidered Liberty fabric card for every occasion. See the full collection at www.


ut a swish in your step this winter with Sew Over It’s latest pattern, the Chic Cape. This French-inspired fully lined style has a neat rounded collar, press stud closure (so no buttonholes, hurrah!) and armhole slits, with a simple construction that makes it the ideal first outerwear project. Baby, it’s cold outside – and we don’t mind, as long as we have this cosy cape in our wardrobe! PDF pattern £7.50,

Give a card they'll want to keep with Ellis and Eliza's Liberty designs.



ThreadS Sewing Quarter is the only channel dedicated to all things sewing. Watch it live on Freeview channel 78 and buy online at

snIp, snip!


hether it’s dinky embroidery scissors to tidy off colourful rogue threads, or a seam ripper to get refashions off to a flying start, we wouldn’t be the avid sewists we are today if it wasn’t for the trusty tools at our side. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite and most-used cutting tools, along with few new discoveries, to help inspire and grow your collection.

Hemline Large Seam Ripper with non-slip soft grip handle, £2.99

Klasse Duckbill Appliqué Scissors, £12.99

All available at

Hemline Premium Rose Gold coloured Embroidery Scissors, £19.99 Klasse Right Handed Tailor’s Shears, £21.99

Hemline Thread Snips Multi Cut Soft Grip Handled Scissors, £5.99

Fiskars Right Handed Pinking Shears, £39.99

LIVE everyday 8am - 12 noon · FREEVIEW CHANNEL 78 · · * Minimum spend £20, excluding standard P&P of £2.95. Offer is available online only and can be redeemed by using voucher code THREADS at the checkout on Valid for new customers only. Voucher code is not redeemable on TV promoted product within the 24hrs it is on air. One use per customer. All offers subject to product availability. For full terms and conditions, please visit the Sewing Quarter website.


Give your home a retro refresh with these mid-century prints in rainbow hues from Makower, featuring bird motifs and geometrics in a palette of all our favourite colours, ideal for everything from statement quilts to simple cushion covers. www.



Tulip Patch

PreTty PosIes

Clever Little Fox: Baby Blue

Finger Paint: Soft

GATHER BY JULIET MEEKS FOR CLOUD9 FABRICS Pick and mix a beautiful bouquet of floral designs with these dreamy painterly cotton prints by Juliet Meeks. Her Gather collection for Cloud9 Fabrics features a whole garden of blooms to choose from, ranging from dainty tulips and tiny buds to boho wildflowers and bold and bright florals with a 1960s vibe. It may be winter outside, but it’s summer in our sewing room!

Pick-Up Sticks: Pink

Gemstones: Purple


NEST BY ART GALLERY FABRICS Welcome home a new arrival with Art Gallery Fabrics’ Nest capsule collection. Charming paw prints, bears, foxes and lambs feature in calming shades of soft blue, candy pink and monochrome, with many of the designs available in knit fabrics for snuggly baby grows, leggings and tees.


BLACK SWAN BY DEAR STELLA DESIGN Bring drama to your fabric stash with these new designs from Dear Stella inspired by the elegance of ballet. Tiny tulle-wearing corps de ballet gracefully pirouette, plié and arabesque across an inky backdrop, dignified swans sit encircled by pretty floral wreaths, and ditsy flowers and delicate vines bloom in this atmospheric collection. The prints come in a symphony of contrasting twilight shades and fresh pastel hues reminiscent of the classic good-vs-evil Swan Lake story, so you can channel Odette with the white Sleeping Beauty swan motif or unleash your darker side with the Odile-inspired midnight version. Also included are modern mixers perfect for home projects – think a cosy heirloom quilt for a budding ballerina. We’ll be adding twirl power to our wardrobe with a swan-print frock, too.


Black Swan: Midnight

Lake Vines: Murmur

Sleeping Beauty: Midnight

Win a JANOME Sewing machine Enter now for your chance to win a Janome DKS100 Special Edition sewing machine worth £529!

Prize worth

! 9 2 5 £

ully computerised with a host of great features, including Janome’s new easy set bobbin system, the Janome DKS100 is one of the most coveted and user-friendly sewing machines around. It comes with lots of handy accessories plus a special key which enables some stitches to be elongated up to five times more than normal without losing stitch density, and is one of Tilly Walnes’ (aka Tilly and the Buttons) go-to

models. She says: “We use the DKS100SE in our studio all the time and I’m in love with this machine! It has a wonderful range of stitch settings and is sturdy, but not too heavy to carry. It looks great too!” We’re giving away a Janome DKS100 to one lucky reader, and it could be you! Enter now at www.simply, and find out more about this fab machine and all its clever settings at

See to enter today! (UK only, see competition rules on p6.)




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the jenna


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MAKE IT!  Party clutch

 Stripe tee  Plaited wreath

5 new OutFits to try TodAy!

Figure-flattering designs for a stylish winter wardrobe

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5 new OuutFits to try TodAy!

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5 new OutFits to try TodAy!

Figure-flattering designs for a stylish winter wardrobe


ring designs for a stylish winter wardrobe

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winter dining

frosty reception

Transform your table into a winter wonderland with a dinner party set sewn up in icy hues. Designer: JESSICA ENTWISTLE Styling: LISA JONES Photography: JESSE WILD


Leaf GarLand Botanicals have been all over the high street this year, and they're not just for summer! DIY the trend with this leaf garland in mix-and-match prints, and get creative with how you display it – we've draped ours across the dining table for a unique centrepiece.

BotTle bag Pretty up the table refreshments with a coordinating set of drawstring bottle bags. They're speedy to sew for last-minute gifting if it's not your turn to host – just add appliqué or embroidery to personalise.

winter dining

NapKin set Don't forget the napkins! They're the finishing flourish to a coordinated table setting and so quick to make. Ours are sewn in 100% cotton for durability. Complete the set with a geometric napkin ring decorated with a dainty leaf motif (because we'll take any excuse to delve into our stash of embroidery threads!).

PatChWork PlaCemat Patchwork newbies can boost their repertoire with this modern placemat design. For a more complicated make, use the technique to add more triangles or strips, or try appliquĂŠ detailing. If little ones will be joining the party, finish with iron-on oilcloth or water-resistant coating to protect your handiwork from spillages.



QuiLted pot HolDer Serve up in handmade style with this quilted pot holder in two wintery prints. This simple project is a great way to perfect your stitching, quilting and bias binding skills (and then show them off to your dinner guests!).

Gift Bags Party favours don't come cuter than these! Give your guests a little something to take home with them in these fold-over lined pouches with a button fastening. The pattern can be easily resized for larger gifts, too. We'll never buy paper gift bags again!


winter dining 01




napkin set


For one napkin QFabric: 47x47cm (18½x18½in) QMatching sewing thread QBasic sewing kit For one napkin ring QMain fabric: 30x25cm (12x10in) QButton: 1cm (3⁄8in) diameter QElastic cord: 5cm (2in) QMedium-weight iron-on interfacing: 10x18cm (4x8in) QStranded cotton in matching colours QMatching sewing thread QBasic sewing kit FABRICS USED Napkins: Foliage. Ref: NORR 1217. Sprigs. Ref: NORR 1218. From the Norrland collection by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. Napkin rings: Gold Metallic. Ref: TWIS 1155. From the Twist collection by Dashwood Studio. Email sales@anbo. for stockists.




Step one On the right side (RS) of the fabric draw a line 1cm (3⁄8in) in from all raw edges. Draw another line 1cm (3⁄8in) inside this. Step two Turn and press the edges of the fabric over to the wrong side (WS) along the first drawn line. Repeat to turn and press the edges over again along the second drawn line to create a double hem. 01 Step three Working on just one corner, open out the fabric so the second crease is unfolded. Step four Measure 2cm (¾in) up from the corner along the folded edge and mark. Step five Measure and mark 2cm (¾in) again along the other side. Step six Draw a line between these two marks to join them up across the fabric and the folds. Step seven Fold the corner in half diagonally so it is RS together and match up the marks on each side. Pin then stitch along the marked line. Step eight Trim the corner fabric 5mm (¼in) outside the stitched line then turn the corner RS out and push the point out. 02

Step one Cut the napkin ring fabric to: Front: 20x25cm (8x10in). Back: 18x10cm (7x4in). Step two Place the front fabric RS up centrally on top of the napkin ring template and trace over the outline and embroidery design. 03 Step three Using three strands of stranded cotton embroider the design using back stitch for the stems and satin stitch for the leaves. 04

FINISHING OFF Step one Press the corner flat then repeat this for the other three corners of the napkin. Step two Topstitch around all four sides of the napkin, pivoting at the corners.

ASSEMBLING THE NAPKIN RING Step one Iron interfacing to the WS of the embroidered fabric then trim it 5mm (¼in) outside the drawn outer line. Step two Fold the elastic into a loop and hand stitch it to the corner of the napkin ring on the RS to hold in place as shown on the template. 05 Step three Pin the embroidered front RS together with the back fabric. Sew together, leaving a turning gap in the centre of one side. Backstitch over the ends of the loop. 06 Step four Clip the corners, trim off the excess fabric and turn RS out. Fold the edges of the turning gap to the inside and press. Step five Topstitch all the way around to neaten and close the turning gap. 07 Step six Sew a button on the opposite corner to the loop to finish. 08

winter dining 03










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winter dining 01




Pot Holder


Q Main fabric: 30x60cm (12x24in) Q Contrast fabric: 30x60cm (12x24in) Q Binding fabric: 30x30cm (12x12in) Q Wadding: 30x60cm (12x24in) Q Insulating wadding: 30x60cm (12x24in) Q Matching sewing thread Q Erasable fabric pen Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Main fabric: Sprigs. Ref: NORR 1218. From the Norrland collection by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. Lining fabric: Gold Metallic. Ref: TWIS 1155. From the Twist collection by Dashwood Studio. Email sales@anbo. for stockists. NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance unless otherwise stated. Q Download the templates needed from downloads


MAKING THE PIECES Step one Place the contrast fabric wrong side (WS) up, lay the wadding on top, then the insulating wadding, and finally the main fabric right side (RS) up on top to create a sandwich. Tack together. Step two Draw vertical lines spaced 2cm (¾in) on the main fabric using an erasable pen and stitch along them. Step three Download the template and trace around the whole circle for the main body and lower segment of the circle for the pocket. Step four Place them on top of the quilted fabric, draw around them and cut them out. 01

press. Open up and then fold the two raw long edges inwards to the pressed centre line. Fold the strip in half again and press.

ADDING THE POCKET BINDING AND LOOP Step one Open up the pocket binding strip and place it along the top straight edge of the pocket, RS together and matching raw edges. Step two Sew the strip in place then press the binding to the WS and slip stitch in place. Step three Topstitch down the long edge of the loop strip to hold it together. Step four Fold it into a loop and stitch it to the top of the pot holder, matching raw edges. 02



Step one The pocket binding and loop can be cut straight across the fabric. The binding to go around the pot holder needs to be cut on the bias. From the binding fabric cut: Loop: 4x12cm (15⁄8x4¾in). Pocket binding: 4x22cm (15⁄8x8¾in). Pot holder binding: Cut the fabric at a 45° angle to the selvedge using a long ruler and rotary cutter or draw the lines in pencil and cut along them. Join the strips RS together at the short ends to make a strip 4x70cm (15⁄8x28in). Step two To make the strips into binding strips, fold them in half lengthways WS together and

Step one Place the bound pocket on top of the quilted main body with the contrast fabric sides facing. Pin and then sew together around the outer edge within the seam allowance. 03 Step two Open up the binding strip, press one short edge under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the WS. Pin this end to the pocket side of the pot holder with RS together and matching raw edges. Step three Sew the binding in place and overlap the short ends by 2cm (¾in) then trim and stitch over them. 04 Step four Press the binding to the WS and slip stitch all the way around to finish.

winter dining 01




bottle bag


Q Main fabric: 36x40cm (14½x16in) Q Contrast fabric: 36x40cm (14½x16in) Q Ribbon: 1cm (3⁄8in) width x 1m (1yd) Q Matching sewing thread Q Erasable fabric pen Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Main fabric: Foliage. Ref: NORR 1217. From the Norrland collection by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. Contrast fabric: Gold Metallic. Ref: TWIS 1155. From the Twist collection by Dashwood Studio. Email sales@ for stockists. NOTE Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance.

CUTTING OUT Step one From the main fabric cut two pieces 18x40cm (71⁄8x15¾in) for the bag outers. Step two From the contrast fabric cut two pieces 18x40cm (71⁄8x15¾in) for the bag linings.

MAKING THE OUTER AND LINING Step one On the wrong side (WS) of one of the outer fabric pieces mark a point on one long side 7.5cm (3in) down from the top short edge then another point 2.5cm (1in) below this. Mark these same points on the opposite long edge. Step two Mark one piece of lining fabric in the same way and also mark a 6cm (23⁄8in) turning gap in the centre of the bottom short edge. Step three Place the two outer fabric pieces right sides (RS) facing and stitch together down the long sides and across the bottom but leaving the gaps between the marks unstitched. Press the seams open. Step four Repeat this with the two lining pieces of fabric, leaving the turning gap unstitched. 01

MAKING BOXED CORNERS Step one Take the outer bag and pinch one of the bottom corners out to form a triangle. Make sure the seam lines are aligned and then draw a horizontal line across the seam positioned 4cm (15⁄8in) down from the point.

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Step two Pin then sew along the marked line. Step three Repeat for the other corner and cut off the excess fabric from both. Step four Repeat this for the lining bag. 02

ASSEMBLING THE BAG Step one Place the outer inside the lining so they are RS together. Step two Match side seams then pin and sew the bags together along the top. Step three Turn RS out through the turning gap. Step four Slip stitch the turning gap closed then push the lining back into the outer. Step five Press the bag then topstitch all the way around the top edge.

ADDING THE DRAWSTRING Step one With the bag flat, draw two lines on both sides of the bag to match up with the gaps left in the side seams for the casing. Step two Stitch along these casing lines through the bag outer and lining all the way round. 03 Step three Cut the ribbon in half and thread one length through one gap in the casing, all the way around and out at the same place. Knot the ends together. Step four Thread the other length through the casing but starting and finishing on the opposite side then knot the ends together. 04


winter dining 01




leaf Garland YOU WILL NEED

Q Fabric: 50x80cm (20x32in) in total, in a mix of fabrics Q Bondaweb: 50x40cm (20x16in) Q Piping cord size 3: 1m (1yd) Q Matching sewing thread Q Erasable fabric pen Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Foliage. Ref: NORR 1217. Ice White. Ref: NORR 1219. Sprigs. Ref: NORR 1218. From the Norrland collection by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. Metallic Gold. Ref: TWIS 1155. From the Twist collection by Dashwood Studio. Email for stockists. NOTE Each garland string is made from 20 pairs of leaves. Use a variety of fabrics and mix them up throughout the garland to create a varied effect.


