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Prize bonanza! £10,000 SEWING MACHINES See p52

Home&Style 4PATTERN in1 START TODAY SEW YOUR BEST LOOK EVER! On your FREEpattern sheet


insizes 8-20




*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:00 Page 2

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Home&Style Editor Lorraine Luximon 01206 505420


Deputy Editor Steph Durrant Group Editor Lynn Martin 01206 505980 Publishing Director Helen Tudor


Dressmaking made easy!

Advertisement Sales Clare Dance 01206 505495

Welcome stitchers! We're always looking for ways to make creating garments you’ll love even easier. So this month we have a FREE pattern sheet, which you can use right away! It has not one but two easy sew garments; a Sewing Bee shift dress plus appliqué frock for smaller members of the family. We also have a multi wardrobe pattern, with four gorgeous garments to stitch, including a flattering yoke top, trousers and skirt both with faux drawstring detail, plus a peplum jacket to really stretch those sewing skills. This month we have also teamed up with our friends at to offer our biggest ever giveaway. Turn to p52 to see how you can enter to win sewing machines and more! And if you like quickstitch makes we have plenty to offer too, flick over to p60 for our delightful piggy pincushion or Subscribe p80 for pretty TODAY! embroidered coasters!

Sarah Collins 01206 506255 Jackie Weddell 01206 506221 Jo Bluck 01206 506253 Art Director Phil Dunham Designers Gemma Eales, Clare Brasier, James Tuthill Ad Production Brian Peck Photography CliQQ Photography Accounts Denise Bubb 01206 505958 Subscription Enquiries/ Back Issues 01795 592967 Website Enquiries Newstrade Sales Marketforce 0203 148 3300 Marketing Manager Andrea Turner Subscriptions Executive Fiona Burrows Published By Aceville Publications Ltd 2015 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY © Aceville Publications Ltd

Check out our fantastic subscription offer on pages 50!

All projects from this issue and the FREE online patterns are for personal home use only and cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes. All patterns that are featured in Sew are reproduced in good faith that they do not infringe any copyright.

Happy stitching!

May Martin The Sewing Bee judge offers her dressmaking advice each month.

Matt Chapple The first male winner of the Sewing Bee's tells all!

Lisa Comfort Stitching queen Lisa tells us about her latest dress pattern release.

Deborah Simms

Lorraine Luximon, Editor

The publishers are not responsible for any safety issues arising from any items created from projects contained within Sew magazine.

meet our experts

Our newest columnist! Find out what she has been up to each month. www.dfabricate.

While all possible care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all projects, we are not responsible for printing errors or the way in which individual work varies. Please read instructions carefully before starting construction.

GET IN TOUCH Write in and share your creations, tips and views




01795 592967 sewhq

Twitter @sewhq

Sew Magazine, 1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. 03

ContentsMay15 qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 16:34 Page 1

inside sewthis issue... MAY 2015



66 In Every Issue 03 Welcome

Say hello to the Sew team.

55 Workshops & Courses

06 Want it, need it

Our course picks to help develop your sewing skills.

The best news, products, shows and more.

56 Q&A

08 Dear Sew

Our experts answer all your stitching questions and queries.

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

36 Bookmark this Find the best online resources for your stitching.

39 Machine spotlight

Enter our giveaways today for your chance to win prizes worth over £1,000.

86 June preview Next month we have a FREE Twiggy dress, Sewing Bee top patterns and more!

50 Subscriptions

89 Start right


11 Fleur wardrobe pack Tips and advice for using your FREE dress pattern.

FREE pattern sheet

32 50% off Simplicity pattern of the month.

84 Giveaways

We review the best quilting machines on the market. Never miss an issue of Sew – subscribe today for exclusive offers, gifts and more.

Freebies & Offers

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

36 10% off My Fabric House Bonus pattern sheet

Stitch a Sewing Bee shift dress plus little girl’s appliqué frock.

Features 28 GBSB winner

We catch up with the finalists from series three.

58 We stitched our own weddings!

Sew readers share their stitchy makes from their big day.


giveaway bonanza!

WIN £10,000 worth of sewing prizes.

98 My sewing room Lucy Levenson invites us into her unique workspace.



61 At home with... Stuart Hillard Stuart talks weddings and outdoor living.

82 Guardian angel mice

62 Home trends

Make sweet little sewing room companions.


Decorate your home in a spring Scandi scheme.

64 Embroidered cushions Use freehand machine embroidery to create beautiful pillows.

66 Animal plaques Adorable wall features for your little one's bedroom.

68 Quilter's corner Get the latest patchwork and quilt news and products.


ContentsMay15 qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 16:35 Page 2






Creating a stylish look has never been easier with the Fleur Wardrobe Pack. Including a sleeveless top, you can make a matching skirt or pull on trousers, plus peplum jacket for plenty of options for your new wardrobe.

17 Deborah’s world

Our newest contributor, Sewing Bee's Deborah Simms talks life after the show.

18 Shift dress Stitch a flattering dress for any occasion.

2o Learn with... Kirstie Hartley Learn how to appliquĂŠ and make a girl's dress.

22 Dressmaking with May

64 71 Block of the month Sitch a playful design with this month's split nine patch.

74 Love that fabric... The best new patchwork releases from Lewis & Irene and Art Gallery Fabrics.

77 Love that fabric... Delicious teatime treats in sorbet colours.

78 Patchwork pouffe

May Martin talks wedding dress patterns and design.

24 Liberty dress


60 Piggy pincushion

Make your very own Sewing Bee inspired companion.


47 Reader survey

Share your views on Sew!

52 Janome giveaway bonanza

Create a comfy place to rest your feet with Tori Jayne.

Enter to win fantastic sewing prizes, in our biggest giveaway yet!

80 Susie's stitch school

91 Templates

Master Hardanger embroidery and make handy coasters.

All the templates to make Piggy Pincushion and Animal Plaques.

Create the perfect party frock.

26 Love that fabric... Soft, luxurious cotton lawns for dressmaking.

31 Best of... Indie patterns We bring you the latest in the pattern world.

32 The really useful guide 42 Pencil case Wendy talks stitching zips.

33 The Singer girls

A sophisticated storage solution.

Sew talks to the inspirational women who stitched their way through the war.

44 Jersey headbands

37 The busy bee

46 How I made it

Lauren Gutherie gives her top tips on using downloadable dressmaking patterns.

Meet the husband and wife team behind Dragonfly Fabrics.


Simple to make beautiful headwear. 05

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Contemporary style


The Great British Sewing Bee may be over, but you can still add a little anticipation to your stitching with Sew a Little Secret from Sign up for £18.95 a month or £99 for six and you’ll receive a surprise sewing project delivered to your door each month. Every parcel will include a full scale pattern, simple instructions and fabrics. You’re sure to be waiting by your letter box!

Keeping us stitching this month is the new range of stylish homeware, garment and accessory patterns from author and designer Cassandra Ellis. There are nine downloadable PDF designs with simple instructions and step-by-step illustrations. For dog lovers, there’s a toy pattern for just £3 with every penny going to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Find out more at

want it, Things we’re coveting in the world of stitching this month

EARTHLY DELIGHTS Introducing Studio KM’s debut collection for FreeSpirit Fabric, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Inspired by the classical painting of the same name by Hieronymus Bosh, the bold designs combine hand drawn illustrations with luminous colours that will bring any project to life. Why not make a statement with eye catching home décor, whether it be a simple pair of cushions or a whole upholstered piece of furniture? View the full range at

PARTY TIME! To celebrate Create and Craft’s 12th birthday this month the popular shopping channel is kicking off on Thursday 16th April in quintessentially British style with a tea party from 2pm onwards. Stock up on yummy treats because you will not want to miss the fantastic line up of shows. Stuffed with delicious deals, jam-packed discounts and many brand new products, there is something for everyone. Celebrations end Tuesday 21st April. Visit for further details.


Doll face

This month we got all excited when we spotted these nostalgic handmade dolls from Curious Pip. Designer Sarah Burford creates her vintage-inspired figures freehand, rarely using a sewing machine, and uses a combination of both new and old fabrics. Each one is unique and you can commission her for anything from a glamorous mermaid or sassy showgirl to a frivolous flapper. Visit, or check out Curious Pip’s Etsy shop.

News_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:33 Page 3


BEAUTY SLEEP If you’re looking for a quick stitching fix or an easy gift for a real life sleeping beauty, then get your hands on one of the new eye mask kits from Flo-Jo. Use the Liberty Tana Lawn and wadding provided to create a beautiful accessory to shield delicate peepers from the morning light, and practise hand sewing binding using the pretty satin tape. Priced £15, visit

Stitch science

We love the rich jewel tones of Cloud9 Fabric’s new range, Biology. Inspired by the natural world, the organic cotton collection by Sarah Watson features graphic leaf, feather and butterfly motifs, with a stunning border print on offer, too. This Prismatic quilt pattern is free to download from

London Craft Week London

14th-17th May Quilts UK Severn Exhibition Hall, Malvern

Kaffe Fassett’s Ancestral Gifts Quilt Museum and Gallery, York

16th May Hebden Bridge Rag Market Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire


Get the look

This form-flattering jersey wrap dress from Kelly Brook’s new collection for Simply Be hugs her curves in all the right places. Create your own with Sew Over It’s Utimate Wrap Dress pattern. It’s so versatile, with sleeve and hem variations and a tie waist. Available in sizes 8-20, visit

Love Heart cross stitch kit by Kim Anderson, £27.49, www.bothy Pale yellow heart buttons, 35p each,

Back to Basics with David Dawson Janome, 24th June


Janome is hosting a special week of sewing classes run by celebrity Sewing Bee tutors. Among these is a fantastic Back to Basics full-day workshop run by series two quarter finalist, David Dawson. You will experiment with creating different types of seams and hems, and work with a variety of fabrics to gain confidence using your sewing machine. A kit will even be supplied with everything you need. Priced £70, email or call 0161 666 6006.


Congratulations ribbon, £4,


.uk dress, £45,

6th-10th May

15th May-5th September

needit! p Kelly Brook print jersey wra

Diary Dates 07

sponsored by Minerva Crafts

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

Harriet Hare

Sew issue 69

This is not the kind of thing I usually make, but I just couldn’t resist, or wait! Everything else I am working on was shelved to make Harriet Hare because she’s just so cute! I selected the fabric from my stash at home, but wanted her to be cheerful, hence the flowered prints. She has as gone, along with some chocolate animals, to make up a raffle prize to raise money for my church. Since stitching her my friend says she would like one for her granddaughter, and Harriet will become Harry for my great nephew! Julie Leckenby

Star Letter

Memory bear After having d my fourth and final baby last year, it was finally time to let go of the baby things. I couldn’t part with it all, so rather than keep it in boxes in the loft to gather dust, I selected a few pieces and created a blanket and this bear for my son. The fabrics used were from his newborn baby grows and vest, which I backed with a lightweight interfacing to make them easier to work with, and I used an old teddy to construct the pattern. Merryn Mountstephens

What a lovely way to hold onto your precious memories, he will be treasured for years to come!


We are sew glad that Harriet took priority! She’s very sweet.

Wild weekend The half term was wet and horrible, so my son Frankie and I got his costume ready for World Book Day! We chose the mischievous boy Max from Where the Wild Things Are. I made a pattern from a onesie he has and Frankie picked out the fleece, the faux fur for his tail and also his buttons. I found some glitter ribbon in our craft box that worked well for the crown. It was a lovely rainy afternoon project for us. I’m looking forward to our next collaboration! This is his best king of the wild things grin. Dani McNabb What a brilliant costume! And we are glad it brightened up your half term break.

Spring chickens I thought you might like to see my lovely (ever increasing) chicken brood! I have just made numbers four and five for a friend. One, called Percy, is a resident in my elderly mum’s residential home! I love your magazine and can’t wait for the next issue to come each month, your projects are great! Rosemarie Aston That’s quite a collection you’re building Rosemarie. We love that you’re naming them, too!

Star Prize

This month our Star Letter winner will receive a bumper selection of fabrics from Minerva Crafts worth £50. We also have £10 worth for the runners up. For more stitching goodies, visit

sew YOU


Draw inspiration from our trend boards


Lysa Brown I made this embroidery hoop, just in time for mother’s day!


@SewHQ This afternoon’s work! #dogcollars These are for Whippet and Greyhound customers! Ann Weller I made a king costume for my grandson this weekend. Complete with cape and crown. @eliBee01 FINALLY PLUCKED UP THE COURAGE TO USE THIS FABRIC! THANKS @SEWHQ FOR THE PATTERN #MICHAELMILLER

Sew issue 68

I so

Carrie DaviesBateman This is a heat pad I made for my mum’s sore neck, it’s scented with lavender.

GET IN TOUCH Write in and share your creations, tips and views


stephanie.durrant@ sewhq

Twitter @sewhq

Dear Sew, Sew Magazine, 1 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. 09

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:06 Page 10

PATTERN CUTTING FOR WOMENSWEAR SUMMER SCHOOL A step-by-step course for stitchers and teachers to learn how to make patterns for a variety of garments. Discover how fullness is moved and manipulated. Find out how to change necklines, adjust panels and fit to your own figure. Learn the core skills needed to develop your own designs or adapt from commercial patterns. Venue: Moor Hall Shropshire - the studio and home of Bobby Britnell Textile Artist. Taught by Judi Evans of Stroud School of Sewing. Date: 20th -24th July 2015

Cost: ÂŁ400 for 5-day course Further course details and brochure via Bookings and payment via


Covermount dress May15_Layout 1 27/03/2015 13:43 Page 1





FREE pattern



WARDROBE PACK Look what’s inside your pattern envelope! 11

Covermount dress May15_Layout 1 27/03/2015 13:43 Page 2





4 garments to stitch Your FREE Simplicity pattern is a fantastic wardrobe pack which includes pieces to stitch a complete outfit. The loose-fitting yoke top can be sewn in a pretty silk for a special occasion, or in a light and airy voile for summer, and has buttons on the back neck. The, above-knee length skirt and straight trousers feature a mock drawstring and pockets. For chilly days, make up the jacket, with a stand up collar and peplum detail in a coordinating bouclĂŠ or tweed.

Sew&Learn This month we’ll show you how to... 3 Create a yoke 3 Work pleats 3 Make a casing 3 Princess seams

4 styles to choose from...

Style A

1 Yoke neckline 2 Gathered detail 3 Neck and armhole facings

Style C

Style D

1 Mock drawstring waist 2 Front pleats 3 Above knee length

1 Stand up collar 2 Princess seams 3 Peplum detail

Style B

1 Mock drawstring waist 2 Front pleats 3 Yoke pockets


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Staystitch the neckline of the top to prevent the curved edges from stretching out of shape.


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In the

Pattern on test


We stitched the yoke top in Amy Butler voile and the skirt in a soft navy linen C R A S H CO U R S E ...

Stitch Notes

l The beauty of the finished skirt will depend largely on the accuracy of the front pleats. It is worth spending a little time carefully marking and tacking. Tack down the crease line on each pleat to about 10cm as this makes it easier to attach the waistband. l For an extra professional finish, topstitch the pocket edges before joining the side seams. Experiment with two needles and contrasting colours, or try machine embroidery if the fabric will allow. l It is much easier to make the two front ties in one piece, then cut the length in half. Don’t forget to cut the bias strip double the length of the guide. l When using print or patterned fabric for the top, in advance of cutting, choose which part is to be featured at the centre front, then make sure the yolk is cut to reflect this also. l Fabric bias loops and covered buttons add a special finishing touch, although worked loops and plastic buttons are quite acceptable. 14

on buttonholes Buttonholes are a breeze with today’s modern sewing machines, especially if they come with the nifty long buttonhole foot which holds the button in the back so the hole you stitch is made to fit perfectly. 3 The key to successful buttonholes is the right mix of a new sharp needle, fabric, and support such as interfacing. Any fabric can have buttonholes made in it, from fine chiffons to stretchy knits, but the area must be stabilised with interfacing or similar. 3 All buttonholes should have some sort of stabiliser included. This may be the interfacing between facing and main fabric, a special waist banding stiffener or a layer of tear-away or soluble stabiliser. This prevents puckering or pulling when stitching and helps keep the area stable when buttoned up. 3 For very fine fabrics, place an additional layer of soluble stabiliser underneath the fabric to prevent it from being pulled down into the feed dogs. 3 Make sure your needle is sharp as buttonholes are made with lots of compact zig zag stitches (satin stitch) worked closely together, and pierce through three or more layers.

Covermount dress May15_Layout 1 30/03/2015 09:11 Page 5



there’s Hair stylist Joplmaackee ons sumoredel Willow not a hair out of



Use a bodkin or a needle and strong thread to turn out the rouleau button loops.

LOVE IT... BUY IT! Amy Butler voile Designer Vie Millard used this beautiful Tapestry Rose Sapphire voile from Amy Butler's Hapi collection for FreeSpirit. Priced £19.32 per metre,, 01925 764231.

Navy linen This medium-heavyweight washed linen is ideal for the skirt or trousers as it's comfortable to wear and easy to sew. Priced £12.99,, 01254 708068.

New Look 6145 is a '60s-inspired shift dress pattern in five styles. It has a wide round neckline with or without a bias-cut stand collar and can be made sleeveless or with three-quarter length, short or pleated sleeves. On sale 8th May 15

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:09 Page 16

On-line stockists of Liberty fabrics - Including Liberty Tana Lawn, Poplin, needlecord and Lifestyle.

‘Indie’ dressmaking and crafting patterns - Hot Patterns, Colette, Serendipity Studio, Sewaholic, Gather, By Hand, Christine Haynes, Kwik Sew, Bluegingerdoll, Cake, Victory, Vogue, Modkid, Tilly & the Buttons, Simple Sew, Eliza M, Papercut and more ....

For amazing offers go to

Suppliers of mail order fabrics for over 40 years we source beautiful fabrics from Britain, Europe and rest of the world. 1st Place Best Independent Northern Retailer 3rd Place Best Online Retailer

213 Oxford Street, Swansea SA1 3BG 01792 468504

At Lee Mill Fabrics we pride ourselves on our ability to source quality fabrics at low prices. We have OVER 10,000 FABRICS to choose from, making us one of the largest fabric stores BEST INDEPENDENT in South Wales. Call us today and prepare to be dazzled! HABERDASHERY STORE 16

IN WALES 3rd Place

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Deborah’s WORLD


New column!

