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Learn with confidence MASTER DARTS · INSERT SLEEVES · TACKLE ZIPS AUGUST 2017 ISSUE 100 £5.99


The UK’s Best-selling Sewing Mag!

13 Styles to make & master

Easy A-line dress



5 skirts to sew!

Heirloom donkey


16/06/2017 10:34

SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 14/06/2017 16:28 Page 2

Hello... August


*Plus postage

I’m so happy to welcome you to our 100th issue. It’s an absolute pleasure to celebrate this milestone with such a buzz! Let’s start with your FREE New Look pattern, which offers you four flattering skirts that will become wardrobe staples. You’ll come back to it again and again... knit fabrics really are so easy to sew. We’ve got lots of others garments for your summer wardrobe too. Make our cowl-neck top (p18), broderie anglaise blouse (p48) and no-pattern sarong (p22), or opt for our chambray dress (p26) and lightweight jacket (p41). For youngsters, you’ll find easy bloomers, a sweet girl’s dress, or an heirloom toy – not forgetting lots of makes for your home, embroidery, and patchwork too. This issue, the team also speak to some of the stitchers that make the sewing community thrive. Read about the brides who stitched their own dress (p35) and the 17-year-old student who made her prom dress in one night (p38), then be inspired by the Kosovan ladies who embroider beautiful motifs (p50). We’ve also arranged exclusive offers as a thank you to our readers. Claim your FREE* book on p76, get a 20% discount on Art Gallery Fabrics at Minerva Crafts (see below), 25% off at Girl Charlee (p65), 20% off patterns at Sew Over It, and 50% off EVERY Simpliticty and New Look pattern. I hope our 100th issue helps you enjoy sewing to the max.



There’s always a lot of fun to be had on our model shoots!


Jenny Ward, Sew editor

Get 50% off +ALL Simplicity and New Look patterns!



50% +Valid until 27th July. See T&Cs on p92.

off !

Just quote the code SEWSIMPLICITY at the checkout. simplicity


free template download /templates



Look out for our FREE templates and patterns, then download and print them at

The countdown begins to Sew Saturday 2017!

Get in touch! Share your creations, tips and views




01795 592967

Quote ARTGALLERY20 at for 20% off^ ALL Art Gallery Fabrics.


We hope you love our 100th issue!

off !

^Valid until 31st August. One use per customer. Cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.

Happy sewing! sewhq


Twitter @sewhq

Just two pattern pieces Instagram @sewhq

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

sew August 2017






03 WELCOME Come say hello to the team!

35 6 REASONS TO BE A DIY BRIDE How you can stitch your dream dress

70 AUG MASCOT DOLLY DONKEY Our adorable toy!

63 STUART HILLARD Read all about his brand new book, Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts!

 HO, WHAT & WEAR 06 W Keep up to date with the sewing world

15 SEW SOCIAL We love what you’ve been making!  OVE YOUR MACHINE 54 L Our shopping guide – this month it’s Juki 77 T  OP OF THE CLASS Learn from the pros! 94 D  EBBIE SHORE Proving that ‘tricky’ tulle isn’t to be feared 95 T  HE BOOKSHELF Fuelling your addiction to sewing books 97  NEXT MONTH Our September issue’s out on 27th July


78  TALULLAH ELEPHANT This patchwork project is much easier than it looks

38 YOU WILL GO TO THE BALL The 17-year-old whose dress has caused an online storm 46 DRESSMAKER OF THE YEAR Sew chats to the upcycling addict

81  BABY BLOOMERS Easy-stitch clothes you can make from fat quarters!

 ANGING BASKETS 73  H Quilt some useful storage for your sewing stash


50 STITCHING FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE Embroidered shoes you can buy to help war-torn women 68 CONFESSIONS OF A SEWING ADDICT Corinne introduces a new member of the family! 86 DIARY DATE SEW SATURDAY 2017 Add 21st October to your diary

66 LIVING THE DREAM Fabrics to turn your home into a Moroccan paradise

60 STASH BUSTER FABRIC WINE BAGS A 10-min project to up your picnic game

74  NAUTICAL DECORATIONS Four quick makes to bring a sea breeze into your home

62 T  UTTI FRUTTI CUSHIONS Fun felt creations that even the kids can make

75  THE FABRIC EDIT Visit Sharktown with Riley Blake

 UITCASE AND 71 S DELICATES POUCHES Perfect for your summer holidays



66 69


04 Contents 100.indd 4

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pages of fashion, garments & more!

FREE THIS MONTH... A flattering skirt in four styles to make up in knit fabrics. It’s a super-quick make, and easy enough for complete beginners, too!


64 SEW AWARDS NOMINATIONS Vote for your faves to win big

06 2  0% OFF AT SEW OVER IT A fab discount on all patterns

65 25% OFF AT GIRL CHARLEE Grab a bargain on knit fabrics

07 5  0% OFF SIMPLICITY AND NEW LOOK PATTERNS Don’t miss out on this incredible offer!

76 CLAIM YOUR FREE BOOK Get your copy of Sewing for Kids

58 S  UBSCRIBE TODAY Get Sew delivered to your door, plus 3m of silk-touch satin and a box of threads 61 JANOME GIVEAWAY Win a DKS100 Special Edition, plus great accessories

76 GUTERMANN SPECIAL OFFER Top up your stash 82 BUMPER GIVEAWAYS! Win £11,650+ of amazing prizes! 96 S  UBSCRIBE TODAY And get Jenniffer Taylor’s new book 98 20% OFF AT LINDY BOP For all your vintage needs!



09 EASY-SEW KNIT SKIRTS Four makes with your FREE pattern  ASKIA TOP Make up a Parisienne18 S inspired cowl neck blouse 20 CROWN TULLES Our pick of fabrics  IBBY SARONG A super-easy wrap 22 L skirt that’s perfect for the beach 25 FRANCES TOBIN The expert designer discusses dress styles to flatter 26 I SLA DRESS This A-line shift number has really easy bust darts 28 FASTEN UP Which do you prefer? 29 NEW SEWING WITH MAY MARTIN Lay pattern pieces with confidence 30 CHILD’S SMOCK DRESS Learn embroidery and shirring with Amanda Walker 32 INDIE PATTERN NEWS Our top picks! 39 LAUREN GUTHRIE The latest stitchy news from our Sew columnist 41  MASTERCLASS LOTTIE COAT The unlined duster you’ll wish you made yesterday 44 SEWING SOS Learn how to sew activewear 47 STITCH THE LOOK: CASUAL DOUBLE CLOTH Discover this versatile fabric 48 DAISY BLOUSE Try your hand at shirring ! 52 S  USIE JOHNS’ SHIRT EMBROIDERY Revamp a plain blouse with a pretty bird design 57 F  IVE BONUS PATTERNS Head to our website for an extra handful of summer dresses 70 UPCYCLED JEANS PINAFORE Breathe new life into old denim and create a useful apron


92 YOUR SEWING GUIDE Stitch like a pro! 98 THE PETTICOAT Delve into the story behind the skirt’s unsung hero




FREE* Silk Touch Satin Fabric PLUS Threads p58 or jenniffer taylor’s new book & more p96 05

A flattering dress in sizes 10-18 with cup sizes B-DD! Contents 100.indd 5

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The latest from the world of sewing, plus fantastic discounts and offers for YOU!


Image from Influence and Longevity. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The We Wear Culture project by Google Arts uses state-of-theart technology to showcase the best of more than 180 renowned cultural institutions from 42 countries, including The Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Palace of Versailles. It allows us to explore every stitch in pieces spanning 3,000 years of world fashion from our laptops and phones! Highlights include 360° virtual reality films of a Vivienne Westwood corset and other iconic pieces, plus more than 700 ultra high-resolution images that let you appreciate garments in more detail than you could ever in person. Experience it all for free through the Google Arts & Culture app and at

EXCLUSIVE GOODIE BAGS! Head to Brighton’s Holiday Inn Hotel on Sunday 22nd October for the Make & Create Hobby Fair to stock up on stash essentials, meet designers, attend workshops and learn from talks and demonstrations. Even better, the first five Sew readers to show this page at the fair will receive a goodie bag with sewing needles, yarn, knitting patterns and a £5 voucher for FREE! Tickets are £3,

20% off* with code 100SEW20

20% off at Sew Over It

Sew Over It is offering a great discount on all patterns just for Sew readers, including their brand new Penny dress. Available in sizes 8-20, it’s a flattering 50s style midilength shirt dress featuring a sleeveless button-up bodice, flat collar and an elasticated waist. Even beginners can enjoy making it! £7.50,

Marvel, MAKE and master The countdown is on to this year’s West Country Quilt and Textile show, taking place 1st-3rd September at the University Exhibition Centre in Bristol. It’s offering 80 galleries showcasing some of the country’s most celebrated textile artists and the opportunity to learn new techniques at demonstrations, with a speaker from the Royal School of Needlework. New this year will be a junior quilt display! Tickets for the three-day show are £11, under 16s go free. Find out more from

On your marks, get set, SEW! Everyone has to start somewhere, and what better way than with us? Pick up a copy of Sew Style for Beginners, the ultimate guide to help newbie stitchers get started on dressmaking as well as sewing projects for kids and the home. With THREE FREE patterns, you can give the greatest gift – inspiration! £9.99, 06

* Discount applicable to all Sew Over It patterns 27th June-23rd August


who what


if you buy one pattern... Absolutely everybody is sewing shirt-dresses this season – and for good reason – they’re comfortable and can be worn to keep cool at the office or for a casual weekend outfit. Mimi G’s maxi or knee-length shirt dress has a gathered yoke and drawstring waist that flatters all figures, along with nifty details like the covered placket and invisible side-seam pockets. £8.95,

8084 AA SIZE U.S. 10-18 TALLA EURO. 36-44 TAILLE FR. 38-46




in the USA Designed and printed en los Estados Unidos eo Diseñado e impreso om/simplicityvid Etats Unis Créé et imprimé aux

Singer’s One Plus sewing machine still has the classic design we all know and love, but with a host of modern improvements – making it the perfect companion to any project. It comes with 231 built-in stitches, six auto one-step buttonholes, and much more! £499,

Get 50% off* EVERYTHING at


with the code SEWSIMPLICITY at the checkout

LO❤E it!

All of this TO WIN on p82!

xxParty time

We have been in full-blown party mode at Sew HQ, so this sweet garment caught our eye. The Lily dress and blouse by CocoWawa Crafts is a cocoon shape and features an oversized sailors’ collar, both of which give it a fun twist. In addition, it has a little button placket, the choice of two raglan sleeve lengths, and cuffs too. Pass the jelly and ice cream! £9.50,

25% off* at Girl Charlee!

25% off!


Use your exclusive discount code SEWMAG25 on beautiful knit fabrics including the new Homestead range, which comes in super-soft cotton spandex featuring vintage florals, stripes and birds in rich colours – giving a modern edge to an old world aesthetic. It would be perfect for your free skirt pattern! Visit

*Discount code is valid until 11/08/17. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

want it,need it, BUY IT!


*Discount code valid 29th June-27th July 2017. See full T&Cs on p92

SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 14/06/2017 16:27 Page 8






Whatever plans you have this summer, schedule in some sewing time so you can enjoy them in style – your style, that is. From breezy tops and skirts to a dress, sarong or lightweight jacket, we have the answer to any occasion your calendar throws your way – which work with a choice of beautiful fabrics! Libby sarong, p22

Daisy top, p48


Saskia top, p18

sew cover star

Lottie jacket, p41

your free pattern

Turn overleaf and make a start with your FREE pattern!


here to

Isla dress, p26 LUCY SCRAGG We spoke with the talented and inspiring bridal seamstress about her process. P35

CHLOE LEWIS BROOKS Learn how to sew your own swimsuit with Chloe's advice. P44




The Sew columnist has a new book coming out, and we can’t wait! P63

Our Dressmaker of the Year winner reveals the secrets to her success. P57

your free pattern

of your

This month's FREE New Look PATTERN, worth £6.95, gives you four easy-sew skirts to make up in KNIT FABRICS, so we've teamed up with the experts at GIRL CHARLEE to bring you lots of valuable advice for sewing with them. Practise adding elastic before enjoying the BEAUTIFUL DRAPE and shape that you can create with knit materials to add flattering garments to your wardrobe.

Gütermann sew-all thread, for stockists, contact gutermann@

Heavier lightweight and medium weight fabrics will work best – just check that it’s at least 190gsm (grams per square metre). Beginner sewists may find lightweight fabrics tricky to work with, as they tend to move around more. Girl Charlee provides the weight of all the fabrics it stocks online, so you’re sure to get it right!

Fiskars classic dressmaking scissors, £24.49,

get to the PONT

finish like a PRO

Cotton threads don’t have the same amount of elasticity as knits, meaning they are more likely to snap when your skirt is worn. A polyester all-purpose thread works nicely, as they are stronger and also have a little bit of stretch.

d We usese -all n n a Gütermshade 0w0 0 to thread in ics! br colour match both fa

Universal needles can pierce through fibres and lead to poorly formed or skipped stitches and even breakages in knit fabrics, so opt for one with a rounded tip that will slip between the yarns without snagging. Suitable needles include ballpoint, jersey and stretch. Select size 75 for lightweight fabrics and 90 for the rest.

what WEIGHT?

Ponte De Roma is a medium weight double-knit that has a two-way stretch. It is a stable fabric with excellent drape, that recovers well from stretching. Best of all, it’s smooth to the touch, plus the subtle horizontal texture helps it remain wrinkle and seat line free – making for a hassle-free skirt.

common THREAD

the right NEEDLE




Discover the

Overlockers are really useful for stretch fabrics, but they aren’t necessary. When topstitching hems, necklines, sleeves and so on, use a twin needle for a professional finish with parallel lines, or opt for a simple narrow zigzag stitch that won’t restrict the fabric’s movement.

Tailor’s chalk, for stockists contact clover@stockist

choose a DIRECTION Two-way stretch is horizontal, selvedge to selvedge. Four-way stretch fabrics can also be pulled vertically. Most skirts and dresses can be made with both, but four-way stretches can be cut both along and across the fabric, which is great for adding interest with prints!


all Art Gallery Fabrics at Minerva Crafts with the code ARTGALLERY20 Multi stripe Ponte De Roma, £10.90 per metre,

Hemline stretch machine needles, for stockists contact groves@ 10

*Valid until August 31st 2017

Make Patches Shabby stretch jersey by Art Gallery Fabrics, £22.99 per metre,


2 pattern

your free pattern

style selector


Vest top, £5, Next; Jeans, £24.99, T.K. Maxx; Necklace, £17.50, Marks & Spencer



With four design options to choose from, enjoy picking one that suits you – or make all four!

Style A

HIGH CONTRAST Simply cut the front piece from a different fabric to (or even slightly shorter than) the back and overlay ones for a stylish touch.

isted elastthice by Preventittw ching dowrtnion seam straight nste aft er inse li

Style B GO WITH THE FLOW The overlay gives a little extra volume to the front of this midi skirt. Opt for a fabric with drape to create a beautiful flowing effect.

Style C FLATTERS TUMS An optional tie-front adds interest whilst skimming over the bottom of the stomach. Even better, it uses just over one metre of fabric!

why we made STYLE C...

Style D EASY PEASY This maxi-length version with a tie-front is a great holiday option, as the elasticated waist means you can just slip it on and go.

The flattering on-the–knee length makes this a piece that can be worn anywhere, whilst still letting you catch some sun on your legs. As an added bonus, the front and back pieces are cut on the fold and from the same template!

sey er 11

the perfect


the right


your free pattern

what’s your size? Remember to use your body measurements to find your pattern size, NOT the ready-to-wear size that you’d buy in the high street shops. Visit to find out more about taking accurate measurements and getting the right fit for your shape.

ern is a This simplrte upantt to try great oppohing it- ydon ’t forget pattern-mtcahtcthe waist ties! to ma

choose comfort The most important factor for the comfort of this garment lies in the elastic. Wrap a tape measure around your waist – this pattern is designed to sit 2.5cm below the natural line – then add 2.5cm for overlap. The elastic’s stretch allows for easy dressing, and should be relaxed whilst you’re wearing it.


fall in line If your waist to hip proportion is different to that of the pattern, cut according to the one that falls into the higher size. If this is your hips, take in the waist accordingly, but not vice versa. This ensures that you will achieve the right fall for your skirt.

EXTRA TIPS FOR SEWING KNITS n Finishing seams isn't necessary as knits don't fray, but it's still important to press your hems as you would with woven fabrics. n Snap on a walking or dual-feed foot (if you don't have these, simply feed the fabric through slowly) to prevent stretching as you sew. n Another way to prevent stretching is not to let the fabric hang over the edge of a table – not even while you're cutting and stitching! n Make hemming knits easier by stabilising them with a fusible elastic interfacing, starch spray, knit stay tape or removable stabilisers.

trial run It’s a good idea to test new patterns. After cutting the pattern pieces out, make quick tacking stitches along the seams and try on your skirt, wrong side out. Check that you can move without restriction before taking it to your machine for the final sew!


your way


make it

25% off * at girl charlee

why not TRY ************************

use code


COTTON JERSEY Lighter weight but stable knit with two-way stretch and 5-10% elastane content, Multi dot, £9.95 per metre

*Discount code is valid until 11/08/17. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.


e is optionanl, The waist tiom so you can kerit mitafoker! a even quic

Next month’s FREE pattern


In sizes 10-18, this dress flatters from petite through to plus size frames, with cup sizes B-DD and sleeve options to suit all!


COTTON LYCRA Medium weight and drapey, with four-way stretch. Homestead Life big calico, £17.95 per metre ************************

HACCI SWEATER A heavy-medium weight, loose knit that has four-way stretch. It's cosy and drapes well. Turquoise Indian blanket stripe, £8.95 per metre ************************

Check out the great range of knit fabrics at

SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 14/06/2017 16:23 Page 14

sew YOU!

This month you've been sharing your summer makes I made give to hthis cushion for a It was misananna for her bfriend to irthday. de from c lo she had bought hthes that Katie Leat im.

