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SEW PATTERNS . SEW DAY

new and revised classes

SEW PATTERNS is a new class designed to give an introduction to dressmaking patterns and SEW DAY has been modified so that it is now just a sewing day… turns out we needed more time to sew!!  You can now  choose what you need more help with… the cutting out or the sewing together.  If you come to just a SEW DAY, the cutting out of the fabric pieces must be done before you arrive.

 

SEW PATTERNS – MORNING SESSIONS

£40.00

Please have a look at the BOOKINGS page for dates.

It will take place on either a Monday or Thursday morning from 10am till 1pm. Due to space, this class will have a maximum of three students.  

On a SEW PATTERNS session, you will learn how to use a simple pattern.  You can either bring your own simple pattern or use one of mine. I will explain how to work out your size,  IMG_7530work out fabric amount and type,  and make simple alterations to the pattern. With my help you will cut out your paper pattern, pin it onto some fabric and cut it out.

You will need to bring some calico fabric or cheap cotton fabric with you. 
Calico is an unbleached cotton fabric that is often used to make a toile/mock up of a garment.  Until you know how a pattern actually fits it’s wise to have a trial run in a cheap fabric!

At the end of the session it will be ready to sew together at home or on one of my SEW DAYS.

 

 

SEW DAY – ONE DAY DRESSMAKING CLASS

£80.00 

Unfortunately the SEW DAY is only available to those who have completed a SEW BASIC Course or attended a private lesson with me. It would be a good idea to attend a SEW PATTERNS session prior to the SEW DAY.

Please have a look at the BOOKINGS page for dates.

It’ll be a long day, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 5.30pm with a one-hour breakIMG_2599.JPG for lunch. There is a Waitrose and several cafés just 2 minutes walk away if you want to stretch your legs!

Sewing Machines are provided, but you can bring your own machine to use if you’d prefer.  

On the SEW DAY,  I will guide you through the process of making up your own personally chosen pattern, which would need to be pre-cut at home or with me before the SEW DAY.  You will be working at your own pace so I’m afraid it’s impossible for me to guarantee completion as it depends on your level and choose pattern. However, if you feel able, to save time you could start the process at home and come at a stage in the instructions where you need help.

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HOW TO FOLLOW A COMMERCIAL DRESSMAKING PATTERN

So many of my students have all the skills needed for dressmaking but are apprehensive about following a commercial  pattern because they look so complicated and wordy.  They are wordy, but only because they are trying to give you all the information you may need. Much of this information is general stuff or irrelevant to the garment you are making.  Once you have worked your way through a few patterns you will find it easier to skip to the bits you need.

My advice is…“Just have a go! What’s the worst that could happen?”
You may well make lots of mistakes, but, honestly, that’s one of the best ways to learn.  I would recommend, however, that you use a cheap cotton to try out a garment… before cutting into anything special!

To help get you started I have put together a step by step list…

    1. Work out your size…

  • Don’t expect to be the same size as you are in the shops! Unfortunately pattern sizes are usually bigger.
  • You MUST measure your bust, waist and around the fullest bit of your hips. Find and ring these measurements on the measurement chart, which is usually located on the back of the pattern envelope but can sometimes be found on the pattern sheets. You will probably be a combination of sizes, which is fine.
  • These measurements are usually offered in inches or cm. Inches are an English measurement  and cm are used by the French. I prefer to use cm if possible as it is a smaller measurement and so more accurate.
  • Also check the garment measurements. They can be found on the back of the envelope or on the pattern pieces. These are the measurements the actual garment will be.  They are bigger than your size as they include a certain amount of ‘Ease’. Ease is added to give room to move but also depends on the design of the garment.  Some garments, like coats, have a lot of ease and other garments such as a bodice has very little.  If you prefer a slimmer fit, you can choose a size with less ease.
  • To conclude this section… in the shops I am a size 10 but looking at the pattern measurements below my size is a combination of size 12 and size 14. Looking at the finished garment measurements, I would go with a size 12 as the pattern has lots of ease and I don’t like my garments too roomy.

