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The UK's No.1 sewing mag

Look and feel

! S U O L U B A F L Bright spring projects L 7 new print trends to try L Figure-flattering tutorials

BONUS! collector’s magazine

Brilliantly British

Union Jack Sizes



Simple Sew

Slash pocket


Fit expert

LYNDA MAYNARD helps you look amazing

Adorable Easter



Perfect piping guaranteed!

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06/03/2017 11:09

… to zingy issue 38 of Love Sewing


ometimes you come across information that amazes you and I’ve found many intriguing facts in the new book I’m reading. It’s called The Button Box by Lynn Knight, a book about the women of the 20th Century, told through the clothes they wore. For instance, before WWI haberdasheries would give women ‘a paper of pins’ in lieu of the farthing they were owed as change for their purchases and apprentice seamstresses would spend their mornings matching Silko thread to shantung silk to hone their judgment by eye. I figured tidbits like these might be interesting to other sewists, so we’ve arranged a Facebook giveaway for you all. Keep your eyes peeled for that competition or the book is available now priced £8.99 (www.vintage-books.co.uk). As usual I’ve been sneaking in plenty of sewing. You can see my most recent make in your free Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour magazine! I had great fun sewing a party frock for the welcome page. I’ve also been trying out some Swedish tracing paper from Crafty Mastermind. In case you aren’t aware it’s a thin translucent paper perfect for tracing patterns. It makes a much more robust copy than what I was previously using – kitchen greaseproof paper! Head to page 45 for a chance to win some. I like to trace sewing patterns because I make so many pattern adjustments and can’t stomach the idea of having to stick the tissue back together to trace alternative size lines after picking the wrong size! In other sewing news, I have to confess to being overjoyed at having a special guest at Love Sewing HQ this month – Helen of blog www.justsewtherapeutic.wordpress. com. We got to chat about patterns we’re swooning over, I saw her gorgeous Tuuili dress from Named patterns in person and watched her do a cracking job of modelling her version of our free pattern this month. If you’re interested in reviewing the upcoming patterns for us just drop me an email at letters@lovesewingmag.co.uk to find out how it works. Whether you’re tall, short, pear shaped or petite, we’d love to hear about your adjustments and how you make the pattern your own.

F ind Helen's review on page 89

WHAT' S inside


Join the

Social Sew-along

dra mat ic loo ks

Your free magazine!

dresses, separates and jumpsuits Invaluable guides for luxury fabric Insp iring tech niqu es and tips for custom construction


HOUR in partnership with


companion magaz

07/03/2017 12:06

The Cocktail hour

cover.indd 3


I hope you find plenty of inspiring content in this new issue and remember, if you’re interested in seeing more of what I’m sewing each month follow me on Instagram as almondrock_sews.


page / 8

Jen in our pattern hack on page 20

Vogue 8943 Claire Shaeffer

THE Cocktail HOUR 8 LBD.indd 8 07/03/2017 13:12

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Inside this issue

Inside this





Love Sewing loves


Shop of the month

3 issues for only £6 when you subscribe! SEE PAGE 34 FOR DETAILS

10 Achieving the perfect fit with Lynda Maynard 13 Industry insider sewing tips 14 Pattern picks: save 50% on McCall’s patterns 22 Sewing room swoon 23 Save 20% at Minerva Fabrics 24 Thrifty Stitcher with Claire-Louise Hardie 29 A brief history of the pincushion 36 Reader review: Butterick 5488 37 7 new print trends to try 39 Swatch selector with Kerry Green 43 Discounts & giveaways

62 Spruce up your sewing room 69 Skill building with Wendy Gardiner


71 Fabric focus – Easter colours

18 Your free pattern gift – Butterick 3-in-1 dress

74 The dressmaker’s diary with Elisalex de Castro Peake

26 Butterfly cushion

76 Exclusive reader offer 77 This month I’m making

80 Behind the seams 47 Jade Earley the girl with the red hair with Wendy Ward

32 Liberty Union Jack pouch 40 Dandelion & Burdock 48 Breezy cotton dress 56 Easter bunny journal cover 65 Slash pocket skirt

52 Sewing workshops

83 Readers’ makes

55 Iron & steamers review

86 Love Sewing library

78 Ready-to-go tote

58 Get a handle on it with Bethany Armitage

94 Pattern reading basics & fitting essentials

84 Carry-a-friend tee 90 Flex-sleeve adjustment

60 Couture sewing with Alison Smith MBE

96 Coming next issue

98 Cherry on the Tree Swing embroidery project

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Inside this issue Editorial


Editor Amy Thomas Deputy Editor Bethany Armitage Editorial Assistant Jenny Riley Senior Sub-Editor Justine Moran Sub-Editor Kayleigh Hooton Senior Art Editor Denise Johnson Junior Art Editor Simon Kay Designer Sarah Edmondson Senior Product Photographer Tym Leckey Photographer Renata Stonyte, Amy Worrall Hair & make-up Nina Rochford Contributors Claire-Louise Hardie, Alison Smith MBE, Elisalex de Castro Peake, Wendy Ward, Jade Earley, Wendy Gardiner, Kerry Green

Publishing & Advertising


Head of Business Development Ruth Walker Advertising Sales Executive Noune Sarkissian noune.sarkissian@practical publishing.co.uk Advertising Consultant Amanda Paul Subscriptions Manager Daniel Tutton Senior Editor Kate Heppell Managing Art Editor Jennifer Lamb Head of Content & Positioning Gavin Burrell Head of Product Development Carol Jones Group Buying Manager Olivia Foster Buying Assistant Rachael Edmunds Production Assistant Anna Olejarz Ecommerce & Distribution Director Dave Cusick Managing Director Danny Bowler Group Managing Director Robin Wilkinson