“I’ve been rushing through my sewing, working to a clock that isn’t even ticking!” THE SEWING BEE STAR TALKS WEDDING DRESSES AND CLOCK WATCHING What a busy month, The Great British Sewing Bee is over, I can’t believe it! After nearly a year of waiting, those six weeks seemed to fly past. I’ve had a fantastic time, and can’t believe all of the wonderful support that I have received. I’ve had so many lovely emails from fans of the show, and some interesting opportunities have been coming up. One of my favourite things to do is teach, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to launch my own classes this year. I’ve taught an embroidery class with the Ministry of Craft since the show, and it was a brilliant day. Having another excuse to chat about the series, and everything else in between with such a lovely group of sewers is one of the things that I enjoy the most. There have also been some requests for me to do presentations and talks. This isn’t something I had ever thought of doing before, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and to spread the sewing word! One of the main things that people have contacted me about is my wedding dress! It was made up of a host of different patterns, including a lace top that I took apart and used as a template. This is the type of sewing that I’ve been doing most of recently, adding pieces of my favourite patterns together to make something of my own design. I really enjoyed creating my dress, it was the first thing that I ever stitched over an extended time period. This approach, of sewing over a longer time, really made me slow down my stitching. I took the time to hand tack seams together, used silk organza to strengthen the lace in areas such as the buttonholes, and researched vintage techniques such as using horse hair on the underlayer of the dress to make the skirt stand out. This, along with the use of fabrics with sentimental value (such as the sash made from silk my sister bought for me in India on her travels) all culminated in something that I could truly be proud of. So much of our time now is spent going quickly, working fast, rushing to and fro, trying to fit in everything that sometimes I take that feeling into the sewing room with me. Especially after the Sewing Bee, when I found myself rushing, working to a clock that wasn’t even ticking! This month I have been concentrating on slowing down. I find that naturally at this time of year I’m not as tempted to go into the sewing room, I want to sit under a blanket, drink warm drinks and watch bad TV. So I have mainly been doing sofa projects. I’ve finally finished the crochet blanket I started about four years ago and I have also been embroidering an embellishment for a blouse. I don’t often sew with plain fabrics but when I do, I like to add some decoration!

“My dress was made up of a host of different patterns”

Until next month,

Deborah x

Quick fire round Morning or evening? Evening TV or radio? Radio Tea or coffee? Tea Embroidery or appliqué? Embroidery Rotary cutter or fabric scissors? Fabric scissors

Deborah Loves... As the skies brighten, all I can think of is bright prints! When I need a cotton fabric fix I go to Fancy Moon. They have an amazing selection of designs, covering everything from dainty daisies to pin ups and firemen!

For more from Deborah follow her blog at 17

Shift dress_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:44 Page 2




Woven fabric with some drape, 150cm wide, 2.5m or 114 cm wide, 2.7m Lightweight fusible interfacing, 40cm Invisible zip, 28cm Coordinating sewing thread


Dimensions: Size Bust (cm) Waist (cm)

8 85 83

10 90 88

12 95 93

14 100 98

16 106 104

18 112 110

20 118 116


This semi-fitted shift dress is perfect for practising key techniques such as inserting facings, sleeves and a concealed zip. The hem is finished with a narrow band of self fabric bias binding as a mini facing. There is also a choice between a high or V-neck and the pattern can be shortened to make a T-shirt variation. The casual style means minimal fitting for a fuss-free garment that will flatter most figures.


4 2 5

Cutting guide 1 Front, cut one on fold 2 Back, cut one on fold 3 Front neck facing, cut one on fold in fabric, cut one on fold in interfacing

4 Back neck facing, cut one on fold in fabric, cut one on fold in interfacing 5 Sleeve, cut two A 1.5cm seam allowance is included throughout unless otherwise stated









Trace the pattern from your pattern sheet onto dressmaker’s tissue paper, transferring all the markings. Using the cutting guide, cut all the pieces from fabric. There are different front facings depending whether you’re making the high or V-neck option. Pin and sew the bust darts on the front piece. Press the darts down towards the hem. With right sides facing, pin the front and back together at the shoulder seams. Machine stitch. Neaten the seam allowances and press the seams open.


If using, apply fusible interfacing to the front and back neck facings. With right sides together, pin the facings at the shoulder seams. Machine stitch. Neaten the seam allowances and press the seams open.


Neaten the lower edge of the facing with a zig zag stitch or an overlocker.


Lay the dress flat, with the right side facing up. Lay the facing right side down on top, matching up the raw edges of the neckline and the shoulder seams. Pin, then sew around the neckline. Clip around the neckline curve to allow it to sit flat when turned right side out [1].


Press both the facing and the seam allowance away from the body of the dress. Understitch the facing around the neckline, sewing only through the facing and the seam allowance. Secure the facing to the shoulder seam allowance with a few small hand stitches.


From dress fabric, make strips of bias binding for your hem. You’ll need two strips up to 78cm long; depending on the size you’re making, there will probably be a little leftover to trim off.

Shift dress_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:44 Page 3

sew DRESSMAKING & STYLE Fold the two strips of bias binding in half lengthways, with the wrong sides on the inside. Press in place.


With right sides together, aligning all the raw edges, pin the bias binding around the edge of the hem on the right side of the front of the dress, following the pattern markings and gently curving the binding around the hem [2]. Sew it in place, stitching 1cm from the edge. Repeat on the back of the dress. Trim and grade the seam allowances.


Roll the bias binding over to the wrong side of the hem, so it’s not seen from the front, and press. Pin in place and edge stitch really close to the fold of the bias. From the wrong side, press the hem [3]. This sets and stretches out the stitches.


Locate the zip placement notches on the left side seam of the back piece. Change to an invisible zip foot. Insert an invisible zip, then stitch the seam below as far as the hem. Stitch the seam above the zip up to the armhole in the same way [4]. Pin and stitch the right side seam, then neaten the seam allowance and press the seam open.


Turn the sleeves right side out. With the dress inside out, slip the sleeves through the armholes, matching up underarm seams with side seams and shoulder seams with notches on the sleeve heads. Pin around the armholes, easing the sleeve heads into the shoulders with extra pins.


Use horizontally placed pins to help the sleeves fit without tucks or gathers, or roll the armhole over your hand to distribute the fullness. Carefully sew around the armhole, removing the pins as you work and holding it taut to ease in the sleeve head. Neaten the seam allowances and press the armhole seams towards the sleeve.

Crop the dress as indicated on the pattern to make a T-shirt variation.

GET THE BOOK For this and many more great garment patterns, check out The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric by ClaireLouise Hardie (£25, Quadrille).


Fold the sleeves in half, right sides together. Pin and sew the underarm seams [5]. Neaten the seam allowances separately, then press the seams open. Press 1cm, then 2cm to the wrong side on the lower edge of each sleeve. Slip stitch the folded edge of the sleeve hem in place [6].

Stitch it with... Brother XR27NT The Brother XR27NT is a practical yet easy to use machine offering a wide range of utility and decorative stitches. There are 27 built-in stitches to choose from, including an automatic one step buttonhole. The drop feed facility enables you to try out free hand embroidery and a free arm for sewing items such as sleeves. The quick set bobbin and automatic needle threader mean you can start stitching without delay, as does the quick cut bobbin winding system. It also comes with ample accessory storage and an instructional DVD. Priced £179, visit or call 0333 777 4444 to find your nearest stockist.

Next month... Next issue we have a sleeveless shell top pattern from The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric, in sizes 8-20 FREE with your magazine. 19

Masterclass May15 qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 13:41 Page 1



Kirsty Hartley The author teaches you to sew a little girl’s appliqué dress

Appliqué, pockets and facings


This adorable pinafore is so easy to stitch, with just a front and back, plus simple facings. It features button closures at the shoulders and has a fun appliqué design. Use the landscape scene provided or why not get creative and make your own templates? You could even use some of your little lady’s drawings.

6 months to 3 years: 1m, 110cm or 150cm wide fabric 3 years to 7years: 1.2m, 110cm or 150cm wide fabric




Locate the A-line dress and appliqué templates on your pattern sheet and trace off. Lay the pieces onto blue medium weight fabric and cut out a front, back and facings, adding a 1cm seam allowance to each. Make a template for the landscape by drawing a wavy line onto the pattern about a third up from the hem. If you want to create a design that runs 360° around the dress, remember to use a continuous line that matches from front to back. Position the paper pattern side to side to do this.


Using the templates, trace each motif giving it a number or name so that you can re-piece the design together later. Gather a selection of coloured fabrics including green for the landscape and prepare them by ironing fusible webbing to the reverse. With right sides upwards, position the templates on top and draw around them. Cut out the shapes.



3 20


Arrange the appliqué pieces into position on the dress panels, adhesive side down [1]. Cover with a cloth and press with a moderate heat. For the lower landscape area you could also turn back the top edge, press, pin and sew into place. This will reduce the bulk of bonding adhesive in this area. Topstitch around the edges of the appliqué using matching or contrasting thread.


Assemble the dress by placing the front and back with right sides together. Sew one side seam only, with a 1cm seam allowance. Overlock or zig zag stitch this seam and press. Open the dress and place down on a flat surface, right side up.


Assemble and sew the facings at the opposite side seam only and open out flat. Finish the lower edge by turning it under by 5mm twice, or by overlocking or zig zag stitching. Place the prepared facing onto the dress with right sides together and pin into place around the outer edges [2]. Sew 5mm from the edge. Snip into the curves, taking care not to cut through the stitching itself [3].


Sew the remaining side seam and facing together. Turn through, rolling the fabric gently in places to shape the curved edges. Press, then topstitch 5mm from the neck and armhole edges. Hem the dress by turning under 1cm twice.


Mark the position of the buttonhole, then refer to your sewing machine manual to stitch. Finish by cutting through the buttonhole centre with small sharp scissors [4]. Finally, sew buttons into place on the corresponding shoulder straps.

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Why not create your own appliqué designs?


For more cute kids’ projects, take a look at Wild Things by Kirsty Hartley (£20, Weidenfeld & Nicolson). Visit

Easy embellished A-line dress

Next month...

Kirstyn Cogan shows you how to make simple pocket embellishments with fun softies inside for little ones. 21

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Exclusive style advice with May Martin



Top pattern pick ... Butterick 5731 Sizes 6-20

Top pattern pick ... New Look 6401 Sizes 8-18

Why we love it...

Why we love it...

Lace detail on the upper body balances the pleated skirt – great for an hourglass figure.

Five back detail options from lacing, bows and intricate straps. Good for boxy figures as the high waist draws the eye under the curve of the bust.

Separate pattern pieces for cup sizes A to D aid achieving a perfect fit.

The plunging V neckline gives an elegant shape to the upper body.

An underlined and boned bodice adds structure and support.

You may also like

Best of the rest


Butterick 5779 Sizes 4-20 LACE BACK DETAIL


Dressmaking with May_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:16 Page 2


Stockist information For New Look and Burda patterns, visit, 0161 480 8734. For Butterick patterns, visit, 0844 880 1263.


Sewing Bee judge May Martin shares her dressmaking secrets Top pattern pick ... New Look 6454 Sizes 8-18

Why we love it... Flattering halterneck option. Vertical panel lines flatter and lengthen the body. Add a shawl to balance out the bottom half.

Your wedding dress is a really special garment that helps you celebrate one of the most important occasions in any girl's life! When choosing a style, not only should it make you feel beautiful, but of equal importance, it needs to be comfortable. Many years ago a friend said to me, “We should wear our clothes, they shouldn’t wear us.” To enjoy what we wear we need to feel comfortable. A good fit is key to a wonderful finish and I am going to take you through the various stages that you need to build into your preparation. Firstly, check your measurements against those on the pattern envelope. Select your paper pieces and cut them out. Now place them onto calico, curtain lining or sheeting. Take care positioning the grain line as this will affect the way your temporary garment or toile hangs. Draw the grain lines onto the fabric pattern using a pencil or fabric marker. Sew these pieces together using a 1.5cm seam allowance as you would for the real garment. Put the toile on and fit it to your body. Use this to make all your alterations and only when the fit is perfect should you go anywhere near your special fabric. Mark any alterations, then unpick the toile and use this as the pattern to cut out your dress. When pinning and tacking, use wedding dress pins which are fine and will not mark. Use pale thread for tacking as darker colours will leave a residue of fibres or spots in your fabric which will not come out. Heartbreaking on white or cream material! Put a new needle in your sewing machine. Use good quality thread and practise machine stitching on a spare double piece of wedding dress fabric. Enjoy the creative process and make a garment fit for this special occasion. Until next month,

Why not try? Burda 7090 Sizes 12-30 SWEEPING COLLAR OPTION

May Martin For more dressmaking advice, pick up May Martin's Sewing Bible: 40 Years of Tips and Tricks (£25, HarperCollins). 23

Tshirt dress_Layout 1 27/03/2015 12:00 Page 1



Essentials Cotton lawn or lightweight fabric, 137cm wide Coordinating fabric, scrap A plain T-shirt Medium or lightweight fusible interfacing 10cm x 15cm


Dimensions Custom sized

The desire to twirl comes as standard with a stylish gown, and this simple to make frock is no exception. Perfect for parties, it could also easily withstand everyday play. With appliqué detail and delicate Liberty print fabric, this dress can be customised to suit any little girl’s favourite colour palette.

STITCH A T-SHIRT DRESS Go to and download the template. Print and trace this onto card and use to cut out a butterfly from fabric. Attach fusible interfacing to the wrong side and position the shape centrally on the front of a T-shirt. Tack in place, then hand stitch all around the edge of the appliqué using blanket or zig zag stitch [1].








To customise the skirt length, measure from the child’s waist to the desired hem length (above or below the knee). Add 7.5cm to this measurement and cut out, using the full width of the fabric. Finish the long top edge of the skirt fabric with zig zag stitch. Fold the piece in half widthways, right sides facing, to create a loop. Sew the ends together with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam to one side [2]. Fold up the bottom of the skirt by 1.25cm and press to create a hem. Turn up another 2.5cm and press again. Stitch all around the hem 2cm from the top fold.


Sew two rows of long tacking stitches along the top of the skirt, leaving long strands at both ends. The first one must be 1cm from the finished edge. Take hold of both threads at the same end and pull to create a gather [3]. Ease the fabric along to even out the gather, until the length matches the circumference of the T-shirt.


Measure from the child’s shoulder to just below the waist and mark this distance on the T-shirt with a pin. Insert the top into the upside-down skirt, right sides together. Line up the finished edge of the skirt with the pin, ensuring the edges of the top of the skirt and bottom of the T-shirt are parallel [4]. Stitch together all around the circumference in the middle of the tacking stitches, removing these afterwards. Turn the skirt right side out.

READER OFFER This project is taken from Little Lady Liberty by Alice Garrett (£15.99, David & Charles). Sew readers can purchase a copy for £10.99 including free postage by calling 01206 255777, quoting SM115 before 31st May 2015.

Next month... Stitch an easy patchwork quilt in Liberty prints

Tshirt dress_Layout 1 27/03/2015 12:00 Page 2


See for lots more children’s garments

LOVE IT... BUY IT! Liberty Tana Lawn Patsy C A twirly, swirly flower pattern, perfect for party frocks!

Liberty Tana Lawn Wilmslow Berry C Think pink with this vibrant print.

Liberty Tana Lawn Laura A If pink’s not your thing, this blue hue will look just as pretty!

For a fantastic range of Liberty fabrics, including these prints priced £22 per metre each, visit 25

Love that Fabric_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:29 Page 1


Love that



“Soft and supple, lawn is perfect for summer dresses, on-trend kimonos, nightwear and more” Steph Durrant, Sew Deputy Editor











1 Lydia Chambray cotton lawn by Alexander Henry, £11.20 per metre, 2 Peacock Feathers cotton lawn in Blue, £11.99 per metre,, 01254 708068. 3 Liberty print cord in Wiltshire, £1.99,, 01992 501040. 4 Liberty Tana Lawn Oxford in C, £22 per metre,, 01242 677755. 5 Pima cotton lawn in Hanakatoba, £12.95 per metre,, 01282 859281. 6 Fun Floral cotton lawn in Red and Blue, £9.90 per metre,, 01872 222130. 7 Liberty Tana Lawn Queue for the Zoo, £17.95 per metre,, 01787 269366. 8 Liberty print covered buttons, £4.95 for three,, 01787 269366. 9 Cookie Book lawn, Drops in Melon, £16 per metre,, 0207 794 5635.

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:10 Page 27

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“I’d only booked the first two episodes off work,such were my expectations!” WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE WINNER AND FINALISTS OF THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE, SERIES THREE Matt Chapple emerged triumphant on The Great British Sewing Bee this year, to be crowned the first ever male winner! From 10 talented bees, Matt won the coveted title in what was a very tough competition, with judges May Martin and Patrick Grant given the unenviable task to decide who had done enough to be awarded Britain’s best amateur sewer.

WINNER: MATT CHAPPLE! When did you first learn to sew? I guess my earliest attempt at sewing would have been making a largely ineffective oven glove in home economics. But more recently I was taught to sew as a 16 year old lad in the army, mainly for upkeep of kit and the like. However, I’ve taken that onto a whole new level over recent years, with my wife and kids benefiting from new wardrobes. My wife Gemma and I are both very creative people and encourage the kids to be too.

What did you enjoy most about your time on the show? I loved it all, I really did. Although my theory of having relaxing days of sewing with nine like-minded people was quickly dashed, there was definitely no time to chill out! As for the other bees they’re the most talented, genuinely lovely people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We all try to stay in contact as much as possible.

What made you apply for the Sewing Bee? I was fixated on the previous two series, so when the applications were requested at the end of the last one, Gemma and some other friends kept telling me to have a go. So I thought why not? The rest as they say, is history!

Did you ever expect to make it through to the final? There was such incredible talent in that sewing room, it was hard to ever believe I’d be in the final three. My parents were amazed and incredibly proud of my achievement throughout. To be honest I’d only booked

the first two episodes off work, such were my expectations! It was my boss who put the other dates in the diary. So each week when I went back to ask for more days off he was over the moon. I think the safe money has always been on Neil winning. How did you feel about having your work criticised? The judges are fantastic. They know more combined than I ever will, so all I could do was smile and try to learn. May is such a lovely warm person and I desperately tried not to disappoint her. Patrick is exemplary, his critique is spot on and his demeanor adds an element of nerves to the situation - they are both at the top of their game. Without a doubt they gave great support and I learned so much. The final was a bit of a rollercoaster! After the pattern challenge were you a little worried? I watched the final in our local pub with about 40 friends and family. It was definitely a bit up and down for me. To start with a, third place certainly didn’t put me in a prime spot! Although, just being alongside Neil and Lorna was an achievement in itself. I really enjoyed the alteration challenge, and Lorna knocked it out of the park. But even with a second place, the idea of winning never even crossed my mind.


Sewing bee feature_Layout 1 27/03/2015 12:02 Page 2

sew SEWING BEE Matt makes garments for his wife, Gemma

You went pattern free for your final garment, what made you attempt this when the others used patterns? I’d seen a picture of something that gave me inspiration a few weeks beforehand, and I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, I can make something like that.’ To me, the brief of avant-garde meant being original, different, daring and pushing some boundaries. I put every ounce I could muster into that final garment, I was absolutely made up with how it came out. And having Gemma wear it gave me great strength.

