english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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The Sewing Weekender Wrap-Up

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

We (Kate, Rachel & I) first began plotting The Sewing Weekender at the end of April, and last weekend our UK sewing holiday took place at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. There were 59 of us in total (50 attendees, plus 9 organisers/prefects/speakers), over 25 sewing machines (as quite a few attendees brought along their own), 2 overlockers, 3 ironing boards & irons, and goodie bags and tea for everyone .

The (lovely) College porters seemed pretty amused by the arrival of 27 sewing machines, and 59 sewists. With the students away for the summer, we had the Murray Edwards campus practically to ourselves. The rest of the campus was sleepy, but our venue was a hive of activity. I failed to sew (or knit) a single stitch over the weekend – I’m not entirely sure what I did do, other than chat and drink tea, but I enjoyed every minute. Unlike me, other attendees were extremely efficient and dedicated – with newly finished garments being modelled on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

On Sunday, our lovely prefects and speakers each spoke to us on a different topic – with a common theme their willingness to be bold and try new things – whether in sewing, or design, or business. There were some nerves beforehand but they were such a bunch of pros once they started speaking.

Around the sewing, some of us strolled to nearby shops along the river to buy lunch at Fitzbillies (I chipped a tooth on one of their sandwiches – the fault is with my tooth rather than the sandwich – and it was still worth it), we took over one floor at a local pub on Saturday night, with some of us staying until (admittedly early) kicking out time, and of course we had a huge pattern and fabric swap.

I believe that meet-ups, in all shapes and forms, are important to our sewing community, and a perfect compliment to discussion online. I hope everyone who attended had chance to catch up with existing friends and to meet others for the first time. I first met fellow organiser Rachel at the 2014 London meet-up organised by Rachel Pinheiro; without which we might never have organised the Sewing Weekender.

If you’re planning to organise or create something new, I highly recommend doing it with people you love spending time with. Working with Kate and Rachel to organise the Sewing Weekender meant it always felt easy – and fun. Alone, I suspect it would have felt like work. And everyone who attended too – I’d like to spend a weekend with them every month, if there wasn’t quite so much planning and travel involved! Speaking of travel, the little map below gives an indication of where attendees travelled from – we had contingents from London & Birmingham (woo!), but also from further afield.

SWattendees

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016

The Sewing Weekender, August 2016


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V2401 for the Big Vintage Sew-along

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

I’m very excited to be sharing my contribution to the Big Vintage Sew-along blogger tour today. Are you taking part? McCall’s have selected twenty McCall’s/Vogue/Butterick vintage patterns, and are donating money from the sale of those patterns to The Eve Appeal gynaecological cancer charity. There’s also a series of events taking place, including an afternoon tea at the Knitting & Stitching Show in October.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

The pattern I chose to sew for the blog tour is Vogue 2401, which (as you can probably tell from the silhouette) is a 1950s’ pattern. I decided on 2401 as I thought it had an unusual (coat dress like) silhouette, and I loved the line drawings (although not the modelled product photo – which is rather naff). I made Version A, the only difference between versions being the sleeve length.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Inspired by the coat dress look, I chose to use a medium-weight fabric. I ordered lots of swatches and took ages making up my mind, but finally decided on this Black and White Graffiti Sateen from The Splendid Stitch. The fabric handled beautifully; I unpicked and re-sewed the bodice multiple times and the fabric handled it like a champ and didn’t fray.

A medium-weight fabric was a good match for the full skirt and structured collar. The only section which would have worked better in a lighter weight fabric are the ties at the front – I’ve tied them in a double knot as otherwise the ends stick up and look a bit unruly. I actually think the tie sections (which wrap from the side of the bodice to the front of the dress) would look great in a contrast fabric – so a lighter-weight, contrast fabric would be perfect for those two pattern pieces. I also think this pattern might work really well in a structured knit fabric.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Some of the design details of this pattern are obscured by my fabric choice, and I’m not sure they are particularly obvious from the (quite long) description on the pattern envelope. This is a wrap dress; the dress is tight fitting (there are a lot of darts!) on the arms and top of the bodice, but then opens up with a slit along the sides of the bodice (covered by the bodice wrap section) and the skirt. The skirt is constructed separately from the bodice in multiple panels, with the back/side skirt panels overlapping the front skirt panel. The skirt suffers from a common wrap-dress issue; the skirt panels don’t overlap by very much. I wore this dress on it’s first outing to the park (Cannon Hill Park, a local favourite) to take these photos and I was flashing quite a bit of leg. I’m planning to either secure the panels to one another or add some additional width to the skirt to address this, otherwise every time I wear it I’ll be constantly checking and adjusting the skirt.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

