GIFT IDEAS FOR
W E S TO
CHRISTMAS! Mak e us!
FRESH IDEAS WITH FABRIC
7 quick baby gi f ts to sew now!
ISSUE TWENTY TWO
NEW! THE FOLD LINE
joniIN SIZES DRESS 6-20 EASY-TO-SEW SEASONAL STYLE!
+ COSY PONCHO
FAUX FUR SNOOD PENCIL SKIRT F ree patt ern in sizes 6-20
+FREE LISA COMFORT SKIRT PATTERN
HOW TO: Make pattern weights
Marble fabrics Use metal eyelets
PRINTED IN THE UK • £5.99
Elegant shapes and styles to flatter every figure
a perfect fit
Sew a faux fur snood
WIN THIS NECKLACE!
ENTER TODAY AT
UK only, see competition rules on p6
Did you spot Tatty Devine’s new sewing-themed collection in Simply Sewing issue 20? Our favourite pick of the bunch definitely has to be this retro sewing machine necklace (£75) – and we’ve got one to give away to a lucky reader! Enter today at www.simplysewingmag.com and swoon over the full collection at www.tattydevine.com
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Pinboard COOL CAT The designer ▼
Our ideal weekend involves lots of sewing and plenty of coffee, so it’s like Genevieve Brading has read our minds with this fun cross-stitch project from her new book, I Got 99 Problems but a Stitch Ain’t One, which puts a sassy twist on traditional cross stitch with attitude-filled slogans to sew. £10 from www.octopusbooks.co.uk
behind indie pattern label Maven Patterns worked as a pattern cutter for high street stores before setting up her own pattern business, hoping to inspire sewists to create “clothes that are beyond fashion, grown-up clothes for the young of heart and creative of mind.” Her latest pattern is The Kitty Dress, with a Peter Pan collar, feature bust darts and edgestitched seam details. Pdf pattern £9.74, www. mavenpatterns.co.uk
tips & tricks
SEWING DRAPEY FABRICS
f you’re using a drapey fabric to make your Joni Dress (p38), follow these top tips from The Fold Line: “Using drapey fabrics like rayon will give the dress a different look and feel. They are easier to cut using a rotary cutter rather than fabric scissors, but make sure you use a self-healing cutting mat to protect your table. Standard pins may leave marks so try silk pins, which are longer and sharper, and use a pressing cloth to avoid pressing directly onto the fabric and damaging it.” www.thefoldline.com
NEW-IN NANI IRO Naomi Ito is the Japanese artist and designer behind Nani Iro’s dreamy collections for Kokka fabrics. We love these new designs, perfect for sewing up clothes and accessories in subtle autumn shades. The collection features bold, modern florals, delicate watercolour blooms and painterly stripes – an update on Nani Iro’s stripe design created 15 years ago. Each motif is printed on super-soft double gauze, made with two layers of fine fabric held together at intervals by invisible stitches. Find the range at www.drapersdaughter.com
Sew up something lovely for autumn in Nani Iro’s painterly prints.
MY SEWING WORLD
by Lisa Comfort
Lisa Comfort gets inspired by one of the most stylish cities in the world to create her capsule wardrobe eBook.
ctober is here, and for me the onset of autumn months brings mixed feelings. The leaves are turning delicious shades of orange, extra-large mugs of tea are back on my agenda, and, always excitingly, it’s my birthday month. But, as the weather turns chillier, it means I have to pack away my pretty collection of summer dresses and bring out the, how shall I put it, more ‘functional’ stuff! This year, I have endeavored to create a small transitional wardrobe that will take me through autumn in style. I want to think about what I make a little bit more, and create pieces that work for the season, as well as together. Followers of my brand, Sew Over It, will know I love our Betty Dress pattern, and after the release of the add-on pack earlier this year I am now able to add sleeves to my beloved summer favourite so I can keep on wearing her in autumn, too. I am known for having wardrobes jam-packed with me-made clothes (fellow sewists will understand. Have fabric, will sew!). However, I’ve really enjoyed the process of focusing on a few designs and mixing these up through my choice of fabrics.
A NEW ADVENTURE It was whilst I was planning my new slimline wardrobe that I came up with the idea for my new eBook, which we released last month; the first in a series of capsule wardrobe collections. For the next editions I’m thinking Work, Weekend and even Beach, but I began with City Break because I absolutely love long weekends away in Europe. Being in London, we are lucky to be so well positioned for this. Some of the most stunning cities are just a short flight away, so we’re spoilt for choice! With adventures in mind, the City Break Capsule Wardrobe eBook features five sewing patterns to create the ultimate urban explorer’s outfit. You’ll find a chic waterfall jacket, a versatile jersey top and dress, easy-peasy skinny jeans, an elegant shirt which can be lengthened into a dress for the evening, and an Alexa Chung-inspired denim skirt (find part one of our exclusive denim skirt sew along on page 60!).