“I put every ounce I could muster into that final garment, I was absolutely made up with how it came out”

How often do you get a chance to stitch now? I have a studio where I sew at least once or twice a week, it keeps all the sharp stuff out of the reach of the kids! I mostly make for Gemma, and my daughter Evie, anything from dresses to jackets, and I’ve made the odd dinosaur tail for Max. All my makes tend to get shared on my blog. How do you feel about the show’s success and the promotion of sewing? I think the Sewing Bee has been a great boost for sewing and crafts in general. During these times when you can pick up a top for a tenner or a dress for little more, it’s great to see people having a go at making a truly one off piece. Knowing in your mind that there’s no one else in the world with that same one is a great feeling! So what’s next for you? I’m going to enjoy the moment for now, and I’m not hiding the fact that I stitch anymore! I’ve had nothing but amazing support and encouragement that blokes can sew too. Gemma and I are loving writing our blog and we’d really like to take this opportunity and make something from it. I have started to get recognised in the street too, which is quite odd and wonderful at the same time. It is humbling that people take time out of their day to stop and talk to me! Keep up to date with Matt at or Twitter @sewwhatsnewcouk 29

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MEET THE FINALISTS! We caught up with Matt’s fellow finalists, Lorna and Neil


Surprisingly, Lorna entered The Sewing Bee as a dare after her friend Natalie sent her the application form. And despite sewing since she was 11 years old, she never expected to get through to being a participant let alone the final. At boarding school she found sewing was the only subject she really excelled at, and she’s still passionate about the importance of stitching being on the curriculum today. “It would be nice to think that every young person could have the opportunity to experience skills at school the way I was able to.” Now married with two grown up sons she likes to upcycle clothes and create glamorous gowns and dresses for the cruises she enjoys with her husband Ray. One of which she was taking when the Sewing Bee aired! “While the trip was wonderful, the disappointing thing was we were unable to see the programme when it was on air, and had to wait until we got back to the UK to watch it!” As for life after the Bee, for Lorna it means business, i.e. sewing, as usual: “That will never change!”

Hear lots more about Lorna’s Sewing Bee experiences on our blog at

“I applied for the Sewing Bee as a dare!”

“I am really thrilled to bits for Matt, he thoroughly deserved it”

NEIL STACE Army Lieutenant Colonel Neil Stace started sewing at school out of protest because the girls were allowed to join the football team. He was initially mocked by his troops for taking his sewing machine on tour to Bosnia and Afghanistan, until they realised how useful it was for their uniform repairs and making curtains for their accommodation. Aside from his family, Neil has two extreme passions; sewing and rugby. He has been known to rush straight off the pitch to finish a dress for his wife to wear at dinner that evening! Neil learned his craft from his mum and sisters, and has made everything from wedding dresses to ammunition pouches and rugby shirts! And while he wowed the judges most weeks, he’s not without fault: “I’m always pulling cotton rather than using scissors. I’m also lazy with pinning patterns – I end up just cutting!” And the bromance Neil and Matt shared throughout the series is set to continue, with Neil commenting on Matt’s win, “I am really thrilled to bits, he thoroughly deserved it.” Keep up to date with Neil on Twitter, @sewingsoldier

“Matt kept his very best for the very last sewing challenge”

“We had three incredible sewers in the final, and really tough competition, but Matt’s avantgarde dress was just incredible”

Patrick Grant

May Martin



Best of.. Indie Patterns_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:41 Page 2



INDIE Patterns

The top patterns on our make list this month! We’re loving the new garment pattern releases from some of our favourite independent designers. But these are not just great patterns that you’ll love to stitch, many offer sewalongs to help you every step of the way too, plus tutorials from the designers themselves! Often with instant download PDF format and paper pattern options too, there’s no excuse not to get stitching!

Our Top Choice ALEXANDRIA PEG TROUSERS Named Sizes UK 4-18 Price £15

“These pants are casual, yet stylish and detailed. They can be made of either knit or woven fabrics, so you can create various looks by just using different materials; go sporty or classy. The pattern also includes a shorts variation with an uneven dolphin hemline. An additional design detail is interesting pleats at the front waist, that partially cover the front pockets.” Saara Huhta & Laura Huhta

Why SeW loves...

Photography: Jenni Holma Model: Inari/Modelboom Hair & Make-up: Tiina Toratti/Lumo Beauty

Great for knit or woven fabrics. Wide size range from UK 4 to 18! Beautifully packaged printed pattern, with illustrated instructions. Easy wear style. Two patterns in one.

Shop the range at

We also rate COWL NECK DRESS Sew Over It Sizes UK 8-18 Price £6.50


“Perfect for jersey newbies as well as those who have made a few stretch garments before, the Cowl Neck Dress is a versatile staple you’ll want to make again and again.” Lisa Comfort

Why SeW loves...

A great introduction to jersey sewing with only three pattern pieces! Choose between a dress and a top. Head to the blog for the helpful sewalong.

DAVIE DRESS Sewaholic Sizes US 0-20 Price £13.50


"Our goal with this pattern was to offer an elegant and classy take on the basic knit dress. I wanted it to be feminine with a tailored look, but every bit as comfortable as a T-shirt." Tasia St-Germaine

Why SeW loves...

Princess seams and flared skirt to flatter a curvy figure. Available as PDF from or paper option. Follow the tutorials on the Sewaholic blog for help. Shop the range at 31

SimplicityPage_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:54 Page 2



So many of today’s fashions have the zip attached to the outside of the garment and now there are pretty lacy edged designs just perfect for this method of insertion. Neaten the raw edges of the seam into which the zip is to go by overlocking, overstitching or zig zag stitching. Mark the zip position on the right side of the fabric, so that the top of the zip is in line with the top of the garment (remember to allow for seam allowances). Mark the position of the bottom of the zip teeth. Set the zip aside. With right sides together, sew the seam from the hem to the bottom mark (where the zip teeth finish), back stitch to anchor the stitching, then increase the stitch length to the longest to tack the rest of the seam. Press the seam allowances open. Working from the right side of the garment, lay the zip face down over the seam just stitched, so that the lowest teeth are on the bottom mark on the fabric. Stitch across the zip tape close to the base of the teeth. Flip the zip up, so it is right side up and the bottom of the zip is now neatened, with the ends tucked underneath. Lay the zip, with the teeth centred along the tacked seam. Hand or machine tack in position. Attach a zip foot and machine stitch down the zip tape close to the teeth, catching the seam allowance underneath as you go. Finish the top edge of the garment as described in the pattern.

1 2



Following the corset challenge on The Great British Sewing Bee , corset patterns have become a must-have. We love this design which includes a corset top which can be made strapless or with a halterneck. It can also have a lace overlay, sweetheart neckline, lace up front, and notched band. Available in sizes 4-16.




50% off Simplicity 6242! Buy now for £2.97 plus 85p postage (RRP £5.95 plus postage). Visit and enter SEW6242 at the checkout. Offer valid 10th April – 8th May 2015.

If you liked our pattern of the month... Visit the link below for even more stylish options

Tools of THE TRADE


Never lose a dropped pin again! Simplicity’s Heavy Duty Telescoping Magnet is just the nifty tool you need. It retracts to an easily stored pen size, but extends to a useful 53cm when you need to retrieve that dropped pin or two. In fact, it will pick up 3.5lbs, so even little scissors can be snagged without having to drop to your knees! The magnet is part of the EZ Quilting range from Simplicity. Priced £5, the Heavy Duty Telescoping Magnet is available from Simplicity stockists nationwide, visit or call 0800 214455.

More information at 32

history IN FOCUS




© IWM D 2937



For many working class women of 1940s Britain, sewing was not just a pleasant pastime, but a demanding occupation, and not an optional one. More often than not, fresh-faced girls of just 14 were led down to the local factory by their mother in order to earn their keep, stitching anything from children’s dresses to underwear. However, when war broke out the factories began sewing army and navy uniforms for the troops, parachutes and surgical fields bandages and suddenly it was deemed essential war work by the government. Set in the heart of the East End rag trade, Kate Thompson’s new novel, Secrets of the Singer Girls explores the lives of the brave seamstresses who kept their foot to the machine pedal while the bombs of World War II dropped overhead. We caught up with the author and the women who inspired the book. 33

SECRETS of the




Inspired by the courageous and resilient women who worked in the East End clothing factories during World War II, Secrets of the Singer Girls is Kate Thompson’s first novel. We spoke to the author to find out where the story began. “After ghost writing several wartime memoirs, I realised that nostalgia was a genre I felt very comfortable writing in, then two years ago my agent suggested I try my hand at fiction. “I had been to Bethnal Green on a number of occasions chatting to women who remembered the war in the East End and it seemed that virtually everyone I spoke to had worked in the rag trade as a seamstress. The more they filled me in on life on the factory floor, the more compelling I found it, and it occurred to me it would be a wonderful place to set a novel. “The conditions in the factories were tough and the hours long. Women sat on an assembly line doing piece work (each worker would be paid per garment or ‘piece’) from 8 or 9am until 6pm, with few breaks. It was freezing in winter, boiling in the summer, the work was monotonous and I can only imagine how their backs and hands must have throbbed by the end of the shift. “The women I spoke to during my research shared so many great stories. One told me about how they would ‘hold the line’, which meant the seamstresses would hold onto their wheel and put their foot down on the treadle. If all the women did this at the same time it fused the machine and craftily earned them an extra tea break. I also love their resilience, if a woman accidentally impaled her thumb on the needle, the forelady just turned the wheel to extract it and she was simply patched up and told to get on with it. “Despite the hard work and often ferociously strict foreladies, the women also managed to extract every last drop of fun from factory life, singing at the tops of their voices to Music While You Work on the wireless and sneaking little notes into the army uniforms in the hope of finding a sailor or soldier sweetheart. For all its hardships,


the rag trade taught them many skills, pride in their work, a sense of self and a place in their community. “After spending many hours speaking with women who lived there, I also realised what an enormous part the Bethnal Green Tube Disaster had to play in all their lives and how it helped to shape the psyche of the community. It was the biggest wartime civilian disaster; 173 men, women and children were crushed attempting to get down underground at the tube to the shelters when the siren went off. The tragedy was that there wasn’t a single German bomb dropped that night, it was anti aircraft rocket testing from the nearby park. Churchill’s government hushed the disaster up as they didn’t want the Germans to find out as they would have had a field day with the propaganda of it, so effectively Bethnal Green was forced to grieve in silence. “I’m already in the process of researching for a follow on to Secrets of the Singer Girls. It’s set in the same factory with some old familiar faces, as well as some new ones. This book starts two years earlier in the summer of 1940 and takes us through the Blitz and the East Enders’ fight for the right to take sanctuary in the safety of the underground.” 5 COPIES Secrets of the Singer Girls TO WIN p84 (£7.99, Pan Macmillan) Find out more about Kate at

“For all its hardships, the rag trade taught them many skills”



An American born company, the Singer name has been synonymous with sewing for over 150 years. In 1885, Singer’s Kilbowie factory (renamed the Clydebank factory in 1900) in Scotland became the largest factory in the world. Singer remains the largest household sewing machine brand.

love 3 we Clothing book tin, £4

Sew Over It 1940s Tea Dress pattern, £12

Fashion on the Ration – Style in the Second World War by Julie Summers (£14.99, Profile Books)

All available from

The Singer Company is founded by Isaac Merritt Singer

Singer sewing machines become available to hire

Singer produces the world’s first electric sewing machine




1855 Singer becomes the largest sewing machine company in the world

1885 The Clydebank factory opens in Scotland

history IN FOCUS

THE REAL SINGER GIRLS We were lucky enough to hear some stories firsthand from onetime East End factory girls

“I never bought a dress, I made them all, and for my children” MAGS BOWEN, 82

“One of the girls would pierce your ears with a needle and cotton while you were on your toilet break” EMILY SHEPHERD, 87

“I went into one of the factories for an interview and the Kray Brothers were there doing a deal with the governor. I didn’t go back” HENRIETTA KEEPER, 88 From left to right: Mags Bowen, Emily Shepherd, Henrietta Keeper, Kate Thompson, Sally Flood, Peggy Percival

“My school thought I should be a teacher, but my mum wanted me to work in the factories so I could bring home some money straight away” SALLY FLOOD, 89

Learn more

FASHION ON THE RATION: 1940S STREET STYLE Visit the Imperial War Museum, London to find out how fashion survived and even flourished during the strict rules of rationing in Britian during World War II. The exhibition, which runs until the end of August, explores how men and women became more innovative with their dress during a time of austerity with displays of original clothes from uniforms to functional fashion. Find out more at


Sew Retro by Judi Ketteler (£16.99, Voyageur Press)

“You’re not a machinist until you’ve had a needle through your finger three times!” PEGGY PERCIVAL, 84

The Clydebank factory is awarded its first war contract for the production of tools used in the manufacture of aircraft

The first computerised sewing machine is produced

Bogods begins distributing Singer sewing machines in the UK




For more information on the Clydebank museum, visit For Singer sewing machines, log on to





Singer HQ in New York City becomes the tallest building in the world

The Singer factory at Clydebank is bombed with 390,000 square feet of damage

The Clydebank factory closes and the museum opens, housing the Singer Sewing Machine Collection

The Singer Sewing Machine Collection and Archive is awarded as a Recognised Collection of National Significance by Museums Galleries Scotland 35

BOOKMARK THIS We take a look at what the best sewing sites around have to offer!

Blog of the month WWW.THETHRIFTYSTITCHER.CO.UK She’s the behind the scenes sewing producer on The Great British Sewing Bee, but did you know Claire-Louise Hardie also teaches sewing, and blogs about it too? “I started the blog in 2009 when I first began teaching as a way of sharing resources, tips and sewing advice to a greater audience than the attendees of my classes. I try to blog about topics that will help people either new to sewing, or improving sewers. My work on the Sewing Bee led to the incredible opportunity of writing The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion With Fabric. I’m really keen for people to see sewing as a way to make everyday ordinary clothes, so I’ve gotten involved with a 30 day blog challenge in which I post a garment a day from the book. As I’m not model sized I’m hoping it’s inspired people to have a go. I actually hate having my picture taken, so it’s been a big jump for me personally! I’m also currently working on a couple of big projects that will be announced later in the year – so stay tuned!” Claire-Louise Hardie, The Thrifty Stitcher






QUOTE sew-05-2015 FOR 10% OFF Closing date 8 May 2015


With a range of patterns Created by a bunch of fabric available in paper and PDF lovers, My Fabric House has format, Backstitch has plenty just had a website makeover. for you to choose from. With a huge range of patterned Search by your favourite and plains for inspiration, you’re designer or style to find the sure to want it all! perfect one for you.


Winner of Best Sewing Blog in the 2014 British Sewing Awards, you’ll find a whole load of easyto-follow tutorials here. From totes to skirts and everything else in between, your sewing to-do list will certainly be full! Our blog is up and running and if you haven’t already checked it out then you must! Sit back, relax and enjoy all things sewing. A word of warning! It may contain inspiration overload.

Lauren_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:15 Page 3


LAUREN GUTHRIE Grainline Patterns Moss Skirt. Photography by Julia Stotz and Brian Guido

“You get to stitch up designs that might never make it to a printed paper pattern” LAUREN GIVES HER TOP TIPS ON USING DOWNLOADABLE DRESSMAKING PATTERNS

Lauren’s ‘to sew’ list


Named Lourdes Cropped Jacket in a magenta lightweight wool.


Grainline Studio’s Archer Shirt in lightweight denim.

Photographer Jenni Holma


The new Davie Dress from Sewaholic Patterns in a patterned jersey.

The digital world seems to be finding more and more ways into our lives and the sewing room is no exception when it comes to dressmaking patterns. PDF versions are becoming increasingly popular and readily available, which I think is really exciting! It allows a whole host of amazing designers to bring their dreams to life and share their own style with the rest of the online community. It’s a lot quicker, easier and more cost effective for smaller companies or individuals to set themselves up than investing in printing, to then deal with storage, sales, and postage. I know PDFs get some bad press. It is a bit of a drag when all you really want to do is cut out and sew, but I promise, once you have it together, it’s totally worth it! Especially when you get to stitch up designs that might never make it to a printed paper pattern. Here are my top tips for dealing with most PDFs. Set the printer to 100% scale and only print the test page first. It will have a box, which should measure a specific size to ensure that it prints to the correct scale. Once you have that set, print the rest of the pattern sheets and remember to reset the scale to 100% as it’s unlikely that your computer will have saved the settings. Next, trim the border off each pattern sheet; I usually just do the bottom and right-hand edge. Leaving the border on two of the sides will make it easier to stick two sheets together. Tape your sheets, connecting any markers or numbers labelled on them. I then always trace off the size that I want onto dressmaker’s tracing paper. It’s much easier to pin this onto your fabric and keeps the main print out as a master copy. Fold it up and keep it safe in a large envelope so it is easy to identify in the future. There are so many different online patterns available and it’ll open up a whole new sewing world! Look out for designs that have a series of sewalong blog posts to support them. They can really help to explain different fitting issues and give lots of extra tips on sourcing fabrics and styling. I’m working on the Grainline Studio’s Moss Skirt at the moment, which is only available as a download. It’s a really cute little design with pockets and a fly front. I’m using a fine needle cord with snowdrops on it as I think it will work really well with the topstitching details. In between keeping my ‘to sew’ list under control, I’ve recently been really busy working behind the scenes on a new website. I’m so overwhelmed and grateful for how busy we have been, but I feel like we’ve outgrown the original one. It’s a huge project and something I want to work hard on getting right, so watch this space for further updates.

“Look out for designs that have a series of sewalong blog posts to support them”

Happy Sewing!

All patterns available from 37

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 17:55 Page 38

Cliffords Sewing Machines Ltd 154 WESTERN STREET, SWANSEA SA1 3JY Est over 70 yrs, suppliers of Janome, Brother, Juki, Bernina, Elna, Husqvarna. New and reconditioned overlockers, embroidery machines, threads and accessories, we also provide service and repair to most makes. Our customers include domestic and commercial as well as major schools and colleges in the area. UK service centre for ELNAPRESS no matter how old or condition. Mail order service available....... Tel 01792 655928 | Fax 01792 410743 e mail web

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Spring Offer for SEW Readers Quote ‘SEW’


The greatest selection of true vintage sewing patterns, from 1920s flapper dresses, to 1970s jumpsuits.

