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Sew Essential by Sew Essential - 2d ago

This week on the vlog we hosted a Q&A session with our wonderful followers and customers. It was your chance to tell us what you'd really like to know - here's a round up of the questions and answers. Thanks for taking part everyone and if you'd like to take part in a future session just leave your questions in the comments of the YouTube video this time.

Sewing Tips Q&A #3 from Sew Essential - YouTube
Transcript

We love using our YouTube channel as a way to engage with our lovely customers and followers. A few weeks ago we asked you all to leave any questions you would like answered in the comments so we could host a Q&A session and talk about the things you are most interested in. Thanks to everyone who took part and if you'd like to take part next time just leave your comments below.

Sewing question one

Kim Kennedy: How do you know when to do a forward shoulder and round back adjustment?

They are two separate issues, but often come hand in hand. If the shoulder seam is too far back at shoulder end of your garment this indicates the need to do a forward shoulder adjustment. If the shoulder seam is too far back at the neck end this indicates the need for a high round back if too far back adjustment. You will probably also notice clothes feel like they are pulling towards the back. There are also other variations of round backs that happen lower down or are slight.

Sewing question two

Sally Parkin: Do you have any recommendations for fitting for trousers - I am having a mare with most patterns that are fitted. The Marigold trousers by Tilly are about the only ones that I have managed to fit straight of the bat! Help please x

The first thing to say is you're not alone Sally. There are very few people who will be lucky enough for trousers to fit out of the sewing pattern packet. This is because there are so many variables in this area. A lot of the adjustments may need to happen at the crotch seam and inner thigh seam and it really is a matter of trial and error. Making toiles and learning as you go, testing, adjusting and learning.

You may find the 'Pants for Real People' book helpful, which is available on our site here.

When I made my first pair of fitted trousers I also found a brilliant document produced by Heather Lou of Closet Case patterns, which really helped me. It includes the 14 most common trouser fitting problems complete with diagrams of where wrinkles might occur and what problem they might be indicating. It really helped me when I made the Eleonore pull on jeans, my first fitted trouser pattern.

We also sell the Closet Case files sewing patterns, which include the Ginger jeans and Morgan jeans here.

Sewing question three

Mie: I have a question - I also need rounder upper back adjustments - did you sew a back seem in order to do this? Or add neckline darts? Thank you - great. video! Love all your makes...

You can do a high round back adjustment without sewing a back seam - slash pattern piece immediately below the neckline stitching line and just line the adjusted pattern piece up with the fold in the fabric. Adding neckline darts is to resolve the issue of a gaping back armhole caused by protruding shoulder blades.

Sewing question four

Jilly Tarr: Question. I would like to know what hem finish to use for different fabrics please.

Hem finishes depend on the fabric and the style of garment, we wrote an extensive article on the subject on our blog, which you can find here.

Some general rules of thumb are:

  • The more flared the garment the narrower the hem
  • Look at RTW garments in your wardrobe for ideas
  • Ask yourself will a visible stitch spoil the overall look of the garment?
  • How professional and high end do you want it to look?
  • Generally thicker, bulkier fabrics with require a deeper hem to accommodate the fabric as you turn it over and the weight of a deeper hem might be necessary for your garment to hang and drape properly.

Some examples I can give here are jersey and knit fabrics = twin needle or cover stitch, sheer and delicate fabrics often people do a rolled hem, denim is often top stitched with a visible hem, leather and leather look fabrics can be topstitched or glued. This is all down to personal preference too.

Sewing question five

Renae Leggieri: I’m new to sewing garments, I can follow a pattern & do the mechanics but am completely lost when it comes to adjustments or tailoring to my body type. Any suggestions on how to get started with simple adjustments for bust & waist?

One tip - is to choose high bust measurement rather than the full bust measurement because this will fit your armhole and neck better, then adjust the bust if necessary. You may need to make a small or full bust adjustment.

Make a toile look at where the problems lie - is it too tight across the bust or too full?

Waist adjustments also depends on your hips and the combination you have between waist and hips. Usually the alterations in this area may include adding darts, removing darts or altering the side seams. My example - I usually need to let the side seams out a little at thighs and mark the areas where the tightness begins and ends with pins then taper out and back in to the original seamline.

I often don't make a toile because I find it relatively easy to make adjustments in this area, but it depends on you and your personal fit issues.

Sewing question six

Kimberley’s knitting garden penny: I’m new to sewing. Would you talk about body shape and becoming styles for shapes?

Sometimes people don’t like to be told how to dress for their body shape and I understand that, not in any way am I saying this is how you should dress, it’s your body you can dress how you like. However, someone has asked.