I used a recent pattern to sew a wedding outfit and was delighted with the finished product – my beautiful summer dress. Thank you for such an inspirational magazine, I wait for it to arrive every month! Phyl Weldon


The batwin g pattern tha top t came free with the Ju n Sew is so co e issue of m It was easy fortable. to make, too – I use d je and overlo rsey cked all the seams. Jackie Gr eener


Here's my cockapoo Elsie rocking the liquorice allsorts bandana that I made for her. Laura Doleman


I made the Ruby doll from the Sew Your Own Dolls book, which featured in the May issue of Sew! Beverly Mayhew

I LOVE Campbell Remess' #Project365 from the May issue

chosen by you Each month on Facebook we ask you to help us choose a name for our monthly mascot. Say Hello to Dolly!

“I chose the name Dolly after my Grannie, who loved to sew and make things. Here we are in 2006 – celebrating her sister's golden wedding anniversary.” Briony Parrott, Sew reader

Help us choose a name for next month’s toy at 15

SewSocial100.indd 15

Continued overleaf 16/06/2017 16:23


Sponsored by Minerva Crafts

Write in and WIN! SUMMER LIGHTS This is the dress I made from the New Look 6022 pattern that came free with Sew's June issue, using fabric I got from Minerva Crafts. It's really comfortable to wear and just right for summer. I love my cross stitch cushion – it's well worth the eight weeks it took to make!

Carol Miles

Tracy Shephard

I am a newbie, but I made the kimono that came free with the July issue – it was really easy! I made it for my daughter, who is seven months pregnant, to wear to a wedding. Everyone wanted to know where she had bought it! Eileen Ennis

Here's a denim jacket I customised! Donna Marshall

p from rsions of the Lea to I have made two ve a that ub sc e blu rk da a e in the your June issue, on d an , rn tte with the pa d worked really well lle ro r ve sil th wi t ric bu second in mint fab hem edges. Julia David

I made a little dress for my daughter at a sewing lesson!

Joanne Vernon

@TracyShephard Some fab free patterns in #SewStyle #happystitcher

I made the batwing top that came free with the June issue, and am really pleased with the results! I went for option B with the shorter sleeves, and it was so easy to follow and make that I'm excited to make more in different fabrics.

Nuria Davey Sew has given me so much encouragement, I only learned to sew this year!

on the sew blog... New!

Sally Parkin


Find a bonus project to make with Gütermann's Marrakesch range!


Stitchers come in all shapes and sizes, each one as beautiful as the last!

Meet The Crafty Pinup AKA Abi Dyson, Simplicity's new Vintage ambassador!

Read all of the latest stitchy news and more at 16

SewSocial100.indd 16

16/06/2017 16:24

sew YOU!


This month our Star Letter winner will receive a bumper selection of fabrics from Minerva Crafts, worth ÂŁ50.


tag your







Linda Bishop Just got my July Sew magazine, so many lovely things to make this month!

@Nicole McGillion I thought it was about time I learned to sew and these are my first ever attempts! I had so much fun hand-sewing them and I just know that my little sewing family will continue to grow. #SewTagYourMake

Nicole has won a bundle of fat quarters by Gutermann. Head to p84 to find out how to enter.

e r a h s & h c t i st hy triumphs with Share your latest stitc


i'm loving Cath Kidston

! eneration The next ger made this polka dot summer m me. -year-old daught

I love the new bag that I made with the pattern from the Cath Kidston project book that came free with the June issue of Sew.

My eight support fro ing with just a little is constantly rn mo e gl sin a in s dres and s her own machine She loves sewing, ha her next creation. designing Kirsty Swift

Claire Roberts

Time for change Made this little purse at Dolly's Haberdashery and Sewing School in Warrington from a bark cloth I found at a vintage fair in Manchester.

FUN FLORALS I made the New Look K6447 that came free with Sew in March. I fully lined it in a contrast fabric because the white of the flowers is a little see-through. Kelly-Lou Preece

Simon Livesey

WING IT I'm really pleased I made the batwing top that came free with June's Sew as it's super simple, yet looks stylish. This was my first time grading sizes as I wanted the bottom and the sleeves to fit me more snugly, and with the Simplicity pattern it was really easy to do. Thanks, Sew. Fiona Smith

Make a splash I made this swimsuit to test the fit on a one-year old... If all goes well, I'll be making the final version in a super-cute panda fabric! Geraly Paloma-Pkchp

Share your makes via social media or send by email to 17

SewSocial100.indd 17

16/06/2017 16:24

Use two pattern pieces for the stitch a

COWL TOP Get started • Fabric, 1.5m x 1.7m



This Parisienne-inspired top by Amanda Walker is ideal for beginners, with only two simple pattern pieces. The combination of beautiful drape, a cowl neck, and tie-to-fit belt creates an effortless yet flattering silhouette on any shape. Don't be tempted to ignore the guideline dots around the neckline – they make it much easier to sew!


Cutting guide Front: cut one on fold Back: cut one on fold Tie belt: cut one 10cm x 180cm strip 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise specified.


Download and print the pattern at Cut a 4cm x 30cm bias strip from the main fabric and create single-fold bias binding (see Core Skills panel).


Lift one side of the bias strip and position it around the back neckline, right sides together, matching the raw edges. Pin, then sew along the creased line. Fold the strip to the wrong side and pin along the stitch line. Edgestitch or slip stitch by hand, sandwiching the raw edge of the neckline inside the binding. Trim the excess binding at the edges of the shoulders.


Neaten the edges of the back shoulder seams and across the shoulders and neckline of the front. Stitch the shoulder seams together, matching the ends of the back neckline to the dots on the front neckline. Press the seam allowance open, folding the neck facing inside.


Neaten the edges of the side seams. Sew the side seams together, then press the seams open. Turn a 3cm hem around the armholes and hand-stitch in place. Neaten the hem at the base of the top in the same way.


For the tie belt, fold the 10cm x 180cm strip in half lengthways, right sides together, and stitch along it with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a gap towards the centre. Trim the corners, turn right side out, then slip stitch the gap closed.

er or zigzag Use an overlock stitch to neaten seams 18



free pattern download /templates

why not TRY ************************

SEW FOR DAY Featuring a fun and romantic design, this polycotton is ideal for a day out with friends or someone special. Sweet heart in cerise.



Working at a 45° angle to the selvedge, cut a strip that is twice the width of the tape you need, then fold each raw edge into the centre and press. For this garment, a 4cm wide strip is folded 1cm in on each edge to create 2cm wide single-fold bias tape.

STITCH FOR NIGHT This chiffon with an enchanting shimmer coating is sure to stun at a sophisticated dinner or on the dancefloor. Shimmer coated chiffon in baby pink. Both fabrics ÂŁ2.99 per metre,



TULLES The plain weave that is tulle is most commonly found in a 15 denier weight, making the fabric incredibly sheer and lightweight, and chiefly used in veils or ballet costumes. Once made exclusively of silk, modern tulle can be sourced in nylon, rayon and cotton. It can be a little tricky to work with and often cannot be directly pressed. When working with this material, try sandwiching it between tissue paper and use a rotary cutter and mat, then stick to a short stitch – around 2mm.



1 3 6


Nylon dress net in lilac, 35p per metre,


Spandex power mesh tulle in ivory, £8.50 per metre,


Soft tulle net in champagne,


Soft tulle net in sealing wax pink, £2.99 per metre,

Turn to page 94 for Debbie Shore's tips on sewing with tulle


5 6 7

£2.99 per metre,

Soft tulle in heather, £3.50


per metre,

Soft tulle net in honey,

£2.99 per metre,

Bridal tulle in nature, £4.50 per metre,


SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 14/06/2017 16:22 Page 21

Create a beach cover-up in no time with our no-pattern

LIBBY SARONG Add some sunshine to your sewing with Amanda Walker's breezy maxi skirt. This no-pattern sarong is made to measure, and ties at the waist, so you’ll be sure to create the perfect fit for you. This project also provides the opportunity to master simple pleats, plus using your machine to add a buttonhole.

stitch a WRAP SKIRT

Cutting diagram


Pleats need to be added to the top of the skirt to fit the waist (see Core Skills, right). Create and pin two equally spaced pleats on the back skirt, and two on both of the front panels in the same way. Machine stitch across the top of each pleat to secure.

Get started • Cotton lawn, 2.3m


• Matching thread


Cutting guide

Note: you will need to measure your hip and waist for this skirt. Add 3cm to your hip measurement for the seam allowance, then half the number. This will be used throughout.


Snip the fabric pieces referring to the cutting guide and diagram (left), then match each side of the back skirt panel to a long straight edge of one of the two front pieces. Pin right sides together, stitch the seams then neaten with an overlocker or zigzag stitch. Press towards the back of the skirt.



Overlock or zigzag the edge of the skirt from the top corner at the waist, down the curved front edge, across the base of the back, and up to the opposite front to the waist corner. Fold and press a 1cm hem around the whole of the neatened edge and machine stitch in place.


To add the tie-on waistband, measure and mark 75cm from one end of the strip. With right sides facing up, lay out the skirt and position the point marked on the right-hand waist corner, leaving the 75cm extending out in line with the raw edge of the waistline. Making sure the right side of the strip is facing the skirt, position and pin across the pleated waistline, then machine stitch in place.

Front: on two layers of fabric, right sides together, draw a rectangle measuring half your hip measurement x the desired length. Using the diagram opposite as a guide, make a curved line that starts 50cm down from the top left-hand corner, and leads towards the bottom right-hand corner. Cut both layers, removing the marked curved corner Back: from a single layer of fabric, create a panel measuring half your hip measurement x the skirt length Waistband and ties: cut a strip of fabric double your waist measurement plus 9cm x 1.5m


With right sides together, lay the skirt out, then fold the strip in half lengthways. Match and pin the long straight edges of both ties together, then stitch to secure. Sew along the ends of the ties, then along the length, leaving the waistband section open.


Turn the ties right sides out, tease out the seams and press flat. Turn in the open seam allowance, and place the raw edges of the waistline inside the band. Machine stitch or hand slip stitch the gap closed. Use your machine to create a small buttonhole across the width of the waistband, above the left-hand side seam and pull the tie through to secure.


Custom-sized 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.

22 Liberty sarong.indd 1

16/06/2017 16:17


Core skill: PLEATING Work out where you want to position the pleats on the skirt panels, ensuring that they are evenly spaced. Fold and pin the pleats at the top of the panel, then press to flatten. Sew the pleats a short distance down the fabric before sewing across the top to secure.


SHOPPER ************************

LIBERTY TANA LAWN TAKASHI PINK This organic cotton gingham in black features 8mm squares. ÂŁ14.95 per metre, ************************ thank you for shopping!

23 Liberty sarong.indd 2

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SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 14/06/2017 16:21 Page 24



Frances Tobin is a pattern designer with many years of fashion experience. Here, she discusses

DRESSING TO SUIT YOU What’s not to love about a dress? You just slip it on, add some great accessories, then you’re ready to go! Well that’s the idea – but first you have to find a dress that works for you. For me, dresses fall into three categories: everyday, workwear and occasional.

dresses for EVERYDAY

WORKING your wardrobe When it comes to smart workwear, look for fabrics with a bit more polish. Fine wools and crepes suit a more tailored outline and are less likely to crease, giving you an air of authority and competence. In the cooler months, try lightweight boiled wool mixes, especially those with a higher viscose content, as these will also have drape. Choose an uncluttered body-skimming shift that you can dress up when you want with a statement necklace. If you prefer the flexibility of jersey fabrics though, consider a classic wrap dress with not too low a V-neck in a fluid viscose or silk jersey.

dress to IMPRESS Occasion-wear is where you can have the most fun. Because you’ll only wear these dresses occasionally, you are unlikely to get bored of them! Experiment with prints, colours and fabrics. For evenings and parties, add some glitz and show off your assets; consider plunging necklines, shorter skirt or bodycon styles. If attending a wedding or daytime event, opt for a romantic look with floral printed silks or georgettes. Choose styles with gathers or frills to make the most of these flowing fabrics. If this isn’t your style, try a tailored shift dress with a lace overlay for a contemporary and structured, yet textural look. For beach holidays, have fun with brighter colours on lightweight fabrics – but be aware that what feels right in the bright sun can look totally incongruous back in the daily grind!

Casual pleat

Simple seam deta il

Photography by Amelia Shepherd for The Maker’s Atelier

Let’s start with casual everyday style and talk about fabric selection. An everyday dress really needs to work with your lifestyle, so look for fabrics with a relaxed feel that are easy to care for, which also age well with multiple washes. Cottons and linens are ideal – whether they’re woven or jersey – and matt viscose fabrics work well too. Go for basic knits and weaves during spring and summer, then opt for fabrics that have surface texture in autumn and winter, such as baby-cord or brushed back jersey. Stylewise, avoid anything too constricting – you want to be comfortable but also look good. Shirt-dresses have been everywhere recently and oversized versions look great over jeans where the leg cuffs Drop-waist style are turned up to show bare ankles. If you prefer a more feminine silhouette, opt for a simple shift dress with an inverted pleat or gathered detail, for ease of movement. Avoid lightweight clingy jerseys as these are best left for evening-wear; instead, choose a heavyweight single jersey for a simple T-shirt dress or a double jersey for a more structured tunic or cocoon shape.

I think of holiday dressing as occasion-wear, because you tend not to wear what you would every day!

Oversized shirt

Easy shift

Browse Frances’ stylish dressmaking patterns at 25 FrancesTobin Aug.indd 2

16/06/2017 14:16

Tur Cha one

Try your hand at bust darts to make the



free pattern download /templates

sew a

SHIFT DRESS Get started

• Chambray fabric, 1.4m x 1.6m • Invisible zip, 56cm • Lightweight interfacing

Sizes Size Chest (cm) Length* (cm) S (10-12) 108 99 M (12-14) 113 100 L (14-16) 118 101 *from side neck, with 2.5cm hem

Cutting guide Front: cut one from chambray Back: cut one pair from chambray Sleeve: cut one pair from chambray Front neck facing: cut one each from chambray and interfacing Back neck facing: cut one pair each from chambray and interfacing 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout.


Download and print the pattern at Cut out all the pieces, referring to the cutting guide. Transfer the dart markings onto the front pattern piece, stitch the bust darts, then press them towards the garment base.


Apply interfacing to the wrong side of the front and back facing pieces. With right sides together, sew the front and back facing pieces together at the shoulder seams. Repeat to join the main front and back dress pieces. Fold and press the seam allowance on the centre-back seam.


Open the invisible zip and pin each side along the centreback seams, matching the top

Shift dresses have little shaping other than breast darts, making them both easy to sew and a comfortable choice for hotter days. This A-line design by Julia Claridge falls just above the knee and is extremely flattering to most figures. Chambray is generally easy to work with and care for, but as a woven fabric it is prone to fraying – so be sure to neaten all of the garment's raw edges. to the neck edge and the teeth along the creased seam. Change to an invisible zipper foot and stitch in place. Stitch the remaining centreback seam together, starting 6cm above the end of the zipper. Sew down the side seams.


Fold one sleeve piece in half, right sides together, then sew the sleeve underarm seam. Sew two rows of ease stitching around the sleeve head then lightly draw them up to match the underarm seam to the side seam, and the sleeve head notch to the shoulder seam. Pin in place, then stitch around.


Pin the front neck facing along the neckline of the front piece, right sides together and matching the shoulder seams. Sew the seam, then clip V-shaped notches every few centimetres around. Turn a 2.5cm hem at the sleeves and garment base, then machine stitch.


Fold the ends of the back facing underneath themselves, then press and understitch them to the zip tape. Secure the seam allowance of the neck facing to that of the shoulder seams with a few hand stitches.

“If you choose a material with a different weight to chambray, remember to match the weight of your interfacing to it.” Julia Claridge, Sew Designer 26


Core skill: EASE STITCHING This is two parallel straight lines of long stitches that are pulled to create a gather around shoulder pieces to ‘ease’ them into smaller armholes. Pull carefully to create an even gather around, making a lighter gather on the line closest to the seam. Use lots of pins perpendicular to the raw edge to retain the shape of the gathers as you sew.


SHOPPER ************************

CHAMBRAY HOORAY We used 100% antique linen chambray in denim blue by Lady McElroy, £21 for 2m, ************************ thank you for shopping!



Available in a variety of lengths and and in coil, invisible, separating, metal or plastic moulded varieties, these are sewn into the seam allowance to join two pieces of fabric edge-to-edge. 20cm scalloped lace edge zipper, £1.99,


Overlap two edges of fabric, one with buttons attached, and insert them through a hole or loop on the other edge. Opt for flat versions, shank, toggle, ‘frog’ Mandarin buttons or half ball cover. Fabric buttons, £3,


These come in a variety of sizes and are applied to the wrong side of overlapping fabrics. They’re used in lingerie but are also great for securing a zip closure. Hemline hook and eyes, £1.09,



Primarily associated with dungarees and bags, a strip of fabric is threaded through a metal clasp that hooks onto a no-sew button and can withstand a fair amount of weight. Prym dungaree fittings, £4.95,


The interlocking disks click together, pull apart easily, and are invisible from the right side. Fashion snaps work similarly, but are punched through the fabric and have a decorative top. From £1.70,



It’s easy to use these practical items to customise and transform garments



Consider how you need your piece to function: snaps are ideal for easily opening babygrows and zips can be hidden easily, while frog buttons help add decoration.



Think carefully about placement – a shirt button that’s off by even a centimetre can lead to unfortunate slip-ups. Measure, mark and attach your fastener with precision as many cannot be repositioned very easily.


5 Psst...with hook and loop tape, the tiny hooks on one strip cling onto the loops of the other. The tape is available as sew-on, fusible or self-adhesive. Korbond sew-on hook and loop tape, £1.85, 28

Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts when securing your fixture if you want it to stand the test of time. Always add a couple of extra stitches if you’re unsure and if a project or garment is on the heavy side, use a stronger fastener to suit the fabric.

Sewing with MayMartin M


My studio has recently been refurbished, complete with a walk-in storeroom, so as you can imagine, I tend to gravitate towards it whenever I am at home . This is where I prepare projects for my sewing workshops, and also where I make items that are just for family, friends and myself. So far over the last month, I’ve... ...helped a friend make panel blinds with 60cm squares of furnishing fabric, bonded to lining and set into runners. They look wonderful in her new garden room! ...let out a lovely dress that I made for my small granddaughter last year, drafting a pattern from one of her favourites. She's grown since then and now needs a little more room. I inserted extra fabric in the side seams of the bodice, let out a couple of pleats in the skirt and added a frill for extra length. While I had this enlarged version of the dress, I also took the opportunity to change the style a little with a few other tweaks. It is so much fun making small clothes! ...just finished full-length interlined curtains with hand-pleated headings to revamp my hall. My new extralarge cutting table with adjustable height was fantastic for this project!

