All paper patterns will be re-stocked in March 2022

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A statement summer dress in Silhouette by Alison Glass

Alison Glass is a fabric designer I love.  Her fabrics are bold, colourful and I have had a lot of pleasure from working with them in the past few years.  Handcrafted was my choice for this Improv Quilt I made in 2016.  It is a collection of Indonesian batiks - very modern and fresh.  I have also sewn up a storage basket with her Indigo handcrafted, and Kay made this cushion by Jeli Quilts recently for the studio.  I met Alison and the Andover team at Quilt Market in May in St Louis.  Her booth was a little heavenly corner of everything I would like in my life. The most exciting range for me was definitely the Silhouette collection, just...

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The Big Stitch Campaign: How I made an evening dress from a curtain

My studio has over 50 lovely sewists passing through each month and many hours are spent stroking fabric and getting over excited about new projects in like-minded company. Occasionally we do some work. Grace came in a few months ago with a vintage curtain and I literally jumped up and down when I saw it.  The design had bold fruit in gorgeous colours, surrounded by a vine in turquoise. It reminded me of Marimekko fabric and Josef Frank all rolled into one. I helped Grace to construct a simple shirft dress with it and she took it away to finish. A few weeks later, Grace came back with the other half of the pair of curtains and gifted it to...

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Girl with a Sewing Machine book review by Jenni Smith

  Girl With a Sewing Machine is a craft book with genuine soul and one of the nicest dressmaking titles I have read in quite a while. The reason it resonates is because Jenni is a down to earth person who truly wants to get people over that initial fear of making their own clothes. It is a much bigger step than some might imagine and it makes perfect sense to get cracking with old clothes or charity shop finds and to upcycle them. Looking back this is was I was doing from about the age of 9 with my best friend Laura – creating garments from our dressing up box, letting my imagination run wild and then enjoying the...

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Hepworth Apron Pinafore Dress Hack

So what is a hack? A hack is making changes to an existing pattern to create a different look.  It is a great way to add your own style and to build confidence in dressmaking. It gives you a good feeling at the end which far outweighs the nerves when you begin.  So, as promised here are all the details of how to use your Hepworth Apron pattern to make a super stylish pinafore dress. The fit remains flattering and very contemporary.  You can buy the Hepworth Apron here as a paper pattern or as a PDF (including a US version).  You can follow the basic construction tips and free video tutorials included in the pattern, as well as reading...

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Real women are the real inspiration behind sewing my own clothes

I suddenly realised the other day why I love Instagram so much, especially the sewing community which makes up about 99% of my feed. It is because I see real women making and wearing their own clothes. I am not staring at teeny sized models in fantasy landscapes, dressed in clothes I could never afford. Instead I see a person feeling comfortable in her own skin, celebrating her creative talents.                                                 Hila @saturdaynightstitch Scrolling through images I might see a new pair of jeans modelled in the kitchen, or a skirt shot in bad light when it...

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