CREATING THE LEAVES Step one Press Bondaweb paper side up onto the wrong side (WS) of one of the fabrics. Step two Peel off the paper backing then press the Bondawebbed fabric onto the WS of another fabric to create a sandwich. Step three Trace the leaf template and cut it out. Step four Draw around the leaf onto the fabric sandwich as many times as you need then cut them out. 01 Step five Topstitch around each leaf, starting and finishing at one leaf point. 02

ASSEMBLING THE GARLAND Step one Once all the leaves are made, pair them up into a mix of fabric sets. Step two Take one pair, pinch each leaf then stitch them together at the bottom points, sewing through the front of the pair only. Leave the folded back of the leaves slightly open. Step three Sew the leaves together again, half way up each leaf to hold the pair together. 03 Step four Repeat for each pair of leaves. Step five Take the piping cord and, starting about 15cm (6in) up from one end, sew the back of one pair of leaves to the cord by sandwiching the cord between the folded leaves. Step six Add another pair of leaves every 4cm (15â „8in) or so in the same way. Catch each pair

with the one prior to it by sewing a leaf from one pair to the other to hold them in place. 04 Step seven Finish when you reach 15cm (6in) from the end of the cord. You can tie the ends into a loop for hanging the garland.


winter dining 01




Gift Bags


Q Main fabric: 25x45cm (10x18in) Q Contrast fabric: 25x45cm (10x18in) Q Elastic cord: 6cm (23⁄8in) Q Button: 1cm (3⁄8in) diameter Q Matching sewing thread Q Erasable fabric pen Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Foliage. Ref: NORR 1217. Ice White. Ref: NORR 1219. Sprigs. Ref: NORR 1218. From the Norrland collection by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studio. Gold Metallic. Ref: TWIS 1155. From the Twist collection by Dashwood Studio. Email for stockists. NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Q Download the template from www.

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Step one Download the bag template and cut it out. Use this to cut out one bag outer from the main fabric, and one bag lining from the contrast fabric. Step two Transfer the marks for the loop and the button onto the fabric. 01 Step three To make pressing the bag easier later on, mark the stitching lines onto the wrong side (WS) of each of the fabric pieces, 1cm (3⁄8in) in from the raw edges. Step four Draw lines from the points where the stitching lines meet at the bottom of the bag up to the top of the bag edges for both the outer and lining pieces. These will be 5cm (2in) in from the outside edges and will be used as guides to press the bag into shape later.

Step one Turn the bag outer RS out and push out the corners. The lining needs to be WS out. Step two Press along the marked lines from the bottom corners of the outer bag and lining bag up to the top of the bags. Press along the four bottom edges of the bags. Step three Check that the pressed points match front and back and that the marked points at the top of your bags still line up. 03

SEWING THE BAG Step one Fold the outer piece in half right sides (RS) together so the middle top marked points line up, and pin the two long sides together. Step two Sew together along the marked stitching lines. Press the seams open. Step three Pull the two corners together at the bottom of the bag so that the side seams are in the middle. Pin and then sew together. Step four Repeat for the lining fabric piece but leave a turning gap in the centre of one side. 02

ASSEMBLING THE BAG Step one Fold the elastic into a loop and hand stitch the ends together to hold. Stitch to the top marked point on the RS of the bag outer. Step two Place the bag outer inside the lining so they are RS facing. Step three Match up the central marked points, pressed bag creases and side seams then pin together around the top edge. 04 Step four Sew the bag outer and lining together around the top, backstitching over the ends of the elastic loop a couple of times to secure. Step five Turn RS out and press then slip stitch the turning gap closed. Step six Push the lining inside the outer then topstitch around the top edge to neaten. Step seven Press again to define the creases. Step eight Sew the button at the marked point.


winter dining Placemat






Q Main fabric: 40x112cm (16x44in) Q Contrast fabric: 20x60cm (8x24in) Q Binding fabric: 12x60cm (5x24in) Q Wadding: 40x55cm (16x22in) Q Matching sewing thread Q Erasable fabric pen Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Main fabric: Foliage. Ref: NORR 1217. Contrast fabric: Ice White. Ref: NORR 1219. From the Norrland collection by Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studios. Email for stockists. NOTE Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance.

CUTTING OUT Step one From the main fabric cut: Front: three pieces 19x19cm (7½x7½in). Back: 40x55cm (16x22in). Step two From the contrast fabric cut three pieces 19x19cm (7½x7½in). Step three From the binding fabric cut three strips 4x60cm (15⁄8x24in).

PIECING THE SQUARES Step one On the wrong side (WS) of one of the main fabric front squares, draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. This is the cutting line. Step two Draw a diagonal line 5mm (¼in) either side of this central line for the stitching lines. Step three Place this marked main fabric square right side (RS) together with one of the contrast fabric squares, making sure they are the same way up if they have a directional print. Pin them together along the central line. Step four Sew the two squares together along both stitching lines. Step five Cut along the central line to create two pieced squares, each made from two triangles. Step six Press the seams to one side then trim the pieced squares to 17x17cm (6¾x6¾in). Step seven Repeat with all the other squares to make six pieced squares in total. 01

MAKING THE PATCHWORK TOP Step one Place one pieced square RS together with another pieced square, making sure they are facing the same way. Step two Sew the squares together down one of the sides. Step three Trim the seams down to 5mm (¼in) and press to one side. Step four Join all the pieced squares in the same way to make a patchwork block of two rows of three squares. 02


QUILTING THE PLACEMAT Step one Place the main fabric backing piece RS down with the wadding on top, then the patchwork RS up on top to make a sandwich. Step two Pin and then tack the layers together in a grid formation to keep them all held securely together whilst you quilt. Step three Quilt together by stitching through all three layers by hand or machine. You can use whatever pattern you prefer – we worked diagonal lines spaced evenly apart. Step four Trim off the excess backing fabric and wadding to make a quilted panel measuring 32x47cm (125⁄8x18½in). 03

MAKING THE BINDING STRIP Step one Sew the binding strips RS together along the short edges to make one long strip. Press the seams open. Step two Fold the strip in half lengthways WS together and press. Open up then fold the two raw long edges inwards to the pressed centre line. Fold the strip in half again and press.

BINDING THE MAT Step one Open up the binding strip, fold one short edge under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the WS and press. Pin this end of the strip 8cm (3in) in from a corner along one long edge of the mat with RS together and matching raw edges. Step two Sew the binding in place, stopping

1cm (3⁄8in) from the first corner. Backstitch then take the mat out from the machine. Step three Fold the binding up at an angle where the stitching ends. Step four Fold the binding back down along the next side of the mat. Pin in place. Step five Start sewing from the top edge, sewing over the folded the corner and down the next side. 04 Step six Continue sewing the binding all the way around in this way until you reach the start of your sewn-on binding. Overlap the short ends by 2cm (¾in) then trim and stitch over them to finish. Step seven Press the binding to the WS and slip stitch all the way around to finish.



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CovEr Star

THE JENNA JUMPSUIT Sew an all-year-round, all-occasion look with the easy-wear Jenna Jumpsuit in UK sizes 6-20, with two trouser and sleeve styles, a wrap bodice and tie belt.

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THE JENNA JUMPSUIT While scrolling through sewing blogs and social media for stitching inspiration, you might have spotted the phrase 'secret pyjamas' – stylish daywear that's as comfy as your PJs. Now it's time to welcome the newest member of the secret pyjama club: our cover star, The Jenna Jumpsuit, in UK sizes 6-20 (US 4-18/EUR 34-48). This versatile design features a flattering relaxed fit, elasticated waist, wrap bodice, two sleeve styles, an elasticated trouser cuff option, pockets and a waist belt, and can be made in slinky drapey wovens or soft jerseys. We'll be wearing this hard-working number with heels for party season, and keeping it in our wardrobes for spring and summer too.

TWO SLEEVE STYLES Make the bodice sleeveless or with cap sleeves.


Q Fabric: see pattern envelope Q Jumpsuit A: Elastic, 2cm (¾in) wide x 2.1m (2¼yds), single fold bias tape,12mm (½in) wide x 1.5m (1¾yds) Q Jumpsuit B: Elastic, 2cm (¾in) wide x 1.2m (1¼yds) Q Matching thread


Q Light to medium weight fabrics such as challis, silk, crepe de chine and jersey.

EASY FIT An elastic waistline and optional belt give a flattering, comfortable fit.

GETTING STARTED First pre-wash and dry your chosen fabric to allow for any shrinkage. Unfold the pattern sheets included in the pattern envelope, and find the line style for your size using the key provided. Follow these lines to cut your pattern pieces out – it can be helpful to mark them using a highlighter before cutting. Read through all the instructions before you start to ensure you do each step in the correct order, get your sewing kit ready so you have everything you need to hand, press your fabric for accurate cutting out, and you’re ready to get started on sewing your Jenna Jumpsuit.

Take you r an elasti pick from cated or pla trouser cuff sty in le.

TWO TROUSER OPTIONS Choose from an elasticated cuff or plain hemline.



wear it with

This Atelier Brunette rayon's modern vibe is perfect for Jenna's on-trend style,

Panache Profundo,

WinteR blueS Brighten up your seasonal style with splashes of cobalt. Be a mani queen with royal blue nails, £2.99,

Cosmic Blue,

No time to get party-ready? Hair up, big earrings, and you're good to go! £12,

Make Room at Night,



Florals, geometrics and spots, oh my! Jenna can be made in woven and jersey fabrics, so it's time to play with prints.

Pair a statement print with jumbo beads for art-teacher chic, £36,

From Above Blacklin,

Add texture with a suede bag in a colour-pop hue, £55,

Terrazzo Night,

Go vintage-inspired with classic slingback courts, £50, Stitched Anthomania,

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We never get bored of navy florals – especially in super-comfy jersey!


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jersey girl

Master sewing with knits and make ClĂŠmentine Lubin's stripe tee using an overlocker and a coverlocker.

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strip top 01







Q Jersey fabric: 140x150cm (55x59in), thick, sailor-stripe Q Bias binding: 3cm (1¼in) wide x 40cm (16in), fluorescent yellow Q Seam binding: 30cm (12in) Q 4 reels or cones of matching thread Q 3 reels or cones of thread: fluorescent yellow Q Conventional sewing machine Q Overlocker Q Coverlocker Q Basic sewing kit NOTE The templates are on the pattern sheet provided with this issue.


Designer Clémentine says: "This fashionable, longer, figure-hugging take on a traditional sailor top, with fluorescent yellow threads, is good training in coverstitching necks and hems. It is sewn using a 4-thread mock safety stitch."

CUTTING OUT Step one To work out the seam allowance you’ll need to add to the pattern pieces. Start by sewing a stitch sample then measure the stitch width and make a note of it. Step two Cut out the pattern pieces; you need a front, back and sleeve. The pieces do not include seam allowances so you need to add these to the pieces before you cut them out. The seam allowances should be your stitch width plus 5mm (¼in). Add this to all edges of the pieces except for the front neckline, the bottom of the sleeves, and the bottom of the front and back. Instead, add a 2cm (¾in) hem allowance to these edges. Step three Cut a front, back and two sleeves from the fabric, making sure the grain of the fabric runs in the right direction. Position the pattern so that the stripes of the sleeves all align. To do this you need to fold the fabric in two and precisely match the stripes. You may also want the stripes on the sleeves to line up with those on the body. Step four Pin the fabric at regular intervals to make sure the stripes line up. Decide where you

want the white band to be and then cut out each of the pieces.

PREPARING THE OVERLOCKER Step one Set your overlocker as follows: Overlock: 4-thread mock safety. Differential: 1.3 as the fabric is stretchy. Cutter: activated. Stitch finger: N (Neutral) or S (Overlock) depending on model. Needles: stitch with two needles, right and left. Stitch length: N. Step two Thread four white threads, following the threading order: upper looper and lower looper, then right needle and left needle. Step three Sew a stitch chain then sew a sample seam. Adjust your thread tension as required for manual models (ATD A on automatic models). Step four Chain off a few stitches.

PREPARING THE NECK Step one Place the bias binding along the back of the neckline with right sides (RS) together. Allow the binding to extend 2cm (¾in) beyond the shoulders. The bias binding must be longer than the neckline, so it can be sewn on to the front. As the bias binding does not stretch, the neckline will keep its shape. The front of the neckline isn’t bound to make sure the jersey stays soft around the neckline and it can be pulled over the head.

















































Step two Clip or pin into place. 01 Step three You may find it easier to tack the binding in place before you sew it as it’s easier to handle and the tacking stitches will be hidden in the seam. 02 Step four Overlock the bias binding with the cutter engaged – this gives a neat finish. 03 Step five Turn the binding to the inside then press to hold. 04 Step six Press the hem of the front neck inwards. The hem must be as wide as the bias binding. Step seven Clip around the curve to make sure it sits flat around the edge.

ASSEMBLING THE TOP Step one Place the front and back RS facing then tack together. Step two Slip the seam binding into the presser foot. Use the left needle to make the binding more secure. Step three Sew the shoulders with the seam binding. Hide the ends of the threads by weaving them back through the overlock, and stitching with a darning needle around the neck. Do not weave them in at the shoulder because these threads will be cut when the top of the sleeves are sewn in. 05 Step four Check which is the front and which is the back of the top of the sleeves. The sleeves are not symmetrical so label them in watersoluble marker pen. 06

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Step five Pin the edge of the sleeves to the armholes with RS facing then sew together using a 4-thread mock safety stitch. 07 Step six Place the front of the top on the back of the top, folding the sleeve in half. Pin or clip together to make sure the stripes line up and to stop the fabric from moving. Step seven Stitch the sleeve and the side in one go from the bottom of the top to the end of the sleeve. The threads of the previous seams will be trimmed by the cutter. 08

wrong side (WS) for each hem. Press to keep the fold and to make a slight mark on the RS. Step three Use a water-soluble marker pen to draw the mark from the WS on to the RS. Step four Sew around the neckline using a 2-needle coverstitch. Step five Sew around the bottom of the garment and around the cuffs using the same stitch. The cuffs will be more delicate to sew so take it slowly. Finish the hem precisely at the point where you started it.

PREPARING THE HEMS AND NECK Step one Set your coverlocker as follows: Stitch: Coverstitch. Differential: 1.3. Thread the looper with fluorescent yellow. Thread the two needles (right and left) with fluorescent yellow. Step two Fold 2cm (¾in) of fabric under to the

This top project is from A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers & Coverlockers by Clémentine Lubin, published by Search Press. £12.99, www.



brownie points

Pick a drapey fabric in a neutral shade to make Portia Lawrie's waterfall gilet for effortless winter layering.