IN HER NEW-LOOK FEATURE, SEW’S EXCLUSIVE COLUMNIST EXPLAINS HOW TO LAY OUT YOUR PATTERN PIECES AGAINST THE FABRIC GRAIN When you put on a sweater, you probably notice how it's really stretchy when you pull it across your body, but less so when you pull it down. The same applies to fabric in general, whether the structure is woven like denim or knitted like the cotton jersey of a T-shirt. Fabric is always stronger and more stable along the lengthways grain, or 'warp' thread in woven fabric. For this reason, pattern pieces need to be laid out in relation to the grain of the fabric, whether it's woven or knitted, the main sections being laid parallel with the grain line.


SUCH AS: lawn, poplin, denim, cord and more CROSSWAYS (WEFT) GRAIN BIAS GRAIN



l It is really important to iron both fabric and paper pattern. Every ripple and crease affects the way that the two go together and the fit of the final garment.



SUCH AS: cotton jersey, French terry and more


…also completed a Roman blind for my ground floor bathroom. I love making these because they work with almost any window.

Happy stitching,



l A great way to extend your cutting out space is to place a piece of MDF on two ironing boards. This is also a great space saver as the ironing boards can be folded up and the MDF stacked to one side afterwards. lWhen cutting out a double layer of striped or checked fabric, make sure that the two layers are pinned together at intervals, matching the print at the top and bottom. This will guarantee precise pattern matching.

For more dressmaking advice, be sure to pick up May Martin's Sewing Bible: 40 Years of Tips and Tricks, £25, 29


amanda walker

stitch a DINKY DRESS

CHILD’S SMOCK DRESS When sewing for small children, it’s essential that their garments are comfortable and practical, allowing them to run around the garden or beach freely. This pretty smock dress is ideal for energetic tots and allows you to work on your shirring and embroidery skills. As a bonus, it’s a no-pattern garment, with just one template required to shape the armholes. Iron-on smocking dots are applied to the wrong side of the fabric to ensure your smocking pleats are evenly spaced.

Get started

• Main fabric, 1m x 1.3m • Elastic, 1.5cm wide • Embroidery thread, two colours • Transfer smocking dots • Bias binding maker


Note: the same width measurement to fit a two-year-old can also be used for children up to age four; simply lengthen to suit. 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout, except for the neckline, which is 1cm.

Cutting guide

Front: cut a rectangle (fabric width ÷ 2) x 50cm Back: cut a rectangle (fabric width ÷ 2) x 48cm Shoulder ties: cut four 5cm x 50cm bias strips


Snip the pieces according to the cutting guide. Neaten the top edge of the front rectangle, fold and press 4cm over to the wrong side. Hand stitch as if sewing a hem; this will form the top ruffle. On the reverse of the fabric, transfer six rows of smocking dots across the width of the piece, underneath the folded ruffle. Start and finish the gathering for the smocking, 6cm in from each side. To gather, tie a knot in the end of a length of thread. Make a running stitch joining the row of dots, but don’t tie the end of the thread; leave it hanging and move to the next row with new thread. When all six rows are stitched, pull the threads until the gathering is even, then tie off the ends. Embroider the gathered area, then apply a rope stitch to the top and base. Bring your



create double-fold bias binding. Slot the binding over the armhole edges and edge stitch. Sew the folded sides from the ruffle to the end of the binding to create the ties. Make the back ties in the same way. Fold the back rectangle onto the wrong side of the fabric by 2cm twice along the top edge and press to create a channel for the elastic. Match the second fold line to the outer folded edge of the bias binding at the base of the armhole curve on the front piece. Pin the rest of the side seams and stitch together.

embroidery needle and thread up through the first fold on the left. With the thread above the needle, make a stem stitch across the row, picking up small pieces of material on each fold to the end of the row. Work a knotted diamond stitch in the centre from left to right. Download and print the armhole template at, lay it on the top corners along the folded ruffle and the side edge, then cut out the armhole curve. Pass the shoulder tie strips through a bias binding maker, pressing as you pull. Fold and press in half lengthways to





Trim the elastic to length by measuring from just under your child’s arm to the opposite point on their back. Stitch one end to the top of the side seam and the other to the opposite side. Neaten the side seams, fix the press folds at the top of the back piece so they cover the elastic, and edge stitch a channel across the back, stretching the elastic as you sew. Attach the back ties to the same stitching line as the channel, positioning them a little closer together than the front ties. Neaten the base of the skirt, fold and press up a 3cm hem, then sew in place.





Bring the needle out at A, insert it at B then back out at C, twisting the thread over and under the needle.


Set the stitch by firmly pulling the thread through and downwards to form a twisted loop.


Insert the needle at B, in the curve of the first stitch, and bring it out at D with the thread under the needle, as before. Repeat, keeping the tension even.




GUTERMANN LONG ISLAND GARDEN 2 Lime and marshmallow blend in a cheerful pattern of blossoms and leaves. ÂŁ17 per metre, gutermann@ ************************ thank you for shopping! 31


H CS 24

NDIE pattern news P







Betty-Jean jumpsuit by Sew La Di Da Vintage Difficulty: This fun-loving catsuit is sure to turn heads with its flirty, vintage-inspired style. Go strapless or add a halterneck or crossover straps, and choose three-quarter length or shorts for a sweet summer look. With pockets, darts and an invisible zip at the back, it’s both practical and pretty. £18,


-2 0



Dove blouse by Megan Nielsen Difficulty: Dove is an elegant and floaty blouse that suits its name to a T. The perfect piece for summer, it’s loose fitting yet femininely shaped with French darts, a V-neckline and curved hem. Stitch it with elbowlength sleeves, or add drama with flared or bell sleeves. The pattern is also supported with lots of great online tutorials – bonus! £15, 32 IndiePatternNews 100.indd 1

16/06/2017 14:34




Rochester dress




Lenox shirt dress


by Cashmerette Difficulty:

by Maven Patterns Difficulty:

This classic garment blends structured tailoring with casual style, featuring curve-friendly princess seams, the choice of a traditional or band collar, and a pleated or gathered skirt. A V-neck button placket help frame the face, and it also has roomy pockets – which is always a bonus! PDF £10.85, printed £13.95,

HOT OFF THE PRESS! This relaxed-fit design works equally well as a top as it does a knee-length dress. With elbow-length sleeves, a subtle A-line shape and gathered neckline at the front, other great features include a centre-back pleat, curved hem, and side split. The zip-free dress also features in-seam side pockets and a tie belt. £9.96,



There is nothing about it we don’t love, it’s a seriously well-designed and flattering piece you’ll wear constantly!

WIN! on p82

The sew team

Belle swimming costume by Flo-Jo Difficulty:


If you have never sewn your own swimsuit before, start with this one. The vintage style flatters all body shapes with a gathered front panel, halter neck tie, low back and the all important inner bust support! SIZ Make it up in swimwear fabrics E that have a four-way stretch. £10, 20 6-



on p82


Utility dress, tunic and top by The Maker’s Atelier Difficulty:

At this time of year, all we want from our clothes is comfort and practicality so we can enjoy the sunshine! This casual pull-on, drop-waist style looks great as a dress with pockets, tunic and top – both with or without the drawstring tie and front split detail. Select any of your favourite woven fabrics for summer, from cottons and linens to parachute silks. £22.50, 33 IndiePatternNews 100.indd 2

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SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 14/06/2017 16:18 Page 34

Suppliers of mail order fabrics for over 40 years we source beautiful fabrics from Britain, Europe and rest of the world.



reasons to be a


“It’s like it was made for you!” ...that’s because it was! Sew editor Jennifer Ward looks at creating your very own dream wedding dress


etting married is often the best day in a person’s life. Making this commitment is an incredibly special experience that holds a great deal of promise for the future; for this reason, it’s so important for a bride to find the right wedding dress that helps capture their perfect moment. This in itself is no mean feat; not only should a gown look as if it were made for the bride, it should also reflect their personality whilst being a flattering silhouette for them. That’s where sewing your own comes in… The first step to finding your dream dress is finding out what style is for you. Vie Millard is one of the talented seamstresses who makes up the free Simplicity and New Look patterns that come with Sew; she is also the woman behind The Dressmaker (, where she offers affordable made-to-measure occasion wear for brides-to-be. We started our research by asking Vie where you might begin. “I always advise my brides, if they haven’t already done so, to go round the bridal shops with an open mind — and try on as many different colours and styles as possible,” she starts. “Very often, they end up with the opposite of their original vision! I recommend choosing a dress that fits with the wedding venue too.”


Amanda Coyler made her own wedding dress back in 2008.


LEARN NEW skills

To many of us, the idea of sewing your own wedding dress may be completely farfetched. It almost seems like the crème de la crème of sewing, and something reserved only for the most experienced of stitchers. But with a whole world of bridal fabrics and patterns at our fingertips, the only thing stopping people are their preconceptions of how tricky it might be. In fact, stitching a wedding dress can be the exact thing that gets someone into sewing, like it was for Jenniffer Taylor of The Great British Sewing Bee. “Making my wedding dress was the start of my stitchy journey, and the first thing I had ever made using a sewing machine,” she reveals. For Hanna Frizzell, her handmade wedding dress also ignited a love of sewing. “It was the first item of clothing I had ever made,” she tells us. “I’m sure I would be able to do a much better job if I re-made it now, but I still love it.”

The first garment Hanna Frizzell made was her wedding dress!


SEW A dream dress

Michelle Hart wanted to challenge her sewing skills.

“I’m just designing mine now!” Emily Pain, Sew reader.

The dress Susan Emmerson made for her niece.

3 pennies

Reader Carolyn Waldron made her own wedding dress back in 1984.


While there are many benefits to sewing your own wedding gown, the obvious perk is being able to rock a couture frock for a fraction of the price. Reader Allison Maryon was able to make her own special dress for a mere £15! “I bought five yards of ivory faux shot silk from Abakhan that was reduced to £2 a yard and found a pair of faux shot silk curtains for £5 in a charity shop, which A tie-dye gown by Lucy Can’t Dance I used for the hem and bodice trim,” she says. “I also used the curtain linings inside the dress and to make a removable shoulder trim that folded at the back and hung to the dress hemline in a 1950s style. I still have some fabric left over!” Allison sold the dress afterwards for £30, making a profit on what was already a bargain make. Katie Slusar-Fletcher 30 years ago in 1987, Sew made a dress together reader Brenda Howe also made with her mum. the decision to sew her own dress. “I loved the neckline of one pattern and the bottom of another, so my Dad sketched a picture to help envisage exactly what I wanted,” Brenda explains. “We lace-mounted the dress onto under-fabric, and my friend cut roughly 60 small flower shapes and hand-stitched them onto the veil. I bought all the fabric from John Lewis for £300 in total!” 36


A FAMILY affair

For reader Claire Clark, making her own wedding dress wasn’t just a chance to stitch her gown in an unconventional red – which proved difficult to find – but also sew the dress together with her mum. “I had a specific shade in mind and settled on a beautiful silk dupion from Minerva Crafts, along with a beaded lace in the same shade. I was adamant that I wanted pockets, and ended up using two different patterns to achieve this, taking the bodice from one and the skirt from another,” she tells Sew. “My mum and I spent a number of weekends together sewing the dress. It was a beautiful time and one I will always cherish. Our playlist was Elton John and hearing the songs now always reminds me of that time!” Susan Emmerson is another reader who played a part in her niece’s special day. “In 2015 I made my niece’s dress and bridesmaids’ dresses for her wedding present,” she explains. “It was a true labour of love and such a privilege to be part of the experience.” Blogger Katie SlusarFletcher, who writes Adventures in Dressland, used a stunning lace fabric to make a unique dress together with her mum. “Together, we spent time laying it out to see which arrangement would look nice, positioning a big rose in the centre,” she explains. “We added tea-stained bias binding to the other arms, which pleased me to think my favourite drink would be with me on the day! I’m hugely proud of what we achieved.” Photography by Jodi Hanagan

Finding a dress that will fit you perfectly in the style and fabric that you want can prove an impossible and costly task, but sewing your own means you can be more involved in its design. “The world really is your oyster if you opt for handmade, from recreating an iconic wedding dress you’ve long admired to choosing the most flattering hem length, sleeve style or neckline,” Julie Bonnar of Simplicity explains to Sew. This was the case for Sew reader Michelle Hart, a self-taught sewist who wanted to push the boundaries and challenge herself. “I knew I would not find the dress of my dreams in any typical bridal shop. Everything was either a 50s bandeau dresses, fishtail style, or variant of the ‘Kate’ dress,” she says. “I love the structure, panelling, layering and silhouettes of garments from the Victorian era – but I wanted to give mine a modern twist with a 50s mid-calf length, and show off my shoes too!” Michelle salvaged some of the fabric from a few poorly made dresses, then utilised some old sample lengths from her career in high street fashion manufacturing. “I certainly got a few WOW’s coming down the aisle, and the look on my husband’s face was priceless,” she tells Sew. “I’d spent weeks working in a small corner in our one-bedroom flat, hiding behind a room divider. He’d heard my many sighs and occasional swearwords when things didn’t go right, and knew how hard I’d worked to make it happen!”

“M p m C



A last-minute decision has brought 17-yearold Californian Shami Oshun the attention and admiration of the world, all because she took on the mammoth task of sewing her own prom dress – the night before! Words by Emma Thompson


"I immediately fell in love with the purple."

Shami considered adding beading

One of several potential looks

any teenagers spend months planning what dress they will buy for the monumental event that is prom, yet the day before the high school dance, teenager Shami Oshun found herself at her local fabric store. “I headed straight to the tulle because I knew it would be cheap and I immediately fell in love with the purple,” she told Sew. “I didn't really have an idea of what the dress was going to look like... once I got home I just started pinning the fabric to my dress form.” Taking to Twitter to share her making process – in a thread that has received more than 7,500 likes and comments from wellwishers – only seemed to turn up the pressure. “I was very nervous it wasn't going to come out well,” she revealed, “Especially as I was posting my progress online.” Shami posted pictures of the different necklines she experimented with and echoed a sentiment every sewist has felt, commenting, “I have no idea what I'm doing right now, just making stuff up as I go along.”

The alterations didn't end there, with a photo taken at the dance showing the bottom half chopped off, as the flowers had stretched the tulle and got in the way of her dancing. This didn't spoil her evening, as Shami humourously quipped that she was “being positive and thinking of it as an outfit change!” Shami learned to sew initially from her aunt and went on to take a few classes, but has been self-taught since then. Not only did wearing a handmade dress make her evening more special, the resilient teenager is now enjoying a surge of interest in the clothes she makes and sells online, a business she started two years ago to cope with the loss of a friend and bullying at school. “Everything I do is bold and colourful to make women stand out and be inspired to be different,” Shami says. We were impressed by her positivity and grit, as she plans for her future. “I would love my brand to grow, but I would also like to start making couture pieces. My dream is to make Rihanna's dress for the Met Gala next year!” We wish Shami all the best and can't wait to see her future designs.

NO MAGIC NEEDED Disaster struck a short while in with an accident that could have stopped the young seamstress attending her dance altogether. “I was going to try to finish it that night, but I stepped on a needle and it ended up halfway in my foot – my Dad had to help pull it out.” However, Shami woke the next morning feeling rested and inspired to pull the look together, without a single Fairy Godmother in sight. With the clock ticking, Shami sewed pleats into her tulle, using a white satin dress as the base. Determined to finish, not even her machine breaking could stop her, and so Shami handstitched the bodice of her dress to get it ready for her big night. She finished the garment with a simple knot detail, added more than 100 flowers taken from a dress she had previously made and, after five hours of sewing, was finally ready to enjoy an "Had to chop my dress, thinking This sensational dress has inspired stitchers worldwide of it as an outfit change!" evening of fun with her friends and classmates.

Shami can be found tweeting at @bluexheeta, and you can see her designs at

38 Prom dress (f).indd 1

16/06/2017 14:32


Lauren Guthrie


“Going on holiday? Beachwear should be top of your to-sew list!”

ummer for me is all about fresh and bright relaxed makes that are quick to sew and easy to wear. Lightweight cottons lawns and double gauze are my favourite fabrics for making tops and dresses... they are both lovely to work with and comfortable to wear on those balmy days. My top pattern picks for summer are the Grainline Scot tee, the Sewaholic Belcarra blouse, and the simple sleeveless top from my book, Learn to Sew with Lauren. Are you heading off somewhere hot and sunny for a holiday this summer? Well, stylish handmade beachwear should be top of your to-sew list! The brand new Charlie Caftan pattern from Closet Case Files would be gorgeous as a beach cover-up or is a cool and comfortable dress to wear in the evenings. I love the look of view A, which features dramatic pleats under the bust – I think it would look beautiful in one of our Robert Kaufman Brussels dyed chambray fabrics. If you fancy something a bit more formal in your summer wardrobe, our new Silk Cami workshop will teach you tips and tricks for working with fabrics that are more slippery and harder to control. We have had a new range of beautiful silk fabric arrive in the shop, including lots of plains and Liberty prints. The style of the cami can easily be dressed up or down, and it features a gorgeous cross-over strap detail at the back. French seams work well with delicate fabrics like silk, and help give a really professional-looking finish on the inside. I still have to concentrate really hard to remember to sew the wrong sides of the fabric together first! The key to making a delicate French seam is trimming back the seam allowance and pressing it well before you sew the fabric right sides together to hide all of the raw edges. The rouleaux loops straps are so flattering and feminine. I make mine using a loop turner... the one we stock in the shop is from Prym, which is great for PRYM LOOP TURNER, £3.75, GUTHRIE-GHANI.CO.UK

What Lauren's � loving �


“I love the thin strap s silk cami workshop on our new pattern, which helps you master tri cky fabrics.”

turning the narrow fabric tube inside out. Our next date for this workshop is 29th July – all booking details can be found on our website. I’ve also been finishing off the last few makes of our summer capsule wardrobe series, which started on 28th June with the Lark Tee by Grainline Patterns on our blog. We post weekly, featuring different projects and tutorials until 19th July. I’ve put together key garments that are really versatile, which pair together perfectly to make a mini capsule wardrobe. All the blog posts lead up to our summer event on Saturday 22nd July! There we’ll be running an open advice session in the morning to help stitchers plan their next project based on body shape and their ideal colour palette. In the afternoon we’ll be putting on mini technique workshops that teach key skills for creating professional-looking garments. Places are limited, so be sure to book now.