I like to think about balance - I am a pear shape so feel better in clothes that balance my figure out. For example tight fitted trousers with a loose top, or dresses and skirts that accentuate my waist and bust and skim my hips and thighs.

Also think about your favourite outfits you have now, that you feel good in and why you feel good in them. What elements of them make you feel good? Can you create these shapes and styles with what you sew?

One of our lovely viewers also suggested a series of videos by Justine leconte videos, which includes ideas for dressing for a number of different body shapes and I've included the link below.

I hope you've enjoyed the video today and found it helpful. I fyou'd like to take part in the next one please leave your questions in the comments below.

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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Sew Essential by Sew Essential - 1w ago

This week on the vlog I'm sharing some of my favourite woven summer fabrics. Beautiful viscose prints and crepe plus ideas for patterns you can pair them with. We also have a stack of new fabrics ready to go on the site too and I'll be sharing the love with those in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Fabric Haul May 2019 - YouTube

 

Floral Print Crepe

I want to start by describing the feel of this floral print crepe, it almost feels like a peachskin. It is lovely and soft and feels great against your skin. I love the design with the green leaves and pink flowers, it is a lovely bold tropical design. It's got lots of drape and movement as you would expect from a crepe.

The pattern I thought would pair well with this fabric is Butterick 6585. The bodice is nice and simple, but there are some great sleeve options. The view I would choose to pair with this fabric is view C with a fluted sleeve.

Floral Print Viscose in Pink and Green

I need to describe the texture of this beautiful floral viscose, it has a slub like effect and almost feels like a raw silk. It is beautiful quality and feels very luxurious. As you would expect from a viscose there's lots of movement and drape in this fabric and it is lovely and breathable thanks to the natural fibres making it perfect for summer.

The dress pattern I chose for this fabric was Burda 6439 - a simple bodice but dramatic dolman sleeves. I think the sleeves would work well and hang beautifully.

Floral Print Viscose in Red, Blue and Black

This viscose is absolutely delightful, I love the colours, the texture (it has a slub effect almost like a raw silk) and has the fluidity and movement you would expect from a lovely viscose fabric. I think the print is very on trend and is the sort of thing I'm seeing on midi length wrap dresses and shirt dresses in my favourite High Street stores at the moment.

I thought the Adele flutter sleeve blouse would work well - a simple bodice with an option for the flutter sleeve. You can even do a mini me matching top for a child with this one.

Swan Print Viscose

I love the design on this swan print viscose - the swans are so pretty and contrast beautifully with the deep blue base colour. The viscose is super soft and almost peachskin like. It feels so nice against the skin. Floaty, drapey and beautiful, what's not to love. There is a very slight stretch thanks to the 2% spandex and 98% viscose.

I think Burda 6537 would work well - there are options for a maxi or knee length version. There is a ruching at the bust, which I think would be quite flattering and I would be tempted to go for the maxi dress.

Floral Print Viscose in Royal Blue and Emerald Green

How pretty is this floral viscose?! I love the way the colours pop and think it is ideal for brightening up your summer wardrobe. It is silky soft against the skin with an almost peachskin like feel and would be great for a range of dressmaking projects. It comes in two colours a royal/purple colour and a jade green.

The pattern I would like to make with these is Vogue 1483, a playsuit and jumpsuit pattern. I would make the playsuit pattern, it is a playsuit, but it has sleeves so wouldn't feel too revealing. It has a lovely neckline, a raglan sleeve and little pockets. The other thing I would be tempted to make would be the Sew Over It pussy bow blouse I'm wearing.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these lovely fabrics as much as I enjoyed sharing them.

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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I honestly don't think I've ever owned a circle skirt. Seriously I cannot remember ever having one, even as a child. Whilst in my 'I'm so busy with very little time for sewing phase' I thought it was the perfect time to try one out. I'm pleased to report I love it. I mean seriously why did this take me so long?

When I thought about it one of the reasons for avoiding this style was the association with 1950s, retro and vintage. Although I LOVE these styles and love cooing over them on other people it isn't the sort of thing I normally go for.

Then I realised I could do a modern take on a circle skirt with the styling. Pair it with a modern crew neck, very fitted Tshirt (hello the Megan Nielsen Rowan), ankle boots and a leather biker jacket and all of a sudden it would feel much more 2019 than 1950.

Patterns and Fabrics The Skirt

I chose our floral print Samba crepe for the skirt. It is a mid weight crepe, full of body and perfect for a swishy circle skirt. I loved the design on it and knew it was beautiful quality that would wash and wear well.

I chose Simplicity 1200 for the skirt - easy to sew with  length options and waistband or sans waistband options. I chose the 20" length option with the waistband.