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wat rfa gi et 01







Q Medium-weight woven fabric: 2m (2¼yds) Q Bias binding: 4m (4¼yds) Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit NOTE Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance throughout unless otherwise stated.




Step one Start off by drafting the back piece of the gilet directly onto the fabric. Take your bust measurement, add 8cm (31⁄8in), then divide this number by four and write this down. Step two Fold the fabric in half right sides (RS) together from selvedge to selvedge. From the folded edge, measure and mark outwards the length that you’ve just written down and mark this line vertically down the fabric. Step three Mark and measure this vertical line so it is 75cm (30in) in length and then draw a line at the top and bottom of it back to the fabric fold, which is the centre back (CB) line. This creates a rectangle. Step four The rectangle you have drawn is marked with a pink dotted line in the photo. Within that you need to draw in a neckline, shoulder line, and an armhole curve. Use a sleeveless pattern that you already have, or a sleeveless garment as a template/guide to draw in these lines. It does not have to be precise. This is a relaxed garment which can be adjusted to fit at the sewing stage. 01 Step five Add a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance to the side seams and shoulder seams. Add 5mm (¼in) at the neckline and armholes. Step six Cut out this back piece along the drawn lines but keep it folded for now as you are going to use it as a template for cutting out the two front pieces. 02

Step one Lay the back piece you just cut out onto the remainder of the folded fabric. Trace around the hem, side seams, armhole, shoulder line and neckline curve. Do not trace the CB line. Step two Square out and extend a straight line 9cm (35⁄8in) long, perpendicular to the CB, at the neckline and again at the hem. Step three Join the ends of those two lines to create the centre front (CF) line. These will be referred to later as CF extensions. Step four Cut out these two identical pieces. 03

ADJUSTING THE FIT Step one Place the front and back pieces RS facing then tack them together at the shoulders and the side seams and try it on inside out. Step two This is the point at which you can make adjustments to the fit. We ended up taking ours in at the underarm/side seams. Simply pin, then mark your adjustments directly onto the garment. Step three Remove the tacking and mark your new seamline on. Add the seam allowance back on and trim away any excess fabric outside the new cutting line.

STITCHING THE SHOULDER SEAMS Step one Finish the raw edges of the shoulder and side seams on all pieces. Step two With RS together, pin the two front







pieces onto the back piece at the shoulders then sew together. Step three Press the seams open and flat on the wrong side (WS) then flip over and press again on the RS. 04

ADJUSTING THE NECKLINE Step one Fold the garment in half down the CB line and align the shoulder seams and all the raw edges. Step two Check the curve of the neckline as it flows from back to front. Sometimes the angle can look a little ‘sharp’ at the shoulder seam, so simply cut a smoother curve right in there. You can draw it in first or judge it by eye. 05

BINDING THE ARMHOLES Step one Lay the garment out flat. Cut two lengths of bias tape slightly longer than your armhole curves then press the bias strips open along one edge. Step two On the RS of your garment, pin and then sew them to the raw edges of the armholes. Manipulate the bias with a steam iron to follow the curve. Repeat for both sides. 06 Step three Press the bias tape up and away from the garment. Understitch close to the seam line then steam press/roll/turn the bias to the inside and pin in place. Step four Stitch the folded edge of the bias tape close to the folded edge. Your armhole should

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now have a nice clean finished edge on the inside that looks like the photo. 07

STITCHING THE SIDE SEAMS Step one Sew the side seams RS together. Step two Press the side seams open and flat from the WS, then again from the RS. Step three On the inside of the seam, trim away the excess bias tape and then slip stitch the seam allowances down at the armhole. 08

BINDING THE EDGES Step one Cut a 3m (3¼yds) piece of bias binding tape and press one side open all the way along the length. Step two Starting at the CB of the neckline, pin the bias tape to the WS of the garment all along the neckline and top edge of the CF extensions. Step three The folded edge of our bias tape is 4mm (¼in) wide. In order to mitre the binding on the corners of the CF extensions we need to stop sewing exactly 4mm (¼in) from the edge of the CF extension. Mark this point on your bias tape as a guide. 09 Step four To stitch the tape in place, sew along the crease line. Start stitching 4mm (¼in) from the edge of one CF extension, along the neckline to the other CF extension and stop 4mm (¼in) short of the edge. Step five Fold the bias tape back on itself and away from the garment at a 45 degree angle. 10

Step six Fold the bias tape back on itself again, so that the open edge of the bias is now in line with the CF edge of the garment opening. Step seven Starting 4mm (¼in) away from the top edge, sew along the crease in the bias all the way to the garment hem. Repeat for the other side. I’d recommend watching a few online tutorials for this technique as it’s tricky to get your head around at first! 11 Step eight Press the bias tape so that it faces away from the garment.

FINISHING THE BINDING Step one Turn and roll the bias tape to the outside of the garment. Step two Fold over and pin the CF edges first, then the corners, followed by the neckline. Step three It can take a little fiddling to get the corners lying flat and neat, but once they're pinned topstitch in place with colour matched thread from the outside, taking care to check you are catching the bias underneath. 12

HEMMING THE BOTTOM EDGE Step one Finish the raw edge of the hem and turn it under by 2cm (¾in) to the WS. Step two Topstitch in place from the outside, starting and finishing on the main fabric only. Step three Use thread to match the binding to slip stitch the bias edged side of the hem neatly into place.



by The Fold Line

Kate and Rachel of The Fold Line look forward to a new year of selfish sewing with trend-led projects.


new year brings a wave of new projects. I’m sure many of you have been making Christmas presents for family and friends, so the start of a new year is the perfect time to think about what we want to make for ourselves. Hurrah! Rachel and I have been addressing our makes recently and thinking more carefully about what we sew. With all the new sewing pattern releases, it’s often hard to resist throwing your plans out of the window when the latest dress pattern is launched. We found that planning out your makes in terms of outfits can help to keep your wardrobe looking curated. Before you start making, think 'will this top go with anything I own?’ Looking ahead to 2018, we've picked some of our favourite patterns inspired by next year's trends to get you ready for a new year of making.

Follow our sewin www.thefold g adventures online a t gory/vlogs

5ARA >AAJ PDEJGEJC more carefully about TAILORING Tailoring seems to be the biggest takeaway from the 2018 SD=PSAOAS² trends. There were loads of jackets with matching trousers, pencil skirts and blouses, and all with a nod to the 1970s. Alongside the structured styles there were oversized cosy knits to pair with them. Two patterns that sum up this trend are the Tyyni Trousers and the Aava Tailored Blazer patterns from Named ( This longline double-breasted jacket is on trend, and paired with the high-waisted tailored trousers you’ll have a modern office look. Taking time to achieve a good fit is essential, but once you’ve got that nailed you are ready to rock 2018. COATS Investing time in making a coat is something you won’t regret. There were a lot of classic tailored double-breasted coats in deep hazelnut colours and checked fabrics, alongside a more relaxed fit wrap coat in creams and camel colours. If you’re up for a challenge then the V1562 from Vogue Patterns ( is a simple shape with lots of details to get your teeth


The Papercut Patterns' Rise & Fall Turtleneck is a classic quick-sew style for everyday wear.

We're taking a planned approach to our 2018 sewing to keep our me-made wardrobes looking curated.

The trouse r modern w suit is back! Make ith these N i amed sepa t rates.

from “The Toaster Sweater Sew House Seven has become =NIB=RKQNEPA² stuck into. For a more relaxed fit the Riga Coat from Orageuse (www.orageuse. com) would work really well. It’s a fairly simple construction and ties with a belt.

snuggly We're living in our winter. Toaster Sweaters this

JUMPERS We love snuggling up in jumpers, and from the catwalks it seems the bigger the better! Alongside the oversized looks are polo necks in a fine wool, which could be recreated in something like a merino jersey. They look fantastic under dresses or tucked into a skirt. The Rise & Fall Turtleneck from Papercut Patterns ( is a classic tried-and-tested pattern and won’t take you long for you to whip up. If you’re looking for something even cosier, then another fantastic option is the Toaster Sweater from Sew House Seven ( – it has become a firm favourite among makers with lots of examples online. FABRIC TRENDS Florals: Set to stay for next year, the key to this trend is a dark background. Think a navy or black base with pops of brightly coloured blooms. Checks and plaids: With the nostalgic nod to the 1970s, large-scale checks have been seen on coats, dresses and even shoes! Try timeless tailoring, classic shift dresses and midi-length coats. Stripes: Our favourite type of print. These are going to be large-scale and colourful, and we saw lots of garments that mix and match changing print directions. If you can’t find the fabric, perhaps a bit of colour-blocking (another big trend for next year) would work!

Easy chic or smart tailoring: take your pick from the V1562 (below) or the Riga Coat by Orageuse.

Keeping us inspired...

We love grabbing a cup of tea and reading your reviews.

My favourite thing to look at for inspiration is other sewists’ makes. You can see the same dress pattern made in two different fabrics and they can look totally different. On Saturday mornings I like to get a cup of tea, sit down and read the sewing pattern reviews on The Fold Line. It’s my favourite part of the week! Take a look at the latest reviews and add your own at www.thefoldline. com/reviews



No Blues

! r e t n i This W



The UK’s first television channel dedicated to sewing and quilting, live on Freeview 78 every day, has an online store that’s filled to the brim with sewing products. These are perfect for your next winter project or as a thoughtful Christmas gift for a fellow sewist. New to Sewing Quarter? Use your exclusive discount code, THREADS to get a free Gutermann thread kit, seam ripper and ruler with your first order over £20.

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party trick

Take a skirt from plain to party-ready with an on-trend embroidered overlay. The New Craft House shows you how.

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ov r ay skirt 01







Q Skirt with a waistband, back zip and slightly gathered skirt Q Embroidered tulle or netting: see instructions for details Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit FABRIC USED Floral embroidered tulle from www.

SHORTENING YOUR SKIRT Step one Try your skirt on and mark where you would like the finished length to be. Remember your tulle will be slightly longer than the skirt. Step two Cut 2cm (¾in) down from this marked line to allow for the hem. 01 Step three Turn the raw cut edge under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the wrong side (WS) then 1cm (3⁄8in) again and press. Step four Stitch the hem into place.

CUTTING THE OVERLAY NOTE Use a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance.

Step one Measure around your skirt’s waistband. Take this measurement and double it to find the tulle width measurement. Step two Measure from the bottom of the skirt’s waistband where the skirt gathers start, to the hem of the skirt. Add 7cm (2¾in) to this for the tulle length measurement. Step three Cut the tulle into a rectangle using these two measurements. If your tulle features a decorative border, make sure this is along the bottom edge. As the tulle won’t fray you don’t need to hem the edge, just trim it neatly. 02

GATHERING THE OVERLAY Step one With your machine set to its longest stitch length, work two rows along the top edge of the tulle. Work the first 5mm (¼in) from the edge and the second 1cm (3⁄8in) from the edge. Step two Carefully pull these gathering threads


at each end until the top edge of the tulle measures the length of your skirt waistband plus 3cm (1¼in). 03

STITCHING IN PLACE Step one With right sides (RS) facing, pin the gathered overlay to your skirt around the waistband, overlapping the gathered section of the skirt by 1.5cm (5⁄8in). The overlay should be facing upward in the opposite direction to the skirt as shown, and should overlap the zip at the back of the skirt by 1.5cm (5⁄8in) on each side. 04 Step two Set your machine back to its normal stitch length then sew the overlay to the skirt by ‘stitching in the ditch’. This means stitching on top of the the seam line between the skirt and the waistband. Don’t stitch over the zip.

SEWING THE BACK SEAM Step one With RS together, pin the back raw edges of the overlay together from the bottom up to where the base of the zip starts. 05 Step two Stitch together using matching thread.

STITCHING AROUND THE ZIP Step one Pin under 1.5cm (5⁄8in) to the WS along both edges of the section of overlay that is still open at the back, down each side of the zip. 06 Step two Topstitch or hand-sew the turnedunder tulle edges into place around the edges of the zip to finish.

confetti crush

Nail the print-clashing trend with Debbie von GrablerCrozier's pleated clutch bag made in two tonal fabrics.

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p at d c utch bag YOU WILL NEED

Q Main fabric: 30x112cm (12x44in) Q Contrast fabric: 20x65cm (8x26in) Q Lining fabric: 30x112cm (12x44in) Q Iron-on wadding: 50x90cm (20x36in) Q Iron-on interfacing: 10x25cm (4x10in) Q Decovil light interfacing: 15x90cm (6x36in) Q Magnetic clasp Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit





NOTES Q Use a 5mm (¼in) seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

CUTTING OUT Step one From the main fabric cut: Pleats: 12 strips 16x6cm (63⁄8x23⁄8in) each. Top panel: four pieces 6x31cm (23⁄8x12¼in). Step two From the contrast fabric cut: Pleats: ten strips 16x6cm (63⁄8x23⁄8in) each. Step three From the lining fabric cut: Bag lining: two pieces 16x31cm (63⁄8x12¼in). Pockets: four pieces 12x14cm (4¾x5½in). Step four From the iron-on wadding cut: Bag front and back: two pieces 16x56cm (63⁄8x221⁄8in). Top panel: four pieces 6x31cm (23⁄8x12¼in). Step five From the iron-on interfacing cut two pieces 10x12cm (4x4¾in). Step six From the Decovil interfacing cut: Top panel: four pieces 6x31cm (23⁄8x12¼in).

MAKING THE FRONT AND BACK Step one Place six main fabric pleat strips and five contrast fabric pleat strips right sides (RS) up next to each so the fabrics are alternated and the main fabric strips are on each end. Step two Stitch them RS together down the long edges in the order you’ve placed them to make one large piece. 01 Step three Place this RS up on top of the bag front iron-on wadding and press into place. Step four To form the pleats, fold two adjacent pieces of fabric wrong sides (WS) together and press so the seam is right on the edge, then topstitch all the way down, close to the seam. Step five Repeat this to fold, press and topstitch at all the other seams. 02 Step six Bring the pleats together by placing one topstitched edge next to the adjacent topstitched edge on the top and the bottom of the bag front and pin. Step seven Sew the pleats into place along the top and bottom within the seam allowance. Step eight Trim to 16cm (63⁄8in) wide and 31cm (12¼in) long and then round off the bottom corners by drawing around a cup or similar and trimming them off. 03 Step nine Repeat this to make the back in the same way.


MAKING THE TOP PANEL Step one Press one iron-on wadding top panel piece on the WS of one of the main fabric top panel pieces. Step two Press one Decovil top panel piece on the WS of the iron-on wadding. Step three Place the top panel RS facing across the top of the bag front and stitch together. Step four Press the seam open then topstitch across the bottom of the top panel. Step five Repeat this to make and attach the other top panel to the bag back.