Lauren’s top tips for adding pizazz Add a hem border to a simple summer top with some pretty embroidered cotton eyelet style fabric or a lace trim. Use a contrasting bias binding on the neckline or armhole of a top to give your garment added interest.


Make a simple clutch bag to co-ordinate your outfit with your accessories – there are lots of free tutorials online!


Lauren 100.indd 3

16/06/2017 14:19

SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 16/06/2017 16:11 Page 40



YOU WILL LEARN: 3 Adding facings 3 Attaching pockets 3 Inserting sleeves 3 Buttonholes

sew masterclass


free pattern download /templates

Make your first-ever jacket with our

LOTTIE JACKET Summer may indeed be here but we all know that come the evening, we’ll still be reaching for something to keep the chills at bay. Fiona Hesford’s unlined duster design is a friendly introduction to jacketmaking, using six pattern pieces and featuring two deep pockets and quarter-length sleeves. It will see you through summer in style whilst teaching you key skills along the way. Get started

• Cotton drill, 158cm wide (no nap) 1.6m (sml/med) or 1.7m (lrg) • One button, 2.5cm

Sizes Size Small (8-10) Medium (12-14) Large (16-18)

Length* 95cm

Sleeve+ 69cm





*Finished measurement from shoulder to hem. +Finished measurement from back neck to sleeve edge.

Cutting guide

Note: press then fold the fabric in half, right sides together and selvedges aligned Front: cut two pieces Back: cut one piece on the fold Sleeve: cut two pieces Front facing: cut two pieces Back facing: cut out on a single layer of fabric Pocket: cut two with the template right side facing up, and two with the template wrong side up 1cm seam allowance used unless otherwise specified.


sew a SUMMER JACKETStitching the front and back


Back Cut one on fold

Fiona Hesford’s top tips for CUTTING AND FINISHING Go online to /templates to download and print the pattern. l See the recommended layout for the most economical use of your fabric. l Please note that these fabric requirements are based on a 158cm wide fabric; for narrower fabrics you may require extra. l For the front and back pieces, mark the pocket position on your fabric as indicated on the template. l For the sleeve pieces, mark the notches as shown on the template. l To topstitch, sew approximately 4mm from the seam with a straight stitch length set to 2.8mm. l Stay stitching is a line of straight stitch to prevent the fabric stretching.

Sleeves Cut two

Front Cut two


Sew the front to the back at the shoulders with right sides together. Finish the raw edges and press to the back. Topstitch on the back side. Stay stitch the back neck, 5mm from the edge.


Sewing the facings







Pin then sew together the front and back facings at the short sides, with right sides together. Finish the outer curved raw edges all around.

Sew all around, then nick the curved edges of the seam allowance. Turn right side out, pushing out the corners of the centre front. Press.

Pin then sew the short sides of the facing to the front at the top edge of the centre front, right sides together. Press the seams open.

Pin then sew the front to the back at the side seams. Press the seam open. Finish the raw edges of the lower edge then make a single fold 2cm hem.

Pin the facing to the neck edge, matching the side seams and folding over 5cm at the centre front. Tack stitch in place.

Pin the centre front inside facing and neck facings in position, and tack all around. Stitch on the wrong side, close to the finished edge. Remove tacking.

Assembling the sleeves

Take care to ensure your stitching is even on the right side when sewing the facings to the coat


Finish the sleeve at the cuff edge. Fold the sleeve in half along its length, right sides together, and pin in place to make a tube. Sew, then finish the raw edges. Make a single fold 2cm hem at the cuff edge, and press.


Tack between the markers on the sleeve head, 1cm from the edge. Pin to the armhole, right sides together, matching the notches and cross seams. Pull the tacking threads to ease in sleeve head. Sew a 1cm seam allowance.



Press the sleeves, then remove all of the tacking. Topstitch the sleeve close to the seam. Sew a buttonhole at the left-hand side neck edge, then attach a 2.5cm button to the opposite side.


Sewing the pockets

Sewing with cotton drill Cotton drill is a durable fabric, in the same family as canvas. Lightweight versions are particularly well-suited to clothing! l Always wash and dry your fabric first, to allow for any shrinkage before you sew. l Use a size 90/14 needle to prevent any breakages, a heavier duty thread, and a longer stitch length between 2.5-3.5. l Consider using clips to hold layers together instead of pins, as the fabric is bulkier than standard cottons. l The structure lends itself especially to tailored garments, such as jackets and coats. It is also a good choice for dresses and bags, as well as home furnishings projects.


Finish the raw curved outer edges of the pockets. Sew a 2cm single fold hem at the top edge only.


Fold over and press 1cm all around the three unhemmed edges. Pin in the desired position to the coat front.



Tack the pockets by hand. Machine stitch close to the edge, reinforcing the top corners. Sew in any threads. Remove tacking.



OCHRE PETAL DRILL We used this stylish lightweight fabric for our coat. ÂŁ9.99 per metre, ************************ thank you for shopping!




Our experts offer advice on sewing your own activewear


What fabrics would you recommend using to make a workout top and leggings? Lucy Castle

Maxine says

The best fabric to use for these types of activewear garments is Lycra spandex. Most spandex materials have between 10% and 20% elastane content, which allows them to move with you. They also stretch around, as well as up and down, which is called four way stretch. This makes them very comfortable to wear while exercising or just when you’re out and about – it’s very fashionable at present to wear your workout gear outside of the gym! Aerobic wear has become very high fashion with burntout mesh panels and lots of bright colours. Alternatively, you can use T-shirt fabrics for the top if you don’t want the Lycra fit, as some of these also have spandex in them for that allimportant stretch. Fabric Land has a very good selection of patterned and plain Lycras, as well as the mesh for panels – visit fabricland. to see the full range.

Creating your own stylish activewear is much easier than you might think!


I want to make some leggings from Lycra – do I need special needles for this and what would be the best type of stitch to use?

Sara Crispin

Lisa says

Lycra is a stretch fabric known for its amazing recovery, which means it bounces back into shape easily. This makes it perfect for garments that need to mould around your body, such as sportswear – and leggings! Sewing with Lycra isn’t too tricky but it’s important to select the right needles for the job to prevent the fabric from snagging. Look for a dedicated stretch needle, ideally the finest one you can find. The thinner the better, as this will make sure you don’t make holes in the fabric. This also applies to pins! I like to sew all my seams with a zigzag stitch, which will stretch with the fabric – but for a more professional finish, I stitch hems with a twin needle. Lycra doesn’t fray so there’s no need to finish the seam allowances but if you prefer, you can neaten them up with an overlocker or zigzag stitch.

Training Zone top £14, leggings £20,

44 Sew SOS AUG.indd 44

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here to



MAXINE SMITH The company coordinator of Fabric Land, a family-run business of nine shops selling a huge range of fabrics and more.

Owner of London store, Sew Over It, offering exclusive patterns and classes, the pattern designer has a penchant for all things vintage!


I’d like to make my own swimsuit – can you offer any tips to ensure it survives a trip to the beach or swimming pool?

Carrie Edwards

Chloe says

When I sew swimwear it’s often with fashion in mind, but it has to be practical too. The correct fabric choice is key, so make sure you buy a material with the right amount of stretch. It also needs to be one that won’t go see-through when wet – you can ask your supplier for advice. I’d also recommend testing your fabric in water first. My top tip would be to sew elastic on the edges of a bikini bra or swimsuit top, fold the fabric over and sew it in place, much like you would see on professional garments. This helps to shape your swimwear to your curves and also prevents the lining from rolling forwards. A lot of swimwear patterns don’t instruct to use elastic on the bra cups, but I always add it along both sides with enough tension so that when finished, it will shape to the chest when worn.

CHLOE LEWIS BROOKS The owner of The Dressing Room, which specialises in ladies’ madeto-measure swimwear and clothing made in-house. dressingroombrentwood

top 3 Overlockers

If you’d like to take your dressmaking to the next level, consider investing in an overlocker. They are great for achieving a professional and secure finish on seams, particularly when sewing activewear with stretchy fabrics. Here are three of our favourites!

Seam tightening system Janome CoverPro 2000CPX, £499,

3 or 4 thread overlocker Jaguar Supa Lock 486, £199, gursewing

tip! Never sew over pins with an overlocker as this can damage the knives - position them at least 5cm from the seam line or don't use them at all.

Colour guided threading Brother 4234D, £369, brother

Floral placement swimsuit, £32, 45

Sew SOS AUG.indd 45

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Old jeans!

“DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. SEW YOUR OWN WAY!” ““When you sew there’s a deeper lesson to be learned

about challenging ourselves, and realising that we are more than we think we are”

Chunky gold zip


of the Year SPONSORED BY

Quilted lines


was totally surprised and delighted to discover I’d won Dressmaker of the Year… I had no idea I was in with a shot of winning even when I was shortlisted as a finalist, but then again I don’t think any of us thought we would! I’m a massive advocate of upcycling so when I saw the customising category, I thought ‘why not?’ and uploaded some pictures. My coat was for a series called The Refashioners on my blog, which invites people to upcycle garments into something fabulous. The theme was jeans, so my coat was part of that. The idea of giving unloved garments a new lease of life is close to my heart for many reasons – it’s environmentally friendly, economical and ethical. There are other subtle gains, like challenging ourselves to see the potential in something. It unlocks a different part of the brain, and there is so much to be learned about garments by deconstructing them. I’d never entered a competition like this, and was keen to get objective feedback. I didn’t expect it to be so overwhelmingly positive! I spent four hours trying to get my pattern pieces to fit right. I knew what I wanted, but it was a puzzle to put it together without sacrificing the design.

Maddison’s frock impressed judge Stuart Hillard so much, he couldn’t stop touching it! Her Ready To Wear entry started as a PGCE project to show students about dart manipulation. The textiles whizz was inspired by designer Shingo Sato and is especially fond of the vintage zip, which she got from her nan’s stash. She is looking forward to wearing it with a pair of ruby slippers.


Meet our other star stitchers MARSHALL-BROWN



The coat was a massive labour of love, and it took two weeks to draft, fit and make. It pushed me beyond all of my comfort zones and I obsessed over every detail. At one point I was crying with frustration, so I felt gratified to hear the judges’ comments on cut, assembly and quilting, as I spent a lot of time agonising over those; a week fiddling with sleeve configuration – I kid you not. The dressmaking community is like having a huge network of friends, many who you’ve never met! As a collective we support, inform, commiserate and laugh with each other; they provide the boost we need when we lose our ‘sewjo’! I’ve learned so much from the generosity of others, and I want to pay that forward to help others through my blog. I’ve learned that you’re capable of more than you think, so always try things you think are just beyond reach, and be kind to yourself. For any given technique, there are at least 20 opinions out there on the right way to do it. Don’t compare yourself to others: sew your own way. Engage with the sewing community. And remember: someone, somewhere, has written a tutorial for whatever it is you want to know.

Don't miss the next DMOTY competition, expected to launch mid-autumn! Get updates at

Georgia came up trumps with this on-trend tweed number for son Xavier. After resolving to try her hand at tailoring techniques, she found an old coat in the loft. We love the way she made the most of the fabric and teamed the traditional material with fun lining and colourful buttons.


Kathy used techniques such as flattering pleats, plus a contrasting button placket, cuffs and collar to make this gorgeous dress, using a contemporary grey and green print she picked up from a Walmart store. “I’m genuinely flattered to have been chosen as this category winner,” Kathy told Sew.


Harriet was so surprised to win this category, she had a little cry. The party ring fanatic couldn't pass up the chance to celebrate her favourite biscuit! She made the joyful two-piece with the Knitting & Stitching Show in mind, as she spends a lot of time in a wheelchair called Shwheela, so she needed an ensemble that would be comfy but still look great.


Vintage category winner Angela Green stitched her dress in stages to avoid making mistakes. She knew the fabric would create a lovely drape and took care with the back neck curve and sweetheart neckline for an even finish. We love the button embellishment to this gown, which she wore to her niece’s wedding.

46 DMOTY aug.indd 1

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Stitch the Look




Double cloth is an interesting fabric made up of two separate pieces of material that are stitched or fused together, not dissimilar to double gauze — but denser, and with a tighter weave. It’s a good choice for many dressmaking projects and has the added bonus of rarely needing to be lined. Traditionally the fabric has no right or wrong side, so in theory could be reversible. One is usually prettier than the other however, so seek this out first before sewing!


3 Embellished tunic, £75,


“This fabric gives more volume than a cotton lawn, and is great for summer dressmaking projects such as tunics, dresses, tops and skirts” Pip Price, Dragonfly Fabrics


5 1 Flowers and leaves on light blue 2 Roses on dusty blue 3 Botanical in blue 4 Flowers and leaves on dusky pink 5 Flowers and leaves on grey All of these double cloth fabrics are 100% cotton and available for £14.50 per metre at

Get to grips with shirring to create a summery



free pattern download /templates

sew a

BARDOT TOP Get started • Broderie anglaise, 1.7m • 5mm wide satin ribbon, 4m • Shirring elastic • Matching thread

Sizes Custom-sized

Cutting guide Front and back: cut two on the fold Sleeve: cut one pair 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout.


Download and print the templates at templates, then snip the pieces from broderie anglaise as indicated in the cutting guide. Match the two front and back pieces, right sides together. Pin and stitch the side seams, neaten the allowances and press them towards the back.


Line up the edges of one sleeve, right sides together, pin and stitch. Neaten the seam allowance and press one way. Repeat with the other sleeve, but press the seam allowance in the opposite direction. Turn the sleeves right side out and match the notches on the

This pretty broderie anglaise blouse by Amanda Walker only uses two pattern pieces and is the perfect piece for wearing to all manner of outdoor events. Shirring elastic is used to create a fitted waist, which with a little practice you’ll soon have mastered. Add subtle detailing to the neckline and cuffs with simple ribbon work. armholes to those on the sleeves. Pin and stitch to the top, then neaten the seam allowances.


Fold and press in 1.5cm, then another 1.5cm around the upper raw edge of the top. Pin and edge stitch in place, leaving a small gap in the centre front to create a channel. Repeat around the base of the sleeves, leaving a gap in the centre of the stitching line.


With a safety pin at one end, thread a length of ribbon through the channel at the neckline, accessing it through the gap left in the stitching. Leave 20cm of excess ribbon extending at both ends.


Thread the two ends of the ribbon to the right side through holes in the broderie anglaise, close to the stitching gap. Close the gap by machine or hand stitching. Repeat for the channels on each sleeve. Pull the ribbons up, gathering to fit, and tie off.


Stitch the shirring elastic to the base, following one of the two methods described in the Core Skills panel. Sew as many rows as you like; we attached seven rows at 1cm intervals. After marking out your first line of sewing, use the edge of your machine foot to keep each row of stitching an even width apart. Don’t worry if the first rows don’t gather up; the more rows you sew, the more it will gather. Afterwards, give the shirred fabric a blast of steam from your iron, hovering rather than pressing, to pull the gathers up further. 48

If you’ve never applied ore, shirring elastic befap practise with scr fabric first Daisy Blouse.indd 1

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Core skill:

SHIRRING ELASTIC The shirring elastic can be applied in one of two ways:


Wind the elastic onto a bobbin evenly by hand with a consistent tension. This method can only be used on machines where the bobbin is placed into a bobbin case and the tension adjusted. This allows the elastic to be stretched as it exits the bobbin and the fabric is gathered as it is stitched. Work is carried out on the right side of the garment.


If your machine doesn’t have a drop-in bobbin, lay the elastic directly onto the wrong side of the fabric and apply a narrow zigzag stitch over the top, leaving a small length loose at both ends of your work. Place the elastic in the centre of the machine foot and stretch it as you stitch, or pull up the elastic after sewing to create the gathers. Knot the two ends to secure, or stitch over the top. 49 Daisy Blouse.indd 2

16/06/2017 12:29

Photography by Amelia Troubridge

The Kosovan graduates from Women for Women International’s training programme


brighter future Sew discovers how a gorgeous collection of embroidered shoes is helping women in war-torn countries

A completed Zoja ballerina flat

A Kosovan needleworker embroiders a heart for L.K.Bennett’s Zoja collection


Words by Melissa Hyland

he fashion world was abuzz on 3rd TEAM WORK May when L.K.Bennett launched One of Jessica’s tasks was to coordinate the limited edition Zoja collection. the Zoja project from the UK between Featuring gorgeous ballerina flats in L.K.Bennett and WfWI’s team in Kosovo. a choice of pink, navy and silver glitter leathers, “L.K.Bennett is a long-time, loyal supporter it was the intricate hand-embroidered hearts of ours,” Jessica tells Sew. “We were on the toes that stole the show. These quickly introduced to them a few years ago and became a must-have accessory – not just for realised that they share a lot of our values, their beauty, but because they were created portraying women as strong and powerful in collaboration with Women for Women role models.” To begin with, L.K.Bennett International (WfWI), an organisation that raised funds for WfWI via sales and helped supports survivors of promote the war all around the world, “Women for Women International organisation’s and in this project, a work around teaches women vocational skills talented team of Kosovan International and helps them to build networks Women’s Day needleworkers. with others in their community” “WfWI was founded for a few years back in 1993. Since then, in a row. From we have supported more than 462,000 women here, the idea of a full collaboration was born by involving them in a 12-month holistic training and subsequently, the Zoja collection. programme,” reveals marketing and fundraising “The concept was that we would join officer Jessica Leach. “The initiative informs forces to fully involve the women who we women about their rights, health and wellwork with in our programme, and link through being, but also teaches different vocational to L.K.Bennett’s customers,” says Jessica. skills while helping them to build networks “This was the first time that the ladies were with other ladies in their community.” involved in the design process to create a “As well as enabling women to earn product for the UK market. Out of the eight an income and feed their families, this countries where we’re based, we chose helps them to overcome the horrors Kosovo because we work with more than they’ve experienced of war so they can 30,000 women there, training them in work towards a better, safer future. It’s handicrafts, tailoring and embroidery, so incredibly effective – the women become they have an incredible amount of skill. so much more confident and connected That was important to L.K.Bennett, to with each other, and participate more ensure that the quality of the shoe was actively in their communities.” completely flawless.” 50

Samples of the embroidered hearts

Women for Women International ambassador Dame Helen Mirren proudly models her silver Zoja shoes!