World Wide Shipping - Credit Cards Welcome We are honoured to be recognised by May Martin in such a positive way means a great deal to me and all the staff at Sewing Machines Direct. We are in awe that May holds us in such a high regard and would like to thank her and all her students and our customers for their continued support. We are constantly striving to improve on our friendly customer service and will keep giving you the best possible selection of products. Russell Forrester, Director, Sewing Machines Direct

Follow us on Facebook Russell Forrester Director Sewing Machines Direct SMD Court, Miners Road, Llay Ind Estate, Wrexham, LL12 0PJ Freephone: 0800 092 5215 Tel: +44 01978 851235 Fax:+44 01978 857017 38

Machine spotlight May15 qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 16:42 Page 2




If you love making quilts, it may be worthwhile investing in a machine built for the job. Handling bulky projects with many layers of fabric can be tricky, but these specialist models have a range of handy features including an extra large sewing space, facilities for even feeding and a knee lift to keep your hands free.

MODEL OF THE MONTH BROTHER INNOV-IS NV1100 The Innov-is NV1100 boasts a generous work area, making it ideal for quilters. Direct stitch selection allows you to simply key in the stitch number you need from the wide choice available and you can save your own decorative stitches to memory with the My Custom Stitch feature. The clear LCD screen shows stitch details and settings. The drop in bobbin speeds up the process and the handy knee lift frees up your hands to raise/lower the presser foot when you’re working on larger projects. The square feed drive system gives a smooth, even feeding action for superior stitch quality on any weight of fabric. It also has super bright LED lighting and a lock stitch button.

“The clear LCD screen shows stitch details and settings” KEY FEATURES l Large

21cm work space

l Square

feed drive system

l Advanced

needle threader

l Knee


l Clear

LCD screen

Price: £749 Contact:, 08444 999444.

£749 Shop of the MONTH “Woodseats Sewing Machines has been a family run business since the late 1950s. We are well equipped to advise and supply all the sewing goods you may need from needles and threads to more exotic embroidery machines. We sell a wide range of sewing machines and overlockers and only recommend what’s best for you. We are also certified repair service agents for many brands. While we focus on a personal inshop service, we can also provide full mail order and email services for out of hours purchases. We also offer interest free credit on certain goods (subject to status) and have a brand-new Brother sewing classroom.” Tim, Woodseat Sewing Machines

WHAT’S ON OFFER? l Wide range of sewing machines and overlockers l Repair service l Haberdashery and software

Find out more...

Visit Woodseats Sewing Machines Ltd, 663 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, Sheffield, S8 0RY. Alternatively, log on to, 01142 552822. 39

Machine spotlight May15 qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 16:42 Page 3



This computerised model from Janome is ideal for all your home sewing projects. It is so versatile that there are three optional kits available, one for quilting, one for home furnishings and a third for fashion. It’s ideal for big projects, with a total arm length of 31cm, however it is equally suited to precision sewing offering 91 needle positions. It has a superior feeding system and an easy change needle plate. The sky’s the limit with 170 built-in stitches including 10 styles of automatic one step buttonholes and five times stitch elongation.

From the new Bernina 3 Series, this handsome model designed by the famous American singing quilter, Ricky Tims, offers a total of 191 stitch patterns including two alphabets and memory buttonholes, perfect for exploring your creative potential. The LED lighting system illuminates the sewing area and the high contrast display makes stitch selection easy. There are nine needle positions for optimum accuracy and slide speed control means your stitching will never run away with you. The securing stitch button will save you time and start stop button allows you to work without the foot pedal.



l 170

built-in stitches

l Memory l Auto


l 191


needle threader

l Two




l 30

l Auto

thread cutter

stitch patterns

stitch memories

l Nine

l Lock

stitch feature

£849 plus free

Contact:, 0161 666 6011.

quilting kit*

*Normal price £999. T&Cs apply.

needle positions

Contact:, 0207 549 7849.



The Juki TL-98P Perfection is ideal for quilters. A new bobbin case latch and an enlarged bobbin case area make it easy to replace and automatic thread trimmer greatly increases sewing efficiency as with an industrial sewing machine. The speed control mechanism allows the machine to sew material at low speeds, providing accurate feeding and perfect stitching when sewing heavy fabrics or multiple layers. The knee lift lever is another handy function for quilters and the presser foot pressure can be adjusted according to the fabric being sewn.

This computerised sewing machine by Silver for Simplicity is part of an exclusive new range. There are 197 stitch patterns to choose from including a one-step buttonhole. Feet are snap on and there is a convertible free arm for sewing round projects. It’s nice and sturdy as there’s an internal metal frame. The one hand thread cutter is ideal for when juggling larger projects and the auto needle threader and drop in bobbin save time when starting to sew. Other capabilities include drop feed, programmable needle up/down, lock stitch and a maximum speed controller.


bobbin replacement

l Automatic

thread trimmer

l Speed

control mechanism

l Needle



l Automatic







stitch pattern

l Adjustable



l One

hand thread cutter

l Convertible l Auto

free arm

needle threader



*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:18 Page 41

Liberty Pencil Case_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:22 Page 1

Essentials Assorted fabric scraps, 45 Lining fabric Wadding Zip, 23cm

Dimensions 13cm x 23cm

Cutting guide Use a 5mm seam allowance unless otherwise stated.



Make this colourful patchwork case as a gorgeous gift or keep one for yourself and pack it full with your most treasured stationery. What can be more relaxing than spending a peaceful afternoon colouring in some beautiful pictures?






Cut two 4cm squares from 45 different fabric scraps, totalling 10 each from red, dark pink, pale pink, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, pale purple and purple. Arrange the colours in nine vertical columns of five, placing the lightest shades at the top, through to the darkest at the bottom. Stitch the columns together in order, sewing each square in turn, right sides facing [1].

2 4

Arrange the columns from left to right in rainbow order. Press the red row seams up, the dark pink row down, and continue alternating the seam direction through the rest of the colours, so that they will fit together smoothly when you stitch the columns together.


Sew the rows together [2]. Repeat with another set of 45 squares, but order them from right to left to complete the other side of the case. Trim the patchwork outer pieces to 14cm x 24cm.


Tack a piece of wadding to the wrong side of each outer piece. Place the zip, right side down, on the right side of one of your


patchwork pieces, lining up the edges. Pin in place, then stitch the two together, along the top edge close to the zip.


Cut two 14cm x 24cm pieces of lining fabric and set one aside. Place the other on top of the outer piece attached to the fastening, right sides together, trapping the zip between the layers [3]. Pin and sew along the top edge, close to the zip. Trim the ends of the zip level with the edges of the fabric and open out. Repeat with the other outer and lining pieces on the opposite side of the zip. Open out so that you have the lining pieces on one side and both outer sections on the other side of the zip, all right sides together. Open the zip halfway. Sew around all the edges, leaving a gap of approximately 8cm at the bottom of the lining [4]. Pull the case and lining through the hole. Slip stitch the gap closed, pushing it back into the pencil case and press.


Liberty Pencil Case_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:22 Page 2



Make &Share

Stitch a quilted version with two 14cm x 24cm pieces of cotton fabric. Attach fusible wadding to the back, draw a diamond shaped grid across the fabric and quilt along these lines in straight stitch. Make up as for the patchwork version.

See for FREE Colour Therapy Colouring-In Pages.

READER OFFER This project is taken from

LOVE IT... BUY IT! Liberty Tana Lawn Mitsi Pink We think this delicate pattern would look great on your case.

Liberty Tana Lawn Garden Wonderland D This print is inspired by Alice in Wonderland and is simply beautiful.

For a fantastic range of Liberty fabrics, including these prints priced £22 per metre each, visit

Little Lady Liberty by Alice Garrett (£15.99, David & Charles). Sew readers can purchase a copy for £10.99 including free postage by calling 01206 255777, quoting SM115 before 31st May 2015. 43

Jersey headband_Layout 1 27/03/2015 11:59 Page 1

Essentials Three printed jersey fabrics Coordinating sewing thread

Dimensions Custom sized


JERSEY HEADBANDS Create the perfect addition to any outfit with these simple to make headbands. Make them in any shades you like to match your favourite outfit, or use them to add a pop of colour to a plain dress or top. With comfy jersey fabric and minimal sewing, this is the easiest fashion accessory you’ll love to wear again, and again!



Cut 12cm x 80cm pieces from three different patterned jersey fabrics. Lay them one on top of the other and pin them together at one end. Attach this end to something stable and plait the three pieces evenly.


Braid until you reach the end of the fabric strips, adjusting them if necessary as you go to ensure no wrong sides show. Pin the three ends together. Check the fit, then take both ends of the plait and pin them right sides together.


Machine stitch across the band ends with a 1.5cm seam allowance, it may be quite thick in places, so adjust your needle height if necessary. Trim the seam to 1cm, snip the corners and turn back to the right side.



Cut 24cm x 80cm from one jersey fabric print and set aside. Cut three 4cm x 100cm pieces from a coordinating design. Using these, create a braided band as you did for the plaited style headpiece.


Lay the plaited fabric centrally onto the piece you set aside and tie the ends together in a simple knot. Adjust this until it is central and you’re pleased with how it sits. Check the fit, then pin both ends of the fabric right sides together and machine stitch across the band with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Trim the seam to 1cm and turn back to the right side.


Tie two or more braids together to create a multi-layered headband with lots of colours! 44

Jersey headband_Layout 1 27/03/2015 12:08 Page 2


LOVE IT... BUY IT! Flyaway Petalums Sky

Parallel Segments Quartz

A delicate floral design, from the WInged collection by Bonnie Christine, visit for stockists.

From the Geometric Bliss range by Jeni Baker, this colourful and modern print will help your headband pop! Visit for stockists. 45


DRAGONFLY FABRICS “I love exchanging ideas with my sewing class ladies” THE OWNERS OF DRAGONFLY FABRICS TALK ABOUT HOW TEAMWORK HAS MADE THEIR BUSINESS A SUCCESS For husband and wife team Dorte and Simon, their business really is a family affair. After years of working in London in the fashion industry, they now run their sewing emporium from their home with Dorte’s sewing classes and workshops held in their idyllic garden studio in leafy East Sussex.

to start sewing with straight away so, I started stocking some from Germany which were suitable for dressmaking. They proved very popular in my classes, so we decided to expand our range and set up Dragonfly Fabrics.

Have you both had creative backgrounds?

The best thing is having everyone coming to class each week to share ideas and seeing what they are planning to make. It is lovely to talk about sewing and fabrics with everyone! My pattern cutting and dressmaking classes are really popular at the moment.

Yes, Simon worked as a photographer and I studied fashion design and pattern making in Germany. When I moved to London I started working for Vivienne Westwood, she was lovely, such an inspiration and the team was great fun. One of the best things was definitely being involved backstage at the fashion shows! After that I moved on to work as a pattern cutter at Clements Ribeiro and Markus Luther before joining Hussein Chalayan.

What made you launch your own company? The company started after we moved away from London and had a family. I decided I wanted to get back to work so I started my sewing classes. It was difficult to find good quality dressmaking fabrics locally or online, and I thought it would be nice to have modern quality fabrics for people

What do you love most about teaching and sharing your skills?

Do you get involved in all aspects of the business? I deal with the creative side of the business, source all the fabric and run the workshop with our lovely staff. I also reply to any customer queries. Simon deals more with the marketing and financial side, as well as the photography. Neither of us had that much previous experience in business, although we were both freelancers before setting up Dragonfly Fabrics, so that does teach you certain skills. We also now have help with packing orders and have recently taken someone on to help with social media.

How do you go about sourcing stock for the shop? We source our fabric in various ways, our boiled wool and linens come from suppliers in Germany and Italy, while our designer ranges are sourced from suppliers from the UK. We keep adding to the range all the time! Patterns is a growth area for us too; I love discovering new designers.

Do you have any favorite ranges you currently stock? Our boiled wool is definitely a favourite; Stuart Hillard used it during the first The Great British Sewing Bee for his grey wool jacket, which was fun. We also have a lovely range of good quality striped and bamboo jerseys, as well as printed cotton voiles and washed bio linens, all of which I love!

What’s next for Dragonfly Fabrics? It’s great that sewing has made such a comeback in the last few years and we just want to let more people know that if they are looking for modern quality dressmaking fabrics, they should visit our site and have a look. I’d also like to create my own pattern designs one day!

Dorte’s Top Tips ● Spend time on SEO – it is so important, if a little boring! ● Be organised and reply to emails as soon as possible. ● Use online resources for business research. Fiona Pullen’s Craft a Creative Business (£12.99, Search Press) is also a great read. ● Finally, remember to take time out too – no Sunday work emails!

For more from Dragonfly Fabrics, see 46

Reader survey qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:52 Page 3



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ABOUT SEW HOW OFTEN DO YOU BUY SEW MAGAZINE? ❑ I subscribe ❑ Every issue/most issues ❑ Several times a year ❑ A couple of times a year ❑ Rarely ❑ This is my first issue



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WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE AS A GIFT ON A FUTURE ISSUE OF SEW (tick all that apply) ❑ Dress patterns ❑ Skirt patterns ❑ Trouser patterns ❑ Shirt / blouse patterns ❑ Multi-garment patterns ❑ Children's patterns ❑ Fancy dress patterns ❑ Home patterns ❑ Bag/accessory patterns ❑ Fabric bundles ❑ Project books ❑ Sewing kits ❑ Patchwork kits ❑ Other....................................................


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Reader survey qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:52 Page 4


HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND ON SEWING EACH MONTH? WHY DO YOU SEW? ❑ Hobby ❑ Gifts ❑ Better fitting garments ❑ Other (please detail)

ARE YOU? ❑ Female ❑ Male WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SEWING SKILL LEVEL? ❑ Beginner ❑ Intermediate ❑ Advanced

ON AVERAGE, WHAT SIZE DRESS PATTERNS DO YOU SEW (UK)? ❑ 6-8 ❑ 10-12 ❑ 14-16 ❑ 18-20 ❑ 22+




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Female garments Male garments Children’s garments Baby garments Toys Homewares Quilts & patchwork Accessories (jewellery/bags)


Fabric and haberdashery Sewing patterns Workshops and courses Books and magazines Tools and accessories

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WHAT OTHER MAGAZINES DO YOU BUY REGULARLY? ❑ Love Sewing ❑ Sewing World ❑ Simply Sewing ❑ Sew Today ❑ Mollie Makes ❑ Other (please detail)

WHERE DO YOU SHOP FOR YOUR SEWING SUPPLIES? ❑ Independent retailer ❑ Online ❑ Large chain stores (e.g. HobbyCraft) ❑ Craft fairs/shows ❑ Other (please detail)



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Send your completed voting form to: Sew Reader Survey, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY Terms & conditions of entry and data preferences All entries must be received by 22/05/15. Entry is open to all UK residents 18 and over, excluding employees of the associated companies and their families. Only one entry per household. No cash alternative. Winners will be drawn at random from all completed entries by 22/05/15. Entries must be provided on the form provided, photocopies accepted (no purchase necessary). Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules will be disqualified. No responsibility held for entries lost, delayed or damaged in the post, proof of posting is not proof of delivery. No correspondence will be entered into. The winner will be notified by email/post. Winners' names and counties will be available by sending an SAE to Marketing Department, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. Your details will be processed by Aceville Publications Ltd. (publishers of Sew) in full accordance with data protection legislation. Aceville Publications Ltd. and sister companies may wish to contact you with information of other services and publications we provide which may be of interest. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post ❑ Phone ❑ Email ❑ SMS ❑. From time to time Aceville Publications Ltd. will share details with other reputable companies who provide products and services that maybe of interest to you. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post ❑ Phone ❑ Email ❑ SMS ❑.



*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:18 Page 49

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Janome adv_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:55 Page 2

£1 O 0 F , PR 0 IZ 00 ES


GIVEAWAY BONANZA! READ ON TO DISCOVER HOW YOU CAN BE IN WITH THE CHANCE OF WINNING AMAZING PRIZES IN OUR GIVEAWAY BONANZA We’ve joined forces with our friends at Janome to offer the biggest machine and stitchy goodies giveaway ever! We have 20 exciting prizes up for grabs, including three Janome machines; a Memory Craft 15000, Memory Craft 9900, and Memory Craft 350E, plus Mettler thread packs for 17 runners up. Read on to find out how you can get your hands on one of these exciting prizes!



The history of Janome

Established in 1921, Janome is famed for the quality and reliability of its products. Janome was the first company to produce a multicoloured embroidery machine for home use, and still leads the world in this advanced technology field. Janome UK was established in 1969, and launched the Janome Memory Craft 8000 in 1989. Now operating in nearly 400 retail outlets throughout the UK, with an extensive model range, Janome aims to provide customers with an unrivalled level of service. The number one choice of brand by independent retailers and department stores, the company has also collaborated with The Great British Sewing Bee and teamed up with many sewing experts to offer a wide range of courses across the UK.





JANOME MEMORY CRAFT 15000 The incredible, award winning Memory Craft 15000 incorporates all the best features for sewing, embroidery and quilting and has the largest work area of any equivalent model available. It is the first machine of its kind to have WiFi, the first to work with an iPad and the first to have its own Apps! And it has the largest and fastest touch screen on the market. The new built-in embroidery system ensures embroidery perfection! It is packed full of powerful yet easy to use features such as, AcuFeed Flex, Horizon-Link, Stitch Composer and Janome’s exclusive AcuFil Quilting System. It can produce up to 1,000 stitches per minute in 9mm wide stitches, and with the option of 91 needle positions it offers incredible speed and precision all in one machine!

KEY FEATURES l Unique built-in

embroidery system

l 480 designs plus 10

fonts included

l WiFi connectivity l Over 500 stitches

including 13 auto buttonholes

l Built-in AcuFil

Quilting System

Janome adv_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:44 Page 3

PRIZE BONANZA! PRIZE BONANZA! PRIZE BONANZA! £1 O 0 F , SECOND PRIZE PR 0 JANOME MEMORY CRAFT 9900 IZ 00 ES The Memory Craft 9900 is a combined sewing and embroidery machine. It offers lots of powerful features for sewing as well as professional style embroidery at home. It also has three interchangeable coloured panels to personalise your machine. The MC9900 makes it easy to create garments, furnishings or accessories and then embellish them with beautiful multicoloured embroidery. Choose from one of the built-in designs or download from the internet. Resize, edit or combine styles to make your project completely unique!

KEY FEATURES l Built-in compact

embroidery system

l Large touch screen l 175 designs plus

three fonts included

l Up to 200,000

stitches per design

l 200 stitches

including six auto buttonholes



JANOME MEMORY CRAFT 350E The Janome Memory Craft 350E is an embroidery only machine that offers professional style embroidery at home. It makes it easy to embellish garments, furnishings or smaller accessories. With a built-in embroidery unit, the display screen tells you everything you need to know. Simply choose from one of the built-in designs or download other options. The 350E also stops automatically after sewing each colour in the design. Simply thread up the next and see the design develop before your eyes.

KEY FEATURES l Built-in embroidery


l Embroiders up to l 100 designs plus

three fonts included importing designs

l Bobbin thread sensor


RUNNERS UP 17 runners up will win Mettler Polysheen embroidery thread kits. These high quality threads are loved by seamstresses, quilters and creative people all over the world, and will bring a quality finish to your work in lustrous colours.

