Page 1

NriZeS!* I W500 P

sew CloThes + Toys for Kids!


e! Make m




holiday in SizEs 6-20


Win th e set!


HOW TO: Master 9 hand stitches Cover a deckchair Reverse appliqué Sew a maxi skirt

Space to create With an extra-large 210mm (8.3�) of working space to the right of the needle any quilting or large sewing project can be handled easily. Our Square Feed Drive System (SFDS) ensures smooth uniform handling on all types of fabric. Packed with useful features and a huge variety of stitches, Brothers new long-arm range is the ideal choice.

1100 A powerful and versatile machine to meet demanding es sewing needs from dress making to quilting. Include 140 stitches, 10 button hole styles, 5 lettering styles and an automatic thread cutter.

1300 Includes all the great features of the 1100 plus 182 stitches, upper and lower case lettering, fully automatic thread tension and multi-directional sewing for large decorative stitches.

1800 0Q Includes an extra large wide table, 232 stitches as well as our ICAPs system to ensure uniform stitching across varying fabric thicknesses, and the useful pivot function allowing the fabric to be turned while the needle is down

FRESH IDEAS WITH FABRIC If there’s a handmade alternative, we’ll make it. Whether it’s for our wardrobe or our home, we love nothing more than lovingly sewing (and proudly displaying!) our precious me-mades. From pincushions to maxi dresses, we’ve crammed this issue with heaps of projects for every ability. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’ve just started out – we’d love to see what you make from this month’s selection! Tag your photos using #simplysewingmag

gan ew a sloga p p2 banner, 2 ISSUE NINETEEN



Make Cottn Chalk’s Olivia D+ress ith two styles o , chose from, p34

*Paper gifts not available with digital editions


grEat pAtterNs foR you

Meet The dEsigneR BehinD bryOny aNd co



how To... 55 WORKSHOP: LAZY DAISY STITCH Master the stitch and embroider delicate wild flowers



Learn the technique and sew a reverse


appliqué cushion

Tips, te


and a g


91 T Boy’s box g

93 SE

e w a ro arsom e dino softie, p83

My seWing Space For me, prettifyingg my sewing space iss an important part m of my hobby. From my beloved button tins to stacked fabrric shelving, g, I’m all about showcasing my beautiful finds. Spruce up your space with pretty handmade accessories (p22) – or enter our competition to win the set! After all, there are lots of other makes to be getting along with such as The Betty Blousee (p40) and The Olivia Dresss (p34) your two free patterns this issue.* Enjoy!

57 two GivEaWays toWin £250 EntEr TodAy! INPRINT fabrics + Bryony and Co dresses worth £250, p15


Charlie Moorby, Editor

ps: get 5 IssUes for £5 when you subscribe (see p38)


goOd readS & ideaS 9 PINBOARD: Ideas, events, new fabric 15 WIN: £250 INPRINT FABRICS AND £250 BRYONY AND CO DRESSES





*Paper gifts not available with digital editions


CONTRIBUTORS Huge thanks to these talented folk..



Call 0117 300 8206 SENIOR ADVERTISING MANAGER Penny Stokes SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Tiffany Jackson, Beckie Pring

“After 20 years, we’re still finding new ways to be creative!”




Paul Torre, Karen Flannigan, Corinne Mellerup

Designer and craft author Kirsty Hartley designs colourful fabric prints and playful childrenswear and accessories in the UK, and is the designer behind popular children’s clothing label, Wild Things. Find her sunny boy’s shirt on page 68.

Designer-makers Amanda and Juliet are the duo behind R&B Designs. The pair have been working in the creative industry for over 20 years and write for a number of craft titles. Turn to page 61 for their hand-printed deckchair cover project.


le imagery ed by simpd 1970s.” ir sp in m “I’ 60s an from the 19




FRONTLINE Call +44 (0)1733 555161

“Fond childhood memories inspire my clothing collections.”

“I love encouraging young people to try sewin g clothing.”



Growing up on a North Yorkshire farm, Bryony is inspired by the idyll of a countryside childhood, and the desire for nostalgia feeds Bryony’s imagination as she designs the Bryony and Co clothing collections and books. Step into the storybook world of Bryony and Co on page 44.

Angela is the talented sewist who makes our Cotton + Chalk sample garments (p34). She’s always enjoyed making clothes for herself and her family. She’s been able to focus more on sewing since retiring from the NHS, selling at exhibitions and shows as well as taking commissions.



THURSDAY 11TH AUGUST 2016 No gift included? Ask your newsagent. Covergift may be unavailable overseas.

OTHER CONTRIBUTORS Amy Butler, Jo Carter, Samantha Claridge, DaWanda DIY, Leah Duncan, Jessica Entwistle, Jennie Jones, Kajsa Kinsella, Portia Lawrie, The New Craft House, Sarah Waterhouse Special thanks to: Sarah Malone


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 14 July - 18 August 2016


Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited (company number 05715415) is registered in England and Wales. The registered oice 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.

Fabulous fabrics and friendly sewing classes in Leicestershire 15% off fabrics – enter SIMPLY15 at checkout

16-18 September 2016 The Green at Hampton Court Palace Quote SEWING3 when booking for an exclusive Q&A with Annie Sloan on Sunday morning. Plus, join Cath Kidston, Fiona Cairns, Liz Earle, Mr X Stitch and more. Learn a new skill, shop for unique handmade products and tickle your tastebuds with delicious food and drink in the ultimate crafting day out.

Save £3

and get an exclusive

Q&A with Annie Sloan! Book by 15th August quoting


Book tickets at In association with

The Handmade Fair

Official partners


The Handmade Fair


OFFER DETAILS: Q&A offer applies to Full Experience tickets purchased for Sun 18th September only. Tickets cost £29 + BF (usually £32 + BF). Max 500 tickets available, offer closes 15.08. 2016 or when sold out. Q&A takes place at The Handmade Fair at 10.15am on Sun 18th September. For Fri & Sat tickets, quote SEWING29 to get Full Experience tickets for £29 + BF (usually £32 + BF). A full selection of ticket types is available from









SARTORIAL SAFARI Step into Bryony and Co’s storybook world and follow the adventures of a little girl called Poppy and her dog Fred through charming illustrations by eponymous designer Bryony, which adorn gorgeous garments for both mother and child to wear. Find out what inspires Bryony’s designs on page 44, and turn to page 15 for your chance to win a matching Bryony and Co mother-and-daughter set worth £250. Beatrice dress, £148.95. Subscribe at


TOWithTHEtheMOON weather W

SevEnth HeaVen After working in the apparel industry for many years, Peggy Mead decided to get back to what inspires her: sewing. Her indie pattern label, Sew House Seven, is all about flattering, easy-to-wear designs, like the Tea House Dress and Top, for sewists of all skill levels to try and learn from. Approx £10 for a printed pattern.

A TASTE FOR THE EXOTIC Liberty takes us on a cross-continental journey of fabric discovery with its beautiful new collection, The Silk Road. Inspired by Liberty’s Oriental beginnings and Western influences, the range blends traditional designs with a contemporary aesthetic. Prints include Ottoman paisleys, Chinese brocades, mirage mosaics, intricate Indian laces, delicate Oriental florals and woven ikats, with colour palettes ranging from bold jewel brights to soft blues and pinks. It’s a riot of pattern and colour, and we want it all! See the full range at


hotting up, kids need cool clothes that they can run around in the sun in! They’ll love the Moon Pants pattern by Made by Rae, with a roomy fit and elastic waistband and cuffs, perfect for playing, running and adventuring! Stitch up in a bright, light fabric to make a pair of fun harem-style summer trousers, or in a cosy knit for the cooler weather. A must-have for every child’s wardrobe! £6.95. www.back

tips & tricks



ot Liberty lawn fabric in your stash but too nervous to cut into it? Designer of The Betty Blouse (page 40), Rosee Woodland, offers her top tips: “I have a variety of pins to suit different fabrics – fine pins, used within the seam allowances, are best for Liberty lawns. It can be tricky to tell the right and wrong sides of lawn apart as the dye really sinks through the fabric, so put a small bit of masking tape on the wrong side of each piece to remind you.”


The talented class of 2016 in the show’s enviable haberdashery.



few of our favourite Bees from the Great British Sewing Bee series four share the stitching tips they learned on the show.

All photos: BBC/Love Productions/Charlotte Medlicott

RUMANA: “The best tip was definitely to press. Press. Press, and press again! Press as you go along – Patrick would tell us this until he was blue in the face, not that I listened to it much in the panic of the sewing room! But it’s one I now try to follow when I’m sewing at home. Pressing gives a garment that ‘finished’ look.” DUNCAN: “If I ever have to do a patternmatched chevron bias-cut top again (hopefully not!), then Joyce’s tip on the show was helpful – cut one piece, then use that as your template for the matching piece, rather than trying to line up the paper pattern piece. The others have also inspired me to become far less of a sewing-procrastinator! It’s amazing how quickly you can make a garment if you don’t overthink it.” TRACEY: “The main thing I learned was to slow down! I always sewed very quickly as a result of having to rush when my children were small to get the table cleared, so my would quality sometimes let me down. Now my mantra is to take it slowly and do it right.” Subscribe at

Joyce in action at the cutting table!

JADE: “My biggest tip would be to be openminded about sewing – and to never say that you can’t achieve something, because you can!” ANGELINE: “Always ask for help! The internet is a great place to share tips and seek advice. On the Sewing Bee I was surrounded by so many experienced and wonderful sewists – the discussion around the dinner table always ended in sewing techniques!” JOYCE: “The best sewing tip I picked up from The Great British Sewing Bee is to focus and carefully plan each stage of making a garment before working steadily towards completion – and to always, always press at every stage.” Missed the series? Catch up on BBC iPlayer. For more Great British Sewing Bee news and interviews, projects inspired by the show, free pattern downloads and technical advice, go to

LINGERIE DESIGN Pamela Powell (Laurence King, £40) Learn how to design and construct your own lingerie, sleepwear and foundation garments with step-by-step instructions by Pamela Powell, which cover creating and manipulating basic blocks, adding embellishments and working with speciality fabrics.

NO PATTERNS NEEDED Rosie Martin (Laurence King, £17.95) Sew a new wardobe with Rosie Martin’s patternless method, which uses a circle, rectangle or triangle of fabric and basic measurements.

THE SIMPLE SIMON GUIDE TO PATCHWORK QUILTING Liz Evans and Elizabeth Evans (Fons & Porter, £14.99) Two bloggers share eight quilt project blocks, from simple to intermediate designs.

FASHION DRAWING Michele Wesen Bryant (Laurence King, £38) This guide shows you how to draw figures in a variety of poses. A useful resource for both fashion students and home sewists looking to give their sketches a professional look. WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 11

JOIN THE CLUB The latest pattern W

collection by Munichbased indie label, Schnittchen, has seven modern, wearable styles to sew. We love the Rose Dress, a relaxed, summery style with a bateau neckline and big patch pockets. Join the Schnittchen Club to share what you’ve made with their patterns (and get a discount on your next order, too!). Approx £9 per printed pattern, £5 for a pdf. www.

it’s a GroOve ThiNg Made It Patterns is the brainchild of two crafty designers passionate about sewing childrenswear. Their latest pattern is the Groove Dress, a super-comfy swing dress designed to be sewn up in knit fabrics, with five neckline options, long or short sleeves, and a straight or high-low hemline. This versatile dress can be made in child, teen and adult sizes (the teen size comes free with the child or adult pattern), so everyone in the family can get their Groove on! £7.95 for a pdf pattern.

3 of the best PINEAPPLE POP We’re off to the tropics (or at least pretending we are!) with these sunny pineapple motif style and home picks. 1. These colour-pop tea towels are hand-printed with geometric pineapple motifs using eco-friendly inks. Approx £12 each. www 2. Get happy feet with a pair of handmade espadrilles with a fun retro vibe by GBSB illustrator Suzie London. £65.


3. These comfy printed joggers deserve to be seen, so don’t just save them for the sofa or gym! Approx £34. www.mamatum



ewing patterns and notions are too pretty to stash away in a box, so put your faves on display to inspire your projects on this quirky wire noticeboard. £56.

Pinboard Sew-on patches Update a garment from your wardrobe with these on-trend sew-on patches.

Your Free Pull-out


Making professional-looking homemade garments is all about the fit and finish, so we’ve put together an essential pull-out guide for you to keep in your sewing room and refer to while you’re stitching. Learn how to take measurements, alter sewing patterns, pattern-match printed fabrics and more!

LIFE IN MINIATURE Illustrator Elena is inspired by everyday life, as shown by these patches featuring tiny lollies and mugs. £1.50 each. IN BLOOM Spread the love with this pretty inspirational design perfect for jazzing up a plain jacket. £5. www.ohno

out & about

Heart to hEart The mindfulness trend has had us all reaching for our colouring books and pencils, but, naturally, we prefer to get creative with a needle and thread, so we’re loving these sweet embroidery kits by Little Hungarian Hearts. They’re created by experienced embroiderers in Hungary who are passionate about preserving this traditional craft. £8 each. Sewing to soothe the soul, calm the mind and create something pretty. Sounds good to us!

SKILLS, SHOWS & EVENTS 23 JULY-2 OCTOBER 2016 Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe. Buckingham Palace, London. The second in a series of three exhibitions featuring over 150 outfits worn by The Queen.

NAILED IT Let everyone know you’re a manicure maven with this bright nail polish patch in cheerful hues. £4 each. www.lemon


WHAT A GEM Who needs real gemstones when you’ve got this gorgeous handembroidered gem? £22. www.shiny fabulousdarling.

Decades of Youth. Abbey House Museum, Leeds. Through objects, photos and films, explore local youth culture and fashion from the 1940s to the Noughties.

11-14 AUGUST 2016 The Festival of Quilts. NEC Birmingham. A celebration of quilting with over 300 exhibitors and more than 700 quilts on display.

16-18 SEPTEMBER 2016 The Handmade Fair. Hampton Court Palace. One of the biggest craft events of the year with workshops, stalls and talks from the likes of Patrick Grant.

Subscribe at

ALADDIN SANE Unleash your inner rockstar and pay homage to Bowie with this lightning bolt patch in silk and felt. £8. www.


TAILORING IN THE 1910S Although style has changed a great deal since then, there are plenty of ways we can add a touch of 1910s tailoring to our wardrobes today. We love Papercut’s Watson pattern for a new take on the classic 1910s trench coat (£16.50, www. Find out more about the 1910s as part of Katie Allen’s History of Fashion blog series at www.simply

PlaNs and Pins Planning projects is one of our favourite parts of the sewing process, so having somewhere to note down ideas when inspiration strikes is a must! Sew Crafty’s new collection of journals includes three planners tailored to different crafts – the dressmaking planner has dress form pages for sketching designs. We love the exclusive new pin badges, too! Journals £12.95 each, pins £7 each.



he designer behind Danish vintageinspired pattern brand How To Do Fashion, Nanna Martinussen, has collaborated with blogger Pia Storm to create two gorgeous new patterns for this spring and summer: the sophisticated Savaneke blouse and skirt, and pretty Ronne blouse. £16.

liberty corner

MODERN CLASSICS BoxIng CleVer If you’re an adventurous crafter who loves trying new things, subscribing to Make and Do’s new Inspirations Club box is a great way to kick-start your creativity. Each monthly box has carefully curated fabrics and crafty goodies, plus two inspiring project ideas and instructions. From £10 per month. 14 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

Designer-maker Megan Crook was inspired to learn to create her own garments after falling in love with beautiful Liberty Art Fabrics, and went on to study pattern cutting before setting up her eponymous label. Her Liberty collection features statement styles sewn up in contemporary Liberty brushed cotton prints. She drafts and grades all her pattern blocks from scratch, as well as producing made-to-measure commissions. From £77.

Designer Megan ensures she’s ahead of the trends by choosing her fabrics two seasons before they hit the shops.

win a £250 inprint fabric bundle!

win £250 bryony and co dresses! Win gorgeous matching mother-anddaugther outits by Bryony and Co. e’re enchanted by Bryony and Co’s vintage-inspired frocks, printed with eponymous designer Bryony’s illustrations (see the collection at www.bryonyandco. com, and read about her designs on p44). Add a sprinkle of Bryony and Co magic to your wardrobe with our giveaway – the winner will receive an Iris Pink Zoo dress and mint cardigan, and an Ivy Pink Zoo dress with jacquard socks for their stylish little one. Enter at See to enter today! (UK only, see competition rules on p6.)

win a £250 inprint fabric bundle! Enter today to win 17 metres of cotton fabric from Inprint by Jane Makower. ur sewing project plans always start with beautiful fabrics. We just can’t resist soft cotton prints! That’s why we’re so excited to have 17 metres of cotton fabric from the Geometrics range by Inprint by Jane Makower (www. to give away to one lucky reader. Geometric -print homewares and garments are everywhere on the high street this season, so here’s a chance to sew your own! Enter the giveaway today at See to enter today! (UK only, see competition rules on p6.)

win£250 bryonyand co dresses!