Newstrade COMAG Magazine Distribution cathy.phillips@practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel 0844 826 0613



Practical Publishing International Ltd, Suite G2 St Christopher House, 217 Wellington Road South, Stockport SK2 6NG info@practicalpublishing.co.uk www.practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel: 0844 561 1202 Fax: 0161 474 6961


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Love Sewing is published by Practical Publishing International Ltd ISSN 2054-832X All material © Practical Publishing International Ltd. The style and mark of Love Sewing is used under licence from Craft Media Ltd. No material in whole or in part may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form whatsoever without the prior written consent of Practical Publishing International Ltd. The publisher welcomes contributions from readers. All such contributions and submissions to the magazine are sent to and accepted by the publisher on the basis of a non-exclusive transferable worldwide licence unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to first publication. Such submissions are also subject to being used, reproduced, modified, published, edited, translated, distributed and displayed in any media or medium, or any form, format or forum now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose, in perpetuity. Stock images provided by Shutterstock, Inc





Practical Publishing International Ltd is a member of the PPA

Alison Smith MBE

Katy Jones

Brigid Boyer

Aneela Hoey

The immensely talented Alison Smith was the first person to be awarded an MBE for services to sewing and corsetry! In this issue, Alison continues with the Couture Dress Sew-along on page 60.

Brigid is the middle sister of a creative trio, as well as being copy editor and advertising manager of the blog www.boyersisters.com. When she is not blogging, she fills her time by sewing her own wardrobe of vintage-inspired and historical garments. We are excited to share a special sleeve adjustment from Brigid on page 90.

An experienced quilter and editor of Quilt Now magazine, Katy Jones’s designs are colourful and crisp, often with a quirky twist. Turn to page 26 to make Katy’s butterfly cushion.

Aneela Hoey is a UK fabric designer and pattern writer with several years’ experience in the quilting industry, as well as being a keen embroiderer so we are excited to bring you her gorgeous Cherry on the Tree Swing embroidery project on page 98.

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A perfect fit

Achieving the PERFECT FIT This issue we meet Lynda Maynard, known in the industry as a ‘fit specialist’. She has a BA in Textiles and Clothing and is an Adjunct Professor in the Fashion Design departments of two community colleges and a private design school. We chatted to Lynda to find out more about her career and how to get the perfect fit

When did you first begin sewing and what inspired you to start?

My interest in sewing began in early childhood at the age of seven. I was inspired by my mother’s pastel-coloured pillowcases. One day while she was away at work, I took one and created my first dress by simply cutting a circular opening for my head and one for each arm. I proudly wore my first ‘shift’ around the neighbourhood and my excitement grew. A sewist was born!

Helping students achieve a well-fitting garment that boosts confidence and builds a stronger sense of self encourages me to take on new challenges. The most important thing is to keep a student engaged. This is an ongoing process that varies from student to student and offers me new opportunities to grow professionally.

Your wonderful books and courses have provided invaluable help to dressmakers around the world. How did the idea for your book De-mystifying Fit come about?

Fit is something I feel very passionate about. It is entirely possible to achieve great fit for any and all figure types. Size, proportion and asymmetry are simply challenges, not obstacles. My focus when teaching is to make knowledge accessible

“Toiles are a most important first step in the creative process. I learned the hard way to number and date each one” Your extensive career has helped you to develop fitting, drafting, and couture expertise. Do you have any highlights that shine out over the years?

Draw and scribble on your toile when making adjustments

I have been fortunate that so many doors have opened for me throughout my career. Each time I am able to inspire and encourage a student; to present options that elevate his or her skill set is a highlight for me.

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A perfect fit

(as well as side seams, CF and CB), and crosswise grainlines should be parallel to the floor. This is the quickest way to check for proper hang.

“Sewing is a labour of love, yet labour it is. I believe in working with the highest quality fabric, lining and supplies one can afford” What are the most important items sewists should invest in when buying supplies?

Adjust your fit while maintaining balance

to the student. Visual clarity along with step-by-step samples and explanations are the key factors in this process. In De-Mystifying Fit, I begin with a clear plastic moulage/sloper/basic block to assist in the analysis of the pattern. It is so much easier this way to assess necessary pattern adjustments. I plan on continuing to develop new techniques and to refine my approach to fit.

You’ve dedicated your life to achieving the perfect fit and finish. How do you recommend keeping track of the iterations of toiles? The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques, £17.99, A & C Black Publishers Ltd

Toiles are a most important first step in the creative process. I learned the hard way to number and date each one. I keep all of them until I have reached my goal – it is fascinating to track the journey. Also, you will gain a greater, in-depth understanding of your specific fitting requirements. I now jump in from the start and make modifications to the pattern before I cut the toile.

In your books you discuss ‘balance’ when making a great-fitting muslin. How can you assess this in your toiles?

When fitting, it is imperative to impose balance lines on the toile. These provide an immediate visual reference when assessing proper fit. Lengthwise grainlines should be perpendicular to the floor

Sewing is a labour of love, yet labour it is. I believe in working with the highest quality fabric, linings and supplies one can afford. We all make fun, simple garments to be worn only one season or to one or two events. This type of garment may be made with less investment of time and money. The more important garments, those we will wear over a longer period of time or more often (possibly a coat) require a greater investment of both time and money.

