Sew Essential Blog

  • My Cocktail Hour Blogger Tour Dress

    My McCalls Cocktail Hour Blogger Tour Dress

    This week I'm thrilled to bring you my contribution to the McCalls Cocktail Hour blogger tour. If you haven't already heard the McCalls pattern company have selected 20 gorgeous Vogue cocktail dress patterns for the initiative (see the list at the bottom of this post). Over the next seven months a contribution from the sale of each and every one of the designated patterns will be donated to the Eve Appeal, a charity that raises funds to fight the five women's only cancers.

    To promote the initiative 26 bloggers have been selected to take part in a tour and make their favourite pattern. There is also a yummy cocktail recipe and you can share your makes and join in the fun using the hashtag #sipandsew. So grab a cuppa cocktail and have a read about my most exquisite and challenging make to date!

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  • Top Sewing Trends for Spring Summer 2017

    Top Sewing Trends for Spring Summer 2017

    Our hotly awaited, glorious selection of new spring summer fabrics are now up on the site. We've had one day of balmy temperatures and it had me in a tizz! There's nothing worse than warmer weather finally arriving and then feeling like you have nothing to wear.

    My spring summer handmade wardrobe is currently on hold whilst I'm beavering away on my McCalls cocktail hour dress, but that hasn't stopped my mind racing with ideas of things I would like to make. So here's some of the key catwalk trends for the current season with suggestions for the patterns and fabrics you could use to make them. Come on sunshine, we're ready for you!

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  • Fabric Haul Spring 2017 Vlog

    Fabric Haul Spring 2017

    Feast your eyes on our fabulous range of new dressmaking fabrics perfect for the new season. Get an idea of the drape, get inspiration for what to make and get ready to drool - they are beauties!

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  • How to Sew Ruffles for a Garment

    How to Sew Ruffles

    Ruffles are one of the key trends this season adding a hint of feminine detail to any garment. Here are our top tips for sewing them, using a gathering foot, attaching them to a garment and some of our favourite ruffle riddled sewing patterns. Whether you want to customise an existing garment or create something new ruffles will up the prettiness stakes and bring it bang up to date.

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  • How to Choose the Right Fabric for my Sewing Project

    How to Choose the Right Fabric

    Put simply choosing the right dressmaking fabric can make or break your sewing project. A number of customers have told us they struggle with this aspect of dressmaking so we've written this guide to help you along the way. Fabric shopping should be nothing but a purely joyful experience after all! Plus we want you to reap the rewards of the time and money you invest in every project.

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  • Sewing a Vintage Pencil Skirt & a 90s Cami Top

    Pencil Skirt Cami Top

    I recently shared my #makenine list over on the vlog featuring this vintage pencil skirt pattern and cami top pattern. I had some John Kaldor Ohio stretch cotton fabric in my stash perfect for the skirt and decided to make the cami top in our Mystique satin backed crepe. Worn together they make the perfect outfit for summer evenings out.

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  • Sewing a 90s Cami Top

    Sewing a Cami Top

    It's time for the next Sew Essential vlog instalment and I thought it would be nice to share a video of me sewing one of my recent makes and one of my #makenine - a lovely simple 90s Simplicty 1366 cami top.

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  • How to Pipe Seams & Embroider a Garment

    How to Pipe Seams & Embroider a Garment

    In this blog post we'll show you how to get super professional results when piping seams and customising a garment with machine embroidery. Piping is a beautiful way to finish the seams of a garment adding an interesting extra bit of detail to really give it the wow factor. Combine piped seams with embroidery you've chosen to customise that garment perfectly and you have a truly original design in exactly the right colours to match your accessories. This is how the idea for this unique dress made by our very own Angela (co founder of Sew Essential) came to life. You see Angela has a bit of a shoe obsession and just couldn't resist these gorgeous green LK Bennett shoes, but had nothing to wear with them so she did what any respectable seamstress would do and made something.

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  • How to Sew a Neat Waistband with an Invisible Zip

    How to Sew a Neat Waistband with an Invisible Zip

    Here are our top tips for sewing a super neat waistband with an invisible zip. After the troubles I had with my denim skirt waistband I decided it was time for a crash course with Angela to really nail the key techniques - how to get sharp corners and a neat finish, plus how to insert an invisible zip that crosses a waistband seam. I was working on a lovely Simplicity vintage inspired pattern (2154) with our gorgeous Ohio fabric and this was the perfect opportunity to practise these techniques. I will, of course, blog about the skirt itself very soon.

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  • My Sewing Plans for 2017 #makenine

    My Sewing Plans for 2017 #makenine

    Following on from my first year in sewing here are some of my sewing plans for 2017 where I'll be joining in with the #makenine on Instagram to keep me on track, I hope you enjoy it.

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