Buttercup Drops

Chopsticks: Iris

Hopscotch: Fun

Heather Moore, the designer behind Skinny LaMinx, was inspired to create her latest collection by a recent trip to India. It features modern prints influenced by the traditional technique of Indian woodblock printing. mystockist

Play With PriNt PLAYGROUND BY AMY SINIBALDI FOR ART GALLERY FABRICS Hopscotch on sunny days, fragrant flowers at the park and the simple joy of flying a kite are all encapsulated in these playful designs, which form Amy Sinibaldi’s second collection for Art Gallery Fabrics and are in her trademark soft colourways. With cotton, knit, canvas and voile fabrics included, there are endless creative possibilities!

Bloom: Blue

Block Blooms: Navy

Cross Stitch: Pink

RETRO REPEATS TRINKET BY MELODY MILLER FOR COTTON + STEEL FABRICS Melody Miller is a designer who doesn’t shy away from unusual colour combos, exemplified by her latest fabric range for Cotton + Steel, Trinket, which features retro motifs in tangerine orange, vivid pink, rich navy and delicate grey-blue. The prints in this fun collection include smiling daisies, telephones, whistles, pens, abstract candy necklaces and gumdrops, and vintage cotton spools (our favourite!), in two punchy colourways. Aqua, mint green and periwinkle blue make up the more subtle Afternoon palette, while the bolder Dawn set features mustard yellow and peach, with zingy orange and bright pink tying the two palettes together. Mix and match for home projects guaranteed to make you feel cheerful! 16 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

Telephones: Navy

Happy Garden: Tangerine

Plaid: Indigo

Spools: Blue

TRUE BLUE ELLA BY WHISTLER STUDIOS FOR WINDHAM FABRICS We’re loving the denim and chambray trend this season, so this fabric range by Whistler Studios is our latest must-have. Designs include bold florals, checks and geometrics with a hand-printed look, in shades of inky navy, light blue and crisp white.


Give your home a bright new look with this collection of favourite projects from the Simply Sewing team. With easy-to-make accessories for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and more, it’s the perfect way to create a fabulous fabric makeover!

Just £7.99*

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! ORD ER ON L I N E W W W.B UYS U B S C R I P T I O N S . C O M / C R A F T S P E C I A L OR C AL L 0844 844 0388 A N D Q U O T E ‘ HO M E S E W I N G 1 6 ’ Lines open weekdays 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. Overseas please call +44 (0) 1795 414 676 *EUR price £9.99, ROW price £10.99 (all prices include P&P). Please allow up to 21 days for delivery

MY SEWING WORLD by Portia Lawrie Portia Lawrie of Makery and The Refashioners shares her top tips for itting sewing time into a busy life. ight now, I’m knee-deep in preparation for The Refashioners 2016 next month. So. Bloomin’. Excited! This year’s theme is jeans, so I have a big ole stack of denim jeans ready and waiting to be cut up, seam ripped and otherwise messed around with in an effort to turn them into something better than they were to begin with. But being the host and founder of the series means a bit more than just adding my own refashion into the mix – planning, organising and promoting the whole series behind the scenes takes up huge chunks of my time that would otherwise be spent sewing. Ironically, this means that I’m now having to be more creative with how to find time for the actual sewing part!


A SEWING STRATEGY Let’s face it, though, we all have that challenge. Whether it’s because of a full-time job, family time, household chores or the school holidays (especially those for me!), sewing time usually comes way down the priority list. So, what to do when you find that sewing time is scarce? Here are some strategies that work for me: Go bitesize. Every sewing project has identifiable stages that can be broken down into smaller chunks. The project as a whole may take several hours to complete, but cutting out your pattern, pinning your pattern, cutting your fabric pieces – these tasks in isolation may only take ten minutes or so. And you can steal ten minutes for yourself, right? Do it in stages, nipping off when you can to get your sewing fix, whether it’s for ten or 30 minutes. Prep it up. Pre-wash fabric as soon as you get it home. Tidy your workspace. Thread your machine. Make sure you have all the supplies you need to hand. Then it’s all ready to start whenever you are. There’s nothing more frustrating than a precious time window going to waste because you ran out of interfacing! Find a dedicated space. I know. A luxury. But even if it’s a desk built into a cupboard under the stairs, having everything always ready means you can jump in whenever a 30-minute window presents itself.


S ee the talen ted line-up R efashione for The rs 2016 at w ww.makery “sewing time usually

comes way down the priority list.”

The theme for The Refashioners 2016 is denim, denim and even more denim!

Taking time to perfect the details makes for a satisfying outcome.

“take half an hour here and there just for you to get creative.” If it takes you half an hour to set up, then half an hour to clean away again, well that just eats into your sewing time. Even if it means taking over the dining table for a couple of days, the family can have lap dinners once in a while! Embrace the slower pace. I am sometimes guilty of rushing to the end of a project, fixating on the outcome rather than the process. When I take time and do things slowly, I’m always more satisfied with the outcome. So, I consciously embrace slow progress on a make as a positive thing, immerse myself in the process and remind myself that the outcome will take care of itself. Remember, there’s no law that says you have to do it all today!

es so they Stock up on suppli you are! are ready to go when Having your sewing machine set up means you can really make the most of your sewing time!

A CREATIVE OUTLET Sewing for me (and I know for many of you) is a stress buster. It’s a creative outlet that allows us to switch off for a while from everything else that is going on in our lives; and it’s our time. Perversely, it’s during the busiest times that we need the release that sewing gives us the most. And, in the midst of chaos (school holidays, I’m looking at you!), allowing ourselves the time to do something that centres us is not just a luxury – it’s an essential. So stop every now and then, and take half an hour here and there just for you to get creative. You deserve it! Find more of Portia’s sewing tips and tutorials, and information on getting involved in The Refashioners 2016, at and by searching (and sharing!) #therefashioners2015.

Keeping me inspired...

Jeans hardware of all kind s is my latest sewing obsession!

All things denim are n my brain right now! Especially new and innovative takes n the denim trend. I’m particularly keen o try sashiko, bleach shibri, and quilting n denim. Using up old jeans that yu no lnger wear as a fabric surce ill ad an individual edge o yur makes and save yu mney! I’m also obsesing over jeans hardware – rivets are such an easy detail o ad but make fr authenticloking denim garments!

Old denims ready and waiting to be transformed!

I’m keen to try new techniques for updating denim, like sashiko.

SUMMER Try a subscription Craft







and then save 18%

and then save 18%

and then save 18%

and then save 25%

and then save 25%

and then save 18%

Homes and Gardening

Food and Travel







and then save 22%

and then save 22%

and then save 31%

and then save 15%

and then save 30%

and then save 35%









and then save 31%

and then save 42%

and then save 35%

and then save 25%

and then save 29%

and then save 26%


from just £1



Science and Nature







and then save 30%

and then save 25%

and then save 26%

and then save 17%

and then save 17%

and then save 30%

Take advantage of our great trial offers and subscribe to your favourite magazine today. Or why not try a new one?

Great reasons to subscribe:     

Subscriptions from just £1* Save up to 42% after your trial period Enjoy easy and convenient delivery direct to your door Never miss an issue Perfect summer reading

Your two easy ways to order: Order online at †

or call our hotline: 0844 844 0260



*The Direct Debit trial offers are available for UK delivery addresses only (excluding BFPO addresses). For overseas rates visit The discount follow-on rates are also payable by Direct Debit. All savings are calculated as a percentage of the full shop price, excluding Radio Times. The Basic Annual UK Subscription Rate of Radio Times is £131. This price is for 51 issues, which includes the Christmas double issue and a contribution towards postage. We reserve the right to limit the number of consecutive short term trial subscriptions a customer signs up for if their subscription is repeatedly cancelled during the trial. You are free to cancel your subscription at any time – if you cancel within 2 weeks of receiving your penultimate issue you will pay no more than the trial rate, this is with the exception of Radio Times and Match of the Day, which you will need to cancel 3 weeks before the trial is due to end. Radio Times is for 26 weekly issues (6 months). Match of the Day is for 13 weekly issues. This offer ends 31st August 2016.† Calls will cost 7p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge.

dream sewing space WIN THIS SEWING SET!

EntEr TodAy at UK only, see competition rules on p.6

sew it yourself Create your dream sewing space with beautiful handmade accessories in all your favourite prints. Designer: REBECCA REID Styling: LISA JONES Photography: PHILIP SOWELS


PenNant BanNer Make a statement and practice your appliquĂŠ skills with a slogan pennant banner with a handstitched cotton spool, which can be personalised with a phrase that inspires you to get stitching!

PinCuShiOn StoRage Jars Put your prettiest notions on display in pincushion Kilner jars. First, draw around the inner lid onto your fabric, adding 1cm all the way around. Stuff this fabric circle with fibrefill filling then insert the inner lid, wrapping the excess fabric around it. Use running stitch to gather the fabric to secure.

Find u t how o make ww. these scisr keeps at w m

dream sewing space WIN THIS SEWING SET!

EntEr TodAy at UK only, see competition rules on p.6

SewIng MacHine CovEr Our sewing machine is one of our most prized possessions, so we want to keep it safely under wraps and free from dust when we’re not stitching. This patchwork cover has a layer of wadding for added protection and is a great stash-busting project.

CusHion CadDy We can spend hours and hours stitching away, so having a comfortable spot to sit while we sew is a must! This plump tie-on chair cushion is not only super-comfy, but has roomy pockets on each side for your essential sewing tools – so no more searching for the tape measure!


dream sewing space WIN THIS SEWING SET!

EntEr TodAy at UK only, see competition rules on p.6

PinCuShiOns We wouldn’t get very far with our craft projects without our trusty pins, so we keep ours to hand (and safely off the floor away from bare feet!) at all times with these satisfyingly squishy handmade pincushions. They’re filled with ground walnut shells, so will sharpen your pins while keeping them neat and tidy.

SewIng Tidy It can be tricky to find what you need when you’ve got a sewing box overflowing with notions (guilty!), so this handy tidy is a real time-saver, with compartments that can be added to suit what you have in your stash.


dream sewing space Pennant Banner





from each of the words and reel ends then you are ready to stick them in place.

Clip the corners and points. 03 Step three Turn the banner RS out, folding the turning gap fabric edges to the inside. Press. Step four Fold the top over by 5cm (2in) to the back and slip stitch it down to make a casing, only stitching through the lining. 04 Step five Make a tassel from one whole skein of stranded cotton and stitch to the bottom of the banner. Step six Thread the dowel through the casing and then tie cord to each end to hang up your banner.

YOU WILL NEED Q Main fabric: 46x58cm (18x23in) Q Lettering fabric: 30x25cm (12x10in) Q Bondaweb: 30x25cm (12x10in) Q Heavy weight iron-on interfacing: 46x29cm (18x11½in) Q Stranded cotton: dark grey, 2 skeins Q Wooden dowel: 30cm (12in) Q Cord for hanging Q Basic sewing kit MATERIALS USED The fabrics used are from Glint by Lorena Siminovich for Cloud 9 Fabrics. For stockists visit Main fabric: Dawn, Grey. Ref: C9GL151150. NOTE Q You will find the template needed to make this project on the pull-out pattern sheet provided.

CUTTING OUT Step one Cut your main fabric into two pieces each measuring 46x29cm (18x11½in) for the front and back of the banner.

CUTTING OUT THE LETTERING Step one Trace over the banner outline and words from the pattern sheet onto tracing paper then cut around the outline. Place this onto the wrong side WS of your banner front fabric, positioning the bottom of the point 1cm (3⁄8in) up from the lower short edge of the fabric, and draw around it. Push pins all the way along these drawn lines so you can see the outline from the right side without marking the fabric. Step two Turn your traced pattern over to the wrong side (WS) and place your Bondaweb, paper-side up on top. Now trace over just the words and the top and bottom of the cotton reel (not the banner outline) onto the paper side so you are tracing them in reverse. Step three Place your traced Bondaweb paper-side up onto the WS of your lettering fabric and press gently into place until it is firmly stuck using a dry medium-temperature iron (don’t use any steam). 01 Step four Carefully cut out all the words and reel ends along your drawn pencil lines. Make sure you cut them accurately so they are a neat shape. Remove the paper backing 28 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

APPLIQUÉING THE WORDS Step one Place your front banner fabric right side (RS) up then place all the letters on top, referring to the traced template and pinned outline for positioning. Step two Stitch through the centre of each letter and reel end by machine to hold them firmly in place and for a decorative effect. Step three Trace the thread on the reel and the trailing thread from the template onto your banner fabric in the correct position. Step four Using twelve strands (which is two full lengths) of stranded cotton, stitch the thread lines into place with backstitch. 02

MAKING THE BANNER Step one Remove the pins then press the interfacing onto the WS of the appliquéd fabric to give the banner a little more body so it hangs better. Step two Place the banner front RS together with the banner back then stitch together along all the drawn lines, leaving a 10cm (4in) gap in the centre of the top for turning.

dream sewing space patchwork sewing machine cover





Step four Join all the rows together, making sure you match the seams for a neat finish.

Step seven Pin the other two ties on the back part of the cover the same distance away. 03

YOU WILL NEED Q Patchwork fabrics: see instructions Q Lining fabric: see instructions Q Binding fabric: see instructions Q 2oz wadding: see instructions Q Basic sewing kit MATERIALS USED The patchwork and lining fabrics used are from Glint by Lorena Siminovich for Cloud 9. For stockists visit Patchwork fabrics: Flock, Grey. Ref: C9GL150950; Flock, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL150903; Gem, Grey. Ref: C9GL151250; Gem, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL151203; Dawn, Grey. Ref: C9GL151150; Dawn, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL151103. Lining fabric: Gem, Grey. Ref: C9GL151250. Binding fabric: Figures by Zen Chic for Moda. Saffron. Ref: 1553/16. NOTE Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance.

MEASURING UP Step one To work out the length, measure around your machine from the base at the front around to the base at the back. Step two To work out the width, measure across the front of your machine. Step three The front of the sewing machine cover is made from patchwork squares. Divide the measured width by three to give you the size of each of the joined squares. In order to have whole squares going around the length of your machine cover you may have to have it slightly shorter or longer than your measured length. Step four Once you’ve worked out how many squares you’re going to need, cut each one to the calculated size, adding 2cm (¾in) for the seam allowance and using a mixture of different fabrics.

MAKING THE PATCHWORK Step one Lay out your squares in the order you want them to be. Step two Join the squares from the first row right sides (RS) together side by side. Step three Join the other rows in the same way. Press all seams open. 01 Subscribe at



Step one Cut the lining fabric and the wadding to the same size as your finished patchwork. Step two Lay the lining fabric RS down with the wadding on top. Lay your patchwork on top of the wadding RS up and tack together. Step three Quilt your machine cover by stitching along all the seam lines between each square. 02

Step one From the binding fabric cut a strip 4cm (15⁄8in) wide x the length to go around your cover, with 5cm (2in) extra for turnings. You may need to join strips of fabric. Step two Starting in the centre of one side, turn one short edge of the binding strip over by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the wrong side (WS) then pin all the way around the edge of the cover, RS together and matching raw edges. Step three Stitch the binding strip around the edge, easing it around the corners. You can cut the corners of the patchwork cover into slight curves to make this easier. Step four Trim the short end so that it overlaps the start by 1cm (3⁄8in). Step five Turn the binding strip over to the lining side of the cover and turn the other long edge under so it meets up with your line of machine stitching and press. Step six Topstitch the binding strip in place all the way around. 04 Step seven Put your cover over your machine and tie the ties together to hold it in place.

