Sew Essential Blog

  • 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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  • 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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  • Sewing An Embroidered Denim Dress

    Sewing a Denim Dress

    Today on the blog I've made another New Look pattern - I have a big pile of them I pilfered from work a while back and have been working my way through them so I can justify snaffling another load! Plus I have a holiday coming up so I wanted to make some new bits to take with me, I can't get too carried away though - we're flying with Ryan Air (urgh!) and are sharing a suitcase between the four of us (double urgh!) so I will be severely limited. I might do a Joey from friends and just wear all my clothes at once on the flight so I can take everything I want to.

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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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  • Sewing A Stripy Jersey T-Shirt Following Angela's Top Tips

    Sewing a Top with Jersey

    Ok so this New Look 6735 top isn't anything particularly exciting, in fact most people probably have something similar hanging in their wardrobe or folded in a drawer somewhere. Having said that, it was my first attempt at sewing with jersey fabric so it was pretty exciting that I a) finished it and it is totally wearable and b) didn't find it difficult to make.

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