Sew Essential Blog

  • 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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  • How To Finish Seams: 5 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know

    How To Finish Seams: 5 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know

    For most of us sewists the holy grail of dressmaking and sewing your own clothes is to make something that is fitted and finished beautifully as if a professional dressmaker had created it. In a series of articles our resident sewing guru and founder of Sew Essential, Angela, will take you through some of the key finishing techniques that will help you to achieve excellent results every time starting with seams. There are many types of seam finishes used in dressmaking depending on the garment and fabric type chosen. Here are a few of the most common ones to master.

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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 this 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? Husband's - what do they know?!

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  • Sewing Butterick Pattern 5948 & Tips For Setting In Sleeves

    Butterick 5948

    I decided to make this Butterick 5948 sewing pattern to continue topping up on day to day section of my wardrobe. I thought the loose fit design would be comfy and cool for summer if I made it in one of our lovely cotton prints and I chose this pretty grey cotton fabric with the multi coloured teardrops. I thought this fabric would work well with blue denim or my guilty pleasure and summer wardrobe favourite, my white jeans. Somehow it still feels a bit wrong to be such a massive fan of white jeans, like I'm an Elizabeth Hurley wannabe or stuck in the yuppy 80s or something, but I just can't help it I LOVE them. Especially when one of the kids wipes a mucky hand across my thigh or drops an ice cream down them, such a sophisticated look.

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