MAKING THE TIES Step one From the binding fabric, cut four strips for the ties: 4x40cm (15⁄8x16in) each. Step two Fold one tie strip in half lengthways RS together and stitch across one short end and down the length. Step three Turn the strip RS out and press. Step four Repeat with the other three ties. Step five Pin one tie to the patchwork top RS together and matching raw edges, half way up where it will be on the machine front. Step six Pin another tie exactly opposite the first tie on the other side of the cover.


dream sewing space 01




cushion caddy YOU WILL NEED Q Main fabric: see instructions Q Contrast fabric: see instructions Q Interlining: 30x46cm (117⁄8x181⁄8in) Q Polyester fibrefill: Q 8 self-cover buttons: 2cm (¾in) diameter Q Basic sewing kit MATERIALS USED The fabrics used are from Glint by Lorena Siminovich for Cloud 9 Fabrics. For stockists visit Main fabric: Flock, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL150903. Contrast fabric: Dawn, Grey. Ref: C9GL151150. Polyester fibrefill fabric: Carded polyester fiberfill from www. or call 01484 846878 NOTE Q Use a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance throughout.


MAKING A CUSHION PATTERN To ensure your cushion fits your own chair, you need to start by making a pattern. Step one Take some newspaper and lay it over your chair seat. Draw all the way around the edge in pencil and mark where the ties will go either side of the chair back uprights. Step two Your cushion needs to be bigger than the actual chair seat as adding the padding and buttons pulls it in to make it smaller. Add 2cm (¾in) to the front and sides of the pattern but leave the back edge the same so it fits around the back uprights. Step three Add a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance all the way around your chair pattern then cut it out along this line. Step four To mark on the pattern where the buttons will be placed, divide the pattern into three horizontally and vertically, and mark with a cross where these lines meet.

CUTTING OUT Step one From the main fabric cut: Cushion front: one piece from the pattern with right sides (RS) up. Pocket back: four pieces, 30x23cm (117⁄8x91⁄8in) each. Front pocket binding strip: two pieces, 6x23cm (23⁄8x91⁄8in) each. Ties: two strips, 8x40cm (3x16in) each.

Step two From the contrast fabric cut: Cushion back: one piece from the pattern with wrong sides (WS) up. Pocket front: four pieces, 15x23cm (6x91⁄8in) each. Main binding strip: two pieces, 6x90cm (23⁄8x36in) each. Ties: two strips, 8x40cm (3x16in) each. Step three Cut the interlining in two pieces each measuring 30x23cm (117⁄8x91⁄8in) each. Step four Mark the button positions from the pattern with a small tacking stitch on the cushion front and cushion back fabrics. 01

MAKING THE TIES Step one Take one tie, fold it in half lengthways RS together and stitch together down the length. Turn the strip RS out, turn one short end to the inside by 1.5cm (5⁄8in) and press. Step two Topstitch along this turned under edge and down both long sides to neaten. Repeat with the other three strips to make four ties. Step three Pin one tie on each of the chair upright marks, matching the short unhemmed ends to the back edge of your cushion front. Repeat with the other pair of ties on the other side of the cushion front. Tack into place. 02

dream sewing space 03




MAKING THE FRONT POCKET Step one Take two pocket fronts and pin them WS together. Step two Place one front pocket binding strip RS together along the top of the pocket fronts, matching raw edges. Stitch together all the way along. Step three Turn the other long edge of the strip over by 1.5cm (5⁄8in) so the fold meets up with the stitching. Topstitch into place. 03

FINISHING THE WHOLE POCKET Step one Pin two back pockets WS together with one piece of interlining sandwiched between them. Step two Pin the bound pocket front on top of the pocket backs, lining up the bottom edge. Stitch together 1cm (3⁄8in) from the edge all the way around, but leaving the top edge of the pocket unstitched. Step three Divide the front pocket to make different storage sections by stitching one or more vertical lines from the top of the front pocket to the bottom through all layers of front and back pocket fabrics. 04 Step four Using one main binding strip, bind the sides and bottom edge of the back pocket, encasing the edges of the front pocket too in the same way as for the top of the front pocket. Topstitch as before. 05 Subscribe at

Step five Repeat to make a pocket to hang on the other side of your cushion.

ATTACHING THE POCKETS Step one Place your cushion front RS up then place the top of one of the assembled pockets RS together with the side of the cushion, matching raw edges. Put the cushion front on the chair and check the positioning of the pocket, adjusting if necessary. Tack the pocket into place. Step two Repeat to tack the other pocket piece on the other side of the cushion front. Step three Fold both assembled pockets over the inside of the cushion front, pinning in place so that they won’t get caught in the seams as you are stitching.

ASSEMBLING THE CUSHION Step one Place the cushion front and the cushion back RS facing and stitch together all the way around, leaving a 15cm (6in) turning gap in the centre of the back for stuffing. Step two Press the seam open then turn your cushion RS out, unpinning the pockets so they hang on the outside of the cushion now. Step three Press the edges of the turning gap under to the inside. 06 Step four Using the polyester fibrefill, stuff your cushion so it fills out all the curves and

edges well, making it as stuffed or squishy as you prefer. Step five Pin the gap closed then slip stitch together using small strong stitches to ensure it doesn’t come undone. 07

ADDING THE BUTTONS Step one You can leave your cushion as it is, but for a more professional look and to hold the stuffing in place, add covered buttons. Step two Cover eight buttons in scraps of a contrasting fabric, following the manufacturers instructions. Step three Use a strong narrow thread or cord to secure the buttons in place. Thread your needle through the button shank then down through one mark on the cushion front and out through the corresponding mark on the cushion back. Thread the needle through another button shank then back just beside where the thread emerged and out through the cushion front mark close to where the thread went in. Tie the two ends firmly together with a couple of knots, pulling the cord tightly to create a dip in the seat pad. Thread each of the ends into the cushion pad and out and snip off the ends so that they lie inside the stuffing. 08 Step four Repeat to sew the remainder of the buttons in place at the marked positions on the cushion front and back. WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 31

dream sewing space 01




Sewing Tidy YOU WILL NEED Q Main fabric: 69x90cm (24x35in) Q Contrast fabric: 69x90cm (24x35in) Q Mount board: white, 60x40cm (24x16in) Q Double-sided tape Q Basic sewing kit MATERIALS USED The fabrics used are from Glint by Lorena Siminovich for Cloud 9 Fabrics. For stockists visit Main fabric: Gem, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL151203. Contrast fabric: Gem, Grey. Ref: C9GL151250


CUTTING OUT Step one Cut the mount board as follows: Base: 30x30cm(12x12in). Sides: Cut four 30x6cm (12x23⁄8in). Dividers: these will be cut later. Step two Cut the fabric as follows: Main fabric (outer): Base: 33x33cm(13x13in). Sides: cut four 33x9cm (13x35⁄8in). Contrast fabric (lining): Base: 33x33cm(13x13in). Sides: cut four 33x9cm (13x35⁄8in). Dividers: these will be cut later.

Step five Cover and line each of the mount board pieces in the same way.

JOINING THE PIECES Step one Place two side pieces lining sides together. Secure your thread then oversew the two pieces together down the side. You should only stitch through the outer fabric; you’ll find it easier if you angle the pieces slightly so your stitches are neat and barely visible. 03 Step two Join the other side pieces together in the same way. Step three Stitch the base to the bottom edges of the four sides to complete your box.

MAKING THE PIECES Step one All the pieces are made in the same way. Starting with the box base, take the mount board piece cut for this, the main fabric piece and the contrast fabric piece. Step two Stick double-sided tape around the edge of one side of the mount board. Step three Place the mount board centrally on top of the wrong side (WS) of the main fabric piece, tape side up. Remove the tape strips then fold the fabric edges over the board. 01 Step four Place the contrast lining piece right side (RS) up on top of the mount board. Turn the edges under so they meet the folded-over edges of the outer fabric. Slip stitch together. 02

MAKING THE DIVIDERS Step one Decide where you want the dividers to be and draw a diagram of this to work out the exact measurements. Step two Cut pieces of mount board to these measurements then cut two pieces of contrast fabric for each divider wall 1.5cm (5⁄8in) bigger all the way around. We cut our dividers 5cm (2in) deep so they are a little lower than the box walls. Step three Assemble each of the divider walls in exactly the same way as for the main box. Step four Place the dividers inside the tray in your chosen positions and slip stitch them together to the tray lining to hold them in place. 04

dream sewing space Pincushion





with the other two pairs. 02 Step five Place these two semi circles RS together and, making sure you match the seams at the centre, stitch them together. Step six Press the seam open to complete your pincushion front, then repeat this to make the pincushion back in the same way.

ground walnut shells. These are ideal for stuffing pincushions as they help to keep the pins sharp and clean with their mildly abrasive quality. You can find them in larger pet stores or online as they’re usually used for the bottom of reptile cages. Step two Once it’s full, slip stitch the gap securely closed. Put a little fibrefill on top of the shells beneath the opening to keep them in place whilst you stitch.

YOU WILL NEED Q Patchwork fabrics: 50x40cm (20x16in) each of two different fabrics Q Contrast fabric: 7x50cm (2¾x20in) Q Fibrefill or ground walnut shells Q Self-cover button: 2cm (¾in) diameter Q Basic sewing kit MATERIALS USED The patchwork fabrics used are from Glint by Lorena Siminovich for Cloud 9 Fabrics. For stockists visit Patchwork fabrics: Flock, Grey. Ref: C9GL150950; Flock, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL150903; Gem, Grey. Ref: C9GL151250; Gem, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL151203; Dawn, Grey. Ref: C9GL151150; Dawn, Turquoise. Ref: C9GL151103. Polyester fibrefill fabric: Carded polyester fiberfill from www. or call 01484 846878 Contrast fabric: Figures by Zen Chic for Moda. Saffron. Ref: 1553/16. NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Q You will find the template needed to make this project on the pull-out pattern sheer provided.



Step one Trace around the segment template and cut it out. Seam allowances are included. Step two Pin the template to the right side (RS) of one of the patchwork fabrics and cut around it. Repeat this to cut eight segments from each of the two fabrics to make 16 segments.

Step one Pin the contrast fabric strip around the edge of one of your assembled circles with RS together, matching raw edges. The strip is longer than you’ll actually need, but in order to get a perfect fit it’s best to pin it around the edge of the circle then pin the two short ends together where they meet. Step two Remove a few pins so you can stitch the two short ends together but, leave a 3cm (1¼in) gap in the centre of the seam for filling. Step four Stitch the joined fabric strip around the pincushion front. 03 Step five Repeat this to join the other side of the fabric strip to the pincushion back. Step six Turn the pincushion RS out through the gap in the fabric strip and press.

JOINING THE SEGMENTS Step one Take four segments of each colour and lay them out alternately on a flat surface. This will be the pincushion front. Step two Take two adjacent segments and place them RS together. Stitch down the length then press the seam open and snip the end tail points off. 01 Step three Repeat this with the other adjacent pairs of segments. Step four Take two adjacent pairs and join them RS together to make a semi circle. Repeat Subscribe at

ADDING A BUTTON Step one Cover the self-cover button with a scrap of fabric. Step two Cut a long length of thread, fold it in half and thread the two ends through your needle. Thread the needle through the centre of the pincushion bottom then through the loop at the end of the thread to attach it. Step three Push the needle up through the centre of the pincushion then through the button shank and back down to the pin cushion bottom. 04 Step four Repeat this a few times so the button is secure and there’s a slight dip in the pincushion front.

FILLING THE PINCUSHION Step one Fill your pincushion with fibrefill or WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 33


Turn to p age 37 for fab and style inspiratio ric n, don’ t forg et to shar and e finished O livia Dres your s wi using #si mplysewi th us ngmag






Pack a breezy boho dress for your summer break with Cotton + Chalk’s latest pattern, The Olivia Dress, in sizes 6-20 and featuring two lattering length options.

Subscribe at


THE OLIVIA DRESS The second pattern in Simply Sewing’s new Cotton + Chalk ( collection is The Olivia Dress, a summer dress with a relaxed boho vibe, flattering loose fit and two different sleeve and length options. Dress A has a round neckline with an elastic casing at the waist and is knee length with a ruffled hem, while Dress B is a maxi length dress with an on-trend side seam split and contrast band. Both can be made with full or three-quarter sleeves, depending on how hot your vacation destination is! Be sure to share your Olivia Dress with us using #simplysewingmag – we’d love to see!

GATHERED SLEEVES Two sleeve lengths feature an easy-sew gathered cuff.

FABRIC SUGGESTIONS: Light to medium weight fabrics such as viscose, rayon, cotton and silk.

FABRICS USED Turquoise floral viscose and shibori navy viscose from

ELASTIC WAISTBAND A hidden elastic waistband gives a flattering and comfortable fit.

YOU WILL NEED Q Fabric: see pattern envelope Q Double-fold bias tape: 1.3cm (½in) wide x 1.6m (1¾yrd) Q Elastic 2cm (3/4in) wide x 1.1m (11⁄8yrd) Q Iron-on interfacing 46x60cm (18x24in) Q Cording: 3mm (1⁄8in) wide x 1m (40in), for Dress A only GETTING STARTED First, pre-wash and dry your fabric to allow for any shrinkage. Unfold the pattern sheets included in the pattern envelope, decide whether you’d like to make Dress A or Dress B, and find the line style for your size on the corresponding pattern pieces using the key provided. Follow these lines to cut your pattern pieces out – it can be helpful to mark your size using a highlighter before cutting. For more dressmaking tips, refer to the Cotton + Chalk Essential Guide to Measuring & Fitting, free with this issue of Simply Sewing, which features advice on measuring yourself accurately for a perfect fit, making pattern adjustments, pattern-matching printed fabrics and other key dressmaking skills.

get 10% off at DraGoNfly FabRics We made our gorgeous Olivia dresses in viscose prints from Dragonfly Fabrics, and you can too with 10% off using the code SIMPLYSEWING at www. Offer valid until 31st September 2016.


FRILLED HEM The shorter dress length has a pretty frill-hem detail.

TWO LENGTHS The dress can be made to a maxi or knee length.


wear it with

We’re dreaming of a maxi Olivia Dress in this coral viscose from

FringE benEfit Polka dot squares,

Dash lime,

Try a luxe take on festival style with fringing and suede. Beaded earrings plus beachy waves equals the ultimate summer lok, £7.99, 1980s cool meets boho chic with this straw visor, £19.90,


Scattered flowers,

fresh prints Nail the modern-boho look and keep cool in the heat this summer with loaty fabrics in contemporary prints.

Wear two trends in one with a monochrome-print fedora, £9.99,

Suede? Tick. Fringing? Tick. Stylish print? Tick. This crossbody bag ticks all our style boxes, £29,

Chiffon Petal,

Gold charms ad a luxe finishing tuch, £5.99,

Angèle by Atelier Brunette, www.back

Summer Haze,

Subscribe at

Show off manicured tes in suede fringe sandals, £27,

We love these painterly florals in primary colours from

Swap yur sandals fr suede bots n coler evenings, £99, www.

N * W50I0 PriZeS!

StaRt Your Free TriAl TodAy*!

sew CloThes + Toys for Kids!


Make me!




holiday accessories!


wardrobe robe in SizEs 6-20 Win the set!


HOW TO: Master 9 hand stitches Cover a deckchair Reverse appliqué Sew a maxi skirt

Download the latest issue straightaway, for free Your next issue is free too Get a further 12 issues in your first year All issues download automatically Download it once… read it offline forever

iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. NOOK is a registered trademark of Barnes & Noble, Inc. NOOK Tablet is a trademark of Barnes & Noble, Inc *Free trial not available on Zinio

Save Time, MonEy and HasSle With an AnnUal SimPly SewIng SubScRipTion

N * W50I0 PriZeS!

sew CloThes + Toys for Kids!


e! Make m




holiday wardin S z N * W50I0 PriZeS!

sew CloThes + Toys for Kids!


Make me!




holiday accessories!

Win th e se

wardrobe drobe in SizEs 6-20


just tap HERE to subscribe today

Win the set!


Gorgeous makes for a dream sewing room * UK ONLY - RULES APPLY

foor a dream sewing room

HOW TO: Master 9 hand stitches Cover a deckchair Reverse appliqué Sew a maxi skirt

HOW TO: Master 9 ha

stit hes Cover a deckchair Reverse appliqué Sew a maxi skirt

to SubScRibe SimPly VisIt: WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM/DIGITAL * Free trial not available on Zinio. The digital version of the magazine does not include the cover gift that you would find on newsstand copies.

Pss4t3: for fabric

ge d Turn to pa piration an s n i e l y t s and a r e yo ur h s o t t e g r don’ t fo Blouse with y t t e B d e h finis sewingmag y l p m i s # g us usin




the betty blouse Meet Betty, a simple-sew blouse pattern with a lattering it by Rosee Woodland. Its Liberty print, lutter sleeves and pretty pintucks are a match made in sewing heaven!