There were 10 Kosovan women in Pristina involved in the Zoja project, who had learnt embroidery via WfWI’s programme and also received additional postgraduate training. Their task was to create the heart embellishments for the shoes, so they began by sharing examples of traditional-style needlework with the L.K.Bennett design team that could potentially feature on them. These motifs are typical of Kosovan folk dress, with a long-standing significance to the country of Kosovo. “L.K.Bennett came up with the heart symbol as it was important that the collection focused on love and solidarity, especially after the unrest that the women of Kosovo had experienced during the war,” Jessica explains. “There was a continual back and forth for two months between the teams to test different ideas and colourways, also working out to the millimetre what size the hearts would be to ensure consistency.” After the design was finalised, the Kosovan artisans spent approximately two hours on each heart. These were worked in satin stitch, a technique commonly used in Kosovan embroidery. Once completed, the embroidered motifs were sent to L.K.Bennett to be attached to the shoes.


The response to the Zoja collection has been overwhelming, with 100 pairs being snapped up in the first week alone! Priced £145 a pair, all of the profits go to WfWI, which has already made a huge contribution to the work it does. “It’s been amazing, everyone who has seen the shoes has been totally blown away,” Jessica enthuses. “Our UK patron, Dame Helen Mirren, has a pair – and we’ve picked up so much press in the UK. However, there’s also been a lot of interest from local Kosovan people, who are so proud to see the collaboration and how successful it has been.” “What made this project a truly rewarding experience was my direct involvement with the women of Kosovo, working together on a beautifully unique handcrafted product and gaining insight into the wonderful work

of WfWI,” says Eleonora Cassarini, L.K.Bennett’s own Director of Footwear. The Hard at work on an embroidered heart company’s CEO, Darren Topp, was also excited by the initiative. “I am delighted that L.K.Bennett is further collaborating with WfWI UK,” he says. “The creative involvement of Kosovan women from the charity’s programme highlights the spirit of the project and a sense of true partnership.” Naturally, the Zoja collection has also benefited its Kosovan co-creators directly, in terms of paid employment and much more besides. “It has given these women the opportunity to create something that they are really passionate about, which means a lot,” says Jessica. “The conflict in Kosovo trapped many of these women into a cycle of isolation, and they worried that the world had forgotten them. Showcasing their skills globally through an esteemed brand has helped these ladies to develop a newfound confidence for the future and a real belief in themselves. One of them, a lady called Hana, said it was the best achievement of her entire life.” WfWI is continually striving to help even more women, and there are many different ways that we can help. “First, you can sponsor a woman to join the programme for £22 a month at uk/sponsor-a-sister and create a direct connection with her, sending messages of solidarity throughout her training,” Jessica reveals. “Another way is to hold a Share Dinner Party fundraiser where everyone donates money that they would otherwise spend at a

restaurant. WfWI’s Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity (£25, Barnes & Noble) has lots of recipe ideas from around the world. For a Share event toolkit, email supportuk@” “You can also visit womenforwomen to receive exclusive invitations to events and opportunities to discuss issues that affect women around the world. Finally, there’s our #SheInspiresMe campaign to mobilise people to stand up for women that are affected by conflict – follow us on Twitter at @womenforwomenuk, like the WfWI UK page on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram @womenforwomenuk. It’s a great way to be part of this wonderful global network.”

See the full range of Zoja ballerina flats at 51

Susie Johns’


SHIRT EMBROIDERY Outfits decorated with embroidery are all the rage and it couldn’t be easier to pep up a ready-made garment with a hand-stitched design. This plain shirt has been embellished with a pretty bird motif inspired by traditional tattoo designs. The decoration is mainly worked using a combination of split and satin stitches – including padded satin – plus long and short stitch.

Get started • Thin paper • Heat transfer pencil or pen • Plain cotton or linen shirt • Embroidery hoop • Crewel needle • Embroidery thread, blue, yellow, pink, green, white, black

Size Custom-sized

Embroider a bird motif


Wash and iron your shirt before embroidering to allow for any shrinkage – this will also soften the fabric so that the needle passes through more easily. Download and print the bird template at templates, then trace or transfer onto thin paper, enlarging or reducing if desired. Trace over the lines on the reverse with a transfer pencil or pen. Place the paper, transfer side down, on the front of the shirt where you want the motif. Press with a hot iron, taking care not to move the paper. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop so that the whole design fits inside the frame. Prepare a crewel needle with three strands of blue thread. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the edge of the wing in the centre of the design, and work an outline of split stitch along one edge of the shape (see next page). Work further rows of split stitch, close to each other, to fill in the shape. Use three strands of yellow thread to outline the other part of the wing, and fill the shape with close rows of split stitch. Use three strands of white and fill each feather with padded satin stitch (see next page). Outline the bird’s body in split stitch with three strands of blue, then work more close rows of split stitch to fill in the shape.



Swallows represent love, affection, and always returning – so embroider this to make a sweet gift for a loved one!


Thread the needle with three strands of pink and outline the left-hand heart in split stitch. Work close rows of split stitch to fill in most of the shape, leaving a small strip unworked where the two hearts overlap. Fill in the other heart completely with split stitch, using the same thread. Fill in the flower centres using satin stitch in yellow.


Fill in the flower petals with pink satin stitch, working from the tip of the petal towards the centre of the flower. Prepare the needle with lengths of white thread and outline the flower petals in split stitch to add highlights. Prepare the needle with lenghs of green thread to fill in each leaf shape, using padded satin stitch. 52


Prepare the needle with two strands of black thread and outline all the main shapes in split stitch. Add areas of shading in long and short stitch, using the photo of the finished embroidery as a guide. Remove the work from the hoop and press the embroidered area lightly on the reverse with a steam iron.


Satin stitch


Secure the thread on the reverse of the work. Pull the needle through to the surface on the base of the outline to be filled. Take the needle to the outline on the opposite side and push it back through to form a long, straight stitch.


free template download /templates


Take the needle down next to the end of the first stitch and under the work, bringing it back through at the start of the previous stitch to form a parallel line of thread. Repeat to fill the area.

Note: to make a padded version, outline the shape with chain stitch, fill with chain or straight, then work satin stitch as above.

Split stitch


Bring the needle up on the design line, then back through to make a small stitch.


Take the needle up through the centre of the stitch you have just made.


Insert the needle down through the fabric, a stitch length ahead of the previous one.

get the


Find more lovely embellished projects like this in How To Embroider by Susie Johns, ÂŁ7.99, 53

! E e c N n e I d fi n H o c C h t i A w w e M S

e v o Lour y


With 180 built-in stitch patterns to choose from, including an alphabet, powerful box feed that handles any fabric weight without shrinkage or shifting, and a wide sewing space, this model can handle anything you throw at it! Other features include high quality buttonholes, quick bobbin prep, plus an instructional DVD. Price: £749



Be inspired by these fantastic Juki models!


This single needle, lock stitch, portable quilting machine offers a larger work area of 23” for handling big quilting projects with ease. Stitching is an absolute dream with a knee lifter lever, maximum speed sewing control, foot controller with thread trimming function, automatic needle threader and thread trimmer. Price: £1,245


Create a professional finish with this model, which can work a wide and narrow three-thread and a four-thread cover stitch, plus a chain stitch for adding extra strength on waistbands and side seams. It also offers simple looper threading and exterior thread cutter, and the superior build quality means better stitching over seams. Price: £699




“The Juki HZL-DX7 with its unique float function is fantastic for quilting, velvet, cord and more” The Juki HZL-DX7 offers a wide range of features, such as a box feed function for all kinds of fabrics, industrial quality buttonholes, 287 sewing patterns, three fonts, a wide sewing space, and direct stitch pattern selection. New features include a straight stitch side plate that allows you to switch to a single needle hole, a float function to prevent uneven seams, a pressure foot pivot function that makes sewing corners or pivoting easier, plus foot control with thread trimming function or auto reverse. All of this ensures that you achieve professional-looking results every time you use this model.

KEY FEATURES: 3 287 sewing patterns 3 Box feed 3 Straight slide plate 3Float function 3Walking foot and knee lift Price: £1,295,, 01206 563955.

SHOP of the



in Colchester is one of a chain of five successful sewing shops that are located in East Anglia. Established in 1956, the business has expanded to offer a huge range of products including fabrics, haberdashery, patterns, books and kits. You’ll also find a huge range of sewing machines and overlockers from all the top brands such as Juki, which you are able to try out before you purchase. Franklins’ after sales service includes service and repair by trained mechanics plus a programme of in-store classes and courses, from machine embroidery and sewing, to dressmaking, patchwork, quilting, needlework and much more.

3 Authorised Juki dealers 3E  xpert advice and tuition before purchase 3 S ewing machine and overlocker servicing 3 Wide range of sewing classes


Visit Franklins, 13-15 St Botolph’s Street, Colchester, Essex, CO2 7DU. Alternatively, visit or call 01206 563955.

h s a t s y m ret... sec

MO-2000 QVP

One of the standout features of this overlocker is the easy threader, which prepares the machine from the threading hole to the looper with a strong whoosh of air sent from the electric motor! The adjustable differential feed, upper looper converter, wide throat area and informative LCD screen finish off the whole package to perfection. Price: £949


Sew reader, Suzanne Millwood says... “I bought my Juki HZL F370 about 18 months ago, after being given a very full demo from Franklins in Salisbury. It’s a lovely machine that has saved me so much time with the little extras it has, thanks to features such as the automatic needle threader, thread cutter, automatic reverse button and bobbin winder!” 55

SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 15/06/2017 12:31 Page 56

YOUR 5 BONUS PATTERN DOWNLOADS Get dressed up by stitching one of these pretty summer frocks!

Download your digital patterns in


1 the Sew website at for FREE. Find the tab circled at the top.



... by title, according to the project names opposite. Click on the search tab.


Bette dress

Get the retro look with this classic favourite from the Sew archives!




... button, which you will find under the main image.


Sewing Bee Betty Dress Stitch a pretty floaty tea dress with cute cap sleeves.

Sabrina Dress

Create the ultimate LBD, inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s frock in the movie Sabrina.



... by right clicking to save it to your computer, then print out (DON’ T fit to page!) PRINT OUT & KEEP PRINT OUT & KEEP

Issue 100 Aug issue 2017

Issue 100 Aug issue 2017

JUST PRINT OUT THE PAGE OR PAGES YOU NEED FROM YOUR PRINT MENU In your print menu, under Size options, be sure to select to print ‘Actual Size’, instead of ‘Fit to Page’

JUST PRINT OUT THE PAGE OR PAGES YOU NEED FROM YOUR PRINT MENU Designer: Amanda Walker Magazine page: 18 In your print menu, Size options, be sure to Total under 23 pages to print

select to print ‘Actual Size’, instead of ‘Fit to Page’ You can also locate the templates for this issue and all of our back issues at 1







Designer: Amanda Walker Magazine page: 18 Total 23 pages to print EL PAN ACK T&B side FRON oth FOR on b PLEAT otch uter n een o r betw Gathe

BACK FACING Cut one pair



2 7

4 9

3 8



11 13

12 14

EL PAN ACK T&B side FRON oth FOR on b PLEAT otch uter n een o r betw Gathe


FRONT PANEL Cut one on fold SIDE PANEL Cut two on fold BACK PANEL Cut one pair

FRONT FACING fold Cut one on

Cut one pair for back panels

BACK FACING Cut one pair

BACK BODICE Cut one pair

Cut on fold for centre front panel and side panels

FRONT BODICE Cut one on fold


FRONT BODICE Cut one on fold








Lorem ipsum







centre front

FRONT FACING fold Cut one on

Lorem ipsum

WAISTBAND Cut one only


centre front



FRONT PANEL Cut one on fold SIDE PANEL Cut two on fold BACK PANEL Cut one pair



Cut one pair for back panels

BACK BODICE Cut one pair

Cut on fold for centre front panel and side panels

Note that most digital patterns need to be ‘tiled’. This involves placing the A4 printouts in the correct order to form the pattern, as indicated – so get some sticky tape ready in order to join the sheets! 19



WAISTBAND Cut one only


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


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


Wiggle dress

Make yourself a curve-hugging 50s style dress, perfect for any time of the year!


Sewing Bee shift dress

This semi-fitted dress offers a high or V-neckline, plus a T-shirt variation.


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Get started • Cotton fabric, printed and plain • Baker’s twine

Size 15cm x 39cm

Cutting guide Lining: cut one 31cm x 40cm piece Outer: cut one 31cm x 40cm piece

fabric wine bags

Lay the outer and lining right sides together, sew along one short edge, open out, then fold in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch down the long seam to make a tube, then flatten so the seam is centred. Sew across the outer short edge. Turn out, fold in 5mm along the short end of the lining and topstitch. Push the lining inside the outer and topstitch around, 3mm from the top edge. Place a bottle into the inside out bag to flatten the base and form a point on either side. Stitch across the points, 3cm in, to square up the base. Turn right side out and allow the points to sit flat. Gather the neck (see below!)

Sew a running stitch with baker’s twine, 6cm from the top edge, to gather

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You can enter online at


Prizes worth

sewing machine!


PLUS accessories!

To celebrate our 100th issue, Janome is giving THREE lucky readers a DKS100 Special Edition machine, extension table, plus a number of handy feet to try out – appliqué, free-motion, walking, ditch quilting, and quarter-inch seam!

“We use the Janome DKS100SE in our studio and I am in love with this machine! It has a good range of stitch settings and feels nice and powerful... but even though it’s a sturdy guy, it isn’t too heavy to carry and is still easy to pack away when needed. I also think it looks really nice, with modern squared-off edges and that colourful face! Love love love.”

3 to


It’s one of the easiest-to-use machines Janome has ever made. From threading the needle to cutting the thread, it’s fully computerised so your favourite stitches are only the press of a large, LED-lit button away! Even better, with the bonus gift of a full range of machine feet, you’ll be able to try your hand at lots of new techniques.




DKS100 Special Edition, £529,

3 100 built-in stitches 3 Auto one-step buttonholes 3 5x pattern elongation 3 Auto needle threader 3 Weighs 7kg

To enter, turn to p82 to fill out the form or go online! The competition closes on 06.09.17

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Get started

• Felt, orange, white, green, pink, black • Piping (optional), orange 1.5m, green 2m • Co-ordinating thread • Stuffing


Watermelon: 23cm x 55cm Orange: 32cm diameter

Cutting guide

Watermelon rind: cut one on the fold from green Watermelon outer: cut one on the fold from white Watermelon inner: cut one on the fold from pink Watermelon seed: cut 14 from black Orange front/back: cut one each ge on the fold from white and oran Segment: cut six from orange Orange seed: cut six from white 1cm seam allowance used throughout.

Stitch a fresh watermelon


Download and print the templates at templates. Cut out the pieces from felt according to the cutting guide. Pin the pink piece centrally to the white one and topstitch around the edge. Pin the green piping to the right side of the front, matching the raw edge to the outside of the white edge. Pin the green rind on top, then sew around, leaving a 10cm gap for turning. Clip the curved seam and turn out through the gap. Lightly press the cushion outer. Stuff through the gap, then slip stitch it closed by hand. Pin seven black pips along each long edge of the pink piece and topstitch in place.


tutti frutti cushions

Freshen up your sofa with Ruth Oliver’s watermelon and orange felt cushions, which look almost good enough to eat. Take up the offer of optional piping to make the project more technical, or go without and get the kids involved instead. If working with very young ones, try using fabric glue to attach both the seeds and segments – rewarding them of course, with plenty of fresh fruit!


free template download /templates

Carefully iron your felt under a cloth and on a low temperature to prevent it melting

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Sew an orange


Download and print the templates at templates. Cut out the pieces from felt according to the cutting guide, then arrange the orange segments on top of the white circle and topstitch in place. Pin orange piping to the right side of the white front, as for the watermelon. Pin the orange back on top, then sew around, leaving a 10cm gap for turning. Clip the curved seam and turn out through the gap. Lightly press the cushion outer. Stuff through the gap, then slip stitch it closed by hand. Pin a white pip to the centre of each orange segment and topstitch in place.

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sew PEOPLE Alison Glass, Sun Print 2017 collection,

Moroccan copper string lights, £10.62,

Lipstick and polish blanket, a project from my new book. My orange peel quilt!

At home with...

STUART HILLARD My new book was challenging and made me realise you don’t have to be restricted to just one style!

This month promises to be a very exciting one as I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet and welcome a new addition to my family – my new book, Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts!

With all the pride and trepidation of a new father, I will be launching it at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. It has felt like a very long three years since my first book, Sew Fabulous, was published – and writing my new one was a completely different experience. A first book is momentous, thrilling, unknown and unchartered… writing a second book was so much harder and took a lot longer, but I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. I wanted my first title to reflect the reasons why I started to sew – the home decor projects that made my first house a home, and the skills I’d picked up along the way. My new book is devoted to the creative pursuit that fills more of my life than any other, quilt-making! When I sat down to plan the new book, I hit a massive issue… what was my quilt-making style? Kaffe is bright and clashing, Cath is floral and 50s, but what about me? I couldn’t help but wonder ‘What’s my style?’ and it wasn’t until I was on the train heading to a meeting with my publishers that it hit me. Why pick a style, when you can be all things? I love bright, I love subtle, quiet sometimes, wildly in your face when the mood takes me, old and new, yesterday and tomorrow. With this in mind, I started to plan my projects. Most quilt books contain around 15 projects but there was no way I could show

all my facets in such a paltry number of quilts. I needed more, I needed 100! I’ve spent more hours than I care to count designing, making and styling these projects, and I love them. I do hope the world will love my baby too! LIFE IN COLOUR Summer is hotting up, at least in the world of interiors. As predicted, the high street is awash with tropical-inspired prints, soft furnishings and brightly coloured jungle motifs to bring the warmth of the southern hemisphere into even the chilliest British homes. My current crush is for all things Alison Glass, a surface designer who hails from Virginia in the US. She has created a number of fabric ranges for Andover and her current collection, Sun Prints, is the most heavenly palette of rainbow hues I’ve seen this year. Perfect for revitalising your summer wardrobe and making accessories, bags or quilted projects, the palette of colours will make you drool. If all this heat is a bit much for you, there are always alternative trends that you may find more appealing. I’ve just given Charlie’s man cave a make-under, using pale slate chalk paint and a clean white interior to freshen things up – creating a calmer, brighter space for him to relax in. One of my favourite lighting trends in the last few years is fairy lights. Once the preserve of the Christmas holidays, it’s now perfectly acceptable to twinkle at any time of year. Needless to say, my hubby's den is all decked out in sparkling white lights, and is now a really romantic place to sit and idle a few hours away. The reindeer skins have been replaced with soft woollen throws to keep out evening chills, and I’ve pulled a couple of Lloyd Loom chairs out of retirement and given them a

Look out for my brand new book Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts, £22.95, fresh coat of spray paint and mattress ticking-covered seat pads. I rescued the chairs from a gentleman’s club in Birmingham that was being modernised about 25 years ago, and over the years they’ve fallen in and out of favour with me too. I know that my tastes will change and at some point in the future I will send them back into semi–retirement, but the tide will turn again someday so they won’t be going far! THE EARLY BIRD... Talking of Christmas, I’ve been merrily working away in my studio on projects and makes for the holidays. One of the great joys and challenges of being a designer and writer is working months in advance! My home is currently awash with baubles, stockings and enough snowflakes to bring an airport to its knees. I even managed to find a forgotten jar of mincemeat in my cupboard the other day, and made a batch of pies just to help with the festive mood. Whatever you’re doing this month, have a very creative one and if you’re planning to pop along to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, do make sure you come and say Hello! Till next month!

