Sew Essential Blog

  • 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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  • Hem Finishes On An Overlocker

    Overlocker Hem Finishes

    A few weeks ago we shared five hand stitched hem techniques here on the blog and I promised there would be further posts on machine stitched hems and hem finishes on your overlocker. Seeing as it is now well and truly Autumn when we find ourselves reaching for the cosy knit fabrics in our stash or the fabric store (we have a good range of stretch fabrics on our site if you want to check it out) I thought we'd share the hem finishes you can achieve on your overlocker. Plus I must admit I'm currently in the throes of a long and unwavering love affair with my Babylock overlocker and can't stop raving about it having spent a little time exploring its full capabilities. If you have an overlocker or are considering buying one it is well worth spending a little time opening your eyes to the tasks you can complete on an overlocker - ironically finishing seams is merely the starting point.

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  • Sewing The Moneta Dress By Colette Patterns

    Sewing the Moneta Dress

    Ever since we started stocking the Colette pattern range I knew I wanted to make the Moneta dress. There is definitely a big gap in my wardrobe where casual every day dresses for cold weather should live - I have tonnes and tonnes of casual summer dresses and skirts, but when it comes to winter I seem to live in my jeans. In fact I'm wearing jeans right now! Last year I promised myself I would break this depressing habit and failed miserably. This year I'm on a mission with patterns like the Moneta and the Grainline Moss skirt tucked under my arm to help me along my way.

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  • 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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  • 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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