Subscribe at


Th B tty b ous Whether you’re completely new to sewing garments or are a seasoned dressmaker, a staple, wear-with-anything blouse like Rosee Woodland’s Betty, in UK sizes 6-20, is a must for your pattern stash. Its flattering fit, quick construction and pintuck detail makes it a style you’ll want to make again and again in different prints and fabrics. The options are endless with this simple pattern! The Betty will see you through the seasons – wear yours tucked into your favourite skirt with bright accessories for an easy summer look, or with jeans and a cardi on chillier days. The step-by-step instructions included with the pattern will show you how to construct the top, use bias binding to finish the neckline and sleeves, and sew neat pintucks for a super-professional look.

TWO PATTERN PIECES This simple top is made with just two pieces.

DOLMAN SLEEVES The sleeves and bodice are cut as one piece for quick construction.

FABRIC SUGGESTIONS: Lightweight fabrics such as cotton, lawn, voile or chambray.

FABRIC USED: Liberty lawn in Mitsy Hot Pink from Alice Caroline at

YOU WILL NEED Q Fabric: 110cm (43in) or 150cm (60in) width x 1.5m (1¾yds) Q Single fold bias binding: to match fabric 12mm (½in) wide x 1m (1yd) Q Matching thread

PINTUCK DETAIL Pintucks add a stylish detail to the blouse front.

GETTING STARTED First, pre-wash and dry your fabric to allow for any shrinkage. Unfold the pattern sheets included in the pattern envelope, and find the line style for the size that will fit you on the pattern pieces using the key provided. Follow these lines to cut your pattern pieces out – it can be helpful to mark your size using a highlighter before cutting out. For more dressmaking tips, see our guide on page 93. TIPS FOR SEWING WITH LIBERTY LAWN If, like us, you’ve chosen to make your Betty Blouse in Liberty lawn, there are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re working with this lightweight cotton fabric for a neat finish: Q Fit your sewing machine with a new, fine needle to prevent puckers and snags. Q To ensure a perfect fit, take time to make a toile (or muslin) from cheaper fabric before you cut out your Liberty lawn. Q Use fine pins and only pin within the seam allowances so pin marks will not be visible on your finished garment. Q Neaten raw edges using zigzag stitch or an overlocker, or use French seams to construct your blouse. 42 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

EASY WEAR This wardrobe staple can be worn with a variety of separates.

wear it with We love the striking Heidi Maria print from, inspired by botanical plants.

Bold & brighT Transport and flowers,

Add vibrant accessories to make Liberty prints pop. Bigger is always better when it comes o statement flrals, £15,

Tresco, www.alice

Polish yur lok ith a bright manicure, £6, www.marksand


Mauverina, shop.

lovely in liberty

Sunny days call for sunny hues like this zingy orange tote, £55,

Betty’s simple style will let gorgeous Liberty fabric do the talking! Take your pick from these swoon-worthy prints.

Yoshie B, www.alice

Keep it simple with a plain pashmina in a luxurious silk blend, £35, Beyoglu,

Look stylish from workday to weekend in a pair of smart cropped trousers, £49.95,

Wrk the colurblock trend ith two-tne sandals, £65, Archive Lilac, www.

Subscribe at

Try a classic ditzy floral print from for a vintage-inspired look.

Bryony’s little models often take a hands-on approach at Bryony and Co photoshoots!

STORYTELLING THROUGH SEWING The magic of storybooks and the joy of playing dress-up combine in Bryony Richardson’s charming clothing designs. We step into her enchanting world.



offer that people had no attachment to,” Bryony explains. “I wanted children to really love the clothes they were wearing, so later on in life they can look back and remember their dress, perhaps even find it to show their child and remember the story. Also, reading and storytelling is such an important part of childhood, which is why each one of our dresses comes with a free storybook.” It’s a wonderfully distinctive approach to dressing children, making Bryony and Co garments come to life in a way that’s utterly enchanting. The concept stems from Bryony’s love of drawing, making and reading. “My granny would always read me Babar the Elephant books by Jean de Brunhoff and Orlando the Marmalade Cat books by

Kathleen Hale – these are wonderfully illustrated books,” she recalls. “My other favourites were the Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley, and lots of Enid Blyton, especially The Faraway Tree series.” Coupled with her love of making, it’s an irresistible recipe for creative design. “I think to be able to use my hands in some way has always been important to me,” she says. INNOVATIVE THINKING Impressively, Bryony actually taught herself to sew. “My mum is very creative and would always be making things, but with a family of four children, she didn’t get much time to show me how to sew. My sister is six years older and would make great things that


n the world of Bryony Richardson, flamingos flounce across dresses and giraffes canter over skirts. Elephants stroll, monkeys swing and budgies perch. It’s a place where everyday clothing meets fiction, filling every garment choice with magical possibilities, and, quite frankly, we’re enthralled. Until recently the company was named Poppy England, changed to Bryony and Co to take into account that other companies use the name Poppy, too. In the case of Bryony’s business, Poppy is a little girl with a pet dog called Fred, and it’s their exploits that fuel Bryony’s imaginative creations. “It started with childrenswear and feeling like there was a lot of disposable fashion on

a good read I would try to copy. It was a bit frustrating at times and I never achieved much in the early stages but it was fun all the same.” This exploratory approach is perhaps why the process of creating each new item of clothing in the Bryony and Co wardrobe begins with Bryony thinking up the next escapade for Poppy and Fred. “The backbone of the story always comes first, then the fabrics around the story, then the garments,” she says. “I leave finishing the story until the very end, though!” Bryony ensures that children aren’t the only ones who benefit, creating ranges of equally gorgeous, hand-illustrated, vintageinspired garments for grown-ups, too. It’s a brilliant touch, in our opinion, allowing us to add a swish of playfulness to our day simply with what we decide to put on. “Although the prints are a very important part of the process, the garment shapes are too,” says Bryony. “We pride ourselves on creating dresses for girls and women of all different shapes and sizes. We have our classic styles of dresses we make every

season, but we occasionally add in a new style. For spring/summer 2016, we have lots of new dress styles, and even some shirts for little boys.” The new collection has the whole Bryony office buzzing, as Bryony has taken her characters Poppy and Fred on an outing where they’ve met all manner of animals who parade across the garments. “This season we’re at the zoo with all kinds of animals, including elephants, Mr Giraffe, monkeys, zebras, parrots and more,” she exclaims. “I’m excited to see the response we get for this collection.” Bryony admits that she has previously considered dropping the storytelling element, “but then feedback from our customers tells me otherwise, which is nice. It’s what brings a sense of adventure and fun to the brand.” The other unique ingredients, of course, are Bryony’s illustrated fabrics, which, she says, differ greatly from her books in terms


Look closely...can you tell what this print was inspired by? Clue: you’ll find it in your veg box!


e Dn’t let kids have all th fun – Bryn y and Co is fr grown-ups, to!

Above: Bryony and Co’s collections feature classic, oh-so-flattering dress styles inspired by vintage shapes, made in organic cotton. We love this fun flamingo print from SS16– that’s our summer-party style sorted!

Subscribe at


while I work on the prints. I concentrate on one job at a time, but it always helps to have plenty of tea throughout the day.”

One of Bryony’s characterful illustrations in progress. She always decides the ending of each Poppy and Fred story after she has finished her fabric designs.

of technique. “I have to work to a repeat which is very different from doing a oneoff illustration, as the story has to match up to the beginning. It’s easier now we print digitally – I can choose the repeat size and so choose the story’s length.” The Bryony and Co team is charmingly small, with Bryony heading up the design and imagery, as well as writing the books. “Everyone is aware of our company goals. As it’s such a small team we all need to be able to diversify and work on different parts of the business.” Annabel is the studio manager. “She keeps the whole thing together, and makes sure everything runs smoothly, from keeping our customers happy to the other thousand jobs in the studio! She is my second in command.” Then there’s Rosie, head of sales. “She helps other shops place their orders and does PR,” says Bryony. “And we also have Carl, a part-time accountant – he’s the figures man!” Bryony’s working day is as varied as you would expect. “It massively depends on the time of year, and where we are in the season,” she says. “I get emails out the way early, then try to ignore them until midday

A HAPPY PHILOSOPHY Photoshoots are another vital part of the mix. “We pride ourselves on creating photoshoots that are fun, where the children have a great time and really get involved,” she comments. “For our autumn/winter 2014 photoshoot I actually drew on the studio walls, and Robin, one of our child models, had a lovely time helping me out!” One down side to being so busy is that Bryony doesn’t get the chance to be hands on with the sewing as much as she’d like, though she does own “a good selection of chalk, snips and rulers – it’s always nice to have tools you enjoy using.” At home she opts for speedy projects that make an impact. “I like quick projects with fast, pleasing results,” she says. “I enjoy adapting patterns and seeing what happens – it can be fun to not always stick to the rules and to not be afraid if it doesn’t work out.” Her favourite projects to work on include cushions, and quilts made “from leftover bits of fabric – they can be an ongoing thing that come out from time to time. One of our ethics is to produce as little waste as possible from our fabrics, so our range of cushions are all made from the leftover dress fabric.” The company’s ethos is firmly rooted in



Poppy, Fred and Mr Giraffe hit the beach in an illustration from one of Bryony’s storybooks.

Bryony sprinkles her storytelling magic on the familiar London skyline, with a not-so-familar giraffe walking its streets!

Little ones will love reading about Poppy and Fred’s adventures – and wearing them, too!

Elephants, giraffes and tigers, oh my! Bryony was inspirated by childhood trips to the zoo for her charming SS16 collection.


Above: Gorgeous prints pile up in Bryony’s studio. We wish our stash looked like this! Below: It doesn’t matter what age you are – nothing beats wearing a swishy frock!

a belief that the clothes they create should support ecologically sound industries. “All our cotton dresses are made from organic cotton – I feel it’s so important to protect our environment,” says Bryony. “Hopefully over time more and more of our collection will be organic. The welfare of the people who make our goods is equally important to us – regular factory visits are really important to ensure we know where our things are being made and by whom.” It’s an outlook that has seeped into all parts of Bryony’s life. “I love growing veg on my tiny balcony,” she says. “In the summer I grow lots and lots of salad. Nasturtiums are great because they are an amazing colour and you can eat them.” She believes her desire to tend plants “is inspired not only by my dad, who always had a great vegetable patch, but also by a friend who has an incredible organic vegetable farm in Cornwall. It’s an amazing place. In fact, that’s what inspired me to create our autumn/winter 2015 collection, when Poppy and Fred go on a trip to the farmer’s market.” Bryony never stops seeking new ideas for designs, and the autumn/winter 2015

Farmer’s Market collection is overflowing with wonderful illustrations, many of which are wonderfully subtle. Favourites include the Courgette fabric design. “I always liked the idea of creating a print that doesn’t look like its original self,” she says, “so there are courgette flowers all over this fabric, but from a distance you wouldn’t know it was a vegetable-inspired print!” She says it is important “to always keep an interest in what’s around you.” With this in mind, her personal interests and verve for life are vital to the company’s continuing success. “I love dancing,” she enthuses. “Lindihop is my favourite. It gets me out and about and means I don’t need to go to the gym. I also love reading, bike rides and pottering about making things.” We love the idea of dress designs powered by such simple pleasures. Bryony promises a slight change of pace for the autumn/winter 2016 collection: “It’s going to be even more thrilling,” she says, “We’ll see some glitz and glamour, so keep your eyes wide open!” Keep up to date with Poppy and Fred’s adventures and shop the Bryony and Co collection at Written by Judy Darley.


“Always press the seams between each stage to help keep everything neat and tidy. It’s also important to give yourself time and not rush your sewing!” READER OFFER

Get a 15% discount on any full priced items purchased at www.bryonyandco. com before 18th August 2016 by using the code SIMPLY15 at the checkout. WIN A £250 BRYONY AND CO OUTFIT

We’ve got matching Bryony and Co outfits for mother and daughter to give away. Turn to page 15 for how to enter.


premium paisley Portia Lawrie puts a luxe twist on festivalinspired style with this paisley-print maxi made to your exact measurements.


PSST: rfected

e pe Once you’v t , experimen t r i k s i x a your m ils such a t e d n g i s with de placket or n o t t u b a as stband. i a w g n i t s contra

Maxi SKIRT 01







Designer Portia says: “With festival season upon us, ramp up your festival style with this luxe boho maxi skirt. The main body of the skirt is just three simple rectangles of fabric! It doesn’t get any simpler than that, right? Don’t want a maxi? Easy – the same process will work for mini, midi, maxi, whatever length you like. This could be the only skirt pattern you’ll ever need!”

These will become the back of your skirt. The additional 3cm (1¼in) width you added will give you a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance on each piece, for a centre back seam. 02 Step four Cut two pairs of pockets. You can draw your own or copy them from an existing pattern. Either way, ensure that there is a 1cm (3⁄8in) lip along the long edge and that the two straight edges are at right angles to each other. 03 Step five Cut three pieces for your waistband: Front piece: 8cm (3in) wide x half of W + 3cm (1¼in) seam allowance. Back piece A: 8cm (3in) wide x quarter of W + 3cm (1¼in) seam allowance. Back piece B: The same as back piece A but 4cm (1½in) longer as this extra piece will form the button extension/overlap of your waistband. Step six Cut three pieces of interfacing 3cm (1¼in) shorter on the length and width as the three waistband pieces. Press them centrally to the wrong side (WS) of each waistband piece. 04

Q Light to medium weight fabric 150cm (60in) wide fabric: 2m (2¼ yds) Q Iron-on interfacing: 20cm (8in) Q Zip: 23cm (9in) Q Basic sewing kit

MEASURING UP Step one Measure and take a note of your waist measurement – this is described as W. Step two Decide and measure what you want the finished length of your skirt to be and write it down – this is described as L.

skirt Shape your maxi s to ther using pleats or ga g fit. give it a flatterin


CUTTING OUT Step one Begin by cutting a rectangle from your fabric that is the same width as W + 3cm (1¼in) which gives a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance either side. The length is the same as L plus your preferred hemming allowance. This will be the front of your skirt. 01 Step two Cut a second rectangle 3cm (1¼in) wider than the first but the same length. Step three Cut straight up the middle of this rectangle to create two narrower rectangles.

CONSTRUCTING THE SKIRT Step one Finish the raw edges of all the long edges of the skirt pieces and the long straight edge of the pocket pieces by working machine zigzag stitches or overlocking.

show us yours with #simplysewingmag

Maxi SKIRT 04






Step two Join the two back pieces right sides (RS) together at the centre back seam, and insert a zip using your preferred method, either invisible or standard. Make sure that the top of the zip extends 5-8cm (2-3in) above the edge of the fabric once stitched in. The base of the zip needs to sit at or just below hip level. 05 Step three Pin and sew your pocket pieces to the front and back sections of your skirt, RS together and using a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Press the pockets outwards. 06 Step four Place the skirt front and back pieces RS together, aligning pockets and side seams. Sew the side seams, leaving a gap in the stitching for the pocket opening. Then sew around the curved edge of the pockets, continuing the stitching line to meet with the side seam stitching of the skirt. 07 Step five Press the side seams and pockets forwards, then tack the pockets to the waistband along the top edge. Step six Gather or pleat the front and back of the skirt so it is the same size as your waistband measurement. Tack the pleats in place. 08

with a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance, with the front piece between the two back pieces. Step two Press the entire waistband in half lengthways, WS together. Then press one of the long edges 1.5cm (5⁄8in) to the inside. 09

sewing line on top of where the zip is, then move the zip out of the way before sewing. 11 Step four Turn the waistband RS out and poke out the corners. Pin the folded edge of the waistband to the inside of the skirt. 12 Step five Topstitch the entire length of the waistband from the outside, catching the underside of the waistband as you sew.

MAKING THE WAISTBAND Step one Join all the waistband pieces together Subscribe at

ATTACHING THE WAISTBAND Step one Pin the unpressed edge of the waistband to the skirt with RS together and matching side seams and raw edges and sew in place using a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance. Step two Press the waistband upwards and remove any tacking stitches at this stage. Cut any excess zip up to the fold line of the waistband. A word of warning: Do not attempt to close up the zip until you have completed the waistband, as the zip pull will come straight off the top of your zip at this stage! (Go on….ask me why I mentioned that!) 10 Step three For both ends of the waistband, repeat the following steps. Fold the waistband end in half, RS together. Stitch together down the short edge, then trim the excess seam allowance to within 1cm (3⁄8in) of the stitching line and across at an angle at the corner. Make sure you cut close to, but not actually through, the stitching. For the side with the zip, mark the

FINISHING OFF Step one Add hook and eyes or a button to close your skirt. Step two Hem your skirt by turning under the hem allowance you added when you cut out the skirt, and your maxi skirt is ready to wear!

