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Make us!

FRESH IDEAS WITH FABRIC

STITCH FLORALS for summer

+ FESTIVAL TEE

ISSUE EIGHTEEN

NEW! THE SUMMER EDIT

3 easy-fit patternS TO SEW TODAY! MAKE A TOP ...OR A DRESS!

WAX-PRINT SKIRT BABY BLANKET F ree patt ern in sizes 6-20 ISSUE 18 PRINTED IN THE UK • £6.99

Al fresco accessories in boho fabrics

* UK ONLY - RULES APPLY

HOW TO: Make frills Use rotary cutters Sew a patchwork dog bed Draft a full circle skirt


Pinboard

INSPIRATION

ACCESSORIES

WEBSITES

EVENTS

STUFF

Photo: www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk

IDEAS

FLORAL FANCY

Cornwall, UK, is known for its beautiful coastline and laid-back vibe, and Cornish clothing brand Seasalt reflects the region’s cultural heritage in its collections, which feature easy-to-wear, classic styles and unique prints in quality fabrics, including organic cottons. This quilted jacket is the perfect cover-up for breezy walks along the beach (and we love a florals-and-stripes combo!). Hawthorn jacket, £69.95. www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk Subscribe at www.simplysewingmag.com

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THE COLD SHOULDER Off-the-shoulder ▼

LEARN WITH LISA

A new online class from Lisa Comfort and the Sew Over It team, the Ultimate Guide to Fitting and Sewing Trousers (approx £40), demystifies the process of making trousers, with beginner and intermediate patterns in sizes 8-20. We’re giving three lucky readers a chance to win free access to the online class – enter at www.simplysewingmag.com

styles are everywhere on the high street this season, so why not sew your own with this pattern from Ann Normandy? This top has wide shoulder straps, chic kimonostyle sleeves and a flattering loose fit. Its simple shape means you can let the fabric shine by using a bold print, or make it in plain fabric for a wear-with-anything top. Pdf pattern approx £11. www. ann-normandy.com

tips & tricks

PATCH POCKETS

F

or a simple way to make an identical pair of patch pockets to add to a garment, such as this issue’s free Lizzy Dress pattern (page 36), hem the top edge of both pockets first, then place the pockets right sides together and tack in place down the sides and bottom edge. Turn them right sides out, press, then remove your tacking stitches. The pressed edges will stay in place, ready to be pinned and sewn. For more sewing tips visit www.simplysewingmag.com

IN FINE FEATHER Iconic British fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes is known for her bold designs, and her latest fabric collection, Feathered, is instantly recognisable as her work. It features her classic wiggle print, graphic cross-stitch patterns and, of course, feather motifs, in a rich colour palette of berry red, hot pink, muted teal and grey, and mustard yellow. Each design is printed on soft 100% cotton, making these fabrics gorgeous for dressmaking, homewares, quilts... anything you can dream up! See the full range at www.makeitcoats.com

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Zandra Rhodes’latest fabric collection is typical of her bold style.


handmade picnic

life’s a picnic

Be the most stylish picnickers at the park with these handmade accessories in boho prints. Designer: REBECCA REID Styling: LISA JONES Photography: PHILIP SOWELS

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PICNIC BAG

Glorious sunshine isn’t the only reason we love a picnic – for us, it’s all about the delicious food, too! This robust picnic bag, which has foam inside to give it body and shape, is spacious enough for all the al fresco dining essentials. Let’s tuck in!

ROLL-UP BLANKET Do away with that boring picnic blanket you’ve had stashed away in the car for years and stitch up your own! Ours has a layer of foam for comfort, is beautifully bias bound in a contrasting print, rolls up neatly and has a handle for easy carrying.


MY SEWING WORLD

by Laura Huhta

The co-founder of the Named pattern label shares her top tips for sourcing fabrics ethically and sustainably.

