Sewing Tips, Tutorials, Projects and Events

  • How To Sew A Fly Front Zip

    How To Sew A Fly Front Zip

    A fly front zip is the fastening traditionally used on jeans, trousers and can often be found on skirts and shorts where the zip is positioned on the front of the garment. The zip is hidden from view by a zip facing or extension and is covered by a fly shield from the inside of the garment. Knowing how to sew one is a great skill to add to your sewing arsenal so we've prepared this handy guide for you to refer to.

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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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  • Simplicity 1114 Jumpsuit Pattern In John Kaldor Hermione Fabric

    Simplicity 1114 Jumpsuit In John Kaldor Hermione Fabric

    I spotted this Simplicity jumpsuit pattern aeons ago, I thought it looked really modern and stylish and used it to promote our Simplicity patterns on social media. When our John Kaldor Hermione fabric arrived I knew I had to make something with it. I love the tropical feel of the print and when I wore it one of my girlfriends commented that it reminded her of something you'd see in one of my favourite high street stores, Warehouse, which only served to increase my love of it. I originally thought I might make some loose fitting trousers with the fabric and then I remembered the lovely jumpsuit pattern and my next project was born.

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  • How To Hand Stitch Hems

    How to Hand Stitch Hems

    When I first started dressmaking I realised it isn't always immediately obvious from the sewing pattern instructions how to hem the garment. I often found myself wondering how deep the hem should be, which stitch to choose and whether it should be machine or hand stitched to achieve the best finish.

    Here, in our series of articles on finishing techniques, Angela (co founder of Sew Essential, general sewing mastermind and guru) helps us to understand which type of hems are appropriate for different garments followed by step by step instructions and videos for five hand sewn hem techniques. We will cover machine stitched hems later in the series.

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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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  • Sewing The Saltspring Dress By Sewaholic Patterns & A Trick For Making Summer Dress Straps

    Saltspring Dress Make

    This Saltspring dress project started with some fabric. Some John Kaldor Portia stretch fabric in lime green and navy. Said John Kaldor fabric ended up sat next to my desk and I just couldn't stop looking at it and, yes, I freely admit, stroking it. By the end of the day I knew I simply had to make something out of it. So, five minutes before everyone was due to finish for the day (nothing like a bit of pressure!) I decided to scour our website for a suitable sundress pattern. As soon as I saw the Saltspring I knew it was the perfect match. Ed said I would look like Lilo Lil (anyone remember Bread?!) I obviously ignored him.

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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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  • Sewing An Easy Maxi Dress Pattern - Where's Wally?!

    Stripy Maxi Dress

    I've always fancied a nice casual maxi dress for day to day wear, but have only ever had quite formal or dressy ones for special occasions or evenings out...until I discovered the McCalls M6744 sewing pattern that is. I loved the styling on the packet and it immediately had me dreaming of summer holidays so I grabbed one for my stash a while back when we had a McCalls pattern sale on. By the end of May I'd beavered my way through quite a few patterns in my stash and I decided it was time to give this one a go. I chose our stripy jersey fabric in red and white for a bold and different look. I thought it would look great with a denim jacket. Ed thought I would look like Where's Wally? Husbands - what do they know?!

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