Step seven Repeat this to make and add a pocket to the other lining piece of fabric.



Step one To make the top panel lining, press the iron-on wadding top panel pieces to the WS of the main fabric top panel pieces then press the Decovil to the back of these as before. Step two Attach one half of the magnetic clasp in the centre of each of these interfaced strips 3cm (1¼in) down from the top. 04 Step three Attach a top panel lining to the top of each piece of lining by sewing them RS together across the top edge.

Step one Press the pocket interfacing on the WS of one of the lining fabric pocket pieces. Step two Place this RS together with another lining fabric pocket piece and sew together all the way around right on the edge of the interfacing, but leaving a turning gap in the centre of the bottom long edge. Step three Trim the seam allowance, clip the corners and turn RS out. Step four Fold the edges of the turning gap to the inside and press. Step five Round off the bottom corners of the lining pieces of fabric to match the bag front. Step six Place the pocket in the centre of one lining piece 3cm (1¼in) down from the top and topstitch into place down the sides and across the bottom.

Step one Sew the bag outer pieces RS together, lining up all the seams and pleats and leaving the top edge open. Step two Clip the corner curves and turn RS out. Step three Stitch the two lining pieces together in the same way but leaving a turning gap in the centre of the bottom edge. Step four Place the outer inside the lining so they are RS together and the side seams match. Sew together around the top edge. Step five Turn RS out through the turning gap then slip stitch the gap closed. Step six Push the lining inside the bag and topstitch around the top edge close to the top edge to neaten.


Try the embellished overlay trend with Simplicity 8471.

As much as we love making classic styles, sometimes a trend comes along that we just can't resist! We've been swooning over all the floral overlay frocks on the high street this season and have filled our sewing planner with ideas for DIYing the trend (including our quick-sew skirt update on page 49). Luckily, Simplicity's 8471 frock, designed by Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton and featuring a feminine ruffled hem detail, is what our tulle dreams are made of! Find the pattern at

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a good read

ADVENTURES IN DRESSMAKING anadian pattern designer Kristiann Boos caught our eye with her easyto-wear, pleasing-to-make, retroinspired Victory Patterns, but began sewing long before the company came into being. “I was a creative kid and always looking for something around the house that I could get crafty with,” she explains. “I found my mom’s old Singer machine, which she hardly knew how to use. Together, we mucked our way through the adventure of learning how to thread it.” Kristiann dedicated herself to mastering that vintage Singer. “I played around with it for a year or so, making ill-fitting clothing and purses,’ she says. “It was a horrible machine and now I’m surprised that I wasn’t put off by it, but I didn’t know any better then and ignorance is bliss.”


At the age of around 13, Kristiann took her first home economics class at school, and “learnt how to sew properly. A friend and I would get together to make clothing and Halloween costumes and I fell in love with the freedom and creativity it offered me. I’ve been sewing ever since.” SKILLS FOR LIFE Studying fashion design at Ryerson University in Toronto confirmed Kristiann’s hopes that designing clothes could be a career plan. After graduating, she worked as a stylist and a costume maker. “Then, about ten years ago, I fell upon a sewing studio called The Workroom, which was one of the first of its kind,” she says. “Back then sewing wasn’t as popular as it has now become, so I was really into the idea of

teaching and helping to spread the joy!” Four years of teaching showed Kristiann that a contemporary pattern line was sorely needed. “At that time, there weren’t many sewing pattern options available,” she says. “I wanted to create a fashionable line of patterns that were fun to make, had great instructions, inspired creativity and that offered something that women wanted to wear.” Kristiann spent a year creating her business plan, learning how to create digital patterns, building a site and a brand before finally launching Victory Patterns in 2011. "It’s been an amazing adventure and one that I’m still very passionate about.” Alongside her designing work, Kristiann still carves out time for teaching, as she’s ardent about passing on her sewing skills. “Oh man, I love so many things about



Toronto-based designer Kristiann Boos is on a mission to inspire, empower and reconnect us with the joys of making through her vintage-inspired patterns.

a good read

“I SEE PEOPLE CREATING MASH-UPS WHERE THEY TAKE ELEMENTS FROM DIFFERENT PATTERNS AND COMBINE THEM TOGETHER TO CREATE A CUSTOM DESIGN.” properly into ready-to-wear clothing and feel confident. I’ve seen women crying happy tears because they have finally achieved a fit that makes them feel beautiful, and that makes this worth it!” Her own personal style is fluid. “My style shifts somewhere between vintage, modern and cultural,” she says. “I love the easy-going, feminine, retro styles from the 1970s. I have a love for different cultural aesthetics that have been making their way into my designs more recently. I also am becoming fond of minimalism and restraint.” FLEXIBILITY, EASE AND ACCURACY A new chapter in her story began, literally, when Kristiann opened her inbox one morning to an exciting email. “It was from a publisher asking if I would like to write a book,” she says. “I pitched an idea that I had been thinking about for my own patterns about modular design. I thought releasing a series of interchangeable patterns would work really well as a book concept.” The idea behind Boundless Style (£16.99, is that the reader has several patterns to use as building blocks to create their own styles. “There are fifteen unique patterns – five bodices, five skirts and five sleeves – that can be mixed and matched together to create many design iterations.” Creating the book was the opportunity Kristiann hadn’t known she was looking for. “I learnt so much from the process and really refined my skills in all aspects of making patterns,” she explains. “Boundless Style was

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an epic undertaking, but I’m so proud of that book and it’s been amazing to see what people have been making. I still love looking at the app ( where people have been conceptualising their own designs.” You can also see sewists’ creations from the book on Instagram by searching for the hashtag #boundlessstyle. Kristiann likes to think of the book as “a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’ in dressmaking.” She says: “I see people creating mash-ups where they take elements from different patterns and combine them together to create a custom design. I wanted to make something based on this idea that offered classic and unique designs while allowing people more flexibility, ease and accuracy in creating their own garments.” Ever the teacher, she was also keen to make the book useful as a learning tool. “I wrote it so that if you are a beginner, you can take these projects on as a challenge but feel confident in knowing that you will be guided through every step of the way.” DESIGNS FOR LIVING One of our favourite Victory Patterns designs is the ultra-versatile Jackie Dress. “I had many requests for another knit dress following our Lola pattern, which was a big hit,” says Kristiann. “With the Jackie dress I wanted to reign in the complexity of a design, to make something minimal while having it be feminine, flowy and a little flirtatious.” The Jackie pattern needed to tick a number of boxes for Kristiann: “It had to be comfortable, easy to sew, transition into the seasons, transition from day into night and to give a little nod to vintage,” she says. “There is a full sewalong for the dress on the blog, with plenty of help offered there and lots of tips for sewing with knits for those for whom this is a first-time knit project.” For Kristiann, the ideal design always starts with

Photo top:; Photo centre: Celine Kim; Photos bottom: Kevin Sarasom

teaching people how to sew,” she says. “I’m a big believer that knowing how to make something with your hands is very important. Sewing is just one avenue for this, and these days I find that many people have lost touch with using their hands to create. I’m thrilled to help reconnect people to craft, learning and creation. The moment when someone can hold up a garment and proudly know that they made it is magical.” She sees home dressmaking as a gateway to increased self-assurance and confidence in clothing. “The thing that really makes my heart sing is that making clothing allows people to create something that helps to build their confidence which allows their beauty to shine,” she says. “This is so important to me, because I know how hard it is for many people, myself included, to fit

Centre: Kristiann’s book, Boundless Style, features 15 modular patterns to mix and match. Right: Kristiann designed her knit Jackie dress to be “feminine, flowy and a little flirtatious.” WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 55

a good read the creative soup.” She adds that “generally, though, I always have a sketch book with me for when an idea pops into my mind.” CREATIVITY FOR WELLNESS Balancing out her work and home life has become more challenging since Kristiann moved her studio into her home this year. “It can definitely be hard to delineate between personal and business, especially when there’s always work to be done, and most especially when you love the work you

“I HAVE A LOT OF BIAS BINDING IN MY DESIGNS. I ESPECIALLY LOVE A CLEAN FINISHED EDGE WITH A PRETTY CONTRAST BINDING ON THE INSIDE OF THE GARMENT!” do,” she says. “One thing I’ve found that really helps is that my studio looks very different from the rest of my house, so I can trick myself into feeling like I’m not home. Another thing I find really helpful is to shower and get dressed every morning. I know this sounds really easy, but when you work from home, it’s so easy to stay in your

PJs all day and never leave the house.” Kristiann also teaches a few evenings a week, “so when it’s time to head to class, I wrap up my day and head off to teach a variety of sewing classes.” Even when she’s not working, Kristiann can’t resist creative endeavours. “I love to seek out inspiration and spend time in nature, galleries or museums,” she says. “I enjoy spending time in my little garden growing veggies, herbs and flowers too. I also love to explore my city, Toronto and go for bike rides through neighbourhoods and laneways. This winter, I’d like to take classes in basket weaving and pottery.” It all taps into her goal of making health and wellbeing central to her life. “I’m really trying to set a priority for myself in wellness,” she says, “taking the time to cook a meal, exercise, go for a little walk… All of these things sound so simple but it makes a world of difference to my day and lets my mind chew on all the things that are going on.” Sewing, in itself, contributes to this process. “I really can’t say that there’s one technique that I love more than the other, because I think they’re all fun,” she says. “But I do notice that I have a lot of bias binding in my designs. I especially love a clean finished edge with a pretty contrast binding on the

Left: Busy Kristiann achieves a work-life balance by ensuring her beautiful studio space “looks very different from the rest of my house, so I can trick myself into feeling like I’m not home.” Centre right: Bias-binding is her current favourite technique. “I love a clean finished edge with pretty contrast binding on the inside of the garment.” 56 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM


looking at ways to be effortlessly elegant. “Lately I’m inspired by practical things like lifestyle, the idea of simplicity and not having to think so much about getting dressed, but still looking great,” she says. Other times, the initial prompt springs from something very specific. “For example, the Hannah pattern was inspired by paper creasing and origami. Or I’ll build a design around a sleeve style that I love, like in the Trina dress.” Looking at vintage clothing also fuels Kristiann’s creativity. “I find lots of inspiration in garment details and in how clothing is constructed,” she confides. “Also, people inspire me. I love to people-watch and see how clothing is worn. I often take an idea and elaborate on it and say, if I had to change that to make it my own, here’s what I’d do...” Although she does mention that surroundings aren’t as important as being equipped with a pencil and a sketchbook, Kristiann admits to loving an indulgent visit to Toronto’s big reference library. “It’s where I go to do a big inspiration brain feed a few times a year,” she says. “I usually pull out books that relate to historical costume, cultural dress, folk art, wallpaper, various designers, mostly from the Art Deco or Art Nouveau period. It doesn’t all relate to fashion directly, but it all works its way into

inside of the garment!” Unsurprisingly, a bias binding turner is Kristiann’s essential sewing tool. “You use it to feed a bias strip through. As the strip exits the tool, you press with the iron so it is ready to sew into the garment.” She’s also endlessly inspired by craft blogs from the sewing community and loves “seeing what people are making and hearing their feedback. I love Oonaballoona by Harriell (, Sonja at Ginger Makes (, Julia Bobbin (, Sew Mariefleur (, Threadbear Garments (www.threadbear, and Nina of Fliegfederfrei (, to name a few.” Current design obsessions include one of this year’s biggest trends: sleeves. “I love that sleeves are becoming a design focus lately!” she exclaims. “There are so many incredible things that can be done with a sleeve and I love seeing them as the centrepiece of a garment. Lately I’ve seen so much more playfulness with sleeves in both ready-towear and in the home-sewing world.” So, what have we got to look forward to from Kristiann and Victory Patterns? “Right now, I’m working on a little outfit collection,” says Kristiann. “These patterns are designed to work together to create a ‘look’ and have the flexibility to mix easily into your existing wardrobe with other staples. I often focus on dresses in my collection, so you’ll see some new types of garments coming soon.” Other ventures include a line of fabric designs in collaboration with Workroom Social from Brooklyn. “We’re aiming to have it out for summer 2018,” says Kristiann. “This is a dream project for me as I love art and painting and have been longing to try surface design for years!” It seems a creative life is one that's always got something new in store. See more at

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Photos top and below right: Celine Kim; Photo centre left: Kristiann Boos; Photo centre right and below:

a good read

Above: Inspiration often springs from “garment details and in how clothing is constructed.” Her Trina dress pattern (above) was created “around a sleeve style that I love.”



We have an endless supply of unique denim fabrics with haberdashery to compliment our range, for dressmaking, patchwork and crafting projects. Shop via our website or visit us at our next event. CALL US: 07770 870735


make yourself comfortable

Movie marathons just got cosier thanks to Jennie Jones’ simple jumper pouffe project.








Q Jumper Q Curtain lining: 65x140cm (26x55in) Q Beanbag filling or polyester fibrefill Q Button: 5cm (2in) diameter Q Basic sewing kit NOTE Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance.

CUTTING OUT Step one Draw a 42cm (16½in) diameter circle onto paper and cut it out to make your pattern. Step two From the curtain lining cut out the following pieces: Pouffe pad front and back: two circles using the pattern piece. Pouffe pad side: 20x140cm (8x55in).



Step one Place one long edge of the pouffe pad side strip right sides (RS) together with the raw edges of pouffe pad front. Step two Pin in place all the way around. Step three Pin the short ends of the strip RS together so they fit exactly around the circle. Step four Remove a few of the pins you put in to attach the strip to the circle to give you room for joining the strip. Step five Sew the short ends of the strip RS together along the pinned line then trim the seam and press it open. Step six Repin the strip around the circle and stitch into place. Step seven Sew the pouffe pad back to the other long edge of the strip, but this time leave a 5cm (2in) turning gap. 01 Step eight Turn RS out and press.

Step one This transformation works best with an old jumper that’s had a bit of shrinkage in the wash. We used a size 10 jumper for this pouffe. If you use a much bigger size then you may need to increase the size of your pouffe pad accordingly. 03 Step two Turn your jumper inside out and put the pouffe pad inside. Step three Pin where the sleeves need to be trimmed so that it fits around the pouffe pad. Step four Take the pouffe pad out then sew along the pin lines and cut the sleeves off. 04 Step five Turn the jumper RS out again then put the pouffe pad inside and close the top and bottom of the jumper by hand sewing using large running stitches to gather them in. Step six Once gathered, stitch through the gathers neatly by hand to hold the ends securely closed. 05 Step seven Stitch a button on top to hide the gathers and to decorate. 06

FILLING THE POUFFE PAD Step one Stuff the pouffe pad firmly with


polyester fibrefill or polystyrene bean bag filling. If you’re using beans then get as many as you can inside for a firm cushion. Remember that these will squash down in time too. 02 Step two Turn the edges of the turning gap to the inside and pin. Step three Slip stitch the gap securely closed so none of the filling escapes.