MORE IDEAS TO TRY 1 Try huge oversized patch pockets instead of the inseam pockets for a slightly easier make and a different look. 2 Make a midi or mini version. 3 Make a matching obi tie and belt loops. 4 How about a high-low hem? 5 Make a cute top out of the same fabric for a matching two-piece set.



Fabulous MAXI SKIRT PRINTS Make your perfect Maxi Skirt this Summer with these stunning fabrics!



A polyester satin can be a great choice for a summer maxi skirt, with lovely draping qualities they can be easily folded up small – perfect for when you go on holiday. Alternatively a cotton lawn will keep you cool and will not be too heavy for the style – team either with a plain boob tube for a designer look.

The maxi skirt is a great and fun sewing project to make even if you aren’t an expert seamstress. The choice of fabrics depends on the desired look and your personal preferences. It can go from traditional floral floaty light cotton, to modern medium weight jersey knit. Whatever your idea is, Jelly Fabrics has a range of modern and bright organic fabrics to choose from. Photos: organic cotton by Monaluna, organic jersey by Elvelyckan Design.

Left: Where Am I? – Polyester Satin £6.00 Right: Lizzano – Cotton Lawn £9.50 TEL 01282 859281 WEB




We have hundreds of summer fabrics at Sew Crafty, perfect for pepping up your handmade summer wardrobe. From lightweight cotton prints to chifon and seersucker, you will find all the fun fabrics you need alongside our extensive haberdashery and trimmings collections. We are also home to our own exclusive sewing journal and brand new dressmaking journal along with a range of handmade and exclusively designed gift products you won’t find anywhere else.

Fabrics Galore think these cotton lawns would work perfectly for the skirt project! With 25 years under our belts, our bricks and mortar emporium is based in south London and newly launched online. We have a vast array of Liberty lawns, a fine selection of Alexander Henry fabrics as well as a whole host of other delights. Contemporary dressmaking fabrics, quilting cottons and fantastic home furnishings. Come and pimp your stash with us.

TEL 01628 620703 WEB

TEL 020 7738 9589 WEB

Fast fat quarter QUICK PROJECT

use 1 fat QuaRter

tag along Make your suitcase easy to spot at the airport when you jet of this summer with Jennie Jones’ bright tags.

Subscribe at


Fast fat quarter 01




YOU WILL NEED Q 1 fat quarter Q Contrast fabric: 18x12cm (7x5in) (optional) Q A4 plastic wallet Q Interfacing, medium weight Q Ribbon: 1x25cm (3⁄8x10in) Q Basic sewing kit NOTES Q Use a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Q You will find the templates needed on the pull-out pattern sheet. FABRICS USED Flight from the Cotton Candy range by Susan Driscoll for Dashwood Studio. Available from Faux metallic leather contrast fabric – free with Simply Sewing issue 12.


Designer Jennie says: “Holidays are here again! Jet off in style with these unique luggage tags. They make great gifts for travel-loving pals, too!“

CUTTING OUT Step one Trace the two templates from the pull-out pattern sheet and cut them out. Step two From the fat quarter, cut out the following pieces: Pocket: 11x10cm (43⁄8x4in). Tag back: Cut two pieces using the template. Step three From the contrast fabric cut one piece using the template if you want to make the tag back lining a different colour. Only cut one tag back from the fat quarter if you do this. Step four From the interfacing, cut one piece using the template. Step five From the plastic wallet, cut one piece measuring 9x8cm (35⁄8x31⁄8in).

ASSEMBLINGTHE POCKET Step one Pin the plastic to the WS of the pocket and sew the inside section of the pocket all the way around to hold in place. Step two Fold the outer edges of the pocket over to the WS on top of the plastic and stitch just along the top edge, leaving the remaining sides unstitched for now. 02



Step one Fold the ribbon in half then pin the two tag back pieces right sides (RS) together, sandwiching the folded ribbon between them. The ribbon should be in the centre of the top with the raw edges of the ribbon matching the raw edges of the tag back fabrics. 03 Step two Stitch the outside edges together all the way around but leaving the bottom open. Step three Turn the tag back RS out and press then turn the bottom edges under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the inside and pin.

Step one Take the pocket piece and press the interfacing centrally over the wrong side (WS). Step two Cut the fabric 1cm (3⁄8in) inside the interfacing to make the aperture then snip into each corner. Step three Snip the corners off the pocket fabric outside the interfacing to make the folds neater. Step four Fold the edges of the pocket aperture over on top of the interfacing and press then pin into place. 01

Step one Pin the pocket onto the tag back, matching up the bottom and side edges. Step two Stitch together around the edge of the tag back and through the pocket edges to hold the layers together. 04 Step three You can now print out or write your name and address or message on a piece on paper then slip it inside the pocket.



workshop LAZY DAISY STITCH Discover a new embroidery project each issue. This month, we’re sewing lazy daisy stitch.


Trace the template from the pattern sheet onto your fabric and stitch over the lines.

Use bright shades of pink and white for the flowers so they re ll st d out.


2 3

1 Start by taking two strands of cotton from your cut length and thread your embroidery needle with one end and knot the other. Bring the needle up at 1 and down at 2, without pulling the needle all the way through the fabric. Bring the needle up again at 3, with the thread under the needle and pull gently to form a loop.

2 Secure this loop by pushing the

5 4

needle into the fabric at 4. This is one complete lazy daisy stitch. To make another stitch next to it, repeat this method, starting at 5 to work the next stitch. In this design we have grouped them together, starting at the same point each time but angling the stitches slightly to form the flower shape. WWW.SIMP SEWINGMAG.COM 55


Give your home a bright new look with this collection of favourite projects from the Simply Sewing team. With easy-to-make accessories for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and more, it’s the perfect way to create a fabulous fabric makeover!

Just £7.99*

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! ORD ER ON L I N E W W W.B UYS U B S C R I P T I O N S . C O M / C R A F T S P E C I A L OR C AL L 0844 844 0388 A N D Q U O T E ‘ HO M E S E W I N G 1 6 ’ Lines open weekdays 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. Overseas please call +44 (0) 1795 414 676 *EUR price £9.99, ROW price £10.99 (all prices include P&P). Please allow up to 21 days for delivery

Use lazy daisy stitch to personalise your hand-sewn gifts.

Lovingly handmade gifts are always well-received, especially when they’re embellished with hand-embroidery – and bestowing your creations will give you a great sense of accomplishment, so it’s win-win! Give wild flowers that will last with pretty blooms sewn in lazy daisy stitch. Bookworms will love this thoughtful embroidered bookmark, while a little handmade zip-up pouch makes a great gift for that hard-to-buyfor someone (if you can bear to part with it, that is!). Learn the stitch on page 55.


Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting show

The Festival of Quilts 2016 11th–14th August Halls 7, 8 & 9 | NEC, Birmingham, England

Ticket Offer: Quote SIMPSEW for £2.50 off*! *Valid on adult tickets in advance only or £1.50 off concessions. Terms and conditions and £1.50 booking fee applies.

A celebration of quilting with over 300 exhibitors offering essential supplies, extraordinary galleries from international artists and over 1600 quilts on display

For more information call: 0844 581 1289

(+44 121 796 6347 from outside the UK) Workshops in association with


Image: Branching Out by Barbara T Kämpfer from 6th European Quilt Triennial

grow your own We’re growing (and sewing!) our own patch of tactile felt veggies with Kajsa Kinsella’s cute box-garden. Here’s how to make it for your green-ingered little one. Subscribe at


box gard n 01






Q Small wooden fruit box: 28x18x10cm (11x7x4in), you can get small fruit boxes like this one from the greengrocer’s as they’re often used to store strawberries or cherries. Q Felt: Brown 30x75cm (12x30in) Q Felt: different coloured scraps for the fruit and veg Q Polyester fibrefill Q Stranded cotton: to match felt Q Card Q Ink Q Letter stamps Q Garden stamps

Step one Paint your box in earthy colours and let it dry fully before you add your felt soil rolls. Step two Make a little garden sign with card and pretty stamps to decorate the box.

MAKINGTHE SOIL ROLLS Step one Cut four 23x30cm (9x12in) rectangles from brown felt. Step two Fold one rectangle in half widthways and stitch together along the long side. Step three Turn right sides (RS) out and thread your needle with matching brown stranded cotton. Work a running stitch 1cm (3⁄8in) from the edge all the way aound one end, then gently pull both ends of the thread to close it. Secure the thread to hold the gathers in place. Step four Fill the roll with polyester fibrefill, then close the other end in the same way. 01 Step five Repeat this to make all the felt rolls, taking care not to overstuff them. 02

using blanket stitch around the edges. Step four Using contrasting coloured stranded cotton, stitch the vegetables’ features using straight stitches as shown on the templates. Step five Sew the front and back of each piece together by working blanket stitches around the edge, leaving the top open for now. Step six Fill with polyester fibrefill. Step seven Push two stitched pairs of leaves into the top of the stuffed veg then sew the top closed, encasing the leaves inside. 03

MAKINGTHE STRAWBERRY Step one To make the strawberry, cut out an 8cm (3in) diameter semi-circle of red felt. Step two Fold it in half and sew together. Turn RS out and fill it with polyester fibrefill, then sew the top shut in the same way as with the soil rolls. Step three Attach the leaves by pushing them inside the gathers then stitching in place. Step four Stitch a few yellow straight stitches to the outer sides to represent seeds.

MAKINGTHE FRUIT ANDVEGETABLES Step one Trace the templates for the fruit, veg and leaves and cut them out. Step two Fold the coloured felt in half, pin the templates on top of each one and cut them out. Step three Stitch the pairs of leaves together 60 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

FINISHING OFF Step one Place the soil rolls in the box. Step two Push the fruit and veg between the rolls in rows, then you’re ready to play. Looks almost good enough to eat! 04

show us yours with #simplysewingmag

PriNt Your own FabRic DesIgN!

lazy days Add a handmade touch to your outside space and make the most of lazy sunny afternoons with R&B Designs’ easy deckchair cover.

Subscribe at


d ckchair cov r 01






Q Deckchair Q Canvas to fit Q 1 pot of each of red and yellow fabric paints Q Acrylic block Q Glue stick Q Hobby foam sheet Q Car wash sponge Q Scissors Q OHP pen (overhead projector pen) Q Water erasable marker Q Basic sewing kit

Step one Wash your fabric before you begin, as this will prevent shrinkage later on and will also make the fabric easier to print on. Step two Use the old deckchair cover to cut out a pattern for the new one. Add a 2cm (¾in) seam allowance on either side and 6cm (23⁄8in) at the top and bottom. Step three Turn the sides under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the wrong side (WS) then 1cm (3⁄8in) again and pin into place so all of the rough edges are hidden. Step four Stitch down each of the sides to hem. 01 Step five Turn the top over by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the WS and stitch down. Step six Fold this edge over by 5cm (2in) and stitch into place. 02 Step seven Repeat this with the bottom edge.

MAKINGTHE PRINTING BLOCK Step one Draw a simple design onto tracing paper. Step two Use a permanent OHP pen to mark the centre back of the acrylic block. Place the design under the acrylic block and trace onto the reverse side of the block with the OHP pen. Step three To transfer the image onto the foam sheet, place the tracing paper design face down on the foam, and then scribble over the back. Step four Cut out your design from the foam sheet


using scissors and a craft knife. Stick the cut out pieces in position on the acrylic block following the lines you traced earlier, using a glue stick.

PRINTINGTHE CANVAS Step one Mix up your fabric printing colour. We made a peachy orange by mixing red and yellow. Step two For the fabric paint applicator, cut a 3cm (1in) cube from the car wash sponge. Dab one side of the foam in the paint until it is evenly coated. Step three Dab the fabric paint onto the design block and print on a scrap of canvas to check the colour and to get the feel of how hard you need to press so it is even. 03 Step four Using a water-erasable marker, measure and mark out on the deckchair the areas where you want to print. 04 Step five Reload the block with paint after each impression. Place the block where you have marked on the canvas. It is easier to print every other row and then go back between the rows you have already printed. This helps prevent the paint from smudging. Step six When you have finished, press on the back of the canvas to fix the paint following the manufacturer’s instructions. Step seven Attach the new canvas seat to your deckchair, and you’re ready to sit back and relax!

Mend it




Give a favurite bluse a new lease of life by replacing r reattaching buttns.


Every issue, we show you how to tackle an essential mending job. Here’s how to repair and update your blouses, shirts and coats by replacing the buttons.

Subscribe at









Step two Pass your needle up through one hole of the button and down through the other into the fabric and repeat. 02 Step three If your button has two holes, repeat this until your button feels secure. If your button has four holes then stitch it on in the same pattern as the other buttons on your garment for uniformity. There are a variety of ways to sew a four-hole button. 03 Step four To finish, work a few small stitches on top of each other on the back of the fabric to secure the end.

Step two Remove the matchstick and wrap the thread three or four times around the loose thread underneath the button – this will create a thread shank. Take the needle down through the fabric, then fasten off. 05

Step one You’ll need to double up ordinary sewing thread, so choose a sharp needle with a large eye so it’s easy to thread. Step two Running your thread through tailor’s beeswax is optional but it will make your thread stronger and stop it from knotting. Step three Cut twice the length of thread you need. Fold it in half and thread the two ends through the needle. 01 Step four If you’re replacing a missing button there will be a few loose threads or stitching holes to show you where to reattach it.

ATTACHING TO THICKER FABRIC HOW TO SEW ON A FLAT BUTTON Flat buttons have two or four holes in the middle and sit flat on the fabric. There are two ways to sew a flat button on, depending on the type of fabric you need to attach it to.

ATTACHING TO THINNER FABRIC Step one Push the needle through the fabric exactly in the centre of where you want your button to be, then thread the point of your needle through the loop and pull. Your thread is now secured. Work a couple of small stitches on top of each other for strength.


You need to ensure the button sits slightly away from thicker fabric by creating a thread shank, so it has a little movement to allow it to be pushed through the buttonhole. This is particularly important with larger flat buttons. Step one Begin to sew the button on as before, but after pushing the needle up through the button, slide a matchstick or cocktail stick underneath the button. Sew the button on as before, keeping the matchstick underneath – this will leave a small gap between the fabric and button so that it is sewn on a little more loosely. 04

ATTACHING A SHANK BUTTON A shank button has a protruding shank at the back which keeps the button away from the fabric so that it sits flat when the button is through the buttonhole. Step one Attach your thread to the fabric in the centre of where the button is to be placed. Step two Stitch through the shank and into the fabric until it feels secure. Finish as before. 06

CHANGING BUTTONS Don’t just limit yourself to reattaching buttons that have fallen off, but update your existing clothes by replacing the buttons. You can make simple, inexpensive items look quite striking and of much better quality. The buttons need to be the same size as the original ones so they will fit the buttonholes. Coats can be transformed just by changing the buttons, or you could just replace the top button on a shirt or blouse to add interest.

show us yours with #simplysewingmag

Get festival ready with this boho triangle scarf, which can be sewn up in an afternoon. Tassel-tastic! YOU WILL NEED Q Double-sided or woven fabric, 2m (2yds) Q Cotton yarn Q Basic sewing kit Designer Nastja from DaWanda DIY (en.dawanda. com) and DIY Eule says: “This oversized triangle scarf is easy to sew but will make an impression every time you wear it! You only need pretty fabric, basic supplies and a free afternoon.”

sew Your own in an AftErNoon!

MAKING A SCARF Step one Gather your materials for the project. Since this scarf has no lining, you will need woven or reversible fabric. Step two Cut a triangle from your fabric with the base measuring 2m (2yds) and each side measuring 1m (1yd). Step three Fold each raw edge of the fabric under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the wrong side (WS) then 1cm (3⁄8in) to the WS again and press. Step four Topstitch the folded edges down to hem your scarf.

MAKINGTHETASSELS Step one Wrap the yarn around your open fingers five to six times to form a loop. Step two Cut through the bottom end. Step three Place the top folded end of the loop on the hemmed edge of the fabric and oversew securely in place through all the yarn pieces. Step four Knot the yarn close to the edge of the hem to finish the tassel. Step five Repeat this to make and attach as many tassels to your scarf as you want. You can attach them just to the points or evenly spaced across the sides as you prefer.