I fall between a 10-12 on the pattern sizing chart; because the paper pattern contains a subset of sizes (e.g. 6-10, or 12-16, etc.), I actually fall between two separate paper patterns. I went with the smaller size (to match my bust measurement), and then roughly graded out at the waist / hips. However, with this dress you actually only need to worry about your bust measurement, as the wrap provides ease at the waist and hips.

One thing to note – because this dress is very fitted at the arms and upper body, I actually found that to get it on/off, I really needed to drop/lift it over my head with arms raised, rather than putting it on one arm at a time. As such, it’s one of those dresses that is much easier to put on with assistance!

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

The bodice has quite an unusual construction method, which reminded me how accustomed I have become to detailed (indie pattern) instructions. I spent ages puzzling over (and repeating) one step, but I think the step which tripped me up is actually very simple. For anyone else sewing the dress, at the final step on Page 2 of the instructions (attaching the front and side front bodice), I believe that the correct construction requires you to cut into the front bodice up to the marker. However, because the instructions don’t explicitly state this, I tried various alternative methods to make the pieces match up.

The only changes I made were to skip the inside belt, which I didn’t think would add much, and interfacing, which the weight of my fabric made unnecessary.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

I’m hoping to try a few more patterns from the Big Vintage Sew-along selection before the end of the year. I already have 1940s pattern B5209 cut-out ready to sew, and I’m planning to make 1930s pattern McCalls 7154 to wear to my brother’s wedding in February next year.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Next up on the blogger tour is the lovely Gabby in one week’s time! The previous projects on the blog tour are all pictured here, and the following bloggers are still to come:

26/08/16   Gabby at Gabberdashery
02/09/16   Rachel at House of Pinheiro
09/09/16   Elena at Randomly Happy
16/09/16   Wendy at Butterick
23/09/16   Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time
30/09/16   Rachel at The Fold Line


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The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender takes place this weekend! Kate, Rachel & I, thought it would be fun to do a little reveal of the goodie bags that will be waiting for attendees on Saturday morning.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Fabric goodie bags, plus branded tape measures (I find these perfect for keeping in my handbag & knitting bag) have been provided by Remnant Kings.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Attendees will find their goodie bag stuffed to bursting with the following:

Sewing badges and a 15% discount voucher from Girl Charlee, who have also contributed a big fabric bundle which will be won by one lucky attendee.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Pavilion Books have provided attendees with a printed copy of the Freehand Batwing Top tutorial from Chinelo Bally’s book Freehand Fashion (subscribe to the Pavilion Craft newsletter to receive 20% off all Pavilion craft books).

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Village Haberdashery have sent a spotty £5 gift card for every attendee. Perhaps to be put towards some Les Fleurs…

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Creative Industry have supplied a gorgeous Maker’s Workbook for every attendee. The perfect place for documenting a growing list of sewing project plans!

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Abakhan have provided a supply of threads, measuring tapes and lots and lots of lovely buttons.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Love Sewing have provided each attendee with the latest issue of Love Sewing Magazine, hot off the press. Plus (editor) Amy will be joining us at the weekend.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Lucy from Sew Essential will be joining us this weekend and has provided a 20% discount voucher.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Draper’s Daughter postcard and a postcard for Thread festival where Karen will be exhibiting in September.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Grace from Beyond Measure will be attending the Sewing Weekender, and has supplied beautiful British tweed fabric bundles, and leather key-rings.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Janome are providing the sewing machines for the Weekender, and have also supplied tape measures and swatch cards.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Guthrie & Ghani have sent postcards with a discount code.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Minerva Crafts have sent each attendee a felt bundle. I fancy some bunting in these prints.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Adam Ross Fabrics have very generously supplied each attendee with a gift box containing a selection of sewing supplies which should come in handy during the weekend, and beyond.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Tilly and the Buttons have provided each attendee with a very cute notepad, perfect for jotting down notes when Tilly joins us on Sunday to talk pattern design.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

And finally, Fabric HQ have provided each attendee with a roll of polka dot fabric, which may have a little something hidden inside.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Phew! That should keep everyone busy on Saturday morning. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors for filling the goodie bags to the brim. I’ll be playing tetris on Friday, getting all of these supplies into my car and off to Cambridge!