Stuart x

You can check in with Stuart on channels Virgin 748, Freeview 23, Freesat 813 and Sky 674 or visit 63 Stuart Hillard 100.indd 2

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BRITISH SEWING AWARDS 2017 Nominate your favourite sewing brands today!


t’s that time of year again, when you get to have your say on who should win our prestigious British Sewing Awards! Tell us about your favourite, products, brands, shops and more by 3 prizes up filling in the form below, or online at Those for grabs with the most nominations will go worth over through to the second voting stage later this year. As a thank you, you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to win one of two Buyagift Smart Boxes worth £34.99 each, treating you to a delicious afternoon tea with a friend, with over 250 locations to choose from – you can find out more about their range of gift packages at Another prize is a fabulous selection of sewing goodies worth £105. Not only that, everyone who fills in our online form will receive our FREE toy pattern to make the adorable Stella the cat!


Nominate NOW and receive a FREE Stella the cat pattern!

Please send completed forms to: Marketing Dept, British Sewing Awards 2017, Aceville Publications Ltd, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, CO2 8JY


Write your nominations on the dotted line PRODUCTS


Best new product for 2017 (name & brand)


......................................................................... Best fabric brand .........................................................................

Pffaf ......................................................................... Singer

Best major pattern house

......................................................................... Toyota



Best independent pattern house ......................................................................... Best thread brand ......................................................................... FAVOURITE SEWING MACHINES

[Fill in applicable categories only. Please include model details next to relevant machine – this may be found on the side of your machine]

RETAILERS Best UK chain (two or more stores) ......................................................................... Best independent haberdashery shop (tick area then add shop name and location)


❑ Wales ❑ Ireland ❑ Scotland ❑ North of England ❑ South of England ❑ Midlands









Bernina ......................................................................... Brother

ONLINE Best online retailer




Best sewing blog ......................................................................... Best Instagram ......................................................................... RESOURCES & ACTIVITIES Most inspirational sewing personality ......................................................................... Favourite sewing book 2017 (title & author) .........................................................................

Title................Forename.......................... Address........................................................ ......................................................................... ......................................................................... ......................................................................... Postcode...................................................... Tel number................................................... Email.............................................................. Signature......................................................

Top sewing workshops/courses (workshop name & provider) .........................................................................


Best exhibition/event 2017 .........................................................................

TERMS & CONDITIONS: All entries will be entered into the prize draw which is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. Only one entry per household. The prizes are two Buyagift Afternoon Tea Smart Boxes worth £34.99 each, plus a bundle of sewing products worth £105, and cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced with any other item. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules will be disqualified. No responsibility held for entries lost, delayed or damaged. By entering this survey, you are agreeing to Aceville Publications Ltd and sister companies being able to contact you. No correspondence will be entered into. CLOSING DATE: 24th August 2017. Winner will be notified by post, phone or email 28 days after closing date. The winner’s name will be available in writing on request from Zoe Charge, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY.

Most outstanding Sew Saturday event 2016 .........................................................................


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Girl Charlee is a family-run online retailer of exclusive knit fabrics for the UK and Europe. The brand specialise in unique cotton jersey, cotton Lycra, Ponte De Roma, cotton rib, French terry, hacci sweater and other speciality knit fabrics. Girl Charlee also stock sewing patterns from independent designers, meant especially for knit fabrics and available in PDF digital format for download. The BOLT range by Girl Charlee is a collection of exclusive, high-quality, super soft pre-shrunk cotton spandex knits (95/5). Made in the USA, the BOLT range has more than 40 designs to choose from in a variety of fantastic colourways and patterns across five co-ordinating collections.



Visit and enter discount code SEWMAG25 to receive 25% off! *Terms & Conditions: Discount code is valid until 11/08/17. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.




Polygon hard craft felt by Camelot Fabrics, £6.99 per metre,

Trouvaille Routes in Ocean, Indie Boheme collection by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics,

Your home should ultimately be a place you can retreat to, offering a haven where you can relax, recharge and unwind. It’s no surprise then that your colour schemes and furnishings can help instil a sense of tranquility, making it easier to kick back and clear your mind. Here, dreamy blues are combined with soft, dusky pinks and subtle Moroccan-inspired patterns to create a soothing palette that is sure to leave you feeling zen and carefree!


“Designed by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery fabrics, I can’t get enough of this blue design. The lines are subtle enough for it to still be treated as a ‘plain’ in a project, whilst still adding interest.”

Bio washed linen in Old Rose, £14 per metre,

Woven oilcloth in white and gold, £11.50 per metre,

“Felt is thought to be the oldest fabric known to man, yet this brings it up to date. It’s perfect for adding interest to your interiors – think cushions, lampshades, even things like placemats and coasters!”



“Oilcloth is so versatile, and our coated version isn’t your average one! The coating can easily be wiped clean... use it to cover garden pillows or back a picnic blanket – the possibilities are endless.”

“As well as being a great dressmaking fabric, our linen cotton blend makes for wonderful curtains, cushions, quilts and throws, bags, storage buckets, and aprons too. The fabric is super versatile!” 66 HomeTrends 100.indd 1

16/06/2017 12:31

sew home

Add gold or metallic accents

Seek out chevron and geometric motifs

Use pops of grey, black or charcoal

67 HomeTrends 100.indd 2

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Get started • Cotton fabric, patterned and white • Cotton wadding, 0.5m • Webbing tape, 1.5m • Felt wadding • Toy stuffing • Old pair of jeans • Zip, 1m • Buttons, six navy 15mm and 12 assorted 8mm • 3cm wide lace • 6mm wide satin ribbon • Grey yarn

Head to for these bonus table runner projects!


Gütermann Marrakesch It’s hard not to be taken in by the serene pink and grey hues of the new Marrakesch range from Gütermann, aptly named after the Moroccan city and featuring a tantalising menu of mandalas, chevrons and tiled motifs. This month, self-confessed sewing addict and designer Corinne Bradd has used the collection to upcycle an old pair of jeans into a crafty pinafore and stitch a patchwork suitcase, pouches for delicates, and a toy to be treasured!

Post your makes online with the hashtag #SewTagYourMake for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle! For your nearest Gütermann stockist, email 69

Before pleating the long strip, pin it to the edges of the apron to help distribute the frill evenly.

Named by Sew reader Briony Parrott


Stitch a pinafore

Make Dolly donkey

Size: custom-sized

Size: approx 30cm height


Take an old pair of jeans and cut across them at the crotch to remove the legs, then snip away the front to leave the back part with the pockets still attached. Press the panel and flatten the curve of the bottom, slip stitching a pleat on the inside if necessary. Round the two bottom corners. Make pockets from denim offcuts, folding over a cuff at the top and adding strips of patterned fabric across the width. Turn in 1cm along the three sides of the pocket, pin, and topstitch to the pinny. Overlap existing pockets by machine stitching the new pocket onto the pinafore as far as possible, hand-stitching the rest.



Affix a large safety pin to one end of the webbing tape to guide it through the waistband of your jeans. Even up the ends of the tape and secure in the waistband with a few stitches. Cut several 8cm wide strips of fabric and join end-to-end to make a piece that is twice as long as the three bottom edges of the pinny. Fold in half along the length, wrong sides together, and zigzag stitch the raw edges together. Pleat the strip every few centimetres and stitch to the edges of the pinny, with the raw edges matching. Fold out the frill, press, then topstitch the raw edge to the pinny.



Download and print the templates at templates. Add a 5mm seam allowance around each piece. Use the templates to cut a head, nose and body, then another of each piece with the template reversed. Cut two ears from fabric using the template and another two with it reversed, then cut two ear pieces from wadding. Use the leg template to snip eight legs, then pair up the pieces right sides together and sew around, leaving a 3cm gap along the bottom edge. Turn the legs right sides out, stuff fairly firmly, fold in the raw edges, then slip stitch closed. Pair up the straight edge of one nose piece to the end of one head, right sides together, and stitch. Repeat for the other pieces and press the seam. Match up the bottom edge of the head pieces with the top of the body pieces and sew together. Place the two head and body halves right sides together and sew, leaving a 5cm gap along the belly. Clip the curves, turn right side out and stuff. Turn in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitch closed.



free template download /templates


Pair up the ears right sides together and place a piece of wadding underneath each pair. Sew through the layers, leaving the straight edge unsewn. Clip the curves and turn right side out. Fold in the raw edges, pinch the base of the ear in half, and slip stitch closed. Oversew the ears to either side of the head, with the curved edge at the bottom. Pin a pair of navy buttons to the face for eyes and stitch in place. Pin the legs to the body of the donkey and join securely with button joints, using doubled thread. Cut six 30cm lengths of grey yarn, fold them in half and stitch the fold to the rear of the donkey. Plait the tail to a 6cm length, bind the end with yarn, and trim the ends to 4cm.


Safety First! If sewing for a baby or young child, omit the buttons, sew the legs on securely, and embroider the eyes instead.

sew gifts

Sew a suitcase Size: 25cm x 39cm (excl. handle)


Cut one 13cm x 15cm and two 26cm x 36cm rectangles from batting. Snip a 4cm x 100cm and a 10cm x 100cm strip each from batting, pink fabric and white cotton lining. Lay the pink strip over the batting, right side up. Lay one side of the face-down zip along the layers' edge, place the lining on top. Sew the layers together, close to the teeth. Turn over the lining to cover the batting. Topstitch 1cm from the teeth. Repeat for the other zip edge, using the narrower strips. Cut three 26cm x 36cm rectangles for the lid lining, base lining and base. Sew rectangles of other fabrics together to make a 26cm x 36cm patchwork. Press, then topstitch onto one rectangle of batting along the seam lines. Round the corners of all these rectangles. Pin the centre of the narrow edge of the zipped strip face-down to the middle of one long edge of the patchwork panel. Tack the strip to the perimeter, leaving a gap on the other long edge. Pin the lid lining face-down on top and stitch

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around. Turn out through the gap, press, and topstitch 3mm from the seam on the lid side. Lay the base face-up over the batting and zigzag the edges to bind. Tack the wider edge of the zipped strip to the base, as for the lid. Flatten the rest of the case and pin the base lining face-down over this. Sew around the perimeter and turn the case out through the gap. Unzip, press, then topstitch 3mm from the seam on the base side. Fold the edges of 15cm x 17cm of fabric over the small batting rectangle and tack. Lay out the case so the gap between the lid and base is flat. Pin and topstitch the rectangle over the gap. Press a 15cm x 17cm rectangle under by 1cm on all sides. Turn the case over and slip stitch the rectangle over the raw edges of the gap. Sew a 10cm x 26cm panel of fabric in half lengthways, right sides together. Sew down the long edge to make a tube, turn out and press so the seam lies in the centre. Slip 5cm x 24cm of batting inside, turn in the raw ends and topstitch around the handle, 5mm from the edges to secure the batting. Topstitch to the front of the case.


Whip up two pouches Size when fastened: Small: 14cm x 14cm Large: 20.5cm x 20.5cm





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free template download /templates


Download and print the templates at templates. Add a 5mm seam allowance around each one, then cut two white lining pieces and two patterned pieces from each template. Stitch each lining piece to the top edge of a patterned piece, right sides together, then open out and press. Pin and stitch a length of wide lace across one patterned section, 1cm down from the seam, allowing 1cm excess lace at each end. Place the two fabric pieces right sides together, lining up the centre seams accurately. Sew around the outline, leaving a 8cm gap on one straight edge of the lining. Clip the curves, turn right side out through the gap, then press. Turn the raw edges of the gap in and topstitch closed before pushing the lining inside the pouch. Press the seam line and topstitch 2mm from the edge. Fold and press the top of the pouch over as indicated on the template. Cut 6cm


pieces of ribbon, fold in half to make a loop, and seal the ends together with a flame. Affix the loops to the front of the flap, 1.5cm from the edge, and cover the ends with a small button. Mark the position of the end of each loop on the front of the pouch and add coordinating buttons, sewing through both the outer and lining fabrics.


““These pouches make great gifts and are ideal for storing your delicates and packing into your suitcase on holiday” Corinne Bradd, sew designer

SEW AUGUST 17 ISSUE 99_SEW 16/06/2017 16:22 Page 72

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sew home

Get started • Cotton fabric • Medium weight quilt wadding

Size Large: Front and back: 21cm square Base and sides: 11cm x 21cm Medium: Front and back: 18.5cm square Base and sides: 11cm x 18.5cm Small: Front and back: 16cm square Base and sides: 11cm x 16cm 5mm seam allowance used throughout.


hanging baskets Piece together fabric squares to create Corinne Bradd’s chic patchwork storage tubs. These easy-to-make containers can be displayed on a peg board or hung from a curtain pole in a bedroom, home office or craft room to create a unique storage solution. The instructions describe how to make a large basket, but you can create an assortment in decreasing sizes using the easy measurement guide (left).

Stitch a large basket


Cut two 21cm squares and one 11cm x 21cm rectangle of print fabric and two 11cm x 21cm panels in a contrast design. Cut all five pieces again from a third print fabric for the lining. With the outer fabric, stitch the two squares to each long side of the matching rectangle. Sew the two contrast rectangles to the short sides of the first rectangle to create a cross shape. Press the seams and lay on a piece of medium weight wadding. Pin the fabric to the wadding and cut to the same shape. With a co-ordinating thread, quilt the padded cross with parallel lines running 5cm apart vertically and horizontally, to create a patchwork effect. Fold up the cross into a complete box shape, bringing the long edges of the panels right sides together and pinning to make an open basket. Stitch all seams and turn right side out. Make up the lining fabric pieces in the same way as the outer. Keep the lining wrong side out and slip inside the padded basket. Pin the top edges of the basket and lining together. Snip two 6cm x 12cm pieces of fabric for the hanging loops. Press in half lengthways and fold the long raw edges

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to the centre crease. Fold again and slip stitch to enclose the raw edges. Pin the ends of each piece in a loop to two of the top corners of the basket, then tack in place about 5mm from the edge. Cut a 4cm x 62cm strip, joining pieces of fabric together if necessary, for the top of the basket’s edging. Fold in one short end and pin the strip to the top edge of the basket. Make sure the raw end of the strip overlaps the folded end by at least 1cm and the ends of the hanging loops are sandwiched between the layers of fabric. Sew the strip in place. Fold up 5mm along the raw edge, fold the strip over the top edges of the basket, and slip stitch the folded edge to the inside.



Get started • Fabric, cotton and linen canvas • Medium weight fusible interfacing • Hessian ribbon • Twine • Toy stuffing


Fish: 9cm x 24cm Starfish: 22cm x 25cm Boat: 14cm x 17cm Anchor: 14cm x 24cm 5mm seam allowance used throughout.


seaside decorations

If you have fond memories of days spent on the sand and still enjoy dipping your toes, these charming designs by Chloe Hailwood are perfect for freshening up your home. Easy to assemble and stitch, each of the four shapes can be filled with dried lavender or a few drops of your favourite essential oils.


free template download

Stitch nautical motifs /templates


Press interfacing to the reverse of all fabrics. Download and print the templates at Use them to mark and cut out two fish on the reverse of one fabric and two anchors on the reverse of another. Cut the starfish from another fabric using the two templates. For the boat, snip one of each sail template and two boats from the same fabric. For the fish, anchor and starfish, pin the two pieces right sides together. Fold a length of ribbon in half and place at the tip, with the loop pointing inwards between the two layers. Pin in place and stitch around the shape, leaving a 4cm gap for turning. Clip the curves around the seam allowance, turn out through the gap and stuff. To make the ship, place each matching sail and boat piece right sides together. Pin and stitch as before, leaving a gap for turning, and adding a string loop between the layers at the top of the boat pieces at the point where the sails will meet. Stuff, then sew the gaps closed. Arrange the sails to sit on top of the boat, then stitch at the corners to attach to the boat and string.



Cut the ribbon and twine to fit, depending on where they will hang

74 Nautical decorations.indd 1

16/06/2017 14:25


sew home


Sophie Allport ‘What A Catch!’ Sea Life collection, sophie

Nautical designs were made for summer, conjuring up memories of trips to the British seaside or holidays to more exotic locales. Sharktown by Riley Blake includes fun ocean creatures and lifebelt motifs in bright red and blue, which would brighten up any child’s bedroom! The fabrics featuring stripes and water patterns would also add a subtle Riviera accent to your home.

Sharktown, Main Blue

Sharktown, Reflection White

Sharktown, Stripe Red

Lobster & Friends picnic blanket, £35,

Vintage life ring, £30,

Kids shark mini rucksack, £16,

Sharktown, Chomp Light Blue

Nautical stripe mug, £2.99, What a Catch melamine side plate, £6,

Anchor buttons, £1.99 for 10, ukcraftstore.

Sharktown, Sea Life Navy

Sail boat salt and pepper shakers, £10, 75 The Fabric Edit 100.indd 2

Visit to find your nearest Riley Blake stockist.

16/06/2017 12:33

Gütermann Starter Thread Kit



Your kit contains contains 11 x 100m spools of Gütermann polyester thread in basic colours, a hand measuring aid and a seam ripper.

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PLACE YOUR ORDER AT and simply enter discount code STARTER1 in your shopping basket Terms & Conditions: Orders must be received by the 28th of July 2017. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. UK residents only.