New Look Pattern by Simplicity

    2. Use your size to work out how much fabric to buy…

  • To work out how much fabric to buy, go to the size you decided on or the largest size you measured.  Look further down the chart, on the back of the envelope and go to the style you want to make.  Take a note of how much fabric you will need in each width.
  • Fabric comes in two widths 45” /115cm or 60”/150cm  This is because you may well need to buy more fabric if the fabric you want to use is the narrower width.  Fabric amounts are usually given in metres/yards for each width.
  • When choosing your fabric, pay careful attention to its thickness and how it hangs. Your garment won’t look how you’d expect it to look if you choose a fabric just by its appearance on the roll! Choosing the correct fabric is such a difficult thing to get right and will take practice. Dressmaking patterns generally suggest suitable fabrics so maybe go by those to start with.
  • It is advisable to wash and press your fabric before you cut out or at least give it a good steam with the iron. This will help to avoid shrinkage.
  • The pattern envelope will also tell you what else you will need, such as interfacing, thread and fastenings.

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Burda Pattern

   3. Cutting out the paper pattern pieces…

  • Take everything out of the envelope and find the instruction sheets. Usually on the first page of the instructions there will be a list of pattern pieces. Work out, depending on the style you want, which pattern pieces you will need.
  • You can cut out your pattern pieces directly from the pattern sheets or, if you think at some point you may want to make a different size, you can trace your size onto a separate piece of paper.  You can buy pattern paper from Amazon or Ebay or you could use any thin paper as long as it’s big enough for the pattern pieces.
  • Press the pattern pieces with a cool iron so that they are nice and flat.  If you are a combination of sizes just move gradually and smoothly from one size line to another at the appropriate place.
  • At this point, if you haven’t already, you need to measure the length of your body… back neck to waist and also waist to desired hem length. Check it against the measurement chart. If the size you are cutting is longer or shorter than your measurement, there are places on the pattern where you can lengthen or shorten it.  To lengthen, cut between the lines and add the necessary amount. To shorten, fold between the lines and pleat out the necessary amount.

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 Cynthia Rowley Pattern by Simplicity

     4. Cutting out the fabric pattern pieces…

  • For help with placing your pattern pieces on the fabric, locate the relevant cutting layout in the instructions or on the pattern sheets. There will be several options depending on the style you are making and whether your fabric is 115cm wide or 150cm wide. Most cutting layouts are for fabric ‘WITH NAP’. This means the fabric has a direction, such as a pattern or shine. If this is the case, all the pattern pieces must be placed in the same direction from top to bottom down the length of the fabric.
  • Most of the time you will be instructed to fold your fabric in half, with the right sides together,  along the length. The selvages should be together with the fold of the fabric on the opposite side.  This way you will end up with two of each pattern piece or one on the fold.

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  • Pay careful attention to keeping the pattern pieces  straight by placing the double-ended arrow symbol (indicating the straight grain) parallel to the selvage. The selvage is the self-finished edge of the fabric that runs down the length on both sides. If this double ended arrow symbol is pointing to an edge it means you need to put this edge on the fold of the fabric.

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  • You must also take note of any other instructions written on the pattern pieces especially how many you need of each and whether you need one in lining & interfacing too.

 

      

 

 

 

  • All patterns have notches/balance marks on them.  These marks match up on pattern pieces to be joined together so it’s difficult to sew the wrong pieces together or put in a sleeve back to front!  You can cut triangles opposite the notches or mark the notch position underneath the pattern. I would never cut into the seam allowance.

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  • A lot of patterns have markings that will need to be transferred onto the fabric.  These markings could be darts, pleats, pocket placement, zip or button holes etc.  Depending on which side you’ll be sewing, some need to be marked on the wrong side of the fabric (darts/zip) and some need to go on the right side of the fabric (pleats/pocket placement/button holes)  You can transfer these markings with a pencil, tailors chalk, thread or a special dressmaking transfer/tracing paper. Using a pencil or chalk is the quickest way as long as there aren’t too many marks! Chalk and thread come out if you are marking on the right side of the fabric.

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 Cutting Tips…

  • When cutting out the fabric pieces, if you are right handed, cut with the pattern on your right so you can hold what are cutting off with your left hand. If you are left-handed do the opposite. Keep a bit of tension on the fabric you are holding but be careful not to pull it away from the pattern. Look at the ends of your scissors when you cut and try to keep the blade upright. To avoid jagged edges, stay in contact with the fabric as you open the scissors for the next cut by pushing them forward as you open.
  • Keep the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric until you need them so you don’t forget what they are!

 

       5. Sewing the garment together

  • Find the step-by-step instructions on how to put your garment together.  They are mostly found as folded paper sheets. They will be numbered and accompanied by diagrams.

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Simplicity                                                                                Burda

  • These instructions may jump from one style to another, which can be a bit confusing. I find it helps to somehow highlight all the information relating to your style. You will be relieved to find that many of the instructions are not relevant to you.
  • Before you start just check your seam allowance. A  1.5cm seam allowance is normally included in the pattern but just double check this in the General Directions. These are usually found on the first page of the instructions.

