Sew Essential Blog

  • The Six Most Iconic Vintage Dress Patterns

    Iconic Dress Patterns

    Hello all, we hope you’ve had a good week? Here at Sew Essential we’ve been beavering away adding new products to our website and promoting our new indie sewing pattern range - we hope you like it as much as we do?!

    We also couldn’t help but notice the news story on Mom’s wearing pyjamas on the school run. How is this relevant to a sewing blog you might ask, but I think any debate around fashion and clothing is relevant and interesting to those of us who like to sew their own clothes. In this article we briefly ponder how our attitudes to dress code have been revolutionised in recent decades and indulge in celebrating the glamour of yesteryear with our six most iconic vintage dress patterns.

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  • How to Sew an Exposed Zip

    How to Sew and Exposed Zip

    Exposed zips have been ‘all the rage’ (as my Mom would say) for some time now. They are a great way to add an interesting little bit of detail to a top or dress and here we’ll show you how to go about it. Always use a good quality branded zip - the last thing you want is to have a faulty zip on your beautifully hand crafted garment you spent hours lovingly creating!

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  • How to Sew an Invisible Zip

    Concealed Zip in a Dress

    A concealed or invisible zip is viewed by many as one of the trickier sewing tasks, but it is soooo worth it for a neat and professional finish. We’ve got a few tips and tricks here to help you breeze through this sewing task without a hitch!

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  • How to Choose, Prepare and Cut Dressmaking Fabric

    Preparing your fabric and pattern

    Once you’ve selected your sewing pattern and have cut it to size following our guidance in the ‘How to Achieve the Perfect Fit from your Sewing Pattern’ article it is time to choose, prepare and cut your fabric. Here is a step by step guide, perfect for beginners, on everything you need to know. It is worth considering (and accepting) for most sewing projects you will spend around 80% of your time preparing and 20% of your time sewing. Getting the preparation right is crucial to success - my Mom always said: ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail!’ and as always (annoyingly) she was right!

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  • How to Fix Sewing Machine Stitch Quality Problems

    How to Fix Stitch Quality Problems

    Having worked with sewing machines for over 10 years, I've helped many customers sort out their stitch quality problems. These problems usually include thread looping either top or bottom side of the fabric, bobbin thread getting pulled to the top side of the fabric (or vice versa), thread bunching up and 'nesting', skipped stitches, uneven stitch quality, thread breakages, jamming and more.

    Well, if you're having trouble with your stitch quality I'm pleased to tell you that 99% of the time these problems are really easy to solve by following a few simple steps.

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  • A Red Dress, Some Sequins and a Bruce Springsteen Moment!


    We’ve been writing the Sew Essential blog for a couple of months now and I hope you’ve enjoyed the mixture of ‘how to’ guides, interviews, reviews and general interest articles. As we’ve always said we want the blog to become a bank of sewing advice and tips that make it a go to resource for sewers everywhere. We also want to share my personal beginner’s sewing journey under the guidance of founder of Sew Essential and resident dressmaking guru Angela. She’s my Yoda I’m her Luke (you really can’t avoid Star Wars anywhere at the moment, even sewing blogs aren’t safe!) and I thought it was high time we shared a make on the blog so here it is!

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  • How to Line a Sleeveless Top or Bodice

    How to Line a Top

    Here are our top tips for sewing a lined top or bodice to achieve a truly professional finish. We're sure all the tips we share will be useful, but there is a particularly juicy, little known trick of the trade we're sharing with you! This little gem will will allow you to complete the task without any hand stitching. Sounds good right? Then let us enlighten you...

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  • How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine Needle

    Sewing Machine NeedleUsing the wrong type of sewing machine needle is one of the most common mistakes we come across and can lead to needle breakage, difficulty working with the chosen fabric and poor stitch quality. With our sewing machine needle guide you'll never have to experience these problems - we've outlined the different types of needles available and which fabrics and threads they should be used with. Even if you're a confident stitcher and are in the know about needles its worth having a quick read as you might just surprise yourself and discover a life-changing needle you never knew existed!

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  • A Dressmaker with the X Factor!

    Cherilyn LeesonThis is the first in a series of unique interviews with a select few super skilled sewists who also happen to be Sew Essential customers. These super sewers have turned their favourite pastime into a successful career and we’re sure you’ll enjoy having a peek into their world, hearing their stories and seeing their makes as much as we did!

    First up an incredible young lady called Cherilyn Leeson. Full of energy and an insatiable passion for sewing and dressmaking she is currently building and growing her bespoke dressmaking business ‘English Country Vintage’ using her experience and skills gained from a glittering career in the world of costume making.

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  • Sew The Costumes From The Dressmaker Movie

    Sew The Costumes From The Dressmaker MovieThere are plenty of reviews of the latest Kate Winslet film ‘The Dressmaker’ written by film critics who are really good at that sort of thing. We, on the other hand, probably are not! So rather than attempt a review of this film we thought we would talk about what our followers and customers are really interested in - the clothes, clothes, clothes and the sewing patterns and fabrics you can use to make them!

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