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Summer gym wear can be tricky, with most of us more concerned with keeping cool than looking the part! We’ve got something up our sleeve though, which should get you motivated. We’ve teamed up with DC Comics to create some kick-ass athletic wear, so whether it’s Wonder Woman or Batgirl you’re channelling, you’ll nail that workout this season!

Wonder Woman

Get a look worthy of the Amazonian goddess with Simplicity 8631. Includes leggings and sports bra.

Batgirl

The first option if you’re feeling inspired by this heroine, Simplicity 8633. With a loose-fitting top, this pattern is perfect for yoga classes.

If you’d prefer a softer look, try Simplicity 8634. We think it looks fabulous in pastel fabrics! The tank top is complete with an open back vent to keep you cool.

Harley Quinn

Channel your inner baddie with Simplicity 8632, inspired by DC’s Harley Quinn! Complete with leggings and sports bra.

We’d love to see your takes on these! Share with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Summer is well and truly here! Most of the UK has been enjoying a heatwave for the last week or so, and we’ve been keeping cool with some gorgeous summer patterns from our new collection. From stunning vintage to exclusive designer patterns – here is our round up of the best of the collection.

Simplicity 8639

Another flawless look from Mimi G, exclusively designed for Simplicity. 8639 makes a figure flattering knit dress, with peek-a-boo front slits, elastic ruching and an invisible zip. We think it looks fabulous in floral.

Simplicity 8647

Ideal for cooler days! We can’t expect the heatwave to last forever – this is a British summer, after all! Stitch up a pretty top with 8647, an easy-to-sew pattern with various sleeve options.

Simplicity 8652

Our favourite skirt pattern from the new collection, you can’t fail to impress with 8652! Perfect for taking you from the office to the evening.

Simplicity 8654

No pattern round-up would be complete without a vintage addition – and 8654 does the job! Inspired from our 1940s pattern, this is a playful look, and an ideal first pattern for those keen to try out vintage.

Simplicity 8661

Not forgetting little ones! 8661 is a beautiful pattern for children aged 3-8, with butterfly sleeves. Add pom poms for a little extra detail.

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Simplicity Network by Simplicity New Look - 2w ago

The hot weather over the last few weeks has seen lots of gorgeous summery makes! You stitchers have all been busy creating beautiful pieces to keep you cool – we’ve picked our favourites here.

New Look 6512 by @sew.very.lovely

Brittany’s ‘favourite new summer dress’! We love the button detail down the front, and we’re always a fan of gingham in summer!

Simplicity 8602 by @ali.undefined

A light and breathable top, perfect for the summer months. And it was only Ali’s second make!

Simplicity 8413 by @tamikamakes

The perfect festival look by Tamika. The fabric was a faux suede – we love how it was accessorised too!

New Look 6262 by @msmerjean

A gorgeously summery make by Mary Jane. After a 2-year sewing break, we think she nailed it!

Simplicity 1374 by @ditaso_fashion_by_tanja

Of course, no summer round-up would be complete without some swimwear! Here is Tanja’s make, looking stunning in blue.

 

Don’t forget to keep sharing your makes with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! Tag us in with the hashtag #SimplicityByMe.

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Simplicity Network by Simplicity New Look - 3w ago

This week’s focus is on yet another of our wonderful designers, Cynthia Rowley! Her chic and classic designs are always popular with you stitchers, so in this blog post we’ll also be highlighting our favourite Cynthia makes.

Cynthia was born in Chicago, and made her very first dress at the age of seven. After leaving high school, she studied at the School of the Art Institute in her home city, but was ‘booted out’ of her junior show for using wings in her designs – seen as too exuberant by the school staff! Bumping into a Marshall Field’s buyer whilst on a train, she sold her first collection to her, whilst still a student.

Eventually winning the school’s fellowship award, Cynthia then moved to New York with the collection she had curated in her senior year, and the rest was history!

Our top picks

One from our brand-new summer collection, Simplicity 8636 has Cynthia’s trademark frills – perfect for summer.

A stunning choice for a special event! Simplicity 8599 has it all; cold shoulder, flared sleeve and fitted waist.

Simplicity 8086 is a perennial favourite with stitchers! A two-piece look with the comfort of an all-in-one dress.