Sewing For Kids by Ginny Farquhar and Alice Butcher offers an exciting collection of 17 easy sewing projects for children aged 5-11, including toys, decorations and accessories that kids will really love to make.

Your children will have great fun learning important sewing techniques with simple instructions written just for them, and can make loads of exciting things from character softees and puppets, to patchwork balls, blankets, games, masks, and more.


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PLACE YOUR ORDER AT and simply enter discount code SEWBOOK in your shopping basket *Terms & Conditions: £3.99 postage charges apply. Orders must be placed by the 11th of August 2017. Only one order per customer. Subject to availability while stocks last. UK residents only. We can only replace damaged or faulty goods. Please allow 28 days for delivery.


TOPof the CLASS Brush up your skills with one of these great workshops and courses!

Whatever you enjoy sewing, be it garments, accessories or patchwork, you will always be able to find a class to suit. Make sure you check out these great workshops, which demonstrate how to make a six-panel skirt and use a fabric jelly roll to create vibrant patchwork – or, why not treat yourself to a relaxing break in the South Wales countryside while learning to stitch a stylish handbag?

Beginners Dressmaking Sewing Course GillyBee Designs, Brundall If you’re new to sewing garments, this course will take you through the basics in order to create a six-panel skirt. You can choose from a Wednesday course, which runs for five consecutive weeks, or a Saturday one that runs for four. In addition to the course price of £85, you will also need to purchase fabric, interfacing, a zip, thread, and the skirt pattern at £3.80. Places are limited to six. Visit or call 01603 716140.

The Bag Retreat Mrs H, South Wales South Wales business Mrs H will be holding a weekend retreat from 13th-15th October at Ty Newydd Country Hotel in Hirwaun to create your own beautiful bag. Priced £310 for shared occupancy or £355 for a single, the package includes two special retreat patterns to make, skill builder sessions and support, two nights accommodation, meals and refreshments, plus access to the pop-up shop Sew Hot. To find out more and book your place, visit or email 77

Make a Jelly Roll Bargello Patchwork The Exeter Sewing Machine Company Aimed at intermediate quilters, this one-day class will teach you everything you need to know to create your very own Bargello-style patchwork. You’ll be given tips on how to choose your fabrics, and instructed on how to put the pieces together. Priced £30, you’ll only need to bring a fabric jelly roll and pins – everything else is provided. The next available date is 15th July, visit or call 01392 275660.

Get started • Liberty fabric, four fat quarters • Matching thread • Fusible interfacing, 2m • Toy stuffing • Knitting needle


33cm x 43cm

Cutting guide Body: cut one pair (one piece reversed) Legs: cut one Ears: cut two right and two left 5mm seam allowance used throughout.

Sew a patchwork elephant


Download and print the templates at uk/templates. Iron interfacing to the reverse of four printed fat quarters, then cut 36 squares (7cm x 7cm) from each. Place two squares right sides together and stitch down one edge. Add in another, using the same technique. Continue until you have a row of eight. Make up 18 separate rows of eight squares, then stitch them together to make one large patchwork panel. Snip a 5cm x 20cm rectangle from a leftover fabric scrap. Fold in half lengthways, right sides together, then stitch down one long edge and short end. Turn right side out through the open end, press, then tie a knot in the stitched end to form the tail. Set aside. Trim one elephant body from the patchwork panel, then turn the template over and cut another. From the remaining patchwork, snip the leg template and two pairs of ears. Place the two body pieces right sides together, matching the edges. Pin in place. Fold the legs piece in half lengthways, right sides together. Make a crease along the fold. Unpin the legs of the elephant’s main body and sit the legs piece between, then pin together. Place the tail at the back of the elephant, between the layers, with the knot facing inwards. Sew around the pieces. Double stitch to secure, and continue sewing again from another position where the elephant body pieces meet the legs at the chest and back end. Leave an 8cm gap along a back edge for filling.


Tallulah elephant This impressive patchwork elephant by Chloe Hailwood looks great and is so versatile – you can gift her as a toy, use as a doorstop or a vibrant cushion, or even just as a show-stopping decoration. This project is also a great stashbuster if you have remnants of colourful fabrics needing to be used up... simply combine into one large patchwork panel then cut out your pieces.


free template download /templates





sew kids


To create a flat foot, take the side seam of one leg and flatten it against the bottom seam. Stitch across the triangle created, 2cm from the point. Repeat for the opposite side of the leg, then again for the other three feet. Trim the excess fabric from the triangle. Make small snips in the seam allowance around the curves, particularly on the trunk and inner corner of the legs. If there are any open seams in the patchwork of the 8cm gap, make a few double


stitches over the top to keep in place whilst turning through and filling. Turn inside out and gently press. Fill with stuffing, gently pushing it into the corners with the wrong end of a knitting needle. Slip stitch the gap closed. Place two ear pieces right sides together. Stitch around, leaving a 3cm gap, turn out through the gap and fill with a small piece of stuffing. Slip stitch the gap closed. Press gently and pin in position to each side of the head before whipstitching in place.



SHOPPER ************************


Try mixing a variety of Liberty prints, such as this Danjo Red Pink Tana Lawn, ÂŁ22.50 per metre,

************************ thank you for shopping!

Measure the seam allowance accurately - by doing so, you will guarantee perfectly a lined up square


**ALL SEWN UP classified AUGUST 17_ALL SEWN UP 16/06/2017 16:07 Page 80


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Join in the biggest national sewing event ever held in the UK Supporting local “Bricks & Mortar” buisnesses Here at Sew magazine we realise how tough the high street retail environment can be. Our mission is to publicise just how important local sewing shops, haberdashers and fabric outlets are not only in terms of the range of products that you can touch and feel before buying but also the massive amount of help and expert advice available through these outlets to enhance your hobby.

Here’s how to get involved



21st October 2017

Dress, curtain, and patchwork fabrics. Haberdashery, buttons and quilting notions. And much, much, more. 134 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6ST

Within our magazine not only will we be running tons of pre event publicity, interviews and marketing but also there will be Sew Saturday directory pages where your business can be featured under your county heading and also at no additional cost on our fully intereactive webite map seen by over 50,000 unique visitors a month!

Here’s the deal Each shop will also receive a full colour classified advert in the Sew Saturday directory in the August-November issues of Sew Magazine, for a small fee of £40 + VAT per issue, then reduced to £30 + VAT for the December-February issues when the Sew Saturday campaign continues onto Shop Local.

And don’t forget you get the fully interactive store finder map entry absolutely free! Want to sign up? Call Anna on 01206 505932 or e-mail or call Hannah on 01206 505495 or e-mail

sew kids


Get started • Fabric, 2 fat quarters • 1cm wide elastic • Coordinating thread

Size To fit age 3-6 months

Cutting guide Front: cut one pair Back: cut one pair

baby bloomers

These loose-fit bottoms make a great gift for any newborn, as the elasticated waist makes them comfortable for baby to wear and easy to slip off at changing time. With just two pattern pieces needed, they’re easy enough for beginners to sew. Mixing colours and prints would look even cuter, turning this project into a brilliant stashbuster. For perfect edges, use an overlocker or zigzag stitch to neaten all vertical seams.

1cm seam allowance used throughout.


free template download

Stitch tiny trousers /templates


Download and print the templates at /templates, ensuring that each square of the grid measures 7.5mm. Cut out all the pieces, referring to the cutting guide. Pin the two front pieces right sides together, and sew down the centre seam. Repeat with the back pieces, then press. Pin the front of the bloomers to the back, right sides together, then sew down the inner and outer leg seams.


To make the elastic waistband casing, keeping the bloomers wrong side out, turn down the top edge by 1cm and press. Turn down a further 2.5cm and press, then pin and sew across, leaving a 4cm gap for inserting the elastic. Repeat the process at the cuff of each leg.


Measure the baby’s waist and add 2.5cm for joining, then cut the elastic to this length. Guide it through the casing using a large safety pin or an elastic guide. Overlap the ends of the elastic by 2.5cm and securely stitch together, then slip stitch the seam opening closed. Repeat the process to add elastic at each leg cuff.

Get the book Create 25 projects in a flash with small lengths of fabric in Fat Quarter Quick Makes by Julie Bawden and Amanda Russell. £12.99,

Win a fat quarter bundle on p84! 81 Baby bloomers.indd 1

16/06/2017 13:45

enter online at EMBROIDERY MACHINE Just some of the Singer Futura XL420 sewing and embroidery machine’s great features include a presser foot knee lift, 200 built-in designs, and an endless hoop. Win one worth £999, courtesy of Create and Craft! Visit We have two XL420 machines to give away. To enter, tick CREATE & CRAFT

2 to win! MAKE A SPLASH!

Win a complete kit for making your own swimwear from Flo-Jo Boutique, worth £35! It includes the Belle swimsuit pattern, 1.5m of fabric, plus coloured and clear elastic. Visit to find out more.

4 to win!

We have four kits to give away. To enter, tick FLO-JO

100th ISSUE

BUMPER Giveaways

Join in the celebration and win BIG! 100 FREE PATTERNS!

Our friends at Simplicity are almost as excited about our milestone issue as us, so they’re offering 100 free patterns! 25 winners will each win 8085, 8090, 8093 and 8096. Go to



We have 25 of each pattern to give away. To enter, tick SIMPLICITY

100 to win!

Passport 3.0

Win a Pfaff Passport 3.0 compact sewing machine! Weighing in at only 6.7kg, it’s perfect for taking along to classes – and still has all the features you love. Read the full specification at We have one Passport 3.0 to give away. To enter, tick PFAFF


The only thing you need to know about the £50 bundle of fabric from Minerva Crafts is that it’s going to be great. The best prize is a surprise! See the collection at We have five mystery bundles to give away. To enter, tick MINERVA



to win!

enter online at SEWING NEEDLES


You can never have too many of them, so John James Needles is offering a generous set of machine and hand needles, worth £15. For more information, visit We have 15 bundles to give away. To enter, tick JOHN JAMES

£25 CRAFT STORE VOUCHER Who wants £25 to spend on crafts kits, magazine subscriptions and more? You’ll find plenty of sewing goodies and other crafty treats there! Visit We have four £25 vouchers to give away. To enter, tick CRAFT STORE

4 to win!

15 to win!


Enjoy attending the Simply Christmas and Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts shows at the ExCel in London with a friend this November, and leave feeling inspired and ready to get making! For more information, visit We have 15 pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, tick SHOW

15 pairs

to win!

We have more than


to win! PERSONALISED SHEARS To celebrate 50 years of the brand’s famous orange-handled scissors, Fiskars is offering personalised pairs to make sure nobody but you uses them! Check them out at

£11,650 OF PRIZES to say thank you to all our lovely readers!

We have five pairs of engraved scissors to give away. To enter, tick FISKARS

BOOK VOUCHER Get your fill of crafty books from C&T publishing, choosing £77* worth with your online voucher. Browse craft titles at We have three US $100 vouchers to give away. To enter, tick C&T

30 to win! COLOUR REVOLUTION Try the new DYLON all-in-one fabric dye pod for yourself. It offers the same amazing colour range but is even easier to use – simply peel off the lid and pop it in the wash! Find out more at We have 30 pods to give away. To enter, tick DYLON


Win a Little Red Riding Hood mobile sewing kit and a Pretty Flamingo kit, courtesy of The Crafty Kit Company. Find out more from

5 to win!

We have ten kit combos to give away. To enter, tick KITS

3 to win!



to win!

Exchange rate correct at time of printing


If you love nostalgic fashion, you’re in for a treat. Win our Sew Style Vintage bookazine and a whopping five metres of gold satin fabric, courtesy of the Craft Store. Find out more at We have five bookazine and fabric sets to give away. To enter, tick VINTAGE

More overleaf! >>

enter online at

20 to win!


Get copies of Sew Bunting by Debbie Shore, Boho Bags by Beate Schmitz, Complete Dressmaking Skills by Lorna Knight and A-Z of Sewing by Country Bumpkin, courtesy of Search Press. Visit for more information.

Win a Maven pattern – choose between the new Rochester dress (our Indie Pattern pick of the month!) and the Wendy smock. We love both! Find out more at

25 to win!

We have five Rochester and 20 Wendy PDFs to give away. To enter, tick ROCHESTER or WENDY

We have six bundles to give away. To enter, tick SEARCH

6 to win!


CRAFT4CRAFTERS TICKETS Heading to the Bath & West showground in Somerset for the Craft4Crafters show? Win tickets for yourself and a friend to see 170+ traders, a display of over 100 quilts, demonstrations and workshops. Keep up to date at We have 20 pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, tick SOMERSET

11 to win!

Neatly organising your ever-expanding stash just got easier, thanks to Korbond. Win a large sewing basket from the summer collection with a storage tray, pocket and pincushion. View the range at We have ten sewing baskets to give away. To enter, tick SUMMER

10 to win!

Win a full set of CBeebies sewing and craft kits from Creativity Crafts to inspire little fingers and young minds. Each kit allows your child to make their own toys, perfect for the summer holidays! Visit to shop the range.



Kawaii means ‘cute’ and that’s exactly what this is! The fabric bundle from modeS is perfect for little bags and cushions – you can’t resist being happy when sewing with it. Find everything ‘kawaii’ at

to win!

We have ten bundles to give away. To enter, tick KAWAII

We have 11 bundles to give away. To enter, tick CBEEBIES

Win a pair of dressmaking shears with soft-grip unbreakable handles, ultra sharp stainless steel blades, plus get three reels of ribbons and cute buttons for your stash, from Berisfords and Groves. For more information, contact and







Win a Hemline sewing box filled with essential goodies including fabric scissors, threads, a punch plier and much more, plus a French curve from Sew Easy. Contact We have five sets to give away. To enter, tick HEMLINE

We have six bundles to give away. To enter, tick SCISSORS

6 to win!

5 to win!



Try your hand at the biggest stitchy craze! Stoff & Stil is offering a bundle of two wooden embroidery hoops, a pack of needles, Aida fabric and 12 colours of embroidery thread. Shop the range at We have five bundles to give away. To enter, tick STOFF & STIL


enter online at #SEWTAG YOURMAKE


to win!

The most important thing about this mag is YOU, so we have extra #SewTagYourMake prizes – Gütermann fat quarter bundles – to celebrate! Contact

We have five fat quarter bundles to give away. To enter, post your photo to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @sewhq using the hashtag #SewTagYourMake


MYSTERY BOOKS As the saying goes, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ – so we aren’t showing it! You’ll receive one sewing title, be it dressmaking, quilting, home makes or other, and you can rest assured that it has the Sew team seal of approval!

25 to win!

We have 25 books to give away. To enter, tick BOOK

Named Clothing is offering the chance to win the patterns to make TWO fabulous outfits. Opt for their Helmi blouse, Tynni trousers an Aava blazer for WORK, or Anneli tee, Ninni culottes and Maisa jacket for PLAY. Check them out at We have four WORK sets and four PLAY sets to give away. To enter, tick WORK or PLAY



to win!

PRETTY PASTELS This bundle of eight soft cotton fat quarters from Plush Addict is great for quilting and kids’ makes alike. The pastel shades are super sweet! Visit


We have 25 fat quarter packs to give away. To enter, tick PASTELS


If you love bold fabrics, this prize is just what you need – a bundle from Girl Charlee and handy tote bag, worth over £55! Check out the full range of great fabrics at

25 to win!


Win this bundle of haberdashery goodies worth £100+, including sewing essentials and lots more! Contact clover@stockistenquiries., berisfords@stockistenquiries., and

We have six bundles to give away. To enter, tick GIRL CHARLEE


1 to win!

to win!

We have three bundles to give away. To enter, tick STASH



to win!

How would you like to get your favourite sewing magazine delivered direct to your door for an entire year? For full terms and conditions, see We have one year subscription to give away. To enter, tick SEW


Just tick the boxes to win!

To enter our giveaways, just tick the box that corresponds with the prizes you want to win and send your entry to us no later than 06.09.2017. Mark your envelope: Sew August Giveaways, PO Box 443, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8WG.











Name Address

























Turn to p60 to see our fantastic Janome giveaway! To enter, tick DKS100

Postcode Daytime phone

Date of birth Only one entry per household. Terms and conditions can be found online at


The countdown begins to…



Put Saturday 21st October into your diaries, pronto! Proudly sponsored by


hether you’ve heard of Sew Saturday or are yet to experience the stitchiest day that the calendar year has to offer, make sure this year’s date is firmly on your radar! Taking place on Saturday 21st October, the plans for Sew Saturday 2017 are already underway, and things are starting to hot up.

WHAT IS SEW SATURDAY? We stitchers know that our hobby wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the lovely little sewing, fabric and craft shops dotted all over the country. These stores invite us into their doors to peruse haberdashery and gain advice from their experienced staff, often to our heart’s content. For many of us, bricks ‘n’ mortar stores offer an avenue into our hobby and often, so much more – allowing a pastime to become a passion. So, as a way of celebrating the sewing, fabric and haberdashery stores that we know and love, the Sew team launched Sew Saturday back in 2015 so that the entire sewing community could enjoy a day devoted to all things stitchy. The idea is for shops all over the country to join the campaign and invite customers, both old and new, into their store. Much like each shop is individual in its offerings and services, each store decides exactly what their day will entail – whether that’s workshops, demonstrations and author book signings, or challenges, charity projects, raffles or make ‘n’ takes… the beauty is in the diversity!

Visit sew-saturday to find participating stores


You might think when reading this, ‘Oh, I doubt my local shop is taking part’ – and that is where you could well be wrong! For months and months, the Sew team reach out to shops ALL over the country that are devoted to fabric, yarn and crafty treats, in the hope to populate our Sew Saturday map with participating stores in every nook and cranny of the UK. Last year, more than 220 shops took part from all over the country. Now in its third year, we know Sew Saturday 2017 is going to be bigger and better than ever… all thanks to the passion of our sewing shops and excitement of stitchers, eager to get involved. We’re now making it easier than ever for you to find your nearest store! If you head to our website and click the FIND PARTICIPATING STORES button, you can locate shops taking part near you with our handy interactive map. All you

have to do is enter your postcode, and a list of results will provide you with details of all of the stores in your area – simple! If you’re not sure if your local is signed up yet, why not pop in and ask? There’s plenty of time for them to join the campaign – so be sure to pass on the message and extend our cordial invitation… we hope they join us for another brilliant day.