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Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

I haven’t had much time to sew or to blog lately. What I have been doing is plenty of knitting and podcast-listening, since I can do those on my daily commute. I’ve also had a lovely movie-watching evening today, and have managed to squeeze in four films – I’m considering film number five, but should probably go to bed instead…

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

This is my Lou Lou Dress pattern (View B) made in a mustard luxury crepe from Sew Over It, it’s actually the left-over fabric from when I pattern tested the Joan Dress. The contrast hem is in Atelier Brunette’s ‘twist’ print cotton – another left-over, this time from a Paprika Pattern Onyx Shirt.

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

These photos were taken last Saturday. It was Phil’s birthday and we spent the day mooching around Birmingham city centre, eventually ending up in Digbeth to try a new tap room / bottle shop which has opened in the Custard Factory (Clink Beer).

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Digbeth has some great graffiti – I was hoping to feature some of my favourites, but taking blog photos is just about Phil’s least favourite thing so I was nice and didn’t pester him to take more photos than these on his birthday!

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

My shoes are Nina Z, purchased from Brooklyn Flea while I was visiting New York. I haven’t worn them in enough yet, as after several hours walking around town I had multiple blisters by the time I got home.

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Elsewhere

♥ Great podcast interview with Nick Wright about running Ernest Wright & Son, and his relationship with his father; really sensitively done, and also very funny. Plus, their Kickstarter campaign is now over 300% funded – hooray!

♥ A really sweet free wrap knitting pattern from a Verb for Keeping Warm, and free tray and basket pattern from Noodlehead.

♥ Women’s Hour has featured some great interviews with favourites from the knitting and fashion worlds: Kate DaviesFelix Ford, Lara Clements, Livia Firth, & fashion historian Amber Butchart.

♥ While on the subject of audio, I’m OBSESSED with Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant podcast Revisionist History. I feel like I’m getting an education every episode.

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

Mustard Crepe Lou Lou Dress

 


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The Seamworker’s Guide to Fashion Museums

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

I have an article in the August issue of Seamwork, released today.

The article is a guide to some of the best fashion and textile museums around the world. I’ve visited some of these museums in person; others are on my to-see list. I did my best to squeeze in as many museums as I could within the article word count!

You can read the full article here, or download the magazine (for free) from the Seamwork website.

One of the museums included is the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, which is one of my favourites. Below are a few photos of their recent Liberty in Fashion exhibition which I visited back in January. I’m especially looking forward to their upcoming Jazz Age fashion and photography exhibition (23 September 2016 – 15 January 2017).

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum


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Aime Comme Magellan

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

It’s a lovely (rare) sunny day in the UK so I’m sat in the garden blogging. That makes it easier to share these photos from a recent weekend break in Amsterdam, without wishing myself back there!

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

These photos were taken in the gardens surrounding the Rijksmuseum, which are free to visit. The museum itself was one of my favourite places we visited; as well as a superb art collection, the museum’s wide ranging collections include a biplane, 17th century dollhouses, and a YSL Mondrian Dress.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

This is the Aime Comme Magellan blouse from French pattern company Aime Comme Marie. I first saw this pattern when Kirsty made it, I loved Kirsty’s version but didn’t have an immediate urge to own the pattern. It must have been lurking in my subconscious though, as a couple of months later I suddenly urgently needed to make my own Magellan.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

I purchased the fabric from Barry’s Fabric during a small meet-up with local sewists organised by Rachel. It’s a white georgette, with a pattern of raised golden dots. I had assumed that the pattern would be available as a PDF so went home from the meet-up intending to start making the blouse that very day. It’s actually only available in paper format, and I don’t believe there are any UK stockists, so I ordered a paper pattern from Paris. Given my impatience to get started on this project, you’ll understand my sorrow that, when the parcel arrived after a couple of weeks, I initially received the wrong pattern (Madawan)! Aime Comme Marie didn’t reply to my first email or comment on social media, but once they spotted my second email they sent me the Magellan pattern. So, after around five weeks, I was finally able to start sewing!