ThrIfty MakEs No32

pick a pocket Get your scissors and unpicker at the ready and repurpose the pockets, belt loops and zips from old jeans to make Jessica Entwistle’s pocket purses.

denim upcycle 01







Q Denim jeans Q Cotton lining fabric: see instructions for details Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit

CUTTING OUT Step one Unpick the zip from your jeans and one of the belt loops. Step two From the jeans cut out the following: Purse front: Cut out 1.5cm (5⁄8in) outside the edge of one back pocket all the way around. Purse back: If you want a pocket on each side of your purse then cut out another in the same way. If you want a plain back then use the cut out pocket as a template to cut the back from another part of the jeans. Zip tabs: You need to extend the zip using denim zip tabs to make it the same length as the cut out pocket piece. Measure what this distance is at each end of the zip and add 1cm (3⁄8in) for the length of the tab. The width is 3cm (¼in). Cut two tabs to this measurement. Step three The lining fabric needs to be twice the size as the cut out purse front. Fold it in half then place the purse front right sides (RS) together centrally on top and cut around it. 01 ADDING THE ZIP TABS Step one Press the zip to flatten it. Step two Turn the short end of one tab under by 1cm (3⁄8in) and press. Step three Place this folded-under end just outside the zip teeth at one end and topstitch into place. Step four Repeat this to stitch the other zip tab at the other end of the zip. 02


INSERTING THE ZIP Step one Place the zip RS together across the top of the cut out purse front, matching the raw top edge with the edge of the zip tape. Step two Place one lining piece RS down on top, matching top raw edges, and pin then stitch together using a zip foot. Step four Repeat this on the other side of the zip tape with the purse back and lining. 03 ADDING THE LOOP Step one Fold the belt loop in half wrong sides (WS) together and pin to one side of the purse front, matching raw edges and positioned 4cm (15⁄8in) down from the zip. Step two Sew the loop into place. 04 ASSEMBLING THE PURSE Step one Unzip the zip then place the denim front and back RS together and the lining pieces RS together and pin. 05 Step two Sew together all the way around, stitching 5mm (¼in) outside the pocket edge. Leave a turning gap in the centre of the bottom of the lining. Step three Clip the corners and trim off any excess fabric then turn RS out. Step four Fold the edges of the turning gap to the inside then slip stitch it closed. 06 Step five Push the lining back inside the purse and press to finish.

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happy feet

Treat your toes to a pair of cotton slippers for lazy days and cosy evenings. By Clare Youngs.









Q Outer fabric: 25x60cm (24x10in) Q Lining fabric: 30x90cm (12x36in) Q Iron-on interfacing: medium or heavy weight, 25x30cm (10x12in) Q Faux suede: 25x30cm (10x12in) Q Embroidered ribbon (optional) Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Q The templates are on the pattern sheet provided with this issue.

This slippers project is one of 52 things to make from A Year in Crafts by Clare Youngs, published by CICO Books. £14.99,


Step one Trace round and cut out the two templates and then measure them against your foot or a pair of slippers that fit you to decide which is the correct size for you. Step two Fold the outer fabric in half lengthways and pin the top straight edge of the side piece template to the fold and cut it out. Unpin then repeat to cut another piece. 01 Step three Cut the lining fabric into the following pieces: side section: 25x60cm (10x24in), sole: 25x30cm (10x12in). Step four Press the sole interfacing onto the wrong side (WS) of the sole lining fabric then cut around the sole template twice from this faced lining. Step five Cut out two side section pieces from the folded lining fabric in the same way as for the outer fabric. Step six Cut out two soles from the faux suede using the template.

fabric side section WS together. Make sure it fits neatly around the sole, adjusting if necessary. Step four Pin and sew this back seam then trim. Step five Pin the lining side to the lining sole all the way around and then tack into place. Step six Sew together, leaving a 7cm (2¾in) turning gap along one long side. 03 Step seven Repeat this with the other lining sole and lining side piece then turn RS out and press.

ASSEMBLING THE SLIPPERS Step one Make the outer sections in the same way using the faux suede soles and the main fabric side pieces but without the turning gaps. Step two Place the lining section inside the outer section with RS facing. Line up the tops of both sections, pin and then sew together all the way around the top edge. 04 Step three Make snips in the seam around the inner curve, taking care not to cut the stitching. Step four Trim the seam allowances.



Step one Fold the lining sole in half at the toe to find its centre and mark. Step two With right sides (RS) facing, centre the toe of the lining side section over the toe of the lining sole. Pin together all the way around, easing the fabric around the curves. Stop 10cm (4in) before reaching the heel. 02 Step three Place the two short ends of the lining

Step one Turn the slipper RS out through the gap in the lining seam. Sew up the gap with small slipstitches, tucking the raw edges in. 05 Step two Push the inner section into the outer section for a neat fit then press. Step three To embellish the inside of the soles, cut a 5cm (2in) length of ribbon for each slipper and slipstitch to the lining. 06

pretty pinning

Get pin-spired and use precious Liberty offcuts to make Sally Kendall’s cookie-cutter heart pincushions.

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pincushion 01








FABRICS USED Liberty Fabric Tana Lawn Exclusive Collection 360 from

Step one Place the sharp side of a cookie cutter on top of a piece of thick cardboard and draw around the inside of the cutter. Step two Cut along the drawn line. 01 Step three Place one piece of fabric right side down (RS) with the card shape centrally on top and draw around it. Step four Cut the fabric 1.5cm (5⁄8in) outside the drawn line all the way around. 02 Step five Place the other piece of fabric right side down (RS) with the cutter centrally on top and draw around it. Step six Cut the fabric 5cm (2in) outside the drawn line all the way around. 03

Q Fabric scraps: two pieces 5cm (2in) bigger than the outer edge of the cookie cutter all the way around Q Soft toy stuffing Q Cardboard: to fit cookie cutter Q Glue Q Cookie cutter Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit

MAKING THE BASE Step one Lay the smaller fabric shape RS down on a flat surface and cover the back with glue, but use it sparingly. Step two Press the cardboard against the fabric until it’s stuck into place. Step three Fold the edges of the fabric over to the front of the cardboard shape and secure in place with a little more glue. Step four Leave it to dry for 30 minutes.

MAKING THE CUSHION Step one Place the cutter sharp side up and lay the larger fabric shape RS down over the cutter. Step two Push some toy stuffing into the fabric


until the fabric protrudes about 2cm (¾in) past the cutter, forming the pincushion. 04 Step three To close the cushion, fold over the remaining fabric at the back and hand stitch neatly into place. 05

ASSEMBLING THE PINCUSHION Step one With the cushion still inside the cutter, spread a good coat of glue all over the bottom of the cushion. Step two Push the base into the cutter so that it presses against the glue and hold into place for a few minutes. 06 Step three Leave to dry for a few hours to finish. Alternatively, you can use a glue gun, if you have one, to make this step a lot quicker.


Give your neighbours door envy with this plaited wreath by Samantha Claridge.


See this demonstrated live on air on 1st December 2017 *

Live on Freeview 78 * Visit page 15 for special offers and T&Cs








Q Cotton fabric A: 35x112cm (14x44in) Q Cotton fabric B: 30x112cm (12x44in) Q Cotton fabric C: 13x112cm (5¼x44in) Q Polyester fibrefill Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit NOTE Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance.

CUTTING OUT Step one Cut Fabric A into the following pieces: Wreath strip: 13x112cm (5¼x44in). Bow body: 10x22cm (4x8¾in). Bow tail: 10x30cm (4x12in). Hanging loop: 10x60cm (4x24in). Bow centre: 8x6cm (31⁄8x23⁄8in). Step two Cut Fabric B into the following pieces: Wreath strip: 13x112cm (5¼x44in). Bow body: 10x22cm (4x8¾in). Bow tail: 10x30cm (4x12in). Hanging loop: 10x60cm (4x24in). Step three Fabric C is for the third wreath strip.

MAKING THE WREATH TUBES Step one Fold one of the wreath strips in half lengthways with right sides (RS) facing and sew together down the long edge. Step two Turn RS out and press with the seam running down the centre back. Put a pin across the centre of the length of the strip as this will help to get the stuffing even later. 01 Step three Using a long blunt stick, such as a knitting needle, start to stuff from the open end up to where you put the pin. Stuff the tube quite firmly but not full to bursting. 02 Step four As you go along, roll the tube like a rolling pin to even out the stuffing. 03 Step five When you reach the end, tack it closed and remove the pin. 04 Step six Stuff the other end of the tube in the


same way and tack it closed. Step seven Repeat this with the other wreath strips to make stuffed tubes.

ASSEMBLING THE WREATH Step one Join the tubes together with a couple of stitches then anchor them to something so they don’t move around while you start to plait. An ironing board works well. 05 Step two Plait the three sections together until you reach the end. 06 Step three Holding the end tightly, curl it around into the wreath shape and adjust it slightly so the ends meet up and join them together with a safety pin. Step four Unpick the tacking stitches at the end of one tube and fold the raw edge under. Step five Unpick the tacking stitches at the other end and insert this into the turned-under end and slip stitch the ends together all the way around for a neat finish. 07 Step six Repeat this to join the other tube ends together in the same way. Step seven Adjust the plaited tubes to even them out and make sure the wreath is a nice round shape. 08

MAKING THE BOW BODY AND TAIL Step one Take one tail piece and on the wrong side (WS) of one end measure 3cm (1¼in) up the long edge and centrally across the width and

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mark where these points meet. Draw diagonal lines from this point to each bottom corner. Cut along the drawn lines to create the V shape at the end. Step two Repeat this to create a V shape at the other end of the tail piece. Step three Place the two tail pieces RS facing and sew together all the way around, leaving a turning gap in the centre of one side. Step four Clip the corners and snip into the points, then turn RS out and press then fold the edges of the turning gap to the inside and slip stitch it securely closed. Step five Place the bow body pieces RS facing and sew all the way around, leaving a small turning gap in the centre of one long side. Step six Clip the corners, turn RS out and press, then fold the edges of the turning gaps to the inside and slip stitch closed. 09

ASSEMBLING THE BOW Step one Fold the bow centre in half lengthways with RS facing and stitch together down the long edge. Step two Turn RS out and press with the fold in the centre back then tuck the raw edges to the inside by 1cm (3â „8in). Step three Wrap the bow centre around the bow body and the bow tail as shown then oversew the short ends together at the back to secure and hold the bow together. 10

ASSEMBLING THE BOW Step one Place the two hanging loop pieces RS facing and stitch together down the long edges. Step two Turn RS out and fold the raw edges of one end under by 1cm (3â „8in) and press. Step three Loop it around the wreath then slot the raw short end just inside the turned-under short end and slip stitch together to join. 11 Step four Pin the bow over the joined ends of the hanging loop and stitch into place at the back of the bow centre. Step five Position the hanging loop over the joins in the wreath tubes to hide them and with the bow placed on top of the wreath. Step six Work a few small stitches through the loop and wreath to hold it in place. 12


h tiny star c t a m d n a Mix nty dots i a d h t i w s print mentary and comple ripes for a solids or st ter wreath. n i w n r e d o m WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 69


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A GOOD R AD Kirsty's menagerie of characterful dungarees and dresses make every day a dressing-up day.

Wild Things designer Kirsty Hartley spotted a gap in the market for clothes that "let children be children, and not mini fashionistas."

Kirsty's bold designs are inspired by retro imagery from the 1960s and 70s: “Children love the simple shapes and colours."

We’ve noticed a wonderful trend in kids’ fashion – clothing designed to invigorate imaginations and enhance playtime. Meet some of the clever folks who design for under 12s. Written by Judy Darley.



e first discovered the transformative powers of clothes when we delved into the dressing up box as children, and wondered why we couldn’t wear those costumes every day. Happily, for little ones growing up today, there are lots of gorgeous lines for kids which capture the fun of dress-up in day-to-day wear. Who says getting dressed has to be dull? We speak to designer-makers who spark imaginations through their innovative clothes.

CREATIVE BEGINNINGS Practicality is key for Kirsty: “Clothes which inspire kids' imagination while being practical, comfy and hard-wearing tick all the boxes for busy parents.” 72 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

We’ve long loved Kirsty Hartley’s bright and bold Wild Things (www.wildthingsdresses. com) creations. “I started my brand in 2011 after spending time on maternity leave from my lecturing job teaching fashion at the Manchester School of Design,” says Kirsty. “As

a designer I was feeling out of touch with the physical craft of making, as my commissions for larger brands such as Mothercare involved very little hands-on making. I could see a gap in the market for fun, imaginative kids’ clothes that let children be children, and not mini fashionistas. So I dusted down my old Brother industrial machine and set to work.” Taryn Gillespie launched her business Bitty Bambu ( in 2009. Today she continues to sell online as well as to specialist boutiques. “I was lucky enough to be able to stay home with our kids during their early childhood,” Taryn says. “Shortly after our daughter, our youngest child, was born I was really missing having my own creative outlet. I started making clothes for her at night after the children went to sleep and I really appreciated having that creative time for myself.” Discovering Etsy opened up

Taryn captures the carefree spirit of childhood with her boho dresses for Bitty Bambu, inspired by her home on the Hawaiian island of Maui: “We have so much natural beauty surrounding us here."

new possibilities. “I thought it would be fun to try to sell some of my items here and there. I didn't expect to make a full-time job out of it, but I'm so thrilled that it grew into that.” Hannah Waring decided to launch Busy Little Things ( in 2011 after the birth of her third daughter, Iris. “It was hard to find high-quality clothes that were truly individual,” she comments. “Each of the girls was so different and suited such different colours that I decided to design a range of simple, traditional styles that could be made fun and unique by using different print fabrics.” Iris is now aged six, with her older sisters Delilah and Daphne aged ten and eight respectively. “The business has grown alongside my children, and I now offer more than 12 styles for boys and girls, ranging from birth to age 12,” says Hannah. Bobbi Brown ( grew up with a childrenswear family business – her mum designed children’s clothes, which she and her siblings modelled and her dad sold. It wove a love of beautiful clothing into Bobbi’s life. “A lot of my clothes growing up were bright and colourful thanks to my mum,” she says. “I particularly remember one in an amazing jelly bean print. All the children would want to sit next to me at assembly at primary school pretending we were eating sweets!” Bobbi took over and revamped the business in 2011. “Everything I’ve learnt about sewing and design has been completely down to my mum,” Bobbi says. “She still helps me – when there are new styles or sizes, it's the two of us doing it together. And everything I know about running a business comes from our combined experience as a family.” Parental influence has also had an impact on Charlotte Denn’s business What Mother

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The varied tastes of Hannah Waring's three daughters gave her the idea to launch her own label Busy Little Things. “It was hard to find high-quality clothes that were truly individual."

