Articles

  • An Introduction to Machine Embroidery

    Guide to Machine Embroidery

    If you're into sewing, whether it be dressmaking, patchwork and quilting or home dec, embroidery machines can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Always at the forefront of new sewing technology and machines our very own Angela discovered machine embroidery way back when the first machines were introduced roughly 20 years ago and the incredible advances in technology and resulting capabilities of the machines have kept her captivated ever since. Her passion, enthusiasm and embroidery projects gave Joan and Sylvia, two of our other staff members, the bug and even I, the novice of the team, have had a little go. In this article we'll start by showing you some of our makes and ideas of what you can create on these machines then we'll take you through the key features of the machines, how they differ in price and functionality and the kit you need to get started.

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  • Sewing With Velvet - This Winter's Must Have Fabric

    Sewing with Velvet

    The new season is in full swing and the key trend I would really love to try is velvet, I mean is there a more luxurious, sumptuous fabric out there? Plus we have the most beautiful quality John Kaldor stretch velvet in black, purple, wine and teal that keeps calling out for me to take it home. Another benefit of this gorgeous fabric is that you can wear it whatever your age - it is beautiful on children and every generation of women and men. Of course Angela, co founder of Sew Essential, has worked with velvet on many occasions so let's have a look at some inspiration for starters then I'll share Angela's top tips for sewing with velvet.

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  • Fashion And Textile Students In Sew Essential Pattern Hack Contest

    Sew Essential Pattern Hack Contest

    If you follow our blog you'll already know at Sew Essential we're people with a passion for fashion and dressmaking. If we're not at work advising customers on sewing machines, products and techniques or writing tutorials we're most likely at home sewing. In fact we even dream about sewing. No, really. For this reason we decided to work with one of our local colleges to encourage and challenge their fashion and textile students to push their creativity and sewing ability to the limit in a Sewing Bee style pattern hack competition.

    We worked with Jo Hall, Lecturer of Fashion and Textiles at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College to develop the project remit. Angela (co founder of Sew Essential) and I chose this simple New Look pattern as a starting point for the students and asked them to develop their own original, wearable design within the theme ‘an English Country Garden’ using fabric and supplies from Sew Essential.

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  • Sew Brum 2016

    Sew Brum 2016

    Hi folks, I hope you're well? We've been busy as always here at Sew Essential - last weekend I had the pleasure of joining my second Sew Brum event and thought you might like to hear a bit about it.

    For those of you who don't know Sew Brum is an annual event organised by Charlotte (in the picture with me below) of the blog 'English Girl at Home' in, yes you've guessed it, Birmingham. Charlotte started the event three years ago and it has grown in popularity and attendance numbers ever since. Although there are so many ways for us to connect with other sewists now through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs you just can't beat getting together with fellow enthusiasts for a good natter, some shopping and some nice nosh!

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  • The Foldline Sewing Weekender

    The Sewing Weekender

    We've been super busy this summer at Sew Essential and thanks to summer holidays and lots of orders (thank you) the little old blog has had to take a back seat for a couple of weeks - sorry! Normal business will resume this week and I thought I'd start by sharing some of the lovely things we've been doing recently in the wonderful world of sewing.

    Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Foldline/English Girl at Home Sewing Weekender in Cambridge, which we at Sew Essential were also very proud to sponsor. More than fifty women descended upon Murray Edwards College to sew, chat and generally revel in their shared love of sewing and craft for two whole days. From the minute I entered the room on Saturday morning I knew I was going to have a lovely time.

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  • Five Tips & Tricks For Your Overlocker

    Overlocker Tips and Tricks

    A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to overlockers and, as promised, today we're going to share some great uses for your overlocker beyond finishing the raw edges of your garment. Overlockers really can take your sewing to the next level in terms of achieving a very professional finish quickly and easily, which is why you saw them used so frequently in the Great British Sewing Bee this year.

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  • Beginners Guide to Overlockers

    Beginners Guide to Overlockers

    If you're into sewing it's worth finding out what an overlocker is and how it can make your sewing projects more enjoyable. Firstly it can help speed your sewing up and, let's face it, if you have the sewing bug this can only be a good thing since it will allow you to sew more and more projects in the time you have available. Secondly it will help you to achieve a more professional finish to your garments resulting in more of those amazed gasps of wonder from your non sewing buddies as they remark 'I can't believe you made that!' and that just never gets old does it?! Finally there are a whole range of clever tricks you can use an overlocker for other than neatening or finishing seams such as constructing garments in increasingly popular jersey and knit fabrics, creating fancy rolled hems and a whole load of other fancy stitch finishes to name but a few.

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  • The Great British Sewing Bee Mondrian Dress Sewing Pattern Hack

    Vogue 1557 Mondrian Dress Pattern

    This week we are thrilled to bring you the Mondrian dress sewing pattern hack from this year’s Great British Sewing Bee. In this post we’ll give you a little bit of history about the dress, suggested fabrics you can use and our top tips for acing this vintage sewing pattern.

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  • The Great British Sewing Bee Patterns & Shopping Lists

    Sewing Bee S04E08

    I can’t believe it’s over! I’m in mourning - what on earth will I do on a Monday evening now? Oh yeah, sew of course!

    I suppose all good things must come to an end and this latest season of the Sewing Bee really did exceed all of my expectations. I must admit I was a little concerned as to whether the show might lose it’s way with a fourth series as these programmes so often do, but it was quite the opposite. Viewing figures are up and I think the Sewing Bee has proven it is here to stay (I hope!)

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  • Essential Patchwork and Quilting Toolkit Part 3

    Quilting Toolkit Part 3

    It has been a while since we talked patchwork and quilting on the blog and I thought it was high time we brought you the third and final 'Essential Patchwork and Quilting Toolkit post from the lovely Joan. If you would like to read the series of three articles from the beginning you can find part one here and part two here.

    These articles are great for those of you who are new to patchwork and quilting, but we would also recommend experienced patchwork and quilting fans to have a read. It is easy to continue to use the same tools or techniques you always have without question, but sometimes hearing the advice/opinion of one of your peers can teach you something new you wish you had known years ago.

    In this article Joan will tell us all there is to know about template plastic, graph paper, the quilters quarter or seam wheel, freezer paper and Bondaweb. So settle down, grab a cuppa and over to you Joan...

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