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Simplicity                                                                                                        Burda

  • Unless what you’re making is fully lined, you will need to decide on how you are going to finish off the seam allowance. You must do this as you go along because it’s impossible to do to it all at the end. I have listed the most common ways below…

      Zigzag over the edge. It’s the quickest way on a regular sewing machine.

      A French seam looks really neat if your fabric isn’t too thick.

      Using an Overlocker is really quick and neat if you’re lucky enough to have one.

  • Now it is time to follow the step-by-step instructions. If you get confused whist following these at home it will help to google the task in hand… whether it be understitching, setting in the sleeves, attaching a waist band or facing, binding the arm holes, etc

GOOD LUCK!

        

If you get completely stuck, book yourself a private lesson with me! :o)

 

 

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How to Sew Stretch Fabrics on a Basic Sewing Machine

As you may know using an Overlocker is the fastest and neatest way to seam stretch fabrics but these are expensive and take up valuable space in your home. I have collected together some essential information to help make sewing stretch fabrics on a basic sewing machine a successful experience!

First of all here are some terms you will hear when dealing with stretch fabrics…

 2-way stretch fabric

Fabric that stretches across the width but not the length

Common in dress making fabrics for it’s comfort!

4-way stretch fabric

Fabric that stretches across the width and the length

Common in garments such as swimwear, active wear, and dance wear.

Memory

How much the fabric stretches and if it goes completely back after it has been stretched.

Stretch stitch ‘+.S.S.-‘

A style of stitch that will not snap when stretched.

 

Needles

You must use either stretch or ball-point machine needles when sewing stretch fabrics. Because these needles part the fabric they don’t make holes where as universal needles can leave holes in some woven fabrics. They can also miss lots of stitches in very stretchy fabrics making it impossible to sew a seam.

You can use either ball-point or stretch needles for most projects but only stretch needles work when sewing very stretchy 4-way stretch fabric.

Another needle you may like is a stretch twin needle. This needle is commonly used to hem stretch garments. It sews two parallel lines on top with a zigzag underneath and will give your finished hems a lovely professional look.

Stitch & Thread choice

Stitch choice plays a big part when sewing stretch fabrics. Because regular polyester thread doesn’t stretch but the fabric does you could end up with the thread snapping and holes in your seams! It is therefore necessary to use a stitch that stretches… unless you use a stretchy thread… more about that later!!

There are a few stretch stitch options you can use and you will need to practice these stitches in order to find the one that work best for your project. Below are a few of the most common stitches. Please look at the instruction manual to identify these stitches on your sewing machine.

 

Zigzag stitch is the most common. Adjust the stitch width and stitch length to get the right stitch. It needs to be as narrow as possible with a small stitch length to get the stretch.

Triple Stitch is a ‘stretch stitch’ and will be located at the top of your stretch stitch selection. It is basically a back-stitch… 2 stiches forward and 1 back, which works well but must be used with caution, as it is bulky and can distort the fabric. Triple Zigzag Stitch may be necessary when sewing super stretchy 4-way stretch fabrics! Again you will find it at the top of your stretch stitch selection. This is also a backstitch but a zigzag version and so it can also be rather bulky.

Over Edge Stretch Stitch is the domestic machine’s version of an overlocking stitch so if you want an overlocked look and small seam allowances this is the one to use. This is quite a time consuming process, as you have to cut away the excess seam allowance after sewing each seam.

Maxi lock stretch thread

There is now this amazing stretchy thread from America, which is available on Amazon. It is pretty expensive so I have just bought the Eggshell and Black colour to start me off.

This stretch thread is easy to use. You can wind a bobbin and thread your machine like normal. For sewing, set the stitch length to 3, and the tension to 4.5. You can then stitch a regular stitch… As the actual thread will stretch, the stitch doesn’t have to! Of course, you can still use a stretch stitch if you want to… all of the stretch stitches perform even better when you use stretch thread.

Finishing the Seam Allowance

Stretch fabrics tend not to fray so it is not always necessary to finish the seam allowance. If you want to make the seams extra secure or flat you can zigzag the seam allowance together as you normally would.

