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Sewing Fresh ideas with fabric

instant updates Simple sewing fixes to

transform your wardrobe

Make me now!

Issue one ÂŁ5.99

28 patterns inside

Learn to sew now! Starting is easy F ab ulous accessories to make to day

Easy AppliquĂŠ

easter ideas

cushions . .covered

Beginner's basics for the home

Unique chic Use your cast-offs to make a new outfit

plus bunting Baby booties & Bags Inside!

How to: buy your first sewing machine, choose the right fabric, line a bag, upcycle menswear





Bounce into spring



Easter’s only round the corner in sewing terms, and we’re finding these cute and crunchy fabric legumes an inspiring theme. Designed by Kim Kruzich (aka Retromama), they are available as an instant pattern download from her Retromama etsy shop (pattern includes a stuffed bunny!) for £5.42 or simply be inspired to design your own.


Old-school recycling ▼ Lambchop was

Scrap happy

Small pieces of fabric are perfect for making tiny things. And nothing could bring more joy than a handmade toy – like this little bird made from simple patchwork pieces. Use your fabric leftovers; you can co-ordinate them or use completely random fabrics for extra charm. The pattern for this bird toy, along with other great patchwork and appliqué ideas, can be found in Dorling Kindersley’s Quilting, Patchwork and Applique.

the original sock toy puppet - launching onto our TV screens way back in the 1950s. Today, modern versions are slightly better dressed and come in all varieties of species, but they’re just as easy to make. Take a look at Kary’s from Toysapartment, for all kinds of wacky sock toy wildlife inspiration. www. Toyapartment

If you’re in need of a colourful pick me up, or if you’re new to sewing, check out these gorgeous John Lewis machines. They’re good value at under £100 and they look irresistible in a collection of mouthwatering colours like this beauty in Watermelon.

For style in a flash, gather yourself a pile of these sugar almond-coloured velvet and linen-backed cushions. £20 each from

Love a liberty print Yes, we will use this little corner of Simply Sewing to devote to the beauty of Liberty print fabric. For no particular reason other than that we can’t help but hanker after anything made from these fabrics. This month we’re featuring these colourful mini patchwork coasters, designed by Ali Burdon of Very Berry Handmade. They’re perfect for those gorgeous Liberty scrap bags which many of us are guilty of hoarding, and they’d create a pretty update for your home. Pop over to Ali’s Folksy shop for more floral fabulousness... veryberryfabrics

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dress pattern

dress to impress

Lauren Guthrie’s pattern takes a bit of experience to tackle and has an adaptable collar and sleeves.


he beauty of making your own clothes is that there are so many ways to modify and alter the pattern to suit your own style. Incorporating a favourite fabric into a plain dress by adding pockets or edging, or tweaking the style of sleeve to suit your shape makes a garment unique and right for you. Of course, changing the length is always an option, as is choosing plain or patterned fabric for a different look - here, it’s monochrome but would look equally stylish in a bright colour or pattern. This dress is quite fitted around the bust and waist, then flares out slightly with a gathered skirt, so it suits a narrow belt - try matching the fabric of the belt with the collar. Turn over the page for more details and instructions...

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Inspirational fabrics are often the starting point for Jane and her books.

enduring love of fabric

Quilter, crafter, author and blogger Jane Brocket has turned a passion for fabrics into an enticingly visual career. We step into her colourful world.


ine art, stained glass windows and spring blooms all contribute to Jane Brocket’s overflowing store of ideas. “It’s become a habit to look for colour and I find it everywhere,” she says. “Patterns and textures, flowers and landscapes, paintings, books and films, everyday domestic life…” And yet Jane’s domestic life is far from everyday, in many ways. As well as being mum to three grown-up children who are now all away at university, Jane is the author of 15 non-fiction books, including several must-haves for crafters. The latest of these is Quilt Me! (Collins & Brown, 2014), the follow-up to The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking (Collins & Brown, 2010),