The T shirt

I made the T shirt in our John Kaldor Ritual fabric in black. Let me tell you, this is marvellous stuff. It feels incredible against your skin, has a great amount of stretch and washes and wears like a dream. It was absolutely perfect for the Rowan T. Oh and it comes in a very wide range of colours too.

I wanted to make the Rowan T since it came out last year or even the year before. It is a classic wardrobe staple with style multiple options. You can choose from a crew neck, V neck, turtle neck in T shirt form or bodysuit form plus there are three sleeve options to choose from: short, 3/4 or long. If you mix and match the options that is a whole load of T shirt lovin' for your wardrobe.

I opted for the crew neck with short sleeves, which I thought would work well with the skirt and was a much needed basic for my wardrobe.

I must admit, when it comes to clothes I can be a bit of a magpie, always drawn to the pretty sparkly garments and prints. Nowadays I realise you've got to make/buy the less exciting items to pair them with too.

Adjustments and Sizing The Skirt

I made a straight size 14 in the skirt with no adjustments. Let's face it all you really need to fit in this style is the waist. Easy peasy. My waist is 29" and the 14 was drafted for a 28" waist, but it worked out fine.

The T shirt

I opted for a small in the Tshirt. The small is drafted for a 36" bust and I am only a 34", but I knew it was a tight fitting garment and suspected the armholes on the extra small would probably be too snug plus the waist would be far too small. I'm really glad I opted for the small because the fit worked out really well.

I made my usual adjustments for a forward shoulder and high round back (I make these for any bodice, you can see a tutorial and video on it here).

I thought perhaps it was a little snug in the armholes, but then I realised it is actually that the shoulder seams are a little short on me, which pulls the underarm up. If I made it again I would extend the shoulder seams, although I must say this is really nit picking as the top is super comfortable to wear as it is.

Construction The Skirt

The skirt was super quick and simple to make and I opted for an invisible zip rather than a skirt zip as suggested by the pattern. This is just my personal preference.

Rather than a narrow hem, which could be a little bulky in this fabric, I overlocked the edge of the fabric then pressed it up and stitched it down.

Angela suggested I knocked the differential feed up a notch on my overlocker to slightly gather the fabric in at the hem. This meant the raw edge of the fabric was shortened slightly and therefore pressed up better.

I was a little short on the fabric for the waistband so I cut it in two pieces and added a seam to match with the side seam. This is barely visible and was a good solution.

The T shirt

The T shirt was also a super easy sew and only took a few hours. I made it on my Babylock coverlock machine and cover stitched the hems for a professional finish.

I used our stretch interfacing on the neck band to prevent it from stretching out of shape and to add some stability. It worked beautifully with this fabric.

I stabilised the shoulder seams with narrow ribbon, feeding it under the foot of my overlocker and stitching it into place.

Final Thoughts

I love this outfit and it will be worn a lot during Me Made May. It is perfect for this time of year when it isn't warm enough for summer clothes, but is too warm for winter clothes. Yay!

Trying out a new style that was easy to sew was a great way to keep my sewjo topped up when I didn't have much time to sew.

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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If you have protruding shoulder blades or a rounded back you may find that garments never fit properly in these areas. They can feel tight across the back and you also may notice that the armholes gape at the back. Our simple tutorial for adding a shoulder dart can make the world of difference giving you a more comfortable and flattering fit in this area and eliminate those gaping back armholes too.

How to Fix a Gaping Back Armhole - YouTube
Transcript

Hi everyone and welcome to the Sew Essential vlog. I'm here today to show you a tutorial on how to insert a shoulder dart.

This technique is a great way to fix the problems you may experience if you have protruding shoulder blades or a rounded back. It creates extra ease in this area so the garment fits and hangs better.

I'll be using my trusty Palmer and Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting book, my Sew Easy quilters ruler, Burda tissue paper, felt tips and scotch tape.

You can find all the products I mention on our site and the link to our site is below.

Adding the Shoulder Dart

Take your back bodice pattern piece and fold it in half at the shoulder, creasing the pattern paper. This will give you the position for the dart so that it is pointing at your shoulder blade.

Mark a line 4" from the edge of the pattern piece along the crease.

Mark a point 3 1/4" from the seam allowance or stitching line.

You will now need to draw the dart legs. Most people will need about a 1/2" wide dart.

To create a 1/2" wide dart mark a point 1/4" away from the first dart line you drew on each side. Draw two lines to join these dots to the point 3 1/4" from the shoulder edge.

Matching the Front and Back Bodice Pieces

Now you need to increase the width of the back shoulder piece so it matches the front bodice piece once the dart has been sewn.

The easiest way to do this is to place the pattern piece on top of a piece of tissue paper and trace the shape of the armhole onto the tissue marking the notches.

Rotate the pattern piece away from the line you have drawn, keeping it in position at the notches, until it is 1/2" away from your drawn line at the top.