Made (, which she launched in 2012. “I was a single mother with a background in fashion design,’ she says. “I wanted to build a business that my daughter could be proud of and that would give me focus. I remember my mother spending hours making my clothes. Those pieces were the catalyst for What Mother Made. I knew I could take nostalgic patterns and shapes and combine them with fabrics that appeal to modern parents and children.”

"Childhood is such a magical and fleeting time. It's a time of life meant for play." IRRESISTIBLY INDIVIDUAL

Most of us have watched the scene in The Sound of Music when Maria transforms floral curtains into play clothes for the von Trapp children. To give their imaginations room to grow, little ones need the chance to invent and investigate fictional worlds. This often involves getting messy and mucky! Livening up a child’s wardrobe is one thing, but the clothes also need to be practical – luckily, though, you don't need to cut up your curtains to dress young adventurers in colourful clothes made for fun and games. Taryn understands this need for a balance of appealing design and wearable durability. “Childhood is such a magical and fleeting time,” she says. “It's a time of life meant for play, exploring, and discovering and

developing each child's own personality. I love the idea of the playful and colourful prints hopefully complimenting that child's playful and cheerful personality. More important than that though, I feel the garments they wear should be comfortable, not constraining, and hold up well during active play.” Hannah reminds us that its appearance may be the first thing that draws us to a certain garment, but longevity is equally key. “It’s important for the clothes to look beautiful and individual, because that's what makes the children want to wear them, and the parents want to buy them,” she says. “It’s even more essential that they’re comfortable to wear, they wash well and they last. My customers agree. They send me so many pictures of our party dresses being worn with wellies on a farm, playsuits worn for paddling and making sand castles on a beach, and even pinafore dresses that have been worn by all three sisters in a family and still look great. It's the quality that makes people come back.”


Top left photos:; Top right photos:


A GOOD R AD Happily, there’s no reason why hardy clothes can’t also look gorgeous. “Why shouldn't parents and kids have both?” asks Charlotte. “I'm a mother to three children so first and foremost I know just how much kids test the durability of their clothes. For me, it's important the garments we make last. It's why we make allowances for the different body shapes and rates of growth with each child.” Better quality also adds up to superior value. “I think that’s important for the parents’ pocket – once you pay for a handmade item you expect it to last,” says Bobbi. “We have so many customers telling us our clothes have been handed down over and over, which is exactly what I love to hear.” These lovingly created clothes are the welcome antithesis of disposable fashion. “Fast fashion is something I’m strongly against,” says Bobbi. “If we as a society are willing to spend so much on clothes as a whole then we should all be buying quality so it will last. If the demand is there for £8 dresses, it's the factory workers and the environment paying the price.” Kirsty understands that part of the fun about clothes is the freedom to wear what makes you feel good, and a clever designermaker can make this just as enjoyable for the grown-ups in the equation as it is for the little ones. “Children love to dress up and make

“The flowers, vegetation and ocean surrounding us gives me an endless source of inspiration.” their own choices about what they wear,” she says. “Clothes which inspire their imagination while being practical, comfy and hardwearing tick all the boxes for busy parents.”


Bobbi uses fabrics she knows will spark kids' sense of play: "In my experience, kids love anything to do with animals and nature and transport.” 74 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

Coming up with new designs for children's clothing is especially rewarding, but requires the kind of mind that is constantly soaking up and conceptualising ideas in order to translate them into a collection of wearable pieces. Hannah says her biggest driving forces are her own trio of children. “I’m inspired all the time by my own children and the fact that they are so different,” says Hannah. “While one will love a full-skirted flouncy party dress, the other is much more at home in a simple style that has pockets for her to keep things in. As they get bigger their tastes, and mine, change, and I try to reflect that in my designs.” At the heart of all Hannah’s designs are garment shapes and styles that have a sense of tradition, “combined with funky and beautiful prints to make them feel current.” Taryn is fortunate enough to live with her

family on the Hawaiian island of Maui. “We have so much natural beauty surrounding us here,” she says. “The flowers, vegetation and ocean surrounding us give me an endless source of inspiration.” Choosing fabrics is a delight for each of the designers. “I love the process of designing a new style, testing them out on my own girls to see if they make the grade, and then picking the fabrics – I could do that all day,” says Hannah. “I also love being out and seeing my clothes being worn by happy customers. That never stops feeling special.” Kirsty’s initial ideas tend to be prompted by simple imagery, colour and pattern; “the kind of things children can easily recognise and which promote conversation and ideasbuilding,” she explains. “I look out for anything from children’s book illustrations dating from the 1960s and 70s, to storytelling through play. I love simple, uncluttered garment shapes, and working with classic kids’ styles allows me to maximise bold embellishment.” She adds with a smile: “I love to see how children are inspired when they first put on one of my designs.” This can add some extra challenges to her photoshoots. “It’s amazing how play soon develops. Photoshoots can be often tricky to predict once the model is dressed for the shoot as a result!” Charlotte loves to draw inspiration from her own childhood. “I use old photographs and films from my childhood as references,” she says. “The way the garments moved, and how some of the clothes I wore had secret pockets for stashing sticks and stones on adventure walks… I definitely try to bring that playfulness into the collections.” She also devotes a lot of time speaking to children and their parents “to understand what they want from garments, what annoys them, what they love. That feedback is invaluable.” This includes critiques from her own children. “I love the entire process of coming up with and making new clothes – research, drawing designs, seeing samples come to life. My children usually test out the samples. If they love it, I know we're on the right track.”


So, what are the key ingredients that go into creating the ideal child’s outfit? In essence, it seems that two things are crucial. The first is getting both the fabric choice and the individual design elements spot on. “Children love the prints on my clothes,” says Hannah. “Owls, cats, diggers, sharks.... That's what makes them smile and want to wear the clothes. I hear them say things like, 'Mummy, can I wear my panda dress?'" Taryn agrees. “My favourite part of the design process is finding the perfect combination of fabrics to compliment each other,” she says. “Looking through fabric options, or creating some of my own, for hours


Bobbi Handmade's pieces are made to last (and roly-poly ready!). “We have so many customers telling us our clothes have been handed down over and over."



As Kirsty says, the best way to get a child excited about clothes is to pay some attention to what makes them tick and incorporating this in the design. “Children love the simple shapes and colours,” says Kirsty of her Wild Things range. “The difficult bit can be asking them to take them off for washing, as I’ve been told on numerous occasions by parents.” With every child having their own brilliant character, your role as a designer-maker may be to allow them to demonstrate that through what they wear. “I hope that by wearing clothes that are unique and a bit different, the children will discover a bit of their own style and individuality,” says Hannah. “They often come in with their parents to choose a dress, and it's lovely when their voices are heard. I remember particularly one five-year-old girl whose mum said she had never worn a dress, so I worked with her to create a bespoke christening dress with ninjas on it. It was perfect for her, and the mum couldn't believe how much it suited her.” You can nurture this even further through special little touches. “I really hope that children will feel confident and strong in my

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Charlotte Denn puts a modern twist on timeless childrenswear styles for her What Mother Made collections. “I use old photographs and films from my childhood as references."

Charlotte's clothes include playful details such as little pockets for "stashing sticks and stones on adventure walks." garments. Every line I create has at least one design that has a quote pocket with an inspirational sentence such as ‘From little seeds grow mighty trees,’” says Taryn. “The girls that wear these dresses love to have the pocket to stash little found treasure in and I hope that the quotes will remind them of all of their great potential and value in life.” Bobbi has a simple hope for what her designs will reveal to children: “That fashion can be fun. Clothes can make you feel good. People often ask if my little boy Eli ever wears anything else apart from my trousers and the answer is very rarely, but not because of me – I have second-hand trousers for him from the highstreet, but he says he doesn't want them, he wants the comfy trousers. And that's what I hear again and again.” Clothes have the power to act as a magic cape and allow us to discover our true, amazing selves. “I hope that my clothing instils confidence,’ says Charlotte. “The clothes are so vibrant and flowing, and invoke such a sense of freedom. I hope that positive approach to life is shared.” There’s also a possibility that through discovering how much fun fashion can be, your children will develop an interest in sewing as well. “My own children, although growing up fast, love to dress up,” says Kirsty. “For me, making the garments to share with my own children is a big buzz, as it shows them the creative potential of mastering a skill or craft, which has inspired them massively.” And, of course, that’s a storybook ending we’re more than happy to believe in.


on end never gets old.” Recognisable motifs are always a winner, as Bobbi points out: “Kids are learning about the world constantly – they love fun designs they can recognise. In my experience, kids love anything to do with animals and nature and transport.” The second vital ingredient is the ease with which children can physically move in the item – the child must be able to dance, jump and roll around with ease in their outfit. “The clothes I make are comfortable to wear, whether the child is dancing at a birthday party or climbing a tree,” says Hannah. Taryn agrees that however much you give emphasis to “mixing fun patterns and colours” the comfort factor of clothing is critical. “I like the garment to allow for lots of unobstructed activity,” says Taryn. For makers looking to sew up their own child-friendly garments, Kirsty recommends selecting your fabric with care. “I vote for keeping it simple, and comfortable to wear,” she says. “Choose fabric which is soft and will wash well too. Kids love tactile qualities.” And if you’re making for a child you know, Kirsty suggests giving them the chance to have some input on design decisions. “If you’re sewing something for your own children or a favourite niece, nephew or grandchild, involving them in the decision-making on colour and design works well.” In fact, it’s the child’s opinion that matters most of all. “The customers I listen the most to are the children," says Bobbi. “To me, it's crazy that all kids’ clothes aren't fun and colourful. At the end of the day, if a four-year-old doesn't like their clothes then they'll rarely be worn!”

Charlotte speaks to both children and parents about "what they want from garments, what annoys them, what they love.”




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Fast fat quarter


use 2 fat QuaRters

flower girl

Mix and match colourful floral fat quarters and make a quick-sew girl's skirt with Jennie Jones' how-to.

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Fast fat quarter 01





Q 2 fat quarters Q Elastic: 1.5cm (5⁄8in) width, see instructions for length Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Flower Seed and Large Floral from the Confetti collection by Dashwood Studio. Available from NOTES Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance.

CUTTING OUT Step one For the skirt width, measure your child’s waist. The fabric needs to be 30cm (12in) wider than this measurement. Step two For the skirt length, measure from your child’s waist to the knee. Step three The skirt is cut in two equal sections. For the top section, divide the skirt length in half then add 5cm (2in) to this for the casing and seam allowance. Cut two pieces of fabric to this length and to your calculated width. Step four For the bottom section, cut two pieces of fabric to the same measurements as the top section. The extra fabric added for the casing in the top section is used for the hem in the bottom section. Step five If you would prefer the skirt sections not to be equal then alter the measurements accordingly. You could make the top section two thirds and the bottom section one third of the total length to create a bottom band effect.

SEWINGTHE SECTIONSTOGETHER Step one Place one top section and bottom section right sides (RS) facing and sew together along the bottom long edge of the top section and the top long edge of the bottom section. Press the seams open. Step two Repeat this with the other top and


bottom section. Step three Place these two joined sections RS facing and sew together down the sides and press the seams open. 01 Step four Turn the fabrics RS out and topstitch along the bottom section close to the seam to neaten and decorate. 02

HEMMINGTHE SKIRT Step one Turn the bottom of the skirt under by 2cm (¾in) to the wrong side (WS) and press, then turn it over again by 2cm (¾in) and press, then pin to hold. 03 Step two Stitch the hem into place.

ADDINGTHE CASING Step one Turn the top of the skirt under by 2cm (¾in) to the WS and press, then turn it over again by 2cm (¾in) and press, and then pin the casing all the way around. Step two Stitch the casing into place, leaving a 2cm (¾in) opening in the centre of one side of the turned-over edge. Step three Attach a safety pin to the elastic and feed it through the opening. 04 Step four Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1cm (3⁄8in) and sew them together. Step five Push the ends of the elastic back in the opening then slip stitch it closed.

scrap happy

We've found the purr-fect use for your fabric offcuts! Make a cute kitty pencil case with Jennie Jones' how-to.

Cat p nci cas 01





Q Main fabric: 50x40cm (20x16in) Q Lining fabric: 50x40cm (20x16in) Q Heavy duty zip: 15cm (6in) Q 3 buttons Q Stranded cotton Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit FABRICS USED Mountains in Teal from the Altitude collection by Dashwood Studio. Available from www.sewcrafty NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Q You will find the templates needed on the pull-out pattern sheet provided with this issue.

CUTTING OUT Step one Trace the three templates for the cat back, front face and front body and cut each of them out. Step two Place the main fabric and lining fabric right sides (RS) together then pin the three templates on top and cut around them to make two pieces for each template. 01

STITCHING THE FACE Step one Trace the facial features from the template onto the RS of the front face main fabric in erasable pen. Step two Stitch the whiskers and nose as long stitches using six strands of stranded cotton, making sure they lie flat on the fabric. Mounting the fabric into an embroidery hoop will help keep your tension correct. Step three Stitch the three buttons in place to represent the eyes and nose. We've used a heart button for the nose but a small shirt button would work well too.

INSERTING THE ZIP Step one Place the main fabric front face RS up then place the zip RS down centrally on top with the lining front face RS down on top. Match the top raw edges of the fabric with the zip tape. Stitch together using a zip foot.


Step two Stitch the top edge of the main fabric front body and the lining fabric front body to the other side of the zip tape in the same way. Fold the other pieces of fabric out of the way so they don't get caught in the stitching. 02 Step three Move the zip slider to the centre and stitch carefully over the ends of the zip to secure the teeth then trim the zip ends so they are level with the fabric. When you are stitching over the teeth, wind the needle slowly using the sewing machine handle so you can avoid the teeth by moving the zip slightly and prevent the needle from breaking.

ASSEMBLING THE PENCIL CASE Step one Place the main fabric back RS together with the joined main fabric front and pin together, matching raw edges. Step two Sew together all the way around, hand winding the needle across the zip teeth so you don’t break it. 03 Step three Repeat this to sew the lining back RS together with the joined lining front, but this time leave a 4cm (15⁄8in) turning gap in the centre of one side. 04 Step four Turn the pencil case RS out through the opening. Step five Fold the edges of the turning gap to the inside and slipstitch closed.

run run rudolph

Sew an adorable deer duo to join in with your reindeer games this festive season. By Jo Carter.