Find out m ore about m y new sewin eBook at ww g w.sewoverit. com What to wear on a trip to Paris? Breton stripes, of course!
“I’ve really enjoyed the process of focusing
on a few designs.” Make your own version of my button-up skirt with our sew along on page 60.
can be My stripe tee too. s, made as a dres
lots “there’s going to be of fun to be had pairing up patterns and fabric!”
aking Important decision-m t! shoo on our Paris eBook My waterfall jacket is a chic cover-up for chilly days.
OH SEW CHIC We went to Paris to shoot the City Break collection (because, why not!) and had such fun! While I love vintage fashion, with this project I decided that I wanted to move towards a more modern, simple silhouette, inspired by the sophisticated Parisian style. One of my favourites in the book, the Erin Skirt, is the perfect on-trend denim skirt. I love the longer midi length, but I have a feeling the cute mini version will be popular in many winter wardrobes, too. I already have tonnes of ideas about how I am going to mix and match the City Break collection for AW16. I find cold-weather sewing that bit more tricky. In summer it’s easy to whip up our Rosie Dress in a pretty cotton print one day and be wearing it the next. But in winter sewing tends to take a lot longer, and there’s always the challenge of keeping warm without looking like a big chunky ball of wool! So far I’m thinking skinny jeans in funky colours with layered up tops and jumpers, heavier ponte di roma jersey Heather Dresses (watch out for a pattern soon!), and lots of dresses made in bright, jeweltoned triple crepes. I want to try making the waterfall jacket in wool and styling it with a big scarf, belt and boots, maybe worn over an Alex Shirt and skinny jeans. I can see there’s going to be lots of fun to be had pairing up patterns and fabric! What me-mades are you planning to wear this autumn? Share your Sew Over It makes with us on Instagram at @sewoveritlondon and @lisacomfort and show us what you’ve been sewing!
Keeping us inspired...
Long weekend city breaks mean time to relax. Ch eers! Subscribe at www.simplysewingmag.com
Te theme of my new eBok is City Break, and I tok a lot of inspiratio from my many European trips when dreaming up the cocept. Little bits of Barceloa, Stockholm and, of corse, Lodo went into the bok, but the real star of the show was Paris. I’m so inspired by its understated style and color palette. With my Breto tops and plates of macaros photographed in the bok, there’s moe than just a nod t the most stylish cotinental capital. I took style inspiration from my many European adventures for my new eBook.
Welcome a new arrival with sweet nursery accessories sewn up in cuddly flannel fabrics. Designer: REBECCA REID Styling: LISA JONES Photography: SIMON LEES
The nursery should be a haven of calming colours and soft fabrics, so Cloud9â€™s Flannel collection featuring whimsical prints and pastel hues is perfect for welcoming home a new arrival. Sew a coordinated nursery set, or just a couple of the smaller items for a thoughtful baby shower gift.
BABY WIPE CASE Wipes are an essential, both for the nursery and going out and about with baby. Weâ€™ve given ours a handmade touch with a squishy case to protect curious little hands while you mop up spillages.
the joni dress
This exclusive pattern by The Fold Line is a stylish new-season twist on the classic shift dress in sizes 6-20, with a unique button placket detail, long cuffed sleeves and flattering waist darts and pleats.
COVER Pss3t7: for fabric
ge Turn to pa iration and nsp and style i r e yo u r a h s o t t e g s donâ€™ t for ess with u r D i n o J d e fnish ingmag w e s y l p m i s using #
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Deborah Campbell’s ethical womenswear is created using digitally printed fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
What’s the alternative to flling our wardrobes with fast fashion? For these innovative designers, sourcing, making and wearing clothing with care is the way forward.
he clothes we wear should be a source of pleasure, not of stress, but with fast fashion taking over the high street over the past few decades, the moral implications of what we buy are being brought increasingly into the limelight. “There’s a false idea that clothes should be cheap, but this is a myth,” designer Deborah Campbell says. “Clothes are much cheaper to buy now than they were 20 years ago – how can that be? Do we really want to treat the large majority of workers like slaves, just so we can pay unrealistically low prices?” BE INNOVATIVE Deborah Campbell (www.deborahcampbell atelier.com) has taken a different route into sourcing and creating sustainable fabrics,
choosing a method that actually mops up a little of our excess waste by using recycled bottles. In the UK alone, we buy around 13 billion plastic bottles each year, only a quarter of which are recycled. “I came across the technology in the 1990s at a fabric fair called Première Vision in Paris,” she says. “There was innovation going on at that time in textiles, and the future looked really exciting. Then fast fashion erupted and price became the king. Retail buyers craved lower prices year on year, so the mills and manufacturers looked for ways to cut them.”