Stick the pattern piece to the tissue with scotch tape and cut around the drawn line.

The front and back bodice pieces will now match after you have sewn the dart you added.

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial today, this is an adjustment that has made the world of difference to me. Never have I known such comfort and good fit in this area!

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

Follow us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for news, tutorials, special offers, sales and more

 

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Sew Essential by Sew Essential - 1M ago

Several weeks ago I mentioned work and life have been a little hectic of late. Well not much has changed hence posting about a leather look skirt I made several weeks months ago. Two months to be precise! Anyway it was a great project for learning and I was really pleased with the end result so here it is. Better late than never.

Pattern and Fabric

The fabric is our lovely leather look fabric, which you can find here. It has a subtle embossed croc effect and a soft fleecy wrong side. I was surprised how soft and malleable it was.

Since I hadn't worked with this sort of fabric before I decided to go for a super simple tried and tested pattern. Enter McCalls 3830 AKA the 'wardrobe workhorse' as my lovely friend Portia Lawrie referred to the finished skirt.

It is a very simple pencil skirt available in five lengths with front and back darts, a back zip, waist facings and no waistband.

I used our Kona cotton in black for the facings. I did consider lining it, but didn't want it to be too warm so I had options for year round wear. Clearly the leather look fabric would be too bulky so the Kona was a suitable alternative.

Adjustments and Sizing

I made a size 12 and ended up having to take it in. I also adjusted the side seams slightly taking them out a little across my thighs. This is a common adjustment for me in fitting skirt patterns thanks to my muscly thighs. Thanks Dad!

Thanks to the simple lines it is a nice easy pattern to fit.

Construction The Zip

I am a bit of a one trick pony in this respect, but I decided to use an exposed zip rather than an invisible or skirt zip. I thought it would add a nice bit of interesting detail to this otherwise simple skirt.

You can see a tutorial on how to sew an exposed zip here. This is the type of zip I used.

Top Stitching

Once I had inserted the zip and sewed the darts I noticed they weren't sitting flat. The fabric was 'puffing' up next to the stitching lines. You can't press leather or leather look fabric so I looked for tips on how to tackle this problem.

As ever the most simple and straightforward technique made the most incredible difference. I simply slashed the darts then top stitched either side of the stitching line on the darts and round the edge of the exposed zip et voila.

Flattening and Gluing the Seam Allowances

Since I wasn't able to press the seam allowances Angela advised me to glue them down. I used a fabric glue then rolled over the seam allowances with my Dad's wallpaper roller. Yep you read it right! It worked a treat.

I also glued the hem up to avoid a visible stitching line.

Sewing Machine Feet and Needles

Since the fabric was fleecy on the wrong side and I was sewing right sides together I didn't need to use a special sewing machine foot. However, you may find you need to use a teflon or non stick foot for top stitching on the right side of the fabric. We sell a wide range of these feet here.

I used a leather sewing machine needle, which you can find here.

Holding the Fabric Together

I couldn't pin the fabric since it would leave permanent holes. Therefore I used these 'wonder clips' by Clover when holding the fabric together for sewing.

Conclusion

All in all this was a great project. It was lovely to experiment with a new kind of fabric and get such good results. A real confidence booster and very satisfying despite having little time to sew.

I wore heels and my Burda blouse (which you can see here) for the photo shoot, but I also plan to style the skirt with jumpers in the winter and Tshirts and trainers for a more casual day look in the spring and summer. I think this will be a much loved item of clothing in my wardrobe for years to come.

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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One of our favourite blogs/vlogs of the year is always trend spotting for the new season then scouring our site for the patterns and fabrics you can use to make them - your way. As always the focus is on wearable rather than eccentric and we've tried to think how the pieces we've chosen can work together too. Grab a cuppa and get ready for some sewing inspo.

Sewing the Trends Spring / Summer 2019 - YouTube

 

Hi and welcome to the Sew Essential vlog I’m here today to share some ideas based on the Spring/Summer trends for 2019. For the last few years I’ve done this as a blog post each season but I thought it would be nice to try it as a video this time.

As always I’ve looked at the catwalk trends and how they’ve translated into wearable high street fashions so there’s nothing too crazy in here!

I’ve also tried to pick pieces that will work together and can be mixed and matched to create a capsule wardrobe for the new season.

As always the patterns and fabrics I mention are available on our site and the link to our site is below and if you like what you see please like and subscribe.

So first off I thought I’d start with some separates in the form of trousers and tops perfect for the British spring/summer weather when, let’s face it, no one ever really knows what is going to happen!

Culottes

Once again culottes were everywhere. In terms of the fabrics I saw bold prints, bold block colours and neutrals worn with simple Tshirts, camis or vests.

