Sew Essential Blog

  • 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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  • The Top Five Easy Sewing Patterns

    Top 5 Easy Sewing Patterns

    If you're going to have a go at sewing your own clothes one of the most important things to get right is choosing an easy sewing pattern to get you started. This can make the difference between trying, struggling and giving up vs enjoying the new challenge and coming out with something you're really proud of at the end. Warning: if the latter happens you will more than likely become addicted to sewing and will never love another hobby the same way again. It may well take over your life. Seriously.

    As a relatively new sewer myself I know how it feels to take those first few tentative steps on the journey to a handmade wardrobe. I am lucky enough to have the guidance and support of my mother in law Angela (co founder of Sew Essential and sewing for over 60 years) but I know that in the beginning what you really need is a bit of quick gratification: to spend a few hours into making something and see the results almost instantly. This is what will give you the belief you can make your own clothes, it isn't as complicated as you think and you could, one day, go on to be a sewing demon producing uber complicated garments worthy of a Milan catwalk or a Hollywood red carpet...

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  • The Great British Sewing Bee Contestants 2016

    Great British Sewing Bee 2016

    We've all been waiting for this moment since February last year - well we at Sew Essential have anyway! The Sewing Bee is back and the first of eight episodes starts on BBC 2 on Monday the 16th of May at 9 o'clock. There's simply nothing better than sipping a cuppa glass of wine, settling down and watching the drama unfold. It never ceases to amaze me how the contestants manage to cope and sew under all that pressure and it is a joy to see the amazing creative designs that pop up along the way.

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  • Make Your Own Prom Dress And Save A Small Fortune!

    Make Your Own Prom Dress

    As we head towards the summer prom season we have the dress patterns and fabrics to save you a fortune and make you the Belle of the ball...

    The soaring costs of high school proms in the UK has been well documented in recent years. Talking to some Mom's at a children's birthday party last week we laughed about our end of high school celebrations back in the 90s. It sounded like I was quite lucky - I had a leavers ball, which included a sit down meal and a disco. I borrowed a full length silky silver evening gown from my glamorous older cousin (thanks Nikki!) did my best with my hair and make up and took my then boyfriend who borrowed my Dad's tux! We got a lift there and back from our parents and had a ball (literally!) The whole night probably cost £30, if that. One of my Mommy peers laughed and told me she had a meal with her teachers in the school canteen - rock and roll!

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  • New Look 6106 Skirt In John Kaldor Ditsy Fabric

    New Look 6106 Skirt In John Kaldor Ditsy Fabric

    Angela suggested I try this New Look pattern following my first foray into sewing and dressmaking last year when I made another summer skirt using a Burda pattern and some pretty cotton fabric. I chose our very pretty John Kaldor ditsy cotton fabric in blue and yellow and was full of enthusiasm, but short on time with Alex still a babe in arms and Toby not having started school yet. As a result I cut the pattern out and pinned it to the fabric then it lived in the dining room side board (AKA my sewing store room) for about a year!

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