L

ike many sewists, I have always been a sucker for luxurious silks and soft wools, but I had a total game-changing realisation recently. Having been a vegetarian for a long time, I finally became a vegan last year. Though it was hard at first, I eventually managed to make it a source of inspiration instead of a restriction, and, honestly, I eat more diversely now than I ever have before. I’ve also learned more about veganism, and that it’s something that influences all aspects of daily life, all the way to the sewing room! This is because vegans don’t just avoid ingredients of animal origin in their kitchens, but also in their wardrobes. For a vegan, leather shoes, woollen knits and silk blouses are a no-no, so being vegan has had an impact on my fabric choices, too. THE ETHICAL CHOICE Plenty of seamstresses are passionate about ethics. Making our own garments is not only a beloved hobby, but also one of the only ways we can really be sure how our garments are made. That’s why being more careful with fabric choices is a natural next step. I have plenty of garments made of wool, leather and silk, and I love them all. But can I keep consuming the way I’m used to, just because it’s most convenient? Definitely not – but what can I buy instead? When I began researching vegan options for seamstresses, I felt very overwhelmed at first, until I realised something: I was able to turn my vegan diet from a restriction into an inspiration, so why can’t I do the same thing with my fabric choices? Rather than thinking of being vegan as something that limits my sewing, I decided to consider it a chance to widen the range of materials that I use, thinking outside the box. It has even lead to using fabrics in more fun and unusual ways! The world is full of fibres and fabrics that I hadn’t used much previously, or that I assumed would only be suitable for certain projects. Why should I make a winter coat of wool coating, when I could choose a quilted fabric instead? For a blouse, I could go for soft tencel or even robust linen instead of silk. So, I decided to explore

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Find the co llection of N amed sewin patterns at g www.named clothing.com “Being more careful with fabric choices is

a natural next step.”

I’m at my happiest when I’m browsing beautiful fabrics!

Buying ethically means I’m more creative with how I use materials.


“I decided to explore and experiment with fabrics I’d never used before.” and experiment with fabrics I’d never used before – if you want to do the same, here a few top tips for shopping for fabric in a more ethical way: ■ Cotton is a great material (and, together with polyester, is the most-used fibre in the world), but the production requires a lot of water and pesticides, so it’s actually not the most ecological option – when possible, opt for organic cotton. ■ Linen grows faster than cotton and doesn’t require as much water or chemicals. It’s also a very durable fibre, so will withstand lots of wear. ■ Lyocell (or tencel) is very similar to viscose, but producing it requires less energy and chemicals. ■ Alpaca is more ecological and ethical than sheep wool, and it’s very soft and almost cashmere-like. ■ Polyester takes less energy and water to produce than cotton, and is recyclable and very versatile. I’ve found that the best way to be more ecological with sewing is to cut back on buying fabrics of all kinds, so that you only have what you need in your stash, and also to make sure you use fabrics that are of good quality. It’s also important to take time with your sewing to create handmade garments that you’ll love and wear for years to come. Often, the most problematic aspect of the fashion industry (or any industry, for that matter) in terms of ethics is mass production – there is such a demand for so many commodities, so fast and so cheap, that there are very few ways of making that happen in an ethical and ecological way. That’s why I’ve made a promise not to buy any fabrics of animal origin for the rest of this year. Who’s with me?

labels so I always check fabric ed choice. I can make an inform

I like to buy durable fabrics that will last.

Keeping me inspired...

Our Kielo wrap dress patte is one of my favourites. rn Subscribe at www.simplysewingmag.com

I do’t sew very often fo myself nowadays, but when I do, I usually plan very carefully frst and then make sure I’ll end up wth something I love and can’t get enogh of! I always get inspired by so-called ‘staple garments’ and do’t think they are boing at all. Tere’s so much yo can do by playing arond wth propotios, details and accesoies. I’ve been dreaming abot the perfect pencil skirt, which my wardrobe is mising. I’d also love t make another Kielo dress. A staple pencil skirt, like our Zaria pattern, is top of my to-sew list.


Pss3t9: for fabric

ge d Turn to pa piration an s n i e l y t s and hare your s o t t e g r o don’ t f with us s s e r D y z z fnished Li ysewingmag pl using #sim

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COVER STAR

the lizzy dress

This shift dress is simple to sew, easy to wear and a doddle to accessorise! You’ll want to wear yours all year round.

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a good read

MODERN VINTAGE

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Photo: cr Gregory Miller

Photos right & above: cr Lauren Hunt

From a corner of her family home, Kimberly Kight designs prints we can’t wait to add to our fabric stash. We fnd out what inspires her.


a good read

As its name suggests, the Homebody range celebrates all things domestic and homely.

K

imberly Kight brings together the contemporary and the traditional in original fabric designs that she transforms into gorgeous garments and toys – and that’s only a fraction of what she does creatively! “I took my first sewing lessons in 2002,” Kimberly recalls. “That quickly led to fabric hoarding. There were so many prints that I wanted to see on fabric that didn’t currently exist, so I went about investigating how one designs patterns and gets fabric printed.” Finding the information she needed was the first challenge. “There was very little out there about fabric design and printing at the time,” she says. “Older books discussed hand printing methods, but there was no obvious channel to get large quantities printed. You can’t just ring up a mill and order 3,000 yards of fabric!”