I thought these bright green culottes from Whistles were rather delightful and would look great paired with a simple cami or Tshirt. The vest on the Whistles image is certainly very figure skimming so if that’s not your bag I’ve suggested some nice alternatives that would probably feel less like you’re outside in your underwear.

The pattern I chose for the trousers is the Emerson trousers by True Bias. There are options for a mid rise or high rise waistband, all views have pockets and are a pull on trouser with a flattering front waistband and pleats and an elasticised back. Comfortable and easy to sew I thought these could be a real wardrobe winner. I think they'd work well in our Coast linen look fabric, which you would need to line, or perhaps one of our denims or stretch cottons.

The Emerson pants look fab paired with the Odgen cami by True Bias as in the image. I would use our mystique satin backed crepe or Prestige crepe fabric for the Ogden.

If you'd rather cover your arms with a short sleeve, a plain T shirt such as the Lark by Grainline Studios would be ideal. I've just made my first version of this pattern and it is a very easy sew and comes together in no time. It works very well in our Cadiz cotton jersey fabric available in a wide range of colours.

Paperbag Waist Trousers

Paperbag waist trousers and shorts were incredibly popular last year and they're back again this year. The good news is they are also a nice easy sew.

I spotted these bright yellow paperbag waist trousers on Boden and thought they were a nice alternative to the culottes if you prefer a more tapered leg, but still want to look on trend.

McCalls 7726 has a few options including shorts and waist pleats rather than a paper bag. For the Boden look I would go for view C and lengthen the legs or view B and taper them more and use the paperbag waist instead of the pleats.

Our Marmaris stretch cotton available in a range of colours would be ideal for these trousers and I would be tempted to go for a nice bright red.

Pretty Blouses

Although simple Tshirts and camis seem to be reigning in the fashion stakes there is still a sprinkling of pretty blouses out there, which can also be paired with culottes or paperbag trousers for an up to date look.

I loved this pretty flutter sleeve blouse from Warehouse worn with paperbag shorts on their site.

I thought our Jalie patterns Adele flutter sleeve top would be a great option to recreate something similar. It has sleeve options and an option for a tie at the front, which was another trend I spotted on shirts, blouses, dresses and jumpsuits.

Our viscose evening roost fabric would be the perfect partner, keeping you nice and cool, worn with a neutral version of either of the trousers I've suggested.

Jumpsuits

Another trend that looks like it is here to stay is the beloved jumpsuit. Thanks to it's popularity I saw a wide range of trends here including bold, bright prints, paired down utility chic and cropped versions.

This jumpsuit from Warehouse jumped out at me (pardon the pun!) The bold print and wide leg created such a striking and modern look.

I thought McCalls 7756 view A would be a great way to get the look in our floral purple and turquoise jersey fabric for a super comfy wear with all the wow factor.

Midi Length Dresses

The midi length is still the Queen of the dresses and skirts this season. Midi length wrap dresses and shirt dresses were very prominent styles and are nice and easy to wear too.

I thought this midi length floral wrap dress from Silk Fred would be a firm favourite in my wardrobe for evenings out or special events. Pair down the sleeves and skirt and it could be a wearable every day dress too.

I thought the Eve Sew Over It dress pattern was perfect for this style. There are options for flutter sleeves and sensible sleeves, a hi lo midi length hem or a knee length straight skirt.

I think it would work brilliantly in our viscose floral fabric teamed with a leather jacket and ankle boots for an on trend look or strappy shoes or court shoes if that's more your style.

Other Trends

Other fabric trends I spotted included animal print, beige and sequins.

I've just made a simple mini skirt with this lovely animal print scuba and can't wait to share it with you paired with my Lark T as featured in this video.

We also have plenty of beige fabrics to choose from too - check out our plain woven and jersey fabrics to find your perfect shade.

We also have a lovely range of sequin fabrics including this gorgeous ivory one, which I have earmarked for a Scout T by Grainline Studios.

Conclusion

I hope you've all enjoyed my musings, I certainly feel full of enthusiasm and raring to go.

Thanks for watching as always if you like what you see please like and subscribe and I'll see you next time.

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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If you love sewing you're going to love our new Simplicity Vintage Collectables. Delightful vintage sewing themed stationery, home-wares, bags and sewing goodies sooo pretty you will want to collect them all. The impeccable style of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s immortalised on keepsakes you will treasure forever. Who knows you might even decide to treat a friend too.

New Simplicity Vintage Collectables - Pretty Sewing Themed Stationery, Homewares, Bags & More - YouTube
Transcript

Hi everyone and welcome to the Sew Essential vlog. I'm here today to bring you a really exciting new range of products by Simplicity. They are all vintage themed with different ranges through the ages 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s and I know you are going to love them. They are available on our site here.