Subscribe at



KNOW YOUR HAND STITCHES Hand-sewing isn’t only used for embroidery – it’s an essential skill when it comes to making garments and homewares, too. Here are the key stitches. or most sewing projects you will need to do some hand stitching, such as when making hems, tacking facings in place, stitching trickier areas or for a little decoration. Each hand stitch has a specific purpose to give a garment that perfect finishing touch, and with a little practice you can learn them all.


WHAT NEEDLE AND THREAD TO USE Use a sharp needle with an eye large enough so the thread goes through easily, but not too big so it slips out while you’re stitching. The smaller and finer the needle the better as you’ll get neater stitches and it will pierce the fabric threads rather than snagging them. A crewel needle is ideal for this. Use a thread that matches your fabric as closely as possible so the stitches can’t be seen. If you’re working tacking stitches, though, it’s best to use a contrasting thread so it’s easy to see when removing them later. A polyester thread or poly-cotton mix is best as it’s stronger than pure cotton. 66 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

THREADING YOUR NEEDLE There are two ways of threading your needle, depending on the stitch you’re working. Single thread: This is used for most hand stitches, especially those that you want to be invisible. Cut the thread to the length you need then thread it through the eye and knot the end if you want to start off that way. Double thread: This is used for stitches that need to be strong and secure, such as running stitches for gathering. Cut the thread twice the length you need then fold it in half and thread the two ends through the eye of the needle. The loop that’s left at the other end can then be used to slip the needle through after the first stitch has been made for a really secure knotless start. STARTING OFF Before you begin any hand stitches, it’s important to start off correctly. If you’ve started with a double thread then you can simply slide the needle through the loop and you’re ready to stitch. You can start off by

making a knot in the end of your thread, which is fine when working tacking stitches, as the thread will be removed later. But for other hand stitches, remember that knots can come undone so this isn’t a guaranteed secure method. Working a double stitch is a tidy way to start off without using a knot. Make a small straight stitch for your first stitch and then stitch over it a couple of times, keeping it as neat as possible. Slide the needle through the stitches on the wrong side for extra security. FINISHING YOUR THREAD You must finish off your thread securely to ensure your stitches don’t come undone. You can work a double stitch to finish or another method is to take the needle through to the wrong side of the fabric. Catch a tiny thread of the fabric on the wrong side then pull the needle through it to form a small loop then thread your needle through it. Pull the needle and a small knot will be made. Work a small stitch over this to be extra secure.

hand-stitching know-how 7





3 2 1



DIAGONAL TACK This stitch is worked horizontally and parallel to form diagonal stitches on the front. It is used to hold the fabric layers together securely, as the diagonal stitches will stop the fabric shifting. They are ideal for slippery or thicker fabrics. To work this stitch, follow the numbers on the diagram.

BASIC TACKING Tacking (known as basting in the U.S) is used for holding two pieces of fabric together temporarily. Start with a knot then use a single thread to make straight stitches, evenly spaced. When you need to remove them, pull the thread out or cut it every few stitches if there are lots of them.

3 6

5 4



RUNNING STITCH This stitch is similar to tacking and is used for decorating a finished project or for gathering fabric. Bring your needle up and down through the fabric to create regular stitches. Make sure that all the stitches are the same length and the spaces between them are that length too for a neat stitch.


2 4

SLIP STITCH This stitch is almost invisible so is perfect for hems. Bring the needle up at 1 on the top fabric or turned-over hem then back in at 2 and out at 3 on the base fabric. Make this stitch as small as possible so it can’t be seen from the front. Repeat by making a vertical stitch back into the top fabric.

1 2


BACK STITCH This is a strong stitch and ideal for working any small fiddly parts of seams that you can’t reach with your sewing machine, particularly when mending. The stitches should all be the same length with no gaps between them. Bring the needle up at 1 and down at 2, up again at 3 and so on.


BLANKET STITCH This can be used to neaten the edges of a blanket as well as for appliqué to add fabric shapes to the base material. Bring the needle out a short distance from the edge of the fabric at 1, then back in at 2 and out at 3 with the thread underneath the needle. Pull it through to form a loop.


6 7

2 3


2 4 5

LADDER STITCH This is used to join together and close two turned under edges invisibly, such as on a dress lining or soft toy. Bring the needle up at 1 on 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.

Subscribe at


WHIP STITCH Whip stitch (or overcast stitch) is used to join the edges of two fabrics such as felt or other fabrics that don’t fray. With the fabrics right sides together, bring your needle out at 1 on the front of the fabric, over to the back then through and out at 2. Continue in this way to work small stitches.




5 4


11 10



HERRINGBONE STITCH This is ideal for keeping layers of fabric flat against each other – so is perfect for hems or sewing down seam allowances. It allows the hem a little give so works well on curves and thicker fabrics. Bring the needle out at 1 on the hem, in at 2, out at 3 and so on, keeping your stitches evenly spaced.




Kirsty Hartley’s appliqué boy’sshirt will bring the sun out to play whatever the weather!










Placket interfacing – cut 2.

Q Main fabric: cotton poplin or quilting cotton: 100x112cm (40x44in) Q Lining fabric: 15x35cm (6x14in) Q Sunshine appliqué fabric: yellow, 20x40cm (8x16in) Q Fabric scraps: black, orange, pink for appliqué features Q Lightweight iron-on interfacing: 45x30cm (18x12in) Q Bondaweb: 30x40cm (12x16in) Q Grosgrain ribbon: 5cm (2in) Q 6 shirt buttons Q Matching threads Q Basic sewing kit

Step one Choose the size for your child using the finished garment measurements on page 72 and the age recommendation. Step two Cut out all the pattern pieces according to your chosen size. Each size has a different style of line to follow as shown on the pattern sheet. Step three Fold the fabric wrong sides (WS) together, matching selvedges. Step four Place the pattern pieces onto the main fabric following the cutting layout. Remember to match the folds marked on the pattern pieces to the fold on the fabric and make sure the grainline arrows on the patterns run parallel to the fabric selvedges. Cut out the following pieces: Shirt front – cut 2. Shirt back – cut 1 on fold. Sleeves – cut 2. Collar – cut 1 on fold. Collar stand – cut 2. Pocket – cut 1. Yoke – cut 1 on fold. Step five Fold the lining fabric in half widthways and cut: Yoke – cut 1 on fold. Step six From the interfacing cut: Collar interfacing – cut 1 on fold. Collar stand interfacing – cut 1.

NOTES Q The templates needed to make this project are on the pull-out pattern sheet provided with this issue and on page 91. Q Use a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance throughout unless otherwise stated. Q Finish all raw fabric edges as you go by working a machine zigzag stitch or overlocking.


MAKINGTHE COLLAR Step one Place the collar interfacing glue-side down onto the WS of one half of the collar piece, making sure it’s placed centrally within the seam allowance. Cover with a soft cloth to protect the fabric and press. Step two Repeat this to press the collar stand interfacing onto the WS of one collar stand. Step three Fold the collar in half lengthways, with right sides (RS) facing, and sew together along both short ends. Turn RS out and press. Step four Place the collar sandwiched between the collar stand pieces, with RS facing, positioned between the notches on the collar stand and matching centre notches. Sew together all around the longer curved edge. 01 Step five Carefully clip the seam allowance. 02 Step six Turn RS out and press. Step seven Press the lower open edge of the collar stand under by 1.5cm (5⁄8in) ready for assembly on one straight edge only. 03

MAKINGTHE PLACKETS Step one Take one shirt front and place the placket interfacing onto the WS, 1.5cm (5⁄8in) in from the front edge. Cover with a soft cloth to protect the fabric and press into place. Step two Press the raw front edge under by







1.5cm (5⁄8in) on top of the interfacing. Next, fold the whole interfaced edge over to the WS along the inner edge of the interfacing. Pin into place. Step three Topstitch the placket 5mm (¼in) in from the outer folded edge from top to bottom. Step four Topstitch the placket close to the inner folded edge from top to bottom. Take care to keep the lines straight for a neat finish. Step five Repeat these steps to make and sew the placket on the other shirt front piece. 04

Step three Stitch the folds together 5mm (¼in) from the outer folded edge. Make sure you trap the raw edges of the first fold as you stitch. 05 Step four Unfold the fabric then place it RS up and press the small stitched fold upwards towards the top of the sleeve to create a mock turn back. 06

place close to the edge. Stitch horizontal and vertical lines through the centre of each eye. 09

MAKINGTHE POCKET Step one Turn the sides and bottom edges of the pocket under by 1.5cm (5⁄8in) to the WS. Step two Turn the top edge under by 1cm (3⁄8in) then 2cm (¾in) to the WS and press. Step three Topstitch the top of the pocket into place close to the lower folded edge. Step four Mark and pin the pocket into place as shown on the pattern. Make sure you use the placement marks for your chosen shirt size as shown on the key.

MAKINGTHE MOCK SLEEVE TURN BACKS Step one Take one sleeve and turn the cuff edge under to the WS at the point where the straight side edge stops and becomes angled then press. Step two Press under the same amount again to the WS and press. Subscribe at

WORKINGTHE SUNSHINE APPLIQUÉ Step one Trace around the templates and cut out the shirt sunshine, pocket sunshine, eyes, cheeks and mouth. Step two Press Bondaweb paper-side up on the WS of the yellow appliqué fabric. 07 Step three Trace the shirt sunshine template and the pocket sunshine template onto the paper side of the Bondaweb and cut out. 08 Step four Repeat this to press Bondaweb to the appliqué scrap fabrics and cut out the eyes, cheeks and mouth. Step five Peel the paper backing from the shirt sunshine and place it RS up on top of the RS of the shirt back, matching lower hem edges and making sure it’s central. Cover with a soft cloth and press into place. Step six Remove the paper backing from the fabric features and press into place on top of the sunshine. Step seven Topstitch the sunshine into place around all edges, then stitch the features in

FINISHINGTHE POCKET Step one Place the pocket sunshine under the pinned on pocket so that it reaches inside the pocket a short way. Press into place. 10 Step two Move the top of the pocket out of the way and topstitch the pocket sunshine into place all the way around. Step three Pin the pocket back into place then fold the ribbon in half and slip the raw ends half way down the right-hand side and pin. Step four Stitch the pocket to the shirt front just 2mm (1⁄16in) from the edge, stitching over the ribbon ends as you go. Sew a triangular shape at the top of each side of pocket opening. 11 ATTACHING THE YOKE Step one Place the top edge of the shirt back between the main fabric yoke and lining yoke with the RS of the fabrics together. 12 Step two Sew together along the top edge. Step three Open out and place the yokes WS together with the shirt back below them. Topstitch the yoke pieces together 5mm (¼in) above the seam. Step four Place the shirt fronts RS together with their corresponding yoke outer and inner edges and stitch together. WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 71







Step five Open the seams out then press upwards towards the yoke itself. Topstitch 5mm (¼in) from the seam on the yoke edge.

the left placket of the shirt front using the pattern as a guide. The stars mark the button positions and the centre of the buttonholes. Mark a horizontal buttonhole in the collar stand in line with the other buttonholes. Step two Choose the buttonhole setting on your machine, and practice first on a folded fabric scrap to make sure it will fit your chosen buttons. Stitch the buttonholes, then carefully snip through to create the buttonhole. 18 Step three Sew the buttons into place on the right front placket and collar stand so they match the buttonhole positions

HEMMING THE SHIRT Step one Turn the lower edge of the fronts and back, including the sunshine appliqué, under by 1cm (3⁄8in) to the WS then 1cm (3⁄8in) again. Step two Press then stitch the hem in place. Step three Press the entire shirt well to finish then your shirt is ready to wear. Now let the summer adventures begin!


ADDING BUTTONHOLES Step one Mark the buttonholes vertically down




ATTACHING THE COLLAR Step one Pin the RS of the straight unturned edge of the collar stand to the WS of the top edge of the shirt fronts. Match the centre of the shirt back to the notch on the collar stand to position it correctly. 15 Step two Sew into place then press the seams upwards into the collar stand. 16 Step three Fold the pre-pressed collar stand edge over the seam and pin then sew into place 2mm (1⁄16in) from the pressed edge. Step four Topstitch around the collar stand and the collar itself for a neat, clean finish. 17





18 mths3yrs

3-5 yrs

5-7 yrs


























ADDING THE SLEEVES Step one Pin the sleeves into place with RS facing and matching the sleeve notches to the yoke notches. Stitch together then press the seams back towards the sleeve. Step two Topstitch 5mm (¼in) from the seam on the sleeve edge. 13 Step three Sew the side seam starting at the sleeve cuff, under the arm and to the hem. 14





Fill up your stash with fabric, patterns and more from these fabulous shops!





Liberty Manuela Cord Fabric £19.50 per metre – A very fine cotton needle cord with a glorious colourful all over print.

Fabric, Haberdashery & Sewing Classes. Dress making, soft furnishing, quilting & crafting.Follow us on Facebook: /sewfriendlybourne.

Online haberdashery & quilting store selling fabrics by the metre, fat quarters and all sewing essentials. Use code SS10 for 10% off first order!

Craft kits that really work! Our kits are based on our popular workshops and include the same high quality materials.




Sales, services and repairs. All makes of sewing machine, new and reconditioned, plus a small haberdashery.

Crafty Sew&So have everything you need for your next sewing project! Use code CRAFTY10 to get 10% off your first order online!

Based in Bexleyheath, we have a wide range of fabrics from just £3 per metre and free UK delivery on orders over £20

3 IssUes for £5 When you SubScRibe TodAy! SUBSCRIBE TODAY: GET 3 ISSUES FOR £5! OR call 01795 419845 & quote code SCHA16 Lines open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm Saturday 9am-1pm This trial offer is for new print subscribers only subscribing by Direct Debit. You will receive 3 issues for £5 and then save 25% on the shop price with a Direct Debit step up of £22.49 every 6 issues. Full details of the Direct Debit guarantee are available on request. Prices correct at point of print and subject to change. Offer ends 31st December 2016.

To advertise here contact Isabel Higuero 0117 300 8538 isabel.higuero or Jordana Widt 0117 300 8539 jordana.widt

THE ART OF FABRIC DESIGN Finding the perfect fabric is one of the great pleasures of sewing, so imagine if you could create that fabric yourself! We talk to designers who dream up the fabrics we love to sew. here’saparticularmindsetthatmakes upasuccessfultextilesdesigner,it seems.Youneedtohaveathirstfor colourandpatterns,andamagpieeye thathelpsyouidentifytheshapes, shadesandrepeatsthatcouldbethe jumpingpointforaselectionoforiginal designsthatworktogetherinharmony. For Amy Butler (www.amybutlerdesign. com), becoming a textiles designer followed on naturally from a love of creative expression in all its forms. “I come from a very artistic family, which has fed my design preferences, style and taste,” she says. “My mom and Grandmother G were both artists as well as great collectors of decorative garage sale finds and textiles. I grew up surrounded by beautiful finds and artistry.” Leah Duncan ( also started with a passion for making art for art’s sake, saying that after working as a graphic designer for screen-printing companies and



an advertising firm, she was keen to try something “more creatively fulfilling.” At that point Leah had already discovered Etsy as a consumer, and “saw it as a great way to get my work out there. I started drawing and put my art prints online in my Etsy shop, which allowed me to connect with my demographic. Everything has grown from there.” Sarah Waterhouse (www.sarahwaterhouse. began her fabric design journey via an ardent interest in surface pattern. “I loved collecting fabrics with interesting prints,” she says. “When I started to make items for myself, like bags and purses, I couldn’t quite find the prints that I really wanted to use and yet could imagine what I wanted the prints to look like.” The answer, she realised, was to try designing her own. “I was adamant I wanted to use sustainable fabrics. It wasn’t a market that existed for contemporary prints at the time,” she says. “I had no experience in pattern design but studied art at college and

loved lino printing. I’d never had the chance to try screen-printing, yet I was fascinated by it, so I decided to teach myself how to screen print. I started working on designs and just fell in love with the whole process.” GAIN THE RIGHT SKILLS There are some very specific techniques associated with creating a fabric range – even more so if you intend to print the textiles yourself. Sarah, for instance, soon discovered that there was nowhere in her hometown of Sheffield to gain formal lessons in screenprinting at that time. “Instead, I used books and any YouTube videos I could find to learn about the screen printing process. It was a long journey, but incredibly rewarding.” She took things a step further when she decided to build her own screen-printing equipment from scratch. “That gave me a great grounding in learning how the whole process worked and it also allowed me to


Amy Butler is known around the world for her bright boho prints.

a good read troubleshoot endless issues.” It was a similar situation with the pattern design itself. “I just had to keep trying new things and gradually improve on my designs.” Amy, meanwhile, chose to study fashion and surface design at art school. She recommends thinking hard before choosing your own route. “Know the types of markets you’d like to design in – for example, it may be sewing fabric or interior fabrics and home decor products,” she comments. “There are so many options for designers. Complete a level of education or understanding that empowers you. Art school is fabulous to hone your talent and build your skills.” Amy feels very fortunate that her skills have coalesced in such a positive way. “I knew that my passions would somehow connect and I would be living my life as an artist and designer,” she says. “Fabric design has always

been a dream. I feel blessed to have come full circle in my life and get to do what I love.” Leah’s first foray into fabric design came about once she already had a following for her fine art, and she began to wonder how it would feel to see her drawings translated into homeware. “I loved the possibility of seeing my work on tangible goods like bedding, rugs, stationery, and ceramics,” she recalls. First, Leah needed to master surface pattern design, including how to work with repetitions, “and the editing and strike-off process that happens with fabric collections.” Teamwork was another vital skill to learn, as most fine art is a solitary pastime. “Collaboration is a huge part of working with a fabric company.” Like Sarah, Leah is completely self-taught, which she feels has given her a distinct methodology. “The way I approach my work

UNVEIL YOUR DEBUT Once you’ve notched up the skills and confidence you need, there comes a time when you’re ready to send your first fabric designs out into the world. “My first collection was Maya with Anthology Fabrics,” says Leah. “They knew of my work elsewhere and contacted me, which was wonderful. Anthology is a company with a forward-leaning aesthetic within the industry.” Leah created Maya as a reflection of the American south west and Mexico. “Given that I live in Texas, it was a perfect theme for my debut. I felt really excited when the collection came out as I’d always wanted to design fabric.