which Jane describes as retaining her, “liberated, unstuffy, colourful approach to quilting, using wonderful fabrics and simple shapes and patterns to create stunning effects”. Jane is keen to point out that the book takes ‘inspirational fabrics’ as its starting point and “explores not only the inspirational designs available in cotton, made-for-the-market quilt/patchwork fabrics, but also moves into a new realm of alternative fabrics that can be used to make beautiful, practical, usable quilts”. It’s as if, Jane explains, a quilt-maker has walked into the haberdasher’s of her dreams with the freedom to explore the many possibilities presented by traditional

fabrics, from poplin to linen, gingham to tweed, tartan to velvet, silk and calico. “The book articulates the excitement of rummaging through fabrics,” enthuses Jane. “Of being inspired by a wonderful colour scheme, design or pattern, and then making the most of what we find in traditional fabric shops and in our textile heritage, finding alternatives to quilt cottons, or re-using old, beloved fabrics from clothes, textiles, furnishings, repurposing and recycling.” To this aim, Quilt Me! also contains designs for more than 15 beautiful quilts using Jane’s trademark luxuriant use of colour, making it a volume that your craft library will surely thank you for.

use your free fabric!

We lo ve a spotty print

4 fabulous makes! Super-simple projects you can sew today

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nce you’ve made one headband and brooch, you’ll be using any leftover fabric you have to make more. They turn out best if they’re machine-sewn (use hand stitching just for the gathering). We think they’d be a great gift maybe presented in a pretty box with colourful tissue paper and a handmade card... Lovely!

1 Cut two headband pieces from your fabric using the template.

2 Place the two headband pieces right sides together (with the dotty pattern prints facing each other) and sew along the two long edges, leaving the two short edges open.

3 Turn the headband right sides out through one of the open edges, so the fabric print is on the outside. Press the headband flat with an iron.

4 Stitch along the long edges of the headband, close to the seams, again leaving the short ends open. This is called ‘topstitching’, as it will be visible on the finished headband.

5Turn 1cm of fabric to the inside of the opening at both short ends, so that the raw edges are on the inside. Press with an iron.

6 Cut a 15cm piece of elastic. Feed one end into a short side of the headband so 1cm of elastic is inside the headband. Machine stitch over this end with three rows of stitching to make sure it is attached securely.

band & brooch

1 Cut a 7cm x 45cm, 7cm x 30cm and 7cm x 15cm strips of fabric.

2 Take one strip of fabric, and place it with the patterned side down on your ironing board. Fold down 1cm along each edge of the strip and press with an iron.

3 Stitch close to the edge of each fold to hold the folds in place.

4 Thread your needle with a knotted length of thread. Along one long edge, sew a loose running stitch by hand. Do not trim your thread

5 Holding the loose end of the thread, push the fabric down toward the knotted end, forming a gather. Note: we used a contrasting thread so you can see our stitches, but you will want to use a co-ordinating thread.

6 Make a few backstitches, using the loose end of thread, to join the two ends of the gathered strip. Repeat steps 2-7 with each strip to form three rings in total.

7 Stack the gathered rings on top of each other. Stitch the rings together in the centre to form the brooch.

8 Stitch the brooch directly onto a top or jacket, or attach a brooch pin to the back so you can easily remove it.

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try appliqué Everyone loves a tote bag

Just seven simple steps are all it takes to make a lovely, lined tote bag. Adding appliqué doubles the time taken but it’s so worth it! It’s perfect for busy days, work days, shopping days and crafty days.

Who wants to be a bunny girl?

Forget an Easter bonnet, a pair of bunny ears is the way to go. If the pint-sized people in your life like to dress up, you can whip up a warren of them in no time (boys will love them, too).

Appliqué is a fab technique for combining fabrics to decorative effect

try appliqué

easter ideas

We love to combine neutrals with bright pops of colour. Add a penchant for bunnies (and Easter egg collecting!) and the desire to share a cool sewing technique, and here’s the result…

Simply Sewing issue 1  
Simply Sewing issue 1  

Unique Chic Learn to sew now in the first issue of Simply Sewing magazine! 25 patterns inside including instant updates and refashions for y...