How do you find the time to teach, write and record your video tutorials while still sewing for yourself?

I do enjoy making my own clothes. To find the time, I schedule myself on the calendar along with everything else. Sometimes, when I see my own name, I decide to play instead. Either way, I feel fulfilled. My favourite garment to sew for myself is a dress. It covers my whole body, unlike trousers, a top or a skirt. I am just finishing a beautiful red brown silk dupioni dress with a fitted bodice, gored, flared skirt and three-quarter-length sleeves. Although the fabric lends a vintage look, I plan to wear it with boots to make it fun!

Lynda Maynard has enjoyed a 35-year career in sewing and fashion and has written The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques and De-mystifying Fit. She currently teaches classes at various locations in California and the US as well as online at www.craftsy.com To find out more about Lynda, go to www.lyndamaynarddesign.com www.lovesewingmag.co.uk 11

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18 www.lovesewingmag.co.uk NON PRINT AREA



B 5488

eas y

f a c ile

MISSES’ DRESS: Very loose-fitting (through bust), straight, mid-knee length dresses A, B, C have yokes, front and back pleats. A: sleeveless, purchased jewel stones. B, C: short sleeves. B: contrast yokes. NOTIONS: Dress A: 1⁄2" Single Fold Bias Tape, Jewel Stones as Desired, Chalk Pencil or Removable Marking Pen and Optional: Invisible or Matching Thread or Fabric Glue. FABRICS: Dress A, B, C: Stable Knits, Lightweight Crepe, Lightweight Linen and Faille. Unsuitable for obvious diagonals. Allow extra fabric to match plaids or stripes. Use nap yardages/layouts for pile, shaded or one-way design fabrics. *with nap. **without nap. Combinations: Y(XS-S-M), ZZ(L-XL-XXL)

M U LT I - S I Z E D F O R C U S T O M F I T


DRESS A 45"*/** 60"*/**

2 13⁄8

2 13⁄8

S 8-10

XS 4-6

DRESS B 45"*/** 2 2 60"*/** 11⁄4 11⁄4 CONTRAST B (Yokes) 1⁄2 1⁄2 45"*/** 3⁄8 3⁄8 60"*/** DRESS C 45"*/** 60"*/**

21⁄2 11⁄2

23⁄8 11⁄2

M L XL XXL 12-14 16-18 20-22 24-26 21⁄4 13⁄4

Width, lower edge Dress A, B, C 371⁄2


25⁄8 2

1⁄2 1⁄2

1⁄2 1⁄2

21⁄8 17⁄8

2 15⁄8

21⁄2 15⁄8

FUSIBLE INTERFACING A, B, C 1⁄2 1⁄2 1⁄2 18", 20"


23⁄4 2



Back length from base of your neck 371⁄2 38 Dress A, B, C 361⁄2 37

25⁄8 2 23⁄8 2 1⁄2 1⁄2

23⁄4 2 5⁄8




25⁄8 2 23⁄8 2 1⁄2 1⁄2

23⁄4 2 5⁄8



ROBE (J. FEMME): Robes A, B, C très amples (sur la poitrine), droites, longueur au genou, à empiècements, plis au devant et au dos. A: sans manches, pierres de fantaisie achetées. B, C: manches courtes. B: empiècements contrastants. MERCERIE: Robe A: Ruban de biais simple (1.3cm), Pierres de fantaisie à volonté, Crayon-craie ou Marqueur effaçable et Facultatif: Fil Invisible ou Assortie ou Colle à tissu. TISSUS: Robe A, B, C: Tricots à peu d’élasticité, Crêpe fin, Toile de lin fine et Faille. Grandes diagonales ne conviennent pas. Compte non tenu des raccords de rayures/carreaux. *avec sens. **sans sens. Séries: Y(TP-P-M), ZZ(G-TG-TTG)

M U LT I - TA I L L E S / A V O S M E S U R E S


ROBE A 115cm*/** 150cm*/**

1.90 1.30

1.90 1.30

P 8-10

TP 4-6

M G TG TTG 12-14 16-18 20-22 24-26 2.10 1.60

2.40 1.90

2.40 1.90

2.60 1.90

2.30 1.50

0.50 0.50

0.50 0.50

2.20 1.90

2.00 1.80

ROBE B 115cm*/** 1.90 1.90 1.90 150cm*/** 1.20 1.20 1.50 CONTRASTE B (Empiècements) 115cm*/** 0.50 0.50 0.50 150cm*/** 0.40 0.40 0.50

ROBE C 115cm*/** 150cm*/**

2.20 1.40

2.30 1.40

2.60 1.90




ENTOILAGE THERMOCOLLANT A, B, C 46, 51cm 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

Largeur, à l’ourlet Robe A, B, C 95



Longueur - dos, votre nuque à l’ourlet Robe A, B, C 93 94 95 97 F RONT DE VANT B&C



We used: Turquoise medium spot print soft dress fabric, £7.99 per metre

Made in floaty woven fabric, this view is the perfect sundress. The yoke neatly hides bra straps and the fabric falls from below the bust pleats to skim over the body.