Photo: Nigel Barker

Photos right & bottom right:


is quite different than the way most designers create,” she says. “Everything is hand-drawn and turned into a repeated pattern without the use of any software programs. I love that this approach gives my work a different look and allows me to create repeats with unexpected bits and pieces in them.”

Photo right: Aimee Wenske Pruett; Photo top centre:

Top centre: Leah Duncan sketches by hand before creating her pattern repeats. Left, top right & below right: Sarah Waterhouse both designs and prints fabrics at her studio. Leah Duncan finds inspiration for many of her designs by going on walks near her home in Texas.

Subscribe at



Above: Making up garments, accessories, quilts and other homewares with her fabric designs is an important part of Amy Butler’s process, and the finished projects often feature in her pattern collection, Blossom Magazine and sewing books.

There can be no hiding when you’re wearing a bold print like this one! At the same time, the collection was heavily edited so I was a little nervous about how it would sell.” Happily, Maya ended up being one of the bestselling print collections Anthology had ever launched. Amy’s debut fabric collection, Gypsy Caravan, launched with FreeSpirit Fabrics in May 2003. The company, now owned by Coats, approached Amy when she was exhibiting her sewing patterns at her first quilt market in 2002. “They invited me to create collections with them. My first collection was inspired by my fantastical imaginings of turn-of-the-century exotic travels to bohemian locales,” she recalls. “The palettes were taken from my colourful upbringing in the 1970s.” It was a different experience for Sarah, as, in 2007, after a year of learning to print, designing and making up samples, she felt ready to launch her own textiles company, named simply Sarah Waterhouse. “I decided to take the plunge and start making items to sell so I launched the business and started selling on Etsy,” she says. “About six months later, I booked in my first craft fair and loved

meeting the people who bought my work.” Sarah’s first fabric collection featured a series of sewing and knitting motifs. “Those were my hobbies, so I made up a collection of knitting bags, pin cushions and sewing needle cases. I look back on them now fondly, especially the knitting bags – I still use some for my own knitting projects. My designs featured a very limited colour palette to make an impact on the natural coloured fabrics.” If you like the idea of forming your own fabrics company, it’s worth working out your main aims for your business. In Sarah’s case, that was to create a genuine sustainable alternative to the printed fabrics available at the time. “I was aware of the environmental impact of cotton, in terms of its impact on the environment and the people who work in the industry,” she says. “I really wanted to start my own business but could only do that in a way where I didn’t add to the problem but tried to be part of the solution.” Sarah has a few wise words for anyone keen to follow her example: “It’s rewarding and I love it, but it’s definitely harder to be the both the designer and producer of any fabric



collection, so that isn’t for the fainthearted,” she says. “It really does depend on what you love doing. For me it’s both a design and craft process as I love to print my designs and would never want to stop doing that.” SEEK INSPIRATION, ENDLESSLY Amy finds her desire to create fuelled via a diverse range of stimuli. “I’m a huge fan of ethnic textiles and historic design,” she says. “I grew up in a very eclectic home and my early cultural upbringing influences many of my design choices. My garden and home are a constant source of inspiration, too.” Sourcing ideas is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process. “I’m inspired by so many things around me,” says Sarah, “from the buildings and streets of Sheffield to the mesmerising patterns in the natural world. I take my camera everywhere with me and record anything that catches my eye.” Leah has a passion for “translating stories from my day-to-day life in my work. This could be something I see in my neighbourhood, such as a mama duck and her ducklings. In the case of my latest quilter’s weight collection, Lore (for Cloud9 Fabrics), it’s a visual narrative of the folk tales I heard growing up.” Capturing these ideas requires a variety of tools. “I have a sketchbook, but to be honest I have a preference for random pieces of

Photo: www.brooklynpatterns.comm


Sarah Waterhouse’s upholstery-weight prints will give old furniture a new look. Above: Fabric from Leah’s Yucca collection, sewn up as a sweet little girl’s dress using Brooklyn Pattern Co’s Franklin pattern. Left: A roll of Sarah Waterhouse fabric ready to be stitched up into something beautiful.

paper,” Leah admits. “Somehow a sketchbook seems so serious and permanent. I like the thought that I can toss the bad ideas in the trash and not have to look at them again.” Once the collection stage is complete, Sarah sets about identifying the theme that’s forming in her head. “I dive into the images and drawings in my sketchbook and pull out and put together anything that relates to a particular idea I have for a print,” she says. “From there I do further developmental sketches, all done by hand.” Leah agrees that all products start with a concept. “The final result depends on how the creative process goes. It normally starts with a lot of anxiety about how I will translate my ideas, then it goes through the creation process and always end up a little bit differently than I’d originally intended.” Amy prefers to work on a single, total collection at a time. “After I’ve doodled my ideas, I create a mix of artwork that I feel tells the story I’m dreaming of,” she says. “I’ll create a bit more work than I need so I can edit down to the best patterns in my mix.” She works in black and white initially “to get scale and balance figured out”, and adds colour digitally. “It’s a luscious experience. I love getting lost in the creative options and feeling that zing when I finally land on the perfect combination.” Subscribe at

Making sewn samples is an important part of the development stage for most designers, along with the use of computer programs like Illustrator. “I use my computer at the end of the processing for setting out repeats on designs that I like,” says Sarah, “It’s a lot easier on the computer than doing it by hand.” Sarah notes that working for other companies is a different experience to designing for her own, and says that this is a variation she relishes. “That’s always been an exciting part of the job as it’s nice to work with a different design brief, as opposed to just working to my own,” she comments. “Every company I work with has their own style too so it’s great to be able to stretch my design skills by making an idea work within an existing brand or style.”

says Sarah. “We also make products to showcase and complement the fabrics, as it’s often a nice introduction and not everyone has the skills to make things themselves.” The remainder of Sarah’s time is taken up with marketing and sales, and she says “there isn’t one part of my job that I don’t love.” Around half of Amy’s working life is “fabric specific”, but she points out that this doesn’t include all the licensed products, such as home furnishings and stationery, that her artwork is used for. “I also use my fabrics in my sewing patterns, my Blossom Magazine and books. It’s a wonderful interconnected circle of creation.” For Leah, only around 20 per cent of her working life is devoted to design. “Online sales are my bread and butter, so between my online shop and my Etsy shop, we stay pretty busy shipping orders and coming up with new work,” she explains. “In addition, I wholesale home goods and stationery, and work with other companies on various projects, from bedding to wrapping paper and wall art.” It all sounds pretty time-consuming, not least because Leah also became a mum not so long ago! “I’m currently working on figuring out how to be a mom!” she exclaims. “I look forward to getting back in the full swing of things to work on new fabric collections, art prints, and other various textiles. Maybe some painting, too…” Amy recommends taking your time when choosing the direction you want to take your textile design in. “Take it one step at a time,” she advises. “Making a creative life is evolutionary, and every experience you have is valuable. Pay attention to opportunities. Follow your heart and focus on doing what you love to do.” A lovely motto to live and work by. Written by Judy Darley.


MAKE IT WORK As you might expect, there’s a lot more to being a fabric designer than actually designing fabric collections. In fact, it’s the main activity for only one of our textile experts! “The majority of my time is dedicated to designing or printing fabrics, as our by-themetre fabrics are the main part of our business,”



DowNload Your IssUe of SIMPLY SEWING NOW!

Yo ou can n buy a digital edition of S Simply y Sewing, ready to read whene er you want. Single issuess and su scriptions are available an nd eve ery issue you purchaase is sto ored in your magazine lib brary perm mane ently. Once your magazin h do has ownloaded, an interrnet co ne t on is not required so s you u can take e your magazine with h you u, wherever you go.

N * W50I0 PriZeS!

sew CloThes + Toys fo Kids!


! Make me



holiday acc ries! accesso

N * W50I0 PriZeS!

wardrobe drobe in SizEs 6-20

sew CloThes + Toys for Kids!


Make me!


sewing ROOM accessories!

tap here for your free trial today!*



Win th e set!



wardrobe drobe T in SizEs 6-20


Win the set!

ess for a dream sewing room

Gorgeous makes for a dream sewing room * UK ONLY - RULES APPLY

HOW TO: Master 9 hand stitches Cover a deckchair

appliqué Sew a maxi skirt

a eerr

d titches Cover a deckchair Reverse appliqué Sew a maxi skirt

To buy your digital copy of Simp ply Sewing, visit droi r PC Find

registere e U.S. and App Sto ark of Ba Noble, In a tradem *Free triial not available on Zinio

ThrIfty MakEs

denim upcycle


old jeans, new skirt Whip up a panelled skirt for summer from a pair of unloved jeans with Jessica Entwistle’s simple how-to.

Subscribe at


denim upcycle 01






Designer Jessica says: “This is a very simple way of turning a pair of old jeans into a cute skirt for the summer. You could add lace or appliqué some fabric shapes to embellish it, or keep it yours simple as we have with a frayed hem. If you want a looser fit, get a pair of jeans that are larger than your normal size from a charity shop, otherwise use an old pair of your own.”

Step three Cut off the excess jean fabric 2cm (¾in) outside this marked line on both sides so you are left with a triangle. 03 Step four Pin this cut section in place beneath the skirt front. 04 Step five Sew the front of the skirt together along the pinned line, using the original unpicked stitching lines as a guide. You will need to make two rows of parallel stitching to copy the orginal seam lines. Trim off the excess fabric at the back of the inserted section. 05

YOU WILL NEED Q Pair of jeans Q Chalk pencil: white Q Matching thread Q Basic sewing kit

Use a favourite offcut to make the contrasting panel for a stashbusting project.

CUTTING AND UNPICKING Step one Work out how long you would like your finished skirt to be and cut off each leg to 4cm (15⁄8in) longer than that length as it will be trimmed to fit later. Step two Put the legs you’ve cut off to one side. Step three Using a seam ripper, unpick the inner seam from the jeans all the way around both of the legs. 01 Step four At the front of your skirt, continue to unpick the seam upwards towards the zip. This will allow the top of the jeans fabric to overlap which will make the skirt front flat when you insert the extra section. 02 CREATING THE SKIRT FRONT Step one Take one of your cut off jean legs and cut it open down the centre of one leg so that the decorative topstitched seam is in the middle of the fabric. Step two Place the open jean leg inside the front of the skirt and mark out where the piece will go using your white chalk pencil.


CREATING THE SKIRT BACK Step one Unpick the back seam open to about mid pocket level so that the skirt will lay flat, and the seam is straight and not curved. Step two Cut open the other cut off jeans leg in the same way as the first then place it inside the skirt back and mark with the white chalk pencil and pin as before. 06 Step three You will need to fold back excess fabric from the opened legs of the skirt to create a triangle then press the folds in place. Step four Stitch this back piece in place with two rows of stitching as before. FINISHING YOUR SKIRT Step one Once the skirt is sewn together, cut off the excess fabric so the skirt is your desired finished length. Step two Pop it in the washing machine and once dry you’ll have a fab frayed hem!

show us yours with #simplysewingmag


transform a tee


walk the dinosaur Sew your budding little paleontologist this roarsome dinosaur tee with Jennie Jones’ simple how-to.

Subscribe at


transform a tee 01




YOU WILL NEED Q T-shirt Q Fabric scraps Q Basic sewing kit

Designer Jennie says: “This T-shirt restyle is a great quick fix for a fancy dress party or gift for a budding young paleontologist!“ We see no reason why you couldn’t make this in adult sizes, too! Festival outfit, anyone?

CUTTING THE FABRIC Step one Cut out some triangles for spikes from your fabric scraps. We cut equilateral triangles with each side measuring 7cm (2¾in). Step two Measure the length of your T-shirt to work out how many spikes you need and what size. The spikes need to fit down the length of the T-shirt with small gaps between each one. We had five spikes on our T-shirt, so cut out ten triangles in total. 01

MAKING THE SPIKES Step one Take two triangles and place them right sides (RS) facing. Stitch them together along two sides, leaving one side open. Step two Turn the triangles RS out and press flat. Repeat for all of the triangle pieces. 02 Step three Topstitch around the outer edge of


the joined triangles using a contrasting thread to decorate and hold the spikes flat.

STITCHING THE SPIKES IN PLACE Step one Fold your T-shirt in half vertically to find the centre line of the back. Cut along this line on the back only, up to the neckline but leaving the neckband or collar intact. You will only be inserting the spikes into the T-shirt back and you’ll get a neater finish this way. 03 Step two Leaving your T-shirt RS out, pin your spikes into place, matching the raw edge of each spike with the raw edge of one side of the cut line of the T-shirt. Space the spikes evenly down the back of the T-shirt so the top one is just below the neckline and the bottom one is just above the hem. 04 Step three Now pin the two cut edges of the T-shirt back RS together, encasing the raw edges of the spikes between them. Step four Stitch the two sides together, tapering the seam at the top so it meets with the neckline. Step five Turn the T-shirt RS out and press the seams to finish.

sew-asaurus rex Say hello to Timmy the T-Rex, the friendly dino who’s always ready for jurassic japes at playtime! Jo Carter shows you how to make your own.

Subscribe at


dinosaur toy 01








Q Main fabric: dark green plush, 50x75cm (20x30in) Q Contrast fabric: mid green plush, 30x35cm (12x14in) Q Felt: white, 3x20cm (1½x8in) Q 2 safety eyes: black, 12mm (½in) Q Polyester toy filling Q Water erasable pen/pencil Q Basic sewing kit

Step one Trace and cut out all the template pieces. The templates include seam allowances where necessary and the arrows indicate the pile or print direction for marking and cutting out. The notches are used to match pieces when stitching together, so mark these, too. 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 two 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 the main fabric: Middle head, cut 1. Front side head, cut 2. Back side head, cut 2. Nostril, cut 2. Eyebrow, cut 2. Side body, cut 2. Inner arm, cut 2. Inner leg, cut 2. Bottom foot, cut 2. From the contrast fabric: Tummy, cut 1. Chin, cut 2.

Toes, cut 2. From the felt: Teeth, cut 1.

FABRICS USED Main fabric: Dimple Cuddle in Kiwi. Contrast fabric: Smooth Cuddle 3 in Apple Green. All fabrics used from FINISHED SIZE Approx 30cm (12in) tall. NOTES Q You will find the templates needed on the pull-out pattern sheet included with this issue. Q Use a 5mm (¼in) seam allowance unless otherwise stated.