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

I’m unsure If I made a mistake during construction or if I need to size up/make alterations to the pattern (I cut a size S), but when I first attempted to try on the blouse (after constructing the body and attaching the sleeves) I couldn’t even get it on as the sleeves and armholes were far too small. To make this first version wearable, I cut new sleeves and reshaped the armholes using pattern pieces from the Paprika Patterns Onyx Shirt, a pattern which I know fits me. The armholes are still a little tight but it’s wearable, and the fabric is a good match for the pattern – although this georgette pulls very easily so I’m not sure how long it will last.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

I’m definitely going to make another version as I love the bib section, but I’ll be careful to measure the pattern pieces before cutting out next time. I’m also keen to try this pattern in a knit fabric.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

If you fancy your own ruffle bib blouse, République du Chiffon’s Suzon Shirt also has a similar aesthetic. Sadly, it’s also only available as a paper pattern, but you can select an English language option. The Aime Comme Marie patterns all have a single page of English translations at the back of the instruction booklet – they were sufficient for this pattern, but with a more complicated pattern might be somewhat basic.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

No doubt it’s partly the blogs I follow, but I don’t see a lot of patterns from the French pattern companies on English-language blogs (Julie is my main source of French pattern inspiration). Personally, I forget to sew patterns by the french designers because I’m not seeing the patterns in stores, in many cases a PDF version isn’t available, and also because I don’t find the marketing of new pattern releases very clear. Having said that, I would really like to try the Gladys Dress, Mordue Shirt, and Dita wrap dress in the near future. I’m visiting Paris in September and am planning to use that as an opportunity to stock up on patterns!

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam


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Sewing Weekender Project Suggestions

sewing weekender banner

We have some amazing independent sewing businesses here in the UK, and as organisers of the Sewing WeekenderKate, Rachel & I are lucky to have a number of these businesses sponsoring our event, which takes places in August.

I’m always very pleasantly surprised with the generosity of small indie businesses – who, in my personal experience, often tend to be more generous with both their time and money than larger/public companies.

Attendees of the Sewing Weekender will be bringing along a project of their choice to work on in our Cambridge venue. Below, some of our lovely sponsors have suggested a perfect project for attendees. And for those not attending the event, these are all great weekend projects.

I really enjoyed the variety of projects suggested and hope you will to.

Tilly & Lexy from Tilly and the Buttons:

The Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons is the perfect weekend project! Bettine is one of our best-selling patterns, for good reason – it’s quick to sew up, comfortable to wear, and super flattering. Bettine does not require any fiddly darts, fastenings, or set-in sleeves, so is perfect for beginners or those who want something speedy and satisfying to make!

Bettine_sewing_pattern_red_1

Mark from Girl Charlee:

We recently had Kerry of Very Kerry Berry write a guest post for us about the Kielo Wrap Dress from Named Clothing. Kerry said the dress is “fitted at the top, flowing elsewhere and a dress that I could happily sit sewing in, walking Lottie or wear going out in the evening for drinks”, so we thought it would be a perfect all round wardrobe staple.

The dress is simple to make, with few pattern pieces and only requires 2 – 2.5m of fabric (we suggest a Cotton Jersey, Cotton Lycra, or for a heavier, warmer, dress a Ponte De Roma). Kerry’s post contains a great walkthrough and some helpful hints and tips to make your dress perfect!

SP-1239-large

Vicki from Minerva Crafts:

We’d suggest the beautiful summer day dress Vogue 1344 designed by Rebecca Taylor for Vogue Patterns. It would be perfect made in a soft flowing fabric such as Crepe or Georgette and it would be the ideal project to work on with friends to help take your sewing skills to the next level, from beginner to intermediate sewist. See our recent blog post for lots more details about the pattern.vogue-1344-a5-vogue-ladies-easy-sewing-pattern-1344-mock-wrap-dressHazel from Remnant Kings:

I’d recommend the Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio. It’s a simple shape that lets you be creative with your fabric choice to come up with many different versions of the pattern. The versions we’ve made here at RK have been in crisp chambrays and our favourite Liberty of London Tana Lawns. Not only is this a great pattern style wise, it also has some great techniques in it with the collar and stand, mitred corner option and button front. These are techniques every sewer should learn and if in doubt, at the Sewing Weekender, we’re sure that these skills can be learnt from one another.

remnant kings sewing weekender

Lauren from Guthrie & Ghani:

The Agnes top from Tilly and the Buttons is guaranteed to become a wardrobe staple and the girls in the shop all have several versions! It’s a really nice project to share tips on as putting the elastic in to create the neckline or sleeve rouching can seem tricky. Usually people have their own way to put a neckband into a jersey top so again, its another good one to get advice on and share techniques. You can find the Agnes Top and a wide range of lovely jersey fabrics online. We’ve found the 6mm framilastic to be great for the rouching and we use seam tape interfacing to stabilise the shoulder seams.

And why stop at making your own clothes when you can make shoes?! Espadrilles are a great project to get a quick fix of sewing in the summer – and chances are you already have scraps of fabric in your stash that you can use up to make them. All you need are the Prym Espadrille soles (pattern included but remember to add on seam allowance), your fabric (you may want to stabilise it with interfacing), and we recommend using top stitching thread and a leather needle to sew the fabric onto the soles.

P.S. attendees & blog readers can get a 10% discount at Guthrie & Ghani valid until Tuesday 16th August with code SUMMERSEW16.

IMG_2745

Grace from Beyond Measure:

I love to have an oggle at vintage sewing patterns and books, so why not dig out some gems from your collection to inspire us, or even bring along a project that is on the go?  Share your experience of vintage styles, techniques and fabrics, or explore how you might interpret vintage details for a more modern look. You can even bring along any unwanted patterns for a swap on the Saturday!

Vintage Knitting Pattern & Sewing Notions

Karen at The Draper’s Daughter:

We’ve opted for something that isn’t too challenging for the Sewing Weekender to give you time to mingle, make new friends and enjoy the sewing! Suitable for advanced beginners, the Stowe Bag, by Grainline Studio & Fringe Supply Co. is ideal, as it can be cut out and sewn in less than a day, plus it makes the perfect project bag for yourself, or a lovely gift for a friend.

Our fabric of choice would have to be one of the handwoven Ikats that we’ve sourced here at The Draper’s Daughter; there’s either the Black Zig Zag design shown here, or the Abstract Stripes design in tones of Aqua, Teal & Navy.

grainline

Frida from Pavilion:

The Freehand Batwing Top from Chinelo Bally’s book Freehand Fashion (published by Pavilion) is a quick sew that uses Chinelo’s signature freehand method. The project can be made in a couple of hours and can be jazzed up by using a fancy fabric such as velvet, can be embellished for extra wow factor, or made in a more casual fabric for lazy-day chic. This project is so versatile and so quick to make, and it’s ideal for getting you into a cordial relationship with stretchy fabric. Chinelo recommends a two-way stretch fabric, because it is easy to handle and is more predictable, fit-wise. This top can also be made as a tunic or a dress.

Subscribe to the Pavilion Craft newsletter and get 20% off all Pavilion craft books (including Chinelo Bally, Merchant & Mills and What Delilah Did).

Chinelo book Day 26326

Clare from Swedish Tracing Paper:

So you have a short period of time, you’ve got your machine and you want a quick satisfying project. How about some very modern bunting? we’re not talking your run of the mill tea party bunting here! You will need some felt in colours of your choice, the felt will need to be cut into shapes and sizes of your choice (so many choices!). For this you have a few options; a pair of scissors (seems like an ideal little job sat in front of the TV or on a train?), a die cut machine if you’re really lucky, or if you’re lazy (like me) you could just buy a bag of felt circles on Ebay😉

Set your machine up with a thread of your choice, you don’t need anything fancy, in fact I just used the white thread I use for tacking things. Start with your first shape, feed it in under the foot and sew through the middle of it as you get to the end of the first shape feed in the next shape. Don’t worry if they don’t completely meet, the thread between the two will form a little chain and will let the shapes twist nicely when it’s hung.