The perfect year-round pattern, Simplicity 1104 is flattering for all body types. We think it looks best in dark fabrics.

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Simplicity Network by Simplicity New Look - 1M ago

This week saw the celebration of Sewing Machine Day, an annual occasion that calls on stitchers to show their sewing machine some love! For the past 200 years these machines have been making our lives a lot easier and more creative, not to mention helping empower many people across the world. In this blog post, we decided to look at the colourful history of the sewing machine, and how it has changed over the years.

Sewing Machines: A History

Sewing, in some form or another, has existed for around 20,000 years. The very first needles were made from bone and animal horns, and the thread was formed from animal sinew – luckily things have progressed since then!

With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, people started to look for alternatives to manual sewing in factories. An Englishman named Thomas Saint was the first to design and patent the sewing machine, in 1790. His design was a far cry from the machines we know and love today – it was powered with a hand crank, intended for use on leather and canvas.

After many unsuccessful attempts by other inventors, finally a French tailor named Barthelemy Thimonnier invented the first successful and widely-used machine. He used a hooked needle and one thread – creating a chain stitch!

Thimonnier’s invention almost cost him his life though – after other French tailors got wind of his invention, they burned down his factory whilst he was still inside, fearing for their livelihoods. In fact, an inventor who created America’s first sewing machine decided not to go ahead with his patent, as he feared it would cause mass unemployment!

Over the years, the machine developed and advanced – most notably with Isaac Singer in 1851, a name that we still know and love today! So there you have it – the stitchy history of the sewing machine in a nutshell. Where would we be without them?

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Father’s Day falls on Sunday 17th this year, and if you haven’t got a gift sorted yet, time is running out! Luckily we’re here to help. If you’re thinking of getting creative and making a handmade gift for Dad, you’re in the right place! Sometimes overlooked, we have a fabulous range of menswear patterns for young and old – here is a selection of some of our favourites.

A classic jacket

Stitch up a timeless and trendy jacket with Simplicity 8475. Choose a lighter material for the summer months, and experiment with hood and contrasting yokes! We think it looks great in gingham.

The essentials

You can’t go wrong with a simple shirt. Simplicity 8180 is a great choice for those new to sewing, or tight on time – it takes just 3 hours to sew! Choose a bold print for something a little different.

Dressing down

Always a favourite with Dads, why not try some loungewear? Simplicity 5314 stitches up pyjamas and a robe, perfect for breakfast in bed next Sunday!

Suiting up

If your Dad has a bold fashion sense, Simplicity 8528 is just the ticket! Get creative with colourful prints for a gift to remember.

Walking gear

Is your Dad a keen walker? Stitch him up a unique fleece jacket with Simplicity 6251, for a gift that’s practical – sure to go down well!

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Simplicity Network by Simplicity New Look - 1M ago

As we’re almost halfway through the year, we thought it was high time we focussed on our favourite makes by you over the past season or so. As the weather warms up we get to see so many of your lovely summery makes, usually in equally summery settings! Here are our favourite makes of the year so far.

Shauni’s make of New Look 6459

A super stylish make of these trousers, using orange corduroy! Shauni nailed it.

Bernard’s make of Simplicity 8613

Nothing says summer like palm trees and bold prints. C. Bernard used 8613 by Mimi G for his cool shirt.

Jenna’s make of Simplicity 1600

We love to see childrenswear on social! It doesn’t get much better than this adorable make by Jenna.

Bella’s make of New Look 6509

Looking picture perfect, we loved Bella’s take on New Look 6509 – this pattern has been very popular with you stitchers!

Rosabella’s make of New Look 6493

Back to cooler months, Rosabella kept warm with her jumpsuit, a chic make of 6493.

 

Be sure to share your makes with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! Remember to tag us and use the hashtag #SimplicityByMe

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We’ve been lucky enough to have lots of sunshine over the last week or so, and the days are getting longer and brighter! Being well and truly in the summer spirit here at Simplicity, we thought we’d focus on our favourite festival looks for this year.

A festival can be tricky to dress for – comfort is important, so we’ve picked our favourite patterns that mix style with ease of wear. Enjoy!