See this demonstrated live on air on 6th December 2017 *

Live on Freeview 78 * Visit page 15 for special offers and T&Cs

r ind r toy 01







Q Fabric A: light brown, 50x50cm (20x20in), for main body Q Fabric B: dark brown, 30x30cm (12x12in), for antlers and hooves Q Fabric C: white or cream, 24x30cm (10x12in), for tummy and tail Q Fabric D: red or black, 8x8cm (3x3in), for nose Q Pair of 8mm safety eyes, black Q Polyester toy filling Q Stranded cotton: black Q Basic sewing kit FINISHED SIZE Approx 28cm (11in) from nose to tail. NOTES Q The templates are on the pattern sheet provided with this issue. Q Use a 5mm (¼in) seam allowance unless otherwise stated. Q As the legs, ears and antlers are sewn directly into the seams it is advisable to sew over the joins twice to make sure they are well secured and reduce the likelihood of them being pulled out.




Step one Trace and cut out all the template pieces. The templates include seam allowances where necessary and the arrows indicate the print direction for marking and cutting out. Mark the notches for matching pieces. Step two When the pattern specifies to cut two or more of a template, after marking out half of the pieces required, the template needs to be turned over to mark out the remaining half so that the pieces are cut as mirror images. Step three Using a water erasable pen or pencil draw out the pattern pieces onto the wrong side (WS) of the fabric and cut out the following: From Fabric A: Middle face – cut 1. Side face – cut 2. Front ear – cut 2. Back ear – cut 2. Back head – cut 2. Side body – cut 2. Leg – cut 4. Tail – cut 1. From Fabric B: Antler – cut 4. Hoof – cut 4. From Fabric C: Tummy – cut 1. Tail – cut 1. From Fabric D: Nose – cut 1.

Step one Place two mirror-image antler pieces right sides (RS) facing and sew together around the sides and top but leaving the bottom edge open for turning. Step two Clip the seam allowance at the corners and clip V-shaped notches around the curves. Step three Turn RS out and stuff, leaving the bottom 2cm (¾in) empty, and then tack across the end to close. Step four Repeat this to make the other antler in the same way. 01

MAKING THE EARS Step one Place one back ear and one front ear RS facing and sew together around the sides. Step two Clip V-shaped notches in the seam allowance around the curves and then turn the ear RS out. Step three Make a fold in the front ear to flatten it so it is the same width as the back ear then tack the fold into place. Step four Repeat this to make the opposite ear, but this time making the fold in the opposite direction to give two mirror-image ears. 02

MAKING THE FACE Step one With RS together sew the top of the nose to the bottom of the middle face. Step two Sew each side face piece to its corresponding side of the nose. 03

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Step three Close the dart at the top of the middle face with RS together. Step four Bring one side face and the middle face together so the dart in that side of the nose comes together, making sure that the seams line up. Sew from the nose upward to the top of the head. Step five Repeat this process for the other side of the face. Step six Close each of the small darts on both side face pieces. 04

ASSEMBLING THE HEAD Step one With the front of the ears against the RS of the face and with the fold in each ear facing away from the top of the head, tack the ears in position where they are marked on the side face template. Step two Tack the antlers in position in the same way so that the small fork is towards the centre of the head. 05 Step three Place the back head pieces with RS facing and sew them together along the back from the top down for approx 5cm (2in) just to join them together. 06 Step four With RS together, line up the dart at the top of the face with the central seam in the back head. From this top point, sew the face and back head together down one side. Return to the top point and sew the remaining side together. Sewing the seam in two parts in this

way is easier and will help to give you a more even finish. 07 Step five Sew the front of the face RS together, taking care not to sew into the seam allowance at the nose as this can cause puckering on the finished nose. 08 Step six Make the smallest holes possible through which to allow the shank of the eye in the side face pieces where marked. Fit the eyes in place according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When using thin fabric, it is advisable to fit a small square of felt or wadding over the shank of the eye before fitting the back to support the fabric around eye.

MAKING THE LEGS Step one Sew the top of a hoof to the bottom of a leg with RS together. Step two Fold the leg in half RS together and sew along the side and around the bottom of the hoof. Step three Clip the seam allowance at the corners and internal corner. Step four Turn the leg RS out and stuff, leaving 2cm (žin) at the top empty, and then tack the end closed. Step five Repeat this to make the remaining legs in the same way. 09

MAKING THE TAIL Step one Place the tail pieces RS facing and sew

together around the sides, leaving the end open. Turn RS out. Step two Lightly stuff the lower half of the tail only and tack the end closed. Step three Fold the tail in half and tack the fold into place. 10

ASSEMBLING THE BODY Step one With the legs against the RS of the side body pieces and making sure the leg seams are facing the back, tack the legs in position where marked on the templates. Step two Tack the tail to one of the side body pieces in the same way. 11 Step three Sew a side body piece to its corresponding side of the tummy piece with RS together, taking care to align the markers. Step four Repeat this on the other side. 12

JOINING THE HEAD TO THE BODY Step one With RS together, close the dart in the top of the tummy, tapering the end. Step two Sew the head to the body with the pieces RS together. 13 Step three With RS together, sew the back of the head fully closed finishing the seam just below the neck seam on the side body. Step four Close the back of the body so that the tail is fully sewn into the seam but leaving an opening in the back of the body. 14 Step five Turn the reindeer RS out and stuff.


r ind r toy 13






ADDING THE DETAILS Step one Embroider a mouth using black stranded cotton. 15 Step two If necessary, some internal shaping can be sewn between the eyes to pull them inwards a little. Bring the needle out at the inside of one eye, securing the thread with a few small stitches, and then take the needle through the face to the other eye, back to the first eye and then back again to the second. Don’t make the shaping stitches too small. Step three Pull lightly on the thread to draw the eyes together slightly, giving the face a little more character. Step four Secure the thread, take the needle back into the head and out again at any point and then snip away the excess. 16 Step five To hold the antlers into more of an upright position stitch them to the middle face about 5mm (Ÿin) out from the seam. 17 18 Step six Adjust any filling that has become disturbed and close the opening in the back using ladder stitch or similar.

If Rudolph is your reindeer of choice, raid your stash for a scrap of bright red fabric for the nose.

See Jo Carter sewing her soft toys live on air on Sewing Quarter on Freeview channel 78, at www.sewingquarter. com or com/sewingquarter


show us yours with #simplysewingmag


Christmas Countdown A B Your essential guide for festive sewing shopping, from trusted suppliers!

























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An Extensive range of fabrics, wool, haberdashery, craft kits and workshops. New to London. 0203 5810909

An independent sewing store in Chapeltown, Sheffield, stocking a range of fabrics, including Michael Miller, Riley Blake and Tula Pink.





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Bright, friendly shop for all sewers, selling patterns, fabric and notions. Sewing classes for all ages and abilities from an experienced dressmaker. facebook/Romyssewingrooms/

Supplier of patchwork fabrics, threads, waddings and notions. Keep up with events on Facebook! 01903 230008 FB/Chalk-Hill-Blue-Fabrics

Stockists of Makower, Robert Kaufman, Clothworks and Windham, ribbons, haberdashery, sewing goods and classes.

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Chris Gibson: 0117 300 8108 or Jordana Widt: 0117 300 8539

STITCH y r a r b li

cut out & Keep

Add a new tote bag to your collection stitched with intricate stars by following Mollie Johansonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s laid stitch tutorial.

No_ 07 Laid StiTch







Q Linen fabric: 33x66cm (13x26in), bag front and back Q Cotton fabric: 50x70cm (20x28in), bag bottom and lining Q Cotton wadding: 40x70cm (16x28in) Q Stranded cotton Q Bag handles: one pair approx 65cm (25in) in length Q Basic sewing kit NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Q The template is on the pattern sheet provided with this issue.




Step one Create a grid of long straight stitches. Work all the horizontal lines first then all the vertical lines across them. They can be positioned as close or as far apart as you like, and they can be straight or on the diagonal. 01 Step two Make a small cross stitch at each point of the grid where the lines intersect. The cross can be large or small, or in a second colour if you prefer. Make sure that all of the cross stitches are worked in the same direction. 02

Step one Place one bag bottom RS facing along the lower edge of the stitched front and stitch together then press the seams open. Step two Repeat this to stitch the other bag bottom RS facing across the lower edge of the bag back. 03 Step three Place one piece of lining fabric RS up on top of one piece of wadding and quilt together in vertical lines for a quilted lining. Step four Repeat this with the other piece of lining fabric and wadding. Step five Place one quilted lining RS together with the bag outer front then stitch together across the top edge. 04 Step six Repeat this with the other quilted lining and bag back. Step seven Pin the two bag outers RS together and the two linings RS together. Step eight Stitch together all the way around but leaving a 10cm (4in) turning gap in the centre of the bottom edge of the lining. 05 Step nine Trim the corners and turn the bag RS out. Slip stitch the opening closed then push the lining inside the bag.

CUTTING THE FABRIC Step one Cut the linen fabric into two pieces, each measuring 33x33cm (13x13in). Step two Cut the cotton fabric as follows: Bag bottom: two pieces 9x33cm (35⁄8x13in). Bag lining: two pieces 40x33cm (15¾x13in). Step three Cut the wadding into two pieces, each measuring 40x33cm (15¾x13in).

STITCHING THE DESIGN Step one Trace over the template then place the bag front right sides (RS) up on top so that the stars are positioned centrally across and 5cm (2in) up from the bottom edge. Step two Fill the large stars with laid stitch using three strands of aqua stranded cotton. Step three Work the outlines for the large stars and smaller stars in backstitch using three strands of teal stranded cotton.



FINISHING OFF Step one Work a running stitch by hand around the top edge of the bag. Step two Sew the handles onto the bag, spacing and aligning them evenly. 06



Every issue, our sewists present classic projects and techniques.



What’s lovely about the humble button is that it can not only be used as a fastening for accessories, garments and cushions, but also decoratively to embellish projects and designs, as we have here.





BUTTON TYPES Buttons come in all shapes, sizes and finishes and are made from a mix of different materials such as plastic, metal, wood, bone, acrylic and mother of pearl. Buttons can be bought singly or in multiple packs and these are the most common types of buttons you’ll be familiar with. TWO-HOLE BUTTONS These are flat buttons with two small holes in the centre to sew through, and are ideal for garments made from lightweight fabrics. FOUR-HOLE BUTTONS These tend to be used on garments made from thicker fabric. A series of stitches worked over four holes plus the addition of a thread shank allows thicker fabric to be easily fastened. SHANK BUTTONS These buttons have no visible sewing holes on the surface. Instead, they have a shank on the back which can be either a loop or a short post with a hole. This shank allows the button to sit proud from the fabric’s surface. SELF-COVERED BUTTONS These are plastic or metal domed buttons which you can cover with fabric of your choice to match your project or in a contrasting fabric. TIPS FOR SEWING BUTTONS It may seem simple to sew on a button but we have a few hints and tips to help you perfect your skills! QPlastic and acrylic buttons can melt against a hot iron, so press carefully around them. QFor garments, where button spacing is important, take time to measure and mark button positioning. If a button needs replacing, it’s likely you’ll see traces of the original stitches which you can use for positioning. QLine up and keep the position of each two-hole button the same. The holes will sit either vertically or horizontally and this will help to create a professional finish. QSecuring a four-hole button to a garment with a series of cross stitches creates a bulkier finish, and will have the tendency to fray. Instead, work two parallel stitches over the holes. QIf you choose to use a knot to start your thread, make sure it’s extra secure by working a couple of little stitches next to the knot before stitching the


button in place. To finish the thread, weave it through the reverse of the stitches. QUpcycle a jumper, cardigan or shirt by changing or even adding new buttons. You’ll be amazed at how it will refresh an old favourite. HOW TO SEW ON A BUTTON Buttons which don’t require a thread shank can simply be sewn as shown here. The top two buttons show two ways of securing a two-hole button. The knotted thread adds a decorative finish, which suits craft projects perfectly. The next two buttons show two ways of sewing on a fourhole button, either with two parallel stitches or a decorative cross stitch. Next is a shank button, which is secured with a series of stitches worked through the button shank on the back of the button. At the bottom is a self-covered button, also with a shank which is secured in the same way. 01 STARTING OFF Step one The neatest way to start your sewing thread is with a loop knot. Cut a length of sewing cotton of about 40cm (16in) and fold it in half to make a loop at one end. Step two Thread the two tail ends through the

needle. In position, and keeping the loop on the fabric’s surface, pass the needle down and back up through the fabric, picking up a small amount of fabric as you go. Step three Pass the needle through the loop and pull to secure. 02 MAKING A THREAD SHANK This method for sewing on a flat button is perfect for thicker fabrics where space is needed between the fabric and the button for fastening. Step one Thread a button onto your needle. Place a matchstick on top of the button, between the holes, and sew the button into place by coming up in one hole and down through the next. The matchstick creates a gap between the button and the sewn thread, which will be used for the shank. Step two Work five or six stitches, passing over the matchstick, and bring the thread up to the fabric’s surface from beneath the button. 03 Step three Remove the matchstick and, lifting the button away from the fabric’s surface, wrap the sewing thread around the stitches, four or five times to create a shank. 04 Step four Take the thread back down through the fabric and weave it through the stitches to secure.


make a cushion cover 01






YOU WILL NEED QLinen fabric: 60x70cm (24x28in) QCushion pad: 30x30cm (12x12in) QStranded cotton Q20 buttons: in a mix of different sizes and finishes QTissue paper QMatching thread QBasic sewing kit NOTES QUse a 2cm (¾in) seam allowance. QDownload the template from www.

CUTTING OUT Step one Cut the linen fabric as follows: Cushion front: 34x34cm (133⁄8x133⁄8in). Cushion back: two pieces 26x34cm (10¼x133⁄8in). TRANSFERRING THE DESIGN Step one Work a machine zigzag around the edges of the cushion front fabric piece to stop fraying. Step two Download and trace the template onto a sheet of tissue paper. Step three Place this on top of the right side (RS) of the cushion front fabric, positioning it centrally across and so that the end of the stems are 2cm (¾in) up from the bottom edge. Pin into place. Step four Work a tacking stitch along the design outlines using white sewing thread. 01 Step five Once complete, carefully tear the tissue paper away to just leave the tacking stitches. STITCHING THE DESIGN Step one Stitch over the tacked lines in back stitch using three strands of stranded cotton. Keep the stitches all the same length. 02 Step two When you stitch the stem, use the grain of the linen fabric to create a true vertical as this may be slightly off from your tacking stitches.