 

Exceptions

  • With a 2-way stretch fabric you can usually stitch down the length as normal because the fabric doesn’t stretch down its length, only across its width.
  • You can sometimes get away with just loosening the tension on slightly stretchy fabric, as this will give the stitch a little slack/stretch. I do this when top stitching a wider neckline or armhole that doesn’t need to stretch much as I prefer the look.
  • When you are sewing something non stretch like interfacing, seam tape or trim onto a stretch fabric you can use a normal stitch. It helps, where possible, to sew with the no stretch on top.

 

Use a Walking Foot

If you use a regular presser foot, which presses down on the fabric as it’s fed through the sewing machine, the fabric will stretch and the stitches will hold that stretch in place. The best way to stop this from happening is by using a Walking Foot. This foot bounces up and down while you sew, which is a bit off putting to start with but it works brilliantly with stretch fabrics. It’s also great for quilting, as well as sewing velvet and slippery fabrics that never seem to stay where they have been pinned! This is because the presser foot pushes these more challenging fabrics out of place! The Walking Foot is honestly one of the most useful feet I have ever bought. I absolutely love it!

Also known as an Even Feed Foot, the Walking Foot is quite expensive but if you plan to sew a lot of stretch fabrics and don’t want to buy an Overlocker I would really urge you to splash out and buy a Walking Foot.

 

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SEW BASIC INTENSIVE – One day Course

I have introduced a  one day Basic Sewing course for those who find it difficult to commit to a weekly course.  It’s a long day, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 5.30pm with a one-hour break for lunch. There is a Waitrose and several cafés just 2 minutes walk away if you want to stretch your legs!  Everything is provided, including the Sewing Machines, but you can bring your own machine to learn on if you’d prefer. The cost is £80.00

SEW BASIC INTENSIVE is a very condensed version of the Sew Basic Course. 

On this one-day course you will learn a variety of essential techniques. Rather than making something specific, the emphasis is on really understanding the techniques you have learnt and how to use a sewing machine to get the best finish possible. Please bear in mind that this is a faster paced course than the regular Sew Basic Course.

TECHNIQUES COVERED: THREADING UP, TENSION, VARIOUS SEAMS, TOP STITCHING, VARIOUS HEMS, BIAS BINDING, FACINGS, DARTS, BUTTONHOLES, AND A BASIC ZIP.

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A BIT MORE ABOUT THE SEW BASIC COURSE

There is a Sew Basic Course starting soon so I thought it would be a good idea for me to tell you a little more about it.

Sew Basic is a five week course designed to leave the student confident on a sewing machine and with enough skills to get going on some exciting sewing projects. Each class lasts two and a half hours.

Though it sounds like a course just for beginners, I’ve actually had more experienced sewers attend this course who’ve felt that it has really improved their technique and finish. They’ve also found out the reasons for those annoying little things can go wrong when you’re sewing!

All the way through this course I will give you the information you need to get the best finish to your work. The costumes I used to make for film and TV always had to look as good on the inside as they did on the outside in case they got ripped off in a passionate scene!!

I encourage all students to work at their own pace so nobody feels rushed or held back. There will be lots of individual attention… I’ll give extra support to those who need it and extra challenges and information to those who want it. I am happy to answer any questions you may have so no one should ever feel unsure in my classes.

I have everything here that you may need, though if you would like to learn on your own machine that’s absolutely fine and probably quite sensible. You will receive a course book of all the techniques we are going to cover, which also has lots of instructions to remind you how to do the techniques and plenty of room to make extra notes of your own.

Sew School London

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WHAT IS COVERED…

The first 2.5 hour class is all about the sewing machine… threading up the correct way, when and how to change the tension, how to get better foot control. You will learn about different stitch lengths and types and when to use which one. We also cover a basic seam and how to finish off the seam allowance so it doesn’t fray.

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The second class is all about enclosed seams, hems and bias binding. Enclosed seams are really useful if you want what your making to look great on the inside but don’t want to line it. And having a variety of different hems to choose from means you will always be able to choose the best type of hem for what you are making.

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In week three we cover lots of very useful sewing techniques…  How to sew a perfect curve, bagging out, facings and understitching, darts, and piping. It’s a busy 2.5 hours!

In fourth class you will learn all about gathering as well as putting much of what you’ve learnt so far into practice by making a sweet little (doll sized) tiered skirt.

Sew Basic London

The fifth and final class is about openings – buttonholes and a simple zip. You will learn these techniques in a practical way by turning your buttonhole sample into a teeny cushion and the zip sample into a pencil case… both very pleasing techniques to master!

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DATES AND BOOKING

Please have a look at the BOOKINGS page for dates of the next Sew Basic courses

Each Basic Course has five classes in total.  All classes are on Thursday Mornings from 10.30am till 1:00pm

 

The total cost of this course is £140.00 

£80.00 must be paid to book your place.