With two easy-to-wear versions in an incredible range of sizes, this pattern will become a new wardrobe staple as it’s suitable for woven and knit fabric! We love the curved yoke that is still bra-friendly when you make the dress sleeveless and the neat pleats above the bust. Don’t forget McCall’s patterns come with helpful step-by-step guides, designed to push your sewing skills further 98

2.40 1.90 2.20 1.90

0.50 0.50 2.60 1.90 0.60






B5488 Butterick SIZES/TAILLES Bust Waist Hip Poitrine Taille Hanches

80-83 61-64 85-88

75-77 56-58 80-83

311⁄2-321⁄2 24-25 331⁄2-341⁄2

291⁄2-301⁄2 22-23 311⁄2-321⁄2

S/P 8-10

XS/TP 4-6

M/M 12-14

L/G 16-18

34-36 261⁄2-28 36-38

XL/TG 20-22

38-40 30-32 40-42

87-92 67-71 92-97

XXL/TTG 24-26

42-44 34-37 44-46

97-102 76-81 102-107

46-48 39-411⁄2 48-50

107-112 87-94 112-117


117-122 99-105 122-127

B 5488



ur o Y


Your new

Butterick 6332 fr



Why not try? A

Butterick 5488

s your skills progress you may like to invest in a second machine to help your projects feel more polished. Working with an overlocker can mean adding stretchy resilient seams for jersey, professional hems on lightweight fabrics and decorative finish to the insides of your garments. The Janome 9300DX is a three- to fourthread overlocker. It’s a compact and sturdy machine that sews like a dream and is surprisingly quiet. It comes pre-threaded and has a built-in rolled hem feature with no plate change required. The 9300DX’s differential feed prevents puckering and stretching and can be used for a range of fun special effects, and the upper knife is retractable for decorative sewing. Visit www.janome.co.uk to find out more!


Subscribe today to get a McCall Pattern Co. design in your size with every issue! See page 40 for details


Using a stable knit you can make an easy-to-wear throwon dress with short cap sleeves. Choose a lightweight ponte roma or cotton interlock with good recovery.

We used: Teal blue Ponte Roma jersey, £7.95 per metre, www.clothspot.co.uk

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HACK It’s easy to turn your free pattern into a sweet smock blouse by shortening the length to the hip for a breezy top you can wear with jeans! Follow the notches on your tissue sheet to locate the hip point and then cut the pattern 1.5cm below that point to include a narrow hem allowance.

We did a full-bust adjustment using the tutorial on page 95


FRENCH SEAMS First seam First seam allowance allowance

First seam First seam allowance allowance First seam allowance

The centre fold centre fold The centre fold ofThe the first seam The centre fold of the first seam The centre of the first seam becomes thefold First seam of the firstthe seam the ofbecomes the first seam becomes outside edge allowance becomes the becomes outside edge the outside edge outside outside French seams areedge great for edge

lightweight fabric that is prone to fraying and create a beautiful finish on the inside of your garment.

The centre fold 20 www.lovesewingmag.co.uk of the first seam becomes the outside edge

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Union Jack pouch


Practise your patchwork skills with this pretty pouch Project:REIKO WASHIZAW

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Union Jack pouch



MATERIALS: " 40cm square fabric for foundation & binding " scraps of floral fabric for patchwork " 35x25cm quilt wadding " 35x25cm lining fabric " 20cm zipper " templates downloaded from www.lovesewingmag.co.uk

Top tip! This is a lovely project for using up any precious Liberty scraps you’re too afraid to throw away




 Construct the piecework for the Union Jack quilt top using the templates. (See Pic A.)  With the right sides of the quilt top from Step 1 and back piece together, attach at the bottom. Draw the quilt lines. (See layout diagram.)


 Layer the piece from Step 2 on top of quilt wadding and quilt. Repeat with lining. (See Pic B.)  Fold the pieces from Step 3 in half with right sides together and sew along the sides. Refer to the Layout diagram for finishing the seam allowance. (See Pic C.)  Bind the pouch opening with the binding strip, then install the zipper. (See Pic D.)  Sew boxed corners. (See Pic E.)


Adapted from Patchwork Quilted Bags by Reiko Washizawa, ÂŁ11.99 www.tuttlepublishing.com www.lovesewingmag.co.uk 33

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Couture dress SEW-ALONG



Alison Smith MBE is keeping our Couture Dress Sew-along going, and it’s time for that exciting step – trying on the partially assembled dress!


ow is your couture dress coming along? By now you should have the front interlined and all the panels joined and the back sections, interlined and joined with a CB zip inserted. In this instalment I will be discussing joining the dress together and inserting the sleeve. Whether or not your dress has sleeves, we are definitely joining the dress together – which might be a different order of construction than you are used to. Don’t worry about inserting the lining as that will be taken care of in the next instalment.

t best for checking the fi

Couture sewing with Alison Smith MBE



hope you are following the sewalong, and you have chosen your pattern and fabric. Don’t forget to follow me at www.instagram.com/ sewalison and share your couture dress photos with me. A couture dress kit is up for grabs at the end of the series for the best couture dress!

As promised, I am looking at longer, fuller skirts this time before moving onto the seams If the pattern you have chosen has a full skirt or a even just a longer skirt that you would like to be a little more structured then I recommend choosing dress net as an underlining. I am making the second view of the Lois pattern – the new release from my Sew Wardrobe collection – in a taffeta-like fabric; the bodice I have underlined with cotton voile but the skirt I am underlining with dress net. This will give me more bounce as you will see as we continue making the dresses.