“I am a huge fan of independent fabric and sewing shops. You can find a great range of fabrics and notions, help, advice, classes – and a cuppa! The more we support our local shops, the more they will thrive. We just need to keep that wheel turning.” Stuart Hillard, TV personality and Sew columnist 86

o g

Introducing our Sew Saturday mascot… It wouldn’t be Sew Saturday if we didn’t have a mascot! In 2015 we had Aly the Owl and in 2016 we had Buttons the Cat. This year, meet our new Sew Saturday mascot for 2017... Daisy Dachshund. Whatever sewing interests you have or techniques you want to try, there’s something for everyone – participating stores will have templates for all of these EXCLUSIVE Sew Saturday projects!

Dog pincushion

Enjoy sewing our playful pincushion! Made from a gorgeous Liberty print (the lovely Susan from Sewbox supplied it to us!), Daisy is sure to become a faithful sewing companion.

“I’m really looking forward to this year’s Sew Saturday event. The past two years have seen a really successful day in the shop and studio, with lots of customers enjoying getting together to stitch and chat about all things sewing!”

Hoop embroidery Fancy your hand at a touch of embroidery? Learn one of the biggest sewing trends of the last year with this sweet design to hang up at home.

Lauren Guthrie, owner of Guthrie & Ghani and Sew columnist

Patchwork block

Cute cross stitch

Try patchwork! Made up of HSTs (half square triangles) and an appliqué pup, it’s sew simple and can be turned into a cushion, quilt or more.

Cross stitch is another great technique to enjoy. Follow our chart to make a fun dachshund motif and personalise it for yourself or a loved one!

Dachshund toy

Bring the kids and get them involved too! With just two felt pieces to blanket stitch together, the child-friendly version of our mascot is super easy and rewarding for youngsters to sew.

Take a #SewSelfie!

Stores will be using our fun selfie props and posting online with the hashtags #SewSelfie and #SewSaturday – we already can’t wait to see your pics.

PLUS... No-pattern top

Using a beautiful print from Sew Saturday sponsor Jane Makower, our Sew Saturday tunic can be made up in a number of different fabric types.

SIGN UP TODAY! Are you a sewing shop that hasn’t signed up to Sew Saturday yet, or would you like yours to get involved? You can email, call 01206 505495 or 01206 505932 or visit 87

**SEW SATURDAY master_SEW SATURDAY 16/06/2017 16:08 Page 88

Sew Saturday

Proudly sponsored by:

21st October, 2017 Supported by:





Be Inspired

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Minerva Blue Fabric for soft furnishings, craft and upholstery, haberdashery, bags, scarves and other gifts. minervabluesewing Tel: 07592 639594 Email: 88 High Street, Newburgh, Fife KY14 6AQ





.PAINTERS. a Cornish treasure trove of art & craft materials

patchwork fabric, textile art, fine art, workshops and more 7 Fore Street Liskeard Cornwall PL14 3JA 01579 347237

Fabrics, Wools and haberdashery Buttons, ribbons and patterns Knitting and sewing lessons 39 Parsonage Street, Dursley, Glos, GL11 4BP

**SEW SATURDAY master_SEW SATURDAY 16/06/2017 16:09 Page 89



11 Henrietta Street, Cheltenham GL50 4AA

Visit us for local service with internet prices

C&H is the specialist, home & haberdashery department store. We’re the trusted retailer for, quality products with Friendly knowledgeable staff. If you’re looking to be creative at home, we’re the perfect place to start. Visit our website

tel: 01242 244025

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We offer designer fabrics, wools, notions and workshops

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FRANKLINS Your award-winning craft superstore! Papercraft, Knit & Stitch, Classes & Demonstrations!

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Capitol Centre, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 4AW (behind Dunelm Mill) OPEN: MONDAY - SATURDAY; 10AM - 5.30PM SUNDAY; 11AM - 4PM

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• Dressmaking • Tailoring • Corsetry • City & Guilds 71 Market Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1AH

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Janome •Juki • Brother • Pfaff • Bernina • Alfa Britannia • RMF sewing tables & cabinets CHELMSFORD COLCHESTER 13-15 St Botolphs Street 201 Moulsham Street CO2 7DU CM2 0LG 01206 563955 01245 346300 SALISBURY IPSWICH 41 Fisherton Street 1-3 St Matthews Street SP2 7RB IP1 3EL 01722 554466 01473 221188 PRICES BETTER THAN SHOPPING ONLINE!!

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**SEW SATURDAY master_SEW SATURDAY 16/06/2017 16:17 Page 90

Sew Saturday

Proudly sponsored by:

21st October, 2017 Supported by:




Dressmaking, Pattern Cutting and City & Guilds Fashion & Pattern Cutting (L1 & L2) tuition

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Enjoy professional tuition – where you’ll sew amongst enthusiasts!

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Join our fun ‘Sewing Bee’ workshops and short courses for garment technique specific projects. We can arrange one to one tuition to suit you. Official stockist of Elna sewing machines and overlockers

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The Start of Something YOU



Bugweed’s Ltd is dedicated to sewing and crafts. We teach adults and children, make bespoke items, host birthday parties, hen parties and baby showers and sell a wide range of fabric and haberdashery.

Tel: 07495 012546 Email: Follow us on Facebook: @bugweeds


Dress Fabrics, Haberdashery, Workshops and Sewing Machines 1 Lynn Road, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 9NJ Tel: 01366 387147 sewingroomdownhammarket



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FABRIC SALE, JULY 8th Many fabrics from £5 per metre. Also, introducing the Christmas 2017 range Workshop & Classes for all Abilities

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**SEW SATURDAY master_SEW SATURDAY 16/06/2017 16:47 Page 91





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SEWING GUIDE Get to grips with the dressmaking basics!


The key to successful fitting is taking accurate body measurements to ensure you get the right size for you. Pattern sizes aren’t the same as high street clothing sizes, so don’t be tempted to skip this stage. Once you’ve taken your measurements, compare them to those on the pattern envelope. You can then make any alterations that are necessary. Cut out the tissue paper according to the size closest to the measurements you have selected, choosing the best fit (for dresses, blouses and jackets) in the bust and shoulder, as this area is harder to adjust. If your waist or hip measurements are out of proportion according to the standard pattern size, then simply graduate in or out to reach the relevant waist or hip lines to your size.

l Measure yourself in your underwear, preferably in the bra you will be wearing. l Use a new tape measure as they can distort out of shape over time. l Ask a friend to help you, especially with tricky measurements such as your back-neck to waist, and height. l Be honest with your measurements and remember that pattern sizes are totally different to ready-to-wear high street sizing. l Use your measurements to help you adjust the pattern to fit your shape, not forgetting to take the required ease into account.

Website Enquiries Newstrade Sales Marketforce 0203 148 3300


Marketing Manager, Andrea Turner Subscriptions Executive Jo Gould


Published By Aceville Publications Ltd 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY © Aceville Publications Ltd. 2017 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 notinfringe any copyright. The publishers are not responsible for any safety issues arising from any items created from projects contained within Sew magazine. While all possible care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all projects, we are not responsiblefor printing errors or the way in which individual work varies. Please read instructions carefully before starting construction. * SEWSIMPLICITY discount valid from 27 June-27 July 2017 on only Simplicity and New Look patterns available at simplicitynewlook. com. Burda patterns not included in the promotion. Cannot be redeemed from any other stockists or online retailers. P&P costs apply as outlined on Simplicity’s website. No cash alternatives will be offered. The Promoter will use entrants’ personal details in accordance with Aceville Privacy Policy (see Limited offer and may be withdrawn at any time.


Measure while wearing the usual underwear you will be wearing and hold the tape measure comfortably snug, but avoid pulling tight.

HEIGHT Standing against a flat wall without shoes, measure from the floor to the top of your head. HIGH BUST Measure directly under the arms, straight across the back and above the bust. FULL BUST Take the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust and straight across the back. WAIST Tie a length of narrow elastic around the waist and let it settle naturally at your waistline, then measure over the elastic. Keep the elastic handy for future garments. HIPS Measure around the body at the fullest part. This is usually 18-23cm below the waist.



wear with

EASE ‘Ease’ is the amount required in a garment so you can move readily. Consider the fit you want – are you looking for a loose or close-fitted garment?


Your pattern pieces can easily become crumpled when stored in the envelope, so it’s a good idea to give them a press before starting. This can be done as individual pieces or as one big sheet before cutting out. Use a cool setting on your iron, being careful not to burn the paper. Pressing the pattern pieces will help ensure your fabric pieces are accurately cut.




MULTIPLE SIZE CUTTING LINES These lines indicate different dress sizes. Cut accordingly to yours.

BUST/HIP INDICATORS These are located at the bust and hip points on the pattern, where you can make any necessary adjustments if yours don’t fall there.

TUCKS AND GATHERS Match the lines together when stitching.

GRAINLINE Align this mark with the grain of the fabric as you position your pieces.

LENGTHEN/SHORTEN HERE This is an opportunity to customise the pattern to your preferences.

BUTTON AND BUTTONHOLE PLACEMENTS These indicate the position for placement on a garment.

FOLD LINE This mark indicates that the pattern piece should be positioned along the fold of the fabric, creating a larger ‘mirrored’ piece.

MISCELLANEOUS MARKINGS These small shapes come in a range of sizes and can be used as points of reference on a pattern to indicate where pieces should be placed.

NOTCHES Match two pieces of fabric together at these points.

““Measure yourself and then double-check against the pattern size. It is often a good idea to make a similar weight toile to the fabric you will use. Always wash the fabric before you begin so it deals with any shrinkage while softening the fabric, making it nicer and easier to work with.” PIP PRICE, DRAGONFLY FABRICS



With the printed pattern pieces facing up, place them onto the fabric. Some pieces will need to be placed on the fold of the fabric (where it’s folded in half, giving you a mirrored piece), which will be indicated on the individual pattern pieces themselves. Most patterns offer stitchers a layout guide for the placement, according to the width of your fabric. This helps you get the most from your fabric, and avoids wastage. The tissue paper patterns allow the motifs of the fabric to show through, which helps with pattern matching. It also allows you to adjust the placement if necessary. Pattern pieces that are not indicated to be placed on the fold need to be placed on the material with the grain arrow running parallel to the selvedge. Measure the distance from one end of the arrow to the selvedge, repeat for the other side of the arrow, and move the pattern piece slightly until both measurements are the same. Once you’re happy with the placement of your pattern pieces, carefully pin to secure.

Getting to grips with your fabric is a fundamental part of sewing. Before you start, familiarise yourself with:

WARP These are the yarns that run the length of the fabric. They are stronger than weft yarns and less likely to stretch.

WEFT These run over and under the warp threads across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge. BIAS The bias grain is the diagonal line that runs 45° to the warp and weft of the fabric. Cutting garments on the bias creates a finished piece that will follow the contours of the body. SELVEDGE The non-fraying, woven edges that run parallel to the weft grain is the selvedge.


Before you begin to cut out pattern pieces, it’s advisable to wash your fabrics first. This means that you will know how the fabric reacts and also reduces the chance of shrinkage in your completed garment. Once the fabric has been washed, press the material with an iron using a suitable heat setting. Lay out your fabric on a large surface, ready to begin pinning and cutting.

The basic markings you will find on commercial dressmaking patterns are an important element to familiarise yourself with. These marks indicate various techniques or steps and are best transferred onto your fabric pieces once they’re cut.



Debbie Shore


Sewing tulle

WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO... I like to keep a tidy, organised sewing room with everything to hand. This month, I’ve been adding more storage and (at last!) a dedicated cutting table. My craft room is light and bright, looking out onto the village green where I regularly see the local ducks on their way to the pond. I still have a way to go, with endless boxes of fabric in cupboards, overloaded bookcases, and a loft full to bursting point... but before I get around to sorting it all, the cat and I are enjoying having a cuppa in my newly revamped room. All-purpose polyester thread is an excellent choice, as it has a natural stretch just like tulle. Use a narrow zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, as this helps to prevent breakages. Sew slowly to avoid your fabric puckering too.

A jersey or ballpoint needle is best as it won’t slice through the fibres of the fabric. However, tulle doesn’t fray or unravel, so there is no need to finish the hems.

Place tissue paper over the start of a seam to prevent fine tulle from disappearing under the needle plate. Alternatively, sew a few small stitches, then gently pull the thread at the back of the machine to lift the fabric through. Always practise with spare fabric first.

Tulle is a lightweight nylon netting commonly used for bridal veils and tutus. It comes in different weights to create either a beautifully flowing drape, or fullness for skirts and petticoats. It can be a tad tricky, but here are some of my favourite tips that make it much easier to work with.

A roller or non-stick foot on your machine helps keep the fabric flat as you sew, while tear-away stabiliser underneath the seams prevents it from snagging on the feed dogs.

DEBBIE’S TOP TIPS Use an anti-static spray or a tumble dryer sheet to remove static. Lay tulle on top of opaque fabric when sewing, so that you can see if it slips. Take your time and stitch slowly to help stop your fabric puckering. For more great tips from Debbie, visit

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our favourite sewing books this month VISUAL GUIDE TO FREE-MOTION QUILTING FEATHERS by Natalia Bonner Put a feather in your quilting cap with an easy-to-use guide for both domestic and long-arm quilters, and combine traditional techniques with up-to-date quilting styles – choose from 68 modern designs by this best-selling author. £19.99,

501 ENCHANTING EMBROIDERY DESIGNS by Boutique-Sha It’s impossible to flick through this library of stitches and resist smiling at the charming motifs, feminine embellishments and traditional designs. Full instructions are given for all the freestyle designs, which are easy enough for beginners! £11.99,

THE MAKER'S ATELIER: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION by Frances Tobin Luxury can be found in every aspect of this dressmaking manual, offering stylish and versatile designs in eight full-sized patterns, which can be modified to create a collection of 31 pieces. Our Sew columnist, Frances and her wealth of experience makes this a must-have. £30,

MENSWEAR by John Hopkins Anyone interested in fashion design would do well to include menswear in their repertoire, even if only to take inspiration for masculine detailing. You’ll find an in-depth account of style, process, tailoring and the fabrics used in garment design. £21.99,

STITCHED SEWING ORGANISERS by Aneela Hoey The answer to the non-sewer’s question – “How many sewing organisers can you need?” – is 15. These quick and adaptable projects are designed to fit inside one another to bring order to your unruly supplies, while teaching new skills! £22.99,

MAKE IT YOURS by Christine Schmidt This book is chock-full of colourful and modern easy projects for customising pretty much anything! It will inspire you to pick up your fabric paints, dyes and paintbrushes, and get making a plaid tote, monogrammed leather clutch or screen-printed clothing. £18.99,

Learn new techniques, develop your interests, and make everything unique!

SEWING FOR CHILDREN by Emma Hardy Make these 35 fun and easy projects with your little one and teach them to sew in the process! Beginning with a wise owl and sock monster, see your child progress to make their own fancy dress costumes with a pirate hat and patch, or a pair of fairy wings. £12.99,

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Subscribe Today l Subscribe Today l Subscribe Today l Subscribe Today l Subscribe Today


This beautiful, instructive book from The Great British Sewing Bee’s Jenniffer Taylor shows you how to make and adapt your own clothes without the need for shop-bought patterns. Using Jenniffer’s fun and imaginative ideas, the book will teach you how to transform unloved items of clothing into new and exciting outfits. The book is packed with all the tricks of the trade that Jenniffer has learned along her sewing journey, and it will get you started on your own #sewingrevolution!



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PETTICOAT sew REVEALs the not-so-secret piece under the skirt... Get 20% off * at Lindy Bop with code LBSEW20

Choose a petticoat in one of our lengths! Simplicity 1427, £8.95,

* One use per customer. Discount cannot be applied after an order is placed. Not valid on shipping or in conjunction with other offers or discounts. Expires 26/07/17.

How would you feel if the latest trend involved showing off your underwear? Even the most fashion-forward of us would proceed with caution, so imagine if this had been

the case in the mid-sixteenth century. Well, it was! Elaborately decorated petticoats peeped from open-fronted gowns – they truly were made to be seen. Of course, these petticoats were different to today's – full length and made from stiffened fabrics over a wooden or whalebone frame. Amongst the working classes, they were often made from red wool – the colour was thought to bring the wearer warmth – then lined with hard-wearing fabrics such as fustian or buckram. Queen Mary, grandmother to HRH Her Majesty the Queen, had many elaborate petticoats, one of which was a crimson sateen lined with kersey (a coarse woollen cloth), with velvet and silk detailing. These embellishments added both decoration and further stiffening to help create the illusion of a smaller waist and womanly hips. An exaggerated hourglass silhouette has always been the purpose of this voluminous undergarment, and is perhaps why it's still a classic style. In the Victorian era, slim women were considered ill and impoverished. And with so much at stake, this was not a subtle look – the structured cage crinoline (more akin to the hoop skirt) was used to extend the skirt circumference up to an astonishing five and a half metres!

The punishing petticoat was in vogue for over three centuries, only falling off the radar at the end of the Victorian era. When they made their comeback in the 50s, they were virtually unrecognisable. Knee-length and with the absence of scaffolding, the modern petticoat is less about changing body proportions and more about supporting a full skirt. Along with this, fabric preferences have turned to nylon chiffon, taffeta, organdy and tulle. In order to achieve the same voluminous appearance with these lightweight materials, ladies wore two or three at a time until double and triple layered versions were designed. Although styles come and go, it is this incarnation we look back to and remember fondly. “We start with a soft stretch fabric base with an elastic waistband for comfort,” Sophie Appleton, Garment Technician at Lindy Bop, a leading vintage-inspired retailer, told Sew. “We gather a layer of tulle at the hip, then twice more along the length, creating volume whilst keeping fabric use low." This is a refreshing comparison to more historic versions, which sometimes caused women to faint under the weight and restriction. We still love to flaunt our petticoats, so Lindy Bop offers both standard-length and 5cm longer petticoats that peep out from the hemline of a beautifully full skirt. Create your own or give an old one a new lease of life. “Spritz your petticoats with spray starch,” Sophie advises. “This will not only add stiffness to your skirt, but will help it stay put on the tulle!”

28” Petticoat, £25, Court heels, £30,

Shop vintage-inspired dresses from £30,

sew your own 1427

Check out our favourite tulles on p20!

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Simplicity 1427. £8.95, simplicity

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* Discount code valid 29th June-28th July 2017.

White floral print fit and flare dress, £29.99,

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