“because it’s an enormous undertaking. You have to be able to communicate with mills overseas, know quite a lot about basecloth qualities, printing technicalities, quality control, distribution, pricing, sales, negotiation, timing, and so on. It’s all very risky, especially if you lack experience. That’s why Melody’s idea to partner with an existing company was such genius.” Melody Miller is one of Kimberly’s designer cohorts at Cotton + Steel, a division of RJR Fabrics. “Melody was dreaming up a new brand and knew she needed an experienced partner in the industry, so was going to propose her concept to RJR Fabrics,” Kimberly explains. “During the conceptual phase she called around to her contacts in the industry, including me, to ask what we thought was missing, and what our dream fabric company would look like. Our discussions led to me becoming one of the founding designers, and this has meant everything to my career and creativity.” The five founders, who also include Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg and Sarah Watts, have a decidedly collaborative approach to creative direction that has

“I CAME TO KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAUGHT ME EVERYTHING. I LOVE ALL KINDS OF SEWING NOW, BUT DESIGNING FABRIC PRINTS IS STILL MY FIRST LOVE.”

A SHARED ENTERPRISE As Kimberly gradually began to uncover sources, she realised it might be just as well that the process is somewhat mysterious, Subscribe at www.simplysewingmag.com

helped to develop their vision. “I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. We all have four friends who happen to be talented designers with a stake in our success to bounce ideas off of and help refine our work.” Prior to this, Kimberly was already making a name for herself through her blog True Up, which she launched in 2008. “It was all about fabric and fabric world news. I was immersed in the fabric world, where I came to know so many people who have taught me everything. I love all kinds of sewing now, but designing fabric prints is still my first love.” Is there anything quite as pleasing as a bundle of beautiful printed fabrics? We think not!

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Photo: cr Kimberly Kight

Photo right & below: cr Lauren Hunt

Lucky Strikes’ mix of fun bowling-themed prints and sweet florals makes it perfect for kidswear.


FRESH IDEAS WITH FABRIC

workshop BLANKET STITCH

Discover a new embroidery project each issue. This month, we’re sewing blanket stitch.

TEMPLATE DESIGN: LISA JONES; STITCHING & INSTRUCTIONS: REBECCA REID

Trace the template on page 96 onto your fabric lightly with a pencil and stitch on the lines.

Use bright colours and four strands of cotton to stitch bold fowers and leaves.

2 1

3

1 Start stitching by bringing the needle up at 1, down at 2 and up at 3. Make sure the thread is under your needle as shown in the diagram. You can angle this vertical stitch to follow the shape of the leaves and petals.

2 Gently pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop. This completes your first stitch – you’ll find it easier to make it even and neat if you hold the thread flat on the fabric as you pull the needle through.

3 Continue stitching to work the blanket stitches around the shapes. You will need to change the length and distance between the vertical stitches to fit the curved shape, so refer to the photo while you sew. WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM 43


Use simple blanket stitches to personalise a plain scarf.

Blissful long summer days mean more time for enjoying the great outdoors, be it at the park, the beach or in your own garden. When warm afternoons roll into cool evenings, there’s no need to head inside just yet – instead, accessorise with a scarf to keep the breeze at bay. Ours is hand-embellished with a simple blanket stitched flower motif for a personal touch – the ideal first project if you’ve never sewn blanket stitch before. Master the technique and sew a floral hoop design with our stitch workshop on page 43.

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Psrstci:rcle skirt

To give you tte (all e u o h l i s r e l a ful or twirling f r e t t e b e th ediumm a d d a !) with it ng to give i n i l t h g i e w d shape. n a y d o b e mo r

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NO-PATTERN NEEDED!

Waxing lyrical

This wax-print full circle skirt by Rosee Woodland is made to your exact measurements for a perfect ft. Pop a net petticoat underneath and twirl away!

Subscribe at www.simplysewingmag.com

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S Summer dress Floral pintuck top Dinosaur plushie Boho maxi skirt Sewing machine cover Embroidered scarf Scissor keep set Deckchair cover Easy-sew sandals And more...

+FREE!

The olivia DRESs pattErn

ON SALE THURS 14TH JULY WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM

* CONTENTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

A beautiful summer dress from our new Cotton + Chalk pattern collection, in sizes 6-20.


n i y a t S touch!

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Simply Sewing issue 18