The balance of £60.00 is due on the first lesson.

Only six places available so please book your place early.

To do this go to the Bookings page.

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FASHION SEW CLUB – AGE 8+

I have started a new sewing club for children above the age of eight years old who love sewing and designing. So, if you have a Little Sewing Bee in the making, then this is the perfect club for them.

Learning how to make mini clothes is a fantastic introduction to dress making as they are quicker to make and use less fabric!   I spent many happy hours making clothes for my Sindy dolls when I was little (I know I’m getting old!) and I’m feeling pretty excited at the thought of being able to do it again! 

Those children who come every month will soon pick up all the essential techniques needed to make clothes and then with a creative mind and my guidance, the possibilities are endless.  In this class all the clothes will be sewn by hand using a simple running stitch or back stitch.  It would be brilliant if your child already knows these stitches, can thread a needle and tie a knot as they will be able to go straight on to making clothes, but if not, don’t worry, they will be taught all these skills in their first session.

 

Sew School London

The children will be encouraged to work on their own project  so even though they will all be sewing together and learning the same techniques, they may well be making different things.   Hopefully this will be inspiring for them. I will help with the technical side of things like making sure the design is achievable, making a pattern, and explaining how to sew it together.

Once a student has been coming for some time, they may get the opportunity to learn the straight stitch on a sewing machine.  However, as this class is for a younger age group, the sewing machines will only be allowed if I feel it is safe.

Sew School

I do have a teenage sewing class every other Saturday morning where the children learn how to use and safely control a sewing machine. After they have mastered a few basic techniques, they  work on projects chosen to build on techniques and gain confidence. Most of these projects are fashion related.

I am really looking forward to my new Fashion Sew Club.  I think this club is a fabulous introduction to dress making and a fantastic opportunity for any young designer.

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The Fashion Sew Club will take place once a month on a Saturday afternoon  from 3pm-5pm.

 

£15.00 per session  PAYMENT IS REQUIRED IN ADVANCE TO BOOK A PLACE

You can do this through the Bookings page on my website.

 

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Sew School Students in Business

I feel so proud whenever one of my Sew School students emails me a picture of something they’ve made or brings it to a sewing session to show me, some Sew Clubbers have even done craft fairs selling various things they’ve made (mainly to fund their sewing habit!), but when a student goes into business using  skills they have learnt from Sew School then I could almost burst with pride!!

Kelly did the Sew Basic Course  in February 2014. She then joined Sew Club and came along every month full of enthusiasm, a big bag of projects from home and a list of questions! A serious collector of fabrics, it made total sense when Kelly started Fabric Love, an online fabric store, in January 2015.  This is all very impressive considering that Kelly is a mum of three boys all of primary school age! Fabric Love is a great place to find gorgeous, quality fabrics for your next crafting or dressmaking project and to share your beautiful makes with others. After a year in business Fabric Love has gone from strength to strength but with Kelly in the sewing seat I’m not at all surprised.  http://www.fabriclove.co.uk

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Sian completed the Sew Basic Course in 2014 whilst on maternity leave and after returning to work still manages to fit Sew Club in once a month.  Sian always has a challenging project on the go and I really enjoy helping her develop her ideas.  With another baby on the way, Sian invested in a very clever sewing machine and launched her business making and selling beautiful personalised sewn gifts in December 2015. It’s Sew Personal is collection of personalised gifts, made from high quality materials all handmade to order.  Sian has been super busy this Christmas and received some fantastic reviews, nearly all commenting on the quality of her products  which doesn’t surprise me as when it come to sewing Sian is a perfectionist! http://itssewpersonal.co.uk

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Emma had private lessons with me for quite some time several years ago.  Full of fabulous creative ideas and big plans, she needed help turning her ideas into garments. She was already pretty good on the sewing machine but wanted to develop her dressmaking skills to progress her passion of becoming an established designer. With a natural eye for pattern and colour, Emma learnt to create her own printed fabrics and these became the basis of her clothing designs.  It’s an incredibly difficult industry to break into but Lucy Peach Slice has been nominated for several design awards and has received lots of exciting reviews.  “Eclectic, adorable, original, amazing. That’s how we’re describing the stunning fashions for girls from UK label Lucy Peach Slice.” babyolgy.com.au  I still assist Emma with her samples and love being involved in the creative process from fabric to garment. http://lucypeachslice.com