The back of the dress is now ready to have the zip inserted. It's always a good idea to insert the zip as soon as possible and whilst the fabric is flat. But first we interface to the area. Cut a straight grain strip of silk organza – not polyester organza: it’s not the same – that measures 4x60cm. Align with the centre back edge and hand-sew through all layers, over the waist seam, and the other edge use a herringbone stitch to secure the edges just the underlining. Insert a concealed zip and complete the seam below the zipper stop. Press gently

Couture dress SEW-ALONG

The front of the dress is now ready to attach to the back, but that will have to wait until the next issue, when we will look at the sleeve as well! Finally, press the dart over the ham using a protective cloth and a nice steamy iron. Please do try sewing a dart this way, it really is more accurate.


Concentrating on the dress back, join the back skirts to the back bodices, match the seam in the bodice to the dart in the skirt. Press the seam open. If your waist seam is very shaped it may require snipping to relax the fabric. Remember to catch-stitch the seam allowance to the underlining.


Construct your princess seams by aligning the raw edges; ease the shapes together, pin and machine. I would not tack a princess seam prior to construction, as the fabric tends to be more stable when pinned. The seam now requires grading and clipping. Use straight cuts on the outer curve and V snips on the inner curved seam allowance. Notice there is no seam neatening. When you are sewing couture, due to the way the lining is attached and the fabrics that are used it is not necessary to use your overlocker. However, if you have a fabric prone to fraying and you are worried your seams will vanish, pink the edges, as this is softer than a stitched edge.

Shopping list


to finish.

Alison Smith MBE continues our Couture Dress Sew-along by focusing on creating a fuller-skirted dress and the right seams to use Following the advice in part one, make sure you have all your underlining tacked in place and pattern markings transferred to your work with tailor’s tacks. Remember, we will be adjusting the order of construction so don’t lose track.

Press the seam open over a tailor’s ham, using just the tip of the iron along the crease. Don’t use the whole iron as it will flatten the fabric. Catch-stitch or herringbone the seams to the underlining to ensure they lie flat.


It’s likely either your bodice or skirt will require darts or tucks at the waist. When working with underlined pieces I will trace tack my dart shapes to make sure the fabric and underlining stay together during the dart stitching. Next pin the dart in place and sew: I sew my darts from the tip downwards as I find this is more accurate than trying to aim for the point! Sink your needle into the point, no reversing or lock stitching and sew. Tie off the tails of machine thread at each end.

Floral jardin stretch sateen, £11.99 per metre, www.minervacrafts.com Vie de Bohème sunrise, Art Gallery Fabrics, see www.hantex.co.uk/mystockist Country garden dusty rose, , £27 per metre, www.beckfordsilk.co.uk Guipure lace in Navy, £27.99 per metre, www.remnantkings.co.uk

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There’s still plenty of time to get started on your dress! We’re using the Lois pattern from www. sewwardrobe.co.uk and you can pick up issues 36 and 37 that cover parts 1 and 2 by heading to www. moremags.com/sewing


Thread-basted seams ar


If you followed the sew-along from Part 1, then your stitching lines are marked with tacking stitches through the sides and you have an extra wide seam allowance. Pin the front to the back, matching the tacked lines and then tack the front and back together along the marked lines, so that you can try the dress on and fit. Machine the shoulder seams together and press open. Try the dress on! Does it fit? Do you need to let it out a bit or tighten?

If the dress is too tight, snip through the tacking and let the fabric out – repin. Remember you have extra seam allowance to play with. If the dress is a bit loose, pin in any surplus. Mark on the WS where the pins are and re-tack the side seams and try on again. Once you are happy with the fit, stitch the side seams permanently. Trim the surplus seam allowances to 1.5-2cm and press the seams open.


It is now time to make and insert the sleeves! You should have the stitching line marked on the sleeve as you did on the side seams. If you either let out or took in the side seam at the underarm, then the sleeve seam needs to reflect this. Make the long sleeve seam, trim back to 1.5cm and press open. In order to help the sleeve to fit smoothly we are going to add a sleeve head.

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Don’t forget to trim your seams once sewn

Please note you should only use this technique on a set-in sleeve in a lined garment. Cut a bias strip of silk organza 10x21cm. Fold in half lengthwise, but do not press, just pin. Mark the halfway point on the long raw edges and place this to the tailor's tack or snip on the sleeve that signifies the shoulder seam then pin. Gently ease the raw edges of the silk organza strip around the sleeve head and pin.

kes a Organza fabric ma perfect sleeve head

Remember to post pictures of your progress on Instagram with #Couturesewalong. There’s a prize for the best couture dress!

, It s so exciting to see your dress coming to life

and pin to fit. The silk organza strip should shape the sleeve head and help eliminate wrinkles. Once you are happy, machine in place. Machine again halfway between the stitching line and the raw edge. DO NOT PRESS. Gently steam if necessary on the RS using a pressing mitten underneath to support. Your outer dress should now be all finished except for the hems and linings! In the next issue I will be looking at constructing the lining and how to insert the lining into the sleeveless version.