Stationery

Let's start with this desk organiser - it looks like a simple box with a lovely image on the top. Open it up and it is actually a desk tidy complete with mini post it notes, a notepad, room for paper clips and similar items and a pencil pot. Plus it has a fun meme 'act like a lady, think like a boss'. What a great way to keep your office area and desk tidy.

We also have these lovely notebooks, which have the most gorgeous image on the front and then look inside at the pages. The pages are lined with pretty images at the bottom of each page.

There's also a pretty desk organiser set complete with memo pads, cards and envelopes plus little stickers for reminders etc. So all of these things are a great way to cheer things up in your office area because, let's face it, work can be a bit dull sometimes!

This pack of stickers goes alongside the stationery to you help plan sewing projects.

I love these paper doll kits. I remember having one of these as a little girl and I used to love dressing it up. This one comes with five different outfits with accessories, a folder, base and the doll itself. Such a pretty and inspiring trinket for your work area.

Homewares

Look at these amazing mugs, which come with designs from a range of eras. This is the 1970s one, just look at the gorgeous images, I'm sure this would put a smile on my face every time I have a sip of tea in my sewing room.

To go with the mugs we have these adorable coasters with fun slogans on them: 'fancy a fancy evening' with a lady in a ball gown, 'beauty sleep' with a Simplicity night gown. These would add a lovely sewing theme touch to other areas of your home.

There are also these gorgeous tea towels that state 'paper towels are jealous'. I bet they are! I would love to have one of these hanging in my kitchen. I'm sure we have some of the actual patterns featured on some of these products too. All of the pattern numbers are featured so you know which patterns they are.

If you fancy putting a pretty picture up in your sewing room how about one of these cute canvas sewing themed prints? If you want something bigger we also have posters, which are 30cm by 91cm.

These beautiful decals can be added to a wide range of surfaces you just rub them on. How amazing would this look on a glass tumbler for your G&T? I bet it would be the envy of all your friends.

You can jazz up your fridge with these magnets too.

Bags

These pack away tote bags come in a range of eras and are a great reusable shopping bag. Once you've finished shopping you can neatly pack it away in the little pouch.

We also have these lovely canvas tote bags, which are made from durable fabric and will last a lifetime I'm sure.

There are also some smaller bags which would be ideal for keeping sewing bits and bobs in. When I'm sewing I like to have a little bag with my essential kit next to me - my little scissors, chaco pen, tape measure, sewing machine feet. I think one of these would be ideal and mine might be getting an upgrade!

Sewing Items

There are some gorgeous vintage sewing tins for keeping things tidy in an oh so stylish way. This one would be ideal for buttons or other sewing notions. This one comes with sewing notions inside - thread, a seam ripper, a thimble, some needles, a pair of scissors and a tape measure.

We have some pretty vintage sewing scissors and tape measures too - stylish and useful, win win!

These key rings and brooches/badges are a great way to accessorise. Wear the brooches on a lapel of a coat or jacket or perhaps attach them to a bag. The key ring would make sure you never lose your keys and would also look lovely on a bag.

Slipping one of these super stylish book marks inside my book every night would always make me smile and remind me of one of my other favourite hobbies. What a lovely way to remember your page.

Finally you can customise projects with these appliques and iron on transfers.

I hope you've enjoyed that as much as I have. Remember you can check everything out on our website for further details.

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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This Tilly and the Buttons Nora top and Jalie Lisette skirt combo is a total wardrobe winner for me. Comfy, warm and smart without being over the top it is easy to grab and chuck on in the mad morning rush.

I've been super busy at home and work the last few months so quick, satisfying sews are my focus right now. To keep things interesting I've worked with new fabric types or experimented with new silhouettes and shapes.

The Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top

The Nora sewing pattern was an experiment with a new shape. Normally I veer towards much more fitted styles.

In the Autumn I bought some baggy jumpers and really enjoyed wearing them with skinny jeans and fitted skirts. You know how you just feel really good in some outfits. More comfortable and confident?

Then I started to realise I wasn't wearing some of my skinny jeans and skirts because I only had fitted tops to go with them. I'm more than happy to wear a fitted dress, but I think a combination of close fitting and loose fitting garments looks and feels more modern when wearing separates.

It was time to make some looser tops - hello Nora!

The Pattern and Fabric

The Nora pattern has a dropped shoulder, options for a funnel neck or crew neck and options for a hi lo hem or longer line straight hem and short or long sleeves.

I opted for the funnel neck with the hi lo hem. In the quest to stay 'on trend' I thought it would be fun to try a top that was cropped at the front as well as loose fitting.