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Although Caroline has not gone into a sewing related business I am still very proud of her as she was one of my first ever Sew Basic students and still comes to Sew Club every month where she creates her own style of clothes to match her stunning jewellery. https://www.facebook.com/mybeautifulgothic

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BEST DOOR STOPPER FILLING TO USE

This month’s Sew Club project was a cube shaped Door Stopper. Of course we worked on getting nice corners and so on but mostly we chatted about what’s the best door stopper filling to use.  The ones you buy in the shops have something heavy at the bottom to give it the necessary weight and polyester filling on top to push out the shape.  When I last did this project  I used dried beans as they were on special offer but some of my students were concerned that beans or rice could attract mice!!  Thinking this was a very good point, I decided to look into an alternative.

Whilst browsing the internet I soon discovered ‘weighted plastic beads’ designed for the job.  They are advertised specifically to weight down toys, door stoppers and blankets for Autistic children.  Unfortunately these beads would work out too expensive as I needed enough for 15 doorstops and like to keep costs to a minimum for my students. I also thought of using marbles but again they would be too expensive. And another idea was bags of sand, something I’d seen used so much in shop bought stoppers.  Although this would be much more affordable, I was worried I’d end up with sand all over my floor!

After looking at lots of options, I decided to go for a 10mm pebble gravel, which was a bargain from my local garden centre and gave a lovely crunchy beach sound!  The added bonus was that our garden path would be getting the left overs! The gravel was put in little plastic bags to keep it all together at the bottom of the doorstop and then the rest of the door stop was filled with polyester stuffing.

Another great tip is to use cushion inners/pads  for the polyester stuffing.  It’s much cheaper than buying specific stuffing.  I always stock up on these when I have to go to Ikea…  as well as calico which they sell at about £2 per metre.  It makes a very stressful experience feel a bit more worth while!!

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SEW CLUB – Level 2

My level 2 Sew Club students have produced some impressive work over the past few months. I feeling very proud to be their teacher!

 

Sian's beautiful bear was made out of old baby grows just in time for her daughters 1st birthday. It was a real challenge for Sian but definitely worth the effort. We've all loved watching it come together at Sew Club!

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Sian’s beautiful bear was made out of her daughters old baby grows.  It was finished just in time for her daughters 1st birthday. It was a challenging project but definitely worth the effort. We’ve all loved watching it come together at Sew Club!

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Above Left – Bindi did a fantastic job at copying a favourite pair of trousers.  She made her own pattern, and perfected the technique of shirring with elastic on the bobbin.  I love the fabric she choose which was thin but weighty so it hung down rather than puffed out! It’s so important to choose the right fabric when you’re copying a garment. It must feel and drape the same way as the original or else however perfect your pattern is, your copied pair won’t look the same.

Above Right – Maxine is making a fashionable shift dress in a gorgeous Liberty print.  Liberty print is a beautiful quality fabric… it’s light and floaty but not see through! It is a bit pricey, especially if you need a lot but I think it’s definitely worth the cost for a special occasion.

 

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Above Left – Kate has made a sweet summer dress for her daughter based on an old favourite.  You don’t need much fabric for this style of dress so it’s a great way to use up any odd lengths that are too small to do much with.

Above Right – Sarah wanted to make a pair of pyjama bottoms similar to some Boden ones she had worn to threads!  She found a really lovely cotton print from John Lewis and a simple pattern with clear instructions.  In Sew Club we have found some pattern instructions to be too wordy and confusing so if you’re relatively new to dress making it’s worth looking around for one with less information rather than too much!

 

Sew Club London

SEW CLUB – Summer 2015

PEG BAGS
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In May my monthly Sew Club students made some striking peg bags. They were all edged with bias binding, which is very affordable by the roll from Ebay. The small wooden hangers are from the children’s department in Ikea.

The more projects we do with bias binding the better and more confident my students get at it! We always sew our bias binding on in two stages to get a better finish. Remember… the first stitch line that attaches the bias binding to the edge marks where to fold the bias over to on the other side. Sewing slowly and accurately is the key!

 

FABRIC STORAGE ROLLS

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In June my Sew Club students made a pretty and useful fabric storage roll to practice inserting a zip. Based on a jewellery roll, these cotton versions can be used to store all sorts of things, not just jewellery. I use mine to hold an ‘out and about’ first aid kit!

They were so popular that all the spare ones I had cut out were bought! I always hand out a printed instruction sheet with details on what to buy, measurements to cut out and reminder steps on how to sew it all together so my students can make another one at home if they want to.