Tuesday, February 24, 2015

DESIGNER SILKS AND CREPES

Have you been eyeing up the Italian dress fabrics that we have had arriving over the last week or so? Yes? Then you are in for a treat we have some more beautiful fabrics for you here. As always these are limited stock so you need to be quick...

Summer wedding? You need the Idris silk, Day at the races? That will be the Obi crepe. Want to make a summer version of the Sew Over It Ultimate trousers? You will need Amelia stretch cotton in daring red or classic navy.

Amelia Stretch Cotton

 Happy sewing and keep your eyes peeled for more fabrics coming in soon xxx

Friday, February 20, 2015

TIPS TO SEW A SHEER BLOUSE LIKE THE SEWING BEES

Do you dare to tackle sewing a sheer blouse like those wonderful sewing bees?
Sewing with a sheer fabric doesn't need to be stressful. The biggest issues that the Bees had, and lets face it they all had issues with this task except the wonderfully cool Lorna, was time. So take your time, read this article I wrote for Sewing world magazine on sewing with chiffon and give it a try! Go on I dare you! If you can get it right a sheer blouse is so cool and sophisticated (as long as you have the right undergarments!!)

SEWING WITH CHIFFON
Chiffon is, even for the most experienced sewers a tricky fabric to sew with. It slips and slides about all over the place and as it is sheer the insides need to be as neat as the out sides.
Here are a few tips to make it work for you.
When cutting out your fabric start off by finding the biggest surface you can, as being able to cut it all out in one go rather than in sections will prevent the second layer from slipping about giving you uneven sized pieces. Lay the fabric out in a single layer as cutting through 2 layers can move the fabric as well. If you like to use weights to cut out your pattern make sure you use plenty of them to hold it in place. If you prefer to use pins make sure you have special fine pins designed for delicate fabrics, often called silk or bridal pins.
When pinning take care not to pull and stretch the fabric so that it remains in the right shape. Using very sharp scissors or a rotary blade to cut the fabric. You may find it easier to cut through the pattern at the same time as the fabric rather than before as it can stabilise the fabric (though bear in mind cutting paper with your dressmaking scissors will blunt them)
Once you have cut your fabric I find it best to pin then baste the pieces together before sewing. It can take a long time but is so much easier than trying to unpick stitches from chiffon which will leave unsightly holes along the unpicked seam.
I always recommend using a new sharp needle in your machine but with chiffon fabric this is more important than ever as any rough bits on your needle will leave messy snags in chiffon. Again I always say this but test your stitches on a scrap of fabric before you start sewing, if the tension is too high the fabric can get puckered up and even pulled into the bobbin hole.
When you start sewing your fabric use long stitches to prevent the chiffon from stretching and try to sew from the hem up to the waist. This prevents you sewing into the grain of the fabric as this will cause stretching.
French seams look great on chiffon fabrics as they enclose the messy edges and help to stabilise the fabric. To sew a French seam you place the 2 piece of fabric together wrong sides together and sew close to the edge.  Press the seam all the way open. Trim along the cut edge of the fabric then turn the fabric right sides together. Finally sew the two sides together again, this time enclosing the cut edge inside the new row of stitching.
Chiffon fabric needs to be left to settle once it has been sewn so press it lightly, I find using just the steam of your iron without actually touching it works really well. Then hang your garment for 24 hours before hemming to allow the fabric to drop as it will when wearing. This will prevent wonky hems on your finished garment. You may even want to leave your fabric to sit for an hour between each step the whole time you are sewing to help it settle.A rolled hem is perfect for finishing a chiffon garment as it is very narrow and will not be seen once the garment is worn. The neatest way is to sew along the hem by machine then trim as close to the stitch line as your dare. Weigh the fabric down at one end and simply roll the fabric between your fingers until the stitching is hidden. You can then use a slip stitch to finish the hem by hand.

Feeling ready to give it a go? Here are some fabric and pattern suggestions. I have included some cotton voile fabrics as well as chiffon as these are so much easier to sew with than silk or polyester because they don't slip about as much, you still need to keep those seams nice and neat though.
Now you just need to pick the one you like best and jump in...slowly of course!

Rosaline chiffon
Matilde cotton voile
Zeeta cotton voile
Colette Sencha blouse
Sewaholic Oakridge
Tilly and the Buttons Mathide
Happy sewing xxx

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NEW DESIGNER FABRIC FROM ITALY

Last week I shared the fabulous new designer fabrics that arrived from Italy and guess what you loved them! So much that some sold out within 24 hours of going on sale. Wow I mean you guys must have really loved them. With the designer range we can only ever get a limited amount and most of the time once they have gone that is it we can't get them back. But the good news is that we have lots more that have come in a more to come. woop!!

