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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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My first trip to Quilt Market

Three years ago I wrote a little wish list for 2017 in my notebook (my 40th year) and at the top it said "visit Quilt Con with a purpose". I didn't make it to Savannah in February as we were in the middle of a house renovation, but I have just got back from my first Spring Quilt Market in St Louis, Missouri.  Market is essentially a trade show for businesses in the quilting world where shop owners and distributors buy for the next seasons. It is hosted in Houston every Autumn and moves around US cities in the Spring.  It was a huge opportunity to see how the industry works and to meet people, many who I have only...

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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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All you need to know about sewing the Grainline Tamarack Jacket

When my friends at Vlieseline (major producer of interfacings etc) asked me try out their new wadding I had a definite project in mind. The Tamarack by Grainline Studio. I have admired the company's minimalist style for some time, and have also been lamenting the lack of time to quilt, so this seemed like the perfect project.    The jacket is simple in shape and the sleeves don't need to be set in.  However, it is rated as an intermediate level because you do need to quilt all of the pieces, add welt pockets if you want to, and bind the edges.  It took me approximately 8 hours to sew up - though I didn't add welts in this case...

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The mission behind Jenni Smith Studio patterns

The mission Nothing beats the feeling of saying "I made it myself",  yet 7 out of 10 young people don't know how to sew a button on. For a good 30 years these basic life skills have been completely scrapped from education, in the UK at least.  I am one of the forgotten generation who did not learn how to sew at school. I am a self-taught dressmaker who loves having the ability to create unique, well-made clothes that reflect my personality and style. I have taught over 250 people to sew in the past 5 years so releasing patterns seems like a natural progression. The aim is to try and help people gain the skills and confidence to build their...

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