1 2

3 4

Go to to download an entry form. Visit a participating Janome retailer and write your name using any Janome embroidery machine. In addition you can embellish your entry sample with a design chosen from the machine. You can find a list of participating retailers at Answer this simple question: When was the Janome Memory Craft 8000 launched in the UK? Send the completed entry form and sample to: Janome Embroidery Competition, Southside, Bredbury, Stockport, SK6 2SP.


140mm x 200mm

l USB port for


£41.50 each

The competition closes on 30th June 2015 and winners will be notified within 28 days of the end of the competition.

Download your entry form today from For further details, call 0161 666 6011 or email Full terms and conditions online at 53

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 17:46 Page 54

Sewing classes available. The Fabric Stash - A beautiful collection of cotton prints available from our shop. 1st Floor, 7 Middle Row, Stevenage Old Town SG1 3AN

Tel: 07534173663/ 01438 311095 facebook/snippetsneedlework

Visit us

Learn to Sew, Crochet, Knit and more, with us. We teach to adults and children these useful skills. Have fun and be creative. Call us on: 0208 445 2475 Email: Let’s Learn, 13-14 Grand Arcade, North Finchley, London N12 0EH 54

WorkshopsMay15qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 13:46 Page 2


Brand new feature!


We bring you the best sewing sessions to boost your skills

Workshop of the month Make it fit!

Whether you're studying textiles or simply like the idea of stitching your own clothes, this six week pattern cutting course will show you how to make a pattern for a summer dress from your personal measurements. You choose the style of skirt with your fitted bodice. The first six week block is all about creating and fitting the pattern, then if you'd like to continue, you can join the second set of sessions to learn the dressmaking skills to make up your dress. Based in Stratford upon Avon, Sew Me Something's Jules Fallon has her own range of easy to follow sewing patterns and workshops to support them. If dressmaking isn't your thing, there’s a whole range of other fabulous sessions on offer. This Teen Pattern Cutting course includes all the tools and equipment you need, as well as plenty of refreshments. The next available start date is 5th May.

TEEN PATTERN CUTTING Sew Me Something, Stratford-Upon-Avon Price £120

Why book?

Learn about fitting a pattern Choose your own style Includes all materials To book visit or call 01789 330 588.

Three more excellent courses Make a skirt

Learn dressmaking




Let's Learn, London If your favourite series has left you feeling inspired then you will love this 10 week workshop. Priced £200 and running on Saturdays between 5pm and 7pm, you will be taught how to use a sewing machine while making fun projects including a skirt for yourself. Just bring your favourite fabrics. The next courses available start on 18th April and 19th September. For more details, visit or call 0208 445 2475.

Owl and Sewing Cat, Eastbourne We all love a spot of home decorating and this course fuels our love for DIY. Revamp your home by learning to create a handmade Roman blind – it's easier than you may think! You will learn how to measure and make a sample blind while building your confidence and skills to take on bigger tasks. Priced just £38 including all fabrics, the next three-hour course is on 13th May. Head over to or call 01323 325342 for more details.

The White Room, London This four week course is a great opportunity to learn more about the art of dressmaking. You set the brief by bringing along the pattern you'd like to make, and the talented team will guide you through every step of the process, from measuring and cutting out to beginning to stitch your garment using the sewing and overlocker machines. Priced £150, the next Simple Clothes Making course starts on 5th May. Visit or call 0208 694 1375 to book. 55

Q&A 71_Layout 1 27/03/2015 11:53 Page 1

WHATEVER YOUR SEWING PROBLEM, OUR EXPERTS HAVE THE ANSWER! Send your queries to ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

here are lots of lovely patterns using knits, but I find them really daunting as I don’t have an overlocker. Do you have any advice for successful stitching with stretch fabrics please?

T Caroline Hulse

is the author of creative blog Sew Caroline and has a range of garment patterns for women. She has also recently been announced as a regular designer for Art Gallery Fabrics. Find out more at

Ann Taylor

Caroline says

You’re right, there are so many designers coming up with lovely and easy to sew knit patterns these days. But do not fear, stitching these on your home sewing machine is a breeze if you have the right tools and know the following tricks, even if you do not own an overlocker machine. First, change to a ballpoint needle instead of a regular universal one; the slightly rounded tip helps the needle to go through the fabric more easily. Secondly, change your stitch to a narrow zig zag or stretch stitch (it looks like a lightening bolt). This allows the thread to move with the fabric instead

“Do not be afraid to pin!” of seams popping when they are pulled. Thirdly, do not stretch your fabric while sewing (unless instructed to do so in the pattern). You may need to adjust the tension on your presser foot to fix this. Lastly, do not be afraid to pin! Stretch fabrics have a tendency to roll, which can be frustrating, and pinning always helps keep you on the right track. Be sure to test on a scrap of knit fabric before beginning to sew your garment to ensure you have got everything right. Why not try my Out and About Dress pattern, which is available as an instant download? It’s loosely fitted with sleeve and hem options and is available in sizes XS-XXL.


Sew Caroline Out and About Dress,

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here are so many beautiful oilcloth designs available, but I’m not too sure what to sew with them and what special techniques I would need to use. Do you have any tips and ideas please?


Janet Davies

Nik Strode began importing Mexican oilcloth after being unable to find any in the UK. Viva La Frida was born and has been supplying Mexican oilcloth and Folkart to the UK and worldwide for over a decade. Visit www.vivala

Nik says Oilcloth, also known as laminated PVC or laminated cotton, has traditionally been most used as a table covering but is also a great choice for sewing projects as it is hard wearing, stain resistant and waterproof. There are so many ideas for using oilcloth including bags, aprons, placemats, bunting, upholstery, purses, and more! Oilcloth is stiffer than normal fabric but can be sewn easily on a sewing machine. I always practise on a small remnant first and there are a few techniques you can use to make sewing easier. Using a needle designed for stitching leather and a good quality thread will help with the thicker material. You may also find that the oilcloth feeds better when stitching if you use a roller or non-stick foot on your sewing machine, or try covering the bottom of your usual foot with masking tape, this will create more grip and lead to the oilcloth feeding better with more even stitching. In general, the thicker the fabric, the longer the stitches you should use. If sewing more than one thickness of oilcloth, you may want to increase your stitch length. Binding, buttons and zips can be added just like you would with a standard fabric.

“Oilcloth is stiffer than normal fabric but can be sewn easily”


’ve heard the term English paper piecing, but am unsure what it involves?

Lesley Lambert

Ella says

“It is a fairly slow, methodical process”

English paper piecing is simply the process of using paper templates to form patchwork shapes from fabric. Cotton is wrapped around the motif, tacked and pressed, before being joined together with other pieces by hand, using tiny whip stitches. Once everything is sewn together, the paper templates can be removed. Hexagons are probably the most traditional shape used and can be used to create anything from stunning cushion covers to whole quilts. Quilting cottons are best recommended for English paper piecing as they have an open weave that allows the needle to travel through the fabric more easily when stitching together. Pre-cut paper templates are readily available to buy and can save you a lot of time as usually a fair few are needed to complete a design. Of course, you can create your own paper templates by printing them from your home computer and cutting them out. Be prepared to spend time doing this and remember not to use your fabric scissors! The size of the template is usually referred to by the length of one of the sides of the shape, as opposed to diameter, i.e. a 1” hexagon will be the length of one side. Your templates will be the size of your finished patchwork pieces, so you’ll need to make a slightly larger one from which to cut your fabrics.

Ella Johnston is the editor of our new sister title, Make it Today! Pick up the latest issue for 19 patchwork projects to try using the designer fabric kit. Priced £7.99 from good newsagents and supermarkets, visit www.makeit 57

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We stitc

Ring pillow “We had cow print accessories”


“My mum made us cow print accessories for the day (my husband and I are dairy farmers!), including this gorgeous ring pillow.” Elisa Brennan



Wedding season is upon us, and those of you with fast approaching deadlines for your own special day, or that of a loved one, may be looking for ways to make it truly unforgettable. By stitching various elements of your nuptials, you can give your

“I held a bunting workshop with some friends”

Do iet lf yours

“The bunting added a fun personal touch. The summer colours were bright and supported the relaxed atmosphere of the day. I held a bunting workshop with some friends and their sewing machines in the weeks leading up to the wedding as I had found some lovely fabrics. I was very grateful for their time and enthusiasm.” Tara Shane

Handmade By You, London offer wonderful craft parties with a vintage twist. You and your hens could make 20 metres of vintage lace bunting in creams, ecru and ivory or personalised to your colour scheme. After your wedding day, guests can take a piece home as a keepsake. Parties can be held with or without afternoon tea at vintage tea shops across London or a venue of your choice. Priced from £48 per person, contact Alice Hainsworth-Millar for more details.

Fabric invites “Our invites were a little bit of me and my husband” “As well as the saving which can be made by making something yourself, you also get to put your personality into the finer details, which to me was so important. The lace coupled with the rustic style card, is a little bit of me and my husband. We can be fancy when we want to be, but will always stay grounded.” Marie Lineham


Fabric bouquets “I can hold on to it forever” “A friend made my bouquet and boutonnières from fabric, it was so touching and I can hold onto a memory of the day forever” Gaby Holloway

Headwear We spoke to Samantha Cousins, creator of The Headmistress, a designer of millinery for all occasions. Her bridal pieces are simply stunning and often bespoke designs. “I think it’s a really wonderful thing to have something handmade for that special day, which can reflect your personality and also be kept as a keepsake. I often suggest using a piece of jewellery, which is sentimental or precious to the customer and then incorporate it into a bespoke headpiece. I can then create a piece that fulfils all the criteria for ‘something old, something new.’ It’s a wonderful feeling to see the photographs of the happy couple on their wedding day and feel like I have contributed to it in some way.” For more information visit

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hed our

Frock stars


“With our minuscule budget, and a tight time frame, I decided my only option was to make my own dress!”

THEIR WEDDINGS A HANDMADE AFFAIR celebration a truly unique feel. From table decorations to your gown, we’ve got some beautiful creations to share with you, made by our very own Sew readers! Plus, milliner Samantha Cousins shares how special it is to hand sew something for a couple’s big day.

Accessories “I made bags for myself and daughter” “I used mint green duchess satin on the outside for my daughter’s fold over clutch and switched it to make the lining for my own clasped purse. I covered them both in beautiful lace and added a chunky metal zip on the clutch to make it just a little contemporary. My purse was just large enough for my phone, a lipstick and a hanky! I had not sewn with lace before and also used my walking foot for the very first time! I’m so pleased to have saved myself a shopping trip and ended up with two quality bespoke purses. They feel so special.” Lucie Jones

“Luckily I’d been keeping a Pinterest board with lots of pictures for inspiration. After enlisting the support of some fashion-forward and design savvy friends, we met one Saturday to work out how to make my version. We quickly decided that a skirt and top would be easier. I’d brought along my newly acquired Mathilde blouse pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, because the sleeves were identical to my ‘ideal’ dress! I soon set to work adapting patterns and making my practice dress. The skirt was Simplicity 2058 and fitted fine on my first attempt, but I decided to lengthen the pattern to make it floor length.” Nicky Pleming

“It seemed right that such a special dress should be handmade by me” “The Victorian style I chose was popular at the time. I remember making a special trip to John Lewis on Oxford Street to buy the material, in yards of course, pre-metric. I chose a white crêpe and matching lining, there was no cream or ivory back in the day; if you got married in a church, you wore white! I used my mother’s sewing machine, a Necchi, which I remember she was particularly proud of. The only real issue I remember was with the train, getting the dress and the lining matched up; I roped my sister in to help. She was in the process of making her own bridesmaids dress and matching dresses for two younger cousins. Very much a handmade affair!” Liz Southgate

a Fernando Hortiguel

See for lots more wedding day inspiration 59

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Lunchtime Make


PIGGY PINCUSHION In patriotic red, white and blue, with a sweet curly tail and a ribbon bow, our little piggy pincushion will make a handsome addition to your work space. He might look a little familiar too. We were so enamoured with Annie’s version in episode one of The Great British Sewing Bee, we simply had to make our own, we’re sure you’ll love him too!

Go to to download and print the templates (or trace from p91). Cut two bodies and two ears from blue fabric, reversing one of each. Cut two bellies, two ears and a nose from red, again reversing one. Mark the stitch lines, letters and leg darts with an airerasable pen. Fold back each leg along the centre of the dart line, then stitch along the curve; these stop the legs splaying out.



Pin the bodies together with right sides facing and stitch the back from A to B. Pin the bellies together, along the straight edge, with right sides facing and join together from C to D, leaving a gap in the centre where marked. Press the seam allowance open.


Essentials • Blue print fabric, 25cm x 30cm • Red print fabric, 20cm x 25cm • Matching sewing thread • Toy filling • Button, 1.7cm • Pipe cleaner • Air-erasable pen


Open out the body. With right sides facing, pin and then tack the top edge of the belly in place, matching the snout and legs up carefully. Machine stitch from E to F. Join the other edge in the same way. Clip the seam allowance at the inside corners of the legs and along the curves. Tack back a 6mm turning around the snout.


Turn right side out through the gap and ease out the seams. Stuff with small tufts of toy filling, using a pencil to push it down the legs. Pin and slip stitch the gap. Pin the red and blue ears together in pairs and stitch from G to H. Trim the seams to 3mm and press back a 6mm turning around the opening. Turn out and press. Fold slightly and stitch securely on the head, where marked.


Sew a line of running stitches around the circular nose and pull up. Insert a button, then draw up the thread tightly and fasten off. Slip the covered button into the gap at the snout and stitch in place. Cut a 2cm x 10cm bias strip of fabric. Fold in half and stitch 6mm from the edge. Turn through and insert a length of pipe cleaner. Close up the ends securely. Twist the tail round a pencil to make it curly. Sew in place. Add a ribbon bow.

LOVE IT... BUY IT! Blue tones Get the look with Flurry in Sky by Dashwood Studio. £3.15 per fat quarter,, 01306 877307.


Red alert

British ribbon

Add contrast with Flurry in Poppy, £3.15 per fat quarter,, 01306 877307.

Complete piggy with Great British Stitcher ribbon. £3.99 for four metres, 0845 519 4422.

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at home WITH

STUART HILLARD “Love is in the air in my neck of the woods this month” THIS MONTH OUR FAVOURITE HOME STITCHER SHARES HIS OUTDOOR LIVING IDEAS Love is in the air in my neck of the woods this month with not one but two weddings to attend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for beautiful sunny days, but I’ll be packing a poncho just in case! I have always enjoyed dressing up for occasions and can’t wait to see the pretty confections all the girls are wearing. My partner, Charlie, owns a millinery company so of course we love weddings and encourage all our girlfriends to wear beautiful hats and fascinators... from us of course! For the guys it’s usually the same old suit pulled out of the closet, dusted off and if you’re lucky, a new tie is added to ring the changes. Dull, dull, dull! So I’ve made myself a couple of new shirts in fabrics by Tula Pink and Joel Dewberry, both for FreeSpirit, and a rather smart London waistcoat pattern from Sew La Di Da Vintage. Charlie got matching bow ties and hankies from the scraps, poor love! One of the couples in question recently bought a large, ornate free-standing bath and had the front part cut away to turn it into a garden seat. As a wedding present they asked me to make a thickly padded and buttoned seat pad. Quite an unusual request, but I do love a challenge! I used dressmaker’s tissue paper to make a rough template, then cut high density foam to size. It’s an easy enough job if you use a serrated knife. I then made a welted cover with a zipped back, piped edges and contrast buttoning. The bath has been raised off the ground on plinths and the cushion is in-situ ready for the newly weds!

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed for beautiful sunny days, but I’ll be packing a poncho just in case!”

Style Advice

HOME INSPIRATIONS This is the month that I really want to start living outdoors as much as possible and making the most of the great British summer! I love village fêtes and traditional seaside towns, and both of these institutions can inspire garden décor for a party or garden celebration. Throw lengths of pretty floral fabric over trestle or wallpaper pasting tables for an instant and temporary transformation. Make easy bunting in bright fabrics to hang on fences and across the garden shed. A windbreak is simple to fashion from heavy striped cotton and thick wooden dowels, and if you have old deckchairs in need of a facelift, quickly re-cover them in vibrant deckchair canvas. Add homemade lemonade, Victoria sponge cake and friends for a party that will warm everyone’s cockles, whatever the weather decides to do!

Find more at

Recycled and repurposed furniture is massively on trend and works well for the garden. Wooden pallets continue to be a great source of inspiration for benches, garden seats and day beds. Old tyres can make wonderful bases for garden stools with added legs and a smart upholstered top. Look for thin oilcloth which comes in some pretty amazing designs, and is soft, flexible and showerproof!

Stuart’s Stash

Check out for a stunning range of beautiful oilcloth fabrics. I am loving this Maisy Taupe gloss oilcloth, priced £12.99 per metre. The bold floral design in muted pink and taupe will look stunning on a garden or conservatory table.

English floral bunting, £13.99, Talking Tables Fiesta straws, £3.75, 61

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Spring Scandi BRING A SENSE OF CALM AND TRANQUILITY TO YOUR HOME If busy prints and bold colours aren’t your thing, the cool geometric style of Scandi designs could be perfect for your home. With a wealth of natural shades there’s plenty of scope for simple but effective style. Breathe new life into a room by creating a fresh colour scheme with greens, blues and yellows, and bring a modern feel into your abode.

Clockwise from bottom left: 1 Kulla in Rosey Cheeks, Glimma collection by Lotta Jansdotter, £12.40 per metre, 2 Woven Burlap ribbon in Green by May Arts, 95p per metre, 3 Little Flower wooden buttons, 15p each, 4 Mixed Bag Sprouts in Blue, £12.60 per metre, 5 Zoe Light Green Scandi, Happiness is Homemade collection by Tilda, £14 per metre, 6 Petal Pinwheels in Seafoam by Michael Miller, £8 per metre, 7 Blomme, Westwood collection by Monaluna, £14.60 per metre, 8 Cotton/hemp mix ribbon by Vivant, £1 per metre, 9 Little Leaves in Teal, Westwood collection by Monaluna, £14.60 per metre, 10 Flower Bed in Yellow, House & Garden collection by Michelle Engo, £14.40 per metre, 11 Summer Berrie, Summer Blues collection by Tone Finnanger, £16.80 per metre, 12 New Forest Retro Flowers in Brown by Lewis & Irene, £11 per metre, 13 Tove in Rosey Cheeks, Glimma collection by Lotta Jansdotter, £12.40 per metre, 14 Copenhagen, £12.80 per metre, 15 Scandi Woodland Pistachio Japanese Linen, £18 per metre, 16 Petal Print in Sage, Shape of Spring collection by Eloise Renouf for Cloud9 Fabrics, £14 per metre, 17 Honey Meadow Big Cream Flower by Lewis & Irene, £11 per metre,


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Bring a modern twist to floral prints with geometric design Green hues have a calming quality to them

Yellows and blues create a clean and fresh look 63

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DOWNLOAD TEMPLATES ONLINE Essentials Plain green fabric Beige circle print fabric Green floral print fabric Beige square print fabric Cream felt Coordinating sewing thread Lace, 35cm Tape measure print ribbon, 35cm Shell buttons, three Tissue paper Tearaway stabiliser Cushion pads: 30cm square, 30cm x 50cm



Dimensions 30cm square 30cm x 50cm

Update your living space with this summer’s trend of meadows and wild flowers and make this pair of cushions. The freehand machine embroidery brings seed heads, blooms and grasses to life, which will have you dreaming of sunny days. Why not stitch over a traced design to build your confidence if you are new to this technique?