Opposing mass consumerism is crucial to conserving dwindling resources. “The circular economy of make, use and reuse is the only way forward,” she says. “This will help prevent climate change and shortages in resources like water and oil, and clean up the oceans of plastic waste.” No small aim, then! Deborah’s collection is made from 100% recycled bottles, which are turned into fabric and digitally printed with Deborah’s surface patterns, before being sewn into dresses, skirts and tops. “We would love to use fabrics recycled from other materials or from discarded clothes. I’m also looking at fabric
“WE WOULD LOVE TO USE FABRICS RECYCLED EITHER FROM OTHER MATERIALS OR FROM DISCARDED CLOTHES. I’M ALSO LOOKING AT FABRIC MADE FROM RECYCLED FISHING NETS.”
a good read
Left: Prints designed by Deborah are printed onto silky recycled fabrics before being sewn up into stylish garments. made from recycled fishing nets.” The major challenge at present is keeping the business financially viable. “As I’m a small brand, it’s challenging to buy the fabric at competitive prices,” she says. “In the early stages, mills didn’t want to supply me because I’m too small. And there has been resistance from consumers who don’t understand what a garment will look or feel like when they hear it’s been made from plastic bottles.” In fact, garments made from plastic bottles are silky, stylish, and make a positive impact by preventing plastic going to landfill or the sea, where it gradually disintegrates, releasing toxins into the environment, or gets eaten by fish and ends up in our food chain. “We should be looking at ways to embrace the circular economy – the sooner everyone makes it their business to minimise waste, the more efficient we will be across many sectors, not just fashion.” The best thing we can do is “keep sewing rather than buying into fast fashion. I feel passionate that being mindful of what we buy and how we produce it is key to the success of generations to come.”
BE ETHICAL Charlie Ross is the director of Offset Warehouse (www.offsetwarehouse.com), a business selling ecological and ethical dressmaking fabrics and haberdashery. “During my fashion design degree I became aware of the terrible social and environmental impact of the textiles and fashion industry,” says Charlie. “Until then, it never crossed my mind that the big brands we all shop from could be actively exploiting workers, or dumping hazardous chemicals into our environment in order to squeeze out every last penny of profit.” As a designer, Charlie creates products intended to be cherished. “I couldn’t bear the thought of my designs actively harming the person who made them or destroying the environment,” she says. “So I decided I would only use ethically produced fabrics in my work, which is when my challenge began.” Sourcing the fabrics she wanted without curtailing her ethics was “a nightmare! The only ecological fabrics I could find were either really expensive or had huge minimum order quantities.” The discovery inspired Charlie to set up Offset Warehouse. “I wanted to bring together a collection of on-trend, unusual fabrics that were environmentally and socially beneficial, and create a place where both designers and home-sewers could fabric shop guilt-free.”
Bottom photo: Peter O’Shea; Top photos: www.offsetwarehouse.com
Bottom left photo: Catherine Skinner Photography
a good read
Top: Director Charlie with one of the skilled weavers she sources fabric from in Thailand. Above: Charlie take a peek at the fabrics before they’re shipped out to the warehouse. Most conventional fabrics are produced, Charlie says, “by untrained, underpaid and overworked staff, in unsafe surroundings. These textiles require highly toxic chemicals to produce them, and these are often handled by workers without the proper safety equipment.” By comparison, ethical textiles practises ensure the people who make the fabrics are treated properly and paid fairly. Charlie warns us Offset Warehouse fabrics on display at Fabrications in Hackney, London.
Sw alog wth
SEW OVER IT
Make the Erin Skirt from Sew Over It’s new eBook in our two-part sew along with Lisa Comfort. In part one, we’re taking measurements, sewing darts and adding pockets.
Sw alog wth
SEW OVER IT PART ONE
Take accurate measurements Sew neat darts Add pockets
Head down to the hedgerow to meet Harry and Henrietta Hedgehog. With their super-soft felt prickles, they’re made for cuddling! Sew your own with Jo Carter’s step-by-step.
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FRESH IDEAS WITH FABRIC
workshop SEWING WITH FAUX FUR Every issue, our sewists present classic projects and techniques.
S Christmas makes Fitted party dress Reversible dog coat Deer head plushie Pinwheel cushion Easy-sew jumper Clutch bag on chain Simple wrap skirt And more...
party drEss pattErn (US 4-18/EUR 34-48)
S THE KATIE DRES m
lk.co www.cottonandcha SKILL LEVEL
ON SALE THURS 3RD NOV WWW.SIMPLYSEWINGMAG.COM
* CONTENTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PAPER GIFTS NOT AVAILABLE WITH DIGITAL EDITIONS.
A flattering party dress with sweetheart neckline and optional sleeves, in sizes 6-20.
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The Fold Line's Joni Dress, kid's dress-up wings, skirt sew along and cute baby gift set.