MAKINGTHE EYEBROWS Step one With right sides (RS) together, fold one eyebrow in half lengthways and sew the angled end together, tapering the end at the fold. Step two Turn the eyebrow RS out and then tack the raw edges together along the length. Step three Repeat for the other eyebrow. 01

ATTACHINGTHE EYEBROWS Step one Tack an eyebrow to the RS of a back side head piece so that the open end of the eyebrow is at the top of the head. Step two With RS together, sew the front side head to the corresponding back side head, sandwiching the eyebrow in between them. Step three Fold the eyebrow towards the front of the head and tack the top of it to the top of the front side head (this will ensure that the eyebrow is facing the correct way when the middle head is added later). 02 Step four Repeat this for the other eyebrow on the other side of the head using the other front side head piece and back side head piece.

show us yours with #simplysewingmag

dinosaur toy 04







Step two Repeat to join the other side head section to the middle head. 05

the top of the chin to the head along one side, pause with the needle down through the fabric at the back of the chin and lift the presser foot to pivot the fabric into position before sewing the side of the chin to the back side head. Step three Repeat this to sew the other side, starting from the centre point again. 08

Step one With WS together, fold a nostril piece, bringing the two opposite corners that are the shortest distance apart together. Step two Tack the unfolded (raw) edges together to hold the nostril in this position. Step three Fold the nostril in half again to bring the other two corners together and again tack the unfolded edge together. 03 Step four Repeat for the other nostril piece.

ATTACHINGTHE NOSTRILS Step one Due to the small size and thickness of the nostrils it is advisable to tack them by hand to the middle head as they may slip out of position during machine sewing. Position a nostril in between the markers on the RS of the middle head so that the open side faces towards the bottom of the middle head and tack into place. Step two Repeat for the other nostril. 04

ATTACHINGTHETEETH AND EYES Step one Position the straight edge of the teeth against the raw edge of the RS of the front of the head, lining up the centre of the teeth with the centre of the middle head. Step two From this central point, tack one side of the teeth to one side of the head and then return to the centre and tack the other side of the teeth to the other side of the head. Tacking the teeth from the centre out like this helps to ensure that they line up. Step three Make the smallest holes possible through which to allow the shank of the eye in each of the front side head pieces where marked on the templates. Step four Fit the eyes in place according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 06

ATTACHINGTHE CHIN JOININGTHE SIDE AND MIDDLE HEADS Step one With RS together, sew one side head section to the corresponding side of the middle head, taking care to match up the markers on the middle head with the features on the side head during sewing. Subscribe at

Step one With RS together, place one chin piece on top of the other and sew together along the curved un-notched edge. 07 Step two With RS together, line up the seam at the top of the chin with the centre front of the middle head. Starting at this centre point, sew

MAKINGTHETUMMY Step one Using matching or contrasting thread, sew lines of straight stitch across the tummy at regular intervals. We’ve stitched ours 2.5cm (1in) apart. 09 Step two With RS together, sew an inner arm around its corresponding opening in the upper side of the tummy and then repeat to attach the other inner arm. Step three Sew the inner leg pieces to their corresponding openings in the lower side of the tummy. 10 ATTACHING THE SIDE BODY PIECES Step one With RS together, sew a side body piece to its corresponding side of the tummy. Sew from the neck edge down around the arm and top of the leg and finish the seam at the front of the foot. Step two Clip the seam allowance at the corners WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 85

dinosaur toy 13






on the hand and clip the internal corners in the hand and where the leg becomes the foot. Step three Repeat this on the other side of the tummy with the other side body piece. 11

Step five With RS together, sew the bottom of the body together from the foot up along the back of the leg and along the tail, finishing the seam at the tail tip. Repeat for the other side. 15 Step six With RS together, sew the back of the head (tapering the end of the dart) and approximately 5cm (2in) at the top of the back of the body. Step seven Sew the back of the tail together from the tip upwards and finishing the seam to leave a 10-12cm (4-5in) opening in the back of the dinosaur. 16

MAKING THE FEET AND TOES Step one With RS together, sew a toes piece across the top of the foot. Step two Starting at the back of the foot, sew a bottom foot around the end of the leg. Step three Clip the seam allowance at the corners on the toes and then clip the internal corners between them. Step four Repeat for the other foot. 12 JOINING THE BODY TO THE HEAD Step one Cut along the line at the top of the tummy marked on the template. This is used to make a dart. Step two With RS together, close the dart at the top of the tummy, tapering the end. 13 Step three With RS together, line up the dart at the top of the tummy with the seam at the bottom of the chin and, beginning at this central point, sew one side of the head and body together. Step four Return to the centre and sew the remaining side together. 14 86 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

FILLING AND SHAPING THE FACE Step one Turn the dinosaur RS out, stuff with polyester filling and sew the opening in the back closed using ladder stitch. Step two Sew some shaping between the eyes by bringing the needle out at the bottom inside one eye, securing the thread with a few small stitches and then taking the needle through the face to the other eye and back to the first eye and then back again to the second. Step three Pull lightly on the thread to draw the eyes together slightly – this will give the face a little more character. Secure the thread, then take the needle back in and out again and snip the excess. 17

SHAPING THE TOES Step one With a double thickness of thread, bring the needle through the bottom of the foot directly up and out at the toe piece seam in between two of the toes. Step two Make a few stitches through the foot to secure the thread and then bring the thread over the front of the foot between the two toes and back through the foot. Step three Pull the thread to tighten then repeat. Step four Secure the toe stitches by taking the needle through the foot as at the start and then repeat between the other two toes on the foot. Secure the thread and snip away the excess. 18 Step five Repeat to make the toe stitches on the other foot.

Jo worked for 10 years as a soft toy designer and rediscovered her love of toy-making while taking time out with her sons. www.

show us yours with #simplysewingmag


REVERSE APPLIQUÉ Every issue, our sewists present classic projects and techniques.

As self-confessed fabricaholics, we don't want to let any offcuts go to waste (which is why our fabric stash is overflowing!), so we love any technique that showcases our precious scraps. Reverse appliqué, which involves layering fabrics and cutting away the top layer to reveal the fabric underneath, is one such technique. It's a simple way to update and personalise home textiles or clothing, or to add pattern and texture to your projects. There are several reverse appliqué methods, depending on the type of fabric and how much wear the finished appliqué will get. Learn the technique with our guide overleaf, then gather your best scraps and stitch up your own reverse appliqué cushion.

Subscribe at



workshop REVERSE APPLIQUÉ LEARN THE TECHNIQUE Reverse appliqué is, as its name suggests, is the opposite of traditional appliqué. Instead, it involves layering fabrics and then cutting away the top layer to reveal a shape appliquéd underneath. It gives a wonderful effect, adding colour, texture and pattern to your projects. It can be used in home sewing projects such as cushions, throws and bags, as well as on clothing such as skirts, T-shirts and scarves, so it is a simple way to update an existing garment. There are several ways of working reverse appliqué depending on what your finished project is going to be used for and what effect you want to create. THE TURNED UNDER METHOD This method has the edges of the base fabric turned under so they won’t fray. This is the best option to use for items which will have wear or fabric that is more liable to fray. Start by drawing the shape you want to cut out onto the right side (RS) of your base fabric. Then draw another line 5mm (¼in) inside this for your cutting line. Cut along this line using small, sharp scissors, then clip from the cutting line just up to the stitching line but not actually touching it. Cut the appliqué fabric at least 1cm (3⁄8in) bigger around than the edges of the stitching line then pin it centrally underneath the clipped base fabric shape. Fold the edges of the base fabric under, up to the stitching line. You can use your needle to fold this under neatly then stitch the edges in place to the appliqué fabric as you go, working on one small section at a time. Use small stitches to hold the edges in place, working a tiny stitch into the base fabric then into the appliqué fabric. 01 TURNED UNDER FREEZER PAPER METHOD This method is best for creating intricate shapes or tight corners and curves, and for items which will have wear as the raw edges are turned under. Cut a piece of freezer paper at least 5cm (2in) bigger than the shape you want to appliqué. Draw the appliqué shape on the shiny side in the centre of this then cut it out carefully along the drawn lines. Place the freezer paper with the shiny side down onto the wrong side (WS) of your base fabric. Press it into place and it will stay there until you need to remove it, without leaving marks. Draw a line on the WS of your base fabric 5mm (¼in) inside the cut out freezer paper shape then cut along it. Clip the seam allowance in the same way as before then fold it back along the cut out 88 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM





shape. Press it well so it stays neatly in place right up to edge of the shape. Peel off the freezer paper then press the clipped seam allowance over again to hold in place. Place the cut out base fabric centrally on top of your appliqué fabric and stitch the turned under edge in place as before. 02 RAW EDGE METHOD If your item won’t have much wear or the fabrics you're using don’t fray, then use the quicker raw edge method. This works particularly well with knit fabrics on T-shirts, as you can add interesting colours and shapes beneath the T-shirt fabric. To work this method, follow the instructions with the cushion project on the next page. 03 FACING METHOD This method gives your reverse appliqué a more three-dimensional effect as the top fabric is thicker with the facing attached. The edges are turned inside the facing, so this method is ideal for anything that will have lots of wear, too.

Draw the outline of your shape on to the WS of your base fabric. Cut a piece of lightweight fabric, that co-ordinates with your base fabric at least 2cm (¾in) bigger all the way around than the shape – this will be used for the facing. Lay the facing fabric centrally under the drawn outline on the RS of the fabric and tack into place. Turn the base fabric over to the WS and stitch along the drawn outline. Cut 1cm (3⁄8in) inside this stitched outline through both layers of base fabric and facing fabric then snip the seam allowance carefully, taking care not to snip the actual stitches. Turn the facing through to the WS of the base fabric through the cut out shape and press well then tack into place so the facing lies on the WS and the seam is right on the edge. Cut the appliqué fabric bigger than the shape outline and stitch in place through the facing fabric only so the stitches can’t be seen from the RS. Stitch the appliqué fabric securely in place by machine or hand working a line of running stiches just outside of the shape. 04



MAKE A cushion cover 01






YOU WILL NEED Q Main fabric: natural linen, 42x84cm

(16½x33in) Q Appliqué fabrics: Kindred by Lisa

Congdon for Cloud 9. For stockists visit Q Zip: natural, 40cm (16in) Q Cushion pad: 40x40cm (16x16in) Q Stranded cotton Q Basic sewing kit NOTE Use a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance. CUTTINGTHEFABRIC Usewhicheverreverseappliqué methodyou prefer. Wehaveusedtherawedgemethod with bothmachineandhand-stitching. SteponeCutthemainfabricintotwo42x42cm (16½x16½in)piecesforthecushionfrontandback. SteptwoCuta10x10cm (4x4in) square from each appliqué fabric. Subscribe at

PREPARINGTHEFABRIC SteponeMeasurethentackagridoflinestomake ninesquaresonthecushionfront.Eachsquare needstobe13x13cm(5¼x5¼in)witha1.5cm(5⁄8in) seamallowancegaparoundtheouteredge. 01 SteptwoDrawan8cm(31⁄8in) diameter circle in the centreofeachsquare. 02 StepthreePressinterfacingto the wrong side (WS) ofeachappliqué square.

yourdrawnlines,making sure you only cut through themainfabric. 05 SteptwoToadddecoration,workalineofrunning stitcharoundeachcircleashortdistanceaway fromthemachinestitchedline.Useacontrasting colouredthreadsoitstandsout. 06 StepthreeRemoveallthetackingstitches.Trimthe appliqué fabric1.5cm(5⁄8in)outsidethestitching on thebackofthemainfabrictokeepitneat.

STITCHINGTHEAPPLIQUÉSQUARES SteponePlacethecushionfrontrightside(RS) downthentackoneappliqué fabricsquareRS downoverthecentreofonetackedsquare. 03 SteptwoRepeattotacktheappliqué fabricsquares overthecentreoftheWSofeverytackedsquare. StepthreeTurnyourcushionfrontRSupand machinestitchjust2mm(1⁄16in)outsidethedrawn circle using a short stitch to keep it accurate. 04

MAKINGTHECUSHIONCOVER SteponePlacetheappliquédcushionfrontand backrightsides(RS)togetherandpinalongthe bottomedge.Stitch3cm(1¼in)fromeach edge usinga1.5cm(5⁄8in)seamallowance. SteptwoInsertthezipbetweenthesideseams. StepthreePlacethefrontandbackRStogether makingsurethezipisundonealittle way. Stitch togetheraroundallthreesides. StepfourClipcornersthenturnRSoutandpress. StepfivePutthecushionpad inside the cover and close the zip to finish.

CREATINGTHEREVERSEAPPLIQUÉ Stepone Once all the circles are stitched, cut along



Back IssUes



IssUe 18

IssUe 17

IssUe 16

Make a pocket shift, knit tee and jersey dress, plus picnic accessories, plushie toys and a dog bed.

Sew the debut Cotton + Chalk Rosie Dress pattern, nautical homewares and a Sewing Bee Breton top.

Stitch Sew Over It’s Poppy Playsuit, a Sewing Bee cami, girl’s sun dress and retro camera accessories.

MagAzine Slip Case


get OrgAnIsed IssUe 15

IssUe 14

Make pastel bathroom accessories, a button-front skirt, lamb soft toy and it-and-lare dress.

Sew a Tilly and the Buttons bow blouse, boutique bedroom makes, a leather tote and unicorn toy.

Each slip case can hold a year’s worth of magazines (13 issues) and ensures your growing collection remains in perfect condition for future reference. To order a slip case please visit

2 Ways to OrdEr Visit the website: or call us on 01784 414729 *Lines open weekdays 8am-8pm, Saturdays 9am-1pm. Overseas please call +44 (0)1795 414729. EUR price £6.99, ROW price £7.99 USA £7.99. Binder price EUR £9.60, ROW £11.50. All prices include p&p. All orders subject to availability. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

Never miss an isue again, turn o page 38 and subscribe today!

templates Here are the templates you will need to make some of the projects in Simply Sewing issue 19.


Thank you for making these projects from Simply Sewing. The copyright for these templates belongs to the designer of the project. They work hard to create projects for you to enjoy, so please don’t re-sell or distribute their work without permission. Please do not make any part of the templates or instructions available to others through your website or a third party, or copy it multiple times without our permission. Copyright law protects creative work and unauthorised copying is illegal. We appreciate your help.

Subscribe at

















The guide

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

on, 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.

TaiLoR’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. WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 93


The guide 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.

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

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

High Bust/CheSt Bust Around the fullest part of your bust

Across the back, under your arms and above the bust

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

HOW TO USE A PATTERN 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 94 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

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.

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

PATTERN MARKINGS 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.

CHOOSING AND BUYING FABRICS 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 diferent 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. Subscribe at

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

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.

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.





















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



The guide GLOSSARY

For a full glossary of sewing terms visit

DraPe 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.

EdgEsTitCh 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.

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 96 WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

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

STITCH GUIDE 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Collared dress 3 easy-sew skirts Mermaid plushie Baking accessories Reversible duvet Marbled cushions Boho maxi dress Cosmetics bag Denim flowers And more...

+Free! ExcluSive SewIng PatterN the OveRture set TERN

PAT DRESS + BLOUSE COLLAR Fully structured collar with loop and button closure.



rand new collared dress and louse set from Storybook terns - in eleven sizes!

new exclusive design!

POCKETS In seam pockets give the dress a clean finish.





my favourite thing

Rosie and Hannah of The New Craft House share the handmade garments they’ll be wearing all summer. ROSIE: “This white skirt is my most recent sewing project and my current favourite. It’s so easy to wear in the summer with just a vest top, and the style is flattering for my shape. I made it without using a pattern, by simply cutting two rectangles which were gathered at the top and attached to a waistband. I followed a great By Hand London ( tutorial for making a gathered skirt. I loved sewing with the broderie anglaise, too – it’s ready-hemmed, which is a dream! I found it on Goldhawk Road in London for £14 a metre and they had lots of other colours. I’m planning a couple of other variations for the skirt already – when you find something that works, you should just roll with it!”


HANNAH: “The Martha Dress is one of Tilly’s ( newest patterns, and I knew I had to try it as soon as I saw it! It reminds me of some of the House of Hackney dresses I coveted last year – swingy, sleek and easy to wear. I sewed up this version in a drapey viscose, which worked really well. It’s been my go-to dress for chillier spring days and in winter I think I’ll wear it with tights and boots. I love finding a pattern that I’ll use over and over again and will look completely different in other fabrics. I’ve got some silk in my stash already eyed up for my next one.” Rosie and Hannah run The New Craft House, a blog and online shop selling craft kits, at

IssUe 19 fold)







18mths-3yrs POCKET P 3-5yrs 18mths 5-7yrs 3-5yrs 5-7yrs BUTTO

Cut on fold

ND ) STA t 1 AR G (Cu N AC I



OKE (Ma n f br i : cu t 1 n fold) (Li n fold)


grainline g



Profile for Mihajla Zecevic