Cut a 16cm x 32cm piece of green floral fabric and 4.5cm x 32cm of beige square print. With right sides facing, stitch together with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam open. Cut 32cm x 37cm of cream felt and stitch it to the beige fabric with right sides together, pressing the seam when finished. Visit to download the embroidery template. Trace the design onto white tissue paper. Place this onto the cream felt, making sure the bottom sits on the seam on the right-hand side. Hand stitch around the edge of the tissue with large tacking stitches to keep it flat while sewing and lay this onto a piece of tearaway stabiliser.

2 3

Free machine stitch over the pattern twice using the photo as a guide for the coloured thread. To add depth and shadows, use darker threads. Carefully tear away the tissue from the front and the stabiliser from the back. Iron on the reverse.


Cut a piece of green floral fabric for the back of your cushion the same size as the front and pin right sides together. Leaving a gap at the bottom for turning, machine stitch all the way around. Trim the corners and turn right side out. Insert a cushion pad and hand sew the gap using slip stitch.



Cut a 32cm square from plain green fabric. Trace the smaller floral design onto white tissue paper, placing centrally onto the cushion front so that the bottom of the design is 24cm from the top edge. Hand tack in place and lay a piece of tearaway stabiliser at the back. Free machine stitch over the design twice, then carefully remove the tissue and stabiliser from the back. Iron on the reverse.

the edges of the stitching. Sew a length of tape measure printed ribbon underneath, then iron on the reverse.



Stitch a length of coloured lace across the width of the cushion front so that it just covers


For the back, cut a piece of beige circle print fabric the same size as the front and pin right sides

together. Leaving a gap for turning, stitch all the way around. Trim across the corners and turn right side out. Insert a cushion pad and close the gap using slip stitch. To finish, hand sew three shell buttons across the bottom as pictured.

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sew HOME


Love machine embroidery? Turn to page 52 to find out how you could be in with a chance of winning over ÂŁ10,000 worth of sewing prizes, including a Janome Memory Craft 15000 embroidery machine!

LOVE IT... BUY IT! 1930s print

Shell buttons

Carolyn used a sweet 1930sinspired floral print for the rectangular cushion. Try Teal Blossom from the Hope Chest range for Riley Blake. Priced ÂŁ14 per metre,, 01483 361132.

These natural agoya shell buttons in a pretty pale pink would make the perfect finishing touch to your pillow. Priced 25p each,

Tape measure ribbon Trim your cushion with this tape measure print cotton ribbon, priced 80p per metre,, 01483 361132. 65

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SEE PAGE 92 FOR TEMPLATES Essentials Printed fabrics, selection Plain white fabric Plain cream fabric Coordinating sewing thread Pink flower button Toy filling Fabric glue Thick card, 18cm square Glue spreader Poster hanger Fawn yarn Fawn lace, 3cm x 80cm Crewel needle Black beads

Dimensions 17cm x 19cm


ANIMAL PLAQUES These oh so cute animal pictures would be perfect in any nursery or child’s bedroom. Making use of your fabric scraps, stitch a cat, a rabbit or a mythical unicorn. To make them extra personal you could embroider a name on the plaque. The question is, which one will you make first?

Make &Share



Download and print the templates from (or trace from page 92). Use them to cut one body on the fold from patterned fabric and one plaque cover on the fold from a different print. Cut one front head on the fold, a pair of back heads and two ears from plain fabric. Trim a pair of ears and a horn from printed cotton. Sew a flower-shaped button to the centre of the body, 2.7cm above the lower edge.

Create a cat and rabbit in the same way, adding a collar to the rabbit and a ric rac edge to the cat body. Sew the beads for the eyes on individually, rather than from eye to eye. Embroider features with pink and black threads.


Fold the body in half and stitch the straight edge. Finger press the seam open. Turn right side out and adjust the seam to the centre. Pin right side up on the plaque cover, matching the broken lines. Stitch in place. Slip a small amount of toy filling into the body to 2.5cm below the neck. Pin and stitch the upper edge to the plaque cover.


Use three strands of fawn embroidery thread to create the unicorn’s nostrils in stem stitch. Fold the front head in half, stitch the dart to the dot and press open. Pin each patterned ear to a plain one. Stitch them together, leaving the lower edge open. Snip the curves, turn out and press. With patterned sides facing, fold the lower edge of the ears in to meet at the centre and tack in place. Pin and tack the ears to the top of the head right sides together, 8mm from either side of the dart.


Sew the straight edge of the back heads together, leaving a 5cm gap to turn through, and press the seam. Stitch the front and back heads together, matching notches. Snip the curves and finger press the seam open. Turn the head out and stuff firmly. Slip stitch the gap closed.


Sew a bead at one eye position, taking the thread through the head to the other eye position. Thread on the other bead and insert the needle back through the head to the first. Pull the thread slightly to dimple the fabric and repeat to secure the eyes.


Fold the horn in half and stitch the straight edge. Clip the corner and turn right side out. Finger press the seam open. Tuck in the seam allowance on the lower edge. Stuff the horn firmly and pin it to the unicorn’s


head. Slip stitch in place. Cut 10cm lengths of yarn, bunch them to the top of the unicorn’s head between the ears. Flip all the strands forward and trim the lengths. Carefully glue in place sparingly.


Draw the plaque template onto thick card, flip it to draw the other half and cut out. Run a gathering stitch around the outer edge of the plaque cover. Place the card in the centre of the wrong side of the cover. Pull up the gathers. Pin the head to the right side of the

cover, matching the upper edge of the body. Remove the card and sew the head in place.


Replace the cover on the card plaque. Pull up the gathers and fasten securely. Use a glue spreader to insert a little adhesive under the gathers and stick to the card. Stitch the ends of a length of lace together and press the seam open. Gather the raw edge, then pin to the reverse. Adjust the gathers evenly and glue to the plaque. Fix a poster hanger to the back.

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Rose print This Blue Doily Rose is perfect for recreating the unicorn’s floral look, priced £6.50 per metre,, 01483 361132.

Go dotty This lovely Tiny Dots print in Cornflower Blue is nice and subtle. Priced £11.80 per metre,


Sew a brooch pin to the back of a head and use to decorate a child’s bag. 67

quilter’s CORNER


“I have developed a kind of extra sensory perception, that draws me to anything stitchy” GET THE LATEST PATCHWORK AND QUILTING NEWS WITH OUR QUILTING AMBASSADOR “Like most people I tend to go through life ‘making do’. I’ll put up with a noisy washing machine, not because I can’t afford a new one, but because I just can’t face moving all the furniture to allow me to get the old one out of the house. My car is nearly 20 years old, but it gets me around reliably so it’ll do. I’ll use a clear zig zag foot on my Janome sewing machine for virtually everything (except zips), rather than sort through the jumble of thread, pins and other ‘useful’ stuff in the handy storage compartment to find the correct foot. Subsequently, I feel a lot of my stitching doesn’t stand up to close examination. But if I’m in a hurry and it holds together and does the job properly, then I’ll make do. The best example of this is my stitching in the ditch. If I do it by hand, it’s perfect, but as most of my quilt making is done on a machine, that doesn’t really help! No matter how slowly and carefully I sew, I still veer off the line! Somewhere on every quilt I’ve ever made are collections of three or four stitches that are a fraction of an inch off the ditch, and it really irritates me! I chanced upon something in a charity shop at the weekend that might just change my quilting life. Tucked away on a bottom shelf was an assortment of haberdashery. I have developed a kind of extra sensory perception that draws me straight to anything ‘stitchy’. Amongst the crochet hooks and enormous safety pins were two pristine ditch quilting feet, for £2 each! I’ve not used my finds yet, although by the time you read this I will hopefully have produced some more wonderful quilts, all with perfect stitching in the ditch!”


Corinne Loves! If you have trouble threading your needles, this desktop gadget is a life saver! It also comes in pretty colours. Priced £6.51, groves@stockist 0145 388 3581.

“I chanced upon something at the weekend that might just change my quilting life”

WI Rag Market

Lisa Watson Quilt,

WHAT I’M WORKING ON... This month I made a sweet pencil case for keeping all those pens and pencils safe. You could also store your crafting tools inside. It’s functional, yet unique and colourful at the same time. I’m thinking about rescaling the design to make a bag or notebook cover. It’s a great stash buster for all those gorgeous fabric scraps you just don’t know what to do with! Find out how to make this in the May issue of our sister magazine, Crafts Beautiful, out now!

Visit Crafts Beautiful at 68

Whether you’re looking for quilting inspiration, or some new patchwork fabric, The Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market has everything you need. Go along on the 16th May to the Waterfront Hall and find stalls for craft materials, books and more. It begins at 11am and wraps up at 4pm. At only £1 per entry it’s a great way to spend an afternoon! For more information visit their Facebook page www.

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:25 Page 69

Sign up for Block of the Month online or at the show

Or Buy the Pattern. Each Block Now Available as Individual Pattern First Release especially for Birmingham Show

Faeries in My Garden

6 - 9 August 2015 69

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 18:00 Page 70


10% off with this advert in store

Easy quilt patterns and tutorials for the beginner quilter

350 Limpsfield Road SOUTH CROYDON Surrey CR2 9BX

Tel 020 8657 5050 @threadbearinfo

GrimsbySewing and Knitting Dress Patterns Zips Buttons Trimmings Dress Fabrics Patchwork Fabrics Dance Fabrics Sewing Baskets Threads Knitting Patterns Large Range of Wools Large range of Sewing & Embroidery Machines Also regular courses in our classrooms


Safari Park

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Tel: 01472 343 921 212 - 216 Freeman St, Grimsby DN32 9DR

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Block of the Month_Layout 1 30/03/2015 12:20 Page 2

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Make this quirky style look far more detailed with a busy print, or keep it simple by using your favourite shades in plain cotton. This quilt is very versatile and would make a fabulous statement piece in any room. We used the Geometric Bliss collection by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics which has so many pretty prints, we just had to use all of them! 71

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Divide 20 printed fabrics into colour sets or lights and darks. Choose four fabrics each from two sets. Cut one 11cm and three 12cm squares from the lighter prints, and two 11cm of the same design and three 12cm squares from the darker. Put the 11cm squares to one side.


On the reverse of each 12cm light square, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner with a pencil. Place the light and dark 12cm squares right sides together and pin. Stitch diagonally across them, 5mm either side of the pencil line [1].



Cut along the pencil line and open out the fabric to make six half



Essentials 20 prints of Geometric Bliss collection by Art Gallery Fabrics, fat quarter of each White cotton fabric, 100cm x 130cm Lightweight quilt wadding, 100cm x 130cm Coordinating sewing thread


Block: 31cm square Quilt: 90cm x 120cm Note: Use a 5mm seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

ALL SEWN UP! Create the blocks in light and dark shades of the same colour to create an on-trend ombrĂŠ effect! 72

square triangles [2]. Press the seams to the darker side. Use the diagram to lay out the triangles around the light 11cm squares, placing the dark 11cm squares in the corners [3]. Stitch them together in rows before sewing the lines into a block, matching up the seams carefully.



Create 12 blocks as described, using a mixture of prints and colours. Stitch the blocks together in a three by four layout, making sure no two patterns are next to each other and press.


Lay cotton backing fabric, lightweight wadding and the quilt top on a flat surface and pin the layers together at regular intervals.


Quilt the layers with a coordinating colour thread, sewing in the ditch around the central diagonal rectangles. Trim the wadding to the same size as the quilt top, and the backing fabric 4cm larger all round.


Double hem the backing fabric and fold it over the edges of the quilt to make a 1cm border around the piece, mitring the corners. Pin and topstitch around the border with a decorative or zig zag machine stitch using coordinating thread.

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Poppy Coordinates Petal

A flower print in a fresh green hue.

A funky abstract design.

Vertex Tulips Sweet Pink and white tulips on a coral background.

We used the stunning Geometric Bliss range by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics. For stockists, visit 73

Patchwork fabrics_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:28 Page 2


his month's collections combine cool geometric repeats with intricate florals to create a modern style in warm springtime hues. For Bryan Taphouse of Lewis & Irene, a garden full of memories sets the scene, featuring sweet bird prints and natural shades. With hand drawing at the heart of her creative process, Art Gallery Fabrics’ Pat Bravo has crafted her Etno range using sketches to highlight her love of ethnic design. Both ranges would make beautiful home furnishings and patchwork quilts. Why not mix and match your favourite prints?


A Little Bird Told Me Lewis & Irene


designer Bryan Taphouse “The inspiration for this collection was taken from my father's memories of summer as a boy: a long cottage garden, with little birds singing in the trees. He remembers my grandmother, always knowing what he’d been up to. How did she know?! She would say in her Welsh lilt 'ah, a little bird told me'"

Love that FABRIC


For Art Gallery Fabrics, go to For Lewis & Irene, go to

Geo in Spring Yellow

Cottage Garden on Tea

We love!

Perfect for spring!

A Little Bird Told Me on Peach


Little Birds on Ivory

A Little Bird Told Me on Welsh Blue

Cottage Flowers on Spring Yellow

Patchwork fabrics_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:28 Page 3




Etno Pat Bravo

Pat Bravo “I wanted to create a collection that grabs the ethnic expression trend through a medley of etchings. I crafted floral motifs with bold brushstrokes and combined them with geometric designs in organic patterns. Etno is playfully created with a colour palette of tan hues, spiced yellow, aquamarine and rose."

Drops of Pamplemousse

Rhythmic Totems Sienna

A bold repeat

Sauvage Sky Larkspur

Shore Remains Trinkets

The colours displayed on the Pantone swatches may be limited to CMYK printing process.


Dreams of Kandace

Contempo Pyramids Aqua

This month’s Pantone colours May's hues are bright and fun

Coral Blush 14-1909 TCX

Aqua Green 15-5421 TPX

Crystal Blue 13-4411 TPX 75

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 15:33 Page 76

Online at Or visit our pop up shop on 2nd May Methodist Church, Witney OX28 6HG 10-4pm


Love that Fabric_Layout 1 27/03/2015 09:30 Page 2

sew HOME

Love that



“Who doesn’t like afternoon tea? Treat your home to some sweet style too!” Lorraine Luximon, Sew Editor





For 10% off at My Fabric House* quote sew-05-2015




7 8

1 Food – Cream & Pink Shabby Chic Cupcakes linen, £3.99 per fat quarter 2 Bye Bye Birdie lawn / batiste in Blush by Atelier Brunette, £13 a metre,, 07891 761402. 3 Summer holiday ice cream ribbon, 70p per metre,, 01258 455889. 4 Garden party – Tea by Studio E, £12 per metre,, 07854 820354. 5 Paris – Pink & Purple Girl on Bicycle cotton, £8.49 per half metre, 6 Ivory French Patisserie, £6.50 per metre, 7 Shine in Green/Coral by Atelier Brunette, £13 a metre, 8 Ice cream iron on patch, £2.98 for two, 9 Packed Daisy in Pink from Alison's Flowers collection by Makower UK, £12 per metre,, 0845 519 4422.

* Closing date 8th May 2015 77

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DOWNLOAD TEMPLATES ONLINE Essentials Cotton canvas, scraps Oilcloth, 57cm square Coordinating sewing thread Fusible interfacing, 20cm square, 53cm square, 23cm x 163cm Bias binding, 1.5cm x 60cm Sequins (optional) Wadding, 53cm Basting spray (optional) Pom pom trim, 160cm Zip, 48cm Washi tape Cushion pad, 20cm x 51cm Water-soluble pen

Dimensions 20cm x 51cm


PATCHWORK POUFFE Ottoman pouffes make great footrests and occasional seating. This style is inspired by Moroccan leather and is made from 35 different prints, adorned with pom pom trim and square sequins. It has an oilcloth base, which means you can even use it outside.



Go to and download the templates. Using a water-soluble marker or a dressmaker’s pencil, transfer the wedge shape to the wrong side of 16 fabric scraps and cut out. Arrange them in a ring, experimenting with the sequence until you are happy. Pin them in pairs along the long edges, with right sides together, and stitch using 1cm seams. Then sew the pairs

together in the same way, and continue until all the wedges form a ring. Press the seams open and snip the corners of the seam allowances.


Transfer the circle template to the wrong side of a fabric print and also to a 20cm square of interfacing. Cut out both. Iron the interfacing to the back of the fabric circle. Bind the edge, hand tacking rather than top stitching the second edge of the binding in place [1]. Sew on any sequins or other embellishments.


With both right side up, place the bound circle on top of the patchwork ring, with the circle’s outer edge overlapping the ring’s inner edge. Pin and tack in place, then topstitch the central circle to the patchwork ring around the edge of the binding. Remove the tacking stitches. Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the entire patchwork top.


Draw around the edge of the interfaced top onto wadding using a water-soluble pen. Hand tack or use basting spray to attach to the wrong side. Stitch around the central circle to create a quilted effect and machine stitch 5mm from the outside edge of the top. Pin pom pom trim to the right side 1cm in from the outside edge. Sew in place [2].

5 1


Transfer the side piece template to the wrong side of 16 fabrics, and cut out. Experiment with their arrangement, then pin them together along the long edges, right sides together to form one long strip. Stitch using 1cm seams, starting and stopping 1cm from the ends. Press open [3]. Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side, trimming to fit. Snip into the top and bottom edges of the interfacing where the seams are unstitched. Pin the two ends of the strip with right sides together, and sew a 1cm seam, again starting and stopping 1cm from the ends. Press open.




Fold the patchwork top in half and lay it on the wrong side of a folded 57cm square of oilcloth. Draw around the edges, adding a 2cm seam allowance to the straight edge and cut out. Place these two semi-circles right sides together, aligning the straight edge, and secure with paperclips, not pins. Stitch along the straight edge, machine tacking the central 48cm portion [4]. Finger press the seam open. Apply a zip, using a few strips of washi tape to hold it in place. After stitching, remove the tape and the tacking stitches holding the seam together [5]. With right sides together and raw edges even, pin the top to the upper edge of the sides, matching the seams. Ease or slightly stretch the fabric and make additional snips into the seam allowance on the upper edge of the sides as necessary. Stitch a 1cm seam. Open the zip, then with right sides together, join the base to the lower edge of the sides in the same way as for the top, using paperclips rather than pins [6]. Turn right side out, insert a cushion pad, and close the zip.