I chose our super soft, deliciously cosy Isabella wool jersey in charcoal for the fabric. I also have a tight fitting funnel neck in this same fabric, which has been washed and worn weekly during the winter for the last three years and still looks brand new. It truly is wonderful stuff. It comes in a range of colours, you can see them here.

Adjustments and Sizing

I made a size 3 (34" bust and 28" waist) and made my usual high round back and forward shoulder adjustments, 1/2" in each case.

The sizes range from a 30" bust and 24" waist to a 44" bust and 38" waist.

Thanks to the loose fit and dropped shoulder I knew there wouldn't be any real problems in this area. However, I made the adjustments to ensure the shoulder seams sat centrally across my shoulder.

The sleeves were also nice and long - great for someone with long arms like me. The length combined with a wide cuff add to the cosy, comfy feel and look of the sweater too.

Construction

An incredibly quick and easy sew I made the entire garment on my Babylock Desire 3 coverlock machine. Every time I cover stitch a hem I do a little happy dance. Perfect results with minimal effort every time. Yes!

The hi lo hem was a fun little detail to work on and came together nicely following the comprehensive instructions provided by team Tilly.

I shortened the neck band slightly, maybe 1/4" to make sure it pulled the neckline in.

I stabilised the shoulder seams with this narrow ribbon.

Final Thoughts

A top you can whip up in no time that is easy to fit and easy to wear. I'm already planning Nora number two - the Tshirt version.

The Jalie Lisette Skirt

Once I'd made the Nora top I needed another skirt to wear with it. I had a couple of old, tubular, pull on jersey skirts in the wardrobe, but they were a panic buy a few years ago and I never really liked the fabric. The sort of mistake I used to make regularly pre-sewing. Tut tut.

The Pattern and Fabric

The Jalie Lisette Skirt (3883) was just the ticket. Options for different lengths, a panelled effect for colour blocking and a wide or no waistband.

I chose the wide waistband view with no panels in the longer length.

The fabric is a lovely, warm puppytooth ponte in black and royal blue. Soft and comfortable.

You only need just under a metre of fabric to make the skirt, which is another bonus. We have a a few metres left of this lovely ponte plus lots of other great options here just check the descriptions to check the fabric type. I also thought our stretch velvet would make a rather lovely version.

Adjustments and Sizing

I cut a size T for a 29" waist and 38" hips with no need for any adjustment.

Construction

The construction was lovely and simple and it took no time at all to sew.

In hindsight I didn't think to pattern match between the waistband and skirt, but I don't think it is too noticeable.

Final Thoughts

Another very quick and easy make I'm sure I will go back to time and time again. A great pattern for beginners who want to try sewing with knits or jersey and experienced sewers who need something quick!

The wide waistband is flattering and comfortable to wear.

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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Sew Essential by Sew Essential - 2M ago

 

As soon as I laid eyes on this floral needlecord I knew it was destined to become a Tilly and the Buttons Ness skirt. It was super soft, had a nice amount of stretch and would be a fun new fabric for me to sew with. Find out my top tips for sewing with needlecord and why I LOVE the Ness skirt. And I mean LOVE.

The Pattern and Fabric

In my world the Ness skirt ticks all the boxes. A classic denim skirt style it is casual enough to wear every day and is a nice alternative to jeans.

There is a mini option and a midi option - the midi has a small slit at the centre front seam.

Both options have generous front pockets, back pockets and a back yoke.

You can also add belt loops if you wish, although I decided they were unnecessary since I wouldn't be wearing a belt. Plus there was enough going on with the printed fabric that I didn't need any additional design features.

The fabric is an absolute delight: super soft with a sheen.

Needlecord Top Tips

When cutting out it is important to bear in mind the direction of the pile. You will notice the fabric will look different depending on which way up you hold it. There are no rules here it is down to personal preference. Once you've decided just make sure all of your pattern pieces are facing the same way.

I found I got the best results by hand washing and pressing without any steam. Application of a hot, dry iron was enough to achieve nicely pressed seams. I also used a scrap of the fabric, right side up on my ironing board and ham when pressing so that the pile of my garment fabric was supported, not crushed.

You may also need to adjust your presser foot pressure (try saying that quickly!) to avoid flattening the pile when sewing. Alternatively you can try using our best friend the walking foot. You can find our range of walking feet here. Always check the compatibility charts to make sure they are suitable for your machine.

Adjustments and Sizing

The number one reason why I am SO in love with the Ness skirt...drum roll...I didn't need to make any adjustments! This is unheard of for me! I couldn't believe my luck.

I made a toile of a size four initially, which was way too generous. The size three fit straight out of the packet. Can I get a whoop whoop?!

My waist is 29" and my hips are 38". The size three was listed for a 28" waist and 37" hips.