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ADDING THE BUTTONS Step one Decide which buttons you’d like where. We’ve used a mix of pearly shirt buttons and mother of pearl, in a mix of two and four-hole. Step two Stitch each button in place with two strands of cotton. Start each button with a new thread, and finish by weaving it through the back of your stitches on the reverse. 03 MAKING THE CUSHION COVER Step one Once the design is complete, remove any visible tacking stitches. Step two Finish one of the long edges of one cushion back piece to prevent it from fraying. Fold this edge under 2cm (¾in) to the wrong side (WS) then pin and machine stitch to hem. Step three Repeat with the other back piece. Step four Place the stitched cushion front RS up with the cushion back pieces RS down on top so the raw edges match then pin together. 04 Step five Stitch the front and back pieces together all the way around the edges. 05 Step six Clip the corners to reduce bulk then turn RS out, easing out the corners. Press, taking care to avoid the buttons or covering them with a cloth. 06 Step seven Insert the cushion pad to finish.



Back IssUes

IssUe 36

Sew a ruffle party dress, quick-sew gifts for all the family and on-trend decorations for Christmas.

IssUe 35

Start making for Christmas with a Tilda stocking, gift ideas, advent bunting and 6 new looks for you.



IssUe 34

Sew the Adele Dress, Lara Set and Overnight Bag, make a child’s bedroom set and try embroidery.

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IssUe 33

Make floral bedroom accessories, a kimono-style top, asymmetric tee, clutch bag and baby bibs.

IssUe 32

Sew statement sleeves, an asymmetric dress, maternitywear, baby gifts and kitchen makes.

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PinKing SheArs These cut a zigzag edge on fabric to neaten.

nd essential information, useful stitches and key sewing techniques on these pages.

MarKing pen Transfer markings to your fabric, then wash them out when finished.

Tape MeaSure


A flexible fabric tape measure will take accurate measurements.

Stainless steel pins with sharp points are best.

SheArs Keep a pair of sharp shears just for cutting out your fabric.

FabRic CliPs Use these instead of pins when sewing thicker fabrics.

MarKing PenCil Choose a colour that shows up on your fabric.

SmaLl SciSsors Use for snipping threads and cutting notches.

TaiLoRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ChaLks Chalk temporarily marks fabric and can be easily brushed away.

ThiMble Wear to protect your fingers when handstitching.

Seam RipPer This sharp blade cuts through and unpicks stitches.



HOW TO MEASURE YOURSELF ACCURATELY ALWAYS MEASURE YOURSELF BEFORE you choose a pattern size to cut out. The sizes do vary greatly from pattern to pattern, so it’s always best to measure yourself accurately and then refer to the pattern’s size chart to find your size. The chart will usually be printed on the pattern envelope or on the instructions inside. Measure yourself in your underwear and preferably in the bra you’ll be wearing underneath

your garment as this can alter the measurements slightly. Use a fabric tape measure as it’ll curve around your body well for accuracy. You can measure on your own if you stand in front of a mirror, but, for best results, ask a friend to help so they can check the tape measure is sitting in the right places. Make sure the tape measure sits snugly around you but is not pulled tight. Take the measurements shown in the diagram and note them down.


Preparing your fabric and cutting out your sewing pattern accurately is just as important as the actual sewing. Wash your fabric before you begin as fabric can shrink and run. Once dry, press it well.

PREPARING THE PATTERN Patterns often come with several options of different finishes so you may have more pieces than you need. The instruction sheet will tell you which pieces to use. Roughly cut out all of the pieces outside the lines then press the pieces using a dry iron on a low heat to remove the folds and creases. CUTTING OUT THE PATTERN Choose your size using your measurements and the size chart. Cut along the corresponding lines on your pattern. When you reach any fiddly curves, take care to cut along the correct size lines. CUTTING LAYOUTS Choose the correct one for the width of fabric you’re using, the


size you’re cutting and the style of garment. Many patterns have more than one option (or view) and each one can have a different layout.

CUTTING OUT Lay your fabric flat and smooth it out. Fold or place the fabric as shown on the cutting layout. Lay the pattern pieces in the order and right side or wrong side up as shown. Check to make sure that the grainlines on the pattern are parallel with the selvedges by measuring. Pin your pattern pieces carefully in place and cut around them through the fabric using a pair of dressmaker’s shears. TRANSFERRING MARKINGS The markings on the pattern pieces need to be transferred to the fabric. They’re really important for matching up fabric pieces later and for positioning elements such as darts and pockets. You can mark these with chalk, fabric markers, snips on the fabric, or with small tacking stitches.

Back WaiSt LenGth From the top of your spine at the base of your neck to your natural waist

HeiGhT Stand against a wall, barefoot, then measure from the top of your head to the floor

High Bust/CheSt Across the back, under your arms and above the bust

Bust Around the fullest part of your bust

WaiSt Your natural waistline, around the slimmest part of your waist

Hips Around the fullest and widest part of your thighs and bottom


Pleats: These lines are matched Arrows: Grainline arrows are used up to create pleats on the cut to show which direction to pin the out fabric pieces. pattern on the fabric. The grainline runs parallel to the fabric edge.

Darts: These lines are for matching up to create darts within the fabric pieces.

Notches: Shown as triangles or small lines, these are marked on the edges and are mainly used for matching up pattern pieces.


IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE the correct fabric for your pattern. Most patterns give suggested fabric types that will work best with the style of garment. Use this to guide you as some patterns need more drape, body or structure than others. Fabric can be made from natural fibres such as cotton, linen, wool and silk or synthetic fibres such as acetate, acrylic, nylon, polyester, rayon and viscose. All these fabric come in different weights, or thicknesses, which suit different garments. Lightweight fabrics are ideal for lingerie, nightwear and summer clothing, and include cheesecloth, chiffon, crepe-de-chine, georgette, lawn, muslin, organdie, organza and voile. Medium-weight fabrics, which work for dresses, shirts, trousers and childrenswear, include calico, cotton, crepe, dupion, linen, poplin and finer wool. Heavy-weight fabrics are used for garments or projects needing more strength, like coats, jackets, winter wear and bags. Canvas, corduroy, denim, tweeds, velvet and wool are all in this category. Some patterns require fabrics that are quite fluid and have a good drape to make them hang properly, such as a circle skirt or blouse. Synthetic or synthetic mix fabrics such as rayon, challis, chiffon or lightweight jersey have a better drape to them. Stretch and knit fabrics such as jersey and lycra are virtually crease free and comfortable to wear. They

can be bought in a variety of thicknesses and qualities depending on their use but are ideal for sportswear and casual clothing. Interfacing gives an extra layer of support to your fabric – for example, to stiffen facings and collars. Choose an interfacing that’s slightly lighter than your main fabric, and if you’re using a fusible (iron-on) option then always test it on a scrap of the fabric first as it can melt if the iron is too hot. Interfacing is available in different weights and as an iron-on (fusible) or sew-in version. With fusible interfacing, press the shiny side to the wrong side of your fabric. Tack sew-in interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric pieces around the edges. If you’re buying fabric off a roll (or bolt) then you’ll usually buy it by the metre. This is only the length of the fabric you’re buying – the width depends on the width of the roll. Fabrics are sold in standard widths, which vary according to their purpose – for example, dressmaking or quilting fabric generally comes in standard widths of 112cm (44in) or 150cm (60in). Curtain or soft furnishing fabric is normally 137cm (54in) wide and is really useful for bags and aprons as it’s thicker and stronger than dressmaking fabrics. The fabric requirements on the pattern instructions will tell you what length of fabric to buy, usually with two width choices. Some patterns, such as large circle skirts, can only be cut from the wider fabrics.


There are many different needle types and they vary by the shape of the point, eye and shaft thickness. Choose the correct one for smooth stitching.

UniVeRsal A great multi-purpose needle which can be used for woven fabrics and has a slightly rounded point for stitching knit fabrics, too.

ShaRps With a sharp point, these are for sewing very fine and delicate fabrics and neat buttonholes.

QuiLting This will pierce multiple layers whilst keeping straight stitches so it is ideal for patchwork and machine quilting.

LeaTher Ball PoiNt This needle has a more rounded point than the universal needle so you won’t get snags, ladders or holes. Perfect for knit fabrics.

This needle’s wedge-shaped cutting point is used to work strong seams on non-woven fabrics like leather, suede and vinyl.

StrEtch JeaNs A strong needle, ideal for stitching several layers of fabric or tightly woven fabrics like denims.

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Designed for sewing two-way stretch knits such as lycra and silk jersey. It prevents skipped stitches on fine knit fabrics.

ONCE YOU HAVE FINISHED stitching your seam, it’s best to press it open on the wrong side so it lies flat. Sometimes it’s better to press it to one side to reduce bulk but the pattern instructions will tell you this. Usually the seam allowances are left as they are as they help to strengthen the seam, but sometimes they cause too much bulk so they are trimmed to half their original width. If your fabric has a tendency to fray you should neaten the raw edges after you have worked the seam. There are several ways of doing this. To machine-finish them, set your sewing machine to the zigzag stitch then stitch close to the raw edge all the way along. The zigzag must be small enough to stop the fabric from fraying but large enough to enclose the bulk of the fabric. Practise a few lengths and widths before you begin. Alternatively, you can trim the raw fabric edges with a pair of pinking shears. If you have an overlocker then you can stitch, cut and finish the seams all in one process.





















TopStItch This has an extra-sharp point and eye, so thicker topstitching thread can be used. It’s perfect for straight stitching with thicker threads on any type of fabric.

Twin Used for parallel rows of stitching such as pintucks and hems.

Lightweight fabrics Medium weight fabrics Medium weight fabrics Medium weight fabrics Heavy weight fabrics Upholstery fabrics/denim Heavy canvas




A term used to describe the way a fabric hangs under its own weight. Different fabrics have different drape qualities.

Ease The addition of extra fabric in a pattern to allow the finished garment to fit the body well.

in sewing such as zips, fasteners, lace and buttons.

A row of stitching on the very edge of a garment, usually 2-3mm (1⁄16-1⁄8in) from the folded or seamed edge. Used to hold the fabric edge neatly in place.

The fabric between the raw or cut edge of the fabric and the seam is called the seam allowance. Your pattern will tell you the required seam allowance measurement. This is usually 1.5cm (5⁄8in) for dressmaking, but can vary.

FacIng This pattern piece is cut separately to stabilise and create a neat finish on the edge of a garment, such as the neckline.

fat QuaRter A term used to describe a cut piece of fabric often used for patchwork projects, usually measuring 46x55cm (18x22in).

FinIsHing/NeaTeNing raw EdgEs This is done to stop the fabric edges, particularly of a seam, from fraying. It can be done by machine zigzag stitch, using an overlocker or trimming the raw edge with pinking shears.

GraIn/GraInLine The lengthwise fabric grain, running parallel to the selvedge.

nap Fabrics like velvet, corduroy and fur have hairs or loops which all lie in one direction and are called the nap, or pile. When cutting out pattern pieces make sure the grainline arrow always runs in the direction of the nap.

NotIons Small tools or accessories used

Use these basic hand stitches to complete your home and dressmaking projects.

RigHt Side (rs) / WroNg Side (ws) The right side of the fabric, also called the ‘public’ side, has the design on it. The wrong side is the other side – this is usually a little duller or faded on plain fabrics.

Seam AllOwAnce EdgEsTitCh



For a full glossary of sewing terms visit

SelVedge The finished woven edge of fabric, often with the fabric name printed on it. The grain runs parallel to this and the bias diagonally. Called selvage in the US.

StaYsTitChing A line of regular machine stitching usually worked 3mm (1⁄8in) inside the seam line, often used to stabilise curved edges to stop them stretching out of shape.

Tack/TacKing A line of temporary stitching used to hold fabric pieces together before machine sewing, worked in the same way as running stitch. Known as basting in the U.S.

LadDer StiTch Used to join together and close 2 3 5 two turned-under edges invisibly, such as on a dress lining or soft 1 toy. Bring the needle up at 1 on 4 one side of the seam, then in at 2 on the opposite side and out at 3, so the stitch is 3mm (1⁄8in) long. Push the needle back in the opposite side at 4 and out at 5. Repeat this to close the edges.

Slip StiTch This stitch is used most often for hems where you need to stitch 3 2 a turned-under edge to a flat 1 piece of fabric using small, almost invisible stitches. Bring the needle up at 1 on the turned-under hem then back in at 2 and out at 3. Make this horizontal stitch as small as possible so it can’t be seen from the front. Repeat this by making a vertical stitch back into the turned-under edge then continue in this way to complete the hem.

Whip StiTch Whipstitch is used to join the edges of two fabrics together, such as felt and other fabrics that don’t fray. With the right sides 2 1 together, bring your needle out at 1 on the front of the fabric, then over to the back of the other, and through and out at 2. Continue to work small stitches close together over the top of the two fabric edges.

TopStItcHing A line of stitching worked 5mm (¼in) from the folded or seam edge. Used to hold the seam in place and as a decorative finish.

UndErStiTcHing A line of stitching worked through the facing and seam allowance 3mm (1⁄8in) from the seam to stop the facing rolling to the outside of the garment. Understitching will not be visible on the outside.

RunNing StiTch This can be used to gather fabric and as a decorative stitch worked around the edge of a finished 4 3 2 1 project. Bring the needle out at 1, in at 2, then out at 3 and in at 4, and so on. Make the length of the stitches the same length as the gaps between them for an even finish. You can work several running stitches on your needle at once.

Jersey wrap dress Ballerina doll Cork clutch Laundry basket Raindrop cushion Denim skirt Dog doorstop Snuggly cowl And more...

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my favourite thing

evolution of style Makery's Portia Lawrie shares the cosy wool coat that marked a turning point in her dressmaking journey.

"CHOOSING MY FAVOURITE handmade item was HARD. There are lots of makes I love for lots of different reasons. In the end, I opted for this coat, and here’s why I love it so. Firstly, let’s talk fabric. This piece was made from the most delicious felted wool from Dragonfly Fabrics – possibly the most luxurious fabric I’ve worked with to date. Quality fabrics are a must for me, both to work with and in terms of the quality of the finished garment. The lining is an equally delicious black dot satin viscose from The Splendid Stitch, and the pattern is from Burda. Don’t let the simple silhouette of this coat fool you – there are some interesting and non-standard seaming details going on in there. In making this coat, I came to realise


that my skills and knowledge had grown to an extent that, actually, I didn’t need the handholding instructions I once did. It kind of marks my evolution as a dressmaker. Lastly, the style. I spent a lot of time when I first started sewing making garments that really weren’t me. It took time for me to work out 'my style' and what I felt comfortable in. In fact, it took me a while to connect the dots and realise that I had the power to finally have a wardrobe that fits my style, lifestyle and truly expressed my personality. This coat has seen lots of wear and I get compliments whenever I wear it. It feels and looks like a quality garment, because it is. And the best part of it is, I made it! Nothing beats that." See more at

n i y a t S ! h c u o t


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IssUe 37





striBACK pe top (Cut one on fold)

striFRONT pe top (Cut one on fold)


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