5 78


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Washi tape is useful for using with oilcloth because it is surprisingly strong and easy to remove and reapply without leaving a residue.

LOVE IT... BUY IT! Yasmine tile print

Duck egg colourway

This print in lavender and duck egg blue is from Torie's Spring Traveller collection, which is inspired by Moroccan tiles and fretwork.

This duck egg version, combines beautifully with other prints in the collection and is inspired by Torie's travels to India and Morocco.

Shop Torie Jayne's exclusive prints at

GET THE BOOK Torie Jayne’s Stylish Home Sewing (£14.99, Cico Books) is packed with over 35 beautiful projects for the home in Torie's unmistakable style. Photography by Sussie Bell, illustrations by Kate Simunek. 79

Susie's Stitch School 71 qx_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:52 Page 1




Susie’ s



Hardanger embroidery Master this clever technique and create pretty coasters Hardanger is a traditional Norwegian embroidery technique that combines drawn thread work and cutwork. It is worked on Hardanger fabric, an evenweave, using perle cotton. Geometric patterns are built up by stitching kloster blocks, which are made in a counted thread satin stitch. Exposed threads are then cut and withdrawn, and some of the remaining threads are overcast to create decorative bars that link the design together. In this project, it has been used to create coasters in a simple blue and white combination, although you could give it a contemporary twist with different coloured threads and fabrics.


Begin at the lower left-hand corner of the first block by bringing the needle through to the right side of the fabric at this point. Take the needle back down five strands away and up through the fabric one strand to the side of your original starting point.


Insert the needle five strands away to form a second stitch directly next to the first. Continue in this way until all five satin stitches are complete to form a kloster block. Make the next block at a right angle to the first. complete each block, make sure you are in the right position to begin the next one without having to carry the thread across the back of the work.


Once all the blocks have been worked, take the thread under several stitches on the wrong side and cut it. Snip into the fabric and remove some of the vertical and horizontal threads to create the pattern of holes and criss-crossing strands. Only cut the threads next to the stitch ends on the kloster blocks and go as close to the stitches as possible without damaging them. Pull out the threads that have been snipped.


Essentials 22 count white Hardanger fabric, 20cm square Blue perle embroidery cotton, thickness no.5 White perle embroidery cotton, thickness no.8 Tapestry needle, size 22 or 24

Dimensions 8.2cm square


MAKE A COASTER Go to to download and print the charted design. Mark a 72 thread squared area to be worked on with pins, or by drawing the outline with an erasable marker. Thread a needle with blue thread. Count six spaces in on one of the four sides, and begin to stitch a border of running stitches, following the chart.



Knot the end of the thread and take it down through the fabric outside the design area. This can be cut off once the first few kloster blocks have been worked. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the lower left-hand corner of the first block and stitch five kloster block stitches to complete it. Follow the chart for the subsequent block's positioning. It doesn’t matter which you start with, but as you

Working from right to left, wrap white thread around the first horizontal bar to form a tight series of overcast stitches. Work in the tail of the thread as you go to keep it neat. When you reach the end, pass the needle behind the next vertical bar that lies at a right angle to the first and wrap the thread around it. Continue alternating between horizontal and vertical bars until they are all covered. Count six rows outside the running stitch outline and cut out the coaster. Pull out threads to form a fringed border.

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“This technique may seem a little confusing at first, so read through the instructions carefully before you begin” 81





GUARDIAN ANGEL MICE Whether you stitch these for the smaller people in your family or as little friends for your own craft room, they are sure to delight, sitting prettily on a shelf. Dressed in their best clothes, and featuring a pair of angelic wings, they will bring love and luck to all who meet them. Stuff each limb with toy filling, using a knitting needle or similar. Fold in the raw edges of the gap at the back of the legs and slip stitch closed. Fold in 5mm at the top of the arms and gather the edge with running stitch to close.


Cut one back piece and two front pieces from spotted fabric adding a 5mm seam allowance to each template. Place the front pieces right sides together and stitch from the top dot, around the nose and down to the chest dot. Leave a gap for turning and stitch from the next tummy dot to the bottom of the mouse.


Pin the back of the mouse to the joined fronts, matching up the dots at the top and bottom. Tack in place, easing the fabric around the curve before stitching. Clip the curves and corners and turn out through the hole in the front. Stuff as before, fold in the raw edges and slip stitch closed.


Pin the legs and arms to either side of the body and check they are level. Join the limbs to the body by button jointing. Stitch through the buttons several times, pulling the thread taut and secure the thread underneath.


Cut two felt ears and gather up the straight edge with running stitch. Sew the bottoms of the ears to either side of the head. Stitch small beads to each side of the head, sewing from bead to bead through the head and pulling taut to indent the fabric slightly. Use three strands of black embroidery thread to stitch the nose.


Essentials Cotton fabric, selection Felt, white, pink, yellow Toy filling Small buttons Small black beads Black embroidery thread Ric rac

Dimensions 15cm x 23 cm (including wings)




Go to to download and print the templates. Cut a 20cm x 24cm rectangle of pale spotted fabric and fold in half, right sides together. Trace two leg and two arm templates onto the reverse, leaving a 1cm gap between pieces. Pin the layers together and stitch around each shape on the drawn lines, leaving a gap for turning at the top of each arm and the back of each leg.


Cut out the pieces 5mm from the seam and clip the curves and corners before turning right side out.


Draw around the wing template onto white felt and cut out on the line. Pin to rectangles of wadding and white felt stacked together and sew together with running stitch 5mm inside the outline. Add lines of stitching to make the feather pattern. Trim the felt and wadding to the shape of the wings. Stitch to the back of the mouse with large running stitches.


To make the tail, cut a 1.5cm x 15cm strip of felt and fold in half lengthways. Sew running stitch 2mm from the edge, gathering up the stitches slightly so the tail curls, and tapering the sewing line towards the fold as you reach the end. Trim the excess felt from the pointed end. Sew the blunt end to the back of the mouse.

sew KIDS



Cut two dungaree bottoms and pin right sides together. Stitch the front and back curved portions from dot to dot, leaving a gap for the tail where indicated. Open out the fabric and line up the bottom dots. Stitch the inside legs together.


Clip the curves and turn out. Fold in 5mm at the bottom of each leg and hem. Neaten the tail gap in the back seam. Fit on the mouse and pin two darts at the front for a close fit.


Cut a rectangle of fabric for the bib and fold in half right sides together. Sew down the two sides and turn out. Pin the bottom raw edge of the bib to the darted raw edge of the pants and stitch together.


Fold in 5mm around the remainder of the pants and hem. Fit the dungarees onto the mouse, pulling the tail through the hole before securing with braces made from lengths of ric rac sewn to the top of the bib and back of the dungarees, crossing the braid above the wings and decorating with buttons.


The pinafore is made in a similar way, fold a rectangle of fabric in half, right sides together, and stitch the back seam from the dot to the bottom. Hem the skirt and stitch a bib to the top centre. Hem the waistband, gathering with running stitch as you do so. Secure the back of the skirt above the tail with a snap fastener.


Use small pieces of stuďŹƒng to prevent the limbs looking lumpy.

LOVE IT... BUY IT! Ditsy prints We used Exclusively Quilters 1930s Classics range of subtle floral and spot prints. For stockists, visit 83


May giveaways


Enter now for your chance to win these amazing prizes! E Cross stitch kits

London Sketchbook books London Sketchbook by fashion illustrator Jason Brooks (£19.95, Laurence King) is a coffee table must-have. The follow up to his Paris Sketchbook, the luxurious hardback is filled with gorgeous imagery which captures the essence of the capital, including sections on architecture and fashion featuring sketches from Savile Row and Liberty. You’re sure to get lost in the detail of Brooks’ ink sketches, people observations and detailed street scenes. We have five copies up for grabs. Tick the ‘SKETCHBOOK’ box to enter. For further titles, visit

15 to win!

Women have been practicing needlework skills by sewing samplers for hundreds of years, however the Historical Sampler Company gives this treasured tradition a contemporary twist for the modern stitcher. With cross stitch and tapestry kits for all occasions, from marriages to births, or just for everyday display, there are designs for all tastes and abilities. This Home Is Where Your Story Begins kit is perfect for a new home gift, and we have four to give away worth £25 each. To enter, tick the ‘CROSS STITCH’ box. To view the full range of kits, visit

Secrets of the Singer Girls books Secrets of the Singers Girls (£7.99, Pan Macmillan) is Kate Thompson’s first novel. Set in an East End clothing factory during World War II. Poppy Percival starts work at Trout’s at just 16 years old and harbours a dark secret, making new friends who also have much to hide. This heart warming and moving story tells the tale of the hard working seamstresses who braved the factory floor during London’s darkest days. We have 15 copies to give away. To enter, tick the ‘NOVELS’ box. Visit


to win!

Fabric Pictures book In Fabric Pictures (£20, Jacqui Small), author Janet Bolton shows you how to create beautiful ‘patchwork’ images on fabric. She talks through her personal method and helps you find your own inspiration to create bespoke textile pictures. The book is split into two sections, with step-by-step examples. To be in with a chance of winning one of five copies, tick the ‘PICTURES’ box. Visit


to win!

John James needles Every stitcher needs good quality needles fit for purpose and these John James Pebbles are a must for you sewing box. Available for a variety of techniques from beading to tapestry, they come in an attractive design in delectable shades and keep your needles safe and to hand. No more searching through your sewing basket or using the wrong variety! We have 25 sets of five Pebbles to give away, including Household Assorted, Beading, Tapestry, Darners and Sharps varieties. To enter, tick the ‘NEEDLES’ box. Browse the full range at

Enter online at 84


to win!

25 sets to win!



SINGER ONE The Singer One is a stunning machine with a nostalgic feel that would take pride of place in any sewing room. Not only does its contemporary design, based on the much-loved vintage shape of the early Singer models make it stand out, but it is packed with easy to use features to enjoy. The stylish display offers direct selection for 24 built-in stitches including six basic, four stretch, 12 decorative and two automatic one step buttonholes. The optimal stitch setting is automatically selected, however if either the length or width is changed, the LED light turns yellow to notify you. There are a number of time saving features, including the Drop & Sew bobbin system which means there is no longer any need to raise the bobbin thread before sewing, plus the Swiftsmart threading system with automatic needle threader. What’s more, if the presser foot is not in the down position before sewing, it will beep to alert you, and there’s a conveniently located feed dog control for free-motion embroidery. Other great functions include an extra large sewing space, automatic reverse and extra high presser foot lift. Tick the ‘MACHINE’ box to enter to win a Singer One worth £450. To find out more, visit

just tick the boxes! SKETCHBOOK NEEDLES


To enter our giveaways, just tick the box that corresponds with the prizes you want to win and send your entry to us, to arrive no later than 22.05.2015. Mark your envelope: Sew May Giveaways, PO Box 443, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8WG.




● 24 built-in stitches ● Drop & Sew bobbin system ● Presser foot sensor ● Automatic needle threader ● Extra large sewing space ● Vintage-inspired design

What appealed to you most in this month’s Sew? FREE Simplicity 1467 pattern FREE pattern sheet Janome giveaway bonanza! I subscribe

Other ...................................................................................

What’s your favourite project this issue? Liberty dress Piggy pincushion Embroidered cushions Guardian angel mice Other ..................................................................................................................

Only one entry per household please.

This competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. One entry per person. The prizes detailed in each competition cannot be exchanged for goods, or towards the purchase of goods at any retail outlet. Entries must be on the coupon provided. It cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced if lost or damaged. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by these terms and conditions will be disqualified. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE 22.05.2015 Winners will be notified after the cover dated month, a list of winners will be available in writing on request from Rachel Tudor, 21/23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. Data Protection Your details will be processed by Aceville Publications Ltd (publishers of Sew) in full accordance with data protection legislation. All entries become the property of Aceville Publications Ltd, publishers of Sew. Aceville Publications Ltd and sister companies may wish to contact you with information of other services and publications we provide which may be of interest. Please tick here Phone Email SMS . From time to if you DO NOT wish to receive such information by Post time Aceville Publications Limited will share details with other reputable companies who provide products and services that may be of interest to you. Please tick here if you DO NOT wish to receive Phone Email SMS . such information by Post

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For full terms & conditions, visit 85

CNM_Layout 1 27/03/2015 11:58 Page 1



Pocket pals embellishments

Corset making for beginners l Our experts troubleshoot your dressmaking conundrums! l Father's Day ideas for dad l

Mojito hoop art

Printed vintage style cushions

Patch a Liberty quilt


Easy sew circle skirt, spring jumper upcycle, stitchy prizes to win and more! 86

CNM_Layout 1 27/03/2015 11:58 Page 2

“This dress is perfect for creating your own unique look, choose your sleeve and neck style, and get stitching with your favourite fabric!”

Just for you! Great retro style


NEWLOOK PATTERN NEW LOOK 6145 TWIGGY DRESS 5 looks in 1! l Flattering shift dress l Neckline variations l Multiple sleeve options

All features are subject to change




SIZES 8-20

June issue on sale 8th May 87

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FREE SEWING BEE BUNDLE When You Subscribe Today! INCLUDES: Fashion with Fabric book from The Great British Sewing Bee and 2 metres of gorgeous floral fabric! Pay only


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Lines are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-1pm *this is a UK only Direct Debit offer. Gift is only available to UK subscribers. Existing subscribers can renew using this offer. Your subscription will begin with the next available issue. Subscriptions are for a 12 month period including all gift subscriptions. Your free gift will be dispatched within 28 days of your payment being received (sent separately from the magazine). If your subscription is a gift, the gift and gift card will be sent to the donor. You can also subscribe via cheque or credit card. In the event of a gift being faulty or damaged, please contact us within 28 days of receiving the gift. Alternative gift may be supplied to the same or greater value thereafter. This is a limited offer and may be withdrawn at any time. Photocopies accepted. Cancellation policy applies refer online or contact customer services for more details. ^Please note: Digital subscriptions do not include the subscriptions gift, nor cover mounted gifts.

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Machine Matters with

Wendy Gardiner 5

Open out the facing and press the seam allowances towards it. This is so you can understitch, helping the facing to remain inside when you turn it in. On some necklines you may not be able to understitch all the way round, in which case, go as far as you can. Turn the facing to the inside, rolling the seam so it is just inside the edge and press again. Hand stitch the facing to the shoulder seam allowances and back neck opening.


1 2 3

If working with heavyweight or textured fabrics, cut facings from a lightweight lining or cotton to reduce bulk and potential show-through.

How to... attach facings

Facings are used to neaten the raw edge of openings such as armholes and necklines, as well as adding support and structure. Properly stitched they should be invisible on the outside of the garment.


Cut the facings from the pattern pieces provided. If working without a pattern, use dressmaker's paper to trace your own by following the neckline shape. Mark another line 6cm from the neckline to create the facing. Remember to add seam allowances to any edges that will be joined together (i.e. at the shoulder seams and back opening).


Cut facings in the same fabric as the garment unless it is being made from a heavyweight or textured cloth, in which case, use a lightweight lining to reduce bulk. Cut interfacing to the same size as the facing, then trim it down so that it will sit just within the seam allowances. Fuse it in place securely.


Attach the back facings to the front ones at the shoulder seams. Press the seam allowances open. Neaten the lower raw edge by overlocking, overstitching or zig zag stitching. Press. Pin the facing to the garment neck edge, right sides together, matching the shoulder seams and openings, then stitch.


On lightweight fabrics the seam allowances can be trimmed together. On medium or heavyweight, grade the seam allowances by cutting one to 3mm and the other to 6mm which will reduce the bulk in the seam. Snip diagonally into any curves and at V-necks, snip down towards the stitching. Press.

Cut interfacing to the same size as the facing pieces, then trim it down so it will sit just within the seam line.

WHICH STITCH? Blanket stitch can be formed with a vertical straight stitch to the left and regular horizontal stitches protruding to the right, or vice versa. When hand sewn, it is primarily used to finish edges of non-fraying fabrics such as blankets, hence its name.

Use fusible interfacing, but make sure it sticks permanently. Cover the facing/interfacing with a press cloth, then press with a hot iron for 10 seconds. Allow to cool before working with the pieces.


Grade seam allowances by cutting one to 3mm and the other to 6mm, then understitch the seam allowances to the facing which will help prevent the facing rolling out.


A roller foot is used to sew with difficult fabrics such as leather, plastic, vinyl and thick layers of stretchy jersey knits. It has one or more rolling wheels which allow the fabric to move steadily under the foot, thus ensuring a line of even stitches. It can be made from either metal or clear plastic. As the sewing machine feed dogs move the fabric along, the wheels of this foot grip and roll over the surface, so the layers are fed smoothly together. On jerseys, this means they will feed without rippling or stretching the fabric, and on ‘sticky’ fabrics such as leather or vinyl they will glide over the surface.

4 A machine blanket stitch is ideal for sewing around the raw edges of an appliqué and is often called an appliqué stitch in sewing machine manuals. It can also be used to attach trims or quite simply as a decorative stitch. 4 You can adjust the stitch length and width to increase the frequency of the horizontal stitches and the depth of the horizontal stitches by increasing or decreasing the width. Ideally, when used to attach an appliqué, the straight stitching should be on the very edge of the appliqué fabric, with the little horizontal stitches into the motif. 4 This stitch also makes a very attractive topstitch, particularly when sewn in a contrast colour to stand out as a design feature. Also, try using the stitch with a twin needle, with two different colours in the top so that both rows, stitched perfectly parallel at the same time, look very eye catching. Remember to check the width to ensure that both needles go through the foot and throat plate without touching the sides (the stitch should be 5mm or less in width for most machines). 89

Start Right 71_Layout 1 27/03/2015 12:01 Page 2


Similar to buttonhole stitch, it is used for reinforcing the edge of thick materials


Strong hand stitches with a neat finish

HOW TO... create button joints


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






Small stitches used for hemming or sewing up projects after stuffing

Attach the other limb with another button, then pass the needle back through to the other side again. Repeat several times, pulling the thread tightly to fix the limbs in place.





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

Thread a button onto the needle and attach by passing it back though the button, limb and body until it comes out the other side. Button

Secure the thread and working along the edge, bring the needle to the surface of the fabric. Take the needle through from the back of the fabric to the surface on the stitching line. Loop the end of the thread under the needle and pull through to adjust so that the stitch lies along the edge of the fabric. Repeat to create evenly spaced stitches along the fabric edge, maintain an even tension to avoid distorting the fabric.




1 2


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




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



Secure the needle on one side of the body and pass through to the other side and through one of the limbs.