Here is our latest selection, but remember be quick as these guys don't hang about for long!

D&G Maklak Roma Jersey
Marni Metallic Linen Silver
Marni Twit Twoo Cotton Lawn
G Star Stretch Denim
Paul Smith Xavier Cotton
Happy sewing xxx

Friday, February 13, 2015

SEW CHILDRENS CLOTHES LIKE THE SEWING BEES

This week the Sewing Bees made some adorable kids clothes. How cute! Everything in miniature.

Here are the patterns and fabrics you need to make your own mini wardrobe....

Start with this adorable Art Museum waistcoat and trouser sewing pattern it comes in sizes 6 months to 4 years and 5 years to 12 years. Hopefully yours will be turnout like Ryan's than Neela's.


Art Museum Vest & Trousers

Did the alternations challenge catch your eye? We have got a wonderful bright sunshine yellow jersey and some pretty cottons.

Monday, February 9, 2015

NEW DESIGNER FABRICS

I am so excited about the latest dressmaking fabrics that have arrived from Italy.
The Fabric Godmother designer collection is a specially selected range of dress fabrics that are all end of rolls from the big European Fashion houses. We are talking names such as ETRO, PUCCI, PRADA, D&G, PAUL SMITH and many more. As these fabrics come straight from the factories we never know how much we can get and all of them are limited, once they have gone that's it we usually cannot get any more. On the plus side I love getting these fabrics in for you, they are always amazing quality, stunning designs and at unbelievable prices.

So if you fancy owning a piece of designer fabric of your very own then be quick and take a look at the latest fabrics we have in.


Amelia stretch cotton (Pucci)

Amelia stretch cotton (Pucci)

Swirl stretch cotton (Pucci)

Swirl jersey (Pucci)

Delores Silk (Pucci)

Morocco Silk (Pucci)

Matide Cotton Voile (Ungaro)

Maui jersey (Etro)

Maui jersey (Etro)

 Happy sewing xxx

Friday, February 6, 2015

SEWING BEE STYLE COTTON TROUSERS

Did you watch the sewing Bee last night? Wasn't it great? I think it just keeps on getting better each year. Who is your top tip to win? I think Lorna or Neil, how fantastic to have some more men this year.

The first challenge was to make simple cotton trousers, for some reason this seemed to baffle even some of the more experienced sewers with trousers fronts being sewn to backs and zips on inside out. I'm guessing it was just the nerves, time frame and Claudia doing her brilliant shouty thing that got the better of them.

My favourites were: Paul's, for fabric choice the marble effect was really on trend though he lost points for wobbly top stitching. Amanda's were pretty stunning as well though she did show off a bit doing French seams which may have cost her time. Neil had army efficiency to his trousers, finished to top standards! But I think Lorna's were my favourite, that fabric choice was inspired I was already away with May sipping that Pina Colada!

If you want to have a go at making some cotton trousers like the ones on the show here are the best patterns and fabrics.
Sew over it - Ultimate trousers
Simple sew - The classic trousers
Colette - Clover pants
Amelia stretch cotton
Lena cotton
Lizzano cotton sateen 
Aloha cotton

Happy sewing xxx

Monday, February 2, 2015

A STRIPEY COCO

Ok I know I am massively late to the Coco party and totally unoriginal making a stripey version. But seriously this top was made to be stripey and hey I've been busy. Last week I shared my Breton Top inspirations, if you missed it take a look at the Pinterest board I made.
For this I used the Coco pattern with a plain neckline and the Bobbi striped jersey.


I'm not going to bang on too much about this pattern, I think the photos speak for themselves. Even if I do say so myself this top looks great. The neckline is just the right shape and size to make it ultra flattering. I took a bit of time trying to match up the stripes on this top and they were almost perfect, though the arm holes matched perfectly in my armpits so maybe



I added 2" to the length at waist as I am tall but then took 2" off the bottom and sewed up the slits as I found the shaped sides made the bottom of the top a bit flappy for my liking I prefer straight sided tops. This pattern is so easy, I mean I made this in about an hour. My biggest tip would be make sure you stabilise that neckline and iron each step of the way (testing that the iron is not too hot first I made a hole in the fabric this way, luckily I tested it rather than sticking the iron straight in the middle of the fabric)


If you would like to have a go at making your own version of this why not buy the Coco kit? It contains the fabric, pattern and thread and works out cheaper than buying them separately.
Happy sewing xxx