New Look 6378

This pattern is easy to sew, and easy to wear! Choose from a long or short kimono, and add fringing for a look that’s bang on trend for 2018.

Simplicity 8600

This new addition from our spring collection has been a popular choice with stitchers. Great for covering up for added sun protection, this pattern is perfect paired with pom-poms or tassels!

Simplicity 8333

The look of a dress, all with the comfort of shorts! A playsuit is a savvy choice for a festival. The top can be made either with a halter or kimono sleeve.

New Look 6514

No list of festival looks would be complete without New Look 6514. Choose sleeveless for a look that’s a little different, and try tassels and fringing for a boho look.

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The big day is almost upon us! This Saturday Harry and Meghan will finally tie the knot at St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle. We can’t wait for the outfits of the day to be unveiled, and we’re sure they’ll be stunning. To get in the mood, we thought we’d run through our favourite bridal looks from our collections. Cheers to the royal couple!

Simplicity 8596

One of our very favourites, this pattern was designed by Leanne Marshall. It features long or sleeveless designs, with trim or train options. A stunning look!

Burda 7686

A sophisticated look for a more mature bride, Burda 7686 makes a beautiful outfit with long or three-quarter length sleeves. Add a bolero jacket to perfect the look.

Burda 6869

One inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge’s iconic bridal gown, Burda 6869. With narrow lace sleeves and a tulle overskirt.

Burda 6776

Burda 6776 comes with a whole selection of designs. Strapless, sleeveless or lace sleeves, the separate tulle underskirt also gives added width to the dresses.

 

What look do you think Meghan will go for? Let us know and join in the celebrations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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If you’re keen to create your perfect sewing space, we have some valuable tips for you! Whether you’re a hobbyist or are starting your new business, these tips could save the day (and space)!

 

 

  1. Lights – Lighting is everything. From taking selfies, working on the computer or reading a book, proper lighting is a life saver. So make sure you have perfectly lighted work space. Natural lighting would work best, to see how colours match or contrast.

 

  1. Supportive chair – You need to feel comfortable, but most of all you need to make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. It’s also important that the chair supports your back, so you can comfortably reach the machine. If you can´t get a chair high enough and keep your feet on the floor, just use the platform under your feet to keep the pedal close.

 

  1. Sewing table – A good sewing table should provide stability and space for storage. The table must be able to handle the power of your machine while you work. You could also look for sewing tables that contain built-in shelves or drawers!

 

  1. Pressing spot – Proper pressing fabric is key to making beautifully finished sewing projects. Your iron is one of your most important sewing tools. If you don’t have a quality steam iron, make that a priority purchase! So be sure to make a convenient place for your iron and ironing board.

 

  1. Cutting table – No matter how long you have been sewing, the size of your sewing area or how often you sew, we strongly recommend that you add a cutting table to your inventory. It will make cutting fabric much more comfortable.

 

  1. Dress form – You can use a dress form to display a garment, but also to help make decisions on a design. More embellishments or pocket placements? Long sleeves or short sleeves?

 

  1. Fabric storage – If you want to easily find the fabrics you need, you should fold and store them flat. You could also use a fabric storage closet to organise this. Add wire-drawer storage to your inventory, and organise work-in-progress as well as pre-cut fabrics. Put a label on storage bins for even better organisation!

 

  1. Recycle bin – Remember to keep this near the sewing table to avoid unnecessary mess. Sewing can be challenging enough without added clutter to tidy!

 

  1. Idea board – Don´t forget to write ideas down! Why? Because, when inspiration comes you want to make sure it doesn´t disappear. You can use an idea board to organise your current work, time frames, and inspirational images.

 

  1. Storage for finished projects – After you finish a project, don´t forget to move it away from other work. Simplicity’s storage boxes are a great buy for organising completed makes and sewing accessories.

 

Which of these tips do you find the most useful? Are you already using some of these tricks for organising? We really encourage you to switch up your sewing space. You might be surprised at how space and atmosphere can affect your mood and creativity. Enjoy sewing and let the ideas roll!

 

About the author: Annabelle Carter Short is a writer and a seamstress of more than 5 years. She splits her time between London and Los Angeles and writes for Wunderlabel. When not working, she's spending time with her family and friends, including her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11).

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