Making binding


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


Bring the needle out 5mm along, then pick up two more threads of fabric before returning through the fold of the hem.


Pull the thread lightly as you work to tighten the stitches, being careful not to distort the fabric which makes the stitches visible.

Finish seams and edges with your own bias binding



If making for a small child, omit any embellishments and embroider details such as the face instead. Use hypo-allergenic toy stuffing and fabrics that are chemical-free or organic materials. Ensure you use strong stitching to prevent filling materials escaping. Use textiles which can be machine washed to get rid of dirt and bacteria.


Using a long ruler and tailor’s chalk, mark a line at 45° to the selvedge of your fabric. This is the fabric’s bias. Use this line to mark out parallel strips that are 4cm wide.

2 3




If you’re short on fabric, join strips together to make a long enough piece. Place the strips right sides together, at right angles. Machine stitch diagonally across the overlap, then trim the seam allowance and press the seam open.

Templates(in mag) 71_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:23 Page 1




Designer: Lucinda Ganderton Page: 60 Shown at 100%

To download more templates, visit



BODY Cut two (one reversed)








Cut two (one reversed)





Cut one

Cut four (two reversed)


H 91

Templates(in mag) 71_Layout 1 27/03/2015 15:23 Page 2


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Cut two (one reversed) Cut one on fold

Designer: Cheryl Owen Page: 66 Shown at 100%

Cut one on fold



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Cut one on fold EYE


Cut two (one reversed)





CAT EAR Cut four (two reversed)




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RABBIT EAR Cut four (two reversed)

Cut one on fold Lower edge

UNICORN EAR Cut four (two reversed) Lower edge


Š Aceville Publications Ltd. All projects, templates and patterns are for personal home use only and cannot be sold or used for commercial purposes.

Place to fold


**ALL SEWN UP classifieds_ALL SEWN UP 27/03/2015 15:36 Page 93

directory BEADS & BUTTONS

The essential A-Z for all your sewing needs


I-Beads 0207 367 6217

Fobbles 01946 724764

Textile Garden 01903 815702

Frumble 07982 253748 Hansson Silks 01483 451628

BESPOKE Harlequin-UK 01206 396167 Simple Way 01207 566100

BRIDAL FABRIC Carrington Fleet Textiles Ltd 01204 692223

CRAFT SUPPLIES Paper and String

Donna Flower 07896 922694

Hantex Ltd 01754 820800

Belle Fabrics

Dragonfly Fabrics 01435 819048

Hobkirks Sewing Machines 01254 693555

For Bridal, Dress, Craft & Furnishing Fabrics Stockists of Butterick, Vogue, McCalls & Simplicity Dress Patterns

Eclectic Maker 0845 8625552

John Kaldor UK Ltd 0207 874 5070


TEL 01702 474115 4-12 Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 1SN

Everything from Craft Cottons, through Polar Fleece to Lycra

OPEN MON-SAT 9am-5.30pm

tel: 01425 461444

DRESSFORMS AEG Adjustoform Group 01233 625227

Berwick Street Cloth Shop, The 0207 494 1666

Corset Laced Mannequins 07960 656349

Bramble Patch, The 01327 342212

Vintage Style Mannequins 01704 551955

Broadwick Silks 020 7734 3320

DRESSMAKING Silver Needle Designs 0755 752 6061

EMBROIDERY Needle Passion Embroidery Ltd

Butterfly Fabrics 01467 621455 Calico Kate 01570 422866 Clothkits 01243 533180 Coats Crafts UK 01484 690803

Fabric 8 01206 763432

Liberty 0207 734 1234

Fabric Loft, The 01235 519409

Minerva Crafts & Fabrics

Fabric Magic 01225 768833

More Sewing 01903 442373 Natures Threads 07778507167

Royal School of Needlework 0203 166 6943

North Bar Fabrics 01964 551955 Oakshott Fabrics 01452 371571

EVENTS Big Textile Company Ltd, The 07711 371333 Grosvenor Shows Ltd 01406 372600 ICHF Events 01425 272711 Nationwide Exhibitions 0117 907 1000

Cotton Patch 01217 785327

Fancy Moon 0845 519 4354

Croft Mill 01282 859281

Fletchers Fabrics 01904 692984

Ditto Fabrics 01273 603771

Patch Fabric 01502 588778

Upper Street Events 0207 288 6125

Abakhan Hobby and Home 01745 562100 Make-it Art Gallery Fabrics 001 888 420 5399 Nationwide Back Stitch Exhibitions 01223 778118 0117 907 1000

Orchard Fabrics Ltd 0161 477 4225 Paper Village 0117 9639452

Trident Exhibitions 01822 614671


Only Oilcloths 01772 790017

Online fabric shop for unique European fabrics from Hilco, Stenzo, Swafing, Lillestoff and Polytex. Farbenmix and Mamu design patterns and the popular OTTOBRE design sewing magazine for women and kids.

Patchwork & Quilting Fabrics inc Jelly Rolls, Fat Quarters, Charm Packs etc. Daywear and Bridal Fabric, Large Range of Haberdashery, Knitting Wool & Patterns, Sewing Patterns

19 Badminton Road, Downend, Bristol, BS16 6BB Tel: 0117 3293857

If you want something a little bit different then visit us at

Peacock and the Tortoise, The 01738 717009 Piglets Pincushion Pins and Needles 0131 622 7222 Plush Addict 0845 579 4422 Pongees 0207 739 9130

**ALL SEWN UP classifieds_ALL SEWN UP 27/03/2015 15:37 Page 94

directory FABRICS



419 Barlow Moor Rd Chorlton Manchester M21 8ER Tel: 0161 881 7960


1 Moseley St Digbeth Birmingham B5 6JX Tel: 0121 622 6102

Fabrics for all your sewing needs

1000s of Rolls at Realistic Prices! 01420 260036

Stockists of all kinds of • Fashion Fabrics • Woolens • Worsteds • Polywools • Polyesters • Cotton • Dance Wear • Linings • Bridal Wear • Satins • Suiting • Lycra and much, much more!

Sewbox 01787 269366 Sew County 07944 006636 Sew Crafty 01628 620703 Sew Hot 0330 111 3690 Silk Route, The 01252 835781 Silks & Crystals Stitch 0208 989 9970

Needlecase 01937 830422 Needlecraft 01442 245383 Needlepoint, The 01750 22123

Style & Craft 01603 411880


Rags 01905 612330 Crowngate Shopping Centre, Worcester

Tetford Fabrics 01507 533682

Tel: 01264 771443

Thread Mill 01709 571684 Westfalenstoffe 01528 522277 White Tree Fabrics Ltd 0115 924 8666

134 Renfrew Street Glasgow, G3 6ST 131 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4JA

FELT Blooming Felt 01245 471690

Material Needs FOR DRESS AND QUILTING FABRICS Tel: 01278 794751 Simplicity, Butterick and Kwik Sew Patterns

Bee Crafty Ltd 01480 891746

Grimsby Sewing and Knitting 01472 343921 Guthrie and Ghani 0121 449 8419 Lee Mill Fabrics 01792 468504 Specialist outdoor fabrics, zips, buckles, webbing etc. Waterproof fabrics, microfibres, moleskin, sweatshirting, cotton interlock, bag fabrics and canvas etc.


Tel: 01524 263377

Ray Stitch 0207 704 1060

Sew Essential 01283 210422

Franklins Group 01206 563955

Pretty Fabrics and Trims

Quorn Country Crafts 01509 211604

Aberdashery 01970 62888

Robert Kaufman +1 310 538 3482

Prints to Polka Dots 01993 700411

Sew Curvy

Calico Laine 0151 336 3939

02381 783386 Nimble Thimble, The 01280 822236


Remnant Room, The 0208 661 9371

14 Shamrock Way, Hythe Marina, Southampton SO45 6DY

Purple Stitches 01256 882163 01768 866791

Quick Fabrics 0207 2494129

Dress, curtain, and patchwork fabrics. Haberdashery, buttons and quilting notions. And much, much, more.

Beautiful Fabric Collections

Just Sew is a family run business, stocking a wide range of dress and patchwork fabrics along with a wide range of haberdashery. Come and see us in the beautiful town of Penrith.

Macculloch & Wallis 0207 629 0311 Millcroft Textiles 0115 926 3154 Millie Moon Haberdashery Boutique 01373 464650 Morplan 0800 451122

Windmill Fabrics 0289 7519229 Witney Sewing Machine Centre 01993 704535 Yards Ahead 01453 571010

INTERIORS Dotty Brown 0161 725 9395 Down Quilt House 01302 329604 Musbury Fabrics 01706 244200 Needcraft 01992 700311 Pebbleblossom 01663 762457

KITS Patchkits

**ALL SEWN UP classifieds_ALL SEWN UP 27/03/2015 15:37 Page 95

directory LACE




Gypsy Lace 01332 864466

School of Sewing, The 01530 416300

Angie’s Patchwork & Quilting Shop 07807 530441

Patchfinders 0161 478 1807

Mainly Lace 01702 306381

School of Stitched Textiles 01257 463163

Bobbin Patch 01706 671692

Patchwork Basket, The 01531 822442

Seams So Easy 07717 315735

Butterfly Quilters 01288 321480

Patchwork Cabin, The 01372 459908

Sew Brilliant 07975 631710

Clarris Patchwork & Quilting Fabric Supplies - 01242 603740

Patchwork Corner 01442 259000

Sew County 07944 006636

Coast & Country Crafts & Quilts 01872 870478

Patchwork Creations

Sew La Di Da Vintage

Crafts & Quilts 01704 212257

Patchwork Dreamer

LEARNING Ardington School of Sewing 01235 833433 Barry Rogers School of Sewing 02380 982 595 Cowslip Workshops 01566 772654 Craftsy Crafty Sew & So Creative Sanctuary, The 01992 558106 Faff Room, The Falmouth University 01326 255983 Fiber Art Studio 07949 782887 Gawthorpe Textile Collection 01282 773963 Just Hands On TV

Sew Materialistic 01292 285801 Sew Over It 0207 326 0376 Sewing Cafe, The 01455 698034

See us & our designs on Create & Craft TV

Sewing Space, The 01303 261329 01559 371018

Solent University 02380 319200

Blaen Bran, Velindre, Llandysul SA44 5XT ‘If we’re here we’re open’!

Start Sewing Now 07768 363041

Doughtys Patchwork and Quilting 01432 265561

Patchwork Elephant

Stitching Boutique 029 2039 7049

European Quilting Specialists 0116 271 0033

Patchwork Garden 0114 258 3763

Studio, The 07803 935779

Fabrics Plus 0117 329 3857

Textile Space, The 01243 811300

Fat Quarters, The 01207 565728

Karen Delahunty School of Sewing 01926 859892 Kitty Katy – Make & Sew 01788 567858 Leicestershire Craft Centre 01858 466692 Let’s Learn 0208 445 2475 Love Dress Making 01952 276061

Cross Patch-specialising in our own unique designs and Australian BOM’s & stitcheries

Sewing Shop Canterbury, The 01227 457723

Utterly Delightful Fabric Emporium

Textile Studio, The 01425 655146

Patchwork Goose 02890 351465 Patchwork Parade 0161 633 5900 Pelenna Patchworks 01639 898444

Manor House Hotel 01837 53053

Textile Workshop, The 07809 158606

MIY Workshops 01273 693451

Thrifty Stitcher, The 0779 255087

My Bear Paw

Totally Patched 01299 409390

National Design Academy 01159 123412

Tutor Couture 01394 548346

Northumbria University 0191 2326002

University of Northampton 01604 735500

Norwich University of The Arts 01603 610561

West Dean – The Edward James Foundation - 01243 811301

Nottingham Trent University 01159 418418

York School of Sewing 07503 510733

Ludlow Quilts 01584 879131

Running With Scissors 07901 875599


Monkey Buttons 01902 898572

Pippins Patchwork and Crafts 01778 394131 / 07951 040717 Poppy Patchwork 07900 927279 Glenroy Designs 01603 927607

Puddleducks 01732 743642

Goose Chase Quilting 01242 512639

Purely Patchwork 01506 846200

Lady Sew and Sew 01491 572528 Longarm Quilting 01323 325828

Quilt Association, The 01686 413467 Quilt Direct 01822 810877 Quilt Essential 01629 825936 Quilt With Jenny 01264 710261

Ruth Singer Studio 07740 345062

Milliner Warehouse 0207 7304918

Passion 4 Quilting 0207 193 3104

Rutland Sewing rut;

Parkin Fabrics 0161 627 4455

Patches and Pots 0161 881 9861

Quilted Sheep, The 01539 565800

Sandpiper Sewing 01908 330020

School of Millinery 01386 832901

Patches Corner 01463 783668

Quilters Cupboard, The 0191 3781663

**ALL SEWN UP classifieds_ALL SEWN UP 27/03/2015 18:14 Page 96





Quilters Den, The 01926 408247

Britannia Sewing 01206 563955 / 574758

Quilters Dream 01264 324420

JBrother Sewing Machines

Quilters Haven 01728 746275

Husqvarna Viking 01527 519480

DMC 0116 275 4031

Quilters Quarters 01772 780998

Janome UK 0161 666 6011

Dylon 01737 742009

Quilters Trading Post 01270 812541 Tabby Cat Limited, The 01652 680776 Thread Bear 0208 657 5050 Threads and Patches 01908 649687 Vintage Quilt, The 01768 372529

PATTERNS Moms Patterns Pattern Pages, The 02392 354162 Sew Me Something 01789 330588 Simplicity Limited 0161 480 8734 So Vintage Patterns


21 - 25 Friars Street, Stirling FK8 1HA Tel: 01786 462993

uki 01206 563955

Bag-Clasps 07990 960156 Crafty Computer Paper 0844 809 9535

Entaco 01527 830940 Hobbycraft 0330 026 1400

Pfaff Maury Sewing Machine Co 0207 7297328

Silver Viscount 01933 311888

MKC Services 0113 245 3156

Singer Sewing Machines

Modern Sewing Centre & Creative Hands 01905 24940

SEWING MACHINE STOCKISTS Ashford Sewing Centre 01233 620948

Newport Sewing & Craft Centre 01633 284646

Bamber Sewing Machines 0161 707 7786

Parrs Sewing Machines 01684 563106

Beccles Sewing and Handicrafts 01502 711632 Cliffords Sewing Machines Ltd 01792 655928 Coles Sewing Centre Ltd 0115 988 1550

Phil Morton Sewing Machines 01625 433131

Log Cabin, The 01277 622245 Patches and Buttons 01200 423089 Prym Group Serious Readers 0800 028 1890 Sewing Online General Merchandise International - 0115 987 4422 Sewing World 01202 528451

Reads ofWinchester 01962 850950 Rona Sewing Machines 01992 640250 Sew Creative 01223 350691 Sew Devine 0118 926 8664 Sew Northampton 01604 637200 Singer Sewing Centre, Southend on Sea 01702 601931 Top Fabric of Soho

PUBLISHERS Great British Bookshop, The Quadrille Craft Search Press 01892 510850

SEWING MACHINE MANUFACTURERS AEG - Adjustoform Group 01233 625227

David Drummonds 0131 539 7766 Direct Sewing Machines 0117 977 8216

Horn Furniture UK Limited 01793 834304

Warner Textile Archive 01376 557741


Woking Sewing & Knitting Centre 01932 352958

Husqvarna Studio 01225 482413 Leamington Spa Sewing Machines 01926 427572

Aisin Europe (Toyota) 01322 291137

M and S Sewing Machines 01706 366943


Maidstone Sewing Machine Centre 01622 670254


Tullys Sewing Machines 0191 565 7995

West End Sewing Centre Ltd 01242 244025

Exeter Sewing Machines 01392 275660

Tailor Mouse Ltd 01423 313004


Gutermann 0208 589 1635 Lenham Needlecraft 0118 934 3207 Madeira UK Limited 01765 641700 Mettler Threads 01822 810877 Presencia Threads 01634 711228

TRIMMING Crafty Ribbons 01258 455889

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 18:12 Page 97

Making great things from your fabric since 1968 Top designers come to us because our quality is superb, our turnaround time is exceptionally fast and we have a passion for what we do we speak your language!

Harlequin, Shop Road, Little Bromley, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2PZ

01206 396167 @coveredbuttons



58 King Street, Cambridge, CB1 1LN 01223 350691

23 Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1NE 01284 755459

11 Giles Street. Norwich NR2 1JL 01603 305888

Extensive range of workshops and getting to know your Sewing Machine such as quilting, dressmaking and freehand embroidery. 97


LUCY LEVENSON “I enjoy being my own boss, and doing what I love”

EMBROIDERER LUCY LEVENSON TELLS US HOW SHE CREATES HER INTRICATE PIECES, FROM A VERY UNIQUE WORKSPACE! I first started sewing after my daughter fell seriously ill, and suffered brain damage. Sewing was my salvation although I had never done it before, I just taught myself. My dad, Terry Fincher, was a top photographer on Fleet Street, and I followed in his footsteps, shooting pictures for magazines for many years. He was a big influence in my life, and as a child I was surrounded by images and creativity. I had always enjoyed painting and making craft pieces for myself as a hobby. My friend owns a vintage clothing shop in Hertfordshire, and when she saw some of my early work she offered to try some of them out in her store. After receiving glowing feedback, I realised that people might actually want to buy them! Within days, to my astonishment, my pieces had sold out and she was asking for more. She told me that people liked my stuff because it was different and made them smile. I realised then that what I loved doing could become a business for me. After spending all my working life in photography, it was a major career change. I am inspired by things I see around me on my travels, and the people that I meet. I make visits to St. Ives in Cornwall and often return with a burning desire to make things that people would want to have in their home. My style is a mixture of folk art

with Scandinavian and Russian influences, and I like to create pieces with intricate embellishment. I love the art of Anna Silivonchik for her beautiful naïve paintings and Kaffe Fassett for his use of colour in fabric, and try to channel this into my own work. A lot of my projects feature appliqué and I use embroidery techniques to create finer details in my work. I believe it makes each creation truly unique. I live in an old pub, built in 1845. It has a large, dry cellar and this is my workroom. It is packed to the ceiling with colourful fabrics, paints and all the tools I need to sew. When i’m creating I start with an image in my head, and play around with different colours and fabrics until I get the combination that I want. I shop for a lot of supplies online. I like looking for vintage fabrics and buying from places like India. Fabric HQ in Stoke Mandeville is my favourite local store because it’s family run. I could spend hours rummaging there! The best thing about what I do is that I enjoy being my own boss, and being able to do what I love every day. It can take up to three weeks to create some of my more intricate pictures and I tend to have a few different projects on the go at any one time. My plans for the future are to evolve at my own pace, to carry on enjoying sewing, and just see where it leads.

“Sewing was my salvation”

Find more at 98

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 18:03 Page 99

*SEW MAY 15 ISSUE 71_SEW 27/03/2015 18:03 Page 100

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