Just keep feeding in those shapes until you get to the end of your pile, and ta dah! you have a beautiful modern bunting! Perfect for draping up your stairs, over your fireplace, on your plants, pets, your desk at work…

Bunting 2 MW

Rae from FabricHQ:

We love the soft feel of jersey knit as a scarf so we suggest using beautiful Art Gallery Fabric jersey knit and a string of pom poms to create an irresistibly snuggly but stylish Infinity Scarf, using our tutorial. Such a quick project to make, you can whip up several in a weekend – one for every outfit!

12pompomscarf_grande

 

Hannah and the team at Simplicity:

Choosing a sewing pattern that is simple to complete yet detailed enough to show your signature style, Simplicity’s 6346 pattern, is a perfect choice for any stitcher looking to showcase their skills. This flared skirt pattern includes midi length or mini skirt options, with button front closure and zip detailing.

P.S. 6346 is one of the patterns included in this year’s Simplicity Sewing Challenge competition, entries close 31st August 2016.

Simplicity 6346_env_front

Faisal from Adam Ross Fabrics:

Adam Ross Fabrics are delighted to be sponsoring the Sewing Weekender as we love to hear how our fabrics are put to use. Of course there are a number of things you can make with the fabrics we have provided you with, but how great would it be to whip up a pin cushion which you can use this weekend? You can also make a small transportable pouch to keep some of your goodies in from your complimentary gift box and pop into your handbag. Here, we also love the idea of personalised items, so why not make something for a family member or friend, embroidering their name onto the front. There really are endless opportunities. If you wish too, you can also swap fabrics with each other but we would love for you to talk to each other about your fabrics. Hope you have a great weekend!

Susan from SewBox:

I’d suggest Hot Patterns 1142 – Fast & Fabulous Fiesta Knit Top. Cut this stunning little top out during the day and you can wear it out that evening! This easy-peasy dolman sleeved top is designed for soft, drape-y knits with a little stretch, rayon or silk jersey (just 1.85M of 150cm fabric). Make this in a simple solid colored knit for an elegant look, try a groovy print for a funky feel, or go for a dazzling sequin-smothered knit. This great top is perfect for those casual-dressy looks; you’ll wear your top with a slim pencil skirt, a skinny pant or-of course!-your favorite jeans…and you’ll look quite, quite fabulous.

HP_1142_FF_Fiesta_knit_top_env_f__77174.1349447657.660.660

Lucy from SewEssential:

From the moment I booked my tickets for the sewing weekender I started wondering what I should make and I knew it would involve our gorgeous black and green John Kaldor Hermione fabric, which I have had on my hit list since we received it. By the end of August we will all be starting to think about our Autumn/Winter wardrobes so I thought this black and green (apparently the colour for AW16) medium weight fabric would be perfect for those Indian Summer days and evenings we always seem to have before ‘proper’ winter kicks in.jk_herm_4328_grn

I haven’t yet tackled a pair of trousers and I’m always up for a sewing challenge. I’d normally go it alone with advice sought from my sewing guru and founder of Sew Essential, Angela, so I thought the Sewing Weekender would be an ideal opportunity to try something new and give Angela chance to focus on her own sewing projects!

In the end it was a toss up between this Simplicity 1114 jumpsuit or these McCalls 7415 culottes from their new season collection. I decided to go for the culottes. We have some fabulous John Kaldor plain black crepe I could use to make a nice top to go with them and in the spirit of my sewing career so far I wanted to push myself to try out a new style, something I wouldn’t normally wear. With the culottes revival being relatively new I thought I’d be fashion forward and get on board early. Depending on how much sewing time we get I might even be able to start work on the top. I thought I could adapt Butterick 5948 view F (which I’ve previously made) by making a sleeveless version with a smaller pocket to recreate the silhouette on the pattern packet and pair it with strappy high heeled black sandals.

Choosing to make separates is a win-win approach to a weekend project because it means you have plenty to keep you busy and won’t run out of things to do. You will be thrilled if you complete both projects, but satisfied if you only manage complete one. Can’t wait to see you there!

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Disclaimer: All of the companies above are sponsoring The Sewing Weekender. This blog post was not a condition of their sponsorship – I asked them to contribute as a gesture of gratitude for their support of the event & because I was interested to see what projects they would suggest.

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