Set your sewing machine onto its longest stitch and machine two rows of long stitches, starting and finishing about 2cm either side of the bias strip, one at 1cm from the raw edge and one at 1.2cm. Both rows of stitching need to fall inside the seam allowances. With the sleeve RS out, place it to the armhole, match at the underarm and at the sleeve head. Pin from the sleeve side, so the sleeve is upper most – this means the sleeve covers the greater surface area. Gently pull up the ease stitches, matching the notches

r sleeve in Double stitching you st seam place makes a robu

Awarded an MBE for her services to dressmaking, Alison is an industry expert in classic couture and a published author. Alison has her own shop and line of patterns, and you can also learn with Alison at one of her exclusive workshops. Find out more on her site www.schoolofsewing.co.uk www.lovesewingmag.co.uk 61

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Peacock Feathers voile in Sea Glass, Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler

Breezy cotton


This draft yourself dress can easily be lengthened or shortened to make a top, tunic, or sundress, all from one simple pattern Project ABIGAIL A. LONG www.themodernprairiegirl.blogspot.co.uk Photography NISSA BREHMER & DIANE PEDERSEN

Top tip! Achieve a neater finished look by pinning the facing from RS of the dress and top-stitching from that side

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Breezy cotton dress

A Sew side seams. Bodice band facing

Fold bottom of facing to wrong side.

Facing Bodice band

Sew from right side.

Back bodice band





" voile or midweight cotton fabric (you’ll need at least two times the cut length of your dress body plus an additional ½ yard) " 1/4 yard fabric for belt (to match or co-ordinate with your dress fabric) " co-ordinating thread SIZING:

Custom fit! See 'Take your measurements' on page 50 SEAM ALLOWANCE:

Use a 5/8� allowance unless instructed otherwise


 Follow the instructions to measure and prepare the pattern. Cut each pattern piece parallel to the grain line on single layer fabric.  Gather the top edge of the two dress body pieces and set aside.  To make the shoulder straps, fold a strap piece in half lengthwise, RST. Stitch along the length with a 5/8� seam allowance along the raw edges, pivot at the corner, and sew a short end closed, leaving the remaining short end open. Trim the corners, turn RS out, and press. For an easy method of turning straps, use a piece of ribbon or string to turn through. (See Pic A.) Repeat for the remaining strap. Set aside.  To attach the straps, determine which of the bodice band pieces you want to be the back. Fold the band in half widthwise and mark the centre at the top of the bodice band with a pin. Measure and mark 3� out from the centre. Pin the unstitched ends of the

shoulder straps here and baste in place 1/4â€? from the raw edges.  Pin and sew the bodice band facing pieces to the bodice bands, RST, along the long top edge of the bodice bands. On the back bodice band, the strap ends will be sandwiched between the two pieces. (See Pic B.)  Pin the gathered edge of a dress body piece to the bottom of a bodice band as shown, RST, matching the raw edges at the sides. Pull the gathering thread on the dress body to adjust the gathers to fit evenly on the band. Pin all along the length of the band. Sew with the gathered side up, so you don’t catch on the gathers as you stitch. Repeat with the remaining dress body and bodice band. Remove the long gathering threads. Press the seams toward the bodice bands. (See Pic C.)  Pin the dress front to the dress back, RST, matching the bodice seams. Knot the shoulder straps together and make sure to pull them away from the dress. Sew both side seams, taking care not to catch the straps in your stitching. Try the dress on again to double-check the fit. If it’s too loose around the bodice band, simply adjust the side seams.  Fold and press the raw edge of the band facing 5/8â€? toward the WS. Fold the facing down inside the dress and press the top edge of the dress. Pin the facing in place, the folded edge should just cover the gathered bodice/dress seam. Top-stitch through all the layers 1/8â€? from the seam. Press thoroughly. (See Pic D.)


 Try the dress on to determine where to place the straps on the front. Sew in place securely on the front bodice band.  To hem the dress, fold and press the bottom of the dress 3/4� to the WS, and fold and press 3/4� again so as to hide the raw edge. Hand or machine-stitch close to the upper fold.  Cut two 4x45� strips of fabric (or the width of your fabric, if it’s not quite 45� wide). Sew the fabric strips, RST, at one short end.  Fold and press in half lengthwise, WST. Then fold and press both long edges in to the centre crease.  Fold the short ends over 1/4� to the WS and press.  Fold in half again lengthwise and top-stitch all around the belt 1/8� from the edge so all raw edges are enclosed.

Further information Modern Prairie Sewing by Abigail Long (CT Publishing) is available now priced ÂŁ16.99

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Easter bunny


This sweet fabric book cover is a nifty way to jazz up a boring notebook or journal Project CHRISTINE LEECH Photography KEIKO OIKAWA

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Easter bunny journal cover




" DMC stranded cotton embroidery thread in the following colours: white (shown in grey on the stitch guide), beige 842, Baby Pink 819, Baby Blue 3325, Avocado Green 470, pale yellow 744, Tangerine 741, Raspberry 3832, brown 610, dark grey 413 " 20cm-diameter embroidery hoop " linen, calico or cotton, 50x24cm (for an A5sized book; see Step 1 for other book sizes) " 20cm 5mm-wide length of ribbon (optional) " air-erasable marker or Pilot FriXion pen " templates downloaded from www.lovesewingmag.co.uk


 If your book is not A5, work out the dimension of the piece of fabric you need. First, measure the height of the front cover and add 1.5cm to both the top and bottom. Using a tape measure, measure the closed book from the outer edge of the front cover, around the spine and across to the outer edge of the back cover. Add half the width of the covers again for the flaps, plus 1.5cm to each end. Cut the fabric to this size.  Wrap your book in fabric and close the cover. This will make creases for the front and back flaps and give an indication of where to draw the pattern. Mark the creases with pins.  Transfer the pattern to the fabric using an air-erasable marker or FriXion pen. Place the fabric in the embroidery hoop and embroider following the stitch guide. When finished,

STITCHES GALLERY Straight stitch

Lazy daisy Running stitch

Tulips Split stitch

remove any traces of the embroidery pattern and press. Use four strands of floss for the main bunnies and flowers and two strands for their eyes and whiskers.