I did think perhaps the requirement to size down might be born out of the nice amount of stretch in the needlecord. However, I had a quick scan of reviews and Instagram posts, many of which agreed the sizes seemed generous on this pattern.

Construction

The second reason I love the Ness skirt - lots of fun and clever construction details.

The Fly Front Zip

Sewing a fly front zip is a great technique to add to your sewing repertoire and always feels very satisfying to me.

Tilly and the team have provided a brilliant video on their YouTube channel that takes you step by step through an approach to this technique I've never seen before. The link to the video is included in the lovely, colourful and detailed instruction booklet.

I was rather glad to have spoken to one of our lovely customers who had already made the skirt before sewing the zip. She pointed out that if you followed the video exactly, the zipper teeth between the zip guard and the left hand side of the skirt seemed too close to the edge of the skirt. This meant they would be slightly visible when wearing. Following this tip off I positioned the zip teeth slightly further away from the edge of the skirt and it worked a dream.

The Faux Flat Felled Seams

If you've ever sewn flat felled seams you probably found out the hard way how easy it is to fail to catch all of the fabric when sewing. This can mean you end up with raw edges poking out where they shouldn't.

Tilly offers a simple solution - trim one seam allowance narrower than the other. Finish the edge of the wider seam allowance, press it over the narrower one, then top stitch in place. Lovely and neat inside and out with zero hassle. My kind of sewing.

Top Stitching

There were lots of opportunities for lovely top stitching. I chose a matching thread colour to the fabric base colour due to the busy pattern, but I've seen lots of examples of bright contrasting threads on plain fabrics that look great too.

Final Thoughts

A super pattern and fabric!

Size wise it was lovely to find a pattern that fits straight out of the packet. Bear in mind this won't be the case for everyone since we are all different shapes and sizes.

It was fun and easy, relatively quick and easy to sew thanks to the fantastic instructions.

This needlecord version also looks great with a pale grey top and will see me right through the Spring. It would also look fantastic in one of our lovely denim fabrics too.

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

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I have a stack of sewing makes piling up waiting to be blogged including my new favourite knit dress. This Burda 6609 sewing pattern and our textured wine coloured jersey are a match made in heaven (IMHO). An incredibly easy, fast and satisfying sew and something I want to wear again and again it's a total wardrobe winner.

The Pattern and Fabric

The pattern is a simple shift dress design with a centre front seam and options for sleeveless, short or long sleeved versions.

There are also two pocket styles to choose from and it can be made in a versatile range of fabrics thanks to the simple clean lines.

Opt for stretch or woven fabrics, although something medium weight such as wool or ponte to hold the shape.

I chose to make view C in our gorgeous wine coloured textured ponte fabric. I knew the fabric would work well, but be comfortable and warm and be easy to sew.

I absolutely love the colour too. Add a splash of red lippy and you have a smart casual look that is so easy to wear.

I should also mention the fabric is a dream to cut out. It lies nice and flat the selvages line up perfectly and there is none of that ends rolling up malarkey going on.

It is a total bargain at just £4p/m too.

Adjustments and Sizing

I cut a size 10 at the top grading to a 12 at the waist and hips.

Due to the fact I was making it in ponte I omitted the zip at the back. I knew it wouldn't be necessary and just folded the back pattern piece over 5/8" to remove the seam allowance and cut it on the fold to create one piece.

I moved the shoulder seams forward, but didn't do a high round back adjustment and am kicking myself for this!

As a result the shoulder seams are in the right place at the shoulder end, but are too far back at the neck end. Lesson learned I will not make this mistake again - silly me.

I also raised the bust darts. I thought I was being super clever and based how much I moved them on a toile I made in a similar fabric.

Unfortunately I didn't unpick the darts on the toile before marking my bust point. When I transferred the bust point onto the pattern piece it was too high as a result.

So the bust darts are now too high instead of too low. I can live with that for now, but at least I know for next time.

Every cloud has a silver lining - I did learn how to raise bust darts and it was very easy indeed. I am hoping to share a tutorial with you very soon on this adjustment making sure I stress about getting the bust point right!

Construction

Sewing the dress was lovely and easy, especially seeing as I omitted the zip. I made it on my Babylock Desire 3 coverlock machine using the overlocker to sew the seams and the coverstitch to sew the hems.

My oh my what a joy it is to sew knit hems on a coverstitch machine.

I cannot tell you how easy it is to get the most professional looking results in a matter of minutes.

I cut the pockets out, but when I held them against the dress I preferred it pocket-less.

Final Thoughts

A brilliant pattern and fabric and a dress I love wearing despite the silly fitting mistakes. I hope I get around to whipping another one up minus the mistakes next time.

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!

Lucy

For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

Follow us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for news, tutorials, special offers, sales and more.

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