 If you wish to make a bookmark, handsew the length of ribbon onto the book jacket at the spine.

 Wrap the book in the fabric jacket again to check the flap creases.  Turn each edge of the material over twice to make a double hem (your turns should only be about 5mm per turn). Press.

Little Sew & Sew by Christine Leech is available priced ÂŁ12.99 (Quadrille)

 Machine-stitch the hems of the two short edges. Fold the two flaps inwards and pin in place (the right side of the embroidery should be on the opposite side to the flaps). Machine-stitch along the top and bottom edges of the cover.  Trim off all stray threads and press. To fit the cover onto the notebook, carefully fold the book’s front and back covers backwards (towards the spine) and place one cover into each of the fabric flaps, then close.

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ometimes, although not that often in my book, but every now and then, less can be more. And when I say less, I don’t mean less effort, less impact, less fabulousness, I pretty much mean to say that sometimes a subtle, understated detail can be mean the difference between less (read ‘blah’), and more (read ‘HOLY COW!’). So more is always more then, really. I’m not one for underdressing, or undersewing in this case, but you’ve probably already worked that one out. One of my preferred techniques for adding a subtle shot of chic into a handmade dress has to be piping; one of those things that at first doesn’t even stand out that much, until you start to question what it is about that dress that looks so elegant, so polished… you can almost hear the piping say, “Oh, now you see me… yes, that’s right, here I am just making love to these seams… encircling my wearer’s waist and embracing her curves... aren’t I just perfect?”. Well, that’s what piping says to me, at least. Less is clearly never more in my book. Let’s get on with the how-to guide, shall we?

Why not add a little flourish to your garments, bags or accessories by creating a custom piping trim? HOW TO MAKE PIPING MATERIALS:

" length of cord, or multiple lengths of cord, depending on how long you need the piping to be, or how many individual lengths of piping you need " your fabric cut into 1½”-wide bias strips as long as the cord or pre-cut bias binding " regular zipper foot for your sewing machine

Step 2 Take the length of cord and lay it on the WS of the bias strip. Fold the bias strip over the cord and, making sure that the two raw edges lengths of fabric meet, pin together so that the cord is held snug.

Step 1 To cut your own bias strips, you’ll need to lay out the fabric and identify the grainline and the bias: the grainline runs parallel to the selvedges (the vertical woven edges of the fabric that come infinitely off the roll, as opposed to the edge that is cut horizontally off the roll), and the bias is an imaginary line that runs at a 45° angle to the grainline. Anything cut on the bias will have more stretch or give and is therefore ideally suited to things like slinky skirts, bias binding and piping that need to make their way around curves and corners smoothly.

Step 3 Switch to the regular zipper foot on your sewing machine – this will enable you to stitch nice and close to the cord.

Use a long ruler to mark out the bias strips on the WS of the fabric and carefully cut them out. If needed you can join multiple strips together just like when making bias tape.

Using a long straight stitch, sew the piping, making sure that the stitches are going in directly to the left of the cord and getting nice and close to the bulge, but not too close – we’ll be going right up close and personal when we come to applying the piping to a seam, so we don’t want these original stitches to show.

Start by running a couple of horizontal stitches over the end of the piping to anchor the cord in place.

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Now you’re ready to apply the piping to your project! Piping is an ideal addition to waistlines, princess seams and shirt details like yokes, collars and cuffs.

I used the By Hand London Elisalex dress!

APPLYING THE PIPING Step 4 The whole point of piping is perfection – its sole purpose is to show off and accentuate a beautifully sewn seam, and in order to do so, it has to be applied flawlessly. The first thing to do is to mark out the seam line on one of the layers of fabric to be piped. I’m going to use a waistline as an example, so I will be marking out the seam line along the bodice.

Step 5 Now lay over the second layer of fabric to be seamed – in my case, the skirt – and pin carefully into place. Still using the zipper foot, stitch the seam with the first layer – in my case, the bodice – facing you so you can see those basting stitches and thereby be sure to get that little bit closer to the piping for a perfectly close seam. Pin the piping into place along this first layer of fabric, using the pins to anchor the piping directly along the seam line and super snug close up to the cord. Baste into place, using the original piping stitches as your guide (we still don’t want to stitch the piping super snug, but we do need the piping to be aligned right and ready to be sewn up close when we get to the actual seam).

Find out more

BY HAND LONDON Open out the fabric and press to reveal the perfectly piped seam! To finish, you can go about neatening the raw seam allowances inside with your preferred technique, and relevant to the seam placement – for waistlines and/or straight seams overlocking or binding works a treat, or for curved seams such as princess seams, grading and trimming will help to reduce bulk.

By Hand London produces gorgeously packaged, high-quality patterns that are available as PDF downloads through its site www.byhandlondon.com Stay in touch for all the latest pattern news, top tips and inspirational images through its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts – all handily @ByHandLondon

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Achieve the perfect fit  Draw a third horizontal line a little above the hem between Line 1 and the centre front of the pattern.


First, you need to work out how much additional space you require around the bust or what you’d like to remove. Here is a helpful chart to work out the amount: Small bust example

Full bust example

Full bust measurement



High bust measurement







1/2� SBA = half the difference

11/2� FBA = half the difference

 Cut along Line 1 from the hem to the armhole, making sure not to cut all the way through the armhole. Leave a hinge so you can pivot the paper. The point of the dart has now swung away from its original position.  Cut through the line in the middle of the dart, again leave a little hinge at the tip of the dart so you can pivot.

 The lower edge of your hem no longer meets at the bottom, as the side that has been adjusted is now longer. Cut the third line you drew, and spread apart until your hem is level. Fill in the spaces created with tracing paper, and stick into place.

 Using a ruler and pencil, draw a vertical line from the marked point to the hem. Make sure the line is parallel to the grainline on the pattern.

SMALL BUST ADJUSTMENT (FIG E)  Draw in the lines as per an FBA adjustment. This is essentially the same process in reverse.

 From this line, draw a second line up towards the armhole, hitting the lower third of the armhole. Together, these lines are called Line 1.

 Swing the darted side of the pattern across the other side, by the desired SBA amount.  The lower edge of the hem no longer meets at the bottom, as the side that has been adjusted is now shorter. Cut the third line you drew, and overlap until your hem is level.

 Draw a second line horizontally through the middle of the bust dart, meeting Line 1 at the bust point.












2 lap



Some patterns will come with an adjustment line for narrow or broad back drawn on. If your pattern doesn’t, you can easily do this yourself. NARROW BACK (FIGS A – C) B



 Line up the cut edges of Line 1 so they’ve been spread apart by the amount of your FBA. The edges should be parallel. You’ll notice that your dart has now spread apart too and become bigger.

FULL BUST ADJUSTMENT (FIGS A-D)  Lay the tissue pattern against yourself to establish where your bust point is. Mark onto the pattern with a cross.




 Draw a vertical line down from the shoulder, 3cm from the armhole to just below the bottom of the armhole. Draw a second line at a right angle from this point.  Cut along the two lines, and slide the armhole side overlapping the paper. Stick in place. A small Ÿ� adjustment is often enough. Play around with this amount as you develop your fitting skills.  Use a ruler and pencil to true up and re-draw the side seam and shoulder seam. Because we have only adjusted the upper back, the fit should remain the same around the waist. (See the orange lines on Fig B.)  You’ll now need to make the front shoulder width a little shorter. Line up the notches on the shoulder ensuring sure the neckline is lined up. The front width will be a little longer than the newly adjusted back shoulder. Draw a new, narrower line from the back around the front, trimming a little of the front armhole away. Don’t forget to make sure your new curved line is smooth at the shoulder. BROAD BACK ADJUSTMENT (FIGS D AND E) D




SHORTEN A PATTERN (FIG A) Working at 90Ëš to the grain, make corresponding tucks across the front and back bodice, at bust and below armhole. Make corresponding tucks across the front and back of skirt below the hips. For sleeves, shorten above and below the elbow, avoiding the sleeve head curve. LENTHEN A PATTERN (FIG B) Working at 90Ëš to the grain, cut across the front and back bodice, at bust and below armhole. Cut across the front and back of skirt below the hips. For sleeves, cut above and below the elbow, avoiding the sleeve head curve. Spread the pattern pieces as required and fill the spaces with scrap paper. A

BELOW THE HIP ADJUSTMENTS (FIG A) To decrease the width, make a graduated tuck from the waist to the hem, tapering to nothing at the waist, indicated by the dotted line. To increase the width, cut the pattern piece through the waist to the hem, place over scrap paper and spread to the required size.

 Start in the same way as a narrow back adjustment drawing the two lines and cutting along them.


 Instead of overlapping the cut pattern pieces, spread them. As before there are no hard and fast rules, but with a broad back a Ÿ-½� adjustment is about right. Fill in the space with some tracing paper and stick together.  Use a ruler and a pencil to true up and re-draw the side seam and shoulder seam. (See the orange lines on Fig D.)  This time you’ll need to make the front shoulder a little longer. As with the narrow adjustment, line up the shoulder seams, ensuring the neckline is aligned. Draw a curved line from the back shoulder down towards the front armhole, adding a sliver to the front shoulder and armhole. Check that you’ve drawn a smooth line over the shoulder.

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7 new prints

Trends to try Working a modern print into your projects is easy with our favourite seven trends to try next MODERN PLAID Check this out!

Window Dressing in turquoise by Cloud9 Fabrics, 100% cotton, see www.hantex. co.uk/mystockist for your local retailer

OMBRÉ This trend isn’t fading away

Constellation in Plum by McKenna Ryan Enchanted Pines collection cotton, £5.80 per half metre (full width of print), www.misformake.com

GEOMETRIC Work your angles

Cut Ups in Multi, Avant Garde by Art Gallery Fabrics, 100% cotton, see www.hantex.co.uk/ mystockist for your local retailer

LEMONS Let’s make lemonade

Yuma Lemons in Glare, Sage by Art Gallery Fabrics, 100% cotton (alternative colourway available in jersey), see www.hantex.co.uk/mystockist for your local retailer

TROPICAL It’s still hot

Rainbow jungle leaves jersey, £5 per metre, www.fabworks.co.uk

CACTI Sensational succulents

Cactus print French terry with stretch in powder, £16.50 per metre, www.stoffstil.co.uk

METALLICS Shine on baby!

Novaria Bronx gold and ruby brocade, £22 per metre, www. sherwoodsfabrics.co.uk

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Profile for Practical Publishing

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